* Posts by disgruntled yank

1468 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Here's 2018 in a nutshell for you... Russian super robot turns out to be man in robot suit

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Other than in millions of dollars burned and perhaps hundreds of diagnoses bungled, how do we distinguish this from Theranos.

College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals

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Re: More Innocent Times

A customer once called our support line in some distress. Somebody there with admin privileges had been working his way through commands and utilities manual, and had incautiously chosen to run FORMAT. As I recall, they had backups, but restoration took a while.

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Re: Unencrypted passwords in user profiles

DG was pretty smart.

But in their own AOS/VS operating system, one had the option to create a user account with unencrypted password. This led to an odd case on a contract where I worked: I arrived to find the staff trying to figure out why our admins could log in to server X, but the users couldn't. Our privileged accounts all had encrypted passwords, so I suspected a failure in the EXEC process, which managed logins (and spooling). We confirmed that accounts with encrypted passwords could log in, accounts with unencrypted passwords could not, and we copied over a good version of EXEC.EXE, which fixed the problem.

And I must admit that the unencrypted password did come in handy for pranking once, when we were challenged to test the security of an adjoining network--one of our sometime co-workers had (having moved from the contract) an account with unencrypted password on a machine we had access to. We did no damage, but we made it clear that we could log in as him.

Deck the halls with ... oh, no. DXC tells staff they may not have a job in the New Year

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digital journey

"transforming our operating model and structure to better align and optimise to support our client base on the digital journey."

Or, in English: Giving you suckers the heave-ho.

[Back in the days of telephone books, there was a commercial in which somebody sang an invitation to "Let your fingers do the walking/Through the Yellow Pages." Now, there's a digital journey for you.]

Canuck couple returns home after night on tiles to gaggle of randomers hanging out in their flat

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Re: Heard a similar story with cars ....

The NY Times magazine some years ago ran a story about somebody who driven off in someone else's car, and then realized that the stuff in it was not hers or her family's.

I did something similar about forty years ago. Fortunately, it turned out that though my key worked in the door lock, it would not work in the ignition.

Tech bosses talk kids' books! Could they show a glimmer of humanity? You only get one guess

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And actually

Fast does write that

"Some of them chose books from their own childhood, but others chose books that they had read to their own children–thereby passing on their love of reading to the next generation–or books that they had recently stumbled upon. "

(My italics.)

That strikes me as not unreasonable, though I might not hire any of them to run or stock a children's library.

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In fairness to the NY Times, it has recently run several articles that--at least at a quick skim--seem to take a cooler look at Ms. Sandberg than she used to get. Whether the one referenced in the column did so, I don't recall.

Influential Valley gadfly and Intel 8051 architect John Wharton has died

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I am sorry to hear of Mr. Wharton's death, and perhaps should not bring disputes over MS-DOS into this. However, following the provided links, I find a certain inconsistency in The Register's accounts of the creation of MS-DOS:

In August 2012:

'"If [Kildall] was not as successful as Bill Gates, it wasn’t because Microsoft stole the CP/M source code," concludes Zeidman. But nobody has ever made such a claim: not even Paterson.'

In January 2014:

'Worse, it seems clear that Mr Fry is also unaware that the QDOS which Gates so hastily bought up to offer to IBM under the name MS-DOS was a poor-quality effort (QDOS actually stands for Quick and Dirty Operating System) which had been created by simply copying code straight out of CP/M.'

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

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Sounds like someone

with a chip on his shoulder.

Empire state of mind: NYC scatters palm leaves for Bezos' cloudy web shop juggernaut

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Re: DC and MD are the big winners

The governments of DC and perhaps Maryland are winners. I say "perhaps Maryland", for commuting from much of suburban Maryland to Arlington is no fun at all. Travel even from close-in Washington to Arlington is a nuisance by car: 30 minutes (if you are lucky) to travel about 6 miles.

But yesterday evening I was talking to a resident of the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington. He is a renter and forecast increased rents in the near future, for one can travel from Columbia Heights to Crystal City on the Metro without a transfer. I suggested that Alexandria, Arlington, and some of the areas downtown might absorb more of the Amazon employees. This did not seem to cheer him up much.

Michael Howard: Embrace of open source is destroying 'artificial definitions' of legacy vendors

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Figuratively unbelievable

"For someone like me, who has spent literally all his life in the database market..."

Literally? Mom or Dad took him along on sales calls?

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Re: Maybe I'm showing my age

Actually, I first thought of the historian.

Townsfolk left deeply unsatisfied by Bury St Edmunds' 'twig' of a Christmas tree

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Fair play demands that I tell you that there is a Christmas tree already set up just south of the White House. I haven't looked that closely, but I think that the sole decoration so far is a big ribbon in a dull red. Most likely the size would more than satisfy the Buriers--something around thirty feet, I suppose.

Though I have long since become used to neighbors who put up Halloween decorations by the first of October, it does seem early to be putting up Christmas trees.

Tata on trial: Outsourcer 'discriminated' against non-Asian workers, claim American staff

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Re: Who would have thought

One of the problems here is that "straight white men" comprises (in the US) everyone from the President, the Majority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and four fifths of the Supreme Court, to the guy in the middle of the country working two jobs to keep solvent. And guess what, when that last guy hears talking heads complain of the privilege of straight white men, he doesn't hear "Ryan, Roberts, McConnell, Trump", he takes it personally. I don't blame him, particularly: if I could manage to take the complainers seriously, I might take it personally too.

'He must be stopped': Missouri candidate's children tell voters he's basically an asshat

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I've made this before: create a new section, The Domestic Manners of the Americans, and leave Bootnotes for stuff that will not inevitably produce long comments about the deplorability of Americans in general or those of the R and D variety.

This revolution will not be televised – but it will be sanctioned: Googlers walk out over 'sex pest' executive scandals

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There is a hell of a hot of harassment that goes on and never rises to the level of a crime. Still it make the workplace most unpleasant for the targets and perhaps for the bystanders.

Bird, Lime, and Xiaomi face scooter sueball

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Re: Grocery stores

On a recent visit to the bus stop, I saw a fellow in a car pulling away while continuing to look down at his phone. At least the scooter + payload is going to be far lighter than a standard American car, and has a lower top speed.

In Washington, DC, the scooter riders don't seem to be that bad. Perhaps we don't have enough to make a difference. The scooters and dockless bikes do tend to end up where they shouldn't be, for days or weeks at a time.

Haha, good times: Larry Ellison regales noobs about when Oracle staff almost didn't get paid

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IBM, and quite a few other companies had transaction-processing systems before Oracle was founded. Oracle was first to the market with a relational database, to be sure.

IBM was then a place where good ideas went to die. John Cocke's early work on RISC went nowhere, at least until Hennessy and Patterson had popularized the idea out west.

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere

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The emails I received requested $6000 and $7000. I don't remember whether they specified country of origin, but the English was definitely a cut above what you got.

I think your editor is unduly nervous.

FYI: Faking court orders to take down Google reviews is super illegal

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Re: Sooo, they fined him less than he spent to do it legally

That is one of the curiosities of American (perhaps Anglo-American) law, and has been around for a long time.

Have a gander at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1949/08/27/old-eight-eighty-i.

Erm... what did you say again, dear reader?

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Perhaps Mr. Clark had in mind Philosophical Investigations, no. 464:

"My aim is to teach you to pass from a piece of disguised nonsense to something that is patent nonsense."

Now, I should not have thought that El Reg needed any help at all with patent nonsense; but Mr. Clark may have some right to consider himself as better at it.

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

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According to Robert Graves's "Lars Porsena, Or, The Future of Swearing", the point of "The Australian Song" was that Aussies were not particularly imaginative in their foul language. Now, this may have been simple Pommie bias, I don't know.

Chrome 70 flips switch on Progressive Web Apps in Windows 10 – with janky results

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I was in danger of getting some work done, and you informed me about "Progressive Beer".

RIP Paul Allen: Microsoft cofounder billionaire dies at 65 after facing third bout with cancer

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Re: and he has to use edlin

You had 1s and 0s? We had to use ls and Os.

As angels, rich dudebros suck: 1 in 5 Y Combinator women tech founders say they were sexually harassed

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In other words, having power, money, and perhaps technical expertise, does not automatically make one a better person?

Has anyone told Anne Sinclair?

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

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Re: Terrance

My father went by his middle name, and I once booked an airline ticket for the name everyone called him. In the days before September 11, 2001, this might not have caused difficulties, but ca. 2004 it did, even for a domestic flight.

'The gulf between apps and infrastructure is blurring' says boss of DevOps darling Puppet

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"The gulf between apps and infrastructure is blurring," he said, arguing that automation is at an inflection point. "The DevOps practices that were nice to have two years ago are absolutely must-have today."

Gaps may narrow, but do gulfs blur? Can we be sure that the effect isn't caused by the audience's eyes glazing over?

"Puppet like a lot of technologies started out built for the high priests," said Omri Gazitt, chief product officer. "Now in a majority of cases, many of the customers aren't the high priests, they just need simple ways to get onboarded."

If the customers are at sea, who can blame them with prose like this? (Or maybe they believed the hype, and think they'll be left at the gate.)

Want some of that sweet government contract money? Obama's CIO gives tips to land deals with Uncle Sam

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My time working for government contractors led me to think that

a. The government has excellent rules for purchasing typewriters and paper; these rules make it difficult to buy any but obsolescent computing technology. No doubt the three-letter agencies and the Defense establishment are in part exceptions to this.

b. The government hires contractors on the Charlie Sheen principle, paying them to go away.

Python lovers, here's a library that will help you master AI as a newbie

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Master, or employ?

Former Apple engineer fights iPhone giant for patent credit and denied cash, says Steve Jobs loved his 'killer ideas'

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Re: It's MOULD, not mold

Noah Webster had a tremendous influence on American spelling, and he was down on "ou"s sounded as "o". I do see your point: yet the English-speaking world does manage to get along with quite a few words spelled and perhaps sounded the same.

Bombing raids during WWII sent out shockwaves powerful enough to alter the Earth's ionosphere

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Re: War Is Bad

You have read the results of the strategic bombing survey carried out after the war? The tactical air arm made a huge difference, the strategic less so.

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Re: 300 lightning strikes

An American writer who served as a bombardier quoted evaluations by instructors after training runs: well, you missed the Ruhr, but then you still hit Germany.

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

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lockup, yes

I do remember freezing a Sun box or two by pulling the keyboard. Reboot, no.

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Re: yank?

Yes, indeed.

A spot of Python in your Azure automation? Step right this way, sir

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from __future__ import print_function

into __future__ invite Microsoft

AI biz borks US election spending data by using underpaid Amazon Mechanical Turks

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Re: Why not just fill in a Web form or equivalent directly?

"Not everyone has Internet or even electricity. See for example the Amish. You can't disenfranchise them just because they can't fill in a web form."

Not everybody running for public office? Adding a requirement for filing is not the same thing as disfranchisement. In any case, the Amish will make use of devices that they will not operate. They don't drive automobiles, but I used to see plenty of them on Greyhound buses.

Tesla's chief accounting officer drives off after just a month on the job

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The pace of the work, or the pace at which the company goes through money?

It has never occurred to me to hang up boots. If the ex-HR person was exposed to company publicity, I hope she cleaned them well before hanging them up.

Feel the shame: Email-scammed staffers aren't telling bosses about it

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data, or survey data?

"with more than one in 10 falling victim or knowing someone who'd been a victim"

Cloudera and MongoDB execs: Time is running out for legacy vendors

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'"Antipathy" towards legacy database vendors is at an all-time high because Internet of Things data is arriving too fast for them to handle – so say execs at two competitors that went public last year.'

"Antipathy" (you don't really need the quotation marks) toward Oracle is largely caused by Oracle, chiefly its pricing and sales tactics.

Antipathy (and you don't at all need quotation marks) toward certain other vendors is caused by their habit of using the term "legacy" to refer to anything they didn't sell you.

NASA 'sextortionist' allegedly tricked women into revealing their password reset answers, stole their nude selfies

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64 years

Quoting potential sentences is getting to be like quoting the "street value" of seized drugs. The prosecutors will bargain it down to two or three years, and the guy that was caught with a kilo of cocaine would have received a small fraction of the "street value".

No, no, you're all wrong. That's not a Kremlin agent. It's someone with 'inauthentic behavior'

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For good reason, the U.S. Constitution employs a narrow definition of treason, and convicting a person of treason is very difficult.

I find your series implausible. Treason to the Constitution, perhaps, if we consider the Constitution as defining the United States. To the law? Well, the Constitution declares itself the supreme law of the land, so what does that add? To the capital-P People?

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

(Article III, Section 3)

Google skewered in ad sting after Oracle-backed bods turn troll

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Re: When you actively go looking for mistakes,....

Perhaps it was an impersonator (https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/5ed26246-33e9-450e-8eca-ddd0b4d8b86c)?

Lyon for speed, San Francisco for money, Amsterdam for fun: the best cities to be a techie

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Philadelphia, then Seattle?

I don't get that.

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Re: Property prices in U.S. cities are not really a function of the financial crisis anymore

"wildlife conspicuous by its absence other than rats and pigeons"

Within 5 kilometers of the White House there are deer, fox, hawks, maybe coyotes.

"crime rates often high, pollution and inequality are persistent problems".

Ah, yes. A fellow we knew, resident in Virginia, would tell my family that I was taking my life into my hands moving into Washington. That guys were carving each other up with machetes on S. Glebe Road in Arlington somehow didn't occur to him. As for pollution, the smokestack industry has mostly moved to Asia. Reducing pollution by moving somewhere that you have drive for the least errand? As for inequality, well, I guess you can reduce that by moving where the poor folks aren't.

I don't say that cities are perfect, I don't argue that everyone has to live in them. But if you think that cities became obsolete when the barbarian hordes quit sweeping through, then I think you should reconsider.

‘Very fine people’ rename New York as ‘Jewtropolis’ on Snapchat, Zillow

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Re: Hate speech

As the 1st Amendment to the Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law". Since the 14th Amendment, this has effectively meant that governments shall make no law.

However, no private entity has any obligation to publish anything at all that it finds offensive or simply not worth publishing.

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Re: Trump bashing inaccurate here

"Those who have overcome bigotry against black people because the evil of racial bigotry was dramatically brought home to them by the Holocaust."

So, Mark Twain was enabled by ESP to foresee the Holocaust and overcome his Missouri upbringing? De Tocqueville's notebooks have many conversations with Americans of the early 1830s who are of the opinion that persons of color (including the native tribes) had equal intelligence with whites. How did this come about?

Facebook admits it was 'too slow' to ban Myanmar regime

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Many characteristics

"Facebook has many of the same characteristics of authoritarian regimes and totalitarian systems, academics have noted."

Same characteristics as?

And if so, what then? Would it be better if FB were the free-swinging hippie commune that some tech types prefer to imagine all of Silicon Valley as, yet still allowed incitement to murder?

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Pardon me if I don't see the connection. As far as I know Saudi Arabia is using its own weapons in Yemen, not stirring up neighbors to kill other neighbors. I don't say that this is morally preferable; it just doesn't require Facebook's assistance.

Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

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Yesterday's NY Times carries an obituary of the engineer Robert Silman, who managed the repair work that kept and keeps Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater house from falling into the water.

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