* Posts by Tom 38

2844 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Dear Tesla, stop calling it autopilot – and drivers are not your guinea pigs

Tom 38
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Re: "They are fully trained as to what an autopilot actually does" - and what it doesn't.

In most people imagination, "autopilot" means some kind of sci-fi AI fully able to control a vehicle flawlessly.

I think of Otto from "Airplane!"

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Hyperloop One lynched in hangman lawsuit

Tom 38
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Re: Bambi meets Hyperloop

Bambi is the wife of the good guy in this story, not the un-named PR lady who figured $200k for 5 months of bad sex was probably worth it.

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Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation

Tom 38
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Re: Tsk

if it's not tupperware, you're better off with a reclosable bag.

Tupperware is so 80s, all the cool kids these days either have Sistema or Nude Food Movers, neither of which I'd describe as an off brand.

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Linus Torvalds in sweary rant about punctuation in kernel comments

Tom 38
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Style is important

Particularly since Linus's job is not really writing code, but merely reviewing and merging code. Consistency of style makes code easier to read and comprehend.

Perhaps Linus needs to write a style(9) guide man page, and refuse to merge anything that does not match.

It is probably harder for Linux, being a disparate project. For things in FreeBSD kernel and world (non contrib parts, anyway), nothing gets committed that breaches style(9), and if it does, anyone with a commit bit can change it so that it doesn't.

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Tom 38
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Re: Well it could be worse

I was once tasked to work on a library doing annoying statistical aggregation. It was last worked on about 5 years previously, and I swear to Cthulu, the only comments in the file were frequent occurrences of

// modified by Cedric

and occasionally

// putain

He never explained why he kept redefining his macro for doing malloc at various points throughout the 10k long file..

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Tom 38
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Bear in mind when ever somebody loses money, it doesn't disappear, just ends up somewhere else.

Good news, our money turned up, its now in Germany. It's also staying there.

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Queensland creep cops charged with snooping through police records

Tom 38
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Re: Police would ordinarily access such a file less than 50 times

<insert crude "Australia/convicts" joke here>

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Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

Tom 38
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Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

For the Euro, as a European citizen, I enjoy having the same currency than our neighbors: no more banks taking their parts when converting money, no more harsh conversion to calculate the price of an item, no more unchangeable coins when getting back home...

"Lets all be in a currency union because it makes it easier to buy things when travelling" is a ridiculous argument because it ignores the fact that currency union implies a lack of control over the levers of the economy, like currency and interest rates. See how Spain, Greece and Portugal have faired when they are forced to operate within what German industry wants. It is utterly simplistic and childish to think of the Eurozone in terms of buying pizza and beer on holiday.

Similarly, Schengen makes absolutely no sense for UK travellers, it's a big fucking island. You will be checked coming in by boat, plane or train regardless of UK's participation in Schengen, the current border controls being a minuscule part of that process. There is no facility gained in our participation.

A vote to "Remain" is not a vote to join either of those two barmy schemes, whilst voting to "Leave" will have us at best end up in EFTA with FSM knows what tariffs on our goods and services. Norway is a member of EFTA, they have to obey all the EU rules and regulations with no say on how they are implemented, and they still have massive tariffs on one of their largest exports (fisheries), are required to be in Schengen and have free movement of people.

Friday cannot arrive quick enough, thoroughly sick of all this.

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Cash-strapped English and Welsh cops prepare to centralise all 43 forces' websites

Tom 38
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At first I thought, "Hmm, GPS data on a bobby, that will be handy for the neighbourhood scamp dealers", but then quickly realized it will actually mean "PC Dobbins is doing paperwork" updates on twitter.

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OpenIO pulls up ARM controller SOCs: Kinetic's Marvellous... can anybody do it?

Tom 38
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I get what you're saying, but PCIe = 7.8 Gbps per lane, or 126 Gbps for a 16x link.

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Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

Tom 38
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Re: This is so self evident it is ridiculous

The only real issue I have is with things like the GPL. The 'we own everything' management mindset tends to extend to things like the Linux kernel -- the "we modified a driver so its obviously company property" sort of thing.

If your company modifies a GPL driver, then they do in fact own the modifications. They don't even have to share the modifications with anyone or push it upstream*, provided that the driver is not distributed in binary form.

* But they should, it gets the modifications checked by a wider audience, and stops the new functionality bitrotting in a private repo when the driver is updated upstream, plus it's good to not be a dick

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Tom 38
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This is so self evident it is ridiculous

Next article entitled "Coders: You don't get to take all the code you wrote for your employer when you leave"

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Linux devs open up universal Ubuntu Snap packages to other distros

Tom 38
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The way I understand what was announced by Canonical, containers will share identical libraries, so the storage overhead will be greatly reduced. At the same time, different versions of libraries will be used by the appropriate applications, so there will be fewer problems with library updates.

It's still dynamically linked static linkage. If you have the same library at the same version with the same patches built with the same options in multiple snaps, then the storage overhead is managed, but if one snap uses different functionality/build options, you don't.

One snap gets updated because a library has a security vulnerability, whilst the other snaps don't, and then you have multiple copies of the library, plus apps that run but are still vulnerable. I think I'd prefer apps that don't run to apps that are vulnerable.

You can't really have both everything being isolated and distinct and continues to work after updates, and security holes fixed by updating one package.

PS: PC-BSD PBI. Just saying.

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Don't go chasing waterfalls, please stick... Hang on. They're back

Tom 38
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Re: Except...

When no-body bothers to fully peer review the software, or the lone developer pulls the code from a repository because everyone's messing him about, or hell.. even just gets downright abusive, then I can't help but feel compelled to disagree.

The biggest "except" is that none of your three listed projects (OpenSSL, lpad and Linux) are remotely developed using the Agile methodology.

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Tom 38
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Re: Organizational microsoervices?

MCI/Worldcom by any chance?

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Brexit? Cutting the old-school ties would do more for Brit tech world

Tom 38
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Speaking of Empire. Something that I’ve never quite understood: How do you justify colonising from Cape to Cairo?

Well, in pretty much the same way that the French, Germans, Belgians, Portuguese, Spanish, Italians and Russians do I suppose - no point crying that our distant ancestors were better at it than yours. How do you justify German {East,West,South West} Africa, or the Herero genocide?

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Destroying ransomware business models is not your job, so just pay up

Tom 38
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Vikings, eh

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;

But we've proved it again and again,

That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld

You never get rid of the Dane.

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Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

Tom 38
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Boffin

Re: Have to ask...

Vic:

It varies depending on if you are vaping mouth to lung (MTL) or a direct lung inhale (DLI), and on the resistance and wattage of the atomizer.

MTL: Less intense hit, physically more like smoking a cigarette but less satisfying. Less complex and/or cheaper/older kit can do MTL. Can use liquids that are 40% to 100% PG. 18-24mg is strong, 12-15mg average, 0-6mg weak.

DLI: Intense cloud hit, physically like hitting a bong or shisha, lots of flavour. More modern kit required, usually using sub 1 Ohm atomizers. Liquid should be 70%+ VG. Lots of nicotine per hit, so 6mg is strong, 3mg average, 0-3mg weak - I know people who buy 0mg and 3mg and mix them in varying proportions..

The cheaper kits will only really allow you to do MTL. For sub-ohm vaping, you will need in excess of 20W, which none of the cheap stuff will cope with. Sub-ohm is where all the development is at these days, you can get mods (the battery + electronics portion) which can drive coils at specific temperatures - one of the reasons why a coil will wear out is if it gets too hot and burns the cotton that it is wrapped around.

With sub-ohm kits, you can do MTL or DLI. You have a mod, a tank and a coil. Some mods have replaceable batteries, which is handy as you can carry several with you on a trip. The tank needs cleaning occasionally, but will last a long time. Coils need to be replaced every few weeks, and cost about £10 for 5. You will use more liquid with a sub-ohm/cloud setup. You can also put on a MTL tank on a sub-ohm mod and dial the wattage down (and your battery will last for many many days).

With cheaper kits, you have a battery, and either a tank and coil, or a "clearomizer", or a cartridge. A clearomizer is a combination tank and coil, when the coil is no good you throw it all away and put on a new clearomizer. A cartridge is a proprietary pre-filled and non-refillable clearomizer (aka "a rip off").

Having started on the cheap kits, my recommendation is to not bother with it. It's unsatisfying, clearomizers tend to leak because they are disposable and everything wears out a lot quicker. I use a KangerTech topbox mini sub-ohm, it costs around £45, you can refill without disassembly, it takes standard 18650 batteries, coils last weeks and I've not had a tank leak on me yet.

Liquids: VG is thicker, and less likely to leak through the cotton in the coil. Some people get irritated throats from high PG content liquids. Liquids with more than 40% VG won't vape well in non sub-ohm/high wattage kit. Almost all the cheap juices you see at the newsagent are 100% PG. Pre-mixed high VG juice can tend to be more expensive, they are more at the premium end of the market and have more complex flavourings - pure VG itself is no more expensive than PG. In fact, by raw cost the most expensive part of the liquid is the flavourings.

For price comparison, I made a 6L batch of 100% VG juice (5L VG, 500ml 7.2% VG nicotine base, 500 ml assorted flavourings) for ~£100, or 50p per 30 ml. Pre-mixed high VG juices are between £15-£30 per 30 ml. In my home made juices, cost wise 10% is VG/PG, 30% is the nicotine, 60% is flavourings

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Tom 38
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I'm stocking up on super-strength nicotine soon

To mix your own juices, you start with a Vegetable Glycerin (VG) base, add concentrated (7.2%, 72mg/ml) nicotine and flavourings and then bottle it. TPD will restrict the sale of the nicotine concentrate, so bye bye to home mixing. Its hard to restrict the sale of food grade VG and colorings, for now anyway...

BTW, the "heavy smokers need heavy strength nicotine" argument can be misleading; I certainly started on quite strong juice (2.8%), but that was because my vape was rubbish. Using a decent mod (Kanger topbox) and a sub-ohm coil, the highest nicotine level you want is 0.6%, with 0.3% even common. It produces a much larger volume of smoke per inhale (and hence nicotine per hit) that this will get the smoking buzz for even the heaviest smoker.

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Linus Torvalds releases Linux 4.6

Tom 38
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Re: Noise?

A quiet time for a version control system means that there have been few/no commits. Noise is the opposite of quiet.

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EU commish: We smacked down O2/Three but we didn't take it 'lightly'

Tom 38
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I also have Three and wanted this to go through for the same reasons, however I live and work in London... it gets annoying when you have to go outside the pub in order to get phone signal, and its tedious as hell not having any signal in the office.

The whole "no other choices" argument is bollocks anyway, there are no shortage of MVNOs offering wildly different pricing to their parent MNO, eg Lebara contracts do not compare to Vodafone, nor does GiffGaff to O2.

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BT to splash £550m integrating EE. Firm shrugs: Cheap!

Tom 38
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Most pension funds are in deficit at the moment because interest rates are so historically low and so larger funds are required to cover the same liability. Its maybe fine for a while for larger firms for a while, but yeah, either interest rates need to rise soon or these holes need to be plugged.

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UK's 'superfast' broadband is still complete dog toffee, even in London

Tom 38
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Re: FFS - it is NOT fibre.

Virgin Fibre is the same as well, HFC is fibre to the local headend whereafter it's all coax to the home.

<smug>I have true FTTH, and it's very nice indeed, symmetric gigabit, sub ms ping</smug>. To think we could all have had that, instead of a really fast choo choo to Leeds...

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Woz says wearables – even Apple Watch – aren't 'compelling'

Tom 38
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Sure you can. The set of locations where you get data signal is definitely a proper subset of the set of locations where you get phone signal.

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Tom 38
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Re: It'll all end in tears

Meh. I like making tasty curries from scratch, and whilst I could finely chop my onions, and grind my spices in a pestle and mortar, the £25 I spent on a mini food processor and a specialised spice grinder definitely is worth it in terms of my time and effort. My (retired) parents make fresh bread overnight each day, easier and tastier than driving 20 minutes to the nearest shop/baker.

I don't have them now, but we definitely loved the sodastream and our toasted sandwich maker when were kids (the 80s equivalent of the panini press).

If you use it, it is useful. If you get it because you think it might be useful or it will change your lifestyle, it definitely sits in the drawer, doubly so if they are gifts. I don't and probably never will make buckwheat smoothies for breakfast, my sister swears by them and so we all got them as gifts over the years. Mine has never even come out of the box..

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Surprise! Tech giants dominate global tax-dodging list of shame

Tom 38
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...the US Agency for International Development has a $35bn budget

Problem is, that barely covers the annual fixing bill for the bits of the world they blew up last year, and probably has to go to neo-con Military-Industrial-Complex companies that assisted in the blowing up in the first place</tinfoilhatapplied>

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Canny Canadian PM schools snarky hack on quantum computing

Tom 38
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Coat

Re: He's technically wrong on everything but...

He's like a hot version of Saakashvili?

What do you mean, a hot version? How can you not .... I'll get my coat.

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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

Tom 38
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Re: Apologies in advance to all Christians......

The book never made the claim to December. I think the word didn't even exist when the book was written.

What have the Romans ever done for us, except give us the name for the tenth month of the year (Roman years started in March)

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GCHQ is having problems meeting Osborne's 2020 recruitment target

Tom 38
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Re: Obvious

Where I work (private sector, not security), we have display screens showing us motivational slides, news, internal job adverts etc all around the office. After Star Wars 7 came out, they put up a slide asking for us to deliver to HR talented people we knew at other companies, and they chose to have a picture of Darth Vader reprising the famous "Kitchener WANTS YOU" recruiting poster.

It's like ".... so that means we're the Empire, right?"

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Windows 10 with Ubuntu now in public preview

Tom 38
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Re: @Tom 38

Ad hominem == winning I see.

If you deploy software to a linux stack, develop on a linux stack. Linux syscalls translated in to windows syscalls is not linux. I really don't care what UI you or text editor they use, but develop and test things on the platform that you are going to run it on.

I don't want to debug failed jenkins builds from my junior devs that are a result of something they should have caught before they even committed it because they aren't developing on the platform that they should be.

Put another way, would you write an app for windows using Linux and WINE as your primary development environment? If you would, thanks for coming, next CV please.

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Tom 38
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...full of interest, especially for developers working on Windows but deploying applications to Linux

AKA idiots. Please don't deploy stuff developed on linux on windows to my servers.

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Blighty starts pumping out 12-sided quids

Tom 38
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Re: counterfeit pound coins

The old-old 10Fr piece in France in the 80s/early 90s was almost the same shape and weight as a British 2p. The 10Fr was worth about a quid, and gave 5 goes on the arcade machines in the cafe in our campsite until someone noticed when they came to empty the coin hoppers... blatantly unfair to claim it was me, even if I was the only adolescent British male in the campsite...

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FreeBSD 10.3 lands

Tom 38
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Re: Who uses FreeBSD in preference to Linux and why?

That's one way to spin it. Another is that Sun intentionally released it under a sketchy assed licence to ensure GPL incompatibility.

It's a sketchy assed license that is compatible with 3 clause BSD...

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'No regrets' says chap who felled JavaScript's Jenga tower – as devs ask: Have we forgotten how to code?

Tom 38
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Joke

If they called it kik_im, I'd have quickly found a Russian woman to branch it off to make a new module called kik_im_inna_forks

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True believers mind-meld FreeBSD with Ubuntu to burn systemd

Tom 38
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Ok, but why not run FreeBSD directly?

On servers, its awesome. Most every bit of hardware you will want is well supported and has great drivers.

On consumer kit like laptops, not so much. We lag behind with things that are primarily Linux driven by manufacturer choices. As an example, DRM support (that's Direct Rendering Manager, not any encryption malarky) lags behind Linux, so Intel graphics are really only supported up to Ivy Bridge.

This is because everything that Intel will push to the linux kernel has to be ported to FreeBSD, and there is a very small team of people (led by the awesome Juan-Sebastien Pedron) competent enough and with enough free time to actually do it. On Linux, there are teams of Intel employed software engineers doing this. Also, for a long time no-one in the Linux world could agree how the kernel interfaces should work for DRM; when there is that uncertainty, or it changes every year to a new system, it is disheartening to pour immense amounts of effort in to porting it.

Even when you have a consumer device manufacturer who does port stuff themselves, like nvidia who produce excellent closed source BSD drivers for their discrete cards, often there are rough edges, like missing CUDA or Optimus support.

I don't mean to be down on Intel, their server support is reasonable for chipsets and network drivers. (Its only "reasonable" because there is one guy for *BSD NIC drivers, and a team for Linux NIC drivers, and last I read Jack doesn't even get access to the cool test hardware, he has to borrow it from the Linux team..)

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Oh, sugar! Sysadmin accidently deletes production database while fixing a fault

Tom 38
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Happy

Re: it's so easy

Because it is so easy, MySQL has a command line option for its shell called '--safe-updates', which disallows UPDATE or DELETE without a where clause.

It originally had a much better name, '--i-am-a-dummy'. Gladly, it still accepts both variants.

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How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

Tom 38
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Re: Who is the thief?

Yeah, that's basically the definition of open source.

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Comms 'redlining' in Brussels as explosions kill up to 30 people

Tom 38
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Do you really want to see physical searches before you are allowed on a train? Can you imagine the chaos at rush hour if that were implemented? Or the same at the entrance to bus stations and airports?

I don't disagree, but last time I went on the Shanghai metro, I went through a metal detector, my bag went through an x-ray machine and there was scope for me to be frisked. I'm fairly sure they weren't doing it at every station, and the next morning I was just waved on through, but clearly it is possible if citizens can't don't object.

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Telling your wife why you were fired is the only punishment

Tom 38
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Re: don't look at them.

As part of an investigation I was asked to carry out a few years ago I had to spend half a day retracing the browsing habits of an employee. A full morning of having to go through and categorise someone elses porn habits including a site that I didn't bother trying to get past the big "FBI has impounded this web page, it is a criminal offence to go any further" splash page.

There's not enough money in the world to make me do that, CP being a strict liability offence. FBI might have shut some of them down, but even the remotest risk of possessing content like that, even if ordered to do it to examine someone else's habits would have me going to the boss man and saying "No more - if *you* want to see what he was looking at, here are the URLs".

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Go DevOps before your bosses force you to. It'll be easier that way

Tom 38
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Flame

Another article blathering around DevOps without discussing any aspect of it, and telling us that if we don't drink the kool aid we'll be redundant next year. Jog on.

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Blah Blah blah ... I don't care! To hell with your tech marketing bull

Tom 38
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Joke

You know what doesn't help literally anyone? Another speech by some bloviating windbag about DevOps "culture" with zero practical discussions about how to actually get on with the practical side.

Yeah, reading el reg has become a little tiresome recently with the plethora of devops non-articles.

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Beep, beep – it's our 2016 buzzword detector. We see you, 'complexity'

Tom 38
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Re: You What?

These are all interesting data points guys, I can feel the synergy flowing through the project. Lets kick all the negativity in to the long grass and align ourselves to the big picture.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 3

Tom 38
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Re: teaching computing to kiddies.

They might even tempt some users back from Linux

I booted in to windows the other day, I wanted to update it to Windows 10 before it was no longer free (hey, I might not use it at all, but if I do need to use it, I don't want to have to pay again for the latest version). It did all its update perfectly happy, rebooted and now won't boot back up. Spent two hours trying different "rescue" options, none of them fixed anything, so I gave up and booted linux to play some TF2.

I don't think I can be tempted back now, even though I need to fire up a VM to book holiday (*20* different ActiveX plugins required!) or get my payslips (this is an awesome one, it only works in two versions of IE. I don't know if they are being deliberately ironic or just daft, but ADP have the temerity to call their IE-only portal "myfreedom"...)

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Tom 38
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Re: PCs fading away...

Yeah, but the thing they invented was HDCP and then just nailed it on top of the existing DVI standard.

DVI can also have HDCP; HDMI can also carry audio, and has a higher bandwidth, even compared to dual link DVI. It's a smaller connector, and the combination of audio+video in one cable makes the rats nest behind my AV amp considerably smaller than in the one that had separate DVI/component/SCART sockets and matching coax/SPDIF/RCA plugs for each input.

Personally, that makes me perfectly happy to pay ~2p per device to the rent seeking scum.

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Donald Trump promises 'such trouble' for Jeff Bezos and Amazon

Tom 38
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Re: I looked into this a while back

He's now worth 4.5 billion according to Forbes but a figure as low as 2 billion is plausible.

He purposefully over-inflates estimates of his net worth. In 2005, he was claiming a net worth of $5-6 billion, but the a NYT journo got the inside track from 3 different sources with direct knowledge of his finances that it was actually $150-250 million dollars.

Trump got irate at this, sued the reporter (for $5 billion!) and lost, and then lost the appeal as well. His net worth is important because by inflating it he can access more favourable loans (how happy would you be lending $1bn dollars to someone worth $150m vs someone worth $10bn?). OTOH, it's largely irrelevant because he has shown (four times!) that when he gets a loan wrong, he's more than happy to let the company go in to chapter 11 and buy the assets at a discount.

Some people think Trump is this amazing property developer, whilst in fact most of his income comes from branding deals to put his name on buildings - its all one big shell game.

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US DoJ files motion to compel Apple to obey FBI iPhone crack order

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Honest Question

The WWII Enigma machine had billions and billions of combinations in the 'keyspace', but because they sent weather reports in standard format, and ended with "HEIL HILTER", the nearly-infinite rotor settings fell out each morning in about 20 minutes.

Who is this Hilter character, sounds interesting.

PS: If a few of them had ended like that, it would probably have taken us a little longer each day.

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Argos offers 'buy now pay in 3 months' deal

Tom 38
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Re: Because data protection

Me: "You're my bank - you've called me on the number i've given you. I want to know *YOU'RE* who you say you are before I give out any personal information! Can *you* confirm *my* address?"

Bank monkey: *silence*

I think more of us are doing this, because last time I did this, HSBC refused to give me my information, but said I could call back to the telephone banking service, authenticate with that and then gave me a number to give to the CSR so that I would be transferred back to them, which seemed an acceptable compromise.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The gargantuan Gatsby

Tom 38
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In SA you also get Bunny Chow, which is basically a loaf of bread with the top cut off, the insides scooped out and then filled up with Indian food and the top replaced. The Indian immigrants weren't allowed to sell food to blacks, so they would sell it out the back door, disguised in a loaf of bread. Ingenious, tasty and you can use the top as a sort of spoon.

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Women devs – want your pull requests accepted? Just don't tell anyone you're a girl

Tom 38
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Re: Transparency doesn't matter

So men, women and.....?

Gender is not binary.

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Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Transparency doesn't matter

Which actually might give slight advantage to women, because in other studies they have demonstrated to be more emphatic than men.

I think actually men are more emphatic usually, women are thought to be more empathetic.

I've seen shit code from every gender tbh.

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