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Comment: When I was a lad (Score 1) 230

by alanw (#46881317) Attached to: One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

School, circa 1974. Sending off your sheets and hoping that the keypunch operators didn't get 0's and O's confused. O's were slashed, or perhaps it was the other way round. Getting your job back on music ruled paper the next week

University. There were teletypes that you could use to get access to the ICL mainframe, but for exams you had to use punched cards, and only got 3 goes to compile and run your program. There were always queues for the big punch machines, so if you just needed one card doing, you could use a hand punch.

There's a good page with a photo of one here:

By my first job in 1979, we had VT52's and then VT100's, as well as a LA120 for the console.

Comment: Brief Encounter (Score 2) 57

by alanw (#45979235) Attached to: Telescope Designer and Astronomer John Dobson, 1915-2014

I once spent an interesting weekend in his company. He'd been born in Beijing, a walled city, and we took him via Chester on our way to North Wales. It was the first time he'd been in a walled city since his childhood. Walking near Llanberis, he found a Yew tree and enjoyed eating the berries. Still my photo of him on the Wikipedia page. Amazing guy, I hope his enthusiasm and inspiration lives on as his legacy.

Comment: Install what? (Score 1) 90

by alanw (#45688585) Attached to: Chang'e-3 Lunar Rover Landing Slated For 13:40 UTC Saturday

To watch the live feed I'm being asked to install CNTVLive2 plugi

http:/// player . cntv . cn /flashplayer/config/plugins/npCNTVLive2_Linux_64.xpi

I think not.

There seems to be a custom compression algorithm used for

mplayer/xine/vlc don't like it.

In Firefox and Chromium it shows a loading page but stops at 80-something percent.

Comment: IPv6 tunnels (Score 3, Informative) 188

by alanw (#45231665) Attached to: Online Retailers Cruising Tor To Hunt For Fraudsters

I've been getting up to speed on IPv6 and have a tunnel from ( It seems to pop out somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic, judging from geographically targeted advertising. Several big sites are already IPv6 enabled (Firefox plugin SixOrNot), e.g. Facebook, Google, Youtube.

Comment: EFF's Switzerland Network Testing Tool (Score 3, Informative) 251

by alanw (#44663065) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Diagnose Traffic Throttling and Work Around It?

The OP mentions Sandvine: the EFF has a tool called Switzerland.

Is your ISP interfering with your BitTorrent connections? Cutting off your VOIP calls? Undermining the principles of network neutrality? In order to answer those questions, concerned Internet users need tools to test their Internet connections and gather evidence about ISP interference practices. After all, if it weren't for the testing efforts of Rob Topolski, the Associated Press, and EFF, Comcast would still be stone-walling about their now-infamous BitTorrent blocking efforts.

Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Switzerland is an open source software tool for testing the integrity of data communications over networks, ISPs and firewalls. It will spot IP packets which are forged or modified between clients, inform you, and give you copies of the modified packets.

Switzerland is designed to detect the modification or injection of packets of data traveling over IP networks, including those introduced by anti-P2P tools from Sandvine (widely believed to be used by Comcast to interfere with BitTorrent uploads) and AudibleMagic, advertising injection systems like FairEagle, censorship systems like the Great Firewall of China, and other systems that we don't know about yet.

Comment: Re:Lorenz, the Butterfly Effect and Chaos Theory (Score 1) 240

by alanw (#44407557) Attached to: Same Programs + Different Computers = Different Weather Forecasts

another link:

Instead of starting the whole run over, he started midway through, typing the numbers straight from the earlier printout to give the machine its initial conditions. Then he walked down the hall for a cup of coffee, and when he returned an hour later, he found an unexpected result. Instead of exactly duplicating the earlier run, the new printout showed the virtual weather diverging so rapidly from the previous pattern that, within just a few virtual "months", all resemblance between the two had disappeared.

Comment: Lorenz, the Butterfly Effect and Chaos Theory (Score 3, Informative) 240

by alanw (#44406577) Attached to: Same Programs + Different Computers = Different Weather Forecasts

Edward Lorenz discovered that floating point truncation causes weather simulations to diverge massively back in 1961.
This was the foundation of Chaos Theory and it was Lorenz who created the term "Butterfly Effect"

Comment: Another set of court cases (Score 1) 239

by alanw (#44227411) Attached to: Sent To Jail Because of a Software Bug

where a large financial institution insisted its systems were bug free and secure,
eventually to be proved wrong:
... at that time the computing department of one of the banks issuing ATM cards had "gone rogue", cracking PINs and taking money from customers' accounts with abandon ... more than 2,000 people who had suffered "phantom withdrawals" from their bank accounts

Comment: OpenSTA (Score 1) 99

by alanw (#42825121) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can Closed Source Software Transition To the GPL Successfully?

Here are a couple of posts I've made in the past about OpenSTA, an open source "Web load and stress testing tool", which
was released under the GPL

The web site is still there, but nothing seems to have happened since 2007.

Comment: Re:Still not working... (Score 3, Informative) 327

by alanw (#42480435) Attached to: Worldwide IPv6 Adoption: Where Do We Stand Today?

I run the Firefox plugin SixOrNot. Google - a green 6. Youtube and Facebook ditto. Slashdot, a red 4. There are major sites out there running IPv6.

I have a free tunnel from Hurricane Electric. The only issue is that Google thinks I'm in the USA, which can't be a bad thing.

Now that there are no more IPv4 addresses available in Europe, it's in the interests of the established players to suppress IPv6 and lock out disruptive new startups: e.g. ISP's or Co-Lo's.

10 to the minus 6th power Movie = 1 Microfilm