* Posts by Marshalltown

643 posts • joined 30 Sep 2011

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Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?

Marshalltown

The underground tree squirrel blackout

Never saw a colleague pull a "Fred's Head," but once, with all the staffing happily doing staff things, the building suddenly went dark. The UPS started to scream and the server shut down, though by then all the other work stations were already dark. The lights were out and the phone system dead. The boss had us checking the breakers to the building, but they were fine. The city utility said, "it wasn't us!!" An electrician was called in and found that we had power to the pole and down the descender to where it entered a conduit under the drive way into the parking lot. At the riser though, where the line entered the building, there was no power. The enter undergroun line had to be exposed and the conduit dismantled before the "cultprit" - a tree squirrel - who had for some squirrelly reason mades it way into the conduit and half way to the far end before settling in to chew through the power line with fatal results.

Why does that website take forever to load? Clues: Three syllables, starts with a J, rhymes with crock of sh...

Marshalltown

Re: Why adsneed Javascript?

Regardless of whether the ads use JS or not, the page overhead is the offense. The advertisers are using your gear to - theoretically - sell stuff to you. They not only expect the use of your gear for free, but hope you will toss in a tip as well. They could stick to static ads using minimum real estate on the screen, ditch the animations, voice overs and the rest of the television ad wannabe cruft and the number of complaints and contempt directed at the industry would almost vanish. But broadcast TV is dying and the admen want a new home with a minimum learning curve.

Marshalltown

Re: Your JS can KMMFA.

Personally, I don't mind static ads that simply sit there, and possibly provide a link. But your average adster seems to think they have an actual right to waste your screen space and processor cycles. I suspect the bitterest opponents of adblockers are malware authors.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Marshalltown

Re: I can believe it!

Long ago, the fellow I worked for decided to branch out from the core business into the utterly, totally, absolutely unrelated business of being an ISP. He had no skills or knowledge of the business whatsoever. To accomodate the ISP operation lab space was broken up and a server closet was built to for the routers and oher other necessary hardware and their racks. To oversee this, he initially hired a very gothy young fellow whose apparent ambition was to become a BOFH. The boss had decreed that the entire office be tied into the new system and for some obscure reason, the tie ran through the machine we used as a print server. The side of the business we worked on (when not answering "hell desk" questions) had reports that needed to be printed, deadlines to be met and all the other daya to day things such businesses are faced with. However, our young WBBOFH (would-be BOFH) decided that security required that when he was out of the building direct access between the office side and the ISP side of things had to be cut, which he accomplisged by the simple expedient of powering down the print server, leaving us stuck without an available printer. Within a couple of weeks of this after fruitless complaints and explanations that if he really needed the security he need to install another break point, my partner worked out a work around involving booting the print server from an alternate bootable floppy.

This worked fine from our perspective but played merry hell with the link to the ISP side since it left the NT file system in an unstable state which required some work by the WBBOFH every time he started the system "properly." Even though "the boss" told us not to circumvent the little twerp's measures, we simply offered to let him - the boss - explain to his other clients who paid for the majority of the opreation why their work went begging, and continued to "circumvent." Young WWBOFH quit within about six months.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?

Marshalltown

What computers

In college in the late seventies, where I did my degree, there were only punch card computers, and I personally never took a computer course. There were texts in the book store and a little later PCs and a bit after that Turbo Pascal. Bits of BASIC, Avenue (used in GIS but discarded by ArchGIS for Visual Basic). Bits of FORTRAN, PROLOG, ... Finally I got my hammer and hiking boots back, but, you can never really leave.

Marshalltown

Yes indeed

My own chosen caeer path included outdoors, rocks, dirt, a hammer and magnifying glass. I was forced by poverty to learn to build my own computer(s), and after my degree, was baffled to find myself installing coax for a 10BASETWO LAN, BNC connectors in the PCs, and terminators on the machnies at the end of the line, and later serving at the help desk. Between boughts of explaining the lesser mysteries of WordPerfect to my boss.

The dingo... er, Google stole my patent! Biz boss tells how Choc Factory staff tried to rip off idea from interview

Marshalltown

Re: Another RegTard HitJob

Google (Alphabet) shill.

Marshalltown

Re: Hang on!

US patent history is a weird and tangled jungle. There are episodes where a good idea was patented by the inventor, who was a greedy jerk. The result: the use of the patent languished until it lapsed or a better idea was patented by someone of a more reasonable turn of mind. Other times a patent was maintained for as long as possible, ultimately lapsing as it aged out. The Bailey wood plane is an example. At other times stupid, absurd, minimal alterations to an existing patent were patented largely as a marketing tool for a company that wanted to use the existing patent without licensing it. There were a ridiculous number of patents covering trivial alterations to a ceramic, electrical insulator tube (no longer used any where). Most addressed the nonexistent problem of the insulator backing out of a wooden wall stud and leaving the conductor in contact with the flammable wood. Then along came software "patents" which should be under copyright instead.

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz

Marshalltown

Re: At least is isnt oracle or M$

MS already has some interesting opensource efforts going with respect to R, where they have their "Revolutions" effort working on producing useful packages. MS has a page for the project on their website and they even recommend RStudio as an IDE.

Fire chief says Verizon throttled department's data in the middle of massive Cali wildfires

Marshalltown

Re: We are actually missing the worst part here

Don't bet on it. This news has "class action" all over it. Lawyers will be lining up to find people who claim property damage or personal injury that can "plausibly" be tied to Verizon's _deliberate_ hampering of the fire's management. That is, to all appearances, Verizon's actions made the fires worse. The fact that Verizon actually profitted from that will look really bad to any jury in California (fires are much more of a worry than earthquakes). It also resulted in very serious damage in the Mendocino National Forest, meaning a canny Federal lawyer might be working on bill for Verizon right now.

Marshalltown

Re: Bollocks back at you.

"Since the Dept. signed the contract that said just exactly that." Actually the contract says two mutually exclusive things, and worse, applied them to a contract with emergency services. Besides that, we also have this from Verizon: "Regardless of the plan emergency responders choose, we have a practice to remove data speed restrictions when contacted in emergency situations. ..." Since every fire is an emergency, or has to be treated as such by the responding fire department(s) until shown to be a hoax or something, there should never be a limit on data speed, according to Verizon's own words.

Marshalltown

Re: Even their "good" practice is bad.

You would lose. Firefighters - hundreds - were being pulled in from other states. You can't strip other counties and cities of their personne just because they don't have a fire at this particular moment. California city fire departments have a fiveminute response goal. AND - every fire is an emergency, meaning the the only rational interpretation of Verizon's "policy" is that emergency serives have no throttling, ever. But they did.

Marshalltown

Re: What do you expect?

"How can you possibly fault the vendor for delivering on the contract?"

Easy. Their "plan" resulted in millions of dollars in damge that otherwise would not have been taken. The "unlimited data but slower speed" is outright fraud since you can only have one or the other. The unlimited data "service" conflicts with the extreme reduction in bandwidth that produces a very definite reduction in available data. I can imagine that with this news about 10,000 lawyers are geering up for class action suits. And Verizon will be required to explain in court how the data transmission can be both unlimited and limited. Their defense can only be 'caveat emptor', "the customer should have considered the implications of the fine print more closely. No one could possibly take the work 'unlimited' seriously."

Google's phone woes: The Pixel and the damage done

Marshalltown

Re: Just like Apple

Subprime loans certainly don't help, but culturally, both in Europe and the US, there is a storm of narcissism. Who the aitch-ee-double hockey sticks CARES what someone else's breakfast looks like? Yet, we are now well supplied with more than a generations worth of users who photgraph plates of food, stand in front of advancing trains to take selfies and generally display the social graces of a three-year old in a tutu chirping "look at me!" and otherwise demanding the attention of all the adults in the room for an hour. And Apple and the rest of the "smartphone" manufacturors enourage this, and it is their target sales demographic.

Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

Marshalltown

Anthropomorphisation magic

Working for a totally unrelated kind of business, back in the early '90s the owner decided to become an ISP as well. Note "as well." As part of the process, the busness moved to a somewhat larger space, and I and my partner were tasked with wiring the office's network. It was coaxial, hand pulled, with BNC connectors, and never forget the terminator. Anyway, we got the network running. Then things like printers and other computers were connected, and finally, we got a genuine CAT5 system and an honest to whatever, would-be BOFH (he had delusions of grandeur, we knew the wiring - rubs hands together). Anyway, between our real jobs, we also pulled "support" duty. In particular, we had an office manager - an extreme fundamentalist, who at one point did not report to work because she and her husband and fellow certifiables were on a hill top waiting for God - who never got the appointment note.

She would settle into he desk, and start work. Sooner or later we would hear a shriek of rage and a yell for help. Her system (no one else's) had frozen, crashed, would not respond to commands ... One of us would walk in, ask her to move out of her chair, take her place, and her computer would behave sweetly. We would then ask, "what is the trouble?" She would explain that it would not print, would not ... Which we would then do and it would be fine. All we could tell her was "you can't get impatient with the electrons or they'll go one strike." The problems persisted through rewirings and different systems and new printers. The only diagnosis we could ever come up with is that electronics didn't like her.

Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Marshalltown
Pint

Minor "cracking"

One of my friends knocked one day and growled that he had locked himself out of his foot locker. I said maybe we could pick it, so we went around to his place and took a look. It was a beautiful piece of woodworking, glossy oak. He told me his granfather made. The lock was a padlock through a hasp. Picking was a definitely possibility, but any quasi-cubical object has six sides. So I turned it aound and discovered the hinges were face mounted. So we broke out his Swiss Army knife removed the hinges and he retrieved his key.

Feds charge Man after FCC boss Ajit Pai's kids get death threat over net neutrality axe vote

Marshalltown

The trial would be a colossal waste of public funds s it stands. The closed charges evidently provide hte Feds with time to manufacture evidence that the apology was a fake and that Markara was building an arsenal of cream pies and banana peels to use against Pai.

Marshalltown

Re: He commited a Felony

Yeah, "felony" by definition rather than content. Just goes to show that the jackassery of of Pai successfully triggered further jackassery. "Threats" are not treated as First Amendment protected speech here in the home of the "brave," although the immense majority of threats are uttered by frustrated people who never learned to curse, swear and utter Shakespearian obscentities. Otherwise he might have uttereed something more like, "the devil damn thee black thou Pai faced loon," or something similar.

Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

Marshalltown

Re: @Ted Treen ...@AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

@Ian Michael Gumby

The law in the US varies from state to state. In most the some breaking into your house does not have to display a weapon to be considered a threat to your safety. In this case he had both a fair warning, AND a weapon, although probably not visible. He was carrying what the police sometimes call an abduction or rape kit. Most states have in addition to a "stand your ground" standard, either overt (as in Florida) or simply by omission as in most of the rest, that means that you can defend yourself if threatened, whether or not you are in your home, even California. While the common advice - even in the US - is to follow Monet Python's example and "run away," many people simply cannot do that because of age, infirmity or simple lack of condition. And, police response time is typically at least an order of magnitude longer than the typical "violent interaction" time between a felon and victim. Ideally, we should prosecute ANYONE who sues someone who defended themselves and injured or killed the felon as an accomplice to the crime. They are after all attempting to profit from the crime or attempted crime. And, while juries occasionally go off the rails, in the US they are not commonly sympathetic with the criminal, injured or not, or his or her relatives.

Sysadmin shut down server, it went ‘Clunk!’ but the app kept running

Marshalltown

Power? What power?

About 20 years, working on an archaeological project in Israel, the director had the habit of buying and shipping most of the computer hardware over from the US at the start of the field season. Actually, every member of the crew carried some expedition-owned gear as part of the baggage alotment. So first day, our job as lab staff was to set up the computers and LAN. So, as noted, hardware purchased in US, staff from US, in Israel. Israel uses the same 240 volt power standard similar to the UK and other European countries. Setting up the gear, we have several "work stations" - actually PCs with MS Windows (may be even Windows 98) using the basic networking tools that came with Windows. One machine was much more powerful since it handled the GIS system, We installed and powered up each system safely until we got to the GIS system with a pentium processor, loads of ram and a huge harddrive (for the time). I leaned over to plug in the big guy and there was a loudish "POP" from inside the box, accompanied by that order of burnt electrics. On that one machine, the biggest and most critcal we forgot to throw the switch over for 240 volt power. Happily it only took a trip to Haifa to find a replacement power supply.

Have YOU had your breakfast pint? Boffins confirm cheeky daily tipple is good for you

Marshalltown

Re: What measure of 'drink' did these Americans use?

A standard drink made with hard alky served in a bar is 120 ml. Another way to see it is that a US "standard" drink contains 14 grams of pure alcohol. Standard beer serving is 12 fl oz (US) at 5%. Wine standard is five ounces at 12% ABV, and 1.5 ounces distilled booze at 80 proof (40% ABV).

BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave

Marshalltown

Re: The difference

"...even though incompetence is widely available anyway, people often prefer the vendor's incompetence over a third party..."

They even prefer paid incompetence over free incompetence. And may even be disturbed is the free incompetence is slightly less so than what has been paid for.

BOFH: We know where the bodies are buried

Marshalltown

A thouhgt - a very curious and potentially disturbing one

If you consider just how long Simon has been ensconced in his ops room, and the close and - ah - intimate knowledge he has of company operations, there is more than a small chance that he actually owns the company or a majority through blind proxies. Owning the company and its administration would provide job security. I knew a janitor who never needed to work because unbeknownst to anyone up the line. he actually was the boss of all bosses and really did know where the bodies were buried. He mainly showed up to keep an eye on things and note any new graves.

Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill

Marshalltown

Ah yes. My first job - actually related to computers as anything but tools - I was sitting at my desk trying to kludge together some dbaseIV code to parse a very large (for a desktop PC) data file into a saner order. My new employers calls me to his office where his computer "is slow." He is writing a report in WordPerfect about 12 pages worth so far. He is formatting the document as he writes and then edits, rewrites, redits reformats and on and on. He wanders off to get coffee or visit bar or something. I close the file and wait a very long time. Once the file is closed everything seems jake. Nothing slow, programs come up quickly (for the early 1990s). There's no internet in the office yet and the world wide web is merely a rumour as far as we are concerned. So I loaded his document and it was really, really slow. Hmmm. I gave the WP reveal codes command - WOW! The text is literally lost in orphan formatting code. So I closed it again and checked the file size, which for DOS, was huge. I don't recall the actual size. So I went in cleared loads of orphan codes away and cleared them away and cleared them away. Then I saved and reloaded the file. It was fine. Closed WP and went back to my own work. I here the boss enter his office and settled there's a brief quiet period and then a girlish shriek and my name screamed. So trotting in, I see he's paper white. He had noticed the difference in file size. It considerable convincing. Even looking at and printing the whole file could not initially convince him loads of important stuff hadn't simply vanished.

BOFH: Give me a lever long enough and a fool, I mean a fulcrum and ....

Marshalltown

Re: cellphone, mobile, handy

Glance at BBC News. One of the Sections is "US and Canada." I rather wonder what the typical Canadian thinks of that. Being from south of the border, my experiences in Canada never involved even needing a passport. I did get an RCMP officer a little aggravated once, but that was settled by backing away from the border crossing to a pull out and cooking and eating the sweet corn we were carrying.

Marshalltown

Re: cellphone?

When the BOFH first appeared the "cellular telephone" was a very, very new new thing. They were actually about the size of bricks (no back pocket carrying) and would get hot enough that you might start worrying about an explosion next to your external acoustic meatus. In the US these monsters were referred to as "cell phones" in distinction to land lines. However, "mobile" was an option. "Smart phone" is an oxymoron.

Any social media accounts to declare? US wants travelers to tell

Marshalltown

Re: This will deter foreign citizens from wanting to come to the US

It deters me and I'm a citizen.

Marshalltown
Alert

Re: its optional....

That really depends on how you view US history. Prior to the Civil War (American) anywhere from half to four fifths of the immigrants from Europe arrived as indentured servants. Some "voluntarily" indentured themselves. Others were shanghaied off the streets and came to bound for America as "indentured servants." Britain also sent "excess" population with criminal records our way as indentured servants. The short lesson here is that while this period is often referred to as the "colonial" period, the majority of immigrants would be called "refugees" these days and many arrived unwillingly regardless of their continent of origin. One of the south's reasons for "preferring" African slaves was that they looked different enough to be tracked readily of they escaped. There was no significant Federal interest in immigrants until the late 19th Century when the "Chinese Exclusion Act" was passed. Ten years after that the first immigrant (from Ireland) was processed at Ellis Island.

For some of us "hardline" Americans "illegal immigrant" sounds un-American.

Fancy a relaxed boozy holiday? Keep well away from Great Britain

Marshalltown

Re: If you want puritianism then

"...Typically items in the trunk are deemed to be in the possession of the driver so while they're ok with you taking what's left of the wine bottle from the restaurant you have to have someone walk it home."

Not really. Just drive sanely, signal turns and lane changes, actually stop at stop signs and stoplights. A cop won't pull you over unless there's something resembling a cause that can justify the stop. The commonest reason for a stop is a "rolling stop" at an intersection. They also love catching people talking on their cell phone or better, texting. The fines are steep and contesting the ticket requires actual proof you were not using your cell phone.

Marshalltown

Re: Advertising falls most heavily on the poor

Ban adverts. Or at least get rid of the bandwidth gobbling s**** that make so many web pages so very, very ugly and noisy.

Marshalltown

Re: Ha ha that's funny

Fredrick Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth discuss the concept of "free will" in a civilization run by ad companies in Space Merchants. A true classic.

BOFH: Honourable misconduct

Marshalltown

Re: who would play BOFH and PFY?

"...(too obvious, typecast?) With characters named BoFH, PFY, BOSS, HR droid, surely you jest.

Billionaire's Babylon beach ban battle barrels toward Supreme Court

Marshalltown

Common law

Ironically perhaps, the legal basis by which the public has right of way across that property extends far back into English history. The rule in California is that a private ownership of a route used publicly has to be maintained by denying public access to the route annually. I used to help my father-in-law close off a short road on land he owned connecting two other roads, erecting a barrier and running tape across the entrances.

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Marshalltown

Re: Great Headline, Register

The original story was "The Sentinel" and ends with the narrator wondering if the "builders" might not have become cranky in their old age, jealous of younger races. The movie begins with that and then builds on a "singularity" like concept of "evolution." (Evolution really has no direction its headed in so YMMV.) Some of the movie has concepts that probably really hark from Childhood's End. There was no original book as such, just a novelized version of the movie.

Web searching died the day they invented SEO

Marshalltown

Not found

The trouble is that not a few of us actually did, once upon a time, genuinely find some page or document that is now not found. It was there, and now it is not. That is not a user problem.

Marshalltown

Re: I miss Altavista

They're really optimized to provide your eyes to ads they get paid to slobber all over the display. Now we have cheeky sites that complain "you are using an ad blocker. We'll die if you don't let us use your machine the way we want to. Please help us." A decent ad knows its place. It stays where it belongs, makes no noise, and doesn't need pop-up windows and the entire screen.

Marshalltown
Headmaster

""Enormity" means great evil, not large size."

Not necessarily. It has come to be used that way, but it really simply means immensity. The use is well established in literature.

Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

Marshalltown

Re: PC world

You left out, "that cup holder too cheap. It broke when I out my mug in it." No joke. I took the call myself. My first bewildered response was "cup holder?" Since we were an ISP and only sold internet connection, the hardware calls were particularly aggravating. But our boss was sure that we would get more business by helping the folks that had gone to some local assemble it while you wait shop.

Russia tweaks Telegram with tiny fine for decryption denial

Marshalltown

Re: But..

' ... This is different from the customary USA constitutional legalfest where a village court can discuss the first, second, etc amendments taking "village court decisions"....'

The US situation is such that any court decision that actually intrudes on a constitutional right can be reversed either by a higher state court or a transfer to a federal court which disagrees with the original decision and that disagreement becomes "precedent." The really problematic aspect arises when someone invokes the Ninth or Tenth Amendments. The Ninth essentially acknowledges that there are "rights" retained by "the people" which are not enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The states are not mentioned in the Ninth. Only the individual rights regarded as the most important are delimited in the BoR. More confusing though, the Tenth notes that rights which are not "delegated" to the Federal government or explicitly forbidden to the states by the Constitution are "... reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." That is nicely confusing, setting up a conflict between the states and their populations. If there were only the first nine amendments, there would no major issue about state's rights. Their "rights" would be limited to those granted by the constitution.

Marshalltown

Re: But..

"Village court..."

Not sure where you are from, but plainly you never served on a jury in the US. There is no such entity as a "village court." In fact searching the term would lead you lead to real estate ads. US law follows the common law system inherited from Britain. A defense lawyer might try to nullify a jury using constitutional arguments, but the judge will instruct a jury according to law and statute. Any constitutional issue would be settled in a federal court or potentially the Supreme Court.

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

Marshalltown

The old "sewing machine" control

Working in one of the first ISPs in the San Joaquin valley in the California in the early '90s I took precisely the same kind of call. The lady had her mouse on the floor as a result of analogical reasoning. It looked vaguely like a cheap foot control for a sewing machine so she put it on the floor. It required a little questioning to determine precisely what the problem really was, but she hung up a happy customer. It was a surprise for me to find similar stories disposed of as "urban myth" within five years.

RIP Ursula K Le Guin: The wizard of Earthsea

Marshalltown

Re: A good read?!

She was the daughter of of Alfred Kroeber, arguably one of the most influential of American Anthropologists and certainly one of the more important early names. It was Kroeber who brought Ishi to UC Berkeley. The influence of regular exposure to anthropological and ethnographic patterns of thought is evident throughout much of Le Guin's work. When I was in college I took Anthropology classes and the various professors liked to let students know their "pedigree" as heirs to Kroeber's legacy. The nearer they were to Kroeber in terms of teacher-to-teacher lineage, the more they let Anth students know how privileged they were to have them as professors. It was rather comical one-ups-manship. Le Guin though, wrote fine fiction. I was particularly fond if the Earthsea novels.

'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Marshalltown

Re: Capacitor, HAH !! I raise you 2 stories

Ah, yes. Those happy days. We ware called in by the office administrator one day because her computer was "misbehaving." We inquired as to the specific bad acting and were informed that something "smelled bad." We could indeed smell hot electric somethings, but had our own, real jobs as well. So we remarked that we hoped her files were backed up, they were. We also told her we were happy to hear that she had not seen any smoke. She made some inquiry to which we informed her that "those ICs run on smoke. If it gets out they stop working." To which she sniffed contemptuously and snarled "no they don't." A very short while later she screamed quite loudly. We went running in to observe, or call emergency services, or laugh depending. She was standing up, backed against a wall. A thin wisp of smoke was drifting out of the louvers on the case. We broke out a screw driver and - after unplugging the beast - dismantled it. There, on the small processor board of a hard drive, in a largish chip was a small crater with a small amount of smoke lifting from it. We showed it to her and said, "see?"

Facebook grows a conscience, admits it corroded democracy

Marshalltown

Democracy - hmmm

The real problem is not the damage to democracy, which in a rather raw(ish) form went and saddle us with Trump. The US is a republic and as such, theoretically elects (democractically) well informed "specialists" to do work that us proles are too busy being productive, lazy or ignorant to address directly. That is, a republic is an indirectly democratic government rather than a democracy per se. The US Constitution actually enshrines certain nature rights in the Bill of Rights and if one reads them very carefully, and one is equipped with good reading skills and perhaps a slight skill in wading through the wordiness of the late 18th Century, then it quite clear that the authors trusted "democracy" just about as far as they trusted the British monarchy - i.e. not at all. Mobs are, after all, democracy in action. One of the natural rights the Bill of Rights enshrines is the right of dissent - regardless of the kind, but particularly from religion. Among other things they had studied the history of England and its Glorious Revolution carefully. The lessons learned were what structured the US Constitution and one reason that British common law authorities are still cited in US law. No, the real damage is the self-inflicted damage done by the republican (not Republican) government on itself that provided the weakness exploited by all that fake news.

UK government bans all Russian anti-virus software from Secret-rated systems

Marshalltown

Re: Jet Engine

Far, far too late. The UK literally sold the USSR the technology for the early MIG engine. There was an "agreement" signed and sealed, that promised sincerely that the USSR would never, ever use the engines for anything warlike. Then the first MIG captured showed they had replicated the engines. So, technically they might not have broken the promise, but ...

BOFH: The trouble with, er, windows installs

Marshalltown

"Simon's taking inspiration from George R R Martin..."

Not all. BOFH was around long before GoT.

http://bofh.bjash.com/bofh/genesis1.html

Wait, did Oracle tip off world to Google's creepy always-on location tracking in Android?

Marshalltown

Getting the location of the cell tower?

When a cell tower is planned the desired location is fixed to a high degree of precision - less than a meter IIRC. That location is fixed with an accuracy of about 1.3 mm in latitude, but the longitudinal distance will vary with distance from the poles. The locations are public knowledge (at least in the US).

Let's make the coppers wear cameras! That'll make the ba... Oh. No sodding difference

Marshalltown

Re: Try obeying the law - won't always work

Never getting hassled simply means you aren't a "modal" figure. I've been stopped and searched more than anyone of any human variation in appearance I know. I spent about six years - or maybe a couple more - not scaring the guys with guns at least once a month and occasionally twice a week. Never ticketed, never cited, never arrested. Asking "why" they stopped me, the answer's gist is that the police DO profile - and not just racially. If you are the right build, you may match the modal description for a possible "perp" - their words - of whatever race you belong to. So, the BOLO says "white, dark hair and beard, six foot, athletic build, blue jeans and boots, military jacket," and you match that, they stop and question you at the very least. Small, white Toyota pickups were apparently also popular with the criminal set. By the time it happened about 20 times, I knew the routine. That actually made some of them more suspicious. Some would get twitchier because I followed directions carefully.

So, tell us again how tech giants are more important than US govt...

Marshalltown

Re: the big media fallacy

There's little evidence advanced that any agency other than Russia interfered. What is interesting though is that the evidence made available indicates that the purpose of the interference was not to get the Duck elected but instead to aggravate existing rifts in the US social structure.

BOFH: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

Marshalltown

I

"...And his fingerprints on the window key as more evidence...."

Reread the bit when the Boss returns the key. He wiped it before dropping in the drawer. One to watch closely.

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