* Posts by Moultoneer

168 posts • joined 8 Dec 2009

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Welsh council rapped for covert spying on sick leave worker

Moultoneer

Ignorance, malice and boredom

I've known management who would dearly love to have been able to spy on off sick staff. They hear exaggerated or even completely false stories and its like an itch that they're not supposed to scratch.

My experience involved a popular colleague who was off on a stress related issue. While off she took up running (exercise is good for stress) and around the same time dropped several colleagues from her Facebook profile.

Within a short period of time rumours started flowing about the exact nature of her illness, why her FB profile was less open and how genuine her illness could be when people had seen her out running and playing sport.

When she returned to work it all subsided, but the speed with which she went from valued colleague to slacker and back to valued colleague was a wonder to behold.

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American bacon cured with AR-15 assault rifle

Moultoneer
Angel

Re: It's all relative

Even the Brit's in London use a lot of tea bags, which can be acceptable in the office but at home you really should use loose tea. Sure it takes longer but the brew tastes nicer and isn't having a break the whole point of putting the kettle on?

And as a bonus you can read your future in the leaves...

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Uber? Worth $40 BEEELLION? Hey, actually, hold on ...

Moultoneer

Money

It is correct to say that it is the investors money to spend/ waste as they wish, but if Uber floats anywhere near the proposed value then a significant number of pension funds, insurance companies and tracker funds will be obliged to buy stock.

So even if you do not want to actively invest in Uber your hands-off financial instruments will be doing so on your behalf.

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So this Saudi Prince calls and asks why he can't watch movies ...

Moultoneer
Paris Hilton

Not just the users

Back in the early noughties one of my users asked after our new lady sys-admin, which was tricky because we did not have any.

After a bit of digging the culprit was an on-call tech' who would leave his phone with his girlfriend while he played football. It started out with her taking messages and then escalated. Eventually she was dialing in to kills sessions, unlock accounts etc.

In typical British fashion the guy got a bollocking in private and was taken off the on-call rota (hit to the pocket) and no one took seriously my suggestion to invite the girlfriend to a job interview.

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E-cigarettes fingered as source of NASTY VIRUS

Moultoneer

Re: What a load of old virginia

Maybe it was a freebie or a gift from a supplier/ vendor/ lobbyist or similar that was carrying a less than friendly payload?

In my shop we ask staff to turn over all their freebies for security checking, since asking them to reject all such shiny gifts in the first place is considered too much to expect.

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It's BLOCK FRIDAY: Britain in GREED-crazed bargain bonanza mob frenzy riot MELTDOWN

Moultoneer
Pint

Re: Dear corporate Britain

Not buying anything? Well I'm not going to the pub with you after work then!

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MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

Moultoneer
Alien

Aliens

Come to find out what happened to those synthetic CDO's they bought from GS back in 2007.....

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MoJ hands £125m to outsourcing giant Atos

Moultoneer
Devil

Benefits

There are huge benefits to having the five roles rather than a single contractor. Those benefits are well worth the extra £39 million, though they might be missed by the short-sighted types that read El Reg.

For a start there should be four more annual golf days, four more Rugby World Cup invites, not to mention the scope for post-Civil Service retirement Directorships!

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

Moultoneer

Re: Nuclear

I think that the fear revolves around the risks in getting the nuclear material off planet, not their actual use in space.

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Satya Nadella's $84.3m pay packet: Did he use the 'female superpower' to get it?

Moultoneer

Re: Average?

Whether that be mean, mode or median, that is one low average. And the USA-ians' social security safety net is not famous for its generosity either.

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PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 SHUNNED by refusenik fanbois

Moultoneer

BYOD impact

In my firm we are seeing lots of old iPad 2's coming to us with strange faults (hanging app's, especially Mail) after the owners upgraded to iOS 8. When asked why they upgraded, a common answer is the mistaken belief that the firm's security bods would insist on them upgrading.

On the bright-side we are busy and, as has been noted on El Reg before, you cannot easily throw an iPad at a service desk several time-zones away.

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Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER

Moultoneer

Re: Flaw in the argument

I don't know where you shop in the UK but in my neck of the woods fruit and veg, plus staples such flour, rice etc are far cheaper than buying ready meals, certainly not 4-6 times higher. For example on Tesco's on-line store 1KG of McCains oven chips are £1.75 yet 2.5KG of baking potatoes are £2

People may not have the education or the facilities to cook from scratch but that is a different issue.

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Germany strikes again over Amazon warehouse pay

Moultoneer

Amazon is closer to a mail order business than a logistics business (though not exactly either) so the union supporting staff have a good case.

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Moultoneer

Re: AC@ 'Boo hoo. Your ancestors should..'

No they weren't, the American military used them in the Philippines in 1898.

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TROUT and EELS in SINISTER PACT to RULE the oceans

Moultoneer
Happy

Re: Both edible

The only natural predator of Eels are the Cockneys.

Someone remind me of where El Reg is based again?

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Alien Ninja Fembot Pirates vs the Jedi SAS Chuck Norris startroopers: RUMBLE

Moultoneer

Trained profesionals or talented amateurs?

Where does Francis Begbie fit on the list?

Should any alien/ vamp/ zombie/ yank be daft enough to put him off his pool shot, then there is going to be bloodshed!

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Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?

Moultoneer

Re: Religion is like a penis @Omgwtfbbqtime

Bertrand Russell's point is that dogmatists must prove their dogma, the rest of us are not obliged to disprove it.

In this example the relevance of Bertrand's argument is that it is for the deists to prove that their deity exists, the onus of proof is on them, not the atheists.

Your original comment in support of agnosticism was that no one knows if deities exist. If you apply your same logic to Russell's celestial teapot you have to agree that it might exist, right up to the point that you can definitively prove that it does not.

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Moultoneer
Devil

Re: Religion is like a penis

Interesting disclosure. Can I take it that you have the same stance on Bertrand Russell's celestial teapot circling the Sun between ourselves and Mars?

If you do, you're probably a crack-pot. Though one circling the Sun on Earth rather than your own independent orbit.

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Moultoneer

During the first Gulf War the BBC, CNN et al broadcast the charred and bloodied remains of hundreds of Iraqi troops, yet when a single out of focus image of a coalition casualty is shown the powers at home erupt in righteous indignation.

Either both are wrong, or neither are.

Nick Davies covers this subject well in his book Flat Earth News and so to does Robert Fisk in his book The Great war for Civilisation.

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Lawsuit claims SpaceX laid off hundreds without proper notice, pay

Moultoneer

Re: equivalence

In the UK you can be made redundant without reason within two years of employment. It had been reduced to one year but the Lib-Con coalition switched it back.

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SOULLESS machine-intelligence ROBOT cars to hit Blighty in 2015

Moultoneer

Re: A few Things that will happen

Plenty of candidates for the Darwin award then!

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Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

Moultoneer

Market forces

If you want cheap Apple products go to Hong Kong or Japan. You will save as much as one third of the price in the UK. If you're sceptical look up prices for the iPhone 5s on the Tokyo Apple store and divide by 170 for the rough £/¥ conversion.

Back in the UK; goods are worth whatever the market will bear. No one needs a Mac Book, or MS Office, they choose to purchase one for its advantages over a PC laptop or Open Office. If you want the shiny you'll have to shell out.

If you're more interested in what you can do with the tech' that you are buying than the label on the box, then this probably does not affect you.

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Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win

Moultoneer

Purpose of qualification

Certifications are a way round the problem of finding a job without experience. You leave the forces, the factory closes never to return, the industry is sinking etc so you have to re-skill. There is not an equivalent of the chartered accountancy or legal qualification route for IT so vendor certifications are pretty much all that's left.

I like to see evidence of interest on the part of interviewees, for example a blog about their training or a technology that interests them. But recruitment agencies cannot realistically sort candidates on that criteria so instead they use a glorified word sort before sending me CV's.

Once in the industry you can be snotty about cert's but for someone trying to find work they can be the best of a bad set of options.

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Moultoneer

Re: Ban? What ban?

No, your footage on its own is not enough to convict anyone. You will also need to prove who the operator of the vehicle is, and if you cannot show that it is the registered owner the court will not be interested.

You are correct though in saying get a dash cam. Well worth it, if only to prove your stories of fresh idiocy from your fellow road users.

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Moultoneer

Obvious really

DON'T... LOOK... DOWN!

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Storm-battered Rockall adventurer recalls 'worst experience of my life'

Moultoneer
Stop

Re: So once again ...

Charity should be private, give money to your preferred cause and keep quiet about it. If you want to have an adventure go ahead and get on with it. You can host a few lectures / slide shows at the local Rotary Club when you get back if you want to raise awareness for a related charity.

In the 90's I cycled the South Downs Way for pleasure in a weekend. None of my work colleagues batted an eyelid. This year I mentioned vague plans to ride the Dunwich Dynamo and immediately I was being asked which charity I was riding for.

It's a corrosive attitude as it links charitable giving to stunts, rather than being a rational human impulse to help others.

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Tor is '90 per cent of the net' claims City of London Police Commish – and he's dead wrong

Moultoneer
Joke

Usual suspect

Hands up... Who thinks that he's been getting his info from a certain Stephen Fry?

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Samsung peddles tyred Smart Bike concept

Moultoneer
Happy

Re: My eyes bleed

Rule number 5.

Velominati.org

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Boris: Look on 'London's digital tentacles', ye mighty, and despair!

Moultoneer

Re: 'Every corner of the capital and far beyond.'

I doubt he means as far as the M25, maybe the edge of the North Circular at a push.

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CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to SNATCH SNOWDEN

Moultoneer

Re: TheOtherHobbes

Got to pick you up on the common misconception concerning British interventions in Afghanistan.

The British invasions of Afghanistan in 1839/ 42 and 1878/80 were not the military disasters they are usually portrayed as. Concentrating on the betrayal of Elphinstone or the smashing of a brigade in Maiwand is like only studying WW2 as far as Dunkirk and then declaring the whole British involvement a disastrous defeat.

In 1842 the vengeful British marched back to Kabul, freed the hostages and burned down the Grand Bazaar (and every village that they passed on the way). In 1880 they left after enforcing the treaty of Gandamack which held until after the end of WW1 almost 40 years later.

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BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept

Moultoneer

ITIL model

Thanks to ITIL we now have a Continual Service Improvement team who have a lovely CSI logo on their business cards.

The Yanks seem to be pretty indifferent to any TV reference but the Brit's cringe at any mention of it. So on my morning conf call I always make a special point of asking what CSI found out this week ;)

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Piketty thinks the 1% should cough up 80%. Discuss

Moultoneer

Re: Salary versus Equity

Your evidence is back to front. The Co-Op had a majority of non-Bankers on its board, including a chairman who didn't know his credit from your debits. However, unlike RBS, Lloyds et al which were run exclusively by professional bankers the Co-Op has not received a penny from the tax payer (though it has benefitted from quantitiative easing by the BoE).

The Co-Op bank bought Britannia without discovering their terrible commercial loans portfolio. That was a huge mistake that nearly cost the bank its existence. The bank then fell on its sword and has re-capitalised itself with money from the wider co-op and its bond holders.

In short the non-Pro's wrecked their business, patched it up with their own resources and are moving on under their own, imperfect efforts. RBS, Lloyds, etc wrecked their businesses and then threw the keys to the taxpayer.

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Moultoneer

It was possible

Buying a home in London was always difficult (unless you lucked out under Right To Buy) and required a few years of penny pinching, chasing the overtime and being polite to the bank manager. But it was possible for all of the post-war years up to the mid-80's and again from the early 90's to 2000.

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CONFIRMED: Sophos shifting threat response work to India

Moultoneer

There may not be any immediate job losses from this move but if the bulk of the everyday work is being off-shored where will future staff in the existing centres cut their teeth?

If the more interesting work, the most advanced virus issues, are dissected in the UK/ US how are the Indian staffers expected to progress?

Its a lose - lose situation. Better to keep both skillsets in all locations, including India and take advantage of the best talent wherever it is found.

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Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the WORST

Moultoneer
Stop

Friday afternoon clickbait. Read something else.

The post is required, and must contain letters.

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French Hacker Legion is West's foremost snoop squad says Robert Gates

Moultoneer
Meh

UK Eyes Alpha - or not

The British have long spied on commercial rivals, for example Operation Jet Stream was an MI6 op for spying on 'rival' European partners.

Can't really point fingers when you are doing it yourself.

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NOT APPY: Black cab drivers enraged by Hailo as taxi tech wars rage on

Moultoneer

Cabbies get enough perks that it really is not worth trying to duck recording their fares. For a start you can claim one hour of fuel for driving to and from work, effectively tax relief on your commute. Then there are no business rates, so despite earning your living off of London's road you make no specific payments to compensate the city for wear and tear on the roads, pollution etc.

Once upon a time you might agree a cash fare when heading home to the suburbs, or claim a runner or two (passenger legs it at their destination) and pocket the cash. But it's very small beer compared with tradesmen ducking VAT etc.

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You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

Moultoneer

Not quite so fast

You cannot put a landfill just anywhere. You currently need a deep clay layer which can be capped once the landfill is considered full. The clay layer is expected to prevent heavy metals etc leeching into the local water supply.

Landfill sites in Essex took most of London's waste for decades but are now running out of space and the price has gone up accordingly. Which is why loss making recycling can still be cheaper than burying it (I know that some recycling ends up being exported to China on otherwise empty cargo vessels, but I do not know how much).

You could lower standards to make more sites viable, reduce the thickness of the clay layer, allow cheaper, less flexible materials to used etc. But that doesn't seem to be considered an option yet.

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Moultoneer

Forecasting is so depressing

Any worthwhile economic forecast should include a reference to the previous one. So the next time you see a price prediction for oil, gas or similar in a years time it should include a comparison of today's price and the previous forecast.

Maybe you will be surprised by their accuracy, but I doubt it.

Is part of the problem that only hysterical forecasts and reports get any coverage?

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Be the next tech hotshot – by staying the hell away from regulators

Moultoneer

Re: OTOH, you could regulate to encourage new business

The UK has a rentier economy. Lenders prefer to invest in property, utilities etc where they have a physical asset that can be pulled back in the event of failure.

How you change that culture is the difficult question. The banks lending officers are comfortable in assessing property, not business plans which might boil down to nothing more than an optimistic mix of bright ideas and enthusiam.

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Birmingham's Computer Bookshops Ltd goes titsup

Moultoneer
Meh

Mixed memories

As one of life's prevaricators I had a bad habit of buying books as the first step to certification and changing career direction, but then never bothering to open the book, let alone to sit the exam.

As a result I had a couple of genuinely useful books that were continually referred to over the lifespan of a particular system and a larger pile of pristine text books for CCNA and the like that I never got round to using properly.

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China 'in discussions' about high-speed rail lines to London, Germany – and the US

Moultoneer

Re: There's a sweet spot

That is a good link, they mention the passport issue in the sentence "Another issue, not mentioned by DB, was the fact that UK-bound passengers need UK Border Agency pre-clearance in mainland Europe." So if I get on at Aachen I would have to get off at Brussels to pass thru' passport control.

Changing trains at Brussels is frustrating but you can be quite aggressive with your timings. If you miss your EuroStar, ICE or Thales connection because of a delay on the connecting service the operators have an agreement to get you on to the next available train.

The Berlin trip does look tempting, I might have to train out/ fly back at Xmas.

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Moultoneer

Re: There's a sweet spot

A one train, no changes, journey from London to Berlin is now feasible but has fallen at the hurdle of British political interferance.

After several years of lobbying and re-jigging their train layouts Deutsche Bahn's high speed trains are now approved for use in the Channel Tunnel.

However, the UK gov't is insisting that on the London bound leg of the journey passport controls be applied at Brussels, with passengers disembarking, passing thru' migration checks and then re-boarding the train. Which will add an hour to any scheduled service. Deutsche Bahn ofered to complete passport checks on the train, as was common across Europe before the expanded EU, but this was rejected.

Why the British gov't is insisting on this is not clear. There is no shortage of available time slots in the tunnel itself and the benefits such as competition to EuroStar, improved travel times etc are self-evident.

Personally, 8 hours on a train to Berlin is too much, flying would be preferable. But London to Cologne in a shade less than 3 and half hours would be fantastic.

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London cabbies to offer EVEN WORSE service in protest against Uber

Moultoneer

Passing the Knowledge is a proven way of moving up and into the middle classes (or even staying in it when your well paid white collar job has been superceded). So reforming or tinkering with the profession will always be unpopular, but that doesn't mean that it should be left unreformed.

While London cabbies are popularly thought to be well to the right politically, they earn their living in a publicly run and administered system. Competition among Hackey cabs is artificially restricted by limiting the number of London wide licences to 28,000 or so. It takes 3 or more years for most people to pass their Appearances or give up because there are simply not the licences to hand out.

The quickest way to liberalise the system would be to increase the number of available licences. Applicants would still have to study the Knowledge and pass their appearances but there would not be the artifical log jam of the lack of licences.

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British Gas 'in talks' to outsource tech services desk, whispers insider

Moultoneer

Re: Outsourced?

It doesn't sound like a service desk to me "The services departments supports all production, pre-production and dev systems, which are predominantly Unix-based Oracle and SAP.".

I have contracted thru' HCL and they paid my invoices promptly. That might sound trite but anyone stung by the 2e2 collapse will appreciate the importance.

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Bankers don't just blow cash on bonuses, they also spaff ££££s on IT

Moultoneer

The price difference could also be explained by cross-charges. We pay more for kit but the cost of the purchasing team (salaries, office space, etc) comes out of that rather than being centrally allocated.

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Brain surgery? Would sir care for a CHOC-ICE with that?

Moultoneer

Re: Wot IT shortage?

My deeply biased interpretation of your scenario is that management want an expert to give them a solution for which they (your boss) can claim credit. What they don't want is someone supplanting them in the eyes of senior management.

That is a lot easier for them if you are in a different time zone.

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IBM was wrong to force UK workers off final salary pensions – judge

Moultoneer
Joke

Re: ha you think you'll get to retire

Don't be so negative.

In reality you will sell off whatever pitiful assets you have managed to aquire in 40 years of graft, move as far South (Spain, Portugal etc) as you can to avoid being a drain on the NHS and then drink yourself to death.

In the scripted words of Eddie Hitler "You're born, you keep your head down, and then you die.... if you're lucky!"

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