* Posts by 0laf

1173 posts • joined 25 Nov 2009

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UK.gov to tech industry: Hands up who can help cut teachers' admin

0laf
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Re: Quick solution

More male teachers in early years would be a great thing. My own boy was lucky enough to get a male P1 teacher. A rare thing indeed. He also had a male student teacher in P3.

It may not be PC but it is true, boys respond differently to men than they do to women. And boys do seem to response positively to being taught by men. I don't think it's anything to do with talent or skill. I think men just know how to deal with boys because they were one once. Also it is a positive role model that many young boys are missing.

I'm not saying that female teachers cannot be effective teachers of boys (I was married to a very successful teacher) but I've observed a difference in my boy's (and his peers) attitude and behaviours around male teachers. And in early school years it makes a difference.

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0laf
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Holmes

there is no need when it is all of them

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0laf
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FAIL

The workload is driven by politicians who just cannot help but meddle in the education system.

How about a concerted effort to teach in a way that works and is sustainable without teachers filling forms for 50% of their working weeks to ensure they deliver on government targets. then maybe you'll get talented people coming into teaching and kids won't be taught to pass tests just to give politicians a sound-bite every summer.

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Almost 1 in 3 Brits think they lack computer skills to do their jobs well

0laf
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Oh jeez that's so true. Some of the stuff I deal with at work (HR, payroll and recruitment systems) are Gordian in their complexity and I don't believe could have been more badly designed if the developers had actually planned them to be so utterly shite.

No wonder people get so mad when Netflix etc are so easy to use and so good at extracting cash from us and work stuff is so timesappingly souldestroyingly awful. The banks are a standout. Their stuff is customer focussed and utterly shite.

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Bank on it: It's either legal to port-scan someone without consent or it's not, fumes researcher

0laf
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Facepalm

They can do this but won't sort out multifactor authentication

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Microsoft devises new way of making you feel old: Windows NT is 25

0laf
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Thumb Up

We still had an NT box doing actual work until very recently (i.e. last 18 months).

Coincidentally I found a genuine copy of W2k just the other day when I was tidying out some storage. I couldn't throw it away. I remember 2k very fondly having used it with my first proper job after uni in about 2001.

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Shock Land Rover Discovery: Sellers could meddle with connected cars if not unbound

0laf
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Newish BMWs have the same capabilities although I think a lot of it is disconnected unless you pay the subscription after 3yr. When I got mine certainly the old data had been cleared.

However I also recently bought a used Mini (62 plate) and it still had the previous owners phone book installed. Which I noticed when the car tried repeatedly to call 'Janet'. I don't know a Janet. That wasn't from a Mini dealer.

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Is it OK if we call $53bn-a-quarter Amazon the Bit Barns and Ignoble?

0laf
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Re: Amazon is in my good books

I'm also a bit confused in my opinions of Amazon. On one hand they're a terrible big company that extracts billions, doesn't pay taxes and doesn't treat their employees very well.

On the other hand I've saved thousands of pounds over other retailers and their customer service has been some of the best I've ever experienced. Just recently I've had a few cocks ups all cause by issues with Amazon's couriers. First I got a double delivery of an office chair, second I was delivered a power washer that was cosmetically damaged. Ok had I had to chase via chat a few times but this didn't take long. In both cases I was gifted the items. The extra chair was worth £35, the power washer £175 ( bearinng in mind it was cosmetically damaged witha cracked case).

Compared to the trouble you get with many retailers with issues it's not bad at all.

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Sen. Ron Wyden: Adobe Flash is doomed, why is Uncle Sam still using it?

0laf
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Nor disembowelling themselves with spears

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0laf
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And the BBC. They are still heavy users of Flash.

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0laf
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Childcatcher

Re: Flash is still used on a bunch of

I've been warning schools and IT for years that their love of flash websites coupled with their love of Chrome was not a match made in heaven.

Despite those warnings it's a weekly occurrence to have schools screaming that a website "is blocked" when it's really Chrome trying to save them from Flash.

It'll only get worse.

the amount of Flash based crap used by schools in unreal.

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You can take off the shades, squinting Outlook.com users. It has gone dark. Very dark

0laf
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Facepalm

And so it's come to this...

..That being able to change the background colour on a website email app is headline news.

I would have jested "welcome to 1995" but even then this wouldn't be news.

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As Corning unveils its latest Gorilla Glass, we ask: What happened to sapphire mobe screens?

0laf
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I've a Hamilton with a Sapphire glass cover and it's unmarked despite being my daily wear watch for more than a few years.

I've other watches with 'tough' glass (Seiko Hardlex on one) and they all have scratches and marks.

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

0laf
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the other problem right now which isn't helping is that "Cyber Security" or "Information Security" as we unfashionable older bods still call it in private company has become fashionable for managers to be involved in and so we get all manner of random department butting in and trying to take over (project management, civil contingencies (feckin procurement).

They have the ear of senior management and politicians through previous dealings and also for being a subject that those high up fell they can understand. Guys who have worked up form IT just don't have the ear of those on high.

Then the usurpers get into projects make an arse of it, blame IT then run away while the original Is guys step in to try to fix the mess whilst taking the blame for everything being difficult.

There are also many 'security guys' that just say 'no' and run away. I've been at meetings where managers have been stunned to find a lowly junior me actually giving some suggested solutions and work arounds to keep their businesses running whilst dealing with the risks.There are a lot of poor guys out there too.

I just need to turn one of these meetings into a job that doesn't involve me being an entire IT department from Firewall tech to head of service.

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0laf
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Re: Money?

Mate I've got the certs and the experience but now they expect you as one guy to run security for massive organisation on your own. right down to reading event logs and reporting to board.

Security is interested and on the agenda but not funded

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0laf
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Coz you fixated on the technical so all your schools leavers are good for is being pen testers, no one knows about risk or even how to come up with business focussed solution to the issues they identify.

Quite a few public sector guys are about to walk because they are so under paid relative to the contractors.

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British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage

0laf
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FAIL

IMHO one of the problems here is not the lack of a backup but the lack of an appropriate response by BA to a problem.

There was a problem with planes and BA's 'procedures' for dealing with grounded passengers seemed to be a combination of running away, hiding in corners and hoping that the god of airlines will make all the angry people go away.

My own last experience of BA at T5 (in 2017)was that my plane had a small leak in a refuelling valve that needed a tech to look at it. From BA's reaction this might as well have been the the End of Days. Senior staff immediately took to their heels. Buses couldn't be found to take us off the plane, then buses arrived by stairs could be found. Of the 3 buses only two made their way back to the terminal. Bus three never arrived with the passengers but then the passengers arrived after apparently not going back through security.

The one junior member of staff wheeled out stood around saying "I don't know what to do". She was lucky the plane was filled with Oil industry managers going to Aberdeen and not pissed up holiday makers going to Ibiza.

The farce continued for some hours before we made it home 8hr late. BA took my complaint to the wire ignoring me and claiming that I hadn't sent any complaint until Resolver.com produced their email log to the Ombudsman.

BA are utterly shit when there is a problem.

Other airlines are useless with faults (I've been delayed many times) but only BA managed to descend into total farce.

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Azure promises to keep your backups safe and snug for up to 10 years

0laf
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This is MS though innit. Your Stuff will be safe with us for up to 10yr, or 6 months if we change chief exec and they'd rather sell moon-pies or run a streaming media company than an IT service provider with booring storage.

In which case we'll give you 4 weeks notice to move your shit and no refunds bro.

Remember, Zune, Windows Phone (7, 8, 10), ME, Vista, Win8, RT, W10 upgrade-gate, Cortana, Skype....

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People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking

0laf
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I feel I've missed the point somewhere in this 'invention' of Google's. For 90% of our employees they can sit down at any domain joined computer, laptop or thin client login and get their email, network shares and everything they need to work.Every laptop has remote access capability as well. And we've had most of this for 15+ years

It's only those who have specialised software needs that can't do this.

What does this google thing do that's new?

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Shouting lager, lager... Carlsberg's beer AI can now tell pilsners apart

0laf
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Flame

Nooo

This AI shite has just gone too fucking far now.

I mean science and healthcare is one thing, but beer.... Go on get to fuck Hal!

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Capita strikes again: Bug in UK-wide school info management system risks huge data breach

0laf
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Childcatcher

Re: That explains...

That would be a breach of DP would it not? Retaining information on individuals beyond the time it is required?

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Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no

0laf
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Meh

[Straight face] But Russia is really really good at cyber security especially the testing side of things.....

Maybe we could invite Russia, China and the Norks to test our stuff for us...

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LG G7 ThinkQ: Ropey AI, but a feast for sore eyes and ears

0laf
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Re: much larger resonance chamber

Yep I don't know why they bother with promoting this. People who use their phones for playing music in public are usually arseholes. If I want to play music at home via a phone I'll use one of innumerable decent cheap bluetooth speakers or my not cheap bluetooth soundbar and sub.

Just make it play good through headphones and knock £50 off the phone

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It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old

0laf
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Childcatcher

Re: Window 10

An addendum to that I learned recently is quite apt...

You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter.

And MS are getting to be experts with glitter

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0laf
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Thumb Up

I think I've managed to solve most of my issues with Windows 10 by spending more money and time.

Slow updates etc solved by building a relative monster (for me) of a desktop with an AMD Ryzen 7, 16Gb Ram and a large SSD.

The data slurping I've most fixed by spending hours after every update to slowly reset all the privacy setting I've meticulously managed and which MS does it's best to reset and hide.

On my small laptop/netbook I've solved the problem of it being unable to install updates due to a lack of memory (supplied with W10 and 32Gb) by giving up and using a combination of not updating, not using it, and using an Android tablet instead.

My windows phone issues I solved by buying an iPhone SE.

So really I dpon't know what everyone complains about. There are no issues with W10 that can't be solved by spending a lot more money, spending a lot of time or not using it at all.

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'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

0laf
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Meh

I doubt the vast majority of consumers care how their bandwidth is delivered.

If I was told I could have 100Mb by copper or 100Mb by fibre would I really bother? Especially if the former didn't involve digging up my drive.

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Tech support chap given no training or briefing before jobs, which is why he was arrested

0laf
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Re: Back in my day

I also own a SAK Champ. As do a few of my friends. I got it in Switzerland in 1992 on a school trip. We all bought them from the same shop, which mad have had something to so with the tall, busty, blonde German lass working the counter.

It's done stalwart service since then. Admittedly the scissors have long since broken, other bits are missing and it's got more than a few battle scars but it still works and it still used.

I also have an imitation leatherman from Aldi I keep in a desk drawer at work which for £6 is very useful too.

I feel a bit naked without a multitool nearby

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AI threatens yet more jobs – now, lab rats: Animal testing could be on the way out, thanks to machine learning

0laf
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Boffin

I graduated in pharmacology, we were told by our prof back in the day that aspirin would never be approved if it was a new drug discovered today.

I assume since 20yr has passed since that comment it would be even more unlikely a drug that we think of as innocuous would be approved for human use now.

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Microsoft bids adieu to inky fingers with whiteboard app

0laf
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Mushroom

Ideation

The room where that word was groupthought needs fitted with a hydrogen cyanide system. With big red buttons outside and in. Then anyone who hears that shit can do away with the oxygen thieves in the room of then can off themselves in the unlikely event they become self-aware that they have become vacuous empty shells no more than a mockery of the humans they were born.

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AR upstart Magic Leap reveals majorly late tech specs' tech specs

0laf
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Meh

Meh, I'm sure it'll come out. It'll be late, overpriced, underspecced and underwhelming. No one will buy it and the company fold in a flurry of lawsuits. Meanwhile the directors will have disappeared into a cloud of billowing dollar bills to a warm country with no extradition treaty.

We'll keep heading about it in recap stories about bad business practices and how "The Emporer's new clothes" is still a relevant tale.

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Softcat scores big in Scotland: Many a mickle makes a muckle

0laf
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Meh

I think overall our experience was, 'meh'. But then we deal with Crapita and NGA a lot so that does skew one's perspective of 'bad'.

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UK privacy watchdog to fine Facebook 18 mins of profit (£500,000) for Cambridge Analytica

0laf
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It's a bigger deal than it appears, the ICO hardly ever issued its max fine.

But yeah, not quite a rounding error for FB. Can't wait to see the squirming when the prosecutions start under GDPR.

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Google offers to leave robocallers hanging on the telephone

0laf
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Unhappy

Re: "If the AI detects that a machine is calling you and you don't want to speak to the machine ..."

I don't get to play with them any more. They seem to hang up before I can even draw breath to start my story of woe.

Good responses I'gve used over the years to "I believe you've been in an accident?"-

Which one?

It was terrible, I died

Yes, just now how did you know? Can you deal with the bodies?

An various convoluted stories involving mass death and national level responses.

But as I say they still call but don't want to talk.

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You're indestructible, always believe in 'cause you are Go! Microsoft reinvents netbook with US$399 ‘Surface Go’

0laf
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No, just no

With the UK/Brexit markup that'll be £500 for a 10" netbook with a non-servicable battery plus the windows 10S upgrade 'fee'.

I can a half decent full fat laptop for less than that. It'll not be much heavier and I can swap batteries. I'm sure the MS equivalent of Mac mini buyers are out there but usually they're not as blinkered as Apple customers.

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Tired sysadmin plugged cable into wrong port, unleashed a 'virus'

0laf
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FAIL

Re: Common trick

Yep. Except I did it and I was the IT guy. In my defence the points on the wall weren't put in by me and they were unlabelled.

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Gemini goes back to the '90s with Agenda, Data and mulls next steps

0laf
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Further out maybe they should be considering enterprise management controls for fleets of devices

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'Toxic' Whitehall power culture fingered for GDS's fall from grace

0laf
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FAIL

Re: Utter bollocks, GDS was useless because the people running it were idiots!

It was overstuffed with Ex-BBC cockwombles as I recall and small boys in sharp suits just out of college who looks just a bit too pleased with themselves. More obsessed with the use of the latest 'I' Thang than with national security. I did get to see a GDS staffer shit their trousers when an MOD security guy got proper angry at the their spouted shite.

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When Google's robots give your business the death sentence – who you gonna call?

0laf
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Facepalm

Bingo. Have yourself a pint.

Cloud is sold as a single product panacea that is bigger, faster, easier, cheaper and shinier.

Only it's not.

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CIMON says: Say hello to your new AI pal-bot, space station 'nauts

0laf
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Gimp

Will it have Kevin Spacey's voice? That couldbe creepy in the middle of the night.

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IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

0laf
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Black Helicopters

I wonder how many businesses go down the shitter because the senior management is presented with nothing but a glowing unicorns and rainbows picture of everything.

How can you take informed decisions based upon false information.

Mind you if the CEO wanted a real picture they could just turn up on site happy to see the truth.

We had the queen visit the little town I stayed in a few years ago. She would only have driven up the road I live on not even got out the car. Even so we still got new lamp posts ahead of schedule, all the road markings repainted and the verges manicured.

The IMB thing sounds a bit like that

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Not OK Google: Massive outage turns smart home kit utterly dumb

0laf
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If you need the internet to boil a kettle, turn on a light or switch on the heating, you are in a very bad place.

99% up time means you will lose that ability for 3-4 days a year. 4 days with no heating because Google fucks up an update!

No thanks, dumb devices have their place too.

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BlackBerry KEY2: Remember buttons? Boy, does this phone sure have them

0laf
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Thumb Up

Good review. You're certainly talking about my niche at the end of the article. I've an iPhone SE and like the size and hate the size because small screens mean small on-screen keyboards which are hard when you've big hands.

It's a bit dear for me thought but I suppose it's cheaper than a bigger iPhone.

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What can you do when the pup of programming becomes the black dog of burnout? Dude, leave

0laf
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Trollface

Re: we're not freaking magical wizards

I have for some long years repeatedly told IT that they are in the sewage business.

While everything is working noone is interested or wants to know what they do. When something breaks IT become very important indeed.

Turd icons needed. One polished, one rolled in glitter.

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0laf
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The keenness to work hard and graft at all hours is often exploited in new developers. If you burn out the business doesn't really care there are always more where you came from.

Same in accountancy, law, banking and many other professional areas. If you survive long enough you might just get promoted to the point where you too can feast on the blood of the young. But that point is always getting higher as those at the top need more and more blood to keep them alive and living in the fashion they are used to.

A mate of mine is now a partner in a large accounts firm. To me as an outsider it appears to be some sort of pyramid or Ponzi scheme. At every stage he has been promoted they seem to fuck him over a bit more and lure him on with the promise that at the next stage it will all get better.

Those in the years before him had a much easier time with benefits and perks but as they went on they have pulled up the ladder behind them to feather their beds even more.

I do wonder what would happen if everyone suddenly refused promotion or walked.

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Ailing ZX Spectrum reboot firm kicks crisis meeting into long grass

0laf
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I suppose you can do a lot of shredding in two weeks

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Audi chief exec arrested over Dieselgate car emissions scandal

0laf
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Re: My sympathies....

Another current example is Governments demanding that maths be changed to suit them enabling crypto to only apply when you are a bad guy.

It's more complicated but just the same end result of a State government demanding pi be 3.

[It was the Indiana Pi Bill which nevr made it to law according to wiki - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Pi_Bill]

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0laf
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Holmes

Genuinely shocked that he didn't have enough money to get out of being remanded.

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

0laf
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Big Brother

They'll do the same as Scotland. Call it an 'entitlement card' tell you you don't need it but you will be unable to claim benefits or services without it.

That why nearly every pensioner in Scotland has a Not-an-ID-card for concessionary travel and most teenagers as a Young-Scot discount card.

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It's time for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 to die (die, die)

0laf
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These old standards are everywhere, absolutely everywhere.

So much stuff will break if we mandate 1.2 or 1.3. Much of it requires no security at all anyway. They'd be better off with http only.

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mark the life of Slack for Windows Phone

0laf
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I fired up my old 920 the other day. Drive+ still works and still gets updates.

Now using the phone as a cheap satnav in the second car since the maps work off line.

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