Sigh - another competition where they demand your current work details. What about us poor people between contracts?
And why has nobody from El Reg told us why they need this info, despite some people asking?
407 posts • joined 5 May 2011
Sigh - another competition where they demand your current work details. What about us poor people between contracts?
And why has nobody from El Reg told us why they need this info, despite some people asking?
Yep totally agree that asking the men if they were "better" is a pretty pathetic bit of research. Did anyone think to ask the partners of these men, for example?
From personal experience & talking to many friends, men who watch lots of porn tend to have rather unrealistic ideas of what most women enjoy, and therefore are definitely not "better" in bed!
Don't forget travel as another outlier - train fares go up be more than inflation every single year, and fuel for cars the same.
I had similar once, 3 calls in a day about PPIs. My response was "yes, the outcome has been that I've already reported your company as this number is TPI registered". They did try to tell me that TPI registration only lasts 3 months then you have to renew it, which I told them was a load of male cattle waste and did they want to discuss this in court. Didn't get ANY unsolicited calls on that number for weeks after...
I thought everyone DID have a National Identity number, aka a National Insurance number (NINO)? What would they need another one for?
The wonderful 1992 film "Sneakers" has the heroes breaking in to a secure building controlled by voice passwords, with the phrase "my voice is my passport" - I think that was a few years before the release of MAC OS 9 so probably where Steve Jobs got the idea from.
Same - why on earth is my current employer a MANDATORY question??? This is the second ElReg competition I've not entered recently due to the IMO unnecessary and intrusive questions I need to answer to enter.
I had loads of fun with one of those calls recently from a guy who apparently worked for "the Windows company". I sounded worried and asked him which device was the one with the problem, which confused him a bit. I said that if he could tell me what version of Windows was causing the problem I would know which computer was having difficulties as I have more than 1 windows machine in the house.
He got quite irritated with me when I explained I couldn't let him have access to the right computer until I knew which one it was, and telling me what operating system it was using would let me do that. He kept telling me it was the "Windows" one. I got bored after around 20 minutes of talking in circles and tying him in knots, & told him where to go.
They also call my neighbour quite often - she's well into her 70's and slightly deaf, and still gets her daughter to use the cash machine for her and has never had a computer in the house...
"Don't think I've got past the first paragraph of any of his pieces without thinking "Jeez, what a moron!""
So why do you keep on reading, and spend even more effort in posting that you think this?
As far as I can see there are plenty of techs available in the UK - just not willing to work for the pittance that many of these companies are offering.
"BTW, you owe me a new keyboard because of the stupidity of the idea that e-cigarettes could be allowed indoors"
Can you give any good reason (other than being an ignorant killjoy) why something that is legal & causes no harm to others should be banned anywhere indoors? I can completely understand why smoking cigarettes, which give off harmful smoke, should be banned in enclosed places due to the effects of "passive smoking". E-cigs don't give off any harmful smoke just a harmless vapour, and they don't smell like cigarettes either - despite someone trying to persuade me they could smell "fags" on me when I was using apple liquid!
"Nicotine is one of the most addictive and lethal narcotics going"
I'll accept the "addictive" part of that, but one of the most lethal? Yes it CAN be lethal if you drink comparatively large quantities, like many things available. But suggesting that nicotine on it's own as used in vaping is inherently harmful is bullshit. If it was that harmful, do you think that any other form of NRT on the market today would be legal? There's very little difference between the nicotine sprays people who are trying to give up can buy, and how do you think patches etc work if not giving a smoker their nicotine in another form?
BMI is, as Ledswinger says, only useful as a generalisation for large numbers, and "outliers" are possibly more common than those who fit the "average" mould.
I have broad shoulders, big hips, large rib cage. Someone can be the same height as me, and have a significantly higher level of fat but slimmer shoulders, rib cage & hips, and have a lower BMI. Muscle is denser than fat, so for 2 people with the same dimensions the more muscular one will have a higher BMI than the one with more body fat. There is so much variation in body types that a simple calculation based purely on height vs weight IS virtually useless.
While you may be irritated by Trevor Potts in general, at least you could rant about him:
A) in the proper approved Rant of the Week style (vast amounts of capitals, exclamation marks etc). Though you do score points for the triple question mark
B) in the comments section for an article that has anything whatsoever to do with Trevor, e.g. comments for Trevor's own article or for the CoTW you are referring to. NOT in the comments for an article about Stonehenge where Trevor hadn't even commented.
We'd have to be careful it wasn't a Pyrrhic victory - no point defeating the invading aliens if the method wipes out everyone with a brain on Earth!
It slightly worries me that someone who reads El Reg doesn't seem capable of using a search engine to look up the definition of a word they don't know!
I think with many of the groups it depends on who is fighting who, and whether there's any alliances going on. Daleks will likely beat plucky civilians with improvised weapons (numbers dependant of course), but I don't see them matching up to some of the advanced weaponry of e.g. Mobile Infantry or Predators. We know from the film of the same name that Predators can beat the "Aliens" aliens with the help of a Plucky Civilian or two, but would they beat them on their own and again this is number dependant.
The thought I'm putting in to this suggests I have way too much time on my hands!
"If working for .gov.uk is so shit why don't you get a job in the private sector?"
Because civil servants are all lumped together by people like you, so they can't get a job in the private sector due to that bias.
All civil servants leave laptops in the pub or on the train? Not an awful lot of civil servants even have the use of a laptop, most use clapped out desktops - assuming they get in early enough to even use one as many buildings are hot-desk with only 60-70% capacity compared to staff & the desks have run out by 7:30am.
It's like when people talk about massive civil service wages; top management both centrally & in local government may get good salaries, but lower level staff definitely don't.
Would help the employers if they didn't seem to want only people who are experts in 3-4 different areas. A Junior PM/PMO role the other day wanted all the usual including stature to influence senior management whilst being happy to be the team dogsbody (travel, expenses, room bookings etc) plus be a specialist in complex finance, to be a SharePoint developer, do some BA work, and know VBA and SQL. So did they want an admin, a Programme analyst, a PM, a BA, an accountant, or a developer? Was paying £200-250 a day btw.
I'm sorry to rain on their parade, but an extra 15 years of data extending the records to a whole FIFTY years means very little when it comes to climate change. For that matter, 500 years wouldn't mean that much. 50,000 would mean something...
Try one of the old Brown Betty style teapots - much better flavour than any metal one
"Or hire a boat and launch it from International waters!"
Sadly that would make a) following it and b) the actual retrieval just a little bit hard. The last mission was a complete success apart from the little issue of it ending up somewhere in the English Channel, never to be recovered.
We mourn the loss of the playmonaut deeply, & would prefer to not lose another in a similar tragedy. Plus there's some expensive equipment going to be on board!
Richard I'm assuming from your name that you're a man, so would never have experienced this first hand. Another thing to consider is that predatory men will choose their moment to carry out their bad behaviours - the groping and bum pinching when no-one is looking, the obscene comments during a one on one conversation, knowing full well that many women won't make a loud and obvious fuss as they've learned that they will be accused of over-reacting, or told they should take it as a compliment.
" I think it's a bit harsh for people to be saying that these guys need to be fired when clearly they just don't know how to pick up "some" women."
These guys haven't just been clumsy in how they flirt, in some cases they have committed an offence (assault) while representing their company. That tends to be an instant dismissal offence in any company, and they are lucky not to have the police called and criminal charges laid.
I'm not a prissy prudish woman, I have been known to flirt in the office, I can out-swear half the men I know, and I fully accept that different people have different tolerance levels for this kind of thing. So what I and the vast majority of people do is start from the basis that everyone else IS someone who will take offence, then very slowly test the water to see what the tolerance levels are there. What I don't do is walk straight into a new environment & start swearing & making suggestive comments on day 1.
These men have crossed a line in both socially acceptable behaviour and the law.
Next you'll be saying that women are asking to be raped because they are wearing high heels & short skirts (sigh).
Sexual harassment cannot be dismissed as "clumsily implemented" approaches! It is highly offensive, illegal in some cases, and often frightening for the victim. We aren't just talking about men who think "how about it then?" after a few drinks is a good chat up line, we're talking about obscene and crude comments to total strangers and in many cases physical assault - yes groping the body of a stranger does class as assault.
I'm very sorry to hear that Matt, and have a lot of sympathy for your gay colleague.
However cases like these are pretty rare, whereas men treating women in this kind of way are still far too common. The odd case of a woman acting in a predatory way towards men tends to be noticed BECAUSE it's so uncommon. Men treating women like this is barely noticeable because it still happens all too frequently.
Both the OP and myself have said that we definitely do not tar all male IT workers with the same brush, and that the majority are absolutely fine. However there is still a significant minority out there who seem to regard any woman as available and prey, and as a short and lame (so not physically imposing and can't really run away) woman I can find that very scary in a way that most men would have a problem in understanding.
Not quite sure what you're getting at here AC?
1: The gay guys I've met in IT don't act like sexual predators and make crude suggestive comments to the other men.
2: Objectionable women I have met. But women who make crude suggestive comments to all the reasonably attractive men (illegal), sexually harass them (illegal), grab their crotches (also illegal), denigrate their intelligence & suggest they can't know anything tech because they are men? Nope not met any of those.
On the other hand, the vast majority of guys I've known in IT are absolutely fine, nice guys, often exceptionally well behaved & gentlemanly.
I've read a lot lately about the steps F&SF Fan cons have taken in recent years to stamp out this kind of behaviour. That is the kind of environment where you DO get stereotypical spotty 18 year olds, often the basement dwelling nerd types, all over the place, and at the same time women dressed in costumes which can be erm "interesting" - yet they seem to manage to be getting better behaviour there the last few years than at these supposedly "professional" work conferences!
I probably wouldn't have avoided those companies booths, rather I would have gone there specifically to give a formal complaint followed up by a letter to the company HR. As said above, sexual harassment is a criminal offence and there's likely to be plenty of witnesses at an event of that kind.
Not quite sure where any prejudice comes into this, I don't even own a smart phone and currently have no preference which I'll eventually get when my existing mobile dies.
I don't "make up" anecdotal evidence either, I was just commenting on what I'd noticed in my town (south east, bit of a crappy area) and what people I know have told me?
Hmm, from the (admittedly small) example of people entering & exiting my local JobCentre, it seems to be the opposite around my way. And going on friends and family evidence the higher income people seem to use android smartphones citing value for money for their required functionality, whereas the lower income tend more towards iPhones and quote hype to me as their reason for having them.
"So if an infinite number of monkeys did manage to type out a brand new Shakespeare play, Shakespeare would lose out on all the royalties? How fair is that?"
Then by definition it wouldn't BE a Shakespeare play - how could it be by him if he didn't write it himself?
A touch unfair surely? Having worked on large government projects I can assure you that once you get below a certain level in the hierarchy people have zero influence on the decisions being made, and by definition their grade means anything they say must be worthless (according to the senior managers). Good luck with the industrial tribunal after sacking the filing clerk for a bad decision by someone they've never even seen or spoken to.
Plus you may not realise what salaries civil servants get in central government - how many £15-25k a year people do you need to lose to pay back a 9 figure loss?
A rape threat is a terrifying thing for a woman, it's not the kind of thing that can just be ignored! Always looking over your shoulder, having to adjust all your normal behaviour to be on the defensive "just in case". Even ending up not daring to step out of your own house because some psycho is stalking you.
Or are you one of those guys who think women should be covered up at all times because daring to show 2 inches of leg above the knee, or wearing makeup & heels (expected in many occupations) means they are "asking for it"? Or one of the guys who think that if a woman attends a fan convention then sexual harassment & groping should just be accepted?
They talk about the amount that torrent downloading has dropped, but do they state anywhere that there has been any increase at all in legal purchase of downloads? Because the whole argument for blocking all the torrents (despite them having perfectly legal uses) was that people were downloading music illegally instead of buying it.
All these comments suggesting its all what IT wants vs what the user wants, nothing in there about the needs of the business?
I still don't get this recent idea that all users of a company system should be treated like individual customers, as though their desires were the most important aspect. Surely the company as a whole is the customer, so what that needs from an IT system should be the priority? In many jobs there are restrictive requirements that may not suit all individual employees but you never hear of suggestions that say, the building trade needs to find ways of letting people work in nice clothing without it getting ruined, or that food manufacturers should find ways of letting their workers not have to wear overalls & hairnets, or that people working in the nuclear industry "prefer" not to have to take all the necessary precautions.
I do a job, I expect the employer to supply me with the appropriate tools for doing that particular job. If it isn't to my personal preference then sad, if I worked in a uniformed field then I'd have to wear the specified uniform & not choose whatever colour or cut that I happened to like.
"Of course the bit of me that's run budgets knows that the equipment budget is likely capital (and thus subject to amortisation over a number of years) and any consultancy would be revenue (which is booked straight to costs)."
Not in the old days in the Civil Service - consultancy was always capital costs. So contract staff could come out of capital rather than current, meaning you could have more staff that weren't included in running costs (which permy staff were).
"(I suggest a fair figure would be 75% of the equivalent interest, excluding capital repayment, on a 25 year mortgage on the property"
So it would be fair for the property owner to have to pay 25% of the interest, and pay all the maintenance and legal requirements (not insubstantial) and still pay off all the capital themselves? It would actually COST them a large amount of money every year for the privilege of renting a property, so there would be absolutely no reason to own a rental property.
Maybe you think that would be A Good Thing, but plenty of people prefer to rent or may have the kind of job where they move around a lot so renting is the best option for them. Or just can't borrow the money from the banks to buy their own property. But no, there won't BE any rental properties because your lovely idealistic idea of limiting rents to under the interest payments would stop anyone from being a landlord.
Similar thing with me, I quit being a union rep in my youth because I thought that the purpose of the local union committee was to look after the needs of the members in that area - instead, we'd spend the whole of the union meeting discussing things like fair trade coffee & whether we should go on a work to rule to support some totally unrelated industry sector who were striking over "only" getting an 18% pay rise that year (this was in the days before sympathy striking was banned, we'd had a rise of around 5% that year)
"And don't get me started about machines that don't give change - if I ever have any time left on a ticket I always try to give it to a new arrival."
Doesn't work round my way at the Council car parks - they've all switched over to the ones where you have to put your car registration number into the machine & it's printed onto the ticket. Bearing in mind that to park for anything over 4 hours there currently costs £6.50 (it's £2 or less for under that, not exactly central London out here in the sticks) I think that's a tiny bit stingy.
Then again, half the machines went through a phase of not liking 50p pieces a while back, and whenever the Treasury slightly reduce the weight of coins - both 10p and 5p are definitely thinner than they used to be, visibly so in the case of 10p - then the parking machines always take weeks or months to catch up.
And they still don't take £2 coins either (sigh)
Please try to get just a FEW facts right before generalising and laying into the entire body of public servants.
Police, armed forces, health workers, local government and central government employees all have different packages and T&Cs, you can't assume that because one type gets a particular benefit then all the others will.
Police may retire at 55, normal retirement age for most civil servants is 67 and likely to increase soon.
Lots of money? Typical central government clerical pay in central London is about £15k - £17.5k, outside London it ranges from £14k - £16.5k.
"Gold plated" final salary type pensions are fine - provided the final salary is half decent. 40% of £17k isn't exactly what I would call excellent.
Actually "twat" has for an awfully long time meant a certain part of the female anatomy, so "you fat twat" means the same as "you fat cunt". There are few people today who accept cunt as "nice" language so why should twat be considered OK?
From what I can work out, the heirs are after access to data held on the deceased mother's Apple account. There is so much pushing these days for people to upload all their data to "The Cloud" and to use their on-line accounts as their prime data storage facility that I would guess that the mother had stored plenty of non-iTunes stuff there e.g. family photos.
The drive to get everything mobile these days is such that many people no longer have a PC, laptop or any other device than their tablet so they can't back up to anything other than the Cloud, and storage limitations mean they may not have the room on their device to keep everything on it.
Me? I'm paranoid about letting all my valuable data be the responsibility of some external service provider where I have no control over it or them, and tend to store everything on one of those old fashioned PC thingumijigs which I back up to a portable drive.
I used to play WOW as a casual player - by that I mean I didn't belong to a raid guild that had mandatory raiding nights, and I would "only" play a couple of evenings & most days at the weekend. I would enjoy levelling and working towards things. Now it's a just a grind, the quests start to be boring after a couple of toons have been levelled, and there's virtually no diversity when you spec & very little for gems, enchants etc. I suddenly realised a few months back that I hadn't been bothered to log on for at least 4 weeks, and had no inclination to do so.
Diablo II was fun, and for me more importantly was my game of choice if the internet was down. I would have bought & tried Diablo III IF it was available in non-connected mode, but always-connected totally killed the idea for me.
"We celebrated his 80th birthday in December"
Average UK lifespan is 81 --- so he's currently, err, less than average.
Maybe - but is that the overall average lifespan in the UK. Women live on average about 4 years longer than men, so he's already above the MALE average lifespan.
Which is why you do a CBA for any proposed change. I hate change for the sake of it, there has to be a genuine reason why you do it other than "but it's the new trendy in thing this month" or "everyone else is doing it".
In the case of the industrial control systems or the claw hammer, the existing tool is fit for purpose and you wouldn't get any benefit from changing it. In the case of somewhere like a retail environment, if the competition has carried out an upgrade that has brought them more customers then chances are the change is worth doing. So all very dependant on the circumstances like so many things.
"The older an app is, the longer you've had to amortise the cost leaving you debt-free. Once you've paid for the app, you have a sunk cost, but not debt."
Not strictly true. The older an app is, the more chance that it's no longer fit for purpose because a) there may be legislative changes (think financial services) or b) the world has moved on. To update or add to the legacy apps can be a tricky business as usually the underlying OS and/or supporting software have been changed over the years, so everything needs to be updated to the latest version. Which usually has it's own quirks that have to be allowed for leading to a complete rewrite. Even minor updates can be troublesome as for very old software there are fewer and fewer people who are experts.
Add in to that the complexity of a system that's been added to and tweaked multiple times over the years to allow for necessary changes, or even things some marketing wonk thought were a good idea at the time, with maybe imperfect documentation of the changes, and suddenly you can have a complete nightmare on your hands.
"..... is a recognition that legacy systems effectively impose a debt on an organisation. The overheads associated with keeping old apps alive impose costs on a business and also hinder its ability to change quickly.
“If you implement a major piece of physical infrastructure, full lifecycle costs are in the accounting treatment,” he said. “We don't do that in IT so we use misleading return on investment calculations.”
I'd quite like to know what projects he's been working on, as I never found this. In my experience organisations fall into 2 camps - projects that must pay for themselves in cold hard financial terms, and those who don't.
Those who don't may track project costs, but haven't done a full CBA at the start of the project at all, just a costs estimate. Those who DO require financial payback from a project perform a proper full Cost Benefit Analysis right from the start which usually has a section on lifetime running costs including maintenance, and a comparison with the "do nothing" option which should always be part of a project proposal or feasibility study. This isn't just a tool for big monolithic projects, but can be scaled right down for even the most piddling little projects - only time it isn't really worthwhile is for stuff coming in under about £50k.
Hmm, I wonder which the of these types the advert was that dropped into my inbox the other day. The requirements included must have a 2:1 Bachelor's degree, and must have less than 3 years working experience.
I've seen some pretty awful job adverts in my time as I'm sure we all have, and thought it might be amusing if we recorded some of the best/worst (depending on your viewpoint). There are various types that have their own characteristics, I have some favorites.
The ones where the advert was clearly written by either an HR drone or the recruitment agency, with zero understanding of the subject matter. This has sub-categories of requiring impossible experience, or consisting of a long list of buzz words and not much else.
Those where the employer wants someone with a very mixed bag of unrelated skills like 1st line help desk, project planning and technical DBA/application support. The 2 main reasons for this are a) they are too stingy to pay for 2 people to do 2 unrelated jobs or b) they had someone who for whatever reason picked up lots of unrelated bits & pieces over the years and the employer then demands a clone of that person.
The advert is so very specific that whoever wrote it has one particular person in mind, so they wrote the advert to suit that person - I call this "the MD's nephew" as much of the time the chosen person is a relative of someone with clout.
Adverts where the rate/salary quoted is so incredibly low compared to typical rates for that role that you know the employer really has no sense of reality at all. There can be a number of reasons for these adverts e.g. there was someone doing the job for years, who took on higher level work but never received promotion or a decent pay rise, or the accountants think that a fair contract rate is to take the annual salary and divide it by the number of working days in a year (this is common with public bodies. Or those who just think that in the current economic climate they can offer half what was the going rate (or less) and still get good quality candidates.
The vast majority of the junk mail I receive (bar Virgin Bloody Media) is pushed through the door by people other than the postman, I reckon maybe 8-10% only of the leaflets arrive via the Post Office, the rest is either leaflet distribution companies or people employed by the one company to leaflet the area. Opting out would make very little difference to me sadly.