top A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System
"Why is he pointing his pistol at that missile? Is he arresting it? Does he have to read it's ri... Oh, he's pulling on his second glove. Never mind."
top Organic Cat Litter May Have Caused Nuclear Waste Accident
Just because a material has a everyday name, it doesn't mean that the original specification didn't have a chemical/mechanical/biological/radiological/whatever reason for specifying it.
If all the material property requirements were met with a commonly available product that didn't require an expensive supply chain, then that's great.
I suspect that originally somewhere in the nuclear disposal system, a group identified the need, a solution was found and a materiel was specified. Along the line or through the years, the REASON for that specification was lost to the end of the purchasing chain and the poor sod who orders the stuff was given a directive to "buy sustainably" and substituted the new material without being aware of the original intent.
That person probably wasn't even been aware of the use of the material - they may have though it was used in the kennels for the guard dogs. It's a nuclear material disposal site. Need to know is important. (1) The suppler wouldn't have known, either.
There's lots of complaints of expensive procedures and materials(2), but this is a perfect example of the need for a formal supply chain system with provable provenance. You may BUY a commonly available kitty litter to fulfill the order, but what arrives in the sacks will have to match the specification sheet.
1. Yes, this is irony. The accident may have been prevented if the purchasing officer knew what it was for. Then again, maybe not.
2. Ferrous hammers are a bad idea around strong magnetic fields. If you're in a lab with a MRI or similar and lots of delicate equipment, a hammer to undo the dog on a vacuum chamber had better be a very special hammer. The kind that you can buy today for less than a hundred bucks, but in the 60's had to be engineered from scratch. Thank someone else's R&D for the fact you can buy a (nearly) chemically inert, non-ferrous, non-sparking hammer for a pittance.
top Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'
> So you've added two or three more people to be bribed to ignore a faulty tracking device - 1 or 2 in maintenance, and someone in the control tower?
They'd be the first people to be arrested when the syslog was backtracked on the first day of the search. I'll admit that some people are not the brightest, but looking at a red flag on a computer screen and granting take-off permission anyway is a little beyond belief.
You'd need a sysadmin or ATC site admin to inject fake data, but that wouldn't survive the satellite data analysis.
I don't know if it would be possible, but you might be able to have a ghost transponder in another aircraft or on the ground which pretends to be the target. You'd have to be careful to transmit at the correct time and with the correct signal drop-off if you wanted to hide the fakery from the investigation.
It the investigators managed to get satellite triangulation data, even that wouldn't work.
top NASA Admits It Gave Jet Fuel Discounts To Google Execs' Company
I *think* that the meaning of the quoted words "full cost" is that NASA was selling to H2-11 at NASA's cost price. This would be less than "market rate" because NASA does not collect tax on the fuel.
The customary difference between cost and market would be tax, handling and profit margin, none of which were added by NASA.
top Judge Says You Can Warn Others About Speed Traps
Whoops, that was from the repealed/superseded regulations list. It's still illegal in Queensland and NSW, though. Here's the _current_ Qld rules:
A driver must not switch headlights to high beam if another vehicle is closer than 200m in front of the driver's vehicle.
A driver may flash the headlights briefly before overtaking another vehicle.
Drivers must ensure that they do not dazzle other road users.
top Judge Says You Can Warn Others About Speed Traps
The Australian road rules sidesteps the "warning" issue:
AUSTRALIAN ROAD RULES - REG 218
Using headlights on high-beam 218 Using headlights on high-beam
(1) The driver of a vehicle must not use the vehicleâ(TM)s headlights on high-beam, or allow the vehicleâ(TM)s headlights to be used on high-beam, if the driver is driving:
(a) less than 200 metres behind a vehicle travelling in the same direction as the driver, or
(b) less than 200 metres from an oncoming vehicle.
Penalty: Offence provision.
Note: "High-beam" and "oncoming vehicle" are defined in the dictionary.
(2) However, if the driver is overtaking a vehicle, the driver may briefly switch the headlights from low-beam to high-beam immediately before the driver begins to overtake the vehicle.
Note: "Low-beam" and "overtake" are defined in the dictionary.
top Nokia Takeover In Jeopardy Due To Alleged $3.4B Tax Bill In India
The report I read was that the neural net which distinguishes phonemes is trained up to the age of around 10-14.
Out of the 110 (approx) (IIRC) human phonemes, most languages use no more than 85 (approx) (IIRC), sometimes far fewer.
The classic Japanese/English "L"/"R" problem is an symptom of this, where for a Japanese person who hasn't been exposed to the "L" sound regularly at a young age, it is mapped to an "R" sound.
Note also, that the single "R" sounds that the Japanese-language person is making instead of "L" and "R" may not be the "R" sounds that the English-language person is hearing. Different "L" and "R" sounds may spoken by Japanese-language person, but the English-language person may only hear them as a single "R" sound. Since there's no common frame of reference, the phoneme corruption could be happening in either or both directions for any phoneme mapping.
I recall reading somewhere else that the French language has three different sounds which map to the English "R" sound. That's my excuse for scraping high-school French, anyway.
There are people who are exceptions to the rule, of course, and there's also the possibility of learning to speak a language correctly by an external feedback loop. All you need is to make different sounds until a person who can hear the difference confirms when the sound is correct, and use that mouth/larynx shape when appropriate. Easy!
top Asian Giant Hornets Kill 42 People In China, Injure Over 1,500
Forget flying, these ones worked out how to weave a net.
Here's a video:
My parents have them in the plants around their house, and on the balcony.
top CCC Says Apple iPhone 5S TouchID Broken
top Xbox One's HDMI Pass-Through Can Connect PS4, PCs and More
The intent may be to introduce a delay in the other consoles' UI responses.
When a non-tech user buys a competing console in a year or so, and it's easier for them to daisy-chain it through the xbox than hunt around behind the TV, it may be enough that they tend to play the xbox more than the new console because it's more responsive and gives a better gameplay experience.
Too paranoid? Check out the cryptographically signed charging cables from Apple, and then try to persuade me otherwise with a straight face. <sardonic grin>
top In a Security Test, 3-D Printed Gun Smuggled Into Israeli Parliament
The head would probably be a better grip, so the exit would naturally be the
... other end.
top Backdoor Targeting Apache Servers Spreads To Nginx, Lighttpd
Worried about exposed sshd? Install pam-abl and watch the brute force attackers waste their time. With my config, three failures from any IP address in an hour (or 6 per day) and that IP is locked out for a week through PAM. They can still try, of course, but even if they somehow guess the correct password, it must be in their first three guesses each week.
There's no indication to the attacker that pam-abl is there, and there's very little chance of a DOS attack against legitimate logins.
Oh, and you've denied root logins from the internet, haven't you?
Warning: Source tarball, but if I debian-ized it, then anyone can.
about a year and a half ago
top How Much Beef Is In Your Burger?
and a few other species
Best Typo Ever!
top Raspberry Pi Hits 1GHz With Official 'Turbo Mode'
I was allowed to order (and pay for) mine in June, after the initial bait-and-switch and then a shipping hike of more than the cost of the board itself. I finally got an order number in the low 80 thousands with a nine week shipping estimate.
Still no shipping notification, and no more updates on where they're up to in the list.
Yet, the people claiming to be in charge of this train wreck are giving boards away as prizes. Unbelievable.
top UK Company Demos Color Video Animation On Electronic Paper
A maximum of 12fps is not video speed.
top S+M Vs. SPDY: Microsoft and Google Battle Over HTTP 2.0
I wonder if all the options of all the extensions will be part of the spec, or is this another embrace,
top iFixit's Kyle Wiens On the War On DIY Electronics
To be fair, they state that they've changed their opinion on the repairability, and why, in the actual teardown:
Repair score: 2 out of 10
While the new iPad's design is essentially the same as the iPad 2, which we gave a repairability score of 4, we've learned a lot about the design since then. We've spent the last year trying to repair the iPad 2 with mixed success. We are awarding the new iPad an abysmal 2 out of 10, and retroactively dropping the repairability score of the iPad 2 to a 2 as well. The adhesive on the front is extremely difficult to remove without damaging the glass, making repair and end-of-life recycling very difficult.
That said, we were able to disassemble this iPad without breaking the glass - something that we did not accomplish with our iPad 2 teardown. A year of practice has made us proficient, but schools deploying the iPad for their students are going to be in for a lot of repair technician training.
The iPad is repairable, just extremely difficult. We've written a repair manual for the iPad 2 here, and repairing the new iPad will be very similar.
top Is E85 Dead Now?
I can confirm this. I bought a secondhand 2004 Commodore VZ a few years ago and tested it on both regular petrol and e85. The economy was absolutely horrible on e85 - 15% to 20% worse with only a 1.5% price saving.
The real surprise was when the engine started running rough and fuel economy dropped a further 30%.It turned out that the deposits on the fuel lines (aka varnish) had been partially dissolved and flakes and chunks had started breaking loose, blocking several injectors. That wouldn't have been too bad, but it took some time to track down the actual fault(electrical? manifold? ECU? plugs? coils?) and a couple of the injectors were blocked open, with fuel making it's way through the engine unburnt and destroying the oxygen sensors. In the end it cost over $2k to find and fix it, including labor and parts.
With the tiny price differential between regular unleaded and e85 and my rate of use, it would take roughly 1000 years to make back the cost saving of the fuel for the repair bill, and I'd still have worse economy and no horsepower.
top What HP's TouchPad Fire Sale Teaches iPad Rivals
Not the same spec.
When it was first announced, I was delighted. The detachable keyboard made it the perfect combination of tablet and netbook for me. When it went on sale, there was no mention of it's mobile capabilities. Dual band, quad band, locked? No problem I thought, I'll go down to the local JB store and have a fondle, the spec will be on the box. No, it wasn't. This wonderful device, thoughtfully designed to fit ALL my needs is WiFi only. So, after I confirmed there was no 3G model coming, I bought a Xoom, and I've been perfectly happy with it.
top The Humble Indie Bundle 3 Released
Yes, I was running
./crayon in the correct directory. The issue is that they included several libraries in the lib32 directory but relied on most of the libraries being loaded from the host system. Run "ldd crayon" and "ldd launcher" to see that.
Unfortunately, they only included *some* of the libraries. For the most part it's not a problem, as things like libm and libcurl are fairly standalone. When they included Qt libraries, however, they didn't include *all* the Qt libraries, and the ones they included have a different version to the ones in most other systems, including mine. Qt is smart enough to detect this and complain because it's likely that the two libraries will be slightly incompatible.
This problem is due to the developer making assumptions about the target host system or not doing basic testing. Compiling a static binary is a possible solution but is sometimes not practical or technically possible.
In the end, the fix was (for me) simple and now one person has worked it out it's simple for everyone with the same problem.