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* Posts by Hollerith 1

474 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Whoever you vote for, Google gets in

Hollerith 1
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Re: If you found this surprising then ...

Oligarchy: this is news?

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Technology is murdering customer service - legally

Hollerith 1
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Three strikes and the third is legal

After struggling for years when goods were not fit for purpose, or engineers didn't come out, etc., I now call twice, and make a note of time and who I spoke to and, if nothing happened, I then write two letters, restating the problem and noting the passing time. I then write a third letter to say that Letter Four will be from my solicitor. I am always calm and polite. If no response comes, they get Letter Four from my solicitor. Yes, it costs me a bit, but the action is instant. Instant. I have been so impressed by this method that it is the only one I use for big-ticket items (i.e. I wouldn't use it for something that costs less than the solicitor's letter, e.g. a missing DVD, but for a new appliance, yes).

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KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline

Hollerith 1
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Angel

Re: @Big John Obligatory... - yes, unique

The Noodly One is indeed One, but are we not seeing the pasta equivalent of Boddhisattvas??

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Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Hollerith 1
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Re: Shame

Sign me up to your party. I will even be a fund donor!

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Hey, Michael Lewis: Stop DEMONISING Wall Street’s SUPERHUMAN high-speed trading

Hollerith 1
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If it were an article on the bad badness of the market, yes, but...

The market is more than deeply dodgy, but can we park that for a moment and talk about HFT and the interesting issues that arise simply within this topic? I thought the article was a good analysis of the problem. I had peripheral involvement with some of these trading systems as they were coming online in the early 2000s, and remember much debate about the value of a nanosecond.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Peasants and pheasants

Read the whole thing and get the joke already in the article, please.

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Crashed NORKS drones discovered by South Korea

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Re: Auntie Bee has pictures of the drone

We liked Sarah.

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Dropbox nukes bloke's file share in DMCA brouhaha – then admits it made a 'HASH OF IT'

Hollerith 1
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Re: hash collision

If you've pinched data or images or other copyrighted work, yes, it should disappear and you shouldn't be using it. Especially if you have a Legal and Compliance department.

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OkCupid falls out of love with 'anti-gay' Firefox, tells people to see other browsers

Hollerith 1
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Re: Product != CEO

Desperate need to be gay and married:

I am gay and I thought it would be nice to make a public, legal declaration of life-long union with my partner. We have been guests at weddings and each and every time we knew we wanted to do the same thing, and have public recognition -- and respect -- for our commitment, in the same way that straights get respect. There is a mental and cultural place that marriage takes up, a social value in it. People don't get married for tax breaks (this is always what straights accuse gays of wanting, although they never accuse themselves of this), they get married because they want to step into that social category of a permanent establishment, a legal, familial and (in many cases) spiritual union.

I didn't know what marriage would mean to me until I was married. I found it to be an amazing, subtle, and life-affirming shift in myself, between us, and with us and the world.

To be denied this on the say-so of others is tough, as every excluded group understands. To be excluded is not just not to have that nice thing, but to be denied a dignity and honour that enhances life and joy. To be denied is to be told: you must remain less human, less equal, less important that I. You cannot join in humanity's ancient and global cultural norms. And why? Because I find you icky.

So, yeah, if I go to a place that makes it plain that they find me icky, I don't really want to go there again. Personally, I don't think FireFox is that place, but I would have every right to avoid it and ask my friends to avoid it, if I thought it was actively working against me.

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BOYCOTT FIREFOX, rage gay devs as Mozilla appoints JavaScript daddy as CEO

Hollerith 1
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Re: right - 'what's wrong with white middle aged males?'

Let's start with the fact that that's how so many prefer their world: white, straight, male, and they tend to keep their world (working environment) the way they like it, and hire only the 'face that fits', call themselves 'normal' and everyone else 'different'.

It's often not even conscious. Older straight white guys just tend, unless urged/forced/encouraged to do otherwise, to create their comfort zones over and over.

I believe it is called 'white-supremacist hetero-patriarchy'. Though that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue...

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Aw, poor luvvies

I hate to have to invoke other -isms, but if it was discovered that a Firefox exec was funding the KKK or had supported some law that supported the denial of rights to, say, Latinos or Jews or whoever, and if two African-Americans or Latinos or Jews said publicly that they were boycotting Firefox and urging everyone else to do so because of this, would you be saying 'aw, poor luvvies'? Or perhaps the word 'luvvies' suggests your mentality.

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From corporate bod to startup star: The 10-month gig that changed everything

Hollerith 1
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Read it and wept

I have been thinking 'why did I get dragged up into management when my heart is in development?' and have assumed I am a victim of my own (modest) success. But I have been really inspired by this. I am spending too much time doing something i don't like very much not very well, when I could do what I love pretty darn well. Thank you for the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Schoolkids given WORLD'S CHEAPEST TABLETS: Is it really that hard to swallow?

Hollerith 1
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Kids should be allowed to play as well as work

We argue here in the first world that games stimulate children's minds and help them socially (as you bond with other fans). I am involved in a charity that offers scholarships for high-school girls in Kenya and Tanzania (this level of school is not free in either country) and it is clear that children in developing countries need to have the fun our kids have as well as access to the knowledge our kids have. I had the world opened to me via a lowly PC with a wonky dial-up, and I agree with the article: a kid who wants to learn has the best learning portal available if he or she has internet access. If he or she can be taught to discriminate between good information and bad, then off they go, empowered. And if they take some down-time from their incredibly hard work (I have seen them crowded around a single light bulb, studying into the night...) by playing a game or two -- that is great. It's just great.

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Hey, Glasshole: That cool app? It has turned you into a SPY DRONE

Hollerith 1
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Amusing

I laugh to think that Glassholes will be notable for the bit of electrician's tape over their wee camera.

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NSA spies recorded an entire COUNTRY'S phone calls for a MONTH: Report

Hollerith 1
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Re: Threat Identification

Speaking as a Canadian, I feel that if you suck up our phone calls ("hello mum? Yeas, freezing cold here too..."), you must prepare for the Wrath of the Canucks, and face a future of unsmooth wood surfaces. Sandpaper embargo!!!!!!

We will hear your screams. We will not care.

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NASA: Earth JUST dodged comms-killing SOLAR BLAST in 2012

Hollerith 1
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Aluminium foil manufacturers' shares will increase in value

...as people wrap tinfoil over everything in the house.

Shirley that would work???

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BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

Hollerith 1
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Re: "epicaricacy"

And spit in his eye with the very word!

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Tiny heat-sucker helps keep Moore's Law going

Hollerith 1
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Re: 24% bah!

Any chance we can stop the 'faggots' slur, chaps? I know it's about the last one Real Men still use, but can it be reserved for your circle of friends and spared us?

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What did you see, Elder Galaxies? What made you age so quickly?

Hollerith 1
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How do you know?

Everything we know know has come from observed 'facts' -- things we see that we can explain to ourselves through mathematics which, when tested by further observation, appear to 'work'. We can then make hypotheses on what we don't know, standing on the 'facts' we do know. When something doesn't fit the facts, we are cautious and slow to jettison what has worked so far. Only with overwhelming proof do we move to a new or refined set of facts.

How you know the universe can't have come from a singularity? It appears that your opinion rests on nothing observed. Unusual and unexpected observations do not undermine well-observed and mathematically-validated facts in one swoop. It's like saying 'my cheery tree bloomed a week early this year, so all of climate change is utter rubbish' or 'we seem to have sent a sub-atomic particle to Italy faster than light -- all of Einstein is now trashed'.

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Barclays warns freelance techies of DOUBLE DIGIT rate cut

Hollerith 1
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Re: undermining contractual trust...

I had a similar thing happen, in that they changed the situation so that I would be less well paid under their new 'project terms'. I gave my notice and walked free, having done my best to leave things in a good position to the person coming in. They had to spend about a year's money in three weeks to get enough people to cover my work (three, I think) until the project was delivered, a month later, with much wringing of hands by the management. Did it trouble my sleep? Not a bit. Did I come back four months later, after a period of fun and travel, at a higher rate? Yes I did, and enjoyed four more lucrative years with them. You are worth as much as you command on the market. If you have weird set of skills (yay me) then you can set the terms. Of course, one day my skills will no longer be needed by al the new systems, but I am an old codger and I'll be happy to toddle off to the allotment to remember happy times saying 'f*ck you, pay me.'

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Communist party boss blames Kunming knife attack on VPNs

Hollerith 1
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It couldn't be related to oppression

The long-standing, barefaced and blatant racist oppression (social, economic, political) by the Han Chinese of the Uighurs could have NOTHING to do with the violent resistance of those peoples. Oh no.

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Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base

Hollerith 1
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Re: "there're plenty of people who'd prefer to take the "cruise" approach" @h4rm0ny

Or you can talk in private in a place that can be shielded and inaccessible.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: They almost laughed him out of the boardroom...

I saw some footage from the early 1930s of passengers looking down on (I think) Brazil as they drifted slowly and gracefully out over the Atlantic to Europe and thought 'I want to do that'. I can't think of a more fascinating way of viewing spectacular scenery: ah, yes, glass of wine in hand while I watch the Andes or the Sahara slip below me, or as the sun sets over Sri Lanka and lights the Indian Ocean with gold. Please, please sell me a ticket--especially after I retire and have plenty of time to enjoy the wonders of the earth.

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BlackBerry brings back call, end keys, touchpad to Q20 keyboard cutie

Hollerith 1
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Re: The concept looks good

I care -- I like my ancient BlackBerry, but wish I could have some more modern stuff like the cool kids have. If I can keep my beloved keyboard and have some goodies, I will buy one in a heartbeat.

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Ghostwriter: Assange™ is NARCISSISTIC and UNTRUTHFUL

Hollerith 1
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Re: Don't be distracted

Yes, that's really the issue. Assange only rose to prominent on a tide more noxious than he.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: That's who you need @hollerith

@Gordon 10: a fair point and a good one. Wikileaks has had some important successes, but it is not a one-man effort, and Assange is truly repulsive, in my opinion. Snowden, on the other hand, is a principled person -- as is Manning, who has suffering physical and mental torture because he (as he was then) would not be silent in the face of wrong-doing.

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Hollerith 1
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That's who you need

The guys that are full of themselves, paranoid and so on are the ideal type to create something like Wikileaks. Yes, they are unpleasant. Yes, they don't play well with others. But society reaps such benefit from what they do (Snowden, IMHO, is a hero) that I give them a break. As long as I don't have to hang out with them, I am glad someone with weirdnesses can actually create something for the greater good. Lots of 'normal' and nice people remain part of the boot-licking problem.

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Another U.S. state set to repeal rubber duck ban

Hollerith 1
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Alone?

Alone? With a rubber duck? Some people should never be.

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See me after class: Apple scores AAA rating from brand-botherer

Hollerith 1
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Re: Razor like insight

He could see it coming, but did know know where or when. Or the other way around.

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My smelly Valentine: Europe's perfumers wake to V-Day nightmare

Hollerith 1
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Re: No sexier perfume on the planet...

Well, so far, I'd say you are right as far as wolf-attacks go.

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Hollerith 1
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No sexier perfume on the planet...

...than Chanel No. 5. And it's for grown-up women, not girls. My wife resisted it until one magical day when it was just 'right'. Mmmmmm....

It will be a sad day when No. 5 is no longer part of a beautiful women's arsenal of allure.

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The perfect fantasy flick for the online Valentine you've never met: Her

Hollerith 1
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Let me guess...

Given this is a Jonze film, it will utterly fail the Bechdel Test.

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Dell staffers head for exit armed with redundo cheques

Hollerith 1
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the savvy ones jump

I was in a big company where cross-the-board cuts were being made. I decided the hovering axe was too stressful to endure and found another job. In my exit interview, they blurted out 'you weren't one of the ones we wanted to get rid of'. Well, I didn't feel that love and, from what I heard of the shambles that followed, all the other savvy ones jumped too, ditto feeling no love, and they were left with the drones and the clueless managers who had hired and retained all the drones while losing the ones who did the work.

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Apple's Hacker Princess dumps fruity firm for Elon Musk's Tesla

Hollerith 1
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Re: Interesting, but

Not a walk in the park, but if a person being covered by a 'new role at a new company' article had gone through serious medical treatment for, say, bipolar, do you need to mention 'oh, by the way, he was sectioned once and now takes a range of mood-stabilising drugs'? This is NOT the most interesting thing about them.

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Apple's nonexistent iWatch to bag $17.5 BEEELION in first year alone – analyst

Hollerith 1
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Re: Tell me who

Usually women are attracted by the size of your smarts.

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'Maybe we haven't been clear enough about med records opt-out', admits NHS data boss

Hollerith 1
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Re: Risk?

How about: You get an STD from playing away from home. Your shared email at home suddenly fills up with STD medical adverts directed to you by name.

Or: you have a disability that you don't want your agency to find out about. They cross-check and find you and all about your disability and you don't get the job.

Or: You get an embarrassing condition you'd rather be kept private. You find your FaceBook page targeted with ads for creams for this condition.

Or: your insurance company decides to hike your premiums because they found out about a temporary condition and have added you to the 'risky' file without your even being aware of it.

I coudl go on and on...

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Hollerith 1
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Re: How about

My GP practice has their own forms sitting front-and-centre on the reception counter. They can't officially encourage people to opt out, as they would lose their charter or whatever, but they ask each patient pointedly. I told them I had already opted out and my doctor nearly shook my hand with joy.

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Bletchley Park spat 'halts work on rare German cipher machine'

Hollerith 1
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I did

And in the comments I put that I was an El Reg reader. Let them know where their fanbase is!

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Gene boffins: Yes, you. Staring at the screen. You're a NEANDERTHAL

Hollerith 1
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Well thanks

Neanderthal ancestors, I really want to thank you for that diabetes thing. Appreciate that being passed on. Yay.

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Stephen Fry rewrites computer history again: This time it's serious

Hollerith 1
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verb vs noun

In the UK 'license' is the verb ('you license the use of...') and licence is the noun ('you must have a car licence'). Same as defense/defence etc. The USA don't have this usage.

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Prof Stephen Hawking: 'There are NO black holes' – they're GREY!

Hollerith 1
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Re: "I know absolutely nothing about the black holes...

@Jemma, do you know anything about the scientific process, what 'proof' means, what peer review actually involves, and why it is a fundamental part of the scientific approach to testing knowledge? I am no defender of the hothouse that is academia, but my experience has been that the first-rate scientists learn how to operate the system in order to be effective in their scientific work. They are generous and passionate and enthusiastic and honourable. Another Commentard's comments on Ellis sum up the best of the breed.

Again in my experience, the second-raters are the ones ass-kissing and trying to game the system, but that type are with us in every institution. Why pay any attention to them when you can spend time getting your brain around the insights that Penrose, Hawking, etc have given us? We should count ourselves fortunate to be living at the same time as these giants.

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UK.gov: NO MORE tech deals bigger than £100m. Unless we feel like it

Hollerith 1
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Re: Is this the first time that ...

Oh yes, oh yes. I worked for an organisation that had a cap--as if a cap could stop stupid, wasteful projects from draining yet more capital--and all that happened was that huge projects got chunked into amounts that would fly under the radar. The final spend was much higher in total, I think, because all the initialising of the project and getting staff and consultants on board was repeated for every chunk, even when it tended to be the same faces. And we had the same time-delays in getting it approved, so work-hour money was wasted. The project approval board seldom twigged, because the Projects team had learned how to obfuscate by talking about benefits (jam tomorrow).

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MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY

Hollerith 1
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Re: f*cking 9/11

I figure you got that about right. And it turns out that the only thing to fear is fear itself -- the 'home of the brave' kissed goodbye to a lot of what they say they hold dear for an illusory security. Their fear overcame any sense of restraint. I feel for them -- when the big rich kid first gets punched in the nose (and please insert her obligatory condemnation of terrorist acts) it can be a big shock.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Going to be a painful future

I was just home to Alberta for a break last month and my first stop was a Tim Horton's. It was good to be back! Oh, and nice to see the folks, too.

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Judge sighs at 'whack-a-mole' lawsuits as Apple deals blow to Samsung

Hollerith 1
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Re: Hang on a minute... and counting

We could go back to the times you hired a champion to fight for you in trial-by-combat. But the lawyers have a DUTY to do everything they possibly can for the people who are paying them. LTIC, lawyers have to outline what they are doing for you before they go into court and do it, so you, their clients, can decide whether to stump up the money or not. Lawyers get a lot of stick in these forums, but if you are hauled into court by, say, a looney neighbour threatening mayhem because your tree shed a leaf on their lawn or whatever, you'd want your lawyer to be 100% focused on the best outcome for YOU. More seriously, if you are being patent trolled or on trial for a crime, etc, you want your lawyer to do everything humanly possible to protect you. And remember, you are paying -- you are in control.

Do people get blagged by smart lawyers? Yes, sometimes. But every lawyer I've met in big business has been conscious of his or her duty to the court -- which is to do their full duty by their client. Full disclosure, I am married to one, and her honour is stainless. She will refuse work, at the cost of her own income, if it is not consistent with the client's best interests, i.e. if she thinks they will blow a wad of dosh on a sure failure and NOT get what they want. Or she will warn them and keep warning them that the actions they are paying her to take are not in their best interests and work hard to get them to modify their stance. Or she will resign from the case. And she is not untypical of the breed.

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German frau reports for liver transplant clutching bottle of vodka

Hollerith 1
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Re: Incorrect: From the NHS:

No, they just have to spell out that alcohol -- bad, drugs -- bad. You can even see them being driven to say 'beer -- bad, vodka -- bad, cider -- bad' for those who think some things are fine for livers and some aren't. I say this because I had a long chat with someone who insisted that cider was not 'booze' in any health sense.

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Haribo gummy bears implicated in 'gastric exorcism'

Hollerith 1
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Re: Maltitol really is nasty in excess

Thornton's are especially bad, but I have found three a day is the maximum of any confectionery made of maltitol. I am diabetic and these sweets (not Haribo -- my favourite is the Leonidas no-added-sugar range--a class act) are an occasional pleasure. But one choccie or sweet is enough. You cannot use them as a one-for-one replacement. They have to be consumed cautiously. But many people (including me) became diabetic because they thought they could chow down on a bag of sweets with impunity. Maltitol's properties help remind us that over-consumption of ANYthing is a bad idea. I binged on sugarly confectionery and eventually got diabetes; if I binge on Maltitol-based sweets, I am punished immediately. I have learned self-restraint...

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Those NSA 'reforms' in full: El Reg translates US Prez Obama's pledges

Hollerith 1
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Re: More presidential lip service.

It stopped growing westward in 1890s. One reason the Civil War happened was because the western 'empty' areas were becoming territories and then states, and the Southern bloc were moving heaven and earth to make sure as many or all of those new states were slave states. May I mention Kansas/Nebraska here? The Civil War was not fought because of increased Federal power, but because there was a huge split in the population over slavery. The Southern bloc dressed it up as 'Sates' Rights', but the only right they fought to preserve was slavery. After the war, the Federal government did give itself extraordinary powers in the subjugated ex-slave states, but these were removed mostly under President Rutherford, and the small gains the African-American population had made were wiped out in an instant. Let's not go into what happened from 1870s to 1950s, when the Feds again decided that it was time to step in.

I myself am not a fan of big centralised government. Being Canadian, I know the downsides, but I also see the positives: a uniform approach, the ability create something that is more than the sum of the parts. But, in reality, there is precious little gain. But it's best to be accurate about history before using it to show something is bad or not.

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NSA: It's TRUE, we grab 200 MILLION of your text messages A DAY globally

Hollerith 1
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Re: Even if it were effective...

Wow, I've never been this close to one of this sort of person before. Like being close to a celebrity. The ones who cling to the Constitution are often the ones who run bulldozers through its clear intent (e.g. 'right to bear arms'), but to watch them declare that the current Power-That-Be is taking us all to hell in a hand-basket has a certain queasy fascination.

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Techies CAN sue Google, Apple, Intel et al accused of wage-strangling pact

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Re: Nice one Ed

Yes, and can I work for him?

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