1915 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 14:47 GMT
I have just bought a copy of Windows 7© and I am a little concerned that if your business collapses you will not be in a position to fix any bugs I might find. Therefore, would you mind awfully putting a copy of your complete source code base, development tools, test suites and documentation into safe keeping with "Dodgy Dave's Software Suppository and DVD Copiers" He promises not to look at it, or accidentally release it into the interweb thingy - and it almost never happens that anyone breaks into his office and steals anything (well, not anything valuable, anyway).
Pete 2 xx
And it carries golf clubs, too
So when there's a lull in the shooting, the infantry can have a quick tee-off. Unless their little (apparently completely unprotected) buggy happens to take an RPG round between the wheels and then the poor soldiers won't be able to tweet their kill-ratios or update their facebook pages and will be forced to withdraw.
How can you say that!
Are you possibly suggesting that all this security theatre is NOT for our safety? What a thing to say. After all, we had one chap who nearly managed to blow up his shoe and another who sacrificed his balls when he set fire to his underpants. How is this not the most serious threat to our transport network since conductors were taken off buses and the UN commission on biological warfare banned the British Rail sandwich?
As for the IRA campaign - well that was a completely different problem. They looked like all the other white people around them. How could you possibly demonise a group who were the same religions as a lot of the indigenous population and were so well liked that the americans financed their activities?
Where legality departs from common sense
Ok, stop panicking, breathe slowly --- in ----- out ----- in ------ out
>if organisations are not compliant from the moment that the Regulations take effect, this could cause them major problems
Don't be silly. No-one's going to get a massive fine or be thrown into jail on April the 5 just because of a new rule that comes into force on April 4th. So long as the people overseeing the process are happy that progress is being made they're not going to punish anyone. They will appreciate that it all takes time (esp. when the necessary information hasn't been made available in a timely fashion) and are flexible enough and not so daft as to act like a bunch of facists: counting down to midnight the day before, just so they can issue writs as the clock strikes. It will take time, but it will be sorted out. No-one will suffer unduly and any complaints treated with sympathy - on both side. So really there's no need to get your knickers in a twist - it's a non-story.
Oh, I forgot ---- in
Not your standard response
Not wishing to point out the obvious misapprehension about duty free (whoops, just did!), but having a "binary: "pass", and you're happily aboard ..." just passes the burden (or perk, depending on how vindictive you think the plastic piggies on security desks are) of taking away your cheap bottle of local brandy from the "underpaid, over-hassled, grumpy airport-security drone" to an "underpaid, over-hassled, grumpy programmer drone" instead.
Easier than painting
Just wait until the weather gets bad and the aiming laser (or the big bugger, for that matter) gets absorbed by the clouds. The same plan works for confounding satellite surveillance. Just wait until it's cloudy, then do all the clandestine work safe in the knowledge that the capitalists can't see you.
Asking too much
So, the author wants good low-light performance, high quality sound, high definition and (implicitly) to spend less than £100. Sorry chummy: choose one.
Now, I'm no expert (shocker!) but the tiny little sensors in webcams simply don't have the sensitivity to provide noise-free images - especially at higher frame rates and in ordinary, domestic light levels. Go outside into the daylight and you might just stand a chance, but in a dimly lit room - no way.
Sound quality? That has GOT to come from an external microphone. There are no alternatives. Whether it's pinned onto your clothes or hand held, the omnidirectional little electret jobbie stuck onto a webcam several feet away from your gob cannot help picking up all the other sounds and echoes in the room.
HD - hmmmm. Fail. Just how much bandwidth do you think you have? While it may be possible for the average web user to pull down real-time video at a reasonable 1.5MByte/sec over their high-end connection, pushing stuff UP the wire is a whole different game - divide that speed by ten and you're getting close. Try getting HD video up a 150KByte/sec connection and the amount of compression you will have to apply negates any benefits from a HD webcam. I suppose if you keep stock-still, so there's very little difference from one frame to the next, you might just stand a chance, but then you may as well put a cardboard cutout in front of the camera.
So no. While there are some webcams that actually can provide decent quality video in a not too mangled form across a USB 2.0 link, under ideal conditions, they need careful nurturing and the right conditions to achieve this. Simply plunking one on a PC, firing up Skype in a bedroom with a single CFL illuminating the top of your head and saying "Hello Mum" won't do it. All the limitations of price kick in: whether that's the build cost of a £100 webcam (compared to the £5000 "pro" cameras), the cheapness of the built in microphone, the lack of decent lighting or the bottlenecks of sending highly compressed packets half way round the world. You're wasting your time and money - might as well stick with a £5 device off eBay.
One last thing - for god's sake smile! If you're sending video to people, at least look happy to see them.
I *really* hope he wins
Companies need to realise they're messing with people's lives when they employ them. It's long past time that they fixed their casual attitude towards staff (such as calling them "resources", for example) and start acting as they would with any other business partner that they entered into a contractual arrangement with.
We're always being told to tell the truth on CVs - that lies will be found out (riiiight) and we could get sacked for misrepresenting ourselves or our qualifications. However, when was the last time that the "exciting position with huge potential for advancement" turned out to be anything more than the same old sh... in a different building?
I hope they pay the royalties
According to the source of all thing dubious (yup, wikipedia) "Happy Birthday to You" is still under copyright until 2030 in america (the free world can use it gratis after 2016). Considering how much MS bang on about piracy it would be terrible if they got dinged for not shelling out on the use they got from someone else's proprietary material. So terrible in fact, it would make me laugh for a long, long time.
And no, I'm not sending anyone any money for naming the song title.
Another rational explanation
> don't understand technology ... change is dangerous
Or possibly it's because they regard their iPad as simply another appliance. It does certain things and that's what they want from it. After all, people don't go around upgrading their washing machines, or adding new options to their vacuum cleaner. If you think of an iPad not from the geek perspective of a platform to run programs, but from the user perspective of a white-good that performs a specific set of functions, the need for extra apps or updates simply goes away.
I wouldn't buy a car that was continually changing its engine management software, or the layout of the dashboard and I wouldn't go near a 'fridge that asked for a password before it would let me get the milk out.
Most people (and by that, I mean me) just want simple stuff that does a small number of straightforward tasks in the expected, intuitive way. Got a phone? fine - push buttons, talk to people. Got a TV? great - switch it on, watch chavs arguing. The very first time our dishwasher says "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that" is the time it will be introduced to the local dump.
Some are, some aren't
Power users are just like ordinary users. Some know what they're doing - others don't have a clue. The biggest difference is that they all take a disproportionate amount of support resources to stop them moaning like little babies when they run into difficulties.
Of our "power users", some genuinely have the ability to save the world - or at least earn the company enough to justify the huge bonuses the directors get. Others are basically just drama queens (of either gender) and create more noise and uncertainty than anything else. The hard part is being able to distinguish the one from the other.
Of course, the really valuable employees are the invisible ones. The ones who quietly get on with their jobs: competently, on time, solving their own problems as they go and doing what they said they would. However their lack of "star quality" usually gets mistaken for idleness and as a consequence, they're the ones who get axed at the first signs of economic trouble.
In a cupboard, next to the waffle maker
Loads of people buy stuff, play with it for a short time, discover it doesn't make their lives better and then forget about it. It happens to almost every kitchen appliance, most of your DVDs, a large proportion of peoples' clothes (some of which are *never* worn - not even once) and one-third of the food we buy. All this tells us is that we are susceptible to advertising, buy stuff impulsively, don't feel the need to return or sell-on things we don't want or are optimistic enough to think "one day I'll sit down and read that book".
There's no reason why Apple's products should be any different from other stuff we buy from shopping channels or after seeing a shiny, sparkly advertisement that promises all sorts of things we know aren't true (but wish they were) or buy 'cos "that person off the telly has one". Goods are made to be sold, not to be used, and once money has changed hands and the warranty has expired, why should Apple or anyone else care how much use their stuff gets put to. By then, they've moved on to the next minor alteration to their thingy - now marketed as revolutionary, new, life-changing and even better value - just like the old one was.
A passing phase?
We've all heard of early adopters, but they're only a small proportion of the whole - and not even the earliest group to latch onto a fad. Maybe what we're seeing is that the innovators (the first group) and the E/A's have done the social networking thing, discovered it's emptiness and moved on. Leaving the field clear for the majority of people to start toying with the technology. However, if the original theory is correct, they too will find that social networking is no substitute for real-world friends and acquaintances and in time, abandon it too.
This doesn't mean that social networking is for old people, or that older people actually like it. Just that they didn't jump in, feet-first as soon as the nascent technology appeared: preferring to bide their time before trying it out. Although for the upper end of the age range, it definitely has advantages for the housebound or immobile: to use this sort of thing to keep their social lives going.
Sounds like war mongering to me
If you don't want your infrastructure to be attacked get it the hell off our internet. If you don't know how, I'm sure there are plenty of people in other countries who have the skills to help you out.
This guy doesn't really seem to understand that while cyber attacks _can_ be state sponsored as I'm sure the USofA has first hand experience of doing, themselves, the nature of the internet means that one person with a guessed password can wreak just as much havoc. In that case "doctrines" seeking to lash out at countries that america currently doesn't like just won't work - they might find themselves having to bomb the crap out of their own people, in their own country.
As it stands at present, most so-called defences against internet-bourne attacks are little more than a signpost saying "Stop, fine for hacking this computer $1million - if we can find you" whereas the people (yes: people, not countries) who control the DDoS botnets and intrusion probing systems are the equivalent of a division of armour who don't even notice the sign as they roll right into your datacentre - which just happens to have the internet equivalent of a bright neon, flashing bullseye - with the letters ".gov" in the middle - displayed prominently on the roof.
It's no good bleating on about all the badness that "for-ners" represent on the internet and rattling on about "counter-attacks". The military have to realise that they are no longer relevant in preventing cyber attacks and that their 1960's style deterrence is ridiculed by the people (yes, them again) who have even the slightest clue about 21st century networked computing. The only real defence is to do to their infrastructure what they did to their nuclear bunkers and harden them against attack - not with reinforced concrete, but with decent software that has been designed implemented and tested to withstand intrusions and DoS's and with physical separation from the people who might target them.
Ahhh, but you can lead a citizen to the internet, but you can't make them buy a PC. What's the point of connecting every house in the EU if a lot of the most cut-off / difficult-to-reach ones don't have a 'pooter to use on it?
Not much worthwhile stuff for a lot of people
Unless your english is good, there really isn't a whole lot of (legal, non-errr, "visual") stuff out there for a significant proportion of the european population. Sure, there's content in french, spanish, german and italian - but how about if your only language is greek - say, or czech or norwegian? Would you really want to pay the high price of internet access that is common in other european countries (€30-40/month - give or take, on top of a landline rental) just to access the content put out by the 10 or 20 million people who speak your native tongue - most of whom won't be on the internet for exactly the reasons you aren't?
Until you've had to deal with the likes of Telefonica OTE to get a basic phone line installed outside of a large town (hint: it's easier to move house to one with a phone) you don't really understand the barriers to getting access, compared to the small benefits and high costs of having it.
To willing to believe bad news
Tell someone that everything's fine and they'll ignore you. Tell them there might be a possible threat (note: 3 levels of uncertainty) and you have their attention. You don't even have to mention that the "might" is a one-in-a-million eventuality, the "possible" is almost infinitely improbable and the "threat" is so non-specific; in degree, importance and eventuality that it becomes meaningless.
Until someone is able to quantify some potential badness - attributing a real, numerical chance to it AND to describe the extent of the effects said badness would have (if it did come to pass), there's no information available to base a response on. So when a low-level manager starts running around, waving their arms in the air claiming that "there's a potential security lapse that would let allow someone to steal our data", without solid facts about what data, what could they do with it, how many times has this happened (to other organisations) and how many attempts have been made to steal ours - all you have some unfocussed paranoia. Sadly, these days that seems to be all you need to trigger all sorts of draconian limitationss, huge inconvenience and massive costs simply because an impressionable individual watched too much TV the night before.
Back to the case in point. While it *does* seem like some nuaghty people somewhere did create a worm targeted specifically at an Iranian institution that they didn't particularly like - and that it's perfectly possible for some other bad people to do the same, again. The fix is simple: KEEP YOUR INFRASTRUCTURE OFF THE INTERNET. The facilities have fences, security guards and locks on the doors, the control systems can go one better and isolate themselves completely. There are almost no circumstances where workers, doing their jobs in such plants need any sort of internet access - or to plug in thumb-drives, CDs or any other media. Prevent them from doing this and the threat (if it was ever really there int he first place) just goes away. In the small number of cases where it is needed, use the same level of security and scrutiny that is used for anything else entering or leaving the establishment.
Once you have sewn things up, tight. Sit back, breathe deeply, hire a team of penetration experts to keep your security up to scratch and focus on the things that could actually go wrong, rather than the hysteria from unqualified commentators who thing Die Hard, or The Matrix is real-life.
Mark Twain quote:
"There is something fascinating about science. You get such a wholesale returns of conjecture from such a small investment of fact. "
And since no-one actually _knows_ what the effect of the Sun or CO2 is, this one will run and run.
The price of flexibility
Bulk buying only works when you can commit to a long-term contract. That means you will know that your requirements, or volumes won't change from what was agreed. It means that you can't make changes without paying a penalty. It means that if someone else comes along halfway through the contract period with a cheaper offer (or a better solution) you are tied in to the old specification at the old price. So for example, who'd have thought 3 years ago, that a 2TB disk would be £80, retail. I expect that a 5 year contract started in 2006 would still have the government buying 500GB disks at £100 a go - having congratulated themselves on such hard-nosed negotiations. Conversely, if they wrangled too-good a deal, so that the supplier goes bust they lose the efficiencies of bulk and the benefits of uniform specifications, and possibly not being able to get spare parts.
That's even if suppliers can be assured that the party in power will still be there for the term of the contract - and that the next lot (or a post-reshuffle minister) won't do a complete U-turn, thus invoking mega-penalty payouts, which would lead to equally hysterical headlines in the Daily Wail.
lack of competition
> There is no reason why Government should not be as efficient as any good business
That's the biggest difference between a "good business" and a government: the business has to continually improve its efficiency, stay competitive, innovate and provide better service - or its customers will go elsewhere. Governments don't have to worry about such trivial things, they can just raise our taxes when they need more cash. Neither do the civil servants have any incentive. They're too scared of being found at fault to consider any approach except CYA - irrespective of the cost, efficiency, inconvenience or time taken.
While it would be hard to provide competition without having a second government (oh god, not two) - maybe a red one a nd a blue one, we could at least incentivise the one we have with a customer feedback system: Unemployment goes up: civil servants and politicians pay goes down. Too much police corruption? Add an extra year to all forces retirement age. Children not being taught properly? teachers lose a week or two off their summer holidays. ... and so on. I'm sure a few imaginative incentives could be found for all the waste-makers, maybe even enough to recoup some of the money they're costing us.
Free, but not free
Same supermodel, new frock.
Basically this version of Ubuntu has fresh new versions of everything but little in the way of new features. None of the Ubuntu marketing is aimed at telling existing users what benefits (i.e. things they'll now be able to do, that they couldn't do before - or things that are now easier /faster /better than in previous versions) they will gain from this release.
On that basis, while it won't cost us freeloaders anything to download the new stuff, it will cost a great deal in terms of the time needed to either upgrade or backup, wipe, install the O/S then reinstall all our apps. The cost of that last step: getting all the applications that aren't included in the base release, but are needed to move an Ubuntu box from a simplistic games and worm-processing environment to something akin to useful - is the killer.
Even if everything happens as it should there's a good afternoon's work involved. Sadly, experience (from the last time I did this) has shown me that things don't go as they should and that there will be some code that simply won't port, other stuff which has decided to eschew the path of backwards compatibility and yet more applications who's authors have abandoned the fruit of their keyboards and will NEVER work with 10.10. Put all this together and a more realistic estimate is a couple of days of head scratching - so say goodbye to a weekend.
Even at minimum wage rates, that's £100's worth of my time that this "free" version of Ubuntu would cost me. What I get for that is all the latest versions of my existing applications, but precious little in the way of new functionality. A high price to pay for no tangible benefit, and a very high price in terms of lost free time.
The basic problem is that Ubunut, and all the major players, are still fixated on getting people to "try Ubuntu", in the same way you cajole a small child to "try a piece of cabbage - mmmm, lovely: yum, yumt". You know they'll hate it, they know they'll hate it, but you feel (somehow) that it will be good for them, It's about time they gave up on this ploy - it obviously doesn't work. Those people who like cabbage, sorry: Linux are already using it. Those who don't, aren't. How about rewarding the loyal (or is it just cheap?) fan base and improving the migration process and actual BENEFITS, instead of focusing on the trite and superficial: such as the colour scheme and the installation process?
The spanish could've told them that
> sunlight readings taken from 2004 to 2007 ... emitted more in the key visible-light
Just pop over to your local Andalucian weather station, where they record the amound of daily incident sunlight in and you'll see that early in the decade (there's data from 2001/2) the numbers were about 30MJ/m²/day. Ver the same datos for 2009 and you'll see numbers up around 32MJ/m²
I don't care how many D it is
all I want is something good to watch.
While we can all marvel at the technology and lack of flicker or glare or grain or blur, none of that turn a badly written programme into something worth watching. It doesn't make a one-dimensional plot into a multi-layered, subtle drama and it won't impart fluency into a wooden actor.
I'd be willing to give up all the technology of the past 40 years (right back tot he early days of colour, on honkin' great boxy tellies) for engaging programmes that entertained and hold my attention. While today and tomorrows tech might be wonders of oriental design and production I find that the amount of stuff I actually want to watch is steadily decreasing - as the number of channels, number of hours, number of "+1"s, cable, satellite, HD and all the other gubbins increases.
On the bright side ...
every trade has a winner and a loser.
The person selling a stock thinks the price will go down while the person buying thinks it will go up. They can't both be right. So while this guy lost his bank some €billions all that means is that some other people made all that money.
OK, so there's an element of "We didn't really _mean_ to make all those transactions, so pleeeeeeeeeze can we have our monkey back?" to all of this but for what turned out to be a real financial loss for one trader turned out to be a good day at the office for someone else - maybe they should bung a few Euros in the hat to pay his fine?
It will always be like that
Time and cost overruns are an inevitable part of buying weapons systems during peace time. The basic problem is that no-one can answer the simple question: "Who will this thing be used against?" As a consequence you get many reviews, thinktanks, committees and experts all putting their penn'orth into the specification process - just in case the "enemy" turns out to be a massed horde of millions, or a fanatical regime, or a distant archipelago (though why they'd be a threat is difficult to imagine) or a school of mutant dolphins. Add in to this, the lack of any real threat means there is no pressing need to decide what the new thing should do, so no-one is prepared to put their bits on the block and make any binding choices or decisions.
In the end you always get a fudged solution: that has to address all the unsupported claims, fears, "what ifs" and possibilities of a world 30 years into the future when the thing in question will still be in its service life (or just being delivered, depending on how relaxed world tensions are).
In some ways (putting aside the wanton waste of our money) it is a good indicator. It means that there isn't really threat to our well-being that this new weapon has to fight - and that no-one can really see any actual use for it. If there had been a need, it would have been designed to address it, and been brought into service as a rush job to counter the threat. That's why weapons development is always much faster when there's an actual; shooting war going on.
The tragedy, though is that the money earmarked for a shiny new toy for the navy can't be spent on things that other services could use, right now - either to reduce casualties or to better bomb the crap out of whoever it is we're currently bombing the crap out of, but less effectively than we could. Sadly the attitude of the ranking services is closer to a groups of petulant children than to a force meant to defend our interests. So if one gets a new toy, the others MUST have one too - or there'll be tears and letters to The Times. Even though (since no-one can say what it will be used for) it's so obvious that it's simply a sop and almost no use to anyone.
The most popular method in use at Pete 2 towers to stop a nasty case of slow roasted nuts is a cushion on the lap and a tray on the cushion. Forget all these hi-tech coolers and chemicals an' stuff. It also has the beneficial side effect of raising the lappy to a more comfortable height and being able to adjust the angle of the keyboard by fluffing or compressing the front or back of the cushion.
Fired in anger?
Leaving aside training, publicity, exercises and mistakes I wonder just how many of these weapons will actually be fired at a target during hostilities. Following on from that, given the cost of the programme what will be the "Pounds per shepherds hut destroyed" effectiveness be?
 considering the quality of the intel used to target the device.
Business policy by popular vote
Let's take this a bit further. As well as turning their investment strategy into a game show, they could also have a website where customers can register a view on how much their staff should get paid. It could even be a "please stay on the line to vote" feature of calling their help-desk - once their victims have recited their personal details for the tenth time, been kept on hold for half an hour and cut off thrree times, they could be asked how much "My name is Steven" should be remunerated for the "help" he/she/it provided.
Lucky for us
Any recipients (un)fortunate enough to have received and translated the messages from planet Bebo will have concluded from them that we pose no threat whatsoever. Though they may puzzle how such an obviously retarded species ever got the technology to create fire, let alone beam messages across the void.
Oh yes, one small point - you missed out a word:
>tidally locked - with one face constantly turned to its primary, like Mercury
should read "_unlike_ Mercury". it's been known since the 60's that this wasn;t the case.
No (unless you count the passenger)
yes - though it was a helicopter and it was crop spraying and the car did get doused, liberally
yes (deep shame)
badger? no - though I once braked for a wild boar
s/badger/pigeon/ yes - when it hit the windscreen
a badger in a light aircraft with a blue flashing light following a satnav while eating and stoned? - err, not yet - though that would be one _interesting_ insurance claim.
Marked as a road?
While driving through France and Spain, I'm constantly amazed at what my Satnav software has marked as a road. This is not about stupid people following instructions blindly (though there is often a lot of that, as well). No, this is about why things that are so obviously footpaths, goat trails, muddy tracks and farmer's shortcuts are even included in the cartography as being potential routes, at all. I've not driven in Switzerland but have had my fair share of daft instructions from a multitude (Oh, alright: three) different GPSs in various cars urging me to take turnings which have been barely discernible as places where you'd herd sheep, let alone want to take motorised transport.
So while we may laugh at people who do whatever the voice from the little box tells them to, there is also a large portion of blame due to whoever programmed these non-roads into the databases in the first place.
Not just luck
> leading edge of the baby boom were able to get in and have terrific careers
Mostly I think the people who did well out of the BB are the ones who worked hard and had a lot of talent. it wasn't the pure dumb luck of being in the right place at the right time (though as prosperity increased during the 50 s and 60s, that helped) - it was having the right skills, working long hours doing difficult jobs in risky industries that got them to the top. Just as it does with the winners in any generation
> Westerners in the 40-59 age bracket (as the Boomers now are)
I've always understood the "baby boom" was post WW2 when all the military went home and ..... boom!. That makes the boomers born from 1945 to (say)1955. In that case they'd be 55-65, not 40-59 That fits in with being hippy age group in the 60's (aged 15-25)
Also, while the boomers are generalised into ex-hippie, red-braces, greed-is-good types, most people of that era weren't hippies, didn't do drugs. they didn't own a red Porsche in the 80's nor did they wave their wad while drinking champagne.
Although it makes a nice story - complete with a small peppering of schadenfreude for the spiteful to get off on, I don't buy the basic premise, let alone the faulty maths or the generalisations.
If you've done nothing wrong, what have you got to hide? Goes the question asked over and over again by the "I'm happy and like the idea of being scrutinised every minute of the day, it makes me feel safe" brigade. Well, the simple answer is that no matter how innocent. blameless and generally bound for sainthood you might be - or think you are, there's some scrote out there who looks just like you.
If the mugshot of that person shows every blocked pore, every chipped tooth and nasal hair, then a reasonably observant person can, when presented with your phizzog in person and a high resolution print of said photo, tell that you're not the same people. However if the pixel-limited, poorly lit, motion-blurred and partially shadowed glimpse of someone doing something bad correlates on someones computer with the glum, washed out passport photo [ BTW: smile on your PP photo and it'll be rejected - they like their travelers to look oppressed and down-trodden] you submitted some years ago then it's chokey for you, sonny Jim. At least until a real person gets to review the "evidence" after some days of inconvenience and scurrilous rumours amongst the neighbours, when your front door was smashed down at 5:00 a.m. by the anti-<whatever> task force.
It is pretty obvious that you can't make data out of nothing (except in some cheezy cop shows, when you can zoom in on a mobile phone pic. practically down to the quantum level). Most people's eyes are 60 + a bit mm from pupil to pupil. If you have 80 or 90px between eyeballs, you get sub-millimetre resolution. Drop that down to 12px and your resolution (even using sub-pixel interpolation) is going to match maybe one in every ten people just based on their eyes. Add in all the other facial recognition points and you'll find everyone in the UK matches maybe a few hundred or a couple of thousand other, non-burka wearing, individuals - even under the best conditions. You're effectively taking part in an involuntary identity parade every time you're subjected to this sort of facial recognition technology. I just hope you can account for your movements at all times - you might just need to, one day.
and some added bonuses ...
+1 This has the most desirable side effect of stopping any bugger from trying to update the "wrong" file, or creating new ones while the copy is in progress.
p.s. Don't forget the second part of any professional data copying activity is to VERIFY that what you copied actually did turn out to be the same as what you copied from. Many a backup has turned out to be just a blank tape and an error message without this stage.
Change is the enemy of automation
So you've got a bunch of screen-based processes and procedures you have to carry out: Whether it's adding new users, updating the helpdesk status of support requests or reporting the consumption of storage space across the enterprise. All fine and dandy, then some numpty in another part of the organisation goes and changes something.
They might do a software upgrade to the storage manager, or patch the helpdesk software or change the default width of the user's address field. Whatever it is, no matter how far ahead they published the change notice or how innocuous it seemed at the time, things like this break automated processes. You can't test for them before deploying your automated scripts as the nature of the change is unknowable (even down to correcting a spilling mistake that you were screen-scraping for, or creating a new one that you now miss). Hence you now have to spend the time you saved automating something to fix the automation script to account for the new environment.
The end result is that as long as people make software changes, we will always be playing catchup with our automation suites. So all that happens is sysadmins go from spending boring days doing repetitive tasks to boring days debugging faulty automation scripts.
More app suggestions:
The Earth is round
The Earth orbits the Sun
There is only so much oil
The Moon is not made of Cheese
Fire is hot
There are many other countries
It has come to my attention that this country faces serious threats from as yet undisclosed sources of an unknown nature. It is my considered opinion that the treasury should allocate funds sufficient for us to identify all unknown threats and thence to develop countermeasures against them.
Given the nature of the problem, it will not be possible to say when all the unknown threats have been uncovered, therefore it will be necessary for this project to be open-ended. Further, until the nature of these threats is known, the cost of countermeasures will also, be unknowable. I would therefore suggest that we waste no time in starting to look into these potentially disastrous possibilities and set up a series of committees to monitor progress. We should also invite tenders for research into the nature of future developments and provide finance accordingly.
Given your position at the centre of this initiative, you will be ideally placed to direct the companies carrying out this never-ending research and subsequent development when your present term as minister for imaginary, scary hokum comes to an end. This will be a job for life, or until the next government comes to its senses and I therefore popose we dub this PROJECT GRAVYTRAIN.
which is more likely?
> Four files in the database were awry
I wonder is "awry" is a code word for "accidentally deleted"?
There are so many possibilities, such as a tablespace that couldn't auto-extend, database files that had permissions or ownership changed. I doubt that we'll ever be told what really went wrong unless this gets taken to court and all the gory details get reported in the technical press.
Just look out for DBA, storage admin or sysadmin vacancies at Morgan Chase - that'll probably be the only clue we'll get.
The folly of hot backups
> and this corruption was replicated in the hot backup.
Uh, well, duh! yeah. These things only protect against hardware faults. Against buggy software or human error (or malice) they are useless, since whatever gets done to the production instance is automatically done to your copy (maybe if they'd used the word "copy" in their systems architecture, rather than "backup" the apparentness of the shortcoming would have been spotted).
it does sound like a strange choice of resilience - given that the system which failed was already clustered and presumably the EMC storage was RAIDed to hell and back. So any single hardware failure could already be detected and hopefully mitigated in the server cluster or the SAN. Sounds a lot like "management by glossy brochure" rather than a professionally designed _and_ _tested_ failover system.
bluffs of our time
Classic fishing expedition stuff. So far as the tax authorities goes they don't have to use the tech, they just have to make people *think* they're using it. Since no-one on the end of a phone call from the tax man (or woman) can possibly know what they've got wired up to their phone, the conversation can be as simple as:
"Sorry Mr. Pete 2, but our Voice Risk Analyser says you're not being entirely truthful there"
"Ok, you've got me. I *did* forget to include the £1.04p interest from my curent account in last year's tax return"
Which, when it comes down to it is exactly the same technique that the TV Detector vans have been using for decades.
Isn't that just one of the benefits of urban living?
Let's face it there aren't that many (except possibly the emergency services arriving while there's still something to put out, or a pulse that can be revived). The thing that makes the countryside so desirable is the LACK of other people. Where your next-door neighbour isn't forced to earwig your phone conversations and you can't hear their digestive problems every time their toilet flushes. The difference between high density living and low density living means that services are always going to be cheaper to provide for those living cheek-by-jowl than they are for those where the only sound is a goat farting, half a mile away.
Depending on who made what choices, is it reasonable for townies to have to subsidise country folk for the high cost of providing them with fast internet connectivity? If they made a conscious decision to move to the country to "get away from it all". Those who live in rural areas are already used to the lack of things such as public transport, nearby banks and shops. They accept that prices will be higher and choice lower when all you have is a village shop - compared with an ASDA just down the road. Basically: yer makes yer bed .....
All the world's a stage
and all the men and women merely players:
And at this event, you were a player too. The reason the local leaders give speeches at things like this has nothing to do with the event. it's all about tomorrow's newspaper headlines. In that respect, what he says isn't for your consumption, either.
So far as the disorganisation and in-fighting goes, that's all just part of the fun, too. NO committee effort that I've ever seen has been set up for the benefit of the cause it's supposed to serve - it's there for the players (yes, them again) to score points off each other and try for the position of "top dog". It also helps them gain recognition within the companies or administrations they work in where they can increase their own status by collecting more committee memberships than their colleagues. After all, once you get past a certain level recognition counts for more than a pay-rise anyway.
Who writes this stuff?
> virtualisation is a stepping stone to the cloud
(that splashing sound was someone stepping off the stepping stone, falling through the cloud and ending up in the river).
it gets even better:
> unless an organisation changes its behaviour across the board, then things will be done in the same vein as they have always been done
What all this verbiage boils down to is that some IT operations are using virtualisation. Some of those use it to host lots of old servers on fewer, larger boxes and some use it to provide flexibility when they need extra capacity.
Have I missed anything?
Interpretation of the law, but not tested
What we seem to have here is a clever guy, being asked by the cops what he, or she (the gender of the QC not being revealed - or relevant) thinks the law might mean. They then take this as gospel and decide on that basis not to pursue anything which their chap thinks might not count.
So effectively this QC has decided what the law will be. I guess we'll never be given the chance to discover what an actual court - with real defendants, a jury an' stuff - would make of this, since the police don't seem to be inclined to present a case for their consideration.
This narrow interpretation, narrow to the point of almost making the law impossible to break, does relieve the fuzz of a lot of work. It's difficult to tell whether that's due to their avoidance of anything to do with 'pooters (such as not investigating identify theft) or simply that the law was poorly constructed.
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