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* Posts by The Alpha Klutz

651 posts • joined 17 Feb 2011

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David Davis: Jobless should dig trenches for fat UK pipes

The Alpha Klutz

"there are 62 cleaning jobs in my town"

The thought crosses my mind that 62 is a low number not a high one.

If there are only 62 jobs going in your town, how could you possibly expect unemployment not to be a big problem?

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The Alpha Klutz

"The vacancy won't be filled by someone who already has a job now will it?"

Or at least, if it is, then the person who swapped jobs to gain your job will in turn leave a vacancy and eventually a vacancy must trickle down to the jobless. At some point you are forced to give them a step up onto the employment ladder.

You can hardly blame them for not having a job if that ladder is being actively vandalised and mutilated.

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The Alpha Klutz
Alert

I wonder what job you do

that's so damn important to the success of the country?

I bet if we really get down to brass tacks we would find that you and I, for all the time we spend at work, are as inconsequential as anyone else.

As a nice little thought experiment; if you died, would one of those dole scroungers you hold in contempt not take your place? The vacancy won't be filled by someone who already has a job now will it?

I get pretty tired of people who are in employment pretty much by accident of birth and chronology, complaining about the people who don't have a job through accident of birth and chronology. It's not like anybody on this earth grew up aspiring to be indentured.

I don't recall anybody in my primary school ever saying "when I grow up I want to be looked down on as the scum of society".

I'm not saying that the government should give us all cushy jobs on the space station; but people can reasonably expect a roof over their head and some shit to eat. I'd rather pay the money than have these people breaking into my house every day out of sheer desperation.

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Popular gamers 'should play for free' – Valve boss

The Alpha Klutz

Further to my idea:

1. If you already have a subscription licence (as in the case of a licence to play online for a year), any licence you acquire through the VLG* will be prorated so that you only pay for what you need. That way, you are not reliant on someone making a group at the exact time your licence is due for renewal.

2. My idea would be an excellent way to promote and sell a game months before release. It gives people ample time to organise, and assures that they all have licences on release day. It could potentially boost sales.

*Volume Licence Group.

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The Alpha Klutz

"a player that has verified and repeated reports of griefing or being rude [..] gets to pay more."

Which means that you must have a way to track said player (reliably, so that they can't assume a new identity and start paying the regular price again).

And if it's possible to track them, it's possible to ban them.

So why not just do that? Evidently these rude players are not worth having as customers if they put other people off.

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The Alpha Klutz
Boffin

My solution to this problem.

Is a way for people to get together and buy a cheap volume license for a game or gaming service. A way that does not require any member of the group to expose his or her personal details (e.g. home address of banking) to any other member of the group. The number of people in the group determines the price break.

What should happen is that the game company has a website where you can create a page for your group of volume licence candidates. As the group moderator, you approve or reject each person who attempts to join (based on whatever personal info they decide to make available to you, the moderator, for the purpose of making that decision - e.g. a username in most cases).

Each person who does join sets 2 flags, a price and a date. Essentially signing an agreement that "I agree to pay for the game if the price comes down to £xx.xx or less by xx/xx/xx". As insurance, the game company holds banking details for each member, but only until the date they allow. After that, if no transaction is made, the account details are erased and they are removed from the group.

In order to get the best discounts, people would need to organise on a forum, on Facebook, or anywhere else. All of them agreeing the same (or similar) maximum price and deadline beforehand so that they know they all get the price they want. To facilitate this, the price breaks need to be public knowledge and the moderator can kick people who set unreasonable prices and dates.

If the conditions set by the two flags are true for every user in the group at any time, the transactions all go through, they are all emailed their licences, and the group (plus all personal details) is securely erased.

Sounds like a lot of effort, so the discounts better be good.

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Dropbox 'insecure and misleading' – crypto researcher

The Alpha Klutz

The point is

that many of the people who purchased iPads did so under the false assumption that they would be able to easily move files around. They can't, and the device is therefore not fit for purpose (the purpose for which they bought it that evidently requires them to move files around). That's a failing on somebodies part, but not mine.

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The Alpha Klutz

"It's their tablets and phones that don't."

Otherwise known as a tablet.........? Computer?

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The Alpha Klutz

boo hoo

You don't always have to do everything Apple says.

You wouldn't buy a chocolate teapot, so why would you buy a, quote-unquote, computer, that doesn't have a file system or any USB ports?

How long have we had USB flash drives? Like 10 years? Everyone has them, everyone that is, except for Steve Jobs, who plainly looks as if he spends 14 hours a day sleeping in an Oxygen deprivation tent on the moon.

Actually, his face resembles the moon more closely with each passing day. Grey, dispiriting, probably had people walking on it in the 60s.

Is that who you want to get your computing insight from? Well maybe if you are 92 years old going on 103.

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Apple seeks patent for keyboard that sucks

The Alpha Klutz

keyboard that sucks?

I'll give it a week, maybe two, before it's completely clogged up with dust and therefore useless.

But when it is broken, at least you will have the satisfaction of knowing that it cost you a significant amount of money.

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Renault readies sub-£7000 e-car for Blighty

The Alpha Klutz

"But seriously? Enjoyable open aired motoring? In Britain? In a city?"

I think what they mean is you're not going to get side-swiped by a Grizzly Bear, so having no doors is perfectly fine. Unless you want to pay extra for doors, in which case you can have them, you sick pervert. You could be hiding all sorts of bombs in a car with doors. Better put your name on some kind of list just in case.

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The Alpha Klutz

Disgusting

Everything about this car is both visually and mentally repulsive, and for such a high price, a complete fail.

I'd hate to think of the massive, massive, damage you would be doing to the environment by purchasing and driving this thing. Gotta be a few million tons of carbon just to build it, then 5 years later when everyone realizes it's shit, it'll be another couple of million to recycle it. Or just dump it in a hole in the ground, that would be the cleanest option, and trust me, there's plenty of space on earth for landfill. We found space to test the nukes. Hundreds of them.

So in summary, if you buy this, you really are almost, but not quite, as reprehensible as Renault for building it in the first place.

Now we just wait for the BBC News press release about how awesome it is. Because obviously, if it's electric, it must be good. Unlike Oil, we have unlimited electricity.

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Brazilians slap health warnings on knickers

The Alpha Klutz
Megaphone

WARNING: YOU MIGHT GET CANCER.

Did you ever think that maybe people don't want to spend all of their Cancer-free years being reminded of Cancer every day?

Or what if you do have Cancer? Are you going to consider it helpful or appropriate that everything you buy has a big fat Cancer warning on the box?

Since I'm going to die anyway, should I just stay at home all day and not do anything except eat my 5 portions of fruit & veg and cry softly about Cancer? Well sorry, I'll have all day for that shit when I get Cancer. But now, I'd rather not think about it, if that's alright with you, my Lord and Savior.

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Dixons warns it's getting worse

The Alpha Klutz
Megaphone

Computers are the downfall of the Computer store.

The trouble is, once you buy your first computer, you never need to visit a computer store again, you can just use your computer to buy a new computer.

To the computer owner, there is no need to go into a shop and "try out" a new computer. Note that "trying out" a computer in PC World means looking at the screen saver or Windows Media Center, perhaps playing Solitaire if you're lucky enough to get 5 minutes away from the salesman. Impressive stuff if it's going to be your first ever computer, but distinctly unimpressive for everyone else.

Clearly then, PC World need to do something to appeal to those of us who have actually seen computers before. Maybe a more techy area with a bunch of antistatic workstations and barebones computers, plus piles of components, where you can go to build your own computer in the store. If you're happy with the result, you can buy it.

Obviously this idea is so good that PC World will never do it.

The least they could do is get a geek in to run free workshops on how to set up home networks and file servers and rip music or movies. If you're going to run a store for noobs, at least give them a reason to keep coming back.

Image this, I want to be a dentist so I go into Dentist World and buy a whole bunch of overpriced dental equipment, then when I ask the guy how to use it he tells me, with a cheeky but reassuring grin, that I can just wave the dental drill around inside my mouth, "or some shit like that", and everything will be fine, as long as I buy the extended warranty. "These dental drills break ALL THE TIME, not to queer the deal or anything, *wink wink*, and the warranty comes with free Carbon Brush replacement for the first 2 months".

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Facebook caught exposing millions of user credentials

The Alpha Klutz

the boss wanted to have him on there to "keep an eye on him"

What if the boss asks to put spy cameras in your house and watch you taking a shit so that he knows you're eating enough fibre? Fair enough, right? I mean he can't be putting up with unhealthy staff now can he.

"This is increasingly common"

I should hope not. Any boss who asks me to tolerate such a thing would get the response they deserve.

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UK.gov would pay to have benefit claimants' tattoos erased

The Alpha Klutz

"Isn't it all online nowadays?"

We're told that 90% of jobs are never advertised at all, or some other frighteningly large percentage I can't currently remember.

People are constantly trying to ram home the value of "networking" to find your next job. Well what if you hate networking, what then? You're fucked aren't you.

In my day we called it "brown nosing".

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The Alpha Klutz

although

It does show stupidity if you get a really awful tattoo that's spelled wrong, or has the wrong date on it, or generally looks as if you didn't bother telling the guy what you wanted before he started injecting dye in your face. But there are jobs even idiots can do, so in some sense a guy with a tattoo like that is perfect to mix cement all day on your construction site. Give people a fair chance to do something is all I'm saying.

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The Alpha Klutz
Megaphone

if the inked-up individuals get a job offer first...

why would they need their tattoos removed?

Maybe employers could be just, I dunno, maybe 5% less fascist and recognise that some people possess skills other than the ability to appear visually pleasing.

How many jobs actually require you to look good? I work in a dark office in a backwards town full of inbreds, why should I not have a tattoo? Incidentally, I don't, nor do I want one, but the point stands.

You could argue "well it shows they have poor judgment blah blah blah" Why does it show poor judgment? Because they should have known that you wouldn't hire them with a tattoo? And why wouldn't you hire them with a tattoo? Because it shows poor judgment? Circular bullshit logic it is for sure, but it's terribly convenient for denying jobs to people you "just don't like".

Fucking hell, can't have a guy or girl with tattoos, they might also have some interesting stories to tell and we can't put up with that kind of shit in a work environment. Everyone should just shut up, dress how I say, and enjoy their minimum wage.

That's freedom.

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Boffins herald end of stiff screens

The Alpha Klutz
Big Brother

"Everything is going to look and feel like this within five years"

What a horrifying prospect.

I can see it now:

2016: "Now children, I'm your new History teacher. Today we are going to learn about how horrible life was in 2011. You see most things in 2011 had a kind of solid quality to them, so you could easily poke your eye out with them. Yes that is very dangerous and kids were all very blind in 2011. But thanks to Our Government, solid objects have been deprecated and replaced with the lovely flexible versions you are using now. You see kids, pencils didn't always used to bend and flop around like they do now. They used to be VERY dangerous, you could poke your eye out with a pencil. Yes, all the way out. That happened all the time in 2011. Now kids, your homework is to go to Wikipedia and print off the article named "pencil eye stabbing incidents in 2011". Remember not to change the text at all, you will lose marks if you use your own words."

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'Boil the ocean' data loss prevention needs to change

The Alpha Klutz

I have consolidated all of my toilets into a single cubicle.

It provides a more unified experience for my IT staff.

Further, the amount of time they spend in there has been slashed 40%.

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Assange: Facebook a ‘spying machine’

The Alpha Klutz
Coat

and their urine

wikileaks into the river.

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The Alpha Klutz

"don't even try to make a constructive change to anything."

They donate heavily to local Pizza establishments everywhere.

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DARPA says surveillance vid-search tool is ready for use

The Alpha Klutz
Paris Hilton

can't wait to get my hands on this

picture related

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Microsoft to release Windows thin PC in late June

The Alpha Klutz

Less disk space?

Why isn't regular Windows 7 like that.

Good grief, would you like an Operating System with your 30GB of bloat sir?

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User data stolen in Sony PlayStation Network hack attack

The Alpha Klutz

I AM SPECULATING

Sony run a secret Ice cream parlor on Mars. They only let certain customers go there for free ice cream which is TOTALLY UNFAIR.

Some of the customers hacked in to the Martian Mother Computer and discovered a new flavour of ice cream based on chocolate. Again this is only a rumor at this point but if the queen is a reptilian shapeshifter then god help us anything is possible.

I spoke to Sony's PR company and they can confirm that I will be on the next shuttle up there for free ice cream and blow jobs. I asked about the possible existence of chocolate ice cream and the line went dead.

Several minutes later a military contractor phoned me back and told me in no uncertain terms that I love Raspberry ice cream not chocolate ice cream. Then a high pitched tone pierced my ears and I realised that this is in fact true, I do love Raspberry ice cream exclusively.

I AM SPECULATING

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MySpace bids expected this week

The Alpha Klutz

"what do they plan to do with it?"

If I were an eccentric billionaire (and last time I consulted the bank manager, -that's what I call my wallet- , I was not), I would buy MySpace and re-brand it slightly.

By putting a big picture of a special bus on the homepage and renaming the site "Day Release Glue Sniffers". A script would comp pictures of random members into the windows of the bus each time you load the page.

Then I would link the "Tom" account to an offensive trolling bot based on the TR31 military trolling protocol that exists in my imagination.

I would walk around the MySpace offices saying things like "This is our loading program, from here we can load any type of trolling we require." I would hire people to make me coffee, and other people to drink it for me. I would be so good at running MySpace.

I think people would really appreciate the new site.

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The Alpha Klutz
Thumb Up

"an exceptionally uninspiring number" with almost total "value destruction".

Brutal.

Can anyone spell Ponzi scheme?

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Teens who spend time online not dorks after all – study

The Alpha Klutz
Thumb Up

oooooh and online survey

since I spend all my time in the basement surfing the internet, I will enjoy this. Let's see:

Question 1, do you have sex?

Oh crap, better make something up quick, "10 times a night". Yeah that ought to stick.

Question 2, do you wear a seat belt?

Well I don't own a car, so no.

Question 3, do you partake in the consumption of alcohol?

I am partaking in it now.

Question 4, how many friends do you have?

I will just put 7, as that is the number of n00bs I have pwned today.

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Sony unsure if PlayStation Network user data was stolen

The Alpha Klutz
Joke

Arguing over Xbox v. PS3 is like arguing over Mac v. Linux

Even if you win, you're still not better than PC.

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Google location tracking can invade privacy, hackers say

The Alpha Klutz
Megaphone

Soon there will be no privacy online

It seems that a number of forces are closing in on a new vision of the World Wide Web that by it's very nature will know who you are, where you are, and what you get up to.

The steps you can take to protect your privacy from this are simple, yet highly impractical given the sheer number of attack vectors and the pervasive nature of the devices to which they relate.

As conducting your daily business online becomes more convenient, it follows that hiding your tracks will become exponentially more inconvenient. At some point it is simpler to come to the realisation that you really have no privacy, and to change your behaviour accordingly.

The alternative would be to juggle multiple identities with all the skill and efficiency of a paranoid schizophrenic. With the added caveat that you will need to be a computer scientist in order to understand and plan around all of the surveillance systems that might exist now or in the future.

The only solution is to reorder society so that the transparent nature of our activities becomes a benefit rather than a detriment. We want to be reasonably confident that baddies wont take all of our money, and that our government won't abduct us in the night.

We want freedom to discuss controversial ideas without Mr Lead Pipe paying our noggins a visit. Essentially, assurances need to be made that people will act civil. Until technology is invented that can assure basic human decency, we are basically fucked.

Maybe such a technology would be to put psychoactive drugs in the water, not that anyone's doing that; doo doo do doo, doo doo do doo. And I certainly wouldn't advocate it. But something needs to be done about Shouty McSkin Head and his vigilante group the McIdiots. Those are the people that will really benefit from total information awareness.

Everyone already knows Mr Skin Head is a bigot. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain by finding out where YOU live.

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PSN gaming network outage sparks DDoS rumours

The Alpha Klutz

much easier solution though

1. unplug homehub

2. place directly into bin

3. buy generic cheapy router

4. install your choice of modded/open firmware

5. success

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ICT classes in school should be binned – IT biz body

The Alpha Klutz
FAIL

anybody who knows anything worthwhile is self taught

"""Personally, I find most "self-taught" "programmers" dreadful"""

Personally, I find most "self-taught" "managers" dreadful. Shame they do not teach themselves humility.

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The Alpha Klutz

"GCSE courses in ICT show a 57 per cent decline in numbers between 2005 and 2010."

Because schools aren't letting kids take the GCSEs, opting instead for easier more worthless courses (that of course the schools claim are worth some ridiculous number of GCSEs, such as 10 or 20).

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Calling all commentards: Want some new icons?

The Alpha Klutz

icons

A Back To The Future 1.21 gigawatts icon, caption: "needs moar jiggawatts".

A Homer Simpson Homemade Prozac icon, caption: "needs more icecream".

A "Can it run Crysis?" icon.

A "Can it run Solitaire?" icon.

A Vaseline icon.

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German prangs dad's £275k supercar

The Alpha Klutz

broke?

or made it better?

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Dixons' best chance? Quit the UK and move to Sweden

The Alpha Klutz

Why don't you go down to your nearest store and ask the staff if they want

a job in your underground dungeon complex?

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BBC engineers see PLT knocking out DAB

The Alpha Klutz

or heck

nail it above the skirting boards with cable clips. Not as clean as having the cable concealed, but certainly an easy and quick solution. Better to do it when you move in than years later when all your shit is in the way.

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The Alpha Klutz

you can have both

If you use WiFi or Ethernet.

Though I suppose PLT is okay if you get agreement from every house within 500 meters of yours, that they don't mind having their DAB jammed so you can use your internet. I can't really see anyone agreeing to that, even if they do hate DAB.

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Avast alert finds WHOLE WEB malign

The Alpha Klutz

"Your argument applied to a different problem:"

No.

Because medicine relies on a DIAGNOSIS from a trained professional, in other words a doctor.

Medicine is not an attempt to have the population hopped on drugs 24/7 "just in case" they catch something. In fact medicine fails when applied in this way, you cannot put everyone on antibiotics because then they will stop working.

You may be thinking about vaccination, in which case the closest computing metaphor for a vaccine would be a software patch, (which I am all in favour of, obviously), and not Antivirus software.

Furthermore, do you know what the medical world lacks? Good antivirals.

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The Alpha Klutz

"Firefox prefetched the first result which just so happened to be malicious"

I always thought prefetching was a bad idea (or at least, a relatively pointless one). Hopefully in the future software will be designed with these considerations in mind, but you have highlighted our sometimes misplaced trust in the software vendors and their products. Bear in mind of course that placing too much trust in your AV can be as dangerous as placing too much trust in your browser.

It was wrong of me to discount AV completely, or to come across that way. (I LOVE hyperbole).

I just see it as a losing battle, if your AV catches 80% of malware now (just a guess), how much will it catch next month? Next year? In 5 years? At some point the percentage will level off at a relatively useless level, given the exponential growth of malware. I think it would pay to start coming up with alternatives now.

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The Alpha Klutz
Linux

"That is exactly the kind of attitude that will get your computer pwned."

Not really, I regularly check what executables are running on my box and dialing into which IP addresses. I haven't spotted any strange activity yet (at least nothing that couldn't be satisfactorily explained as benign with a bit of careful research). And of course I am generally careful about what I do on the computer in the first place.

I could have a rootkit, but so could anyone, because that is exactly the kind of thing that slips through the Antivirus net, regardless of how much it comforts you to believe that you are protected.

Instead of wasting time and/or money on Antivirus software, buy a nice pot plant and put it somewhere near your monitor. It will enrich your life more than any security software.

(that's after you install that secure OS I was talking about earlier, of course)

PS. Obviously I recognise that if you don't know how to use a computer properly, you should use Antivirus software (I make sure my family do), but think of it only as the training wheels on your bike. If you never want to take them off, fine by me, but don't expect me to feel as though my two-wheeled bike is somehow inadequate.

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The Alpha Klutz

maybe

but I am under no illusion that indiscriminately scanning everything that comes in to my computer against an incomplete blacklist will offer me any level of protection that I couldn't get though equally potent technologies such as prayer, homeopathy, witchcraft etc.

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The Alpha Klutz

Security thrown out with the bath water

Scanning every website you visit for every possible (known) virus is silly.

If you surf the web with any regularity, you need an OS/browser combination that is hardened against infections, and designed to contain them (relatively) safely if they do take hold.

You don't want some gun-slinging wideboy OS walking around shouting "If you shoot first you better not miss because I won't". When in fact said OS misses every time, and drops the keys to the castle behind him as he runs away crying. Jesus.

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Report reveals patchy ICT provision in schools

The Alpha Klutz

Good point well made

There does appear to be a tendency to throw technology at a situation and assume that things will just improve on their own after that.

The problem being that technology does what you ask it to do, not what you want it to do. There needs to be thought about how, specifically, buying a fleet of top of the range computers (and then locking them down to the nth degree) is going to help children.

And yes, plenty of training is a must, but you can't train people until you actually know what you want them to do in the first place, and that, I suspect, is the reason why nobody gets trained.

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The Alpha Klutz
Megaphone

"lifecycle for ICT dramatically different to that of buildings' infrastructure"

Do we really need to pay a review team to find that out? Really? To tell us that a building has a longer useful life than a computer?

"It also recommends a separation of decisions about ICT from those about buildings."

How about a separation of decisions about surveillance from those about schooling? No... oh well.

"One example is when schools sometimes choose not to spend money on maintaining buildings in favour of investing in ICT."

... Who cares? If it's got walls, it's good enough. Let's not pretend that kids deserve to live in plush luxury all the time. Because they won't have nice buildings when they go to work. Half of all office blocks still have Asbestos, and if kids want to collect their minimum wage paycheck they will just have to sit there and breath it. It's called reality, and it's FASCINATING.

"It also says that a web-based price-comparison catalogue should be developed to help schools to get the best price for equipment."

Fucking hell, ever heard of the telephone? CALL YOUR SUPPLIER AND NEGOTIATE A DEAL. You would be surprised to learn how many sales reps are desperate to give you discounts. It's called being human, when you use your voice to get what you want, try it sometime, if you can even remember what it's like to have a human soul.

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Red Dwarf to blast off on new adventure

The Alpha Klutz

"what viewers can expect from the space veterans' next adventure."

Rimmer sets time in reverse so he can sit on toilet and watch shit fall into his ass.

(it practically writes itself)

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A fifth of Europeans can't work out how much a TV costs

The Alpha Klutz

"what most people will see is DISCOUNT!!! in big letters"

Online stores such as Amazon seem rather unscrupulous in this regard.

When I purchased a NAS box from them recently, they did not claim that the price I paid included any kind of discount, but a week later they had put the price UP and added the words "10% discount" to the description. It was such a blatant and complete lie, I was shocked, but not enough to actually do anything about it (yeah, I got shit to do, sorry, I can't be writing bitchy letters to everyone - except on here of course wink wink)

Literally every product on there is claiming some sort of discount. I always double check prices at other retailers and about 75% of the time I find that "the discounted rate" is actually "the going rate".

Don't be taken in by what the retailer claims is a discount. It seems that the laws regarding this are weak and/or weakly enforced.

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The Alpha Klutz

"Whilst it's sad if people happily enter a contract without looking at it at all"

It's sad that almost everything we want to do in life comes with a 20 page contract or user agreement.

Add up all the contracts you have agreed to and the total comes to thousands of pages.

This shit needs to be simplified, big time.

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UK.gov opens Red Tape Challenge regulation-slash website

The Alpha Klutz
Joke

having an industrial accident

is kinda difficult when you don't have an industry.

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