* Posts by JimC

1162 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

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Jail incompetent council folk who leak our data, thunders furious BBW

JimC

Re: There is a strong whiff of silly-season grandstanding about this report.

The wedding one for instance: Can't go to your mate's wedding 'cause its your shift on the CCTV so you watch it on the CCTV instead? Rather sweet (if a bit sad) rather than anything evil or malicious. But deserves a slapped wrist for *not* watching what the cameras should have been on, which sounds as if its what they got....

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Reg reader casts call centre spell with a SECRET WORD

JimC

> Customer (Dis)Service like this should not be happening on 2015.

You jest, of course. Don't you? With offshored services, script driven call centres, staff who are literally scared for their jobs if they deviate from the exact letter of the rules (Carphone Warehouse employees, does this sound familiar), escalated renewal prices as a matter of policy in my experience actual customer service is at something like an all time low. Certainly the worst its been for about 25 years.

Talking about customer service but not actually giving any, yeah sure, that's a priority...

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Boffin: Will I soon be able to CLONE a WOOLLY MAMMOTH? YES. Should I? Hell NO

JimC

Re: What a load of Dodos' eggs...

> What's so special about animals that are going extinct?

Well, normally one would hope that new species would be appearing at roughly the same rate as old ones are going extinct. If Smith's yellow beaked gull goes extinct and its ecological niche is picked up by Jones' orange beaked gull that's a wonder of nature. But if all the gulls go extinct and are replaced by life free polluted wastelands the world has become a more boring place.

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JimC

But *can* we create a wooly mammoth?

I strongly suspect that you cannot create a proper wooly mammoth without a female mammoth to grow it in, or without the gut flora it gets from its peers and all th rest of it. Then there's learned behaviour from the herd and you can carry on. I suspect all you'd have would be an artificial organism that had a vague resemblance to a mammoth. No matter what the children's pictures of Dawkinsianity might present, there seems to be an awful lot more to inheritance than just the DNA.

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It's the end of life as we know it for Windows Server 2003

JimC

Re: "No exposure to the Internet"

What, nothing that's connected to them has exposure to the net either? Congratulations if your organisation has the discipline and commitment to run with that level of isolation, but I fear most sites have the risk of a client being used as a transmission vector.

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So how should we tax these BASTARD COMPANIES, then?

JimC

Re: A Modest Proposal ...

The days when shareholders were the problem seems to me to be long gone.

The current problem with capitalism seems to me to be that the executives are plundering the wealth from both the shareholders (=pensions funds, account holders and so on) and the productive staff, and grabbing an ever increasing share from themselves. They can get away with this because the ownership is so scattered into powerless pockets (pensioners etc) that all the decisions on how the money is distributed are made by executives, who have an inflated belief on what their share should be.

It would be very interesting to compare the relative payment to shareholders, staff and executives in businesses now to that of twenty years ago. It seems to me that since the crash staff have had wages held down, shareholders have had returns held down, but executives have... filled their boots. Aux lanternes...

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Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime exhibition – blurs scientific interest with grotesque curiosity

JimC

Re: Never been to D.C.?

And in Texas they've got one that is *even bigger*...

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Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

JimC

Re: Dabbsy's article isn't about (was Huh? A new Godwin's Law?

Na. we're just illustrating another principle of online discussion - that people will post about what they fancy rabbitting on about rather than the OP's intended topic.

I suspect Godwin's law is probably a subset of a greater truth. I shouldn't be surprised if there were an equivalent principle with a different subject in say Chinese or Arabic language forums where perhaps Nazism might not have such a grip on the popular psyche.

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JimC

Re: to set him off

I fear so: if a powerful political element in your customer company is already looking for excuses to discontinue using your services it is not a smart move to go out on the p*** and thump their staff.

I'm reminded of Animal Farm, in that it appears that the right wing un PC misfit has become just as arrogant and disdainful of the 'oi polloi as the lefties in the BBC...

It also makes me wonder if Mr Clarkson's relationship with the booze may have ceased to be a healthy one, and his friends need to encourage him to take a very good look at his life.

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'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

JimC

Personally I like working in Britain, and I'd like other people to have jobs working in Britain too.

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Marathon race ace FOUND ON MARS – NASA boffins overjoyed

JimC

It is a great achievement, but is salutary to think how little one would learn about the earth with a 26 mile trek. There's a very long way to go.

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Data centre dangers: Killing a tree and exploding a UPS

JimC

Re: Humidity/hair dryers

That reminds me: in the flooded floor void incident I posted earlier we were left with a very damp void once the water had been drained out. But one of the Ops was into dogs, and specifically into showing poodles. You know, artistically cropped fluffy dogs. She had one *serious* hair dryer which was a big help in drying out the void.

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JimC

Wasn't a callout

But I once came in to find the 9 inch deep false floor in the server room 6 inches deep in water - and everything still running with all the mains sockets immersed...

Unfortunately I can't find the photo of the Unisys (or might have been Sperry) mini that was delivered in a 19in rack and the tail lift on the delivery lorry went pearshaped and it toppled over and 3 feet down onto the concrete. Enough force to make for a rack full of rhomboidal equipment...

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

JimC

> an unsigned copy of Mort :) was Re: RIP TP

But is it a properly unsigned copy of Mort? i.e. one that has been taken along to a book signing, opened by the master, but not actually written in?

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Paul Allen hunts down sunken Japanese WWII super-battleship

JimC

Re: Who trained the Japanese to torpedo bomb?

> It was 1944 before the RAF had the Tallboy bombs that severely damaged the Tirpitz in Norway.

Operation Tungsten?

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Finally, a decent use for big data: Weeding out crooked City traders

JimC

Privacy - you what...

"With big data analytics, there is the temptation to use the technology to build up a precise profile of each individual traders' behaviour and practices. However, intrusions into individual privacy must be proportionate and necessary to comply with data protection laws."

Hold on. This is about what the traders are doing on the company's time, with the company's equipment, with the company/customer's money and on the company's salary. Why should there be an expectation of privacy? Surely their management is entitled to ask for a precise profile of behaviour and practices any time they like, or do they work on very different terms to the rest of us, and if so why?

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Don't touch me up there! Photoshop creator appeals for 'ethical' use

JimC

Re: Defending Subsrcriptions

Every now and then at my house we produce large documents. I mean very large and very rarely, often two or three years apart. So we bought a copy of Pagemaker, and every now and then it had to be upgraded, but we'd skip a few versions in the middle and save some cash. I don't give a damn about new features, until things drift far enough, what I mostly need is the base functionality.

Minor revisions of documents would need doing more often, but not very much work. In fact we have Pagemaker running on a virtual machine to handle minor revisions. But now Adobe want me to shell out for a one year subscription to InDesign to produce a new major document this year, and any time I wanted to do a minor revision I'd have to shell out for another years subscription... So instead of a copy every few years in future they'll sell nothing. I wonder how many other small people like us that's true for, and what it will add up to?

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Kiss your Glass goodbye: Google mothballs techno-specs (for now)

JimC

I'm looking forward

To my wrist computer, programmable with Gps, phone, everything on my smart phone except for a large display. No bigger than a normal watch either. The trouble is for the outdoor sports I do both are going to need to be virtually indestructible because they'll get treated just as badly as a cheap digital watch,, but will be rather less disposable.

Think the tech is getting in sight now, but it's a big ask on the physical side. Having a waterproof phone I can take on a boat has been a happy step, but I think the wrist comp will need another level of miniaturisation.

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BOFH: Everyone deserves a little DOWNTIME

JimC

I find it works nicely if you say "my order of magnitude estimate is 10 hours", which seems to be so much more acceptable than "more than an hour and less than one hundred"...

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World's only flyable WWII Lancaster bombers meet in Lincs

JimC

to do with IT...

Three pages of posts and counting says we're interested...

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JimC

The warbird scene is amazing now. I was reflecting last week that 50 years ago I would ask my mother to take a long cut past Tangmere to pass the gate guardian Spitfire, just to see one, but last week there were one or two Spitfires over her house every day...

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BBC man Linwood 'was unfairly sacked' over £100 MILLION DMI omnifail

JimC

> punt the guy by any means

Back when i was young that was the reward for being responsible for an almighty ballsup...

What's changed?

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Whoops, my cloud's just gone titsup. Now what?

JimC

Compensation...

Compensation is wonderful. Not only does it do exactly nothing to get your users working again and off your back, but also it means that your vendor is concentrating on minimising the payments rather than getting you

you operational again ASAP

ASAP.

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Operators get the FEAR as Ofcom proposes 275% hike in mobile spectrum fees

JimC

Re: Huh?

Total tax, not just band rental. If, say, one were dealing with an industry that avoids much UK tax, then rather than playing whackamole with their accountants, it might be easier to just sock em with a simple fee they can't avoid.

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BOFH: The Great Backup BACKDOWN

JimC

I suppose the BOFH'S Helldesk

Is about the only one which isn't fully confident they can retreive stuff from backup since they rest of us get 30 calls a week requesting we do exactly that...

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Thwarted dev sets Instasheep to graze on Facebook accounts

JimC

Getting rather close to blackmail

Isn't he? Ethical compass somewhat out of kilter...

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British Lords: Euro 'right to be forgotten' ruling 'unreasonable and unworkable'

JimC

Re: If you want to be forgotten / Nazi uniform

A superb example, because IIRC he was not wearing a NAZI uniform, that was part of the stuff the newspaper made up...

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Ministry of Justice IT bods to strike over outsourcing fears

JimC

Re: Still have an area that's completely...

OTOH there have been many fewer deaths and injuries down the mines, many fewer people crippled with silicosis, all sorts of things like that

Deep mining was/is a damn awful industry and its fairly hard to wish it back again. The failure to find new employment to replace the old is a nationwide phenomenon, not unique to mining or indeed unique to any particular flavour of government. How does a government create real new economically productive jobs in the Western world? Tell them, they'd all like to know.

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JimC

These 'Shared Services' ... can also deliver incredible savings.

I'm sure that's literally correct...

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US spanks phone-jamming vendor with $34.9 MEEELLION fine

JimC

Re: > just that the track record to date has been poor in places.

That ought to be a gloriously understated ironic comment, but I have a terrible feeling he's *not* got his tongue in his cheek...

Hey anon, you're not the bloke who, when I was tin shaking for a charity back in my student days, gave me a five minute lecture on how we should be demonstrating outside the houses of parliament instead are you?

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Evidence of ancient WORLD SMASHER planet Theia - FOUND ON MOON

JimC

Re: 4.5 billion years ago

Hey, that's no issue. Because the event was so, well, world changing, its kinda embedded in the "memory" of the atoms of the planet, and so its a part of every human makeup. It's all related to the same "memory" for want of a better word, that makes homeopathy work.

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Fed-up bloke takes email spammers to court – and WINS PILE of CASH

JimC

as spam offences go

I.think this one scores about 0.5 on a scale from one to ten. Still, one shouldn't deny a bloke his hobby and the standing up in court bit is kinda fun.

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Australia iOS ransom gizmo-snatch OUTRAGE not our FAULT: Apple

JimC

if millions are in trouble

Then the system is up the chute because its abjectly failed the people its supposed to be serving, and if you can't see that but carry on bleating about secure passwords etc then you are part of the problem.

The complacency in our industry that blames the user when the systems we provide for them are demonstrably not secure is a big part of the problem.

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Swiping your card at local greengrocers? Miscreants will swipe YOU in a minute

JimC

Re: If only...

Verify signature?? That's even more naive than expecting Internet banking to be secure!

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Dogecoin off the leash after Doge Vault admits server attack

JimC

Re: "secure multi-tenancy rigs."

>If you want security you have to do it yourself

While I don't altogether disagree with the underlying proposition, that presupposes that 'you' can build an infrastructure that's more secure than your external suppliers can, and in practice everyone's reliant on external partners to a greater or lesser extent. Heartbleed, after all, demonstrated just that.

Obviously all the levels of indirection that come with external hosting, cloud hosting etc bring in layers of extra risk, but to make an extreme if not ridiculous comparison, that's still far less risk than an unpatched windows box sitting direct on the net with no firewall protection. You just have to do the best you can, but if you're doing it with my money, well, maybe I will wonder if the risk is similar to that nice investment opportunity in last night's email...

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Europe's shock Google privacy ruling: The end of history? Don't be daft

JimC

> Why can't the taxman

Sooner or later he will, but megacorps lawyer up a lot harder for money than they do for stuff like this that they basically oppose just for the publicity. And people still think Google are nailing it to the man when Google has far more money and resources available to it than any government department could dream of.

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Dogevault praying backups work after confirming attack

JimC

Re: Why they don't operate in the same way banks do?

Because it would cost them far too much in overheads at a guess...

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US judge: Our digital search warrants apply ANYWHERE

JimC

inevitable

There's no way in the long run that governments will be prepared to live with a situation where law and tax breakers and evaders ( multinationals that's you as well as the Criminals) take advantage of national boundaries to evade oversight. We'd soon end up with Panamanian or Liberian data centres of convenience...

If you provide the service to customers in the UK, or USA, or Western Moldoslovakia or what you should and eventually will be under the oversight of their tax and legal authorities, no matter where the boxes are. In a cloud world nothing else makes sense.

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CEO Tim Cook sweeps Apple's inconvenient truths under a solar panel

JimC

green as an overripe tomato.... scarlet ferrari

Wonderful simile: made me grin:-)

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'Maybe I'll go to Hell, but I think it's a good thing' says plastic Liberator gunsmith Cody Wilson

JimC

Re: A better alternative

I've known a good number of teenagers who got into greater or lesser trouble with the law, and in general they didn't seem to make a connection between crime and punishment at all. It seemed as if the mindset was that getting locked up occasionally was just one of those things that happens, like some days it rains, some days the court locks you up.

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JimC

Crime before...

Its certainly an odd comment to make when heard on this side of the Atlantic... The trouble is any stat analysis I see is buried in the noise of grinding axes...

But its true that social acceptance of violence has changed over the years and decades and in different societies and even parts of societies. And when you look worldwide there are armed societies with very high gun crime rates, and armed societies with very low ones. Hard to believe that the weapon does more that make murder a little more accessible. Plenty of genocide has been achieved with simple hand tools.

Two hundred years ago two significant politicians might fight a duel in London which was illegal but socially acceptable, but you can't imagine it today... However in other parts of our society a violent response to insults isn't unknown, although they don't generally go in for formal duels.

I think its a bit strong to say that democracies are always against citizens being able to murder each other. I think you have to look a lot further than that. I'm not sure when you take the same people and put them in an oligarchy or a plutocracy or a monarchy they suddenly gain a whole new enthusiasm for murdering each other. Indeed recent history in Eastern Europe suggests that a new freedom to murder members of other ethnic groups may be taken up as eagerly as other new freedoms.

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Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'

JimC

Re: Hack reporting

> content was sliced and diced beyond recognition.

So just like all the other news reports you've ever seen then. Its SOP for press everywhere. Have to edit to make the content fit the space available - and *of course* no responsible journo *ever* distorts the message in the process...

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

JimC

Re: Fine until.. will they never appreciate the workers

Yeah, its strange how these days all executives are vital and irreplaceable and must be paid top quartile salaries, and the actual productive workers and ideas people are utterly interchangeable and need to have their pay frozen for the good of the business.

And I read a good deal of history, and the books are quite short on the great business executives who created the modern world - politicians, engineers, scientists, academics, but few executives...

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JimC

Fine until

Your company goes toes up because all your most talented staff have burned out under incessant pressure.

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JimC

Something else that irritates me about 24 hour email

I've always felt that the biggest advantage of email is that I can write when it suits me, and people can respond when it suits them. So I liked being able to write an email at stupid o clock if it suitse me, knowing it wouldn't disturb Jane or Bill until they turned the PC on. But now I have to start figuring whether I'd be disturbing someone by emailing at a time when I wouldn't consider making a phone call, plus time zones too.

So whereas before I had the choice of voice when it was 24*7 urgent and email when it was next office hours urgent, now I don't, which is crazy.

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Whoever you vote for, Google gets in

JimC

Re: So, the EFF gets donations from Google.

The thing is you can find pressure groups.who support anything, no matter how crazy. But most of thrm have zero money and zero influence.

But if you give lots of money to groups that broadly support.your aims the money buys them influence, no matter how kooky they are.

And as pressure groups like having money and influence a percentage of their decision makers are always going to be influenced by a desire to keep the money tap running - not to change beliefs maybe, but in targeting their campaigns.

So the end result is a corrupted system without actually corrupting any individuals very much.

Like inflated executive salaries, its not illegal but it is wrong.

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BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*

JimC

Re: Consulting the users

consult/consultancy /consultant is a very interesting family of words in contemporary business speak.

consultation is of course a process where you ask the users /public what they want, and then ignore it and do what you were going to do anyway.

A consultantcy is an organisation that tells you.what you already knew in a form your executives might listen to.

A consultant is someone who does exactly.what your permanent staff would have done, but gets away before the problems are visible.

But on another topic, the reason BOFH sounds as if its a mole in your own office is because people are people, private sector or public, big company or small, we're all much the same.

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Apple to flush '£37bn' down the bog if it doesn't flog cheapo slabtops

JimC

in this context creosote

Is a Terry Pratchett parody of Croesus.

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Napster cofounder's Jerk.com accused of acting like ... err ... jerks

JimC

Re: The internet distilled

And at the root of it all, pimping for the advertising dollar... We had such utopian visions for the net back then, where did it all go wrong?

(I suspect in thinking it was a free lunch when the ad exec was paying)

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