Why Pinky? What are we doing tomorrow?
"Taking over the world as usual, Brains." One internet point for a good Charles Stross reference ;-)
529 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009
"Taking over the world as usual, Brains." One internet point for a good Charles Stross reference ;-)
I remember going for one job and being given "the Test". I was delighted, it was the standard Myers-Briggs, which for some obscure reason I'd been researching. I just asked HR what personality they'd like me to be and got on with it. Note: These were intelligent HR people with a sense of humour. They knew it was bollocks, they knew I knew it was bollocks and I knew that, etc. Got the job.
I met an old friend from my home town on the Tube, completely by accident. Naturally we got chatting. Getting off (At the station! OMG, how could you even think that!) she lost a contact lens and we spent the next half hour trying to find it. Last time I've talked to anyone on the Tube. I'm the one with the in-ear phones playing metal, reading a Kindle, with the FOAD badge. If you look at me I'll stare back and smile and smile and smile. You have been warned ;-)
Before being temporarily diverted into technical support (my admiration goes to just about everybody involved in that, I haven't got the patience) I thought "Have you switched it on?" was a stupid question. After the nth time of seeing just that.... My favourite was. "My monitor doesn't work!" "Have you switched it on?" "Of course I have, do you think I'm stupid?" "OK, is it plugged in to the back of the computer?" "I've bloody checked, I'm telling you, it's BROKEN!" "Have you turned it on at the mains?" "Oh".....
My first ever presentation with an old fashioned slide projector and 200 people. The projector jams completely, took me years to get over my newly acquired stage fright.
A similar presentation, this time with a quick-thinking female colleague. A glass slide jams in the works, so she rushes into the venue kitchen, grabs a breadknife and saws the offending slice in half so it can be removed.
A global webinar to launch an author's new book. I set up a Centra session in advance (as requested) and am ready to rock. Upstairs they have decided to set up a different session which doesn't work (because they have no idea what they're doing). The author blames me, I threaten to defenestrate him.
My brilliant other half is at an international conference. After hours of PowerPoint presentations she wanders on stage with some notes and just talks to the audience. Voted best presentation of the day.
That'll be the rare "Bonsai Blue Whale" then.
"A bastard bloody ukefuckinglele". That gets an upvote ;)
"Virtual reality: Because one meaningless and uncaring universe isn't enough". Ah, what a lovely misanthropic article. You could reuse the strapline for any articles about the concept of the multiverse. :-)
Had a similar problem with a trashed knee. I used a rucksack for the heavy stuff (bottles mostly ;-) and a "bag for life" for stuff that didn't want squashing. Worked fine with a stick. I still use the same system now, although without the stick.
and shark tanks!
There is a certain existential beauty in getting everything so wrong simultaneously. Either that or they were asking to be put n the Darwin Award shortlist courtesy of the editorial team.
Nyerlathotep should have been there already but sadly he's travelling by Southern Rail.
No, for once, really! Two PCs and a laptop. The old laptop upgraded from Vista through to Win 10 (OK, it's dog slow, but I did it just because). One desktop from Win 7 through to Win 10 and one from Win 8 to 10. No new hardware required apart from a scanner as the manufacturers decided that new drivers would be superfluous - bastards.
Until anything goes terminally wrong with the PCs I don't see the need to upgrade for, well, ever really.
Ah, I have some .eu domain names, will I have to leave them (or just offer to host "adult" content for deprived Brits)? ;-)
Oi, leave Rainham Marshes alone. Go bury the bodies somewhere that's not an RSPB reserve. ;-)
"The medics trialling the robo butt gave it a thumbs up." Possibly one of the most appalling puns of all time - I'm annoyed I didn't think of it.
Sorry, apparently we're fed-up with experts telling us what to do, even if they are rocket scientists (other brands of scientist are available).
What could possibly go wrong?
My ex-boss had been contemplating buying an Apple watch for ages (he likes visible status symbols) but even he couldn't find a use-case for one. He was finally sold one by, in this case, an aptly named Apple Genius. His line of patter was simple yet effective. "Of course you don't need one, nobody NEEDS one."
Sincere condolences to his family and colleagues. We'll all miss him as ell.
I'm not sure this method is replicable, but...
I once worked for a part of a large company UK that was "restructuring". A goodly number of us IT bods were facing the chop. For various reasons our head of IT worked in the New York branch and she was flown over to select the victims. We were asked who wanted to see her first - cue deadly hush - so I volunteered.
On arrival she was whisked away into a meeting, which overran, so she sent me a message saying we could postpone, have our chat in the office after the meeting, or meet in the pub afterwards. Well, duh. My boss happens to be a fan of real ale, so after a couple of pints, my job was saved. Those who hesitated meeting her had to face the music next day when jetlag and a mild hangover had set in. My line manager was one of those chopped, thereby leaving a vacancy, which I was promoted to fill. I've been fond of Old Speckled Hen* ever since ;-)
* a decent real ale for those of you who haven't heard of it.
"At the time, the plant's owner BrightSource claimed the facility had already hit 180 per cent of capacity".
Well, yes, but when I was there last week the hardy desert dwellers were complaining about the extreme heat. If they found it unusual it probably is.
Must be a follower of the grey ones - I used to use Sidekick. Another excellent addition to the gospels.
Hmmm, I've often sedated myself FOR the flight (particularly when some airlines used to provide free booze non-stop) but would like to be awake to ensure I got to the right destination. It's bad enough when your baggage ends up in Banff...
I'd like HAL 9000, so soothing and controlled. ;-) I suppose Farage or Trump would be easier to shout at though, particularly when they insisted that you always turn right.
True - that's the society bit I was thinking about. There doesn't seem any particularly good reason why students should be allowed guns on campus, but then you'd need a police force to disarm them I suppose.... If we'd had guns at university, the student union would have turned into a bloodbath on Saturday nights ;-)
Surely the question should be "Why in hell's good name does a university need its own police force?" Any society that thinks this even approximates to a good idea needs to take a long hard look at itself.
"At least this foul up didn't introduce any security issues like the "backwards text" one did". That's what they want you to think.... ;-)
Rename the road "Highway to Hell"? Or "Highway to a small bit of Hell's boss"? Or "Look, we know it's just a rock, but we can all pretend, can't we?"
When travelling in some of the world's more "interesting" places I find a watch a far better solution. There I use the cheapest waterproof Casio available. Apart from being waterproof, dustproof, more shockproof than me (withstands falling down gorges better, actually, much better) and utterly undesirable to people who'd mug you for a phone or chop your hand off for a Rolex. It's also totally reliable, lasts years, lets you tell the time day or night and doesn't want to connect with anything else. As a final advantage, work can't contact you on it.
I noticed in Marrakech that the Storks use a lot of waste in their nests, fabric, rope, whatever. They were all defending their nests in early February. Guess they have a good junk food diet in Morocco as well.
Actually it's not an either or situation. The archaeological* evidence strongly indicates both ecological collapse and a population crash. There is also strong evidence for a population recovery until the introduction of disease and slavery by Europeans. Essentially both Diamond and Lipo are correct, but controversy helps sell stuff.
* Disclaimer. Before getting into computery stuff I spent 20+ years being an archaeologist and did read the odd bit or two about Easter Island.
Pretty good overture, now extend it to cover the time period for the actual trip (note, that's the voyage from a to b, not a recreational pharmaceutical interlude).
I sit in my paperless office administering my fusion powerplant - using the world's dominant desktop OS, Linux, naturally.
Unless you have a complete understanding of all the software you use and how it interacts with everything else, ditto with all your hardware, and the ability to put right any problem, you too are a "user" to someone else... I've just had to contact support because I've found a bug in our own software and I'm pleased to say they were very good about it ;-) Having done the same job, I'm always very polite to any poor bastard support person - having been on the end of some foaming-mouthed moron's rants once or twice.
I was once asked by the father of an autistic university student if I could assist him with some work. The lad was very bright, cynical and had an evil sense of humour. His explanations of the social awkwardness, desire for routine and exactitude were fascinating. I felt almost flattered, albeit slightly worried, when he said to me. "I like you, you think like one of us". Well, as I said, it's a broad spectrum ;-)
I now have a vile mental image of Ballmer having a massage. I think I'll go and scrub my brain clean with bleach and wire wool!
Eradicating various genetic diseases really will save a lot of heartache - although the regulators will need to keep on eye out for potential abuses, e.g.... More volts Igor, more volts!
I was quite young when I first saw one. I was lying in the grass just beyond the runway boundary fence at Düsseldorf airport and one took off right over me - wow! When I flew into Heathrow I saw one parked next to a Concord, which looked like the plane equivalent of a lifeboat in comparison. After the 707 it became my favourite plane to fly on (various dodgy Ilyushins operated by equally dodgy airlines being my least favourite)!
If you really want to change things here's a scale of effectiveness:
1. All out revolution - pretty effective, although may have undesired consequences.
2. Strikes - may work, may result in long-term unemployment.
3. Voting - for or against, your choice, it might even work.
4. Demonstrating - may be ineffective - see Iraq War demo.
# unknown: Sitting on your arse pressing a button. (Unless button is red, in which case 1. and then some).
He's been "chillaxed" for all those years ;-)
It's not about "real" business - it's all about the expectations of the various stock markets. You can do as well as you like, but if there is no expectation of continuous growth your share value will decline. There's a good book on the subject - The City: Inside the Great Expectation Machine, by Tony Golding. It's well worth reading if you have any interest about how the financial markets actually work.
Agreed. I used to work with a small group of very experienced contractors who basically went from company to company to get projects working that one (or more) of the big consultancies had screwed up. In the end there isn't a substitute for experience, the problem is that it costs more.
I've worked in several companies where failure was simply never admitted to or discussed. I happily remember one meeting where I realised I'd made an error and said "Oops, I've screwed up". The effect was something like I imagine farting loudly in church would be like, I've never seen so many shocked faces. :-)
I also had the "pleasure" of working in one organisation where the predominant corporate culture was one of fear. Everybody, apart from a couple of people at the top, were terrified of losing their jobs and the whole atmosphere was poisonous, a foetid mix of blame, recrimination and denial of responsibility. I was very glad I was contracting there and could just ignore the internal strife.
THAT'S what Ace of Spades is for ;-)
Lot's, blue sky thinking, purple prose, you name it I'll provide it. My normal consultancy rates (not jacked up at all, honest) apply.
Pretty much the way that the large Culture ships produce other ships/drones/knife missiles for all occasions. ((Ian M Banks books for those who're thinking "What the hell is he talking about). I've never understood why you would want to destroy perfectly inhabitable planets though. If I was Emperor I would want to add them to my ever-expanding domains, BWAHAHAHA!
My favourite was being called over by an irate user with the classic "My computer doesn't work"! We know the next step, inquire if it was turned on and get abusive confirmation ending in "do you think I'm stupid?" (DO NOT ANSWER, really, just don't). Machine is whirring and lights are blinking, but no picture. Diffidently enquire if they have turned the thing that looks like a TV on at the mains. Relish sight of scarlet-faced user and confirm opinion (silently, obviously) that they are indeed a bear of little brain.
After all the tech companies have set up in South Sudan or refugee camps in Jordan (because of their tool and die skills of course) where will be left for them to go. Oooh, just had a thought, the US of course, there'll be plenty of low paid or unemployed people there by then. (I'd put a joke alert icon on this, but on second thoughts it's not really a joke, is it)?