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Comment: Londoners' water has been through 7 others first (Score 1) 242

by gb7djk (#47441595) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water
All UK sewage works purify their sewage enough so that it can be safely discharged into the nearest river. In truth, where else could they dump it?

It (apparently) is not a myth that by the time the Thames has got to London, the water extracted from, to turn into drinking water, it has already been through an average of seven other people. And, whilst there is a reverse osmosis plant on the Thames Estuary, it is only used during times of drought and then to turn brackish (salty) estuary water into drinking water. Normal water treatment plants use traditional methods such as sand and/or trickle beds + UV purification. Reverse Osmosis is otherwise waaaaaaay too expensive.

Comment: in root? Am I missing something? (Score 4, Interesting) 215

by gb7djk (#47332943) Attached to: Exploiting Wildcards On Linux/Unix

Er.. most of the exploits are only possible if one is root and/or the directory is writable for some other user (e.g. leon in this case).

Since one is root, one can do anything anyway so why bother with all this misdirection? If someone leaves world writable directories lying around (especially without the sticky bit set), then they deserve everything they get. Or is this some kind of "trap the (completely) unwary sysadmin" wake up call? If I see some strange named file (especially if I know I didn't put it there) I would investigate very, very carefully what is going on. I can't be alone in this - surely?

Comment: Re:So, does it run Linux? (Score 5, Informative) 56

by gb7djk (#45162777) Attached to: Last Operating ICT 1301 Mainframe Computer Set To Run Again
It does not have "12KB" of ram. It has 2K of 48 bit words. Each word can contain 2 instructions. It is a decimal machine so each word can contain 12 digits. It also has (only) one accumulator (of 12 digits). Whilst this particular example has an indexing mechanism (actually a "pre-modify" instruction) which was added from a 1302, the standard way of indexing is by using "live code" i.e. doing arithmetic on the code on fly. The "2 instructions per word" structure actually makes this very easy to do. It was designed in the late 1950s and built in 1961. One can program it in machine code (very easy instruction set), an assembler, various obsolete specialist languages and, of course, COBOL. There is no C compiler. Flossie is very musical. She can play many tunes.

Comment: Here in the "communist" Great Britain.. (Score 3, Interesting) 688

by gb7djk (#44813299) Attached to: How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors From Texas
Did you know that, here, we can go to one of several websites and buy a new car from any manufacturer, usually with a significant discount over list, together with a mandatory manufacturer's warranty that has to be honoured by that manufacturer's service outlets?

The Health Service is creaking a bit though...

+ - Ken Wallis autogyro pioneer dies

Submitted by gb7djk
gb7djk (857694) writes "Wing Commander Ken Wallis the developer and promoter of small autogyros died peacefully today 4th September, aged 97, at his home in Norfolk. Ken is mainly remembered for "Little Nellie", the tooled up autogyro that took on some helicopters in the James Bond film "You Only Live Twice". He made the breakthrough discovery of the offset rotor head that made autogyros stable as well as inventing many other aviation things. More info here and a video of him flying one of his creations (at the age of 95) here"

Comment: Good bomb trigger (Score 2) 98

by gb7djk (#43559483) Attached to: $5 Sensor Turns LCD Monitors Into Touchscreens
Set one of these up, together with some surveillance, train the device to recognise the mark and where he is (in conjunction with the now mandatory CFL bulbs as well as the tv and computer screens) and when you gets to just the right place - let off the shaped charge. It's clean, capable of discerning whether there is any collateral damage potential (and wait until the mark is alone) and economical as well (only use just the charge you need).

Comment: iron/platinum? (Score 1) 224

by gb7djk (#39413379) Attached to: Seagate Hits 1 Terabit Per Square Inch
I know that there are some pretty exotic coatings in use today, but I can't help feeling, considering the number of disks likely to be sold, that this is not going to help conserve the already overstretched usage of noble metals (e.g catalytic converters etc). If Seagate bring this to market at a competitive price, then that will would be another reason to invest in noble metal mining shares (or even metal, if one can stomach the ride).

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken