* Posts by sisk

2120 posts • joined 17 Mar 2010

Authorities go hard on coffee maker for stiff Viagra-powered brew

sisk

Given that it was marketed as a male enhancement product I suspect most of the men drinking it are aware of the extra ingredient. Let's just hope that their wives didn't grab a cup of coffee though.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

sisk

Re: Hardly shocking

As an avid fan of the likes of Asimov and Clark who studies quantum physics for fun in my spare time, I resent that remark.

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sisk

Re: Wading in late

The educational focus of the show was more on history, not science.

It was actually about half and half. Go back and watch season 1 of the classic again and you'll see it, particularly in The Daleks (the second story), where they go into pretty good detail about the basics of electricity. Considering that they were working with a 20 minute episode format the amount of time spent on the subject can't be anything less than an intentional lesson for the viewers.

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sisk

Re: Was the Dr ever male or female?

The Doctor has always been decidedly of the male gender and mostly - with the exception of a couple incarnations - of asexual orientation. It least he's always seemed completely uninterested in romantic/sexual entanglements. Which, if you've ever read the book that deals with Time Lord reproduction (I'm not certain of the title right at the moment. Lungbarrow maybe?), makes perfect sense. 8 and 10 seemed heterosexual, 11 seemed omnisexual (in the sense that he was totally oblivious to gender beyond using it as a method to assign pronouns) but didn't have much of a libido. 12 has hinted a couple times at a mild, cautious attraction to Missy, but he's unwilling to explore it for, I think, obvious reasons.Though that may just be me reading into scenes something that wasn't there. And I think it quite obvious, especially in the last couple episodes, that Missy was very attracted to him.

I think we can safely say that Time Lords do indeed have male and female genders.

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sisk

Re: 13?

The War Doctor doesn't count. He even said "Doctor no more" immediately after. he regenerated. He was an incarnation of the Doctor, but he was not a Doctor. He's simply the War Doctor.

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sisk

As I've been saying for years, I've no problem with a female Doctor provided she got the role for the right reasons. If Whittaker happens to be the best one for the job in a fair decision process, great. In that case she'll be a great Doctor and we've much to look forward to. If they went into the process set on a female Doctor for the sake of PC and that's the only reason they picked her then I've a problem with it. "This role needs to be a woman because it's always been a man" is an absolutely stupid reason to cast a female actor for the role. "This actress will be great in this role that's always been a man" is a great reason for a gender swap.

I suspect that 3 or 4 episodes into the next season we'll all be able to tell which has happened.

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Crazy bug of the week: Gnome Files' .MSI parser runs evil VBScripts

sisk

fully recognise inputs before processing them

Programming concepts and best practices don't get any more basic than that. Seriously, first a hard dependency on a questionable init system and now this? WTF Gnome team?

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Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise

sisk

If you consider that half the Reg readership moves to DEFCOM 2 at the first mention of systemd

There's a good reason for that. Systemd is a horrendous bit of code being foisted on us by a small group that refuses to take constructive criticism as a cue to improve their product. And, on top of that, some of their decisions are just stupid to begin with. For instance, what kind of fool thinks binary logs are a good idea? What are you supposed to do with those when you can't get into the system, the time you need the logs most? And that's just one of a dozen major design flaws with it. Forget the fact that the entire thing utterly fails the test of doing one thing well and instead is mediocre at a whole bunch of things. It's just got flawed premises at the foundations.

There's an axim that states that a complex system that's broken will be found to have either evolved from or replaced a simple system that worked just fine. This is absolutely the case with systemd. Fortunately, at least for the time being, most of us (sorry Gnome users) can switch to OpenRC instead.

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Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts

sisk

Re: Devil's Advocate

PETA are simply insane, human-hating, SJW Marxists

I disagree. Even the reality challenged group that is SJWs look good next to PETA. The typical SJW actually believes that their views are valid and need to be heard, including the shouting down of dissenting voices (which, more often than not, are the voices of reason when SJWs are involved). PETA, on the other hand, are as a group so hypocritical that I have difficulty believing that anyone who remains associated with them for more than a few months could actually believe their rhetoric.

Not to mention such insanities as arguing that Mario's Tanooki suit somehow harms animals. Even the most mentally challenged and hardcore animal rights activist would have trouble actually believing that one.

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sisk

Re: Devil's Advocate

It also reveals how ethically challenged PETA is.

In order for that to be the case their ethical problems would have to have been hidden in the first place. Or do you seriously think that any rational person could mistake a group that thinks it's OK to throw red paint on someone for wearing fake fur even while euthanizing more animals annually than any other group in the world for an ethically sound group?

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sisk

Re: Just sayin'

Unfortunately the SCUSA some time ago confirmed corporate personhood. In other words, in the US corporations are legally people. No matter how absurd that is.

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An AI can replace what a world leader said in his video-taped speech. This will end well. Not

sisk

It's an impressive achievement, but after about about 10 seconds of watching it falls into the uncanny valley.

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OMG, dad, you're so embarrassing! Are you P2P file sharing again?

sisk

Re: ...alongside dancing badly in public.

Bah, I use public embarrassment as a deterrent. For instance, my daughter knows that her learning to twerk will result in me learning to twerk and then chaperoning all of her school dances. For some reason her interest in learning to twerk evaporated the instant she was made aware of that fact.

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

sisk
Headmaster

often refuse to entertain chrome or firefox , let alone a Linux browser.

Most systems don't know the difference between Chrome or Firefox on Windows and Chrome or Firefox on Linux. This is doubly true since DRM has been implemented in the browsers themselves (hence why we now have Netflix on Linux). It's incredibly difficult for me to imagine what, in this day and age, you could do to a web based app that would make it run in Chrome or Firefox on Windows but not in Chrome or Firefox on Linux. And if your web based app only supports any one browser then, in my not-so-humble professional opinion, you've done it very wrong.

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sisk

Re: It will take 1-2 more WannaCries

There's no particular reason why Linux is more secure than Windows.

False. The architecture of Linux makes it inherently more secure (note: more secure != perfectly secure) than Windows. Unless Microsoft throws out all existing Windows code and starts from scratch that will never change. You just can't equal the security of Linux with the foundations that Windows is built upon (though, in all fairness, they have gotten closer than I would have believed possible in recent years).

If Linux becomes the dominant OS, that'll get attacked too.

Linux IS the dominant OS. It's got an install base three times that of all other OSes combined. Just because it doesn't have much presence in the tiny fraction of the market that is desktop PCs doesn't mean it's got a small attack surface. It also gets attacked all the time, and every time a Linux attack enjoys widespread success it makes headlines. Which, I think, says a lot for how rare such an event is.

And just at the moment it seems that Linux security is in a bit like a mess

Um....are we living in the same reality? Because, no, it's not. What is a mess is the security of Linux based IoT devices, but that's the fault of manufacturers who ship the things with absolutely absurd configurations like an unsecured adhoc wifi network with no easy way for the end user to shut it off. Just as you can lock down any OS pretty well these days you can also turn the security of any device into Swiss cheese with bad configuration, and that is exactly what's happening.

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Amazon squares up to Walmart over boycott calls: Talk sh!t, get hit

sisk

Wal-Mart has a long history of anti-competitive tactics. Them trying to bully vendors into not using a competitor's services is par for the course. That said, I don't think they're used to having a competitor who can actually go toe to toe with them like Amazon.

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Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

sisk

10 years? Normally I'm optimistic about Musk's projects, but I think the necessary radiation shielding for a viable, long term Mars colony is more than 10 years out. And then we need to figure out a way to grow enough food for a million people there. Sure, you've got free fertilizer a la Matt Damon once you get rolling, but that's going to take some time to build up the levels you're going to need.

Sadly the rocket to get people to Mars en masse is nowhere near the only technical challenge here.

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Raspberry Pi sours thanks to mining malware

sisk

Re: non binary choice

How do you classify arms deals with Saudi?

Oh that? It's just a donation to some guy's retirement fund. He was so appreciative that he gave me a couple hundred AKs to thank me.

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sisk

To catch the malware you have to not only leave your pi on with SSH ports open to the internet, but you also have to leave your password on the default. The current version of Raspian will complain every time you log in if the SSH server is on and you haven't changed the password. What kind of fool uses default passwords?

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Has riddle of the 1977 'Wow!' signal finally been cracked? Maybe...

sisk

Re: They need to look at the real evidence

But what if Ancient Astronaut Theorist are right?

Given the amount of evidence that ancient astronaut nutjobs have to ignore - right up there with flat earthers - to spout their theories that seem extraordinarily unlikely.

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sisk

It's never aliens......Dangit.

Professional astronomers are such killjoys. Wow signal? Comets, not aliens. Tabby's star? Probably comets or asteroids, not aliens. Streaks of light outside the ISS? Lens flares, not aliens. Anal probes? Drunk rednecks, not aliens (actually, I'm kinda glad that one's not aliens...I don't think I'd be interested in meeting an "advanced" species that obsessed over another species rectums to the point of kidnapping people just to stick something up their butts).

Ah well. Sooner or later something's gonna be aliens. Probably. I hope.

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Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

sisk

One of the latest sentences included conviction for the possession of 'The Anachist Cookbook'.

Have you, ever, read it?

I have.

It was published in the early 1970s; the contents are approaching something like 'Dangerous Things for Boys

Not dangerous. Suicidal. It doesn't take much chemistry knowledge to realize that mixing plaster with explosives then chucking it into the oven to dry faster isn't going to end well. Or that nitroglycerin is liable to ruin your day if you don't do something about the waste heat from the chemical reaction that produces it. Or...actually, you know what? Just give the thing to terrorists. Air drop pallets of copies of it into ISIS training camps. That alone should make a big dent in the problem. Granted the ones that survive will be the ones with more than two brain cells to rub together and thus be harder to catch, but the total volume should be down to manageable levels.

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sisk

Re: balancing harms

False dichotomy.

The dichotomy is in no way false. You cannot have your cake and eat it too: either you're secure or you're not. There is no false dichotomy here, just the only two options that exist in reality: strong security or no security.

And, for the record, if your voicemail isn't encrypted then it should be. Unless, of course, you don't care if your nosy neighbor listens to it. It's not that Whatsapp should have more security than your voicemail, it's that your voicemail should be at least at the level that Whatsapp is if you care at all about your privacy. And your money already enjoys end-to-end encryption (unless you're so foolish as to log into your bank account without SSL that is). Were I explaining this to my nosy neighbor I absolutely would sidestep the question with a more relevant one: what makes him think he should be able to listen to my voicemail?

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sisk

There is no way to let the good guys snoop without letting the bad guys snoop. That option simply doesn't exist. So either we have strong security or we have no security. It's really quite a simple concept. It always blows me away just how many people don't seem to understand it.

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Cuffed: Govt contractor 'used work PC to leak' evidence of Russia's US election hacking

sisk

This is why election machines need to have no network connections. The data on them needs to be carried, via some sort of removable storage medium, to the counting center by a small group of people, preferably with opposing political views to prevent collaboration, who can ensure that each remains honest. And then the votes need to be done using machines that do not have network connections. If you really need to have the votes tallied quickly you can use unofficial, preliminary counts transferred by email or phone, but the final, official count needs to be from data that has never directly touched or been touched by the internet.

Keep the whole process offline and it becomes massively more difficult to hack, and given what's at stake that's an absolute must-do.

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The internet may well be the root cause of today's problems… but not in the way you think

sisk

Not to defend Trump or May or to deride the main point of the article but damn that's a lot of bias.

Mind you I don't actually disagree with anything that was said here (Trump's a blight, I don't know enough about May to have an opinion - yes, that's embarrassing typical 'Merican of me, and I do indeed think that taking care of people is a much better solution to the current problems than clamping down on them), but more hard fact and less opinion in news - especially news involving politics - is usually a good thing.

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Going to Mars may give you cancer, warns doc

sisk

This isn't exactly news to anyone with more than a passing interest in space. Actually the only part I found surprising at all is that a trip to Mars ONLY doubles the cancer risk. I'd have guessed it would triple or quadruple the risk.

The take away is that we need better radiation shielding before we can seriously consider a manned mission to Mars.

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Forget robot overlords, humankind will get finished off by IoT

sisk

Re: What will really happen...

Don't worry too much about it. I'm convinced that sooner or later social media be viewed in much the same light as tobacco use: socially acceptable, but only just barely because we all know how bad it is for your (mental) health. When (not if) society hits the point where social media addiction enjoys the same exposure and stigma as gambling addiction people will leave Facebook in droves.

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sisk

It doesn't HAVE to be insecure

There's no reason that IoT has to use Swiss cheese as a firewall. I think you'd be hard pressed to break into any of the various IoT devices in my house. Mind you these aren't off-the-shelf IoT devices. They're bespoke devices with various SBCs and Arduinos at their cores put together by someone who knows a thing or ten about security and that, unlike most commercial IoT devices, get updated regularly. They're both less expensive - the latest device, controlling 8 light switches, cost about $10 to build and could have been less expensive if I'd used an Arduino instead of a SBC but I was being lazy - and far more secure - I'm fairly sure that they're all a good deal harder to break into than the my router - than the stuff I could buy to do the same jobs. But if a middle aged nerd can build IoT devices in his spare time that aren't chock full of security holes I don't see why a company building delivery bots that are going to be responsible for millions of dollars worth of product couldn't do it.

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What's got a vast attack surface and runs on Linux? Windows Defender, of course

sisk

Re: I think the spell checker got fuzzed

Either would be appropriate when dealing with Windows Defender....

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Man sues date for cinema texting fiasco, demands $17.31

sisk

I can see where he's coming from

I once had a date who spent more time looking at her phone than at me. She did not get a second date. From that experience I can really feel for this guy. But suing over $17? Come on man, it just isn't worth the headache.

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Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

sisk

Personally I've got a pretty low opinion of Assange as a person and from his public behavior I believe it is entirely possible that he is exactly that kind of douchebag. That said, the accusation doesn't make it so.

All the same I believe his fears of extradition to the US and harsh treatment therein are completely justified. I also believe he missed his best window of potential freedom. Had he left the embassy six months ago Obama would have probably been inclined to leave him alone. I mean how would it look if the man commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence and then went after Assange? Now though? With a lunatic^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^hTrump at the helm? Yeah, he's got more reason to be afraid than ever.

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Samsung was just Tizen – homegrown Linux again pitched at n00bs

sisk

Re: Eh?

the Linux kernel is only a part of Android. Google could at any time decide to swap it for something else

Technically they could, but why would they ever consider such a thing? The Linux kernel is available to them for free, and every time Torvalds and co. release an update they get a raft of bug fixes, performance enhancements, and feature additions available them without having to put a penny into R&D. Dropping Linux from Android in favor of a different kernel would be a stupid move for Google.

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Linus Torvalds stops personally signing Linux kernel RC tarballs

sisk

Re: Linus has a mother? Must be one of all inventions

I've not ever bothered looking her up - honestly I don't care about the man's personal life and likely never will unless by some unlikely fluke of fate he someday ends up in my circle of friends - but I can just imagine the type of woman who could handle Linus in all his ill tempered, foul mouthed, genius glory would not be the type of woman you'd want to cross.

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All that free music on YouTube is good for you, Google tells music biz

sisk

Re: not convinced

Thinking about it artists uploading stuff to YouTube may be part of the industry's problem here. They can't control what we listen to anymore. They tried to shut down Lindsey Stirling, but thanks to YouTube she's a millionaire now. They tried to shut down Pentatonix, even broke their record deal AFTER they spent their savings to move to LA, but thanks to YouTube they're now one of the more popular groups around. There are dozens of success stories like that. If the industry had their way we wouldn't know who any of them were.

Maybe, just maybe, YouTube isn't the problem here.

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sisk

Ummm....yeah, actually

This is a repeat of the research done years ago that showed a boom in the music industry correlated strongly with Napster activity. I don't recall whether or not they were able to show causation, but they certainly had good evidence to at least look in that direction. What the music industry was getting was basically free advertising. Things have change a bit since then so it's probably not as good for the industry as it was back when it took half an hour to download a song, but I could see the concept still working.

All the same when getting music from YouTube it's probably best to stick to the artists' official channels. That's what I try to do.

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Trump signs executive order on cybersecurity, White House now runs the show

sisk

Oh hell

So...the nation's cybersecurity is now directly in the hands of an administration who's transition plan included intentionally creating thousands of dead links on their own website. I'm truly beginning to think that doomsday preppers might have a point, even if some of them are clearly off their rockers.

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Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

sisk

Re: Thunderbird users?

I know webmail works for some people, but I was using email long before the Internet was set up, and I still prefer offline use.

I'm going to assume that you didn't mean that the way it came out. I'm going to assume you meant the web, not the Internet.

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sisk

Thunderbird users?

I'm curious, genuinely curious, how may people in this age of webmail and smart phones are still using Thunderbird. Or, for that matter, any other desktop email client not chosen for them by an employer. I mean I know the things aren't dead and I'm not implying that they are or should be, but certainly their usage has to have fallen off rather dramatically in recent years, right?

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Facebook is abusive. It's time to divorce it

sisk

Facebook = depression!

There's a strong correlation between Facebook usage and clinical depression. We all know that correlation isn't causation, but when you've also got data to prove that FB users' brains are absolutely swimming in dopamine - which is abruptly cut off the instant they post something that doesn't get any likes or, worse, log off and go outside for some fresh air - it's pretty clear that in this case it's at least a contributing factor.

I left FB temporarily about a year ago on the advice of my divorce lawyer. That temporary departure became permanent as soon as I realized how much better my life is without it. Just one more piece of trash to be kicked out of my life in the name of making my life livable again.

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'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

sisk

W T Absolute F?

Fines for doing a little math and sharing the results publically??? Since when do you need a license to do math? And, ya know, we've got this little thing called free speech in the US. No way the fines stand up in court. Not a freaking chance.

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Don't stop me! Why Microsoft's inevitable browser irrelevance isn't

sisk

IE and O365 compatibility

But can I be certain that Microsoft’s offering will work with my Office 365 world?

Erm...No, actually. Microsoft has broken IE compatibility in O365 at least twice that I know of. That's actually the entire reason we finally added Firefox to our system images around here instead of simply allowing users to install it if they needed it.

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Linux remote root bug menace: Make sure your servers, PCs, gizmos, Android kit are patched

sisk

Meh, any phone old enough to be effected and not getting updates anymore has worse and easier exploited bugs than this in the Android code.

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sisk

So....all normal then?

Just like every single time a Linux vulnerability makes the news (which seems to still be pretty much every single time a major Linux vulnerability is found) the patch to fix it is already available before the press can get their stories out. Except this time the patch is not only available but actually already applied to all but some edge cases. The biggest bunch of unpatched devices by far are going to be ancient phones that don't get security updates anymore and thus have more easily exploited bugs in place from Android code. The next biggest batch is going to be the mostly neglected personal servers sitting under nerds' desks the world over that the owners never think about because they just sit there doing their jobs, but now that the story's out those won't remain mostly neglected for long. (Speaking of which, I need to go look up how to use the package manager in Alpine again I guess since I seem to have forgotten in the year and a half or so since I last logged onto that box.)

So....yeah. No need to worry here.

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Ex-IBMer sues Google for $10bn – after his web ad for 'divine honey cancer cure' was pulled

sisk

Dude doesn't understand how the 1st Amendment works

The government cannot supress your free speech, but that doesn't mean someone else has to spout your nonsensical cancer cure that's gonna get any rube dumb enough to depend on it killed just because you paid them. Actually, come to think of it, he probably has been told that by a lawyer or three who refused to take his case, which would explain why he's representing himself.

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How hard will it be to measure Planet Nine?

sisk

Apparently there's a new definition of 'planet' being pushed by someone - I'm not sure who and this comes from bar chatter, so grains of salt aplenty - that would boost the number of planets in our solar system to over 200 (I forget the exact number). This definition would include not only Pluto and all the other dwarf planets but also most if not all of the moons in our solar system. Basically, it's anything with enough gravity to pull itself into a sphereoid. Personally I inwardly groaned at this definition.

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PC survived lightning strike thanks to a good kicking

sisk

Ghost Keyboard

At one point everyone in my office was given wireless keyboards and mice all of the same model. By some fluke a couple people with adjacent cubicles ended up keyboards and mice that were using the same frequency and their computers were on the very edges of the maximum range for the receivers. This being a tech office, it didn't take long to figure out what was going on and correct it (by moving the receivers further away from each other) but hijinks involving them occurred sporadically for years. Often around this time of year in fact.

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Can you ethically suggest a woman pursue a career in tech?

sisk

Men must be on their best behavior. A big ask?

I don't think it's so much to ask that we behave like decent human beings towards women.

Then again my boss and 4/5 of my co-workers in the IT department are women, so maybe I've got a unique view of this issue.

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'I'm innocent!' says IT contractor on trial after Office 365 bill row spiraled out of control

sisk

The organization noted that no data was lost and no personal information on any individuals was compromised.

That being the case, how could this matter possibly be considered a criminal case? I find this completely boggling.

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RAF pilot sent jet into 4,000ft plummet by playing with camera, court martial hears

sisk

Re: Low level loss of concentration

they think they own the sky.

Feel free to argue that point with them, but I'd advise you to do so with both feet planted firmly on the ground.

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