* Posts by Mike Shepherd

526 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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UK mobile customers face inflation-busting price hike

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Potatoes

"the price of potatoes goes up, so mobile phone calls are suddenly more expensive to provide?"

Yes, mobile phone providers eat potatoes, too.

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0
Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: Abuse

Most people (in the UK and the US) budget so badly that they could never pay up-front for the lastest tech-toy they "must" have.

So, as long as payment is "tomorrow" and not "today", they'll go for it. Few have even the schoolboy maths to work out compound interest, so one "deal" looks much the same as another. If there's any decision, it's based on trinkets like "free fake leather carrying case".

Don't worry. It keeps prices down for the rest of us.

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This is why we can't have nice things, BT tells Global Services after 3% sales droop

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Goodwill

"...a writeoff of several hundred million quid (maybe more) of the goodwill".

For any BT business, proper accounting practice would write off goodwill at the first opportunity, except perhaps for the boost in goodwill when it declares "under new management".

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Openreach ups investment plans: Will shoot out full fibre to 3 million premises

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"totalling billions over time"

...just like the harmonic series, some time after the sun goes out.

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H-1B visa hopefuls, green card holders are feeling the wrath of 'America first' Trump

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Norway

Most disturbing is the belief that anyone from Norway would be stupid enough to move there.

8
1

Cold calling director struck off for ‘flagrant’ breach of duties

Mike Shepherd
Happy

Re: Struck off as a director

"Judging from how this guy runs his businesses and the debts is he married to Diane Abbott?"

Your icon is appropriate: that would drive anyone to drink.

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How digitalisation will change your storage culture

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Agreed

From Digital Signal Processing by Steven W Smith, chapter 3:

When electronics got around to inventing digital techniques, the preferred names had already been snatched up by the medical community nearly a century before. Digitalize and digitalization mean to administer the heart stimulant digitalis.

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GIMPS crack whip on plucky processor to find largest prime number

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Yawn

Call me when they have the first for π(x) > li(x) (estimated about 10316).

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Italy leans on Amazon to retrieve €100m in unpaid tax

Mike Shepherd
Meh

You'd need a heart of stone not to laugh

"...in Italy, where we have invested more than €800m since 2010 and created over 3,000 jobs".

And all from pure benevolence, devoid of self-interest.

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So you're 'agile', huh? I do not think it means what you think it means

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Pay no attention to that consultant behind the curtain!

We must always consider new ideas. (Whether there's anything new about Agile is moot). But, 2,500 years on, real progress still comes more often from persistence and hard work.

9
1

Escrow you, Apple! Ireland expects Cupertino to cough up to €13bn

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"The Register has contacted Apple for a statement"

Good luck with that.

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Ex-cop who 'kept private copies of data' fingers Cabinet Office minister in pr0nz at work claims

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Only a click away

Since many innocent pages are only a click away from porn and default browser settings may pre-fetch linked pages, I'd be surprised not to find thumbnails on almost everyone's PC.

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Russia threatens to set up its 'own internet' with China, India and pals – let's take a closer look

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: The collapse of the USSR.....

"...some kind of Marshall like plan..."

Wasn't that ножки Буша? I think ex-president Nixon made the same point.

2
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GCSE compsci kids' work may not count after solutions leaked online

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Isolated

...teachers "were very isolated" by not being able to talk to others...

It makes you wonder how teachers managed 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago. Can they work now only by constant reference to web sites?

4
1

Three useless UK.gov 'catapults' put in Last Chance Saloon

Mike Shepherd
Happy

Don't worry, Mr Lamb

It's only public money!

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Ads watchdog to BT: We say your itsy bitsy, teeny weeny Ts&Cs too small for screeny

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: Wrong

You forgot the leopard.

8
1

Continuous Lifecycle 2018: Agile pioneer Dr Linda Rising to keynote

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"Get your skates on"

I think I'll just stay here, by the fire, in my slippers. There was a time I might rush to the window at the sound of the nearest fad. Now I'm content to hear it whizz by as I stir my cocoa.

2
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Tell us what you're doing in DevOps, Containers, and Agile

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Tell us what you've stopped doing too...

I've stopped reading articles about snake oil.

10
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Customers cheesed off after card details nicked in Pizza Hut data breach

Mike Shepherd

Not until the credit card companies are made jointly liable.

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1

Co-op Bank's users moan over online wobbles

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Ethical

Had a house sale complete today, so would like to move some funds, but...

Well, I look on the bright side: at least they claim to be "ethical". And perhaps they are (if you overlook the occasional drug-taking and procurement of rent boys by senior management).

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Cortana, please finish my sentences in Skype texts for me

Mike Shepherd
Meh

But...

It will take a lot of AI to make up for having nothing important to say.

3
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Mike Shepherd
Meh

"It looks like you're writing a letter"

I suppose it could work, if it's not another annoying elbow-nudger.

4
0

Dumb bug of the week: Apple's macOS reveals your encrypted drive's password in the hint box

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Hints

Password hints can only weaken the security of a password. Apple just did it better, that's all.

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Sole Equifax security worker at fault for failed patch, says former CEO

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"Sole...worker at fault..."

That's convenient. No need, then, for the company to shrivel and die like Arthur Andersen.

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MH370 final report: Aussies still don’t know where it crashed or why

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Man up

"...societally unacceptable...for a large commercial aircraft to be missing and for the world not to know with certainty what became of..."

As a kid, I would wander from home, maybe climb a tree or two. I recall once for a thrill making my way across a railway bridge (on the outside). If I'd never made it home I doubt that the world would be much different now. I quite like the notion that there are still places you could disappear and never be found, somewhere still neglected by Amber Rudd, GCHQ and the CIA. If you step outside your home or fly across an ocean, there's a risk. It would be useful to know what happened, but that's a long way from insisting that we monitor every inch of the planet (unless you're a company looking to sell numerous radar and other systems to satisfy those who can't handle uncertainty).

3
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Dot-Amazon spat latest: Brazil tells ICANN to go fsck itself, only 'govts control the internet'

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: The whole thing's stupid

If I remember correctly, packet switching was conceived by a Welshman (Donald Davies) who invented the concept of a router and did the hard work in analysis of problems like network congestion. On that basis, the internet is Welsh. Any more stupid ideas?

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Don't panic, but.. ALIEN galaxies are slamming Earth with ultra-high-energy cosmic rays

Mike Shepherd
Happy

I got a sudden warm feeling

You can still sleep soundly at night...Particles with an energy level greater than 10 EeV, and typically arriving from beyond the Milky Way, tend to hit Earth at a rate of one per square kilometre per year.

That's no consolation if you happen to be standing there at the time. I think 10EeV is about 2J?

3
0

NBD: Adobe just dumped its private PGP key on the internet

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Who copied whom?

The article is very similar to this one. Neither acknowledges the other (or any common source). I thought the whole point of a link was that you didn't need to duplicate.

0
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Homeland Security drops the hammer on Kaspersky Lab with preemptive ban

Mike Shepherd
Meh

In plain sight?

"There are two possibilities...1...Kaspersky is a tool of the FSB..."

If so, you'd think the FSB would choose a more American name, perhaps "Dexter" or "LeRoy".

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Want to get up to speed on machine learning? We've got a deal for you

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Want to get up to speed on machine learning?

No.

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Florida man is world's fastest flasher: Just 53 quintillionths of a sec

Mike Shepherd
IT Angle

Video

No doubt this has uses, but it's not clear how it can help to "...shoot slow-motion video of electrons and atoms...". However short the pulse, surely an electron which absorbs an X-ray photon will immediately head off at high speed, so won't be around to be "videoed". If the photon isn't absorbed, I assume it just passed by. Can anyone explain?

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Microsoft breaks Office 365 sign-in pages ahead of surprise update

Mike Shepherd
Meh

MBA talk?

...we believe that this sets us up for an exciting future of innovation in the sign-in space

When you read this kind of drivel, expect trouble.

3
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Everything you never knew about mail: The Postal Museum opens

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Multimedia

How about the full multimedia experience? Visitors could enjoy dealing with a crotchety postmistress or learn about the Post Office Act. We're sorry to hear that your Recorded Delivery item is missing without a signature, but there's no refund as we don't guarantee anything. Here's a book of stamps. Now go away.

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Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'

Mike Shepherd

Awww....

Only one vote...that's so sad! I'll get my boyfriend to sign it.

35
2

Google hit with record antitrust fine of €2.4bn by Europe

Mike Shepherd

"Alphabet had revenues of 90Bn last year". Revenue is not profit and the court hasn't said "This is our final settlement": these fines can be applied again and again, if needed.

"Other solutions...have to be considered". No, courts have standard means by which penalties are imposed e.g. fines or (for criminal cases) imprisonment (or worse, in some countries). Although other means may be available to the court, they don't "have" to use them to suit you or the defendant.

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4

Ex-MI5 boss: People ask, why didn't you follow all these people ... on your radar?

Mike Shepherd
Meh

I'm shocked, *shocked* to find that spying is going on in here

'The former MI5 chief said...she went to Moscow to make "first contact" with the KGB. "I found myself facing a long line of KGB officers in their headquarters".'

The surprise must have ranked with that of visiting a nudist camp and finding it full of naked people.

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Hyperloop One teases idea of 50-minute London-Edinburgh ride

Mike Shepherd
Meh

But...

But I don't want to go to London at any speed. Besides, I thought we were all "telecommuting" by now?

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Capita payments service Pay360 goes TITSUP

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Euphemisms

"...we continue to treat this issue...major issue...Once this issue is resolved...some of our customers have experienced technical issues"

It's not a problem, then? Just an "issue" (or maybe a "challenge").

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Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

Mike Shepherd

Re: So, are the Swedes going to pay

The UK will pick up the tab, in support of the US empire.

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3

What could go wrong? Delta to use facial recog to automate bag drop-off

Mike Shepherd
Meh

...agents will be freed up to...deliver more proactive and thoughtful customer service

Reaccommodation?

9
0

ATM security devs rush out patch after boffins deliver knockout blow

Mike Shepherd
Meh

It's difficult to take ATMs seriously on security...

It's difficult to take ATMs seriously on security when they show adverts. Given the struggle to make any software secure, adding unnecessary parts to financial applications seems, at best, ill-advised.

7
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Yeah, keep buying those SSDs, grins Seagate: Your data will be on our disks eventually, muaha

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"Seagate made a canine evening meal..."

Midday, surely?

0
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Netgear says sorry four weeks after losing customer backups

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Levels of confidence

"We have already identified the root cause in our server software and applied a patch immediately after the incident occurred".

I'm not sure if, reading that, I'd be reassured that there'd be no more problems or hardly any more problems or if I'd wonder why a problem that could be fixed "immediately after the incident occurred" could have been anything but obvious on cursory examination. I might wonder how many more such "immediately" fixable faults were overlooked by similar lack of cursory examination and remain unfixed.

Why would anyone trust important data (with no local backup) to this Wild West world of the cloud? Surely we must be years away from reliability. If the IT industry's track record on quality is a guide, it's more probably decades.

5
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Forensic accountants appointed to pore over Post Office IT scandal

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Audit trail?

I have no experience in writing accounting software, but surely a basic need is an audit trail (journal of transactions) so that any fault can be found easily? At the end of each day, does the Post Office system really just say "You owe us xxx"?

1
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Less than four weeks till DevOps' finest assemble in London

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Sorry

I'm...er...washing my hair.

0
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Game authors demand missing ZX Spectrum reboot royalties

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: I'm a little in between with this...

"I'm not too sure they have any legal grounds either...after 30 years the copyrights basically drop".

There's no need to remain unsure. Take a look at the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988) and the Intellectual Property Act (2014):

"Copyright expires at the end of the period of 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies..."

"If the work is computer-generated...copyright expires at the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was made".

For sound recordings: "at the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the recording is made...".

You say "...do your homework and if you do get called out have your statements ready so that you at least leave a solid impression instead of that of a bunch of goofballs". Are you one of those "goofballs"?

It's especially important not to be a "goofball" if you're planning to steal others' work. From the CDP Act: "A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1)(a), (b), (d)(iv) or (e) is liable (a) on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine, or both; (b) on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or both".

15
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Mike Shepherd
Happy

Re: Innocence lost

Hmm...Good point. Have you noticed how you never see Rupert and Sir Clive together?

4
1
Mike Shepherd
Meh

I'm confused

I'm confused as to how an author (or any other business) can operate where the customer says "You invoice us and we send the money to our favourite charity".

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1

Drive-by Wi-Fi i-Thing attack, oh my!

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: "An attacker within range may be able to execute arbitrary code on the Wi-Fi chip"

"Surely this can only bork the radio, right?

Yeah, and who needs that bit.

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