* Posts by Don Jefe

5084 posts • joined 30 Nov 2011

Cracking copyright law: How a simian selfie stunt could make a monkey out of Wikipedia

Don Jefe
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Re: @DJ

I've actually thought about your notion of some sort of gradient/curve for copyright for the last day or so (something similar never crossed my mind before). I actually like the overall idea. In fact, I like it a lot.

Without getting into the muddy trenches, the big concern I see is that in the binary 'copyright/non-copyright' system we currently have the abuses are just overtly obscene. I'm a huge fan of semantic debate and argument, but the fools currently mucking up copyright for everyone have been able to do so when there are only two possible outcomes to any argument.

If it wasn't so detrimental to the general consumer it would be hilarious, but it really is shit. My concern is that debates rage for years over a single point, a curve introduces a lot of new points that gum up the works even more. The idea is certainly interesting though!

Don Jefe

Re: Andrew

For individuals, including creative professionals and very small companies, there is zero real advantage in filing for copyright for their individual works. It's a different thing for brands and products where you want to be sure nobody else in your space has a brand or product that could be confused with yours. In those cases official registration of copyright is a great convenience as it serves as a centralized clearinghouse of sorts that helps protect you against allegations of infringement. Take my word for it, having some hillbilly come out of left field and sue you for 'stealing his products name' sucks.

Beyond that however, you quickly get into math where the costs of protecting your property exceeds the value of the property. No matter the country, the agencies responsible for granting and organizing copyright are not active participants in protecting that copyright. It's 100% on you to be on the lookout for those infringing and to pursue legal action against them.

As you might imagine, that's an outrageously expensive prospect that grows continuously more expensive as time passes. It's kind of like hiring Congolese mercenaries to guard your strawberry patch. It's extreme overkill that requires enormous resources to maintain. That's why copyright is automatically given to the original creator. It's there if you need it, but not only will most creatives never have a need to enforce their rights, by the time it's all said and done any such enforcement is likely to result in a break even situation (or even a losing situation).

Don Jefe

How does the length of time involved in a given action determine the value of the end result of the action? If something takes a long time that could just as easily be caused by stupid as it could be by Goldbergian tactics. If we apply your logic to other things then one could argue that Human babies resulting from premature ejaculation don't count as people and can therefore be owned like any other property but a baby resulting from 500ml of bourbon and hours of a couple going at it hard enough to lose weight is 'more Human' and can't qualify as property.

Finally, a practical use for 3D printing: Helping surgeons rehearse

Don Jefe

I think you might be surprised at how much bone moves. Particularly when it's broken. When I was being fitted for my aftermarket ankle assembly (the OEM assembly had been crushed in spectacular fashion) there were eight or nine imaging sessions of the damaged parts in the weeks leading up to the surgery and two sessions each day of the day of the surgery.

It's a little known fact, but except for bones at your extremities, most bones in your body are connected to other bones. It's also quite common for muscles to be attached to those bones (people in movies diagnosing broken bones by the fact they can move that body part is dumber than too many bullets in a gun) . If you're dealing with a severe break with splintering and lots of little bits have simply been crushed to powder then movements in seemingly unrelated parts of your body can move all sorts of stuff around. So much so that even with completely custom made replacements and no budget ceiling the manufacturer still had a guy in the OR with a rolling cabinet full of various doodads specifically to deal with movement in the bones.

Granted, my incident was severe, but, as a rule, you really want doctors working on bones that aren't severely damaged to know what the fuck the bones look like without a 3D model. Bone structure is pretty basic stuff. If the design guys at Herman Miller know more about your bones than the doctor who wants to cut you open then I suggest a different doctor.

If it's a truly serious issue then the number of variables is high and subject to change until everything is completed. If it's a simple issue then they shouldn't need the model to begin with. Either way, I can't see this as practical or useful, at all unless the hospital you're at is just plucking random people off the street to perform surgery on you.

Don Jefe

Plasticless Office

OK, this is fine and dandy and all, but isn't it kind of like printing the code from a beta version of a piece of software? Sure, it'll give you a general idea of what's going on, but five days inside the Human body is a looooong time and anything you see on the model will not be as accurate as a pre-op CT/MRI that reflects the present.

Printing an out of date model when every major healthcare system on Earth is still struggling with digital records seems like things going backward.

Intelligence blunder: You wanna be Australia's spyboss? No problem, just walk right in

Don Jefe

Re: So What?

It was a step down, to be sure, but the Elizabeth lady who is in charge is a lovely person and I just couldn't bear to hurt her feelings.

Don Jefe

So What?

I once occupied an entire country and declared myself Lord of the Seas, Supreme Commander and Pope of the Exchequer and nobody even noticed. A bunch of government bureaucrats can't be expected to notice when their boss shows up for work.

Don Jefe

Re: Automatic Revocation (Not likely)

Too expensive to integrate with their HR system, probably. But I can guaranfuckingtee it is integrated with their security clearance system. It's entirely possible that not booting him out was simply to save the Once and Future Ruler the indignities of another colon level security screening.

To me that sounds highly plausible as I can't imagine any Once and Future staff wanting to catch hell for putting his Once and Future boss through the screening process because of nothing more significant than a contractual oversight. It would not be a fun place for an admin to be. Sure, they wouldn't be fired for annoying the New Old Boss, but they could sure as shit be reassigned to act as on-site liaison/exchange in some hellhole like Texas (or somewhere equally awful). Senior

Management never plays by the rules anyway, and as the guy responsible for breaking rules and being ultra-secretive about it I would expect 'by the book' compliance to be even less prevalent. Seriously, who do you report that kind of thing to? Those five days would seem like a super compressed 1hr 33mins and your sphincter would likely never fully recover from the strain.

IT blokes: would you say that lewd comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

Don Jefe

Re: You'll Get The Respect You Deserve

No, you completely miss the point. Raping people is an entirely different thing and even making the comparison is outrageously childish as well as indicative of the fact you aren't ready for commenting on the issue.

In a professional capacity ones will, as projected in their confidence and demeanor, is the only thing you have that might trump anything else in the room. Somebody is always going to have more money, more power, more everything than you, that simply can't be avoided. But will and self respect neutralize all that other stuff, if you actually have will and self respect.

It never ceases to amaze me that so many adults have no idea how the world around them works. They get sidetracked and think it takes money or special connections or fame or other such nonsense to get respect. That's just bullshit coming from people with, at best, no self respect and at worst absolutely no idea of what respect actually is. Which makes a lot of sense. If they knew what respect actual was they would have some for themselves. How can you possibly respect others if you don't know what respect is?

The answer is you can't. There's always a respect fire brigade running around to come claiming to be protecting the respect of others, but the fact of the matter is they're most often seeking their own self respect by pandering to the public. The opinions of others goes right up there with arrogance, boozing and sluttiness as a facade of self respect.

Long before I was anybody there was approximately zero chance of someone not respecting me. They fucking knew better. Even then I didn't have to say anything nor did I have a reputation for violence or confrontation. People know how to behave, even if they are extremely drunk, and they are going to behave in a manner befitting the most willful person involved in the situation. If that person turns out to be the kind of jackass to say inappropriate things and/or get grabby then you really shouldn't expect much.

The trick then, is to be the most willful. You don't even have to deal with the bullshit behavior of others. They're not going to fuck with you. You should be able to walk right into the center of the rudest, most disrespectful group of people you can find and have them instantly treating you as you deserve without saying a fucking word. If they don't do that then you're going to need a mirror to see the problem.

Christ, take my wife for example. Outside of her field the only people who know her know her as my wife, not who she is. People who have no idea who she is still give her tremendous respect. She's super tiny, extremely bashful and has such a small voice that she's hard to hear in the car, and she doesn't get harassed. If she does choose to speak people automatically stop talking. Nobody would even carry on a conversation of which the subject matter might embarrass her, even if they are complete strangers. Why do you think that is? Why would strangers alter their behavior just because she shows up? If you need a hint, it sure as fuck isn't because she's threatening.

If you don't understand all this then I feel sorry for you. You'll obviously have lost so many opportunities simply because you've got no presence. That's sad.

Don Jefe

You'll Get The Respect You Deserve

The problem with the issues covered in articles like this is that they always come from someone who has already been run over. Yes, there are some real asses out there, but bitching about that is like bitching about the position of Sol relative to Uranus: Completely pointless.

If you're not getting the respect you believe you deserve then that needs to be dealt with internally, inside your head, using whatever mechanisms you use to define yourself. The question that needs answering is how people knew they could run over you. You get that answered and the rest sorts itself out automatically.

If you don't think you're broadcasting weakness, but you're still getting run over, then your concept of strength is faulty. That's got fuck all to do with ones reproductive system, that fact is the same in all Humans. It's easy to see the poor attempts people make to increase their own valuations of themselves. Guys tend to do it with attitude, booze and flash, womenfolk tend to do it with bitchy attitudes and sluttiness. But those things amount to a person plotting to fool themselves without being noticed by themselves, and if that works then the problem is far, far deeper than self respect issues.

Make no mistake about it, this is 100% an issue of self respect, or lack thereof. Lack of self respect is a tangible thing and people are drawn to it. It's Human nature to assert oneself over the weaker Humans and everybody does it. There are no exceptions. So why are you coming off as the weak person? It sure as fuck isn't any of your lady parts, because at the table right next to you some guy is getting run over because he is being perceived as weak. Women tend to put too much emphasis on the value of their fun bits, and it blinds them to the truth of the matter. That truth being you are presenting yourself as the easiest to dominate.

What's worse, is that a conference/tradeshow in any industry is packed to overflowing with people highly adept at recognizing weakness and pouncing on it. You've got public facing operations people, you've got Salesdroids and marketing types as well as professional management at nearly all levels and their livelihoods depend on knowing how to identify their targets and knowing how to get to them before they've even spoken. Those people aren't trained social anthropologists, those people are natural born predators. They can't help it, but you can stop them. Hell, you'll know you're doing it right because they won't even start. They'll know, innately, to look for easier prey.

I can't give you instructions on how to do it, but commanding respect (not demanding it) is something that comes from inside you. It is just as palatable as weakness and requires no show of strength or display of power (well, maybe a few displays, early on, but word spreads quickly among the weak).

I'll finish with this. You can't, really, control the behavior of others. You can manage it, to some degree, but truly control it? Never. You can control your behavior though, so start there and start by respecting yourself. Which you clearly don't. Plenty of others aren't going to respect you either, and why should they if you don't respect yourself.

That's a general truism, and doubly so as a professional. As a professional one of the easiest was to work people is to identify the weak one and feign respect so as to manipulate them into whatever it is you need them to do. That's not being cynical, that's being still mostly sane after playing this game, successfully, for quite some time. Bullshit self respect tactics always fail, and the fallout is always worse, and more embarrassing, that it has to be. Be you. Be proud of who you are and unwavering in your belief in yourself. That's the only way you're going to get what you want out of your career, and your life in general.

Ending here, promise. You seem to be making the same mistake as so very many others with your idea of what constitutes professional behavior. Here's a hard won nugget for you to stick in your shoes (so as not to forget it). The further you go in your career the more important a robust, and true, level of self respect becomes. That corner office is a bastion of bent ethics and broken moral compasses. You will be absolutely destroyed, to the very core of your soul and being, by the people who work in those offices if you don't believe in yourself absolutely and unwaveringly. It won't be anything personal, but the entirety of getting that corner office and obscene salary is based on your success rate in battles of will disguised as respect with some platitudes on top and the first one to blink loses. I used to take everything from the loser, but I've mellowed. Some won't though, and tits or no tits, they will put your severed head on a pike by the gate as a warning.

Practice with the drunk asshats at the conferences and you'll know you're heading in the right direction when you can yuck it up with the drunken Proles, but nary a single one would even consider uttering an untoward comment, much less lay a hand on you. Wordlessly commanding respect from drunken predators through projection of sheer, indomitable will is a good entry level test for those who have lofty professional goals. Junior Executives and Clients come after that. It's a long road ahead of you, you don't believe in yourself, but you should, even though it will be difficult. Work on it and get back to us after the VMware event a year from now.

Trundle, trundle, FLEEEP: iPhone 6 production grinds to halt

Don Jefe

Why is that a problem? If you wait for design to be 100% before you start production you're losing years of time on the market. Manufacturing at scale does not support the notion of perfection. You go with what you've got and pump it out fast enough that you can cover any negative repercussions of initial problems.

The days of robust pre-release R&D for consumer goods are gone forever. Industrial and scientific goods still have quite a bit of the traditional design process happening, but not stuff for consumers. There are upsides and downsides to that approach, but it most certainly makes things cost less. A lot less really. Plus there's much less chance of a single product killing off your entire operation if it sucks or the market shifts (see RIM/Blackberry).

Don Jefe

What people call 'market forces' are much like Democracy. The Proles have about 17.6 million priorities higher on their list than practicality, utility, value, etc... Unfortunately, the larger a market, or a Democracy, the more the voice of reason is drowned out by the mouth breathing sounds of the 'common man'. It also means you get stuck with the decisions of the Proles because it becomes more difficult to change anything in direct proportion to the size of the market (or Democracy). In short, there are too many stupid people. But there's nothing to be done for it.

Less philosophically, every last bit of mobile communications and consumer IT has always been fashion driven, and it always will be. The professional side of those things are fashion driven too, but done from inside dank, windowless offices instead of the sides of bus stops and such. I blame Motorola.

Lastly, there's no such thing in large scale manufacturing that's done by any single entity. The amount of logistics involved in making $.0009 surface mount capacitors alone is mind boggling. There are mines and trucks and ships and satellites and mills and foundries and laws, etc... that come after R&D is done. What I'm getting at, is that when an industry (any industry) starts moving in a given direction, it is extremely hard to change that direction. Once miniaturization became a primary goal there wasn't going to be any changing it for a long, long, long time.

The ideas and inventions people came up with 10 years ago are still in the queue, waiting for their turn in the spotlight. The investments have been made and the people who made those investments aren't going to allow the market to change direction until they recoup their monies. This month we ship out a machine that will be used in mobile phone production. Total timeline from idea to reality has taken a little over four years, has a 15 year life expectancy and the client has paid a little over $40 million for the entire project. The machine performs vibration testing on assembled phones but capacity is 8x over the current equipment (but same footprint), all because 'thinner' was the direction the industry went. There are thousands of similar stories every day, so don't look for 'not thinner' to be a goal at any time soon.

True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS

Don Jefe

Re: I've seen it...

Yes, stuff like this is terrible to watch. Seeing actual people actually get killed always sucks, even if you don't like the person who died. I'm actually pleasantly surprised by the small numbers who watched the entire thing.

I see no point in people watching this sort of thing, but I see no point in criminalizing the viewing and sharing of it either. It is real, it did happen and to attempt to deny that by discouraging its viewing is just fucking stupid. If ignoring something made it not real then the aliens would stop coming into my bedroom at night.

Death by 1,000 cuts: Mainstream storage array suppliers are bleeding

Don Jefe


The following doesn't apply to very small companies, but becomes a huge issue once revenue is beyond a few million annually and for all publicly traded companies.

Once you're past that point, how you book expenses becomes more important than the cost of those expenses. Cloudy services go in the same column as utility bills and facility cleaning staff. Because of modern bookkeeping practices those things don't represent capex or other NRE's like licensing that you want to avoid on your books.

Super simplified, monies spent to actually buy something affect financials in a bad way, even when amortized across many years. But a whole bunch of small sums, even if the total is larger that an outright purchase of the same thing, has a very small effect on financials.

Accounting Macumba means that beyond a certain point it becomes cheaper to spend more money if you spend it in the right way. So, for small companies the 'hidden' costs of Cloudy things can be a killer, but for larger companies it's 'cheaper' for them to pay those costs than to buy things to do it in house. Ultimately, this all means that 'hidden' cloud costs will continue to rise, even if the 'simple costs' continue to go down.

On a lighter note, what this also means is that big array vendors are going to have to develop affordable, high performance products that target the small operations the Cloud providers are starting to ignore. Which is good news for small companies, but it also means I'm going to be able to put EMC kit in absolutely everything and not much would make me happier than telling my EMC rep that I'm using their once mighty arrays to record the drying of paint and the effects of gravity on large rocks for no reason other than it is cheap (we spend about $7m annual with EMC right now, so they are on my 'list of vendors who owe me' :).

Samsung bags second Internet of Home Stuff home firm in a week

Don Jefe

Re: What?

Some sports stadiums are buildings with no roofs. Sure, in most places a roof would probably be required for a building to be considered a house but, in fairness, the author of the article spun the 'house' angle. The acquisition, and the quote, was about buildings in general, not houses.

Our ancestors were most certainly a more robust people. I'm quite certain my great grandmother (who would be about 3,400 yeasts old next weekend) could have outperformed me in nearly any physical feat, even when I was in my prime. It took all three (then) living generations of the men from my family to get her down and a Babalorixa from Uruguay to get her organs far enough away from each other to prevent resurrection and get the squirrels in her yard to stop screaming. You just don't see that kind of thing so much these days.

Don Jefe


'Because air conditioning products are a necessity in all buildings'...

What the fuck? What a stupid thing for someone to say. All buildings require a door/entryway, everything else is optional. Air conditioning is required about as much as the snow making machines on my lawn that let me confuse migratory birds, and passing aircraft, in the summer.

Air conditioning is nice, I guess, but far too many people are just a bunch of pantywaists who sweat if it's above 28C. How is it even possible for people who aren't moving to sweat when it's 28 degrees? Instead of 'smart' HVAC, how about some 'smart people'.

Brits' borked Samsung kit held up after repair centre slips into administration

Don Jefe

Re: Retrieval

It's not so much that the 'stuff' changes owners, it's more that nothing involved has an owner until the court/administrators work out what belongs to who. That can be an extraordinarily com

Don Jefe

Re: Retrieval

It's not so much that the 'stuff' changes owners, it's more that nothing involved has an owner until the court/administrators work out what belongs to who. That can be an extraordinarily complex mess. Even more so if records are kept in a co-lo facility on rented kit. They'll likely have financials on-site, and that's all the administrators are immediately interested in. Once they find that info they stop spend on everything else and that includes off site services and the information held there. If the administrators can find information regarding proper ownership they'll return the property, eventually...

Regarding the other comment above, Samsung can't be held responsible for the failings of another business. That business fought hard to win the Samsung contract. It's not like like there were any surprises, they knew exactly what they were getting into. They underbid competitors but didn't leave enough money for themselves. That's just bad business.

Don Jefe


It'll be interesting to see if Samsung can retrieve the customers products, at least any time soon. I have shut down more than a few companies, and I've never seen 3rd parties have much success in retrieving other people's property from within the closed company in a reasonable amount of time. Take all a big mess and the only people who might be able to sort it have usually been fired.

It sucks, sure, but one really can't fault Samsung too much in this. It's a terrifically horrible idea to tell people you're about to close up shop. The mess is always bigger than just shutting it down as a surprise. If you announce a closing all you've done is create a race where the first large creditor to call their debt gets everything and nobody else gets shit. The only way to prevent that is through surprise so you can use legal means sort it put as best as you can.

It's all very unfortunate, but the legal system in the EU and the US is most certainly structured such that being wildly irresponsible is the most responsible thing to do.

Intel teams up with rap chap 50 Cent on heartbeat headphones

Don Jefe

Re: head/hands

I agree, 'Hedonit' is superior. Hedonist + idiot = Hedonit.

Anonymous threatens to name cop who shot dead unarmed Michael Brown

Don Jefe

Re: @ Tom 13

That has been official policy since the 1960's (in most States), but that hasn't stopped untold numbers of law enforcement personnel from 'leaking' information. In this case, the police are choosing to bestow special treatment on another officer. That in itself is a major failing in law enforcement in general and only compounded by the paramilitary mentality mindset, actions and mindset of modern law enforcement.

If the police 'leak' details of an accused celebrity/famous person and that person gets lynched 'too bad, but cops are underpaid and that $250 from the reporter really helped out buying school supplies'. Fuck that. The police should treat themselves the same as they treat others. This is nothing but police rallying together so they can shoot somebody too. Fuck 'em. If they're judged responsible enough to carry a gun then they should be held accountable for what they do with that gun and held accountable in the public eye, like they so love to do to the people they arrest.

Don Jefe

The original AC is correct, the case absolutely must go through the system in accordance with the law. Any debate about vigilante justice cannot even begin until the case has been heard and ruled on by the court. After, but only after, the court has dealt with the case those who might be inclined to administer their view of Justice, as they see it, can make those decisions then. But to do so prior to the hearing is wrong on every single level of society. No different than shooting an unarmed man trying to surrender. It is wrong and cannot in any way be justified.

That being said, as far as I'm concerned the public has every right to know the name of the shooter. In fact, I can't think of a single better example of 'in the public interest' than knowing which of the public protectors is going around shooting people. If (celebrity) shot someone the police sure as fuck wouldn't be doing anything to keep the shooters identity secret. The police are simply being lazy twats and not wanting to do their job. A job which would include protecting people who might be endangered by others.

NIST wants better SCADA security

Don Jefe


Well, as standards bodies go, NIST is moving faster than most in addressing the SCADA issue(s). If it all goes well they'll have a proposal for proposing a vote on a proposed test bed standard by the time Halley's Comet comes back around. It's all quite exhilarating really.

Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers

Don Jefe

Proper Science

All proper science should include diamonds, nitrogen and some manner of light related injector/gun/cannon, or something that melts faces off. Otherwise there's simply no way to have any good fiction about it.

US 911 service needs emergency upgrade and some basic security against scumbags

Don Jefe

Re: but some mobile calls can also include GPS

Enhanced 911 is deployed in a county-by-county basis in most States here in the US. Many places use an Enhanced 911 capable system, but use none of the enhanced features. My office and big house are in a part of Virginia where all the bells and whistles of Enhanced 911 are used. The county in the State of West Virginia where my actual home is does not use GPS or tower data to locate the position of the calling the device, nor does the county in Tennessee where I have my bunker.

It's all a big mess. It's best by far to know where you are and assume the 911 center (which is private in most places and staffed by zero police officers) won't have any idea where you're calling from.

eBay bans CD sales of metal band Burzum, citing offensive material

Don Jefe

Re: I don't get the complaints about Mien Kampf

You haven't read Mein Kampf have you? There's about as much forewarning in there as there is in a box of Alpha-Bits breakfast cereal. Sure, all the letters are there, but it's nothing more than the nonsensical whinging of anyone who felt they had been wronged but lacked either the ability, or willingness, to objectively self-evaluate.

During the time he was 'struggling' away to write his book he didn't even know who he was really going to pin all his troubles on. It's teen-angst with a super inflated ego and a really mediocre grasp of the written language. He was just pissed off, at everything. The 'who' would come later as soon as an opportunity presented itself, because that's what he was, an opportunist.

Hitler was many, many things, but unsatisfied dreamer, probably sums him up better than anything else (some people like to append some manner of psychological diagnosis to that). He was also not a lot of things, and strategic visionary was most assuredly one of the things he wasn't. If you step back and look at the things (strategy, '1000 Year Plan', equipment, etc...) he thought up it's virtually indistinguishable from what a 12 year old would come up with.

Great leader and motivator, undoubtedly. Great strategist and visionary, no. None of that is to take away from what he 'accomplished', but to retroactively apply traits and abilities to him that he did not possess is to willfully ignore history to the point of negligence. People spend their time looking for 'the next Hitler', which is a woeful waste of time. As a People we have to be vigilant in identifying the circumstances and events which lead to a man like Hitler being able to win control of a Nation. Looking at the man is useless.

London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites

Don Jefe

Re: even if he did...

Here in the US it's a crime to do something where the primary aim of that something is to circumvent a law. If a law is circumvented as a secondary effect of the something it's an entirely different ball of wax though. The whole concept is insanely convoluted and stuffed to over flowing with caveats, exceptions and gray areas. I assume the same is true for you guys.

BANGKOK-BLOCKED: Thailand's dictators 'ban dictator sim Tropico 5'

Don Jefe
Thumb Up

Re: Not Realistic

I know, because I bought 52 of them and sent one a week to a person I don't like after his divorce. It was an expensive exercise. I had to hire three people to identify 52 of his company's vendors then have my art guys fabricate false labels for all the boxes and arrange for transshipping to get valid Post Marks: 'Is it a spec product from a vendor, or a fuckable flashlight from the asshole who had 33 cubic yards of granite rail ballast delivered to my lawn?' Good times.

But Apple? Nah, Apple doesn't even come close to a proper cult of personality. Apple wants to be seen as something to strive for, something attainable. Something that, once attained, signifies your inclusion in an exclusive group. Let's just skim on past the questionable categorization of a $99 product as signifying any sort of exclusivity. That whole mess makes my brain hurt.

A proper cult of personality cannot be inclusive. Citizens, Subjects, Roadies, Acolytes, Apostles, Soldiers, Fodder, Interns, what you choose to call them is irrelevant. The point is they are a second tier of being. A lower class of individual that exists solely to serve you and/or that you have been tasked (usually by some God or another) with guiding and protecting, the only cost being the expression of their free will.

One thing is universal though, the 'Personality' is all powerful and beyond comparison with any of the Common Men. No one can aspire to that position, you either are the Personality, or you are not. There is no path or ladder that lead to anyone ascending to that role. Any and all are beneath you and they flourish or perish solely at your discretion. Communism failed more because it attempted to distribute the Personality via 'The Party' than because of socioeconomic factors.

In the event someone misinterpreted/missed the glorious satire in my earlier post, go back and look again. Satire is a fairly stationary thing, it'll still be there.

Don Jefe

Not Realistic

I'm not sure what the problem is. This game simulates a dictatorship about as accurately as one of those fuckable flashlights simulates a flashlight.

Dictators are born, not made. There's zero possibility of someone playing this game then deciding to pop out and take control of a country. The people who are willing and capable of making themselves dictators sure as hell don't need video game simulations to pull it off. Besides, I'm dead certain I've never met a software developer who really understood the whole 'cult of personality' part of being a dictator.

I mean, a dialogue box that says 'The Proles are protesting high taxes and the ban on the metric system:

Do you: A) Compromise and reduce the tax rate to the nearest whole number


B) Order the wheel studs on all automobiles to use left handed British Standard lug nuts?

That sort of thing just doesn't carry on a console or computer. It's lifeless. There's no way someone who hasn't done it can truly understand what it's like to have a semaphore based State communications infrastructure with a signal corps comprised of orangutans using clear plastic flags. They'll never know what it is like to sleep atop the 14" naval gun (purchased as US DoD surplus, Ha!) you had placed atop the 250' tall statue of yourself with Jesus on one shoulder and Mohamed on the other. They'll never understand how you can actually taste the fear of the proles when they hear you cry out 'Bring 'round the Bourbon Wagon and my Spangled Battle Pants. We ride to war!'

Let them have their silly game. No harm can come from it and the truly worrisome people don't need a video game for pointers anyway. At best this exercise in censorship is detrimental to the Bourbon budget, and no good can come from that.

This message has been a service of One Planet, One People, One Leader Inc. A wholly owned subsidiary of Don Jefe Enterprises.

HUMAN RACE PERIL: Not nukes, it'll be AI that kills us off, warns Musk

Don Jefe

Re: It always comes down to people

I just kind of assumed the city on Skaro was built using Tab & Slot construction (you know, insert Tab-A into Slot-B). Such a design lends itself very well to EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) and the large, flat surface area of the individual components are perfect for vacuum based materials handling techniques (suction cups). Seems pretty straightforward to me...

Don Jefe

Defense Contracting

Well, I guess there's plenty of precedent for Musk's position. The defense industry has been selling weapons and the countermeasures for those weapons to anybody who wants them. That seems to have worked out OK for them.

'Congratulations on your purchase of an ED-209 MkII Mobile Security System. Before activating your new ED-209 MkII Mobile Security System we recommend you also purchase and deploy our ED-209 MkII Mibile Security System Remote Termination Units. Also recommended is the ED-209 MkII Mobile Security System Remote Termination Unit Termination Unit'.

Plane grounded so cops can cuff semi-legless passenger

Don Jefe


I can think of dozens of reasons to make an emergency landing, but a one legged woman isn't on that list. If people really felt they were in danger just take her fucking leg. It's not like she's going to pull a runner when you land.

Fuck it, doesn't really matter to me, and is irrelevant to my tale. When I was doing my Undergrad studies I shared a house with two other guys and whatever couch barnacle was there at the time. One of my roommates had a prosthetic leg, and had also developed a crippling addiction to cocaine. After he had exhausted his own funds and charity from friends he had to get creative to find drug money. He actually found a dealer who let him use his prosthetic as collateral for fronting him some cocaine. He would use his disability check to get his leg back and buy some coke with cash. That lasted about two weeks, then he would hock the leg again.

If it wasn't so sad it would have been hilarious. Honestly, it was still hilarious, he was beyond help so might as well enjoy the show. I always respected that drug dealer for his sense of creative business tactics. I never wanted to meet him, but I did want to ask him if he had given any thought to monetizing the leg if my friend ever defaulted. I would really like to know what he had come up with.

Samsung faces down TAB and smartphone MOUNTAIN HORROR

Don Jefe

Oldest Business Problem: Expanded

E A Harvey up there almost nailed it, and he is certainly correct in what he says, but he's looking at it from a consumer perspective, not from a business vantage.

If you're in manufacturing it is absolutely, 100% impossible, cannot be done, ever; to have your sales and production units in sync on purpose. It happens sometimes by accident, or colossal fuckup, but anyone who tells you it happened as a result of their foresight and deft planning is lying their ass off, or insane. I couldn't recommend buying any cold fusion or perpetual motion technology from such people either.

Spend enough time in business and you'll hear everyone from analysts to middle management, general staff and those grundle scraping CEO's who write their own biographies, tell you all sorts of shit about what the 'mark of good corporate leadership' is. They're nearly always wrong. There is only one universal business trait which can truly be said to be shared across any and all successful manufacturing businesses.

That trait is the ability to deal with the train wreck that occurs when sales and manufacturing operations don't jive. It's not a question of when that imbalance will occur, it's absolutely guaranteed to occur. Everybody in manufacturing knows this and if you're any good at the game, you know whatever plans/predictions the CEO/COO have are only there in case somebody asks to see 'the plan'.

The actual plans involve things like special financing/subsidies to Channel partners for next quarter's orders, insanely complex reverse logistics schemes, crazy low pricing for educational customers as well as 'charitable' donations. The details don't matter, there are zillions of ways to deal with the problem, it's how you deal that problem that matters.

My point in all of that, is that absolutely nothing can reliably be assessed about Samsung's company performance from a simple event like saturation of the Channel with some products. If this kind of thing didn't occur something would be terribly, terribly wrong.

AVG stung as search revenue from freebie scanners dries up

Don Jefe

Re: I feel a vote coming on...

My Granny uses a mixture of exotic chemicals, fetal stem cells and witchcraft for anti-virus protection and, apparently, immortality.

For enterprise use I recommend a systems security chief with the ability to develop and enforce business friendly security policies and communicate the importance of good security practices to staff. If that person can't control the staff and manage pushy executives without the pushy executives knowing they are being managed they aren't ready to be selecting enterprise security products. If that person can do those things it doesn't matter what security product they choose, as long as they make it work.

System security is a staffing issue, not a technical issue. The only way to resolve staffing issues with technical measures is illegal almost everywhere and always results in carpet having to be replaced and walls painted.

Senate introduces USA FREEDOM Act to curb NSA spying excesses

Don Jefe


This is fucking fantastic news! FREEDOM rebelling against PATRIOT in a war which will push the hypocrisy meter past 11 and hopefully disappear this entire god damn city into an alternate plane of existence. Hopefully I'll be able to escape, but if I can't get away fast enough I will go peacefully enough. Just knowing all the trundling chucklefucks here in DC will stop disturbing the rest of the world will be enough to consider my life complete.

Kiwi Rocket Lab to build SUPER-CHEAP sat launchers (anyone know 30 rocket scientists?)

Don Jefe

Re: favourable launch location in NZ

The only thing advantageous for Cape Canaveral is that it was/is a swamp full of alligators, rabid Acadians and black flys, so the property was essentially worthless until somebody built a space center there.

Don Jefe

Re: Anyone know 30 rocket scientists?

There are plenty of 'rocket scientists'. It's not like there is one in every neighborhood or anything, but they are certainly not difficult to find if you go actively looking for some. We've got one. They're easier to find than top flight Metrologists.

But the problem isn't in finding rocket scientists. They're all mostly in the same places, which is on the staff of aerospace firms. More specifically, the defense side of aerospace. Because of that, you've got to come with serious compensation and benefits offerings if you want to steal them away. They are very jealously guarded by their employers and, depending on their specialty, you may have to go through government channels to recruit them. They are rocket scientists after all. You want to keep tabs on who they're working for :) We only got ours because he did something incredibly stupid and was blackballed by the aerospace industry.

Anyway, point is, they're out there, but they're really expensive and generally fairly happy where they are.

Don Jefe

Re: Amortise

The R&D costs are wholly irrelevant, assuming a $5m launcher can be built. R&D is always a NRE, assuming the product goes to market. If the product doesn't go to market the costs are spread across the organization in whatever manner Management deems best.

Obviously, the funds for R&D have to come from somewhere, but as far as your bookkeeping goes those funds go down the same chute as utility bills and facilities maintenance. That kind of money is broken out from the figures that deal with actual financial performance. Which is why investors hate R&D so much.

The money is gone and will never again be seen on the side of the line where money is made. From a bookkeeping perspective, R&D breaks the laws of physics and results in the absolute, and complete, annihilation of matter. The way R&D is accounted for is one of the few things in corporate accounting that actually benefits the customer. If R&D was calculated as a component of product cost the display you're staring at right now would have cost you approximately $2b :)

Google Maps community competition falls foul of Indian regulations

Don Jefe

Re: Satellite Mapping

India's stand on mapping isn't just about protecting a monopoly. A major part of their strategic defensive military doctrine is based on an invading force having limited knowledge of what is actually on the ground. Not just military installations, but geographic features as well.

The idea is sound, if the invading force doesn't have aircraft... India has plenty of modern materiel, but not a lot of modern strategy or tactics to go along with all the shiny helicopters and missiles. It's really a very odd situation. If you discount the antennas and rifles Kashmir looks more like a Persian advance occupation force than the military of a nuclear armed country. I'm not saying their military is weak, it is not, it just has some rather quaint ideas about modern war.

Russia: There is a SPACECRAFT full of LIZARDS in orbit above Earth and WE control it

Don Jefe

Regained Control

Well, it's nice to know Russia shares in the hubris that comes with having a space program. I'll sort of give them a pass for not knowing their sci-fi. The bookstores in Soviet Russia didn't have a very broad selection you know.

Back to the hubris, they're either deluded and actually believe they've regained control of the craft or the Lizard People have operatives inside the Russian space program. Either way, the millennia of effort the Lizard People have put into teaching Humans how to create the infrastructure and utilize science to get into space in order to fertilize the eggs of their Queen in the glorious electromagnetic emissions of Sol will soon bear fruit.

Prepare. Fight if you must, but show mercy to your women and children and do not let them witness the coming horrors.

DAYS from end of life as we know it: Boffins tell of solar storm near-miss

Don Jefe

Re: Odds?

A civilization that has been shattered by some cataclysmic event needs computers about as much as I need a third leg. Computers do one of two things, they organize and manage the physical activities of people in a form of displaced labor or they facilitate the movement of information that only has value if the civilization hasn't been shuttered.

A computer can't do a god damn thing you know. We use them as tools, but without everything else else that's required for civilization the four million gallons of diesel plumbed into my backup lawn sprinkler system is a fuck of a lot more valuable.

A modern catastrophe like you're talking about would put Mexico, parts of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay at the top of the global power scene. They're the only ones left that actually know how to farm at scale. Modern farmers are underpaid accounts payable people, not the bringers of food. All of England would freeze to death because they've got no real miners left and I'm not sure Pit Ponies exist anywhere anymore, wrwyuustqut (which I believe is Welsh for haha) and there sure as hell aren't any trees over there for fuel.

My point, is that Mankind will certainly survive about anything, but it would take a long time before computers were helpful again.

Don Jefe

Re: Loss of GPS

The actual effects of large scale electromagnetic phenomenon on modern electronics would suck. Major critical systems would probably be mostly OK, but not so much for the 5.5 zillion little things that define much of modern society.

There's a price to be paid for all the incredibly affordable technology that surrounds us. That price is the fact that 98% of the electronics on Earth are absolute garbage and are less resilient to outside energy spikes than Victorian telegraph systems. So your neighborhood nuclear plant probably won't meltdown, but everything from your coffee pot to electric toothbrush, thermostat in your house and the ignition system of your car won't work. Hell, even toilets in below grade bathrooms won't work because the shit grinder and pump that carries the shit up won't be working.

The Royal Academy paper on the issue is probably correct, ICBM's won't fly and dams won't unexpectedly go to full release; catastrophic sorts of things. Humans deal with catastrophe fairly well really. What Humans don't do well is is cope with inconvenience. Kettle won't get hot, ok. Have to use candles to see inside your house, Ok. No heat, meh, got blankets. Humans will deal for a while, but sooner or later somebody's Electronic Battleship game will fail to make a satisfying noise when the hit an opponent and 30 seconds later everybody in the house has been murdered.

It's nothing like a wartime situation where there's a bad guy and things are truly life and death. It's pure chaos with no visible source and and people simply don't deal well with that. They have to have someone to blame. It won't be nuclear war, or a pandemic, solar flare or alien invasion that destroys mankind. It'll be set off when one person is pushed to breaking when they can't heat their tea.

US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'

Don Jefe

Re: Well, Well, Well...

Meh. Car theft isn't a big deal. Especially compared to deliberately exposing classified projects to gain political leverage.

Don Jefe

Re: not just the UK government who are completely useless at IT

You're spot on. Agencies no longer having their own IT experts in house is, I believe, a big part of the problem. The bureaucrats that get the agency IT oversight leads can't make heads or tales of the 'documentation' (which I also agree is a stupid thing to call a contract).

I would prefer full on IT departments in every agency and department, but barring that there should be at least a few top notch people at each agency that not only understand contract development, but also the technical sides of IT and the business side. I realize that's an expensive proposition, but I can guarantee the costs of that staff would be less than the GAO report on the estimated expenses of the program.

But I like to keep things positive and look at the advantages of a bunch of idiots in government. We once made a bunch of very specialized variable torque fastener assemblies for a government agency. We weren't told what the ultimate application was (which is fairly normal), but I knew from the moment I saw the drawings the thing wouldn't work. I tried to tell them, even wrote an official Don Jefe 'You're Doing It Wrong' letter to the head of the agency who I knew personally. 'Just make it to spec they said. The firm that designed it was 7000x (est) cheaper than you and specifically designed it to prevent the problem you're talking about'.

Five months and an $800k check later, they are back because the thing didn't work. They wanted us to design the new assembly, but get credit for the initial batch. 'Fuck you' I said and they paid full price. I realize that money was taxpayer dollars, but I really did try to stop it from happening. If they aren't going to have people on staff capable of understanding what they're buying then fuck 'em, I can't help that and that $800k went into the company 'Best Idea of the Year' pool. Everybody wins! (Except the taxpayer).

Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS

Don Jefe

Re: Stale bread and butter...

There are always going to be people who game any system for maximum advantage. There's simply no avoiding that. That's just Human nature.

If you are into analyzing the failure of systems (it's a lot of fun and perfectly designed for wagering) an interesting thing to watch is how systems deal with those who game a given system. Making rules to stop the gaming is quite possibly the fastest way possible to destabilize a system and create chaos. Every new rule creates a new opportunity for someone else to game the system, so you end up providing the perfect growth medium for the sort of people that think about gaming systems. More rules creates more ways around the rules.

Point is, the idea of rewarding flaw finding shouldn't be modified to deal with special cases.

Who should do security clearance checks? Did you say 'chat-bot'? This military slinger hopes so

Don Jefe

-Thank you for you applying. What is your name?

/ You may address me as Don Jefe.

- Hello You may address me as Don Jefe. Let's get started with your security screening.

- Do you have tangible assets of $10,000 or more held by financial institutions outside the United States?

/ Yes

- Your security assessment is complete and your clearance been approved. Please contact registration@federalbackgroundchecks.ng with your bank account details, SSN, a copy of your drivers license and a copy of your passport and your preferred mailing address. Upon receipt of those things your Security Clearance Card will be mailed to you.

Goodwill's goodwill rocked as Feds probe bank card hacking scam

Don Jefe
Thumb Up

Re: First we deny the breach... then we privately panic ... then minimize it in our PR.

Good catch! I'm fairly sensitive to misattribution. Someone once said something spectacularly stupid at a conference and a journalist attributed it to me instead of the person who said it, who happened to take the stage after me. It took years before that stopped following me around.

Thank you for pointing out my error.

Don Jefe

Re: First we deny the breach... then we privately panic ... then minimize it in our PR.

Crashing while driving drunk never happens to 'you'. Nor does getting caught understating income for tax purposes or getting lost in the woods because 'your' sense of direction sucked worse than you thought and you've got no map. The example is irrelevant.

The fact is people rarely learn from the mistakes of others. The phenomenon known as 'special case syndrome' is universal. People, understandably, want to be somehow special or better, and they generally are, but rarely in the ways they think. That's just a fact of life on this planet.

But, this is important, special case syndrome is the absolute worst with NPO's. Doubly so with the big ones. They spend so much time and resources establishing their identity they lose sight of the fact they are still just a company with a shitty incentive program.

Don't get me wrong, I support the idea of NPO's (I'm on the Board of two) and many of them do great work, but Christ. They can get really insular, just look at the quote in the story 'even the best of us...'. Ignoring the ego polishing, that's exactly what you'd expect an NPO to say. 'Golly geewhiz, I can't believe people would target us'.

*You and your used above are generic, not meant to be aimed at you. I'm too tired to rethink the wording of my sentences :)

Are you broke? Good with electronics? Build a better AC/DC box, get back in black with $1m

Don Jefe

Re: This isn't what you think it is.

I've got to disagree with you John. The point of this exercise isn't to do what we know can be done, as you correctly pointed out, it's to find a different way to do what can already be done. The result isn't the challenge here. The challenge is how the result is arrived at.

There isn't a big field of contestants, yet, because with the constraints imposed by the Challenge requirements there aren't exactly a lot of, proven, alternative ways to get there. Google could go to Thales, URS, Lockheed, my company, any best of field engineering company and they would get pretty much the same answer solution from everyone. I would wager $10k that the cost estimates from every engineering firm in that class would be within 8-10% of each other.

The idea here is for some bright spark to come up with a different approach. Maybe some junior Engineer that read something in one of the way out there micro journals a while back. Perhaps someone from a skunkworks division at an advanced engineering company, like our Global Domination Division, has already done this but tossed it in the closet after it failed to open a stable wormhole or it burnt their popcorn or something. It could be an undereducated Romanian foundling who taught himself to read by stealing other kids homework (I know that happens, a lot. Bastard stole my homework for ages).

Point is, the money is supposed to start wheels turning in places and in ways 'outside the box' (please forgive me for using that stupid phrase, my brain is tired). You're 100% correct that big name firms aren't going to get into this as 'branded entities'. It simply isn't worth it, you're spot on. But firms like mine or Thales or URS aren't who this is aimed at. This is aimed at those with the PARC and (old) Xerox mentality where financial viability took a backseat to 'fuck it, see what happens'.

In closing I'll add this. Making something work is only about 20% of having a product. The ultimate winner in this Challenge will need tremendous resources they probably aren't going to have access to. That's where Google will start playing their 'gotcha' cards. The winner likely won't get as much money as they could have, but I guarantee it'll be several million fucktons than they would have made spending their career at a test bench and being ignored by management.

Yes, Google certainly hopes to benefit from this, absolutely. But it's incorrect to say they're doing it solely to save a few bucks. A prize of this size is big enough to get clever people involved, people who will have new ideas. But the prize is too small to have heavyweight companies come in and 'win' by way of standard heavyweight shenanigans. This is all a good thing.

Don Jefe

Re: No they don't

I agree 100%! Things should come compatible with AC or DC where that's feasible. There would be cost issues on the manufacturer side, but those costs would be less than manufactures incur from the specialty lines they all operate to produce specialty products.

That last bit is important, because the low volumes of specialty equipment make that equipment a financial loser for all but the most expensive and esoteric products. Most manufacturers would rather not bother with the multiple input products they make, but not making them risks customers leaving for a competitor that does offer those things. Apple sure as hell didn't invent the 'ecosystem' concept.

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