* Posts by Wensleydale Cheese

1060 posts • joined 28 Jan 2011

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AI slurps, learns millions of passwords to work out which ones you may use next

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Password changes, and trix for good ones

"Thanks for telling everyone your trick. I'm sure it'll be picked up by the rule-generators shortly."

Back in the day we had a discussion about obfuscating Usenet email addresses to thwart spammers, but still make them decipherable by humans who wanted to reply directly.

What many didn't realise was that it would only take one glance from a competent regex programmer to devise a rule to grab the correct address for each scheme suggested.

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UK Data Protection Bill lands: Oh dear, security researchers – where's your exemption?

Wensleydale Cheese
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Winston Smith is alive, well, and working on Rees-Mogg's Wiki entry

"GDPR is not compatible with high chancellor rees-mogg. "

Someone's very busy editing the Wiki entry for Jacob Rees-Mogg

Here he's "A member of an established Somerset family of coal mine owners", in later versions that's disappeared.

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BOFH: We're only here because they said there would be biscuits

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: pantome

"https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267770648_Pantome_an_integrative_architecture_for_speech_and_natural"

That'll be one of the entries the PFY created from his phone to bump his fake site into the search engines.

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ICO whacks Welsh biz with £350k fine for 150 MEEELLION nuisance calls

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: "Shut it down, start up under another name and so the merry go round continues."

"All the more reason to pursue the directors for liabilities, if they're stripped of any profits then they wouldn't be able to afford to start up again"

There is provision somewhere in the law to bar them from being company directors, though I have no idea what specific offences can trigger this.

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Tick, tock motherf... erm, we mean, don't panic over GDPR

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Live data

"Unless you can analyse and predict data patterns in your live data, a system will never be properly tested until it's seen the real database."

A recently reported example was where two girls had the same first name, last name, date of birth and they were born in the same city. IIRC, it was a student admissions system that got tripped up by that combination.

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'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: A proposal… SWIG

"I don't know what this word means, I'll just SWiG it", or "has someone got a moment to SWiG for the nearest pizza joint?"

Swig is an existing verb:

swig |swɪɡ| informal

verb (swigs, swigging, swigged)

drink in large draughts: Dave swigged the wine in five gulps | [no object] : Ratagan swigged at his beer.

noun

a large draught of drink: he took a swig of tea.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: t'internet?

"You must be from the south.

Well, south of here, anyway"

The one horror of working in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Folks were calling me a SOUTHERNER.

Aaaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh.

(Had a great time up there, but that wind off the sea could be bitingly cold)

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Act fast to get post-Brexit data deal, Brit biz urges UK.gov

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Not just GDPR

"Why isn't Dover a building site by now?"

The Irish have started on projects to upgrade cargo facilities at the southern ports (Rosslare, Cork and Waterford) to handle additional import/export traffic directly to France.

Plus there's another project to hook up the Irish electric grid directly to the French grid...

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Wensleydale Cheese
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A date (and time) to mark in your diary

"The likelihood of any passporting for Eu in the city if there is no data deal is NIL."

And from the main article:

the UK will need a deal in place for “when the clock strikes midnight on March 29 2019”.

Should we look at setting security certificate expiry dates at 2019-03-31T00:00:00 ?

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ICO slaps cab app chaps for 10-day spam crap

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: And this is why people we have spam.

4.5% is, IMO, very optimistic. Unfortunately.

As calculated in my other post: 0.046 %

Very low, but probably more typical.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Shift your decimal point a couple of places to the left

360,373 of them being delivered... and 166 people complained about the spam."

So only roughly 4.5% bothered to complain.

166 x 100 / 360,373 makes 0.046 %

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10 minutes of silence storms iTunes charts thanks to awful Apple UI

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: 10 minutes of silence

"Er... I just created two wav files of 10 minutes silence. The 24 bit version is 105,840,044 bytes in size; the 32 bit version is 211,681,280 bytes in size."

Try recording it using FLAC. It'll take up very little space at all.

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Oracle to shutter most Euro hardware support teams

Wensleydale Cheese
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Unhappy

institutional and cultural ‘memory'

Dale Vile ... said that established support teams accumulate experience, understanding and a collective knowledge of "tips, tricks and traps" that could not easily be passed on outside of the existing environment.

"The concern is losing this institutional and cultural ‘memory', particularly for more specialist teams. This can make the difference between an efficient peer-to-peer support experience for the customer, and script-driven hell, no matter how well-trained the outsourced resources happen to be."

This. Absolutely this.

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Another reason to hate Excel: its Macros can help pivot attacks

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: "assuming a machine in the group is already pwned"

"The only question really is how many users out there who run MS Office are local administrators and thus make it worth while running the attack."

Every Soho user who has set up their own network and accepted the out of the box default of Admin rights for the first user created on each system?

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Lord Sugar phubbed in peers' debate on 'digital understanding'

Wensleydale Cheese
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"1995 called , They want their politicians back"

I remember that.

They had the decency to resign when caught up in a scandal.

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Gov claws back £645m in BT broadband from subsidy

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Only 4.8m homes in the UK?

"We only eat turnips and light fires with sticks rubbed together."

Do you still have gas tellies?

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Stand up who HASN'T been hit in the Equifax mega-hack – whoa, whoa, sit down everyone

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Credit ratings

"So you propose a return to lending to whoever asks for money? Were you around in 2008?"

Credit rating has been around since the 1970s, possibly much sooner.

It didn't prevent the financial meltdown in 2008, did it?

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Security is our priority

The best part in this story is the $1.8 millions of stocks sold by three executives 3 days after the breach was discovered, and the answer of Equifax when asked about it: "The three executives who sold a small percentage of their Equifax shares on Tuesday, August 1, and Wednesday, August 2, had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares"

Three days and the executives not knowing about it suggests a flaw in their management reporting processes.

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HSBC biz banking crypto: The case of the vanishing green padlock and... what domain are we on again?

Wensleydale Cheese
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Unhappy

"The Secure Key being limited to 8 characters must only apply to the Business banking app (not entirely clear from the article) as mine is over double that in the consumer version."

Are you sure about that?

Back around the turn of the century I thought I was using a 12 character password for my ISP, but as I later discovered, it was silently ignoring all but the first 8 characters.

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Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: The Right Tool for a Lot of Jobs

"And one thing that Python does really, really, well, is let people wrap libraries written in other languages and interface them to Python. If there is an existing library written in C, Fortran, assembly language, or just about any other statically compiled language, you can probably interface it to Python without too much trouble and with little run-time overhead."

With memories of how much work can be involved with that in other environments, this is truly useful.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Usefulness

"Although I use it a lot, I cannot respect a language where white space is a critical part of the syntax."

In my early career I used programming languages where certain things had to go in certain columns (Fortran IV & 77, Cobol, and even more so RPG II), I really can't get worked up about this. Yes, it's different, but with some applied thought, it really isn't so difficult to comprehend.

"Move a line of code in or out by a space or two and it either becomes part of a preceding conditional clause, or is removed from it."

BTDT, but the run time diagnostics usually catch the mistakes I make. Regular commits with a version control system have saved a lot of grief there.

Also note that on the Mac platform, both TextWrangler and BBEdit give you the ability to take a time-stamped snapshot every time you save a file (not enabled out of the box - see Preferences -> Text files -> Backups for that). This is invaluable for those files which don't justify their own version control environment, although I'm increasingly finding myself using version control in areas I traditionally didn't (e.g, system configuration files).

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Twitter is just randomly deleting people's lists – and no one knows why

Wensleydale Cheese
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While Twitter was down...

"So did those that lost their twitter feeds gain part of their real life back?"

While Twitter was down I got a new job, got married and learned how to play the bagpipes -- @flamingowurst

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Scottish pensioners rage at Virgin cabinet blocking their view

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: I suspect the real reasons for the complaint

"Given cable companies historically low regard for the property rights of house owners, I can understand their issue."

The mess that subcontractors made of the beautiful York stone pavements in the village I lived in 20 years ago are a lasting testament to that.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Silly really...

"How are these people still in business if they're so dim?"

They are part of the Liberty Global plc empire.

Its cable services pass 55.8 million homes, with 28.6 million customers or 59 million RGUs (video, internet, and voice subscribers)

Or in this case, pass slap bang in front of some of those 55.8 million homes.

P.S. RGU = Revenue Generating Unit, which is the phrase they use internally instead of that old fashioned word "customer".

Yours sincerely,

an ex-Revenue Generating Unit

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Unhappy

they don't need planning permission to put them up

Bitter experience says they won't get very far with the planning permission route.

A relative once tried to get a neighbour's extension vetoed on the grounds of it blocking out their living room light and got precisely nowhere.

The planning permission laws are very much in favour of property developers, to the detriment of existing residents.

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Facebook claims a third more users in the US than people who exist

Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

Re: So what else is new?

Scientific American had "scientific" surveys done that proved that most of its readers were rich executives likely to want to see ads for BMW's, Rolexes and high-end liquor...

If a bunch of highly qualified scientists can't work out how to fudge the system, I'd be very surprised. :-)

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Flying electric taxi upstart scores $90m from investors

Wensleydale Cheese
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"its like the .com bubble all over again."

Except I remember someone saying that 15 years ago about most startups who were designing electric cars.

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UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Define "regularly"

"Personally it just means I only need to carry one thing, after all it's replaced the walkman, books, the camera, the calculator, the diary, the alarm clock, the address book, the Filofax... the library even...

Why not replace a bit of plastic as well?"

All your eggs are in one basket, and that basket is fragile.

Apart from what happens if your phones get lost or stolen, what happens if any one of the battery, charger, charging cable, or the phone itself packs up. You may be able to get that replaced in short order while you are at home, but can you do that when away from home?

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User thanked IT department for fast new server, but it had never left its box

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Praise or accusations of work not done?

"3. One month after contract signing (end of probationary period). Servers get surly, white aprons are now stained and torn,...

4. Out of the blue, the servers are smart and pleasant. New dishes appear on the menu, the meat and fish are attractive, come with decent sauces, and the vegetables are crisp.

You just know that the contract is up for renewal.

5. Contract renewed and once the first bill has been paid, it's back to 3.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Praise or accusations of work not done?

"That's because under observation the user slows down and pays attention to what they are doing, thus the thing works as advertised. There's a name for this syndrome, but it escapes me."

A variation of this happens when a developer reaches the point where they are banging their head against the wall with a bit of code that isn't doing what it's supposed to do.

Asking them to describe the problem in their own words is often enough for them to solve the problem themselves.

I've seen it happen so many times that I know it works. If I find myself in a similar situation my best bet is to ask a colleague if I they can lend an ear for a minute or two.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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FAIL

Hairdryers are NOT a good idea with airbeds

" With my IT budget they are lucky to get an airbed and a hairdryer to blow it up with."

When I used to visit my parents for a weekend I was usually guaranteed a bed, but on this particular occasion, other guests had priority.

An airbed in the music room was offered. No problem, I like camping and I'm on holiday, so that's fine...

My father used a hair dryer to inflate the airbed, with all too predictable results. This hairdryer didn't have a cold blow option so:

1) the inlet bit of plastic on the airbed melted

2) I got the job of blowing the thing up myself, with a now badly distorted mouthpiece

3) it was a scorching hot weekend and the hairdryer had turned the music room into a frigging sauna.

I did not sleep too well that night.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Like to play swap out

" noticed after a while that the customers never complained about the bill if I cleaned everything that we shipped back "

The garage I used for car servicing around the turn of the century always finished off with a full interior valet job.

I realised I was paying for that, but the thought of getting into a lovely clean car with the smell of leather (probably out of a bottle) really did soften the blow of the bill.

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Microsoft sets the date for Fall Creators Update

Wensleydale Cheese
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("Fall" is Merkan for autumn if you weren't aware).

Nice colours, but the leaves clog up the drains.

And aren't particularly good for a certain type of train...

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Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

Wensleydale Cheese
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"Whatever it is I've got at least two LED units capable of producing allegedly white light when switched off."

As a teenager I had a fluorescent light mounted vertically at the side of my bedroom desk, and reachable from my bed.

If I touched it after it had been on for any length of time, it would emit a glow. Not enough light to read by at night, but certainly enough to see where the desk, chair, bookshelves, wardrobe etc were.

Never found a satisfactory explanation for that. Given the dodgy electrics elsewhere in that house, there might have been a poor earth, but I honestly don't know.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

"Now if your like me, and have large garden (i.e. an old house in the UK, not a new build) then you need an intercom to be able to get back to the house when a delivery comes... "

My parents had a portable doorbell device which they bought circa 1990. They could take it into the conservatory or back garden, or bedroom for that matter. It was an entirely simple radio device, no need for internet connectivity.

That said, I have no idea how fast it got through batteries; it was seen in a junk pile a year or two later.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

Re: Just another attempt

"And why I would want it? Mostly boredom - checking the news etc."\

The last time I was in Greece I was accompanied by a couple of cracking attractive Scandinavian ladies.

I can assure you that the lack of internet didn't bother me in least.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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The BOFH's absence explained

"A secure connection only gets you as far as the wifi router - that could have any kind of software running to intercept your traffic, so if you care about security, you need to be using some other security layer anyway."

Simon is in fact on a "working holiday" Greece...

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Germans force Microsoft to scrap future pushy Windows 10 upgrades

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: "Offering free upgrades to Windows 10 in 2015"

I stashed my WIn7 box on top of the wardrobe until that "generous offer" ran out.

After so long not using it, I've got used to running quieter boxes, so on top of the wardrobe the thing remains.

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Hash of the Titan: How Google bakes security all the way into silicon

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Dear Google

"You don't want Google to do that? Fine, no problem, all you have to do is never use Google, Chrome, Android or YouTube ever again. "

I can certainly try to do that, but there are way too many sites which use googleapis, googlefonts and the like to display their own content.

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China to identify commentards with real‑name policy

Wensleydale Cheese
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It could be worse...

Me: (Type real name).

Computer: Name too short

Me: effingtwat

Computer: Registration complete. Welcome to this website, effingtwat

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Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone

Wensleydale Cheese
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"Some months later a bunch of us were made redundant, and X was clearly agitated that, unlike the others some of whom were in tears, I was grinning as I left and walked with a spring in my step at being paid to leave!"

In my first IT job, the Company Secretary was a complete and utter bully.

I found another job to escape the tyranny, and from the moment I handed my notice in until the point I left he refused to speak to me.

A result, of sorts, but it's unbelievable what complete and utter bastards some people can be to their juniors.

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Vodafone won't pay employee expenses for cups of coffee

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: SAP Expenses module

"Yep, had that one. So we put down the time spent claiming expenses on our timesheets."

Yup. Went from 15 minutes per month for timesheets to 1 hour a week, at a stroke.

I couldn't help feeling that if sales invoices took as much effort to generate, the company's days were numbered, and sure enough, they were.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: You guys are nuts

"The Camembert was 'President' brand. In France it is a completely different animal to the same product on UK shelves. And I mean animal - that stuff cures sinusitis before you get it into your mouth."

I can totally believe that. In contrast, I won't touch the 'President' brand in Switzerland because there are much better alternatives.

I'm going back to the eighties now, but I never had a problem finding a decent lunch in Paris, but I am talking about a sit down lunch rather than a baguette at your desk.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Move jobs if you don't like it.

"Yes you're right, if Vodafone's intent was to persuade their most capable employees to quit and go elsewhere, then this was a good move."

That's a lot cheaper than redundancies.

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Fewer than half GCSE computing students got a B or higher this year

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Comprehension test

"There were most definitely Computer Science BSc degrees in the late 1970's in the UK - got the piece of paper to prove it..."

There were a few in the early 70s, but as far as I recall, only in places with a strong scientifc/engineering emphasis like Loughborough.

At my university, the computing centre was under control of the Maths department.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Isn't C supposed to be average?

"You don't get that in an exam, which makes it a better test of a child's real ability. And while I accept that some don't thrive under exam pressure, they probably wouldn't do under pressure at work either for the same reason."

I respectfully disagree there, Mark. The motivational factors at play in a work environment were a lot better for me than those in a full time school environment.

Apart from obvious things like pay rises and the chance of a company car, there was immediate feedback from satisfied business users. Putting concrete solutions in place was satisfying in a way that exam results could never be,

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Teaching IT doesn't have enough money

"Sorry, Mr Cowherd, I was told, Your English qualification aren't good enough (I have a D in English Language). Never mind the fact that all of the projects and theses I did at uni have probably pushed my standard of English way above GCSE."

You're right about the project and thesis work improving your English.

Having done the standard Maths/Physics/Chemistry up to A-Level, my own English writing skills took a massive leap forward when I did Anthropology as a side course in my first year at Uni. That taught me how to write essays as opposed to lab experiment write-ups.

Add a collection of English, German and French classics my girlfriend pointed me at, and by the end of my degree course I was far in advance of my O-level English result.

All of which helped considerably when it came to writing business reports once I got into the outside world.

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Microsoft spikes GigJam collaboration tool before it leaves Preview

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Gig Jam

Has connotations with Log Jam and Traffic Jam.

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Biz sends apps to public cloud, waves 'bye to on-premises server folk. NO! WAIT!

Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

"Maybe I just don't understand how this whole cloud thing works, but the last two products we bought labeled "SAAS" required us to pull up 4 new on-prem servers."

That sounds akin to the MD in the early 1970s who asked the board for a computer and was turned down. He then asked for an accounting machine, and got the go ahead for that.

It turned out to be a computer.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re".NET developer, must have 10 years experience!".."

I think IBM's AS400 had only been out for a month or two when I spotted an advert outside a Manpower office:

AS400 Operator. Must have minimum of 4 years AS400 experience.

From Wiki, "The platform was first introduced as the AS/400 (Application System/400) on June 21, 1988"

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