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Comment: Re:Disappointing (Score 1) 75

by RockDoctor (#48247447) Attached to: The Man With the Golden Blood
Why are you thinking of a human/ arachnid hybrid as having gold-coloured blood? Humans (and other vertebrates) have an oxygen-carrying compound called haemoglobin, which changes from a reddish colour when oxygenated to a bluish colour when deoxygenated. Arachnids (mites, spiders, scorpions) on the other hand use a compound called haemocyanin, which is bluish when oxygenated and colourless when deoxygenated. So a hybrid would have blood varying from a dark purple to a bluish colour depending on which side of the circulatory system you're looking at (if the hybrid has a circulatory system which we'd recognise at all.

Comment: Re:250 years of hastiness (Score 1) 137

by RockDoctor (#48247363) Attached to: Dwarf Galaxies Dim Hopes of Dark Matter

250 years of hastiness

That's 0.00025 Myr. A truly negligible period of time, you short-viewed non-geologist insensitive clod.

I come here for the love

Well, that was a waste of time, wasn't it. Or do you mean a special sort of love involving chains and metal probes? And lubrication - lots of lubrication carefully kept sealed in it's pots and tubes.

Comment: Re:Snowden (Score 1) 221

by RockDoctor (#48247205) Attached to: When Snowden Speaks, Future Lawyers (and Judges) Listen
Right or wrong, he's a dead man. Once the American authorities get hold of him, he's dead. whether it be by a trip down a flight of stairs, a convenient fellow-prisoner, or some other method doesn't matter ; he's going to die in custody. "Pour," in the words of Voltaire, "encourager les auteres."

Of course, if they get him without being seen to do so in public, then he may have a longer life, if less pleasant. But his head is still going to go on that metaphorical spike above the gate to the town. See above Voltaire quote again.

+ - Car thieves and insurers vote on keyless car security

Submitted by RockDoctor
RockDoctor (15477) writes "The BBC are reporting that Britain's car thieves, rapidly followed by Britain's car insurance companies, have been expressing their opinions on the security of keyless car entry and/or control systems. The thieves are happy to steal them (often using equipment intended for dealer maintenance of the vehicles) and in consequence the insurance companies are refusing to insure such vehicles (or to accept new policies on such vehicles) unless they are parked overnight in underground (or otherwise secured) car parks.

So, I guess I won't be considering buying one of those for another generation. If ever."

Comment: Re: Do not browse on a Liinux desktop! (Score 1) 163

by RockDoctor (#48241535) Attached to: How To Beat Online Price Discrimination
Who designed this iteration of the mobile interface - I can't read the message I'm replying to. designed for posting bullshit, not content.

Every Intranet I've ever used.

The norm is that if we have access to the cliient's intranet, then it will be by taking data on $device$ to an employee, who posts it for us. Since each site gets rigged up and torn down several times a year, that's the level of contact that the client wants with their IT systems. Data comes in to them through a sheep-dip machine, or through email. Data comes to us on $device$ or by email, and we process it on our machine, then send the analyses on down the line.

Being given access to a client's internal network is pretty uncommon - that's restricted to client employees, if there are any on the job.

Actually, my current job has given me a client computer and smart card for accessing it. Of course, I don't have VPN access to the client's network, so every week or so I need to go to a local office (I'm lucky, it's an hour on the bus for me; for my opposite shift man, it's a full day of travel.) to wire the machine in, log in, then sit through several hours of downloads and re-boots. It's their global-follow-the-sun system, and since they pay the invoices, they get to choose through which hoops we jump. They pay for our time to jump through their hoops.

What storage and collaboration systems they have on their intranet, we're not told (we're not actually told about the intranet either, I deduce it'ls existance). It seems to be a total mess of three different, overlapping or competing systems, and in the words of one of my supervisors "I choose not to fight those battles". One of the complications that I do see wash-back from is whether the information I provide has a US stock effect, or not (in which case, unimaginable consequences happen ; I just avoid those areas. Client's problem, not mine.)

Everyone was also denied local admin to their own machine

Which is the norm. It took me three years after my employer (1) stopped sending us on jobs with our own printer and (2) locked us to a non-admin account ; to persuade them to allow us to install printer drivers for whatever we found on the site, when we got there. I'd just rape the machine with an NTpsswdCRACK (or whatever it was called ; Petter's Norwegian root/boot CD) and blank the Admin password. Then tell them about it before I got back to the office continent. I don't like raping other people's machines, but if I need to ("NEED"), I'll do it. Many jobs, it was sufficient to make a PDF document and email/ print that.

I suppose that if you use a network at work (I don't, basically) you migt ave more problems. But most jobs don't need network access. Well ... I suppose it depends - are you a source of data, or do you have to interact with people other than telling them what is happening?

Comment: Re:What's your budget (Score 1) 200

by RockDoctor (#48237017) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?
I should point out that I use the RS catalog purely because it's well-known and they're not too snotty about setting up small accounts. Or, if you're within reach of one of their trade counters, paying cash on the nail and collecting. There are others who are often somewhat cheaper. When specifying jobs like this, a morning of shopping can often lead to a saving of the whole cost of your day's searching. And you can often get another few percent of savings by taking the shopping list to a local electronics factor who can probably negotiate a bulk-saving from appropriate manufacturers and cut RS (Farnell, whoever) out of the loop altogether.

Being in oil-and-gas country, we've got a choice of such experienced factors locally. you may need to contact ... well, you know your area's business specialities. People who install petrol stations have to deal with ExE electricals all the time ; try them.

Comment: Re:What's your budget (Score 1) 200

by RockDoctor (#48236959) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?
Drinky is right : the first important question is budget.

I routinely work with PC-like systems that go to 3km water depth (on Remote Operated Vehicles). I routinely work with systems that work in atmospheres where explosive gas compositions are present in normal operations (that's as severe if not more severe a problem then your "water jet" problem). The budget is everything.

The trivial answer to "a PC that can resist a water jet" is "buy an IP67 or IP68 junction box and build it in that. Ours cost about £5000 a piece, and another couple of thousand for the equipment to go inside, then 2 weeks of technician time to build everything, route the cables to the control switches. Then another couple of thousand for the testing to confirm gas tightness. Oh, and about £3000 for the purge gas control system. If you can do without the ExD / ExE certification, then you should be able to get some change out of ten thousand quid.

You're implying that the PC interacts with a human who is also exposed to the high-pressure water jet. Your health and safety risk analysis is likely to have flagged this as a point where you're really at risk of criminal charges if anything goes wrong and one of your employees gets hurt by the water jet, let alone it's interaction with the mains power in the PC.

If your human is elsewhere, or the interaction doesn't have to be highly direct, then it will be far and away simpler, and much cheaper, to move the PC out of the wet and hazardous zone, and into a secure cabinet somewhere. If you've got sensors / actuators that need short cables ... well, there are things you can do about that. I've spent the thick end of thirty years going out to oil rigs at irregular intervals (irregular now, more often in the past when I'd double up as an installation technician ; small company, the technician department is 2-fold bigger now than the entire company was when I joined) to install complex arrays of sensors with VGA-SVGA displays at remote locations on the rig, sometimes in flammable gas areas, other times in safe areas. Kilometre-length cable runs are nothing unusual, when you see the routing you have to take through the maze of cable trays, transits and moving parts. With such a sketchy description, I'm really quite that you actually need to solve this "waterproof PC" problem, instead of the much simpler problem of how to connect a PC to a waterproof keyboard / touchscreen/ display / sensors unit. The problems of cabling in such areas have been solved decades ago.

You probably need to speak to someone who is a currently-ticketed instrument technician. From when I was doing this stuff regularly, I'd know there were some situations where I'd have to use these instead of these (and, of course, vice versae). But if I were working on equipment that was to be inspected by a different (foreign, American) inspection agency, neither would be acceptable and we'd have to re-gland everything. It's a minefield!

The cheap and nasty answer is to build the computer into one of these, appropriately glanded, and the display into another one, also appropriately glanded. Then put each unit into one of these , again, appropriately glanded. The outer case will be able to protect the inner case to survive the water pressures you're talking about. Won't cost much more than £1000, plus glanding. Take a day or so to put together (that's what - £400 technician time?). Not pretty. Effective.

Comment: Re:Fentanyl (Score 1) 152

by RockDoctor (#48230549) Attached to: Incapacitating Chemical Agents: Coming Soon To Local Law Enforcement?
Whose fundamental legal principles? Do you misunderstand the concept of a sovereign nation? Each nation is different. And each nation has the right to be different, to the extent to which they can defend their difference with thermonuclear weapons. Or weaponised Ebola. Or their weapon(s) of choice.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.