* Posts by My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

239 posts • joined 12 Mar 2018


Ever wonder how a pentest turns into felony charges? Coalfire duo explain Iowa courthouse arrest debacle

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The arrest shouldn't matter on record at all.

(Note: below is assuming US law.)

If it's a misdemeanor, most won't care.

If it's a felony, wouldn't that require a grand jury for an indictment? The indictment matters -- the arrest, not so much.

In the opposite direction, non-arrest traffic violations are of great interest to many jobs, particular gig delivery such as GrubHub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats. Only when driving do you interact with other members of the public at such a high frequency (every adjacent vehicle) and can have more impact to public safety than the statistically rarer arrest-worthy crimes.

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

Re: Perfect shit storm

Make the movie, then call Ryan George (YouTuber) to make the corresponding episode of "Pitch Meetings": "So, this Sheriff? He's just the *worst*."

Days after President Trump suggests pausing election over security, US House passes $500m for states to shore up election security

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Re: Its too late now

"The flaw is using voting machines in the first place. Pieces of paper and pens make UK elections secure."

There are ALWAYS machines; human eyes are only a backup.

My ballots (I wish I had a link to a pic, but sorry) use pen on cardstock, but there is still a machine used to check for stray/duplicate marks and perform the actual counting.

Bootnote: In defiance of our inglourious president, I choose to be "absent" from the primary polls today and voted in the safer, more secure environment of my own home. The missus and I dropped off our Absentee Ballot Applications at township hall on Tuesday late afternoon, received primary ballots in Thursday's mail (didn't expect USPS to be that quick, honestly), and returned at township hall the next day (Friday). Every step -- application received, ballot sent, ballot received -- is reported to the state election board and available for me to verify on the state's website. If there's going to be any fraud, it's between opening the signed-and-sealed envelope and counting the ballot (running it through the machine), not due to the postal service, who had almost no part in it!

(And since our application is on file, I don't even need to fill out another for November's general elections. Receive, vote, take back -- easy enough and better than standing in line all day with a mask on.)

USA seeks Moon and Mars nuke power plant designs ready to fly in 2027

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Re: Why the 1Km cable?

I was wondering about losses:

10 kW / 120 Vdc = 83.33 Adc

Let's go ahead with copper 4/0 AWG (aka #0000), because anything larger is certainly a custom build: 1 km * 0.1608 mOhm/m = 0.1608 Ohms, which leads to... 83.33 A * 0.1608 Ohms = 13.4 V line drop.

Okay, not as bad as I feared. Boost the sending end to ~135 V and you're sorted; even better if there's proper high-Z sensing lines for feedback (closed-loop control).

One caveat: Most cable applications assume that losses are going to dissipate to air, and this can be important when building bundles. How do they intend to cool said cable out there? Otherwise, instead of the reactor, the cable itself might just have a... meltdown. [/me dons shades, cranks The Who]

Raytheon techie who took home radar secrets gets 18 months in the clink in surprise time fraud probe twist

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Big Brother

All I can safely say is...

1. My former and current employers' IT were/are WAY better than this, especially in the classified realm. (No details, sorry -- not sorry.)

2. I have worked on classified data before but never tried to breach security for any reason. By and large (99%) what I work on is sensitive but unclassified (which surprises me, especially with what I eventually find on Wikipedia, but oh well not my call).

3. I love Fridays off. It's called a 9-80: 80 hours across 9 working days with every-other Friday off. I never took work home as an excuse; it was/is company endorsed.

4. The only time I took ANY work home (prior to #5) was because I would be travelling the next day or just returning from travel. Again, nothing was classified.

5. I've been full working from home since mid-March. I have not tried to get any data outside my company laptop. I don't even have any paper copies of anything. I won't talk about the laptop's/network's security to protect my employer (and my @$$).

6. I assume everything I do -- internet requests, file operations, USB access -- is logged and act accordingly. I haven't tried any external device (USB or other) I assume(d) I didn't already have permission for.** I even avoid using WiFi, opting for Ethernet.

I love my job, my employer, my country, but most importantly my personal freedom and my family, so staying out of jail is my goal, both by doing the right things and not blabbing the sensitive things. I'm either an obedient, security-minded individual or a total sheep to my corporate and government overlords. You decide.

** Currently I am running only a 2-input KVM switch: 1) HDMI to my large personal monitor (laptop's second screen / family desktop's primary), 2) USB receiver for wireless trackball, 3) standard keyboard and mouse via a 2-USB switch in the monitor. Everything works as expected and there is no data storage or sharing, so I assume I'm in the clear, and IT hasn't said boo since it's similar to using the dock unit (USB-C feeding USB-A, DisplayPort and VGA) at my office desk.

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory

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Re: Teach your children

Yes, but there was at least one Pharaoh before him who knew emergency planning was important and put a trustworthy guy (Joseph) in charge of it, saving countless lives from a famine. Of course, they had divine prescience about it...

(And that's how Israel got into the slavery mess. But they also had emergency planning of their own against said tenth plague with the Passover lamb's blood, and none said after the fact "We didn't really need it, did we?")

Reason aside, trying to connect the Ten Plagues of Moses and today's SARS-CoV-2 is, in a word, silly.

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

Teach your children

I was just explaining similar things to my oldest kid (age 9). She was getting a orthodontic appliance (retainer) check and may move to some kind of "brackets" sooner than originally planned; this is all before the actual braces.

I told her: "Some folks may look at the doctors changing solutions quickly as evidence they don't know what they're doing. But we know different -- it means these things are actually working, and working so well that we need to move forward quicker than expected. This is a good thing! Those other folks just look at what's going on and come up with the completely opposite reasons. Don't call them stupid or idiots; they just were never taught how to truly think about things."

(Not an actual quote, but clearer for you other folks, and note the bold section that calls out the logic Wellyboot first decried.)

I then explained the (correct) critical thinking that proper pre-planning for any emergency would make it appear less than the disaster it could have been, because that is the true intention. Capped off with, referring to those anti-thinkers: "What, you WANT people to die just to know something bad happened? Wasn't the whole point to prevent deaths?"

VMware to stop describing hardware as ‘male’ and ‘female’ in new terminology guide

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Re: So sad

I just wrote another post, and realized I used the following words (which I call the Offensive Language Analysis):

"Nut" - slang for private body parts

"bayonet" - implies violence/warfare

"hex" - implies witchcraft

"witch" (line above, not the other post) - brings up negative stereotypes and discriminatory to women...

And I came to the same conclusion as you: If we start policing language as closely as many companies now desire, there is no end to the hole of "'X' reminds me of [completely unrelated non-technical meaning/association] and offends me." The only end to that path is to ban the dictionary and use Orwell's Newspeak because there will be nothing left.

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

Re: This PC subversion only idiotically makes things harder and more confusing for competent people

I'm currently doing some RF analysis with mainly N-type cable interconnects.

I was just thinking yesterday how what is usually called a jack/receptacle ("female" socket contact) has outer ("male") threads like a bolt, and the plug ("male" pin contact) has the inner ("female") threads like a nut (often with a hex-shaped body for wrenching, also like said nuts). Thus, both ends are, in a sense, bisexual, but still in opposing ways.

Thinking larger, the whole socket/outer-thread vs. pin/inner-thread is pretty common across not just RF (TNC, SMA), but other US Mil-spec connectors, including threaded, bayonet, and reverse-bayonet. Must be because it technically is a good system or something, despite the (perceived) language difficulties.

This week of never-ending security updates continue. Now Apple emits dozens of fixes for iOS, macOS, etc

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Paris Hilton

Which class of drinks: caffeinated, alcoholic, ice water, other, all of the above?

(I won't even ask about pizza type & toppings; asking that opens a black hole.)

Paris --> because so many left-pond waitresses emulate(d) her, both in looks and intellect (and for many the latter came naturally).

You call Verizon. A Google bot answers. You demand a human. The human is told what to say by the bot

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Re: The AI if only serving its masters

Sociopathic, perhaps, instead of psychopathic.

An email banning our staff from using TikTok? Haha, funny story about that, we didn't mean it – Amazon

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Re: Absolutely terrible!

I would upvote you, but the count is at 42 and I wish not to disturb/disrupt Life, the Universe, and Everything. (We've had enough disruption lately.)

Trump's bright idea of kicking out foreign students unless unis resume in-person classes stuns tech, science world

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Re: Drive-in classes?

Students with visas likely don't own cars, in my experience.

My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

Re: Cold War hangovers and perversions

The real brains are too smart to touch politics with an as-long-as-mechanically-possible stick.

The brains that DO go into politics are already damaged and the politics itself doubles down on that, creating more idiots. The brightest of that bunch just end up figuring out ways to abuse their power like with graft/corruption and sex sex sex.

Mind the airgap: Why nothing focuses the mind like a bit of tech antiquing

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Re: At a loss

Circa 2000, my university library invested in a fleet of type-only devices (might have been called an "AlphaWriter" or something like that).

These things had a 4 line by 60(?) column LCD display and amazing battery life. You could type as much as you want anywhere you wanted, including many symbols. You could even choose between 8 different "files" -- for some reason with different allowed character counts -- and every keystroke was saved. No drives or any moving parts: it was about as robust, and as "dumb", as a non-graphing scientific calculator.

When the typing was done, you hooked it up to a PC using a PS/2 cable or Mac using ADB (cables came with it in a little carrying case), hit send/upload/whatever, and it essentially re-typed your entire text stroke by stroke, just way faster than mechanically possible (the speed was settable in case of compatibility issues).

Not having my own laptop -- or even my own computer until about the same time -- I like being able to take it around the libraries for research. In November 2001, I started writing a creative piece on a bus ride home for Thanksgiving. Sure, the keyboard was terrible and overall it was too light and kept moving around -- even on a lap -- plus the display was very limiting, but it filled a need at the time and was convenient (and free for a week at a time).

I wouldn't mind letting my kids bash on one instead of watching cartoons on their fancy-schmancy touchscreen full-video tablets. I personally would use one for work if all I did was type, but my job needs are different than those few assignments back in college.

Microsoft takes tweaking tongs to Windows 10's Start Menu once again

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Re: Win 8 icons

I actually prefer some app icons having different colored backgrounds; makes them easier to find. If all the tiles are going to end up looking the same -- white widget on semi-trans -- then might as well just give me an ordered list (curated, not the full list) instead of tiles.

Oh, wait, I rarely use that menu anyway since I tend to also pin the same things to the taskbar. Same problem, though: if all the icons will eventually lose their color, then quickly telling things apart (especially the parts of MS Office) will be impossible.

LibreOffice slips out another 7.0 beta: Spreadsheets close gap with Excel while macOS users treated to new icons

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Re: "presuming you believe that such a large spreadsheet has any plausible use"

Funny, I was going to make a similar comment about trying to process CAN logs in Excel. Vehicle tests sure can make data in a hurry, especially the more things on CAN there are*.

(Yes, I was familiar with MATLAB and should have used it, but I didn't.)

* Especially if you're saving the entire unfiltered bus, because 90-95% of the content is probably pointless to the problem at hand. Filtering on header content -- especially using SAE J1939 protocol: PGN or source address -- helps a lot. But then again, in case questions arise, you never want to say "oops, I didn't record that one" in case you don't get a chance to repeat the test (which happens a lot).

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

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Partial blackout story (not UPS, though)

Just a week ago Sunday, while driving from home to church to play drums -- a distance of only 3 miles -- the missus called and said there were power issues at home just after I left but after a few flicks up & down it stabilized.

But the church building was a different story. I walk in to the sanctuary where only half the lights are working and all the outlets on the stage-left side* are dead. This included the remote audio I/O unit that connects to the main PA board by Ethernet (Allen & Heath system), the PoE that runs two A&H personal-monitor units (one is mine), the Roland digital drums I play (but the church owns them), the Hammond organ, and all the musician's powered monitor speakers, plus the main monitors at stage front.

And on top of that many of the HVAC units were dead, so the environment was not horrible but temperature was slowly climbing; the building's internet was also gone so the Facebook livestream was in question.

This being the first Sunday we were trying two services to keep attendance down and social distance up, this was NOT a good omen overall. (The livestream was going to use the second service.)

Lighting aside, the main A/V booth survived -- graphics computer, audio, and main speaker amps -- as did the large flat-screens (two for the congregants and one in the back for the praise team). We lost organ, drums, and audio interface to the separate digital keyboard, but still had piano (direct-wired mic), guitar (wireless pickup to the main board), horns, and my personal pair of bongos and were a little more "unplugged" for the 9:00.

Seeing as the outlets actually on stage were working, which are only occasionally used for LED PAR wall-wash lights, someone grabbed some extension cords and we got the drums, monitors and audio/PoE units working again just before the second service. They still did the livestream, probably by turning on tethering on someone's phone; I heard from the missus that the feed wasn't as stable.

Here's what really happened: the building has a 3-phase utility connection at the main road; different parts of the building tap into different phases. The power flicks** took out 1 phase blew the fuse on the roadside utility pole. Thankfully we have a congregant sparky (electrician) who quickly diagnosed it and helped turn off any 3-phase loads (like the HVAC) quickly. (I think they tried some cross-over switches trying to restore the dead circuits by tying them to a working phase, but that kept tripping also.) In the end, nothing in the building was harmed and it was all-systems-normal when I was there Thursday evening for practice.

* Yes, I worked it to say "left side" as an allusion to Marvin and you found it. Pat yourself on the back, you nerd.

** I was also watching our utility's outage reports via their own app. I think there was an issue with a substation very close to home and it took out some nearby neighborhoods completely. Wouldn't have been the first time. I blame the squirrels.

Fasten your seat belts: Brave Reg hack spends a week eating airline food grounded by coronavirus crash

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Re: We should retain only minimal flights; no 50-mile jollie

It's not just planes.

Part of my current work is contributing to a team whose bulk of labor is in South Carolina. One of our current suppliers is in Metro Detroit ("local" to me), so they asked if I could drive across town and take some measurements of an already-built engine electrical harness because someone was worried it was too short and they'd have to change/add something else to make it work.

Like I said, "local" -- it's 50 miles one-way, but way better than flying from SC. I've made this drive before to said supplier (see the footnotes for more tales) when the project was new.

But instead of wasting gas for a one-person car trip and wasting my entire working day -- plus the supplier having to let in an outsider when their current safety rules say NO -- the supplier helpfully just sent a sample harness to SC for the Concerned Person to study themselves.

Although this surprised me greatly that they would release actual hardware to us early, there would probably already have been vehicles hauling all sorts of cargo/parcels between Detroit and Charleston, so a few pounds more is tuppence compared to me (250+) in my car (???).

Isn't unintentional environmentalism fun?

Wasted gas on trips I *have* taken for work -- all these trips involved getting hands-on with either a vehicle or facility equipment so tele/web-conferencing was not an option:

-- Multiple trips to Stryker's birthplace in London, ONT: 113 miles one-way, plus USA/CAN border crossing wasting time & gas idling. Most times I left early AM and went home same day, arriving usually just after normal dinnertime.

-- Three trips to a facility in Ohio in 2016 for testing: 186 miles one-way. The first time (early May: characterize the problem; test initial solutions) I stayed 3 days (with another 35 miles one-way to the hotel). The second time (August: verify final solution) I meant to stay, but the testing went so well that I cancelled the hotel and drove all the home the first day, we skipped a day, and I repeated the whole thing again the third day. I spent way more time in the car than on the testing grounds that month.

Segway to Heaven: Mega-hyped wonder-scooter that was going to remake city transport to cease production

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Re: I look forward to the time.

I occasionally (once every 1-3 months) write "seque" on my sheet music** when one song ends and there's not a significant break (but there is *some* pause) before the next one, especially when a page turn is involved. Learned that back in high school being in the pit band for musical theater. (There was a different term for when the music takes ZERO break -- don't drop the beat -- between songs.)

** Church drummer: classic hymns to Southern gospel to contemporary Christian radio. I'm an old band geek, and my new set is a Roland almost-top-of-the-line digital so I can switch from rock to marches to bongos to timpani with just some buttons or the jog wheel.

I think this --> is the first time I've ever written "Segway" in any form. And likely the last, too. Thus the bastardized version dies and the original term lives on so long as there is musical and theatrical (including TV/films) performance.

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

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Where have I heard a quote like that before? Oh, yeah...

"Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously, and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light." --Egon Spangler (Harold Ramis), Ghostbusters, 1984

By emptying offices, coronavirus has hastened the paperless office

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Re: different this time?

Not only have we been forced away from the company printers, we have bigger & better tech now to help transition.

In my former job, when I needed quick references to anything fairly fixed (not likely to be changed/edited), I made a(nother) "reference binder", some of which I came to refer to as "bibles". I did make my own edits when I found incorrect content that the suppliers fouled up, or sometimes added supplementary material.

(In regards to Stryker specifically, I had the engine bible, the transmission bible, the ABS bible...)

In my new job, there was/is less reference material to go on -- much of it only coming to me during the pandemic -- and while I'd love to print it out, there are issues: much of it is ANSI D size, and while 11x17 (ANSI B) might work, my home printer is letter-size (ANSI A) only plus company IT has made it clear no hooking up personal printers.

But that's okay because I've got my 32" personal monitor and HDMI connections aren't restricted. If it weren't for the sheer size of this thing, I wouldn't be able to handle navigating virtual stacks of drawings.

(For many jobs -- I'm thinking medical -- it's tablets that have helped make the transition. Portable and about the same size as the paper you're replacing.)

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Re: One might wonder

While the trees/farming might help, the sheer amount of electricity used to actually produce the paper is staggering.

I interviewed with a Duluth, Minnesota, utility (MinnPower Co. aka MPC) and IIRC their big-system-map-on-the-wall had the local paper plant as their #1 consumer, so much so that they had to coordinate generation with the plant's operations to avoid system issues.

Better to grow the trees as "organically" as possible (natural fertilizers and no pesticides/herbicides) and let them sequester the carbon. Doing something with the wood -- paper, lumber, etc. -- always takes more energy than it's worth.

(Mind you, I'll be wastefully burning sawdust in the form of charcoal briquettes this weekend since it's my 10th Father's Day. The kids know Daddy likes grilled bratwurst and other sausages. So yeah, go ahead and blame me for being part of the problem, then kindly shut up by having a brat instead. And have a swim, too, blissfully heated with an older inefficient furnace-like unit using natural gas plus the ~1 kW (1.5 HP) of electricity to run the water pump. We Americans love our excesses.)

FCC boss orders probe into 'unacceptable' T-Mobile US outage after carrier plays dog-ate-my-homework card

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Blackout of August 2003

'...the mobile carrier did have a redundancy system in place but it failed, causing an overload that reverberated across the whole network.

'“We’ve worked with our vendors to build redundancy and resiliency to make sure that these types of circuit failures don’t affect customers. This redundancy failed us and resulted in an overload situation that was then compounded by other factors,” he wrote.'

A circuit fails, the backup circuits fail, the whole thing falls over. Yep, sounds familiar.

(In the case of AC mains, it's more like "backup capacity" on all the live circuits; they don't have unused transmission/distribution lines just waiting to be switched on. Generation, maybe -- "spinning reserve" -- but not the wiring.)

Personal story: my missus was an EMT on-shift at the time, and stayed on 72 hours straight (with naps). One of the most critical things they worried about on the southwest side of Detroit was not crime, as one might expect, but the US Steel plant on Zug Island and the nearby Marathon oil refinery. Both were kept under constant surveillance by the cops and medics for issues. The steel plant was particularly risky: there's a vapor burn-off flame (like the refinery), and instructions were that if it ever went out DRIVE AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN because the whole area was about to become a smoking crater. (Yes, it's Detroit -- go ahead and joke that it would probably be an improvement...)

Living up to its 'un-carrier' slogan, T-Mobile US stops carrying incoming calls, data in nationwide outage

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Re: What's an "un-carrier"?

"...won't treat you badly like the big players..."

Bollocks. We were trying to upgrade phones back in the day* and were treated like utter crap. Their offerings were horrible, the extra upgrade fees extortionist, and they had no sense of maintaining any kind of customer loyalty.

We switched to Verizon, which was marginally better on both performance and service.

* I'd like to say it was autumn 2011. I know we went through two 2-year cycles with Big Red V. We had T-Mobile together since February 2006 -- the missus even longer than that (we were still dating at the time).

Later (autumn 2015) we switched to AT&T -- they gave us a load of bill credits for transferring numbers and I liked their new billing scheme -- and both metrics did not decrease (didn't really increase either).


If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?

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Re: Many years ago...


Well, isn't that what SCRAM means to most of the public?

My Boy Scout troop once visited the training facility of the nearest nuclear power plant, less than 20 miles from home. We got to take some turns on their control room simulator, billed as "the world's biggest Nintendo" by our tour guide (when Nintendo was already on the decline; he was too old to have a clue). We ran through it about three times and they had us SCRAM the pile each time; I didn't get to push those plungers; I did a decent job turning on the emergency cooling pumps one time, but failed with the valve controls on a different go.

I liked running A/V or theater tech at school, but I guess high-stress operation like nukes or NASA flight controller was/is not in my DNA.

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Re: More of a Who Me? except he got away with it

Well-designed anything is hard to come by.

Take my kids' water guns. The plastic isn't bad, and the pneumatic pumper is okay (only shoots when pumping; no pressure storage), but it's going to be used around water -- they couldn't pony up less than $5 more per gun for stainless screws? Probably more like $1-2 since they'd be buying in massive bulk.

Or here's another: like any pool filter system, mine has a backwash/drain line, but a portion of it was discharge-grade "hose" in the middle of two sections of schedule 40 PVC. This stuff is thin, a little TOO flexible, and is meant for temporary drain-the-pool use only because leaving it outside year-round will make it brittle. Last summer (my first summer owning this house/pool) it had enough and split a seam during a backwash sending a gush of water all over the landscaping. I replaced it with thick UV-stabilized vinyl with embedded fiberglass braid (and new stainless clamps also) -- there's no way it will burst under such a low pressure. And yet my 2 feet of the "good stuff" probably cost less than the entire roll of the thin crap which I found in the garage attic. I can imagine the original idea was to cut a new piece of the roll and replace this "weak link" every year, but obviously no one did.

Boffins step into the Li-ion's den with sodium-ion battery that's potentially as good as a lithium cousin

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A materials win-win?

As far as I know (i.e. I might be speaking out of my @$$), the primary source of sodium in industry is salt. (I'm near a major salt mine, and I think it's still operational at reduced levels.) The byproduct of this is chlorine. Given the ongoing pandemic, bleach and other chlorine products are in demand now more than ever. So let's mine some more salt and provide feedstocks to both cleaners and batteries!

(P.S. I never knew just how much chlorine "bleach" one family could use until we bought a house with an inground pool last year -- 30,000 gallons, 10 foot max depth. Just trying to keep it safe, clean, and clear takes a LOT of "chlorinator" and some "shock" (also chlorine-based). Note that "clean" water isn't necessarily completely "clear", and vice versa, and if you use too much chlorine it's no longer "safe", causing skin/eye issues -- essentially a chemical burn. When we removed the dark winter cover a month ago, the algae started to grow and we couldn't get the chlorine levels up until I added a jug of algaecide. Once that was killed off and vacuumed out then we got the water chemistry stabilized and much clearer too.)

cmd.exe is dead, long live PowerShell: Microsoft leads aged command-line interpreter out into 'maintenance mode'

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Re: Microsoft only have themselves to blame

"If Microsoft had done this for all the common DOS / Command Prompt commands then there would have been a migration path."

Exactly why I haven't taken the time to learn PS, but I remember many of the batch tricks from my high school days (mid '90s -- DOS 5/6 and Win95). Learned a lot back then from PC World's PowerBase disks (from the Star-Dot-Star column) vols. III and VI. (You know, back when 5-1/4" was still a thing.)

If some of you Reg readers were the ones whose tips were on those disks, thank you.

Twitter ticks off Trump with new 'Get the facts' alert on pair of fact-challenged tweets

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The first statement there ("only happy") basically applies to everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike. The second part may vary.

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Re: Even a stopped clock is occasionally right. But then, immediately wrong again.

Left-pondian view:

Mail-in ballots would be hand-counted by the township/city clerk (or possibly county clerk; could vary by state).

In-person ballots are generally tabulated with some kind of machine. The kinds I am familiar with optically scan the ballot for validness/completeness as it is sucked into the locked storage bin. The visible "valid vote" counter increments, and the machine's results are taken at the end of the day, with the paper ballots stored for verification if necessary.

So, if anything, voting in person involves a machine made by a company, but mailing it in generally only involves the US Postal Service, and if they mess with the ballot it is immediately invalidated. Seems trustworthy enough to me!

The longest card game in the world: Microsoft Solitaire is 30

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Re: Another unknown feature...

"...a time sucking click machine"

My eyes first thought the "cl" was a "d" and also swapped that world with the previous one.

If such a machine exists, it better NOT have any Micros~1 software, hardware, or meatware in it!

Chicago: Why I just grin like a dork... It's my kind of Bork

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LED matrices

"The display itself seems more or less OK; the CTA has opted to stick with the reassuring soft glow of an amber matrix rather than a migraine-inducing flatscreen."


I prefer an amber LED "egg-crate" or medium-res matrix over non-high-enough-density full-color any day. Heck, any single color "eggcrate" matrix is better than those too-bright or usually-broken color panels. (Personal preferences: amber, tricolor*, red -- usually too dim, green -- usually too bright.)

* Tricolor had red, yellow, and green in the same pixel that could be mixed into an orange (red/yellow) or chartreuse (yellow/green). Lots of fun transitions/hold animations with those, but I never got to play with one myself.

I'm always on warpath about display tech because I used to run (design/program if you will) a giant roadside two-sided monochrome incandescent display, 80 x 16, for my high school during my senior year; the software ran on DOS. After that, I ran a small single-face red LED matrix, single line, dedicated plug-in keypad controller, for the college student government freshman year until the president graduated and took it with him (rightly so; it was his own).

What I learned was that it's not so much about the tech as it is the design/programming. Most businesses/schools/churches don't pay attention to if the content is actually READABLE -- not just "viewable" -- and understandable while going at full traffic speeds when you only have a few seconds of a good view. You have to think like a newspaper headline writer: KISS, five W's, and leave them wanting more so they'll look into it / call later. And never let flashy transitions/animation get in the way of the real message.

Sadly, when my own church wanted to go digital and retire the old moveable-plastic-letters sign, they didn't listen to me and went full color/full video anyway. The designs are okay, but there was a period of time when it had its own BORK -- not a good/helpful message to the community, sadly.

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

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Re: low voltage

In Minnesota, the light-rail Metro Green Line between downtowns Minneapolis and St. Paul runs on 750 VDC. It passes right through the heart of the main University of Minnesota campus and displaced normal vehicular traffic on what used to be quite the busy avenue.

From Wikipedia: "A particular area required exclusive attention and support, that being outside the University of Minnesota's biology department. Between Pleasant and Harvard streets there was 1/8" of tolerance between design and as-builds. Control factors used in the biology labs would be impacted by the electromagnetic radiation emitted from the nearby light rail. The 1/8" tolerance is said to cancel out any EMR that the light rail may produce."

The press during time of design and build said the tolerance was 1/4", and "cancel out" is a misnomer -- we all know EMI would follow an inverse-square law (radius from conductor center since it's a line, not a point source) and be reduced but never truly zero unless one uses a Faraday cage, but the building(s) in question were older affairs which couldn't be upgraded that extensively.

There have been no public reports of any issues during testing or full operation. Kudos to the contractors who pulled it off.

Of course, if they had gone with a different routing this wouldn't have been an issue(!), but that would have entailed a new bridge over the Mississippi River, a bridge/tunnel option -- U of MN opposed that also due to seismic-sensitive projects -- or sharing the brand-spanking-new I-35W bridge that was built to be ready for such a task (I may have mentioned the 2007 collapse before). Politics and engineering just don't mix.

Microsoft gives Office 365 admins the heads-up: Some internal queries over weekend might have returned results from completely different orgs

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But El Reg didn't use the poll-leading "Micros~1" moniker.

Nothing like that ~# ambiguity to parallel with those wrong search results.

Micros~1? ClippyZilla? BSOD Bob? There can be only one winner. Or maybe two

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Re: None of the above ...

Not even MOAR COWBELL is gonna' fix anything "BAC" has caused, especially fevers.

(But I'd like to see y'all in Blighty forget the NHS driveway-clapping and try more cowbell just for the heck of it. Is it worth the headache if it cures the fever?)

It is unclear why something designed to pump fuel into a car needs an ad-spewing computer strapped to it, but here we are

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Re: Details!

I may have 4 Tim Horton's within 5 miles, but if you read my post history you'd know I'm in Michigan, not Canada!

Of course, my closest escape is to the holier-than-thou flatland of O-H-I-O, so yeah, Canada has me more or less surrounded.

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Re: Details!

My missus just bought me a Wendy's breakfast Baconator (with sausage*) for the first time. Better egg & meat quality than Tim Horton's, that's for sure.

* The details: two layers of bacon AND a sausage patty, plus egg and cheese. Looks like I better skip lunch to make up for all that.

Author of infamous Google diversity manifesto drops lawsuit against web giant

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Re: Bridges and taking a stand

The engineers at the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation didn't stand up and "obstinately refuse" to ignore (i.e. not perform) proper inspections, and looked what happened to that I-35W bridge.

Yes, I know it's been almost 13 years, but it really makes me sore when budget and government incompetence/bureaucracy get in the way of good engineering. And being in defense I've seen some bad decisions -- not "The Pentagon Wars" bad (thanks to that book/TV movie, things got somewhat better), but still bad enough.

Sometimes I've been the voice to stand up and tell managers that damn the schedule and cost, X needs to be tested/fixed. Even a couple weeks ago a former colleague called me to consult on old projects and ask why they needed to continue* testing Y (a different issue than the many X's) on every new engine/transmission/alternator powerpack and I told him in no uncertain terms why, even though it's not my problem anymore! Better for it to remain the problem for the powerpack build & test team than the crew of soldiers in the field when Y doesn't fully perform.

* The "continue" was the rub to the build team. They didn't see the need when previous packs had performed fine and it meant a costly test item purchase. But the customer requirements meant that Y was more crucial now than ever, and it only added an hour to the overall pack test. My parting shot: "Why keep testing Y for THIS pack design? Why HAVEN'T they on any other?!"

(One might say I need to consider a different field. Long story. TL;DR: I considered it quite strongly, but I'm still in defense; this new job is better because the management on my side is better. And engineers in related fields such as automotive are even more constrained by cost and schedule anyway.)

DBA locked in police-guarded COVID-19-quarantine hotel for the last week shares his story with The Register

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Re: He has his priorities right

Honestly, how many of us have sneaked into our offices for supplies?

My 32" at home makes a wonderful second-screen for the work laptop that easily compensates for not having my usual laptop + dual-24" (one wide, one portrait). I also have a trackball mouse at home; not the same model as at work, but possibly better in the long run -- I may have to switch them in the future. (I don't type much aside from Reg comments so the laptop keyboard is good enough.)

But I did grab a couple things from work when I was in the neighborhood: my "Peanuts" daily calendar and my Sharp EL-1197 PIII printing desk calculator (needs a new ribbon, though). The first was for kid-safe laughs and to help remember what day it is. The second was to simplify some unit conversions (inch / mm) thanks to one-touch ×RATE and ÷RATE keys (using the on-screen calculator just sucks).

This calculator has a bigger story. Someone left it behind at my old job when they took the Engineering Buyout of Summer 2016. It was filthy but I could see it had potential, and it made the migration with me in 2018 to a new employer. Only recently being at home, and after reading so many comments about keyboards, did I actually take the keys off for a deep cleaning -- it's a full-travel membrane system. Scraped/wiped out all the key hollows with a small screwdriver and Clorox wipes, and soaked the keytops in a measuring cup with hot water and Dawn dish soap. Let everything dry, reassembled, and it looks almost-new and the keys work great (smell better, too)! Of course, this was under the impression that it was old, but quite the contrary -- they're apparently quite a popular office item with various outlets selling them for $65 - $100! Just another thing my former employ forgot to charge me for on my way out; a $5 ribbon is worth it to bring it back to full life!

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Spacecraft with graphene sails powered by starlight and lasers

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Similar lines...

"Maxim 24: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic a big gun."

--from the Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries, an in-universe tome of wisdom of the webcomic Schlock Mercenary.

And from said comic, we get a comedic application of that maxim with reflected sunlight in mind: part 1, part 2.

OK, so you've air-gapped that PC. Cut the speakers. Covered the LEDs. Disconnected the monitor. Now, about the data-leaking power supply unit...

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Re: All you gotta do is---

Thanks for the upvotes, but you shouldn't have because I got the name wrong: Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. I apologize for the error.

(And on the subject of getting things wrong, please excuse my spelling "apologise" due to being a born-and-raised Yankee.)

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Re: All you gotta do is---

My then-fiancée and I were in Edinburgh the day after her sister and Scots bro-in-law got married (mid-Sep 2006) and I heard some awesome bagpipe-rock-and-roll in a shop. We bought a copy right then and there: "Parallel Tracks" by the Scottish Royal Dragoon Guards.

Forever mothballed: In memoriam Apple Butterfly Keyboard (2015-2020)

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Elton John?

More like Chicago...

"Hold me now / it's hard for me to say I'm sorry / I just want you to stay..."

(But Apple failed at the "I will make it up to you / I promise to" line that shortly follows.)

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

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My kind of testing

When the official testers are driving the vehicle and find something odd just driving between test runs, they told us to "fix it" but it really meant "create a test to duplicate this spurious/random behavior, THEN fix it".

More to that story here. We did manage to find a facility and test methods to consistently replicate the problem. It was mostly a mechanical issue, and some software saved the day. I don't know how many lines, but the core logic was basically three variables in, three value tests, some ANDs and ORs where "true" triggers a single output signal, in parallel with any existing logic that might trigger same signal (just another OR with existing code). The devices and wiring already existed which made it implementation relatively easy -- easier than adding hardware at that stage in development!

And while we're talking testing, I have another relevant post here: good testing kit pays for itself; redundant copies especially.

You can get a mechanical keyboard for £45. But should you? We pulled an Aukey KM-G6 out of the bargain bin

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I think you might mean Model F, not M.

Our first family PC was a clone that looked like an XT but ran like an AT. The keyboard was a Model F 'AT' clone, and the only thing different was that all the F# keys were the same color instead of bicolor. I thought it was a little tough to work with, but I was under 10 at the time.

Later on, my dad "borrowed" PS/1s or PS/2s from work with Model M keyboards. I had one of my own with an old PS/2 from 2000 to 2005; I could have saved the keyboard, but those don't matter to me as much as trackballs over mice. (I'll just stop before I sound like an advert for Logitech again.)

From that old Model F, I do miss having F# keys to the side rather than on top. I'd gladly buy an add-on for those if I had the spare cash. For work, a mechanical numerical add-on would be good too; numbers are more important than general typing, and the accuracy would be WAY improved over this laptop, but I need a KVM for all this working from home first due to sharing my main monitor and trackball.

Canada's .ca overlord rolls out free privacy-protecting DNS-over-HTTPS service for folks in Great White North

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Re: CIRA sounds wonderful

"Toronto minute" for anyone outside Quebec.

I agree with the question of non-Canucks having a chance at it. Here in Michigan, we're so physically close -- and many are culturally close* -- to Canada that we might as well.

* There's that "Hockeytown" moniker for Detroit. And MI probably has more Tim Horton's than any other US state. But for full effect, just go visit the Upper Peninsula.

Zero-click, zero-day flaws in iOS Mail 'exploited to hijack' VIP smartphones. Apple rushes out beta patch

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Black Helicopters

"use another client"

Article: "...disable Mail on your iThing and use another client if possible."

When I first started with iOS (an iPod Touch in 2012), that's what I did.

I later made an iCloud.com email because for some reason, back then, backing up the Notes app required it.

I never open the Mail app and never share that email address (can't even remember it now), but it's probably been hacked anyway.

What's vexing Linux-loving Gophers? A few things: Go devs want generics, easier debugging

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Gophers don't come from Google...

Gophers come from (University of) Minnesota! Long live the Gopher protocol!!

(Really, is everyone intentionally trying to cover up its existence? Can't even be labeled a Gopher without confusion now...)



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