* Posts by sandman

463 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009

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Google: Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am – stuck in the middle of EU

sandman

You are being all techie elitist here - the vast majority of people will never have heard of Ad Block. It's not being dumb, just not knowing it exists. Given that most web use is now over phones and tablets I'd suggest that an even smaller percentage of people are using it. Wouldn't be without it personally and always get a shock when I use a naked browser!

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'Web brothel' CEO, staff cuffed on prostitution rap – clue: the website is called Rentboy.com

sandman

Purely Business

You have to wait for an illegal activity to make decent profits before it's worth fining them and closing them down.

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Euro X-ray 'scope snaps Milky Way's 'tumultuous heart'

sandman

Fire up another spliff

Wow man, I last saw lights like that at a Hawkwind gig in 19** - freakin cosmic ;-)

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Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England

sandman

Just about anything is better than smoking

Having been a smoker since I was 13, I managed to quit after about - ooh, let's say 30 years or so - thanks to nicotine lozenges (by the way, I find them enjoyable, expensive and addictive, but enjoyable). If e-cigs help people more and do little harm then in the name of Beelzebub, encourage the use, don't ban it. We recently spent a holiday touring with someone who vaped - it didn't give the non-smokers any problem, even in a minibus with the windows closed (aircon on).

I've been on one or two chest wards (non-smoking related problems) and believe me, you really, really don't want to go there.

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BOFH: Why, I LOVE work courses. Please tell me more, o wise one!

sandman

Been there, done that

I remember a "team bonding" exercise in the US where we had to say which historical leader we most identified with and which living person we most admired. The Americans took it very seriously, but the UK contingent not so much ;-) Personally my answers were Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) and, since we were in the US, Fidel Castro...

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What a shower: METEORS will BLAZE a FIERY TRAIL across our skies

sandman

Halley's Comet

Agog with anticipation we queued for a couple of freezing hours in 1986 to get a look at it through an observatory telescope. You all know the punchline - yep, just a fuzzy dot against a lot of black. I thought about getting a t-shirt printed with just that and a big arrow pointing at it. You can make up the slogan yourselves ;-)

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Sane people, I BEG you: Stop the software defined moronocalypse

sandman

Might take a while

Drink driving is single-point stupidity - easy to identify and offering a simple (albeit) tough nut to crack. Poor software development on the other hand is polymorphous stupidity - tricky to define and hard to legislate against. Also, let's face it, developers are usually highly intelligent people, quite capable of inventing 6 new and impossible forms of stupidity before breakfast. Why yes, I have done testing and QA, how did you guess?

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UK.gov issues internal 'ditch Oracle NOW' edict to end pricey addiction

sandman

Please, please get rid of Oracle

Then I'll be able to make a fortune contracting to create training for the new systems. After that I'll be able to do the same again when half of them move back to Oracle because the new systems don't do what they wanted. Retirement plan sorted!

"How can you be too cynical?"

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BAD things happen to GOOD robots in America: hitchBot DECAPITATED

sandman

Strange City

I had the pleasure (it genuinely was, great people and mostly a fun time) of working there for a few weeks. It's quite an interesting place, there's a strip extending right through the centre as far as the amazing art museum which is historic, beautiful in places and pretty safe. The only downside being a very large number of homeless people, some of whom are pretty aggressive. I was strongly advised not to go to some of the other bits under any conceivable circumstances. On my last day before flying home another of the hotel guests was murdered in their room, which was then set on fire. As I said, an interesting place...

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So just WHO ARE the 15 per cent of Americans still not online?

sandman

Re: forgot the paranoid

Given what we know about data collection by our esteemed security organisations, that seems more like common sense than paranoia. The porch, rocking chair and beer sounds pretty sensible too. (if you were really paranoid you'd want to add motion detectors to stop the men in black sneaking up on you. Oh, possibly some really good radar, those black helicopters are a bugger to detect).

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W3C's failed Do Not Track crusade tumbles to ad-blockers' Vietnam

sandman

I take it the joke icon is ironic ;-) ? I'm thinking suing for restriction of trade would also be another possibility (particularly in the US).

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sandman

Irony

Well, yes, but I read this article on the Reg, which does seem to rely on advertising - which I don't see because I'm using Adblock. The question is, am I standing up to "The Man" or helping destroy the provision of free content which I enjoy reading?

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New study into lack of women in Tech: It's NOT the men's fault

sandman

Re: Media stereotypes?

My experience is rather different from yours, before I got involved in IT I spent many years as an archaeologist. Now that's a profession with a high percentage of women in it and they do get their hands dirty (and just about every other part of their anatomy). Being an idle sod I can't be bothered to find any stats, but again in my experience they also form a large part of the more scientific sectors of the archaeological world.

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Google robo-car in rear-end smash – but cack-handed human blamed

sandman

Re: What do the statistics tell us?

"What is different about the behaviour of these vehicles which contradicts the following drivers' expectations?"

They actually obey the rules of the road? ;-)

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Uninstalled Google Photos? Thought your pics safe from slurping? WRONG, bozo

sandman

Re: Nice...

Good point. It's all right for us la di da techie types to pontificate but the majority of users will just install an app, find out they don't want it any more and then (perhaps) uninstall it. They won't expect parts of it to continue working or the last permissions set to carry on regardless via another app.

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That man told me to stuff a ROLE up my USER ENTRY!

sandman

Can be a laugh

I worked for one company that had a very simple-brained HR system. Because my role (Project Manager) was a standard one it gave me a charge-out rate of 2k a day. My boss was grandly titled "Head of Technology", a non-standard role, therefore the system gave him the minimum charge-out rate of 1k a day. Obviously I couldn't help but point out our respective worth ;-)

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Humongous headsets and virtual insanity

sandman

Been there, done that

"Even something as simple as allowing people to become familiar with hazardous environments before they enter them in the flesh".

Back in the 90's I had the "pleasure" of a taking part in a demo IBM ran at Hursley - escaping a fire on an oil rig. With immersive VR and an angry foreman with Scottish accent shouting at you it was pretty damned realistic.

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The insidious danger of the lone wolf control freak sysadmin

sandman

Re: Internal wikis - do they ever live up to expectations?

We must have worked for the same companies ;-)

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Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE

sandman

Re: What will the police do with the images they collect?

Being pedantic, we in the UK are not citizens, we are subjects (of the Crown) - not far from subjugation eh, and getting closer every year.

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Future Range Rovers will report pot-holes directly to councils

sandman

Poor orphan

We have a street next to our house, part of which is an "orphan road". Essentially it doesn't belong to anyone - not even the council. For quite a few years this little stretch was left unrepaired until NASA could have asked the council if they could use it for Mars Rover trials. Now it's beautifully smooth and used by some drivers to see if they can exceed Mach 1.

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Teaching kids to code is self-defence, not a vocational skill

sandman

Analysis and/or coding

Some good points raised here. Coding is great, but the ability to analyze a real world problem (yes, games included) and work out the steps needed to solve it is equally if not more important. There's little more frustrating for many people than learning something purely abstract. (Says the man who had to learn Latin at school and couldn't understand why at the time).

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Why voice and apps sometimes don't beat an old-fashioned knob

sandman

UI changes

Ah yes, my favourite occupation. Every time (this applies to everywhere I've worked) a new marketing manager/CEO/receptionist/etc comes in, it's ooh, we need to change the website. Even better, it's then - ooh, we need to change our application UI to reflect the new branding. Then of course, one customer will ask for a new feature, to which Sales will say, "Oh, that's not a problem". Cue another change to the UI. Then of course, every release will have new features (whether useful or not) and the UI design will be changed (whether necessary or not).

Of course, now everyone is all cloudy, the changes are pushed out to the unsuspecting users and they'll find their familiar UI has changed literally overnight, whether they want it or not. On the upside, I've got a job for eternity (well, it sure as hell seems like it).

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Tim Worstall: Metals, mining and my heavyweight book

sandman

Damn!

Unfortunately I'm going to miss this as I'll be studying (and singly-handedly trying to ameliorate) the economic plight of Athenian taverna owners on that date ;-)

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Well YES, Silicon Valley VCs do think you're a CRETIN

sandman

It might well work

Common, how long have Ponzi schemes and 419 scams worked for? Despite the fact that the world and its canine companions should be aware of them by now. It's virtually impossible to lose money by promising the greedy yet gullible a glittering unicorn wearing the emperor's shiny new clothes.

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Windows 10 to MELT YOUR BRAIN and TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE

sandman

Lighten up!

OFGS - why not? Windows has never been the same since Minesweeper and Solitaire, etc, stopped being bundled with it. Bring it on I say - that's the dull conference calls sorted. It's either that or read the Reg ;-)

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Look out, law abiding folk: UK’s Counter-Extremism Bill slithers into view

sandman

Re: One party state

Give the people what they want and give it to them good and hard!

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It’s Adobe’s Creative Cloud TITSUP birthday. Ease the pain with its RGB-wrangling rivals

sandman

No new Photoshop for me

I really don't need the full power of Photoshop, but do need a mixture of RAW editing, general photo manipulation and some vector/semi DTP work. So that's a mixture of Elements, Lightroom and Xara. (For those of you who haven't heard of Xara, you might want to look it up, it's a pretty damned good product).

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Self-STOPPING cars are A Good Thing, say motor safety bods

sandman

Re: Transitional period

Try leaving the highway code mandated gap (particularly on the motorway) and someone will inevitably slot into it - often forcing you to brake - grrrr.

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Like a Dell factory but what comes out is a LOT more fun: We visit Aston Martin

sandman

Re: Leather choice

Not exclusive enough - Dodo leather is the only choice ;-)

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Why should I learn by ORAL tradition? Where's the DOCUMENTATION?

sandman

Training?

As someone who has the dubious pleasure of producing some of our software company's training materials I was of course delighted when a "senior" product person said the following. "We don't need to bother with training, our software is so intuitive that anyone can understand it".

Strangely our customers (and internal staff) beg to differ. ;-)

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Unfriended: Odious screen-teens get theirs in this flat horror

sandman

Pah, amateurs

My computers are protected by an Elder Sign (one that eats the brains of passing teenagers).

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UK exam board wants kids to be able to Google answers

sandman

Re: Exams?

Now, I'm precisely the opposite. I'm really, really, good at passing exams. This includes programming in C++ - something that in real life I'm complete rubbish at, being a certified system architect in xxxx's software - something else I'm crap at, etc.

In my opinion, exams are unfair, they suit people with my sort of short-term retention and penalise far better people who just aren't good in exam situations.

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Range Rover Sport: Like a cathedral on wheels, only with comfier pews

sandman

Very popular here...

... in Surrey. This - "“yes, traffic calming is for poor people" - explains why ;-)

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Apple BIGGER than the U.S. ECONOMY? Or Australia? Or ... Luxembourg?

sandman

Interesting - that got me thinking. It'd almost certainly be much worse if Microsoft disappeared, the world is far more reliant on MS than Apple (although obviously many people would prefer it not to be). IBM going would be a blow to many as well. Apple (despite my love of their laptops) are mostly a consumer-orientated company and are really quite unimportant in the serious IT world.

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Apple Watch: Exactly how many vids does it take to teach a fanboi to tell the time?

sandman

With the demise of Google Glass some other badge was required.

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sandman

Re: Informative indeed.....

You're right - the (male) owners will probably be used to raising and lowering their wrist rapidly ;-) However, for most of the population that will be the right wrist, so perhaps instructions on how to do it left-handed are necessary...

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It's official: David Brents are the weakest link in phishing attacks

sandman

Re: Time for a Register checklist?

"10 Did you get this at home as well but not want to "risk it" there?" - Brilliant! :-) Please tell me there aren't people who do that!

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High on bath salts, alleged Norse god attempts tree love

sandman

Re: commit "a sexual act on a tree"

At least its bark is worse than its bite...

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Don't shoot the Messenger: NASA's suicide probe to punch hole in Mercury

sandman

Star Trekkin

We come in peace - shoot to kill!

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Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

sandman

Re: re: Manola

Ah the beauty of the differences between US and UK English. "Mine would be pissed but we made her move her trailer years ago." In the UK, "pissed" means very drunk. The sentence makes sense both ways, nobody wants to live next door to an alcoholic mother-in-law. ;-)

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The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

sandman

Re: politics

As a fairly hard "leftie" I always enjoy Tim's articles, even if I sometimes disagree with his opinions (and he usually states what is a fact and what is an opinion - which is splendid). In this case I think his conclusions are correct.

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A Brit in California moves to the Lone Star State – just swerve the TexMex grub

sandman

Friendly Americans

I've found the vast majority of Americans to be really friendly - and mean it. In the US the comment "you must come and visit" actually means what it says. In the UK it quite often means "I really hope I never see you again" ;-)

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Mummy, what's the point of Evgeny Morozov's tedious columns?

sandman

Happily resorting to dogmatism :-)

I'm going to get into the spirit. Tim can't be a "lackey dog capitalist running pig". As any Maoist knows the correct expression is "A Capitalist running dog* and a lackey of US Imperialism". He's pretty likely to also be a revisionist and a paper tiger.

* possibly of course a bloated one...

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HELP! Windows Phone update 8.1 broke my Lumia

sandman

Well, since the 930 isn't affected...

But I still want to be counted as one of the four. In fact I have an old HTC Windows phone on the desk as well (no sim, and a cracked screen, but use it as a now free HERE Maps/Drive GPS device/music player, etc). So, am I two owners. The beautiful other half owns a 720, so that's three Win Phones in the house - that's theoretically all four of us then. Who owns these mythical 1020s?

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Facebook is MORE IMPORTANT to humanity than PORTUGAL

sandman

"Really? But Google is the internet, surely"?

Oh, that's so last decade, do try and keep up! ;-)

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Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons

sandman

Bunch of wheel lovers

Pah, personally I try and walk most places and regard ALL road users as dangerous vermin. (Except when in a car, or on a bike or a bus then all OTHER road users are as above, oh, and pedestrians).

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Google's first stab at control-free ROBOT car rolls off the line

sandman

The technology doesn't matter

Look, it could be run by HAL, powered by a tiny fusion engine and have unicorn leather seats. All this is irrelevant, it looks like it was designed by a three year old with a broken crayon. Even British Leyland never managed anything quite as ugly. Ask yourself, "Would I be seen, even as a week old mouldering corpse, in the non-drivers seat in THAT?"

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Bring back big gov, right? If only the economics, STUPID, could tell us more

sandman

Re: Great article

Agreed - some interesting and thoughtful comments as well. I particularly like the way Tim doesn't hide his ideological slant. I'm not sure such thoughtful behaviour is allowed on the Reg, can we just get back to the usual mindless insults?

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Judge spanks SCO in ancient ownership of Unix lawsuit

sandman

Re: Just Buy The Bankrupt Company

Don't be silly, it'd deprive starving lawyers of money and us of endless entertainment. Think of it as a soap opera (albeit one with a plot copied from Groundhog Day).

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Linux 'GRINCH' vuln is AWFUL. Except, er, maybe it isn't

sandman

Re: Me thinks

It'll be used to operate the commercial fusion powerplants ;-)

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