Re: Cheap at half the price.
Leaving aside that this goes counter to the British military policy of having an elite army, exactly who are these enemies you want to have greater numbers than?
317 posts • joined 2 Aug 2010
Leaving aside that this goes counter to the British military policy of having an elite army, exactly who are these enemies you want to have greater numbers than?
I've done some of my best problem solving while seated on the bog. Serious thinking frequently needs some form of displacement activity. It keeps the reptile brain occupied stopping it from interrupting with the neurological equivalent of "are we there yet?"
I hear you about the coffee machine. WTF is wrong with people? Sadly the solution is to throw the bloody thing out and replace it with a far more expensive and complex capsule machine. Just remember to hide the milk heater thing 'cause the feckers won't rinse it. Or just drink your coffee black.
Absolutely not. If you abstain you are simply abdicating your part in the collective decision.
You do not have to vote in Australia. You have to turn up and get your name marked off to demonstrate you were part of the process. What you do then is your business. You could add a "none of the above" box (which I think should be on the ballot, by the way) or draw a cock and balls or just walk straight out again. The requirement is that you are part of the process, not that you cast a vote.
Not voting is not a protest. Its just letting other people make the decision.
Further, by not voting you are increasing the value of the votes of those who do. Essentially, you leave the decision up to motivated partisan interests. You see this in local council elections all the time. True story: a mate got himself elected mayor just by getting his old school mates and their parents to vote for him. It only took about 50 votes to tip it his way because so few people usually vote. This was in an affluent city fringe suburb, not a virtual slum on the fringe of town.
Compulsory voting at worst creates noise in the system that drowns out the really loony end of the spectrum. That's why we don't have the spectacle of governments elected by 30% of the population.
If you are citizen of a country you are complicit with the actions of the government. Just ask the IMF, government creditors or anyone who ever supported economic sanctions against another country.
"A proper Cornish pasty is sealed along the top, not around one side. The ones I've bought in Cornwall1 always have been, anyway."
Indeed all those I have been sold as such in Australia, Portugal and some no-where town in the Rocky Mountains were made thus. Ironically the only place I have been offered to side-sealed forgery masquerading as the real thing was in England.
"All economists are nearly always wrong because they have learnt the theories of Marx and Keynes."
Where is the button so I can vote this for the funniest thing I've read all week? Its even funnier than our fat, white, male, protestant, conservative Australian treasurer complaining about how much he's been discriminated against.
"I have absolutely no idea what real world metrics marketing people use to value the personal data for an individual. I'm a good example of an edge case in their world; I'm 100% unaffected (in a positive way) by any advertising. I have never bought a product or service based solely on an ad. Yet, there are apparently billions of drooling idiots out there who will buy whatever the advertisers tell them to."
You have misunderstood the purpose of advertising. Its not to sell products but to convince the ad buyer that their ad agency is doing something important and valuable for them. Ad agencies get their income from selling their services not from selling their customers' products. This insight should explain about 90% of advertising. The remainder is, I suspect, mostly vanity driven.
I've watched this happen.
Many, many years ago I worked a temp job that involved loading trucks. We would load the pallets then the fork operator would load them onto the truck. Then we would tie them down with ratchet straps. The drill was to check no one was on the other side (in practice by yelling "heads!") and throw the two inch wide strap with a half kilo steel hook over the load. You had to really hoof it to make sure it went over, otherwise you had to climb the load and retrieve the bugger.
For three days we had one of those people who can do nothing right. Nice bloke, but everything he touched went wrong, sometimes with bloody results but fortunately only for himself. The final "incident" was him throwing the hook over while standing on the strap. It up went, snapped tight and came back down. He was looking up and it hit him right between the eyes. Funny in retrospect, not so much at the time.
I'm flattered to have anything I wrote read aloud by Paul Eddington - even if its only in someone's head. If it had been Nigel Hawthorne I'd also be slightly worried.
I have a mate who actually did this.
Back in the mid-90s (I'm guessing) he was paid good money (if you include the penalty rates) to baby sit a bunch of servers. Not content with just restarting the troublesome ones when someone rang to complain it was not responding he fixed the worst of them. After all, such calls seriously cut into his nap time and often interrupted his Quake playing. If you are going to be really lazy you need to do some work first, you see.
So there he is, being paid to sit in an office doing a job that really only generates a couple of hours work a week and he starts taking on small contract and commission coding and troubleshooting jobs to fill the time.
What? You mean all that second amendment bravado isn't real? Say it aint so! [/sarcasm]
+1 for the GTA reference, I think I'll dig out Vice City when I get home
But I'll answer in the spirit of being helpful and having nothing better to do while I wait for a meeting that has been postponed.
The Year of Linux on the Desktop is whenever you want it. That's the beauty of meaningless marketing guff. For me it was about twenty years ago when I first installed Slackware. You may have missed it from your ringside seat because you were looking the wrong way and for the wrong thing.
I'm sure there are any number of people here who can answer your question about the internet. Some may even give sensible and correct answers. I will take a punt and suggest the answer is no, or at least not really.
Political parties in this country, for all the massive donations they receive, are loath to spend money on real stuff. You can judge this by the quality of the photos used on election posters (which are cable tied to every vertical object right now) - clearly taken by friends, family or if by a professional one who's just found out the sitter expects not to pay for it as a contribution to the cause. I've experienced it first hand from our state conservative party (self styled as the party of small business to add surrealism to the experience) and can well imaging the feelings of a small developer who thought he'd landed a lucrative job for an influential client.
Small planes? Like 747s...
I remember standing on the "observation deck" trying to smoke a cigarette as an Air New Zealand (I think) jumbo came in with its nose at what looked like 30 degrees into the crosswind...
The Sister-in-Law works for the Oz tentacle of a formerly Danish (now owned by Spaniards, I believe) agricultural machinery manufacturer. Her boss is not able to attend the annual "foreign subsidiaries" meeting in the mother country, so she gets deputised and sent along with the CFO halfway around the world in his place. During the meeting a certain volcano in Iceland goes foom! and grounds all air traffic. She got as far as Charles de Gaul airport before finding out.
Cue frantic emails and phone calls trying to work out how to get her home. Various suggestions are made and abandoned because, basically there are half a million people in the immeadiate vicinity all trying to do the same thing. In the end the French CEO rang to say she should use his apartment in the 16th Arrondissment until further notice. Just get a taxi and show up, he'd let the caretaker know to expect her...
Oh, and pay for anything she needed on the company credit card - the usual limits had been lifted.
So there she was: trapped in Paris in April on the company dime. Life is tough for some.
"Or carry cash and use that."
That's the best advice. When in the USA I rapidly learnt to keep my foreign credit cards (including the company Amex) for big hotels and the like where they were used to such exotic things.
Actually its worse than that: we bought a shitty broken down network for billions that our parents paid to build before the current owner was privatised.
"Worked in one as well. I wouldn't be too sure about tenure of IT."
Here in Oz IT turnover seems to be about 12 months. That's because the IT staff generally have an escape route and the job is seen as either stop gap or resume filler. Mind you, more than 2 years working at a call centre is seen as a red flag on a CV in many HR departments - like still working at Mcdonalds after you are 25.
"I would hate to visit the new Apple Campus, only to be greeted by a talking shrub."
Have you been into an Apple Store (tm)? Talking shrub is a pretty good description.
"The kind of meeting I hated most, is the one they fly you out there for."
I have developed a simple defense against this this form of time wasting: if you want me in to attend a meeting on the other side of the country you will fly me business class. Meeting is at 9:30? Fine, you can fly me in the afternoon before, stick me in a convenient hotel and organise some form of transport to have me there on time.
Don't want to do those things? Then you don't need me in that meeting enough.
It may make me sound like a cunt but better that is a small price to pay. An unexpected upside is you get treated with a strange level of respect by people who would treat you like dirt if you showed up in cab fresh off the redeye.
You found the key that got the idea across. I had a receptionist who's written instructions for scanning visitor IDs had the first line:
1. click on the big red bear
She was far too sweet to see the Ifanview icon as squashed cat...
Back when I ran Helldesk , a mercifully brief contract covering for a mate who'd gone on to better things, I'd have written "PC" up for being a lazy .CNT and added him to my mental list of people to get rid of at the first opportunity.
Working the tech support phone you are the face of the company. You are also there to fucking help people (hint: the clue is in the name). The people calling need help and for many of them you are the only lifeline they have. They are probably already stressed enough from having to listen to our shitty hold music for ten minutes and they don't need you being a smartarse. It costs nothing to be helpful - even if that just means, in this case, working out that the file has gone missing and the caller needs to talk to someone else (bonus points for pointing him in the right direction) - and the whole company looks good and I get to add another successful resolution to our numbers. Enough of the latter (but not so many that the baseline gets pushed up, please) and we all get a bonus at the end of the year.
If you can't manage that then you should be looking for another line of work. Mocking people who are unfortunate enough to be in the position of relying on technology which is, to them, little short of black magic, says more about our insecurity than their ignorance.
OK, having said all that, the bloke I took over running that support desk from went on to run internal training. It was around the time that PCs were being dumped on C-level desks and I suspect someone in the company thought that if they could teach executives read and answer their own email then they could sack a few secretaries and PAs. My mate was the guy who did the teaching and his best story was the CFO who had got it into his head that you couldn't lift the mouse off the desk. Cue "click on blah", "it won't reach", etc.
I also don't get the calling people "sir" thing. I've never done it and never had it done to me. If someone on tech support did so, I'd probably assume they were taking the piss and tell them that the call will go a lot smoother is they drop the condescension. Every time I see it in story about a support call, it makes me think the story is made up by some 15 year old geek working as a junior salesman at whatever big box consumer electronics store blights your region.
"Yes Sir. Blocking the SMTP port is a service we offer as standard to all our customers.
Er.. a lot of (if not most) ISPs do indeed block outgoing port 25 for any mail server other than their own. Sounds like the user may have been more clued up than the tech support on this occasion."
Its petty much SOP here in Oz since email viruses became common. The exchange is perfectly reasonable - it sounds like both user and tech support are more clued up than the OP :-)
I've come across this twice. Its the result of using an off-the-shelf solution and being too cheap to customise it.
The second case was slightly more complex: they picked the cheapest quote and then got upset when the vendor submited an extra bill for "variations" that weren't explicitly part of the original quote. The vendor put them on the bottom of their priority list, I presume on the basis that paying customers come first and this job wasn't profitable. In the end they got sued by the supplier for non-payment. The vendor made a loss and they ended up with a shitty system that only partially did what they needed.
But I digress, the result was a number of mandatory fields that are inappropriate or pointless. The solution we suggested was to fill them in with standard but nonsense data. If it got "lost" or "stolen" at least it would raise an instant red flag when someone tried to use it.
Hmmm, just checked and I'm running FF44.0 with ABP. My existing plug-ins are unmolested and Google is still my default search engine.
I think you may have bigger issues than Firefox, mate.
"Certainly I have never heard of such a thing before"
I'm guessing your experience is purely with existing individual domestic sites then. The OP is talking about fibre-to-the-block / basement / some other word starting with B and meaning the site rather than premises.
Let me guess: you buy the cheapest? I worked hard to keep my system builders on the straight and narrow, make sure they know what I expect and shouldn't have to ask for and that there will be hell to pay if they mess me around. I really don't miss that end of this business.
You seem to expect more than brain-dead monkeys when you pay peanuts. Anyway, you shouldn't be fixing a brand-new computer, you just warranty the bastard.
Heh, heh, heh. Spot the people who've never worked minimum wage at a thankless task for management who regard any second you aren't flat out as time wasting and treat you like shit.
I built PCs for six months or so after leaving uni. It wasn't a bad job on the whole - the pay was crap but the hours were flexible, conditions better than picking fruit in winter and the warehouse manager let me park my motorbike inside the roller door where it was safe and dry. I don't recall ever knowingly sending out a dud machine but one did go out with quite a lot of my blood on the inside of the case. A "colleague" also send a Windows 3.1 machine out with the high score table in Minesweeper full of near unbeatable scores.
Six months after I left, the company founder cashed out to a national level play (since gone bust) and things went down the toilet fast. A year later I heard exactly the Phuzz's sort of stories about their build quality, and worse.
They don't "double" the price "because they are local", their costs are higher because they lack the leverage to beat down their suppliers, landlords and tax authorities. They also lack alternative revenue streams such as selling shelf space and position*
* It was a badly kept secret that Coles (one of Oz's two big chains) made more money selling shelf space to the local Coca Cola licensee than selling their product.
"" My last microwave was "free" with loyalty points,"
Tesco Clubcard Points have paid for three holidays in France, one in Spain and paid for RAC breakdown cover for the last half decade. Done right loyalty points can be worthwhile."
Once again, no they didn't - you paid for those things with points. You gave Tesco an interest free loan of, if points values are anything like here in Oz, 1% of your spend with them and they repaid it in company scrip.
No, I have to disagree: Conservative = frightened.
I have yet to work out if people are frightened because they are conservative or conservative because they are frightened. Like much of life, I suspect its both.
"Which is remarkable, because as we've often reported, Australia's teachers recognise that the Digital Technologies curriculum is a good idea, but point out they just haven't been trained to deliver it."
Had a conversation with a mate's missus over the weekend - she's a primary school teacher.
"I'm teaching coding on Monday"
"What will you be using?"
"No idea. Its going to be a debarcle".
Now she's seriously smart and has a general interest but absolutely no training or support.
They're still makin' 'em, mate. Besides, if they don't end up wrecked you aren't driving them right.
I recently saw a news report that redbacks have colonised Japan - probably arriving on Aussie fruit. That'll teach the buggers for buying up all our prawns and crayfish.
Anway, mild panic has ensued as the Japanese are not accustomed to dealing with aggressive and highly venomous wildlife. A mate suggested we send them a container of left thongs labelled "Redback Spider Control Devices".
The other nine occurrences in the story might also be considered a clue.
The DCMA does not apply as this is in Australia.
I'd have let it slide, this the third story I've read in a row where at least one commentard has been unable to work out what country the story relates to. In this case its only mentioned thirteen times...
Nah, its just ignorance and hurbis. Its pretty common for US companies to try these things on when they open up OS (I'm looking at you, Apple). They'll probably get away with it for a few months until the complaints to the ACCC result in a nasty letter then they'll quietly drop their returns policy.
As for manufacturers' warranties, they only get away with what you let them. Retailers are required by law to replace or refund here, they cannot legally duck their responsibilities so don't let them.
"Standard builds"? WTF are you doing at a retailer if you are building in volume? You should be talking to a disty if you're buying volume, Mate.
That's a big wombat mate!
I've always found them pretty easy to spot and avoid 'cause they don't move fast.
True story: I met a bloke who hit a wombat on the Stuart Highway at night. Almighty bang and the car is fishtailing all over because the passenger side front wheel no longer seems to be having any part of steering the car. Or holding it up off the road for that matter. He walks back down the road to see what he hits and finds a mound of bloody fur in the shape of a wombat about 200m back. It moves. He thinks "shit, the poor bastard's still alive" and walks back to the car to get something with which to put it out of its misery. On the way he takes in the skid and scrape marks and thinks to have a look at the damage: front passenger side suspension unit punched vertically through the top of the tower and the bonnet. Now he's angry and heads back to deal retribution with a tyre iron but the wombat is nowhere to be found. A trail leads off into the bush.
That's the point where we found him and gave him a lift to Catherine.
However, they will not flip a car or truck, physics just doesn't work like that outside of Hollywood, bu I'm sure people have rolled cars due a loss of control after hitting the bastards..
Once all the marketing BS and hype is hosed off, yes. Wasn't it obvious from the start?
I doubt it.
To stretch your simile, it took a while for the authorities to find the Bosch made weapon used in the robbery and trace it via the serial number to VW. Bosch are saying sure, we sold VW the gun but we told them quite explicitly not to use it to commit any armed robberies.
"Must be a hell of an exploit to be able to execute code from a preview pane and get out into the wider system."
Nah, all of these things I've seen are just an executable attachment masquerading a document. Ten will get you twenty he opened an attachment named resume.exe or something similar.
"4 words - backup, backup, backup daily!"
And fer Christ's sake don't give users write access to the backup. There are good reasons why all those Unix (and its bastard offspring) systems have a dedicated backup user...
And don't rely on a single copy, keep a historic copy or two. Storage is cheap, a lot cheaper than the ransom.
"It could be possible to restore from backups but the tech says drives have to be fully formatted otherwise files may be re-encrypted."
Clearly, there aren't decent ones in the area.
From my recent experience I'll add:
The guy who organised it left six months ago taking all knowledge of and, more importantly, access to the hosting service with him.
The hosting company was bought by another who discovered a disturbing laxness of record keeping at their new aquisition. Both shall remain nameless; the latter at least tried to help...
At least I didn't get rudely awakened at 3am. As a consultant, I got to wander in at a leisurely time and ask all the awkward questions. Sadly, the one question I was not allowed to ask was "what the fuck were you thinking?"
As an outside consultant who sees quite a lot of these things, I have to disagree. IT depts are pretty well aligned with business needs - just not the fantasies and current wants of, mostly middle, management, which commonly get mistaken for business needs.
Your sentiment is, however, an article of faith in many places.
All the head scratching comes from misunderstanding the purpose of a meta-data retention scheme. Its not about terrorists or organised crime, its about being able to find and punish whistle blowers and leakers*. The whole farce only makes sense if you bear that in mind.
* You could, I guess, make the case that there are few things that politicians and senior bureaucrats are more terrorised by than having their misdeeds revealed thus those revealing them are terrorists...
There is plenty of life outside the big chains. As the kids say, "Google is your friend".
"I wouldn't touch ebay either, and "locally" doesn't work because stores on this side of the pond don't stock anything. For example, I've gone to Best Buy for a wired mouse, a hard disk, and a wired ethernet card, and not only have they not had them, I've been laughed at for not wanting wireless."
Everywhere I've been in the last two decades has had a local seller of IT bits and bobs. Generally its a store front with a counter and a photocopied price list (some locked display cabinets if they are feeling a little flash) and staffed by two Chinese, and Indian and a lost looking parkeha. Replace the Chinese with Vietnamese, Koreans or Filipinos depending on continent but the other two seem universal. The trick is to find them 'cause they generally don't don't advertise and they go where the rents are cheap. Find out where the local gamers buy from.
Sadly, in the world of Amazon and massive supermarket chains, your mate is actually the problem. The correct response to being squeezed is not let them. The problem for the publishing industry is that its been a sheltered workshop full of genuinely nice people for a long time and they simply don't have the skills to stand up to the hard men from the likes of Amazon.
Meh, that describes one very common career strategy for climbing a business bureaucracy greasy pole. Its a way to progress beyond the seniority limit implied by the Peter Principle.
I was in a meeting yesterday with a middle aged senior manager who got where he is by never being party to a decision made by less than three people. The theory is, I guess, that if it goes pear shaped he can always claim he was against it all along but out voted by the others. The man could equivocate for his country.