* Posts by Peter2

762 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

Peter2
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Apple now have to pay 13 billion to Ireland. Ireland doesn't want to charge this because Apple are blackmailing them with the job losses thing.

The average wage in Ireland is 26,800. This multiplied by 6000 comes to a wage bill of 160million per year. 13,000,000,000 / 160,000,000 = 81.25 years worth of salary for Apple's Irish staff.

Isin't it worth simply hitting Apple with the full tax rate and then paying the laid off Apple staff to read the newspaper for the rest of their natural lives? Given that they probably tax employees as well and would get non trivial interest on 13 billion if you just left it in a bank, one suspects that 13 billion would actually last longer than 82.25 years.

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EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland

Peter2
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Re: What I don't get...

What we should do is write a very loosely worded new law called the "taking the piss" act.

On conviction via jury trial for "taking the piss" a company shall be taxed by a percentage of the companies annual turnover decided by the judge instead of on (declared) profits.

/problem.

You'd only need to make one conviction, everybody else would frantically settle with HMRC to avoid punative tax rates. We'd then be able to pay down our national debt and or increase spending on services that have had to be cut because of rampant tax evasion.

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Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors

Peter2
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Re: Where's the hand wringing over other companies?

"And consider how horrible the conditions were in US factories a century ago, or UK factories before that. It is easy for us to get all high and mighty expecting other countries to have the same worker protection laws and enforcement we take for granted, because we've already "made it" economically."

The point is that these companies are moving production to these countries explicitly *BECAUSE* they don't have any worker or enviromental protection laws. Not having to protect or renumerate their employees to any reasonable standard is why they are cheap. Because they are cheap is why they mercilessly laid off their western employees who made the company what it is, and hired cheaper foreign labour.

If you are going to have a minimum wage and working conditions in your own country then you need to ensure that the same conditions are in place on foreign staff or your simply committing a nasty form of national suicide as your own economic base gets eaten out from underneath you.

While multinational companies are somewhat less dangerous today than they were in the days when the East India Company literially owned most of a sub continent outright I submit that multinationals are still at best a menace.

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Google broke its own cloud by doing two updates at once

Peter2
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Re: Change management 101

"I'd add one more:"

Too true. I was a bit slapdash with the list in any number of ways, I should have said business continuity/disaster recovery plan rather than backups but I think people got the general thrust of where I was going...

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Peter2
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Re: Change management 101

When there is no real definition of competence and every IT professional considers that everything not done via their personally prefered way is incompetent, then incompetence would run rife, wouldn't it?

However, if you go by a few measures:-

1) Do you have backups?

2) Can you restore them?

3) you've tested that?

4) is the uptime for all of your systems >99.9% per month? (that's under 45 mins of unscheduled downtime during working hours, per month it's hardly difficult to meet)

5) your enviroment is virus/malware free without being user free?

6) Do the users have (working and adequate) tools to do their jobs?

7) You have a set of documentation for your site that will let somebody pick up with a minimum of fuss if you have an intimate encouter with a bus?

Then you'd probably come to the conclusion that the vast majority of people in IT are in fact competent, even if their approach to getting the job done is different to mine. Ultimately, "does it work" is the test.

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French submarine builder DCNS springs leak: India investigates

Peter2
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Isin't it quite usual to have a third to half of a given fleet in for maintenance, upgrades, working up/training etc? A quick looks suggests that only six of the US Navy's 12 supercarriers are operational at the moment.

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Stop lights, sunsets, junctions are tough work for Google's robo-cars

Peter2
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Re: Roundabouts...

In the UK we don't generally have any traffic lights on roundabouts, so that is probably not going to help much.

The laws of the UK state that you should give way to vehicles oncoming from the right, however most drivers either forget this (or don't know) so people generally tend to respect the other laws involved, those being the laws of physics.

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Paper mountain, hidden Brexit: How'd you say immigration control would work?

Peter2
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Re: Propaganda by CEO's

"In the US there are huge subsidies for farmers."

There are in the UK, and the entire of Europe as well.

The basic point is that it is currently being accepted that there is no alternative to uncontrolled immigration because we need huge amounts of unskilled labour for farming. My point is simply that there are alternatives. No money to buy machinery? Politically, interest free loans to buy machinery is likely to be more politically acceptable to a large segment of the population than saying that we have to have large amounts of unskilled migration.

There are choices, it's just that they aren't being discussed.

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Peter2
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Re: Propaganda by CEO's

Personally, i'd prefer unskilled imigration to be very sharply reduced.

There is a really weird thing where people say "oh, we need lots of unskilled labour for farming to gather fruit." without considering how other countries manage. How do other countries manage without massive levels of unskilled migration? A quick look around will lead you to something like this:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt73GOk4JRY

Now, why wasn't mechanical fruit picking like this invented in the UK? Even more, why is it not USED in the UK despite being invented, built and widely deployed elseware? I'm *sure* the answer has nothing to do with high competition for seasonal unskilled labour keeping wages at (or below) the minimum wage.

Western workers don't want to do unskilled manual labour? No problem, economics takes care of the problem via automating it, substituting the unskilled jobs for higher paid semi skilled labour and then machine operators, mechanics etc which western people do want to do.

So do we *need* unskilled migration, or is it a political choice to save farmers having to make capital investments in automation equipment that every other higher wage economy uses...? Answers on a postcard.

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Sex ban IT man loses appeal – but judge labels order 'unpoliceable'

Peter2
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Re: Medical treatment?

"The law in this country seems to be skewed to devastating an accused persons life before any evidence is produced or proven in a court of law. Punish first, ask questions later mentality seems to prevail.."

It does now. Quite some time ago it was the case that newspapers etc did not dare to publish information about a court case prior to it being heard in court for fear of the courts dragging the newspaper in for contempt of court, as the courts seemed to be of the opinion that they decided who was innocent or guilty, not a court of public opinion which has been given a story by one half of a case, without perhaps having the facts.

If courts started dragging editors in for contempt of court again then it'd change pretty switftly.

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My headset is reading my mind and talking behind my back

Peter2
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Re: Fat-Burning Hats

"Shouldn't be too hard- you burn a lot of energy regulating your temperature, and the head is one of the places that looses most heat"

When I did my D of E some years (!) ago some smartass made a comment about the amount of heat lost through the head, and the (ex miltary) instructor testily pointed out that this particular nugget of wisdom comes from arctic enviroment studies where the outside tempreture is in negative numbers and the person is wearing an inch thick insulation everywhere else on the body other than the head.

He suggested that this might not be quite so correct in the UK.

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Password strength meters promote piss-poor paswords

Peter2
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Don't forget sites that demand fixed length passwords without using special characters.

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New UK trade deals would not compensate for loss of single market membership

Peter2
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Re: Also, the reverse would apply

"Norway has said it will veto us joining the EFTA".

Citation needed.

I think the actual quote from Norway's PM was:-

"The most important thing we can do is to safeguard national, Norwegian interests. An EFTA agreement will give us a good relationship with the UK. We can also get [a good relationship with the UK] through other agreements as well. And do we want Britain to be involved in dictating what the EFTA negotiates with third countries? Will our key national interests being benefited by that? That is the discussion we need to have,” Solberg said, pointing out that the dynamics of the EFTA negotiations with other countries will change."

This is considerably more nuanced than "Norway has said it will veto us joining the EFTA".

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Peter2
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Re: Really ....

"Does anyone anywhere have a source for such policy and research from those who championed the Leave vote? This is a genuine request for information not a troll."

eureferendum.com

They have a number of monographs covering various things in very simple form as well as the Flexible Exit plan (aka FLEXIT) which El Reg covered some while back.

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Russia is planning to use airships as part of a $240bn transport project

Peter2
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Re: No mention of the Hindenburg?

"One of them flew into the ocean for unknown reasons. A prominent theory is that their altimeter was grossly out of calibration, they found themselves suddenly approaching the looming surface in stormy night conditions, and they dipped their stern into the water at speed by applying hard up elevator."

It sounds like the altimeter was working perfectly! An altimeter is just an aneroid barometer configured with a display with a dial that measures in altitude rather than a dial from STORMY to VERY DRY.

In other words, it doesn't actually measure your height from the ground, but the barometric pressure. This will drop the higher you get from ground level so lower pressure = higher altitude as far as an aneroid barometer based altimeter is concerned.

Unfortunately the barometric pressure at ground level will drop when a storm approaches (barometers are widely used for weather forecasting) so the mark on your altimeter may read 200 feet when your actually sitting on the tarmac until you hit the "zero" button. Or in this case they might have been slowly dropping altitude and finally going into the water with the pilot reading the same altitude.

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Peter2
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Re: 1957: Russia is planning to launch an artificial satellite

The biggest historical problems with airships seem to be that :-

1) They used hydrogen, which burns and explodes quite well because helium wasn't available. No longer a problem.

2) Because the structural materials used were heavy, the amount used was kept to a minimum resulting in a structurally weak airship. Today we have lightweight composites and computer modelling to show these things, so this is unlikely to be a problem.

Additionally, there is the point that people stopped trying to build airships. Why? By the late 1930's powered aircraft had the performance to take over pretty much any role that airships could perform.

I can't see any particular reason why it should be impossible to create a viable airship these days. Making one that is economically viable compared to established air transport is going to be one problem, and the safety record that heavier than air aviation has established after a long trail of disasters is going to be difficult to compete with, especially since heavier than air established it's safety record via the trial and error method after disasters, whereas a few learning disasters is likely to put paid to airships again.

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Judges put FCC back in its box: No, you can't override state laws, not even for city broadband

Peter2
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Re: The view from the UK

As a Brit, doesn't the court ruling just say that a government can't run an ISP and compete with a private business from taxpayers money?

Can't you just apologise profusely to the court and transfer all of the (working?) assets into a Cooperative so it's nominally independant and then do a door to door leafleting exercise explaining the situation and that your local ISP can continue to run for $amount per year and asking for people interested in subscribing? Split the cost between the number of members, and job done.

Or bill the town council for internet access to their offices (and home working staff...) for $runningcosts? Even if this is wildly inefficient for the stated purpose, I don't think there is any avenue to prevent government from being wildly inefficient and wasting taxpayers money.

Either way, ruling complied with, and ISP retained with i's dotted and t's crossed. Life carries on as before. If you want to then expand, money could be raised via public subscription (ie crowdsourcing, kickstarter et al) and a leaflet drop to ensure interest.

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Amazon launches its own plane line. Sort of

Peter2
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E-business market = A central and huge, yet inexpensive (per square foot) warehouse which holds a huge amount of stock of a huge number of different products which doesn't have to worry about looking pretty because no customer ever sees the backend which takes payments online and then posts products out.

Supermarkets moving into e-business already have a big warehouse like thing (ie; the supermarket) and their only additional cost for going online is to hire somebody to walk around the shop, pull a product from the shelf and then post it out. This makes sense as an extension of what they are doing.

Bricks and mortar shop = a chain of little shops which are insanely expensive (per square foot) and hold very few products, and very little stock. It also gets taxed to death by the local authority who then make it as difficult as possible for the little shop to make a profit by charging customers more for car parking than the average transaction in the shop is worth.

Amazon setting up chains of small physical shops on high streets makes very little sense.

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15 million tech-fried Brits have tried giving themselves a 'digital detox'

Peter2
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Re: Non Smart Phone

Google "nokia 215" or visit your local ASDA. £25 for an unlocked device that takes a single SIM version, or £30 if your after one that'll take 2 SIM cards.

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Peter2
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The point is that these are facebook obsessives that realised that they were on their devices 24/7 with a million "friends", no actual friends and they discovered that they were messaging people 2 metres away on facebook instead of actually speaking to them. (though it doesn't say if they knew that they "knew" the "friends" in the same room)

IT people have occasional problems with work/life balance. These people just have a problem with a twitter&facebook/life balance. They need to get a life, not a digital detox.

Bloody hell, you know things are bad when introverted and antisocial geeks such as myself can legitimately mock extroverted socialities. Hells, according to the studies we actually socialise more with real people than they do. :/

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Black Hats control Jeep's steering, kill brakes

Peter2
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Re: Security theatre

This is the important point. Back in the old days, you could get this access via OBDII. It's actually a read & write interface. In my car it's writeable when the key is in the ignition and the battery is on, but the engine is not running. If the engine is on, it's read only.

Which I think is a perfectly sensible way of dealing with this, personally. It prevents all sort of attacks, including the "person walked past with a laptop, did a factory reset, unlocked the door, started the engine and an accomplice drove off with your car without needing the key.

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Official: AMD now stands for Avoiding Miserable Death

Peter2
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No, we really, really need competition for Intel.

If we hadn't of hand the sort of technological arms race in chippery we have had between AMD & Intel then we wouldn't have chips at anywhere near the price and performance we have today.

No AMD = a good day for shareholders at Intel as R&D basically gets axed and prices go up through the roof.

Personally I quite like the trend of getting more powerful chips that use the same or less energy for the same or less money each generation, and I don't think it would continue to even remotely the same extent if AMD suffered A Miserable Death. May this be long Avoided.

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You can buy Windows 10 Enterprise E3 access for the price of a coffee

Peter2
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Re: And so it begins

$84, or £63 per year for one user. Or £79 for a grade B (scratched) refurbished computer with a years warrenty and a perpetual Win7 Pro MAR license.

Now I can see the attraction of a subscription model for office, that makes sense if you have been reusing a really old office VLK and want to move up from Office 2003/2007 but can't afford to buy several dozen/hundred office licenses. There, a subscription model genuinely makes sense.

. . . but Windows is not something that people actually want. We just need it, because you have to have something to run other software on. Are they actually mad in thinking that we are going to pay £189 for three years of using software so bad that you then have to spend about that again on security software for it?

If they expect to sell any at that price then I expect to see something useful that i'd want bundled with it.

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Falling PC tide strands Seagate's disk drive boats. Will WDC follow?

Peter2
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Re: OT but you started it

The water goes in and out. Something about time and tide, apparently.

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Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister

Peter2
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https://www.f35.com/global/participation/united-kingdom-ip

Due to our participation in the F35 program we get to build 15% of each jet. There are going to be quite a few built (>3000). As a country we literially make more money by buying these than not. We'd make money even if we immediately put the jets through a car crusher after taking delivery.

Except that would put people off from buying them, and the more they produce the more money UK PLC makes so we have to say...

It's a wonderful, reveloutionary aircraft that your military couldn't live without!

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Peter2
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Re: sub-launched nuclear armed cruise missiles

"Build some sub-launched nuclear armed cruise missiles"

Except that the existing cruise missiles aren't designed to carry nuclear warheads, and the warheads that we have built for Trident which are designed to get tossed into low orbit and fall back from orbit like a thunderbolt from hell aren't going to fit on a cruise missile.

So we would need to:-

1) Design and build new cruise missiles.

2) Design and build new nuclear warheads for the cruise missiles.

This is somehow going to be a quick and cheap option...?

Also:-

3) We would have to accept that everybody is going to freak out anytime that anybody fires cruise missiles near them because nobody knows who's firing and suddenly and cruise missile might be nuclear armed, massively increasing the probability of somebody panicking and starting a nuclear war as an accident.

4) Accept that cruise missiles are only marginally faster and more difficult to shoot down than a V1 missile in WW2. They aren't going to get through any air defence network, and everybody is going to know that which is going to massively reduce the deterence effect.

5) Accept that pretty much all British vessels aren't going to be able to dock anywhere ever, because we won't want to say that they aren't carrying nuclear weapons even if they aren't as by exception it would show which ships had nuclear weapons deployed onboard.

6) Accept that due to the above nuclear weapons are only going to be deployed when there is a crisis...

7) Leading to news stories such as "amongst deteriorating relations with %country% nuclear weapons were equipped on %warship%. This is of course going to either cause relations to go further downhill or encourage somebody to nuke our ports first to prevent our weapons being sent to sea. :/

I'd like to note that The Guardian produces good material on many subjects, but when it comes to military matters the standard of their reporting falls far below the standard you'd expect in either the Daily Mail or The Sun.

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Sociology student gets a First for dissertation on Kardashians

Peter2
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Re: it is spelt

El Reg drawing our attention to these alien things that have no obvious connection to intelligent life was the first many of us knew about these creatures, and personally I would not be unhappy if it had also been the last thing I had heard about them.

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Australia's ABC suspends presenter over 'Wi-Fi is dangerous' claims

Peter2
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Re: At what watt does wifi become harmful?

The physics people reakon that >4w might, maybe start to have some effect, but anything under this is definately fine.

20w somewhere in the UHF band is enough to cause burns if held in skin contact, as per British squaddies complaining about RF burns from early versions of the BOWMAN radios. All of this is non ionising radiation so has no long term effect.

I can't immediately remember any cases of people being fried while doing stupid things like painting an antenna tower while it's turned on etc, so one assumes that either the frequency is wrong to cause heating despite hundreds of kilowatts of power, or their proceedures are very good. Given how stupid people can manage to be, I am going to assume that it's the frequencies. :/

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Michael Gove says Britain needs to create its own DARPA

Peter2
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I thought that Labour was in power in 2001?

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Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

Peter2
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Not very well.

Even people without photographic memories remember the name of their most important contacts, and which company they work at well enough to google the company and get the reception phone number.

I know, because I have had a few suppliers call me having moved jobs who have done this and even got through our receptionist who knows full well my enthusiasm for sales calls is zero and has my explicit blessing to stonewall and or just hang up on salesdroids. While they couldn't remember the price lists they didn't need to. They just offered a price with a generous discount to give me a reason to change suppliers.

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Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

Peter2
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Re: I've got a horrible feeling about this

"The referendum seems to have given the masses a socially acceptable way to demonstrate their wish to not be part of a multi-cultural Britain. Call it job protection or racism the result is the same - a sudden open door to not have to vote UKIP or BNP, but get what they want."

I would call it "Democracy".

If you have ~50% of the population telling you that they don't want something then at a minimum you need to stop and listen to them.

The very fact that parties such as the BNP & UKIP exist is a warning sign that a section of the population feel that their views are not being listened to. Not addressing the concerns and greivences of a large section (~50%?!) of the population is a sign of a deeply unhealthy democracy.

If the concerns of this portion of the population are addressed and dealt with by mainstream parties then any political parties around these issues will collapse as their support base is eroded. If the discussion of the problems these people raise is continually suppressed, dismisssed and misrepresented then this will only cause radicalisation, and the dminishment or elimination of existing power structures such as Labour/Conservatives and election of representitives these people trust will represent their interests.

The working classes protesting that a middle class agenda for the country is badly hurting them does not mean that the working class is evil. You will not resolve such issues by telling literially half the population that they don't understand enough to vote the way that you want them to, and therefore they shouldn't have the right to vote. The problems won't go away if ignored, they will multiply.

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UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

Peter2
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"Those staffing UK IT departments talk about immigrants as essential in filling positions"

We do? I haven't ever heard anybody say anything like that. Or did they mean that HR says that immigrants are essential to fill IT positions at the salary that they wish to offer?

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Crims set up fake companies to hoard and sell IPv4 addresses

Peter2
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Re: Scarce IPv4 addresses.

Yeah, but if I want a connection on a static IP then the ISP does not *need* to assign me an entire subnet. My home ISP just sets the DHCP lease for the IP to an infinite duration which means that it doesn't change. I'm quite happy with this.

I have one site where the ISP set things up in a similar way. Again, since I can just present this IP directly to the firewall it's not an issue. I have explained this to people at the other ISP's and yet they still insist upon selling me (very cheaply!) a small block of IPv4 addresses that I neither need nor want, contributing to the exaustion of available IPv4 address space.

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Peter2
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IPv4 addresses can't be scarce.

When I set up a remote office my ISP and want a static IP my ISP insists that I have a block of 4 IP's for EACH OFFICE if I want a static IP. Can I use the existing IP's that I already have? No. I have an office which has two lines in from seperate suppliers since it absolutely can't be down. The office has more assigned IPv4 addresses than it has staff.

Shortage, what shortage? I have literially dozens of IPv4 addresses that I neither need nor want but am forced to have if I want a static IP for an office firewall for VPN's etc. I can't help but think that if IPv4 scarcity was being taken a bit more seriously when I want one singlular IP address then the suppliers wouldn't obsessively insist on giving me four.

Then again, this might be another one of those "is it me, or is it everybody else" things.

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Admins in outcry as Microsoft fix borks Group Policy

Peter2
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Re: Thanks for the heads up

If your running a business updates, don't you use WSUS and have a smallish "canary" group of users who won't cripple the business if they encounter problems?

My sacrificial canary group has snuffed it a couple of times over the years which has caused me not to roll out to everybody, preventing serious problems.

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Fresh hell for TalkTalk customers: TeamView trap unleashed

Peter2
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Re: Fighting back

DEL C:\*.* wouldn't work, even if the user had admin privilages it'd only wipe out files on the root directory of C and not subdirectories. Five stars for effort though and a very good effort off the cuff.

"DEL C:\*.* /S /Q" might work, though it'd take ages and be prone to being stopped. My first thought when it comes to quickly causing total disaster is getting them to go into regedit and delete HKLM/Software.

Does anybody have a easily restored Win7 VM they don't mind nuking a few times to find the best way of killing a scammers computer quickly?

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Euro Patent Office prez's brake line cut – aka how to tell you're not popular

Peter2
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If you were going to deliberately sabotage with the intention to cause injury then a few seconds thought suggests to me that you'd be trying to do it in a way that wouldn't be easily detected before he started off on a journey.

Like adjusting the brakes so the pads don't grip the wheel or by greasing the brake pads. Either would probably lead to an accident. That or by doing something like removing the bolts holding the seat or pedals on and then supergluing them in place so that at some point while moving the superglue will fail and the component would detach. Or cutting most of the spokes of the wheel with a hacksaw and filling them in with painted pollyfiller or similar to obtain the same result.

What was actually done just sounds like petty vandalism.

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Galileo satnav fleet waxes orbital

Peter2
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Re: So we will have the satellites...

You assume wrong. Your directly benefiting right now.

Galileo is almost perfectly compatible with the American GPS system and everybody benefits from greater accuracy on the GPS system (the more satilites the better the precision of the location).

The only compatibility exception is that the "kill" switch to turn it off is under EU rather than USA control so if the americans decide to turn off GPS while fighting a war (or just as economic blackmail on somebody) then we still have usable GPS unless they shoot our satilites down.

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Your next server will be a box full of connected stuff, not a server

Peter2
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Re: Modular

I think they mean that in the future you'll be able to hotplug HDD's and PSU's without opening the server case and have them dynamically added to the servers configuration so you can use them without rebooting!

Oh, wait. We've been doing that for ages. :/

Maybe Gartner will be right with a prediction for once. Even if it is predicting that "in the future, we'll have functionality that we already have had for decades".

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Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

Peter2
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Re: Braiiinssss

It's unlikely to be a hoax. This is entirely within the realms of medical possibility as so far as I understand.

When a person stops breathing then parts of the brain start to die from lack of oxygen. This is very well known and reasonably well understood, and most people even know the "3 minutes without oxygen until the brain starts dying off" thing.

What people tend to forget is that when somebody goes down with a heart attack then even if you have a First Aider nearby it tends to take longer than 3 minutes to get them there. Consider this as a sequence of events:-

1) Person collapses and stays lying on the floor

2) People waste 30 seconds to a minute asking the unconcious body if they are ok.

3) People start thinking about calling 999.

4) Somebody discovers that the ambulance is going to take 15-30 minutes and the ambulance helldesk asks if you have a First Aider in the area and if somebody has gone to find one.

5) Somebody goes off to find a first aider

6) The first aider has a worse experiance than a first line helldesk trying to get "WHAT" (somebody collapsed) and "WHERE" (where I need to go) out of an incoherent if not outright hysterical messanger.

7) The First Aider takes a detour to the accident via a First Aid kit (because resusication marks are sort of mandatory when doing mouth to mouth, unless you are totally unconcerned with the possibility of picking up nasty infectious diseases that you could then also pass to your partner etc)

8) The First Aider arrives and applies CPR/AV and stabilises the casualty.

. . . How long did that take?

Betcha it's over 3 minutes so brain damage will have been taken to some extent, which may or may not be reversible. I have been the First Aider in this situation twice, and I do my best not to consider both how much brain damage the person has taken and the survival rates for people who have been resusicated.

My knowledge suggests to me that this sort of treatment is not likely to work a matter of days or weeks after brain deaths, but minutes or hours at the outside. It seem to be more probable to me that this is a treatment for people who were just over the brink after a slightly late resusication than doing a frankenstien.

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Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell

Peter2
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I thought the article was funny, but playing the track had me in tears laughing. Well played guys.

I don't get many sales calls because I am registered with the corporate telephone preference service, and then religiously take calls from market research companies and tell them that we have no IT budget, no outstanding requirements, and everything is outsourced on multi year agreements, which then goes on the experian (etc.) data which means I am not on the lists that most people buy. But that still means that I get salesdroids working at places too tight to use experian and too unprofessional to screen against blacklists calling me anyway.

I'm now considering how I can program this up on my ancient telephone system. I'm thinking manually editing in a 20 minute long message to the file the voicemail greeting plays for an individual extension might be the way forwards. Hmm.

It clearly needs an edit to sound worse though, the sound quality is tood good at the moment. It also needs to fade in and out of sounding like your using VOIP over an unmanaged and overtaxed line to be more convincing. I'm also thinking I could play an interesting shell game with an infinately self referencing automated attendant. That and it should start down from like 3 minutes at quarter speed with longer gaps in the music (which shifts perspective of how long your on hold) and when you get to 15 seconds it should start counting back up with an apology for priority calls going through first. That, and not repeating the same voice message with the same distortion would improve effectiveness dramatically.

Resolving this problem is clearly a priority one issue. (after the bank holiday is over!)

God I almost pity salesdroids for the next few months. If everybody reading this article is thinking something along the lines of "dammit, why didn't I think of that" and implements things like this then life is going to get near unbearable for them.

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Switch survives three hours of beer spray, fails after twelve

Peter2
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Re: RE: I prefer "Rugby for big girls' blouses in armour.".

"Need to be careful, the yanks may not be happy when they get up for their bagels and over easy sunny side up eggs and read this.

This may help.

A brief understanding of a part of English Humour"

---

Americans are famous for not having a sense of humour. They have a sense of humor instead.

*hides*

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BT hauled into Old Bailey after engineer's 7-metre fall broke both his ankles

Peter2
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Re: The three-week trial

It'd be interesting to know a bit more about the individual case, maybe el reg will cover this when it's all finished and more information is available.

Presumably the engineer didn't know he was about to step on a ceiling tile, because nobody in their right mind would deliberately put their weight onto a ceiling tile. Even if the tile didn't break you'd almost certainly be going downwards anyway because the supports are certainly not rated for person sized weights.

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Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?

Peter2
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No discussion about nuclear waste would be complete without mentioning the natural uranium reactor at Oklo that ran for over quarter or a million years, and then neatly did geological disposal of the waste in stable geography where it has remained since safely.

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/181620-2-billion-year-old-african-nuclear-reactor-proves-that-mother-nature-still-has-a-few-tricks-up-her-sleeve

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Tesla books over $8bn in overnight sales claims Elon Musk

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Great looking but...

"we can wait for a point when there is little demand but a big gust happens to be passing the wind farm."

Ok, let's have a look at the National Grid generation history and see how often we have low demand and an excess of wind power then.

http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

So, we use 30GW worth of power overnight. We nominally have 8GW worth of installed wind capacity. This installed capacity has generated peaks of over 2GW but under 5.5GW for generously 20% of the year and has never, ever generated the nominally installed capacity. The remaining 80% of the year has been delivering under 2GW.

So, it looks roughly like the times that the times that your wind farms are going to be generating sufficant power to charge car batteries overnight from an excess of power generated from wind farms is going to be approximately "never".

Over the last week wind has produced less power than coal plants converted to burn trees (sorry, biomass) for the "green" renewable handouts this results in precisely twice. Burning biomass generates less than half what coal plants burning coal produce, which is turn is less than half what nuclear provides 24/7, which is less than half of what is produced by burning gas since gas and gas plants are cheap to build and everybody accepts them to "back up varying outputs from wind farms".

Usually backups are understood to be secondary fallbacks, rather than generating over fifteen times(!) the output of the supposedly primary wind plants.

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Brexit: Time to make your plans, UK IT biz

Peter2
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Re: ...an addendum to the above...

The main problem with the ECHR is that it is drafted from a completely different tradition of law at odds with our own.

We start off with the assumption that you a free to do anything, but those things that are restricted by law.

The ECHR was written for restrictive contentinal systems of law largely written by an emperor who conquered the majority of europe, and it starts from with the assumption that you have no rights other than those granted by his laws.

The two cannot reasonably co-exist which is why so much of the ECHR is a problem when things that create rights such as "you have the right to a private life" is dropped into UK law where it is assumed that you had those rights.

Frankly, if the politicans were sensible then they'd draft two sets of every law for the differing legal systems. But they don't, and then gaze at the horrific mess it creates in surprise.

5
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Bloke coughs to leaking US military aircraft blueprints to China

Peter2
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Re: After only three years?

Given that Lockheed Martin make the F35, and Boeing are one of their competitors without involvement on the project i'd say it's somewhat unlikely that the Chinese have plans for the F35 from Boeing. They could be assumed to have anything on this list though:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Defense,_Space_%26_Security

The interesting ones seem to be the F15 & F18, neither of which are stealth aircraft and frankly given how much things have moved on in the 44 years since the F15 was released i'm not entirely convinced that it would be where I would start from if developing a modern fighter.

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Water treatment plant hacked, chemical mix changed for tap supplies

Peter2
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Re: no prizes for good guess

Frankly, I think it would be nice to have a grown up debate as to what should, and should not be able to be accessed remotely at all.

My view is that the answer to that is something similar to Asimov's first law. "A <system> may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."

The ability to remotely access a car's control systems via a sodding radio's bluetooth/wifi and disable control inputs from the driver (like steering or brakes) should be burned with fire along with the people who allowed the basic system design. Industrial processes and in general anything that can cause harm should be air gapped in the same way the control systems in nuclear power plans are.

Yes, it's going to raise costs. But doing otherwise is critically dangerous with things like flouride going in drinking water:-

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199401133300203

From that it seems quite clear that if a hacker had of dumped the entire flouride store into the water supply then nobody would have noticed until either they had to refill it or people started turning up in hospital. Utterly ludicrious.

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Computers shouldn't smoke. Cigarettes aren't healthy for anyone

Peter2
Silver badge

Re: Keyboard hell (@Binky)

If you are British then you buy the IBM Model M, UK Layout which has the pound sign on it.

I know, because i'm typing this on one.

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Labour will create FUD and then abstain on UK Snoopers' Charter vote

Peter2
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Re: Opposition?

1) Labour are in favour of warrentless snooping (just look at what they did while in power!)

2) Labour hold enough votes to block this if they voted against this along with all of the other MP's against it.

Therefore, it appears obvious that they are abstaining because they want it to go through, but also want to be able to protest that "we didn't vote for this" in the future, because nothing in the universe has a half life shorter than a politicians memory for inconvenient facts.

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