* Posts by Terry 6

1077 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009

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Send tortuous stand-up ‘nine-thirty’ meetings back to the dark ages

Terry 6
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Professional managers

There is a type of manager who believes that management is a profession in its own right.

This means that; other managers of the same ilk promote them, that they have no ideas what it is that the staff ( in any line of real work) actually do, they have to use all sort of managerial tools, (And I know there's a pun peeping out there), to prove that they have a professional skill.

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Microsoft quits giving us the silent treatment on Windows 10 updates

Terry 6
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Re: Total Desperation...

The Outlook thing certainly holds me with Windows. I can keep my calendar on my phone, the family desktop and my laptop in sync. I can get a degree of interoperability with an email account shared on all three (and some message rules for forwarding from other email accounts to it).

A few years back I was able to synch via a Gmail account, until Google pulled that option, But now I find myself relying on Outlook. Not for the email, but for the calendar.

Anything else, I don't use Microsoft s/w anymore anyway. It's Libre Office, Pale Moon and various open source or freeware products for graphics and the like. But calendar keeping and carrying across devices and I'm tied to Outlook- as ghastly as it is. And it is ghastly. Contacts handling alone would qualify it in the grim to crappy range.

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Terry 6
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I loath what Microsoft are doing

But I also loath what Google has become.

And I object to the cost of the "Apple Tax" as a way to avoid the other two.

I have Mint on one of my computers. But for the rest of the family, and for work stuff it's still WIndows.

Ironically, for phones it's the other way round. I have the Winphone, which I really like.* And they have Apple/Google.

Sigh, my Lumia is almost two years old. Do I just keep it, ( it is one that will not be made into Win 10, probably a good thing), get a Google Spy, or a new Windows Spy?

Or do I just pay the Apple Tax?

Maybe I should just go and live in a cave somewhere.

*The Lumia talks to my car's handsfree really well, which my Wife's Ithingy doesn't. It also talks to my Outlook calendar, something which Google stopped a few years ago, to my enormous resentment.

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Bank fail: Ready or not, here's our new software

Terry 6
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Re: The Enemy

Mulled this one over a bit.

I can actually see that a user who thinks that the icon is WORD would get upset if it moved. To her WORD has moved. No different to finding that her blotting pad and quill had been moved. Very disturbing.

Joking aside, it would not be too surprising if some users had seen it that way, especially a few years back before we all had home PCs. The idea that the icon is completely separated from the programme you use to do the work could be hard to understand if that's the limit of your experience.

Just like the much documented (here) calling the screen the computer, the box the hard drive etc.

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Terry 6
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Actually there's a precedent for all of this

Years ago my late father was a quality control manager for a smallish clothes manufacturer. Their main customer was M&S - very fussy.

When my dad found items that didn't meet Marks' strict criteria he rejected them. And his bosses put them back into delivery. M&S then rejected them on delivery.

Time after time he'd tell the bosses that they couldn't do this to M&S.

Eventually that firm lost the contract and went under.

Point being that the bean counters only seemed to be bothered about the number of items sent out, not the number rejected by the client afterwards. It was all about throughput. Quantity not quality. And maybe with a less fussy client they'd have got away with it.

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Terry 6
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Another issue around this

Sometimes the design plan itself, underlying the development, seems to be missing something. It's those "Why did they do it like that?" moments. (I don't just mean Microsoft here but God knows they have enough of them).

So, an example. Virgin Media's web mail page is designed so that if you delete or move an email it automatically selects the next one in the list. This stays selected when you then go on to select a different one, unless you remember to deselect it first. So that if you mark a message for deletion, or as spam ( their filters are still not great) you end up taking out both of them.

Could there be any kind of reason for that? Do they think that users will only perform file actions on consecutive messages? And even so, do they need the next message to be selected automatically. Or was someone really sloppy in the design and no one checked how users use it?

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Privacy advocates left out of NHS care.data 'oversight' board

Terry 6
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Consultation

As noted in these web pages before, our governments ( not just this one, to be fair) do have a history of choosing to "consult" just the groups and individuals who have already expressed support for what they want to promote. My own hobbyhorse is about education/reading/phonics but the principle is always the same. Choose a policy that looks and sounds easy to explain to the public and keeps their friends in big business happy, then consult by appointing a chair who who already is committed to that policy. He or she will then broadly and widely appoint a panel who just happen to think the same thing. They will then take evidence from their friends and come to the conclusion that happens to be the same as they wanted it to be.

A perfectly reasonable and logical way to do things if you start from the premise that anyone who disagrees is obviously too wrong to be consulted.

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FTC: Duo bought rights to Android game – then turned it into ad-slinging junkware in an update

Terry 6
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Advertisers

I'm more than happy to see these scummers getting what they deserve. But what about their paymasters; the other scum who want their ads pushed out like this and pay them to do it?

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The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

Terry 6
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And I still don't understand

why the advertisers think that forcing crass, crude and intrusive ads will make people buy their stuff.

Does it? Are there people out there who see a flashing banner for a "prize draw" and enter it?

If so, then the ad blocking makes no difference, because the suckers who do respond to this crap wouldn't want to block it.

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Terry 6
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Re: I'm glad!

Yeah, I still fail to understand why "respectable" companies will tolerate being associated with dodgy and intrusive advertising for snake oil, gambling and so on.

I like to unblock adverts from time to time to give the sites their fee. But I do it less than I used to. Because they are so grim.

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UK govt right to outsource everything 15 years ago – civil service boss

Terry 6
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AC

That might apply to civil service tech staff. The local authority tech staff and the various civil service and LA front line staff that I've worked with in the different aspect of my work have all been dedicated, concerned and professional. Especially compared to the people who have come in form private organisations etc.

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Terry 6
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Franco, whatever you meant, you said; "Classic public sector thinking, no thought of actually building systems to requirements and instead following industry trends."

That's the bo**ocks. What makes it classic public sector thinking? If you'd put "classic corporate thinking" I'd have had to agree. But to say that when the public sector do this it is different to, and by implication more reprehensible than what the rest of the corporate sector does is, yes bo**ocks.

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Terry 6
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I realised that we were just as good, and in many cases considerably better than our private sector equivalents. Most of us also had pride in providing a public service, something that was lost when we were sold off.

Sums it up so well. Civil service and Local Authority frontline staff work their socks off for lousy pay, apply immense knowledge of their fields and commitment to sometimes impossible jobs and are then told that a big corporate outsourcer can do it better, for less. For no good reason other than politicians can't believe that anyone believes in public service. Because they have their noses in the trough together with the oustourcing companies.

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Terry 6
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"Public sector". Bo**ocks.

It was what everyone did, and does. Just phoning an outsourced customer service centre shows that.

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Israeli drones and jet signals slurped by UK and US SIGINT teams

Terry 6
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Re: So is Israel a friend?

I don't think the two things are really related anyway. Spying on the friends seems to be a stock-in-trade of the intelligence services, everywhere, judging by the leaks. (And already told in those spy stories written by people who were in "the trade").

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Terry 6
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Re: Why would you do this?

Well yes. Encrypting secret information you've gathered isn't in the same league as encrypting your own. Unless of course you are a British bank.

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The monitor didn't work but the problem was between the user's ears

Terry 6
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If I had a quid for every colleague who hadn't caught onto the fact that the monitor isn't "the computer" so switching it on/off doesn't of itself make computing happen I'd be a good few pints better off.

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'Printer Ready'. Er… you actually want to print? What, right now?

Terry 6
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That being said

Not long after our IT support and purchasing became part of the corporate system we were sent a shiny new laser jobby.

The IT purchasing and what-ever-else-he-was guy came to install it and clearly had not RTFM.

There was soon toner everywhere. He then tried to clean the inside of the printer with our cleaner's rather dodgy vacuum cleaner, while leaving the drum to sit on the window ledge on the only half decent sunny day we'd had all year.

It was not a good start.

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Terry 6
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Re: Yes

Nah. I mean yes as in yes I know exactly what you feel, have been through those experiences at one time or another and hate printers, and printer manufacturers and especially HP with a deep and abiding passion.

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Terry 6
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Re: I can point you to some code

Paper copies are also far better when you are trying to proof read and sanity check a document. Somehow on the screen people don't seem to see typos or gibberish as easily. Especially the ones that don't have a nice red wavy line under them.

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Terry 6
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Pint

Yes

Just yes.

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Can't upgrade, won't upgrade: Windows Mobile's user problem

Terry 6
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What b*llocks

1.) My 18 month old 635 is not an ancient and obsolete device by any sane stretch of imagination. But maybe in the heads of marketing tossers in the IT companies it is. Since it has the 1/2gb of memory it will not apparently update. Maybe that's a good thing, but that's beside the point.

2.) ", this probably won't matter to most 520/630 owners, who are very unlikely to be tech enthusiasts and won't even be aware of any further upgrade possibilities...." So this "tech expert" presumably thinks that " tech enthusiast " is the same as fashion following sheep that only want the latest shiny shiny.

God help the industry.

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Criminal records checks 'unlawful' and 'arbitrary' rules High Court

Terry 6
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Re: Spokesperson for the Home Office 'disappointed'

" However, the man admitted to Police that he sometimes had fantasies about school girls "

Sorry. There is just no way that you can make that sound OK for someone who works with kids.

Or, anyone else for that matter. But especially not for someone in a position of care and trust.

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Terry 6
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Re: Spokesperson for the Home Office 'disappointed'

Protecting kids. That's the first priority. And the fact that he has these thoughts means there is a genuine risk factor. That he has chosen not to act on his fantasies doesn't make this less so.

The fact that he remained in the profession when faced by this makes him more so.

You wouldn't expect a recovering alcoholic to choose to work in a pub.

Or a recovering gambler to work on a racecourse.

Someone who has fantasies about abusing kids, but who places himself where there is access to kids is a risk to kids.

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Terry 6
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Re: Spokesperson for the Home Office 'disappointed'

With respect, this is not about the porn, or the neighbour's accusations; he admitted having the fantasies but said that he had no intention of carrying them out.

So not guilty of abusing kids. But definitely guilty of considering it.

And that makes him a risk to kids. Guilty until proved innocent, no. Guilt by admission - yes.

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Terry 6
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Re: Spokesperson for the Home Office 'disappointed'

he sometimes had fantasies about school girls which he had no intention on acting on

Err, Would we really want him allowed to teach? Because he currently has no intention of acting on his sick fantasies.

I wouldn't want him within half a mile of my kids.

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Terry 6
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Re: Conceal minor offenses after 10 years

You have to have a separate check at each place which needs to check. It is a disaster for people who volunteer to help children, many of whom attend numerous venues, and must hold a separate certificate at each one (at huge cost to schools, hospitals or charities).

You have to have a new check each time you change your place of work. I know people who have been out of work for more than 3 months while the "check" took place, even though they had passed at their previous workplace, and had the certificate to prove it!.....If you pass, then you are not rechecked for years.

Now the DBS can be registered online, at the applicants own expense of course. Thereafter it remains registered annually by paying the fee. And all new employers have access to it ( I don't know how that bit works, but I assume they pay a fee too). I do wonder what updating, if any, is done.

OTOH To get an initial DBS is apparently taking many months in some police authorities - and members of an applicant's household also have to have the EDBS now. According to the reports on BBC Radio 4 this week there are any number of people missing job and training offers because of this.

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Medical data experiment goes horribly wrong: 950,000 records lost

Terry 6
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Re: The problem with the health care industry

No. The people focussing on health care are still working within a system. And one that has to be got right in the planning stage. It's too late to think about these things during implementation.

If data security wasn't planned in this is either due to incompetence or cost cutting. Or both.

So all the glib gibberish about taking this that and the other seriously is pure PR company arse-covering bullshit.

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Capita hiring temps to cover for call centre redundancies – staff sources

Terry 6
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Private Eye

In its many stories about them ( none good, I hardly need say) calls them Crapita.

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Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Terry 6
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Re: Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Exactly that, with car buying. Not many study the form book to choose a car. They have a budget and maybe a size and a few options ( like four doors and satnav) in mind. Then they either buy the make that they expect to buy, or ( from a car dealer) the one that the salesman talks them into getting.

A bit like going in to PCWorld or John Lewis and buying what ever PC is available for £375. Unless of course they go looking for an iPad instead. Either of which is precisely what ordinary users do

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Terry 6
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Don't give Dabbsy too much slack

I love his writing. But if we let him get away with the 4G gag he's just going to get lazy. Which wouldn't do at all. BTW I get mine from Tesco at no greater charge than my old 3G and it's brilliant,

OTOH I must admit, while my Tesco (O2) 4G usually works well for me, if I go a mile or two south of home there are places where I might as well try two cans and a length of string - forget 3G even. So Dabbsy's basic point is valid. Before they f**k about with 5G maybe they should be able to get a signal that covers all of North London.

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'No safe level' booze guidelines? Nonsense, thunder stats profs

Terry 6
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Governemt "expert committees"

An expert committee is any group of people appointed by the government who have shown themselves wise enough to believe the things that the government wants to hear.

Clearly, anyone who thinks differently isn't an expert - otherwise they wouldn't be so mistaken.

So, for an example dear to my heart, we've already had an " expert panel " reporting on the best way to teach reading. Chaired by an "expert" who already had a very fixed view of what the conclusion ought to be. Who then took evidence from other experts, these being the people who already were advocating the things he wanted to hear advocated.

Going a long way back, Marples, a road industry insider, appointed Beeching to investigate the rail industry with the clear understanding that Dr. B. believed that the age of rail was over. And we know the result.

An expert panel is only as good as the person appointing it. And usually this has not been very good.

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Someone please rid me of this turbulent Windows 10 Store

Terry 6
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Devil

Re: Old dog, new tricks?

I agree. Last week I searched the Store for an "app" I wanted for my phone. Not there. Plenty of other crap in the results, but not the one I searched for.. As far as the store search was concerned it might not have existed. I knew it did. So I Google searched it, which took me to the link that opened the Store at the right place for that "app".

Madness.

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Terry 6
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Re: I don't get it

Interestingly, when I search for apps in the big store I can find them. It's only the mobile store that gives me grief.

BUT, it's on the mobile that I want and need these little apps. And I don't see why anyone else is different. If we want software on our PCs we can get it from anywhere. Proper stuff. Often free, like Libre Office, Paint.net, photofiltre, good old Irfanview, iSpy etc.

I might get the "apps" that I use on my phone to put on the PC as well, but that's pretty much it unless they can come up with something special, and affordable.

But why would anyone choose an "app" for a full sized computer in the first instance?

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Terry 6
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Windows

I have to agree

I love my Winphone, and don't often look for "apps".

But when I do I can't find the ones that I want, even when I know the precise name. And I do find myself wading through a long list of shit. Fake "apps", aggregation "apps" that just point you to other fake "apps" or knock-offs that repackage the real thing in an advertising layer.

The reviews and are mostly made of shill entries, pretty obvious when a nasty bit of ad-feeding crap is repeatedly called a10/10 "wonderful app" etc.

The mechanism for reporting " concerns" to Microsoft was broken/useless until very recently, because it wasn't actually mobile friendly so that it wasn't usable. And even if you tried, it usually crashed.

And Microsoft didn't give a toss. All they wanted were numbers of "apps". No matter jhow shit.

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Kent Council cheerily flings about £100m at managed services bods

Terry 6
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Figures

I'd feel more comfortable about these deals,maybe, if there were figures and plans that demonstrated how much could be saved by which means. If you see a plan that says what they will do differently and how that will cost less, it might be OK.

But when it's just a " We will give our £50m services contract to Crapita and they promise they will do all the same stuff for only £40m while retaining a handy profit margin" my heart sinks.

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Sorry, kids. Microsoft is turning Minecraft into an 'educational tool'

Terry 6
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Facepalm

Re: Missed the boat...

Who could have seen that coming when Microsoft threw all that cash at it?

It's not as if kids' crazes usually fade out after a while, is it? Especially when adopted by big business.

(Why isn't there an icon for laughing madly to the point of paralysis? Or at least one for heavy irony?).

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Terry 6
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Re: "“There has to be a purpose for using technology,"

@Richard Pinston

That's Minecraft and a Pi for learning about computery things. If that's how you want to use your Pi and Minecraft,and/or how you want to go about learning computery things fine. There is already Scratch in schools, when it is used.

( You inter alia could make the same argument for using LOGO and the LISP programming language it was built upon.)

But that's rather different to the idea of using Minecraft as an educational tool in its own right. And even then still contains most of the objections above

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Terry 6
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Re: "“There has to be a purpose for using technology,"

School classes no. They're for learning. But games are for entertainment.

Minecraft is not meant to be in the first category.

And putting it there will kill it because;

a.) It becomes work

b.) It will need a "learning outcome" (See above)

c.) It will have to become time limited to fit it within a curriculum unit (primary) or a sequence of lessons (secondary).

d.) Teachers will have no time to fit it in to the school day properly.

e.) Neither do they have the time to get a grip on using it.(Most primary schools, for example, have some really interesting software bundled on their machines that is never used).

f.) Some parents, if not all, will be making a fuss about the kids spending all f*ing day f*ing around playing f*ing games when they should be learning from books/getting exercise.

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New open-source ad-blocking web browser emerges from brain of ex-Mozilla boss Eich

Terry 6
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I will unbutton a bit from time to time, click on an ad or two even. Just to keep the sites' advertisers happy. I don't need to see the crap. It's usually a quick click at coffee time.

(Sounds like a euphemism I know).

:-)

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Friends Reunited to shut down. What do you mean, 'is it still going?'

Terry 6
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Re: When they surredndered

AC: All you say may be perfectly valid, but sadly this did suck the life out of the site. For better or worse a tame Friends Reunited was a dull one.

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Terry 6
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When they surredndered

At first people could share stories about their school days. But once they stopped users writing stories about the more unpleasant events/people for fear of being sued and made it into a kind of scrapbook a lot of the interest got lost and it became rather dull.

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It's Wikipedia mythbuster time: 8 of the best on your 15th birthday

Terry 6
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Horses for courses

As already alluded to. It's a good source for a quick look-up for factual information that is neither opinion based or controversial. Names of celebs being only an example, it could equally be finding a bit more about a plant or animal mentioned in the media. Or the basic geographic facts about a country.

In my case I use it to refresh my memory about who wrote a piece of research, (terrible memory for names) or find out what else they've done. And if I'm quoting someone in a discussion I can find an explanation or reference to their most relevant/accessible publication, to give to people who don't know of that work or who, like me, don't have access to the original publications ( any more).

Example; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Smith_%28psycholinguist%29

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999 What's your emergency: Mega millions Met call handling IT muckup?

Terry 6
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Ideology

The ideology that a for-profit company can provide a service more efficiently than an in-house organisation suits "small government" conservatives to the ground. But a business contract is always going to be about the supplier trying to maximise profit and minimise cost to themselves. It's a business deal, not a favour. So they are not going to provide better than they've agreed to provide, even if that's in the spirit of the agreement.

And statements like; enabled for multi channel public interaction delivering improved situational awareness, predictive analytics and data sharing, just reek of meaningless bullshit.

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FTC apologizes for leaking attendee details … to privacy conference

Terry 6
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Welcome to the 21st Century

People make mistakes. People will always make mistakes.

That's normal and to an extent excusable.

But when the mistakes are predictable and common then systems should, by 2016, have been developed to trap them. Sadly, often it isn't so.

Reply all and cc/bcc are obvious ones.

They were designed in a time when things were simpler.

But they linger on.

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Catalan town hall seriously downsizes monarch

Terry 6
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Re: Inventive?

The thing is,once a law has been allowed out into the wild the lawyers then get to hunt it down and use it. The rule of law is often not what the law-makers intended.

(Which, BTW, also counts for the US's "Right to Bare Arms".)

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Smartphone hard, dudes, like it’s the end of the world!

Terry 6
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Re: "Next week, I shall review the Large Hadron Collider for Gizmodo."

four seconds before knocking

FTFY

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2016 in mobile: Visit a components mall in China... 30 min later, you're a manufacturer

Terry 6
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Re: "...in half an hour you're a phone manufacturer..."

It's like when, on a package tour trip I was taken to an outlet that sold designer fakes. (In the EU and not too many years ago!).

I bought a shirt with the name of some designer that was unknown in the UK at the time.

It just tickled me to have a fake that no one had ever heard of.

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Terry 6
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Re: Honor 7? - This is the third Reg article that's mentioned the Honor 7 in glowing terms.

Hmm USA loyalty to home products didn't stay with the car industry. It's like it's all Toyota (et al) over there these days

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