* Posts by Stevie

5099 posts • joined 12 Jun 2008

Init freedom declared as systemd-free Devuan hits stable 1.0.0 status

Stevie
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Re: Bah!

I see that now.

I suppose a quip based on a mainframe-tech coincidence pun is right out?

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Stevie
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Re: Bah!

Do you Linux chaps really need an icon to tell you a post is a joke?

This one spun aroud the "extended support" statement.

Sweet Azathoth's nuclear nebulosity.

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Stevie
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Bah!

"Devuan 'Jessie' is done and will get long term support beyond the life of Debian Jessie"

So it is Linux XP then ...

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Life is... pushing all the right buttons on the wrong remote control

Stevie
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Bah!

Discs are better than streaming on Long Island NY because the cheapass cable company can't spare enough bandwidth to run the delivery at best-of-breed levels, resulting in stars that have clearly defined bands of light in concentric shells about them as Serenity zooms past them, explosions are ruined by pixelation as the palette overloads the pixels' ability to display it and James Bonds does the same every time he goes out at night in a black suit and the software can't figure out what's what and so runs a Gloomy Goth Pink Floyd FX lightshow over the important bits.

They also have the absolute naffest digital recorder in the world. Set it to record Jason Bourne and you get The Bourne Identity. Tell it to record what's left of Dr Who so you can switch to the news and you are odds-on to get a spiffy recording of the news you just watched when you page back to see whether the Daleks won this time.

As for remote-blote, I coped partially with this by buying the same brand disc player as my TV. I rarely need to faff about with two remotes, though getting the soundbar to wake up might require that.

What's needed is a proper API so we can blow a raspberry (Pi) at the problem once and for all.

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'President Zuck' fundraiser opens for business

Stevie
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Bah!

"In addition to a set of steadfast liberal principals, Mark shares (perhaps more legitimately) many of the qualities of Donald Trump that resonated with everyday Americans – a wealthy, anti-establishment outsider unbeholden to special interests."

a) Because that is working out so well.

2) Unbeholden? You're pulling my war wound mate.

þ) As for special interests, why, aren't both Trump and El Zuckface the very definition of special interests in and of themselves?

Cthulhu's Aquatic Anus, do we really have to recapitulate the 1900-1930 period before we remember why we said "never again"?

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Sysadmin finds insecure printer, remotely prints 'Fix Me!' notice

Stevie
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Bah!

Although I take most of these "I spotted such-and-such vulnerability and exploited it in this what-I-judge-to-be-humourous-fashion to alert the system owner" stories with a big pinch of salt, the commentor who pointed out the risk to those who are feeling clever is spot on.

Why this business seems to produce clever people with such poor impulse control beats me. I get the need to be seen to be as clever as they think they are, just not the lack of risk assessment skills.

FWIW these sorts of exploits go back into the greenscreen/mainframe days. I once discussed a simple and annoying hack possible with the old Sperry Univac editor messaging service with a colleague. Next day, yep, I was a victim. Entirely predictable, but the bright young man should have had the common sense to know that if I was telling him about this, I had a way out. Once out I (of course) turned the very same hack in such a way he sued for peace.

But in this case we were both drinking buddies and doing nothing to intrude where we didn't belong. Had we done the same to someone in the systems department to "illustrate the danger" we'd both have been fired and we knew it.

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Astroboffins spot a new type of galaxy bursting with stars

Stevie
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Bah!

Coo! Let's go over for a look.

What do you mean, too busy arguing about Pluto to have invented the interstellar overdrive?

So much for "science".

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Google wants to track your phone and credit card through meatspace

Stevie
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Bah!

So when the slutty credit card gets stolen, in addition to the inconvenience of cancelling the card and replacing it I will now also be deluged in targeted ads for state of the art video cards, SCUBA equipment and dog grooming salon supplies (all real uses others have put various cards of mine to without my permission)?

Not sure whether to be annoyed at irrelevant targeted ads (as if there were any other kind) or overjoyed at the sheer cobblers this will make of Google's $Data_Mine{$Stevie}, already half-bolloxed by my wanton and surrealistic browsing habits.

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Walkers' Crisps pulls backfiring Tweet campaign that paired Gary Lineker and a bunch of nasties

Stevie
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Bah!

Tsk! Marketers, eh?

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PAH! Four decades of Star Wars: No lightsabers, no palm-sized video calls

Stevie
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Re: Bah!

"Didn't the scroll at the beginning start out with "Episode IV: A New Hope" even in the initial release?"

Did you read my post with your eyes closed?

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Stevie
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"We need to be very careful of a confusion of terms."

We do indeed. 25 years ago the US release was of a film called "Star Wars".

That's it. No subtitle. No "Part IV".

The numbering and subtitling came later, when the gate was enough to get funding for The Empire Strikes Back. I well remember a collective (and loud) "You wot?" in a Birmingham (UK) cinema when the titles for that claimed it was "Part V".

My American wife argued this point with me for years until AMC showed an original print about five years ago, along with unredacted opening credits.

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Schiaparelli probe crash caused by excessive spin, report concludes

Stevie
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Bah!

"Very close to a success" or as human beings say "fail". Why is is so difficult for Schiap Chaps to admit this? Someone fucked up.

And as usual, that someone was a programmer, sorry, software architect, who in a move of staggering incompetence wrote a critical routine that had no "gibberish result" check.

Nought out of ten. Go and read "Object Oriented Software Construction" and fucking well pay attention to the basic rule about unspecified results.

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Chelsea Manning leaves prison, heads straight for booze and pizza

Stevie
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Re: You can change the name (4 chivo243)

You forgot to tell her to go easy on the pizza 'cos she needs to watch her figure now.

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Proposed PATCH Act forces US snoops to quit hoarding code exploits

Stevie
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Bah!

All fixed, then.

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Brave VMs to destroy themselves, any malware they find on HP's new laptop

Stevie
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Re: back up a minute

Get Rid Of Useless Javascript Now!

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Train station's giant screens showed web smut at peak hour

Stevie
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Bah!

And while everyone was looking at the screen, Jason Bourne killed another fifteen CIA grab-team agents, a couple of freelance assassins and a Treadstone asset.

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Leeds cops issue appeal for man-sized todger

Stevie
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Bah!

Stiff fines are called for.

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Samsung Galaxy S8+: Seriously. What were they thinking?

Stevie
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Bah!

And the quality of reception and clarity of sound when making a phone call?

Clearly not important (although the work "phone" is used frequently in this, for want of a better word, review).

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Blighty bloke: PC World lost my Mac Mini – and trolled my blog!

Stevie
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Re: My best PC World story is

Luxury!

I once took my wife's digital point-and-shoot camera into CompUSA to claim on the extended warranty and the Manager actually left the building under the pretext of "checking something".

Another time I asked about getting some extra memory for my veteran computer (and brought one of the two boards in so they could properly ID the type - just like I would when repairing my cars back in the UK), and was told in dismissive tones by the foetus on the parts desk (who made no effort to check the stock with his spiffy new workstation) that "They don't make that sort of memory any more". I went home, put the memory back in, limped around the interwebs for a bit getting educated, then went back and asked for the exact type of memory I needed, and was promptly sold the two boards I'd asked for only hours before.

I was tempted to call a manager and ask him to explain to Mr Wizard the inevitable self-defeating result of making it easier for customers to buy their computer stuff from this new place called "Amazon" than CompUSA, but decided nothing good could come of it.

Two months later that store closed it's doors, soon to be followed by every other CompUSA store.

These were the same geniuses that took two months to get a simple repair done to my Brother in Law's Mac G3. The reason? "The Apple Guy only comes in on Tuesdays, and sometimes not even then".

Evolution in action. The internet didn't kill this retail store chain, they rigged a noose made of poor staff engagement and training and hung themselves.

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Stevie
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Bah!

Here in NY I'd have the answer: Chargeback.

I understand this is not as straightforward in the UK though.

I recently had trouble when ordering something from the UK - not computer related. I received a confirmation that my registration with the firm's website had happened, then a second mail giving details of the 'shipped" order.

When I tried to follow the link the website denied all knowledge of me. I contacted the firm (a reputable one I'd done business with some years ago I might add) and it was suggested I set up the account again. This, naturally had zero effect since the new account showed no order activity.

However I was aware I was on a script here so had to go through the motions if I were ever to get my item.

Two months have now passed so I wrote again pointing out that I was not trying to be difficult but was between a rock and a hard place. The firm was saying they had shipped the order, yet I had no way of checking that it had gone out and no way of tracking the package (assuming that provision for doing that had even been thought of). Additionally, another firm affiliated with the first had delivered a related item to me two weeks before, and I had placed the order with them almost three weeks after the one I was having trouble with.

I then wound up the email by asking when my representative thought it would be appropriate to contact my credit card company and request a chargeback.

Those were the magic words. A mail was waiting for me this morning informing me that the package had been returned to the firm because the address was malformed (typo in the zip code). Now it is quite possible that I typoed the Zip (unlikely, but possible) so I'm not complaining about that. What I *am* complaining about is that it took me making a veiled threat to get someone to go and have a proper look at the situation. The item must have been sitting there for weeks.

This sort of nonsense is why I avoid doing business with UK-based small firms.

To cap it off, the account registration page, the one that accepts the password for the account, is not served over HTTPS. Oh, and the Javascript was buggy. It would only show me UK counties in the drop down list until I submitted the page and let it yell at me for not selecting an "area" for my address. The capcha device was also risible, ordinary bolded text with a background graphic reminiscent of a "Twister" mat. Even I could have botf*cked my way round that.

I'm not naming names because the original mistake was possibly mine and a good faith effort has now started to put things right.

But Gordon Bennet, what a needless run around the houses for all concerned.

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NASA nixes Trump's moonshot plan

Stevie
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Re: Send Remotes/Robots

No more space roombas.

Humans, multiple, in a proper Moonbase. No landing two people in a machine made of chicken wire and Cadbury's Old Jamaica tinfoil and claiming that as a moonbase. No sheds that are occupied for two weeks and abandoned in place. Proper domes and landing pads for the Eagle transports.

Keep the robotics where they belong: Realdoll fembots.

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Stevie
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Re: "in some Peter Sellars-esque dream universe the Norks) sent a team around the Moon"

Well, given the reported fact that he never needs to go to the toilet, FBK (Space Kiddet ) would solve one massive problem with space flight as practiced today.

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Stevie
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Re: "copy the technology used in the apollo missions"

Actually, since the original Apollo project was run as a military-style, highly compartmentalized one, the contractors who developed the tech were under certain legal obligations.

As was covered in the now-defunct Omni magazine back in the 90s, after 25 years in storage, the documentation on How To Go To The Moon was ... destroyed. Presumably to prevent it falling into enemy hands. Keeping such documents carried and still carries heavy penalties.

So as was pointed out in the Omni article, if we wanted to go back to the moon we'd have to do huge chunks of the R&D over again, all because no-one in power thought it worthwhile to archive the records somewhere centrally.

Now it is true that there have been huge leaps in materials science since Apollo, but a quick trawl through the NASA histories shows that we currently still hold our breath when firing unmanned rockets to the ISS in low earth orbit (the irony of having the Roosies take up our astronauts in a vehicle older than the decommissioned space shuttle must be making JFK and Nixon spin in their graves).

Lofting a booster capable of ramming a payload into a seriously businesslike trans-lunar injection is probably beyond our power right now. Hell, the one we used back in the day was barely fit for purpose. The wonder is that more people weren't lost riding it into the sky.

The truth is that for the average tax payer space is boring. No-one has ever explained why it is important in terms Joe Public can relate to. And for all the blabber coming from the White House in the last twenty years, not one dollar has been sent to fund the pie-in-the-sky Mars Shot. Not "Mars, Ho!" GWB, Not "Mars or Bust" BO, and certainly not "Mars - I could use a candy bar right now!" OPOTUS.

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Stevie
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Bah!

First he thinks he's Andrew Jackson, now he's JFK.

I wonder what his tweets would look like if the Chinese (or in some Peter Sellars-esque dream universe the Norks) sent a team around the Moon next year?

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Do we need Windows patch legislation?

Stevie
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Bah!

I'm sending a note to OPOTUS and former Cyber Czar Giuliani to the effect that we used to have Unisys mainframes and greenscreens and never once got hacked in twenty five years.

One massive re-rollout later I shall have employment for the foreseeable future and all the Javascripties and C-like language scaredy cats will be sent off with a flea in their collective ear as they so richly deserve and be told to go back to school and learn proper computers and to keep off my lawn.

Trump shall Make Computing Great Again!

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Ransomware scum have already unleashed kill-switch-free WannaCry‬pt‪ variant

Stevie
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Bah!

Yeah, saw this coming about one second after reading the original El Reg description of the killswitch.

Perhaps if the bright young thing that found it had not been so hungry for fame we might have caught some breathing space.

Oh well.

Next up: Why the government can be trusted with your encryption keys and why they should have a proper back door into your computer that only they can ever use.

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WannaCrypt ransomware snatches NSA exploit, fscks over Telefónica, other orgs in Spain

Stevie
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Bah!

I must be slow today.

It has only just occurred to me that this is a godsend to some. I imagine an encrypted hard-drive is evidence enough for the IRS when claiming that tax records have been "lost".

*Much* better than a flood or fire, much less indiscriminate in its destruction.

It's like a Neutron Bomb for tax dodgers.

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74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

Stevie
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Re: Risk Management

"What isn't being discussed is WHY so many people are not enabling automatic updates"

Well in my case Automatic Updates were enabled on boot of my Win 7 Home Ed. laptop, but WU did nothing but spin taking up 51% of the cpu for about a year. Any time I needed to do real work I was forced to shut down the service. WU started "working" a few weeks ago when the massive Windows 10 update was rolled out.

I just built a new Win 7 pro machine, finally managed to get the "Security Rollup" update to install after MUCH fucking about and once again I am looking at a 51% WU cpu usage for no actual gain.

So, for me (and I suspect a nation or 74 of others) the simple fact is Windows Update has become unresponsive through no fault of the user.

I will await the shirtstorm of victim blaming coming my way.

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US Coast Guard: We're rather chuffed with our new Boeing spy drone

Stevie
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Re: Is the U.S, Coast Guard lending personnel to the RN?

All Americans ought to go and find out how the Canadians describe the war of 1812.

My favorite from that fracas was the use of the Hucleberry Hound Ploy to make a few hundred troops and indian levies look like thousands by marching them in front of a wood, then having them double-time it back to the start behind it for another go round.

Fort Detroit surrendered with nary a shot fired.

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Amazon's Alexa is worst receptionist ever: Crazy exes, stalkers' calls put through automatically

Stevie
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Bah!

Internet of tat is tatty.

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PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC

Stevie
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Re: Give 'em hell

Malwearbytes flagged it as dross and quarrantined it?

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Stevie
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Bah!

I ran XP for five years. Reloaded it twice,each time for hard drive upgrade reasons and saw one BSOD traceable to NAV nagware.

Haters gotta lie.

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US spymasters trash Kaspersky: AV tools can't be trusted, we've stuck a probe in them

Stevie
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Bah!

OPOTUS should have asked when he had TASS in the oval office doing the press coverage of his meeting with the Russian ambassador.

And no US press.

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T-Mobile USA sued by parents after their baby dies amid 911 meltdown

Stevie
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Re: Attention

Childish troll is childish,

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Trump signs executive order on cybersecurity, White House now runs the show

Stevie
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Bah!

No internet means no tweets.

Intollerable risk!

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Bot you see is what you get: The cold reality of Microsoft's chat 'AI'

Stevie
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Bah!

Anything that makes me not have to use that bug-ugly flat three-color GUI is a good thing.

It has infected the ATMs hereabouts now, and the new workflow required to get what used to be a simple job done requires three more screen operations, each requiring me to look at the Visual Nasty even longer.

It is the sort of square and ugly GUI that IKEA might sell in a flatpack under the name "Güi".

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Phil Collins and supergroup exposed as cloud investors

Stevie
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Bah!

You missed one.

Mason has done other investments invested money

8o)

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Dude hit with $300K bill for faking his hours, hacking boss's website

Stevie
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Bah!

Ah yes, the old "Faust: So Far" ploy.

I predict the rolling out of the Swiss Army Hacker Defense in three ... two ... one ...

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Huge flying arse makes successful test flight

Stevie
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Re: 'world's largest flying craft' - I think not...

Does a balloon taking advantage of the natural lift of the gas count as flying?

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Stevie
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Bah!

Auxiliary Landing System.

So the flying arse gets piles just before it piles-up?

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Police watchdog investigates illegal outsourced Indian hackers scandal

Stevie
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Bah!

So basically, everyone in the UK in on Double Secret Probation?

Just like in America!

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Well this is awkward. As Microsoft was bragging about Office at Build, Office 365 went down

Stevie
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Bah!

Bandwidth challenges in my workplace mean four seconds from selecting a mailing to it actually loading into the preview pane when everything is working properly. Periodically, typically as I'm trying to type a reply or building a filter to move something important out of the storm of reply-to-all "Me too"s which liven up my day, the spinning wheel of annoyance pops up and the entire shambles goes Nonresponding Grey for anything up to 15 seconds.

This outage just meant I was less aggravated by the bloody thing yesterday.

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RBS is to lay off 92 UK techies and outsource jobs to India – reports

Stevie
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Bah!

A spokesperson said "This is a smart move. We consulted with the Indian staff after they had identified a problem with our IT, and agreed it would be easier just to transfer everything into their hands. It seems our vindows are infecting the internet wth viruses."

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Majority of contractors distrust HMRC's IR35 calculator, survey finds

Stevie
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Re: Don't Blame the Tool

Oh gawd, are IT still implementing the Big Black Book?

Ollie White pointed out the project-killing results of that over forty years ago.

I once turned down a very lucrative contract, pissing off my agent no end and dooming myself to months of unemployment, because the client, when asked, proudly claimed that the time to review "non-standard deviations from written protocols" was after the BBB version was live.

I just couldn't bear the thought of my name being on the first version, and becoming a curse word for all who came after.

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IBM: Customer visit costing £75 in travel? Kill it with extreme prejudice

Stevie
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Bah!

I once did a two week training course in Albany NY and needed to claim the costs of traveling from NYC. My employer would only reimburse the cost of an Amtrak ticket even if I drove. I used the train, but somehow the first return ticket detached from the expense claim, leaving only the two NYC-Albany tickets and the final Albany-NYC ticket. My expense claim was denied and I appealed, leading to the following conversation:

Them: You only supplied evidence of three journeys.

Me: But two of them were from NYC to Albany. I must have come back, yes?

Them: Yeees ...

Me: and you would reimburse me the ticket price if I drove, right?

Them: Yeees ...

Me: And you don't require any documentation for gas or tolls, right?

Them: That's right.

Me: So what do you care? I've demonstrated that I made four journeys, one of which could have been by Concorde for all you care since under the rules you will only pay the going rate for a train ticket and you only require evidence of a train trip, not of gas expenditure or airplane tickets. The train tickets I supplied show the going rate. Therefore I should be reimbursed for four trips.

Them. Okay.

To this day I have no idea why the bean counter couldn't do that math himself. He knew I'd appeal the decision and he caved in like a cheap suitcase in sparrow's fart time. Maybe he was lonely and needed the conversation.

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Rich professionals could be replaced by AI, shrieks Gartner

Stevie
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Bah!

When do they predict that industry pundits-o-the-future will be replaced by an AI?

I imagine it need only be a small one.

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Michael Dell? More like Michael in-Dell-nial: No public cloud, no future

Stevie
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Re: Michael who??

Clive Sinclair? It that you?

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Stevie
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Re: That can't be the real M. Dell

Eddie Monsoon? Is that you?

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Team Macron praised for feeding phishing spies duff info

Stevie
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Joke

Re: Gmail is already offering a non-SMS 2FA

A telegram perhaps? Or a postcard?

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IBM: Remote working is great! ... For everyone except us

Stevie
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Bah!

This "do as I say, not as I do" thinking is SOP in the computer biz.

At the dawn of the dot net era I sat through a presentation in which it was shown that buffer overrun vulnerabilities were a thing of the past because of smarts built into the new Visual Studio C# gubbins.

I asked if Microsoft had used this Mad Science to re-engineer the eagerly-awaited new iteration of Windows (due in a few months).

If looks could kill I'd have left the presentation in a bucket.

Last week I sat though a Noracle presentation of their latest and greatest cloud-enhanced enterprise monitoring and management tool. It was dead impressive.

Right up until someone else (I've learned my lesson and am tired of sitting in the uncooperative corner) asked "Do you use this at Oracle?"

Of course the answer was "No, not yet". They aren't fools. They want the bugs kicked out before they deploy it.

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