* Posts by J.G.Harston

1537 posts • joined 4 Mar 2009

Sysadmin hailed as hero for deleting data from the wrong disk drive

J.G.Harston
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Re: 512 MiB of misery

I can't understand the number of times I've seen people who have somehow got it into their minds that the way to power off some equipment and power it back on again is to flash the power switch as fast as possible, presumably to try and get the equipment to not actually notice the power has actually gone off. When I was teaching summer school in the 1980s *EVERY* *WEEK* I had to clip some sod around the ear to stop them doing it. "Your parents have already paid 400 quid for you to be here, do you want them paying another 400 quid to replace that computer?"

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Privacy group asks UK politicos to pinky swear not to use personal data for electioneering

J.G.Harston
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It's ten years or so since I was involved in canvassing and leafletting, but the database$ we used has "do not mail", "do not phone"*, "do not email"# flags, and if you ask not to be mailed/phoned/emailed the flags should be set and you should not be sent anything addressed to you. However, it's impossible to stop you being sent unaddressed literature as it has no address on it so it's impossible to remove the literature that's addressed to you as it isn't addressed to you.

*should be set automatically via the monthly TPS update

#as i understand the GDPR should now be automatically opted out until you provide an email address and tick the 'yes I'd like emails' or don't tick the 'don't send me emails' box.

$tho' the current system is so user-unfriendly compared to what we used ten years ago, whenever I have to use it I end up running away in frustration for so long my password expires.

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J.G.Harston
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So, if as part of my election campaign I put out a survey or knock on doors asking "which party are you likely to support at next year's election?" and residents return that to me, I'm not allowed to use it? So, how the hell do candidates wanting people to vote for them find out if people want to vote for them if they are not allowed to remember what voting intention people have told them?

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US Congress mulls expanding copyright yet again – to 144 years

J.G.Harston
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Re: The Kings Warrant

Last time I checked, in UK copyright law a corporate author is deemed to have died when they authored the work, so the post-death copyright period starts immediately.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Creative Commons

Not "puts it" in the public domain, "makes it" public domain. *putting* something in the public domain is the act of making it public - ie, publishing it. *MAKING* something public domain is extinguishing copyright controls on it. And even if you keep your copyright control over something, you are completely and utterly able to use that control to grant complete and utter freedom of use and reproduction of it.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: As many have observed

That could actually work. Copyright extends after the author's death by half the age of the author at death. So, write a novel at 99, die at 100, copyright lasts another 50 years. Write a novel at 19, die at 30, copyright lasts another 15 years.

None of which addresses the issue of the author being a corporation with perpetual succession, so never dies. UK copyright law deals with this by declaring that the corporate authorship dies after a defined time at which point the death+plus bit kicks in.

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Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

J.G.Harston
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Re: Stop....

A restroom would be somewhere you have a rest, so low tables, kettle, tea/coffee, fridge, magazines, comfy settees.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: We need some ...

At Uni there were notices telling people not to dispose of their *dumps* in the sanitary bin.

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Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

J.G.Harston
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Re: Lavatory!

I would prefer you to ensure the liquid goes where it should do than insure that it does.

ensure = put procedures in place to prevent failure

insure = put procedures in place to recover after failure

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J.G.Harston
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Re: The most amazing engineering

Kudos to another engineer who put the time into local government. We need more there to counterbalance the muesli-eating arts and politics graduates who think that science is a matter of opinion.

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J.G.Harston
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Isn't Filton where the MJN airdot is based?

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UK Parliament roars: Oi! Zuck! Get in here for a grilling – or you'll get a Tower of London tour

J.G.Harston
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You can't "agreed" to attend a hearing you're summonsed to - your summonsed to it, you are *REQUIRED* to attend. That the whole point of what the the word means.

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No top-ups, please, I'm a millennial: Lightweight yoof shunning booze like never before

J.G.Harston
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Where I am there's been a big move away from pubs and back to the beer houses we had in the 19th century - think "licensed non-food cafe" - just a shop without all the expensive accutrements of the huge building, exempli gratia.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: re: If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

Campaigns often have more door-knockers than clerical people keeping up with entering the data and producing new knock-up lists with those already voted taken off. Even with newfangled cloud apps you still get people more confident with a clipboard, and you'll often find it takes a couple of streets before you get a signal to send the updates to Cloud Central, and some systems don't give door-knockers the permissions to update the database themselves and the data goes into a virtual pile for the data manager to approve.

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if dev == woman then dont_be(asshole): Stack Overflow tries again to be more friendly to non-male non-pasty coders

J.G.Harston
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Re: There should be a few rules for SO

Too many *do* ask the wrong question, the one that I have to answer most often is:

"how do I read the current directory?"

What do you mean by "read the current directory"? Read the name of the current directory giving an example result of "progs" or an example result of "/usr/fred/coding/prog"? Sample code here. Or reading the *contents* of the current directory, ie *scanning* the current directory, giving an example result of "config", "host", "main", "setup", "verset". Sample code here.

Often people *do* ask the wrong question, which *requires* spoonfeeding and correcting their terminology to get to the right answer and stop them using the wrong words to look for the answer in future.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Getting mighty tired with the dumb snowflakes already!

*SEX* is a biological imperative, but *gender* is a social construct.

To put it simply, sex it what's between your legs, gender is what's between your ears.

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Can't log into your TSB account? Well, it's your own fault for trying

J.G.Harston
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My list of French films includes Amélie, that bicyling animation one, and that one about two lovers who drown the third party in the swimming pool.

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J.G.Harston
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I was in my mid-30s by the time I managed to catch Dumbo all the way through on the TV, and realised I'd already seen all of it via dozens of 5-minute clips on Screen Test.

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Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive

J.G.Harston
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Re: Angry client rolled over the Ethernet patch cable with his office chair

I worked in an Listed Building and we used sticky pad clippy things to "clip" the network cables along unintrusive bits of wall. The electrics, however, had been put in about 50 years before it was listed.

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J.G.Harston
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"over-paid and under-skilled"? Luxury! Try under-paid and over-skilled.

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Oh dear... Netizens think 'private' browsing really means totally private

J.G.Harston
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These are like the people who would tell me their telephone number, then complain when I phoned them "how did you get my number??? I'm ex-directory!!!!" But you told me your number. "That's not possible, I'm ex-directory!!!!"

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Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov

J.G.Harston
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If the Home Office decided they no longer needed/wanted this stuff, they should have passed it to the National Archives, not destroyed them. We've already suffered from the 1931 census being accidently lost in a fire, there's no justification to compound things like that by *deliberately* destroying stuff.

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CEO insisted his email was on server that had been offline for years

J.G.Harston
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Re: Those loody annoying "Everything's Great Emails"!

One of my hobbies is correcting the transcripts on Ancestry and FindMyPast. The first time I happily spent an hour trawlling through my home town fixing the data, then took a break to have a cuppa and check my email - to find 350 'thank you for your correction' emails. Since then I set up an auto-delete rule.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Deleting emails

pre-2000? pah! I say. I have my emails from the late 1980s, and somewhere somewhere on an old BBC disk I will have some email-type-file from 1985.

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There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

J.G.Harston
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Re: Ah, but the upside

Jif Micro Liquid where ARE youuuu?

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J.G.Harston
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Re: That takes me back

EM AYE ARE AYE TEE AITCH OH EN....!

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'I crashed AOL for 19 hours and messed up global email for a week'

J.G.Harston
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Somewhere I've still got a sweater with my university departmental email address on it: info@uk.ac.stir.cs

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What most people think it looks like when you change router's admin password, apparently

J.G.Harston
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Re: FUD

Because I have guests who want to WiFi into my internet connection I both changes the admin password, the router ID and the WiFi password to things I could remember. Well, not remember, but were easier to tell people than "connect to Virgin2099755, not not 775, 755, password CduuX... no not wx, uux...

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Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

J.G.Harston
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""Just move the mouse around the screen" Doddering Grey-Hair lady dutifully lifts mouse to the screen and moves it across the display surface."

Which is why I keep refering people to this.

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Facebook admits: Apps were given users' permission to go into their inboxes

J.G.Harston
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This sounds too much like "if we allow people to remove a file's 'not deletable' attribute, people may delete the file!!!11!!!!"

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UK.gov expected to quit controversial harvesting of schoolchildren's nationality data

J.G.Harston
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You don't have to be rich enough to pay taxes in the UK to be able to use the NHS, just resident in the UK.

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My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

J.G.Harston
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I do so much two-handed typing I'd love to get a foot-controlled mouse. And when transcribing audio tapes a remote control for my tape recorder would be paradise. They had them in a load of GP surgeries I did upgrade work in a few years ago, I should have noted what they were.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair

Ah yes, proper 5-pin DIN :)

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J.G.Harston
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Re: A solution

I worked in local government for ten years and the people I met were quite sane. I then came back as a contractor and worked in lots of different departments I'd never been in before, and many of them were quite batshit insane. Six months off, come back for a month, can't manage it, six months off again. Refuse to learn how to sit and type properly, so need all sorts of strapping and padding. Refuses to tilt monitor to avoid reflections so needs specialist sheilding equipment and MUST have the desk in that exact position. And somebody with some machine pumping out some foul smelling stench "to get the right ambiance". shudder!

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Mind the gap: Men paid 18.6% more than women in Blighty tech sector

J.G.Harston
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Re: Sooo...

And they already ARE getting the same fair wage for doing the same work, and as the article points out, it has been illegal to do otherwise FOR OVER FOURTY YEARS.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Sooo...

Ignoring the appellations, the "taking time off for kids" is a real factor in the pay difference. If you are 40 years old and have worked for ten years you will yes will have lower pay than somebody 40 years old who has worked for 20 years doing exactly the same thing in exactly the same job, regardless of why you have have worked less. Just as if you work 10-3 you will yes get paid less than somebody who works doing exactly the same 9-5. And as one of the touted "solutions" is "more work flexibility", then that will just excaberate the pay gap. If you take more and more advantange of flexible working to work less and less hours you WILL end up with a pay gap between yourself and somebody who does not take advantage of flexible working to work less.

I know what the pay gap is like. After getting fed up of starving I took a minimum wage job in local government for ten years. Should I expect to be paid the same in a development job at the age of 50 with 20 years gap in paid development work as somebody who has been continously in paid work for 30 years?

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User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

J.G.Harston
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Re: Away in a manager

Akcherly, I use cat :)

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Away in a manager

"vi is installed on pretty much every Unix system"

I'm still looking for a version that will run on my PDP-11 Unix system.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: "Mangers feature prominently in the Christmas story"

Only those religious leaders who happen to be members of a certain section of the Church of England,

Priests Out Of Parliament!

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Sysadmin wiped two servers, left the country to escape the shame

J.G.Harston
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One a site I needed a 25m length of earth bonding cable. Went to the suppliers who measured it out, then promptly folded it into 25 1-m lengths of earth bonding cable.

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Sysadmin held a rack of servers off the ground for 15 mins, crashed ISP when he put them down

J.G.Harston
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Holding up the furniture

I've had that as well.

Early 1990s in Hong Kong. Company had moved into a new set of offices which had been wired with floor networking in conduits that had been concreted over. My first job was finding the outlet points that had been left and wiring in the socket plates.

All of the findable sockets done, and continuity continued to insist there was at least another one somewhere. Eventually found one behind a cupboard - that was easy enough, and then the last one was underneath the display tables in the reception area.

Crawling under the table I found a table leg over the corner of the outlet box. Ok, so I raised my shoulders slightly to reduce the weight of the table and punched the bottom of the leg to shift it a half a centimetre - at which point the whole leg fell out leaving me holding the entire setup on my shoulders.

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Facebook supremo Mark Zuckerberg has flunky tell UK MPs: Nope, he's sending someone else

J.G.Harston
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When are they going to call in the manufacturers of air that allows sound waves to propagate to explain their millenia-long part in spreading fake news?

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Another day, another meeting, another £191bn down the pan

J.G.Harston
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Re: Nobody meetings....

When I worked in local government there was always somebody who would schedule meetings "in that gap in your schedule between 12 and 1".

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J.G.Harston
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Adams isn't a fan of Trump, he's a fan of his methods. If you actually read his non-Dilbert posts this would be obvious.

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J.G.Harston
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Woo Woo

I can't hear that in anything but ukuleles. :)

(goes off to descend into H:\Music\UOGB\....)

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El Reg deep dive: Everything you need to know about UK.gov's pr0n block

J.G.Harston
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Due to humans being humans I can't see how this is ever going to work.

Anything that depends on asking "are you 18+?" can be bypassed by simply lying.

Anything that depends on asking "enter details to show you are 18+" can be bypassed by simply lying.

Anything that depends on asking something like "enter credit card details to prove you are 18+" can by bypassed by stealing and then lying.

As XHamster says, comparing with buying booze or going into a nooky cinema is flawed as with those the claimant is stood there in front of the gatekeeper declaring "I am 18+ and this is me saying it, look at me, do I look like a kid?".

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Programming languages can be hard to grasp for non-English speakers. Step forward, Bato: A Ruby port for Filipinos

J.G.Harston
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For people with experience of house-to-house deliveries, or survey mapping, boustrophedon is common parlance, in contrast to odds'n'evens. Though gradually declining in favour of up'n'down.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: APL

Won't that cause a stack crash as you repeatedly jump to entering a subroutine?

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Nothing new here

That's just a standard REPEAT UNTIL.

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Techies building UK web smut age check tools: You'll get a spec next week

J.G.Harston
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If you don't like what the current government and lawmakers are doing, vote the ****rs out.

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