Re: What's wrong with a good spoonerism?
That would be Siemens, I'm led to believe that was made up for the comedy :)
865 posts • joined 15 May 2007
The guy who used to supply all our stainless steel tooling was a Wayne Kerr Engineering.
Time to bring this gem out again: imagine a company that has at least one new starter every week, and the R&D manager decides to test the recruitment process. Shortly afterwards a new PC, name badge, login with email, etc for their latest engineering hire, a Mr Hugh Janus.
Hugh is now working here as a Brexit consultant. Strangely his name badge looks remarkably like Nigel Farage...
My first engineering role the company software (green screen job running on an AS400) had a 4 letter limitation on custom functions. We needed to write a function that did a count. Unfortunately CONT had already been used, so no prizes for guessing what we named it...
A later job and I'd often have to reboot the SEX Service on the machine. To make matters worse one of their previous clients was an online seller of adult toys.
The problem really is that MP3 killed the value of music. You look at a £25 vinyl record and state it's overpriced, that CDs are less than half the price. Now consider that in nearly 30 years the cost of that CD has actually gone DOWN in price. Taking inflation into consideration we should be paying at least £20 a CD, this is the real reason that the music industry is in so much trouble. It used to be that you'd save up for an album, it was expensive and treasured. Now you just load Spotify and away you go, as much as you can listen to for a tenner a month. For consumers this is great, it's a good thing, but for bands it's literally killed the chances most have of ever going fulltime as a band.
So when one of my favourite musicians brings out a limited edition vinyl that with postage will cost £27 then yes, I'm willing to pay that. Because that's what it's truly worth. Not a share of my tenner a month to Spotify, not £10 for a CD that will just get ripped onto the PC so I can stream it to the car stereo. It's worth that £27 to me because it's limited to 300 copies. It has artwork, a lyric book, even comes with a CD copy. It has value. And it's this value that kids today are rediscovering.
I love the fact that my kids are rediscovering the true value of music, and in so doing have discovered the joy of collecting vinyl. That instead of being just something in the background as they play video games they're discovering the joy of simply listening to something for the sake of listening. My kids are lucky, I get to take them to a lot of concerts, often for free. That doesn't stop them paying to see bands I wouldn't go and see though. I've encouraged them to explore music, whatever the genre, so they've grown up to listen to everything from Fleetwood Mac to Slipknot.
I've never really understood how those pig in a poke sellers get away with it. What they're doing is clearly fraud, whether it's selling something that clearly isn't actually being sold, or is just blatantly counterfeit. And yet the police do absolutely nothing about them and the council lets them get away with renting shops without closing them down.
There's a good argument for Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes. Both were committed after Japan had started looking to make peace, but prior to surrender. Documents at the time show that the real reason for Hiroshima wasn't to stop the war but as a warning to Russia. Nagasaki was to show they could do it more than once. However, the plan backfired and only spurred on Russia's attempts to build their own bomb.
"Depends on what you want it for,
So it is with humans."
That's a very dangerous way to look at it. There was a time when people acted on those beliefs, it fuelled the slave trade and the buying and selling of people for their "attributes". The simple fact is that regardless of "race" everyone is pretty much equally good at what they do. Look at any sport, and you'll find a good mix at any level, and in any sport. Same goes for any profession, intelligence does not know the colour of your skin. We don't breed humans for specific roles, and while skin tone can be attributed to where someone is from geographically, it doesn't stop them from being able to live anywhere on this planet. It's that belief that fuels racism, and it is inherently evil as it allows one to believe they are somehow superior when superiority does not exist and treat fellow humans as if they are animals. We are all human.
Not quite true, the definition of a species isn't just that it can interbreed, but interbreed successfully. The relatively sparse DNA from none HS species would suggest that while some DNA fragments are benign, others would render their offspring infertile if mixed with another species.
Case in point, many big cat species are close enough that their offspring are viable and can interbreed. While clearly not of the same species, it could be said that they are sub-species of a wider cat family. Denisovans, Neanderthal, and Homo Sapiens are close enough to breed, but evidence would suggest that they are also distinct enough that most of the offspring would either be infertile or suffer from such horrific complications that their lives would be very short indeed. In which case it could be said that they are not close enough to be a sub-species of a wider Homo family and are therefore distinct species in their own right.
It may also be that other hominin species may yet be found within HS DNA, such as Floresiensis amongst the Pacific islands (although all evidence so far would suggest not). Add to this that many localised peoples DNA has not been researched, for example I would be interested to see where the aborigines of Australia and the Maori of New Zealand fit into the genetic jigsaw of time, given their abundant history within their locales. My understanding of South Pacific genetics though would suggest that their ancestry would be Polynesian, with a mix of Neanderthal and Denisovan thrown in.
I'll assume you're now being deliberately obtuse just for the sheer bloody minded stubbornness of it.
Everything entering and leaving the UK will now be subject to WTO rules on trade. That means duty to be paid at either end. On everything. So straight away everything we buy is more expensive, and everything we sell is more expensive.
Now there are options here, we could unilaterally drop all import tariffs and quotas. That wouldn't help much though as that just makes the UK the dumping ground of every cheap manufacturing country in the world. You can't say "well let's drop tariffs just for goods from the EU" due to most favoured nation status, you drop a tariff for one country you drop them for all, unless you've negotiated a trade deal with them that grants you most favoured nation status. And this cuts both ways, without that deal no other country can drop their tariffs without dropping them for every country.
So let's look at an industry where we both import and export. Cars.
The EU is without doubt our biggest buyer of British made cars. WTO rules state duty on imports of cars is 10%. Because of this every car sold in the EU overnight becomes 10% more expensive. However, most of the components that go into making a car come from the EU. These will need to have duty paid on them, so that gets added to our 10% as well.
This could be offset by producing more components in the UK, but it's actually more expensive to make them here, which is why they get made abroad in the first place.
So say you're BMW, with proven manufacturing capabilities elsewhere in the EU, what are you going to do? If I was them I'd start ramping up capabilities in Poland, it gets around the issues of import duty and will also put money into Poland's economy while simultaneously lowering the cost of production given the cheaper manufacturing costs in Eastern Europe. It's an easy win.
Now look at the other side of this coin. We're a large part of the EU's trade, a significant amount of the cars made in the EU are also sold in the UK. But due to WTO there's still that 10% duty to pay. Now the UK government isn't going to be too bothered about this, it is after all just an import tax and so will go to the Treasury. But all of a sudden every car that's imported becomes 10% more expensive to the consumer. BMW doesn't care that you now have to pay more, after all you're just paying the same as before to their bottom line, it's not their fault you now pay the same price that the USA have to pay for an EU produced car.
So taking just car manufacturing you've lowered your GDP and increased inflation overnight. This is generally seen as a Very Bad Thing.
Of course you could keep manufacturing here in the UK. You just need to break the £ by enough that even with 10% import duty the car made here is cheaper than the one made in the EU. But that will mean everything else that's imported is more expensive, which will increase inflation and lower GDP. Which as we've seen above is generally seen as a Very Bad Thing.
Now multiply that across every industry that is reliant on import or export.
This is why a Deal is so important. Without it we lose access not just to the EU on Free Trade terms, but also to every single other country that has a deal with the EU. We lose access to Canada, Japan, European countries that aren't part of the EU but are part of the EEA. None of these countries will be allowed to unilaterally trade with the UK.
Sure we can sign a deal with the USA. But at what price? They've already stated that in order to have a deal we have to give them our food standards, renegotiate drug prices for the NHS, and give them full access to every government project going, including the NHS. We are NOT in a good negotiating position. Especially when it's countries like Moldova that are holding the knife to our throat.
I keep forgetting that El Reg is the home of Pedantry (although it still has some way to go to reach the epitome of Pedantry that was AFP).
Okay, prior to the invention of transistors most "electronics" consisted of convoluted vacuum tube valve affairs whose functions were later replaced by transistors.
Take apart a radio from before the miniaturised transistor was invented. Lots of valves in that. I'm talking about the big bulb like valves here, not the kinds that direct water flow. In fact you could also take apart some earlier audio amplifiers, same thing. Or what did you think they used before silicon?
Not really, remember that most older planes were still metal shells, so would be naturally shielded (to a degree) from external interference. The issue is more the interior shielding.
Almost as good as the episode when they tried to use a mobile phone to ignite petrol (testing the mobile phone causing petrol station fires myth). Turns out it's not the phone that causes the fires, it's the constantly getting in and out of the car while the fuel is being pumped, building up static electricity. Not an issue for the UK as you have to hold the handle while pumping. However, some UK pumps were found to be affected by mobile phone signals, resulting in inaccurate readings on volume.
Made the attempt by the Glasgow bomber all the more ridiculous. His plan? Doused the back seat of a car in petrol, added calor gas cylinders and a mobile phone. The idea being that he'd ring the mobile phone, which would ignite the fuel vapour and then make the gas cylinders explode. Except...
Mobile phones are not detonators in themselves, you'd have to do some serious damage to the battery first in order to make it spark when you rang it, which more than likely would have made the phone unusable anyway. The mix of fuel vapour to oxygen in the car was wrong, so it couldn't ignite. And finally, calor gas cylinders have a relief valve, so in the event of pressure from heat build up it trips the relief valve stopping the cylinder from exploding. Instead they just let out a stream of gas, so instead of a bomb you have an uncontrolled flame thrower.
Reminds me, there was an excellent Mythbusters episode that looked at the myth of phones being able to crash planes, hence why mobile phones have an airplane mode. They actually came to 2 conclusions:
1. Mobile phones generated enough EM interference that they could in fact knock out a plane's navigation systems. If the cabling in the plane was unshielded.
2. Modern planes are so well shielded this is not a problem.
So the no phones rule is more to do with historical issues with older models of planes than new, but given how many old planes are still in circulation it's a "better safe than sorry" approach.
When I switched to optical engineering we had a load of Compaq PIII 500s that would now and then fail due to faulty power supplies. Ironically I knew the exact cause of the failure as the issue was with the power rail chips, the PIII 500s maxed out the capabilities of the MOSFETs in the power supply that my previous company made. At the time the replacement MOSFETs that could handle the power requirements were still in development. This was the same chip that kept failing in one of the test rigs we had, the solution was to replace it with the development chip.
I had the pleasure of flight testing a new simulator at Gatwick that was about to be shipped out to Seattle. 737 cockpit if I remember correctly. That was when I learned that planes are actually incredibly easy to fly given the right weather conditions. Given just a few hours I was able to land the simulator without any issues, and also found out that every plane could, even back then, be programmed to fly completely computer controlled without any human intervention. The only reason they didn't was that people still prefer a real person to be handling the take-off and landing (although seeing how well autonomous cars are doing that's probably not a bad thing)
First engineering job the company made MOSFETs, diodes and IGBTs, these are the ones that have 3 prongs embedded into about a cm and a half square of plastic. In the failure analysis department they kept photos of all the fake chips that had been sent back by customers that had failed. 2 main failure causes in each case (the silicon was fairly resilient regardless of the source).
1. Wires that crossed over one another joining the silicon to the prongs (so when encapsulated the wires were squashed together close enough that enough current would cause it to short).
2. Wires bonded with gold to aluminium. A well known issue back then as gold - aluminium bonding deteriorates over time (look up purple plague). Fine for a couple of years, but would fail pretty much every lifetime test you could throw at it. Automotive standards set the lifetime of a MOSFET or IGBT to be 25 years.
The company's best achievement? A chip that was certified for 6 months (the expected lifetime of the mission) that lasted about 2 years rolling about the surface of Mars.
@'s water music
Rather short sighted. My credit rating took a bit of a hammering several years ago and is still recovering (6 month looking for work and your credit rating would also look like a pay day lender's wet dream unless you're fortunate enough to have a small inheritance to fall back on). However I do earn enough to be more than capable to repay a mortgage (which I do).
Subprime lending in the USA however was a totally different ball game that involved lending to people who they knew were unable to make repayments.
My home PCs have always been named after various afterlifes.
The main PC has always been called Hades (this dates back to the early Usenet days and Demon Internet, where you could edit the header information in Demon's DOS email software. I think it returned "HELL@HADES.DEMON.CO.UK" from memory).
Laptops have varied between Pheonix, Valhalla, and Nirvana.
I've told this before but it's still worth a retelling. Harking back to my engineering days we had a separate testing room for testing fibre optic transceiver modules. Back then most networks required 2 cables, one for transmit and one for receive, the company I worked for did some fancy optical engineering with shaped silicon that allowed the same fibre to be used for transmit and receive at a fraction of the cost of the standard setup. However, when testing outside of the cleanroom we would get spikes in test failures. Turns out that these spikes coincided almost exactly to 20 seconds before receiving a text message on an Orange networked phone. Solution, no phones allowed within a metre of the test equipment.
As an aside, the test equipment in the cleanroom also had a 1 metre clearance area surrounding it and a big sign saying not to cross into that area if fitted with a pacemaker. Reason that equipment never failed? All phones were banned from the cleanroom.
"on a similar issue, I took a train ride last night, train almost empty, but about 2/3 of passangers had their feet in their shoes and boots comfortably parked on the seat in front of them. At least in those 2 - 3 coaches I walked through.
WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!"
Quite simple really, years of austerity and increasing train fares, no one else can afford to take the train.
Oh, you meant the feet on the seats? Probably just tired
More worrying is that they will happily copy and paste even the most complete bollocks if it matches their perceived world view, and steadfastly refuse to even contemplate that any mainstream news article could be correct. It's these people that believe even the most absurd Infowars conspiracy, insisting that all other sources are lying when presented with overwhelming evidence.
I once played a cleric in a party tasked with attacking a vampire's tower. Vampires on every floor.
Cue a series of natural 20s on Turn Undead on every single floor, except the final one. Still destroyed the vampire underlings but the Lord Vampire looked seriously singed and very pissed off at the roll of 19...
From memory there were 5 floors and Sun Clerics got a bonus to Turn Undead (E3.5 prestige classes)
@Joe W strange you should mention that...
When Microsoft brought out their HoloLens my first thought was how good it would be to do a truly interactive Holo table for D&D. Add in some wifi enabled dice so it automatically calculated the results and with graphics for all the spells etc it would look pretty good. Doubt it will ever happen, but it would be pretty cool if it did. Surprised no one's already done it for smart phones to be honest, seems pretty obvious for some sort of VR app.
Reminds me of school, we had a room full of BBC Bs. The interesting bit though was that I had a full set of keys for the computer room for my entire time at school. Not sure what the odds would be for this but my house keys fit both the outside and inside doors, as well as having another key from home that fit the stores cupboard where they kept the floppy disks. They never did find out about those keys...
Fairly sure the upvotes have nothing to do with that... maybe something to do with "Nigel from O2" perhaps?
And as an IT Manager part of my job is to manage expectations. Do I want a mobile phone provider that never goes down? Yes. Do I expect my mobile phone provider to never go down? Of course not, I deal with hardware and software issues all day, expecting a mobile provider to maintain 100% uptime is like expecting politicians to never lie.
There are reports of it affecting Vodafone and EE (not so much Vodafone from what I can tell).
The Down Detector page for O2 is full of outraged people having a go at O2, but in reality there's nothing O2 can do except wait for it to be fixed. Lot's of "OMG I'M NEVER USING O2 AGAIN". Imagine their shock and horror when they discover these issues affect all mobile providers at some point. Maybe we'll see them shouting "I'M NEVER USING A MOBILE PHONE EVER AGAIN" in the future.
If you want a laugh though there's a chap on there claiming to be "Nigel from O2" who is doing some expert trolling of the outraged masses...
I seem to be a bit of a rarity nowadays, worked my way into IT Management the long way... started out as an operator, moved to engineer (mechanical), then to report designer for the engineers. Then moved to product engineer (emphasis on data analysis), then systems engineer, then systems designer (still technically an engineer at this point). When they realised they needed an IT person with a working knowledge of manufacturing systems they moved me into IT where I gradually worked through several developer positions, DBA roles, and finally into IT management with some networking skills. However I'm intelligent enough to ask the question "what happens if I press this" BEFORE pressing the button, rather than as I press the button.
We have a lovely Barco presentation system that has now been made redundant due to the fact that if you try to do a Skype call and route the video through the Barco the sound very rapidly starts lagging behind the video. The solution? Remove the Barco and just plug the laptop directly into the projector system. Now everything is back in sync. Weird thing is it only affects Skype.
I find Board level HR people tend to not know their responsibilities. Had one job where they were making redundancies, Cue the following:
Called in and told we were all at risk of redundancy.
Told if I didn't take job B then job A would be redundant.
Started looking for another job.
Started job B.
3 weeks later offered a job elsewhere.
Handed notice in, and informed them that under the ACAS Handling regulations I was entitled to redundancy.
HR refuses, saying I was never under redundancy.
Legal advice received (just happens one friend of the family was a specialist in company law and the other is an Old Bailey judge).
HR still stonewalling.
Factory Director and HR Director overheard on shop floor:
"He's saying he'll take it to tribunal."
"He'll never do it, ignore him and he'll go away."
At which point a friend of mine chimed in with "you really don't know him very well do you."
2 weeks later I had a cheque for my redundancy payment in my hand. Bastards still refused to pay the full amount, apparently the "bonus" was only for floor staff and not office staff. They put a clause in the redundancy payment stating that the payment was null and void if discussed with any other member of staff. Totally illegal, but enough to stop any of the other engineers admitting what they got. I got the last laugh though, as I was now officially redundant it meant I was no longer liable for any training fees. As the training fees were more than the redundancy I took that as a win.
Seems a lot of HR drones forget that part of their job is to also protect the employees from the company. As soon as they reach the Board they seem willing to break the law providing it means their bonus at the end of the year is protected.
"Modern equivalent of striped paint, long stand, etc.? Honestly wouldn't be surprised. Bullies are rife."
One of my first jobs I got given the old "Go and ask Bob for a long weight".
Stood there for about a minute then went back and asked if that was long enough.
If you think technical documentation is bad for PCs try writing process documentation for machinery. There's a reason the document seems to assume the user is a complete moron, occasionally the user IS a complete moron. But if you don't take into account that you need to tell a user not to touch a chrome plate that's heated to 200C and they then burn themselves it's the document writer to blame, not the idiot with no common sense.
While true you have to remember the target audience for any documentation. You'd be surprised how many people ask "what does press button mean?" and when presented with the answer reply "well why didn't you just say click it then?"
Your average user associates "click" with the sound the mouse makes when they press the virtual button on the screen. It's all very Pavlov, but yes, if you want to get your point across to the average user it's safer to say "click button x" than it is to use the more logical "press button x".
"Eh? Marconi is one of the original names in wireless (radio), since it was first a thing! Are we talking about the same company?"
The Marconi name has evolved over the years. Back around 2000 it was primarily into telecoms. More on what happened here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marconi_Communications
And this was the press release regarding the buyout of the Marconi optics business: https://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/archived/resources-archived/bookham-sees-big-fall-in-revenues-in-cloudy-opto-market-2002-02/
Basically the company I was working for bought part of Marconi's optics division that just happened to also own Marconi's defence IP. Around the same time Nortel also went bust and their optics division was also swallowed up by the company I worked for. This left the company owning the old Marconi Caswell plant and Nortel's Paignton plant. This was all in 2002.I was in charge of integrating the various manufacturing systems used across all 3 sites. The old Nortel site was a thorn in the IT manager's side as it meant his nice clean Windows only network had to include a solitary Linux server based in Paignton as that ran the site's document control software.
As a few others have commented, big businesses commit corporate suicide all the time. From the annals of my past I give you Marconi.
Marconi at one point was one of the largest defence contractors in the world for something called a MMIC, a very simple, but highly profitable, piece of silicon. And then the .Com boom happened. Someone at Marconi in their infinite wis^H^H^H stupidity decided they were going to rebrand as a telecoms company and jump on the network silicon bandwagon. Fibre networks were becoming big business so it was assumed a few lean years would soon result in big wins, so they shut down all of their defence contract products. And I do mean all of them. Needless to say they soon went bust, but due to their defence contracting in previous years they were considered too big to fail. That was until they failed, owing billions to the banks.
Cue their buyout by the company I worked for and the sales droids and engineers rocking up to their new management overlords with the IP portfolio:
"Take a look at this."
"What is it?"
"It's a MMIC."
"What does it do?"
"It makes profit."
All the equipment and expertise still existed, they turned on the production lines and for the first time in several years the factory went from loss making to profit almost overnight. Marconi's MMICs were at one point considered the best quality in the world so were able to be put back on the market with the usual defence contractor premium. Helped postpone my old company's own financial worries for another year or 2. The old Marconi plant is now a science park (Caswell Science Park). Not sure I'd want to work there again though, it was literally in the middle of nowhere, with no mobile phone coverage and all the buildings are made of iron stone, meaning the buildings act like natural Faraday cages. Of historical significance as it was the main Spitfire manufacturing facility during WW2.
"You sillly little virtue signaller. I'm sure it makes you feel validated and suits your agenda to put words into other peoples mouths but it also makes you look a fool. But then reading your other posts it seems to me you're early probably 20s so maybe one day when you're a bit older and no longer hold women on a pedestal (probably when you actually start dating some) but realise they can be as scheming as any man you'll finally get a seat on the clue train."
If you'd actually read my comments elsewhere you may have come to the conclusion that I've been around a lot longer than you think. Since 2001 actually. As for holding a woman on a pedestal, are you talking about my wife of nearly 25 years? And there's a definite distinction between believing all women should be treated with the disdain you're showing and knowing that SOME women can be scheming. Something I do happen to have some knowledge of given my sister-in-law could arguably be described as one of the most scheming and manipulating people on the planet given she took my brother for every penny he had, as well as a very successful business when it became clear he wasn't going to die quick enough for her to make a quick buck off his life insurance. That however does not mean that every single other woman on the planet should be tarred with the same brush.
"Its open and shut if you believe what she says. Where is the proof she was successful? Companies don't generally fire people who are making them money just because they're A) A women or B) old. That would be corporate suicide."
The proof that she was successful will be held in Oracle's financial records. Records the courts will be able to gain access to. Which they will then be able to compare to the records of the other team members, to determine for themselves whether or not she was more successful than her other team members.
From the number of names listed (25 according to the article) it sounds like quite a large team. Knowing quite a few sales people myself (we do sell things where I work) I'd find it highly unusual that both of the bottom 2 worst performing members of the team just happened to be the 2 women on the team. Again, her claims will be very easily verifiable in court.
"So because she has XX chromosomes we're supposed to automatically believe everything she says? Grow up."
No, but given Oracle's track record on this, and the fact that everything she's claimed will be verifiable by the court (Oracle will have financial records and disciplinary records for everyone involved in the case and the court will have access to them) then I'm willing to bet that yes she was fired for simply being an older woman. Which just begs the question why you're so willing to immediately accuse her of lying purely based on the fact she's female?
As stated elsewhere, when an entire team is underperforming it's a safe bet the problem isn't the team, but the management. And by singling the women out it's also a safe bet that the prevailing "boy's club" mentality was in full swing and her managers were looking for scapegoats. Also the fact that she was granted medical leave by Oracle's HR department also shows they were aware of the harassment she was getting but refused to intervene to prevent it. All of this will be on record, and all of this will be viewable by the court.
But don't let your hatred of women get in the way of facts ($deity help any women defendants if you ever get put on a jury)
It's a curious indictment of British pay that pay dates can vary so much. Currently I'm waiting until next Friday for my pay as I'm now paid on the last working day of each month. But historically I have been paid also on the last Friday of each month and on the 25th of each month. This can then cause issues with bills when you align them with one pay date to then change jobs and discover that all your bills now leave the bank the day before you get paid.
The best lies are wrapped in truth. Think of the Brexit NHS claim.
"We give £350M a week to the EU"
Technically true. All that was omitted was the fact that the majority of it was then spent in the UK on EU science projects, redevelopment schemes and subsidies. So the inference that we could give £350M a week to the NHS was the lie, as after the returns to the UK most of it would no longer be available. It was also predicated on the whole "Brexit Dividend", the idea that somehow leaving the EU would result in a magically better performing economy, since backtracked on by all but the most ardent Hard Brexiters.
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