* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

5072 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Building automation systems are so bad IBM hacked one for free

I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Sadly unsurprising

Ledswinger,

It does depend on what's hooked up to a BMS though. We sell kit that only has a one-way connection. So we don't have to worry about security. We just output a few different kinds of fault flag, with a different connection for each. So the BMS can't screw up our kit's controls - which can only be done with physical access.

Except we do have some variable speed stuff that takes information from the air-conditioning on how fast to spin the fans. So you might be able to do some damage by continuously teling it to change motor speeds.

You can do lots of damage with direct control of pumps and valves. If I have control of a pump and a single outlet several floors up in a high rise building, then I can create a vacuum in the sytem, turn the pump back on and create massive water hammer - and spike the pressure up to way more than the pipes will stand. If you've got a pump operating at 10 litres/second at 5-10 bar, then that's an awful lot of water spraying around everywhere. And lots of pipe joints you're going to have to go and fix. You can also knacker electric motors by rapidly switching them on and off - if people have disabled their normal protection when giving control the BMS.

Not to mention the gas system and boilers.

I remember writing something ten years ago, when were looking at using wireless sensors/controls. Saying that it was too scary to do, and that wires were cheaper and less hassle. Giant water tanks and concrete basement plantrooms tend to bugger up your signals anyway - but the security problems are just as bad - particularly given that's an area we have no experience or expertise in. And neither does anyone else in the industry.

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South Korea abandons manufacturing enclave in nuclear North

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Re: Lets just hope ...

I'm pretty sure it was the North that closed it last time. Can't remember if it was over the report into the sinking of the South Korean Navy ship, or the incident where the North shelled the South, and they returned fire.

At that point, the South Korean government went to quite a bit of trouble to keep the place open. The road was cut off, so it wasn't able to work, but they left some of their staff there to watch over the machinery and keep stuff ticking over.

I guess they've given up on it. It was pretty much the last vestige of the Sunshine policy, of being nice to the North, in hopes of better relations. As far back as Clinton, the US government often got frustrated in that they tried to negotiate with the North - but couldn't even get the South to agree with them on policy. Let alone China. Fat boy seems happy with just relying on Chinese trade to keep the place going - although he keeps pissing them off as well. It'll be interesting if China ever decides the DPRK aren't worth the hassle - or gives them up as a bargaining chip for something they want. I doubt the regime could survive very long without oil, but what would it do about it?

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Norks stabilise non-threatening space speck ... for about five minutes

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Devil

Re: Dirty bomb

What, you mean he's put his porn stash into orbit?

I guess that's one way to hide it from the wife...

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That shouldn't worry him, bearing in mind that his Grandad is still President. Kim Il Sung is Eternal Leader or something, and so the DPRK are the only country to have a dead head of state. Crazy place, crazy guys...

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Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

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He's Ukranian.

I'm sure he'll still take the vodka though...

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I ain't Spartacus
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A nice piece here that covers diplomatic asylum - and how it only applies to the Latin American states that signed up to it: linky

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I ain't Spartacus
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We're signed up to the Vienna conventions on diplomacy. Which I believe are universal.

South America have a different tradition. Partly because El Presidente keeps having to make a run for it, as yet another group of unhappy colonels sieze the radio station and shoot-up the palace. So he jumps into the nearest embassy, they then keep him safe until either the coup collapses, or it's certain they've won. Then they negotiate safe passage and exile, for whatever ministers were also quick enough on their feet.

Sanctuary in embassies is also recognised for political dissidents, journalists and the like.

But few countries outside South America have signed up to this. The UK diplomat I read stuff by (Charles Crawford) says that the Foreign Office are actively hostile to having people seek asylum in the embassy. You're there to get a specific job done, which is keeping channels open between governments, and this gets in the way of that, and can make relations extremely awkward.

My impression from their report was that they spent a lot of time talking about Assange's fear of being sent (refouled) from Sweden to the US - and that neither the UK or Swedish authorities have taken account of Ecuador granting him political asylum. This they seem to be claiming gives him some special status which trumps our laws, hence he should be packed off to Ecuador forthwith.

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Re: The USA has won ...

4) What's wrong with you?

I'm pissed off with liars. And a continual polluting of public discussions with bollocks. And people who refuse to learn, when this is pointed out to them.

Assange was accused of rape. That's what the Swedish EAW says. This was covered in Assange's appeal. It's also rape under UK law. All the crap about "sex by surprise" or "Sweden's system is different and just looking at a woman funny over there counts as rape" gets repeated on every single discussion of this. It's bollocks. He's accused of rape. Plain and simple. Look up the judgement of the Court of Appeal if you don't believe me.

He's accused of attempting to use physical force to have sex, after being refused sex without putting on a condom. He then allegedly relented, put on his condom and carried on. But then had sex again after she'd fallen asleep without condom. Both of those are sex without consent, or "putting his willy where it wasn't wanted" - and both count as rape under UK law and Swedish law.

Assange and his legal and PR teams have been caught lying about this repeatedly. And so his supporters do too. Then refuse to be educated. Hence my little rant.

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Thanks to the UN tribunal

It's a really weird decision, in many ways. It starts off with a statement on their website, where a bit of the press release has been copied and pasted twice. They had the complaint in September 2014, decided in December 2015! And so two months later seem to have screwed up the deadline.

There's then a statement from the chair of the tribunal that their decision is legally binding. At least in the sense that it's based on international law. Huh? Are they a court? I'm not sure they're even all lawyers! So what it actually is, is a legal opinion. Hopefully based on the law, though their press statement makes bugger-all sense, and doesn't say why they've come to the decision. Other than Sweden's lack of diligence in pursuing the case.

I tried to read the full document, but it's incredibly badly laid out. You open the nice Word document, and get an error message, followed by this horribly formatted thing in columns.

And rather than laying out their decision, it covers the submissions from each party. Sometimes with comments. I got bored halfway through Sweden. The even weirder bit is that it comments on the Swedish stuff, saying where it's failed to cover points made by Assange's team, but in the bits on his submissions doesn't say where they're batshit insane, or actually have a point.

So one of their points is he was apparently in solitary in Wandsworth. For ten days. I'm assuming this is because you don't tend to mix celebrity prisoners with the general population, but didn't get to the UK bit, so don't know.

They then describe being out on bail as house arrest. He was under restrictive conditions, on a tag and not allowed to sleep anywhere else. But then he was accused of fleeing from arrest in Sweden, so he was definitely a flight risk. Given he later ran from justice to hide in the Ecuadorian embassy.

They complain about the length of his "house arrest". But that was entirely because he was appealing extradition. No mention seems to be made that this is a) his choice. And more importantly, b) proof that it's not arbitrary in that there was an ongoing legal process being followed.

There is some play of the fact that he's not actually been charged. I don't know if they've therefore decided that Sweden's legal system doesn't meet international norms. Because that's clearly an artefact of him fleeing Sweden before they could do their pre-charge interrogation.

There's then some comment on the fact that Ecuador have granted him asylum. And how this should be recognised, and therefore we should grant him safe passage to Ecuador to enjoy his right to that asylum. I'm out of my depth on international law here - so can't help. Does the deliberations of a proper court system (UK and Sweden) trump an embassy and government granting asylum - given that one uses public due process and the other is a private decision? Or are they saying that anyone who can get asylum from any government has a get out of jail free card? They may have covered it in the bit I didn't read.

They make the fair point that forcing someone to flee to an embassy for asylum by persecution is the same as imprisonment. But nowhere could I find that they'd said this was what had happened. I guess I'll have to read it again, at the weekend.

Their summary only says that Sweden should have acted faster. But doesn't say this wasn't possible due to Assange fleeing justice twice.

Which is the exact point that their one dissenting opinion made.

I've not seen much decent dissection of the report. Other than a bit from the Guardian here.

He also didn't find much justification for the findings, but hasn't had much more time to study it than me.

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Megaphone

Re: The USA has won ...

No one has ever accused him of "putting his willy where it wasn't wanted"

That is the very definition of rape. Your hero Assange is accused of rape. Get this into your thick fucking skulls! No more of this shit!

Sure, he may well be innocent. Though I'm struggling to maintain my normally strong belief of innocent until proven guilty after 5 years of this fucking circus. But the accusations are simple. They are clear. And for all Assange's lies, and his attempts to smear his accusers, the accusation is still rape.

Deal with it!

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Happy

Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

What happens if he's arrested by the Swedish Chef from the Muppets?

Preferably to the tune of Yakety Sax...

God, that's a mental image I'm struggling to get out of my head now. Sorry.

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The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

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I can't see banner ads

I just don't look in that area of the browser. It's not conscious, as I sometimes find there's a menu bar hiding up there that I need - and it takes ages to find. Website design is mostly very similar though. The top of the page is usually dead space, or worse - is flashing annoying crap.

And I'm not anti-advertising. I'm happy to enjoy an ad that makes the effort to be funny, or even just has a nice tune. Although I do want to punch the people who design the ones that try to stay in your head by being actively annoying - which just makes me dislike their brand.

I even don't notice most ads that appear as boxes within articles now.

I think this is partly because online ads are just so shit. With TV they sometimes make an effort. Online I can barely recall seeing an ad that was anything other than logo+picture+dull slogan. The only ones that are noticably different are utterly obnoxious and launch video without permission or fly shitty banners down over the screen so you can't see what you're doing. And even then, none of those that I've been forced to notice have ever been interesting or funny. And now I employ Flashblock to stop them doing it.

Finally the quality of online ads is awful. Supposedly respectable organisations will accept flashing ads that say, "click on this to win a free iPad." Or "take this illegal and probably dangerous pill to maigcally reduce your belly fat." Shameful! It makes the other advertising look shit by being associated with it, and makes the website owners look like dodgy fucking spivs.

The only online ads I click on are on the phone or tablet, when trying to scroll the screen leads to erroneous clicking.

This is a real problem, as so much of the interent is funded by ads. And yet it's such a hostile environment that the users are coming to hate them more and more.

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Who would code a self-destruct feature into their own web browser? Oh, hello, Apple

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Devil

A female goat is a nanny.

Hence the conversation...

Wife: What were you just doing online dear?

Husband: I was just looking for a new nanny

[meanwhile husband is mashing the delete browser history button]

Husband [under breath]: Phew! That was a bit hairy...

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I ain't Spartacus
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IE6?

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Sir Michael Lyons tells .uk registry Nominet: Time to grow up

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Devil

Re: Is it something in the water?

I suspect it's because they've got nothing to do any more.

Sure, there's a bit of housekeeping, and taking on new staff to replace people that leave. But they've all now got a nice steady income, and a bunch of more or less organised procedures on how to handle stuff. So what's left? International junkets to have arguments about changing things, or not doing so. And then looking at the pretty decent cashflows and thinking: How can I increase them and make a nice bonus for myself?

The devil makes work for idle hands.

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What's it like to work for a genius and Olympic archer who's mates with Richard Branson?

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Yes. Everyone knows that Excel is all the database anyone would ever need.

Oh God! The flashbacks! The nested ifs and vlookups. The brackets! The horror!

...whimper...

I remember the day I took over a "database" responsible for running a £20m budget. On Excel. It took me about 2 weeks with a whiteboard and a lot of paper and highlighter pen ink to work out what it did. A day to change the colour scheme from purple on brown, black on hideous flourescent green and the like. My eyes! Another 2 weeks to re-write it so it actually worked properly. Another week to test that I hadn't screwed it up. A week to put the data back in correctly. And a few weeks to fail to persuade my boss to buy some proper software to do it, or to get someone competent to make it into a proper database, using something a touch more robust than Excel.

I think it was a 200MB file, extensively linked to 3 other equally huge Excel abominations - and I know that some other people linked their stuff to it across the network. It was the sort of file you hit open on, then wandered off to make a coffee. Back in the 90s, when 1GB of RAM was something that happened to other people.

It worked though, but it scared me. Infernal audit were called in, and after two weeks pronounced that they couldn't find a single mistake. I suspect they just couldn't untangle the spaghetti and were bluffing...

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Microsoft's malware mitigator refreshed, but even Redmond says it's no longer needed

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Happy

Didn't you send Justin Bieber and Celine Dion to the USA? I think Canada has much to answer for!

Of course, we sent them Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan, so are probably not in the best position to comment...

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Re: In my day, this was all fields

The Windows 10 shell, is nicer than the Windows 8 one though...

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Assange will 'accept arrest' on Friday if found guilty

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Re: Go and never darken our shores again

Bota,

Thanks for your reply. An interesting and well balanced New Yorker article: link here

As you say, Raffi Khatchadourian does address whether there was a war crime. I'll point out that he's a journalist, and so no more an expert on the matter than I am. Nor does he quote any expert sources to back up his opinion. But he does say:

Assange saw these events in sharply delineated moral terms, yet the footage did not offer easy legal judgments. In the month before the video was shot, members of the battalion on the ground, from the Sixteenth Infantry Regiment, had suffered more than a hundred and fifty attacks and roadside bombings, nineteen injuries, and four deaths; early that morning, the unit had been attacked by small-arms fire. The soldiers in the Apache were matter-of-fact about killing and spoke callously about their victims, but the first attack could be judged as a tragic misunderstanding. The attack on the van was questionable—the use of force seemed neither thoughtful nor measured—but soldiers are permitted to shoot combatants, even when they are assisting the wounded, and one could argue that the Apache’s crew, in the heat of the moment, reasonably judged the men in the van to be assisting the enemy. Phase three may have been unlawful, perhaps negligent homicide or worse. Firing missiles into a building, in daytime, to kill six people who do not appear to be of strategic importance is an excessive use of force. This attack was conducted with scant deliberation, and it is unclear why the Army did not investigate it.

The first attack is the one that kills the journalists and the armed group with them. The second is when they attack people that have gone to help after the first - some of whom I remember as being armed. The third attack is a Hellfire missile strike on a building that I don't remember from the video:

Assange had decided to exclude the Hellfire incident from the film; the attack lacked the obvious human dimension of the others, and he thought that viewers might be overloaded with information.

And I guess that explains why. So it's possible the bit they cut out does show a war crime. I'd have to see it. That certainly looks like a breach of the rules of engagement - at least it would be for the air force. But helicopters are counted as ground forces, so may operate under different rules of engagement. Air strikes tend to be either planned, or called in by ground controllers - whereas this helicopter was operating independently as a sort of flank guard for an operation a few streets away.

So thanks for the article. I learned something. I'd agree that the footage could have been helpful in improving the public debate, although I'd question the way it was used by Wikileaks. But it certainly wasn't an example of some sinister cover-up of major war crimes. And the fact that Wikileaks put the spotlight on a military incident that should have been investigated doesn't let Assange off scot free when he should be investigated for serious allegations of rape.

I'll end with a nice (and highly relevant) quote from the New Yorker piece:

a deeper question that WikiLeaks must address: What is it about? The Web site’s strengths—its near-total imperviousness to lawsuits and government harassment—make it an instrument for good in societies where the laws are unjust. But, unlike authoritarian regimes, democratic governments hold secrets largely because citizens agree that they should, in order to protect legitimate policy. In liberal societies, the site’s strengths are its weaknesses. Lawsuits, if they are fair, are a form of deterrence against abuse. Soon enough, Assange must confront the paradox of his creation: the thing that he seems to detest most—power without accountability—is encoded in the site’s DNA, and will only become more pronounced as WikiLeaks evolves into a real institution.

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Re: Maybe not Friday.

Remember, if you will, the video scens that Manning and Wikileaks published, of helicopter fire on unarmed civilians and journalists accompanied by commentry that indicated a total lack of concern.

Would that be the video footage called "Collaterol Murder" where Wikileaks edited out the footage showing the group they fired on were armed? Although to be fair they did release an undedited version at some point as well.

Also the audio was pretty unpleasant with the pilots treating it far to much like some video shoot-em-up. But even there, you can't have it both ways. When the gunner shouts "RPG", and it's obvious they believe they're being engaged by insurgent with a rocket launcher, you can't say that's somehow acting, given how unpleasant they're being for the rest of the time. A crime requires intent. Accidents are usually not crimes for that reason.

I don't know if journalists train for this, given that a big shoulder-mounted camera poked cautiously round a corner might look similar enough to a missle launcher to a scared soldier. On the other hand, standing up in plain sight is often going to be just as risky.

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Re: Go and never darken our shores again

He exposed war crimes.

Bota,

Got any evidence for that? I don't remember Wikileaks exposing any war crimes. The diplomatic cables were very interesting, but told us little new, I'm presuming most intelligent people already know that diplomats have to talk to some rather unpleasant people - and aren't always complimentary about everyone. We did learn a few useful things, though it probably did some mild damage to the process of diplomacy - there is often good reason why this stuff is done quietly. I'd say a score draw.

The Afghanistan stuff as I recall didn't reveal anything interesting. It talked about some incidents where NATO bombing had killed civillians, that were already known about. But did reveal the names of some low level intelligence sources, mostly villagers on the ground. Allegedly Assange is supposed to have said when asked to redact their names to protect them that they were informers so fuck 'em. Nice chap. That's not a score for wikileaks. They revealed potentially sensitive information on innocent people caught in the middle of a war (not of their making), and risked their lives for no significant gain.

And the only thing I can remmeber from Iraq was the "collaterol murder" video. Which definitely wasn't a war crime, since the people that helicopter engaged were part of an armed group. Admittedly they saw a camera poking round a corner, mistook it for an RPG, panicked a bit and fired. Either that or the pilots were bloody good actors. But there was no reason to think that they didn't genuinely believe they were about to be fired at by an RPG, and so they returned fire. That was an accident, not a war crime, by any sensible definition. Wikileaks then blotted their copybook by releasing an edited version, which edited out the bit afterwards where the group's weapons were shown, though to be fair they also released the unedited footage, so it's not like they were trying that hard to hide it.

So I'd say, he's not the messiah. He's a very naughty boy...

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Happy

Re: What are the odds looking like?

Are you suggesting he gets a blender and has himself liquidised? There are two problems with this. Firslty, someone might accidentally drink him. Secondly, I'm not sure if we've yet got the technology to put him back together again.

I suppose he could use it to make his case though, by having himself smuggled out in an Innocent Smoothies carton. OK, OK, I'll get my coat.

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Re: WTF?

Just done a quick bit of research. It's not a joke committee. It's stuffed with human rights lawyers, as you might expect, but the Aussie member for example was previously on the Australian delegation to the UN General Assembly. So has been an officially accredited Australian diplomat.

The only way I can imagine them justifying a decision that he's been arbitrarily detained is if Sweden have been telling porkies about why they haven't questioned him in the embassy. To be honest I still don't buy that, as I don't see why he should have any more rights than any other alleged criminal in the UK or Sweden. And that means you get arrested, when the police say you get arrested. And if you run away, then they get to chase you. Just because you've successfully hidden for several years, doesn't magically make that process unfair.

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Re: WTF?

It is bizarre. But then is this another one of those joke UN committees? Like when the Human Rights committee was chaired by Saddam's Iraq - where the members were voted on by the General Assembly?

Anyway the only arbitrary thing about the case would be if a politician or the police were to give him free passage. A court has ruled that he has to be extradited to Sweden, that decision has been appealed twice (or was it three times?), and upheld each time. He's appealed in Sweden against the process and lost in their highest court too.

I suppose the only other arbitrary thing would be a UN ruling. Given that they have no place in the judicial process. His only choices are to rot in the embassy until the 10 year statute of limitations runs out on the rape charges, then skulk off (possibly after a brief stay in chokey for bail-jumping) - or to go off to Sweden and face the music. And probably get off for lack of evidence - given there were only two people in the room at the time of each allegation.

I feel really sorry for the juries in rape cases. Having done a couple of stints of jury service, all on ABH cases, we had multiple witnesses and even some CCTV footage. And it was bad enough trying to piece things together from the often conflicting evidence. It was a pretty horrible feeling letting someone off that people thought guilty, becuase there just wasn't enough evidence. Then again it's even worse being responsible for sending an innocent person to prison.

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Happy

Re: What are the odds looking like?

I don't think he's got access to the roof. The embassy is in a block of flats, it's just a converted flat itself I believe. So he'd have to walk out of the embassy limits into the corridors to get up to the roof, where he could be arrested. Assuming the police have a seat in the warm inside, rather than standing out in the cold...

There is a balcony though, didn't he do a press confrerence from it once? But not sure if it's big enough for a glider. So a jepack is a better option, but probably a bit hard on the embassy's curtains...

As I recall they're also not on the ground floor, so tunnelling is a bit of a no-no as well.

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Re: Maybe not Friday.

You recall most of it wrong...ish.

Sweden took up the offer of interviewing him here, but only seriously last year. Partly I think becasue they got told off by a judge. I've no idea why the didn't try before. But it didn't happen anyway. They say because Ecuador and Assange were trying to impose conditions on it. Who knows the actual truth. They were trying to negotiate this before the statute of limitations ran out on the lesser charges in the Summer, and supposedly an interview was still expected soon after that on the rape charges, but nothing seems to have happened.

You're correct he's not been charged though. Apparently in Sweden you get a final interogation where they charge you. This was what he'd been invited to attend via his lawyer when he left Sweden for the sunny shores of the UK. The lawyer claimed in the court hearing not to have been told, and was then forced to admit he had been - rather embarrassingly. Can't imagine that went down well with the judge...

Finally, I don't believe the women involved ever withdrew their complaints. Unless there's something I've not read about (perfectly possible). But the Swedish prosecutors weren't going to continue the case at first, then I believe one (or both) of the womens' lawyers appealed, and they changed their mind. Don't know if that was because they thought there was no significant chance of a conviction, or something else though.

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Scottish MP calls for drone-busting eagles

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Devil

Re: It's a good job that a mostly wild fusking huge razor-clawed raptor flying about

Excuse me. There's a downside to a few annoying yappy little dogs getting eaten?

Oh sorry, did I say that out loud?

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Happy

Re: Genetic modifications?

Are you suggesting that the Russian Tu95 Bear aircraft is actually... A flying bear?

You'd need a pretty big GM eagle to take one of those out. I suggest a large flying hunneypot might be much more effective...

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Happy

Re: Anyone for kickstarting

No, but I've already begun work on my eagle-catching-drone catching drone...

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An owl got into one of our classrooms at primary school. Barn owl I think. Went in for a lesson, it decided it didn't like the look of a couple of dozen 9 year olds wandering into its bedroom and made a dash for it. They're not all that big, but when one's flying right at your face at full speed, it seems huge. I was the one standing in the doorway. As happens it was still on the rise, so scraped its talons across the head of the boy in front, and went just over the top of me.

I don't think he bled that much. I've no idea how it got in there. Certainly wasn't chasing any drones.

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Leak – UN says Assange detention 'unlawful'

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I can only imagine that they'll base it on a right to justice without undue delay. And they'll argue that Sweden should have interviewed him at the Ecuadorian embassy. They only seem to have made serious efforts towards doing that last year, as the statute of limitations on the less serious charges was coming up. Also after being somewhat told off by a Swedish judge for not getting on with things, but it didn't happen. Apparently Assange and Ecuador were making conditions, or possibly just Ecuador - so I guess the ruling will be on whether these conditions were reasonable.

I still don't buy it myself. I don't see why Assange has any right to special treatment. Sweden has a perfectly sensible process to make justice happen in a timely manner, which is to go through the normal process. Assange deliberately circumvented that, so I don't see why he shouldn't have to suffer the consequences of his own actions. He was happy enough to live in Sweden before allegations, so I don't buy some crappy excuse about how Sweden would hand him over to the nasty US suddently, but there'd been no risk of this the day before. And then to come to the UK didn't exactly show much fear of the US, given we have the worst extradition treaty with them imagineable.

I guess we find out tomorrow. Or it'll be one of those mixed judgements that says we should have done more to help the case along, and ignores his role in fucking the whole process up. Rights should come with responsibilities. And his is to man-up, and turn up for his police interview and possible trial.

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Happy

Re: It all depends

Only in the UN would a 5-person committee require 3 chairs!

That shows a dedictation to saving money unusual at the UN. 5 committee members, only 3 chairs, so do two of them have to stand up? Or do they lean on the edge of the table, like Channel 5 news presenters?

Or perhaps they start each meeting by playing some motivational music, then marching round the table to warm up, and when the music stops...

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13 CubeSats to ride mighty US lifter

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Happy

Re: Launch cost

Yuummm. Sweet and sour Hong Kong style pork, IIIIIN SPPAAAAAAAAAAAACE!

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Danish Sith Lord fined in Galactic Republic rumpus

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Re: Any Republic where Jar-Jar Binks can become a Senator...

Me sah Darth-Darth Binks! Me sah, turned to the dark side because me was sooo angry about the nasty peoples who was rude to me. Me sah used me's anger. Now die patronising Jedi scum!

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Re: Not just the Danes...

Of course Daleks are better than stormtroopers. They sometimes shoot at things and actually hit them...

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Happy

It's like when people were debating who would win in a race between Mo Farah and Usain Bolt, without specifying any kind of distance. One is a sprinter, one is a distance runner, it was a ludicrous debate that raged on for weeks after London 2012.

That gives me an idea for an argument interesting discussion.

What is the exact distance required, such that a race between Usain Bolt and Mo Farrah would result in a dead heat?

Although the more important question is which is worse? Usain Bolt won an Olympic gold after a breakfast of McDonalds chicken nuggets. But Farrah willingly consumes Quorn mince...

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Layoffs! Lawsuits! Losses! ... Yahoo! is! in! an! L! of! a! mess!

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Pint

Ah, Italian business trips. You virtually have to beg your hosts to be allowed to visit the factory, or have a short meeting in the office. But restaurants and bars, oh yes. Plenty of those.

The saying from Wall Street that "lunch is for wimps" is wrong. Lunch is forever!

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Google ninjas go public with security holes in Malwarebytes antivirus

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I hope Google gets really fucked up by someone giving them 90 days to fix a hole that they don't manage to in time.....

It's just a matter of time. Particularly now that so many people are doing banking on their mobile phones. Google only barely even care about fixing the security nightmare that is Android. I admit the problem is as much the fault of the phone vendors, but when there's an Android wide publicly noticed virus outbreak (even if it only really happens to the non-Nexus stuff that's not getting properly updated) - who's going to get the blame? Will headline writers say, "Sony, Motorola/Lenovo, LG, Huwaei, HTC Failing to Fix Bugs Causes Huge Virus Outbreak in Android"? I doubt it. They'll say, "Huge Security Holes in Google Android".

I'm amazed it hasn't happened already. The diversity of hardware, and old versions means it should never be as bad as what happened to XP in the early years of the lastt decade (Melissa, I Love You etc.). But Microsoft still haven't recovered from the damage those few years of security chaos did to their image. It's bound to come Google's way soon enough. Of course, there's a joke about predicting doom like this. Economists have predicted 11 of the last 2 recessions...

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'Printer Ready'. Er… you actually want to print? What, right now?

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Re: The rest of us commute in daily from our hovels

CrazyOldCatMan,

You may wish to disassociate yourself from me at this point. But I'm afraid I'm an interloper here. Worse from the building services industry, not IT. And even worse, I'm in technical sales. At least it's not marketing... If you want to know how to comply with the Water Regulations, I'm your man. Although you might have to talk to me for that. But if you'd prefer to avoid interaction, I can bore you to death with a powerpoint instead. For the favoured few, we even do lunch and certificates. But sadly, not distillery tours.

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Re: Ker-chunk, ker-chunk

I always write my addresses on by hand. I have labels, I have templates to make those labels work, set to the appropriate label type, back from the days we used to do mail-merges. The first time, you put the label paper in the wrong way round - and print it on the non-sticky back. The second time, it goes in right, but prints across two labels, and it's third time lucky.

I've always found it easier to use a windowed envelope. Even if the stupid computer (or user) misses with the address, you can change the way you fold the paper to make it work anyway.

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I can't draw. And my already bad handwriting seems to go completely haywire when I attempt to explain and write at the same time.

When I'm trying to navigate some difficult process I really love the freedom to just scrawl it all over a whiteboard, editing and deleting as appropriate. It's a really good way to help you shape complex ideas.

When I try to explain a complex process to someone else using a whiteboard (given how clear I find it makes stuff for me), my handwriting either becomes so small they can't read it, or so big and wonky I can't get everything to fit, without having to start again. Then I try to differentiate stuff by using different coloured pens, so the ink runs out.

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Re: I can point you to some code

Paper just seems to be quicker. Which is why all my important datasheets and graphs for calculations are printed out in a big folder. And why everyone else steals this, whenever they get asked a difficult question, because even though this stuff's on the computer, you just can't flick through it with one hand that way.

When I'm on the phone to a customer, PDFs - finding opening the right one / scrolling through it etc - just take too much concentration away from the all-important talking/listening bit. Interestingly I've even been asked to email someone a particular file, because his office had a no paper catalogues rule. His exact words were, "please can you email me the pdf, as I can't check my catalogue until I get home."

The other advantage is that I can keep hold of old, but still useful stuff, that people tend to replace/delete on computers - and I can make notes.

A quick Google failed to find the source of one of my favourite quotes. The paperless office will happen about the same time we get the paperless toilet."

What do you mean, you don't know how to use the three seashells?

As happens one of the products we sell, and I have a paper datasheet with notes scrawled on to prove it, is definitely not called the BumWash 2000. Although since someone came up with that name, it's a struggle not to use it to the custards. But it's a wall mounted unit with all the bits in to comply with the water regs and ensure you have a warm, clean bum after using the toilet. So it may actually be that the paperless toilet will beat the paperless office by years. Some Japanese toilets even have blow-driers, for after they've washed you clean, front and back. And warmed seats, and noisemakers (to disguise the telltale sound of splashing). Perhaps they'll call this toilet-nervana they've created, the kamikhazi?

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Happy

Re: The rest of us commute in daily from our hovels

You don't need to repair printers. They're now obsolete. I just staple a bunch of old iPads together, with a different page displayed on each screen...

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Re: As bad as kettles!

Our Samsung laser printer is now 100% reliable. Apart from running out of paper or ink, it never lets you down - even when you're in a hurry. And I think it's only paper-jammed itself once, which I cleared in a few seconds.

On the other hand, their driver software seems to randomly break about every 2-3 months. So you have to email your document to another computer in the office when in a hurry, and re-install the drivers from scratch again.

So it's nice to see that having made the printer too mechanically good to be able to fail at crucial times, their heroic engineers have managed to maintain this vital feature, by implementing it in software.

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Re: The rest of us commute in daily from our hovels

Except when you want to talk to actual people.

Or do site visits. Not that I relish standing at the top of a 12 storey building with inadequate safety rails with 25 mile an hour gusts, but the clients apparently like it...

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BOFH: In-depth IT training needs a single-malt distillery

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Re: says:

Boss falls down lift shaft, mobile phone mysteriously fails, ticket-re-printer technology to the rescue...

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Headmaster

Re: Islay junket.

Islay junket, but he's spelled it whiskey.

So is this Islay, Kentucky we're talking about?

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SpaceX breaks capsule 'chute world record

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Re: Retire parachutes?

That's easy. If the chute failure happens above Congress, and then the rockets turn out to work after all, once it gets to about 50 feet say, then you've solved the Congressional enquiry problem at a stroke.

I'm torn between the flames and black helicopter icons here. If I never post again, I picked the wrong one...

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Happy

This one goes all the way up to 11...

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