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Comment: Well Duh! (Score 4, Insightful) 174

by lgftsa (#47095195) Attached to: 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.

Comment: Re:Tracking (Score 1) 436

by lgftsa (#46496419) Attached to: 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.

Comment: Re:Not a subsidy? (Score 3, Informative) 126

by lgftsa (#46432681) Attached to: 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.

Comment: Re:Common sense? In MY judiciary? (Score 2) 457

by lgftsa (#46165845) Attached to: 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.

Comment: Re:Common sense? In MY judiciary? (Score 4, Informative) 457

by lgftsa (#46165781) Attached to: Judge Says You Can Warn Others About Speed Traps

The Australian road rules sidesteps the "warning" issue:

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.

Comment: Re:Goodbye India, Hello China! (Score 1) 226

by lgftsa (#45657997) Attached to: 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!

Comment: Re:I'm not ashamed to admit (Score 1) 274

by lgftsa (#45030107) Attached to: 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.

Comment: Re:Can. But shouldn't (Score 2, Insightful) 171

by lgftsa (#44919635) Attached to: 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>

Comment: Re:And they still don't know the initial vector (Score 4, Informative) 136

by lgftsa (#43672015) Attached to: 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.

Nothing in progression can rest on its original plan. We may as well think of rocking a grown man in the cradle of an infant. -- Edmund Burke