* Posts by EvilDrSmith

186 posts • joined 30 Jan 2018


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

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

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).


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.


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.


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).

New Zealand releases Bluetooth-free COVID-19 tracing app

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: One Last Push and it's Over

> only having myself to argue with.

At least it guarantees the quality of the argument...Sometimes, talking to one's self is the only way to guarantee an intelligent conversation.

Dutch spies helped Britain's GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Great name, great beer

Good book.

Yup, he refers to having radio receivers able to automatically "intercepting, scanning and capturing" frequencies or bands of frequencies.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Breaks it angle

Yup, matches what I've read about things - the State Department wanted to back Argentina as a key ally in the war against Communism (never mind the yearly state-sponsored murders), and didn't care about the UK, because we weren't going to abandon NATO/Democracy, etc. The US military wanted to back the UK, as a (broadly) trustworthy / key military ally (that had the added advantage of being in the right), rather than a dictatorship that murdered several thousand of it's own people each year.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Breaks it angle

That applies to all nations, ultimately.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Breaks it angle

NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - it has a defined area of applicability. The Falklands, being in the South Atlantic, were outside the area to which the treaty applied (the US could invoke NATO to invade Afghanistan because the trigger event was an attack in New York).

At least, that's my understanding of why no formal NATO response could be triggered.

I suspect that there was also an element of embarrassment for the UK Govt if they had needed to call on NATO, even more so if some NATO members hadn't then offered support.

'Informal' / bilateral help from NATO partners was less embarrassing (for both the UK and the other nation involved, who wouldn't have to overtly burn bridges with Argentina or some of the other S. American nations).

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Milk consumption?

Politico-eu reported a week or so ago that there are concerns in France regarding over-production of Cheese - demand from restaurants etc has collapsed, and the cheese can't be kept for ever (probably refers to softer cheese in particular, I'm guessing), so cheese is being destroyed or melted down to form lower quality cheese (at which point I think I stopped reading- there are some things it's better not to know)

If you don't LARP, you'll cry: Armed fun police swoop to disarm knight-errant spotted patrolling Welsh parkland

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: "...society's untouchables..."

That's not 'D&D', that's 'Paranoia'.

Yup, the anorak, please. Yes, and the backpack full of rule books and dice...

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

>But this is why we have Dungeons & Dragons – so society's untouchables can be kept out of sight in basements around the world

Seems like Richard is still sore that his 6th level fighter was killed by a brutal DM...

There's a world out there with a hexagon vortex over its pole packed with hydrocarbon ice crystals. That planet is Saturn

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Isn't the universe awesome?

I like science.

Surprise surprise! Hostile states are hacking coronavirus vaccine research, warn UK and USA intelligence

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: We're talking medical research, not nuclear launch codes.

I'm not sure how advisable it is to share research between different institutions at an early stage - there would seem to be a risk that all may end up following a research dead end, so I can see a reason for different groups to work in isolation, and only share the results and methodology once it looks to be reliable.

More generally to the article, medical research is expensive (and I believe often unsuccessful). This may be less about getting info on COVID, and more about getting into the systems of the various research institutes for future exploitation, trying to benefit from possible lax user security brought on by the urgency of dealing with COVID now.

Additionally, there may be an element of 'what do they know?' A potential revelation might be embarrassing to some regimes if it isn't their government scientists that save the country/world.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Stick to the tech, please

Thank you for responding.

However, the article refers to political advisors and downing street officials.

You've referred to 13 out of 23 members of SAGE as permanent paid advisors, which I took to be a reference to the likes to employees of the NHS and Public Health England, the chief scientific advisors to various government departments, etc.

So the article doesn't really answer my question - are you suggesting that department Chief Scientific Advisors are not civil servants, but political appointees and, despite their apparent technical qualifications, not appropriate people to be on SAGE?

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Stick to the tech, please

An interesting suggestion that has some merit.

However, the probability is that the virus has a reserve in at least one species of bat.

To be effective, we would have to also eliminate that species, and probably several others, to be sure, and I think the environmentalists might object (Greta would probably get quite angry).

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Stick to the tech, please


You seem concerned regarding the makeup of SAGE - do you believe that those 13 of 23 members that receive their salary from the government is unique to this incarnation of SAGE? Or is it normal for SAGE (it appears to have been around for a while), and you have a more fundamental objection to the group makeup?

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Stick to the tech, please

>You understand don't you

In the wider sense of virology, probably not, it's not my area of expertise.

But no nation has a full lock-down: there are still medics at work, police on the streets, food being delivered, shops open. Meaning that there is still the route for the virus to circulate.

If every nation on the planet can bear the pain long enough, the virus will die out (except it probably jumped species into Humans, meaning there may always be a reservoir of virus in the species of origin) or we'll get a vaccine / cure.

But right now, most of the nations in Europe seem to be loosening their lock-downs, with the sensible concern that they will see a rise in the number of cases as a result.

If lock-down is effective in supressing transmission (as it appears to be) then it would seem highly likely that there will be an increase in cases as the suppression measures are reduced. (If there isn't, it implies that the suppression measures were not actually suppressing anything).

This is, I believe, part of the argument that guided the Swedes to adopt their approach - a less stringent lock-down results in less risk of a peak when you release the lockdown (since there is less to release).

>not intentionally infecting people with a deadly virus you don't fully understand

No one has been intentionally infected.

And infecting someone with a deadly virus isn't particularly sensible however well you understand the virus.

>the winner is lockdown. Fewer deaths, virus over quicker.

Fewer deaths: well, possibly; fewer deaths at the mid-point (if that is where we are now), not yet clear at the end, But possible.

Virus over quicker: Probably not.

You appear to have forgotten what Everyone competent was saying back in February and March - it's all about flattening the curve.

Do nothing, cases exceed the capacity of your health care system, some people die because they were going to die if they got the virus, lots of people die that could be saved.

Flatten the curve. cases are within capacity of your health service, some people die because they were going to die if they got the virus, everyone that could be saved is saved.

But the area under the curve is unchanged: the number of people that get the virus is unchanged, but the duration of the outbreak is longer, and that saves lives.

So virus not over quicker.

Now I don't know if that's correct (not my area of expertise), and perhaps Everyone competent has since changed their opinion, and flattening the curve is no longer the solution.

Meanwhile, lots of people that aren't experts in virology, but are experts in other things (like cancer care) are expressing concern about the impact of the lockdown.

And because I am not a specialist in those areas either, I wouldn't suggest that they are completely wrong.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Stick to the tech, please

So you're agreeing that there is uncertainty amongst the best-qualified people as to what the correct approach is?

And therefore also agreeing that it was somewhat bold of a journalist that specialises in IT to declare that a bunch of eminent and highly (relevantly) qualified individuals were completely wrong?

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Stick to the tech, please

Presumably, you missed the news coverage where it was established that Cummings in fact questioned the members of SAGE on their recommendations, and pushed towards the adoption of more stringent lock-down measures than they were recommending?

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Stick to the tech, please

"That policy was also well-reasoned and well-explained by a small number of very competent doctors and scientists who just happened to be completely wrong."

Completely wrong? Really? The UK approach was changed, true, but COMPLETELY wrong? Bearing in mind that the original UK policy is largely what is being followed in Sweden, and while some argue it is a mistake, others seem to believe the Swedish policy is working.

It'll probably take some years before the medical professionals can work out reliably what worked well, what worked poorly and what didn't work.

Perhaps you could have just said 'changed their mind'?

Latvian drone wrests control from human overlords and shuts down entire nation's skies

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Phone Gatwick

Harsh....what did the people of Latvia ever do to you?

Lars Ulrich makes veiled threats of another Metallica album during web chat with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: up until 1991,

>Really good rock...mostly disappeared by 1980

>I can lay claim to having seen....in the sixties

There may be a correlation there, which may also explain why other comments herein are referring to those authors thinking nothing by Metallic after ~1990 being any good.

The children (who claim to be almost 30, but that can't be true) that we (possibly) all work with will probably say that all music after 2010 was rubbish...

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Deluded article from a cretin

>not that it - or anything Else Matters

What, Nothing?

Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain rapped for letting crew throw shoreside BBQ party

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Optics

As opposed to pandering to the uniformed?

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

>We need to apply common sense and science...

Burn the heretic!

Geoboffins reckon extreme rainfall might help some volcanoes pop off

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: The magma's several km deep

Quite correct - I grossly simplified the calculation to illustrate the core point: the variation in pressure caused by an extreme rainfall event is very small relative to the baseline pressure value at 'several kilometres' depth.

In practice you have to allow for the void ratio of the soil/rock, the permeability of the soil and how this varies with degree of saturation, the response of the soil skeleton to changes in water pressure, the variation in proportion of water that infiltrates relative to the proportion that runs off along the surface, etc. The Reg summary of the article indicates that the rock is permeably, but doesn't indicate whether that is due to a few, relatively large and open fissures in an otherwise low-permeability material, or whether the material itself has a high voids ratio, with good connectivity between the voids. There is also no discussion of what if any variation exists in horizontal permeability relative to vertical permeability.

In practice, high rainfall intensity events on 'low permeability' soils often generate a lot of run-off and relatively little infiltration, whereas longer-duration but lower intensity rainfall can result in more dramatic changes in the groundwater level. In 'high permeability' soils, more water tends to infiltrate and you tend to get less run-off, but the infiltration tends to produce a relatively small increase in ground water level, since it tends then to dissipate laterally: a fully saturated soil is generally more permeable than the same soil when it is only partially saturated.

And of course, this is a discussion of an extreme rainfall event - there is rainfall all the time, so the baseline condition is not necessarily static, but reflects normal seasonal variation; we're probably actually considering the pressure difference between the normal yearly high and an exceptional yearly high, which may be more or less than the variation between the normal yearly high and the normal yearly low.

But I was offered a beer to bugger off, so I will.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: The magma's several km deep

Happy to bugger off when it involves a pint!

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: The magma's several km deep


My PhD was in modelling infiltration into unsaturated soils (that 'Dr' part of my attribution isn't medical).

But I might be wrong - if my calculations of baseline water pressure and probably change in water pressure are incorrect, please let me know.

And I admit, I haven't read the nature article referred to.

It's science. Science should be challenged - that's how it's proved.

Also, I did not dispute that heavy rainfall might influence volcanic activity, merely noted that the suggested mechanism seemed unlikely.

(Relevant PhD qualified) Bloke on Internet.

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: The magma's several km deep

True, but how big are those changes resulting from rainfall? They are talking about infiltration causing pressure changes 'several kilometres below the surface' near to where the magma is. The total water pressure at that depth would, if linked to the surface / the sea, already be huge: roughly 10kPa per metre head of water, so 'several kilometres', say 3,000m, maybe 30,000kPa?*

How much rainfall are they talking about? A quick internet search suggests that peak average rainfall is 124mm on average, in November. So extreme rainfall = what? maybe 100mm = 0.1m = +1kPa; even if it were 1m of 'excess' rainfall, that's still only +10kPa.

The change in pressure is tiny relative to the baseline value.

*By the way, is there an approved Reg unit for pressure?

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

The magma's several km deep

Hmmm.. if the magma is several km deep, the change in pressure from surface water (rainfall) infiltration is likely to be a tiny fraction of what's already there. This is Hawaii.. an island surrounded by Ocean.. if the rock is porous enough for rainfall falling ON the island to connect that deep, presumably the ocean all around the island connects too.

Perhaps what is actually occurring is that the high rainfall flowing down is filling all the normally open vents that allow gas and steam to escape from depth; under normal rainfall, perhaps some remain open, allowing a pressure relief mechanism, which is blocked under high rainfall events?

Watch: Rare Second World War footage of Bletchley Park-linked MI6 intelligence heroes emerges, shared online

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Soviet Army in Manchuria

Yup, though if I may, your wording is a little misleading: Soviet invasion date was three months after the end of the European war, as agreed at Yalta. That it was three days after Hiroshima was coincidental.

Huawei rotating Chairman: Chinese government will not 'just stand by and watch Huawei be slaughtered'

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

>Yes, we know animals are not slaughtered on chopping boards, but we thought Xu painted a graphic picture.

Well, according to some reports, they (effectively) are, in the 'Wet Markets' in China. That's why we're all currently working from home (regardless of whether we're doing it on Huawei kit or not)

Google reveals the wheels almost literally fell off one of its cloudy server racks

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Why bother?

TRT - Thanks for the answer (more helpful than just a downvote).

Never been in somewhere like that; I was assuming that they were all purpose built (which on reflection is obviously wrong), and the only details I've ever seen for them in general were proposed new builds with concrete/screed floor (no indication of any further floor finish, but I wouldn't necessarily have seen those details).

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Why bother?

Would they have floor tiles?

I would have assumed a concrete screed floor, much as any of the big logistic sheds (such as Amazon) that increasing litter the place. Designed for heavy loads, very strict tolerances on tilt of storage racking and flatness/levelness of the slab.

Apple reopens stores in China as Middle Kingdom regains control of COVID-19 – after closing all its outlets in Italy

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Well

"Herd immunity" sounds very Dominic Cummings, don't you think?

Nope, it sounds like an expression I've been aware of for years, possibly decades, generally being used by experts in medicine and disease control.

Morrisons puts non-essential tech changes on ice as panic-stricken shoppers strip stores

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: "throughput of goods is in excess of the usual Christmas peak"

OMG! You posted that 3 minutes ago. And I wasn't panicking at the time! I'm late panicking! WhatdoIdo? WhatdoIdo!

Come kneel with us at UK's Cathedral, er, Oil Rig of the Canal: Engineering masterpiece Anderton Boat Lift

EvilDrSmith Bronze badge

Re: Upvote

Worth remembering that a lot of the 'Dr Beeching 1960's closures' actually occurred in the 1970's. Also, don't blame the Dr too much: he wrote a report with recommendations, he didn't actually impose the cuts. As normal, the actual damage was done by politicians.



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