* Posts by MonkeyCee

852 posts • joined 16 Apr 2013

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Some of you really don't want Windows 10's April 2018 update on your rigs

MonkeyCee
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Re: Use Linux...

"Linux isn't designed for grandma."

For my nan, it's been amazing. She never learnt anything for her windows box, and now she doesnt for her mint box. But now when someone tries to scam her, whether over the phone or charging two hundred quid to say "I dunno", she tells them it's not Apple or MS, and they go away.

My wife does odd things, and kept on ending up knackering her windows box. She also doesn't like asking for help (or putting up with me sighing and saying "WTF where you trying to do?"). Stuck mint on her machine, and I've not had to fix it just yet.

Most users are fine with linux, there seems to be more issues with browsers than the OS for most users.

If I'm being paid for support, I don't care what OS you use. I can advise you that supporting Win 98 is going to be costly, but it's your money. If I'm doing it for free, then the easiest and cheapest option it is. Which is linux.

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Another German state plans switch back from Linux to Windows

MonkeyCee
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Re: Linux not always cheaper to run in the enterprise

"Windows admins are everywhere, onshore and offshore so relatively (or even very) cheap. Linux admins are a much rarer breed, especially good ones, and so cost a lot more."

In my experience you can *only* get good linux/unix admins, the demand outstrips supply and so they are no cheap ones. Thus there is never really an option to get a cheaper lower skilled version.

Windows admins come in all flavors, the certifications can sometimes mean the opposite to what they should. A tech who has done a couple of years support but no certs will almost always be massively better than someone with certs by no experience.

I've had support jobs with people who used to MS trainers. In both cases, those ex-trainers got moved away from anything technical within a month, and ended up doing something else. One did accounts, another ended up as a mix of admin assistant and payroll. Perfectly intelligent, OK with tech, but fundamentally unable to deal with "real world" IT as compared to idealized lab setups.

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Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

MonkeyCee
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Normcore

"unless you're prepared to get out the sewing scissors at home and unpick the logo stitching."

Hey! I resemble that comment :)

I've unpicked or ironed off* many logos on clothes purchased for me by other people. Even my mum, who has spent forty odd years getting me clothes, keeps thinking that when I say "plain black hoody" I really want some bright pink logo and a picture on it. On the other hand my father in law manages to not only buy ones that fit me, but also monochromatic, no stupid logos and decent zips.

I gathered, from a fashionable friend, that this is apparently "normcore". So even not having a brand is, in fact, a brand....

I'll stoop to wearing logos on tshirts, mainly because the promo ones can often be of quite high quality. Although I'm getting to the age where polo shirts make me look less like a sack of shit. And those buggers seem to always come with a logo. Admittedly a truck flap or a little croc is within my tolerance, still draw the line at names.

* not directly onto the iron, since that'll bugger it, but onto brown paper.

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Well, well, well. Crime does pay: Ransomware creeps let off with community service

MonkeyCee
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Re: "notoriously difficult language"

As someone learning Dutch*, I'd also suggest it's not too hard a language to learn for an English speaker. There's an extra 3-4 sounds, which is about the only tricky part.

Since every Dutch region/town/village has it's own dialect, standard Dutch is very carefully organised. A words spelling indicates exactly how it's pronounced, which for a dyslexic like myself is marvelous.

There are also plenty of shared words (and word roots) with middle English and old Dutch being even closer. Plus a bunch of naval terms are Dutch in origin. Thus there are plenty of words that are familiar too.

* thanks Brexit.

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I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

MonkeyCee
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Re: I was pro-remain, but this really is "Project Fear" at work.

Rioting does seem pretty extreme. Maybe from food shortages, but I would expect that if got anywhere close to that the PTB will sort out the food at least. Riots are Not A Good thing, as it's not actually possible to rule without the consent of the people, and showing up the security services (and their masters) makes this more apparent.

I do think that many people have relaxed into the "we've got until the end of 2020 to actually agree stuff" rather than realising that extension is conditional on carious other deals being reached, notably the Irish border.

I'll also note that the Dutch government is currently issuing sensible advice on what to do, especially being prepared to get your paperwork in before March in case of a no-deal.

They also apparently haven't given their sovereignty either, since they are quite happy to offer residence to anyone who is legally living here, or citizenship if you're willing to do the "become a Dutch person course"* without requiring a sign off from the EU. Turns out they like law abiding tax payers....

* "Don't do what naughty Jan doesn't not do" :D

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Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep

MonkeyCee
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Re: VM/CMS

Cherry keyboards are also pretty much up to scratch as a Model M.

I picked up a half bust one as part of a gayboy* full of ditched IT kit that I ethically recycled**, via eBay and assorted scrappies. About 60% of the keys worked.

Sent them an email, they felt it was still covered by warranty and as long as I sent the bust one back for QC review I got a free replacement. With brown keys, since I'm never sure if I want it hard or soft ;)

*a small skip :)

** the PMs plan was flytipping.

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MonkeyCee
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pound

"What do US people call a real pound (currency) symbol?"

I assume when they see it, a pound. Or a funny L :)

Generally it only exists on UK keyboards.

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Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks

MonkeyCee
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Re: "that's why we've got future pedos."

@Waseem - I think you are confusing the term sexualization here. In the context you are quoting it's clearly about the experiences of the individual, so treating something that is normal physical affection for a child (hugs, kisses etc) as being of a sexual nature.

There is also a wide gap between what is technically pedophilia (attraction to a pre-pubescent) and what is often labeled as such, which is often attraction to post pubescent underage people. People who want to fuck kids are sick, and (as noted in your quote) have often been abused at a young age. People who want to fuck teenagers are generally fairly normal, although actually doing so is (even if legal) fraught with power issues, so generally decent folk don't.

Healthy well fed humans reach sexual maturity aged 11-13, and emotional maturity at ~25. Exactly how we deal with the inbetween stage is always going to be tricky.

"But frankly, I don't agree with "the naturists". Complete, unregulated exposure only creates problems! In this case, it's random relationships, AIDS and all (in my opinion, subject to revision!)"

Nudity and sex have nothing to do with each other. That's entirely a social connection, that we've been taught about. I've been nude with people for a variety of things that are most certainly not sexual. In fact most saunas/spas with nude areas will kick you out if you start doing anything sexual, including staring.

Same deal for nudist beaches and naturism in general. Public nudity is fine, public sex isn't.

If a society insists on maximal coverage of the body, that results in the fetishisation of nudity. Not the other way around.

It doesn't help that certain groups like to claim that they essentially lack any self control, and thus everyone else must dress in a fashion that doesn't "tempt" them.

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If only 3D desktop printers could 3D print sales! Units crash in Q1

MonkeyCee
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3D printed guns

Never understood the point.

Well, maybe the philosophical one regarding "when is a gun a gun and not a collection of parts" but if you're going down that road you might as well build a lower receiver by hand or on a lathe.

It's perfectly possible to make a better "gun" from your local DIY store. Even the crudest pipe rifle is probably safer and more effective than a printed gun.

Or you could just take the money you spent on a 3D printer and buy an actual gun. An AR15 is what $500 or so?

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MonkeyCee
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Golf is bad

"But I can bet that over the lifetime of a good 3d printer, it will cost less than what some people will spend on playing golf."

Golf is a terrible comparison hobby. You can justify the cost of a coke habit as being less than a golf habit, and you don't have to wear anything quite as daft :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Make stuff!

"3D printers are like your garage wood shop. You make stuff that you could buy"

I'll disagree slightly with you. While I do make fun stuff in my wood shop (brio style railway tracks) that I could buy for roughly twice the price of the materials, the majority of stuff I make I couldn't just buy. I could pay someone to do it, but that is certainly not cheap.

In the last year I've "made" a new kitchen counter*, banisters, a deck and more shelves than I can shake a stick at. With tools that, if you are crazy enough to buy them new, cost about the same as a mid level 3D printer.

I'm not sure I'd want to trust any 3D printed part as being safe for heavy use. Anything that I'd expect someone to put their full weight on I make sure can handle having 125kg of sand piled on it and then given a firm kicking.

So for a bunch of tools** in the shop, I'd say they were considerably more useful and valuable than any 3D printer, since they do many many things well. However, there are several ones that, for the amount of use they get, are pretty much "nice idea" that hardly gets used. Other than making track, I think I've used my fancy router half a dozen times, and being new that (plus bits) cost as much as the useful tools (which are pretty much all second hand).

If you already have CAD skills, then a 3D printer sounds pretty good. If you've got to learn those on top of how to use a printer, it sounds a bit too much hassle.

Personally I'd go for CNC over 3D printing.

* the counter comes ready to go, just needed a chunk taken out to fit. Actual woodworking for making the supporting frame etc.

** specifically: 3 mode SDS drill, circular saw, jigsaw, electric screwdriver/baby drill, angle grinder, belt sander.

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Friday FYI: 9 out of 10 of website login attempts? Yeah, that'll be hackers

MonkeyCee
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Re: password manager, change passwords all the time.

"I think our auditors (in NZ) are twats."

It sounds like they are doing their job, recommending basic level of password changing and using a password manager so users don't have to choose easily memorable passwords. 2FA on the password manager would be a good idea, as it's a single point of weakness.

Security is always inconvenient. Does every staff member have a key/pass to let them into the appropriate areas, or do you leave all the doors unlocked?

The more sensitive your job, the more you have to accept heightened security. Donkeys years ago I worked for the Corrections (prisons etc) IT support On a normal service desk, a user will call for a password reset and there will be no checks that this person is who they say they are. Fast, convenient but hella insecure. For corrections we'd call them back, on their listed number. Slower but more secure.

Security is also seen as a waste of time right up until the lack of it bites someone in the ass.

Auditors are there to point out things that a company should be doing but aren't. Your company is taking risks with a lack of password changing, so it's up to you to decide if it's worth the risk.

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Microsoft: The Kremlin's hackers are already sniffing, probing around America's 2018 elections

MonkeyCee
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Re: Russia and Who else?

"The mess was not because the efforts were particularly effective "

From where I'm sitting they seem to have been remarkably effective. Trump is about a divisive a candidate as you can get. The goal is fracturing existing political groups, and then setting them on each other. Hence why Clinton/Bernie was such a shitshow, Bernie couldn't win the nomination, but suddenly got a bunch more money and support which just so happened to result in plenty of anti-Clinton democrats. Who then were less likely to vote in the actual election.

Trump is shitting all over US allies and industrial partners. Can't say a nice thing to/about any of them, even if his family is from Germany and Scotland. Questions article 5 of NATO, despite the fact that the US is currently using it for the GWOT*.

But when it comes to Russia, suddenly Trump gets coy, hedging even the weakest complaint. The EU is a foe, the Russians are competitors. Even after he didn't not fuck up Helsinki meeting, reading a canned statement designed to make his position "clear" he couldn't resist adding "but it could be anyone" to the end.

While it might be Trump is a Manchurian candidate, or Putin has some real dirt on him (or just a bunch of his loans belong to Putin's bank). But it could as equally be that Trump is quite aware of just how much help having a plausibly deniable ratfucker on your side, and is terrified what would happen if they switched.

So either Trump is scared or controlled by Putin. Doesn't really matter which at this point.

"Also, who else besides Ivan wants to stir the pot for much the same reasons? I can think of a few such as China, India, EU, NorK for starters."

I must have missed the sanctions being imposed upon the oligarchs of those nations after the invasion of their neighbor.

The EU consists of nations who are either friendly or allied to the US. The repercussions of even attempting (or being caught) dicking with a fellow democracy would out way any potential gains. Since pretty much every other politician in the US is aware that the EU are in fact allies, it's not like it's an extreme position that needs to be advocated.

The Norks love Trump! He gave them a huge political victory, and apparently does't understand the ramifications (optics and practical) of stopping military exercises. Name another recent president who would have betrayed long term allies in exchange for no policy change and a photo op.

The Chinese are quite happy with Trump too. Their territorial and influence expansion works better with MAGA policies, since it allows them to be the local superpower in Asia and Africa. Belt and road baby :)

* invoked after 9/11. Because the world superpower needs some help cleaning up the blowback from the "defensive" US fights on communism.

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Cybercrooks slurp nearly $1m from Russian bank after pwning router at regional branch

MonkeyCee
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Re: ATM's

"Surely this would require many a barren of mules and manyt ATMs."

Depending on account limit, probably many mule accounts. No need for massive numbers of physical mules, since they can handle a few hundred cards each.

There certainly have been cases where the mule card limits have also been raised/removed.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: 'how its possible to take a $1 million out of a ATM in a day?'

"I always wondered what's to stop all the mules just running off with money?"

Strong attachment to their family members, friends, limbs, life etc. Dislike of concrete shoes.

If you're a professional crook, then both your reputation and patronage are much more important than a single "score". Even if you go on the lam, you'll be running for the rest of your life. Setting yourself up as an example to be made "pour encourage les autres" is bad wherever you are, but when working for OC it would seem pretty fatal. Probably painfully so.

I'd also expect them to be working in a pair or small group, with some amount of collective responsibility.

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Taps running dry for Capita? Southern Water pens 5-year managed service

MonkeyCee
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Re: How do they do it?

"I've had to fight for work. What was I doing wrong?"

a) Doing it right the first time, or fixing it the first time it went wrong. Terrible mistake made by many SMEs :)

b) Ensuring they get charged 10x the cost, but spread out in a way that best suits their tax arrangements.

c) Making sure enough of that rakage gets siphoned back into paying non-exec directors for 5 days work a year after they retire from their previous jobs of awarding you contracts

d) Having ethics, morals and/or a soul. Again, terrible mistake made by otherwise fabulous SMEs :D

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Missing the obvious

"Besides which, if it costs £10k to fix a leaky pipe that's losing £1k a year,"

I'm not sure how water ownership rules work in the UK, but the water company will not be paying for all it's supply, as rainfall would be free. The amount they can take from rivers and aquifers is presumably limited and possibly paid for, but at a fixed rate.

So, broadly speaking, the "cost" of water is a mix of fixed, free and infrastructure for collecting, storing and distributing it.

So a leaky pipe costs the water company almost nothing, as long as enough pressure remains to get it through to paying customers meter. But fixing the pipe does. Replacing the pipe probably costs almost as much as a repair, so from a fiscal perspective it can be leaky as hell but "working", so you run it until it breaks, then you fix it.

The markup on water is huge*, far more than power or internet (and those can get pretty brutal). Losing half your supply to leaks just means you double the cost to your clients. It's not like they can go anywhere else.

So you sweat (squeeze? drain?) the assets and avoid capex, and bank the profits. What else can be expected for a private company?

* the water company around here is originally a Roman organisation that became a government-like agency. It's well run, pretty transparent, low bills for the service and quality, and they are still charging a buck for something that costs them 2-5 cents. At least the rest gets spent on infrastructure.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: NI WTF?

Yeah, but that's a case of having the wrong kind of sand for making concrete. Desert sand makes very crumbly concrete, which is generally pretty bad for building with, and useless for any industrial or multi-story construction.

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Ah, British summer. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the internet is on the fritz

MonkeyCee
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Re: Talking of bright things in the sky

" rivalry between microwave and fibre techs"

One site I managed had the main link by microwave, with a backup DSL line.

During one summer (education, so hardly any users on site thankfully) the DSL line got cut about 8am, due to the tender caress of the back-hoe. Also took out the none VOIP phone lines.

Then around morning tea the microwave link went down. After a short investigation by the provider (telescope from their office building) they diagnosed the cause as "some prick in a cherry picker".

So there you go, the cherry picker is the backhoe for microwave :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Pick two from the trinity

"Bastards. Would it be so difficult to have a gazette notice "

My Dad was working on a project for pretty much exactly this, nicknamed "hole in the road" program. The idea was that utilities could see where other people's pipes are buried, and so either pick a least destructive path, a careful excavation where the other pipes are or even co-ordinated digging up stuff.

No idea what came of it, but it turned out that the gas, water and some of the lines companies had only a very vague idea where certain pipes went.

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Google Cloud Platform reins in its trigger-happy account-axing AI cops

MonkeyCee
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Paypal fraud

That's the Paypal fraud system where you get flagged and get your funds frozen (all of them, not just the contested amount) with no human intervention.

There doesn't seem to be any human intervention when you complain either. You get told to "resolve with the buyer", i.e. cough up a refund and don't get your goods returned.

The only way I got "human" intervention was to send a letter via a lawyer. Letter arrived, account unforzen ~4 hours later.

Never got an explanation or an apology.

Plenty of stories about Paypal being utterly useless with fraud, and the fraudsters being quite aware of the automated procedures and how to abuse them.

These days I assume any Paypal sale of less than $20 can result in being a free gift to the buyer if they contest the sale.

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Elon Musk, his arch nemesis DeepMind swear off AI weapons

MonkeyCee
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What is autonomous?

I understand that this is pretty much just PR for Musk, but I'm very confused by what people mean by "autonomous weapon system".

Many weapon systems, both complex and simple, once deployed are autonomous. Any "smart" weapon is going to make it's own decisions once fired, A mine or IED, once placed, is going to go boom based on it's own trigger.

Or if it's the case that as long as a human is involved some place in the decision process, it's no longer automated, so it's fine? So using AI to identify and track targets would be OK, as long as someone pushes the button?

It's not like we're anywhere near having self repairing robots, who also manage to fuel and arm themselves, from those 100% automated factories and 100% automated mines. Otherwise you are still reliant on meatsacks to actually make the "autonomous" systems work.

Based on what happens in real world conflicts, any opposing force (of meatsacks) will adapt to the AI tactics far faster than the AI can react to theirs.

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Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no

MonkeyCee
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Re: Tee hee. Trump is to Putin as --

"quite a few of which then massively neglect their military establishment "

That would be Germany right? The one with a constitution that has quite strict rules on what the German forces can do when deployed outside of NATO? Where the parliament has to agree to the mission and sets a time limit on it?

It's almost like Germany is following rules laid down to ensure it never becomes a military empire. Craziness.

On the other hand, there doesn't seem to be any benefit to being part of the US GWOT. Do Britain and France* (who are OK operating under US rules of engagement) get treated differently than the Germans? Do they fuck. Special relationship my ass, Trump's people didn't even have the phone number for the PM, glad to see they know what's important....

* you can make as many dumb jokes about French military victories etc, but in many cases when US troops are in the shit, it's French planes and PBI who are the cavalry.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Tee hee. Trump is to Putin as --

"Because the USA has a big trade deficit with the EU. The EU ensures that this is perpetuated by locking US firms out of the EU market on regulatory grounds."

So the US firms who do import goods into the EU are somehow dodging regulations? Or are they just, you know, complying with the local market regs?

You are aware that the US also has standards, and won't let you import goods if they don't meet them?

The US is also one of the main actors when it comes to using regulation to engage in protectionist activities. Ignoring the massive subsidies to the agriculture and dairy industries, they'll quite happily slap tariffs on goods (milk, lamb) when it suits them to protect their own markets.

I'm also very curious how one goes about having a trade surplus whilst also having the world's reserve currency*. Considering that if you start dicking around with the petrodollar then you'll end up at the end of the rope with your country being "liberated".

* other than have the other industrial powers smash themselves to pieces and have the "winners" be in hock to you for 60 years

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Irish fella accused of being Silk Road admin 'Libertas' hauled to US

MonkeyCee
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Re: Extraditing random people?

"It is beginning to sound like if a citizen in another country violates US laws, then the US wants to throw them in jail, even if it's legal where that person is."

Technically the thing would be "not illegal" rather than "legal", since that is the way that common law works. Generally speaking everything is not illegal unless a law makes it illegal. If a law specifically makes an otherwise illegal thing legal, then it's more accurate to refer to it as legal.

So a valid claim of self defense can make an otherwise illegal act (homicide) into a legal one.

As for the content of your post, uh, yeah. That's how it works, America World Police Fuck Yeah. Although they mostly go after people for serious enough crimes who are in allied* countries who tend to align their legislation. I'm pretty sure drug dealing is illegal in Eire.

The Kim DotCom case (extradition from NZ to US) is a bit more applicable, as the crime for which Kim is charged with doesn't exist in NZ law.

"what authority is the US claiming to have for his extradition?"

Being part of a criminal conspiracy I expect. If that same conspiracy shifted drugs across US borders, then they have a legitimate sounding case.

* for now, give DJT time

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

MonkeyCee
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Re: Never do this

"No. Never. Unless you have received proper professional training, have the right equipment (including breathing apparatus), and it's explicitly in your job description to fight fires."

Don't know why you're getting down votes.

If there is a fire, get yourself and others to safety and call the experts. The only point in any of that apparatus is to get you out of the joint alive.

I've done basic fire fighting training, as a volunteer fire fighter and as part of a cookery course. So putting out minor and contained fires if practical is worthwhile doing. If you can smother it with a fire blanket then it's probably OK. If you have to use an extinguisher then call in the fire brigade to do a heat check afterwards.

My fires at work is alas not tech related, but from my time in kitchens. Deep fat fryer went up, I tossed *my* fire blanket over it (OCD chef kit), killed the gas and power and called the fire brigade. The exec flipped his lid, since service was about to start, and kept trying to remove the fire blanket.

After the lads showed up, not only did the oil re-ignite when they took the blanket off (in a controlled fashion), but after they had put it out, they found that there were at least two smoldering sites in the ventilation.

That led to the building being evacuated and a fair amount of mess. No food served that night, bunch of stuff in the chillers had to be binned. Exec very pissed at me, but the owner was happy that the place hadn't burnt down.

IMHO a fire blanket per floor (or person) is a sound investment. It's far more flexible than an extinguisher for making an exit (you wrap it around you), it'll deal with most smotherable fires, it doesn't lose pressure or need refills, is less reliant on technique and it is less suitable for practical jokes.

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Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help

MonkeyCee
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Re: Shooting the messengers much?

"How gullible do you have to be if you let random posts on the Internet affect your decision on who to vote for? That is the one thing I simply cannot comprehend."

The number of people who seem to revel in the offence their political positions cause to certain other groups, and the magnifying effect of agreeing/arguing with randos on the net seems to belie that.

Used to be you needed politics, religion or sport to start a fight. Now you can stabbed over the wrong kind of veganism* :D

*roadkill is vegan, right?

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UK.gov agrees to narrow 'serious crime' definition for slurping comms data

MonkeyCee
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Paris Hilton

Re: Serious Crime

"A fair aim, but a bad way to go about it."

Pretty much what I thought. I felt that extending the expectation of privacy in a public place to include not having pictures of your underwear taken would have perhaps been enough.

The issue is now that writing qualifying language in the bill makes it difficult to prosecute. Taking them "for gratification" is harder to prove than just taking them, and if you can still take them for profit you're just a low budget pap.

Icon, because the lass has to put up with professional creeps with phones on selfie sticks looking up her skirts.

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I see you're trying to leak a file! US military seeks Clippy-like AI to stop future Snowdens

MonkeyCee
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Re: So then people rely even more on the system, what if it fails?

"The difference between "education" and "automation" is:"

@veti - I'd try to give an example of this, essentially meatbag computers can handle classes of problems that silicon cannot.

Consider Asimov's laws of robotics. You can explain them to a person, and they can probably apply them in many situations. Of course it's impossible to fully consider the implications of your actions, but meatbags are quite happy with trying to adhere to the zeroth law without being able to fully calculate their chance of wiping out humanity.

Try to automate the three laws and you'll find yourself needing a computer the size of the universe. Even a term like "by action or inaction" means not only calculating what will happen if you do x, but also what will happen if you don't do x.

Pretty much any case where you need to understand the spirit rather than the exact meaning of something is going to be very difficult for a machine to be better at than a human.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: So then people rely even more on the system, what if it fails?

"Automation costs a fortune, works most of the time, and reduces the pressure on humans."

Interestingly, I find it's the opposite. If a task requires entirely manual labour, then there is no point applying extra pressure, since it won't get done any faster.

If a task can be made faster with automation, then the expectation is that it's always done at maximum speed.

So if five blokes with axes can fell one tree per hour, but it only takes two with chainsaws, then the power tools actually add pressure to the meatbags. One person working 10% slower means the first group goes at 98% of the speed, second group goes at 95%.

"Education costs a bigger fortune, almost never works, and increases the pressure on humans."

If a problem can be solved by ML/AI or by an algorithm, then it can be solved by an educated human. The more fuzzy the solutions, in particular anything that involves human communication (like classifying secrets), the better humans will be and worse machines will be.

Since there are exactly zero advances in human civilization resulting from AI, and the rest from education in it;s various forms, I'd suggest that education is in fact quite a lot more effective than automation for making anything new.

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Boffins build neural networks fashioned out of DNA molecules

MonkeyCee
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Joke

Taking credit

"I built an entire brain out of DNA about six decades ago"

Typical. Someone taking credit for a woman's work. Bet you didn't even use half of those lovely neurons your mum made for you :D

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AI bots suck at marking written essays, not too shabby at old Atari games, and more...

MonkeyCee
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Student support

Glad to see amanfrommars is helping his fellow students with their essays :)

Not sure AI is going to be much more use as a marking tool other than as a plagiarism checker. Even that needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, since it doesn't always ignore quotations correctly.

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Decision time for AI: Sometimes accuracy is not your friend

MonkeyCee
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Re: TL;DR

"at what looked like a graph with a blue shape and a red shape on it and instantly reached the conclusion that the author was some sort of SEO Cookie Spawning Marketing Twat"

Um, you're being the twat here.

If you don't understand, then try READING the article. Skip the first part if gender stuff is annoying, just understand what a false positive and false negative mean. Then see the example of fraud detection. That's what actually matters, how a 99% accurate test won't mean 99/100 cases it picks out will be true positives.

If a test is 99% accurate for detecting chronic twats, and chronic twattery occurs in 1% of the population, what proportion of people the test flags as twats are in fact twats?

Ans: 50%

I assume you must be young, since you're a wee bit short of patience and temper, and because most people's introduction to a false positive is some medical test result. Where you get reassuringly told that while the test is VERY accurate, you probably don't in fact have cancer/AIDS/syphilis, and the best way to dull the fear is some statistics. Which we all can agree, is very dulling :)

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A fine vintage: Wine has run Microsoft Solitaire on Linux for 25 years

MonkeyCee
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Re: Great for World of Warcraft!!

Do you still need to copy a working install from a Windows instance, or is there another way around it?

Do you ever get banhmmered? Had that once with WoW under WINE, something to do with the security software not working as expected. Did get the account back, but it's still a bit of a pain.

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

MonkeyCee
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Generations...

There aren't really agreed names for the generations post boomer and X.

Boomers are 1945 - 64

Gen X are 1964-79

Gen Y, millenials, are 1980-1994 (by same measure)

Gen Z are 1995-2010.

So Gen Z maybe? It's kinda dumb since anyone close to a transition point gets classified weirdly.

I'm 37, and apparently a millennial. Never heard the term until I was in my 30s, and only used pejoratively to describe people 18-25. Apparently using "damn young people with their hair and their music and funny slang" makes it obvious you're getting on a bit :)

As always, the generational stuff is used as another tool to divide and rule. Encourage people to get upset with those of who have a different generation/gender/race/religion, then fan the flames. The boomers as a generation did a massive looting of the country, but I suspect that much of that ended up only benefiting a small number, with most just keeping up with inflation.

Kids are lazy because it's in their nature. You can train them to do something properly, but it's only when something goes wrong does the lesson hit home.

They also aren't stupid or easy to lie too. They see what's happening, what the social contract is, not what we would like to believe it to be.

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Bankrupt Aussie Hells Angel scoops £750k lottery jackpot

MonkeyCee
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Gambling winnings

"AFAIK the "use case" is quite prevalent in other countries like Spain, Italy, etc as well."

It's pretty much the entire use case of FOBT too. Feed in cash, get 80% of it back as legitimate winnings.

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Flipping 'ell, Dell! IT giant preps to go public again, files its homework

MonkeyCee
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Old saw

"A loan shark might threaten to break your knees over a $50K gambling debt.

What do those banks threaten over a $50B debt?"

As any fule kno, when you owe the bank $1000, you have a problem. When you owe them $1B, they have a problem.

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When Google's robots give your business the death sentence – who you gonna call?

MonkeyCee
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Re: More info?

" it was a paid-for service."

But a paid for service doesn't automatically mean that it's suitable for a business.

A home internet connection isn't suitable for hosting a commercial site. A network connection that is might cost ten times as much for similar speeds, albeit with better uptime, minimum speeds and service support.

I have several pieces of software that I pay a nominal academic fee (less than 1% of the commercial licencing fee) that are very clear that if used in anger the owners would like their 12 grand a year, thank you very much.

If an ongoing expense is critical to the running of a business, it shouldn't be being paid for by a credit card. A formal contract, billing and bank payments should be set up, and internally documented so people know why paying a certain bill is Very Important.

For a dev environment where you don't know what sort of resources you'll want to spin up, sure. But prod should be stable and resilient in both systems and business processes. That means paying the power and computer bills on time :)

Since I'm being long winded anyway, you should always have a local copy of your cloudy stuff anyway. How else will you replicate it when someone else's computer breaks :D

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

MonkeyCee
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Random USB

If you stick a random USB device into a prod server under my care, there is a roll of carpet with your name on it.

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HMRC told AGAIN to toughen up on VAT-dodging online traders

MonkeyCee
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Re: Amazon

"But their Chinese traders (despite being VAT-registered in the UK) often struggle to produce a valid VAT invoice or receipt."

That's because they aren't VAT registered, they are just claiming so, and/or using another companies VAT number.

Amazon doesn't do anything to check if a VAT registration is legit, nor do they seem to care when you point it out to them.

They are also remarkably relaxed about fake goods too.

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

MonkeyCee
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Re: "Act normally! Ginni and the team are here to see what Austin is really like."

"Frankly if you cannot approach execs then there is a major problem."

In my experience the execs and HoDs that are any good are not only approachable, but will make active efforts to be so.

It's all the middle manglement that are desperate to cut of the information flow either way, since they don't have the ability to do either the top job or work at the coal face.

Email is nice for that. While not every suggestion I've made to a CEO has been taken up, they do seem to take the valid concerns on board and try and address them.

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Jimmy Hill feted in Shoreditch

MonkeyCee
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hipster translation

"What the actual flip is a global co-working operator?"

Company that rents out shared office space.

The Shoreditch part implies that it will be expensive shared office space :)

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No more slurping of kids' nationalities, Brit schools told

MonkeyCee
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Re: Fair enough, but as a matter of balance

"I'm not sure how your facts about refugees in the Netherlands make the Nazz's niece unreliable wrt teaching in what I take to be a UK school."

The reason why I picked it apart a bit, is because it's pretty clear bias reinforcing guff. Or fake news as the kids call it these days. Here's the general form:

- it's always a very clear and simple example of "them" being given stuff, at the expense of "us". No nuance, no complications, no annoying real lifey stuff.

- it's never a person's direct experience. Often it's deliberately unclear who the primary source is. Is it the niece or the grand nephew? How does a parent know what the teaching is for another child? How does another pupil know?

- if true, it's often exaggerated for effect. Because it's a story passed from one to another that's natural, but it's become a fable at that point.

- it often happens to neatly coincide with a person's beliefs, in this case foreign language = bad (or maybe not British)

I used the refugees as an example because it's something that I have experience with where the stories people tell about them versus the reality vary quite a lot, and are quite clearly a case of people justifying their attitudes*.

So far several posters have noted that Nazz's story doesn't tally with their experiences of UK schooling, so perhaps he'll be back to enlighten us with which LEA his grandnephews attend to clear things up.

Oh, and I have known people in the UK education system getting taught in a class of 6 in German. In a private school designed for international students. I've also had classes (in UK secondary) with less than a dozen students in them (maths, history, German), so small classes can exist without there being a special case.

* the Dutch are more interested in being perceived as being tolerant than actually doing it.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Killing the patient

"not, to stop the data being collected in the first place. That is backwards."

If there is no reasonable need for the data in the first place, don't collect it.

If we apply your reasoning, then any data collection can justify asking anything, as long as they promise not to do anything funny with it.

So for your next post, please detail your sexual preferences, favorite porn sites, a list of all previous sexual partners and STIs, and a record of which political parties you've voted for. Oh, and your favorite St Petersburg eatery :)

We assure you that none of this data will be used inappropriately. But totally needs to be collected :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Fair enough, but as a matter of balance

"There is the famous example of Denmark who for years collected people's religions on official forms all the time as they saw no harm in it."

Maybe the Danish did, but I suspect that you're confusing them with the Dutch.

The Dutch in fact still do, although you can put what you like on there or not answer. If they round up the pastafarians I'm done for :)

One of the reasons why the Dutch Jews where so efficiently eliminated was that they where listed in the gementee as J under religion, but also that the Dutch collaborators where both very enthusiastic and well rewarded. Lots of businesses that neglect to mention the change of ownership in 1940 etc...

It's also why there are very few (relative to last century) Jews in the Netherlands. There's also quite a lot of resistance to any sort of acknowledgement of this. The stolperstein (stumbling stones) are about the only thing that does this, a small brass plaque 10cm a side replacing one of the cobbles outside a house, with the name, date and camp where the previous occupant ended up.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: bound to be poor data

"If a school asks for nationality data, do they then ask for proof?"

Yes.

"Since we don't have ID cards or compulsory passports"

Doesn't matter. Like all the hostile environment policies, you have to prove who you are in order to be entitled to have it.

"Why can't I use NHS services or state schools telling them I'm John Smith?"

Because fraud.

In the same way I can't go to the bank, claim I'm Boris Johnson and take out a loan for a couple of million for pocket change and pretty hair.

You can use emergency services without giving ID (I hope), but anything more than that it's ID time.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Fair enough, but as a matter of balance

"I am told by my niece, presumably reliably, that at her boys' school, some pupils effectively have full time teachers to teach in their own foreign language whilst the other 34 pupils have to manage with the one teacher."

No offence to your niece, but no, she's not reliable.

I hear an AWFUL lot of bad stuff about refugees in the Netherlands. Ignoring all the obvious lies and exaggerations, several people I know who are otherwise quite decent (if a bit up themselves) who did a bit of volunteering for refugees (back when it was cool) who had oodles of stories, about how they get given thousands of euros, that they won't get a job, all these things that where essentially repeats of "they get stuff that locals don't, and are depriving us/our kids of it".

We're friends with a couple of Sryian families in our neighborhood, and since my wife works for the tax department, she helps them with filing their returns. So she actually has quite a good idea of what the various benefits they gain.

Firstly, refugees are not allowed to work. Which means they are totally reliant on the state, and risk getting kicked out if they violate that.

Secondly, they have to do a path to work course (where they learn Dutch among other things). This is both compulsory and costs ~2 grand. There are companies who loan them the money for this, at fairly sharp rates.

Thirdly, the amount of support is quite variable. One family of five (kids aged 5-10) gets about 60 euro a week to live off, after rent+power is covered. Another family of four gets quite a bit more (150 pw after bills) because they've been relocated from a neighboring town, so get an allowance to cover travel back to see their other family members.

Lastly, a lot of the grants have a lot of conditions attached to them. So much so, that sometimes it's not worth doing it. "Free" swimming lessons took nearly two hours to do the forms for, by a native speaker. I thought I'd had enough of Dutch bureaucracy, turns out I should be glad I'm not entering the country seeking assistance.

While the kids don't get any extra teaching resources allocated to them (because they don't need them) their school does get paid extra for taking them.

I'd be VERY careful with any stuff you hear, since refugees are highly politicized subject. Even though they shouldn't, seeing as they've been through the bureaucratic wringer.

I also got to see one of their "temporary" camps where they get kept until they can be placed in normal housing. Other than the fact the gates are open during the day, it's a concentration camp. In the woods, 5km from any town, with some trees screening it. It's bloody unsettling to say the least, but I'm one of those bleeding heart liberals who think that we should be using our positions of privilege and power to help those who've been screwed over.

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UK taxman warned it's running out of time to deliver working customs IT system by Brexit

MonkeyCee
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Re: "As is common with IT systems, even after testing issues may also emerge"

"When I write stuff, people generally get what they asked for. (Software developer accepts no liability for people asking for daft stuff.)"

That's kind of the problem. Unless you happen to also be expert in that relevant area, then getting the requirements that no-one thought worth writing down is the key difference between "do what I say" and "do what I want".

At the very least when someone asks for you to make them a glass hammer, you should check whether they intend to bang nails in with it, and point out the obvious flaws.

So if someone wants daft stuff, and will pay you to make it, that's all well and good. But it's usually good practice to check they know *why* it's daft, and get them to confirm it.

Plenty of places I've worked in also had the issue where something bleeding obvious to customers and front line staff was apparently not so obvious to those doing the dev side of things. If you force the buggers to have to actually use the systems* (in prod, not test) then they usually whine and scream (while being less competent at phone support than your average teenager) but end up building much better systems.

It's a bit like pair coding. It's stressful, frustrating, annoying and tiring, but you end up with a much more solid product. No one enjoys it, but it's still good practice.

* it's also a good technique for management too, but they hate being shown up as being unable to do the work of someone below their pay grade.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: A better Idea

"we know that the Leave campaign lied about the facts, their funding, and their motives, why can't it be put to the vote?"

Another referendum will have exactly the same legal footing as the previous one. It'll be advisory, and the government will use it as a flimsy justification for doing what they want.

We're not leaving the EU because of the referendum, because all it was was a glorified opinion poll with no legal weight.

We're leaving because Parliament voted to let the government go do the negotiating for it* and Parliament has also decided that it doesn't want to put any limitations on the government, and also it doesn't really want a vote on the final shape of decision.

It would have been nice if Parliament hadn't just rolled over, since it's sovereign and could have told the government to go get fucked, but it turns out the lower house is full of people who are more attracted to the baubles of office rather than doing democracy any favors.

New opinion poll won't change anything. Act of Parliament might, but the conservatives managed to buy off anyone seriously opposing it.

* after the government lost in court

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

MonkeyCee
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Re: Just Wait till NZ gets the bill

"Also, I'm pretty sure New Zealand won't be on the hook for medical care in America at all even if he is one of their citizens."

Unless he's in the country illegally, otherwise yes, NZ will pick up the tab.

Many countries with national healthcare systems have arrangements with the USA, whereby USA citizens in those countries get healthcare coverage as though they were locals, and the USA covers the bills for those people visiting the country. As far as I'm aware both NZ and UK do that.

I believe it's different once people get permanent residency/citizenship, as compared a time limited residency.

So in the same way that when an American tourist decides to do the Tongarino crossing in trainers and shorts, then breaks their leg, they don't get a bill for the search and rescue or the helicopter ride out, our dumb arse stalker here also won't be facing a bill for his chopper flight.

As for his hospital bills once he's in jail. that's another matter....

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