* Posts by Oengus

896 posts • joined 27 Jun 2012

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Y'know... Publishing tech specs may be fair use, says appeals court

Oengus
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Re: Ummm?

I would have thought this is a more likely scenario for the display of government documents...

All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now. ... What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout.

You can't make them too available. Someone might read them.

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Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

Oengus
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Oops

At the computer centre I was working in during the 80's in the days of 1/2" reel tapes. We had 2 halon systems; a small system protecting the tape library and a much larger system protecting the remainder of the centre.

The tape library was only "manned" during the day shift with the tape librarian preparing the trolleys of tapes for the overnight processing and filling the "Off-Site" storage boxes.

One day (without notice or reason) the Halon in the tape library triggered. This was in the middle of the day when the Shift Supervisor was in the library working with the librarian checking the boxes to be sent "Off-Site". When the Halon went off the librarian and Shift Supervisor raced out of the room. To this day I swear that the librarian had the Shift Supervisor's foot prints up the middle of her back. I have never seen "Big Al" (the Shift Supervisor) move so fast.

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Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics

Oengus
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Re: I always like when people put flammable materials...

They are all currently locked away in the H&S dept because we don't have any staff certified to use them (and no one will put up budget to go on a training course).

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Big contenders in the broadband chart this week, but who will be #1? Well, not Britain

Oengus
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Be glad...

Britain's place in global mobile broadband speed rankings has slipped four places to 35th, according to a survey.

Be glad for your position although you have slipped... I had a look at our position and while we have moved up 3 places we are still well down in 52nd place and I still can't connect to the new NBN despite the fact that I live in an affluent suburb of Sydney. I am lucky to get half of the "Mean Download speed" even during off-peak times.

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Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

Oengus
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IBM Customer Engineer

Back in the early 80's I was working for a major bank. We had 2 identical IBM System 370/145s. Our production system ran the on-line system for every branch in the state (the second system was always powered up and usually running dev workloads). Fortunately we swapped systems each day to ensure that both were fully operational and capable of running the production system.

We had a IBM customer engineer (CE) on site most of the time. One day the usual engineer bought in a new trainee to introduce to the staff. When the normal CE went on holidays the newbie was to take over for a couple of weeks.

On the first day the new CE was running solo he was walking past the production system, looked at the "Big Red Switch" (actually white with red lettering) that was at the top right hand corner of the main console labelled "Emergency Pull", commented "what's that doing in?" and, before anyone could stop him, he reached up and pulled the switch. The role of the "Emergency Pull" was to cut all power to the system immediately. It did this by tripping every circuit breaker in the system. The room went into "panic mode". We knew we had 15 minutes before the phones would start ringing off the hook (the branches had instructions to wait 15 minutes before calling the computer centre in case of an outage). All jobs on the back up system were cancelled and job queues flushed. The "on-line" system was bought up on the back up system as fast as we could and service restored just before the 15 minute deadline.

The CE was marched out the door and told to never return. Our IBM rep was called to reinforce the order. Another CE who had experience with our site was called in and spent the next 2 days cursing his colleague as he worked to get the system back up.

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A £1.3m prize for a plunging share price at BT? Not so fast...

Oengus
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No, you will still get laid off but just before they do they will bring in a new redundancy policy that cuts your entitlements or find a way to avoid paying entitlements altogether because of financial hardship.

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IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

Oengus
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Re: Desks should be clear anyway,...

I remember one job I was in where one manager (not my manager) berated me for failing to follow the company's clean desk policy. I ask him what on my desk violated the policy (it was piled high with reference manuals and program specs that I working on). He was unable to tell me so I quoted the clean desk policy word for word and pointed out that nothing on my desk violated the policy and if he had an issue he should take it up with my manager. My manager was in his office laughing his head off...

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled

Oengus
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Rama

We have discovered Rama. Now we need to organise a "Rendezvous with Rama"...

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Who wants to cram some BOFH skills into their brains? How about from, er, Google?

Oengus
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Re: BOFH wages

Wages should just be pocket change

Wages are just the number reported to the Tax Orifice...

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Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today

Oengus
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I remember

I remember spec'ing a brand new PC.

  • Dual PII Xeon 450,
  • SuperMicro motherboard,
  • as much RAM as I could stuff on the motherboard,
  • Dual SCSI controller on board,
  • 2 of the highest speed (and capacity) HDDs I could find,
  • top of the line Sound Blaster card,
  • the best AGP Graphics card I could find that was compatible with the mother board.

Cost an absolute fortune back in the day. It came with Win 98 SE loaded. I was very happy with that PC for a lot of years (and still fire it up occasionally to run some classic games. It was extremely stable and very rare to have a BSOD.

Ahhh. the memories.

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Software engineer fired, shut out of office for three weeks by machine

Oengus
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Been there

I had a similar thing happen to me. I was a contractor employed on a fixed term contract. The manager set the contract to expire at the end of the financial year. Automated e-mails were sent to the manager 30 days, 14 days and 7 days before the end of the contract with the option of extending. My manager verbally confirmed to me that I would be working on the End of year processes for payroll. He, however, didn't respond to the e-mails. (I didn't even know about the "end of contract date" in the system as it was purely an admin thing that was required for all contractors).

I come in on the first day of the new financial year and login, all Okay. Around 10:00am (Midnight GMT) I start getting messages that I don't have access to shared folders, my e-mail stops receiving e-mails and other "strange" events start happening. I log a call with the helpdesk and they come back with the message that I have been terminated in the system. My manager starts frantically trying to get me back on the system as I am critical to the End of Financial year process and need access for the company to be able to meet some legislative deadlines. We were advised that we couldn't stop the process once it had started. All we could do was wait for the next issue and have my access manually restored. Fortunately I could have my access reinstated once the process had moved on to the "next step".

We spent the next 3 weeks fixing my access as different issues came up. That manager never again ignored the "End of Contract" e-mails...

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What can you do when the pup of programming becomes the black dog of burnout? Dude, leave

Oengus
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Best sentence.

In other words, dealing with managerial bullshit and toil drives a great deal of stress.

Truer words were never spoken. We have management by bean counters. If they think there is a way to save a few cents in the short term they will take it. They don't give two hoots about the long term consequences. Because something "works" for senior management they think the same can be applied across the workforce. They then expect the IT team to make it work for everyone regardless of the opinion of the IT staff.

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Oengus
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Re: It's time to quit IT and go and work somewhere that you enjoy

I know the feeling. After 40 years in IT I am about to be pushed out the door because of a reorg and I can't be happier about it. I have watched the IT roles go from fun and rewarding to menial BS. Currently I am working on a project which has all of the coding being done in India. We have a challenge that the India team (internal and outsourced) have been working on for months. I gave them a month head start (because it "wasn't my job") and when I realised they were going nowhere I asked the boss if he wanted me to "have a look". It took me 4 days to come up with a solution that is far more elegant and manageable than the only solution I have seen from the Indian team but management don't want to know about it. It has now been a month since I presented my solution and I await the results that the other team have come up with (should be presented today - if the meeting isn't postponed yet again).

I have made the decision that my next job will be a Traffic controller. Time to get out of IT where unappreciative management don't care and have the mentality that I can be replaced by some teenage just out of high school with no real world knowledge and no original thoughts. I want a job where I am paid for the hours I work and if I work outside "normal" hours or additional hours I get paid penalty rates. I can then make IT a hobby and have it become fun again.

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Microsoft says Windows 10 April update is fit for business rollout

Oengus
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Re: FS@*! Windows

Consulting Fee to fix Windows update F*!kups - 1 Bottle of Jack Daniels. Saves you a trip to the shop...

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Creepy software knows what you are about to do... to that poor salad

Oengus
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Re: This could have potential...

It will probably be an improvement over the plot lines of most of the recent TV shows and a vast improvement over the crappy reality cooking shows that seem to have mushroomed over the last few years.

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Oengus
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What it really needs to be able to do

it would predict what tool a mechanic might need next.

Predicting the tool is easy. What I really need this software to do is tell me where the damn bolt (or spanner) I just dropped ended up.

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Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

Oengus
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Reading the article I think that the Tesla realised that it was not in the correct lane and was moving itself to get it into the correct lane... It just had a hard interrupt in the process.

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Oengus
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1- Adaptive Cruise Control

2- Collision Avoidance Control

3- Lane Following Control

4- Lane Change Control

FTFY

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Un-bee-lievable: Two million Swedish bugs stolen in huge sting

Oengus
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Re: Two million bugs?

Its called Windows.

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Foolish foodies duped into thinking Greggs salads are posh nosh

Oengus
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Re: the queue to punch this guy...

If not, the punchin' queue forms right over here. A quid a pop.

Do I get a bulk discount with a tenner? (maybe a bakers dozen)

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Telegram crypto-chat chap says Apple has 'restricted' its app updates worldwide

Oengus
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I do love an optimist...

"The Register has contacted Apple for comment"

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From Russia with(out) Zuck: Popular Facebook boss gets another invite to turn down

Oengus
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Global

Even small countries like Papua New Guinea are starting to look closely at facebook. They are looking at a one month ban on the site. Maybe there is room for a new social media site that respects people's privacy desires and complies with the laws in the different countries.

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German court snubs ICANN's bid to compel registrar to slurp up data

Oengus
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Re: How entirely...

Maybe so but my popcorn futures are still looking good. There are going to be so many of these cases.

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Court says 'nyet' to Kaspersky's US govt computer ban appeal

Oengus
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Make it attractive to not ban them

Maybe Kaspersky Lab should by the companies that supply Cellbrite and GrayKey phone cracking software so that the TLAs need to deal with them to get access to those locked mobile phones that are so essential to national security.

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Samsung escapes obligation to keep old phones patched

Oengus
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Re: Phone contracts

The issue here is that the contract is taken out with the carrier/mobile phone provider. Seldom is the contract with the manufacturer. It should be the carrier/provider's responsibility for the updates. If people stopped buying a particular brand from the carriers because of the lack of support maybe the carriers would apply pressure on the manufacturers.

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BCC is hard, OK? Quite a lot of orgs blurted your email addresses in GDPR mailouts

Oengus
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Facepalm

Re: Doh!

I have seen more than one e-mail where the person hit "Reply All" when they meant to only respond to the originator with some very "pointed" comments about some of the other recipients... One such response landed the person in front of HR and resulted in an official reprimand...

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'Incomprehensible failure' – Canada's $1bn Phoenix payroll IT fiasco torched by auditors

Oengus
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Universal

I just worked on a payroll implementation and we had exactly the same issues... management emphasising schedule and budget over function. Management trying to get us to bypass testing for the sake of the schedule and really pushing back when issues were raised. The last thing that the project manager wanted to hear was that something didn't work as expected and the response was always "Can we fix it after we go live?" The big issue still is "retroactive actions". The project manager had us go to senior management to request that they completely ban backdated changes (in this organisation that is never going to happen) because the payroll system couldn't handle it. Even now there are issues with some backdated actions that require manual calculations (when we find out that it has happened) to have people paid correctly.

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As Tesla hits speed bump after speed bump, Elon Musk loses his mind in anti-media rant

Oengus
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Pravda

Wasn't Pravda the propaganda newspaper of the Russian communist party?

With Musk running the "new" Pravda I can see it being heavily censored and become a propaganda tool for Musk and his cronies just like the Russian version.

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Doc 'Cluetrain' Searls' privacy engine project is just the ticket for IEEE

Oengus
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Re: Machine-readable Privacy Terms

each accompanied with a check-box to signify approval

With the default being "No Approval" or "Protect privacy" and a master checkbox to rapidly select/deselect all in a single click.

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FBI's flawed phone tally blamed on programming error. 7,800 unbreakable mobes? Er, um...

Oengus
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Re: Is it significant ...

we know that US and UK politicians are largely ignorant and dishonest, and maybe they choose to get advice only from people who tell them what they want to hear.

What makes you think that this only applies to the UK and US. I thought this was a universal requirement for politicians...

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US judge to Facebook: Nope, facial recognition lawsuit has to go to jury

Oengus
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What other source

Its argument is that it had reasonably understood BIPA to exclude data harvested from photos

What other source could there be of images. Even if the source is someone posing for a special camera the result will a photo (a still from a video is classed as a photo). I wait to see what argument they bring up that could be an alternate source...

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Engineer crashed mega-corp's electricity billing portal, was promoted

Oengus
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or "is that supposed to happen?"

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Oengus
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Re: Promoted for failure...

They would never have dreamed of promoting someone who was -good- at their job. After all, who else would do that job?

My philosophy on this was "Never make yourself indispensable. If you are indispensable you can't be promoted."

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Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

Oengus
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Really

As society seems to accept more and more surveillance

I don't think society accepts the surveillance. I think they choose to believe that most of the stories around surveillance are all conspiracy theory. They choose to believe that the government and big business are benign and wouldn't have them under surveillance. Only terrorists and criminals are impacted by the surveillance. One day they will wake up (maybe but probably not).

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Oengus
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Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

Sorry, that would put the unemployment rate up by too much to be sustainable...

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Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

Oengus
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Burglar alarm

One company I worked with had printers in the various offices connected back to the central computer system. Each night, at the end of the days processing, the reports were printed on the branch printers ready for the staff when they arrived the next morning.

At one time we upgraded the printers from line printers to brand new laser printers. Shortly after the company reported that they were getting false alarms on their Burglar alarms at one site. The manager would be called out each time the alarm triggered but could find nothing that could be causing the alarm. The alarms didn't occur at the same time and could trigger multiple times in a night. Eventually we worked out that the alarms were triggering at the same time the print jobs were being sent to the printer. We were perplexed because the Laser printer was in the same location as the original printer so it couldn't be the paper movement causing the triggering of the alarms.

Several weeks of investigation eventually worked out that it was the heat from the paper coming out of the Laser printer that was triggering the IR sensor in the alarm.

We placed a sheet of cardboard on the Laser printer to shield the IR sensor from the warm paper and the alarms fell silent.

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Oengus
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Re: Had the fire brigade called to a five star hotel, in Malta....

Ahhh toast...

One site I worked at had regular evacuations due to someone in an adjoining company burning the toast. It was a standing joke when I joined the company. I found out within 2 weeks that the jokes were real. We never had to do a Fire Drill mock evacuation because of the regular occurrence of the alarms being set off.

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App devs bewildered by last-minute Google GDPR klaxon

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Re: re: Do you really think Google cares?

that's all handled by another separate entity outside of the EU

The best part of the GDPR is you don't have to be a European company for the rules to apply. If you process or control the data of European citizens you are responsible for the compliance. If "Google.eu" exists they will have turnover (maybe not profits) because someone has to collect payment for the advertising they are providing...

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Collateral carnage as ZTE sanctions see Australia’s top telco dump mobe-maker

Oengus
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Not quite

Telstra hardly has a stellar reputation for customer service, so a few extra grumpy and/or panicked customers is the last thing it needs will go virtually unnoticed. FTFY

Telstra still acts like it is the only player in town. It regularly charges higher rates than all of its competitors and their customer service ethos is virtually non-existent. Telstra is the main reason that we pay a lot more for our phone and internet connections than most comparable countries (the competitors feel that if they are just a little bit cheaper than Telstra they will attract business).

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AI crisis: Sony reports shortage of cute robot puppies!

Oengus
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Cheap compared to a real puppy

at around US$1,800, plus about half that for a three-year cloud subscription fee

At these prices it will be cheaper to buy than most of the "designer" puppies and the on-going costs for the cloud subscription are cheaper than feeding a puppy. Also, it will be a puppy forever... however, I wonder how long before the IoT device (face it that is what it is) is hacked and becomes a Trojan horse.

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Warren Buffett says cryptocurrency attracts charlatans, AI won’t change investing

Oengus
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Coffee/keyboard

ROFLMAO

Someone else said they are trading turds and you decided I just can’t be left out.

I wonder what the reaction to this statement was in the shareholder meeting...

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Password re-use is dangerous, right? So what about stopping it with password-sharing?

Oengus
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Always an angle trying to sell something

These research papers always seem to be pointing me in the direction of buying a solution. I like my solution better. I don't have different passwords for each site. I have different credentials. The credentials are associated with the site. The e-mail account for registration is associated with the site. The "Security Question" answers are always the same regardless of the question. All I have to do is remember the base for generating the credentials and presto I am in... I never supply my "proper" name and only supply a phone number when absolutely necessary for deliveries.

My Banking and important e-mail accounts have their own strong passwords that are never shared.

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LLVM contributor hits breakpoint, quits citing inclusivity intolerance

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Most discriminated against

We were talking about "Affirmative Action" a few years ago and a friend of mine said that he was in the most discriminated against group that exists... He said he was "A straight married white male with children".

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Let's be Frank: Bloke drags Google to the US Supreme Court over $8.5m privacy payout

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Proportionate

Shouldn't the fine be proportionate to the number of people impacted. In this case $8.5m seems ridiculously low compared to the number of people "identified" (126m).

The courts have got to stop handing out settlements that the likes of Google can treat as "the cost of doing business".

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Windows 10 April 2018 Update lands today... ish

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Update

When you select Focus Assist, the stuff you don’t want to see disappears.

So if I turn Focus Assist on Windows 10 will stop bugging me about updates...

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Google founder Sergey Brin promises to protect humanity from AI

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Give me the option

we’re now building machines so they can build better machines while hoping that companies built on encouraging us to trade privacy for utility stay on the side of humanity.

I wish these global mega corps would give me the choice to retain my privacy and give up some of the utility.

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Sysadmin unplugged wrong server, ran away, hoped nobody noticed

Oengus
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My thoughts exactly. If you unplugged it at the server ,after shutting it down, you could take it out of the server room to your office, fix the problem, then wheel it back to the server room and plug it back in ready to power up... No need to lift any tiles. No chance of mixing up the cables. No need to find an empty power socket when returning the server.

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Bloke fruit flies enjoy ejaculating, turn to booze when starved of sexy times

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With my luck I would be in the control group that gets neither the orgasm nor the alcohol...

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Millions of scraped public social net profiles left in open AWS S3 box

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Coat

Re: Hall of Shame Just for S3 Buckets

Simple answer

As long as the list of S3 buckets...

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Machines learned to assemble IKEA’s semi-disposable furniture

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Joke

Re: Not the real world

and to find that screw that you dropped in shaggy carpet....only a small child or a bare foot in the middle of the night... can do this.

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