* Posts by ma1010

783 posts • joined 30 Nov 2012


Debate around Huawei espionage fears in UK about as clear as those darn Brexit negotiations

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Re: Double standards?

Have an upvote! I'd give you 100 if I could. You have hit the nail on the head. "No, don't buy that Chinese equipment with those Chinese bugs in it. Buy our equipment with OUR bugs in it!"

And, as far as China having a law about people having to help intelligence agencies, I can't imagine any nation state that can't bribe/coerce a citizen (or non-citizen resident, for that matter) to "assist" them in whatever way they like. They can ask nicely, cajole, bribe, threaten fines or other consequences or, if they really want to get serious, just tell you (and mean it) that they will kill your loved ones or torture you to death if you don't comply.

Carphone Warehouse thwacked by UK Advertising watchdog for a Cyber Monday wobble

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Re: discounting a limited number of handsets to CPW to try and get their huge pile of unsold

Xiaomi's recent announcement of truly amazing growth in a stagnant market may be a pointer. Now if only they'd release a sensible sized phone with waterproofing...

Or one that would work properly in the US. Had my eye on one that looked perfect, then found that, although it IS GSM, it uses the wrong bands for most US carriers, including mine. Sigh.

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes

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Re: Yey! A software update

They should roll it out mid-air just to make sure it works.

Only if all the board members were on the plane. And nobody else. And the plane was over water, away from any other traffic in the air or on the water.

Click here to see the New Zealand livestream mass-murder vid! This is the internet Facebook, YouTube, Twitter built!

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It can be difficult, but..

Consider that a lot of these sort of freaks are created in "echo chambers" where their fellow travelers on anti-social media feed back and strengthen their twisted, hate-filled views. If the anti-social media platforms really DID manage to block plain hate speech of no benefit to anyone, whatsoever, then it might interfere with the creation of these creatures in the first place. How about trying to apply all this vaunted "AI technology" to help screen out this sort of crap and then let a human make a final decision?

I believe the author makes a very good point: when these creatures appear, denying them their "15 minutes of fame" as much as possible might well discourage them. Instead of "making a statement for the cause," in a glare of publicity, let them be just another numbered convict in a prison cell. Keep them in solitary for the rest of their lives, letting them out of their cell only 1 hour a day. And make it known to all and sundry that "This is what will happen to you if you do this." Maybe that would help. We can hope.

ReactOS 0.4.11 makes great strides towards running Windows apps without the Windows

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I have several small ham radio programs that require Windows and no great desire to bugger about with Windows X. What with all the Spectre-type issues, eventually I will want a new CPU, too; however, Intel and MS made a crappy little deal to not support Win 7 on Intel's newer processors.

So React OS might be just the ticket for those of us who need to run Windows programs, use a newer (hopefully Spectre-free) CPU and avoid Win X.

Insane homeowners association tries to fine resident for dick-shaped outline car left in snow

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HOA's - a place for wannabe Nazis

HOA's afford a place for those born too late to have been a real Nazi concentration camp guard to at least pretend a bit. They are mostly run by small-minded, anal twits who feel they have the right to micromanage everyone else's life: what color curtains you can have in your house, exactly when you put the garbage cans out and when you must take them in, what sort of lights you can have, whether you dare open the hood on your car, etc., etc. with no end in sight of their petty crap.

Among many stories I could tell, I think the most amazing is what one friend told me. His hot water heater leaked and made a mess, so he took a mop and cleaned it up. It was 10:00 at night and he took the mop outside and leaned it against the fence in the little alcove behind his condo to dry. Five minutes later, the phone rang and yes, it was the HOA nazis telling him "Take that mop down!"

IMHO, we should gather up all these folk and send them to an island where they can make up silly rules for each other and spend all their time trying to fine each other. Thank $DEITY I have not had to live under their petty tyrannical rule.

The case of the missing 300 Swiss francs: WIPO fires CIO following probe into allegations of fraud

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Very Strange

Would a person who was head of a department (and probably had a nice salary + benefits) really risk dismissal and possible jail for a piddly 300 Francs? That seems insane.

OTOH, I personally knew a guy who risked (and lost) his job with good benefits and pension and got 5 years in prison for falsifying government records, for which he got paid about $5k. Yes, people can be amazingly stupid when it comes to evaluating risk/reward. So on the face it it, it's really hard to say who's telling the truth here.

Blue Monday: Efforts to inspire teamwork with swears back-fires for n00b team manager

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This sort of thing can seem amusing but can really bite you

True story of what happened at [large company] where a friend worked. A team of testers set up tests that displayed messages like "[large company] sucks!" and so on for various test conditions in the program. The testing team thought this was hilarious and was sure nobody else would ever see it, so no problem.

On a weekend their boss, who did NOT know about the content of the "test messages," came in with HIS boss who had asked to see how the testing was proceeding. The boss started the tests running -- and you can guess what happened next.

On Monday, cue wailing and gnashing of teeth as the whole test team were called on the carpet by the big boss. "So you think [large company] sucks? Not a problem for you now because none of you work here anymore!"

After I heard that story, I've always limited my foolish impulses to something more subtle, like printing up test name badges with "Herman Goering," "Atilla T. Hun," "Tamarlane" or something like that. I've gotten a few funny looks at times, but never actually got in trouble.

How politics works, part 97: Telecoms industry throws a fundraiser for US senator night before he oversees, er, a telecoms privacy hearing

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Pretty much business as usual, but...

There are exceptions on occasion. A famous (now deceased) California legislator once said (this is from memory so possibly not exact) "You have to be able to eat their food, drink their booze, sleep with their women, then go in the next day and vote against their bill."

What's the frequency, KeNNeth? Neural nets trained to tune in on radar signals to boost future mobe broadband

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Re: These energy detectors are not discriminating enough

Well, the FCC are a problem in lots of ways, that's for sure, and DON'T get me started on Pai...

However, I can't agree with you that different services can never share the same spectrum. I'm a ham operator, and pretty much forever we've shared the 40 meter band with shortwave stations all over the world. Those are in decline in these days of the Internet, but we used to hear them all the time, especially at night. You just move to a different frequency and continue. Or maybe switch the radio from SSB to AM mode and listen as some of them were interesting. There are other situations where spectrum is shared, and I haven't heard that there have been a lot of problems.

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Maybe it's just me, but this strikes me as one of the very few actual, practical and beneficial uses of so-called "AI" that I've seen.

OK, team, we've got the big demo tomorrow and we're feeling confident. Let's reboot the servers

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Re: Big demo. Should we test?

I'd always go in half an hour early, if the room was free, and ensure that everything was working. It saved my bacon a few times.

THIS ^^^^^

Last Saturday, I was doing a big presentation for 30+ people. I went into the room early and fired everything up -- and discovered that the ceiling-mounted projector was all buggered up (my slides were unreadable). Paranoid that I am, I had my own projector in my car, and, being early, I had time to run out, grab it, rearrange the room a bit, set my projector up on a table and get everything going in time. The attendees didn't notice any problems, which is exactly how it should be.

BOFH: Bye desktop, bye desk. Hello 'slab and a beanbag on the floor

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Thanks, Simon!

Been missing you.

Northern UK smart meter rollout is too slow, snarls MPs' committee

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Re: Stupid gimmick from the start

If you think the purpose was to give companies more ways to bill, to make money from people and government...

Indeed! I live in California and we have "smart" electrical meters in my town. So the electric company saves money by not having meter readers go around. Just recently they announced they're going to bill us extra for electricity used during certain hours. Smart meters, like most "smart" things are primarily there to find new and innovative ways to screw the customers. If you have a choice, just say NO.

Bloke thrown in the cooler for eight years after 3D-printing gun to dodge weapon ban

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Paris Hilton

And here's the kicker...

He's now a convicted FELON and will have a lifetime ban on possession of a firearm anywhere in the U.S. All because he couldn't wait one bloody month for the protective order to expire.

This guy makes Paris look like Einstein.

Wells Fargo? Well fscked at the moment: Data center up in smoke, bank website, app down

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The BOFH Strikes Again

We're told a fire suppression system was activated...When the fire department got there, though, they found no evidence of a blaze.

Perhaps their BOFH used the Halon system to get rid of some annoying users or managers? Bad on allowing a total shutdown and cascade, though. But I'm sure service will be restored after some quality pub time.

Oracle accuses US of underhand tactics because discrimination case 'doomed to fail'

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They what?

Let's see if I have this right. Oracle is accusing someone else of nefarious behavior?

I have no idea if the government is doing something underhanded or not, but for Oracle to make such an accusation is like the BOFH accusing the PFY of unnecessary violence towards users.


From Firefox to fired cocks: Look who's out to save you being shafted by insecure Internet of Dingalings – it's Mozilla!

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Paris Hilton


Why, oh WHY would anyone want an "intimate appliance" that's connected to the Internet? The mind boggles.

Paris because perhaps I'm missing something here?

Sure, you can keep Grandpa Windows 7 snug in the old code home – for a price

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It's a lose-lose situation

On the one hand, you can keep Windows 7 and either keep it off the Internet or worry about no updates/patching, OR you can jump aboard the Windows X Titanic and worry about whether the next update will bork your computer or it it will decide it simply MUST update when you really need it. Thanks, MS, for giving us such sad choices. How about a choice for an OS that actually has been TESTED, you know, like you used to do back when you sold Win 7? I'd happily pay for it! No? Didn't think so.

The best solution I've managed to come up with was to go to Linux for everything I can do there and keep Win 7 for those few "Windows Only" apps I need. I keep it on a laptop that's never plugged into the Internet, and on my main machine Windows 7 lives in a VM with no Internet access. I'm thinking of adding a Win X VM someday, but an isolated VM is the only place I'd ever want to run Win X.

Amid polar vortex... Honeywell gets frosty reception after remote smart thermostat tech freezes up for a week

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As we've seen over and over again, what Alister above said is so true. Buying anything that depends on someone else's software platform means you're hooked through the bag. They can impose new charges, jack up current charges or just get tired and discontinue the service and your nifty IOT gadget is pretty much crap.

In this case, at least you can still set the heat manually. I wonder if the thermostat is programmable like my (non-IOT) thermostat so it will set the heat back while I'm not at home or in bed. My thermostat cost about 1/3 of the price of this IOT thing. I can't change the heat from someplace else, but so what? I programmed it and have rarely touched it since.

Oh cool, the Bluetooth 5.1 specification is out. Nice. *control-F* master-slave... 2,000 results

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I know of one good use for Bluetooth

I give a fair number of presentations and have found Bluetooth very helpful for that. I have a "presenter" (manufacturer's name for it) I hold onto which has a laser pointer and the slide advance/back/darken screen buttons on it. The computer side is a tiny Bluetooth dongle that plugs into a USB socket on my laptop. It works Impress a treat. The dongle even stores inside the presenter when not in use. Very handy little gadget.

Chang'e 4 wakes and Yutu 2 stretches its solar panels for another day... on the friggin' MOON

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Re: Fine article but

@ Ian Michael Gumby

... frostbite falls formerly known as Chicago.

You know, Chicago was founded by people from New York. As they left New York, they said "We like the crime and the poverty, but it's just not cold enough!"

Forget snowmageddon, it's dropageddon in Azure SQL world: Microsoft accidentally deletes customer DBs

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Re: The fabulous cloud strikes again


After reading about these kinds of incidents (plus all the TITSUP incidents), I can't imagine why I would put any of my critical information in the "cloud" other than, possibly, a backup of data I had also backed up locally.

And it's go, go, go for class-action lawsuits against Equifax after 148m personal records spilled in that mega-hack

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Re: But whose data was lost?

Mine, for one.

Where do I sign up to join the lawsuit? You folks over the Pond have GDPR, and it's time someone over here was held accountable, even if the only way is private prosecution via lawsuits. (Not that I wouldn't be happy to see GDPR-like legislation here.)

Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain

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I know this is written by lawyers trying ANYTHING to stop a lawsuit. But look at the underlying attitude they are displaying toward users of Apple products! One would assume what the attorneys say is approved by management, so one has to wonder if the attitude displayed in the court filing doesn't reflect management's attitude toward Apple customers. Who could read this and want to buy anything from Apple?

I don't doubt that Android manufacturers (and especially Google) share the same attitude, or worse, toward their customers, but they don't generally trumpet it loudly.

Facebook didn't care if your kids ran up gigantic credit card bills – lawsuit

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Re: Is there a scammier corporation


FCC accused of colluding with Big Cable to game 5G legal challenge

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I hope they nail Pai and his cohorts

I'd absolutely love to see Pai wind up in prison! Once we're finally rid of him, instead of copping the highly-paid sinecure he's expecting from Verizon or Charter, perhaps he'll wind up making license plates during the day and being some gang-banger's bumboy at night. That would be just fine by me.

The FCC, and not too long ago, used to actually have some concern about the people of this country, whom they're supposed to protect. It's become a standing joke since Pai got put in charge and is doing nothing but helping big telco screw the average American. One of the WORST presidential appointments ever.

Crispest image yet of Ultima Thule arrives on Earth, but grab a coffee while the rest downloads

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Good Lord! What were they thinking?

Maybe next time NASA will have the good sense to use fiber optics.

Yes, I'm going. Mine's the one with the FDDI card in the pocket.

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

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Re: Waterfox, my friend

I've used Waterfox on Linux since Firefox got the "Looks fugly and breaks your plugins" makeover. It's worked very well for me. Occasionally my bank's web site will whine about "you are using an unsupported browser," but the site works perfectly in Waterfox, as do all others I visit.

Wall St moneymen on IBM Q4 financials: Don't get your hopes up

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And for the future, don't forget the lawsuits

Anyone silly enough to think of investing in IBM really should re-think that idea. Besides their "management without a clue, "if the age discrimination suits continue to gain traction and get class action certification, IBM could be in for some massive payouts to all the older people they screwed over in their quest to illegally shave the payroll through age discrimination. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch, either.

Vodafone signs $550m deal with IBM to offload cloud biz

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"Being a spare part at IBM isn't a good place to be," said one.

My heart goes out to those affected. If it were me, I'd be spending the weekend getting the resume done and posted, and then start looking for openings. Good luck to all!

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

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Re: I can believe it!

It's a pity, the lusers you meet when you don't have a fully charged cattle prod set to "stir-fry."

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

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Re: I'm sure the FCC will get right on it

...and they've dealt with everything else in their in-tray.

...and Satan is ordering antifreeze and winter overcoats.

Army had 'naive' approach to Capita's £1.3bn recruiting IT contract, MPs told

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Certainly the Army was naive!

Apparently they expected to get a recruiting system that actually worked as specified. From everything I've read about the quality of Capita's work product, such a belief would be quite naive.

This July, Google will weep for there are no more worlds to banhammer: 'Bad ads' to be blocked globally

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Re: The problem is...


Exactly! Flashing, sticky, or other such annoying ads are annoying and something that would make me just close a web page immediately. But it's the CREEPY TRACKING that really got to me. I am a ham radio guy and started blocking ads years ago after I started seeing ads for ham radio gear. I know that hams are a very small portion of the population at large, so the likelihood that those ads just happened to be in my browser = 0. That brought home to me what people were getting at when they talked about tracking. I did a bit of research and installed Ghostery, which has done a good job for me for years.

IBM insists it's not deliberately axing older staff. Internal secret docs state otherwise...

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I hope IBM gets crucified

I hope these cases turn into class actions (if they aren't already) and IBM has to pay out a ton of money. ANYONE who knows anything AT ALL about employment law knows this is totally illegal and has been for many years (even here in the U.S. where we have few rights compared to workers in many other countries).

IBM has no excuse. I'd like to add I hope they fire Ginny, but when CEO's get fired, unlike working people, they generally get enough in payouts to live comfortably for life, so not much suffering for her, unlike what she and her fellow PHBs have done to IBM's older employees.

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters

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Re: html in email...

I've had a Bank of America account for many, many years. A while ago, I got a fake text message claiming to be from them. I ignored the link in the message and went to their web site, logged on and went to "Messages" which, no surprise, was empty.

I've done some basic computer security training classes, and I always tell people to VERIFY any remotely suspect message by another route: either contact the sender by another route (not clicking on any links!) and verify the message or check for messages via a known good web site.

My healthcare provider sends emails that say "you have a message." They do provide a link to click, but I always just go to the web site directly and check there for the messages.

Dark matter's such a pushover: Baby stars can shove weird stuff around dwarf galaxies

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There is one thing that might explain dark matter

Okay, everyone have the downvote button ready to go? Then begin!

I know many people think it is a scam, and it may be, but I think Brilliant Light Power merits at least a look. I'm no physicist and don't have an opinion about whether Mills' theory is right or not. However, his equipment does produce plasmas, and people with reputations to guard, such as college professors and engineers, have done measurements that show excess heat (i.e., more energy coming out than going in) coming from the reactions Mills' company produces. It's true that they have not produced a WORKING, practical energy source. But neither have fusion pioneers, and we don't go around saying that fusion is crap because of that. Engineering this kind of stuff is hard. How do you contain and extract usable energy from plasma? Don't ask me.

My point here is that Mills postulates that dark matter is actually a form of the hydrogen atom below ground state and that electron orbits can have fractional ground states. He states that the conditions for this to happen don't occur naturally on Earth, although they can in stars. His theory does explain why the sun's corona is hotter than the surface, a fact that's been known for a long time but is difficult to explain using well-understood laws of thermodynamics. It also would explain the observations in this article if, as Mills postulates, dark matter is really sub-ground-state hydrogen atoms (he calls them "hydrinos"). Of course clouds of hydrogen atoms in space are affected by thermal radiation.

I'm also well aware that Mills doesn't believe in quantum mechanics, which I do, but I think the universe may just be more complex and tricky than we understand today. There may be room for hydrinos AND quantum mechanics. I know many physicists reject Mills' work because it doesn't agree with their preconceived notions. And Mills may be wrong, or even a charlatan, but I'd like to see more REAL physicists take a close, unbiased look at what he's doing and study his experiments. Either unmask the fraud and show how he does his tricks, or admit something interesting and possibly VERY beneficial to humankind is going on.

Insiders! The good news: Windows 10 Sandbox is here for testing. Bad news: Microsoft has already broken it

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Freudian reading

When the article said "Microsoft dropped a fresh..." my early-morning mind was expecting to read "grogan." But from the rest of the article, it looks like my morning-addled subconscious was right.

And yes, MS, certainly one round of crowd-sourced "testing" is all you need with Win X, given it's recent stellar record. One wonders what they're smoking (or, given its location, probably vaping) these days.

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

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Re: measure the subject's empathy response to questions

True story. Many years ago, my wife and her then-husband both applied for a job where you had to take a polygraph. She failed the polygraph because she was extremely nervous, although she was telling the truth. Her ex-husband, who was a con man by nature, passed the polygraph just fine, lying all the way.

However, the manager hired her and not the ex-husband because he realized who was trustworthy, despite what the machine said.

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

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The Force is strong with this one


While I was working away, he suddenly interjected, 'OK, well now it definitely needs to be replaced, it's on fire. I'll call you back'."

Well done! A result that would gladden the BOFH or PFY, and you did it remotely on your FIRST EVER HELLDESK CALL! You, sir, are a true BOFH, and I salute you. Have a virtual pint on me.

Racing at the speed of light, Sage superhero bursts through the door...

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Re: Not me...


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Re: Not me...

No such luck, not from those buggers. They're out of business now, so I figure she got revenge.

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Not me...

...but my wife. She worked for a company that required women to wear skirts and nylons (yeah, this was a while ago). Then they were doing a big project that involved getting a lot of documents from the archive. The archive was a set of boxes on and under tables (on the floor) in the sort of dark, dusty and dingy basement room where people who annoy the BOFH might disappear.

She wound up having to crawl, in a dress and nylons, on the floor for hours each day for several days pulling documents from the archive boxes. Sore knees, torn nylons and revealing far more of herself than she had any desire to reveal to co-workers. She was not in a happy mood when she got home during that project. I thought it wise to take her out to dinner most nights until that was over.

Error pop-up? Don't worry, let's just get this migration done... BTW it's my day off tomorrow

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It definitely happens

Shortly after I started work for a medium-sized company as their "IT guy," our web site and email went down. If you guessed it was the company domain name had expired, you're right.

Although somewhat a lame excuse, I really hadn't been there long enough to start looking into all the infrastructure details[1], and my predecessor had helpfully set all the contact information on the domain to his own company email account, which he deleted before he left, so nobody got any warnings. At least it was an easy fix. I reset the contact info to go to both myself and my boss, the controller.

[1] It took me several days just to clean up my new work computer. It was good hardware, but my predecessor had a porn collection to rival the PFY's, categorized and all (including "BESTIALITY"). He also had a browser hijacker and other crap on there. I couldn't just wipe and re-install the computer because they didn't have the install CDs for all the software(!) It took me a couple of days just to get that computer sorted so I could start looking into the many other issues.

Better get cramming... Xamarin University due to close early next year

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Well, it IS Microsoft

We can all hope that something as good as this will stay alive after MS absorbs it, but I'm not overly confident. Look at what MS did to Skype, Nokia and Windows 7.

Telcos enlist Google, Amazon to help protect Europe's data from Big Tech

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In other news...

Farmer hires foxes to guard henhouse

"And they work so cheap, too!" he says.

IBM is trying to throttle my age-discrimination lawsuit – axed ace cloud salesman

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Re: Not quite

As often as not (probably more often) the side required to produce the information knows exactly what the other side is looking for, exactly what would help the other side make their case, and proceeds to bury it under as many tons of irrelevant crap as they possibly can in the hope the other side won't ever mange to find the "smoking gun memo."

Sadly, this is standard legal tactics.

College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals

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Re: Security through hilarity

When I give a talk about email security, I like to use the following example:

"You may think your email password isn't all that big a deal, because you don't send anything really sensitive via email. How about I log on as you and send some death threats to president@whitehouse.gov, then pick up some popcorn and park down the street from your house and wait for the show to start?"

That tends to get them thinking.

BOFH: State of a job, eh? Roll the Endless Requests for Further Information protocol

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True to life

My wife works for the State of California (I won't say which department, for obvious reasons), and their IT people follow Simon's "problem resolution" process exactly. They specialize in closing tickets without actually doing anything at all toward fixing the problem. So they start another ticket, lather, rinse, repeat.

From other commentards, it seems that Blighty has similar issues, so apparently the BOFH and the PFY are training helldesk people on both sides of the Pond.


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