* Posts by ArfinGreebly

13 posts • joined 12 Sep 2008

Inventors given £1.5m by High Court


And So It Goes

I work in a field where a single "bright idea" can bring millions in revenue. My employers "own" my bright ideas. I have my name on a patent (which the [now prior] company owns) that gives them an edge in a highly competitive market. I got a cheque amounting to less than half a week's wages for my trouble. If the company makes a single sale of a single system based on that feature, they will be paying the sales droid a bonus of about my annual salary, and the execs will each see double that.

Ironically, though _their_ bonuses will buy them a car or a boat -- even a house, for the veeps, mine wasn't enough for a new computer, or even a new flat screen monitor.

The only real benefit has been that it scored me some points on my resume. When I left there. And went to work for the competition.

Not that I'm being paid more now. Less, in fact.

Oh well. I shouldn't gripe. I'm still working.

That's more than my old boss can say.

Pirates, the lot of them.

MP wants Welsh text on ID cards



. . . and the horse on which into town you rode.


American English?

Ah, yes. The purity of English.

A concept with which I'm well acquainted.

"The problem with defending the purity of the English Language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary." -- James D. Nicoll

We could always adopt Strine, though I'm sure there are those who would prefer all official business to be conducted in Fraffly.

Glasgow Cops pound Facebook to blunt knife crime


Prior Restraint

Ah, Britain.

Land of prior restraint.

"We think you might [whatever], so we're going to lock you up. Well, not really, but we're going to have you do some 'counseling' with these lovely white-coats here. They'll make the determination whether you're a danger -- your opinions don't count. The fact that you're a gentle soul with no history of violence whatsoever doesn't count. The fact that no crime has been committed . . . likewise, doesn't count."

"And the fact that you're indignant about this, shows that you have an anger management problem."

"But don't worry, lad, when we're done, you'll feel much better. I guarantee it."

Veteran F1 designer readies 'affordable' sportster


Tron Car?

I've seen that car somewhere . . . oh, yeah, Tron.

On the lighter side, if you spent the dosh on a reasonable (gasp!) gas-drinker rig, the remainder from £55k would pay for somewhere between 60k and 100k miles worth of petrol.

I'm reminded of people who spend £10k upgrading the windows in their homes to "save money" on heating and cooling. Las time I worked the maths, the "savings" takes about ten years to realize.

"Here, buy this car! Over the life of the car, you'll almost save enough on petrol to have afforded it!"

US woman shot by cast iron stove


Gun Toting?

@Nic Brough,

Well there *was* a time in the US when arms were common enough that you grew up in a culture that pretty much integrated safety into the commonplace aspect. I suspect, if you go back a few years, that the UK enjoyed such a period, at least regionally.

Of course, you're always going to have idiots. I grew up with several. Never had one die from firearms. Had several die from cars + booze, a few from drugs, a couple from sporting accidents. We still kill more people with cars, even with lots of training and practice and licensing. You can't legislate common sense, and when you breed it out of the culture you're going to have increasing amounts of entertaining fail.

BTW, I don't reckon she "shot herself" using any kind of actual firearm, as the muzzle velocities, even from a .22 pistol, aren't going to leave the round in a wound shallow enough for you to pluck the bullet out yourself before going to hospital.

Failing to account for all the rounds . . . ? Easy enough with .22 cartridges if they're "bulk packed" loose in counts of 200 or more. Most of mine are in bulk packs of 400-500, so it would be quite possible to spill a handful and never know if you'd recovered them all.

However, just wadding up a sheet of newspaper that had been under the rounds? Without at least a cursory check first? . . . That's not terribly prudent. I mean, if she had leaned in to apply a poker to the fire, and the "shallow wound" had been on either side of her nose . . .

Very different story.

Oracle shareholders choke on Ellison's package

Thumb Down

Meddling 'Tards


Fail, fail, fail, fail. FAIL!

Idiot meddlers need to STFU.

He's bloody making you wankers rich.

Pay the man his due and (at the risk of repeating myself) STFU!

And, going forward, I think the fucking socialists who are trying to redistribute this man's just desserts are ripe for having a bus dropped on them, from atop a parking structure.

Not that I have any strong feelings in this matter.


'I can see dinosaurs from my back porch'


Knowledge Gaps

@Craig Gorsuch

Interesting rant. Kind of over-making your point a bit, but not to the point where I can't discern it.

I see there are several here who are dismayed that her judgment will "be informed" by her beliefs. If I were going to worry about what informs a leader's judgment, I'd be more worried about beliefs that inform economically catastrophic policies.

I'm both amused and dismayed at the number of clearly intelligent folk who are nonetheless so easily fooled.

There are no end of readers here who still, somehow, after decades of actual revelatory history, believe that Marx is scholarly stuff. Marx is epic fail. And yet, here we are, decades later, with very smart people still endorsing the idea.

Still, in the face of overwhelming evidence, continuing to push the idea that, if we can just do it *hard enough* with enough of someone else's money, we can get it to work.

Yes, if we keep doing the same thing, we will eventually get different results.

And these people are smart. No, I'm not being sarcastic, they really are.

They are also fooled in the most complete way.

Obama is one of those people. Unhappily, there is more. He is the protégé of an unrepentant convicted terrorist. He is the creation of the Chicago Political "machine" and his thinking is "informed" by those views.

Obama is a smart man. I cannot, however, in good conscience, support him, given that 1) he is "informed" by the philosophy of a famously broken economic system, 2) he has surrounded himself with corrupt advisors.

I'm sure he believes he's a good man, and I'm sure he believes he's the right man for the job.

And I completely disagree with him. His thinking, and his foundation ideas, are broken beyond recovery. He's already in his forties. It's not likely that he will have a meaningful epiphany any time soon.

He is damaged goods. Beyond salvage.

Palin? I may not agree with her religious convictions, but it seems to me that she is less dangerous by an order of magnitude.

Probably the biggest thing in her favor is this: hundreds of people I absolutely don't trust are scared to death of her.

That's quite a recommendation.

Will Microsoft ever get the web?


Thenk Yew, Thenk Yew Awl

We, at Microsoft, wish to extend our hearty thanks to the programming community for continuing to endorse and adopt our "Best Guess du Jour" development patterns.

We earnestly believe that these new methodologies will result in increased programmer productivity (despite the need of retraining the whole crew) and result in increased remuneration seen at the bottom line (at least for us) and we encourage you all in the industry to overlook our previous Best-Guess efforts, and recognize this current crop of Best-Guess for the genius that it is.

As always, we promise that, if you adopt our methods, languages, and APIs, your company will remain at the forefront of the technology wave (even if your programmers need to be changed out for newer, more hip, plug-compatible graduates).

Remember, it's important to keep changing the paradigm, as that avoids the risk that a large number of currently productive software engineers will remain relevant, thus keeping salary creep in check while providing jobs for an annual crop of wet-behind-the-ears, clueless-yet-trained-in-what's-current, energetic-and-hip aspirants to the world of IT and Engineering.

Thenk yew awl, and good night.

Samsung unveils Small, Cheap Computer


Battery Lyfe?

Anyone have a fix on the unplugged run time?

I can do ten hours unplugged on my Fujitsu Lifebook with the second battery in.

Less than four hours is completely uninteresting.

I don't mind squinting a little. I mind very much when the thing expires in a long meeting.

FoxNews commentator Bill O'Reilly's website hacked


A Little Fire

A friend of mine was very supportive of the PATRIOT act when it came out.

I told him it was a bad idea. He wanted to know why. I said, "well, you're happy with this kind of power in the hands of today's .gov, but what happens when the opposition are in power -- do you really want THEM to have that kind of "carte blanche" with your rights?"

He thought about it. He reckoned that it would be rolled back before the opposition got into power.

Every time some moron does a high-profile hack like this, and splashes it about we come that much closer to yet another piece of badly-written draconian legislation that will make vaguely and ambiguously defined online "misbehavior" a felony with a mandatory ten-year sentence.

So laugh it up.

Sometimes it's a Reichstag fire. Sometimes it's just a series of annoying-but-public smaller fires.

Sooner or later some politico is going to make his bones by making an example of pimply-faced lads who were just larking about.

And you'll all cry "foul!" when it happens.

Enjoy the laugh while you can.

Did the width move for you, darling?


* Sigh *

Well, I suppose I'll get used to it, as depressing as it is.

Though it gives me a pain in the diodes on my left side.

I kind of liked the old Reg logo. The comfort of the familiar vulture.

Oh, well.

Not that it matters.

I'm not getting you down, am I? I wouldn't want to get you down.

PA Consulting begs for mercy after data loss axing


Human Failure, Indeed

Why, yes, it would be human failure, wouldn't it?

Let's begin with "Human Resources," shall we?

Human resources manages resources that happen to be human. Some several years ago, I worked in Personnel. We didn't have resources. We had people.

Nowadays, we have companies (which aren't human) staffed at the top by "owners" and "directors" and "shareholders" (which also aren't human), hiring resources, some of which are human.

Humans are finicky components. They're supposed to be plug-compatible replacements for one another. If you hire a human engineer, he can be used to replace any other human engineer of the same (or sufficiently similar) specification. Accounting humans can replace other accounting humans. Sales droids -- err, humans -- can be used to replace either sales or marketing humans.

Humans are received, fully programmed, from the Human Preparation Mills (see also "university"), and are supposed to be ready to use, subject only to a brief "initialization" or "orientation" period.

Unhappily, the technology of Human Programming being what it is, these resources are prone to various kinds of failure.

One of the more common failures is a "goals and desires" bug. This bug has supposedly been removed at various stages during the development process of Human Programming, but it continues to crop up unexpectedly (as bugs are wont to do).

In more primitive organizational technologies, e.g. those using people instead of "resource, human" for tasks requiring intelligence, things like goals, desires, feelings, and a quirk often referred to as "life," were expected and simply accounted for in the system design.

With the advent of the more advanced system of "resources" we were to have been relieved of the vagaries of such quirks, having only to deal with the functional interface.

Clearly, there's more work to be done.

I rather suspect that part of the problem here is that the people running the company are, themselves, somewhat human, and this condition has directly contributed to the errors in resource selection, resulting in the employment of a faulty human.

I'd start there. Removal of humans from management and executive positions is the only thing that will solve this chronic problem. Then we can set about seeing to the elimination of these "life-related" quirks from the human drone -- err, resource -- populations.

~~ AG

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