* Posts by Wensleydale Cheese

1340 posts • joined 28 Jan 2011

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Are you ready for some sueball?! NFL opens wallet, makes vid stream patent spat go away

Wensleydale Cheese
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"(Google nGram viewer suggests the spelling "sissy" is more common than "cissy", and indeed has been far more common since it began a rapid ascent circa 1900. But maybe "cissy" is still common in the UK?)"

"Cissy" is the only spelling I have ever come across in the UK.

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Fix this faxing hell! NHS told to stop hanging onto archaic tech

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Not the only Guvmint dept to use fax

"Are you sure you can take a photocopy of a document that Her Maj own's the copyright to ?"

If you are an expat it's quite normal that the immigration authorities of the country you are living in will want a copy of your passport.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Not the only Guvmint dept to use fax

"About 2-3 years ago I had a little problem with HMRC (UK Inland Revenue). I had to fill in and sign a form and send it back to them."

The last time I needed a FAX from home, I'd already got shut of mine, so I set off for the local Post Office, which had one. On the way I spotted a café which offered the service, so used that instead.

That was last century though.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: User story

"Are you saying they should use a digital format such as TIFF?"

What happened to all that software which served as a FAX server, back in the day?

There were quite a few to choose from, back in the late 90s.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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"If the process is faulty, then replacing the fax machines won't necessarily fix the process."

One of my first lessons in IT was to make sure a manual business process was sound before attempting to move it to a computer.

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Mastercard goes TITSUP in US, UK: There are some things money can't buy – like uptime

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: analogue backup

"Seriously for many year in Italy (it the time of the Lira) sweets were given as small change"

In the early 80s I lived near one of the main European trunk roads, and at petrol stations it was quite common to get small change in a mixture of other currencies.

Dutch and Belgian operated cross-Channel ferries would allow you to pay for stuff in multiple currencies, so I offloaded my accumulated mixture of small change on those.

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

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: CA Top Secret

"A colleague found out that using old envelopes to jot notes on is NOT OK when leaving these types of places, when the envelope happens to be for a bank statement and therefore says "Private and Confidential"."

Fortunately they'd stopped the practice by the time I got there, but at one place of work they had banned the use of pen and paper in one or the the large server rooms. Mobile phones were banned and the only phone in the room was a good 100 yards away from the machines I was looking after.

The worst one was when I was asked to move gigabytes of data from a system in our building to one in that server room. This at midday Friday, with a deadline of Monday morning. Normally I would have used tapes for the job, but getting director level signatures to get the tapes in there on a Friday afternoon wasn't going to be practical.

I sent the lot over the network instead, and it was all done by Sunday,. so the deadline was hit.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Back in my day

"If something can't be fixed with a Swiss Army Knife, then it doesn't deserve to be referred to as a machine."

The last hardware engineer I shared an office with was never without his Swiss Army Knife and used it for everything from hardware to opening stubborn cellophane food wrappings.

Yes, he had a full toolkit as well, but that Swiss Army Knife was always to hand.

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Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re introducing ":="

"But then people complained that not only was it two keypresses instead of one, but it also involved finding the shift key - adding "short hand" to programming languages has a long history."

On a recent personal project which involves the manual entry of lots of time stamps, I decided to drop the colon mainly because it requires shift. I simply use HHMM format rather than HH:MM.

It's my data and if I want to use it in other applications which expect a colon, it's a simple enough matter to let the computer do the work (via an extra workflow step, if necessary).

There, saved myself a lot of keyboard work, and a useful by product is less typos which need correcting.

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No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Talk like an Egyptian

Upvote for the title on its own.

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What can $10 stretch to these days? Lunch... or access to international airport security systems

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: I was "hacked" via RDP

"I had a discussion once about the concept of doubling the time between login attempts:

start with a 1 second re-try and double the time for every wrong login attempt. Has anybody ever implemented this?"

VMS introduced an intrusion detection system back in 1984 (VMS V4.0). It would automagically disable logins when the number of login failures exceeded a predefined limit within a short space of time, and there was a random element to that, to make life a bit more difficult for attackers.

It filtered on login source, so for example network logins from a particular workstation or a modem line could be disabled while logins from a local serial connection weren't. It was parameter driven so you could customise its behaviour

By default logins would be re-enabled after some random time, so you weren't locked out permanently, again configuration parameter driven.

Early versions of the documentation omitted or carefully hid the command to re-enable logins manually (e.g. after a user rang up to say they'd locked themselves out), which led to much frustration when the Messages User Guide had it that the remedy was "Contact your System Manager", and you were that person.

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Leatherbound analogue password manager: For the hipster who doesn't mind losing everything

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: It's easy to improve security by using this...

"I wrote an incorrect PIN on it in pencil, just to be evil."

I used to know a chap who worked in a bank and one of his duties was taking the phone calls where holidaymakers had had their cards swallowed by ATMs.

His comment was that when the cards made their way back to HQ, it was surprising how many had the PIN written on the card itself.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Unhappy

"Except that piece of paper is in their house, in their basement, in their office area, in a drawer near their iMac. Literally no one other then them or I will ever look in that drawer and see that piece of paper, and they never have to worry about forgetting a password. "

I once attended a Neighbourhood Watch event where a policemen gave tips on securing your home.

One thing he mentioned was that thieves would look in the right hand* drawer of desks because this is where people would put things like spare car keys, burglar alarm codes and so on.

I got home and investigated my own right hand drawer, and was surprised how much stuff like that I had there.

* presumably that would be left hand drawer for left handed folks

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: I've got a better solution...

"it's the labelling of jars 'Kitchen Utensils' (with spatulas and whisks poking out the top) that I don't understand."

My kitchen utensils are in a jar intended to store spaghetti.

I leave my spaghetti in its wrapper in a cupboard, protected from the smoke from burnt toast, smoky grills, flies etc.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: >pwd manager for Mac OS

"1Password is OK."

"- you don't HAVE to store stuff in the cloud. if not, no syncing, but that's ok"

You can sync without the cloud but it's a bit fiddly.

In the Likes section I'll add that it has a record type of Software Licence. I've got all mine stashed in 1Password, nicely in one place.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: User-generated obfuscation

"Nah just try to read my handwriting..."

Might not work if your other half is a pharmacist.

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Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Only cracking I have done is

I very nearly used "Sod's Law" but I've been corresponding with folks from the US for so long it's become a matter of getting the meaning across efficiently.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Only cracking I have done is

"Inevitably, one of the cabinets is top-heavy & manages to discover it's center of gravity at an inopportune moment. As it hits the ground, one or all of the "locked" drawers pop open."

Murphy's Law in action.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: About 10 minutes later I was "cracking" some of the locks and interchanging them around.

"Bevois Valley, Southampton?"

No, but I see I'm not alone in my frustration.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Unhappy

Re: a sort of oversized Meccano.

"There used to be a Dexion shop in N London, long gone, of course. It's right what they say: the variety has gone out of the High Street these days"

Twenty years ago I moved to a small town in which all the non-food shops were devoted to ladies clothes. Seemingly nothing at all for the blokes, at least not at the weekend.

Then I discovered a small corner of a department store devoted to car accessories (not needed once my banger days were over) and more exotic things like Dremel drills. Ah Bliss.

Unfortunately that place was eventually taken over by a large chain and the blokes' options diminished significantly.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Only cracking I have done is

"Hmm. If you were to undo the shackles and reconnect them to each other you could leave the boat still tied up and steal the padlock."

Now that one really does appeal to the latent BOFH in me.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

Re: Excel security

"(Anon because t' Computer Misuse Act says I ought not to know these things)"

That observation deserves more than the one vote I'm allowed to give :-)

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

"Early in my IT support career I learned that a way past O/S security constraints was to treat the media as data to a different O/S."

I recall a certain Word document which had some "interesting" history, but hidden from view for Word users.

I forget what protection was in place, but dropping it onto a non-Windows O/S and dumping the raw contents of the file revealed all, in clear text.

It's also a good technique for discovering files which Windows hides.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Physical access beats all

The saying I came across many years ago was:

"Physical access beats all"

But yes, depending on where the passwords are stored, encryption for disks at rest is probably the only way,

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Wensleydale Cheese
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About 10 minutes later I was "cracking" some of the locks and interchanging them around.

"Yes, during the trip I was able to use the same "pick" to open a room door and the door to the bus. Fun times, that was."

I had a friend at college who always carried a screwdriver and would unscrew tables, chairs, anything held together by screws.

I kept very quiet about my lock picking abilities when he was around in case he picked up on that idea. There was nothing worse than having to unpick a bike lock when you were cutting it fine getting to a lecture on time.

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Slow-mo Tintri train-crash continues: Firm shuts up shop across Europe

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: https://www.gov.uk/your-rights-if-your-employer-is-insolvent

"I've been through this once. You do a pile of paperwork and don't end up with a lot to show for it at the end. "

I was very happy to get my payout, because nobody was forthcoming with the information that it was possible until my accountant pointed it out.

As such, it was a pleasant bonus at a time I expected to receive nothing,

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An $18m supercomputer to simulate brains of mice in the land of Swiss cheese. How apt, HPE

Wensleydale Cheese
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"$18M for something that looks like a wardrobe? "

My first glance of the piccie had me thinking:

"This is what Deep Thought should look like".

Ok, maybe a bit bigger, but the general look suits.

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Cops suspect Detroit fuel station was hacked before 10 drivers made off with 2.3k 'free' litres

Wensleydale Cheese
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"10 cars at 10-20 gallons as a diversion, and one large tanker out back with a pump and a hose into the underground tank?"

That plus the maybe exaggerated price smacks of an over-optimistic insurance claim.

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Who fancies a six-core, 128GB RAM, 8TB NVMe … laptop?

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: What does it run?

"People stopped dual-booting 20 years ago."

Not true. More like 7 years ago for my home rig, the problem being the cost and RAM limitations of consumer grade gear.

For example bumping my 2010 PC from the supplied 2GB RAM to 4GB cost USD 50, but 8GB was going to cost USD 200. Yes, I did manage to run a few VMs within 4GB but it was a tight fit for the stuff I was trying to do.

Roll on to 2014 and things got a lot better. I was able to stuff 16GB into 3 systems which only officially supported 8GB and affordably too.

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'Plane Hacker' Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: "Aren't they then driving without insurance?"

"I don't know about the R.O.W. but in the UK if you own a vehicle with fully comprehensive insurance you usually get what's called a third party extension"

In various bits of Europe (Holland, Germany, Switzerland to my knowledge, maybe more), the legal minimum for insurance includes any driver.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: So... who pays for the 3G/4G data connection?

"No it dosent. I own the company and hence the vans (and the drivers) ."

Yes rhe vehicles are yours but take note of employee tracking laws.

Could be tricky...

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Insurance Black Boxes

"The speed limiter was badly designed, as it caused a backfire and thus damaged the Mass Airflow Sensor. "

I had similar with a car which had an LPG conversion. When using LPG, the rev limiter could trigger a backfire, damaging a seal somewhere, resulting in a distinct performance drop until the next time I visited a garage to get it fixed.

The rev limiter was way too easy to trigger in first gear, so I ended up running it on petrol in town traffic, and using the much cheaper LPG only on motorways.

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IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Best of luck Jonathan Langley

"I'm a career consultant. I want neither the false sense of job security nor the complacency a so-called permanent job produces. I've no patience for office politics and find performance reviews condescending."

Similar feelings here. My father really hated me getting a contracting job in the late 90s but that one turned out to give me the dual accomplishment of:

a) longest time in any one job, so-called permanent jobs included

b) longest time ever occupying the same desk in the same office

and all without the office politics or "performance reviews"...

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How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Sun Microsystems also used Display Postscript

DEC / Compaq did too for CDE on VMS and Tru64.

Which came in handy when the OS documentation was available in Postscript format.

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'Tesco probably knows more about me than GCHQ': Infosec boffins on surveillance capitalism

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Tesco Does Not Know More About Me

"Walking around with your mobile switched off is suspicious. Why are you trying to evade our tracking systems?"

Battery life.

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Is Microsoft about to git-merge with GitHub? Rumors suggest: Yes

Wensleydale Cheese
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Unhappy

Re: GitLab

"Gogs is "real" open source (no VC baked startup looking for a business model), coded in Golang, uses little HW resources."

Unfortunately Golang is a Google product and, so I am told, support for that is only available via Google Groups.

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It's hip to be Square: Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's other firm targets White Van Man

Wensleydale Cheese
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"When we wanted to accept credit cards for our online business the processors said they wanted 8% and NO online sales, only sales in person."

I bought a load of bed linen in the late 70s from a market trader. He really didn't want to touch a credit card because of the charges so it was off to the bank for cash and we split the difference.

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Is your smart device a bit thick? It's about to get a lot worse

Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

Re: The race is almost run

"David McWilliams, 'Days Of Pearly Spencer' - That took me back! Thanks"

I remember listening to it frequently enough that it stuck.

Probably listening to Radio Luxembourg while doing my school homework,

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Wensleydale Cheese
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"How Einstein slipped through the net is anyone's guess."

"You're only allowed to be truly clever after you're dead: think Alan Turing, Louis Le Prince, Hedy Lamarr. How Einstein slipped through the net is anyone's guess."

He lived in a different age when scientists were respected. Mind you, in their day, the privileged classes probably also thought that the relative who spent all his time in a homemade lab or exploring jungles was probably bonkers.

The wild hair probably helped.

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Microsoft gives users options for Office data slurpage – Basic or Full

Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

Fedora

"I'm using Fedora Cinnamon too. Rock solid ..."

Interesting thanks. I didn't realise Fedora was suitable for production.

The last time I used Fedora (2012?) it was a bit too "bleeding edge" for my taste.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Corporate users?

"This is not something you can lobby your MP about."

It certainly is something you can lobby your MP about when so many government departments use the product.

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Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

Re: We need some ...

"Hand-dryers are now being accused of being very efficient microbiological dispersing devices."

I rather like the idea of machines being accused...

Perhaps it'll become a trend as more and more of them acquire "AI".

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: We need some ...

"My experience talking with premises staff is that the most disgusting and unusual things tend to happen in the ladies toilets."

I've been told the same by bar workers and hotel owners.

Hair dye/colouring gets everywhere, apparently.

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Domain name sellers rub ICANN's face in sticky mess of Europe's GDPR

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Popcorn time

This could tunr out to be an armchair sport we can all participate in.

No time for popcorn, too busy pondering what we can complain about

<evil grin>

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Open justice FTW! El Reg fought the law – and El Reg won

Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

"El Reg fought the law – and El Reg won"

Nah. That song title will never hit the charts.

P.S. Congrats El Reg. Keep up the good work. :-)

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Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

Wensleydale Cheese
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So WTF is wrong with the US school system?

There MUST be something wrong with the US school system if so many feel they need to go and shoot the places up.

WTF is it?

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HMRC opens consultation to crack down on off-payroll working in private sector

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: "most contractors would go permie"

"Really? Do they actually have that option? Would they really take a huge hit in take home?"

Once you get past a certain age, for many, going permie without a horrendous commute Is not an option full stop.

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Android devs prepare to hit pause on ads amid Google GDPR chaos

Wensleydale Cheese
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"I have for years ignored all kinds of adverts especially for things like cars, which I've never owned."

In contrast, I enjoy a good car advert, if only for the artwork involved.

Many of these are for stuff that's out of my price range or for vehicles I wouln't consider buying from a practical view, but I still enjoy them.

In the old days of paper magazines, that was definitely a factor in buying the magazine itself.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

Re: Consent

From Bruce Schneier's book "Data and Goliath"

There’s a famous quote, most reliably traced to the retail magnate John Wanamaker: “I know half of my advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

Re: Consent

"The best one was trying to advertise spandex leotards to me, on a Linux news site."

There was an instance of a support site for LaTeX suddenly attracting a lot of hits from folks searching for pron.

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