* Posts by JimC

1680 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

How I got horizontal with a gimp and untangled his cables

JimC Silver badge

There was one occasion

When the genuinely easiest option was for me to crawl under the false floor to where it needed to go. Usually I'd just use a bit of string and my wallet as a throwing weight.

UK transport's 'ludicrous' robocar code may 'put lives at risk'

JimC Silver badge

On the other hand

Its already been demonstrated that "safety drivers" will tend to be minimum wage peons with more eyes on the phone than the road, at least once the thing gets vaguely competent. Not that I'm presenting a solution, but there's a definite trap there that needs to be avoided somehow.

JimC Silver badge

Re:It would be nice to see a single cyclist that obeys the highway code.

They do exist. I saw one last year. I was most impressed.And she had decent road awareness as well, which is even more unusual in cyclists.

Jammy dodgers: Boffin warns of auto autos congesting cities to avoid parking fees

JimC Silver badge

Re: when Thatcher said

There seems to be considerable doubt that she ever said it...

Team America tries to crash Little Rocket Man's Joanap botnet from within, warns owners of infected boxes

JimC Silver badge

Re: That explains a lot

Well yes, my first reaction to a communication claiming to be from the FBI about my box having been compromised would be "Yeah right, pull the other one".

Fujitsu says UK Foreign Office can't count in lawsuit over loss of £350m comms contract

JimC Silver badge

> best ways to secure future business is to sue your potential customers.

Oddly, when I've been involved in tendering exercises, "has never sued us" has not been a compliance item, so having done so wouldn't disqualify. Procurement rules don't permit you to eliminate tender on those grounds, as indeed they prohibit you from disqualifying someone on the ground that they are a bunch of useless idiots you wouldn't trust to organise a p**** up in a brewery.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

JimC Silver badge

Re: It's like going into your office and noticing it's dark, so you turn the light on.

But when did you last change a light bulb in your office? We may do it automatically at home, but in the office its frowned on because of ladders, insurance, light fittings that are not straightforward etc etc

JimC Silver badge

Re: Sometimes power-hungry idiotic IT departments are worse.

I've not really come across an IT department that likes making up over restrictive rules for the fun of it. I've come across exasperated IT departments that have over-reacted to constant user idiocy though.

OTOH user idiocy is often related to failures in system design and training, but it can also be related to users who believe they are too busy - or at executive level too important - to devote the time to learning how to do the IT related part of their job properly.

Its also often the case that if x% of users are capable of doing IT administration tasks correctly, the number of users who believe they are capable is x + n%, where n is a number large enough to cause significant grief. And like Gilbert andSullivan's criminals,

The idiot user who cannot be trusted

Looks just the same as any able one

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

JimC Silver badge

Airports are very large places

Something that seems to have escaped a lot of commentators. Tracking these things down, let alone getting within shotgun range or hitting them with another drone seems like a significantly challenging task to me.

My guess is on the more fascist end of the climate change protest scene, although of course simple vandalism is always possible too.

I do like the statement that its not terrorism related. I mean, how do they know?

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

JimC Silver badge

Re: unless ... made so difficult that carrying an ID card makes things ... easier.

What's more a fictitious need for them will appear on every government form. I was recently called up for jury service, and the form contained a list of all the acceptable ID you were supposed to bring, photo id mostly. I plain didn't have it - I have a paper driving license etc etc. so I contacted the court:

"I don't have this ID"

and back came the answer

"doesn't matter, anything will do"

Ecuador says 'yes' to Assange 'freedom' deal, but Julian says 'nyet'

JimC Silver badge

Re:Queue/Cue - Assange is a political prisoner, in the United Kingdom, end of

I suppose you could use the verb form of queue in that context, in which case the sentence would have the sense of some outside party arranging the muppets in a line. Bearing in mind the apparent tin foil hat belief system of the poster, he/she possibly thinks its the CIA placing all their muppets in line.

It does give us an insight into the poster though: rather than admit : "OK I typed queue instead of cue, so what, bite me" we have this aggressive posturing to defend the basically indefensible. Now I think of it that does seem awfully appropriate...

Peers to HMRC: Digital tax reforms 3 days after Brexit? Hold your horses, how 'bout 3 years...

JimC Silver badge

Re: VAT? Huh! What is it good for?

The theory behind Vat is that it is a simplification. Every transaction has VAT on, so there are no exemptions, and no problems with alleged business to business transactions that are retail in disguise, thus fraudulent. Of course it didn't stay as simple as that...

JimC Silver badge

A HMRC spokesman got in touch to defend the department and its approach to the programme –

because everyone who said that this is an upcoming pile of pain and totally impractical got sidelined from the project for not having a "can do" attitude, so the whole thing is being run by a bunch of incurable optimists and posterior lickers with their hands over their ears saying "la la, can't hear any problems"...

At least that would be my guess...

Microsoft sysadmin hired for fake NetWare skills keeps job despite twitchy trigger finger

JimC Silver badge

Re: Easy

The trouble with Netware was that you had to know what you were doing, whereas any idiot could administer Windows server and often did. But once you did know what you were doing it was an infinitely better product. AD was just a horrible lashup by comparison.

That Old Time 2018 IT songbook: Verity, Verity - give us your lyrics, do! We're half crazy, all for the love of you

JimC Silver badge

Did a set of that sort of thing at a work event

We'd just got registered for ISO2000 QA. One song was Katrina and the Waves "Walking on Sunshine" retitles as "Knee deep in paper". Unfortunately I've lost the lyrics, but the chorus was of course "Knee deep in paper whoa-oh"

'Blockchain SAVED my Quango'

JimC Silver badge

This is an example of

Something that depressed me working in Local Government. Most people were cutting expenditure to the bone, working their asses off to do less with more, all the rest of it. And by and large almost everyone was doing less with more.

Yet, somehow, for no logic I could see, money could always be found for pet projects of very limited value. In Surrey, for example, there's a cycle race. Sure they managed to create "business cases" with a bit of creative accounting, but if you really looked it was pretty obvious the emporor had no clothes...

I know what you're thinking: Outsource or in-source IT security? I've worked both sides, so here's my advice...

JimC Silver badge

Re: One line in this article graphically illustrates this above all:

Very much so. And this graphically illustrates the shady practices of the outsourcing industry.

If you outsource something you want the outsourcer to provide a complete service, doing everything a fully competent in house team would do as and when it becomes necessary. But the outsourcer wants a strictly limited menu of tasks so they can price gouge you on so called extras which were omitted from the contract.

JimC Silver badge

The big challenge is - well, catch 22

By the time you have enough expertise in house to properly manage and monitor the outsourced contract you practically have an in house capability. But you can't divert the in house capability to other work, because if they don't stay active and current they won't retain current expertise.

Worldwide Web wizard Tim Berners-Lee sticks wellington boot into Worldwide Web's giants: Time to break 'em up?

JimC Silver badge

Well, grumpy old men are often right

There are those who would argue that's why evolution has generated grumpy old men.

I think the big problem is the way that the net has extended the power of trans national organisations. perhaps the breakup needs to be on a national scale with legislation that companies must exist on a national level and somehow be prevented from offshoring profits. It would sort out a lot in terms of tax problems as well.

Very hard to do well though, I'm not sure I'm clever enough to suggest how it could be done practically.

Dawn of the dead: NASA space probe runs out of gas in asteroid belt after 6.4 billion-mile trip

JimC Silver badge

Kind of a shame

that its not marooned off Vesta rather then Ceres...

Top AI conference NIPS won't change its name amid growing protest over 'bad taste' acronym

JimC Silver badge

Must be kinda hard to find

an acronym that someone somewhere speaking some language or another will not be able to object to, unless you go for something totally unpronounceable, which rather defeats the object of having an acronym.

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz

JimC Silver badge

so IBM won't have to pay the workers at all

AFAICS IBM already pay a lot of people a lot of money to work on Linux. Whatever else they may or may not be aware of they'll be well aware TANSTAAFL...

The best way to screw the competition? Do what they can't, in a fraction of the time

JimC Silver badge

and Corvus Omninet

Our original Lan installation ran on Corvus Omninet. This was a shielded twisted pair installation (as opposed to UTP - unshielded twisted pair - onto which little 5 sided (IIRC) boxes were installed where you wanted a LAN point, which a standard length drop cable ran into. ISTR is was 1MB/S, so 10MB ethernet was a big advance when we moved to that. One of the big advantages of Netware was that it ran on all sorts of different cabling technologies, and would happily route between them with multiple cards on the server. Indeed I recall having a dedicated server with damn all disk space that's only role in life was to route between different cable technologies. I think we had 10base2, 10base2 over fibre, Corvus Omninet and 10baseT all running at the same time at one stage.

10baseT was considered a royal pain in the neck due to the huge physical volume of cabling required compared to the much neater cabling of the bus installations.

Can't get pranked by your team if nobody in the world can log on

JimC Silver badge

On someone's last day

We'd sometimes do a special. One of the ones I recall was a variant on that with a quick vb app as shell which included a screen image of the standard desktop, but which went to a BSD* screen on any keystroke. As we were a Novell shop with Zenworks I could deliver anything I liked to anyone's PC without needing to access their login.

*BSD as in Blue screen of death, not Unix sub species.

London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat

JimC Silver badge

Re: Lets Get Real/Americas Cup

I doubt it: the noise, space, dust, mess and everything else associated with such work would make St Julian seem like a pleasant house guest. But yes, there have been all sorts of shenanigans in the past about nationality restrictions.

JimC Silver badge

Re: Here we go again...

Amazing how many ACs wave the #Idon'tbelieveher flag. Times have changed you know...

Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

JimC Silver badge

See, we're determined to join the main business community

By getting into the practice of offering nice lucrative soft posts to retired politicians* so the ones in power know that if they play nice they could get an enhanced pension plan too...

*can I say depowered politicians?

Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange

JimC Silver badge

BBC Claims: Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder to take legal action against Ecuador


Well, well, well. The man has a unique enthusiasm for biting the hand that feeds him doesn't he...

Bloodhound Super-Sonic-Car lacks Super-Sonic-Cashflow

JimC Silver badge

Always a problem

You read the story of Campbell and his Bluebirds: always struggling for sponsorship money. But the complexity and money needed to reach the sorts of speeds now is just too far. Lower hanging fruit for sponsors elsewhere.

World's largest CCTV maker leaves at least 9 million cameras open to public viewing

JimC Silver badge

Re: Make UK resellers liable

And amazon and ebay vendors will just sell the dodgy kit direct from Elbonia or wherever, and there won't be any UK resellers. Will that help much?

Self-driving cars may not have steering wheels in future, dev preview for PyTorch 1.0 is here, etc

JimC Silver badge

Re: No option of manual control might be

The saviour of the pub trade in the UK. With no option of manual control there ought to be no objection to driving while impaired, so you could go out for a few drinks and take the automatacar home without risking your license.

It's over 9,000! Boffin-baffling microquasar has power that makes the LHC look like a kid's toy

JimC Silver badge


Look at it this way, every time a pedantic nitpicker finds something to criticise then you've made his/her day a happier one...

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

JimC Silver badge

One advantage of getting old

Is that a dim mist has descended over most of my major cockups. I can remember a few of other people's though!

'Incommunicado' Assange anoints new WikiLeaks editor in chief

JimC Silver badge

Umm, wasn't the original problem in the opposite direction?

A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

JimC Silver badge

Re: Profitability

Yep, because if you have to service massive corporate debt then margins, thus prices have to go up. And then the death spiral.

Scottish brewery recovers from ransomware attack

JimC Silver badge

this selfish “only our bottom line matters”

"And that is called paying the Dane-geld;

But we've proved it again and again,

That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld

You never get rid of the Dane.

Euro bureaucrats tie up .eu in red tape to stop Brexit Brits snatching back their web domains

JimC Silver badge

> Registries with strict eligibility requirements always have smaller numbers of registrations

Bearing in mind the percentage of registrations that are

a) Spammy or

b) pointless duplications or

c) crime related or

d) cyber squat or otherwise bad faith

I'm not convinced this is a bad thing unless you run a domain registry...

Article 13 pits Big Tech and bots against European creatives

JimC Silver badge

Re: copyright mafia...

One of the greatest triumphs of fake news, big lies and useful idiots is the way that rights societies, basically co-operatives of small people, have been successfully portrayed as big business, and Google et al as the defenders of freedom. Even the media companies are minnows compared to the 800lb gorilla, and yet there are still people all over this thread who fall for it...

Expanding Right To Be Forgotten slippery slope to global censorship, warn free speech fans

JimC Silver badge

Re: should SEO be made illegal?

Its a nice thought. I'm not sure I can see a downside. I'm certainly struggling to think of one...

Sextortion scum armed with leaked credentials are persistent pests

JimC Silver badge

Re: Why me?

Why on earth would they bother to choose when its so much easier to just mail everyone on their list?

PPI pushers now need consent to cold-call you

JimC Silver badge

Re: They'll then move on to something else

late air flight compensation looks a likely candidate...

Judge bars distribution of 3D gun files... er, five years after they were slapped onto the web

JimC Silver badge

Re: Why didnt they make an engine then?

Company manufactures 2 Stroke engine as demonstration piece

- Press coverage one paragraph on the bottom of page 15 of a trade magazine

Company manufactures gun as demonstration piece

- Press coverage worldwide front pages.

Can we look forward to them making some kind of sex toy next as a technology demonstration?

A third of London boroughs 'fess to running unsupported server software

JimC Silver badge

The FoI – a glorified sales pitch –

Exactly. How much time would you want your council's staff to take off doing something useful like supporting the end users to respond to something like that. 5 minutes? One minute?

London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail

JimC Silver badge
Big Brother

Pedantic Geography

I contest that West Sussex adjoins London. There's still a few miles of Surrey and Kent that the GLC hasn't subsumed...

Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

JimC Silver badge

Re: You may be missing careful wording folks...

Or, now I think of it, it was sloppy wording, and they never intended to directly blame the IT system, just explain that they had all new letter templates which hadn't been properly checked.

JimC Silver badge

You may be missing careful wording folks...

“We’ve been trialling a new IT printing system" - Presumably true

"a number of mistakes were unfortunately not picked up before this letter was dispatched.” - obviously true

However they don't actually say the IT system was responsible for the mistakes, although quite probably the mistakes were made as a result of changing to the new printing system, they just weren't made *by* the printing system...

JimC Silver badge

Re: Surely...To the wrong payee,

If you think the banks check all that stuff much any more you can send me a cheque for 50 quid signed Michael Mouse and we'll see what happens...

New age discrim row: Accenture, Facebook sued by sales boss for favoring 'new blood'

JimC Silver badge

The Mooks, every time

The others are lacking a can-do attitude, it being far more important to have a can-do attitude than actually be able to do...

Oi, clickbait cop bot, jam this in your neural net: Hot new AI threatens to DESTROY web journos

JimC Silver badge

Therein lies the problem - its not the headline..

A headline is designed and intended to be clickbait. What makes it the undesirable side of clickbait is not the headline itself, but the content that it leads to. So, I submit, what is needed is Ais that can determine how worthwhile the content is. Some factors might include:

- More than 300 words of real content per page:

- Less than 3 pages total unless very high word counts

- Images that are not reproduces endlessly elsewhere

- Thumbnail images that are contained in the first page

- unique text

and I'm sure we could add many more...

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