* Posts by JimC

1426 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

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Fan of FBI cosplay? Enjoy freaking out your neighbors? Have we got the eBay auction for you

JimC
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Re: that sounds like it might be evidence

Well, not if they are unused tapes and notebooks.

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Stop all news – it's time for us plebs to be told about BBC paycheques!

JimC
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Re: Crapita and 70% women

The statistic is certainly valueless. Not only do you need to compare it to number of license (un) holders of each sex, but it also needs to be corrected against other factors like income, alternate facilites etc. If more women are prosecuted than men because women far more likely to be on minimal income, then that's certainly a problem, but not down to Capita or the BBC (unless of course we are talking about women who are working for contractors working for the BBC, and who are on mininum wage and minimum hours because all the money is going to Chris Evans et al)

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UK.gov watchdog didn't red flag any IT projects. And that alone should be a red flag to everyone

JimC
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Re: Marking a project as "red" is a Career Limiting Move.

This sentence alone deserves an awful lot of upvotes.

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Tapping the Bank of Mum and Dad: Why your Netflix subscription is poised to rise (again)

JimC
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Re: Uber

If one were a real cynic who had a really low opinion of Uber management one might think that its business plan merely needs to be credible enough to keep the investors coming in and paying the executives all those generous bonuses.

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Australia releases MH370 sea floor data but search is still off

JimC
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Re: Contradicts suggestion drift modeling indicated a different crash location

The wording was always odd and a bit unclear, but the impression I got was that it meant 'Bearing in mind that MH370 doesn't seem o be in the original search area then its most likely to be in this area'

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Kerberos bypass, login theft bug slain by Microsoft, Linux slingers

JimC
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re COMPLETELY NEGATES

Meanwhile, back in the real world...

With closed source if a vendor goes toes up then if their product range has any value then it will be sold to another company and you have a support path provided you trust the new company.

If it hasn't any value then you should be ditching it anyway.

Whereas

With Open source if a development team loses interest then if you are lucky maybe someone else will take it on, and if they turn out to be any good then you have a support path should you wish to wait to find out whether they are in fact adequately competent.

If not then you should be ditching it anyway.

As has been stated numerous times forming your own development team to take on development of an open source product is simply not a sensible option for 99% of companies out there.

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JimC
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Re: Dick?

The huge difference is that society needs this work to be done. If I don't restore the classic boat in *my* garage (struggling to get the right wood) society is no worse off. The point he's making is that if things need to be done within a timescale society needs to figure out a way to pay people for them, because there are few things like the thought of being paid to alter the priority folk put on a project. If society offered to pay me for restoring my boat you can bet it would be finished a whole lot sooner.

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JimC
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Re:It's a statistical thing.

No. The more eyeballs that *do* access it the greater the probability.... A million people with my level of skills could have looked at that code and it would have made not a blind bit of difference. The only eyes that count are those with enough expertise in the particular area to make a useful contribution.

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Electric driverless cars could make petrol and diesel motors 'socially unacceptable'

JimC
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Re: For inner cities/battery charge

If you assume shared vehicles then its straightforward enough for them to return to a base for charging and flag themselves up as unavailable when the battery hits a trigger level. There'll need to be some smart logic in the system so that maximum numbers of vehicles are available and charged at times of peak demand, but this is scarcely conceptually difficult. I would see someone like TFL being the broker as it were for the service, and then private companies could tender to supply vehicles to TFL so there would be no monopoly supplier. If you like you can imagine 1st, 2nd and 3rd class cabs at different rates and other subtleties, but it out not be very different from a sort of self delivering and selfreturning Boris bike.

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JimC
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For inner cities

Its quite easy to imagine a sort of automated electric taxi service, because usage will be high enough and dead time low enough. It would fight against energy usage of course, but automated interior cleaning would solve a lot of problems with multi use vehicles, and if lead times were short enough there could be something like a "reject if filthy" option wherupon it would go back to base for a deep clean.

Long distance transport, and the countryside, on the other hand would be quite a different proposition.

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AI vans are real – but they'll make us suck at driving, warn boffins

JimC
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Re: traffic flows better -

Firstly it doesn't, I've not heard of a town that doesn't fall into chaos if the automation fails, and secondly these days road layout design and light sequencing is intended to minimise accidents, not to maximise traffic flow, and the stats suggest they are really doing rather well at that.

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JimC
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Re: HGV drivers are already at a disadvantage

Why does that place them at a disadvantage? Its only doing what a competent driver should do anyway. Or are you advocating AI road rage and tailgating?

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Two-factor FAIL: Chap gets pwned after 'AT&T falls for hacker tricks'

JimC
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Re: Speculation on my part: It did.

Especially as we can bet that ATT get any number of genuine calls saying precisely that...

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Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

JimC
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Re: the clock is ticking, don't expect it to last

Funnily enough as soon as we found the problem we threw everyone off the systems, shut everything down cleanly, turned the power off and got an AC engineer and a water pump.

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JimC
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Re: power rails would get submerged, short and the RCD's/breakers would blow

To my astonishment when we had a major AC plumbing failure all the servers and power breakers were working just fine with the under floor sockets and plugs under 6 inches of water.

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Behind the scenes of Slovaks' fight to liberate their .sk domain

JimC
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Dulled innovation at the registry?

Sounds like everything that has gone wrong with domain management... But I'm the sort of dinosaur who thought the system we had before domain registries was best - you demonstrated a need for one domain to your domain admin, who allocated you one. Commercial registries and the resultant cybersquatting was the start of a whole host of evils...

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Google blows $800k on bots to flood the UK with 30,000 'articles' a month

JimC
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Re: They came for the journalists, but I was not a journalist...

Dare we hope they come for the lawyers next?

But actually they came for the semi skilled and low paid jobs first...

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Boffins with frickin' laser beams chase universe's mysterious trihydrogen

JimC
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Re why the interest in making H3 from hydrocarbons ?

Because we can?

from the linked paper again,

"The study of laser-matter interactions using intense laser fields has been an active area of research since the emergence of femtosecond lasers and has led to the discovery of several interesting phenomena"

It goes on to say that early research has concentrated on atoms, but is moving on to the much more complicated things involved in molecules, and one presumes methane based molecules are relatively simple and well understood. The impression I get from the paper is not that this is a radical new development, but simply another step on a path that's already identified.

After all isn't the reason for and interest in doing pure research into weird stuff very much that you don't know where it will end up?

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JimC
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The original paper includes "Formed via an efficient ion-neutral bi-molecular reaction, H2+ + H2 → H3+ + H, trihydrogen cations can be commonly found in hydrogen plasmas." but the paper is actually about working with methyl based hydrocarbon molecules.

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One-third of Brit IT projects on track to fail

JimC
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Re: 257%

Well, wouldn't you rather expect that? If only one or even two of those things are problems then the project can probably be salvaged: its really when several of them are working together that the project is doomed...

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HMS Windows XP: Britain's newest warship running Swiss Cheese OS

JimC
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Windows XP will not be used ... when the ship becomes operational,”

Well, there you are. The ship is yet some years away from being operational. Apart from anything else she cannot be considered operational wihout an air group, and right now it could be argued that the nearest thing the Navy has to a fixed wing airgroup that could operate off HMS White Elephant are the Swordfish operated by the RN Historical flight...

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Linus Torvalds slams 'pure garbage' from 'clowns' at grsecurity

JimC
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Re: but he's not a leader.

He clearly is a successful leader, since a co-operative project has achieved a great deal under his leadership. But then Genghis Khan and Attilla the Hun were successful leaders too.

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Waymo: We've got a hot smoking gun in Uber 'tech theft' brouhaha

JimC
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> Smells like a publicity stunt to me.

While it sure seems suspicious, isn't one of the lessons of the Internet that there is no proposition, however weird or unhealthy, that you cannot find some support for out in internetland?

And also we might consider that the place where one is most likely to find people that revel in a toxic, immoral culture is smack bang in the middle of that culture.

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Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

JimC
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Re: my wife was shaken

We live in a society that regularly depicts and even glorifies rape, assault, murder, organised crime and goodess knows what else in fictional entertainment on TV, computer and cinema screens. In many ways I find that much *more* disturbing than paying attention to the real thing. Of course it may be that nothing of that sort ever gets onto a screen in your home. However if it does, then perhaps...

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From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong

JimC
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Re:well aware that he couldn't control the sea.

Which demonstrates that the art of taking your opponents words and twisting them to mean something quite the opposite to what was intended is probably as old as politics. Nothing new about fake news...

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Stack Clash flaws blow local root holes in loads of top Linux programs

JimC
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Re: Unlock only the relevant bits for the relevant users.

And you'll still end up having to unlock it every time there's the tiniest problem because question 1 on the script being run by the 1st line support at the vendor is "has it got administrator access", and you need to get past that before you get to anyone who might actually have a clue.

Also by the time you've opened up everything that's needed for whatever cocktail of applications the user is running, and then considered the overlaps then all too often you end up with either an unmaintainable mish mash of dozens of different configurations, or else so many exceptions they may as well have admin access anyway.

Its all very depressing...

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BOFH: Halon is not a rad new vape flavour

JimC
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Re: Data Migration is hard

Agreed in spades, but in the (admittedly unlikely) event you have sufficient contingency in the project plan you can iterate time time and again until its finally reasonable. But the intial estimate will probably be out by an enormous margin, and if sufficient time *is* built in to the project plan then your in house price is going to look extremely expensive against the external quotes that have all the drawbacks and inaccuracies listed above.

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EU regulators gearing up to slap Google with €1bn fine – reports

JimC
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Re: Perhaps fine the top executives 1% of worth per week...

That would only work if you could figure out a way to stop the executives working out a way to indirectly be, well, compensated for the fines. If not at the same time, at some time in the future. We are, after all, talking about organisations that excel at moving money about so that the lady can never be found.

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Yet more reform efforts at the Euro Patent Office, and you'll never guess what...

JimC
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Re: The fail safe should be journalists

Absolutely not. The system should contain its own checks, balances and monitoring so that it can heal itself long before the situation gets rancid enough for journos to become aware. The trouble is that a system of checks and balances can look like unnecessary overheads which could be cut, most especially, as we see here, when the person most needing checking and balancing is at the top making the cuts.

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Microsoft officially hangs up on old Skype phones, users fuming

JimC
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Big Brother

Re: Never count on MS

Fair comment, but which tech supplier would you suggest counting on?

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

JimC
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Re: IRA

The big difference was that the IRA had a very limited supply of would be terrorists who were generally intended to survive their missions in order to execute another one. By contrast the Islamists have a more generous supply of prospective terrorists and their leaders positively prefer them not to survive.

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Who will banish spy-cam drones from US skies? The FAA doesn't want to do it. EPIC disagrees

JimC
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You folks do realise what this means...

Its a government agency refusing to extend its mission and stick its fingers in more pies... How often does that happen?

Admittedly its probably because they recognise that taking on drone regulation would be not so much a can of worms as a whole tanker load of vicious flesh eating worms with razor sharp teeth but still...

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Microsoft totters from time machine clutching Windows 10 Workstation

JimC
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Re:a refreshing new look

By and large, though, your average corporate user doesn't want a refreshing new look. They just want it to work every minute of all day and every day in exactly the same way yesterday, today and tomorrow so they can get on with their jobs and not worry about the damn IT delivery.

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UK PM Theresa May's response to terror attacks 'shortsighted'

JimC
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Re: The purpose of knee jerk laws...

Stuff and nonsense. The purpose of knee jerk laws is to look good in the newspaper as quickly as possible with minimum effort.

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IBM: ALL travel must be approved now, and shut up about the copter

JimC
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Re: Vultures

maximising shareholder value and retaining top quartile executives...

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The biggest British Airways IT meltdown WTF: 200 systems in the critical path?

JimC
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> our Meridian was up for over a well over a decade,

Oh you can achieve five 9s, with a bit of luck and a following wind, its guaranteeing it when all the worst cases happen together that's the tricky bit.

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JimC
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200 Applications?

In local Government IT, which has a very diverse user base, getting down to only 200 applications would have been beyond my wildest dreams. Counting PC client only applications it was well into 4 figures.

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JimC
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> It was as though no one knew servers could multi-task !!

Always seemed to me the vast majority of suppliers would only guarantee support for their systems, especially windows systems, if they were the only one on the box. As boxes are cheap and support is expensive then one box per system, no matter how stupid, was the sensible option. If you have multiple software vendors on the same box the first response to any problems is almost guaranteed to be finger pointing.

And don't give me 'you should migrate to Linux'. Firstly Linux suppliers weren't much better and secondly if the Windows system is the one that meets the users' perceived needs best then you're stuck with it unless you run a remarkably dysfunctional non customer foccused shop.

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First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired

JimC
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> I would think that the new starter had plenty of legal recourse

I wouldn't have thought so. Unless I'm very out of date, isn't it usual for new starters to be on a month's trial? All that would be needed would be to put the victim on gardening leave for the rest of the month.

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Boffins find evidence of strange uranium-producing bacteria lurking underground

JimC
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Re: This is ridiculous

Its just a dubious headline. Assuming the effect occurs the bacteria will be producing Uranium by concentrating it, not creating it.

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JimC
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Re: I wonder how the creationists explain that?

If you already believe that the universe and all plant and animal species were created by an external agent: eg deity, and that the deity intervenes from time to time, then the creation of new species of bacteria as part of that intervention is hardly a stretch. Indeed if the existence of said agent is taken as a given it could be argued that specific creation of such bacteria by said external agent to assist with divine plan is rather more likely than them just having conveniently evolved by chance.

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BA IT systems failure: Uninterruptible Power Supply was interrupted

JimC
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Re: Nothing leaked to El Reg

I have known cases where everyone concerned has been very careful not to pin down the exact cause too precisely, just in case it turns out to be their side of the fence.

This may well be the case. If it was indirectly due to inadequacies in the outsourced service then the person who points it out will be making top executives look foolish, and pointing out the state of the emperors clothes is usually followed by a man with a large weapon telling you what you didn't see. If it were in house then you're making in house liable to be outsourced, and if its a UK contractor jobs will be at risk as well. So it may well be in no-one's interests to define the rot cause to accurately to senior management.

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Your emotionally absent pic-snapping partner's going to look you in the eye again

JimC
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"privacy is theft"

Ah yes, the maxim that big internet advertising lives by... (Do no evil is just so, well, last decade...)

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Bank of Canada finds flaws with current blockchain solutions

JimC
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Re: Interesting...

Could well be. But that wouldn't stop a rabid enthusiast/organisation with bee in bonnet jumping in with disregard for the consequences.

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BT considers scrapping 'gold-plated' pensions in bid to plug £14bn deficit

JimC
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Re: We'll need to work longer

Well, that will only work if its possible for 55 plus people to readily get jobs... The way the job market works at the moment all that will happen is that people will be transferred from the pensions list to the dole list.

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Google can't spare 113 seconds of revenue to compile data on its gender pay gap

JimC
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Re: Bullshit

Far be it from me to defend Google, who frankly deserve everything they get for their arrogance, but I bet its more complicated than that. Quite a lot more complicated than that. Traditionally there have been all sorts of ways in which pay inequalities have been inadvertently or even deliberately hidden, and there really is a bit more to doing the sums properly than your suggestion.

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BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

JimC
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Re: Does that really prevent a cleaner

> pulling the plug, trying every which way to plug in the vac,

No, but it did preclude the supposedly intelligent IT staff from plugging the kettle, refrigerator, cooling fan etc into the smoothed clean power supply, which, in those days when a lot of IT equipment was rather less resilient than it is now, was in itself worthwhile. The most valued sockets in the office were the tiny handful, identities as far as possible kept secret, which weren't on the clean power supply but were UPS and generator backed :-)

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JimC
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Re: Really a power failure?

And the code monkeys could never understand why I got upset about them plugging things into the oh so-very-handy waist height sockets labelled 'reserved for vacuum cleaners'.

Funny how intelligent people had so much trouble grasping that the best way to avoid screw ups from minimum cost contract cleaners is to make it about ten times easier to do it right than do it wrong...

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