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* Posts by J.G.Harston

735 posts • joined 4 Mar 2009

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone movie: report

J.G.Harston
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Tommy was in Roseanne?!!????!

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Open source and the NHS: Two huge disorganised entities without central control

J.G.Harston
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Re: I think I missed a point...

NHS number is issued at birth. NI number is issued at age 16. How would under-16s use their NI number to access medical services?

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Blighty's mighty tech skills shortage drives best job growth in years

J.G.Harston
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What interview technique? The recruiter sees on your CV that you have 12 years experience with NumberWang 4.2 but they're advertising so somebody with experience of NumberWang 4.3, so you don't even get to shortlisting stage, let along interview stage.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: I'd like a new job

However, at some point the choice is between taking the job at a shitty wage or starving.

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J.G.Harston
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And will you ever be even /offered/ a job programming in PHP? No, because those jobs are only open to somebody with 5 years' experience who is already working in a job programming in PHP. *THAT'*S why there's a "skills shortage". Employers point blank utterly REFUSE to even countenance taking somebody on who needs half a hour to get familiar with the new working environment and their new colleagues' and company's coding style and practices.

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J.G.Harston
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There's no shortage of IT skills. There's a shortage of recruitment managers who realise that "programming" is not the equivalent of "driving a ford cortina with a 6-gear manual transmission and automatic windscreen wipers", but is the equivalent of "driving".

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BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

J.G.Harston
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Re: The kid I saw on the BBC News this morning...

"but HTML counts as getting a computer to do stuff"

By that argument, marking up a document in MSWord is coding.

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J.G.Harston
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"2014 was the centenary of WWI"

From where I'm sitting, 2014 still *is* the centenary of WWI.

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Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

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"Does London not have a property tax?"

Effectively: no. The only property tax in the UK is Council Tax, which is banded up to £320,000 and EVERYTHING above £320,000 pays the same, which in many London boroughs tends to be in the region of £1500 a year (eg https://www.westminster.gov.uk/council-tax-bands-and-rates) Peanuts.

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Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM

J.G.Harston
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Fingers crossed that somebody doesn't unplug the holographic projectors to plug the vacuum cleaner in.

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EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'

J.G.Harston
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Re: Forgotten?

If you broke a window 40 years ago, or went bankrupt 20 years ago, then it's NOT going to be "the first thing Google lists", unless you've been hiding under a rock for all of the intervening time.

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New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

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"The council agreed to take me off permanently, but did not do the same for other people living in my house."

What part of "individual registration" do you not understand? You can only change **YOUR** electoral registration details, you now **CANNOT** change your household's details on their behalf.

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J.G.Harston
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"Have you ended up on the open register and been bombarded with spam? Get in touch in confidence and let us know"

I'm on the open register. I have never been bombarded with junk mail because of it. (I presume "junk mail" is what you actually mean as the electoral register does not hold email addresses, just building addresses.)

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J.G.Harston
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"Under the new system ... their choice is remembered, which means that if they accidentally ticked the box and put themselves on the open register, they will be spammed indefinitely until they work out the correct bureaucratic procedure to remove themselves from it once and for all."

Or until next year at the annual renewal and they have the option to tick/untick the box again.

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J.G.Harston
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"Currently, voters are offered the choice to tick a box and put themselves on the open register each time they fill in an electoral registration form"

Not just voters, but non-voters as well. It's a register of *electors*(1), not a register of voters. (You can examine the list of people who have bothered to get off their arse and actually voted in the six months following an election.) There are *NO* changes to *voting* rules.

(1)and potential electors who will become electors in the term of the register.

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Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors

J.G.Harston
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The passwords that really annoy me are on recruitment websites that insist on mindlessly secure password JUST TO APPLY FOR A F****G JOB!!!! The first time I go to the website I use my usual throw-away password, which is rejected, and then have to go through a sequence of trying to get it to accept a password. Some weeks later I follow up another vacancy to the same website and then have to try and remember: was this with a capital letter? a terminal number? a capital letter and two terminal numbers? some crazy punctuation as well? f*** it, if you're going to these lengths to stop people applying for your jobs, you've succeeded.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: @J.G.Harston

My Yorkshire Bank account has an 18-character case insensitive, no forced gobbledegook password, and I can always remember all 18 characters when it asks for a small random subset of them, because I can spell.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Resets?

For ages I was getting thrown off my online debit card payment system for no stated reason, until I realised that it imposed a 12-character limit to the password and never told me that "fredandjimsmith" was not an acceptable password BECAUSE IT WAS TOO STRONG.

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J.G.Harston
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Users are failing to meet imposed complexity requirements because those complexity requirements are wrong. I remember my password as (eg) "fred and jim smith". Not capital-eff are three dee ampersand jay exclamation mark em five em one tee aitch but fred smith, and the system should b*****y well accept "fred and jim smith".

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Uber alles.. NOT: Berlin bans taxi ride app over 'safety' fears

J.G.Harston
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Re: Rent Seekers

As a former taxi license board member, I can tell you what we repeatedly told the taxi trade, the regulation system is NOT there to preserve the taxi business, it is there to protect the travelling public, and if that means destroying somebody's business in order to preserve public safety, so be it.

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J.G.Harston
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"Authorities are finding that existing taxi regulations don't allow them to manage the car-ride booking app"

Meanwhile in civilisation (ie, outside London) where we have our own taxi licensing laws, electronic pre-booking has been able to fit into the taxi licensing regime for years'n'years. It's just a logical extension of telephone booking, and almost all the taxi companies in my town have electronic booking facilities.

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What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this

J.G.Harston
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It loooks like their "life" rules are:

If I am surrounded, stay where I am

else if I'm not being illuminated, make a small random movement

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A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...

J.G.Harston
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A *recent* degree, *and* three years' commercial experience in the last two years.

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Gov.uk's broadband boast: Superfast fibre piped to 1 million Brits

J.G.Harston
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"Culture Secretary Sajid Javid – an apparent Trekkie who has said he'd had almost no exposure to the arts before his appointment ...."

So, he's never watched TV, never listened to the radio, never opened a book, never read a newspaper, never seen a film, never looked in a shop window.. .. .. .. .. Such inability to perceive the world around him, was he born without a brain?

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Is the tech jobs market really on the up-and-up? Tell us about it

J.G.Harston
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Hold on, can you make up your mind who this survey is aimed at? Employees or recruiters? You start by saying "are you thinking of changing your job", then segue into "are you having problems filling your vacancies". You're getting as bad as the Gruniad with this sort of bait'n'switch fraud.

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Multiple user accounts coming to Android phones 'n' slabs

J.G.Harston
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FAIL

Learn how to spell "selves".

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

J.G.Harston
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Re: No real skill here..

To be fair, ICT != Software Engineering in the same way that Driving != Motor Mechanics

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Scottish independence debate: STV player flops under weight of viewers

J.G.Harston
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Given the content, this is exactly what the Parliamentary Channel is for, somebody should have over-rulled STV stopping them from broadcasting it at the same time.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

J.G.Harston
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The big barrier to getting anywhere in space is the current travel technology that uses constant velocity, so takes literally months or years. This is the first step to the required technology of constant acceleration. At 1G you can get from Earth to Mars in six days. Yes, six DAYs. LESS THAN A WEEK.

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Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs

J.G.Harston
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Re: I call semi-bollocks

"I am talking about the business environment. That is completely geared up for doing business -- not for security."

We can't be bothered making sets of keys for the storeroom, so we're just taken the door off.

That sort of business deserves to go bust very quickly.

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J.G.Harston
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Errmm.. old news?

There was stuff about this *years* ago. I saw a demo of an "infected" USB mouse infecting a PC it was plugged into.

Plus.... you have to be a brain-damaged super-moron running their PC as an Admin user for it to do anything at all anyway - and if you're doing that you deserve to have you hard drives disappear into a pile of randomised bits anyway. "Starts a cmd session then types in a string to install malware" - what, than magically reads the user's mind and types in the Admin password to actually do the install?

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ICANN can't hand over Iran's internet, bomb victims told

J.G.Harston
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Coming up next, the international dialling code +98 is taken away from Iran, as well as the right for people in Iran wanting to get post from other countries to have letters with an address ending in "IRAN" to be sent to Iran, followed by the removal of the right of Iran to call itself Iran.

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Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

J.G.Harston
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I already have a display on the wall that tells me how much electricity I'm using. It's called an electricity meter.

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

J.G.Harston
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Lamp wicks! Buy my lamp wicks!

Sigh. The whole point of computerisation is to remove processing tasks from humans and mechanise them. The government seems hell-bent on de-mechanising things as much as possible.

Maybe this is the government's secret plan to increase employment, de-mechanise as much of the web as possible and force companies to employ humans to do it. Right, where's the job adverts at?

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ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION

J.G.Harston
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Re: Headline wrong?

"what the hell is a pension fund doing putting money into a dodgy high-risk investment like this anyway"

Err... mining? That's one of the stolidest of solid investments.

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J.G.Harston
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"evinced no knowledge of the financial repercussions of his act"

So, as long as I don't know what the results of my actions may be, I can go ahead with them scott free? Further justification for politicians to continue screwing the rest of us.

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UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

J.G.Harston
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Re: ODF is not open source

"ODF is an open standard, not open source. Any word processor / spreadsheet / presentation can implement it"

double plus one there. With a few keypresses I can generate ODF from a document created with Acornsoft View on my BBC.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Short-term vs. Long term

"Remember that UK Governments last no more than 5 years"

That's news to us that lived through the 18-year Conservative government in 1979-1997.

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J.G.Harston
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Just means Configure:DefaultSave=ODF instead of Configure:DefaultSave=DOC. No change to any software.

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Who coined the term 'App'?

J.G.Harston
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I was using "app" around 1985-ish as a shorthand for "application", and at one point wrote a simple GUI with a sprite of an apple as a weak pun to refer to "app", and the sprite and function names were prefixed "app".

The earliest RISC OS programming manuals from 1987 onwards described the application directory structure with examples such as: an application called App in a directory called !App, with files called !App.!Boot, !App.!Run, !App.!Sprites, etc. and the ROM-based ResourcesFS had the applications in a directory which sat on the icon bar called Apps.

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FAIL - the most incompetent IT pros

J.G.Harston
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Re: @Mephistro (was: FAIL - the most incompetent IT pros)

"As a side note, most gas(petrol) station pump fires seem to be caused by females with man-made fiber underwear getting back into their cars after starting the fuel flow"

How can you get into a car while simultaneously filling the fuel tank? Must have arms like Mr Tickle.

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Are you broke? Good with electronics? Build a better AC/DC box, get back in black with $1m

J.G.Harston
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I'm sure we did this at school

DC -> DC motor -> AC dynamo -> AC

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Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil

J.G.Harston
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Can you afford to stay alive with a 70% pay cut? I can't.

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J.G.Harston
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And retire later and work longer hours don't mix especially for REAL employers. I've worked out I need to work until I'm 90 to be able to afford to retire at 70. The problem isn't people not wanting to work longer or later, it's employers point blank REFUSING to actually be prepared to actually pay anybody to work.

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

J.G.Harston
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But you don't operate a radio while driving. You turn it on when you get into the car and turn if off when you get out.

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Programming languages in economics: Cool research, bro, but what about, er, economics?

J.G.Harston
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"They code the same model, the same algorithms (without changing them at all even for the known differences with which different languages can handle them)"

Yeah, I bet they did the equivalent of comparing string slicing by comparing

result$="":FOR a=start TO length:result$=result$+FNmiddlecharacter(source$,a):NEXT a

instead of just using MID$()

I've seen people painstakingly write a substring comparison function instead of just f***g using INSTR().

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Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

J.G.Harston
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Re: "Could agree what makes a good password"

"1) define a minimum password length"

And if the password prompt doesn't specify a maximum password length, then that is explicitly stating that there is no password length.

I kept getting thrown out of MasterCard SecureCode because it says something like "must be at least eight characters", so of course I used something like "batteryhorse12" and it kept throwing me out, never at any stage telling me that it enforced a maximum of 12 characters.

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J.G.Harston
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"There's no perfect answer; but an offline, encrypted piece of software to remember PROPER AND UNIQUE passwords for you isn't half bad."

And how do you get access to that piece of software if you're not using your own controllable PC? I get dragged into the Work Programme once a week, and it takes me several attempts to log into various jobsearch sites because my PC at home remembers my password for them, not me. I've spent the weekend walking across the North York Moors and popped into a library to check my email. How would that library be able to store my password for me?

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YES: Scotland declares independence ... from the dot co dot uk empire

J.G.Harston
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Re: Scotland using English tld?

No, a country code TLD should be TWO characters.

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J.G.Harston
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"Now Scotland has joined other important parts of the world such as London, Berlin, New York City and, er, Wales by getting a proper web address."

It's not a proper web address. If it's not a two-letter country code, it's not a two-letter country code TLD, it's not a proper web address.

When is somebody going to painfully kill these people destroying the hierarchial internet naming structure?

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