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* Posts by Chris

76 posts • joined 14 Sep 2007

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Pirate-pursuing lawyers get DDo$ money transfer slap

Chris

Freetards ...

Alternatively you could all just pay for your movies and music instead of downloading it from the fucking Pirate Bay. Twats.

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Asda clamps down on killer teaspoons

Chris

@AC

I seem to recall reading a crime novel where someone was beaten to death with a frozen turkey. Can't remember the details of the book, but it was set in London and featured identikit Kray type gangsters.

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Sphinx - text search The Pirate Bay way

Chris
Flame

MySQL? Oh do fuck off.

Ted, you're showing your limited knowledge here. Decent databases (including a certain open source one that's got a thing about elephants) have supported full text searching properly for years. Just because MySQL has half-arsed full text indexing and piss poor locking doesn't mean there's anything exciting about Sphinx - those in the know wouldn't use MySQL in the first place.

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Apple snips Nine Inch Nails app

Chris

Brothers in arms

""Brothers in Arms" (iTunes link) receive age-appropriate ratings"

If it was the Dire Straits album rather than the game then I'd wholeheartedly agree with age appropriate ratings. Only fat, balding men aged over forty should be able to buy it. But even then they shouldn't be allowed to prattle on about how that twat with the hair band is such a great guitarist. (Clue - he isn't).

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Pizza-polluting YouTube plonkers soil Domino's

Chris

Old pranks, new technology

A couple of my brothers friends worked in Pizza Hut back in the early 1990's and got up to similar things. Pissing in the dough machine was one of their regular routines, as was a pube in the tomatoe paste right at the end of their shift. Thank god I never ate any food from that place.

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Zend offers PHP cure for Java bloat

Chris

PHP? Don't make me laugh.

Java developers are moving away from the EJB approach to a lightweight one - as the articles points out when it mentions Spring, Terracotta and app containers like Tomcat. This doesn't open up a market for PHP, because that technology is a step backwards to the late 90's mess of ASP and spaghetti code. Take it from someone who makes a good living replacing unmaintainable, unstable and insecure PHP calamities with Java applications. Apps written for Hibernate, Spring and Tomcat that typically require less machines to cope with the same capacity as the PHP apps that preceded them. The key thing is to have a competent programmer or team leader who can DESIGN as well as CODE, because creating well structured, testable and scalable Java web apps is significantly easier than creating PHP ones if you know what you're doing.

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Microsoft cries netbook victory against Linux

Chris

Samsung NC10

The NC10 is the pick of the current crop of netbooks, but I could only buy one with a Windows license. However, several hours after I bought it the machine was running Ubuntu Linux. Anyone know how I can return an unwanted Windows license for a refund, as I don't recall agreeing to the EULA (there wasn't one in the box, and I never booted Windows so I didn't agree to one if it's presented first time you boot the machine)?

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Radiohead and chums demand copyright 'fair play'

Chris
Flame

@Lloyd Patton

No Radiohead are hypocrites. Remember when they said they wouldn't do global tours anymore because of the ecological impact of flying? Earlier this year their management booked a huge number of seats on multiple flights for them, their entourage and several tons of equipment to ... go on a global tour. Cnuts.

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Apple Mac Pro

Chris

Comparisons

It would have been nice to see a comparison with high end machines from other manufacturers rather than with other Apple models. For instance, it would be nice to know how this beast stacks up against the high end HP workstations. While some people may think this is irrelevant since they will generally be running different operating systems, there are a far number of us programmers out there who stick Linux or another Unix-like OS on these kinds of machines (I use a HP XW6600 which came with a Windows license but is currently running Linux).

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TfL cans mobiles on the tube plan

Chris

Yes!

I really enjoy my tube journey without those around me wittering on their mobile phones (admittedly I'm lucky enough to avoid the rush hours so I can also get a seat). Compared to when I took the train into London from Oxford, the lack of mobile phone reception on the truly underground parts of the tube is a godsend. On the train I once had to endure a matronly woman yelling down her phone at some hapless flunky about the quality of her breakfast that morning. This went on for about half an hour - until an immaculately besuited older gent did what no one else had the balls to, and said "Madam, will you kindly shut the fuck up".

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Robbie Williams, Billy Bragg et al say downloads aren't illegal

Chris

Oh do fuck off

Cool, musicians who already have more money they can realistically spend in a lifetime telling me how to market my music. Oh, and Billy Bragg who I've never considered a musician or a songwriter - after all it's just a medium for your hypocritical Trotskyite shite isn't it Billy?

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PC World cuts off Capita call centre contract

Chris

Middle manager cull

"Capita recently began the process of making 42 middle managers redundant."

That's made my day, although most middle managers I've ever met have always been redundant in one sense of the word.

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Apple's Mac OS X update breaks Perl

Chris

if Perl == 'braindead' use_a_decent_scripting_language();

"only occurs if you're running Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5), you're using the Perl distro baked into the OS, and you've updated the distro via CPAN"

So people who manually fiddle with the versions of Perl modules installed and maintained by the OS are surprised when updates break Perl. Colour me surprised. This has always been a problem with Perl and its atrocious package management system.

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Samsung NC10 netbook

Chris

Lovely machine!

Just bought one of these to replace not only my Eee 701 (on permanent loan to her indoors), but also my Apple Powerbook. The reason why I could replace both is that it's the first netbook I've tried where the keyboard and screen are large enough to be comfortable while programming. As the review points out, the shiny lid on the black version really shows up fingerprints, but the accompanying fake suede case that makes a great cloth for cleaning the smudges off.

As for not coming with Linux, that's no problem, as I wiped the disk and installed NetBSD on it anyway - just as I did with the Eee and the Powerbook. Even if I preferred Linux and it came pre-installed, I'd probably do a clean install just like every other netbook owning Linuxite I know. As for the "Windows tax", life's too short for me to get worked up over it.

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Sun MySQLers barred from Oz

Chris

Australian RDBMS

There's mSQL (note the lack of the 'y'). This does share some history with mySQL, and O'Reilly published a single volume that covered both database engines as they were still so similar. As far as I can recall, mSQL had slightly more restrictive licensing, and withered away.

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Web 2.0rhea hack mistaken for end of universe

Chris

Class

Ted's on fine form. Two Downs syndrome gags, a stab at Coldplay, and this gem:

"Fuck, the internet got lame. I've tried programming Ruby on Rails, following TechCrunch in my RSS reader, and drinking absinthe. It doesn't work. I'm going back to C, Hunter S. Thompson, and cheap whiskey."

If email signatures weren't so fucking lame I'd be using this for my one.

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Apple should start taking enterprise servers seriously

Chris

@Justin Bennett

So you were employed to work on Macs, but as you didn't know anything about the hardware or operating system you replaced it all with Windows. I very much doubt you "ported" anythnig, as that requires an understanding of both environments. So, your employer was stupid to employ you as you had the wrong skill set, and your opinions of Apple hardware and software are pointless as by your own admission you don't know how to use them.

Now for the punchline. I do know MacOS and Apple hardware well, but I still prefer a mixed Solaris and Linux environment.

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Demise of British tank industry foretold admitted

Chris

@Martin Gregorie

Guderian got his T-34 factories, just not enough of them. The Panther had the same features that made the T-34 good (sloping armour and a high calibre, long range gun), but with a bigger turret that didn't mean the tank commander ended up assisting the gunner as in the T-34. The downside to the Panther, as with all German tanks, was its complexity although it was far simpler than the Tigers. The Russians and Americans could churn out hundreds of T-34s and Shermans to every German tank, and at least in the case of the Russians they considered the crews expendable. In fact, Russian tank losses were so heavy that despite their massive numerical superiority, the Russians advance ground to a halt numerous times to await replacement tanks and crews.

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Chris

Tanks

Have to agree with several of the other posts - compared to contemporaries, the Comet is the best tank the British army has ever fielded (if you ignore a couple of captured German Panthers that were used to destroy blockhouses at the close of World War II). The Sherman was the allies equivalent of the T-34 - only effective through sheer weight of numbers. The Challenger isn't bad, but nothing special when compared to contemporary main battle tanks from the US, Russia and Germany. So perhaps the answer is to buy the limited number of tanks the UK needs from Germany or France, and concentrate development on improved armour for personnel carriers with off road ability.

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Jaw droppers of 2008 - what they'd rather you forgot

Chris

Hmm

I was about to applaud the Faceparty developers for having the balls to say what many of us would like to say to users, and then I read the press release. Now I hope they just end up in a happy slapping bitch fest along with their users, as both groups come across as a bunch of chavs. "Causing chaos" at London Zoo indeed - shouldn't they be outside my local corner with their pit bulls and hoodies instead?

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Scientology refuseniks sue over compulsory workplace courses

Chris

@Jon B

The Nazis picked on the Jews because of their race, not their religion.

Oh bugger, I've just proved Godwin's Law (although Jon alluded to the N word).

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Beatle associate can sue over 'charlatan' claim, says High Court

Chris

Libel tourism

This is another case of "libel case tourism", where individuals sue on the British courts over material published elsewhere in the world. In previous cases, several books have been withdrawn from publication in the US and pulped because of a verdict in British courts. This has raised the hackles of publishers, journalists and authors - particularly in the US, where this is seen as an affront to freedom of speech. It has become high profile enough that US politicians and senior figures in the US judicial system have said they will act to prevent the enforcement of these kind of libel actions. Hopefully, this will be one of the last cases of libel tourism we see. (It's interesting to note that the Right Dishonorable Eady is usually the judge ruling on them, and always in favour of the litigant).

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Apologies after teacher's 'Linux holding back kids' claim

Chris

@Lee

"Surely you would *not* want people trained in linux/unix programming then? Once the schools start churning out shed loads of cheap linux programmers your rates will tank."

At present, I spend a fair bit of my time fixing inexperienced programmers cock ups. If there were a few more well trained Unix and Linux programmers then perhaps we would all be more productive, capable of producing new and exciting functionality for clients. This wouldn't necessarily impact rates of pay too much, and it might also improve the poor image programmers currently have thanks all the botched projects out there.

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Entire class fails IT exam by submitting in Word format

Chris

LaTeX

Damn right to fail them. It should be submitted as a PDF or PostScript file, accompanied by the source file in LaTeX format. Or is that wishful thinking on my part?

More seriously, when I did a part-time degree in Computer Science, the lecturers insisted on documentation being submitted as LaTeX files. I was familiar with this format, as I was a self taught programmer already earning a living writing Unix software. However, it confused the hell out of most of the other students - but not quite as much as learning to program C on a terminal attached to a VAX running VMS. Perhaps surprisingly, this was in late 1990's when MicroSoft Windows was already the standard at every other technical college I was aware of.

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IBM crossed off ID application shortlist

Chris

@Pete James

I'm not aware of IBM giving big donations to the Labour Party. However, EDS have done so, and it should therefore come as no surprise that they're still in the running for this contract.

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Lego terrorist threatens democracy

Chris

Legoland jaundice epidemic

One of my colleagues just pointed out that it was only a couple of years ago that Lego started to produce the parts to make figures with brown heads and hands. Up until then all Lego people were "yellow skinned" - there must have been an awful lot of jaundice going around in Legoland.

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What have we learned about managing outsourcing?

Chris

My experience

On the system I currently work on, there was a requirement to do an important piece of work which couldn't be fitted into the schedule for the next six months. So my boss insisted on outsourcing the work to an "offshore" company based in India. The work was anticipated to take two months, but the prototype of one half of the system was only delivered after four months of delays. When I looked over the code, I found something that was written as though the programmers had never used Java before (all the classic beginner mistakes, and lots of things that suggest VB programmers trying to get to grips with a new language). It sort of worked, but was fragile, slow and featured hardcoded configuration that presumably matched the programmers Windows PCs.

I wrote a lengthy report, which was sent verbatim to the outsourcing firm. They came back with a lot of apologies and a promise to rewrite from scratch using a Java developer (one of their less tactful employees even acknowledged that the first prototype was written by juniors with no prior Java experience).

The second attempt arrived last Thursday. It was actually a warmed over version of the first one, which showed clear misunderstandings of object oriented design, a lack of familiarity with the standard Java libraries and still had hardcoded paths to directories on a Windows PC (data was being serialised to disk, only to be immediately read back, parsed and then discarded).

Fearing that my boss would just cover up the projects failings, accept the unmaintainable code and pay the outsourcing firm - leaving me with unreliable code that I'd be expected to support - I spent two evenings and the weekend writing my own version of the program. Will I get paid overtime or get time off in lieu? Will I fuck. Will my boss learn not to outsource again next time there's a panic over projects that lack resources? Probably not.

So, I waste my own free time and the outsourcing firm go off to fleece another company.

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Danish IT chief 'on the run', suspected of fraud

Chris

The truth

He's actually been set up by the BOFH.

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MySQL creator kicks MySQL 5.1 team in the teeth

Chris

Pot, kettle, black.

That's rich coming from Monty, seeing as how he was responsible for bugs that corrupted data (except he had the cheek to call them features more often than not):

http://sql-info.de/mysql/gotchas.html

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What if computers went back to the '70s too?

Chris

VAX and Unix

I've worked on a number of VAX machines, and even re-homed a few of them as they became surplus to requirements. While DEC may have intended them to run VMS, I only ever saw them running Unix, because quite frankly anyone who *likes* DCL and macro assembler is sick in the head. The whole architecture was a blind alley though - the most CISC ever, just a couple of years before the RISC revolution. What DEC definitely got right was the build quality. My MicroVAX is built like a tank, and I only upgraded the hard drives to get more capacity.

Oh yeah, and the twat who wrote the first comment may want to read Wikipedia himself, or better still a book like the one written by Maurice Bach, where he'll learn about the history of Unix, which was effectively a company at one point - Unix System Laboratories.

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Peaches Geldof - she's back!

Chris

Peaches Smeaches

Whoopee, she's defended by Courtney Love, the allegedly heroin addicted heiress who only managed to get famous by f*cking Kurt Cobain - both the man himself when he was alive, and the memory ever since he died.

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US prosthetic todger pair plead guilty to conspiracy

Chris

Hmm

I notice that it's circumcised. I wonder if they do one with a "realistic foreskin" for those of us who prefer the hooded look ...

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China slams Guns N' Roses album

Chris

Advice

A bit of advice to Mr Qin Gang: if the music's too noisy and loud, then turn the f*cking volumne down you muppet.

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Linux weaktops poised for death by smartphone

Chris

A title is required.

"After all, the Eee PC isn't powerful enough to run MySQL and Ruby on Rails ..."

That's odd. I run PostgreSQL, Java and Tomcat on mine so I'm sure it could run MySQL and Ruby on Rails. It's not blisteringly quick, but combined with the convenience of the Eee (it fits in the inside pocket of my leather jacket) it's handy for knocking together bugfixes remotely, after SSH'ing into the servers to diagnose the problem.

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Firefox update fixes four critical flaws

Chris

Restoring Firefox 2 address bar behaviour

There's an extension for Firefox 3, called "Oldbar". Installing it gives you the behaviour from Firefox 2, and is a much more satisfactory tweak than disabling the enumeration of suggestions suggested in other posts.

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Half of Brits abuse apostrophe's

Chris

Hmm

As an alternative to learning how to use a stupid punctuation character we could switch to a language where possession is indicated by a consistent suffix. Finnish for instance. English is a piss poor language, and I'm convinced that the only reason it is so widely spoken is because of historical accident rather than any linguistic superiority. Most other languages I'm familiar with have a way to indicate whether a vowel is a front or back vowel, avoiding pronunciation differences with words like bath.

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Manuelgate's goth vampire stripper fades from MySpace

Chris

@Aaron

"go check out their website. Their logo, a take on the SS 'lightning-bolt' symbol, quickly puts paid to this 'unhappy coincidence' notion."

That's stretching things to say it looks like the SS logo. There's three S's separated by other characters and they're not the same font as the SS symbol (which was a square ended rune - not sure if it was supposed to be a lightning bolt). Based on your criteria, the band Kiss *must* be raving Nazis, as they use the same squared off S characters as the SS in their logo and it's two of them in succession.

On a side note, a certain TV presenter caught up in this furore is known to frequent fetish clubs with his red haired wife. Wearing a mask admittedly, but it's still obvious who he is, and he shops at rubber outfit shop Breathless (formerly in Camden, now in Kings Cross). Note to moderatix (ooh, err) if you feel this paragraph is in any way actionable, then feel free to delete it. Not that you'd need my permission I suppose!

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Chris

"Bend over, you're about to be shafted"

A friend has worked with the Satanic Sluts on and off, although she mostly freelances as an exotic model. While "exotic model" probably seems like a euphemism for something seedier (and to be fair that's sometimes true), the term is mostly used by genuine models who mostly do the same kind of advertising work as more "mainstream" models. As for the Nazi connotations, if my friend's anything to go by then it's likely an (un)happy coincidence that the Sluts initials are SS. As for the kind of language on the website, it strikes me as appropriate for the bondage and flagellation crowd, and a bit of a reach to imply some kind of sinister political message is being imparted.

Oh well, as with the whole Ross/Brand phone prank and subsequent furore, I'm sure the journalistic muckrakers and mastubatory blogosphere can find new headlines by the usual fabrication and misinterpretation.

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Ubuntu goes more mobile with 8.10 release

Chris

@Neil Jones and @AC

Fsck me, I never realised that the version numbers were date based. I thought that was just something that MicroSoft sometimes did.

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Chris

Very nice on the original Eee

I've had the beta on my Asus Eee for a week or so, and it shows that plenty of tweaking and polishing has been going on. Version 8.04 has been very good, but lacked drivers for things like the Eee's WIFI. There are ways of getting it going in 8.04, all documented on the official Ubuntu wiki, but with 8.10 it works out of the box. As the version number increment shows (from .04 to .10 rather than to 9.0), this release is not supposed to offer any groundbreaking new features, but it's still a worthwhile upgrade.

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Oz pub dishes up really crap ice cream

Chris

(with apologies to Monty Python)

Now a lot of people poo-poo Australian gastropubs, which is a shame as they have a lot offer the discerning gastronome. A particular favourite is the Outhouse in Brisbane, that serves a particularly piquant dunny burger. Also recommended is the sheep dip sherry cake - a must for fans of regurgitation, as this one's famed for opening the sluice gates at both ends.

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Intel apologises for 'inappropriate' iPhone critique

Chris

@Anton Ivanov

"Ok, some of that is not Adobe's fault. It is actually mozilla's fault"

Sorry, you clearly have no idea how a browser plugin works. The fault is entirely Adobes (and before them Macromedia), as the web browser simply provides a canvas and starting thread for the the plugin author to run his or code on. That's it. Performance is down to crap code and lack of optimisation in the plugin, which is why Flash can bring a browser to its knees and is also why Google went down the discrete process rather than threads route with Chrome.

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Chris

More bull from Intel

OK, the apology in unexpected - although it's probably more of a sop to Apple than a genuine apology - but there's still plenty of FUD in them there Intel comments. Most off the shelf operating systems likely to be on a small computing device do run on the ARM architecture - Symbian, Linux and the various BSD's. There's also a number of browser cores based on Mozilla's Gecko and the WebKit that underpins Apple's Safari, which compile fine on ARM based architectures. As for Flash, the lack of support is not really critical for a handheld device like a phone, as most websites that use it assume a much bigger screen.

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Prison boss demands right to jam inmates' cellphones...

Chris

@Matthew

They tried jamming phone signals in French cinemas. It worked well, but a few people kicked up a fuss about missing "emergency" calls, so the cinemas stopped jamming.

A friend has a phone jammer, a personal one with a range of 10 metres, which he regularly uses on the designated quiet carriage when traveling by train. It's illegal to use one in the UK, but legal to own ( a bit like the law on police band scanners and speed camera detectors ). In the US, it's an offence to even own one, with sentences up to 11 years!

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Sun claims super-skinny JavaFX milestone

Chris

Correction

Err, we just rolled out Java SE 6u10 no our QA servers, and the CORBA API is most definitely still there. Not sure about RMI, as we don't use it.

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Apple and Psystar enter out-of-court counseling

Chris

@Lozzyho

In most countries, reverse engineering is legal. This is exactly how Compaq got away with reverse engineering the PC BIOS, and has nothing to do with any goodwill from IBM (who were seriously pissed off from what I recall). See this link for details: http://oldcomputers.net/compaqi.html

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Dawkins' atheist ad campaign hits fundraising target

Chris

Hmm

I much prefer the atheists of the French Revolution, who went around cemeteries putting "death is an eternal sleep" on the gates. Not that it would make for a cheerful slogan on a bus though.

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Deloitte loses hundreds of thousands of pension details

Chris

@greenmantle

I think you confused what I meant by "client". I meant the programs that allow access to data stored in a database server - the programs you use to query and modify data are the database clients (note there's no possessive), while the software running back in the office is the database server. I didn't mean running the database server or client programs on a customers machine - in this case, the client programs would be on the Deloitte laptop, with remote access to the database server via an encrypted VPN.

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Chris

A title is required

Why would someone need to have the databases on the laptop itself? Surely good procedures would mean that if a Deloitte employee needed access to the databases from outside of the office they could use VPN access and just have the database client software on the laptop. This way the data never leaves the Deloitte offices in such a handy, portable, all in one package.

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New Jersey flying deer floors Hippo

Chris

Cervine road rage

Both the truck driver and Mr Hippo should be glad it was a deer and not an elk (moose to the North Americans). Those bad boys are enormous when fully grown, with legs that keep the body clear of the top of the bonnet (hood to North Americans) on most cars and small trucks. This means that when you strike them, the mass of the body comes flying across the bonnet, through the windscreen (windshield to North Americans) and slap bang into the vehicles unfortunate occupants.

Add this to common elk features like being obstinate, not very smart and particularly fond of standing in the middle of darkened roads, and you can see why so many people are killed in collisions with them in Scandinavia. Oh yes, and they are often drunk as well, as the plant matter they munch on can ferment in their bovine style stomachs, making them more stupid than you'd expect.

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