* Posts by Alien8n

711 posts • joined 15 May 2007

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Amazon to make multiple Lord of the Rings prequel TV series

Alien8n

Re: Lets hope its better than Shannara chronicles

My biggest complaint was the ruins of old humanity. Everything look too fresh, as if the events of Angel Fire East and the Elfstones Of Shannara were only decades apart and not the thousands of years in the books. To see a good fallen humanity setting play Horizon Zero Dawn, the ruins in that game look hundreds, if not thousands of years old.

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BOFH: Do I smell burning toes, I mean burning toast?

Alien8n

Basements

Reminds me, I think it was Paddington Exchange that took down the whole of the UK's banking systems during the floods a few years ago. Somehow the flood actually caused a fire in the basement exchange. And for some inexplicable reason the exchange was a single point of failure for the entire banking network...

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Hate to break it to you, but billions of people can see Uranus tonight

Alien8n

Re: Herschell's first proposal

@TRT And as they didn't know it was a planet back then that would have made it Ringo Star

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You forgot that you hired me and now you're saying it's my fault?

Alien8n

Re: Ah, 'booking'

"What is all this saucery you speak?"

No, that's Cooking. With a C not a B. Completely different kind of spelling

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Alien8n

Re: Ah, 'booking'

I think we've spotted the heretic. Death* will be along shortly for you. Sorcery indeed!

*Well, we may stretch as far as Death Of Rats

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Microsoft Office 365 Exchange issues for users across Europe

Alien8n

Re: Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

To be fair to MS their actual mail servers are still up and running. This is more like the switch the server is plugged into having an issue and not routing the traffic correctly. So from that perspective we shouldn't be just looking at server downtime, but also network downtime. And lets face it, anyone who's used Virgin Media will know how painful it is when an entire network decides it doesn't want to play anymore.

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Alien8n

Re: Obligatory "Office 365" Joke

@Lee D

In short, not that I know of. We're currently running a hybrid Exchange and even that doesn't help with this kind of outage. We have one user still to migrate, but as it's the boss's wife it's easier to wait until she's in the office than try and catch her between business trips and holidays.

We took the plunge to go hosted 365 for a very simple reason, and even with all the issues today that reason is still valid. We have some very mobile users. By which I mean they travel to China on frequent business trips and for some reason there's always been one who cannot get their emails when abroad. The switch to O365 has meant that they no longer need to VPN into the business to collect emails, something which has always been a bit of an issue due to Chinese hotels running their own VPNs.

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Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

Alien8n

Re: I'm touched by the sanity of this request...

@DVA There are other examples as well of books finished or continued by other authors. Robert Jordan's Wheel Of Time series was completed by Brandon Sanderson for example. However they all have one thing in common, they wrote straight sci-fi/fantasy. As much as it pains me to say it, no one else could write Discworld the way pTerry did. You only have to read his collaborations to see that he was at his best with his Discworld books. Good Omens is the only one that comes close to capturing that magic, but then Neil Gaiman is rather special as an author in his own right as well.

That's not to say we've heard the last of the Discworld though. He left an awful lot of source material for his daughter to adapt for film, TV and games.

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

Alien8n

Re: Note exactly dangerous, but...

Oh the ATOS lot are much more insidious than that. First PIP review for Mrs Alien went something along the lines of:

"Yes, I can see you have a severe disability that leaves you unable to do anything for most of the week"

Followed by the actual assessment that went to the DWP:

"Person is absolutely fine on a good day so doesn't qualify for any points towards PIP"

Which bit of "unable to even get out of the fucking bed without help from a carer on most days of the week" qualifies someone as physically fit and able to work? In case you're wondering, recently diagnosed with MS, and not the mild variety. Managing to stay employed for about an hour day, with the help of her daughter pushing her to work in a wheelchair as it's a 30 minute walk from home.

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British broadband is confusing and speeds are crap, says survey

Alien8n

We actually went with VM's top package because their contention and bandwidth shaping even on the basic 200Mb connection was utterly appalling. Not sure what speeds we were getting, but it certainly was nowhere near 200Mb, felt more like 5Mb (so bad even iPlayer would buffer). Now the biggest issues seem to be the speeds at the other end, banks are particularly notorious for slow loading webpages. They actually offered us a 300Mb line, but it wasn't guaranteed 300Mb so decided against it.

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75 years ago, one Allied radar techie changed the course of WW2

Alien8n

Re: Yoof today

You are aware that these "snowflakes" as you term them are even now fighting in the armed forces and facing prejudice from the top of the armed forces down. And that's before you look at the prejudice and bigotry they have to suffer from the general public in most cases. If I was ever unfortunate enough to be drafted at my age I'd be far happier to be drafted into a company of men and women who feel their assigned birth gender is wrong than a company of whinging chavs who's idea of bravery is beating up old ladies for their bingo money, but only when they're with their mates as most of them would be too scared to tackle a toddler without backup.

Downvote to your heart's content, I'd rather see myself downvoted for speaking up than be a small minded, prejudiced asshole who still thinks it's the 1980's.

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Police camera inaction? Civil liberties group questions forces' £23m body-cam spend

Alien8n

Re: Just because the numbers aren't available.

Having been a witness to an officer arresting a friend of mine I'm strongly in favour of body cams. The officer in question physically choked my friend whilst pulling on his body with his knee against his spine. Not only did the choke hold almost cause my friend to pass out, leaving bruises to his neck, the knee in his spine could have resulted in injuries that could paralyse. Turns out the officer in question had been persuing a long running campaign against the family, to the point they were overheard the next day planning to arrest my friend's brother, despite him doing nothing. Despite witness statements to backup the brutality claim the officer didn't even get a slap on the wrist as the IPCC dropped the case based on his sole evidence. Also handily for him he was positioned in the only camera blackspot on the street.

My friend's crime? Someone who didn't like him accused him of raping his girlfriend. In the street. While surrounded by 20 other people who saw nothing. Even his girlfriend's statement was ignored.

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Antarctica declared world's most volcanic region as 91 new cones found beneath ice

Alien8n

Re: Interesting...

Viruses is the correct plural of virus. The various alternatives of vira, viri and virii being wrongly attributed (the latin vir actually meaning man, not really surprising given the discovery of viruses not happening until 1892)

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

Alien8n

Re: HR Fail

Reminds me of my first engineering job. Company decided to relocate it's manufacturing to Mexico. I'd had a meeting where I was told if I didn't take on a new role my position would be made redundant. The role I was to take on? Someone who was being made redundant. I was cheaper. Eventually they moved me into the new role, at which point I was offered a position at another company. I hand my notice in and then ask for a meeting with HR where I point out that under ACAS rules as I'd declined the new role within 4 weeks of starting it I was still entitled to redundancy. They tried everything to get out of paying it until the factory manager was overheard talking to the HR manager on the shop floor.

"Ignore him, he'll never take it to tribunal"

Followed by my friend who overheard them stating "You don't know him very well then do you."

2 weeks later I'm handed my redundancy payout (half of what it should have been, but more than legal minimum, I took it as a win. There was a bonus to all other employees for staying past a certain date, they claimed it wasn't offered to engineers, despite knowing it was, and the engineers had gag clauses attached to their bonuses)

What they didn't know was I was being given free legal advice from a lawyer that specialised in company law and an Old Bailey judge (who later became rather famous for sending down a mafia boss).

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BOFH: That's right. Turn it off. Turn it on

Alien8n

Some monitors are just weird

As a photographer I'm acutely aware of the deficiencies in some monitors. The ones I use at work have an unusual issue, they look absolutely fine until you open an Excel spreadsheet. At which point you can't see any of the cell borders, the spreadsheet just looks like it's all been formatted with a white fill and white border. Move the spreadsheet back to the main laptop screen and hey presto, all back to normal.

The fix was to fiddle with the brightness, contrast and colour settings manually, but even now there are subtle differences between each screen. Doesn't bother me enough to worry though, I'm not using the work laptop for my photography. For that I use the custom PC I built at home plugged into a 42" HD TV :)

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Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

Alien8n

Back when I was an engineer...

One of my roles as an engineer many years ago was doing CPK analysis. Rule 1 of CPK analysis is don't analyse something you have no control over. So imagine my frustration when they started doing CPK analysis of the moulding compound store room. Moulding compound should be kept in a maintained environment to ensure it's not too hot or too cold when put into the moulding presses. All sounds okay so far, but...

It turned out the store room was a shed attached to the south facing wall of the factory, with a tin roof and no air conditioning.

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Boffins' five eyes surprise: Bees correct colour for ambient light

Alien8n

Re: Please

@wonkothesane

Shouldn't that be C|N>K ?

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Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

Alien8n

Re: The inward spiral in journalism continues ..

@AC

New here?

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Alien8n

Re: Crazy as a shithouse rat

@handleoclast

"Don't eat the eggs"

"Why not?"

"We put LSD in the eggs"

"We also put LSD in the water"

"But we're drinking the water"

"I know, great isn't it"

*in my defence this is from memory, but it's still a great film :)

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Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

Alien8n

Re: Mobile Phones

The issue with mobile phones wasn't to do with combustion (although that's how it's sold) it's actually the same reason phones were originally banned on flights. The sensors in the pumps that measure flow weren't shielded properly and the phone signal could interfere, giving random readings under or over the actual flow rate and hence giving the wrong cost of the fuel. They did a great Mythbusters looking at mobile phones and planes and concluded that while modern aircraft do appear to be well shielded if you look at much older aircraft that don't have the same level of shielding a phone can seriously affect the navigation systems (they tested this on the ground with a mock up cockpit, but using genuine aircraft parts.)

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Robots will enable a sustainable grey economy

Alien8n

Re: Dumb yanks

And not forgetting government short sightedness. We still don't have a railway station in the town/village I live in, despite rapidly expanding population due to house building. All thanks to Dr Beeching*

*Note, the only reason East Grinstead kept its station was the fact his other half needed to still be able to get in and out of London from there. The surprise was that they didn't keep the line going south, obviously she wasn't that keen on ice creams by the seaside...

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Everything you need to know about the Petya, er, NotPetya nasty trashing PCs worldwide

Alien8n

Re: Bring Back

Back in my engineering days we had one machine in the waferfab running Win3.0

It wasn't even 3.1, it was 3.0 as that was the only OS that the software running the machine would work on. This was in 2003. Prior to that we had one machine running BeOS, the only time in my entire life I've come across that OS. Plenty of AS400 and VAX systems running the manufacturing systems though.

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Alien8n

Re: Suspicion...

Considering how much money they have it's possible they're running a Datto style backup system which can give you almost instantaneous recovery of all systems. It comes at a price however, so is out of reach for most businesses or governmental departments.

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PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

Alien8n

Not a PC but...

We did the testing for optical transceivers in a seperate building and every so often they'd all start to fail at once. Wasn't a problem when they were tested in the main cleanroom. The culprit? Mobile phones, you'd be able to tell someone was about to receive a text message as the failures were almost exactly 20 seconds before someone got a message. Wasn't an issue in the cleanroom as mobile phones were banned within the testing area due to the sensitivity of the equipment. I recall one piece of kit in there had a 1 metre taped area around it and a big warning sign not to cross the taped line if you had a pace-maker

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BT's Ryan Reynolds helicopter Wi-Fi ads 'misleading', thunders ad watchdog

Alien8n

Running a testing tool that generates traffic that's faster than their broadband is fine in my opinion, what you're now testing is the internal network, how many people can stream from your media server for example. That said, I'm stuck with VM for the next few years at least, no way of getting above 1Mb with anyone else due to the cabling around here being copper plated aluminium (installed just after BT went private so done as cheaply as possible)

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I'll take the sandtrooper in white: Meet the rebel scum making Star Wars armour sets for a living

Alien8n

Re: Skinnytroopers

You mean I was the perfect weight for a stormtrooper when I was 18? Although possibly a little short for a stormtooper...

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Gravitational waves permanently change spacetime, say astroboffins

Alien8n

Re: “orphan memory”

More like Batman...

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Nukes tests caused space weather, say NASA boffins

Alien8n

Re: Tubes vs. transistors vulnerability

Due to a design fault on a batch of wafers we accidentally discovered indestructible IGBTs. The transistors that failed had a voltage leak fault, but the ones that still worked but still had the design flaw could be ramped up with as much current as the testing rig was able to produce, they simply would not fail as the voltage leakage acted as a protection against the current.

As for the 200A diodes that were being developed at the time it was very quickly discovered that they didn't just fail when the current was ramped up, they actually exploded, so had to be tested within a sealed metal container. Not quite loud enough to cause hearing damage, but the resultant bang of plastic and metal hitting the sides of the container was enough to make you jump.

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Robot lands a 737 by hand, on a dare from DARPA

Alien8n

Easy to fly

The 737 is actually remarkably easy to fly, with even minimal training. Had the pleasure of several hours in a 737 simulator at Gatwick prior to it being shipped off to Seattle, most of it is automated but I was surprised by just how easy it was to land. That said that was under perfect conditions, not sure I'd be quite so successful given more adverse weather conditions.

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Stop asking people for their passwords, rights warriors yell at US Homeland Security

Alien8n

Unless they're American, in which case they post it to Facebook, brag about it and then get upset when SWAT turns up to arrest them.

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Alien8n

Re: Common profile...

"I'm Spartacus."

And so's my wife...

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Boss swore by 'For Dummies' book about an OS his org didn't run

Alien8n

That boss again...

This story has reminded me of that one boss I really wish I'd never had the displeasure to work for again. Not the micromanagement (more a lack of management) but the complete lack of any real skill. For several years their system had a weird bug in their billing software where it would create random debits and credits to customer accounts if the amount paid wasn't an exact amount equalling the bill. So a £15 bill with a £10 payment at random would suddenly become hundreds or thousands of £ in credit or debit (and it was genuinely random how it did it). Cue insistance that there can't be anything wrong with the billing software as he'd written that code himself. Even more astounding was that they'd let the code run for years despite knowing from the first time he'd implemented it that it was bugged. But of course he was a genius with a 160 IQ, ex Olympic archery hopeful, virtuoso concert pianist, and personal friend of Richard Branson with a Cray supercomputer in his garage and his home internet connection registered as an ISP. Needless to say once it was finally fixed it created a complete clusterf**k of the billing the next month as it suddenly discovered the several hundred thousand £ of extra debt that they hadn't been chasing.

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PC survived lightning strike thanks to a good kicking

Alien8n

Re: Lightning.

Haven't lost any PCs to lightning but have lost 2 surround sound systems in succession. What was really annoying though was they were the old Acoustic Solutions systems that had about 5 different inputs on the back so you could plug in the PC, TV, Stereo, Games Console and still have spare capacity if you needed it.

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Manufacturers reject ‘no deal’ Brexit approach

Alien8n

Re: ".... a 28 gun firing squad facing her"

We've proven ourselves more than capable of shooting ourselves, so it wouldn't surprise me if any deal is scuppered at the last minute by our own stubbornness and lack of compromise.

And I was close, I was going from memory, so Germany/Belgium wasn't too bad. And the delay may have been just a few months, but it took them years to get to that point. Or do you think Canada managed to negotiate a trade deal in just a couple of months?

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Alien8n

Re: It'll be fine

Unlike a few I'm more than happy to admit I was wrong. However as pointed out, the chances of every state agreeing to an extension is pretty much nil. It doesn't even need to be a member state, it took Canada 9 years to get a trade deal with the EU because a single German province kept voting no.

Face it, May goes into these negotiations not just with a hand tied behind her back, but with a blindfold, last meal for the condemned and a 28 gun firing squad facing her.

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Alien8n

Re: It'll be fine

Have you actually read what invoking Article 50 actually means? We have 2 years to make a deal. If in 24 months from invoking Article 50 we have no deal negotiated then we revert to WTO rules. No ifs, no buts, no extensions. The EU cannot extend negotiations without breaking their own rules.

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New iPad revealed. Big price cut is main feature

Alien8n

Re: Differential

I've still got my copy of engineering mathematics by K A Stroud somewhere around here as well. Haven't opened it in 27 years though...

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User rats out IT team for playing games at work, gets them all fired

Alien8n

That's debateable. The playing games during company time would be considered misconduct. For that they'd have to go through the usual warning procedures. The failure to maintain the backups, which is a business critical function, would be considered gross misconduct. The "gross" in gross misconduct infers doing something illegal or something that could be considered a breach of health and safety. Accidentally forgetting to check the backups would be misconduct, deliberately not checking the backups is gross misconduct.

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Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions at one London court targeted women

Alien8n

Re: I think the discussion is going off of the point

The original story stated that the youngest defendant was 16. This has since been updated to 20. However, what's telling is that the person prosecuted does not live at the address, from the gist of the story the 20 year old is actually the child minder for the owners of the property and as such should not be liable for the homeowner's lack of tv license.

It wouldn't surprise me if they did try and prosecute a child at some point.

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Alien8n

Re: Privatise it

Absolutely not. The last thing we need is a broadcaster controlled by the likes of Murdoch. Thanks to the BBC we at least get a semblance of unbiased reporting. Can you imagine if someone turned the BBC into Fox? It's almost as bad an idea as making the BBC totally taxpayer funded. Previous governments have already shown how they'd like to control the BBC, what we don't need is a state owned propaganda machine or a puppet controlled broadcaster biased towards whichever political viewpoint its owner wants to espouse at the time. You just have to look at the dross produced in the printed press to see how bad it would be without an independant broadcaster.

The license fee isn't great, but it beats the alternatives currently on offer.

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Alien8n

Re: I think the discussion is going off of the point

Not sure why you've posted AC as this is something I can't see anyone disagreeing with. There is no way a child of 16 can be held responsible for someone else's TV license. If anything should be making the government crack down on Capita it's this as it's clearly a frivolous prosecution that should never have been raised. Someone should represent this girl in a counter action against Capita for wrongful prosecution.

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Uber: Please don't give our London drivers English tests. You can work out the reason why

Alien8n

Re: Only English?

In keeping with current government policy regarding Brexit the new road signs will be designed by Bloody Stupid Johnson

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Finally proof that Apple copies Samsung: iPhone 7 Plus halts, catches fire like a Galaxy Note 7

Alien8n

Re: Water damage

Yes, but they're womens jeans big enough to fit an American

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I want it hot and wet – preferably with Wi-Fi

Alien8n

Re: 25p for anything in Iceland (not the store)

You may want to re-read that, he wasn't actually in Iceland...

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Oh UK. You won't switch mobile providers. And now look at you! £5.8bn you've lost

Alien8n

There are no end of providers of broadband that would be cheaper than what I pay, but... I live in a village that was cabled by BT with aluminium wire, so the best ADSL connection is no more than 1Mb. So I really have no choice where I live other than to pay Virgin for broadband, and I'm quite happy with my 200Mb broadband with no packet shaping at peak times (so I always get 200Mb).

As for mobile phones, how many stay with their current provider simply because they're the only one that provides good reception both where they live and where they work? I'm with O2 for that exact reason, they're the only provider that gets 3/4G reception at every place I've worked over the last 10 years.

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Mulesoft set to be first tech IPO of 2017? We'd forgotten they existed...

Alien8n

Re: Small world!

From experience post-IPO equity is pretty much worthless unless the company actually breaks even.

Anyone who was at the optical semiconductor firm I worked at prior to their IPO made a fortune. Those that joined shortly afterwards saw share options rapidly decline. During the 3 years I held those options they were worthless as the share price on the open market never reached the option price.

That said pre-IPO equity may not be worth it nowadays either, depending on what lock-ins may be in place and whether the share prices rises or tanks on opening.

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Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO

Alien8n

Re: Not a PC

@heyrick : This guy was that stupid. I was trained by my step father who used to be an electrician. So I knew putting the 5A lights on the 30A main was a total no no. There would be no way for the fuse to trip prior to any fire starting if the lights developed a fault.

@The First Dave : See above and yes, an open connector block immediately below the taps. One leaking tap and nothing to stop water pouring into the connector block. He even built his own kitchen lighting for the ceiling, after seeing what he had done with the rest of the kitchen I condemned it as potentially unsafe and replaced it with a standard 3 spot ceiling unit.

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Alien8n

Not a PC

In a past life before IT I worked for a company where they had one guy who worked on the shop floor who was supposedly the person to go to if you wanted a new car stereo fitted. Luckily it wasn't my car or I think i would have lynched him:

Installed stereo and then informs the owner that he had to do some rewiring in order to get the stereo to work. Okay, I've installed a few myself and you often need to add extra wiring looms to convert the car specific wiring to the 3rd party stereo connectors. Except he informs the owner that in order to turn on the lights he now needs to open the bonnet and flick a switch in the engine bay (he'd disconnected the wiring from the dashboard to the lights for some reason).

Needless to say, within a week the car developed a terminal electrical fault that left it a burnt out wreck on the owner's driveway.

Worse even than the lighting in my kitchen that was installed by the previous owner (and disconnected by myself the moment I noticed what he'd done). 5A spot lights under the cupboards, wiring going to a connector box directly under the sink, then to a light switch and from there to the 30A cooker main. Never trust an electronics engineer who hasn't been trained in electrics to wire your kitchen.

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Oracle 'systematically stiffed its salesforce' claims new sueball

Alien8n

Legality?

Am I missing something here? Surely what Oracle are doing should be illegal? I have a contract where I work and it states how much I earn. My salary changes year on year, and while it can go down as well as up it doesn't affect money I've already earned. Unless a payment is made in error it cannot be clawed back. If Oracle's employees have earned past commissions they should be paid at the rate their contract states at the time that contract is valid for. By refusing to pay these commissions and clawing back commission that was previously valid according to the contract in force at the time it was earned surely Oracle is in breach of that contract, regardless of what the new contract states. Financial recompense cannot be applied retrospectively, it must be applied to the terms valid at the time it was earned.

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Crack in black: Matte iPhones losing paint at alarming rate, gripe fans

Alien8n

Re: I'm not a major fan of Apple stuff (more Android/Linux for me) , but ...

Vauxhall were notorious for this in the mid-90s. So much so I remember Watchdog making a big deal about it. By then there wasn't much they could do about it as they weren't able to switch back due to the banning of lead paint. They eventually got it sorted though, but I wouldn't buy a late edition Cavalier if I were you.

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