* Posts by Alien8n

808 posts • joined 15 May 2007

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If Shadow Home Sec Diane Abbott can be reeled in by phishers, truly no one is safe

Alien8n

Re: Northern Ireland

@ Phil OS you seem to have a rather rose tinted view of the RUC, or are you deliberately ignoring the fact that the RUC in the 60s would regularly attack the homes of Catholics and were ruthless in attacking civil rights activists, even beating some to death? The British troops went in as a direct result of the RUC's actions in Bogside. And this is BEFORE the Troubles. Just because you happen to know some good people who happened to be in the RUC it doesn't excuse the ones who blatantly used their position of power to commit indiscriminate murder.

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Alien8n

Re: Northern Ireland

@AC

"I think you mean "You can however blame Thatcher for refusing to negotiate with a bunch of murdering thugs until they promised to stop killing and maiming their fellow countrymen as well as 'the enemy'". Or is kneecapping anyone who speaks out against that sort of thing acceptable to you?"

At no point have I said I supported the IRA. You seem to be inferring that here. Don't conflate support for human rights as support for terrorism. The IRA were (some would say still are) murderous thugs. But it was the oppression of Catholics by the predominantly Protestant government in Northern Ireland, backed up by the UK government's refusal to condemn this oppression that created the circumstances that led to them. The IRA started out fairly non-violent, mainly they blew up radio transmitters in protest. They became the Provisional IRA as a direct result of the violence enacted upon the Catholics at the hands of Unionist terrorists, primarily the UVF. The UVF was responsible for the rise in hate crimes against Catholics, including the bombing of schools, which would eventually lead to the RUC itself running a campaign of violence and terror against Catholics in Derry. It was this continuing violence from the Unionist factions and the RUC that eventually led to the split of the IRA that created the Provisional IRA. When faced with such horrendous levels of terrorism, both from the UVF and the very police that were supposed to protect them is it any wonder that the IRA became increasingly violent in response?

So again I say, unless you've actually studied the history of The Troubles, or actually lived through them in Northern Ireland itself, then don't comment about something you clearly don't understand. Northern Ireland history is a complicated mess and not the black and white IRA = bad, everyone else = good that was spoon fed to the British public by the media over 30 years. It was the culmination of 400 years of oppression in Ireland that saw millions die unnecessarily in the famines of the C19th. It was the realisation in the Good Friday Agreement that these grievances needed to be fixed that finally brought peace to Northern Ireland, that allowed both sides to disarm. We're still left with a few die hard thugs on both sides, but they're now little more than criminal gangs. If you're going to condemn the IRA, then you must also condemn the RUC and UVF at the same time, as it was their campaigns of terror that created the Provisional IRA.

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Alien8n

Re: Northern Ireland

@Phil you have a good understanding of the issues, I was trying to prece to just the relevant bit regarding Harold Wilson. As you say the reason many Catholics couldn't vote was down to the electoral law stipulating land ownership. As for the troops, while many Catholics did see them in a good light to start with it wasn't long before the troops were seen negatively, especially after Bloody Sunday. The issue was that the British government still saw the Unionists as the legitimate power, the troops were quickly doing the bidding of the Unionist government even as far as assisting the Unionist paramilitary groups.

As for SF, it was no surprise their stance was so hardened given an equally opposed standpoint from the UK government at the time. It's hard to see beyond the terrorism to the root causes, but it's something that became very clear during the 90s. It probably helped that Apartheid in South Africa ended when it did. Thatcher (and all her predecessors) have a lot to answer for for their undying support of a regime built on oppression. While not on quite a scale there were many parallels with Northern Ireland.

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Alien8n

Re: Northern Ireland

Before you go blaming anyone for The Troubles you should do some research first. The Troubles would have happened either way regardless of who was in power. Northern Ireland was effectively running a form of Apartheid, with the government gerrymandering the electoral boundaries to ensure a Unionist majority, as well as electoral laws that ensured the majority of Catholics were ineligible to vote. This all came to a head in August 1969. If Wilson hadn't sent in the troops to protect the Catholics in 1969 you could very well have seen Ireland and the UK at war with each other instead. The Irish had troops ready to cross the border at the time but in the end it was British troops that went in. However, it became clear that in order to maintain peace between the 2 sides and prevent Northern Ireland sliding into all out civil war the troops had to stay, and it wasn't long until the troops were seen as an occupying force by the Catholics and became their target. You cannot blame Wilson for 400 years of history finally coming to a head. You can however blame Thatcher for repeatedly blocking any dialogue with Sinn Fein during the 80s which saw Catholics continue to be oppressed in Northern Ireland, which in turn fuelled the IRA's recruitment process.

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Alien8n

The one I used when called by the scammers was "if you know there's a virus on my PC then you can tell me the name of it". There actually used to be a virus on my PC, in an encrypted zip file. Sophos were kind enough to name it after me after I sent it to them along with the instructions on how to remove it from an infected PC.

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30 spies dead after Iran cracked CIA comms network with, er, Google search – new claim

Alien8n

Re: Karma?

Actually the CIA can be directly linked to plenty of deaths. As can the British Government.

Look at the CIA led coup of Indonesia that led to Suharto gaining power. The CIA gave the names of Communist sympathisers in Indonesia to Suharto which led to one of the biggest mass murders on the last century. Estimates are 500,000 people were killed in the purge, and the CIA was directly responsible for every death as they provided the names of every single one of them to Suharto's government. The British government, along with the US, collaborated with Indonesia when they invaded East Timor in 1975, even providing navy escort ships to the Indonesian government for transporting prisoners to their deaths. 100,000 East Timorese died from starvation and disease as a direct result of Indonesia's invasion, fully supported by both the British and US governments.

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Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

Alien8n

Re: Electricity

@Juice thanks for finding the youtube vid, being at work it's not something I can really search for just yet.

The Men also have some rather more IT related songs, notably "Vive La Difference Engine", an ode to Babbage and Lovelace :)

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Alien8n

Re: Electricity

Or you could go for The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing's "Tesla Coil"

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US Republicans bash UK for tech tax plan

Alien8n

Re: The irony

I did mention that at the start of my reply "On sales, yes". I'm more than aware that the US charges effectively VAT twice, both at a local and a national level. My comment on Council Tax is about the fact that we pay a local tax, admittedly property based and not income, but it's still local. And it's a top up to the taxation the government takes and then hands to councils. You could also argue that business rates are also a double taxation as companies pay corporation tax on profits, but councils then also charge business rates. The big difference being that while corporation tax is only paid on profit, business rates are paid regardless.

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Alien8n

Re: The irony

On sales yes, but even the UK has local taxation on top of national taxation. Or do you not pay Council Tax?

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5.1 update sends Apple's Watch 4 bling spinning into an Infinite Loop of reboot cycles

Alien8n

Wait for it...

Everyone knows with any update, regardless of the manufacturer, never update on day one.

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Techie was bigged up by boss… only to cause mass Microsoft Exchange outage

Alien8n

Re: Been there got the t-shirt

Our previous contractor was asked to leave his employment as a result of an errant Robocopy statement.

He left the MIR switch in his script when copying over some errant files that hadn't copied due to permission issues, 2 days after the file server had been replaced. Result? We lost 2 days data. His biggest mistake though was doing all this before checking to make sure we could actually access the backups of the new file server. Small mercy being only 2 days data lost, and it wasn't the database server.

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

Alien8n

Re: Karma

Very familiar. I still end up with the occasional contract job to keep me busy in the evenings because it's still cheaper to hire me on a contract rate than pay someone to take twice as long. In my defence I helped design the system while at a previous company. Said previous company however couldn't find anyone else who could do what I used to do so in the end replaced the entire software package. I heard after I left that they went through several IT managers in just a few months. Served them right for blaming the IT person for an accountant's cockup.

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

Alien8n

Re: Revenge...

Not sure how true it is (certainly someone cementing the art teacher's door up with bricks was true) but apparently a group of sixth formers at my old school took a mini apart and reassembled in on the roof of the music block and took it for a spin on the roof.

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Alien8n

A couple of cases

A company I used to work at when still an engineer:

One of the engineering managers (who thankfully had a good sense of humour, as did his boss) was very fond of trips to Australia. He brought back lots of clip on koalas one year and had them clipped to his monitor. One day they all disappeared and his desktop was changed to a picture of the koalas bound and blindfolded and a ransom of a cup of tea with biscuits on it. Day 2 one of them was photoshopped so it's decapitated head rested on the floor next to it. Day 3 showed one being buggered by another one in forced bondage, etc...

Best bit was, one of the technicians was Australian, so I was sending him the images at the same time and he was emailing them home to his family.

Second one was after I moved into IT and one particular user was a bit blatant with his downloading of dodgy movies. On the hand this made him open game for dropping new folders and renaming icons on his screen. As it happened he also liked the same sci-fi tv series as most of the IT department so we let him continue and just added his download folder as a network share in the IT department. The only person who didn't know was the IT manager at the time as he was a bit of a fuddy duddy (the kind who are absolute sticklers for the rule book and a bit rabid when it comes to open source, he absolutely hated the fact that one of the factories was running a Linux box). Even the user's boss was accessing the network share.

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Haunted disk-drive? This story will give you the chills...

Alien8n

Re: Put a heater in the safe then ?

@Unicornpiss

"My question would be, why was it just the one PC acting up then? Didn't they put all the disks in teh safe? Or did the office only have one PC?"

Judging by the description I'd say they only had one PC. Remember it wasn't really until the 90's that PCs came down enough in price that they became almost a commodity item, even in an office environment. My first PC cost me 4 grand back around 1995.

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Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

Alien8n

Wish I could have Canadian neighbours, would love for someone to break in and clean my house. Mrs Alien finds it a struggle nowadays and although the Podling is grown up and living at home still she's not quite house broken yet...

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Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

Alien8n

Re: One reason for removable batteries...

This has always been a bugbear of mine. It's called a mobile, not a desked.

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Virgin Media? More like Virgin Meltdown: Brit broadband ISP falls over amid power drama

Alien8n

Re: Reliable internet

I was looking at that and thinking "who doesn't have a smart phone for business?"

While it's entirely possible he's unable to connect his PC to the internet via tethering (your business means going to homes and you don't have a laptop?) it's almost unthinkable that he wouldn't have access to email. Even for the most basic of businesses there should be multiple ways to access emails. He certainly seemed able to get onto Twitter at least.

This to me just strikes me as someone who hasn't thought about any contingency planning and is trying to do everything with the bare minimum. Hopefully this will persuade him to actually consider how he runs his business.

(Edit - just looked at his Twitter feed and it would appear that he's a serial complainer with a huge sense of entitlement. Also, why are people still using gmail for their business emails?)

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Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

Alien8n

Re: Could ask the Chinese

It's not that the ISS is going to be scuttled, just that the only escape pod available at the moment is nearing it's end of life. Not helped by the fact that it's also suspected to be in poor condition to start with. Without a second pod they'll be forced to abandon the ISS temporarily until they can recommence manned missions again.

Then again, the main unit of the ISS is now out of date, so maybe a better option would be to scuttle it and start again. Maybe replace it with something that uses the Blue Danube as part of the docking sequence.

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Alien8n

Space Shuttle

Part of the problem with the Space Shuttle was a double whammy, on the one hand it had no emergency capabilities in the event the shuttle itself was compromised. This is what caused the Columbia disaster as . On the other hand is the US procurement guidelines for large military/space projects that required the jobs building the shuttle to be spread out around the US. As a result the boosters had to be built in stages and put together later, rather than in one singular unit. It was this that then resulted in the Challenger disaster as the connecting ring to the booster rocket segments was compromised by the unusually low temperatures the night before launch. The worst bit about the Challenger disaster though was the fact that the dangers of the booster construction had actually been known since 1971 and not addressed until after the disaster.

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Watch Series 4: What price 'freedom'? About as much as you'd expect from an Apple product

Alien8n

Medical uses

Actually seriously considering get one for Mrs Alien, specifically because of it's fall detection. As her MS progresses she's becoming more unsteady on her feet and has a real fear of falling. Her symptoms mimic those of a stroke near perfectly so the idea of a watch that can detect a fall where her MS might result in her being unable to get up again is actually a very compelling argument.

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Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

Alien8n

Re: Where I work

Back in the alt.sysadmin days I recall a story that got posted:

"I can't access the internet"

"What seems to be the problem?"

"Well the screen is black and there are no lights on the computer"

"Is it plugged in?"

"Yes"

"Can you check to make sure all the cables into the monitor and PC are connected?"

"No"

"Why not?"

"It's too dark"

"Then turn the lights on"

"I can't, there's a power cut..."

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Oracle? On my server? I must have been hacked! *Penny drops* Oh sh-

Alien8n

Re: RAID 1 - yank the wrong Hard Disk Drive.

The police?

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Alien8n

Re: where Park Junction is, now?!

For my sins I used to live in East Grinstead, legend has it that the only reason they still have a station is that Dr Beeching's wife had a house in East Grinstead and the station stayed open so they could still catch the train into London.

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UK space comes to an 'understanding' with Australia as Brexit looms

Alien8n

Re: RE: Mooseman

@Phil O'Sophical that's why a second referendum should not be just In/Out. It should be on the deal itself.

And it should be truly reflective, with a transferable vote so we don't have the ridiculous reality that a Minority of the population can hold the Majority of the vote. Select first and second preference, In/Out No deal/Out with deal. Effectively EU/EEA/WTO and you make it explicitly clear that it's a binding vote. Not an advisory one that somehow is treated as law without any further discussion of what it actually is everyone was voting for.

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Alien8n

Re: RE: Mooseman

@EvilDrSmith the fact is Hard Brexiters see the UK pre-EU as being some golden age. When in fact the UK was seen as the sick man of Europe. To see the UK as some Great Britain of old, when we were an economic powerhouse capable of dictating to the world we'd first have to regain control over half the world's resources and reinstate the British Empire. The days of the Commonwealth are over, they'll never be reinstated and no amount of bluster from Boris will ever change that fact.

Today our economy is inextricably linked to the EU. Hard Brexit and trade on WTO terms means an end to free trade with the EU. That means everything we sell to the EU can have a tariff on it. That makes everything we sell to the EU more expensive to buy in the EU. That means businesses will lose trade or have to move. That is the reality of Hard Brexit. Lost jobs.

Mass emigration also has another unintended consequence. A country's economy is measured by GDP. A driver for GDP is population. If you suddenly remove people from the country, it has a negative effect on GDP. Or to put it in terms that the non-economist can understand, recession. These are effects that won't be felt in 30 years as some claim, but within the lifetime of this and the next Parliament. Whoever picks up this mess after the next election picks up a poisoned chalice. The only good news for me is that so long as I remain employed, the company I work for sells quite a lot to the EU, I should be able to buy a house quite cheaply as one key driver for housing costs has been the pressure from immigration.

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Alien8n

Re: RE: Mooseman

I'm actually getting quite tired of explaining to "Hard Brexiters" that the referendum was not a vote on "Stay in the EU or Crash Out". Just because Boris wants to screw the country and leave with No Deal does not mean the majority of the country want that. Nowhere on the ballot paper did it say "I vote for No Deal", and this is exactly what a second referendum should be about. You just have to look at what people were actually voting for to see that Hard Brexit should quite rightly be ignored, we need a deal and the likes of Farage and Boris with their rabid ramblings and self interest should be tried for treason for undermining the political process.

Why did people vote for Brexit?

1. £350M a week for the NHS. Except there never was £350M a week.

2. The Brexit Dividend. Except that you have to increase GDP to offset the cost of trade to the EU. So in effect there is no Brexit Dividend.

3. Uncontrolled immigration. Except we were always allowed to send EU migrants back to their home countries if they couldn't find work within 3 months. For some reason a lot of people confused EU immigration with non-EU immigration which we always had control over. And why were they coming here in the first place? To do jobs we didn't have the skills for or that British citizens won't do.

4. The unelected EU Parliament. You know the one, that we vote EU MPs for, like Farage, who then gets to vote on EU laws. Like the UK Parliament, with elected representatives. And we wonder why Scotland hates Westminster so much...

5. We can negotiate a new trade deal, like Norway has. This was made so much of during the referendum, it probably swung more votes than anything else, the idea that people could vote to Leave and have a Soft Brexit. It's also likely why the people who didn't vote didn't vote, stay or we get a Soft Brexit. If you don't care either way what's the point in voting?

The referendum should always have been more than just In or Out. There are so many shades of Out that rabidly stating "but I voted Leave and that means Leave" is meaningless. All it shows is that you're ignorant of everything the referendum was about and trying to hold onto your Little Britain mindset. "We were fine outside the EU". Really? I grew up in the 70's, I remember rolling blackouts, winter of discontent, cap in hand to the IMF, inflation, high interest rates. That's the whole reason we joined the EU in the first place.

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

Alien8n

Re: New contractor

Yup, basically he'd made so many mistakes at so many clients that he was fired for gross misconduct.

The bit that beggared belief was that he was still expected to work out a notice period, which meant his last couple of weeks also involved watching him like a hawk. If he'd been working for me directly it would have been a straight forward "go home and don't come back until your disciplinary hearing" and then all his access removed there and then. Some people really don't understand how damaging a disgruntled employee can be. Reminds me of another conversation when engineering.

"We're going to be making half the company redundant."

"What are we doing to prevent sabotage of the equipment once we tell everyone?"

"Nothing, no one would do that."

Followed by half the factory going down over the next week as the operators started sabotaging the equipment.

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Alien8n

New contractor

We're currently breaking in a new contractor as the previous one has been forceably removed due to the complete donkey's arse of a server upgrade done here at work.

Basically:

Built new server.

Transferred file from old to new.

Kicked off backup routines.

Copy remaining files over.

Kill server.

Except he made 3 rookie mistakes:

1. He hadn't ensured all the shared folders had been copied across, as well as all the "secure" folders. So anyone with a locked down set of folders found all their files were missing.

2. When doing the second transfer he used Robocopy. Not a problem except he was using copy/paste scripts and managed to include the /mir flag. Result being deleting the last 2 days of updates on the new file server. Not a problem, except for error 3.

3. He kicked of the final Robocopy without first checking to make sure that the new backups had actually worked, meaning we had no backup of the last 2 day's work.

In good news we'd made the decision prior to the server upgrade to leave the old SQL server in place until after we'd tested the new application server, so all that was lost was a handful of Excel and Word documents. In bad news (for him) he'd managed to cock up at several clients resulting in a nice shiny new P45.

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Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

Alien8n

MOSFETs and clean rooms

During my engineering days it was decided that anew generation of MOSFETs that the company was designing needed to be made in an entirely clean environment. They had a spare building which they converted into a clean room environment with all the process machinery in there. Including the moulding press for encapsulating the device. In case you aren't aware, moulding presses create a hell of a lot of dust.

Also, the rest of the MOSFETs, IGBTs, and Diodes were made in the main building, the only precautions taken were to give people anti-static slip on shoes, a lab coat, and all paperwork was kept in an anti-static bag. Most failures actually came from a combination of 2 sources.

1. Accidental swapping of paperwork (usually as part of the curing process in the ovens as multiple batches of devices were cured together in the same ovens).

2. Outright and utter stupidity. The usual excuse was "well it was in my area so I assumed it was my next job" when encapsulating devices that had actually been put aside waiting for wires to be attached. Some people really couldn't be arsed to take one look at the batch and make sure the wiring section had actually been signed off as complete.

It was No 2 that persuaded me to design the system at my next company so that you couldn't start the process on the system unless the previous process had been signed off.

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

Alien8n

Re: "over-zealous yank"

They really need to stop just tossing these headlines out there..

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Alien8n

Finance stories

I recall a tale told to me by someone who allegedly worked in a trading bank in the UK many years ago. Apparently one trader was so incensed by him taking more than 2 seconds to diagnose what was wrong with his PC (something along the lines of cables kicked out by user) that the user actually started kicking him and screaming abuse. His response was "in that case fix it yourself", followed by "I earn more than you, I'll get your boss to fire you" and the bosses reply of "you can fix it yourself, you don't earn more than him."

Not sure how true the tale is but every job I've seen for the financial sector has stipulated experience within the financial sector or the job is specifically for a graduate with no real life job experience. Something to do with not knowing that you're supposed to be treated with respect by other employees apparently...

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Spent your week box-ticking? It can't be as bad as the folk at this firm

Alien8n

Re: Reminds me of the time ...

My first proper foray into IT was when the warehouse system for one of our factories bloated to £2.7M due to scope creep from management. When asked to look into it as it was unusable I replaced it with an entirely touch screen based system written in Access in about a month. I designed the database on the system that we used at my previous role with the sole purpose of it being as easy to use as possible from an end user perspective. When the engineering team was made redundant that database was my ticket into IT, that and my knowledge of manufacturing systems that meant I was moved onto the data migration project for another factory that we'd just bought.

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Brits pay £490m extra for mobes they already own – Citizens Advice

Alien8n

EE don't allow you to downgrade

EE actually don't allow you to downgrade your plan once the original contract is up. You can upgrade to a contract that costs the same, but if you don't want the upgrade and just want to switch to sim only they actually refuse to do it. The only solution is to cancel your contract and take out a new one.

There's a reason all but one phone in the house is on O2, now I just need to persuade the wife that she really doesn't need to be on EE for her phone contract when it comes up again for renewal. Absolutely no idea why she has it in her head that EE is better. It's not as if she gets the cinema tickets anymore (and really, it wasn't worth it then for 2 trips a year).

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It's here! Qualcomm's new watch chip is finally here! Oh, uh, never mind

Alien8n

Re: Nobody cares

@Voyna I Mor

Not strictly true, my old Apple Watch was given to my daughter when I upgraded mine.

Reason I have one? I find it useful to get notifications on the watch while the phone is in my pocket and I get around 3 days use between charges. Not too bad considering. Very useful when doing the weekend job wandering around a festival for 3 days and unable to hear the alarm on the phone going off telling me I need to be somewhere in 5 minutes.

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A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes

Alien8n

Re: Hey! I earned a badge again for posting too much. Sorry!

Most blind people see something, even if just different shades of grey. So they can usually tell which direction a light is for example. Singer for a band I shot not that long ago is legally blind and uses a white stick, but actually has pretty good forward vision. The stick is more to do with the complete lack of any peripheral vision. At a guess it's classic tunnel vision, so like staring down a cardboard tube.

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A boss pinching pennies may have cost his firm many, many pounds

Alien8n

Re: Developer PC

First proper engineering job there was a report run every morning on the slowest laptop (old 486) in the engineering department. The report took about 20 minutes to run and the reason it was ran on that machine and not one of the new P90s was that the button to run it was pressed at exactly the same time that the day shift took their break for breakfast. Cue mug of tea and a full English every morning.

It was still running on the same laptop by the time I switched jobs about 2 years later :)

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Apple cops to iPhone 8 production oops, offers to fix borked phones

Alien8n

Not Europe?

Fairly sure I can confirm it's also affecting European sold iPhones as well. Our CEO is on his second iPhone 8 after the first one started freezing and having Wi-Fi issues. Was replaced due to a faulty chip. His replacement is now exhibiting the exact same symptoms.

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Microsoft gives Windows 10 a name, throws folks a bone

Alien8n

Re: "Video addicts/hobbyists or folks who have DLSRs"

Hitting the nail on the head there, always store in RAW. For your average hobbyist JPG may suffice if you don't want to do any editing of the photo, or if you use Photoshop for editing, but for serious photographers it must be RAW and something that like Lightroom for editing. 1TB might be a bit limited though, I do about 1TB a year with 20Mb RAW files. The newest cameras are 50Mb + per file.

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Abracadabra! Tales of unexpected sysadmagic and dabbling in dark arts

Alien8n

That is a good point, especially on a Friday afternoon

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Alien8n

I've done that with a call to China once :)

At work they dread whenever I go on holiday, I've suggested a cardboard cut-out to be placed next to offending machines but so far the solution seems to be "work on another machine till he's back". Invariably whatever the issue is fixes itself the moment I'm looking at it.

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Apple web design violates law, claims blind person

Alien8n

Re: ..well in Cal about 90% of ADA lawsuits are straight scams

@tiggity Our council gives badges based on the PIP level, no mobility payment no badge. Which is frustrating if we go anywhere and expect to spend any time as we need the wheelchair. But as she can walk with a stick for short distances she only gets the living component. not the mobility payment, and therefore no badge.

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Alien8n

Re: ..well in Cal about 90% of ADA lawsuits are straight scams

Sounds like an idea, however first they should make it enforceable for disabled and child parking spaces, as currently I see them parking in these spaces all the time due to the extra space so they don't "scratch their car" getting in and out.

And don't get me started on disabled parking either, my wife has MS but because she can walk short distances with a stick she doesn't get the mobility payment and so can't have a blue badge. And yet we always see other people who are clearly more mobile parking in these spaces with a badge.

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Alien8n

Re: ..well in Cal about 90% of ADA lawsuits are straight scams

"Don't get me started on the standard UK 8' wide parking bays"

2' gap to open your car door? Sounds like luxury, Our local supermarket's bays are so narrow it's physically impossible for larger vehicles to park legally (by which I mean of the former agricultural type now commonly owned and driven by the wives of wealthy businessmen). You get a normal sized saloon car in both bays to the sides and you're lucky to have a foot of space to open the door in.

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Techie's test lab lands him in hot water with top tech news site

Alien8n

The timing is perfect

Literally just had to bring up a server that was refusing to come back up.

Long story short, new servers being built. To facilitate the new servers we power down a QNAP NAS temporarily, plug it back into the correct UPS and power it back up. At this point I'll explain that the job of doing this is actually that of the IT contractor who has come in to build the server.

So the QNAP is powered down, plugged back into the correct UPS and all is happy. Until about 10 minutes later when the file server starts becoming non-responsive. Decision made to reboot the file server, but it won't boot back up (it's a VM). Turns out it's complaining about a missing virtual drive.

We disable the virtual drive, boot up the server and check to see which drive appears to have failed. At which point I notice that the drive that's actually stored on the QNAP is the missing one. And the IT contractor suddenly remembers he forgot to turn it back on. QNAP turned back on, missing drive added back to the VM and all back up and running.

In case anyone thinks it looks like things are now back to normal, we then find out that the new server can't be built because a vendor who's name rhymes with Hell has installed the wrong HD controller card and the nice shiny hard drives can't be configured in RAID. So project delayed by another couple of days.

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Boss regrets pointing finger at chilled out techie who finished upgrade early

Alien8n

Re: It was a dark and stormy morning...

I posted elsewhere about an ex IT Manager boss, but this just reminded me of yet another idiot moment he had.

FAST somehow managed to persuade him that open source software was ILLEGAL. The argument being that to be legally used by a business you had to apply for a license to use it. And that involves paying for said license. As there was no way to apply for a license to use free software it must therefore be illegal to use.

Completely ignoring the fact that open source software that is free to use in a commercial environment comes with a lovely little box when you install the software that informs you of the open source license agreement that you accept to continue installing. That or it's just in the T&Cs on their website...

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Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal

Alien8n

Re: The reason I left...

@The Boojum nope, if it had been I think I'd feel more open to admitting that. Unfortunately the individual in question shares the same name as someone rather famous who died earlier this year. Which ironically makes it impossible to verify any of his claims (you'd think his claim of being on the Olympic archery team would be verifiable at least).

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Alien8n

Re: The reason I left...

There were plenty of other things that rang alarm bells. Such as how he was apparently a super duper database developer. The accounts database which he created in Access generated over 8Gb of data and took 8 hours to run. After optimising the ODBC queries and moving the where clauses to the initial database query I got it down to 2Gb of data and 2 hours to run. He really didn't have a clue, but was always ready with some bullshit story about why he was better than everyone else in the company.

Apparently his fully cryogenically cooled Cray supercomputer was bought for a song and used to generate oil exploration data for the UK government and was connected to the internet with a T1 connection, which according to him meant he had to be registered as an ISP. Also apparently he was allowed to keep surgical titanium rods that were used to hold his collar bone in place, which is why he was unable to compete for the Olympic archery team, due to an accident involving a herd of red deer.

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Alien8n

Re: The reason I left...

@AC no scam, he really was a complete idiot. As said, he claimed to be an Einstein level genius, but couldn't get his head around the simple fact that VAT is ADDED tax, not a % of the sales price. Luckily for him you don't pay VAT on postage which meant that the numbers kind of balanced out, but if HMRC ever audited the client they'd have some serious questions to answer.

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