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* Posts by Tom 38

2091 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

China reveals new strategy of stockpiling rare earths

Tom 38
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Re: So what if they are stockpiling?

Wages? Wages?

In 7 years, Chinese labour costs will be similar to Romania, in 14 years, close to Italy. That's what happens when you have massive trade surplus and consistent 7-10% inflation every single year, whilst the rest of the world is in deflation.

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Tom 38
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So what if they are stockpiling?

I thought the reason why China has a monopoly on rare earths is that they are the only people mining them, the others having given up because it requires lots of chemical processing to get the required metals (NIMBY-averse) and (effectively) China do it cheaper.

China now want to not rape their country quite so much, so are trying to close down the more dodgy ones. Before they do this, they need a stockpile of rare metals, since their economy depends a lot on producing the tech products that these metals are required for.

If by stockpiling and not mining this drives the price of rare earth metals up, then that will make mines elsewhere in the world profitable again, and remove the Chinese monopoly on rare earth metals.

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UK is first class for train Wi-Fi in Europe

Tom 38
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NightFox, what network? My tablet is 02, and my phone is 3. On a train journey from London to Ipswich, I rarely lose 3G on my phone - just one or two deadspots - but my tablet is exactly as you describe. I think O2 are just a bit shit.

My 3 phone has no signal in more places than when I was on O2, but I get 3G in far more places.

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Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android

Tom 38
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Re: Why is battery life not a desirable feature anymore?

The battery on my iphone lasts for ages - admittedly, I'm not a particularly heavy user of it. For example, I took it off the charger on Monday morning. It hasn't been charged since, and the battery is at 38%, which is good enough for me.

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Tom 38
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but an … update is imminent

Almost every Android review says this. I wonder how many do come through with the promised upgrade. I'll give the benefit of the doubt here - <3 Panny.

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Used software firms win small victory in shrinking on-premises world

Tom 38
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Re: @Gordan

Ah well that sucks - gues I'm stuck with my copy of CS:GO then. Any one want to pony up for a test case against Valve?

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Tom 38
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@Gordan

You need to check out Steam again.

You can trade any item - game, or item from within a game - from one steam account to another, in return for other items or nothing. The transfer of money happens outside of Steam, Steam allows you to transfer the license to use a game to a different account.

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BT broadband packs up again - second big outage in a fortnight

Tom 38
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Irony

People bitching on the internet about their internet being down.

Also, I love the new "man in the street" approach seen on el reg and other sites: When a story breaks, find some "Outraged of Tunbridge Wells" on Twitter, post a screenshot of them #moaning #their #asses #off.

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Apple faces Italian shutdown over warranty skulduggery

Tom 38
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Re: one eyed view of the world

I dunno why you bother ticking the AC box "Obviously!"

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Tom 38
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Re: It's not the Italian law only - it's an EU directive

Right, that is them following the letter of the law. There is a 2 year warranty, but after 6 months it is your responsibility to show that the defect was caused by Apple, and not by your use/misuse of the device. Usually, this is impossible to do.

I understand your anger, but it seems like you don't fully understand your statutory rights. This consumer website explains much more clearly than I can about your rights:

http://whatconsumer.co.uk/returning-damaged-or-faulty-goods/

http://whatconsumer.co.uk/how-long-should-it-last/

One of the best ways to avoid issues with a phone you will use on a contract is to buy it from the network. It is very hard for a retailer to sell you a subsidized phone on a 24 month contract and claim that the devices lifetime is less than 2 years, and gives you a local company to hassle over warranty.

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Tom 38
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Re: It's not the Italian law only - it's an EU directive

Apple quite happily recognise that there is 2 years warranty, or at least they do in the UK. However, they follow (in the UK) the letter of the law precisely. Within the first 6 months, any defects in a device are automatically considered to be due to manufacturing faults, and the onus is on the manufacturer to show otherwise. After that point however, the onus is on the consumer to show that a manufacturing defect caused the failure.

Don't forget that a statutory warranty is not a guarantee. The statutory warranty covers manufacturing flaws, where as extended guarantees like AppleCare cover a lot more cases.

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So, that vast IT disaster you may have caused? Come in, sit down

Tom 38
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Re: Cockups happen

@Chris_W

Sounds like you've never done proper change management. A change like running "DELETE * FROM CUSTOMER_TABLE WHERE CUSTOMER_ID = 5;" under a proper change management procedure isn't tapped in by some developer on the DB console.

Instead, it is a change - a data migration. Someone writes a small module to effect that change, the module is tested against sample data, verified to be correct by both tests and code inspection, verified on a replica of the production system and then finally performed on the real data.

This doesn't necessarily stop all errors; the automated tests could be inadequate, this could be missed by code inspection, and a bad change is deployed. However, it does eliminate "fat finger syndrome".

Obviously, all of this is a lot more work than just tapping away at a console. Depending upon your project and requirements, you may want changes to happen more easily than that (your bosses would call this being "agile", I know, the irony), but then you have to accept that more syntax and semantic errors will reach your production code base.

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Tom 38
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Joke

Re: wow, who the hell . . . . .

Pfft, AC, the 'wall' command is like the simplest command to know on BSD...

Isn't there some law that says if you say that you are above making mistakes, the text saying so will contain at least one mistake?

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Tom 38
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Re: There is a trust option,...

The thought of having BCS representing me in any kind of official capacity terrifies me far more than the prospect of losing my job.

IT does run the world, it is a shame we cannot fully unionize. Bob Crow and the RMT think that tube drivers control London, imagine if all the techies went on strike.

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BBC TV boss George Entwistle nabs director general post

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Radio 4 not for rich people

Just intelligent people.

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Tom 38
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Re: His Most Important Asset MISSED!

Definitely not right wing, he works for Aunty.

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Orange San Diego Intel-based Android phone

Tom 38
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Re: Orange-only?

So buy it on PAYG, unlock it and stick an O2 SIM in it.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: storage

iPhone 3G came out in 2008 and has 128MB RAM and a 412 MHz CPU.

Huawei G300 came out in 2012 and has 512MB RAM and a 1 GHz CPU.

But no, you're right, they are totally comparable...

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Tom 38
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Re: battery life

Only pure Java apps run totally in dalvik. Things like games are often compiled specifically for ARM, and those run in an ARM emulator.

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YouView launches with pricey premium DVR

Tom 38
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I will definitely get YouView

Presuming of course that it is built in to the next TV I intend to buy in, ooh, 5 years time.

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Apple's UK smartphone lead shrinks

Tom 38
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WTF?

I expect the thumbs down when I say something that praises Apple, but that post is just bare facts - how can you downvote facts?

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Tom 38
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iOS dominates high end smartphone sales.

It doesn't even compete at the low end, which is where Android's domination is greatest.

Samsung expect to 'sell'* 10 million Galaxy S 3 by the end of July (2 months after launch).

In a similar period*** after launch Apple sold** 37 million iPhones.

* Usual sales BS applies, this number refers to shipped units and not sales

** From Apple's first quarter results, 2012

*** Note Apple figure refers to a full quarter, where as Samsung's is over 2 months.

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Tom 38
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Obvious is obvious

Phone sales of a marquee brand like the iPhone or Galaxy S are always sold on contract. The phones are always introduced in a cycle to prompt previous purchasers to upgrade to the latest version.

Therefore, there is an almighty sales rush as the new devices are launched, and for 6 months or so afterwards, before it tails off - at some point, (almost) everyone who is going to get said phone already has said phone.

So, iPhone 4S sales are tailing off in the UK, 8 months after it has launched, whilst Galaxy S3 sales are quite high, 1 month after launch. Colour me shocked.

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Leap second bug cripples Linux servers at airlines, Reddit, LinkedIn

Tom 38
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Devil

Re: <<-- Smug twat

You cannot compare Linux and BSD. One is a disparate set of software packages cobbled together by a distributor, and the other is an operating system lovingly crafted since 1977.

But in the real world, the main differences are:

(Free|Open|Net)BSD are all complete OS, rather than a set of base packages.

Less hardware support for BSD.

BSD is fully documented, Linux, not so much.

BSD is not tainted by FSF dogma.

No/little GPL code - ever decreasing amounts.

ZFS support (see 'No FSF dogma above').

DTrace support (ditto).

Linux tends to have better package management tools*.

BSD has jails, which are like VMs, but without the overhead.

The biggest plus TBH is that we've been using it for so long we know where everything is. I don't doubt we could use Linux just as effectively, but we would have to learn it all again.

* One plus for BSD in package management is that it doesn't do that brain dead linux tradition of splitting packages up into 'libfoo' and 'libfoo-dev' - what kind of fucked up brain thinks not installing the header files for a library is a good idea - y'know, the stuff that actually allows you to use the API presented by the library.

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Tom 38
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Devil

<<-- Smug twat

All our FreeBSD servers were unaffected, apart from the clock getting corrected from NTP.

Now, if this were only true all the time. Linux 3453453 - FreeBSD 1 (but we're catching)

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Samsung asks for US Galaxy Nexus ban to be lifted pending appeal

Tom 38
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Re: Beg pardon?

Yeah, I do mean that license. If you notice, the judge threw it out - Xerox agreed to allow Apple to use their tech in return for an investment in Apple, Xerox got sold and realised that Apple made a shedload of money from Xerox ideas, got greedy and tried to claw some of it back. The judge told them to get screwed.

Fandroids - unstoppable hype machines.

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Tom 38
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Alert

Re: apple PR

The Xerox Star workstation, which in terms of look and feel was completely copied by Apple, under license from Xerox.

FTFY

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Amazon cloud knocked out by violent storms in Virginia

Tom 38
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So you're saying that Amazon can't do what a small scale hosting solution can do, because it is tricky? Isn't that what they are selling us - "Trust us, we know DCs".

Isn't the whole point of cloud computing is that someone much more experienced than you at providing DC facilities provides your DC facilities?

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Governments probe domain land-snatch: many.gTLDs.suck

Tom 38
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In other news

Pope Catholic.

Bears defecate in arboreal climes.

What were they expecting? All ICANN were asked to do was to keep control of the names of things on the internet, but instead they've sold off DNS to the highest bidder. Got to pay for that lifestyle somehow…

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Apple patent may foretell an end to iPhone autocorrect Tourette's

Tom 38
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"Siri, text my wife, tell her I'll be late"

Text received: "ovulate"

Was a fun night…

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B&O Beoplay A3

Tom 38
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Re: Cute.. but..

Well, they are no worse than us - I quite fancied getting a B&W Zeppelin when I first saw one, but I quickly saw the price - ouch, £500 for an ipod dock and some speakers is obscene, no matter how pretty it is and the bespoke British craftsmanship.

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Obama is best Pres 'to beat alien invasion'

Tom 38
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Re: Here in the UK...

Who else? The Doctor.

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London cops order Julian Assange to turn himself in

Tom 38
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Flame

Re: the alleged rape victims?

Classy. Publicly smear a woman who reports rape, but AC yourself. Julian would be so proud.

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Brit global warming skeptics now outnumber believers

Tom 38
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Re: I'm sceptical

I've already told you my position, I'm sceptical. This means I don't believe the accuracy of the currently presented theories, on either side.

As I see it, the main argument for AGW is that humans have caused CO₂ levels to rise to levels that cause global warming, and therefore the only solution to decrease the amount of CO₂. What makes me distrust them is that they are not lobbying for massive numbers of nuclear power stations to be built.

Instead, they want us to subsidise the upper middle class's electricity bills with ineffective solar, build massive arrays of (again) subsidized ineffective windmills. All this does is enrich Dale Vince, it's not saving the environment, and it's making the UK a less efficient and more costly place to live or run a company.

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Tom 38
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Re: I'm sceptical

The problem is for the people commissioning research, monitoring researchers at places like the CRU, political parties, green activists, "every reasonable eventuality" covers anything from "its all our fault, this is going to be a problem in 200 years" and "humans did it, this is going to be a problem in 10 years".

Every year there is a re-design of the models, as modelling a system as complex as the Earth based upon 100 years of data is nonsensical, and their models are shown to be equally incomplete and inaccurate. "But don't worry, a little change to the model and everything now fits again" - it's statistical wankery.

15 years ago, people doing this research were doing "global warming research", but that gave their pre-determined position away, so they went to "climate change research", and now they just say "climate research". A leopard doesn't change his spots, a researcher doesn't go into climate research with an open attitude - they already know what they are looking for.

So, this is why I don't trust them. I don't trust the sceptics either, but they aren't trying to sell me anything.

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Tom 38
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I'm sceptical

But I'm mainly sceptical about 'climate change' scientists, most of whom seemed to have made their mind up about the cause and effects of warming, and do their research to find the 'right' results.

The sceptic position is harder to inhabit given the actions of some sections, who are not sceptics at all - they firmly believe there is no such thing as climate change. That's not a sceptic, that is a believer.

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Ministers consult public on 'opt in for smut' plans

Tom 38
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Re: The joys of pseudo-science...

Male, female, its irrelevant. You teacher. No spanky spanky pupil. No exceptions.

Please do again compare being punished for statutory rape with the holocaust.

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Tom 38
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Re: The joys of pseudo-science...

I'm sorry, but a teacher should have had the moral will and intelligence to not abuse his position and allow himself to be seduced by a 15 yr old girl. It's about the only golden rule in teaching - don't fuck the kids.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Half the team at the heart of the RBS disaster WERE in India

Tom 38
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Re: Reeks of Daily Fail

We're not down on the offshored workers because they are Indian, but because they are incompetent and inexperienced, and managed to burn a bank. If we weren't in the middle of a huge financial crisis already, we'd be in the middle of a huge financial crisis because of this.

Offshoring is a nonsense plan, just like Chinese development teams - unless you are trying to develop a Chinese product. China is growing at 7-9% annually - which means prices go up by that much each year. Chinese dev teams are increasingly similar in price to a UK dev team, particularly when you take into account (as we already do) their poor productivity, which mainly comes down to not being native English speakers (and thus not understanding the nuances) and not asking appropriate questions rather than any lack of application or intelligence.

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UK.gov: Some Open Data are more open than others

Tom 38
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Re: How many stars

I know it's confusing, but not every story on here is about Apple. Try to keep up old boy.

PS: The 4th amendment describes how agents of the government must act. Are you suggesting 'Apple Security' are part of your government?

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Menage á tablet: Apple vs Amazon vs Google

Tom 38
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iOS has a good UI?

Really? I've only got iOS devices - I'd describe the UI as 'simple', 'effective', 'easy to use', but it isn't particularly 'good', merely adequate. The best thing about it is how it gets out of your way.

Comparing it with Android UIs, I'm distinctly unimpressed by iOS. They have much more control over how information is pushed and displayed, often you only have to look at the lock screen to get the info you need, where as on iOS you have to go hunting a little for it.

The best thing about iOS UI is its consistency, which only happens because it is so simple.

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D-Link DHP-1565 802.11n router with integrated powerline

Tom 38
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…hook up two of these over a 500Mb/s powerline backbone

How many of these can you hook together? My parents house is big, with damn thick walls (1m thick brick walls in places). Regular wifi doesn't even get from one end of the house to the other, and none of it penetrates out into the garden or sheds - all of which are hooked up with the same mains.

Could I use 4 or more of these to blanket the entire area with wifi? Would roaming between base stations work?

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Microsoft's offices gutted in Athens arson attack

Tom 38
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Re: Austerity? The only solution is to get drunk and set fire to things!

The US doesn't even have its own money, it's mostly held by China now.

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Red Hat shifts PaaS cloud into production gear

Tom 38
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99% SLA woefully inadequate

The fabled 'two nines' level of reliability promises almost 4 days of down time a year. "Bob's Bargain Baits" may be happy with that for their website, but there is no way I'd put real services up onto that sort of architecture.

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'Inexperienced' RBS tech operative's blunder led to banking meltdown

Tom 38
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Re: RBS: "No evidence" this is connected to outsourcing

He keeps saying 'no evidence this is connected to outsourcing', but is keeping mum about whether it is connected to offshoring.

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Tom 38
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Re: Work Blunders

One of my colleagues (now my manager \o/) wanted to kill a recently backgrounded job on the only production server hosting our website.

He meant to type:

kill -9 %1

He typed

kill -9 1

Thus killing init, putting the box into a dead state, and the website offline until we could get an techie into the DC to press the reset button.

After this, all servers get DRAC consoles, he got his root access taken away, and we got backup servers.

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Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo

Tom 38
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Re: Ahem

I was impressed he could copy 11 GB of large files to any kind of RAID over 2 x 2 GB disks. They must be using some kind of wonderful compression technology.

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Chess algorithm written by Alan Turing goes up against Kasparov

Tom 38
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Re: "Ever heard of pseudocode?"

Flow charts are pseudo-code

Specifications are pseudo-code

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Ofcom: Here come the UK online copyright rules ... in 2015. Maybe

Tom 38
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Joke

Hang the code and hang the rules

They're more like guidelines anyway.

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