* Posts by midgepad

245 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Oct 2020


Malicious xz backdoor reveals fragility of open source


Many eyes...

And one found it, and mentioned it.

Whether any found it and stayed quiet, banked it, we don't know. If so, they've been frustrated, also.

Theres a paradox about finding such a fault, attack, crime etc.

Once found and announced, it has been found. It can't be found for the first time again, snd yet we are told that being found only by one person shows a system isn't working.


A moral hazard

Is something different.

This is a hazard.

Is it unique to Open Source? (No).

Is its discovery specially Open Source? (Maybe).

Post Office slapped down for late disclosure of documents in Horizon scandal inquiry


Speed of construction

Ships take 5 years.

Aircraft take 1 year.

So building a carrier before the aircraft are available isn't daft.

Other way round, not quite so little.


(Much lower, since

I gather it floats)

Techie saved the day and was then criticized for the fix


Re: Things Resembling Locks

Likewise. Different model.


The lock is only

to tell people the door is not for casual opening, usually.

If there is no lock, it is hard to reprimand someone for opening the door.

If there is a lock (or other alleged security mechanism) then it is clear to anyone without the key that they need a reason. As indeed he had.

There's where his manager was the inverse of adequate

The last mile's at risk in our hostile environment. Let’s go the extra mile to fix it


Panels and battery?

I think for z month of diesel you could have laid out a few solar panels and a battery and ckntjnue to charge your UPS to this day.

Please install that patch – but don't you dare actually run it


Pink or silver

So put components in a pink bag inside a silver one to protect against external threats.

Ideally perhaps they'd not expose live points.


Barbossa's approach

"...it is more of a guideline".

Ford pulls the plug on EV strategy as losses pile up


I see above nobody will buy EVs because they are expensive, and i see above that 2nd hand EVs are going to have lost much or all or too much of their value.

Should you talk about that amongst yourselves?

Meanwhile in the last year I have seen one new petrol station in 6000 miles, can think of three that have closed within 50 miles of here, and see charge places popping up like a rash.

You'll be able to make a living selling petroleum, for a while.


Energy density and amount

After rather a lot of posts telling us the battery doesn't hold enough energy and is heavy, so low energy density, we have one telling us that if it held more in smaller volume it would be dangerous.

C4/P4/TNT no, but something approaching the density and total energy of 20 - 40 litres of Diesel/Kerosene/RP1 would match or surpass the capacity of standard uk cars (which are mostly not topped up nightly)

20 litres because more than half of a petrol tank is turned into heat - a wastage if you are driving it, and a hazard if containment fails. 40 litres because it takes longer to fill up.


Leasing magically changes economics?

I remember when a megabyte of RAM was a big expense.


Routes round here are electric

I think there are areas of the uk or even England where this hasn't happened yet, but the routes round here have multiple charging places along them.

There is no dependence on charging at the destination, although it is nice if that downtime can bd used.

Stopping for a pee has morphed jnto a charge discharge cycle ;)

Start undoing the work of the latter with a cup of tea from cafe or flask, and you can be on your way.

Chargers are popping up like a rash.

What I don't see are attended charging points. I'm old enough to remember when people worked the fuel pump for you. Given a surplus of cars over sockets at a destination that might catch on, and indeed anywhere that parks cars for you might return them charged.


Re: Once upon a time....

...so they kill us slower.


Trailer brakes

We might yet see trailer wheels that regenerate, electric braking as with the main vehicle.

(Given those can double as motors, it would be tempting to drive it from its own battery as well.

Affordable, self-healing power grids are closer than you think


Scotland and wind

Currently Scotland can't export all its spare windowed to England, Norway and NI.

The connectors sre not big enough. This may change, OTOH there's more wind and tide/current there.

So setting up a "gasometer" or two next to an existing combined cycle gas turbine /steam plant and putting low pressure H2 into it when otherwise wind turbine operators would be paid to not make power seems at least plausibly sensible.


The 1.2GW wind turbine? Very Big Panrls?

I tend to think of a power station as being 1GW, but that perhaps raises steam in a couple of boilers, and/or uses it to spin a couple of turbine-generator sets, and each can be switched off on occasion.

I suspect your 1.2GW wind power station is made up of several turbines.

I've not seen one larger than 16MW mentioned, but perhaps they are larger. Even so, they'll be 1 to 4 dozen to the GW, and arranged in groups, and the groups into groups and so on.

Which begins to look a lot like a small grid.

The solar panels on my roof are rated at 300W peak, let's say we can have big ones at 500W. That means 2000000 panels per GW.

Now we could wire all 2000000 in series and put out 60MV DC directly, but I think among the very many reasons not yo the old Christmas tree lights problem, one panel failing means the whole string does, is almost the least.

They'll be in rows of several dozen to a hundred, and wired to a sensible compromise. They may not even all be in the same field!

So again, modules, redundancy, and concentration, but not magically a single machine.


DC and Carrington

AC grids could be arranged to survive the next Carrington event.

DC ones, I think actually cannot. It might not be absolutely impossible Physics, but you can't put a capacitor in there.

Japanese space lasers aim to clean up orbital junk


Things that are orbiting low enough to be laser ablated down...

...will ALL be moving at about 7.5km/s that being orbital velocity there.

Not "some of which"

(If they are in a markedly eccentric orbit, that'll be average, but you probably want to zap them st apogee. Good luck St thst)

Running DOS on 64-bit Windows and Linux: Just because you can


Re: if you just want to run some DOS productivity app

His work is productive, his children went through college. I gather.

White goods giant fires legal threats to unplug open source plugin


Re: So the washing machine connects to AWS

A remote detector in the washing machine just might be useful.

I'd prefer it didn't talk about it outside the house, though.

Boffins demo self-eating rocket engine in Scotland



What comes after open source? Bruce Perens is working on it


"You write some software for a lark, and publish it just once as OSS under some license or other that "solves this weakness" in GPL. You then decide not to continue public work on it. You then get sued, because some member of the public had picked it up and wanted the new version's source code that you'd given to only your mates."

You've never had any restraint on that. It is a fork, which is common.

Anyone else who wants the same adaptations you have made is free to write new code themselves to bring the GPL code you published to an effect similar to you produced.

Or to pay someone else to do that.

Including you.

And you are free to sell your program, under whatever licence suits you.

You've made a Balmer argument.

Scientists mull Solar Radiation Management – a potential climate-change stop-gap


Neal Stephenson's brick

Or rather book, called Termination Shock" is quite fun, and does point up a couple of problem, amusingly:

1. If we stop it, it rebounds

2. Someone will find it politically convenient to be injured, and take action to stop it.

Also, being American, it includes The Biggest Gun in the World.

I enjoyed it.


A couple of points here

1. The hockey stick isn't a model. It is a series of measurements.

2. Climate is quite reasonably described as averaged-out weather.

I hope you make a living from something you understand adequately well.


We have had thermometers for some time

The rest is large, complex, but easily understandable in its fundamentals.

China bans export of rare earth processing kit


Re: Always worth listening to the other side too..

Negative sum games appeal to people happier to be on top of a smaller pile than higher in a yet higher pile.

Tesla says California's Autopilot action violates its free speech rights


Re: All the more reason

IANAL, but that doesn't seem to say "within each State".


Re: New York

They do not say TrumpCo may not conduct business. Execution of a sort.

They only say TrumpCo may not conduct business in NY. Banishment. Or exorcism.

Car dealers openly beg Biden to put brakes on electric vehicle drive


Re: It’s not just the “mark ups”

You'll want to avoid ICEVs then.

They are 19 times as likely to catch fire, and burn with similar power outputs of 2-16MW at peak.


Probably some of it

Lots of Teslas round here.

I bought an ID.3 - also made from scratch EV platform. When I first decided that'd be my next car there was a tears wait for delivery.

By the time I changed cars Icould buy one out of the dealer, they had a couple.

Now they've reduced production. You get oscillations.

Nice car.

Microsoft opens sources ThreadX under MIT license


What are they trying to break

Was the first thought that came to me.

Anyway, of itself somewhat good.

IT sent the intern to sort out the nasty VP who was too important to bother with backups



That seems standard for other applications here.

Should the HTML form text box be capturing that, if you want it to be an editor, rather than passing it on to the application?

Boffins say their thin film solar cells make space farms viable


Re: The earth side receiver would need to be 10x the size?

That's not the dissipation.

The dissipation is from processing, and Bitcoin etc have been compared to the electricity consumption, production, dissipation and CO2 etc, of various medium sized countries.


Re: The earth side receiver would need to be 10x the size?

IE almost anywhere around Earth orbit. I don't think the receiver is limited to accepting a beam fron one SPSS.

however, better to use the power outside the Earth's atmosphere, for tasks we should ban in the atmosphere to reduce heat dissipation into that atmosphere.

India's lunar landing made a mess on the Moon


Re: Dust? No worries!

Certainly sensible to pack a mask or three.

It isn't hard to blow room air through a HEPA or slightly coarser filter, and they are not heavy. The core of our house gets filtered in a fraction of an hour when there are particles about.

CompSci academic thought tech support was useless – until he needed it


The spelling

is not de rigeur

King Charles III signs off on UK Online Safety Act, with unenforceable spying clause


Re: math doesn't bend

Maths is a contraction.

Math. is an abbreviation, and is the same length in characters.

Math is wrong because it omits the .


Stand up and be


Cat accused of wiping US Veteran Affairs server info after jumping on keyboard


Re: A cat that can type "DROP DATABASE veteran-affairs;"?

VistA isn't SQL

It has other, estimable, qualities.

It's time to celebrate the abysmal efforts to go paperless in the NHS


I have never had, in the NHS, a fax

which was useful.

I avoided having a fax machine*, until someone gave us one so they could fax stuff to us.

But no supply of paper.

I'd have left it at that.

* I did set up WfWG3.1 to accept fax on a modem, and mix it with email.

And around then we started passing some very old and boring or new and repetitive paper through a scanner, so if you didn't mind the stairs you could turn a piece of paper into a picture of it and transmit it.


Far more, but that's an IT fail

Insufficient use of the things IT can make easier than paper, such as tracking expected events.


Re: meh

When a major government contractor took over getting gp records from old practices to new practices, they stacked up to the extent we were posting the contents. The covers might turn up 6 months later.

The old inefficient public service got urgent ones across the country in a few days, across town Esther quicker. Non-urgent, not quite so fast.


SmartArse technology

Although an RFID might beat a barcode.

Nukes, schmukes – fuel cells could power future datacenters


Oxygen is useful

And easy to collect pure off an electrolyser.

As with eventual electricity, one needs a use nearby.

Nuclear-powered datacenters: What could go wrong?



Is not that small.

Suggests 600MW of heat.

Islands need an export. Oversupply seems useful.



...are so low power that they are unlikely to be loads shed.

Power equipment, including pumps for petrol stations etc, rather higher

How is this problem mine, techie asked, while cleaning underground computer


Re: A 1980s minicomputer at the bottom of a mine ?

It could be made to work, the filler needs to be high or watertight and the pump less than an atmosphere of Diesel above it (11m?) Or submerged etc.

The fault was not thinking a hole in an island might flood when designing it. Ah well.


See also Wales, and the number 20

Don't have to go kaboom! Just vroom.


Oil secrets

Around then they realised that their business depended on lying and confusing everyone, and bribing governments.