* Posts by Hollerith 1

700 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Chair legs it from UK govt smart meter installation programme

Hollerith 1
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The benefit is to the electricity company

It will allow them to read your meter from a distance. Accurate readings, no disputes, no estimated readings, no meter readers.

There will be some 'green' types who will assiduously study their smart meter and end up doing the laundry at 3am (until the flat below makes them stop), but I agree: don't want one, won't look at it from one year to the next.

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Wikipedia jumps aboard the bogus 'freedom of panorama' bandwagon

Hollerith 1
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Re: EU snipers

An erosion of civil rights because it takes 70 years after the death of the author to use it for free? This is the worst crime against civil liberty? I do personally think 70 years was too long, but it was, previously, 50 years (from memory). The pious intention was to let the widow of an author (and I use these words deliberately) and/or his children, to be supported by his creations after his death. In reality, it allows the publisher to keep making exclusive profits for 70 years. But then it stops. Then it is free to the world. The fact that you will have to wait 70 years post-death to get Neil Gaiman's works for free is simply a long delay. You might be losing out, but future generations will not.

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BBC (sort of) sorry for Grant Shapps Wikipedia smear reportage

Hollerith 1
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Re: Ahhhh. The Guardian

Do you hear any Lefties saying that? I consider myself on the left, but I think the Guardian is hypocritical. If you find someone on the Left excusing the Guardian, please give us the reference.

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Revive the Nathan Barley Quango – former Downing Street wonk

Hollerith 1
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Re: Scandal-mag-cum-style-sheet

I say we start a campaign: "Keep Latin in the Bedroom, you purvs!!"

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So much for rainbows, Zuck: Facebook staff still overwhelmingly male and white

Hollerith 1
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Re: SJW employee review

Yep, this is what folks come up with to show how absurd and ridiculous and discriminatory any concern with diversity is: straight white guys will be dumped on, mocked, and put into a difficult place.

But no conversation like this has ever happened

It is the same fantasy that's had whenever race, disability etc come up. 'So, Greg, you have all your limbs? Can use both eyes and both ears. Oh dear...'

The fantasy is that white males are under threat from diversity. No, they are not. Unless one white straight guy here among the commentards has a true story about how he was demoted/fired/managed out solely on the basis that he was white and straight and male.

I did have one ex-colleague to claimed that, even though he had been taken through a process to try and get him to up-skill himself, which he refused because his J2EE experience was his meal-ticket for life. The fault had to be anyone's but his.

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That man told me to stuff a ROLE up my USER ENTRY!

Hollerith 1
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Re: Access Permissions

Management got involved and drew up a matrix and assigned permissions and someone actually implemented it? I have had Management do something similar. We knew that they would never check back or see what had actually been implemented or care, so we did what we thought needed to be done and, yes, nobody ever checked or asked, because everything worked out fine. We did have a cover story about a 'system glitch' (using language they would understand) that meant some permissions had to be re-mapped to fit a preexisting etc etc la la la. Never had to use it.

I did it under my authority (such as it was) because I was a freelancer and, if sh*t ever did hit fan, I would be long gone. Seemed only fair to the lifers in that place.

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We forget NOTHING, the Beeb thunders at Europe

Hollerith 1
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Re: The BBC sure "forgot" John Lydon told them about Jimmy Saville in 1978.

Maybe that's all he had indeed heard. Or all he dared to say, given Savile had so many more powerful friends. He was still the only one trying to flag it.

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Britain beats back Argies over Falklands online land grab

Hollerith 1
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Win the war first

Politics in our sorry world includes military successes and defeats. A military defeat is considered a conclusive political act, so that, for instance, Iraq was expected to stop troubling Kuwait after the First Gulf War. Whatever one thinks of might-makes-right, winning the ground through battle tends to let you keep the ground. The British won the ground in the Falklands. There is therefore no ongoing debate about who owns them.

Since I don't personally like the appeal to arms to be the final appeal, because nasty, the argument now more securely rests on the voice of the Falkland Islanders themselves. And we know how they voted.

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Layoff-happy Capita charges staff to use cutlery in canteens

Hollerith 1
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Re: Presumably they can bring their own cutlery?

What would they do if you whipped out your own fork? Escort you off the premises?

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Hated Care.data scheme now 'unachievable', howls UK.gov watchdog

Hollerith 1
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Re: Clearout time

Mr Gregorie, the people involved will simply go on to other projects. Heads very seldom roll in Government corridors, or indeed anywhere. I have worked with project managers fresh off a spectacularly failed project and they just shrug and mumble 'learnings' and do again what they did before.

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Microsoft's curious Sway comes to iPad and iPhone

Hollerith 1
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What online content does it let you help yourself to?

So a senior manager who fancies himself a PowerPoint designer will grab this, go harvest a lot of images from Flickr or similar and present to a board meeting with stuff he 'found on Google'?

I can see Brand and Compliance and Legal all having heart-attacks.

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THEY WANTED OUR WOMEN: Neanderthals lusted after modern humans

Hollerith 1
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Re: Terminology

Mr Paul,

I think you'lll find that 'BCE' and 'CE' were first used by Jewish scholars, who of course do not refer to Jesus as Christ (Messiah). Since then, Western culture has thought it useful and courteous to stop describing history by one particular religion, which is a bit off in this day and age. Ideally, we'd re-think and choose a globally-accepted base-point for human history, but that of course will never happen. (I personally would like to have BA and AA -- Before Alphabet and After Alphabet.)

I am mystified that atheists would declare the monsters of history someone sanitised. Do we not understand good and evil? Why woudl we explain away genocide and mass murder? Not believing in a deity does not make you ethics-free.

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Re: Early modern

Yes, Mr Cant, I too was dazzled by the possibility yof a group of Neanderthals being come across by some roving band of mercenary soldiers trying to find a safe winter camp during the Thirsty Years War. Climbing hide into the Carpathians, they find a village of remote, rough-looking people, settle down, the inevitable happens, and later the children come down to learn of canals and Spinoza and weaving and pewter from the smoother humans in the lowlands...

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MOUNTAIN of unsold retail PCs piling up in Blighty: Situation 'serious'

Hollerith 1
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Re: I buy in ex corporate kit.

@Jason 7, I've been looking for a nice box with say 500Gb, i5/7, 3-something RAM, a good graphics card, all that standard la la la, for my Photoshop and video-editing stuff, and even for refurbished I am being quoted at £300-500 for the box alone (which is all I want) when I know darn well that the refurbisher paid tuppence h'penny for it before giving a bit of a polish with his sleeve and putting it on the market. Yes, I could cobble this together myself but, life. So the deals go to IT purchasers who can stack 'em up, while the single purchaser sees no great deals out there. Sigh.

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UK.gov loses crucial battle in home-taping war with musicians

Hollerith 1
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What would they put a levy on?

It used to be (and still is?) that blank cassettes carried a tiny levy on them, as they were pretty much 99% purchased for recording music from a record or radio ro whatever. Blank writable CDs and DVDs followed. That seemed a pretty good idea to me: a penny or two to the artists who would otherwise not get anything because I was cloning my friend's mix-tape.

Since most of us, I suspect, copy from CD to our PCs, or from online sources (ahem) to our PCs, what can they tax? They can add a penny to every CD, but I tend to download tracks now. Add a penny to every downloadable track? I guess that would work, if Amazon and Rakuten and the other vendors play ball. Other than that, where's the levy going to be placed?

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California über alles? Is MEP Reda flushing Euro copyright tradition down the pan?

Hollerith 1
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Re: Limit the term

So if I write a song when I am 20, at 40, my rights in it expire? What if it was a steady seller, with many cover versions down the years? Why am I suddenly not allowed to reap the continued fruit of my creativity after I am 40? If it right that film makers, looking for a sound-track, can scour old songs and use them for free to their huge profit, while I, who wrote the song that helped cement the popularity of their movie, sit and watch them rake in the dosh?

I never quite figure out why a creator suddenly isn't allowed to get the profit of his or her actions throughout his/her lifetime. I am not so keen on the 70-year extension after death (based on an old model that he's want to keep supporting his widow and kids). I can't think of many other fields that would tolerate the switching off of rewards after a limited time.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: The Anglo-American tradition...focuses on a time-limited property

It's rather hard to renew a property that expires 50 or 70 years after you are dead. The only literary copyright I know to have been renewed after the death of its author is that of 'Peter Pan', assigned originally to the Ormond St Children's Hospital. Not many people had a problem with that renewal.

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Vicious vandals violate voluminous Versailles vagina

Hollerith 1
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19 June! Celebrate!

National Pendants Day comes round again. Huzza! I am celebrating with an Oxford comma-shaped cake.

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Three things you need to break down those company silos

Hollerith 1
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Re: Timely

My experience in a similar situation, for what it's worth: I embedded myself in their team for about 10 days (not 10 full days, but almost full days over two weeks) and sat at people's elbows and got them to talk out loud about what they were doing on a legacy system and why. I then understood the business needs. People can't tell, but they can always show.

One interesting theing is that one smart PA had figured out some work-arounds that everyone adopted. They did work, but they took time. I was able to make a small tweak on the legacy system so they could go from A to D without steps B and C and they were so dazzled that they bowed to me as to a Divinity. No, not quite, but a small incremental benefit made them believe when I said 'what till you see the new system--it's brill.'

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NatWest IT cock-up sees 600,000 transactions go 'missing'

Hollerith 1
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Re: Nationwide

Oooo, I thought that was just me and IF. Glad I wasn't being singled out.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Self-inflicted @AC

Thank you for educating those, mostly AC, who do not have a clue. I find the most vicious attacks, at least IRL, come from people who have never known a day's want or a day's fear over money. I have friend who had to decide, ever few months, whether to eat or have heating, because she was in a low-low paid job (once she could get while being disabled) and couldn't manage both. I have never faced utter hardship, but her experience taught me to shut the fuck up, and I heartily endorse this course of action to my other commentards who have never walked the poverty walk.

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Super Cali goes ballistic – Uber says it's bogus (even though its contract is something quite atrocious)

Hollerith 1
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Re: Lessons for techies: the law is like duck typing, not static typing

UK law keeps trying to tighten down on the 'quacks like, therefore is' definition of an employee, and yet I still have to be a limited company and do this little pretence when I am in fact an employee, int hat I must work at a location specified by my company, to hours a manager sets for me, and carry out work set my management.

It's a total lie so that companies can dodoge the responsibilities of having all that employee overhead.

But as I can charge a handsome day-rate, I don't bitch. But I would be a Ltd if it weren't for them, I'd be a sole trader.

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Philae warms up nicely, sends home second burst of data

Hollerith 1
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Re: Bounce

Put jam on the bottom

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The insidious danger of the lone wolf control freak sysadmin

Hollerith 1
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Re: Never let one person hold all the keys

A couple of times I've seen a parade without a leader about to walk over a cliff and I've said, 'I'll rescue it, but you guys have to know this is NOT how to do it. The price of me not acting now will be worse than me acting, so I'll do it and I'll leave documentation." As it happened, nobody gave a toss, as long as it was fixed NOW, so I left the documentation in the logical place and wished them luck. The correct response, once the crisis (which never should have happened) was averted, was to have addressed the problem properly. But as far as management were concerned: case closed.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Management Fail

There seems to be two kinds of manager: the one who is on to this sort of guy and keeps him in his box, or gets him out, and the other who says 'hey, as long as the work is done.'

I see many commentards sharing their personal stories and I resonate to their frequency. I always thought these Colleagues from Hell were only to be found on the Dailt WTF until I worked along side one of them. After a weekend cleaning up his sh*t he'd done at 3am one morning, high on something (perhaps his own wondrousness), I decided that, since he wasn't going anywhere, I would be. Our manager was too busy looking like he ran a taut ship actually to do it. So I packed by coffee mug and left. And, oddly, I found I stopped grinding my teeth in my sleep.

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Employees love their IT departments (almost very nearly true)

Hollerith 1
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Re: Our support desk is pretty good

Wow, this is so exactly my experience that I wonder if we were at the same place. We had brilliant local people -- 'quick responders' who had a (small) office on our floor, could see ou within an hour, or at once if something was actually on fire (or were an exec). Bigger problems got punted up to the global team, and there...it...sat. The guys on our floor were constantly badgered and harassed, but they were helpless. Then the decree came from on high that ALL issues has to be dealt with by ticket. So no longer could we walk to the support office to have a quick word. SLA was: response in 24 hours, fixed in 7 days. I actually had calls 4 month later asking 'do you still have that problem?' Well, no, because by then I had done something naughty to fix it myself.

And the guys on our floor started quitting, one by one. Now I think they have contractors who are dead inside.

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Downing Street secretly deletes emails to avoid exposure to FOIeurs

Hollerith 1
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Banks and other financial organisations do this all the time. The official idea is that you clear off huge backloads of email traffic to de-clutter, with the understanding that everyone will say to some drive or another the business-critical stuff they need to refer to; the in-box is not your storage bin. The unofficial goal is to have a 'sorry gov, it's not on purpose, we just don't keep stuff' reply for when the Regulators want to see email trails.

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The NHS pays up to NINE TIMES over trade price for commodity kit

Hollerith 1
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Re: Bureaucratic procurement

Not just the Gov't. In an y huge corporation, Procurement seems to go out of its way (1) to make finding and adding a vendor to the approved list as long and hard a process as possible (2) to make sure the final costs are always higher than just going out and gettign something, (3) making it a long-hard process simply for staff to order something. The only people benefitting are the people on Procurement: they have nice, secure jobs and (at least on one place I worked) featherign their nests with bungs. The corporation did not save money.

I agree that you can't have people dashing off to buy whatever, whenever, but they end up doing so (I bought a lot of equipment on my corporate credit card0 because finally they need it before the heat-death of the universe.

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Canada to ICANN in dot-sucks dot-rumble: Take off, you hoser!

Hollerith 1
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I'd like one

dotHoser, that is. All the good dotSucks are taken and I feel Canada has supplied us with a spiffy alternative.

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How much info did hackers steal on US spies? Try all of it

Hollerith 1
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Hell, no.

We know everything we every want to know, or don't want to know, about Obama, given that every Denier, Birther etc has dug deep. I'd love to see the rap sheets on every State governor, especially the ones running for Pesident. More especially their campaign funding.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Lots of people have to fill this out

Not name of first pet? Whew! My password is safe.

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Use snooped data in court? Nah, says UK.gov - folk might be cleared

Hollerith 1
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Re: Is it just me...

Or the other way around: their mealy-mouthed statements cover "we were going to bring him down even through we knew he was innocent, because we needed someone in jail and a tick on our 'to do' list, but sadly the court's decision didn't go our way, so we'll imply that he's actually guilty and was let off my those bleeding-heart liberals."

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Women are fleeing from the digital sector, reckons UK.gov report

Hollerith 1
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Re: cultural marxism

Um, no. Do you understand the basic tenets of Marxism? Your comments does not make sense. But, of course, I think you mean 'cultural Marxism' in the same sense as 'feminazis'.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Curious....

Ledswinger, there is a lot of handwringing when boys do less well than girls in school, and governments look into how to right that wrong. Although I have never understood why it was a bad thing. Heaven knows, the boys don't seem to suffer when they get to the job market.

I think chaps in IT, who have up till now works for a boys' club, are able to indulge themselves in a way that chaps in, say, Finance or Legal or Marketing cannot. I suspect that change will happen, eventually, because simple good manners should not be beyond anyone, especially the bright minds (and I am not being snarky) within IT.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Risky thing to say as a man, I know but...

Well said. In many ways, and I say as one who is in it, it holds many griefs and not many rewards. I find the best I can do is to take a professional pride in my own work, as I get little thanks and the worst office in the building.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Having children is not mandatory.

Mr Pott, I salute you. I, too, tire of parents sure that I am missing out on one of life's greatest privileges, or that I have an emotional or genetic need that, while it remains unfulfilled, is destined to make my life feel like a hollow mockery. I personally think they either lack imagination (that a satisfying life can be lived in other ways) or resent us for not bending our necks to the yoke of parenthood.

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Hollerith 1
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Or not, @AC?

Dear original AC,

You say " fear-mongering idiot self-declared "feminists" who yell constantly about the "boys club" and call everything a misogynist patriarchal conspiracy". Has this happened to you? Do you know of women who call themselves feminists? (BTW, why the quotation marks around the word in your text?) Have you sat in an IT department feeling hostile to all women because some woman accused you all of being in a conspiracy? Have you ever been troubled by real doubt and insecurity caused by accusations?

Kinda thinking not.

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Toothless Ofcom: C'mon consumers, show your teeth on broadband speeds

Hollerith 1
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Re: Where are the grammar & punctuation Nazis when you need them?

Actually: "grammar and punctuation" Nazis

See, we're right here.

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Nobel bro-ffin: 'Girls in the lab fall in love with me ... then start crying'

Hollerith 1
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Actually...

...the word for female boffins is 'boffins'.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Old boffins

Your proof being...??

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Are Men Really More Intelligent Than Women?

Dear Mr or Ms Bastard, or 'Lucki', if I may be informal, I agree that the pressure to self-censor can come from other girls, and does very, very often. However, that's just a result of the same stuff we all hear from our infancy.

There is a lot ot be said for same-sex labs and schools. Girls regularly do very well in both maths and sciences at an all-girls school, and this often (from studies I have read) gives them the confidence to enter, and cope within, a male-dominated area of work -- because they've had their confidence sustained for so long. As a working environment, an all-female lab would be considered absurd, ridiculous, as would an IT department, but fewer eyebrows are raised when it's an all-male lab or all-male IT department. yet I'd sign up for an all-female IT department in a heartboat. (Chaps, queue to the left to make your 'ooo, so would I' comments.)

I do not trivialise sexual bigots. But I am so used to them that my rage-o-meter finally won't ring the alarm bell any more. I was in a job where the sort of comments Tim Hunt made would be considered pretty OK, compared to the other jaw-dropping shit. I could also talk about the racism, but that was a very unhappy place.

My ideal would be to work with those holding a feminist understanding of the world. That is to say, with women and men who saw their world as one where women and men were equally capable, equally human beings, and equally deserving of respect. IT IS NOT HARD. And yet, every day, women who should support women don't, and men who should know women as human beings apparently find that mind-boggling or laughable, and every day the world stays mean-spirited, intolerant, unequal, and sad.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Are Men Really More Intelligent Than Women?

Girls do better at boys in school, up to a certain age. It then appears that girls self-censor or restrict themselves, either int he face of male hostility at female success, or because their lifelong understanding of male importance makes them back off. The general response is 'we must work harder to make sure boys aren't disadvantaged'. Why don't we accept that there are differences in potential AND ability and let the girls forge ahead? Teach boys to step back when a girl is doing better?

It's extremely tedious to get the same old 'feminazi' comments when women protest against a few examples from one man's life being used (by him) as a 'silly girls' generalisation. And people wonder why so few women go into IT. I keep thinking I am used to it, and then it comes foaming out again at new stories like this and I have to climb into the armour again as my colleagues try to get me to back-mouth other women over a single incident.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: Shame

It would have been nice if he has looked at his audience and thought a second before he made his 'ighthearted' jokes. We would expect him, in front of, say, an Indian audience, to rein back on the ethnic lightheartedness, but it seems that he couldn't do that in front of women.

I also presume that his samples of women who fall in love with research colleagues and then cry at criticism are not many. Perhaps his own experience, or of labs 30-40 years ago? So he's extrapolating rather feely, for a scientist.

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Hollerith 1
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Re: As if

And yet, Bleu, all those brighter boys (indeed all boys) do seem to end up as managers, senior people, even CEOs etc in later life, as a glance at any company will show. It's amazing!!!

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Sawfish are the VIRGIN MARYS of the SEA thanks to virgin births

Hollerith 1
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Re: Some Female Lizards in the Wild

I thought it was pretty well accepted that genders arose to help mix it up in the genes department, because a lot of variation helps protect the species in the face of endless threats. If you've covered all bases, then no matter what disaster Mother Nature throws at you, the species will have a few individuals that survive. This seems more efficient than relying on the also-occuring random mutations. But if you need to reproduce and you are too thinly spread to find a mate, you go for parthenogenesis and hope random mutations protect the species. Or, if you are in a stable enivronment that isn't throwing threats at you, why complicate things? Stick to parthenogenesis.

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KFC takes legal axe to eight-legged mutant chicken claims

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Re: Seems oddly familiar...

Yes, my first thought. Margaret Atwood has been prescient about a number of things; I certainly hope her future won't materialise, but...

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US Patriot Act's phone spying rules are dead – but that means very little

Hollerith 1
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Re: Got Clue?

So one chap was the focus of surveillance, pulled a knife when the Feds moved in, and was killed. Now we'll never know if he was innocent, or an innocent nutter, or indeed planning to do something dire. Pulling a knife on Feds with firearms is not the most deadly of threats. I was interested to see that this happened in Boston, where two men also -- sort of -- under surveillance by the Feds, and about whom the Russinas sent at least 'pay attention to these guys' message, managed to kill and wound people at the Boston Marathon. Tell me gain how safe we all are as a result of electronic monitoring, and how necessary it is?

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WTF is going on with the zombie NSA-friendly Patriot Act? Let us help

Hollerith 1
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All Hail Mr Pott

So totally right. So, so totally right. I used to think of Canada a decent country, level-headed, where 'good government' meant mostly restrained government. But not any more.

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That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

Hollerith 1
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Re: Firefox is a prime example of why complexity needs FOSS

Yes, recently made the switch to Pale Moon and it is great. Tuck in the usual (Ghostery etc) and things are spiffing.

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Massive police 'heavy equipment' robot drags out suspect who hid inside television

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Re: Militarization of the police

Yep. When a few cops sitting around outside for a few days with a movement sensor while the guy inside got hungry and thirsty and finally emerged to go the to bathroom or the kitchen, then perhaps a fan blowing the tempting scents of a freshly-delivered pizza into his house, would have been just as effective and less expensive.

But they all want to go SWAT.

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