* Posts by UCAP

232 posts • joined 1 Jul 2020

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Your data's auctioned off up to 987 times a day, NGO reports

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Joke

There are always birds and animals around to hear it, and even if they are absent there are plenty of bacteria, viruses and advertising executives lurking.

NASA's InSight doomed as Mars dust coats solar panels

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Re: Insight?

Its a well known problem for Mars missions; most of the ones that successfully made it to the ground have ultimately failed due to dust collecting on the solar arrays. There have been various ideas bounced around to try to get around the problem, but they have all either risked damaging the arrays (making the problem worse, not better), or involved too much mass and/or power. So now NASA (and all of the other space agencies) simply assume that a mission will ultimately fail either due to dust contamination or when the winter hits the landing site.

Europe moves closer to stricter cybersecurity standards, reporting regs

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Re: Does not apply to central banks ?

Politics? PR?

ECB!

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

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Re: Not breaking the laws of physics...

"Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup"

Jeffrey Snover claims Microsoft demoted him for inventing PowerShell

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Pint

Re: At the risk of being downvoted to hell

From one old timer to another - have an upvote. And a beer.

GitHub to require two factor authentication for code contributors by late 2023

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Re: by the end of 2023

Give them a break, now they have made the announcement they need to figure out the best way of making an obscene profit from this.

Microsoft points at Linux and shouts: Look, look! Privilege-escalation flaws here, too!

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MS kinda sits at the bottom of the heap when you talk about security

Which is why MS is trumpeting so much about finding this problem.

Putin reaches for nuclear option: Zuckerberg banned

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Joke

Re: Well, damn

I was hoping it was a bounty, not a "stop list".

Putin hasn't stooped that low yet. Given him another week, and we'll probably get there.

An early crack at network management with an unfortunate logfile

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Joke

Re: Safely raising eyebrows

All software is replaced once a certain diffuse threshold is reached or when the eyebrow reaches the back of your head.

Funny you should say that; I was reviewing some not-so-old code the other day that resulted in my eyebrows passing the back of head, heading down my neck and back, finally ending up whimpering in fear at around foot level.

Elon Musk won't join Twitter's board after all

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Trollface

Hopefully not while driving one of his cars in "autopilot" mode

Musk seems to be convinced that Tesla "autopilot" mode is the best thing since sliced bread, so why shouldn't he use it all the time? Particularly while spouting forth on his mobile.

If you fire someone, don't let them hang around a month to finish code

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Not asking for a handover

In the late 1990's I did some work for a satcom company that was build a new and innovative (at least when the company was set up) system that would allow handheld terminals to operate around the world (this is just before mobile phone roaming agreements started to be established). The company was burning through its start-up budget like mad, so they someone in senior management decided that the best way of saving money was to get rid of all of the contractors.

This decision was not really thought through since there were two issues that they had not considered. Firstly, at least two-thirds of the company were contractors, often with highly specialised knowledge that they did not have in-house. Secondly, some of the contractors had long-term contracts (I personally knew one who had just signed a 2 year contract extension on very good terms), and hence did not appreciate the 1 weeks notice they were given, generally in violation of the T&Cs of their contracts. Of course this company threatened to turn the lawyers on anyone who dared complain to the courts about "breach of contract".

In addition the company did not bother to ask anyone to perform a handover and knowledge transfer to the in-house staff, but simply assumed that that would happen. Given what had just happened to the contractors, they were not in a good mood and simply did not do anything they were not explicitly asked to do. Which meant that, the Monday after the contractors had all left, the company found that it needed to be doing some highly technical and deeply specialised work, but had no-one left who knew what to do, or how to do it. A series of frantic phone calls to the former contractors elicited precisely no co-operation at any level, or for any price.

About one year later, the company went bankrupt.

UK suit over reselling surplus Microsoft licenses rolls on

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Re: Imagine if the boot was on the other foot

Agreed, however the appeal court also (unusually for a US court) made e360 liable for both party's costs. Its the latter that basically forced e260 into bankruptcy.

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Re: Imagine if the boot was on the other foot

Even better - American company sues a British non-profit organisation with no presence in America in an American court. US judge allows the case to proceed despite the British organisation pointing out that the court has no jurisdiction, and subsequently awards a damages to the US company (which, BTW, it never collects and eventually collapses).

See Spamhaus vs e360

The wild world of non-C operating systems

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Apollo OS

The old Apollo workstations & servers during the 1980'2 (before Apollo has absorbed by HP) ran an OS that was written in a a version of Pascal. In incredible system; at one time we ran up a lab of about 20 diskless nodes from a single disked workstation with no appreciable performance headaches.

BOFH: Putting the gross in gross insubordination

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The Rule of Two

There can only be two: The Master BOFH, and the Apprentice PFY. He who has power, and he who wants power. Sooner or later, the Apprentice will try to become the Master. This is the Natural Order of Things.

Help, my IT team has no admin access to their own systems

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I used to be the IT Manager for my company many years ago. I insisted that all admin passwords had to be printed off, placed in a sealed envelope and securely stored. Got taken out for a beer a couple of years afterwards by my successor - that strategy had saved his bacon when someone responsible for managing a critical system left the company without doing a proper hand-over.

How not to attract a WSL (or any) engineer

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Re: high school

40+ years in my case, and my secondary school was closed and replaced (by a sixth form college) maybe 30 years ago.

Software upgrades help Mars helicopter keep flying

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Re: An amazing achievement

Not really; the atmosphere on Mars is so thin that the downdraft from the blades is miniscule. Also, the other Mars rovers lost power due to dust on their solar panels, but are no probably even more dead due to the cold (and the fact that their heaters won't have been working).

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Pint

An amazing achievement

Raising a glass to everyone working on the Ingenuity mission; your achievements are far beyond what anyone could have expected.

BOFH: Gaming rig for your home office? Yeah right

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Re: Simon is on form, these days!

Carl must feel so much safer with the BOFH watching over him

Not if he values his continued health! Simon likes to wait until you feel or safe and comfortable before letting loose his most evil instincts.

We have redundancy, we have batteries, what could possibly go wrong?

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FAIL

I was told this story some while ago, it may be an urban myth but there are elements that sadly ring true.

I major data centre in the US of A went all out for redundancy. Dual incoming power supplies, with diesel generators for backup, and UPS capable of handling the full load for about 20 minutes just in case the generators were slow to spool up. The generators were tested each week and (shock, horror) the fuel tanks checked and kept topped up. The one problem is that the fuel tanks had to be located about 100 yards away for fire safety reasons, but this was solved by installing fuel pumps that kept the generators fed very well.

Of course the inevitable happened any one day both power supplies failed (the story discusses the rank incompetence of the power company in great length using may pointed words, but I digress). The UPS initially kicked in as planned, then the generators started up and took the full load. About 30 seconds later they spluttered and died, with the rest of data centre following once the USP batteries had drained. It turned out that someone, in a fit of unbelievable genius, had wired the fully pumps so that they could only get power from the mains supply.

I'll leave the resulting management reaction to your imaginations.

Europe's largest nuclear plant on fire after Russian attack

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Re: Evil mastermind or incompetence at work?

Taking control of the plant is one thing. Being able to shut down or start up the reactors is something completely different. Unless you know exactly what you are doing then a significant part of the Russian armed forces are going to get a glow-in-the-dark overlay.

Linux-on-an-SBC project Armbian releases version 22.02

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... and the Yocto project.

Russia is the advanced persistent threat that just triggered. Ready?

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Finland & Sweden are not currently members of NATO.

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A man prepared to commit two-thirds of his armed forces to invade a democratic neighbour in the face of universal revulsion is not going to have qualms about lashing out at anything within reach on the internet.

Reports over the weekend suggest that Putin is now threatening to invade Finland and Sweden.

BOFH: All hail the job cuts consultant

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Joke

Re: "Gerard's going to recommend firing the board."

Ahh, but we still don't know what sort of gun they are being fired out of

AI really can't copyright the art it generates – US officials

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If Stephen Thaler had attempted to register the copyright in his own name saying that the AI was simply a tool used to express his intentions, then the Copyright Office would have agreed and granted the copyright without murmur. Ditto if he had tried to register the copyright in his company's name (lots of legal precedent here). Where he managed to trip himself up is trying to register the copyright on behalf of the AI; someone needs to let him know that AIs are not legal entities in the same way as, for example, a spanner is not a legal entity. That state of affairs is going to remain until someone can construct a true AI that can pass the Turing Test.

Red Hat signals Intel's software-defined silicon will debut in Linux 5.18

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Mushroom

Re: Reviewing the unknown

I am looking forward to Linus' reaction when RH/IBM try to submit the relevant patches. I expect it will be something along the lines of ======>

CIA illegally harvested US citizens' data, senators assert

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Joke

... USA being rather keen on personal liberty and government keeping its nose out of citizens' business...

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

(I assume that was supposed to be joke)

NASA taps Lockheed Martin to build Mars parcel pickup rocket

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Re: Flatbed

Answers: How much money do you want to pay, and how long do you want to wait for any new technology to be developed?

Facebook fined peanuts after Giphy staff quit and firm didn't tell UK competition regulators

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Sooner or later...

Facebook/Meta is going to stick its neck out too far, and someone with a big enough axe is going to chop it off.

No, I've not read the screen. Your software must be rubbish

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Re: Simples...

Lets be fair. We are going back to Windows 98 which is only just out of the stone age of GUI design. In addition the software may well have been written on one of the early Visual XXX by MS which was really very limited. He was working with the tools that he had available then, not the tools that we have available now. You can't really blame him for that.

Attack on Titan: Four Japanese Manga publishers sue Cloudflare

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That case was in the UK courts. Do the Japanese courts think on the same lines, or do they prefer to follow the US model of justice.

BOFH: On Wednesdays, we wear gloves

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Trollface

Re: Clever writing

Oh the threats were there and perfectly understandable, they are just wrapped in about six feet of plausible BOFH deniability.

I own that $4.5bn of digi-dosh so rewrite your blockchain and give it to me, Craig Wright tells Bitcoin SV devs

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Joke

If you believe any thing he says then I have this nice bridge in Brooklyn I need to sell ...

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In summary then ...

Mr Wright appears to be saying that he owns a huge fortune but cannot prove it because he claims hackers deleted his keys. First question - where and what is his proof? Arm waving and loud shouting is not going to impress the judge, he is going to have to produce something tangible as clear evidence. Second question - why did he not have an offline backup of the keys on read-only media? For something that important, only an idiot would not keep multiple secure copies.

Admins report Hyper-V and domain controller issues after first Patch Tuesday of 2022

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Mushroom

They are being tested - by anyone who installed the patches.

Perseverance on the rocks: Pebbles clog up the rover's Martian sample collection

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Coat

Pebbles cloging the rover

At least its not Bam-Bam.

Mine's the one with the Flintstones DVD set in the left pocket --->

Apple custom chip guru jumps ship to rejoin Intel

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Joke

Re: My cynical side thinks this is no accident.

Either I'm paranoid as hell or I'm not paranoid enough

Paranoid people only thing they are out to get you, I know they are after me.

Windows giant seeks Pluton-ic relationship with chipmaker: AMD first out of the gates with Microsoft's security processor

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Joke

Re: If true...

Hacked in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

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Facepalm

Microsoft has also stated that the Pluton hardware will be updateable through Windows Update

So basically it is programmable. Another security hole opens up, thanks to Microsoft.

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes found guilty of fraud: Blood-testing machines were vapourware after all

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Re: But, she did do one good thing

Or any due diligence.

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Re: But, she did do one good thing

Which says more about Murdoch than Holmes

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Joke

Re: Now, if only ....

We simply don't have the capacity to do that - not enough judges by a couple of orders of magnitude!

US Commerce Dept says China has brain-control weaponry

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Joke

Re: Aren’t most weapons brain controlled…

"Brain-controlled" does not describe me in the morning until sometime after my third coffee

Ooh, an update. Let's install it. What could possibly go wro-

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Joke

"I was," he said modestly, "god of my domain."

Those whom the (IT) gods wish to destroy, they first put them in charge of Netware.

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Re: Not really a Who, me? issue

Totally agree, however the lusers will still blame it on Ralph no matter how unfair it is. So goes the lot of IT manager.

It's primed and full of fuel, the James Webb Space Telescope is ready to be packed up prior to launch

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Re: Why so long to fill?

Also neither the fuel or oxidizer plan nice with the human skin/flesh - one splash and you have an extended stay in hospital plus the the possibility of the cancer of your choice down the road. Given how dangerous these are, standard procedure is to take your time and do it right.

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It may not sound like a lot of fuel, however the main mechanism for turning the satellite will be several sets of momentum wheels; the thrusters are generally only used for very coarse pointing (normally a rare event) and when desaturating/spinning-up the momentum wheels. Also the thrusters don't actually use a lot of fuel; typically only a few grams each time they are used.

James Webb Space Telescope may actually truly launch this century, says NASA

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Neither hydrazine fuel or dinitrogen tetraoxide play nice with the human body, hence why they are taking their time and doing it right.

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