* Posts by EvilDrSmith

220 posts • joined 30 Jan 2018

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America's largest radio telescope blind after falling cable slashes 100-foot gash in reflector dish

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge
Headmaster

Re: The search for aliens is suspended?

Up-voted, even though you're not quite correct.

Rocky Horror was the creation of Frank N Furter, but not an alien.

The Suspender-wearing alien was Frank (and Riff Raff and Magenta)

USA decides to cleanse local networks of anything Chinese under new five-point national data security plan

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Doesn't the US have a huge debt with China?

The US defaults.

Everyone around the world sniggers at the US, then realises how integrated their economies are to the US's, and that collapsing the US economy would be bad for them too, and so carries on lending the US money (at a marginally higher interest rate).

The US now has a much lower debt, since it's effectively renegade on what it owed to China.

China now has no 'money owed by USA' in it's accounts, so looks to be less wealthy.

China's actions are seen to be political so countries all round the world start questioning how beholden they are to China (since unlike the USA, they are not 'too big to failure' and if they are forced to default, it will actually hurt them).

So China loses wealth and influence, and the US carries on largely as it did before.

Hence it seems very unlikely China is going to call in the US debt to China any time in the foreseeable future.

You think the UK coronavirus outbreak was bad? Just wait till winter: Study shows test-and-trace system is failing

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Really?

But we're told 80% of people with COVID show no symptoms, so are you claiming that 75% of these people have symptoms of heart disease? Or do you man that up to 75% of those that were seriously ill show signs of heart disease?

Because that makes a big difference to the numbers.

And while in a situation like this, we all want the best decision for ourselves and our loved ones, Government (not 'the Government' - just the politicians, but Government: the politicians, civil servants, scientists, etc) should be picking the best (or least-worst) option.

And we have the report from 2 weeks ago that estimated 200,000 excess deaths due to lock-down (not COVID, but the effects of lock-down): about 25,000 in the short term plus a further 185,00 in the medium / long term, due to failure to get prompt medical attention for heart attacks, missed cancers, etc

Those lives matter just as much as someone with COVID.

We should not be viewing this as a 'COVID' emergency, but a 'health-care' emergency.

UK intel committee on Russia: Social media firms should remove state disinformation. What was that, MI5? ████████?

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: seen no evidence of successful interference in the EU Referendum

From the actual report:

"The Agencies have emphasised that they see their role in this as providing secret intelligence as context for other organisations, as part of a wider HMG response: they do not view themselves as holding primary responsibility for the active defence of the UK’s democratic processes from hostile foreign interference, and indeed during the course of our Inquiry appeared determined to distance themselves from any suggestion that they might have a prominent role in relation to the democratic process itself, noting the caution which had to be applied in relation to intrusive powers in the context of a democratic process. They informed us that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) holds primary responsibility for disinformation campaigns, and that the Electoral Commission has responsibility for the overall security of democratic processes."

So no.

The security services stood back because as far as they were concerned it was the Electoral Commission's job to do it (and to ask for help if and when they wanted it).

You remember the Electoral Commission? Who attempted to bring charges against various elements of the BREXIT campaign (and seem to have invariably lost when the case went to court and was tried to a proper legal of evidence), while ignoring well-founded accusations of wrong doing by the remain campaign?

The Electoral Commission that did their best to find evidence of criminal behaviour in the BREXIT campaign but just kept on, not finding anything significant. Because there was nothing to find.

Cambridge student rebuilds Polish Enigma-code-breaking box that paved the way for Turing ... and Victory!

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Britain has been a staunch ally to its NATO partners

It's worth noting that when Britain did attempt to bomb Germany in daylight in 1939, the bombers were generally decimated (actually, that's an understatement: I think on the Wilhelmshaven raid, losses were 100%).

Poland allied themselves to the largest Naval power on earth at the time, but a power that had a tiny army, none of which was on continental Europe (I think the initial BEF deployment was about 160,000, which is about 1/8th to 1/10th the size of the force that Poland had already mobilised). It took most of September to get that initial BEF into France.

Once in France, the BEF was deployed near the Channel coast, consistent with maintaining supply lines back to the UK, and(predictably) in the area it had operated in during WW1. The British army therefore had no actual route to 'get at' the Germans, without violating Belgian neutrality (The French and British wanted Belgium to cooperate, but Belgium followed a policy of strict neutrality until they were actually invaded).

Meanwhile, the Royal Navy was hunting down merchant shipping and merchant raiders belonging to Germany, and instigating a blockade (everyone always seems to remember the U-boat campaign against Britain in both wars, but forgets that the UK blockaded Germany in both too, particularly effectively in WW1, but not without effect in WW2).

In respect of the UK, Poland allied themselves with a Naval power, and got an immediate (naval) response.

Whether the French (as a more 'continental' power) could have done more

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Britain has been a staunch ally to its NATO partners

>In 1939 we fucked our Polish allies royally because that pact was a bluff, and Hitler saw through it

Except that the UK and France promised to go to war against Germany if Germany invaded Poland.

German Invaded Poland

UK and France both went to war against Germany.

Thus commencing the European element of World War 2 that ultimately led to the defeat of Germany.

The UK (and France) did what they promised to do.

You appear to be claiming will let down our Polish allies because we were not able to do more against Germany.

Throughout 1939 the UK was re-arming about as quickly as it was possible to do.

What the UK (and France) did was say to Poland, if Germany attacks, we'll declare war on Germany. That Germany did not take the threat seriously was beyond the UK's control. I reiterate, the UK was at that point, re-arming as quickly as it could. There was no practical military action the UK could take against Germany in September 1939, beyond what it did.

Had the UK and France not offered support to Poland, the result would have still been that Germany invaded Poland.

Only then, Germany would have been left alone to begin its ethnic cleansing in peace.

Trump gloats, telcos weep, and China is furious: How things stand following UK's decision to rip out Huawei

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge
Devil

Re: NSA Backdoors in Cisco and Juniper kit?

Go on, you know you want to....

Germany is helping the UK develop its COVID-19 contact-tracing app, says ambassador

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: I think Belgium

I'm inclined to agree, based on my knowledge of that part of history, but it pays to be careful about these sort of claims - Human populations have tended to increase, so it may be worse when it happened in the C19th compared to say the C1st, in terms of absolute numbers, but not necessarily percentages: wiping out whole populations in an area is not a product of the C19th or C20th.

Also, there is the level to which events are recorded/reported. My knowledge of Russian history is somewhat sketchy, but I believe Siberia was obtained by the Russian Empire with the order to clear it of it's existing population (Drive off or kill being equally acceptable to the Tsar), and the Argentinian 'conquest of the desert' is similarly generally accepted as at best kill or drive off and at worst pre-planned genocide.

But neither of these events occurred where there were sufficient 'civilised liberal people' to take notes about it, write it up for a newspaper, and cause the good middle class people of London, Paris and Stockholm to be outraged.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Well, from September 1939 until June 1941, the USSR was supplying vital raw materials to Nazi Germany, without which, their war industries would have been significantly inconvenienced (by how much is one of those detailed historical debates that never really gets a resolution).

But thematically, it's not entirely misleading to say the tanks and bombers that invaded France in May/June 1940 and bombed Britain in the Blitz throughout the winter of 1940/1941 contained material supplied by the USSR, ran on fuel supplied by the USSR, and fired shells/dropped bombs again made from materials supplied by the USSR. But we tend to forget about that, too. (I've even seen the claim that the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union was only possible due to the rubber the Soviet Union supplied to Nazi Germany - no idea if true, but suitably ironic if it is).

Also, I suspect that our (former) EU partners / (current) NATO partners, Poland, Czech Republic (or should that be Czechia?), Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia may have an opinion regarding the Soviet Union / Russia, and haven't forgotten a thing about what they did.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

>Point of fact, we didn't just use them, we invented them

Debatable.

The UK used concentration camps in the Boer war, certainly.

And they were designed to do what their name suggested- concentrate people (to stop them supplying the enemy/make them easier to police).

And they were badly run (which is to say, atrociously run, to the point that under our current values, we would say criminally negligent).

And this came out because the British authorities that ran them were quite happy (well, accepting of) British Journalists wondering around them, and then writing accounts of the conditions in newspapers that everyone in Britain and worldwide could read.

Which led to outrage in Britain, the demand that Something Must Be Done, and, somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, Something Was Done, and conditions were very markedly improved.

Which means that the British Boer War camps that are called concentration camps were entirely different to the nature and purpose of the camps that were called concentration camps in Nazi Germany.

Knowledge of the UK concentration camps does seem to be less widespread than the Nazi camps, but if you have even basic factual knowledge on the British Empire in general or the Boer War specifically, you'll know about them (and know that they are not at all comparable to the Nazi version).

As to Britain inventing Concentration camps - I read somewhere a long time ago (sorry, I can't provide a reference/source, was too long ago that I read it) that the US used Concentration camps in the Philippines (don't know if it's true, or when they were used, though it was sometime during/after the Spanish-American War of 1898, so about the same time the British used them in South Africa).

Moreover, I suspect that a neutral historian with sufficient interest in the subject would probably find equivalencies throughout most of Human history.

Stinker, emailer, trawler, spy: How an engineer stole top US chip designs, smuggled them to China to set up a rival fab

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Could be different actual offenses:

They stole Trade Secret A and they conspired to steal Trade Secret B.

(Or, using your example, Someone murders person A, and attempts to murder person B: If you were person B, you'd probably be a tad aggrieved, and want them punished (specifically) for what they tried to do to you, irrespective of whatever punishment they get for murdering person A)

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Nope.

At least not according to every source I checked on web and in books.

Completely open order, placed in 1959 and subsequently expanded.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Erm, both Israel and Argentina bought Mirages from France. Israel developed a modified version, which they also sold to Argentina. The modification was to have been a collaborative effort with France, but the French dropped out.

Pretty sure that in that case, there was no stealing involved (other than the Argentinians trying to steal the Falklands)

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Rental vs privately owned

So if I rent it from a commercial company (which owns the scooter, so effectively is 'privately' owned rather than 'state owned'), it's ok to use on the roads, but if I own it myself (privately owned), it isn't?

Anyone seen the basis for this?

Is it because it's a trial, they trying to keep numbers down in the first instance?

An insurance issue?

Are there conditions of operation that apply? (the article refers to LA's running rental schemes, or allowing third party operators to do so)

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

...which describes the expensive experimental works that have been undertaken, the various new/modified experimental technology they've come up with, whether as prototypes to be tested, or as monitoring technology to test the prototype (because sometimes in research, you need to build the measuring device you need before you can build the thing you want to measure). Also there will presumably be various computer simulations/numerical models, probably run as parametric studies testing sensitivities to various parameters. And yes, I expect there will be a report. In fact, there will probably be many dozens of reports.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Though the Reg claims it's 'a report', everywhere else I checked the story referred to its as:

"An 18-month engineering, design and development project is being led by the UK Space Agency to deliver a technical assessment and schedule for a UK global positioning system that would provide civilian and encrypted signals and be compatible with the US GPS system."

So not at all 'a report'.

A technical study which seemingly involves very clever people playing about with various bits of technology. So a high-technology research project. With 'contracts' (Plural) being let, implying the possibility of multiple strands of research.

So, AC, I agree - "Come on reg, you're meant to be journalists".

US starts sniffing around UK spaceports – though none capable of vertical launches actually exist right now

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: launch from a British spaceport

Runway (10,000ft?) built by the Americans during WW2, and I think I read somewhere it was a designated emergency landing strip for the shuttle.

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge
Happy

You get to play with the fun toys?

Just a little bit jealous...

(But I probably wouldn't understand them)

The incumbent President of the United States of America ran now-banned Facebook ads loaded with Nazi references

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: I didn't know of the triangle badges in the prison camps

Uncle Slacky,

I'm a little wary about relying on wiki for a subject like this, but from your link:

"While no single definition encapsulates many types of socialism, social ownership is the one common element"

and

"Socialist politics has been both internationalist and nationalist in orientation; organised through political parties and opposed to party politics; at times overlapping with trade unions and at other times independent and critical of them"

(Obviously, yes just selective quotes to suit my purpose).

So it does seem that 'Socialism' is all things to all men, or at least, can be variably defined.

What I didn't see on the Wiki page (from an admittedly very cursory viewing) is what percentage of social ownership is required to be a socialist state/society/economy. If the state owns the railways, but not the car maker, is that Socialism? what if it's reversed? or does the state (or the workers of each industry in relation to just their own industry) have to own everything for socialism to exist?

Which in turn leads to what is the definition of the 'means of production'? The services provided by the NHS in the UK, for instance, would not seem to fall within any classic definition of 'production', yet the idea of a state health service is accepted as social ownership within a socialist outlook.

Since socialism in the form of social ownership allows the option of employee ownership, there would seem to be no problem with privatising the NHS, as long as the companies involved were all partnerships, where all the employees of the private company shared equally in the profits. And I'm guessing I'm already getting downvoted for even discussing the idea that the NHS could be privatised, because any form of privatised health care is against socialist principles - except strictly, by your Wiki definition, it appears not to be.

So if I may be so bold, I'd politely suggest that you are quite sure that you can fully define what you mean by such terms as 'social ownership' and 'means of production' before you challenge others on their understanding.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: I didn't know of the triangle badges in the prison camps

No, not really.

The short answer is Nazis hated whoever Hitler told them to hate (and it's not a short list).

First and foremost, Nazi's hated Jews.

They hated Communists - because Communists were a viable threat, using the same violent techniques to seize power as the Nazi's and with the same contempt for democracy. Also, because they were internationalist, not nationalist, and because Hitler considered Communism to be associated with Jewish people.

Beyond that they hated Marxism (for much the same reason/not really distinguishing it from Communism)

They hated anyone deemed weak or feeble

They hated Parliamentary process, and therefore anyone that supported or defended parliamentary democracy, which included 'liberal socialists' and 'democratic socialists'.

However, the Nazi's were, in their own opinion, Socialist. Hitler was clear in his contempt for the bourgeois masses and for the need to carry the support of the working class, and the German economy under the Nazis was a state-directed economy (all those autobahns made great civic works to give jobs to the workers).

The Nazis did not hate socialists, because they thought that they themselves were socialist.

They just hated everyone that wasn't a Nazi.

The girl with the dragnet tattoo: How a TV news clip, Insta snaps, a glimpse of a tat and a T-shirt sold on Etsy led FBI to alleged cop car arsonist

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Missing info

Maybe in the first instance, they just asked politely

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Looks like a danish error...

Thanks for the link!

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge
Happy

Re: cwt

Ah, a hundredweight. Which is 112lbs, obviously.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

All ten of them, to the Furlong (Chains, that is)

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

But is that in a Dyson or in a Hoover?

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Wouldn't it be much easier (and more accurate)

But some of us are only pink in summer, and are more a shade of pale blue in winter.

This could get very complicated.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Unpopular opinion here

RobLang - I've no problem with unpopular opinions - challenging conventional wisdom is often useful, so have an upvote.

I think the French have (or used to have) a bunch of academics that were responsible for preserving the purity of the French language, or some such.

English doesn't, it evolves, often by stealing, erm, borrowing, words from other languages.

Also, the individual meaning of words changes over time / with use.

However, this change seems to me to be 'democratic evolution', driven not from on high by diktat, but from the bottom up, by people just using the language in everyday life.

Pointing out that certain terms are offensive is entirely reasonable. Taking offense on others' behalf, less so. Taking offense on others' behalf, and then imposing your decision on everyone, whether they agree or not? Nah!

Also, if someone wants to change vocabulary used in a process, it helps if they understand its use and offer realistic alternatives.

Is 'a baffling outlier' close enough in meaning to a 'crazy outlier'? Sounds it to me, but not a term I use.

Is 'Slows down' the same as 'crippled'? Not remotely, that's an order of magnitude difference in performance to my mind.

Is 'a final check for completeness and clarity' the same as 'sanity check'? Possibly, but I'm not going to wander up to a colleague and say all that, I'm going to ask for a sanity check, because it's concise and conveys the meaning.

Language is first and foremost about communicating. Trying to stop it evolving is foolish. But so is trying to impose politically motivated changes.

In Hancock's half-hour, Dido Harding offers hollow laughs: Cake distracts test-and-trace boss at UK COVID-19 briefing

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

the Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies,

This would be the group of politically active left wing scientists.

So not actually independent, but motivated to some certain degree to attack the government, on the basis not of science, but politics.

While that doesn't necessarily invalidate their opinions, it's a sad day when El Reg has descended to the level of Sky and the BBC, in presenting potentially politically motivated opinion without pointing out the political bias.

Oh crap: UK's digital overlords moot new rules to help telcos lay fibre in sewer pipes

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Potentially, less chance of something being cut, but with the associated factor that if one utility is cut, several get taken out.

Urban roads (including pavements) are often full of sub-surface utilities, making digging new holes tricky. Add in to that that not every utility is recorded, and even where they are recorded, the positioning isn't always that accurate. So utility strikes happen.

There are various ways to scan for sub-surface services before you dig. I'm not sure how well fibre is detected by these methods (Cat-and-Genny wouldn't be much use; no idea how effective Ground penetrating Radar is with fibre).

Running your fibre alongside something else that's more detectable may actually prove an effective way of reducing cable strikes.

But just getting people to properly record where their infrastructure is would be a good start.

Ex-Dell distributor in Lebanon ignored ban on suing US tech giant. Now four directors have been sentenced to prison in the UK

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

There apparently WAS right to legal redress, in that the article refers to an arbitration agreement.

Not having seen the contract, I can only speculate, but it may have stated that if both sides agreed to go into arbitration, the results would be binding. If one or both parties don't wish to accept this, then they don't go to arbitration, but go to the Courts.

And it seems to me to be far from corrupt - it means that if you are in the right you can (potentially) get some certainty of a resolution without incurring very high legal costs. It reduces the ability of the person you are in dispute with from playing the legal system in an attempt to make it so expensive for you that you have to unjustly conceded, or, if you keep going and win, finding that your opponent has now declared bankruptcy, and you've won nothing but a big legal bill.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: A company can set any forum for lawsuits in a mutually agreed contract.

Yup - much the same for us.

We work on sites throughout Europe. If we can't get the client to accept jurisdiction of the English courts, we tend to go with Netherlands. One system of law, one language regardless of which of 8+ countries the project is in, and quite accessible from the UK. We know what our liabilities are (well, our legal bods do), so understand the commercial risks involved.

Why would someone want to hack Germany's PPE supply chain? We're glad you masked

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: tin foil hat?

There was an allegation that shipment of PPE destined for Berlin (coming from Thailand, if I recall the story correctly) was 'hi-jacked' by the Americans / on Trump's orders.

Again as I recall, it was investigated and as far as any US involvement went, it was rubbish. I'm not sure it ever was reported what actually happened (bureaucratic screw-up or commercial fraud, presumably).

Perhaps South Park should change the lyrics of 'Blame Canada' to 'Blame Trump'. Actually, no. Canada was innocent.

Barmy ban on businesses, Brits based in Blighty bearing or buying .eu domains is back: Cut-off date is Jan 1, 2021

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Hmm...?

If I recall my history books, the invasion of Wales commenced largely as a direct follow on from the Norman Invasion of England. The invasion of Ireland also appears to be generally described as an Anglo-Norman invasion, being at a time when Normandy was an independent territory in it's own right (so the spear carriers may have been to some large degree English, but the leadership were Normans, probably a generation or two down from the initial invaders of England).

So probably more accurate say that Normandy invaded Wales and Ireland, having already annexed England.

Off hand, I think conflicts between England and Scotland didn't really get going until a couple of hundred years after the Norman invasion, so can't really call that a Norman invasion.

But then, the English invasion of Scotland ultimately failed, with Scotland regaining independence.

And then partial union (in one respect) occurred when King James VI of Scotland became James I of England, meaning that the King of England was Scottish (though the two crowns were separate).

And actual union occurred as result of the act of Union 1707, which involved no invasion whatsoever. (If I recall my books, the English Parliament agreed the act of Union in 1706, and it was actually the Scottish Parliament's agreement that set the year for the actual event).

History's fun.

Talk about a control plane... US Air Force says upcoming B-21 stealth bomber will use Kubernetes

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Works the other way too

While not suggesting anyone intends to do this, an S-400 system in Cuba, could, I believe, engage targets (including military aircraft or airliners) operating over Florida (as an example).

Protecting the airspace over your home country might mean attacking targets outside of your home country, and might mean attacking advanced SAM systems, where stealth is potentially valuable.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: And the B52s?

Well, maybe.

Re-engine-ing the B52 fleet seems to be a plan that the US Air Force have regularly, only to drop when they decide to replace the B52 with the (B1) / (B2)/ (B21?).

The they realise how expensive the B1/B2/(B21?) is, and how gosh-darned-useful those B52's are, so they drop the plan to retire the B52, but don't resurrect the plan for new engines.

Then, after a suitable period of time, someone suggest a plan to fit new engines to the B52.

Rinse and repeat.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge
Coat

Re: "the whole post could be misdirection"

It's a bomber aircraft...it'll be a bit limited if it doesn't get put into (the) cloud(s).

Sorry.

It's the one with 'The Observers book of aircraft' in the pocket...

As anti-brutality protests fill streets of American cities, netizens cram police app with K-Pop, airwaves with NWA

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: I'm not afraid of the police. At all.

BebopWeBop,

Possibly both you and Jake are correct.

Jake refers to 'innocents', so presumably excludes civilians engaged in a criminal offense.

Your figures are for 'Civilians', so presumably includes civilians engaged in a criminal offense.

Do the figures you have looked at provide a more precise definition of 'civilian'? Or more relevantly, the number of civilians killed unlawfully by police officers?

I also realise that my use of the term 'criminal offense' is the wrong metric, since most criminal offenses do not justify a police officer taking your life.

(Also, I'm not trying to be smart here - there are more guns in the US therefore there is more likelihood that criminals will have and use guns; therefore it is to be expected that more lawful civilian deaths will result from police action than in, say, the UK. I am therefore genuinely asking whether the figures that you found refer to civilian deaths or unlawful civilian deaths)

Guess who came thiiis close to signing off a €102k annual budget? Austria. Someone omitted 'figures in millions'

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: They came this close . .

True, but it's a good (humorous and harmless) example of why legislation really does need to be properly scrutinised.

Imagine if the error had given them too much money.

Or if it was a law that set penalties that allowed for imprisonment for a set period of time.

Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: The Federal government isn't all of the United States

> There isn't even the semblance of Constitutional protections and a Bill of Rights in the UK

Apart from the Bill of Rights 1688, that is.

That being the model that the US used to write their Bill of Rights.

Yes, the UK constitution draws a certain amount on custom and practice - it makes for a constitution that can be changed when it needs to be, but is in practice, generally quite effective.

The UK have had quite a few changes to our system of government since 1066, not the least of which was the British Civil War (more commonly called the English Civil War, but given the events in Scotland and Ireland, 'British' is more accurate), as a result of which, we lopped off the head of our (former) King, tried being a republic, didn't much like it and imported a new King (from the Netherlands, and then later from Germany).

Oh, and incidentally, the UK isn't small - it's mid-sized (at least in terms of population; in terms of economic, political and diplomatic influence, it's medium-large sized)

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: IT Angle?

Danny 2 - while I agree with you regarding social media being IT related, I also agree with Batfink (Why, yes, thank you, this fence is very comfy).

The IT issue was covered in a personnel tech story yesterday ("Twitter ticks off Trump...").

This opinion piece could just of easily have been in the Guardian, the Times or on Politco.eu.

Now, El Reg's house, El Reg's rules, and if we don't like it, we're all free to leave, but this article seems unnecessary and self-indulgent (with an element of playing to the mob).

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: You supported a system...

No, the UK population voted for the individual they wanted to represent them in Parliament; we do not vote for the Prime Minister (that's not how our system of democracy - and it is a system of democracy - works).

Clearly, in reality, a lot of people vote based on the party leader - that is, people vote for their representative based on who they hope will become PM, so they pick their representative purely on party allegiance.

in 2019, it seems that a lot of people also voted based on who they didn't want as PM.

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Is it wrong to be in favour of this?

But not actually NATO member countries.

The NATO website shows them as partner nations (not members). The NATO website also shows Russia (amongst others) as a partner nation.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Is it wrong to be in favour of this?

>* NATO is more or less irrelevant for USA.

Possibly, but from the NATO website:

"The principle of collective defence is enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in its history after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States."

So the first NATO member to ever obtain military assistance in a conflict through NATO was the USA - clearly not an organisation that the US thought irrelevant at that time.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Is it wrong to be in favour of this?

Would have upvoted you apart from that last sentence - the fact that different people have a different understanding of the meaning is why it should be discussed and debated, if only to try an establish a common accepted definition (perhaps then as a first step to more meaningful discussions)

To test its security mid-pandemic, GitLab tried phishing its own work-from-home staff. 1 in 5 fell for it

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Not bad? Users? Policy?

Yup, this.

Remember, for most of us, IT is the tool we use to do our job, not the job itself.

WfH means doing our job in strange new ways, and people are probably concentrating more on the basics of their actual job than they normally have to.

Also, if you normally work in an office, if you get a dodgy email, it's easy to just ask a colleague - 'does this look dodgy'?

Hooray! It's IT Day! Let's hear it for the lukewarm mugs of dirty water that everyone seems to like so much

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Perfectly true.

Though your perfectly sized mug wouldn't be my perfectly sized mug - I suspect the temperature variation over the life of the cuppa would be too much for my liking (but it's your mug, so who am I to complain?)

I prefer 'many-and-often': it's also a good excuse to take regular breaks from sitting in front of a computer screen.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

>We just drank warm water

Sometimes with a spot of milk.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

In Wine, Wisdom;

In Beer, Strength;

In Water, Bacteria.

And

In Tea...Milk, 1 sugar, please.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Three cups an hour?

A little atypical for me, I reckon about one an hour, maybe rising to 1 every 30 minutes, but 3 an hour? Entirely within sensible consumption limits.

Railway cables overpowered errant drone's compass and flung it back to terra firma

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: "over localised regions of the bridge below"

The bridge may have been metal, but it only spanned two rail lines, so there is a good chance it was masonry.

Given the value of the drone and that they knew who to contact at Network rail, this sounds like the drone was being used for some form of survey probably on behalf of NR, or at least on an asset immediately adjacent to the rail line. The bridge presumably provided a (the best? the only?) vantage point for the drone pilot to keep the drone in visual sight at all times (which I think is a legal requirement).

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