259 posts • joined 17 Jun 2011
Ha!...I was asked by a colleague at work today why I didn't bank online. I told her I was a Barclay's customer.
As a demolition expert/ tester, I quite like dev corner at the big software conflabs. They give amusing presentations, which reduce the boredom factor, and they don't try to sell me anything, or bore me insane with buzzspeak. They also know how to consume the shmoozables without acting like drunk schoolkids. Weird they may be, but I don't care too much for those glassy-eyed normals anyway.
Our education system is currently churning out halfwits who don't understand the concepts of critical thinking, or causality and the logical processes involved in determining how and why things break.. Sadly, they seem to gravitate to the public sector.
Office arms race
Every sensible line manager needs a rapid fire rubber band machine gun in order to maintain discipline among the riff-raff. And a PFY to load it, of course.
I like Plantronics headsets, especially the phoneplug type. The USB versions are useful for eliminating a lot of the ugly squeaking artefacts from international Skype calls. They make the convo clearer at both ends, which reduces the likelihood of distortion and missed nuance. And they're flexible enough to not give my huge skull a pressure headache. Simple things done well.
that's all very well...
but where are all the phishing gags?
Send for CAPSLOCK!. For 'tis surely the end of days!
130kph in a solar powered science fiction machine is reasonable business. Are they allowed to charge up a storage battery on day one, so they can accelerate up to optimum cruising speed on day 2 using the stored solar energy?
Aren't our policemen wonderful-ly humanoid? Although they don't seem to be getting any younger.
Bang for your buck.
I wonder how much the US gubmint spent investigating, tracing and prosecuting these dangerous terroristical criminals / basement dwelling loafers. I hope the Mighty Lords of Hollywood will pitch in with a sizeable donation once the mission is complete.
Re: I would like to post a controversial opinion. It's not the truth...
I call shenannigans on the Tech-Wizards of Oz theory, on the grounds that the bozos in charge of the US SIGINT securocracy couldn't shit on the back of their own shoes without assistance.
Vintage OS wranglers have been here before with M$
If you want my 98SE, you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.
XP SP3, sensibly maintained , is good for another decade. If you have posh software/hardware that runs perfectly well on a legacy operating system, but will cost you many hundreds of beer tokens to replace, It makes more sense to browse with a tablet or netbook, and use an airgap to keep your XP box free of filthies. Anyone would think that MS expects us to be umbilically attached to yonder interweb at all times, in all circumstances. Even when it's a distraction or a major security risk..
Fun shooters are fun. They don't bother shooting live things, and they seem to have a functioning sense of humour. There's also a whole subculture of pervy girls with guns on that there interweb, including a few who shoot plushies with Armsel streetsweepers and the like. My favourite from the wayback was a Texas Cabbage Patch Massacre.
Yay! Chatroulette 2.0
Effective budget airline tweet tactics....
"I hope they've got the airworthiness certificate sorted this time"
Far be it from me to rain on Biggles' parade, but how much combat actually takes place between fighter aircraft in the modern age? Most of the aerial action these days seems to consist of launching missiles and laser guided bombs, while avoiding a few ground launched missiles and ack-ack. Did the Iraqi airforce put up more than a token aerial defence in 2003? Has anyone else bothered since?
Anti aircraft missiles are a lot cheaper than combat aircraft and pilot training, and thus more suited to the average impoverished third world state. We're rapidly running out of reasons to build "fighter" aircraft capable of dogfighting, unless we decide to pick a fight we might lose against a well equipped enemy..
The shame is everlasting
A few acquaintances cleverly spammed everyone in their FB friends list by ticking the idiot box on Linkedin. The ensuing shitstorms convinced them that it was probably best to PTFA when blundering around on a cheesy contact site's account settings. One of them had about 500 angry fans and followers kvetching at her in "reply to all" mode. The other 4500 probably ticked the "leave convo" box and went back to their cake and kittens.
The reference thing on Linkedin is another sucky feature with potential for infinite mischief.
Re: Cliff if there were ever a cabling construct that was the work of the Evil One...
I still have an Adaptec SCSI 3 68pin twin channel card running on a Supermicro P3 era mobo. It refuses to die. The ancient 10k 36gig Barracudas attached to it occasionally wheeze and splutter, but they have yet to give up the ghost, unlike the Quantums which lasted about a year on average. In its day (98-2002) it was the only sensible option for reliable hard disk recording on PCs, and standalone boxes from the likes of Akai and Roland. In terms of robustness and transfer speeds, it wiped the floor with IDE right up to the introduction of SATA. The price premium was worth paying if you were multitracking digital audio or rendering anything larger than a smiley gif. Admittedly, the first couple of iterations were evil, especially the 50pin version, but once it reached SCSI3, it was simplicity itself to set up and run an external array in a silenced coolbox.. Noisy, but nice.
Re: "Quantity has a quality all of its own"
One of my fb acquaintances has a charming habit of posting blurry over/underexposed images by the dozen, every time he leaves his house with a face full of horse tranquiliser. We call it the K-filter. He seems to be totally oblivious to the fact that the only way anyone can identify anything or anyone in the photos is through his relentless tagging. In geopolitical terms, he, and the millions like him, are probably doing more to screw the adoption of face-recognition software than the EFF.
"Quantity has a quality all of its own"
It's a shame that the primary editing tool of choice for competent togs (the bin) is not more widely used in the modern smartphone/socmedia arena.
Geopolitics is clearly not an intellectual strongpoint for closet racists.
The Indian market for new tech is way bigger than Little England's. Slagging off Indian programmers is also a bit dim, when you consider their input into most major operating systems. You don't need to be a toothy Wasp to write code for West Coast tech monoliths.
Looks like desperate marketing from here. Like coloured vinyl. A good way to flog tat to completists.
Ballmer's forthcoming biopic will be called "The Notwork"
BT may well treat its customers like shit, but they treat competitors' customers with complete contempt. Especially when noob engineers are allowed near the switching kit at the exchange without a responsible adult in attendance.
Cash is king in the restaurant trade. Let them fiddle their taxes if they want to. It's their risk, not mine.. I still want to see a receipt before I tip.
Re: Just watch the film "Branded"
Probably true. The older it is, the longer it lasts. Sewing machines in particular, because function is far more important than form when it comes to being productive.
Unfortunately, the march to instant obsolescence and brand-junkie repeat custom has deprived us of military spec components in most of our consumer electronics, and introduced a volume of intentional fragility to modern design. If a piece of kit works properly I'm not going to replace it with something shinier and vastly more expensive, simply in order to meet facile crypto-conformist expectations..
My beer tokens can always be spent on something more useful than keeping up with the Jobses.
Layzangennermen, we have a Winner!
Check out Charles Arthur's schoolmasterly dissertation while sucking his pre-emptive drool back into his face on the Graun's video. It's like watching an old cardboard box collapsing in a thunderstorm. Only less exciting.
All sounds thoroughly bogus to me. Going Amish for a year would be more of a challenge, but then they wouldn't get to sport mullets, watch tv, and act like ignint assholes. The kids are the only ones being socially experimented on, while the parents pretend they're undergoing some irrelevant hardships to garner some braindead media attention.
Once more with feeling
Having seen the goof reels from the electioneering, I think it's pretty much business as usual in Oz.
No matter who you vote for, a self-centred arsehole always gets elected.
So thin, it hurts
I think the ever decreasing thickness of tablets is to prepare us clumsy neanderthals for the inevitable OLED sheet with a wifi link to a tiny processor and storage podule we carry about our person. The tech exists, albeit at a price point beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest, but given the commercial pressure to reach into the wallets of early adopters, it will probably be with us ornery folk in five years or less.
In my post above I alluded to hardware gizmos that Dr T created, but which were in fact created by J.L. Cooper.
I'm blaming bank holiday early morning brainfarts.....and a measure of senility.
Cooper was one of the pioneers of hardware midi merge, thru, and switch boxes, along with the Fadermaster (the original midi fader controller) The company still makes high end A/V studio gear that does exactly what it says on the tin, without breaking sweat. One of the few peripherals companies from the dawn of midi that has survived intact.
Let's not forget Doctor T's contributions to software and hardware. Doctor T's software presaged the Ableton/Launchpad trigger system by almost three decades, with their "trigger from keyboard" page. Up to 100 sequences could be fired in a variety of modes from a simple Atari ST. Admittedly, they could have made life easier by having a simpler recording interface. Dividing 768 clocks by your chosen meter usually required a calculator for anything but basic 4/4. They also made some sophisticated midi matrices, fader controllers, and event generators that could lock up pyros and lighting desks to midi clock.
Gigging with Ataris was fun, as long as the midi cables weren't placed under strain/tripped over by drunk musos, and you remembered to bring the right box of floppies.
The struggle in a big midi studio was locking up the various flavours of proprietary din sync to the midi clock and the smpte generator, and getting the latency out of cv gate triggering, all without a visual representation of waveforms.
I don't miss the legwork, but I do miss the weird cranky machines and wibbly software we used to play with in the pre-DAW days. I sold my Stacey, with its massive 40meg hd, about ten years ago, when I finally felt comfortable about the timing on pcs.
In this rarified world of commissioning airheads, the ability to avoid systematic failures is not seen as a useful quality. If it can't be painted on a pie chart as a kpi headline in ten words or less, it doesn't exist.
Given the not so trivial US funding of GCHQ and the much trumpeted "sharing" of intelligence, can we legitimately claim that our spooks and their apologists in the Houses of Patronage are acting in the best interests of our own state? If our spooks are just sub-contractors who operate a European listening post for their overlords in the States, how far down their list of priorities are fine details like public accountability and freedom of expression in this septic isle?
"And that, children, is how Rizlas were invented"
As the dragnet for "subversive material" grows ever wider, those charged with decoding it will find that the fragmented nature of huge volumes of data starts to make decryption a matter of luck which requires vast armies of brilliant analysts (good luck with that) or expensive supercomputing resources. Which then places the onus on the securocrats to spend ever greater sums of taxpayers' cash on ever diminishing results. The NSA likes to keep their ratio of results to trawls a closely guarded secret, as does GCHQ, and it's quite likely that the reason they're in a flap about Snowden's leaks is that they show how utterly useless they are at doing what they claim is a vital job. And how terrified they are that their smoke and mirrors will be shown up as propaganda and nest feathering.. FISA courts are purely there to prevent embarrassment, conceal dubious spook budget overruns, and deter investigative journalism and oversight.
The Manning Wikileaks cables showed a majority of US diplomats and senior Armed Forces personnel to be pompous hypocritical twats with a very high opinion of themselves. Manning's show trial is designed more to scare off anyone who might dream of peeling away the threadbare veneer of democracy to show the putrid maggot-infested mess at the core..
If the Lavabit fiasco ever comes to trial, it'll be fascinating to see how those with a financial interest in maintaining the nebulous "War on Terror" decide to puff it in their pet media channels.
Politicians don't really have much say in what the spooks decide to do. They just do as they're told.and hope that their skeletons don't mysteriously fall out of the closet in full view the mainstream media.
Watch the Coulson/Brooks charade next month for a few more clues as to how 21st century politics is conducted in the ivory towers of Westminster Village.
Clearly our securocrats and their spookmasters are a tad rattled by the light being shone on their dubious dealings.
The fig leaf of "counter-terrorism" has been shown to be patently bogus, and not for the first time. The sheer unaldulterated clumsiness and the peurile attempts at intimidation will only give succour to those who are intent on firing rockets up the NSA and GCHQ's corrupt and lazy fundaments. Send in the auditors and see how they justify their expensive charade. It'll be fun watching the cheerleaders of the War on Whistleblowers trying to prove a negative.
A sensible retention schedule might shift their paradigm. No access requests for 5 years, bin it. If it was that important, the pea-brained user will have uploaded it from their own device, which they can then backup to their own choice of media, if they can avoid either breathing or chewing gum for long enough. The same issue affects every organisation that stores useless data, but doesn't have a sensible policy or strategy for binning it.
4gb of 200kb photos (fb limit) is about 20,000 kittypix. Are people so technically inept that they can't burn a dvd of their timeless masterpieces to show to their fellow kittypix anoraks, in much the same way that holiday slides were employed to lethal effect in the olden times.. Who needs a will to live anyway?
Scoredraws galore. Everything in moderation, including the moderation.
Mindbleach is the only cure for most nekkid selfies. Badly-packed kebab and coq-au-poignee aren't particularly high on my list of aesthetic delights.
My understanding of "organic" in the way it's being used here, is that it relates to a story, or a page, hasn't been puffed or hyped into the stratosphere (where it could justifiably annoy commercial rivals in the paid-for ad sector), but has actually been bounced and shared so widely that it's "trending", as the twitterists would say.
It's fairly easy to farm likes and shares, but the activity presents an unnatural spike, which any half decent analyst or algorithm could identify as bogus. A new page throws a clickbait link to a tragic child with cancer, but is actually called Mercenary News, Few people look at the origin of the "like" bait, because they're too busy clicking the thumbsup button. Two seconds of PTFA is all it takes. The "share to win" pages are another obvious scam, but I still see the same gullible/needy friends falling for them over and over again. There is no cure for stupidity or petty greed.
As a comms medium with plenty of available noise to mask the weaker signals, it's no different from radio or tv.
If your signal is strong, and your filtering ability is functional, sensible communication with friends in far flung places is not a problem. If fabricated gossip and watercooler chitchat is what you assume will make you a more "interesting" person, then choose the noise/validation option.
Whiny loser with a pulpit preaches whiny loser politics to whiny loser congregation, perhaps not entirely unconnected to the flow of "sponsored gifts" from Cupertino.
Looks like something from planet QVC.
"Gorgeous fuschia rhinestones on a bed of industrial carcinogens. Feeeel the glammerrrr!"
The Bluetooth gurnometer is already on the drawing board. Runners need that angsty pain-wracked fizzog to convince their fellow competintive alpha joggers that they've just peebee-ed in their pants.
On a more sober note (hic!), I'm pretty sure that there's a rhyming slang in most countries that could be used to annoy the berks who want to impose their prim and prissy moral codes upon the great unwashed.
I always giggled when national radio djs played London Elektricity's "Cum Dancing". But then, I'm immature beyond my years.
A friend of mine designs high end gpus for phones, and the most frequent design issue his company faces is the compromise between looks and ruggedness. If a phone looks and feels gorgeous, and runs tickety boo from the word go, but erupts through the screen at the faintest hint of a ding, it's going to be sent back by the prototype testers as a "great idea, piss poor execution". At some point in the QA process, the release deadline will rear its ugly head, as will the cost of sourcing a more robust component.
If your company's rep is built on the look and nebulous *coolness* of a product, can you afford to shortcut the QA process when the gizmo reaches the point of 10-15% projected returns per annum? Given the number of cracked screens I've seen on clamshell macs and iPhones over the years, I think Apple willingly take that risk, and happily swap out the busted chunk of coolness for a factory recon, in preference to a more robust, and therefore less "cool" design which might still cost them that 15% in R&D and retooling...
Know your target
ISPs don't have a vote(unless dodgy political contributions count), but lazy, ignorant, and gullible parents do.
Once again, gubmint airheads expect third parties to do the parents job of educating their offspring in the ways of the world, while simultaneously screwing everyone who doesn't have any progeny. Cameron being a prime example of a gormless clot who refuses to take responsibility for any of the failed policies his lobbyist cronies dream up.
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