* Posts by theModge

178 posts • joined 3 Nov 2011

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HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

theModge

Re: Private sector

God yes. I've worked in both and the public sector far from has a monopoly on pissing money up against a wall.

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Euro Patent Office prez's brake line cut – aka how to tell you're not popular

theModge

Ironically it's our unsackable, senile, old boys who provide the sanity the UK's political system....

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G4S call centre staff made 'test' 999 calls to hit performance targets

theModge

Re: 'Game Theory'

It would be nice if they were picked by someone who knew that though wouldn't it?

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theModge

Re: Targets Vs Cost

Padding is actually a field in the time table definition or rather public arrival time and arrival time are two different fields, to allow for this.

Whilst we're talking about Birmingham New Street and improbable time tables the cross city line, between fiveways and new street can't actually meet it's timetable with the rolling stock it's got. For reasons I forget it was easier to leave it this way and let it make up the time later in the journey than it was to change it.

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theModge

Re: Targets Vs Cost

The only way to fix that is focusing the penalty system on throughput of people in relative comfort (read: having a seat), but that would require someone actually admitting that that is a problem. Not going to happen, I think..

There's plenty of people within the rail industry who care about such things, the problem is that change happens that a pace that makes geology look positively frantic.

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Surrey teen charged over Mumsnet hack attack

theModge

Re: SWATing

Indeed, one hopes the chances of getting killed by British police called to a fake emergency are still nil

Unless you have a sun tan and a beard or are, say, an electrician, from Brazil.

Though I must certainly concur that taking out mumsnet was indeed a service.

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The underbelly of simulation science: replicating the results

theModge

Re: Science is in need of corrective action

On a website which must be maintained for at least 5 years after the project completes is a funding condition for a lot of work we do. It tends, realistically to stay up for longer than that because a) people get attached to there projects or the inverse happens and b) people move to entirely different fields and forget there projects exist. This means that you get to learn exactly how long a website can go without maintenance (years. many many years. IT will notice when someone finds a hole in and starts exploiting it, then the search the for guilty will commence, only to find they left years ago...)

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UK needs comp sci grads, so why isn't it hiring them?

theModge

I quite concur with your point 4: I too had to do a selection of pointless modules aimed at improving employability, which failed so to do.

But as @Jon Massey also said above, I'm not convinced we do need millions of computer scientists. Some, yes. Many software engineers and a whole panoply of "IT types" in various guises, very few of which actually need to be computer scientists.

Of course technologies go out of date rapidly, however, I would suggest that a *good* course would teach skills that can be applied regardless of the technology employed.

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It should be a crime to install spyware on phones, thunders Plaid Cymru MP

theModge

At least she's thinking sensibly about the problems

Which is more than can be said for the home secretary. I'm not sure I agree with her conclusions - they seem to broad and easily abused - but at the very least she is thinking about it.

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Investigatory Powers Bill: As supported by world's most controlling men

theModge

Tried writing to my local MP (Gisela Stuart) about it.

She was as less use than a Braille sundial.

I got back a very long reply, but forwarded from home office, without her reading it. The letter I sent was in good time before the vote beseeching her to vote against and she apparently didn't read most of it - decided it was about this and forwarded a standard response. She abstained and didn't even take the trouble to lie about her reasons for so doing.

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Panama Papers graph database cracked open for world+dog

theModge

Re: "curated information"

The absence almost complete of American's is enough to cause some head scratching as well. Are they all really super keen to pay tax?

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Czech Republic to rebrand

theModge

Re: This is not rebranding

Upvoted for being informative...

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theModge

Re: Will the Czechs change their name to Czechians?

Part of their concern is sounding too much like Chechen's.

...Which apart from the practical difficulties might cause Russia to invade. again.

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You won't believe this, but… nothing useful found on Farook iPhone

theModge

Re: It's time for government in general to stop being weasels (UK version)

Over this side of the pond were an entire party to resign en masse and be replaced by honest candidates and get in (none of these things are going to happen) then it STILL wouldn't make any difference because the civil service here can be mighty obstinate when they don't get their way and thus we'd still be governed by the same people.

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The future of Firefox is … Chrome

theModge

A side note about Thunderbird

Thunderbird may indeed be the ugly step child at Mozilla, but to me at least it offers all the necessary functionally of outlook, much more efficiently. Granted, outlook integrates nicely with office, but I've never missed that in thunderbird. No one else has made a client to rival it (that I'm aware of any way). So it does then annoy me greatly that no one at Mozilla seems interested in it's continued development. Yes I realise since it's open source the thing to do is for ME to take it forward, but my spare time right now is currently not adequate for that task.

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Aluminum-wrapped robbers fail to foil bank

theModge

...and they were undoubtedly immigrants

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Adobe preps emergency Flash patch for bug hackers are exploiting

theModge

Re: Flash Flushed

Flash is now only needed for live streaming and some of the random embedded stuff on the wider bbc site, iPlayer on demand can be Html 5, if you opt in to the Beta using the link below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/html5

It's very good for a beta, I've not looked back.

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'Panama papers' came from email server hack at Mossack Fonseca

theModge

Re: yeah yeah

I'm of the opinion, as ill informed as everyone else's, that the US data is being held back for later release not to protect someone and that the aim is just to create a bigger story.

Of course if this doesn't happen, then I'm wrong and I'd be inclined to agree that it looks mighty suspicious. We can but wait and see.

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Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

theModge

Re: Super capacitors are a good touch

I know what I *mean*. Just not what I actually said, obviously.

Just when I thought I'd mastered lose\loose I find a whole new area to fuck up....

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theModge

Super capacitors are a good touch

Most energy from regenerative breaking lands up getting thrown away otherwise: batteries simply can't take the charge as fast as a vehicle under braking generates it, so horrendous proportions of the energy are lost. A combination of batteries and super capacitors is better yet: the capacitors will be full well before the vehicle finishes breaking; they can offload that slowly to a battery so as to have room for the next time the vehicle breaks (say vehicle goes 60mph -> 40, coast, 40-20, coast, 20->0. obviously if you accelerate hard in between the advantage is negated.) Exactly this fuel cell \ capacitor \ battery malarkey is used in a random research project from Birmingham uni: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/alumni/news/items/2012/10/Oct-University-builds-the-countrys-first-hydrogen-powered-train.aspx

Don't get me wrong, a car with a top speed of 60 and no luggage space is as much use to me as an umbrella on a submarine, but still I like the idea.

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UK Home Office seeks secret settlements over unlawful DNA retention

theModge

Re: Not surprised

Are you suggesting that, as is so often the case in the UK, we are in fact protected by from our government by it's own incompetence?

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theModge

They care enough to promise to opt us out of the Human Rights Act.

It's just that the care about removing them, not upholding them, that's all.

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You can't dust-proof a PC with kitchen-grade plastic food wrap

theModge

People sell sealed box, ip-rated, heat sink only no fans jobs for truly industrial applications. They cost a fortune and the spec isn't great, but they come with ip rated connectors for everything and can be configured with sensible cards for industrial applications (rs485 outputs or whatever).

To make them even more expensive you can have them certified for use on the railways and add GPS cards. They will however survive Armageddon (and have the option to be battery powered).

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Police create mega crime database to rule them all. Is your numberplate in it? Could be

theModge

Brought foward the day after an attack it wouldn't have prevented

The lack of subtly bringing this up the day after yet another terror attack it wouldn't have prevented is outstanding. Not only would this be very limited use in Brussels (the city has excellent public transport) but they are still taking advantage of the climate of fear it produced. Managing both not to help and being put forward as a solution. Brilliant.

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theModge

Re: Deja vu? - wrong title

The title you required was Deja mu: the feeling you've heard this bull before

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Too Naked for the Nazis streaks to literary glory

theModge

Re: Reading from Behind: A Cultural History of the Anus.

A place equally famous for it's Hunt.

Not a lot of people know that's rhyming slang. Berkshire Hunt. Berk.....

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Everything bad in the world can be traced to crap Wi-Fi

theModge

Re: On the one hand...

I do corporate AV upon occasion, the idea of every speakers presentation being with us in advance, as is normally the arrangement, lives firmly in the domain of fantasy.

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Google robo-car backs into bendy-bus in California

theModge

Re: Blind-sided?

As GrumpenKraut says ATO (Automatic Train Operation) lets you get trains much closer together than do meat bags. It's going to have to be used for parts of Cross Rail - where it is complicated by the need to hand off between fleshy drivers (for the rest of the network that doesn't have it) and ATO, to make it possible to run trains as close together as they would like.

Currently only metro systems tend to use it, for the reasons outlined by Nigel 11, though it is also being strongly considered for HS2 - a Human driver couldn't stop for obstructions at that speed even if they saw them and it will again be a completely closed system.

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Gov must put superfast broadband along HS2 rail line, says Parliament

theModge

Re: So...

Our railways are currently full.

That is the problem it addresses. The speed issue is a distraction.

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theModge

Re: So...

But....the wealth bar-stewards living in lovely villages between Birmingham and London need something to buy them off. Not that this will be enough for that. However the trains themselves need decent data connections, so the infrastructure has to be there, so it would seem foolish not to use it.

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SAP’s Byzantine licensing leaves its customers feeling exposed

theModge

Re: An Imperial Message - with apologies to Herr K

AmanfromMars? is that you?

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Good thing this dev quit. I'd have fired him. Out of a cannon. Into the sun

theModge

Re: Let me guess, that last one was an academic?

I know of pretty of chemistry academics still using fortran. The real question is are they using anything so modern as fortran 77? Or is it still the really old version that's formatted to fit on punch cards?

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Free science journal library gains notoriety, lands injunctions

theModge

Re: Seems like a good candidate for a .onion site

Academics struggle to make power point work, they'll never manage tor! However, PhD students and other younger folk doing research are much more likely to be able to do that. There are times when being a PhD student includes professorial IT support...

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Computer Science grads still finding it hard to get a job

theModge

Re: Unfortunately...

<quote>

...learning how to suck up to the right managers and setting SMART objectives that sound terribly important to the business but are nice and easy to achieve with flying colour...

</quote>

If only that was sarcasm.

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FTDI boss hits out at 'Chinese criminal gang' pumping knock-off chips

theModge

Re: "Chinese criminal gang" ?

...so, some similarities to the west then?

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theModge

Re: FTDI, although registered in Scotland...

Admin and sales at the very least is from Scotland, no idea as to the design. The factories are however definitely not here.

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France joins India in telling Facebook to just Zuck off

theModge

Re: How would it work?

They'd probably also like to make money in France. I realise it's not the biggest market in the world, but if they let France go it sends the wrong signal when the next country wants to go as well...

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Privacy advocates left out of NHS care.data 'oversight' board

theModge

Re: A note on "anonymous" data

That point does get lost: if this could be done well it really would be invaluable for research, which really could bring material benefits to people. That doing it well will need some time and thought seems reasonable: the balance between "impossible to de-anonymise" and "actually useful" is very fine indeed. It's easy to foresee a worst of both worlds where the data is released, it can be de-anonymised and it's still useless.

The other problem is who is going to pay to anonymise it? I'm not familiar the with the format of the data, but how much of it can be automated? Or will you land up with humans removing all the names, places and dates (maybe converting the later to time spans)? I can see this taking a long time and thus costing a lot.

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Who would code a self-destruct feature into their own web browser? Oh, hello, Apple

theModge

Re: TFI Friday

I concur re:enjoying the madness. I must however draw your attention towards the greyed out biography box at the end, which answers your question.

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When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

theModge

I'm choosing to suspect that the clever stuff was sufficiently distracting that they failed to spot the blindingly obvious....

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Brit airline pilots warn of drone menace

theModge

Re: I hope you drone pilots have decent insurance

Not really: Suppose I bring a plane down with a drone. I have some modest personal savings (actually modest, I quit the real world to be a PhD student) and a car to my name. No house. No millions of pounds worth of assets. The most compensation they can get out of me wouldn't cover an entire day of airline legal team time. They'd go for the drone manufacturer, who say the instructions told him not to do it.

On the other hand, the police would, hopefully, have me behind bars for a plane full of manslaughter charges, so even leaving aside morals it's still probably best avoided.

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Pay up, Lincolnshire, or your data gets it. Systems still down after ransomware hits

theModge

You just know it will be someone senior who ran the attachment don't you?

Firstly it's highly possible the proles can't run anything they receive by email - my (limited) experience of public sector IT is that the standard issue desktops are locked up tighter than a ducks proverbial.

Secondly I'd guess that there's a better chance of find the names and interests of the chief exec than of a random admin type.

+10 points if it turns out to be the councils head of managing the serco contract...

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'Here are 400,000 smut sites. Block them' says Pakistani telco regulator

theModge

Re: I'm not sure why we in the west are pointing and laughing...

A very valid point. The uk's banned list is not short: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_websites_blocked_in_the_United_Kingdom

I assume there's more than that not listed as well.

But you understand it's not censorship when our government does it....

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Ad-clicking bots predicted to rip US$7.2 billion from Mad Men

theModge

Re: Bill Hicks had the right idea about advertisers

....I don't even need to watch the video. It's harsh, but every time I interact with that world, most of all when I had to advertise my small business, it does come to mind.

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BBC risks wrath of android rights activists with Robot Wars reboot

theModge

Re: Pah. RC models vs more RC Models

If it's any help I quite like the idea though I'd be a smidge less perspective: You can use any processing you like up to a given value ceiling and program it in your choice of language.

There's a need (and it needs to be well thought out) to balance innovation and doing things the producers haven't thought of vs who ever can afford the best wins.

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Swiss try to wind up Apple with $25k dumb-watch

theModge

cheap models work just as well as their expensive brethren.

Indeed, if ever there was an industry in which apple were the late comers to the "Charging for status game, not function" it's watches.

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Electrician cuts wrong wire and downs 25,000 square foot data centre

theModge

Re: If anything can go wrong...

And even if it can't, it will

If it can't go wrong it'll be a bugger to fix when it does (to paraphrase Douglas Adams)

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Are you the keymaster? Alternatives in a LogMeIn/LastPass universe

theModge
Trollface

well, you're unlikely to forget the master password I grant you.....

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GCHQ goes all Cool Dad and tags the streets of Shoreditch with job ads

theModge

Re: Optional

I came here to post the same: that is how the companies that do this advertise.

e.g. http://www.streetadvertisingservices.com/frequently-asked-questions/clean-advertising#collapse5

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Cash injection fuels SABRE spaceplane engine

theModge

Re: Very mixed feelings about this

Interestingly being the local MP for a chunk of BAe can get you made a defence minister with an interest in procurement. His name is Sir Peter James Luff and I'm sure* this is entirely above board, just as his expenses were found to be**.

*Not at all sure,

**bent as a nine bob note

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