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* Posts by Ancient Oracle funkie

77 posts • joined 29 Jun 2009

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Universal Credit: £40 MILLION and counting's been spaffed up the wall on useless IT gear

Ancient Oracle funkie

Having worked at 3 large organisations and implemented systems for public sector clients that range from adding an extra module to f*cking enormous systems (whereby I can honestly say it is the world's largest ...) I can shed no light on this latest fiasco.

What I can say is that, in the wordsof the Sex Pisols, no one is innocent.

I'm sure the IT vendors take advantage, just a pity none of those ill-gotten gains trickle down to us folk who actually work bloody hard. But the public sector is just as culpable. The reason that 3rd party vendors get involved was so governments could shift the money from operating costs to capital costs. MAde it look like they were investing in the public sector while driving costs down. It was also in an attempt (only partally successful) to replace a multitude of bespoke systems with COTS packages, which in theory is cheaper to support.

One of the comments hit the nail on the head, they get what they ask for, not what they need. Giving them what they need can be problematic. In one memorable, but ultimately doomed, project I spent many a happy meeting discussing the word "or" in a requrement that not only gave us their requirement but aso a couple of alternative solutions. So not only was I forced to use their solution as specified, I had the argument that went "But when we say OR we mean we want both" which technically couldn't be done. In the end I was allowed to give them just the one solution but at the cost of my contact feeling as if he'd somehow lost.

My last project (the world's largest ...) never seems to hit the headlines any more. It was big and it was (almost certainly) expensive but ...

... it works! Trust me, if it didn't it would on the front page of thenational dailies not just the computer press. So they are not all didaster stories.

I'll leave you with a story that might help to explain why it's always the same old vendors "ripping off" the taxpayer. And it's funny how ripping off the public sector can still mean that we make a loss on the deal!

A previous employer was one of only three organisations to tender for a large PFI deal. We asked teh question "What would happen if we were the only bidders?" to which the reply was an aloof, "Don't be silly!". As more detail became available both of the other companies had withdrawn. We stayed the course, implemented and outsourced, and it was all a great success. The initial 7 year deal was extended and at the end of that extension, the staff we outsourced were taken back by their original employers and hee we are 15 years later and the client is STILL using the (upgraded) systems we implemented. As I said, not always a disaster

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Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Ancient Oracle funkie
IT Angle

Great list! One or two there that I haven't seen (makes mental note to look out for them). Rather than add a "what about ..." I thought I'd mention that in the 1969 Oscars, Planet Of The Apes was nominated (but didn't win) in the Costume Design category but John Chambers, the creative makeup designer, did win an honorary Oscar for "outstanding make-up achievement in the movie"; for making actors look a bit like apes. One can only assume that everyone assumed that the apes in 2001 were real!

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Higgs data shows alternate reality will SWALLOW UNIVERSE

Ancient Oracle funkie
Happy

Re: "A little bubble of... an ‘alternative' universe will appear"

Any Beatle reference, no matter how irrelevant, is always worth an upvote!

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Nokia Lumia 820 WinPho 8 review

Ancient Oracle funkie
Devil

"The story of ordinary phone calls on both Lumias is not, I'm afraid, very good."

So basically, don't bother if you actually want to use it as a phone. OK, I'm sold!

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A history of personal computing in 20 objects part 1

Ancient Oracle funkie

> The Apple machines really weren't that important or successful

Maybe, but I used one in the office back in the early 80s. Great little machine, 48kb memory, twin floppies and the killer app, Visicalc.

When the company acquired its first IBM PC it seemed inferior in every sense. "It'll never catch on", thought I. Thus starting my ability to be 100% wrong about new technology.

DOS or CCPM? - no question, Concurrent CPM was superior in every way!

Future PC with CCPM or IBM PC with PC-DOS? - no brainer, I can multitask on my Future pc and store data on my 800kb floppies rather than 1 thing at a time with 360kb storage.

Word Perfect of MS Word? - easy. MS Word is so clunky it's all but unusable

Apple Lisa and a mouse? No-one needs a mouse

If only I had bet against myself

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Ancient Oracle funkie

Leo

Any reference to Leo always reminds me of the story my father-in-law (95 and still going strong) tells. Lyons offered the use of Leo to the Inland Revenue to calculate the tax tables after a budget change. One year he was selected to go to Lyons, taking with him the highly confidential envelope that contained details of the tax changes to be announced in the budget. The rule was that the changes were secret until the budget announcements were made and the chancellor had sat down. Which meant waiting for the phone call to say that the chancellor had sat down. The envelope could be opened and the details given to the Lyons' techies. He opened the envelope, took out the paper that was inside and read it - "No Change".

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Samsung ships two smartphones for every one Apple sells

Ancient Oracle funkie

Re: The headline...

> ... is misleading.

You are correct. Not because they are "Two totally different things." but because the article actually refers to the quantities shipped by both organisations.

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Ancient Oracle funkie

Which one would you rather have?

Easy:

Shares - Apple

Phone - Samsung

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Ancient Oracle funkie
FAIL

Re: Ships vs Sells @AC 08:41

Just a minor corrrection to your post. Had you read the article properly (or were you using the inferior iPad Mini with it's low res screen?) you would have noticed the following.

It wasn't Samsung shouting it was "ABI Research and Strategy Analytics, market watchers both"

Furthermore it also stated that "Samsung’s share was 35.2 per cent, achieved by shipping 56.9 million smartphones." And went on to say "the twice the 26.9 million units Apple shipped"

Note the use of the word shipped.

Really, you must try harder

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BYOD for our own staff? That would be 'embarrassing' – HP exec

Ancient Oracle funkie

BYOD???

At my last company (Morse) we weren't allowed to bring our own mugs! They had to be company branded.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

Ancient Oracle funkie

Re: unsatisfying review :(

Re your question "does it work as a phone?" Can I point you to the paragraph on page 3 that starts: "How does it work as a phone? Superbly ..."

As for your other comments, I think I'm right in saying that El Reg reviews aren't necessarily the most in-depth you'll find.

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Google's stats show few Android tablets in use

Ancient Oracle funkie

Re: Isnt this a sign @AC 08:37

Well, I work at HP and bought a WebOS tablet for a dirt cheap price. Have I plonked Android on it? Not yet but intend to do so. Is that because I hate WebOS? Nope! I find WebOS rather good actually. So why go to Android? Apps!

Another reason for going Android might be people prefer the same experience on phone & tablet.

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CSC bundles NHS IT fiasco staff out the door

Ancient Oracle funkie
FAIL

Re: A telling quote.... @Scotty1234

I can't make up my mind whether you are a simple troll or not! But let's assume you are serious. You suggest "the Unions want CSC to be lumbered with the unemployable staff" Unemployable? How the dickens do you draw that conclusion? Having worked on a number of large government projects over the years, I suspect that these "unemployable" (although they were employed by CSC) staff were on a project that possibly:

- was oversold in terms of functionality

- had an unrealistic go-live date (I've lost count of the number of projects where the start date was delayed but the go-live date remained the same)

- suffered from poor project management

- had requirements that kept changing (again, the very late change request from the client that had a major impact without changing the go-live date)

Any one of the above could mean the project went tits up. And once it did, redundancies were CSC's answer. Nowhere is there a suggestion that Unite try to hold CS "... to ransom". They merely expressed disappointment at the level of compulsory redundancies. But I guess we shouldn't allow facts to get in teh way of a prejudice.

In fact 2 prejudices - first anti-union (and I am not a union member myself) and ant public sector IT staff. It seems sometimes as if people think that Atos/CSC/HP/IBM/et al go "Oh look, we've won a govt contract. Quick go employ some useless people to work on it"

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HMRC Tax Calc

Ancient Oracle funkie

Re: I have a better idea

The only problem is that net pay depends on things like tax rates and tax code. I suspect it would be even more confusing to be told that the net pay is £17,000 pa only to find that because your tax code has been reduced, e.g. underpaid tax in a pevious year, you only get £16,000.

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Ancient Oracle funkie

Re: Employers NI

There's a reason why it doesn't include Employers NI, note the word Employers. I do envy you your naivity if you really believe that the employer would pass on any savings in Employers NI to the employee.

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HP cuts 27,000 workers

Ancient Oracle funkie
Devil

Re: Ha! (@Rombizio)

Thanks for the well reasoned argument.

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Punters are the real losers in BT, TalkTalk copyright court blow

Ancient Oracle funkie

Optional

Have to admit, I'm not as well versed in this as I ought to be (especially as there are 4 adults using the same static ip address). However, what concerns me is the constant reference to people who are "alleged" to have downloaded copyright material. Seems to ignore the innocent until proven guilty premise.

BTW on the topic of hating the music industry, can I stake a claim for the earliest grievance? December 1966 - I had to buy The Beatles' LP "A Collection Of Oldies" as it had one unreleased track on it. Since hat date I have bought a number of LPs because they had been re-released with one or two new tracks. Then when CDs appeared they did it again. Release the CD with its original tracklist. Then release it again with "bonus" tracks, then again re-mastered and once more for luck on its 25th/30th/40th anniversary. But then, they probably don't care about being hated.

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Doctor Who girl Amy Pond axed in 'heartbreaking' exit

Ancient Oracle funkie
Trollface

"It's heartbreaking" says Karen Gillan, "Who else will pay me a handsome salary for running around in short skirts?"

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Best Buy fires parting shot at Dixons with closing down sale

Ancient Oracle funkie

50% off Blu-Rays & DVDs? Excellent! Xmas pressies (for me obviously ,,,

... oh wait, there aren't any left online (ignoring the dozen 3D movies).

Oh well

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Mail Online is broken

Ancient Oracle funkie

You forgot:

- Illegral immigrant asylum seeking benefit fraudsters (who all live in castles and palaces while driving around in Aston Martins) also cause cancer

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Computers are so middle class – Mark E Smith

Ancient Oracle funkie

I disagree, shouldn't that be "middle class desperate to be working class"?

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HP offers devs £130 32GB TouchPad tablets

Ancient Oracle funkie

Quite frankly, I don't care! That is, I don't care how/why/who/etc. All I know is that I have a TP (yep! HP employee) and so I look forward to lots(?) of new apps.

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BBC iPlayer to require TV licence

Ancient Oracle funkie
FAIL

> did you ever here of anyone getting fined because they have 5 TVs on one licence?

Nope! That's because the licence "... covers the installation and use of TV receivers at the premises specified on the licence." (according to www.tvlicencing.co.uk)

Don't disgree with the Beeb being funded out of general taxation, except those pesky MP would want to interfere even more

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Man City boss quits over cancer email

Ancient Oracle funkie

It's at times like this that you really need a troll icon!!!

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iPhone users richer, brainier, more tasteful than Android-ers

Ancient Oracle funkie

In other words ...

... iPhone users are rich (have to be to pay for over-priced Apple stuff) poseurs while Android users are those who can't be arsed to "look cool" with the latest iCrap and are able to handle the freedom of Android apps

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HARRY POTTER CHAINED to new Sony reader

Ancient Oracle funkie
Pirate

Note to self ...

... download books on day 3

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Dragon Bannatyne threatens to break arms of 'Russian' bloke

Ancient Oracle funkie

Can't think of a title

If someone threatened on of my kids I'd break the bugger's arms myself. But I'm not worth £400+ million so can't afford to pay someone else to do it. Or at least I doubt anyone would do it for £35 - the equivalent percentage of my worth!

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MPs round on plans to offshore gov IT work

Ancient Oracle funkie
FAIL

Ummmm, not quite.

"The motion, signed by six other MPs from the region, also noted the "ethical implications" of cutting costs and raising the contract's profitability by exploiting lower paid overseas workers."

Naughty HP exporting jobs to India to screw more profit out of a govt depatrment.

Except, the reason is that, with the proposed budget cuts, it's the DWP who are forcing the issue. I'm currently on a DWP project and they stated that they wanted on-site timescales but with offshore rates.

So the question of ethics isn't solely for HP to answer.

FAIL all round as cheapest isn't usually the best

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Oracle chief bean-counter mysteriously quits database giant

Ancient Oracle funkie

Maybe..

... he refused to approve one of Mark Hurd's claims

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Fast-fingered oldster relieves shop worker of iPhone cash

Ancient Oracle funkie
Headmaster

I know I'm a pedant but ...

"Surrey Police say they are looking for an unshaven 5ft 11in man aged between 55 and 60"

Oh look, I'm between 55 and 60 but ...

"Surrey Police are hunting a slick-fingered 60-year-old " - I'm not a 60 year old

"the fast-fingered sexagenerian" - nor am I a sexagenerian

Sorry but I did say I was a pedant

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Documents in Assange rape probe leak onto the net

Ancient Oracle funkie
Thumb Down

@AC 10:48

> By that argument, 9/10s of the world should be locked up

So 90% of the world (not just the men) have non-consensual sex? Twat!

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Beeb say sorry for Stephen Fry A-bomb quip

Ancient Oracle funkie

Dear BBC - grow some!!!

Compare and contrast:

Stephen Fry makes a fairly innocuous comment that someone who was A-bombed twice was unlucky. BBC apologises

Frankie Boyle makes "jokes" at the expense of an 8yr old disabled child and Channel 4 defend the recovering alcoholic (strangely an area that he doesn't find funny) as being challenging, although they didn't add the more apt adjectives offensive and hypocritical.

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Zuckerberg beats Assange to claim Person of the Year™

Ancient Oracle funkie
Paris Hilton

Confused

I thought this award was Person of the Year. So how did the Tea Party come second? Or were the poor voters confused and thought they were voting for Mr T?

Paris - because she told hard-hitting journo Fearne Cotten that "In real life I'm completely different. I'm very down to earth, I'm smart, I know what's going on.” and Fearne believed her!

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Grand jury meets to decide fate of WikiLeaks founder

Ancient Oracle funkie

@AC 09:44

And I quote: "keeping everyone else from either killing themselves, their citizens, neighbors "

Sorry, far too busy trying to stop US miltary from killing us.

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This year's comedy Xmas No. 1 contender: Silent song 4'33"

Ancient Oracle funkie

satisfying the needs of the title-facists!

Also in restaurants

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Gov to resellers: Glory bonanza secrecy days are over. For real

Ancient Oracle funkie

@Pete 2 or should that be troll?

Why quote the word workers when referring to civil service employees? As a comparitively well paid IT consultant, I have implemented systems in both public and private sectors. And guess what? While the public sector can be a bit jobsworth and staffed by some people who seem to be out of their depth, so can the private sector - SHOCK!!! Both sectors employ the full gamut of abilities. From those who actually do know what they are talking about to those who are just a waste of oxygen.

As for "lifelong pen-pushers who wouldn't recognise a piece of source code" - why the hell should they? They use the systems, not design them. It might help the procurement teams to get some IT assistance, except governments have been outsourcing the IT departments. So all they can do is either, do it themselves or buy in some consultants. Sounds like you'll damn them whatever they do.

Far too many people start from the postion of. to paraphrase George Orwell:

Private sector good, public sector bad

Whereas I'm more inclined to agree with his ultimate conclusion

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Steve Jobs no longer Eggman as Beatles hits iTunes

Ancient Oracle funkie
Thumb Down

Another example of what's wrong with the music industry

See various comments above re the rip-off that is a £10.99 album cost, not to mention the so-called box set. Another example of trying to make people buy stuff they already have to get a little something that they didn't already own.

Who the heck is going to buy this stuff? I would hazard a guess that everyone who actually wanted it, or was vaguely interested in it, already has it digitally. I sure have, as well as the vinyl I bought when it was first released and the original CDs. I refused to but the remastered albums (might have bought them at a fiver each) so I am certainly not going to enrich any of the greedy buggers behind this non-event (and I say that as a big fan for the last 48 years).

But then again, the world is full of mugs! Anyone want to buy some shares? Or a bridge, maybe?

Dear music industry, please FOAD. Soon!

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Twitter joke martyr loses appeal

Ancient Oracle funkie
FAIL

@David Wood

Please don't believe everything you read in the Daily Fail or Excess about the ECHR. Makes you look like a real tw*t!

Oh, and as you obviously don't understand the law, by being found guilty Mr Chambers IS a criminal! Kind of negates your stupid comment, wuoldn't you say?

FAIL - just the dumbest comment I've seen in a long while

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Group slams airport naked body scanners

Ancient Oracle funkie

Don't know enough ...

... about these scanners to make an informed decision.

Perhaps the proponents of these security devices would volunteer to post the scans of themselves and their family members (no pun intended) on the net so we could all see whether we approve or not

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Spuds for laptop fraudsters strike in Huntingdon

Ancient Oracle funkie
FAIL

eltiT

Could someone let me know who this couple is?

I've a few shares and a London bridge I'm trying to sell.

FAIL - to anyone who buys anything from "a bloke on the street"

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Apotheker was HP's sole CEO choice

Ancient Oracle funkie

Dear Leo, don't buy SAP ...

... just beef up HP's Oracle offering, work closely with Larry & Mark, and totally dominate the application space. That's the way to get your own back on SAP not renewing your contract.

Even if I say so myself, a brilliant suggestion!

And in no way connected to the fact that I work for a certain IT giant much in the news latterly, nor to the fact that I work with Oracle applications. Sheer coincidence.

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Ovi maps out Google competitor

Ancient Oracle funkie

Me too!

And there was I thinking that Ovi Maps was quite good. Not only was it free but it doesn't use any of my precious bandwidth as it's all offline.

What's more it handled travelling around rural Brittany without a problem when our TomTom decided to go on strike! It even gave us a laugh with the English voice's pronounciation of French roads.

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Burglars used social network status updates to select victims

Ancient Oracle funkie

If you were a burglar

I doubt you'd "leave directions to a lockup where they can get their stuff back".

There really oughty to be a Beware Pedants icon

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US government recruits Paris Hilton

Ancient Oracle funkie
Paris Hilton

Well ...

... who'd have thought that fundamental islamists could be persuaded by blonde airheads!

Paris - well, if she's good enough for them she's good enough for me

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Robots capable of 'deceiving humans' built by crazed boffins

Ancient Oracle funkie
Joke

...GIT engineer Alan Wagner.

Just how much of a git is the poor chap?

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Email worm wants to party like it's 1999 (almost)

Ancient Oracle funkie

Also deserving our contempt ...

... are the idiots who Reply All saying things like "Who are you" or "Do I know you" or "Please remove me from this distribution list".

I mean, I get all excited when I see I have dozens of unread mail only to find that 99% are from these idiots.

And then you get the helpful idiots who Reply All telling everyone NOT to use the Reply All.

Waste of good bandwidth that I could be using to surf the net instead of working!!!

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Sussex police try new tactic to relieve snappers of pics

Ancient Oracle funkie

Misleading ...

... or just incorrect first paragraph.

As a keen amateur photographer I'm well aware that HM Plod seem to have a shaky grasp of the law in regard to photography. However this article, on the facts reported, has nothing to do with "who is permitted to take photographs of what".

The tape, not the camera, was seized as the officer believed that it contained evidence of a crime being committed. Still a pain in the ar$e for the owner but not what the article would have you believe.

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HP sues Hurd to keep secrets from Ellison

Ancient Oracle funkie
Paris Hilton

... personal slush funds usually ...

Are you serious? I have to ask as I find myself responding to what appears to be a troll post.

OK, let's assume you are. First off, slush funds are not supposed to exist. But in any case, they are usually used to win business for a company by greasing the palm of potential clients or government officials; or more commonly known as bribery.

Here in HP we have ethics training explicitly informing us that we have MUST NOT do anything that might be construed as bribery.

However, what Hurd appeared to be doing was fiddling his expenses to hide the fact that he was trying to bed the ex-soft porn actress (no sexual harassment as he'd paid her off). Not quite the same thing as bribery in an effort to win business. More petty fiddling.

One wonders why Larry would employ a petty crook, unless he needs someone to wield an axe (note an axe not a chopper). And perhaps all US CEOs have lax moral standards; that's probably how they sleep at night.

Oh, and don't go trying to blame anyone else. Are you suggesting that his "recently retired assistant" just made up these expenses? You don't think that he/she might have asked something like "What code do these expenses go against?".

I do agree with your last comment "...treat employees with respect" But Hurd wasn't an employee. If he had been it would have been instant dismissal for gross misconduct and he'd have been escorted from the premises.

Paris - because if you want to fiddle ...

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HP pays to end fraud probe

Ancient Oracle funkie

A lowly HP employee writes

The company gives kickbacks and the ex-CEO was a petty crook.

And yet it's us poor employees who have to do the ethics training!

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