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* Posts by sandman

386 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009

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MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS

sandman

Re: cannibalism

Plus 10 internet points for a truly obscure musical reference ;-)

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Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies

sandman

Re: I still dont get the asteroid thingy and why its got so much traction

Um, there's no evidence for any dinosaur/pterosaur survival after the KT Boundary (handily marked by a globally distributed layer if Iridium from the meteorite). The reference in the piece to extinctions is confusing two different ones.Read the actual paper and you'll see that there are no toothless pterosaur fossils found after the late Maastrichtian (terminated by the above mentioned impact). The toothed Pterosaurs disappeared rather earlier (Turonian) in a completely different extinction that seems to have nothing to do with meteorites.

Either the planet or the rest of the universe will get us one way or another, sooner or later ;-)

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

sandman

Re: Logic fail

You do wonder if he wouldn't be more comfortable in a Swedish prison. That is assuming that he's guilty of the crimes he's accused of and is actually given a custodial sentence. Even if the Swedes decide to deport him to the States and he ends up Gitmo, at least it's sunny ;-)

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Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy

sandman

Re: Challenge the basic premise...

That viewpoint doesn't just apply to Socialism. I'd suggest it doesn't even apply just to politicians, there are plenty of corporate entities that try to do the same. Mandatory drug tests would be one example. I couldn't do some work for one of our US clients because they insisted on anyone who worked for them having one - even though we did try and explain that we don't do that in the UK. Or try asking a Japanese salaryman if the company dictates his entire life.

Basically anyone who aspires to a position of power has some belief that their way is the right way and should be followed - for the good of the followers, naturally.

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sandman

Re: yeah but what about the jobs...?

Another robotic task?

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Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE

sandman

Re: Black coffee

Mmmm - way to go. Filter jug + four heaped scoops of finest Costa Rican and drink throughout the day (although two mugs before 10am helps with work rate).

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

sandman

Odd viewpoint

Many years ago I wrote, designed and built one of the earliest museum websites in the UK. It was designed for potential visors to the museum, Key Stage 2 kids and anyone interested in the history of the period.

Running user surveys (a bit painful in those days) produced a rather unexpected result. Something like 30% of the respondents put down their occupation as "retired". This was in the late 90's.

Now, there is always the self-selection problem with this sort of survey, but I suspect they went onto the site because there was something they were actually interested in reading there. Perhaps many older people aren't that interested in "technology" because they don't find much of what's on offer worth the effort.

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END your Macbook SHAME: Convert it into a Microsoft SURFACE

sandman

Tempting

Oh, I'm very tempted to send my Macbook for modding. Better still, it isn't mine, so I'd love to see the look on the faces of our IT Support team when I take it into the office. Sadly, while our head of technology would think it funny, I'm not entirely sure the support guys would, for obvious reasons :-)

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The Therapod diet: From HUMUNGO DINO to TINY BIRD in 50m years

sandman

Re: Next Step

Background music is now compulsory for all scientific, cultural and sporting presentations and programs. Preferably in the form of awful cover versions that will ruin your favourite songs for you. If that doesn't work, advertisers will utilise the same tactic (yes John Lewis, I'm thinking of you) and background their ads with lavishly produced, yet strangely appalling, cover versions of songs you once liked. Having said that, watching a Commonwealth Games montage to a background of Motorhead's Ace of Spades was quite surreal :-)

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Party like it's not 1999: Cry FREEDOM for a better web

sandman

Re: Yes, welcome ...

'Twas ever thus ;-) Bring back text-only browsers and force the bastards to read is what I say.

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MYSTERIOUS Siberia CRATER: ALIENS or METEOR not involved, officials insist

sandman

I've read about these...

Siberian Death Worm

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Writing about an Australian Snowden would land Vulture South in the clink

sandman

Democracy RIP

I really wish people would stop pretending that there is any real form of democracy in the UK and US (I can't speak for any other countries - insufficient knowledge). Both states are run by a political class - even to the extent that there are political dynasties - think Kennedy, Bush and Clinton for starters. I was under the impression that Americans once fought to be free from dynastic rule, but obviously times change.

The political class is supported and financed by a business class and semi-controlled by a media with its own selfish agenda.

If you look at the policy choices us proles are offered, the different parties give us pretty much the same choices, ranging from slightly selfish individualist capitalism to outright barkingly selfish individualist capitalism. All our problems are blamed on the poorest and most vulnerable members of society and we accept all this is the new normal (you can now make sheep noises).

What we are governed by are self-perpetuating oligarchies, intent on keeping power and enriching themselves at the expense of the rest of the population. Their greatest achievement is convincing us that there is no alternative - something enforced by all arms of the state (to return to the original article).

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Barclays Bank counter staff to become iPad-toting 'community bankers'

sandman

Super queues

Try going into a robotised branch with your 95 year old in a wheelchair. They're perfectly compos mentis but need to deal with one of the few staff. See the 20 minute lunchtime queue for services the machines don't provide. Enjoy the sight of nurses, builders and other people you actually want on the job getting agitated. Note that there are no signs telling you what the machines can do, so the poor sod with the pad keeps a job.

When you finally get to the ONE window, the staff are on high stools so can't even see someone below them in a wheelchair and have to heave their bulk off it and stand at the end of the counter to deal with them. Then get told they've made allowances for old/disabled customers because one of the machines is lower, just like a kiddy's urinal. I'm thinking about contacting one of the disability pressure groups to have a look at this.

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Google Glass HOLED: Techno-specs' inventor jets off to Amazon

sandman

Re: One wink shopping

Let's hope that they don't invent a watch where you shop by moving your wrist then ;-)

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German government orders local CIA station chief to pack his bags

sandman

Normal service

Most governments spy on their friends and allies - for several reasons. Firstly, you know where your enemies stand, that's why their called enemies. Allies are a different matter, you need to know if they're going to change their policies in a manner inimical to your interests.

Secondly, information on what your allies are up to (including details of their personal lives) are very useful when it comes to negotiations with them.

Thirdly, it's easier and the consequences of discovery are generally far milder for your controllers (although their agents, if locals, may not be so lucky). It wouldn't surprise me if the vast majority of "spies" are based in "friendly" countries. As an agency chief you can then justify the numbers employed and your budget - hey, they're all busy, right?

Then of course there is all the usual spying to do, digging out commercial secrets, military technology, etc. The French and Israelis have form here - both have been caught spying in the US.

Basically, everybody does it and always have (see Venetian history, they've been credited with starting the ball rolling). The dumb thing is getting caught.

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Google went behind our backs and really HURT US, squeal upset porn kingpins

sandman

Re: anti-sex morality groups

Ah they're not anti-sex as such, just anti any sort that's done outside the married, heterosexual, missionary position (no funny stuff) only bed. There have been total anti-sex religious movements in the past such as the Shakers, but these tend to be a little self-limiting and have a noticeably short shelf-life.

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Islamic terror peril hits US giants' phone wallets

sandman

Re: Surprised

If ISIS was formed in 2004 and the joint venture not until 2010, then our terrorists should be the ones suing - now that would be an interesting case. I'm sure they could find a Texan lawyer who'd take the case on ;-) Alternatively, I believe they have a reputation for direct action...

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Is there too much sex and violence on TV?

sandman

Re: Disproportionate response

Too true, but you see it in many walks of life. It's a management panic reaction. I once built and ran a website that had 250,000 users a year visiting it. In ten years, ONE person complained (as opposed to pointing out mistakes, broken bits, etc) and that complaint went straight to the CEO, who immediately suggested we change the whole thing to meet that complaint (we didn't).

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UK Xmas 2014: Go to shops a normal human, walk out a glasshole

sandman

Many years ago I went to a major conference and exhibition on this new-fangled internet thingy. Naturally, the venue didn't have a connection. Cue total Dilbert demonstrations. "Well, here you would see xxxxx".

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China blocks Flickr and OneDrive

sandman

Re: Let them eat cake

One cake to rule them all?

Anyway, choice of cake is a nasty capitalist, hegemonist idea, dreamed up by the imperialist paper-tigers and their cadres of running-dogs.

Why yes, I have read the thoughts of Chairman Mao, how could you guess? ;-)

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You want a medal for writing a script? Sure: here it is!

sandman

Unsung

There are a lot of people out there like him and it's nice to see someone appreciated. I worked with the IT training team in one company. These people were flying all over the world running intensive courses on the company's software for clients and partners. None of it would have worked well without Sue, a superb administrator, who could book the best flights, hotels, deal with any problem from 8000 miles away, sooth the worries (or egos) of some of the more "sensitive" trainers and techies and ignore the stupider corporate diktats.

A good admin or a problem solver like Vivin should be valued :-)

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Freeze, Glasshole! Stop spying on me at the ATM

sandman

Card cloning

I haven't used my card in a garage or convenience store ever since herself had her card cloned almost certainly after using it at the local garage (try proving that one though). Fortunately the card was then used at an Argos in Essex, so it was very easy to prove that it wasn't her using it - I mean, Argos! says he snobbishly.

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Dutch firm passes the world's first e-spliff to the left hand side

sandman

Fat Freddy says

Absolutely freakin cosmic :-)

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Han Solo headed for lengthy stay in bacta tank after Bay Door Control cockup

sandman

Apologies - pure speculation to be found here...

He's been repaired in an NHS hospital - perhaps privately by a consultant who works both sides of the fence. Recuperation could be in a private room in the hospital or he could transfer to a private hospital. The boundaries between NHS and private are quite blurred.

If you have medical insurance in the UK, look carefully at what's not covered, a lot of the difficult stuff is done on the NHS...

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French Hacker Legion is West's foremost snoop squad says Robert Gates

sandman

Dereliction of Duty

If as Gates says, the US are the only country NOT passing on commercial information gleaned by their spies, then surely that is a shocking dereliction of duty by the government.

However, I need to run inside to shelter from the fallout of the squadrons of flying pigs passing overhead.

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Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the WORST

sandman

Unbiased Opinion

For a totally fair and unbiased opinion may I recommend - http://sniffpetrol.com/2014/05/28/google-announces-shitty-car-for-idiots/

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It's Google's NO-WHEEL car. OMG... there aren't any BRAKES

sandman

Re: Fixed it...

Surely you mean "nearby stores that advertise on Google".

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Police at the door? Hit the PANIC button to erase your RAM

sandman

Argh!

"Daddy, I was playing on your computer and then it all went away…"

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Expulsion from Garden of Steven: Apple staffers tossed out of Fruit Loop

sandman

Re: Progress

Evolution in action...

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Why are Fujitsu and Toshiba growing lettuce in semiconductor plants?

sandman

Re: Not Enough Money

Oddly, it does make a sort of sense, particularly to the Japanese. If you have a small, relatively infertile land area with bugger all in the way of natural resources and a large population you have to import nearly everything. I'd suggest that the Japanese remember that one of the reasons for Pearl Harbor was the potential effectiveness of US sanctions. They'd also remember the utterly crippling effect of the US submarine and air blockade. By 1945 their entire economy was toast and people were getting very, very hungry.

From a strategic point of view it would make sense to have a secure food supply, or even the option of quickly developing one. Secure energy would also be possible, raw materials not so much.

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You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

sandman

One resource that's limitless

Stupidity.

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Cops crimp global perve-cam attacks

sandman

False logic

"BlackShades was said to be insecure and a tool of inexperienced hackers, leading some users to question whether police resources would be better spent chasing more damaging crime."

OK, by that logic we should't arrest Mafia members until they reach at least Capo status, terrorists until they've graduated to efficient mass killing, etc. It makes a lot more sense to arrest people when they're beginning their career and perhaps (only perhaps) deterring them.

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Be the next tech hotshot – by staying the hell away from regulators

sandman

Re: Business analogy

Ah, yes - similar to the way their internal structures change from flat to pyramid and back again. This sort of change is often done to create the appearance of progress, appeasing the analysts and hence, hopefully, upping the share price. To be fair (although I'm not sure why) a mature company with decent profitability but little chance of further growth can do little to excite the investment community any other way (except for cutting costs - usually by laying off staff, this is viagra to many investors, no matter how short-termist it may be).

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Game of Thrones written on brutal medieval word processor and OS

sandman

Not upgrading

In the DOS days I had a friend who produced and sold a very specific type of database. At his request I also added a copy of Wordstar (v3 if I remember correctly) to the single floppy disk that was the entire install to act as an editor. The customers loved his product, but eventually the world went Windows and he felt forced to produce a Windows DB.

Cue revolt from customers - none wanted to upgrade, both the DB and Wordstar did exactly what they wanted - tiny footprint, no extraneous garbage, etc. He kept updating the DOS version until really quite recently, but kept the old version of Wordstar, everybody was familiar with it and didn't see any reason to change.

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Feature-phones aren't dead, Moto – oldsters still need them

sandman

Discovering texting at 92

We got my significant-other-in-law an earlier model when she was 92. She rapidly became a fiendish texter. This is the ideal type of phone for someone with slightly dodgy vision and hearing, they're usually a bit BLOODY LOUD too. Now 95 she's still using it all the time. She loves our smart phones, but says they're too complex and fiddly. It may be a niche market, but with an expanding very elderly population, not a bad niche to be in.

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Boffins debunk red wine miracle antioxidant myth

sandman

Re: To aid science

Non-drinkers!? Wrong forum ;-)

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Really? Sigh. Really? Apple's lawsuit against Google is REVIVED

sandman

I made a mistake

Many, many years ago I switched from being an archaeologist to working in the wonderful world of technology - because the pay was much better ;-) Now I'm thinking I should have moved to the States and become a lawyer - great pay and permanent employment. I mean, you could get involved in any of the Apple/Google/Samsung cases and have a well paid job for life! It looks like an easy life, just turn up and rehash the same old arguments, post your appeal, rinse and repeat ;-)

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Brain surgery? Would sir care for a CHOC-ICE with that?

sandman

Education for the benefit of whom?

Since when did it become the obligation of society as a whole to pay for corporate training? One of the biggest con jobs in recent years is the way corporations have convinced governments that the necessity to train staff should be a taxpayer burden. Brilliant for the shareholders, not so good for the rest. If there is a skills shortage, train your own bloody staff.

If we could actually produce literate, numerate and sensible school leavers and graduates who had a good general (or specific, I'm not fussy) knowledge of their chosen subject area, then surely it is the responsibility of the employer to fine-tune their knowledge?

Since this isn't going to happen I'll just stop ranting now...

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Innovation creates instability, you say? BLASPHEMY, you SCUM

sandman

Meretricious marketing mumbling

Go to virtually any software/services company website and you'll get to read plenty about innovation and change and how the product/services will solve all your company's problems/create world peace and cure cancer. What you won't find is actually what they do or wan to sell to you. I know, I've worked for a few of them and in some cases even I couldn't figure out what we did from the website

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IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels

sandman

Great Place

I visited there a few times when working with one of their Virtual Reality guys back in the 90s - very cutting edge at the time. Mostly of course down in a basement. What is it with IT and basements?

The VR itself was amazing - try an "escaping from a burning oil rig" simulation. I seem to remember the sweary, Scottish voice of the forman yelling instructions and actually forgetting that I was in a nice room in a posh mansion with a fat pair of goggles on.

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Right, Turkey – elections are over. You can use Twitter again

sandman

Two different Turkeys

To generalise, Erdogan's support base is amongst the working class and those who'd like a more religious constitution, not the middle-class, secularist, urban twitterati. The gap between the two visions for Turkey's future looks like becoming more profound.

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

sandman

Re: Causes cancer, prevents cancer...

Speak for yourself earthling!

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Newsnight goes sour on Tech City miracle

sandman

Plenty of other Roundabouts

Hoxton is probably fine for a media orientated startup, but bugger all use when you try and scale. If you want to grow a company (rather than just try and flog some IP to Google) you need space, reasonable rates and parking. You'll find successful British IT companies in all sorts of odd places - often on edge of town business parks in places like Guildford, Ealing, etc, etc. There are usually roundabouts involved, particularly if you're based near Basingstoke...

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Putin and pals dump Apple's iPads for Samsung slabs... over security concerns

sandman

Re: At least one US President

Damn, uncovered at last :-(

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sandman

Re: At least one US President

Great idea - given the quality of my handwriting I'd feel really sorry for any spook who tried to read it - six months on even I can't read what I wrote ;-)

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Original iPhone dev team was 'shockingly small' - Apple engineer

sandman

Couldn't agree more with most of the comments so far. One of the reasons for the success of the iPhone was that it didn't look like it was designed by a committee. Small, focused and well lead teams are the way to go. We're very lucky where I work, we do have a small team, a VP who sees his role as setting us tasks and tough but achievable deadlines and then making sure nobody else interferes with our progress - almost work bliss ;-)

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British trolls to face 'tougher penalties' over online abuse

sandman

Serendipitous

Just as we're meant to clearing room in our prisons by stopping jailing BBC licence fee payers we can fill those vacant slots with trolls. That's what I call joined-up policy ;-)

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Intel reinvents the PC as giant 'Black Brook' fondleslab

sandman

Tray

Why not use it as a handy tray? To be fair, we do carry our Sony all-in-one around like that and now have bulging arm muscles.

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BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

sandman

Re: Missed opportunity here

Have +5 internet points for the first time I've seen "cladogram" used outside a serious discussion of evolutionary biology :-)

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Barclays warns freelance techies of DOUBLE DIGIT rate cut

sandman

Short-sighted

As a contractor you know you have little or no protection against rate cuts, etc. If you feel strongly about it you just find a better contract (this works best when times are good obviously). The problem for the company is that the more experienced contractors (those in most demand) leave and are replaced by less experienced ones. This causes delays and other problems while the new guys get up to speed. It's not a great way to ensure critical projects are finished on time and to a high enough quality or that the infrastructure continues working smoothly.

This kind of myopic short-termism isn't a great incentive to go and work for Barclays.

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