* Posts by Cpt Blue Bear

363 posts • joined 2 Aug 2010

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Life is... pushing all the right buttons on the wrong remote control

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: A lovely tale...

"10 years ago, after a spat with VirginMedia, I got rid of my television service. I thought it would be a temporary separation, but it has matured into a fully fledged divorce."

I had a similar but more extreme experience. Fifteen years ago my TV died. I put it out on the curb for the hard refuse boyos and, for a number of reasons, never got around to replacing it. The extra time I suddenly had to do stuff was a revelation. If I really wanted to watch something, I'd have to actually go to somewhere else to do it which made it more like going to cinema but with comfy seats, people I like and beer.

Then The GF moved in bringing her TV and I'm back on the junk. Grrr.

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Sysadmin finds insecure printer, remotely prints 'Fix Me!' notice

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: back in the 'code red' infection days

Ah those were the days!

It was either Code Red or Nimda or somesuch that had me driving from site to site as Site Service Minion for a managed services company. Park car, sign in, remove worm, patch, sign out, drive away - rinse and repeat for the working day. I billed 15 hours in one working day. A colleague managed 25 billable hours but worked a 13 hour day and drive 400km to do it.

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

Cpt Blue Bear

Intuitive

Intuitive my arse.

Intuitive is a marketing buzzword used to make lowest common denominator buyers think they will be able to use the expensive toy they are being pitched. Second only to "innovation".

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Harley perfume

" 350LC

Isn't that a lawnmower?"

No. Its an accident looking for a place to happen from the days before tyre, frame and suspension technology caught up with engine output. For the full catastrophe you wanted an RD500LC.

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Cpt Blue Bear

In defence of Lancia Betas (sort of)

You should have owned one in decent climate or a country where the powers that be don't try to destroy your car in some half-arsed road safety measure that everyone else gave up before WW2. Then you could have discovered the dodgy electrics, cheap plastic fittings, saggy seats and terrible build quality.

They went like buggery and looked cool, mind. I enjoyed mine no end. Probably my third favourite car I've owned.

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Australia scraps temporary visas for skilled workers

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Facebook?

"Why is a government making announcements such as this via a closed platform"

It makes a change from their habit of announcing stuff on Sky News which has about the same audience of an amateur football match and you have to pay to receive. It is however owned by Rupert Murdoch so I presume they can be relied upon not to ask awkward questions or look to closely at the details.

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Online ad scam launders legions of pirates and pervs into 'legit' surfing

Cpt Blue Bear

"Yes. I really would rather make just one ad and send it to exactly the right people."

[In a Ford Prefect voice] So, you don't want to waste your time showing me ads that aren't relevant to me and I don't want to waste my time viewing ads that aren't relevant to me. How about we just agree that no ads are relevant to me? You could, in theory, stop showing me any ads and save us all time and effort. Then you could stop poring your analytics and come down the pub. Agreed?

Ta for the snake oil - I'll rub it on my dicky knee.

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eBay threatens to block Australians from using offshore sellers

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The real reason most people here in Oz buy overseas...

"When I replaced our dead TV last year, I purchased it from the mainland for ~$300 and it was delivered to my door. Purchasing the identical item from JB HiFi in Hobart was $50 more and still needed to be carted an additional 30 odd miles to my home."

Don't feel picked on 'cause you live in Tassie, mate. I live in Adelaide. Last year I needed new tyres for a Landcruiser. Best price for what I wanted locally was $2800 for five if I picked them up and fitted them myself. I got them online from a mob in western Sydney for just under $2500 including freight and five steel rims ('cause apparently its safer to ship tyres mounted...)

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Cpt Blue Bear

Ebay haven't insisted on Paypal exclusively for at least a couple of years. I don't think they ever did in Australia.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Seems Resonable.

The gist is that the so called "logistical" solution costs a lot to set up and run. The ATO or customs or someone estimates that its around $60 an item to assess and collect the tax / duty and store and forward the goods. GST here is 10% so, being a pragmatic bunch downunder, we don't bother if its going to cost more than it pays. The original estimate was $100 per item because no one had any idea what it would really cost so they took a guess. Hence the $1000 limit.

In the UK there is a lower threshold because VAT is 20% and they charge an administrative fee to recover it. My understanding is this piecemeal VAT recovery is a net loss maker.

A massive expansion of the public sector to administer this is anathema to our conservative ruling party (confusingly named the Liberal Party but actually Tories). They would prefer to off load the collection on someone else. Hence trying to get foreign vendors to do it.

Basically, what we have here is theory and ideology bumping up against reality.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The real reason most people here in Oz buy overseas...

I'll add:

3. Multiple local distributors each taking a cut.

Back in the Bad Old Days (tm) an item might be imported by an importer who sold it to a national distributor who sold it to a local distributor who sold to a wholesaler who broke down the palette and sold piecemeal to retailers who couldn't meet the local distributor's minimum order.

Before I get accused of stretching the truth, I am not making this up. This was the actual supply chain for an item. At each stage nark up was about 30%.

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Cpt Blue Bear

This is precisely what they do now.

The problem is it costs money to do.

More than the revenue collected. Hence the $1000 threshold.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Well yes, but that would mean abandoning the only donors they have left. Instead we get "Look! Over there: a three headed monkey!"

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Cpt Blue Bear

Because the banks have no idea of the purpose of the transfer, perhaps?

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

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: That boss again...

"it would create random debits and credits to customer accounts if the amount paid wasn't an exact amount equalling the bill"

Either we worked at the same place in the mid-1990s or this was not uncommon. It looked random but was caused by a rounding error causing some badly declared variable to "clock" around. I can't claim credit for finding the problem - that was way above my ability - but I did get the job of telling the CFO that his P&Ls were wrong and had been for years.

The post script came some months later when they were declared insolvent. It seems they had been using the phantom receivables as collateral at the bank...

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Cpt Blue Bear

"As somebody who's done this before at several companies and government related jobs, this here is the worst thing you can possibly do. The things I could tell you about how my week gets off track by Monday afternoon.."

No no no no. You are managing it wrong.

Imagine you have a deadline looming for an impossible task, project that will never fly or you just don't want to be the one to get blamed. What you need is A Good Reason (tm).

Fist you lay the ground work by being useful to higher ups. C-level is perfect but department managers can serve. You are looking for someone sufficiently above your pay grade that you can plausibly say "I felt I couldn't say no" and sufficiently remote from your real work that they have no idea what you should be doing.

A former workmate had this game down to a fine art.

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As you stare at the dead British Airways website, remember the hundreds of tech staff it laid off

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: I share your concern

"Scum class in BA is vile and angers me"

I haven't flown BA in 20 years. Back then it was surly service, threadbare seats and microwave dinners for inflight catering. In retrospect it was emblematic of England at the time. I see that they have gone downhill from there...

These days I quite enjoy flying for work. That's mostly because I won't do it unless they send me business class. On most airlines you get wider seats and plenty of leg room plus a complimentary drink and can blag a second if you ask nicely. I've actually had a Singapore steward cover me with a blanket and tuck me in after falling asleep like they do in the ads.

What, you won't spring for a seat up the front of the plane? Then its clearly not important that I go.

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Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Cpt Blue Bear

“I’d like you to make me a mocha-caramel-hazelnut frappe, with raspberry syrup, whipped cream, and a pinch of nutmeg. Then I’d like you to shove it up your ass and get me a cup of coffee.”

Enough of this talking! Coffee, woman! My consumption grows ever worse and Colleridges drugs are wearing off.

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Windows 10 Creators Update: Clearing the mines with livestock (that's you by the way)

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Wish I could use it

"- Sleep/resume will randomly turn into a complete shutdown/wake - I have a dozen windows open, close the lid, and maybe 20% of the time when I open it again the machine will boot from cold, all windows (and unsaved work) gone. I am getting VERY familiar with the Excel/Word "document recovery" pane."

Windows sleep / resume seems very sensitive to hardware.

Try setting the close lid option to hibernate instead.

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Federal Police toss nbn™ under a bus over leaks to Senator

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Better for democracy

The usual reason is that investigators ended up at the door of someone who is politically untouchable. It doesn't breed corruption with time, it is fucking corruption.

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Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

Cpt Blue Bear

Distraction from the real issue

This is not really a Google problem. The ad agencies (like Havas) jumped at an easy, cheap placement method. They didn't do anything until it became a minor scandal and you can bet it was their customers that prompted the pulling of ads not the agency. Either they didn't understand what they were buying on behalf of their customers or they were blinded by all those shiny dollar signs.

If I were a Havas customer I'd be asking some very pointed questions starting with "exactly what the fuck are we paying you fuckers for?"

Now look what you've done: I'm defending Google. I need to go take a shower...

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Counter-terror cops arrest pair for sending poo-smeared toilet paper to public figures

Cpt Blue Bear

Brown carpeting!

In Oz we call this brown carpeting. Its traditionally done anonymously using a jiffy bag rather than a letter.

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New York to draft in 250 IT contractors because state staff 'lack talent'

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Pay?

"This isn't the entire story, a lot of government IT jobs are filled by people that know someone that know someone. It's nepotism to the extreme - "My nephew knows computers! Yeah, he fixed my screen saver, hire him and make him an admin or something". So you get arrogant novices without a disciplined approach to problem solving that give up quickly."

Things must be different where ever you are. I have never come across this in the government sector. It is shockingly common in among non-profits and unremarkable among companies that have recently made the jump to a grown up IT dept.

My experience is you find two types in the public sector: the young and green and the old and time serving.

The former are generally well trained, knowledgeable and enthusiastic to make things work. They are usually working for a fraction of what they would get in industry, either because they lack the work history to get a look in at a corporate HR dept, or because they think its a secure job (ho ho ho). Once the enthusiasm is beaten out of them by a combination of rigid systems, brainless management, budget cutting and people telling them that all public servants are stupic, overpaid and lazy they either bail out in favour of a private sector job or become job-hopping greasy pole climbers in order to escape into management.

The latter are often quite good on one topic - usually some obsolete system - but pretty useless if you need someone who can deal with anything later than NT4. They can be surly and unhelpful, which I think is a pretty normal reaction if you started what looked like a promising career 20 years ago only to have it tank due to factors well outside your control. Add a bunch of young guns who come and go talking about things you no longer even understand and the knowledge that at least some of those you started with managed to move on and up, but you are trapped until whatever system you know is retired and then you'll just have to hide in the toilets and hope no one notices until retirement day.

Basically, the same surly resentment of their own failure at life that in the general population led to Brexit, Trump and our own beloved One Nation party (known affectionately as One Notion around here). But I digress...

Where was I? Oh yeah, my experience of public sector IT, and the public service at the state level, is of well meaning and competent people trying to get things done in spite of their work environment. At the federal level morale and conditions have savaged to the point in some departments that the norm is now what the army used to call dumb insolence.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update crushed exploits without need of patches

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Windows is the lowest form of Desktop Experience available

"I just did this on Windows 10 with Edge.

The first link you get is for Mozilla, not an advert."

I just tried this too and the aus.easydownload.net ad is first. Do you have an ad blocker installed by any chance? Or did you mistake the ad for the Mozilla link like so many others? Please check the URL (green line).

Where I don't get the ad first is Firefox with uBlock enabled - turn off uBlock and the ad appears at the top.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Windows is the lowest form of Desktop Experience available

"Hmm, I call bull"

I can vouch for this one being true 'cause it nearly caught The Girlfriend's Aunt last week.

Tried it just now and if I use Firefox (with Ublock and a bunch of other get-out-of-my-face type plugins) I get the same result as you. But if I use IE11 then my first result is "Mozilla Firefox 2017 Free - DownIoad Mozilla Firefox Free!" with "Mozilla - Official Site" second. WTF? Tried it with Chrome (with ABP) and I get the dodgey ad at the top as well.

But I don't see an ad for Edge on any of them. Curious.

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Why Theresa May’s hard Brexit might be softer than you think

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Hard and soft brexit.

If you'd peppered that liberally with obscenities it could have been pure Malcolm Tucker. Regardless, by half way through the first paragraph I was reading it with a Scottish accent...

"..I'm likely to use an awful lot of - what we would call - violent sexual imagery..."

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Sayonara North America: Insurance guy got your back when Office 365 doesn't?

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Three words:

Man, do you have an overly simple view of business risk management!

The reality is that the compensation clause is there to make the buyer feel what you describe.

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IBM pays up after 'clearly failing' DDoS protection for Australia's #censusfail

Cpt Blue Bear

"It's arrogance"

No, its fear.

I've been involved in writing a few postmortem disaster reports (on a much smaller scale and fuck load less public, mind) and this looks like a classic case where the underlying problem is fear. The people making the decisions are terrified because they know they can't do the job. They make bad decisions because they want to believe someone else will dig them out of their hole. They bluster and repeat the official line when questioned while knowing full well is BS because that's all they can do. They hide the truth, dissemble and lie outright. And they panic.

Every one of your bullet points can be explained by an underlying culture of fear.

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Support chap's Sonic Screwdriver fixes PC as user fumes in disbelief

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Gadget influenced by waving something in front of it?

Mother !@#$er!

My uncle is complaining of this exact problem with his Galaxy something. It started yesterday. Wanna guess what he got for Christmas? Go on - take a wild shot in the dark...

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NBN is essential, says Essential poll, but not Turnbull's NBN

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Telstra doesnt own the copper

"Maybe you should be asking the question why would we spending 11 billion dollars on copper lines that havent been maintained and are in need of replacing? Most people dont know this deal went through."

The short answer is to get the rights-of-way. We didn't buy just the contents, we also bought the ducts. Which also turned out to be unmaintained and in need of replacing. And occasionally full of asbestos.

In Telstra's defence (Christ! I'm going to have to take a shower after writing this) the lines weren't maintained because they were going to be replaced by shiny new fibre. Why spend money on something that's going to be replaced in five years?

Most people are completely unaware they bought the network. Doubly so that much of what we bought was already paid for by their parents back when Telsta was Telecom Aust and government owned.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: NBN

This sort of thing is nothing new and far from an NBN problem. I've seen Telstra disconnect the wrong phone line on many occasions. In one case they even reconnected it to the wrong port, swapping the phone numbers of two businesses. Seriously, explaining that fault to the operator who couldn't seem to grasp that there could be fault if the line was working.

SOP procedure seems to be to treat the fix as a new connection and tell the customer "up to ten working days" meaning two weeks. Three if it rains. Four absolute max.

Six months to fix? Sounds like you're dealing Telstra's Digital Business dept. It can take a week for them to answer the phone. Muppets.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The Liberal Party

"Technically they're economic liberals. Wristies by the invisible hand etc. etc."

They might have been 30 years ago but now the party is run by hard right neo-liberal ideologues and religious conservatives. The former seem to rely on corporate welfare to drive business and the latter would certainly be against wristies for or by anyone, because they hate the idea of having any sort of fun, but are probably OK with invisible friends. Sorry, hands.

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IBM throws ISP under a bus for Australia's #Censusfail

Cpt Blue Bear

"The ddos was too small to even register on global attack map yet overwhelmed their configuration."

That's because it didn't happen.

The system failed under load and the work experience lad running it panicked. IBM have admitted as much in their submission (well OK, the panic bit rather than who was in charge). The DDOS story came out because that's what they thought they were dealing with at the time and now they can't take it back without looking like muppets. This is a classic management face-saving situation.

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18 seconds that blacked out South Australia

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Upon rereading the article...

"The backup generator wouldn't have been necessary if off-line generator capacity had been fired up ahead of the storm."

But in reality it was necessary. If you are running critical services in a responsible manner you don't work on the assumption that everyone downstream of you is perfect.

Thanks for the anecdote but all it does is confirm my prejudice that hospital administrators don't do their jobs very well. Amusing but not really relevant. I have lived and worked in places where the power goes off on a regular basis so we developed strategies and procedures to cope. I'm including summers in Adelaide a short time ago in that* when the interconnector to Victoria would apparently overheat and shut down.

Either way, we are talking about a once-in-fifty-years storm. I was here for it and media panic aside we coped fine. I note that nobody mentions that SA has had major blackouts after much less violent storms (meaning 8 hours+) several times in the last decade. The only reason this event was more than a one day news story is the current political situation in the country.

* My own amusing anecdote: The GF was working in emergency services at the time and would regularly ring to let us know that there was a rolling blackout scheduled ando we would lose power that afternoon so how about I knock off early and head over to her place. Strangest booty calls I've ever received...

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Upon rereading the article...

"For the record, The Git has done as much several times in his life. He is after all (rumoured to be) human..."

And you have done it again here, mate.

The reality is that critical infrastructure cannot rely only on grid power. That would be totally irresponsible. Hospitals et al have backup power precisely because they are more important than icecream*

Uhlmann blew what credibility he ever had by being the first out of the blocks to blame it all on wind farms and then getting huffy on twitter when called out for it

* Flinders Hospital lost a bunch of frozen stuff 'cause their backup genny fell over with a dodgy fuel pump. Or maybe the mouse escaped from the wheel, I forget.

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Microsoft warns Windows security fix may break network shares

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Windows Schrodinger Edition

"...for some bizarre reason, set your own network as a public one."

Or had it reset for you. Since last Patch Tuesday I've been been seeing problems caused by the network type being mysteriously reset from work to public on Home Prem installs (but not on Pro). Anyone else seeing this?

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Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Cabbage

"...London has an air of FOAD that I loathe. Maybe it is me..."

Its not just you. London may very well be a great city but its inhabitants are, in the words of client and born and bred West Londoner, "a pack of miserable bastards". I got by playing the big dumb cheerful Aussie and just riding rough shod over their collective tough-guy act.

From the comments below, it sounds like they haven't got any better since the mid-90s.

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Australia Post says use blockchain for voting. Expert: you're kidding

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Blockchain! It's blockchain! Blockchain!!! Use blockchain!...

I've spotted it turning up recently in buzzword bingo type presentations. It's become the latest special sauce to apply to the rotting carcass of your product to cover the stench of fail. If I'm feeling malicious I ask the presenter to explain it.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Australia Post's search for relevance ...

"On a side note, lots of e-commerce relies on physical package handling to some degree. Why they can't leverage their natural monopoly to turn a pretty penny there"

They do. Enough to more than cover the losses on old fashioned post. That was the deal when they were "corporatised". Their recent losses are due to accounting "adjustments" and spending on vanity projects, white elephants and acquiring other carriers (yeah, yeah, I know - what's a government monopoly doing buying it competitors, etc).

I suspect Aussie Post's problems caused management that hasn't come to terms with the fact that what they manage is never going to be exciting or glamorous. That and processes that suggest a sort of cottage industry mentality. At least that's the impression I get from talking to my parcel pixie.

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Nul points: PM May's post-Brexit EU immigration options

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: We'll see.....

"..the arrogant t*ats in the Tory/Labour Remain teams gave the victory to the lying scum in the Leave campaign..."

They could hardly do otherwise given that they (that's both "sides") have been blaming the EU for anything unpalatable for the last 40 years. The alternative was to get up an say "er, no that wasn't the EU, that was us that screwed you over, sorry". Hence the (from this side of the world anyway) very strange remain campaign.

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'I found the intern curled up on the data centre floor moaning'

Cpt Blue Bear

Wrong numbers

A mate's parents live in Far North Queensland (if you wonder why I capitalise it, you've never been there). There phone number was one digit off that of the local Base Hospital. This was long before the days of mobile phones and drink driving capaigns so they would get regular calls in the wee hours from some poor bastard who'd been a car crash and walked great distances to a pay phone to call an ambulance. Such people rarely seem to have change for more than one call. They drove out to pick up so many people that a wag at the hospital made up ambulance signs for their station wagon.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Security cages

Oh deary me years ago I worked as a junior muppet assembling PCs for the local office of a once quite well known Singapore hardware company. (I presume I did something terrible in a past life). The "facility" consisted of "nice" end facing the public and a warehouse. The latter was quite large considering and housed a steel cage where all the valuable stuff was stored - RAM, HDDs, CPUs basically anything easily pinchable. One of the jobs for a junior muppet was collating build sheets and taking result down to the warehouse with a trolley to pick the parts.

Now the door on the cage was sprung so it couldn't be left open but would swing shut and lock (can you guess where this is leading?). One junior muppet unlocked the cage, stepped inside and started picking only to hear the distinctive clang and click of the door. The problem was he had left the key on the trolley and just out of reach.

He was rescued an hour later when one of the grown up techs came out for a smoke.

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#Censusfail Australia: Not an attack, data safe, no heads to roll

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Spikes easily explained ?

Yup. That was my first thought when I saw the ABC's timeline: morning tea, lunch and after the reminder on the evening news.

I didn't, however, think of the VPN thing. I only know a few people who use commercial services so the figure of 16% surprises me. But it would explain the "foreign" traffic without resorting to conspiracy theories.

I suspect they mistook traffic spikes for attacks and panicked.

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Australia's online Census collapses, international hackers blamed

Cpt Blue Bear

I had no problem with it (once I found a browser it would work with) but then I did it from work in the late afternoon because I assumed it would fall over some time after 6PM EST.

One of my colleagues is $9 richer this morning having drawn 8PM local time in our office sweep on when it would fall over...

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Cpt Blue Bear

"From what I hear, they tested the site at a million forms/hour.

Apparently their are 6 million households in the same timezone on the east coast."

Maybe they should have asked the ABS how many there are...

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The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Limits

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, etc. I used to do this sort of BS consulting work between, or even alongside, real jobs.

A decade or so ago I got a call from a friend of a friend who's brother in law (yeah, referrals can be weird like this) ran a manufacturing business employing a dozen or so who's accounting / ordering / process control (HA!) system had shat and could I go have a look. I found an aging HP running SCO and an ancient version of Pronto. Or rather, not running it 'cause a power surge had killed it along with the lunchroom fridge and a small industrial CNC cutter. It hadn't killed the backup tape because that had been dead for years due to ingested saw dust.

I thought about how to resurrect the beast for about thirty seconds before deciding that a better course of action was a meeting with the owners to tell them it was fucked beyond recovery and they should be looking for another solution. I got a bad cup of coffee, a "thanks for being honest with us" and $100 cash for my trouble. I have no idea if they survived that set back, but one of the owners used to call me every now and again when he thought someone was trying to screw him over (about a third of the time they were).

The important lesson was: even if you can fix something, fixing may not be the best solution for the customer.

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Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Cheap at half the price.

Leaving aside that this goes counter to the British military policy of having an elite army, exactly who are these enemies you want to have greater numbers than?

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You can’t sit there, my IoT desk tells me

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Bah!

I've done some of my best problem solving while seated on the bog. Serious thinking frequently needs some form of displacement activity. It keeps the reptile brain occupied stopping it from interrupting with the neurological equivalent of "are we there yet?"

I hear you about the coffee machine. WTF is wrong with people? Sadly the solution is to throw the bloody thing out and replace it with a far more expensive and complex capsule machine. Just remember to hide the milk heater thing 'cause the feckers won't rinse it. Or just drink your coffee black.

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Australian Information Industries Association*: you're not the future of democracy, so please shut up

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Democracy, in and of itself, is neither a good nor bad thing

Absolutely not. If you abstain you are simply abdicating your part in the collective decision.

You do not have to vote in Australia. You have to turn up and get your name marked off to demonstrate you were part of the process. What you do then is your business. You could add a "none of the above" box (which I think should be on the ballot, by the way) or draw a cock and balls or just walk straight out again. The requirement is that you are part of the process, not that you cast a vote.

Not voting is not a protest. Its just letting other people make the decision.

Further, by not voting you are increasing the value of the votes of those who do. Essentially, you leave the decision up to motivated partisan interests. You see this in local council elections all the time. True story: a mate got himself elected mayor just by getting his old school mates and their parents to vote for him. It only took about 50 votes to tip it his way because so few people usually vote. This was in an affluent city fringe suburb, not a virtual slum on the fringe of town.

Compulsory voting at worst creates noise in the system that drowns out the really loony end of the spectrum. That's why we don't have the spectacle of governments elected by 30% of the population.

If you are citizen of a country you are complicit with the actions of the government. Just ask the IMF, government creditors or anyone who ever supported economic sanctions against another country.

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Brexit threatens Cornish pasty's racial purity

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Heathens!!

"A proper Cornish pasty is sealed along the top, not around one side. The ones I've bought in Cornwall1 always have been, anyway."

Indeed all those I have been sold as such in Australia, Portugal and some no-where town in the Rocky Mountains were made thus. Ironically the only place I have been offered to side-sealed forgery masquerading as the real thing was in England.

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