53 posts • joined Saturday 8th October 2011 20:43 GMT
I was diagnosed with Asperger's in 2010 - didn't stop Cancer Research UK sacking me on the grounds that I "would not fit in" (for offences so petty I won't repeat them here).
Attitudes really have to change - I've been told by a Court of Appeal Judge "you're not disabled, you should be pleased you're not disabled".
Anyone who is interested can read more at http://facebook.com/nodismissalfordisability
Re: Better to have no gadgets during take off
Rest assured Lee D - if I'm on a flight that crashes that you're on I'd quite happily let you drown for your complete arrogance. I bet you are one of those who takes his seatbelt off as soon as the sign goes out (or probably undoes it when no-one is looking).
Unlike other modes of transport - planes can hit turbulence that will impact your head on the underside of the overhead lockers.
Try to take safety seriously - if you don't give a toss why should anyone else? If airlines knew you had this attitude to safety I doubt that any would let you on a plane.
In other news - Turkeys don't vote for Christmas
Call me a cynic - it's only since governments twigged that they could add extra taxes for "climate change" that the idea has gained any traction. As I understand it there are underground fires around the world that should be put out as they are contributing just as much CO2 as the motor car.
As for anonymous cowards idea that population is a bigger problem - just do the maths on worldwide population. If mankind had been around for millions of years our population would be in the trillions now. Notwithstanding that the fastest growing economies have the highest birth rate.
Re: Ironic choice of picture at http://www.theregister.co.uk/data_centre/
First of all - if your backups are taking all weekend then you need a faster backup solution. If you are depending on incremental backups you're one broken tape away from being unable to recover data. If you can take a full backup every day and have that stored off-site that's much better, but few places can.
The problem with the Friday backup is that it assumes your tapes will be safe until collection on Monday morning. Northgate Information Solutions got this wrong. You will lose over a week's worth of data this way (and just in salary cost that could be a huge amount).
Early Tuesday morning means that the tape or backup device can be put in on Monday (which may mean going in on a Bank Holiday of course or putting it in on Friday - OK that negates the reason for doing it on a Tuesday but we only have four Bank Holiday Mondays per year most years) .
If a catastrophe hits your building on Monday night you will of course lose a week's worth of backups - but that's a risk spread over 16 hours not 64 hours. Since with only one or two possible exceptions Tuesday will be a working day someone will be in to take the tape offsite. If something happens to your building the following weekend then you've lost only 4 days worth instead of potentially 8. You might find Wednesday or Thursday to be a better idea of course - but Friday is risky.
Ironic choice of picture at http://www.theregister.co.uk/data_centre/
You've used a picture from the Buncefield explosion. Northgate Information Systems weren't allowed into their building (the red brick one) to retrieve their Friday tapes.
Early Tuesday morning is a much better choice for a full backup. The reason why is left as an exercise to the reader.
Not only do I have Asperger's - I was sacked from Cancer Research UK on the grounds that I "would not fit in", the very problem. The court service have been awful about it - Lord Justice Ward told me "you're not disabled - you should be pleased you're not disabled". A totally disgusting attitude. I've had CRUK staff assault me, been verbally abusive, they've been capricious and even offered me my job back "for a joke".
Only this week I've had an email from Cambridge University turning me down for a job on the basis that I was dismissed from CRUK - so both of them are going to employment tribunal now.
Read more at http://facebook.com/nodismissalfordisability
I love your optimism (note - I'm being sarcastic). It's only my optimism that keeps me going, because otherwise I'd kill myself. Given that the employer has already offered me my job back for a joke, I think it's only fair that I have the last laugh.
This was blatant discrimination, it's been to tribunal and they just ignored it. Parliament can pass as many laws as it likes but it's down to only a few Judges to enforce it (or not as the case may be). Who recalls the Judge who commended a burglar for his "bravery"?
APC UPSs don't need a reboot when you change the battery - hold the power button in (the one marked "I") and it will commence a self-test (or start a self-test from the management interface). That clears the fault.
I've never had to reboot one for a battery replacement.
Young people today know nothing...
Actually he was lucky not to be charged with contempt of court
I'm not sure of the timings of his "joke", however if it was after Mark Bridger was charged then he could also have been charged with contempt of court.
Free speech in the UK does not allow you to prejudice the outcome of a criminal trial, so thumbs up to the Register for not being dumb enough to repeat the most offensive joke.
No - the Public Interest Disclosure Act doesn't protect anyone
First of all, the decision of what's in the public interest is down to tribunal Judges who invariably represent companies as barristers.
Second, even when you do blow the whistle it's only the beginning. Paradoxically most sensible companies will settle for money than go to tribunal, so it is potentially a way to make money but not keep your job.
I blew the whistle on the lack of First Aid cover for a major charity, their auditor verifiably lied to the tribunal and she still hasn't been charged with perjury. Instead they concentrated on attacking me, and waited till tribunal to raise the issue of good faith. Companies are supposed to raise this at the time, not wait until after they've started their (in this case, dishonest) investigation. I am fairly certain that I was sacked on the instructions of a director who didn't want to go to prison for Corporate Mansalughter (someone collapsed, was refused an ambulance, there was no first aid cover and died later).
It still amazes me that these organisations would hack phones rather than cover stories of genuine interest. Even El Reg won't cover my other story how I was sacked from another charity because I "would not fit in". I have Asperger's Syndrome and that is exactly the problem I have. One of the HR staff where I work now says I'm weird, and she's right!
If only Frederick Fleet knew what we know now
He committed suicide and never came to terms with why he survived and so many died. I am convinced If he had not done his job and alerted the bridge, the head on collision would have split the ship in two (and that's before reading about the brittleness of the steel).
My suspicion is the binoculars were hidden out of spite (based on a comment to him during the inquiry that's in the official report "you seem not to have trusted any of us" - he knew what complete bastards they were), and according to his evidence (and common sense) he would have seen the iceberg sooner. There were no waves that night so without the binoculars he couldn't determine whether he was looking at a small iceberg close up or a large one far away.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again that under our current Employment Law they could have sacked him for distressing the crew and he would not have been able to do anything about it. The shame of the Titanic sinking isn't just that it sunk, but that it could happen again.
Some good responses
No, that's not sarcasm either. I'd like to think that I'm generally sane, although I do have Asperger's and Bipolar Affective Disorder.
As for figures, well divide 5 billion years by the distance the earth is from the moon (average distance is fine or you could use apogee or perigee) and you'll be close to the annual regression of the moon. I'm not giving you all the figures I expect you to do some research yourselves.
Another conundrum is population. If mankind has been around for well over 6,000 years then population would be in the trillions. If the world population doubled every 150 years we'd be at a population around 6 billion after 4,800 years (32 doublings).
My belief in the power of faith is based both on my subjective experience of becoming a Christian over 25 years ago which changed my life and the objective surveys that have found that having a faith is better for your health. For example see the HEA statement - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/462748.stm. I base it on the historical evidence of the existence of Jesus, not just because I was told to believe it. On the contrary I had very little spiritual input in my childhood.
As for Westboro Baptist Church (and others like them) they do not represent the majority view of Christians. They should be locked up for inciting hatred, the irresponsible sociopaths that they are. They are just like the Pharisees of Jesus' day.
Stop with this obsession with road tax
Winston Churchill abolished road tax in 1937. There is Vehicle Excise Duty, which is emissions based. So a bicycle would be liable to pay the zero-rate, which clearly would be a waste of time and money to collect. (For the same reason they abolished the dog license).
Regular cyclists get their own insurance. The car driving cyclist haters should realise that there would be more cars on the road if you got rid of bikes.
In fact fuel duty and VED does not pay the whole cost of the roads. My reckoning, based of figures from the Green Party, is that the roads cost about £35 billion more a year to maintain (it might even be more). Which is why our railways are such a bargain at £4 billion a year (even in Beeching's day roads were much more subsidised, but I understand he was working for his "independent" boss who'd sold his shares in road haulage companies to his wife).
As for banning the bicycle - it's time that electricly assisted vehicles were allowed to travel at the speed limit, however the only reason I can see they aren't is that they have no legal requirement to have a speedometer and therefore being fined for speeding isn't reasonable.
Not long ago all scientists were creationists
I understand Darwin's only qualification was a degree in Theology. I'm fairly certain that were he alive today he would be mortified that his paper had been turned into a modern religion. Fast forward to the present day and you now have a group of people who think that it's acceptable to make ad hominen attacks on anyone who thinks differently (eg calling them "Creationuts"). There is even a belief that if it weren't for religion that humanity and science would be much further ahead now (I cannot find any justification for this belief however but I am open to being proved wrong).
Phoebe has a very good point. Evolution is just as much a leap of faith as believing in creation.
I actually used to believe in it till I realised that I was only believing in it because I was told it was true. There are too many major problems with the theory for me to accept it scientifically. For example, if the moon is five billion years old then it would have been touching the earth back then if you presume it's moving away at the same rate it is now (in other words for the moon to be as old as it is presumed it would have to be moving away at a slower rate now or be further away - check my maths if you don't believe me).
Of course the irony is that if those who presume everything happened by chance are right, they will statistically be worse off in life than those who believe in God. Numerous studies have shown that having a faith gives you better health. So even if Christians are wrong, we die happy. Being right isn't everything.
Re: Discrimination in the workplace?
Thanks for your replies guys, almost the same thing was said to me by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. There are some employers that will only employ those with AS. I worked for RNIB for over ten years and they knew that I had problems with relating to people. (it still didn't stop them dismissing me for what was the breakdown in relationship with another colleague when they could and should have given a final written warning in the circumstances. The guy who sacked me has admitted he was forced to do it.)
Unfortunately though there seems to be a perception that almost any question at interview could land you in trouble, and yes there are a few people out there who will bring a claim for even the smallest issue. Some of them have been barred from bringing claims unless they can show they have a valid claim.
I don't think beliefs are a private matter because what you believe has an impact on how you carry out your work. If you have strongly held beliefs then you shouldn't have to keep them to yourself at all. In fact if any held beliefs that were discriminatory they would keep them quiet.
One of the problems with the whole issue of discrimination is that it is rarely overt (although I myself have been assaulted in the workplace - see http://www.prolifevote.org.uk/images/cri.mov). So if you can give a good reason why you didn't pick someone then you will escape trouble. Of course this does mean if you are able to lie with a straight face (as I've seen many people do at tribunal) you'll also get away with it.
I think the saddest thing is that we need this legislation in the workplace. I had an Employment Solicitor say to me once "now you have your diagnosis no-one wouldn't dare not employ you". I wouldn't want it to be like that, I had one employer last year turn me down for the lack of specific experience and I was fine with that. Two other employers however claimed lack of experience but never said what it was. One of them I did the job for three months and never failed to do what I was asked. (I have never ever lost a job on capability). Was it worth pursuing to tribunal? Probably not, although I will drop them leaflets on AS.
I am not backing down having been sacked explicitly for the reason that I "would not fit in". This is unacceptable to a supposedly diverse employer. If you can sign my petition at johnairey.epetitions.org that would be appreciated.
Discrimination in the workplace?
The Reg did a recent article on "losing your religion" on your CV. It's bad enough that you can be disciplined for wearing a cross in the workplace (and that case has cost BA a lot of money so far). Why be ashamed of your beliefs?
My own view is that you should be upfront about these things. I have put at the top of my CV that I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome on the 1st April 2010 (in the afternoon, fortunately...). I've even been advised by recruitment agencies to take it off. I am convinced that I have been turned down for work because of it, but the fact is that if they don't understand what Asperger's Syndrome is they won't understand what benefits you would bring to the business. If they don't want me because I have a condition that affects the way I relate to staff, I can go and work elsewhere.
As for beliefs, if they have a bearing on how you do your work of course they should be on your CV.
I was recently dismissed from one company (those who were at the Register Live 2011 know who I mean) on the basis that I "would not fit in". They stuck by this even when they knew I had Asperger's Syndrome. I have a petition about this at johnairey.epetitions.net.
Yes, there are some people who view the discrimination regulations as an easy way to get money, however in my experience the tribunals are very difficult to persuade. They would rather believe that you are unemployable (for example, turning up to work when supposedly weren't meant to) than you have been discriminated against. A recent letter to the Guardian from a Employment Law solicitor pointed out that unreasonable claimants are the exception.
Fortunately I work for an understanding employer now (although it's further from home I'm now losing £2,200 per year). One of their HR staff described me as weird recently, which is spot on!
Of course, if the speed of light isn't constant all bets are off
Yes, I realise I've committed scientific heresy by even suggesting this, but given that mankind has only been measuring the speed of light less for less than 400 years we could be wrong.
It was a combination of events that sunk the Titanic
No binoculars - so not able to determine whether you are looking at a small iceberg nearby or a large iceberg far away on a very calm sea (the waves would give you depth of field).
Reversing the engines - this stopped the centre engine which couldn't be reversed. It would have been better to reverse one engine as it would have turned faster.
Ignoring iceberg warnings - radio operator more interested in sending personal messages, the equivalent of the text messaging of it's day.
The failure to make the watertight compartments completely watertight - they modified the Olympic after the sinking.
What is bad is that another ship that was nearer could have come to its rescue but chose not to. Also, Titanic had four more lifeboats than required by law. After its sinking all ships had to have a space for every person on board, and still do.
Some people reckon that if Titanic had not tried to avoid the iceberg it would have survived. The wreck of the Titanic shows that its hull split up on sinking making this unlikely. A head on collision would have split the hull, sinking it almost immediately. It's a shame that the lookout Frederick Fleet never realised this he committed suicide in 1965. He never could come to terms with why he survived when so many died.
Unfortunately the state of whistleblowing legislation in the workplace means another Titanic like event could happen any time.
Sadly an entirely believable story
Recently a Police Officer was freed from prison when it was discovered that his colleagues had fabricated evidence after he'd taken his employer to Employment Tribunal. I've seen evidence fabricated against myself (I have the written judgement which says precisely that) and even witnessed an auditor verifiably lying under oath. Does anyone do anything? Of course not, because apparently I'm not independent.
There is so much evil going on in this country newspapers don't need to hack phones, just watch an Employment Tribunal case (which are a prime target for being televised).
This is very useful for organisations that have a scalable structure
Rather than being stuck with three years of support and upgrades you can run hardware for a lot longer.
There is no logical reason for throwing out good hardware every three or four years just to go after the next big thing. I bet most reg readers have electronic equipment that is over ten years old (I'm still running Red Hat Linux 9 on a Pentium 133...)
It is far easier to get old hardware (even if you resort to buying it on eBay) and install on that what you know works than to go through the pain of testing a new kernel on new hardware.
This is of course why Cobol is still very much alive. The pain of replacing it exceeds the savings that would result.
God TV were fined
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GOD_TV there was another fine for a broadcast that claimed that the media was under the power of Satan. Not only is that not what the Bible says "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it", it would have to include themselves too. Beware of wide-sweeping statements!
The other event of 2011 was...
A speaker at Register 2011 claiming it was difficult to get skilled staff, which isn't a surprise when they dismissed their first systems administrator because he "would not fit in", exactly the problem that those with Asperger's face on a daily basis. I still struggle to see how you can call yourself a diverse employer when you do that.
This is why I always fly with my seatbelt on
Just like FredScummer said earlier, it's best to keep your belt on whenever the aircraft's wheels are not touching the ground (and even a bit longer). He's right there are atmospheric conditions that even the auto-pilot can't handle (and auto-pilot's are better at handling turbulence than pilots but only when they work properly).
American Football has sponsor's timeouts
If the offense is using consecutive "no huddle" plays they don't use timeouts and if the clock isn't stopped the TV station can stop them for a commercial break. This has happened during the Superbowl at least once.
At least we get warnings when Adverts are coming, apparently they don't in the US.
Once the pitot tubes were frozen their chances of survival were minimal
I was once told by a pilot on a 757 flightdeck (back when they allowed passengers in the cockpit) that there are always three manual instruments, airspeed, altimeter and gyroscope. To lose the readings from one of those makes flying difficult indeed. Flying into a storm you wouldn't necessarily get an accurate altimeter reading since these rely on atmospheric pressure and the plane could be thrown up and down as well as atmospheric pressure changing. So that leaves one reliable instrument.
They would have needed to descend to an altitude at which the pitot tubes would defrost without ending up in the ocean, virtually impossible in those conditions. A real tragedy.
I see you took out my first question to Dr Peter Maccallum
Dr Maccallum talks about how difficult it is to get skilled staff. Well they sacked me on the grounds that I "would not fit in" (actual words used at tribunal) and stood by that when they found out I have Asperger's Syndrome. How can an employer claim to be diverse and do this?
I am still hoping to get an appeal and I would be delighted if the Register stuck up for me.
Thank you kindly
AC doesn't understand General Relativity...
... which claims that moving clocks tick slower. This has been proven with the GPS system as their clocks have to adjust for the high speed they are travelling at when orbiting around the earth.
However, the two assumptions that particles with mass cannot travel faster than light and that the speed of light is constant are very difficult to prove.
Sorry I have to correct you
George Bush Senior was the 40th President of the United States, not the 41st. Grover Cleveland was counted twice as it wasn't two successive presidencies that he held, ie 1885-1889 and 1893-1897. This was covered on QI.
The nastiness towards Gary McKinnon beggars belief
Here is someone who has admitted that he did something wrong and the UK courts were not going to prosecute him in the first place. However the US Government have decided that they do want to prosecute him to make some kind of example of him.
Anyone who thinks that a Aspergers is an excuse does not have someone with Aspergers as a friend. I'm currently having my own battles with HMCTS to convince them that I am in fact disabled. It affects your comprehension of the world around you, including the understanding of what is and isn't acceptable behaviour. It makes you suited to certain jobs provided that employers are prepared to make allowances. (It shouldn't be the case that employers can sack you because "you would not fit in" because this is precisely the problem that those with Aspergers face).
Gary McKinnon should be tried here in the UK or not at all. On a proper application of the law he would be found not guilty anyway. Even for someone without Aspergers the offences would warrant an absolute discharge. I say that because although the US Government are claiming it's cost them x amount to secure their systems this is money they should have spent anyway. It's like me not fitting locks to my house, being burgled and expecting the burglar to pay for new locks.
Correction on the landing
The Harrier doesn't land using it's jets, it drops the last few feet. Still one amazing piece of engineering though why haven't we come up with anything better?
Now if only H6 could be found
That would be amazing...
Any commenters live in Southampton...
...and have time to get along to see the tribunal case?
Personally I think cases should be televised locally. We have so many TV channels and nothing to show but repeats and I think the public humiliation of bad companies would make great TV.
However, with the unlimited compensation for discrimination the deviousness of employers (and bare faced cheek) seems to know no bounds.
If only my case against CRUK ended up on the Register site. I was sacked from that because I would not "fit in", and they stuck by that when they found out I had Asperger's. The whole thing could have been resolved with a five minute chat. Care to get in touch for a story El Reg?
Moon receding too quickly
The rate of recession of the moon is such that at a linear rate it would have been touching the earth 5 billion years ago. Realistically it would have been moving away faster to begin with and slow down. The moon is probably about 2 billion years old at best.
Just one of the reasons that I cannot mathematically accept the theory of evolution. The other reason is the low global population. Had mankind been around for millions of years the population should now be in the trillions.
Does it take you back to the future at that speed then?
Java - Machine independent code
Meaning - it won't run on any machine.
We won't make a drama out of a crisis
I'm just wondering how often people buy 3 disk drives or more for personal use from a high street store? For that volume I'd always buy online. Seems to me a bit of cheap publicity, makes people think they'd better buy disks before they run out!
Thanks for the clarification Pete
Yes, it's an expensive business going to court. The case that I referred to that cost £18,000 included the statement that I was dismissed because I would not "fit in". (This was a job with Cancer Research which is how I found out about the Petryk case). I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and Bipolar Affective Disorder, but their view was that even if they had known that they would still have sacked for (as the judgement puts it) failing to follow management instructions. However, difficulties in understanding instructions are part of the disability so basically I was sacked for having a disability. The judgement is appallingly bad they got so many facts wrong on the evidence before them it should have been thrown out at appeal. This is why I've taken it as far as the Court of Appeal and will take it to the European Court of Justice if necessary.
The court service has decided that I'm not disabled (what do they know?) and basically treat me as if I am unemployable. They haven't given any consideration to disability.
As for publicity, I have struggled to get press interest in tribunal cases. Even though the charity sector is infected with bullies like a disease, the press don't seem to give a toss. Which is a shame because there's a veritable gold mine of news out there that doesn't involve hacking phones. It seems that unless it's in London or involves a celebrity you won't hear about it.
The IT angle? I asked a colleague to upgrade firmware on a blade enclosure on HP's advice, and two hours later I was suspended while they found reasons to sack me. For example, making an appointment with Occupational Health was considered misconduct.
This happened within two days of telling my manager that I'd had mental health problems (my current employer knows about this but they seem to be very good employers they haven't been taken to tribunal in the last three years according to the public record).
This took place three years ago but it still hurts, mostly because I expect better of a so called civilised nation.
Not quite right Pete Wood
First of all, hearings are expensive. The average hearing would cost about £5,000 to each side if they are represented (they don't have to be but it's not unheard of for big employers to spend £2,000 per day on a barrister alone). So it's always cheaper to settle first.
Another thing to bear in mind is how long the employee has worked for the firm, whether they have been warned before about the conduct and whether they have a reason that might explain it, eg disability. Basic fairness. I haven't read this judgment (yet) but I would hope that they treated this person fairly and considered whether a lesser punishment would suffice. Knee-jerk reactions do not normally impress tribunals. Discrimination is inferred if you treat a person less favourably than you do the rest of your staff and they have a "protected" characteristic (race, gender, etc). If you treat all your staff badly it's not discrimination (but that's not a good idea anyway).
Finally, in employment tribunals each side normally pays their own cost. It is possible though under the rules to win your case (or succesfully defend it) and still have costs awarded. Costs are awarded in about 1% of ET cases.
An employee might be covered for representation under their insurance policy. I took a claim recently against an employer (who offered me my job back during the proceedings "for a joke") and it cost over £18,000 in fees. I didn't have to pay a penny and the case is now before the Court of Appeal.
Thanks for the case reference
What most people don't realise though is that these judgements are only "public" if you travel over to Bury St Edmunds (it houses the public register not just a tribunal). If you don't have the case reference you have to search for it on a computer system that seems to be using a ZX81 with a dodgy ram pack as a server.
Shouldn't these be posted online?
So El Reg, can you scan in a copy of the judgement and post it online? In response to the earlier statement about fabricating evidence, Google for Petryk v Cancer Research. You should be able to find the judgement online. The last paragraph is telling. I don't know if there have been criminal charges but there should have been.
I have evidence online at www.prolifevote.org.uk/pdfs/rnibevidence.pdf. I've been asked by the mods not to accuse them of lying, but the facts should speak for themselves.
I would love to see tribunal hearings televised, that would settle a lot more cases...
Do what you like, but don't scare the horses
Somehow, I think this would...
Smart meters aren't that smart
I was working for the company that supplies British Gas with the monitoring that's advertised on TV (easy enough to find out who that is) and they discovered that the smart meters could not differentiate between power coming or going out, making it difficult to calculate usage for those who have solar panels. Basically, you couldn't reliably determine whether they are giving power to the grid or taking it.
Let's hope they fix that one soon.
For some it was an introduction to amateur radio
I took the radio amateur exam many years ago, very useful it was too. On my course were many other CBers who wanted to take their radio interest further.
Thanks for the corrections everyone
However, given the delay in bringing this court a fair trial is unlikely. As for making an example of someone who from all accounts non-maliciously accessed computer systems that's just not a likely deterrent. It's as daft as those who thought the death penalty was a deterrent. It wasn't it just made people more determined not to get caught. Let's face it America puts more people in prison than any other country as far as I know they still have crime.
I stick by my original point it's far better for the US Government to have these people working for them than paying taxpayer dollars to incarcerate them and waste their skills. Had the US Government not publicised this, no-one would have been any the wiser.
You know the sad thing is with all this publicity and everyone knowing about it finding a jury is going to be hard. I won't hold my breath that Rupert Murdoch will go to prison, after all he's been giving money away like it's going out of fashion.
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