* Posts by Chris King

783 posts • joined 13 Feb 2009

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You can't find tech staff – wah, wah, wah. Start with your ridiculous job spec

Chris King
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Re: job ads get ignored

"Starting salary £16k with potential for performance related bonuses"

TRANSLATION: The bonus actually goes to your boss, for keeping salary rises to a minimum.

El Reg, we need a "Been There, Done That" t-shirt icon !

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Chris King
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WTF?

Re: Over-selling a company

"...how all the staff meet up for a daily bladdering..."

They're doing Morris Dancing in team meetings now ? Sheesh.

Next thing you know, someone's going to shout "Hey Nonny Nonny" and I shall have to call the police.

(With apologies to Mr E. Blackadder)

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Chris King
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Re: That

The thing that clues me in to "internal candidate" roles is the qualifications/certifications or other bits of paper the "intern^H^H^H^H^Hdeal" candidate should possess - usually the exact combination the "chosen one" already has under their belt.

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Chris King
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I'm surprised they didn't add "Must be accompanied by both parents".

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The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

Chris King
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More and more websites are mining crypto-coins in your browser to pay their bills, line pockets

Chris King
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Every Hertz is Sacred

I'm reminded of a time when our former CTO wanted everything in VMware, and there were various factions doing distributed computing in different ways...

Every Hertz is sacred

Every Hertz is great

If a Hertz is wasted

God gets quite irate

Let the Griddies spill theirs

On the dusty ground

God shall make them pay

For every Hertz that can't be found

Every Hertz is wanted

Every Hertz is good

Every Hertz is needed

In your neighbourhood

Windows, Linux, MacOS

Spill theirs just anywhere

But God loves those who share their

Hertz on VMware

Every Hertz is sacred

Every Hertz is great

If a Hertz is wasted

God gets quite irate

Every Hertz is sacred

Every Hertz is good

Every Hertz is needed

In your neighbourhood

Every Hertz is useful

Every Hertz is fine

God needs everybody's

Mine And mine And mine

Let the Griddies spill theirs

O'er mountain, hill and plain

God shall strike them down for

Every Hertz that's spilt in vain

Every Hertz is sacred

Every Hertz is good

Every Hertz is needed

In your neighbourhood

Every Hertz is sacred

Every Hertz is great

If a Hertz is wasted

God gets quite irate

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Alibaba's Jack Ma says: Relax, we're too wise for robots to take our jobs

Chris King
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Re: Famous last words.

Anyone else imagining a future robot standing over a future Jack Ma, yelling "GET BACK TO WORK, MEATBAG - YOU WERE ALLOWED A TOILET BREAK LAST WEEK" ?

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Support team discovers 'official' vendor paper doesn't rob you blind

Chris King
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As the old, old saying goes...

Even Duct Tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the sound.

And I'll have to re-post this.

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Chris King
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Re: Common English words with very different meanings.....

Jasper Carrott commented on that in one of his sketches, and if I remember rightly he said something about a sign in his hotel room... "DMo not stick Durex to the walls".

Yes, mine's the one with the unbranded adhesive tape in the left pocket.

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Ex-Harrods IT man cleared of stealing company issued laptop

Chris King
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Trollface

This was Harrods, so not "Open All Hours".

You can keep the gloves, I've got a box of latex ones handy for those "special" cases.

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Chris King
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So, someone comes in off the street with a corporate laptop, and asks you to break in to it for them ? That's a potential case for "handling stolen goods" before you even get to any privacy or computer misuse offences.

(The device was issued to him by an employer for work purposes, and they subsequently terminated his contract)

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Chris King
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"The first thing that anyone with a work laptop should be told is - Any data on this device is ours"

Or just say "No personal use whatsoever" from the get-go.

Allowing personal usage without establishing any sort of boundaries can be a real nightmare in situations like this, or where an employee dies in service and there's personal stuff on the device.

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Chris King
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Re: I assume IT Worker here means...

"...a project manager/business analyst/scrum master"

Or as one colleague once said of another "So you said she's a Scrum Five or something ?"

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Chris King
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Re: IT worker?

"However, the correct process is to let that data be extracted by the employer and have it signed off. That's just safer for all involved".

Or even safer, not putting any personal stuff on a work-supplied device in the first place. If you don't control the device, you've no idea where your data could end up, assuming someone doesn't accidentally remote-wipe the kit with a fat-fingered typo.

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Ex-sperm-inate! Sam the sex-droid 'heavily soiled' in randy nerd rampage

Chris King
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Scott Adams is ahead of us again...

1994 !!!

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IKEA flat-packs TaskRabbit to crack assembly code

Chris King
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So now you can hire someone to squint at the three sets of instructions in the box (none of which matches the actual contents) while scratching their arse and saying "I can't work it out either" ?

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Vibrating walls shafted servers at a time the SUN couldn't shine

Chris King
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VMS documentation

Who remembers the "Blue/Orange/Grey Wall" ? Your little MicroVAX would be delivered on one pallet, the VMS documentation kit would turn up in another.

V6 was the beginning of the end, when they started shipping the "White Shelf" paperback manuals. Nowadays, you have to check the box in case you accidentally threw out the CD.

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Shock! Hackers for medieval caliphate are terrible coders

Chris King
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Re: People who want to kill other people for stupid sky fairy reasons are not clever

"I hope this doesn't offend the FSM or he will send his pirates to deal with the HMS QE".

Nah, he'll just point and laugh at all the sailors on the flight deck wagging their fingers at him as if to say "naughty naughty". It's not like they've got any planes or weapons worth a damn on it right now.

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Chris King
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Re: People who want to kill other people for stupid sky fairy reasons are not clever

Jihads, Crusades, Intifadas - they're all the same. Fighting and killing in the name of a deity, usually on the orders of mad old men in dresses.

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Chris King
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Re: As per usual -

"...they find it easier to destroy than to create"

So they're like half-arsed Mysterons then ?

(Sorry h4rm0ny, couldn't resist with that handle)

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Daily Stormer binned by yet another registrar, due to business risks

Chris King
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"Martian Separatists"

Dear easyDNS

Why does easyDNS provide services to the Mysterons, a known terrorist organization ?

Regards

Paul Metcalfe (Captain)

Spectrum

P.S.

The imagery of Captain Black dropping his trousers and throwing his feces at the police has put me off my dinner.

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Google to kill its Drive file locker in two confusing ways

Chris King
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Re: What will people make of this?

I tend to use the phrase "permanent beta" for Google services.

Remember Google Wave ? I remember lots of folks raving about that when it came out - the product Google loved SO much, they couldn't even be bothered to spell-check the closedown notice...

I've still got the e-mail that says "Google Wage is closing down".

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Chris King
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Re: Yandex

"... getting 42Gb free for life was a bonus"

When it comes to free stuff, "life" can have many different definitions:

(1) What they imply: Your life. Yeah, right ;

(2) What they really mean: Meh, we'll can it when we can't be bothered any more ;

(3) If you're really lucky: As long as we keep the VC cash rolling in.

Mind you, paying for a service doesn't always mean you get treated any better. See the publication date on that article ? THAT's the day Nuance announced that he Paperport Anywhere service was shutting down - and most PaperPort users only found out by e-mail the following day.

That's right kids, most folks got less than two weeks' notice to find a new cloud provider and move their stuff - no alternative service, no backup plan, nothing. "We'd like to help you, but we're a bit tired right now" is the most charitable way I could describe that situation.

imagine going off for two weeks holiday on Friday the 15th, and coming back to that on Monday March 4th - all your docs in the cloud have evaporated, with no hope of recovery because the storage has already been re-purposed for another customer.

Enjoy the freebies while you can, but always make sure you've got a Plan "B" in case someone pulls the plug. At the end of the day, you're just a guest on someone else's computer.

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User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

Chris King
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Re: As any good medical professional will tell you

Reading this straight after the posts about Laserjet 4300DTN's did make me boggle.

If some can insert a LaserJet into somewhere it's not meant to go, I'd have to salute them... while running to minimum safe distance. I suspect it would involve a steam hammer and a very large amount of Vaseline.

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User thanked IT department for fast new server, but it had never left its box

Chris King
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Re: A couch?!

"Couch? With my IT budget they are lucky to get an airbed and a hairdryer to blow it up with".

"What do you mean, you want a hairdryer to inflate it with ? Haven't you got lungs ?!"

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Two million customer records pillaged in IT souk CeX hack attack

Chris King
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Re: Onliner Spambot

I had 213 addresses reported for my personal domain.

Over 200 of them were randomly-generated, "guessed" stuff like admin@, billing@, sales@ (none of which existed), some German ones (direktor@, sekretariat@) and a bunch of usenet post-IDs. Less than 10 were recognisable and most of these were associated with previous vendor leaks.

711 million addresses maybe, but nowhere near that number will be real or valid. Remember, this is something the spammers were using to send mail, so they didn't care about validity.

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Brazilians waxed: Uni's Tor relay node booted after harvesting .onions

Chris King
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Re: Self-important little pricks

You're right - the Guidelines have no legal force, but from the original posts it seems that they have banned this particular node for an action listed in those guidelines:

https://www.mail-archive.com/tor-relays@lists.torproject.org/msg11947.html

Not so much legal force, more like a community shunning someone for not following their rules ?

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Chris King
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Re: Self-important little pricks

"In other words, Tor's ethical guidelines don't apply to them".

Sadly, AC is right. Some researchers need to learn that The Internet Is Not Your Chew-Toy.

"Doing Research" does not give you the right to be a dick towards other people on campus or elsewhere on the internet. There have been times where I've had to pull the plug on research projects that have accidentally DDoS'd other sites, or attempted to access traffic that was not intended for them. There have also been times where I've had to firewall off projects that were in danger of being attacked/misused themselves.

If that relay node had been compromised, it would have made one hell of a "listening post" for pretty much anybody with an interest in intercepting Tor traffic - law enforcement, three-/four-letter security agencies, hostile foreign powers, criminals, take your pick.

I've no sympathy for these guys, because there are clear guidelines for research ethics:

4. Examples of unacceptable research activity

It is not acceptable to run an HSDir, harvest onion addresses, and publish or connect to those onion addresses.

Could they be any clearer ? Harvesting .onions is bad, mmmkay.

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Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone

Chris King
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My rules of engagement with speakerphones

(1) Tell the other party you're switching to speakerphone '

(2) Tell them who else is listening in on the call at your end;

(3) Check that they're okay with that before proceeding ;

(4) Assume that the person at the other end has gone to speakerphone anyway and hasn't afforded you the same courtesies, so be careful what you say ;

Put another way - always assume your audience is bigger than you think it is, and don't make any assumptions about who's listening in at the other end. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt that says "Sorry I can't sit down, my arse just got kicked big style".

Mine's the one with the armour in the seat region.

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CrashPlan crashes out of cloudy consumer backup caper

Chris King
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Re: Although it's a bit crap....

Nuance customers who were using PaperPort Anywhere got all of two weeks notice, when their cloud provider changed hands. Imagine coming back to that after a fortnight's holiday !

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10% of UK's top firms would be screwed in a cyber attack – survey

Chris King
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"We get one staff member murdered a decade.

Our processes aren't perfect, but they are well rehearsed".

Boy, you've got some rough employee termination procedures there !

Mine's the one with the Kevlar lining...

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Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

Chris King
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Re: Client support, we've heard about it

"When we migrated from Notes to Outlook we had loads of IT guys run around in red T shirts for this very reason".

So you were expecting the users to eat, crush, or disintegrate your staff ?

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Chris King
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Re: Client support, we've heard about it

In a previous job, a lecturer stormed into my office, dragged me into a lab and tore me a new orifice in front of his students, because he claimed the PC's I installed were crap and buggy.

Seems he was trying to teach final-year Informatics students Visual Basic (!), and was having problems that were caused by his own incompetence with VB.

I handled that situation in a way that he didn't bargain for.

He expected me to justify myself and apologise to his students.

I just took over his class for a bit and answered questions from the students, while he sat at a desk fuming.

Sure, I had a good case for assault, and I could have raised a case with HR, but I figured the student feedback at the end of the module would sting a whole lot more.

"The sysadmin guy taught us more about VB in fifteen minutes than the lecturer managed in a term" was particularly satisfying.

Revenge is a dish best served on something they can't smack you over the head with.

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Guess who's hiking their prices again? Come on, it's as easy as 123 Reg

Chris King
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Re: I have a couple with them

I'll second that recommendation - I've been with Mythic Beasts for nearly 10 years and they've been consistently good. They're not the cheapest, but support and customer service is excellent.

Fonant's advice on transfer is spot-on - the only difficult bit will be getting 123-Reg to change the IPS Tag. I've seen people wait for over a week for this to happen - it should be an almost instant process, other than some sanity-checking to make sure that you're not someone else trying to snaffle the domain.

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Chris King
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Re: That picture

The poor guy's brain burned out trying to work out how to transfer his domains out of 123-Reg ?

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Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'

Chris King
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We got this far talking about HR without a link to Catbert ?

Maybe the head of Human Resources should be a human.

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Blocking peeps on social media? That's a paddlin' for governors, senators, house reps

Chris King
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I just about remember the "Burger Wars" stories, they haven't been reprinted for a very long time due to legal issues but that changed a couple of years back.

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We'll deliver 'in a few weeks' says troubled ZX Spectrum reboot firm

Chris King
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Re: Indiegogo

"Scam after fail after scam after fail".

I do laugh at some of the projects on Indiegogo.

This one always cracks me up because:

(a) You're going to look like a total spanner riding this through an airport departure lounge ;

(b) The sheer number of batteries are going to make it impractical as carry-on luggage, and

(c) Imagine what's going to happen if it falls out of the overhead luggage compartment. (Can you say "SQUISH!", children ?)

Having said that, not all Indiegogo projects are scams. Marty the Robot turned up the other day, a little later than advertised but with all functionality as promised.

What's not to like about this little guy ?

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No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

Chris King
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I've got one too, but adding smarts would mean having to add more buttons - the manual is like a giant list of Konami Codes as it is.

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Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC

Chris King
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Pint

Re: First Window NT machine on a network

The next morning an email went out to the whole company (many thousands of people) that stated "Windows NT is not allowed to be installed on any machine in the company"

In my last gig, I helped install a bunch of NT4 Workstations, which due to the network topology got in a permanent Browse Master Election with an Alpha running DEC Advanced Server [1].

For various reasons, adding a WinNT 4 Server to act as a WINS server wasn't an option, so I put Samba on a Tru64 box and pointed everything at that for WINS - with the "OS level" byte set to 255 to out-rank everything else as Domain Master Browser. Not an ideal solution, but Advanced Server was pretending to be NT 3.51 and thus outranked by all the NT4 boxes.

Imagine all these machines spamming the network with packets, and this thing suddenly turns up screaming "I am Windows 25.5 from the far future ! KNEEL BEFORE ZOD !!!"

[1] "Advanced", my fat hairy arse. Pathworks/PCSA with a different label. Pint, because I'm not drinking enough to forget that.

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US vending machine firm plans employee chip implant scheme

Chris King
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What REALLY worries me about this...

...is they found fifty willing volunteers.

Fifty people WANTING to have a voluntary medical procedure, to make life easier for an "at-will" employer.

What next, voluntary brainwashing parties ? "Hey, they're offering free drugs !"

*facepalm*

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Chris King
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And you think "card clash" is bad enough...

...but what if you end up in a situation where you've got several of these things in your body ? Making sure they're all far enough apart could be interesting...

"Let's see... Right hand for work access control, left hand for Oyster, right buttock for Tesco Clubcard"

(Tesco are issuing contactless Clubcards now, so I really shouldn't be giving them any ideas)

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Ubiquiti firmware patch stomps nasty redirect bug from login screen

Chris King
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In other news...

It seems they've been listening to previous concerns about PHP too, removing it completely from the EdgeRouter series in the latest firmware...

"[WebGUI] Remove PHP and rewrite web backend to Python.

Warning !!! if you use some 3rd party software that depends on PHP then you will need to install PHP manually because PHP will not be included in EdgeRouter firmware anymore."

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Volterman 'super wallet': The worst crowdsource video pitch of all time?

Chris King
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Pint

Re: Target audience?

"So this is targeted at forgetful, know fuck-nothing about technology, bearded hipsters? Or more precisely their wallets?"

IndieGoGo - the place where shysters go to fleece bearded hipsters, by offering to solve a first-world problem they never knew they had in the first place.

If it's got a feckin' huge battery in it, uses the word "smart" in the description or starts talking about "nanoparticles" like they're some miracle product, a project is probably overselling itself.

Pint, because we probably need a drinking game for IndieGoGo product descriptions.

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User filed fake trouble tickets to take helpful sysadmin to lunches

Chris King
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Re: Has a customer ever apologised to you?

"Do you work in our server team? They appear to be powered by confectionaries.."

Better that, than being powered by caffeine and hate.

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Chris King
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Sometimes, you get a good one...

One academic bought me a rather nice bottle of wine, and one user bought me the Dilbert "Hands-On Manager" mug after walking him through a difficult issue.

Most of the time, the students would say thank-you at the end of the year with a big bar of Fruit and Nut. I didn't have the heart to tell them I had a nut allergy, but my colleagues did well out of that arrangement.

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Security robot falls into pond after failing to spot stairs or water

Chris King
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Re: We have known for years

Real Daleks don't worry about stairs. Real Daleks just level the building.

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Chris King
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You've met RoboCop...

...now meet Not-Much-Cop.

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Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise

Chris King
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Re: It's a phase young programmers go through

When it achieves sentience, we should make it fight a death-match with Emacs.

Darkened room, two half bricks.

Once one beats the other to death, we shoot the victor as it staggers out.

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