* Posts by Valerion

424 posts • joined 12 Oct 2009

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Going underground: The Royal Mail's great London train squeeze

Valerion

Re: Speed

Yep, they only overestimated the speed by 2 or 3 mph.

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Kids' Hour of Code turns into a giant corporate infomercial for kids

Valerion

Why Hour of Code?

Why not also Hour of Electrics? Hour of Plumbing? Hour of Cooking?

The world doesn't just need developers.

17
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Put down the org chart, snowflake: Why largile's for management crybabies

Valerion

Agile is like sex

Everyone says they're doing load of it, but nobody really is.

12
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Dirty code? If it works, leave it says Thoughtworks CTO

Valerion

Re: Dirty code?!

In my current place of workship, Dirty Code is "anything written before the current development manager started".

Even today, a request was discussed to add a new field to an existing screen. But because that screen doesn't look great (it's only used internally so nobody cared about making it look good), and is written in older tech, the decree has been to re-write the entire thing into <insert today's new technology>. So the job has become about a week instead of about 3 hours.

0
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Virgin Media users report ongoing problems delivering legit emails. Again

Valerion

Webmail

Haven't noticed any problems with mail delivery, but their webmail has been flaky as hell for weeks. Probably works about 50% of the time, the rest of the time it just gives me blank screens or "technical difficulties" messages.

Bloody annoying!

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Karhoo who? Uber challenger shuts down after burning through $250m

Valerion

If all that cash spent on marketing it wasn't spent very well.

Of course it wasn't spent on marketing. It was spent on 4, no doubt lovely, offices. And probably all those start-up perks, like free lunches, free beer, free pizza. Ping-pong and foosball tables aren't free either, you know.

Nor are corporate "team-building" retreats, nor top of the range iMacs and Macbooks for all staff.

I have no idea if any of this is true, but the general modus operandi of oddly-spelt startups these days seems to be to get as much cash as possible, spend it on cool stuff whilst doing as little work as possible (well, they have spent money on those ping-pong tables so would be silly to waste it). Keep the devs happy by letting them use bleeding-edge frameworks and nosql databases (won't matter if it doesn't work in the end as it won't actually get used), and let them do talks at trendy tech meetups ("How React and Cassandra saved our system!"). Then, hope to get bought out before the cash runs out.

If you don't, well "fail fast" is a thing so come up with a new idea that everyone else is doing and rinse/repeat.

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US judge rubber-stamps Volkswagen's 'Dieselgate' settlement

Valerion

Re: 'The people who sold their cars are getting screwed'

And no jail time for anybody... Yay!!

That won't be true. There will be some poor sod of an engineer, who was merely doing as instructed by his management, who will go to jail.

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Will AI spell the end of humanity? The tech industry wants you to think so

Valerion

The Matrix

I can't buy that "theory" about us potentially being simulations in a real-life Matrix.

It seems obvious to me that, if that were real, that giving us sufficient knowledge to even comprehend the possibility of such a thing, and to allow us to progress towards greater knowledge would be a major design flaw. It would be much safer to limit the rate of human progress and keep us all in the Edwardian era or something.

Unless that's what they want us to think...

2
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Virgin Media boss warns Brexit could hamstring broadband investment

Valerion

Re: Christmas Time is here!

Purrrlease - VM have never needed an excuse to increase prices. They do it approximately twice per year with no reason or justification.

13
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Brexit? No impact at all, chuckles reseller juggernaut

Valerion

Re: Get on with it!

Given it is sadly impossible to can the idea, I am very pleased that they are at least taking some time to actually prepare rather than just invoking it immediately with no thought.

I am pleased this firm is doing well, but of course we haven't left yet. I still hope they do well after that, but it's a little early to declare that all the Brexit warnings were fallacy, when we're still in the darn thing.

9
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A robot kitchen? Whatever. Are you stupid enough to fall for this?

Valerion

Re: £100 a week for a year with Tesco's delivery service comes in at about £26,000 cheaper

Really? So all those eggs I see with the British LionMark on them are figments of my imagination?

I think sarcasm is a figment of your imagination.

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Invasion of the virus-addled lightbulbs (and other banana stories)

Valerion

Re: Third time (un)lucky?

You seem upset. How about a nice piece of toast?

14
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OK Google, Alexa, why can't I choose my own safe, er, wake word?

Valerion

2001

The day I can rename my Alexa to "HAL" will make me a very happy person.

Especially if I can get it to open the garage door by saying "Hal. Open the pod bay doors please".

0
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Mastercard rolls out pay-by-selfie across Europe

Valerion

Got it

Step 1 - Steal Simon Cowell's credit card

Step 2 - Go to party shop, buy hilarious cardboard Cowell mask.

Step 3 - Profit!

1
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London best for 4G - who'd have thunk?

Valerion

Canada/USA better

I spent 2 weeks driving around the USA (and Canada) in the summer. Was about 2000 miles in total, and I can remember literally only one time where I didn't get 4G.

Where I live - in the 'burbs of London, I can lose 4G walking to the end of the road. Yet over there often pretty much in the middle of nowhere - with the nearest civilisation about 5000 miles to the East - it was flawless.

0
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EFF dinks HP Inc finks in rinky-dink ink stink

Valerion

They deserve a mega-slap

Imagine if this was, say, Ford, and they somehow pushed out an update that prevented you from filling up your car unless you were at one of their own petrol stations. Which happen to charge 5 times the price for fuel.

The uproar would be debated by the government within days.

Same should apply here.

0
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WTF is OpenResty? The world's fifth-most-used Web server, that's what!

Valerion

Counting

Netcraft says OpenResty was used on about 240,000 domains in August, then jumped to over 400,000 in September as tumblr.com moved to the server

I won't claim to know anything about Tumblr, but wouldn't it have jumped to 240,001?

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Two Sundays wrecked by boss who couldn't use a calendar

Valerion

Travel time

I used to work going out all over the country installing and fixing software. They never counted driving time as actual work. So I could easily have a week of getting up at 5am and getting home at 9pm, but had no right to complain because I only did 2 hours per day of actual "work".

One day after a week of that I got home at 3pm, and promptly got a phone call from my boss who had checked the tracker on my car and wanted to know why I had gone home rather than coming into the office for the rest of the day.

He learnt a new swear word or two that day.

11
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Life imitates satire: Facebook touts zlib killer just like Silicon Valley's Pied Piper

Valerion

Re: But is it middle out?

And will it handle 3D Video?

0
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BBC vans are coming for you

Valerion

Re: Regressive tax

1060 West Addison

(ok, admittedly should be adapted to something more local as opposed to an address across the pond...)

1060 West Addison? That's Wrigley Field!

Kudos for the Blues Brothers reference.

1
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DVLA misses out on £400m in tax after scrapping paper discs

Valerion

Lower tax cars

Also, the more newer cars that are sold, the lower the take because newer ones are generally better than older ones.

Case in point, my wife has gone from paying almost £300 per year to paying £0 after she changed her car. Although we still have to go an register for the tax and go through the whole process, all to be charged nothing which seems a waste of time.

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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

Valerion

Ironic

He has to tell the plod of any planned sexual activity, but they are able to fuck him over continuously.

34
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What's Brexit? How Tech UK tore up its plans after June 23

Valerion

Re: Histrionics

I am still shocked and horrified. It feels like being on a plane when 52% of the passengers vote to turn off the engines having been promised it will be okay if they do.

It's not even that. It's more like being on a plane when only 75% of the passengers actually bothered to vote, a great number of the passengers don't have long to live anyway, the 16-18 year olds were excluded from voting, and in the end only 37% of the passengers actually voted to turn off the engines, but we've all gotta die anyway.

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All you need for quantum computing at room temperature is some mothballs

Valerion

I consider myself a fairly intelligent chap

Then I read about people who do this sort of thing, and realise that I am, in comparison, a complete gibbering idiot.

11
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Uber opens up on Oz deactivation policies, just a little

Valerion

Bribery?

If they get kicked off for falling below a minimum star rating, doesn't that open them up to bribery from customers?

"I'll only give you a 5-star review if you give me $5, otherwise it's a 1 star".

3
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Researcher pops locks on keylogger, finds admin's email inbox

Valerion

Re: Located or Accessed?

Perhaps the address was a giveaway?

hawkeye_finaldestination@gmail.com or something would be sufficient to suggest it's the final step. If it was johnsmith9999@gmail.com then perhaps not!

0
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Chatbot lawyer shreds $2.5m in parking tickets

Valerion

Can it be re-purposed?

To overturn referendum results?

1
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Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition

Valerion

Re: wtf?

You know, not all British Citizens actually live in Britain.

11
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Quick note: Brexit consequences for IT

Valerion

European HQs

I suspect Dublin will do very nicely out of all of this.

31
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IT consultant gets 4 years' porridge for tax fraud

Valerion

Re: Cost benefit analysis

You need to take into account potential future earnings, which are now undoubtedly diminished with his criminal record.

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Sea of outrage after 'migrant-spotting app' turned out to be bogus

Valerion

Even if it was "working", what use would it be?

It kind of assumes every boat is a migrant boat. Rather than just, say, a boat.

Scrambling the navy every time someone spots a boat wouldn't be particularly efficient.

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BOFH: Follow the paper trail

Valerion

My Inlaws

Used to run a business in Malaysia, selling printer ribbons to offices.

Theirs were not the cheapest (far from it), or the best, but they they made a fortune. The reason being they would send vouchers - redeemable at most local stores - to the low-paid office-workers buying the things for their company. The workers liked the vouchers a lot. So they bought a lot of ribbons, leading to many of them having enormous stockpiles of things.

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Boffins decipher manual for 2,000-year-old Ancient Greek computer

Valerion

Re: Trouble figuring out how it worked?

They were on hold to the outsourced support line for the past 2000 years.

9
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Developer waits two years for management to define project

Valerion

Re: My story is this...

Quite normal. I once had to do a project. The CEO (a total asshat) asked how long it would take. I said 6 months, conservatively. He said you have 3. I said no, it'll take 6. He said it WILL be done in 3.

Fast forward 2 months and they finally iron out the contracts and I'm allowed to start. And, of course, I now have 1 month to do it. At the end of the month I was off on holiday.

He told me I couldn't go. I basically said well I'm going, fire me when I get back if you want and off I went. I didn't get fired and he didn't get his project finished to his timescales either. In the end, with a lot of work and a very reduced set of testing, we got it done in about 5 months IIRC.

14
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Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Valerion

DABBSY - THEY HAVE BEEN LISTENING!

I was unfortunate enough to visit one of their stores on the weekend, and witnessed a customer approach a member of staff, hand them a shoe, ask if they had it in a size 9, and then He scanned it with some form of device, and it told him they were in stock!! .

I was shocked.

Dabbsy - your reach is large and quick.

^^^ Not a euphamism.

0
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Valerion

Wide feet, no arches

That's me. Finding shoes is a real PITF.

My usual gambit these days is to order several styles and sizes from Sole Trader online, try them all on, find the one that fits and take the rest back into the nearest store for a refund. The bonus being that you tend to get the Quidco applied to the entire initial purchase still, thus reducing the cost of the pair you actually keep (hey it's not my fault their systems are not joined up enough!).

FWIW, I've found Cat quite good for width and flatness. For trainers, try Sweatshop. They will stick you on a treadmill, film your feet in slow-motion and recommend you trainers that are actually what you need, and bring you out many styles and sizes to try on.

3
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The least stressful job in the US? Information security analyst, duh

Valerion

Re: What a coincidence!

How long did your coma last?

It's pronounced comb-over

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Smartwatches: I hate to say ‘I told you so’. But I told you so.

Valerion

Re: Watch navigation by re-purposing the hands

"It's either quarter to nine or I need to turn left."

Or, indeed, both.

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HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

Valerion

I had the summer off once

They put about 20 of us "at risk" in the early noughties. That meant we were supposed to come to the office, but didn't have to do any work and were allowed time out for interviews etc. Due to a clause in my contract my place of employment was listed as my home, so I showed up in my lounge every day for 6 weeks.

Then I went in for my exit interview/form-signing/here's-your-payoff-meeting to be told that someone had resigned last night and they could keep one person and they wanted to keep me and move me to a proper software development role to fill the role that was now vacant. I said that all the jobs I'd been looking at were paying more than I was on. They said to give them a week and they'd get me an offer.

At the end of the week they came back with a £5k pay increase and told me to report back in in another week. All told I had about 2 months off on full pay, and then went back to a higher salary and a more interesting job.

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In-flight movies via BYOD? Just what I always wan... argh no we’re all going to die!

Valerion

Bandwith worries me

I'm doing one of these BYOD flights in a couple of months. What worries me (1st world problems) is the bandwidth.

Assuming that it's only SD not HD, that's still about 2Mb/s per stream. And assuming 300 passengers, that's 600Mb/s (I'm good at maths, me).

What kind of wifi can support that?? Or will, as I am wearily expecting, the experience be utterly shit resulting in 9 hours of Kevin Bacon-style "Buffer face"?

0
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Microsoft phone support contractors told to hang up after 15 minutes

Valerion

Ah the memories

I used to do phone support for a venerable ISP/Online Service back in the 90s. We had a 6-minute deadline and got hassled by supervisors if we went over. Eventually I became a supervisor and was able to do the hassling myself. Oh the power (at 18 years of age!).

The best trick was, when it was quite (which was rarely), if you flicked your phone into "I'm busy, don't give me any calls" mode (used for when typing up notes following a call) and then back to available you'd end up at the back of the available agents queue. So with no waiting calls, just do that every few minutes and hours would pass with no need to speak to a customer.

0
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Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

Valerion

Went there a couple of years ago

I loved the tour, the wife and kids were not quite so impressed. Damn non-geeks.

The cafe served some very nice cake if I remember correctly.

4
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Lyft, Uber throw Texas-sized tantrum over Austin driver law

Valerion

Change in opinion?

Not too many months ago on here, it was like:

Taxi Firms? Boo!

Uber? Yay!

Seems to have reversed now.

2
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Wi-Fi network named 'mobile detonation device' grounds plane

Valerion

The tale of 3 twats

1 - The person who did it (although there's a chance they were not on the plane, or where on the plane and one of their mates did it for a laugh without them knowing).

2 - The captain delaying the flight for it.

3 - The people who demanded to get off thus causing further delays.

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China's Dalek-like robots fear only one terrifying nemesis: Stairs

Valerion

Design

Looks like a standard light fitting:

http://www.stylewithin.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/pendant.jpg

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Pebble axes quarter of its workers after fitness pivot

Valerion

Not suprising

Kind of a shame though.

I backed the original Pebble and the Pebble Time Steel, but neither have been great. They've been good, but just not great. The first Pebble had a very glitchy screen. The PTS I have now has a great screen, but frequently does not give me notifications - and that's what I mainly use it for (apart from telling the time, natch). The supposed Gorilla Glass has scratched a LOT (and I've been fairly careful). No other watch I have owned has scratched at all really. Also, it frequently has to be reset and re-paired and the firmware updated.

I like smartwatches, and I admire the way Pebble pretty much started the industry, but when the Apple Watch V2 comes out, I'll probably switch to that.

2
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Your money or your life! Another hospital goes down to ransomware

Valerion

That's because Ibuprofen is prescription-only in the USA

CVS, Walgreens, Walmart etc all sell it in packs of 500.

0
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'Microsoft Office has been the bane of my life, while simultaneously keeping me employed'

Valerion

Load bearing breakpoint

Came across one today very similar to the VBA one above.

When stepping through the code it worked, when run normally it didn't. Took me a while to track down that it was reading a DB value that was updated in one scope that hadn't quite updated fully, and due to the read uncommitted isolation level, I was still picking up the old value.

6
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NatWest tightens online banking security after hacks' 'hack' exposé

Valerion

Better than Barclays

We tried to change the phone number on my wife's Natwest account the other day, but it won't let you without a card-reader.

Compare this to Barclays, who allow it to be changed at will. This happened to my daughter a couple of months ago. Account hacked, £3000 taken. Barclay's were hopelessly incompetent at sorting it out. No communication and they never gave us any details on how it happened. They tried to blame her of course saying we must have a virus on the computer. We all use Macs with AV installed. I ran multiple Malware scans - nothing. No phishing either.

Because they changed the phone number, she got no alerts. And after reporting it and giving them the correct number, the fraud team kept trying to reach her on the number belonging to the thieving scum! Beggars belief...

Eventually she got it back, but she's leaving Barclay's obviously...

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Alice, Bob and Verity, too. Yeah, everybody's got a story, pal

Valerion

Re: tl; dr

I'm assuming the proof reader is still hungover from the weekend.

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