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* Posts by Peter Simpson 1

901 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Report: Prez Obama kicks Healthcare.gov contractor to curb for web disaster

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Re: I don't get it

Because this small group of huge companies does two things extremely well:

- identifies, bids on and wins government contracts

- contributes to politicians' election campaigns

You'll notice that neither of the above involves producing a usable product.

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Take off, nuke 'em from orbit: Kill patent trolls NOW, says FTC bigwig

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: As far as I am concerned the lady is well named.

Still sounds a bit fishy to me.

That's krill.

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You... (Sigh). You store our financials in a 'Clowds4U' account?

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: IT can be a pain in the arse too

As another poster pointed out. So when a outsourcing company offers to take the hated IT dept off the companies hands - and makes loads of wonderful promises about 'making people happy' - don't be surprised when the whole IT dept is outsourced.

DO NOT allow this to happen in your company! If it does, prepare and circulate a resume.

I have been at a company (3Com, Massachusetts), where this happened. It was NOT a pleasant experience. We went from having IT bods who knew the environment and were employees, vested in the company's success, who wanted to help you succeed, to jobsworths who would do only what their contract said they would do. To be fair, this wasn't entirely their fault, they were not allowed to do anything outside what they were contracted to do. The outsourcing of IT indicates either a company cutting costs to the bone (why?) or an out-of touch management team. Both are valid reasons to begin a job search.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: IT can be a pain in the arse too -- or not.

I, too, work for a company in the "creative" field. Many, probably most, of the artists and designers use Macs. The engineers and administrative and sales people tend to prefer PCs (though a few use Macs). Our IT department supports both platforms, plus smartphones (we have a standard iPhone 5c platform) to a very high level. This is handled by *four* IT people for a company of around 250 in four worldwide locations.

IT's biggest gripe is supporting Windows apps on Macs. For this, they use Citrix, and they are, as I understand, less than thrilled, but it is the "standard way of doing it", so they suffer through. Incompatibilities betwen the Mac and Windows versions of various tools (notably MS Office and Outlook), and the continuing pressure from Microsoft to "upgrade" to the next version of applications or OS are also sources of stress.

In spite of all the above issues, everyone can work from home (up to the limits of the VPN server) and Mac users are *definitely not* treated as second class citizens (the Mac/Win7 split is about 50/50). Identifying, hiring and keeping quality IT staff is challenging -- the bar needs to be set high and there are many candidates out there whose opinion of their capabilities is overly optimistic. We are lucky to have four very capable and experienced individuals supporting us, and that definitely has a positive effect on our bottom line. "You can't do good work without good tools" is true, and you need capable mechanics to keep those tools working.

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Guess what happened when T-Mobile US's boss trolled AT&T's CES party

Peter Simpson 1
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Paris Hilton

CES [yawn]

Try as I might, I can't seem to care much about CES. I suppose there's a modicum of productive work done, but to me, it seems like a week-long whirlwind of announcements of products you might be able to buy someday, vaporware, and a lot of pushing and shoving by companies trying to get noticed (they'll worry about offering something useful later).

Oh, and spoiled children masquerading as C-level executives.

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Sensation: Chinese Jade Rabbit FOUND ON MOON

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: McDonalds on the moon

Oh, yeah. They had a GT40 setup at the DEC Westfield plant where I worked a couple of summers while in Uni. I was miserable at it, but impressed by the game.

Stumbled onto the Chinese landing and watched the whole thing "live" on the web as it touched down. Very impressive and totally autonomous, even to the point of hovering while it searched for and chose a suitable landing site.

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I KNOW how to SAVE Microsoft. Give Windows 8 away for FREE – analyst

Peter Simpson 1
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Thumb Up

Re: I wonder what the Pirate Bay stats are

Damn Pirate Bay!

Hated by all media producers, who nevertheless religiously watch the download numbers to see how their product stacks up against the competition.

If they manage to put it out of business, the stats go away as well...so what to do?

The media companies should form an association to *buy* and run Pirate Bay. It has everything anyone would ever want to download, all in one place. Charge a $10/month access fee. Profit! Of course, this would never happen, but it is fun to dream, especially when Netflix doesn't have the movie I want to watch.

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How's it going, Microsoft users? Patching your PCs? You SHOULD be

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Eddy, have an upvote...

"...always been a chronic problem at Microsoft. Namely, executives' perception of what users want always trumps technical considerations."

That explains the "ribbon", then.

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How the UK's national memory lives in a ROBOT in Kew

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: Slightly off topic

The trick to avoiding disaster is to hire a firm that knows something about successfully completing large IT projects, as opposed to a firm (e.g.: CGI Federal) whose area of expertise is limited to winning government contracts.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Pint

Nice touch

Providing recommendations for the thirsty explorer at the end of the article!

Dad spent some time at the old PRO in the 1950s, researching his PhD on the Naval Career of Admiral Sir George Pocock. Which is quite a good read, actually.

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Mandela memorial. Yup, let's SNAP A SELFIE, say grinning Obama, Cameron

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Bono

Although, to be fair, if one *is* trying to be a political activist, one can be much more effective if one mingles with the political elite.

// just need to try not to get any on you...

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Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

Looks like it was her phone

I thought Obama was forbidden to use an iPhone?

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Teary-eyed snappers recall the golden age of film

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: Looking at old photos

It's because we were all younger then!

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Peter Simpson 1
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Thumb Up

Re: Great article.

Just picked up an F4 from KEH this week. $150. I'll shoot film until I can't get it any more. And now I can do it with cameras I couldn't afford as a kid.

// digital, too, but film builds more character

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How UK air traffic control system was caught asleep on the job

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: One million lines of code

Frequentis: a division of CGI Federal?

You'd think, when updating software in something as big and important, as the touch screen interface on an air traffic control system, that the software company concerned might do a bit more than the normal "yup, looks OK to me and it's out the door" variety of testing...

...but, apparently, you'd be wrong.

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When the lights went out: My 'leccy-induced, bog floor crawling HORROR

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Always carry a torch

"Fenix make excellent torches."

And the Chinese, not to be outdone, make excellent copies of them, for a fraction of the cost. I have several, and on e in the glove compartment of each vehicle. The ones that run on CR123 Lithium cells will be fresh and ready to use when you need them, unlike those that use AA cells.

// dealextreme.com

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Peter Simpson 1
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Alien

Re: Power Generation

"He wonders whether gravity – "

No.

"...free power generation"

NO!

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Peter Simpson 1
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Excellent

Speechless.

// because I'm trying very hard to get the final image out of my mind

// old guy here, my coworkers are younger than my kids...

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Women crap at parking: Official

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Parking

Yesterday, in traffic, I sat watching a woman attempt to park her car on the side of the road, one-handed, while having a conversation on her mobile, held to her ear with the other hand. Traffic was stopped, so I had a good opportunity to watch as she went back and forth, back and forth, never really making much progress.

It was only when she finished her conversation and directed all her attention to the task at hand, that she successfully got her vehicle parked. I felt bad for the cars in the lane she was blocking during the course of her attempt, but they also had a red light, so not much harm done, I suppose.

Sadly, the one-handed driver is a serious problem here. They don't even see you if to do so would involve turning their head. Don't even get me started on the ones checking their Facebook status in their laps. They think they're being subtle, but it's pretty obvious.

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Calling Doctor Caroline Langensiepen of Nottingham Trent uni

Peter Simpson 1
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Big Brother

"Now if he'd mentioned the CCTV stills he has of you, the proxy logs of goat porn, or even just the location of a quiet and deep pit with adequate lime supplies, that would definitely have shown promise..."

That would have made it BOFH material...

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Bravo

I think perhaps only if he had succeeded in his attempt.

B+ for effort, though.

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'Best known female architect' angrily defends gigantic vagina

Peter Simpson 1
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Trollface

Re: This *obviously* doesn't look like a vagina.

What do you expect, they're all guys...

[ ducks while running away]

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SILENCE of the OWLS may mean real-life 'Whisper Mode' for Black Helicopters

Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

"Plunging down silently out of the sky is the easy bit. It's been done many times before."

Well, you don't have to be silent, exactly...you just need to get there before the sound does...

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Facebook's Zuckerberg: US gov 'blew it' on mass surveillance

Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

In every photo of him, he's always wearing the same self-satisfied smirk.

...and a damn hoodie.

//yeah, sour grapes

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BOFH: Resistance is futile - we're missing BEER O'CLOCK

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Irony

...and sometimes they rain...bits

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ROCK FROM MARS FOUND in Africa, reveals Red Planet's SECRETS

Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

Re: NWA

Dam Martian kids...first, they short out the rover's electrics, now they're chucking rocks at us?

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Microsoft touts SCROOGLE merch: Hopes YOU'LL PAY to dump on rival

Peter Simpson 1
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Pint

Re: Another mug...

Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Develop

ers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Dev

elopers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!

Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Develop

ers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Developers!Dev

(you will need to print it out on clear sticky film and wrap it around the glass)

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Peter Simpson 1
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Unhappy

Re: Google pwned

Sold out, sadly...

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BAFFLING power cockup halts NASA's nuclear Mars tank Curiosity

Peter Simpson 1
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Devil

Martian kids...

"Dare you to go over and stick this paperclip across its terminals while it's looking at that rock!"

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Meet Stuxnet's stealthier older sister: Super-bug turned Iran's nuke plants into pressure cookers

Peter Simpson 1
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Thumb Up

Aside from the political and moral issues involved

You really have to admire the quality of the technical work that went into making something this intricately designed.

It's kinda like Bernie Madoff -- on one hand, he stole money from little old ladies, but on the other, he's the current holder of the world record for keeping a Ponzi scheme going. And he even managed to get it to pay for his retirement (though, granted, spending winters in the Med is probably off the table).

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No woman, no drive: Saddo hackers lob Android nasty at Saudi women's rights campaign

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: A Call to action

"I think it is a given that dick heads like the one singing in this video..."

Satire? We've heard of it...

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NORKS breaks ground on new high-tech industrial park

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: A communist hotel

This one?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryugyong_Hotel

Rumored to be unusable due to poor construction quality (bad concrete, crooked elevator shafts, etc)

The deal was rumored to be that the Orascom (Egyptian) telephone company would get the contract to run Pyongyang's cellular phone system if it put an outer skin on the skeleton. As far as I can tell, we now have lipstick on the pig, but the only profitable use to which this monstrosity is being put, is as a (very tall) cellular base station for the NORK glitterati.

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'Planned maintenance' CRIPPLES nearly HALF of all Salesforce instances in Europe, US

Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

On BOFH Day?

Coincidence?

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BOFH: One flew over the PFY's nest

Peter Simpson 1
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Coat

Re: off topic

"I don't think he'll be clicking on any links we send him today..."

Not after the first one, at any rate...

// the one with the bottle of eye bleach in the pocket, thanks

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Whovians, your Doctor needs you: Take back the Day from One Direction

Peter Simpson 1
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WTF?

This seems like a minor "issue" with which I needn't concern myself...

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LOHAN sees bright red over Vulture 2 paintjob

Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

"An ounce of appearance is worth a pound of performance."

...as true in this context as it is in the workplace at review time.

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Bloke named 'human' demands 'COPSLIE' licence plate

Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

Well, hello, Dick!

It's "Richard", thank you very much.

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Sail HO! Look out Bay Area - it's the GOOGLE GALLEON

Peter Simpson 1
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Coat

East coast of the US

Hurricane season is about to start...hope they can reef those sails quickly., or they'll be in deep...water.

//arrrr...sextant in me pea coat...

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You've been arrested for computer crime: Here's what happens next

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: If proof were needed that police are theives [lying and bribery proof currently in the courts]

"...the seized items are returned..."

...eventually. Maybe. If the owners ask nicely. If the cops can "find" the evidence, which seems to go missing at a rate proportional to it's potential for use in cops' homes.

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Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing

The wife was just mentioning that [some terribly smart astro-boffin] warns us against looking for aliens, because:

- they'll find us, because they have mastered interstellar travel

- they'll have mastered interstellar travel because they are looking for resources (or slaves)

- they will be taking these resources if they find them

- they won't be saying "please"

- if we get in the way, (or maybe ieven if we don't), we'll be eliminated (or enslaved)

Perhaps we should just shut up and keep a low profile?

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Unsung DEAD WHALE EXPLODER hero, who gave the early internet a purpose, passes away

Peter Simpson 1
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I'm sure

"it seemed like a good idea at the time..."

And somebody has to be the first to try it.

//RIP Mr. Thornton, and thanks for being a good sport about it.

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LOHAN's mighty thruster poised for hot coupling

Peter Simpson 1
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Thermistor attachment

A couple of thoughts on the photo of the attached thermistor...

- The ring-terminal appears to be floating in free space -- it should be thermally attached to whatever you wish to measure the temperature of (the thermistor itself is inside the crimp area of the terminal)

- You're on the outside of the heater -- will this not give you an artificially high temperature (as opposed to being thermally bonded to the aluminium tube)?

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That time when an NSA bloke's son borked the ENTIRE INTERNET...

Peter Simpson 1
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Coat

Heh - kids make mistakes...

...but only rarely do they have such widespread impact. However, he paid his debt to society and went on to make himself quite a bit of money and get hired as a prof at MIT. Kid's done OK, I'd say.

He probably leaves the worm off his resume, though

// the one with the floppy disk in the pocket

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Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: ahh, chairs

MY nice office char (north of $500 new, I believe) came from a former company. They were moving, offered the chairs to the employees for some nominal amount. As I wasn't going to be in town, the day of the sale, I handed the sum to a co-worker and loaded a chair in my vehicle the night before.

Came in on Monday and was told by the co-worker, that the sale had been cancelled at the last minute, the chairs (minus one) were going to be left with the building. I told him to keep the cash. Chair still in use, and doing very nicely, thank you.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: What is it this week?

"... but Windows doesn't do what you describe by itself."

Oh, yes it does, and more!

Moving a device from one USB connector to another, borks everything up royally. Apparently, each USB connector maps to a different port on the internal USB hub, and Windows gets all confused. At least, XP and Win7 do, from my own personal experience.

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MEDIC! Google, Oracle, Red Hat docs race to save crippled Healthcare.gov

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Read this, it explains everything

The Mythical Man-Month

Somebody didn't read it.

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Nothing to sniff at: Dell Ultrabooks REEK OF CAT PEE, scream users

Peter Simpson 1
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"I got one for our CEO ... it has a slight whiff...... "

Strange that every other unit in the shipment didn't smell at all, innit?

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Infosys set for $35m fine over US visa naughtiness

Peter Simpson 1
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If you want to outsource to Infosys

You should consider carefully the attitude of the management of a corporation that would pull something like this. Then, ask yourself if you want to bet your company on code written in an organization that thinks that finding "creative" ways around visa restrictions is a good idea.

// Wouldn't touch them with a barge pole myself. Plenty of older contractors out there who know what they're doing, laid off because some bean counter though outsourcing would save money.

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DON'T BREW THAT CUPPA! Your kettle could be a SPAMBOT

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Nonsense

...because the Russian press, like Pravda and Izvestia before them, are known for their high quality, objective reporting.

// as the Chinese are known for the safety and reliability of their low cost electrical gear

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