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* Posts by a cynic writes...

158 posts • joined 17 Aug 2009

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HOT BABES! Worried you won't get that JOB in IT? MENTION how hot you are

a cynic writes...

Statement of the bleeding obvious.

"He may have a point,..."

er...no. However SHE does.

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Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS

a cynic writes...

Re: Was Gravity the same back then?

No - however the oxygen level was higher and their bones were hollow.

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Jimbo tells Wikipedians: You CAN'T vote to disable 'key software features'

a cynic writes...

Re: Gutenberg and Wales: Comparable? Maybe... but

If Wikipedia didn't exist, it wouldn't be long before someone would invent it again.

...or everyone started using H2G2 again.

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

a cynic writes...

Re: Does the court case matter?

The accusation is that in two cases women went to bed with him on condition he put on a condom and he didn't. As I remember it in one case she said she would drop the complaint if he had an AIDS test.

It could just be me but I don't think that sounds like "a well crafted set up". To my mind a well crafted set up would suggest he'd taken money to edit the information released. A few deposits in a bank account set up in his name, a few spooks at the same hotel and a suspiciously detailed official denial would have done the trick.

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£100m DMI omnifail: BBC managers' emails trawled by employment tribunal

a cynic writes...

Re: In other news...

Many a true word...

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Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

a cynic writes...

Re: White Elephant Ahoy!

"... the worst weapons procurement programme ..."

It depends if you think the purpose of the programme is to defend the realm or provide jobs for favoured areas.

Gordon Brown signed a contract which meant it was cheaper to build the thing and throw it away than to stop work. Rosyth is in the neighbouring constituency to his. I think there may be a link.

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Cambridge Assessment exams CHAOS: Computing students' work may be BINNED

a cynic writes...

That nearly gave me a heart attack

That's the one my lad has just spent two years on. However the final decision is in:

They're replacing the tasks with the new ones available 15th September but anyone who has already started on the existing tasks can submit the work providing their teachers give their names to the exam board by the end of September.

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GOV.UK's criminal record check IT job blow: Home Office snubs new design

a cynic writes...

As an outside observer...

It looks like it's just the usual departmental turf wars. A bit of a disappointment but no real surprise.

I am slightly worried about the DWP, especially as they've been doing a Sir Humphrey over the whole UC thing, but then even that's a default position.

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Why Microsoft absolutely DOESN'T need its own Steve Jobs

a cynic writes...

Re: A fine line between Vision and Arrogance

Sean, I agree with most of that except the first sentence. MS came up with an app launcher for perfectly decent reasons but they inflicted it on the user base in the way they did out of pure arrogance.

A while ago I wrote: "...I reckon a fair few of my users would be happy with TIFKAM if they discovered it for themselves. If I imposed it by diktat - not a chance." Nothing I've seen since then has made me change my mind.

What I'd like to see is a drop down at logon so you could choose between "Classic" and "Modern". I'm not holding my breath.

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Does 'Star Wars' casting call hint at DEATH of LUKE SKYWALKER?

a cynic writes...

Re: This is Disney

Not just Disney. The same applies to a lot of children's stories.

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You're more likely to get a job if you study 'social' sciences, say fuzzy-studies profs

a cynic writes...

In summary...

An engineering graduate writes an article about some social science research. The research suggests social science graduates are more likely to get a job. The engineering graduate notes it's likely to be a crap one.

In the ensuing discussion, everyone views any subject they didn't do as:

(1) Piss easy

(2) Deathly dull

(3) Both

I'm no exception.

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DEAD STEVE JOBS kills Apple bounce patent from BEYOND THE GRAVE

a cynic writes...

Re: Prior Art

" In 2013, one simply doesn't need a 20 year monopoly in order to make money off of a better mousetrap. "

mmm...depends on the industry. When Dyson prosecuted Hoover for infringement in 2000 it was over a patent dating back to 1980. Dyson itself wasn't founded until 1993.

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a cynic writes...

Re: Regardless of the merits of the Apple patent

er...no.

The original idea behind the patent system was a deal - the state gives you a time limited monopoly on your invention and in return you tell everyone how it's works. If how it's works is in the public domain then what's the point of giving you a monopoly?

There's a lot to criticise about how it works now (and I expect some choice examples in this thread) but the underlying idea is sound. Before patents new inventions would be kept as trade secrets the extreme case being forceps in child birth which one family kept under wraps for 150 years.

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Snowden journo's boyfriend 'had crypto key for thumb-drive files written down' - cops

a cynic writes...

Re: Windscale is now Sellafield

It has been since 2006. Originally it was the Special Irish Branch until they decided it wasn't just the Fenians they wanted to keep an eye on.

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Behind the candelabra: Power cut sends Britain’s boxes back to the '70s

a cynic writes...

Re: Power Cuts

They're not uncommon here either.

I resolve the microwave issue by not bothering. We don't use it as a clock so I don't see the point. In fact the only clock I bother with is my wife's alarm clock which is easy.

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'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail

a cynic writes...

Re: And why aren't the Government using the law for these things?

Oddly enough I think they did. I was reading the Official Secrets Act earlier (as you do). Section 8 - Safeguarding of Information has provisions in it for "an official direction to return or dispose of" confidential information. The alternative would be to prosecute under section 6 (informational given in confidence to other states).

To be honest, I don't think they care that much what the Guardian has on its servers - it knew what to details to redact and those servers aren't going anyway soon. I think the real concern was what could be left on the train by a pissed hack. Of course they could have wiped the drives but then 5 minutes with a lump hammer is much more fun.

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MYSTERY of Guardian mobos and graphics cards which 'held Snowden files'

a cynic writes...

Secure destruction of hard drives

So instead of prosecuting them under section 6 of the Official Secrets Act 1989 (up to 2 years inside plus fine) they gave an official direction for its return or disposal (under section 8) - which had they ignored it would have earned them up to 3 months.

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Guardian lets UK spooks trash 'Snowden files' PCs to make them feel better

a cynic writes...
Coat

Next week's BOFH...

"...for the umpteenth time the concern is that personal data is destroyed in line with ISO 27001: 2005. We accept, albeit reluctantly, that you have the data and will run stories based on it. Even you realise that there's some things that shouldn't be broadcast or you wouldn't redact them."

"So you're not going to arrest me?"

"No", Agent Smith sighed "we're not going to arrest you. We just want to make sure that equipment you no longer need is disposed of securely".

...20 minutes and 3 wrong turns later...

The big boss was clearly confused, as he struggled to remember my name. "This is er....our...er..."

"Hello, Simon"

"Hello Dave, what brings you down here?"

"Security audit basically. We need to make sure you don't leak the data that was leaked to you. If I could take a copy of the secure destruction certificates I'll be on my way."

"No can do...we do it in-house I'm afraid. Stephen can show you if you like?" I say as I pick up the Head Beancounter's Macbook

...Five minutes of the PFY with a sledge hammer later...

"I think I can safely say that's securely destroyed" said Dave as he brushed plastic fragments from his suit.

"So everything's OK" said the Big Boss

"Yes, we can call off the black helicopters. Thanks Simon - pint later?"

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Universal Credit? Universal DISCREDIT, more like, say insiders

a cynic writes...

I think I've found your problem - it's not mod.gov.uk it's just mod.uk - which then redirects to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence .

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Microsoft's murder most foul: TechNet is dead

a cynic writes...

Re: Now is the time?

Well it's a thing certainly...

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a cynic writes...

Re: Now is the time?

As it stands, if I replaced Office with LibreOffice I would get away with minimal grumbling but if I switched them from Outlook to Thunderbird I'd have a user revolt. In the future, as more of them use other endpoints, that may change.

For me though, our membership & accounts system is a bigger hurdle. There are viable alternatives (CiviCRM for one) but until I reach a point where I can justify the switching cost we're stuck with it.

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a cynic writes...

Re: Now is the time?

"...what exactly does Office 2013 offer me that LibreOffice doesn't?"

Outlook.

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'The Apprentice' is a load of old codswallop, says biz prof

a cynic writes...

Obligatory Mitchell & Webb link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ss-59fi4nM

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Something's going on with Google Reader but nobody knows what

a cynic writes...

Re: When's it due to end again?

Still not dead...

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a cynic writes...

When's it due to end again?

I'm still getting updates...

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El Reg rocket squad poised to select Ultimate Cuppa teabag

a cynic writes...

Re: Tesco Everyday Value 80 Teabags 250G

I think they're awful but SWMBO who drinks a lot more tea than I do loves 'em. She has been known to kick off when I buy decent tea instead.

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Julian Assange: Google's just an arm of US government

a cynic writes...

Re: Cut him some slack...

...he should be taken a bit more seriously.

No, he shouldn't, he takes himself far too seriously already.

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Jailed LulzSec hacker Cleary coughs to child porn images, will be freed soon

a cynic writes...

Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

Funnily enough the same question came up almost 2 years ago when they nicked the lad. I think I can quote from a post I made then:

"The guy's had "issues" since he was small. Diagnosis of the sort of disorders we talking about is a bit hit and miss (see last week's New Scientist article "Bipolar Kids") and we could reasonably argue about what label to pin on him but you don't end up at an EBD school if you're playing with a full deck. Unless you all think he was planning his future defence aged 5."

I should have said at the time EBD = Emotional & Behavioral Difficulties

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PM Cameron calls for modern, programmable computers! (We think)

a cynic writes...

The Two Cultures

In case no one's noticed the Two Cultures thing is going strong. And Cameron in common with all of the current crop of politicians is from the other one. The reason he sounds a bit ignorant is because he is.

However despite the fact he doesn't really know what he's talking about it I think they're moving in the right direction. A few years ago my daughter did GCSE ICT and it was pathetic, essentially just MS Office training. My youngest is currently doing GCSE Computing and it certainly isn't. His school also opted out of the GCSE as not being hard enough and instead use the iGCSE for the sciences.

I have more sympathy with the criticism of Cameron's comments on Maths. Arithmetic shouldn't need to be the focus at GCSE level and children should leave primary school with the ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Unfortunately many of them don't. How we square that particular circle I don't know.

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Raspberry Pi DUMBS DOWN to target world+dog

a cynic writes...
Thumb Up

Returns...

I think it may have something to do with a post on their site a few weeks ago, where they had a 10 year old testing some of the returns. It quotes an issue with people using an out of date image (or in one case not flashing an SD card at all) sending multiple units back.

This isn't about taking away the learning curve, it's about getting them as far as the bottom.

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Prosecutor on Private Manning's Wiki-leaks: 'Arrogance meets access'

a cynic writes...

The more I read about the trial, the more I expect the judge to start proceedings wearing the black cap (to save time later) and to introduce Manning as "the Flanders pigeon murderer".

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How Microsoft shattered Gnome's unity with Windows 95

a cynic writes...
Facepalm

Re: Microsoft *has* NOT won. AT ALL.

It's framed on the underlying assumption that MSFT's patents have some legal basis.

No it's not. It's framed on the underlying assumption that veiled hints about litigation to come were enough for GUI projects who might be at risk to cover their arses.

MSFT didn't need to prove its case - in fact it didn't even need to go to court. It just needed people to believe it could and that litigation costs would be significant. There's not a lot of point fighting if the best you're going to manage is a pyrrhic victory.

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British LulzSec hackers hear jail doors slam shut for years

a cynic writes...

Re: Unbelievable

I'd be happy if they were at least up front about it. "You will serve 2 to 8 months, subject to behaviour" is easier to take than "you will serve 8 months" and then they're out after 2.

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'Liberator': Proof that you CAN'T make a working gun in a 3D printer

a cynic writes...

If memory serves...

Shotgun gun barrels were proofed to ~4 ton per square inch whilst rifle barrels were done up to ~18 ton per square inch. From a quick google, 1 tsi is about 130 atmopheres.

Bugger plastic...

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Urban Farming

a cynic writes...

Does livestock count?

SWMBO has pet ducks and chickens, who produce so many eggs that the excess pays for their food. I was also daft enough to get her an incubator for Christmas so we've 6 or 7 who aren't old enough to lay yet.

Whilst our egg consumption has gone through the roof she won't eat chicken any more.

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Brits on benefits: 'Dole office site only works on PCs over 10 YEARS OLD'

a cynic writes...
Stop

Re: a pop up would appear allowing you to claim services and benefits online

No, I'm afraid I didn't.

I had the funny idea that "...I didn't mean to make a fraudulant claim but they said it didn't work on the reg and thought I'd test it" would be much of a defence.

But hey don't let me stop you, feel free.

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a cynic writes...

Obsolete text on obsolescent website not updated!

The site's from 2009...at least that's what the pop-up says when you hit the "Crown Copyright" link.

If you were to try and "Launch services and benefits online" with a modern browser (Chrome 26.0.1410.64 say) then a pop up would appear allowing you to claim services and benefits online.

I realise that's not the disaster we'd been banking on. Ah well.

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Another 170,000 Freeview homes to be freed from reality TV - possibly

a cynic writes...
Facepalm

Re: "...taking EastEnders off the air"

Be careful what you wish for.

It would leave SWMBO with a lot of free time to discus relationships (..shudder...).

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Hold on! Degrees for all doesn't mean great jobs for all, say profs

a cynic writes...

Re: Douglas Adams

Yeah - I wonder what all those Politician's degrees are in?

Since you asked:

Classics (Oxford) - Boris Johnson

Modern history (Oxford) - George Osborne

Archaeology & Anthropology (Cambridge) - Nick "the non-conformist" Clegg

Politics, Philosophy & Economics - The Rest

The last politician with a science degree to reach high office died this morning.

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Reader slain? 'Even the Google apologists on G+ are p****d off'

a cynic writes...

"Use a native RSS reader that way you can keep reading stuff off line."

I used to before I switched to Reader six or seven years ago. The reason for the switch being I can scan feeds at work (on Win7), on the way home on my phone and at home (on Lubuntu) and it all works.

Whatever I move to it won't be a native client.

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Clarkson: 'I WILL find and KILL the spammers who hacked me'

a cynic writes...
Headmaster

Re: Stupid little boy

"...Doesn't matter if he was quoting someone or something, he's made the comment in a manner where it's possible that someone could actually believe that he's going to set out to do it. ..."

er..no. The Act you quote requires intent ("...a threat, intending that...") which be hard to prove given he's quoting a film. I think they could do him under the s127 of the Communications Act but the DPP's guidelines for s127 suggest it would need to be a credible threat - so even that is touch and go.

Of course the biggest problem would be identifying the "victim" - who if they did come forward would have to admit to a criminal offence themselves.

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Python-lovers sling 'death threats' at UK ISP in trademark row

a cynic writes...

I have this which they filed April last year. As I understand it the colours indicated are important - essentially they're claiming their logo.

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a cynic writes...

Re: The solution is simple - just change the language's name.

ahem...Sore point. Monty python is a competing mark.

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a cynic writes...
Coat

Meanwhile over at ipo.gov.uk...

I just spent a very interesting 5 minutes looking at the trade mark database. From which I learned:

There are 13 entries with Python in relating to class 09 (...computers, computer software...) of which 7 are "registered" and one "protected". No, I don't know the difference.

• PO Box hosting (aka Veber) applied for a trade mark including their logo on 30th April 2012 and it was published May 2012. The application has been "opposed". It's for class 09 (...computers, computer software...) and class 42 (..web services...)

• PSF applied for a trade mark on the 6th February 2013 for classes 09, 42 and 16 (packaging). It's being "examined".

It's interesting that the furies were only released this week.

Meanwhile "Monty Python" is trademarked for classes 03 06 09 14 16 18 21 24 25 26 28 35 38 41 ( you can look them yourself).

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John Lennon's lesson for public-domain innovation

a cynic writes...

About that CA technologies report...

I actually followed the link and it doesn't say that the UK & the US come dead last in IT innovation. It actually says the proportion of IT budget spent on innovation is the lowest.

I'm not sure how moving to public domain software will change that. In fact I would expect it to make the headline figures worse as it would lower the cost of innovation.

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Reg readers scuffle over the ultimate cuppa

a cynic writes...
Headmaster

Re: Physics or Chemistry?

ahem...and as a chemist said to that nice Brian Cox when he raised that very point "At least we don't have to invent something with 'dark' in the name every time our sums don't work".

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a cynic writes...

The way I heard it...

Not tea stains - cheap cups had a tendency to crack if hit with boiling water. By putting the milk in first you prevented that.

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Microsoft blasts PC makers: It's YOUR fault Windows 8 crash landed

a cynic writes...

Re: more proof

That would be Microsoft (obviously).

I got enough wails of protest when my users were faced with the ribbon for the first time I'd rather not think about the wailing and gnashing of teeth if I handed them Windows 8 as is. Yes I could add "Classic Shell" to every desk top in the same way that back in the day I had a DesktopX setup. But really why should I bother? Windows 7 works well and has years of life in it.

The reality is MS does have a way to fix this but won't. They just need to add the option to choose which interface to use at boot (like my Ubuntu setup at home) and keep the upgrade price down. For £25 each I'd be willing to upgrade our machines and if they discovered it themselves I reckon a fair few of my users would be happy with TIFKAM if they discovered it for themselves. If I imposed it by diktat - not a chance.

Unfortunately for any of that to happen MS will have to admit they cocked up. I'm not going to hold my breath.

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Windows 8: At least it's better than ‘not very good’

a cynic writes...

Re: heres an idea

Tell us Dave are they allowed to whinge if someone else - a purchasing department say - buys it for them? I suspect that may be most people.

At home I have moved to Linux (LXDE for the most part but I get to pick at logon). At work I've just finished giving my lot Win7. I won't move them to Win8 unless I have to - if for no other reason than I don't want to put up with a fortnight of moaning while they relearn everything for no readily apparent reason.

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'It’s called capitalism. We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this'

a cynic writes...

In other news...

...an unknown number of evil games companies will defraud the country by applying for the tax break that the government has just brought in.

Seriously - I'm not particularly happy (understatement) that large firms don't pay more tax - but the answer is to change the rules not get the arseache when they follow them. Fewer rules and hence fewer ways of gaming them might be a start .

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