* Posts by glen waverley

160 posts • joined 24 Aug 2012

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HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

glen waverley
Pint

Re: The Real Ale Defence

Had a spruce ale at a micro brewery in Alaska once upon a time. Quite nice. The spruce provided the bittering and aromatics instead of hops.

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Telstra's confession to DNS-messin' explains broadband borkage

glen waverley
Pint

ABC radio maybe read El Reg?

Was listening to ABC Radio flagship current affairs program PM on fri nite. After fairly serious item re outage, quotes from senior Telstra manager apologising, free modems on their way to subscribers, reasonable sounding explanation of cause of outage, all in all a line and length ABC report, reporter wraps up with this, as best as I can remember it.

"This is what is called a total inability to support usual processing, with a suitable acronym, (pause) TITSUP."

Good one Lucy Carter.

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US 5th graders have a pop at paper plane record

glen waverley
Headmaster

Re: Spring Grove Elementary

So by the time the FAA approval comes thru, they'll be post-grad scholars at Spring Grove University?

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Don't tell the Cabinet Office: HMRC is building its own online ID system

glen waverley

Re: May I just say...

Replying to myself, must resist urge to flame self.

There might be overlap between Verify and HMRC tool (tee hee, I said a rude word) in the case of a sole trader. Not the big game tho.

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glen waverley

Re: May I just say...

Err, not the same thing.

Para 2 of article "One source said the department is building its own authentication capability that will deal with businesses – something the Government Digital Service's online authentication system Verify cannot do."

As I read it, Verify is for individuals (eg you or me), HRMC's tool is for businesses (partnerships, trusts, small companies, large multi national conglomerates with multiple subsidiaries, panamanian trustee companies administering the affairs of a dutch stichting that owns a unit trust that owns a City office block, ...)

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Watchdog snaps: Privatise the Land Registry? What a terrible idea!

glen waverley

Bat shit is the only shit that has a specific term for it

Bat shit might have 2 specific terms.

What about - Boring as bat shit.

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Snowden: NBN leaker raids a 'misuse' of Australian Federal Police

glen waverley

Re: Timing is interesting

Possible explanation for timing - we are currently in a double dissolution election. That means we don't currently have a senate. (Normally the senate stays in existence during an election period because the senators' terms are for a fixed period and 36 of the 76 senators aren't up for election.)

So maybe the plastics aka federal police saw a gap where no senators = no parliamentary privilege.

But as always, more likely to be a cock-up rather than a conspiracy

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NBN leak pits minister against AFP commissioner

glen waverley

Re: parliament has been dissolved therefore no privilege therefore do not to be placed under seal

At risk of making El Reg the go-to place for Australian constitutional law, I offer the following.

As Conroy is/was/might-be-in-future a senator, Odgers Senate Practice could be relevant. So in chapter 2 we find this at http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/odgers13?file=chapter02&section=07

"A question often asked is whether other persons, in providing information to members, are covered by parliamentary privilege. The answer to this question would also depend on the circumstances of the particular case and whether the provision of the information is "for purposes of or incidental to" proceedings in a House or a committee. If a person requests a senator to raise a matter in the Senate or a committee, or if a senator has in fact used information in parliamentary proceedings, such facts could determine whether the provision of the information is covered by the statutory expression.

"The provision of information to members may attract a qualified privilege under the common law interest and duty doctrine (the provider and the recipient of the information each have an interest or a duty in giving or receiving the information).

"It may also be held that there is a public interest immunity attaching to the provision of information to members of Parliament.

"These questions have not been adjudicated, although there is at least one British judgment suggesting that the provision of information to members may attract the interest and duty principle." End of quote.

Which seems to say it will all end up as a wig-fest and lots of lawyer's daughters will get lots of new ponies. As they should.

And even tho the Senate is currently dissolved, actions that took place when it was in existence are almost certainly subject to immunity. (If they are subject to immunity at all.)

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The underbelly of simulation science: replicating the results

glen waverley

and this is called chaos theory...

From article "And in unsteady fluid dynamics, small floating-point differences can add up over thousands of time steps to eventually trigger a flow instability"

I think this was discovered by Edward Lorenz in 1963 with his butterfly effect.

But good to see this work showing sensitive dependence on initial choice of software and hardware packages.

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Chaps make working 6502 CPU by hand. Because why not?

glen waverley
Mushroom

Vacuum tube (aka valve)

"one of the designers, Eric Schlaepfer, a vacuum tube enthusiast".

I know what I want to see. A combined valve 6502 and bbq!

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Cabcharge trip logs exposed by security-free database probe

glen waverley
FAIL

Not only threat of identity theft...

... name, pickup, dropoff location ...

That could also lead to personal safety risks, depending on how precise that info is. Hopefully it is just the usual lazy-arse data such as "office" or "suburb"* that shows on receipt, rather than eg GPS data. And as Chirgo hints, might be historical as well as current data.

Even name of employer (as cardholder) instead of name of passenger could be useful info to tie to addresses..

* The words office or suburb, not the actual name of the office or suburb. I think these are buttons on the cabcharge box in the vehicle.

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IBM invents printer that checks for copyrights

glen waverley
Mushroom

Re: "A wizard did it" - again

Mongo "All the complexity of doing this (imagine even describing to a smart human how to do this task, let alone making a useful algorithm for it) blithely ignored. "

At a place I used to work at, we called this "design by waving your arms around". As in sitting in the design sessions and the person up the front with the whiteboard marker would just make a sort of whirly-hand gesture and draw a swirly box.

Icon cos that's what this technique normally did to delivery schedule.

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Gov to pull plug on online ID verification portal Gateway in 2018

glen waverley

Adamg57 "As for establishing an audit trail, an additional column is needed to distinguish the agent from the account, but so long as this is included in the scope of the design the additional overhead is trivial"

Additional overhead (eg maintenance of who agent is, agent's contact details) might not be so trivial. At the customer level, agent can change, eg person can change accountant or solicitor. Or agent can change their details, eg name of practice (merger or sale), address, phone, etc - which can require a bulk update facility across many (>1) individual customer records.

Then there is a bigger design question - is it the practice itself or an employee/ partner in the agent firm who is the name (etc) in that column? Does that allow further access - read and/or update acess? If the employee, what if they move to another firm but the customer stays with the original firm? One or many staff in agent firm allowed access?

I've played this game. It isn't simple. Especially if all work can't be done and dusted in a single access session - and from other comments multiple access sessions do seem to be needed.

But upvoted you anyway for the statement re difficulty of retrofitting!

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FBI director claims that videoing police is causing crime uptick

glen waverley

Call centre body cameras?

AC said Call centre staff... body cameras?

Really? But i think they are already recorded (for training and quality control purposes)

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At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

glen waverley

Re: At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

Deltics "it's no good bringing in the plumbers before the foundations are laid"

But some plumbing does have to be done before the foundations get poured. OK, probably closer to drainage, but some pipes go *under* and through the foundations. Especially if it's a concrete slab.

Which is probably emphasising the point that no single methodology covers the big jobs. And it's the big jobs where the money can really be pissed away.

But have an upvote for the general thrust of yr post

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You can always rely on the Ancient Ones to cock things up

glen waverley

Re: "likes to accumulate fat" (was: Simples.)

allthecoolshortnamesweretaken "You can add a grease separator to your plumbing - they are really fun to clean! "

When I were a lad in what were then the outer suburbs of an Australian metropolis, we had one of those. Called grease traps. Had to have them as suburb hadn't yet been sewered and it was a Bad Idea to let grease and fat into the septic tank*.

Never had to clean it, but looked inside it on a few occasions. Not nice.

* That is an actual septic tank for breaking down sewage and grey water, in case there are speakers of rhyming slang reading this.

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We will end misleading broadband adverts, thunders ASA...

glen waverley

Re: The ASA have lost the plot...

Gerry 3 "It's like buying a Ford and then finding that you can only insure it with Ford, you can only fill up at Shell and you can only go shopping at Sainbury's."

That sounds very like something called third line forcing. It's illegal in Oz. Wonder what the law is in the Mother Country?

(For clarity, the word "line" doesn't refer to phone line in this context. I think it really means something like "line of business". The classic situation was buy the Ford car, have to insure with Ford Insurance Ltd.)

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Monster Cloud and an angry customer wanting a refund: A Love Story

glen waverley

Re: "Everyone's an Engineer"

I've always assumed that "customer service engineer" was one of those piss-take titles like sanitation engineer (mentioned below). Never thought it was a serious job description.

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Old, complex code could cause another UK banking TITSUP – study

glen waverley

Re: "Even if something has been written in Java in 90s that is still 20 years ago."

Smooth Newt "Software doesn't perish or rust like hardware, nor do the component parts wear out with use."

I used to work in a place where we used to get a phenomenon called "bit rot". Stuff would stop working for no apparent reason.

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F-35s failed 'scramble test' because of buggy software

glen waverley

Re: Send in the drones

Mark 85 "Aircraft that are good at air superiority really suck at close support. No armor, no loiter time, no large capacity for armament, and too fast."

I once heard a story about a drug runner frequently bringing large amounts of weed into NT from possibly PNG in the early 1980s. He was using a Cessna or similar, and landing on old WW2 airstrips which were pretty common along the Stuart Hwy in the NT back then, from where goods could be conveniently loaded onto a truck.

Police had word of his runs and wanted surveillance, hopefully to grab him on the ground. RAAF got the job but only had F111s available. Job consisted of F111 at its slowest overflying Cessna which was not going anywhere its fastest, turning around to get behind Cessna, overflying again, and so on. Natch, the runner worked out what was going on and managed to time his landing for a turnback. Landed, got his gear onto a truck, job over.

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Perth SmartRider public transport cards popped by student researchers

glen waverley
Big Brother

Enquiring minds want to know

Further and better details are needed! What was the hack?

Disclosure: I have a SmartRider card.

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Who you callin' stoopid? No excuses for biz intelligence's poor stats

glen waverley

Re: what i remember from uni stats ...

Interesting reading. Thanx for that.

My takeaway: another example of the maxim that no plan survives contact with reality! As in letting the teachers pick the kids for the supplementary milk group.

(And the rich (less poor?) kids lost weight as they shed their winter clothes over the duration of the experiment.)

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glen waverley
Pint

what i remember from uni stats ...

The only thing that I remember for sure from the stats units i did at uni is this ...

The man who developed student's t-test worked at the Guinness brewery.

Not quite the right icon but near enuff.

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Stop using USB sticks to move kids' data, auditor tells Education Dept

glen waverley

Re: I cringe..

"something stored electronically as somehow more secure than paper"

Agree. Hard to leave a filing cabinet on the train

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Netflix's $1.81 billion Q1 disappoints markets

glen waverley
Pint

Money isn't easy, but by, /By the time it's come by...

Tip of the hat to the sub for the oblique reference in the subhead to Spectrum's* "I'll be gone".

Given the nature of the IT world perhaps the rest of the second line might be also be relevant "By the time it's come by I'll be gone"

* That would be the 70s Aussie band Spectrum not the 80s pommy computer.

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1,000 cats await stadium-sized sandwich bag launch

glen waverley

cross cultural units?

Struck me as odd that NASA offer "nearly the length of six cricket pitches".

Have they correctly converted that from baseball diamonds? NASA have form with conversions from one system of units to another

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Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?

glen waverley
Headmaster

order of magnitude?

140 Tonnes of waste = 1400000Kg of waste.

1 400 000 kg? I think not.

1 tonne = 1000 kg.

So 140 t = 140 000 kg.

Can't be arsed re-doing the rest of yr calcs.

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We bet your firm doesn't stick to half of these 10 top IT admin tips

glen waverley
Headmaster

downvote cos ...

... of yr northern hemispherist attitudes.

Here I can see black swans whenever I feel like it. Only have to go to the river or the lake, depending which city I happen to be in.

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Your pointy-haired boss 'bought a cloud' with his credit card. Now what?

glen waverley

I see your " IT by magazine" and raise it ...

by "IT by inflight magazine"

Used to work in an organisation where the senior execs spent most of their time flying around the country (yay! out of the office and out of our hair) in planes (boo! becos of exposure to inflight magazines so half baked strategic directions when they landed).

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Bloaty banking app? There's a good chance it was written in Britain

glen waverley
Facepalm

surprised it hasn't been suggested ...

Bloaty McBloatface

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Furious English villagers force council climbdown over Satan's stone booty

glen waverley
Pint

"roll away the stone"

Very nice Leon Russell reference (para 7). And it's Easter week too, so topical.

Icon for the journo (or the sub)

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nbn special: See the FTTN and HFC cabinets coming to your street

glen waverley
Happy

Good work Simon

Since you asked for a respoonse: Good presentation, Simon. I've never seen the various bits of kit that get mentioned, so this helped me. The nodes are fairly big units aren't they? They won't easily fit on the footpath in inner city streets, I think. And will take up a fair bit of the nature strip in leafier suburbs. That might cause a few complaints.

Particularly liked the goldilocks comment re semi-rural places getting the best stuff. Weird how the technology fits in with reality on the ground.

More of this sort of multi-media thing, please! Especially where it adds to the written words.

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

glen waverley

3 men in a boat

Have an upvote for that

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Bloody Danes top world happiness league

glen waverley

list of acceptable americans ...

And while we're talking of Hobart, can we add Brian Ritchie (from Violent Femmes) to the list of Yanks we like? Tho i think he might be an Aussie now.

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glen waverley

Re: @ Pompous Git

Re the American and his penicillin scrip...

As a tourist, i suspect he wouldn.t be eligible for Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS). Perhaps his complaint was that the pharmacist was (wrongly) charging him the subsidised rate rather than the full retail rate. In the way some some seppos come across.

OTOH, if his rant was about PBS drugs being too cheap, he might have been having a rant about the evils of socialised medicine.

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You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

glen waverley
Joke

Re: No marks to the following:

The trick to solve item 2 is to have a password consisting solely of asterisks*

*may not work on some sites with anal rules re character diversity

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Gopher server revived after 15 years of downtime

glen waverley

Re: Good Gopher Times

Ah, lynx. Memories of the old days

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The paperless office? Don’t talk sheet

glen waverley
Big Brother

Re: Fax to email

Possible explanation - the old style faxes that were printed on thermal paper tended to fade / go entirely black* over time. So there is probably some ingrained memory among office-folk that a fax can't be filed. If it is then the audit gods will be displeased.

*depending on yr ambient temperature.

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Failed school intranet project spent AU$1.4m on launch party before crashing and burning

glen waverley

Australian as she is spoke

"... sent more than $500 million to the bottom of the ocean"

Shirley the correct usage in Oz english is "... sent ... to bottom of the harbour"?

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Socat slams backdoor, sparks thrilling whodunit

glen waverley

Re: Dyslexia?

"purpoeful"

I see what you did there!

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App for homeless says walking on water is the way to reach services

glen waverley

Re: It is just me?

"No doubt the suicide prevention app sends people to the Sydney Harbour bridge"

Shirley the usual jumping-off spot in Sydders is the Gap?

Unless the OP is emphasing the general crapness of such apps by means of misdirection.

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The monitor didn't work but the problem was between the user's ears

glen waverley

Re: Office nasty

When I was at uni, removing the mouse ball was the standard way to reserve a computer in the comp sci labs.

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Apple backs down from barring widow her dead husband's passwords

glen waverley
Headmaster

Re: "low and behold"

"Unless the miscreant has edited their post in the mean time"

Would that be greenwich mean time?

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Zombie OS lurches through Royal Melbourne Hospital spreading virus

glen waverley

@ phil kingston

Aha. So that explains the all-singing all-dancing paperless patient management system at fiona stanley hossie.

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DWP building a separate ID tool as Verify can’t cut it, whisper sources

glen waverley

... been signing on for a few years...

Quite likely.

As the authorities clamp down on fake (ie made up) identities, then the bad guys turn to using real identities. As they don't want to use identities that are likely to be already in the system, they are better off using identities that fit the criterion cantankerous swineherd outlines. Leading to the scenario s/he describes.

Except it tends to be singles or couples without kids who are used without their knowledge. (Family benefits might mean even middle class are in system.)

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It's replicant Roy Batty's birthday – but hey, where's my killer robot?

glen waverley

Re: Pfffft . . . Human arrogance

"Some years ago it was shown that a one-legged robot which bounces along like a pogo stick is more efficient and a damn sight easier than one with 2 "legs"."

Why did I think of a mutant kangaroo? (But they actually have 3 'legs' cos the tail acts as a stabiliser.)

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Feds widen probe into lottery IT boss who rooted game for profit

glen waverley
Holmes

Re: Broke the fundamental rule

Of course, if the "do it once" amount is too big, that moves the perp into the greedy category (or sometimes the stupid category) and they get noticed.

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glen waverley
Coat

Re: Broke the fundamental rule

At a place I used to work at, we knew that we only ever caught the stupid and the greedy.

But there were enough of them to keep the hit rate high.

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HMRC bets the farm on digital. What could possibly go wrong?

glen waverley
Big Brother

Re: Verify / authorise

I used to sleep during the day* in a very large organisation that got itself in a very knicker-twisted situation over the very set of circumstances john latham describes. It was never quite realised that even in the simplest case, ie some customers had a personal accountant (accountant being a sole trader not a partnership), that accountant might well have an assistant of some sort (personal assistant, junior accountant, etc) who might want to contact {org where I worked} to make enquiry. Danger will robinson - strict confidentiality provisions on info held by {org}, but update info surprisingly not so dangerous as revealing customer info. As jl says, who had the virtual credential? The 'owner' of the practice, the practice itself, each case officer in the practice? Each had its drawbacks and complications. A major accountancy or legal partnership had even more permutations of horror once their internal staff turnover got factored-in.

An extra complication - while accountants themselves tended nit to be customers of {org}, if they had a children then their spouses tended to be customers. So we had records of accountant/staff/ etc *in their own right* as well as in their professional role. Keeping those different functions separate was its own nightmare.

My personal solution while working there - avoid anything to do with nominees, powers of attorney, accountants, public trustee etc. Trying to point out the difficulties was like banging ones head against a wall. Providing solutions was not always welcomed.

* some readers may spot the Jerome K Jerome 3 Men in a Boat reference

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