* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Women in IT: ‘If you want to be taken seriously, dress like a man’

Herby Silver badge

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Yes, those who have the "extra X chromosome" have problems in LOTS of places. I take the example of my mom. In her youth, she went to a VERY prestigious business school in a place that was to become Silicon Valley. This was before WW2, and females were very odd in this line of classes/work. She told me that there were only 4 females in the class (over 100), and at times they went of field trips. Of course she "dressed the part" and was considered "one of the guys". One particular field trip she went on she noted that a machine had broken down, and was in need of repair "right now". At that point she increased her vocabulary of words quite a bit as she heard lots of $%^&#@ words.

Yes, things have improved since then, but in lots of places some people (there are lots) are considered "second class" due to a physical characteristic (take your pick). It is unfortunate, but it happens. The good thing is that these incidents are decreasing with time. We can only hope that things will improve.

Yes, mom is still with us, and will be 95 next month.

NASA's nuclear Mars tank REBELS against human control

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Was the driving done by "our tame racing driver". Some say that under the white suit he actually is a little green man, all we know is that he is not the STIG, but his Martian cousin.

Obama prepares to crawl up NSA's ass with microscope

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Maybe a better title would be...

NSA prepares to crawl up Obama's ass with Microscope.

Might even work, but from outward appearances, there isn't anything there of significance.

ISPs scramble to explain mouse-sniffing tool

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So, now we ask...

What ISN'T tracked.

The obvious answer is: Not Much. Life goes on. We are the product!

Microsoft: YES Windows 8.1 is finished, but NO you can't have it

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This may beg the question...

What is there to hide?

I'll let the answers flow in the follow-on comments.

United Nations to grill US over alleged NSA bugging of its HQ – report

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Re: Move out?

Switzerland might be a good idea, but perhaps they should pick something more "equatorial". A country in Africa, or South America comes to mind. Preferably land locked. This way they will have all the diplomats couped up in an air conditioned palace, where they would need to talk to each other as there would be nothing else to do.

I envision a nice enclave near Bolivia, or Paraguay. Generally a miserable place to be (no, I haven't been there). This way the graft grubbing members would get their just rewards. So, 70 years in one place is a bit much anyway. Time to move on.

Why Teflon Ballmer had to go: He couldn't shift crud from Windows 8, Surface

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We look at history and see...

The flatness of Microsoft, and its halving of its market capitalization.

The rise of Google, Facebook, and to some extent Apple where the market cap has increased by about the same as Microsoft;s has gone down.

It doesn't take long before one sees the handwriting on the wall.

So, Uncle Fester is going away soon. The question remains: Will Microsoft get its groove back.

Perhaps one thing should be observed. Bill Gates had some understanding of the business, being a programmer and all. I think that Mr. Balder's expertise is only in bean counting, which might explain the lack of "smooth sailing". He just lets the boat drift, and gets away with it.

Top 10 Steve Ballmer quotes: '%#&@!!' and so much more

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The next question to ask...

What is Mr. Balder going to do AFTER he exits from Microsoft?

Admittedly he really doesn't NEED to work with the $$$ he has, but it would be interesting to speculate. I don't believe that he will be as altruistic as Bill is with the foundation stuff.

Maybe he will buy up a media (or animation company) and be a Movie Mogul? Like Howard Hughes or some other guy we knew.

Nasty BOFHses. It burns us! It burns...

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And to think that today...

Our "datacenter" is partially off the air because of a "blown fuse". It seems that this type of fuse is not your common 3AG, or 20mm type, but rather some big huge high voltage type that needs to be flown in from a state away. It should be back up in a little bit though!

Yes, the 'datacenter' is in the lowest level of the set of buildings. I don't believe it is below grade though (we're on a hill).

Oh noes! New 'CRISIS DISASTER' at Fukushima! Oh wait, it's nothing. Again

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Then there is those who want Nuclear Free Zones

But have yet to get rid of all their smoke detectors that actually USE a nice bit of Americium in the detector cell. Yes, it is quite small, nanograms if I remember correctly.

It is a low energy alpha emitter, long half life.

Microsoft fights Google for kids' attention with ad-free Bing for Schools

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Yeah, they made a BIG splash here.

Lots of full page ads in the local paper. Of course, why not enable "child mode" for lots more searches in order to have them 'clean'.

As for rewards: Done correctly, a nice script ought to get you a tablet with little effort. Maybe someone will publicize it for all to use. Now if I can put Android on it, it would be complete.

Tiny fireball exoplanet completes one year in 8.5 hours

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Now if just have the...

Air conditioning concession, I could make zillions.

Wonder what the "night time" temps are, usually they are a bit colder.

Getting worried, Assange? WikiLeaks spaffs out 'insurance' info

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Why can't they leak...

Something about Al Qaeda that would be revealing in what they do?

It would be helpful to show that WikiLeaks is "unbiased" in their actions!

p.s. I hope this doesn't get flagged for some bad reason, nor the lookup I did to find a reasonable spelling. Honest, I don't mean to be a bad boy!

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid: Eco, economy and diesel power

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When do they hand it over to the Stig to...

...drive it wound the track?

Some say he can feel electricity in his veins.

SQUEEEEE! Microsoft goes retro with pay-by-squawk NFC tech

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Do I need to get my....

...Captain Crunch whistle out of storage?

AREA 51 - THE TRUTH by the CIA: Official dossier blows lid off US secrets

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Existance of "Area 51"

Time was when Apple was first producing Macs that they had a small applications (desktop accessories) that could be accessed from the 'apple' menu. One of these was a map application where they placed lots of Name/Place things with the corresponding Longitude and Latitude. One was "The middle of nowhere" (somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean). Another one (probably someone's idea of a joke) was of course "Area 51", complete with the proper longitude and latitude.

Rumor has it that it was requested that the entry in the Name/Place database be removed (I don't know if this was true, but it DOES make a good story).

Microsoft warns of post-April zero day hack bonanza on Windows XP

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Of course, there is ONE solution...

They could make Windows XP Open source.

Of course pigs might fly on their own, not when rocketed by humans, but I digress.

Bureaucrats foil Nestlé's bid to TRADEMARK KitKat's chocolatey digits

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Just remember....

The antidote for Chocolate is a nice glass of Milk. Preferably nice and cold!

Yum, Chocolate! (be sure to say this in a nice Homer Simpson voice).

BOFH: Backup server's failed? We have a backup backup server

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New multi box...

What is needed is a nice big box that has changeable displays, with LOTS of blinken lights. Of course there will be nothing behind the "curtain", but that's not the point. You need something that "The Boss" thinks is important (read expensive). In the end, it could probably be driven by a simple Raspberry Pi box.

I am told that old Connection Machines were pretty good at doing this.

As for Halon: Just have a "backup suppression device" that is tied to a LARGE klaxon. The kind that really force "The Boss" out. Indicate that the suppression is virtual as well, but VERY dangerous (life threatening).

'Database failure ate my data' – Salesforce customer

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Isn't the first rule of Databases to have...

Transaction journals for maximum reliability?

Seems to me that a nice journal of things would be close to mandatory if you were offering a "cloud" type service.

Then again, who offers "reliable" services in the (public) "cloud"??

Superstar cluster-Zuck as Facebook tries out celeb-only edition

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15 minutes, please ONLY 15 minutes.

Have your 'fame' and leave the rest of us alone.

In the words of others:

"Nothing to see here, please go away."

Bitcoin laws are coming: US Senate launches virty currency probe

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Currencies need...

An army behind them, much like languages do. Without an army to defend the value, or at the very least a government to set the value (note to inflationary economies: they don't work), the value of a currency will fluctuate all over the place (Bitcoin's value looks like a roller coaster compared to others).

As with any commodity the value is only what you can get for it at the time you sell it.


Microsoft SkyDrive, Outlook stricken by cloud outage

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Microsoft Failure

What is the opposite of an oxymoron, a redundancy?

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Make or break: Microsoft sets date for CRUCIAL Win 8.1 launch

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On another note...

Didn't Debian just celebrate its 20th anniversary?

REVEALED: Simple 'open sesame' to unlock your HOME by radiowave

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Being obscure is only a ploy...

To get those who have the items to subscribe to a service that has a (unreasonable) monthly fee. No more, no less.

If they were "open" then they couldn't count on the subscription fee (where the $$$ is) and couldn't sell the items. I see ads for these things (nice wireless front door goodies) and they tout nice iPhone apps. The problem is that they use MY internet connection to do all the dirty work, and charge me a monthly fee. Sorry, that doesn't work for me.

I'll stick with locks and keys for now.

As for 'alarms': I built up a little box that had a couple of batteries in it and just blinked a nice LED. It had a nice looking keyswitch, and an antenna. It cost about $5 total to make (the box was a big factor). I used it on a storage locker, but the blinking light drove one of the other tenants crazy and I needed to remove it. After that, the storage locker was broken into. I will fight better next time.

100,000+ Earthlings star in 'reality TV contest' for ONE-WAY ticket to MARS

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Once there...

Do the shows producers take wagers on how long their mission will last? I understand that the UK bookmakers take wagers on lots of things (most recently the royal baby's name).

The interesting part will be how two people will be able to get along for the multitude of years the (extended) mission will last. Will there be representatives of each gender, and will they be allowed to procreate? Maybe martians from the future will call them "Adam" and "Eve", who knows.

Note to self: Don't be Abel.

Feds arrest rogue trucker after GPS jamming borks New Jersey airport test

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Interfering devices...

Nice that they got the box. Now go after the manufacturer as well. What is needed to go after the manufacturer of all "interfering devices". For my money, plasma TVs are on the top of the list. They make all sorts of RF hash.

Make ALL manufacturers comply with FCC Part 15 rules. Please!!

Despite Microsoft Surface RT debacle, second-gen model in the works

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A retail observation...

Two days ago (Saturday) I went to the local mail to go to the Apple store to ask a question (which was answered quite quickly). Just to do this we (wife accompanied me) had to bump our way into the smallish Apple store which was crowded beyond belief. Lots of customers in the smallish (60' by 20') space. Lots of "energy".

Contrast that with the Microsoft store just a few doors away. It was about 2.5 times as large, and appeared to be mostly empty. Yes there were some sales droids there, but not much else in the way of customers. Sure, there were lots of displays for various products, but not much else. It was a marked contrast.

Given this observation, I have strong doubts that Microsoft has the ability to get its product into the hands of the buying public. It must rely upon OEMs to force feed its various products to the end consumer. A sad tale indeed.

As for outlook: I use the web access on my Linux machine. It seems to be OK. Yes, I would prefer something else, but the effort involved would be excessive for the results obtained.

Google Glass: Would you pay a mere $299 to plop one on your brow?

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But will I be able to use it?

Look, I have this problem called presbyopia. It comes with age and I need ever increasing magnification in my glasses to see anything "up close" (or get longer arms as my father used to say). Given that the device is mere fractions of an inch from my aged eyeball, can I really see it or will I get a fuzzy image that is useless.

Time will tell, but right now is the +2.25 glasses at Costco!

Asus boss flushes down tabs, says 'Windows RT has not been successful'

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Tommorows announcement...

In the "I wish" department.

Asus announces a Linux based ARM tablet. It is to be called a "Fondleslab" by its maker.

Updates and peripheral interconnects available as well.

So, will Asus remove the UEFI and let mere mortals put their own code into the machine? Time will tell.

Acer to downplay Windows in favor of Android, Chrome OS

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Next step??

Linux desktops. Don't need to have a Microsoft license fee, so they might have better margins.

Could happen, you never know.

E-reader barons file FCC plea to opt out of disabled-friendly regs

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Given what our (USA) government wants to to...

They might just make paper back books "accessible" in some way. Who knows, they might require that the books have braille for the entire book.

Be careful for what you ask for, you might just get it!

Suspected brains behind bank-account-draining Gozi extradited to US

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Money back?

Unfortunately, those who had their $$$ absconded with, will have to wait for their bank accounts to be "repaired".

A friend of mine has been waiting for over 5 years from a similar problem of having his (over $100k) bank account drained. The nice government people "locked" his account (and his name trying to get a new account) as he waits to get a portion (FDIC only gets you $100k) of his money back. They keep saying "any day now".

Good luck!

Queensland bans IBM from future work

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Maybe this will spread...

...to other vendors as well. We can only hope. Let's see, how about one based in say, Redmond Washington for instance.

I dream, but what else is new!

Curiosity sings 'Happy Birthday' to itself on Martian anniversary

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Voyager 1 & 2 had records

With Johnny B. Goode on them. Sorry, no Elvis (they wanted to but couldn't get the rights).

Music goes a long way!

Bloke in shed starts own DAB radio station - with Ofcom's blessing

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Data rates...

Can (and do) vary. Anything less than the 44.1 a CD uses is losing out something. Sure there are compressors, but most (mp3) are lossy, and throw away "details" of the sound. Thankfully there are some (FLAC comes to mind) that are truly "lossless" in their operation.

If you want to see the effects of a VERY low bit rate, try the traffic channels on your handy (USA) XM radio. It is truly terrible. Sure one can understand the voice, but it has NO high end, and takes a great deal of concentration to really "comprehend" the content.

FM is a better way to do things. Simpler radios and better functionality. RDS helps in this regard. The digital junk they promote here in the USA is a joke, and many broadcasters are waiting to just get rid of it. So, I (along with others) just wish it to DIE.

Apple will swap fanbois' killer phoney phone chargers for legit adapters

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Design and knockoffs...

When anyone designs a proper device, they concern themselves with all the implications of the design. These include (but not limited to) such items as safety, and functionality. The original maker needs to recover the costs of this design, and prices the product accordingly.

The knockoff is only in it for the money. They have no concerns about either functionality, or safety. They take the original design and reduce it to the cheapest version that will (almost) do the task at hand. This usually involves removing parts deemed unnecessary (safety items), and superfluous (RFI suppression comes to mind). In addition, the cost reduction goes further by putting in marginal parts (lower value filter capacitors are but one example) that are cheaper to source. This type of "Mad man Muntz" engineering takes it toll. The end knockoff product is just barely functional, and probably won't pass safety regulations. It is made cheaply and is sold for less than the "genuine" part. Sure it might kill you, but after it is sold, it has the "genuine" logos on it, and if faulty will be "fixed" by them, so who cares.

Probably the biggest give-away for knockoff products is the weight. If it is lighter then the "genuine" part, it probably is a fake.

Can't agree on a coding style? Maybe the NEW YORK TIMES can help

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One general rule:

Pick a style for your project and STICK WITH IT.

You can make more sense if everyone agrees on what you are doing.

From my telephone wiring days: Neat wiring doesn't fail. The implication being if it failed, it wasn't neat. The same goes for programming. Make it neat and readable, most will follow from that. "Clever" code requires more time to understand, and is prone to errors. Just don't do it.

As for spaces vs. tabs: Sometimes the code is displayed in a proportional font. Spaces aren't too compatible as they differ from letters that you want to line up. Tabs are usually better. Of course, programmers shouldn't use a proportional font, but some times it gets in the way. Email comes to mind as a particular mangling environment.

As always: Your mileage may vary, see store for details.

Barbie paints Red Planet pink with NASA-approved Mars Explorer doll

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Maybe NASA could ask for a royality?

To fund another Mars Probe??

Say $1.00 on each. Might be worthwhile then.

(You heard it here first!)

Sergey Brin's 'test-tube burger' cooked, eaten, declared meat-like

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So, £250,000 for a burger patty??

So that "quarter-pounder with cheese" will cost you a pretty penny.

Me? I headed off to get my $5.00 burger at the local drive-thru.

Amazon founder Bezos snaps up Washington Post

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Editorial policy?

Change? For better, or for worse? Time will tell.

Who knows they might even be "critical" of policy originated in our nations capital? That might be something new!

Russia's post-Snowden spooks have not reverted to type

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Hacking typewriters??

Have a look at:


As Mr. Spock would say: "Fascinating!".

Geneticists resolve human dilemma of Adam's boy-toy status

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Interesting, but...

Can someone explain why humans have 4 blood types (generally accepted ones)?

Most other species (Dogs, Cats, Cattle, Pigs, etc.) have only one.

SAP boss cops jail time plea after Lego barcode bust

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Greedy ALWAYS get busted!

He was in fact greedy.

If he had done it ONCE it would have worked.

Microsoft cuts Surface Pro price by $100

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Rocky Road!

This surface thingy. As the prices go lower, it assumes the facade of cheapo Wal-Mart trash, which is probably where it will end up.

If they get low enough, we could buy some and use them for "shooting clays". Pull!

One month on, Edward Snowden cleared to leave Moscow airport

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Maybe the papers allow him...

...to be escorted to the American Embassy to be exported back to the USA.

There could be another three letter agency that is looking into how to do this. Maybe part of the Treadstone project could handle it.

Only 1 in 5 Americans believe in pure evolution – and that's an upswing

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Religion solves many problems...

The ignorant like to wrap their arms around it.

It might explain the Second Law of Thermodynamics

It might explain DNA mutations (good and bad).

When the second coming happens it WILL be interesting. Sorry, but I can't wait, so science will have to do.

Texas man charged in multimillion-dollar Bitcoin Ponzi scheme

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If the US government did this...

It would be called "Social Security", and be quite legal.

Yahoooo! - Activist! investor! leaps! overboard! jingling! with! cash!

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Re: Hey...

For all we know, he looked at Microsoft and decided that it was too far gone. Who knows? Maybe he will come back and have Yahoo! buy up Microsoft.

Yeah, that's the ticket!

Oi, Google, you ate all our Wi-Fi keys - don't let the spooks gobble them too

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The NSA a wholly owned subsidiary of Google anyway?

Look, they slurp up information and save it off in farms of zillion byte stores. All of this is ripe for NSA to peer through the looking glass to see what it wants to see.

So, does Google have stock in the NSA, or the other way around? Inquiring minds might never know.

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