* Posts by tfewster

764 posts • joined 18 May 2007

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Alexa, cough up those always-on Echo audio recordings, says double-murder trial judge

tfewster
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Re: Sounds about right

> Once the recordings are presented we will know.

I predict that what Amazon releases will be consistent with their official line.

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Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

tfewster
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s/10/7/

FTFY

Windows 8 was designed for mobile and forced on unwilling desktop users; Then MS gave up on mobile...

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My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

tfewster
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Re: she'd never allow an Apple product to cross her threshold?

So she can't throw it out, as that would require it to cross the threshold.

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Chuck this on expenses: £2k iPad paints Apple as the premium fondleslab specialist – as planned

tfewster
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Re: Perceived quality?

Vimes Theory: Quality is expensive

Reverse-Vimes Theory: Expensive means quality

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Science: Broke brats glued to the web while silk-stocking scions have better things to do

tfewster
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Re: Buzzwords...

Continuing the ASCII table: [\]^_a-z{|}~ and finally DEL?

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Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

tfewster
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Trollface

Re: One reason for removable batteries...

> took the noisy phone and placed it in the glass on the wanderer's desk.

As an intermediate step, place it in an empty glass, with a note: "Next time, the glass will have water in it".

It cured one 'wanderer' ;-)

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Alexa heard what you did last summer – and she knows what that was, too: AI recognizes activities from sound

tfewster
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Forgive my ignorance of the state of the art - But can it distinguish "live" sounds from a TV or radio?

(I read the article twice, and all the comments, and no-one seems to have addressed this elephant in the room)

On the other hand, this could be incredibly useful for relaying the wife's softly-spoken orders - usually issued when I'm in another room/beside a boiling kettle or running tap/wearing headphones.

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Yale Weds: Just some system maintenance, nothing to worry about. Yale Thurs: Nobody's smart alarm app works

tfewster
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"I’m an engineer, I work in IT..." - and PJMorgan never considered what would happen if he lost his phone/signal/cloudy app? Personally, I'd be keeping very quiet if I'd allowed that to happen to me.

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Microsoft Windows 10 October update giving HP users BSOD

tfewster
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From the Article: "I cannot boot to safe mode and it does not allow me to do a system restore before the updates have gone through. …"

If the users statement is true, that's the real WTF here. Sure, changes can go wrong and you can't test for every configuration out there. But it's up to Microsoft to ensure there's a robust recovery mechanism before starting an update.

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Which? That smart home camera? The one with the vulns? Really?

tfewster
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I seem to recall posting about this before, after looking at Which? reviews of handheld vacs

Two products had similar performance and ratings.

The Dyson was "good value" at £100, a "lightweight" 2.1 kg and ran for an "amazing" 18 minutes

The Vax was "pricey" at £60, a "hefty" 2.0 kg and "barely" lasted 20 minutes

But at least they usually try to compare like-for-like, unlike most El Reg reviews ;-)

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Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

tfewster
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Re: The dick phone has already been invented

It's going to ruin that old joke

"Do you use a Dictaphone?"

"No, I use my finger"

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Brit mobe operator O2 asks cut-off customers: Have you tried turning it on and off again?

tfewster
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I'm all right, Jack. Though I've been working from home today, so not moved between cells, and I'm not rebooting just in case!

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Financial Conduct Authority fines Tesco Bank £16.4m over 2016 security breach

tfewster
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Re: It'll all be Clawed-back from Executive Salary

Presumably an *ANTI Financial-Crime-Operations-Team* and an *ANTI Fraud-Strategy-Team*?

Still, if you saw a robbery in progress, would you ring the police or write to your MP?

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Health insurer Bupa fined £175k after staffer tried to sell customer data on dark web souk

tfewster
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Re: And in Other News

"an external partner" - There are "Reputation Management" companies that will trawl the Dark Web on your behalf, for a fee.

Though it's always sounded a bit dodgy to me: "Nice dataset you've got there - Be a shame if it got leaked, wouldn't it?"

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Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

tfewster
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Re: It's not always the cleaners

"Every Health and Safety rule is the result of at 3 occurrences"

In that vein: A company had offered me a job, and I was looking over the contract + T&Cs. There were some oddly specific items in there, such as an example of Gross Misconduct: "Hitting a Director".

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Perfect timing for a two-bank TITSUP: Totally Inexcusable They've Stuffed Up Payday

tfewster
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Re: Welcome to...

Where's the silver lining?

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tfewster
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https://www.which.co.uk/money/banking/bank-accounts/best-and-worst-banks-a3q5d8c6dj7y - Last updated: Sep 2018

However, TSB are 4th in that list, so I'd take it with a pinch of salt.

I'd like to see banks & ISPs compensate customers for loss of their time rather than service; If an outage doesn't actually affect me, no problem. But if I can prove I spent 20 minutes in a call queue or running around to find a working ATM, I should be compensated for that. Even a few quid per complaint would help suppliers focus on customer service :-)

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UKIP flogs latex love gloves: Because Brexit means Brexit

tfewster
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@ RobertTheDick

Brexiters - YOU WON. GET ON WITH IT.

Except they haven't, have they? They've spent the 2 years meant to prepare for Brexit on talking about what Brexit means, leaving 0 time to actually prepare.

It's time to recognise that Brexit is impossible at the moment. Blame the EU, blame us remoaners - I don't care, just hit the brakes until the "Will of the People" can be implemented properly.

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You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

tfewster
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Re: Wordpad @COG

Long lines in Wordpad: Click View, Word Wrap, then choose from No Wrap, Wrap to Window or Wrap to Ruler

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The internet – not as great as we all thought it was going to be, eh?

tfewster
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The Internet is great! The WWW less so. I think some things have become worse in the last 10 years

- Contacting a service provider, e.g. a bank. Pre-internet, you had to phone them during working hours (and they didn't patronise you with "Your call is important to us, but we're experiencing unusually high call volume at the moment"). Then came email and web forms. Now, you have chat & Twitter - but only during working hours. It takes ages to find a contact email address.

- Search. Google had it down to a fine art, then blew it. I regularly find myself going to the second page of results to get past the chaff. I was disapponted when Google stopped spidering Experts-Exchange, though I understood the reasoning. Now, there's a million websites/fora with a million uncurated and incomplete Q&As.

- Don't get me started on blogs, vanity sites, "fake news", website usability or influencers/followers. Suffice to say there's an awful lot of crap out there, and finding reputable sites is tough, especially as many of them are disappearing behind paywalls. Maybe AOL were right with their "curated portal" approach :-)

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How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

tfewster
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Re: You're too old, Mr. Dabbs...

Spinal Tap - 18" Stonehenge

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Facebook flogs dead horse. By flog, we mean sues. And by horse, we mean BlackBerry

tfewster
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Re: IP freely

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/15/intellectual_property_protection/

https://github.com/dac1976/IP-Freely

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Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft? Now Outlook, Skype 'throttle' users amid storm cloud drama

tfewster
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Joke

FTFY, MS

"We're taking corrective actions to address an issue in which users are receiving a message revealing that they are being throttled when accessing Outlook or Skype. More details denials on this event can be found ..."

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Forget WannaCry, staff themselves pose a risk to healthcare data

tfewster
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Genuine questions

1. What are Verizon selling?

2. How do the > 25% "for money" monetise healthcare info? I can see newspapers paying for info on slebs, but then being cited for bribing the leaker. Blackmail and trying to sell info on the Dark Web seem pretty risky and low value

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Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

tfewster
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Oi, 5-eyes

Start obeying the law yourselves, they we can start a dialogue:

- Warrants for snooping, like you have to for physical access.

- No more getting an untouchable "partner" in another 5-Eyes country to snoop for you and using the results.

Quite apart from the fact that atrocities are almost always committed by someone "known to the authorities", so you don't need the mass-surveillance anyway.

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Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

tfewster
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Re: "1 business day after dispatch"

I also rely on "fulfilled by Amazon" - though a recent order arrived, the wrong item and in re-used Amazon packaging, so clearly not always true either.

>The ASA is not a statutory regulator

That explains a lot. But if they're not going to do anything, shouldn't Trading Standards take this up under false advertising/contract law?

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Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

tfewster
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Re: Actually back in the 1990s I was at a company...

Lemme guess - Serial comms, and cheap cables without the DTR pin connected?

We had a similar setup, with about 3 multiplexers between host & line printer, and every hop had to be cabled and configured right, else the monthly* inventory print would foul up when the printer buffer filled up - after about 60 pages.

* Just long enough to forget that a component had been "upgraded" but not load-tested.

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Second-hand connected car data drama could be a GDPR minefield

tfewster
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Paramount: adj

"more important than anything else". What, more important than sales, revenue, profit, design, reliability...?

I don't think I'll be buying a JLR product.* Even if they haven't gone bust, apparently their product quality is of even less importance than their shoddy service.

Or, more probably, their stock statement is just a lie.

* I always wanted a SWB Land Rover Defender one day, but too late :-(

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Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

tfewster
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Re: minimum password reset time

> Which is why you should set a minimum time between changes - just don't be monumentally stupid about it.

Ugh, even that brings its own problems. Being told you can't change a password that's been compromised because the minimum time hasn't elapsed. On one of our systems, a privileged generic* account password is retrieved several times a day by different people, but can only be changed once a day. So a bunch of people can re-use the password all day, with no accountability for who did what.

A long password history usually means you don't need a minimum time. Until you meet That Guy who ruins it for everyone:

>>...casually sabotage his own monthly New Password prompts by changing his password 11 times immediately.

* Yes, they should have individual logins. But the ancient application doesn't support that, OR auditing,

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Brit tech forges alliance to improve cyber security as MPs moan over 'acute scarcity' of experts

tfewster
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Re: Why?

As mentioned, the certifications are there - (ISC)2, GIAC - and the guidance is too - NIST, CIS, PCI-DSS. I'd not heard of Cyber Essentials Plus, but it has regular patching as one of their top-5 which puts it ahead of the rest in one respect.

A few years ago I couldn't even spell InferSec Enginneeer - Now I are one! (uncertified, but common sense goes a long way).

The training courses are expensive, but the books are sufficient, and if a company will give you the time for self-study & pay for the exams, that builds a lot of loyalty. I'd be prepared to accept a nominal "bill" for that, e.g. a weeks wages + cost of the exam, to be worked off by staying with the company for 2 years OR the remainder repaid if I left without good cause.

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Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling

tfewster
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Re: Tooooooo Slooooooooooooooow

As others have said - "It's complicated". But not completely pointless, as the alternative is to do nothing.

It's clear that BigBiz just treats it as a cost of doing business, as they continue to milk it until fined, and even then ask for an extension to "fix" something they've had years of notice of. Expect to see bigger fines in future for "wilful contempt".

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Taps running dry for Capita? Southern Water pens 5-year managed service

tfewster
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It's particularly ironic that the Rainy City should be the first to get hit by a hosepipe ban. Although we get our water supply from the Lake District. I think Liverpool gets theirs from North Wales, and presumably Leeds/Bradford/Sheffield from the Peak district.

I seem to recall that the North also supplies the South in times of drought. So water is already treated as a National resource. But you can't expect the regional, privatised water companies to plan nationally, so it's back to the government/Parliament/taxpayers that allowed that situation to develop, for additional capture & storage capacity.

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Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics

tfewster
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I've seen many repurposed broom cupboards. Plus a specialised computer room, which would have been great if the computers hadn't been moved in before it was finished. The servers were lifted (and dropped) by the contractors laying the floor covering. And covered in little piles of brick dust where shelves were being put in.

One of my employers saw the light, and moved the servers and noisy high speed line-printers out of the general office to their own room. With not just an extractor fan, but external air from the cool side of the building sucked in! Unfortunately wasps built a nest near the intake one year, and we had a computer room full of dead wasps.

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tfewster
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Re: Wrong Type of Leaves

The issue is that we don't often get hot weather in the UK, so proper cooling would be a "waste of money". ISTR that UK Elf n Safety regulations specify the lowest temperature staff can be made to work in, but not an upper limit.

Apparently the business being shut down by overheating kit heat isn't a problem?

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Ticketmaster breach 'part of massive bank card slurping campaign'

tfewster
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Re: Why do browsers allows JS from other domains to run

I see your point, but it's essential in some cases - e.g. checking a payment using Verified by Visa loads the Visa JS from Visas site (if I allow NoScript to run some JS from those dodgy-sounding domains when prompted). However, I really wouldn't want multiple "local" copies of that.

"...i get the third party components, bundle and test them then distribute".

Unfortunately that's why you get multiple installs of Java on some systems, all out of date.

Every solution has its own problems :-( The real question is, 'is the "trusted" site trustworthy?'

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Dudes. Blockchain. In a phone. It's gonna smash the 'commoditization of humanity' or something

tfewster
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"We want to get into the premium phone band. Do we make a $1000 phone, or just turn this over to Marketing?"

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BT's Patterson keeps his £1.3m wheelbarrow of bonus cash after all

tfewster
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CxOs: Have your cake and eat it!

If the share price is going up, obviously it's the CxOs brilliant helmsmanship. If the share price is going down, it's obviously market forces, and the CxO should get their bonus anyway as it would have been much worse without them.

Does anyone know of a CxO who couldn't be replaced by a very small script? IMHO, they're too far removed from strategy, products & operations to understand or influence them, even if middle-management don't obstruct the information flow.

ISTR at least one CEO denied knowing what was going on in their company, to avoid taking blame for illegal actions. I don't think it was BMW - though the CEO there, with an Engineering background, said "make our cars pass emissions tests" and took no interest in how it was done.

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Snooping passwords from literally hot keys, China's AK-47 laser, malware, and more

tfewster
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Re: It's a cute surveillance technique, but one can't help wondering about its practicality.

When typing in the password, the hands or body may block the cameras view of the keyboard. And if the user then sits back and just uses the mouse, the hot-spots may be in clear LOS again.

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Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

tfewster
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You couldn't make this stuff up

3 classic WTFs recently where I work:

- A new engineer pressing the EPO rather than the door release button. Failover to the standby DC - failed (Is that one WTF or two?) .

- An email mistakenly sent to a global distribution list, causing an email storm of "please remove me from this mailing list" and "stop clicking reply-all!" emails.

- An uncustomised email signature with "Your Name" left in it.

And one with a modern twist:

- A company email requiring staff to take GDPR training, but sent to staff by an external trainer who'd been given our email addresses, personnel numbers, full names & managers names.

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Sysadmin shut down server, it went ‘Clunk!’ but the app kept running

tfewster
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Re: We'll send our best engineer....

A "filed" engineer? One who's been smoothed off?

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tfewster
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Re: shutdown silliness

It used to be the case (HP-UX?) that `shutdown` ran the shutdown scripts and then issued `reboot`, whereas `reboot` or `halt` didn't bother with such niceties.

`shutdown` also prompts you with "are you sure?". Which would have been nice when I typed `last |grep reboot` but, for some inexplicable reason, didn't actually type the "grep" part in.

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tfewster
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Re: Long uptimes are a disaster waiting to happen

I usually recommend rebooting before making any significant changes as well as after. If it was broken before I got there, I don't want to get the blame.

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Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR

tfewster
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Re: Easy Enough

Y'see that's tricky. They can delete it, but then just collect it again. I think the solution is to say "You don't have permission to hold data on $ME, except that minimal info that identifies $ME - Say, name, address* & possibly date of birth. If anyone enquires about $ME, you can only tell them 'We are not permitted to hold or share any information about $ME' " But even that is information of a sort.

* home, business, email or website address. e.g. tfewster@myisp.com is unique and identifies me completely - anything linked to that email is protected. Same for all my other email addresses :-)

Exactis "timed" their breach just right - a few days later and everyone in California would have had a case under the new law.

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Jimmy Hill feted in Shoreditch

tfewster
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More than that, "Cars" is an allegory for a protected personal space in public, predicting the rise of the WWW, MyFace, blogging, trolling, flame wars...

Truly a visionary. Or should have been drowned at birth before he gave people ideas.

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BOFH: Is everybody ready for the meeting? Grab a crayon – let's get technical

tfewster
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Pint

"You know this is a technical document, right?" "Made for technical people?"

All my documentation starts with a disclaimer "This guide documents $COMPANY standards and is intended for the use of staff already trained on $TECHNOLOGY". Y'know, when the manufacturer guide says "This is how to partition your disk as required", I document* the partition sizes to be used, but not how to do it.

* Though just printing out the config of a gold build and writing BOFH-type guides instead might be a better use of my time. "How to securely decommission a server (with a rubber mallet and a cattle prod)".

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Facebook sends lowly minions to placate Euro law makers over data-slurp scandal

tfewster
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@Shadmeister

A GDPR fine of 4% of FBs $12Bn annual revenue may only be $0.5Bn "pocket change"; But multiply by 370 million EU users and multiple, continued breaches per user, and pretty soon they're looking at serious money.

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Great news, cask beer fans: UK shortage of CO2 menaces fizzy crap taking up tap space

tfewster
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Joke

Re: I am a specialist.

I hear the US Budweiser "brewery" is supplied from the other end.

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tfewster
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"Government must act with urgency to assess the issue as quickly as possible and support the industry through any period of restricted supply."

1) A Government acting with urgency may have assessed the issue in time for the next world cup,

2) What has a Free Market problem got to do with Government? It's a bit daft the suppliers all shutting down at once, without stockpiling some, but it's bloody stupid not to secure your supply when you know it's an annual shutdown and expect a big demand this year.

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Skynet for the win? AI hunts down secret testing of nuclear bombs

tfewster
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Re: Odd.

And there are plenty of "free" nations with seismographs ready to call out on a nation they consider "rogue".

But that's so Web 1.0. EMP pulses from nukes are a real threat to Skynet, so it needs something that ignore false positives like normal tectonic plate movement.

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US Supreme Court blocks internet's escape from state sales taxes

tfewster
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Re: Er .... @DougS

Price isn't why I go to Amazon - It's the convenience of a huge range, good service and a single payment point.

One Christmas I decided to boycott Amazon and bought everything from my family's Amazon wishlists elsewhere; It was a pain finding the stuff and creating a new account for each site, tracking orders and dealing with multiple delivery companies (e.g. one that only delivered to my home during business hours, and if I wasn't in I had to drive 20 miles to collect it from their depot).

They may have needed tax breaks to build their business and attract customers, but now I'd be happy to pay the 20% sales tax (VAT) for the convenience.

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