Something to chew on...
the "were there" original sentence.
6424 posts • joined 11 Sep 2009
I've often come across comments I left myself in my code, warning myself not to change something that I think will fix some problem, but will, in fact, have knock on effects. Usually as a result of trying that fix once before and finding out the hard way. For example, using "0" to represent a generic value or undefined case. I decided that it should, in fact, be NULL not 0, like in the other tables, but found that there were 6 other pages referencing that table that expected and required that undefined cases were represented by a 0. Or the note I left myself warning that there was a reason that the variable in this function had a special scope applied to it.
The most frustrating f***ups of recent days have come from developing code both at home and at work. Dreamweaver is a massive piece of shit, but I kind of like it. It has this odd quirk where if you have the files view set to "Remote", so you see the files on the server, and click to open the file, it opens the locally cached copy without checking if it varies from the remote (live) version first. So you invariably end up opening an old version without that tiny change you made a few days ago in the other location and reintroducing the old bug, but you've now overwritten the working version and you have to wait to get to the other machine in order to restore it, by which time you've forgotten the fix you made which was your whole reason for opening the file in the first place.
I find tea has a far quicker effect. If by the third mug you haven't solved it, you simply set a condition "I cannot leave my desk until this is solved." The problem then quickly shifts to one's secondary (some might say primary) processing centre located around the pelvic region.
If you piss yourself, you can declare the problem insoluble.
By any mode of transit, fucking aaaaaaaaaages. The roads go round and round the mountains, the trains are non-existent except up the coast if you don't mind them being some miniature gauge, the bus follows the road, on foot you'll be cold, miserable and exhausted (see mountains), by air you have to go up and up to avoid the mountains and the rain clouds... really, it's not worth even setting out.
admit to losing millions of emails over the last week as a result of some balls up where mail set to forward and don't store (a setting used by many people after last year's debacle where incoming email was delayed for days and days on end, causing many to abandon TalkTalk) didn't forward and didn't store?
It's started working again now, presumably because the bit bucket overflowed.
We're getting into the area of juris prudence here. Jeremy Bentham and HLA Hart etc. There's a moral obligation to society and the planet not to shit on the doorstep. Arguable, of course, but I think we've come past the point of it being OK dumping oil-contaminated bilge at sea, or leaving defunct rocket stages in orbit, or having faulty pressure heads on deep sea drilling rigs etc.
So taxes pay for things used communally. Police forces, fire services, roads, rail etc etc. It's all well and good arguing that it's a legalised protection racket, but the laws that allow the loophole are those posited and enforced by a recognised government which has its own costs. i.e. the law is itself a user of taxes collected. Otherwise you would just set up in a truly anarchic state, pay no tax at all, but have no legal framework to declare that you are operating under. Catch-22.
Companies Act 2006.
Directors of a registered company have a duty to promote the success of the company. You must act in the way you consider, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its shareholders as a whole, bearing in mind (among other things) the likely consequences of any decision in the long term;
So, you're both right.
No, seriously... if companies use differing territorial tax rates to avoid paying it where it morally should be paid, then we need a non-territorial tax rate. Obviously no one nation can benefit from such a scheme, hence the non-territorial nature of the use of such taxes; whether that be disaster relief, oceanographic research / cleanup, space debris cleanup, open data global observation platforms... The rate should be set at the global mean and applied to the residual not paid to whichever nation the profits are declared in.
My brother, a REME engineer who was one of the casualties of "death by a thousand cutbacks", got a short-term placement on the Evoque line, mainly on the strength of his 10 years tinkering with Landies in whatever theatre the Army had deployed them to. He said, on coming home after his first day on the job, and I quote as close as I can recall, "What a piece of shit. Never, ever, ever get an Evoque. If you hear of anyone thinking about buying one, tell them not to. If you ever see anyone about to sign on the dotted line in a dealership, you have my permission to shoot them through the wrists."
Our college put on the stage version of this twice in 1985.
The first time was about three weeks before our production of Cabaret and they put it on again about three weeks afterwards.
For Cabaret, the freshly undercoated back wall of the stage was painted with a 40 foot high mural of can-can girls legs in fishnets with various lewd and leering audience members featured. That show was a killer as I had to move the fully loaded lighting bars back ten feet to light the back wall instead of the curtain! Queue some very strong ropes to make a sling for them to slide along. Also had to dig out and bring the old 1960s era foot-lights up to code. That was a learning experience. And I had to renovate one of the five Junior 8 banks that had burned out some years earlier. Needed full lighting for that production. This was in the days before you had to be certified to do that kind of shit.
That the criticality detector chip*, a component developed in 1992 and added to every electronic device created after that date (some earlier equipment had development prototype versions of the aforementioned circuit) has been expanded with the addition of an AI irony sensor.
*The purpose of the device is to detect the urgency of the situation at that moment in time and upon passing a threshold value fail the device in a variety of ways. It also seems to be responsible for undoing the settings that make things work as soon as the tech guy has stepped into the lift to leave, and detecting when the tech guy is within ten feet so that it suddenly starts working perfectly again.
wouldn't it be nice to have the people in power actually know what they're talking about? Or if they don't at least not try to flimflam everyone that they do?
Instead of using the well-defined term 4G as some short hand for "packet switched data broadcast over radio spectrum" in the hope that the public will then understand (because they really, really think everyone who's not an MP, lawyer, board member of a PLC, earning over £250k without kicking a football or posing for cameras, are just uneducated plebs who wouldn't understand a technical term if it imparted an impulse on their physiognomy), why can't they just say, "We're doing a deal for better 999 service radios. Ones that work on the tube and in other traditionally hard to get a signal to locations."
Or is it, perhaps, that someone's making a lot of money out of this deal and it's deliberately been structured so that there's no breach of contract - they get what they asked for, but what they asked for wasn't what's going to do the job as promised or understood?
I had been woken up early because my grandmother had died overnight. My mother had phoned in to the college and I'd been granted a leave of absence. Then, at about midday, the news came in from my other grandmother's house. My cat of seven years, whom she had been looking after whilst we were having building work done, had also died.
"What a shitty day," I thought as I sat down to watch the NewsRound special. "How could this day get any worse?"
I was a 17 year old studying science A-levels. I'd collected the whole of Insight, a magazine / encyclopaedia of science in weekly parts with binders, which I read with my father as I grew up, and was filled with the promises of reusable space exploration vehicles; I'd studied the cut-away diagrams of the STS craft and their launchers; I'd stood as close as it was allowed to the giant rocket assembly hangars in Florida; I was a great fan of Dr Who and Blake's 7, with their visions of cities in space and regular off-planet living; I'd stood on the roof of Manchester Airport's terminal building as the 747 carrying a shuttle had overflown the UK that time.
My jaw dropped as the vapour trail rising into the sky unexpectedly split, then mushroomed. A brief flash and the camera changed to a wobbly extreme tele-photo lens. Debris was spreading out and down from the inside of a cloud. I was overtaken by an almost maniacal laughter as the words of the launch controller permeated my cortex.
"We appear to have a major malfunction".
Malfunction? That has to be the understatement of the century.
Then shock, disbelief, rapt fascination, spilt tea.
Then the soothing voice of John Craven, usually so level, a hint of alarm edging his voice. My recall will not be 100%, but it was along the lines of...
"Well, we're going to stay with Cape Canaveral for a while. It appears as though there's been a problem with the launch."
The rest of the evening was just a blur. Analysis, shock, reaction, more analysis, waiting for news of survivors, politicians making speeches, speculative analysis, experts wheeled out, financial analysts making predictions about the future of the space programme which was, for me, the future of mankind.
Every year on this day, I ring my father. I never tell him why. It's because he lost his mother. I'm sure he knows that's why, but he'd never say. Maybe he's not noticed. It's a date etched on my memory, though.
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