* Posts by MonkeyCee

1025 posts • joined 16 Apr 2013

UK.gov pays four fellows £35k to do nothing for three months

MonkeyCee Silver badge


People avoid paying tax because they want to keep the money for themselves.

It's got fuck all to do with wanting to spend on better causes.

I don't support spending a fortune on Trident, which has fuck all benefits for society, but I don't get to deduct that from my tax bill, or pick and choose what parts of the state I want to support.

It should be noted that all the taxes that are *claimed* to be for the NHS pay for it several times over. But those get redirected to serve other purposes. Paying NI so we can invade other countries seems rather shit IMHO.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

spare ammo

The various stories I've heard from ex-service types indicate that the military beancounters are probably the scariest thing we have, since everyone who kills people for a living is terrified of them.

These where mainly kiwis, who have a highly acquisitive nature when it comes to military supplies, since our own supply lines can be terribly shit. So infantry battalion deployed in Timor, new rifles get delayed by three months. Upon arrival, the QM's look innocent and claim confusion, since quite cleary the battalion has nice shiny new rifles, ammo, and various other things the aussies clearly didn't want*.

Combat units have a habit of acquiring more things than they are allocated. So when they get audited, it's far worse to have too much of something (implies you nicked it) versus too little (which can be blamed on other stuff). Hence some firework displays rather than trying to explain where those extra cases of 5.56 came from**.

* otherwise they wouldn't have left them laying around without proper security ;)

** in general, from the US taxpayer

Database man flown to Hong Kong to install forgotten patch spends week in pub

MonkeyCee Silver badge


Wellington NZ has a fun airport too, it's got sea at both ends of the runway, so you go down between two headlands over water, and then you get land and wheels down at what feels like the same moment.

It's also the only time that I've had the pilot been given a standing ovation after a landing.

It can have pretty mean side winds too, landing small planes there can be interesting.

Banning computers makes students do better on exams – MIT

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Further testing required

Currently we have to write our CS type exams on paper, since that's the rules for exams.

The only "good" thing is that while it's a real pain in the arse to code on paper*, it's an even bigger one to mark it.

I don't mind too much, since I came of age in the previous millennium, so tend to hand write my notes anyway.

The class which only allowed computers in the first two rows and had a TA sitting in the back row did the best from making people have to actually pay attention.

The classes which have breaks longer than an hour apart tend to leave people with terrible recall of anything passed the 60 minute mark. Based on what I need to help explain to otherwise very on to it kids anyway. 4 hour calc classes with a single break led to the lowest passing rate.

* actual code. Design stuff and pseudocode are fine being hand written for exams IMHO

Learn a scripting language and play nicely: How to get a DevOps job

MonkeyCee Silver badge

The joy of the informality of my current environment, "talking bollocks" is in fact listed as a skill requirement, and held by certain people.

Apple, AT&T, Verizon named in $7bn VoIP patent claim

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: "You think that's air you're breathing ?"

The whole point of the trolls is that you don't need to win the suit. If you're able to file, and it doesn't get kicked out right away, then you are in the money.

Not the billions you're asking for (obv), but the companies you're trolling can either spend up on their legal team (in the 8 figure range) or settle with you.

There's not a lot that can be done either. Even forcing the trolls to prove an actual use of their patents will result in "fig leaf" use cases. Removing patent protections opens another can of worms, but would longterm (IMHO) solve the issue. Patent protection for actual inventors doesn't really seem to work, based on my experiences.

'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: I quite like Windows 10

"The best test is to give a computer to a child and see if they can use it in a proficient manner quickly"

If only normal users had the abilities of a 10 year old child......

Seriously, most kids are better at figuring this stuff out than those over 50.

Valley VC Peter Thiel becomes an official Trump delegate

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Re: Lot of lefty luvvies on here it seems

Trump is a terrible businessman. Absolutely awful. If you paid any attention to what he's done, rather than what he bullshits about, it's very obvious.

If he hadn't inherited his wealth, he'd have nothing. If he'd done nothing with his wealth other than put it in the bank or treasury bonds, he'd not only have more money than he does now, but he wouldn't have lost his investors a few billion along the way.

But he's got confidence in spades and the ability to say contradictory things one after another without worrying about a thing. Being a playboy or a reality TV star these things are fine, even good.

But by all means, if you think he'll be the best representative of your country, that's your call. Your sexism and racism clearly put you in the "dumb rube" vote that the republicans love. Confirm your biases, and you'll vote against all your interests.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: I spot a trend here ..

I love the smell of delusion in the morning.

Clinton will win. Because she has the poll numbers, and the electorate already is quite familiar with both her and Trump. So almost no undecideds, the democratic policies are fairly clear, and anything Trump does now will either alienate his base (if they actually care about his inconsistencies) or makes it clear that nothing that comes out of his mouth can be trusted.

Since the republican field was so weak, the GOP switched to focusing on the races which actually decide things. President is nice, but in practicality the other two branches of government have more influence in the long term. The current/next presidents appointment to the supreme court will probably have more impact than most of their their first term decisions.

Trump is making a number of otherwise safe seats contested, because appealing to racists without using a dog whistle means those people of colour will vote against your party. White vote percentage is shrinking, and Trump managed to alienate the Latinos from the start.

At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

Isn't the main issue here that whatever you want to call your process, if it's not working, it's not going to produce anything useful.

If you can't pin down either some requirements, or a group who can at least review the product, then you're fucked, whatever methodology. Agile, waterfall, spiral et al all rely on some part of either having a clear idea of what you want, or someone who can tell if it's what they want (even if they didn't know beforehand).

It does seem that there is a distinct pattern of people not being able to make projects work for reasons that are fundamental to the organisation trying different methodologies when the issue is the company itself. Using a methodology to hide the fact that no-one is making correct decisions or designs isn't the fault of the methodology.

It's also a bit sad to see that almost every "Agile project fail!!!" is actually a failure to implement Agile methodology, and that leads to the tools being blamed, not the workmen. It's supposed to generate documentation as you go along, but the number of times I hear "we iz agile, we don't need no steenkin' doco" is scary. You are supposed to build and refine requirements, not just assume the customer* doesn't know and can never know them.

It also varies a lot by industry. Groups that are used to thinking and planning well ahead (power, utilities, construction, mining etc) can be a hell of a lot easier to work with than charities, arts sectors, and worst of all government departments. Legislation is magic you see, and can bend physics, time and anything else you wish by passing a law or writing a memo :)

Oh, and anyone insisting they've managed to break the iron triangle** is like someone selling you a money printing machine/free energy device. If what they had worked, they'd never need to sell it, and could just become successful by using it themselves. SW development methodologies improve these, making work more efficient and effective, but you can't suddenly create quick+cheap+good. Agile *should* give you quick+cheap, and allow you to assess these for what is good, then repeat. Planned should give you good+cheap, but speed depends on how well known the problem area is.

* inevitably there are people at the customers end who do know what they need. They are usually too busy/useful to be at any requirements meetings, or several layers of manglement have inserted themselves to ensure chinese whispers can destroy the useful information.

** Well, you can. Sort of. If you have teams of domain experts and excellent developers for a slow changing system it's somewhat possible to achieve an optimal solution, if rather inflexible.

PLA sysadmin gets six months house arrest for yanking US Army docs

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Re: Duh.

"I've also known someone who got a job at the MOD in June, and wasn't allowed to take up his post until October, to give time for his security clearance."

That's quick :)

Knew a chap who got a promotion, but needed a higher clearance* for it. Took ~18 months to get all the background checks done. He did get the higher pay back paid at the end, and got to very thoroughly train his replacement.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Duh.

Secret is a very low level of security clearance. Maybe the lowest? But anyway, *I* have secret level clearance for US/UK/Can/Aus/NZ and that background check is less detailed than the ones for working with kids or a credit check. I've even been givn access to stuff that is top secret, which seems to about the level of detail you can find with a quick google.

Actual proper security clearances (which I don't have) take a while to get, and involve pretty much everyone you've ever been involved with from the age of 5 upwards getting interviewed, and confessing all your sins. Had some friends and colleagues get various levels of those, since I got interviewed by some suits for those. While they can't talk about the operational stuff other than in the most generic level (they are all in signals, so it can be assumed they have access to secure comms) some of the interview questions can be quite hilarious.

Having to recount all your homosexual experiences, and then being told you are omitting things because public schoolboys have special rules on what does and doesn't count, while the spooks just care about what could be used to blackmail you. But the general notion that some poor buggers have to go through all your sordid past, and let you know that there's a record somewhere of it all does make me giggle.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Have you ever worked for a foreign army?

"I was in the PLA for 5 years but I spend all my time goofing off and falsifying my worksheets and travel records. That's not 'working'."

Sounds like you're cut out for ether the civil service or government contracting :)

French duck-crushing device sells for €40k

MonkeyCee Silver badge

price and value

Since you can get a new one made for about 4-5k, I presume someone wanted it for it's value of having been the "genuine" device at La Tour d'Argent. It's the same way people will pay a fortune for certain arbitrary sparkly stones, and several fortunes for those that have special stories.

While I do like duck, and blood sauces are quite nice, I'd still probably prefer most of the other stuff on the menu at La Tour d'Argent.

I'd love to try Ortolan, but that's outlawed now.

Facebook bungs 10-year-old kid $10k to not 'eliminate' Justin Bieber

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Just how bad does it have to be

Yes, and it tells you that anything a child is *really* interested in, they can spend not only more time but more mental energy than most adults on this. Thus should be better. See many computer games ;)

Since this includes outwitting their doddery caregivers (speaking as a sprog keeper) I'd welcome their attention being placed on something where this attention to detail also translated into some real world skills.

Most 10-12 year olds are smarter than anyone 16-25. Sharp minds have little people, and harder to fool.

They;d rule the world, apart from teenage hormones. One set of problems for another :)

Docker hired private detectives to pursue woman engineer's rape, death threat trolls

MonkeyCee Silver badge


>>Have you ever experienced being a man in a 99% female workplace?

I've worked in a place with 90% female staff, 99% female users (students). Apart from the odd inappropriate comment from a teenager* all the abuse, harassment and accusations of being a feelthy peedo** came from.... men. Mainly parents, and a relief teacher who's subsequently turned out to be pretty dodgy.

At the universities I worked at a the ratio was about 3-1 female to male, and also no real harassment from the ladies, and the various vendettas carried out seemed to be more about politics and less gender.

If you've not been an obvious target, then it's easy to assume it simply doesn't happen. I grew my hair long, and suddenly I get random guys yelling at me, ranging from the funny to scary. Walk around holding hands with a women, no comments. Take a stroll holding your boyfriends hand, and you get assaulted.

While I've told this tale before, it bears a quick retelling. Chap on the service desk with me was cracking a series of "jokes" about rape and prostitutes, including the claim that "you can't rape a whore, that's just theft". So I told him that a) prostitutes are still people, and often a tad vulnerable to sexual assualts, b) rape is not an OK subject matter for joking about in the office and c) fucking a passed out woman is rape, and yeah, that does make you a self confessed rapist.

He reported me to HR, who dragged me out for a bollocking which lasted about thirty seconds when they realised that they had gotten the wrong end of the stick, and that the person making the complaint was the one who had been making the NSFW comments. Watching the prick squirm when he was trying to defend his "humor" at the meeting where he and I where the only chaps, HR and big boss being both female. He shortly afterwards decided to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Just to be clear, most men are civil and decent. It does behoove us to call out the ones who aren't, in case they take our silence for consent or agreement.

* I'd gotten another engineer to come help me out for a week, and he rode a motorbike with full leathers and looked like a greek god. Got a couple of requests for the "sexy IT guy" to come by more often. Oh and some flirty texts when they got hold of my mobile number, but they got to talk to their dean about respect and whatnot.

** Not the sensible stuff, like ensuring your behavior is of in loco parentis and above reproach at all times, keeping a door open when you're alone with a student, and handling the inevitable teenage crushes with care and dignity.

Good enough IT really is good enough. You don't need new hardware

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: The opposite

Perfection is the enemy of good.

A poor decision made now is often better than a good decision made after a suitably long thinking time.

But that's often a real world vs academia argument.

Are bearded blokes more sexist?

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Beard goodness

I'm very much of the "hate shaving" camp. So I don't so much grow a beard as not shave it, and it's what happens. No-one asks if I'm growing the grass, they just assume I'm a lazy fucker who doesn't want to mow his lawn. Same theory for beard. Actually, same for long hair....

After 10+ years of shaving between once and four times a day (or being asked if I was sporting designer stubble) it's just a hell of a lot less faff. Plus beard is a lot nicer on skin of those who get close enough. The looking less baby faced helps too.

Chilling evidence emerges of Kilocat weapon

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Re: Suicide Bomber Bats

All brilliant chemists are batshit crazy.

BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it

MonkeyCee Silver badge

On the wags

I bet fifty on the wags.

Hey, tech industry, have you noticed Amazon in the rearview?

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Careful...

Surely ask the miners?

Lotto 'jackpot fix' code

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: is hard to rig

That's US in general or specific areas? I know Chicago is renowned for it's zombie turnouts come election day, curious as to which other dodgy areas.

UK has similar issues with some boroughs, although it seems to be one where both parties are guilty as sin.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Way off topic - lottery in general?

Tell her if she's going to gamble, do it properly, or just spend the money on something you like.

Lottery odds are awful compared to pretty much any bet you can lay at a bookies, scratchies even worse.

At least poker or sports betting involves some small amount of skill, allows you to "put your money where your mouth is" and you win at much higher rates, with massively higher returns.

You'll still generally lose your money :)

I've always managed to win* money from casinos, and know a few professional gamblers, so if you have an effective system and stick to it, you can even come out ahead. None of them bet on sports that they actually liked (rugby league, sumo and tennis) but had a very good understanding of the stats, and where quite unemotional about how they bet.

In NZ, I'd always bet against the ABs**, and mostly won the bets.

*per session, I'd always leave when I was up, and ~80% of the time my winnings where less than $5/hour of playtime.

** usually a spread bet, so not that they would lose, but they would win by less than 20.

GCHQ is having problems meeting Osborne's 2020 recruitment target

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: GCHQ is having problems meeting recruitment targets.

"GCHQ is having problems meeting recruitment targets because no one wants to work for a third rate bunch of crypto fascists."


GCHQ can't offer the best money or best opportunities out of the intelligence agencies, let alone private sector.

A US based "get out of jail free" card is probably of more use than a UK one.

One presumes also that a highly competent engineer with a deep love of their country would be better off serving the intelligence agencies whilst working at Slurpygooglebook.

That naked picture on my PC? Not mine. The IT guy put it there

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Another reason...

"Not to mention having to replace your suspiciously stained keyboard that suddenly stopped working."

Power supplies coated with "candle wax".

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Another reason...

Not sure how you interpreted it as petty and vindictive, since both the stories involve:

a) IT finding something that could get the user fired

b) IT not reporting the user, but advising them to knock it off

c) User then blames IT for said sacking offence

d) IT then reports user

Seems like the user is being vindictive here. Since watching porn at work seems to be OK by you, then imagine if it where say evidence of embezzlement that IT found.

Can't really see any outrage, the superiority stuff is probably just people with common sense wondering why the hell someone would do their porn browsing at work (where it can get you fired) versus at home, or other private location. Or maybe it's just satisfaction at the fate befalling managers who are too lazy or dumb to use their own kit.

As for "I'm better than you" it's less about covering tracks and more about work is for doing work. If I want to read my My Little Pony slash then I can do it on my own time, on my own device.

We bet your firm doesn't stick to half of these 10 top IT admin tips

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Mischief is often gravity based, and is thus faster than light.

Sir Clive Sinclair in tech tin-rattle triumph

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Re: Elite

Wait until you tell them how the system names where stored :)

Bloaty banking app? There's a good chance it was written in Britain

MonkeyCee Silver badge

"172 applications written primarily in Java-EE, 156 in COBOL, 19 in JSP, 16 in .NET, 15 in Oracle Server, 12 in PL1, and 42 written in other languages such as C/C++, Delphi, Pacbase, C#, PL/SQL, etc"

So learn Java and COBOL is the career plan?

Anyone recommend a good place to start for COBOL, above and beyond what google will do? :)

Your pointy-haired boss 'bought a cloud' with his credit card. Now what?

MonkeyCee Silver badge

It's also why cost estimates vary wildly.

I've seen waaaay to many external bids that include the cost of integration, support and user training as nil. The internal bid includes an estimate for time/wage costs for installation, integration and training. Turns out these things are quite expensive, often running to multiple times the purchase cost in the first couple of years, internal bids are bad.

Then after selecting the external bid, all the extra costs end up on the IT department. Who then get pressured to make cost savings, and some meathead will find another service to outsource. Rinse, lather, repeat.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

So the BYOD strategy is working out fine :)

Other than the RAM being a bit skimpy, and a poorly configured AV, I'd have thought that not much was wrong with the 5 year old laptops. Well, new batteries if they've been used.

Having McAfee as the standard AV doesn't bode well tho for sensible IT purchases :)

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Missing the real point

"Well external IT suppliers need to be regulated, whereas your own IT department answers only to the needs of your business."

Isn't it more the case that external providers have a contract, and you get everything in that contract and nothing else, whereas internal IT has to respond to any and all requests at all levels of approval and sanity. Plus if IT says "x is possible" they'll be held to it, whereas if external group says "x is possible, it'll cost y"

For a comparable case, if I'm consulting for a company, and some PHB wants me to do a task he should really give to his own minions, as long as I get paid (and it's legal) I'll do it. Data entry at $200 per hour? Sure thing. Fix your shitty formatting? Why sure, just sign off here. Sure, there's a bit of a stink when they realise their management by dumping shit elsewhere doesn't work so well when they have to pay for it, but the PHB has to own up to it at some point.

If I'm working as an employee, I'd tell them to fark off and have their staff do it, as there is not a simple way to "back charge" the PHB. And I'll get in shit for taking on tasks that should be someone else's problem. So then rather than the "fly tipping" PHB being the problem, you are for not saying "no".

So a lot can depend on the decision the IT department is making is going to set a precedent, or is a one off. Or is the start in a long series of one offs...

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Missing the real point

If your start point is "current IT systems are failing to meet requirements" then yes, obviously IT will be part of the problem. Often it's more a manglement issue, with the symptoms visible in IT, but you may find similar bollocks exists in other areas of the business.

Since you're at the stage where you're solving your work issues yourself, and have your own dev team, I'm a little at a loss why this is an issue. You can do your job currently (presumably making trades) and you already have the tools for it. You'd like nicer tools, that do some of the dull but vital parts of your job, and you've employed people to build them for you. But the issue is that IT weren't prepared to build them for you?

My guess would be (assuming decision makers know the issues) is that there is a suitably slow and comprehensive update planned to solve all these issues, but telling the troops about this is a Bad Idea, and since no-ones bothered to get input from them, it's also going to have a bunch of problems, Which is why it's delayed, and other options to address it are given a "no".

My advice would be:

- document all the change requests, detailed plans and suggestions, along with examples of currently produced solutions.

- show the business case for doing things your way (follow the money etc)

- get some feedback, especially from the hostile groups. That's when you'll (hopefully) discover the real reasons why you've been getting denied

If you've really got things the way you say, then take complete ownership of the systems from IT. Including all support, running costs, and risk coverage.

Just a general comment on traders (which I presume you are). Since they are time and results focused, traders often overlook (or deliberately avoid) anything that can slow them down or stop a trade. This almost always ends up with them getting very close to the line of legality or other complete failure risk. It's also why traders usually hate Risk and Compliance, since all we (appear) to do is shit on perfectly good deals, since no trader believes* they are making bad deals. Having traders who can get around certain checks and balances has led to a number of high profile, and many low profile bankruptcys of firms that should have been rock solid.

I'd presume you where one of the good 'uns, that you're not trying anything dodgy, but it's very hard (from the IT/Risk management perspective) to prevent "tactical" IT solutions from circumventing the strategic ones.

I wouldn't downvote you tho. Even the basic details you've given indicate that a cloud based solution would either be so massivly specialised it wouldn't really count as cloud (maybe hybrid cloud), or someone is telling a pile of porkies to get what they want. Well, more porkies than usual

* or they believe they can pull themselves out of the hole before anyone notices

Microsoft's bigoted teen bot flirts with illegali-Tay in brief comeback

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: AS is born

That's why I'm studying Ai in Maastricht :)

Dutch ftw :D

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: "Absolutely no one can make sense of the United States' infatuation with firearms."

Just to be clear, you are advocating handguns as tools for farmers here?

Guns are not illegal in the UK, despite the bollocks issuing from the mouths of certain cretins. Pistols are, with the exceptions of the military, police and veterinarians. Shotguns and rifles are not "freely" available, but I'd be shocked if most farms didn't have a couple of work guns.

Long guns can totally be a useful tool. Even semi/full auto can have some justification, and deciding when something is a rifle versus an assault rifle does get into the range of the silly (does it have a bayonet lug etc). Same as a rifle that can kill a goat could count as a "sniper rifle".

But other than people who are carrying with the intention of shooting another person (this includes the police), what use is a hand gun for dealing with dangerous pests, over and above say a stick?

The issue that you are ignoring is that the US's northern neighbor has many of the same issues for farmers, also has large areas suitable for hunting, and has similar gun ownership rates, has a much lower rate of deaths by gunshot. It's similar in other countries (Finland, Switzerland), but the US and Canada are more similar in various other terms.

Handguns are the big killer, and that will not be dealt with currently.

I generally like Americans. Not so hot on the actions of the federal government, but I gather that is also something many American's agree on too :)

In fact I like American's so much that I think it would be nice if they didn't kill each other as much. At least with guns. Stick with killing each other with cars, and themselves with opiates ;)

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: @AC Top Gear

Wiki doesn't think it exists.

I suspect AC has been getting their info from that well known hollywood documentary on William Wallace entitled "Braveheart: Why the English are total cocks".

I'd guess they where going for "manor" but it's probably a phrase picked up from Downton or some other period piece :D

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Top Gear

Yes, and not only is it a law that never existed, it was made up to justify how evil the previous regime was.

And then gets picked up as a hollywood trope, and because American's tend to either wish they had the gravitas of the British ex-empire, or need to hate and belittle them. Much like the Brits did/do to other older imperial groups (Dutch, Spanish, greco-roman). Copy all the bits you like, claim they are your own, and mock the other stuff.

At least it means there are a steady stream of brit actors playing villains in movies.

But this a gun debate, and so myths and false beliefs perpetuate rather than some engaging in rational thought.

Personally, long guns are usually fine. You use them as a tool, and you store them safely and securely, and when you run into other people when you're toting them around you not only ensure their safety (like a sensible person, clearing your shot etc) but make sure they don't feel intimidated or worried. Very much a UK countryside attitude I'd guess, and I had no worries about the local plod checking up that the shotgun etc was stored correctly.

The NZ attitude was far more stupid. Hunters not only shooting on land they had no right to, in the wrong season, but failing to identify targets whilst being close to campsites. Then, when to do shoot a school teacher in the head, the best thing is too drive back to your camp and get your story straight, rather than assist.

Handguns are either a sidearm for people who are going off to kill other people, a "minimum" carry gun for a police officer (if they are actually expecting a shooter then it would be a PDW or a long gun), or penis compensation. Hand guns are for killing people, no real other use. And while some believe the threat will keep people in check, others believe that an escalation of threat (eg pointing a gun at someone) leads to an escalation of violence.

The availability of weapons doesn't help the "weak" either. Male domestic abusers are 5 times more likely to kill their partner (versus "only" beating them) if the abuser owns a gun.

Met police commissioner: Fraud victims should not be refunded by banks

MonkeyCee Silver badge

The Met

Hmm, aren't these the same lot who are wasting ~20% of their IT budget each year, refusing to admit how much they've they've pissed away on failed projects and avoided any accountability?

Maybe if for every pound wasted on such projects a pound got deducted from wages of those who signed off on those projects it might result in better accountability.

As for bitching about fraud victims getting their money back (in 30% of cases...) my experiences of trying to report fraud, ID theft or suspicious withdrawals have been met with a flat refusal to take a crime report unless I can name a specific person.

I could show clear dodgy transactions with identifying features that presumably could be followed up on, such as car insurance being paid for (we don't own a car), payment for an ISP connection 300 miles away, or pizza delivery half way across the globe. Oh, and an ATM withdrawl (failed 9 times, passed on 10th) in Thailand, when the "same" card had been used 90 minutes before in the Netherlands. Cops bent over backwards to avoid taking a report, but the bank refunded us within 24 hours.*

So Sir Bernie, if you want the banks to stop refunding fraud victims, that's going to require you lot doing a huuuge amount more work, when you currently aren't able to process all the "normal" crime, how the fuck are you going to handle ID theft and low end (sub $2000) fraud? That work is currently "outsourced" to the banks because the cops simply do not have the resources for it.

* they did send us a letter where we had to sign off that we had never performed those transactions,

Apple stuns world with Donald Trump iPhone

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Good point

But haven't we been at the "5 year old tech is perfectly adequate" point for YEARS now?

Mainly only seems to be battery tech and drive wear that necessitate replacing kit.

Oh, and using glue over screws.

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Miniature big iPad

Last week I swapped a door out for old one from our neighbors.

This involved removing hinges from both doors, and then putting the current ones on the replacement door.

The screws being removed where flatheads, been attached for 10+ years, and so not terribly amenable to being removed.

A third came out with a screwdriver and a lot of swearing. Tools used: screwdriver and molegrip

Next third came out after some persuasion from a simplified impact driver. In other words, a screwdriver being whacked by a hammer. Tools used: screwdriver and hammer.

Then the remaining bastards got drilled out. Tools used: drill on non-hammer settings.

So there you go, utilising screws using a hammer.

I also tend to drive screw+wallplug in with a hammer first, and have been known to utilise it as a brummie/polack screwdriver at times.

Mark "metal basher" Vries.

It's nuts but 'shared' is still shorthand for 'worthless'

MonkeyCee Silver badge

It's very nice that we're all equal, and should all be valued as such.

But you've managed to see what social mobility means, but missed it's point.

It's not about "poor people deserve what they get" but that it's possible for a person born in to a low wealth family to have an options for their lives, rather than a choice between working down pit or in factory.

All rights are a societal construct. And it tuns out, certain groups in society benefit more from them. Tax structures favor the wealthy, legal representation favors the wealthy, expressions of political will favor the wealthy etc. It would be lovely if we where all equal, but this is clearly not the case, and making much noise about it gets one branded a communist/socialist.

As for respecting people in their professions, chosen or not, I thought that was a normal human thing to do. Society functions because all the jobs get done, and lots of people are keen on the "cool" and well paid roles, so there's no shortage of people wanting to be lawyers. But without the basics being done, we'd all be up shit creek. In the case of street cleaners and bin men, a literal one.

Any BOFH who doesn't value their careful relationship with the cleaners and security will have a harder time staying ahead of manglement :)

I'd have used something other than a lawyer as the example too. Can't think of many jokes involving dead street sweepers as the punchline, but a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean is a good start etc.

Telling your wife why you were fired is the only punishment

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: I ran into this sort of thing once

That was pretty much my experience of finding CP on a clients machine in for repair.

I'd already cloned the drive, and was running data recovery on the clone when some filenames looked... wrong.

So I checked a couple of images, and it was clearly a case of "Go Directly to Jail, do not pass Go".

I went to the MD, and said that we a) should call the cops and b) get a lawyer post haste. He quibbled for about 30 seconds (could I be sure, valuable client, family man etc) at which point I declared that for protecting myself *I* would call the cops, and the company can make it's own call. We called the cops together.

The cops where very good, and did warn me/us that while in their opinion we where innocent, that the decision to prosecute was up to the CPS, and that we where technically guilty of possession and potentially distribution, depending exactly how cloning a drive would be viewed.

Gave statements, handed over the dodgy laptop, the cloned data and purged everything else. CPS got in contact after a few weeks to tell us we where in the clear as the guilty party had confessed and plead guilty.

It's the story I give when I have to explain why I can be funny about doing even minor illegal activities for an employer. Dodging licence fees and CP are quite different ends of the scale, but both are against the law.

"After all, how can you prove you didn't download it?" is a very good point :) the best way is to behave like a honest and innocent (of that anyway) person and immediately call the authorities, fully co-operate, and be prepared to hire a legal representative to cover your arse. And pray the guilty party confesses.

The guy got 8 years, and should be out now.

Osbo slaps down Amazon and eBay – who'll be liable for traders evading VAT

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: May I suggest you take a look at the Laffer curve?

Actual economics is far more about politics than anything else.

Take ten concepts that most economists agree on, and you'll find half are implemented at gunpoint (sometimes literally so) and the other half will never get done outside of some wacky dutch experiment.*

This has nothing to do with which of these ideas is efficient, effective or fair, but entirely to do with if it will appear to benefit those in charge of the levers of power.

It's very much a Pareto efficiency problem, with start conditions of 1% of the population holding 50% of the goods, 24% holding 40% of the goods (unevenly distributed) and 75% holding 10% of the goods (again unevenly distributed). Almost any change in this system is going to piss off the 1%, and probably annoy the 24%. The political class is almost entirely drawn from that top 25%, and thus is unlikely to change the system.

* the fact that the Dutch do these pragmatic but potentially unpopular things is why I live there. And the cheese.

MonkeyCee Silver badge


I have. One of my professors wrote his thesis on the difference between the observed Laffer curve for the USA and EU countries for personal income tax rates.

The balance point varies a bit, depending how you factor in various other taxes (especially dividend and capital gains, since you can jank around high levels of income to go these areas instead), but it's ALWAYS above 50% tax rate, and for the US it's ~70%, and the UK ~80%. We are ALMOST always on the left of the curve in any developed country.

This is of course ignored, since any fule noes reducing tax collection will result in more total tax take....

The recent tax cuts resulting in higher takes are usually caused by earnings being held over. Which makes sense, if you'll be paying 5% less tax next year, get half your income this year, 150% next year.

I very much doubt Laffer ever thought about applying it to corporate profit tax, since profit (rather than personal income) are far easier to adjust.

Storks bin migration for junk food diet

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: This will cause a problem for the storks

I always separate the punishment of decimation (which was the execution of the NCOs, by their own squad) versus it's usage for "bad shit happening".

Same as "exceptions proving the rule", with both exception and rule having changed meaning since it's adoption.

Former US anti-terror chief tears into FBI over iPhone unlocking case

MonkeyCee Silver badge

! = Theatre

It's about legal precedent rather than pure theatre.

It's just the usual LEO being a fuckwit problem. The "we're the good guys, we need to do this thing that would be illegal otherwise because of bad people" that is the thin end of the wedge to shooting and torturing innocents because they are "probably bad 'uns".

Hence why there's all this FUD about "for this phone and this phone only" and expanding All Writs to include *anything* a company can be made to do. It's entirely for the legal precedent, so that protection of the elites, I mean the people, can be carried on most effectively.

If they *really* needed info from this phone, it would (or has been) already accessed by those agencies that are less worried about chain of evidence or court approval. Maybe something has been found, so that now a chain of evidence that can be publicly revealed must be produced.

Of course, the fact that as soon as one enforcement agency has precedent for this, ALL enforcement agencies, of all governments, have the same rights. If the FBI is allowed a custom image for cracking phones, then so is the FSB.

You can be a stupid petulant arsehole and still be correct. :)

GNU want (another) free AI package release? Yes. But we should train this puppy

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: I don't get it

Liberate from us from our fleshy prisons!

7,800 people's biometric data held on police anti-terrorism database

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Yawn.

Of course he is. Matt knows he has nothing to fear from the authorities, so has made sure he's in all bio metric databases. He also voluntarily submits his entire browsing history to the Home Office, and files his weekly thoughtcrime reports.

Crap IT means stats crew don't really know how UK economy's doing

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Goodhart's Law

Well, the super rich will be always be buying prime real estate, often writing off any current building on the property. So emptymansions that no-one lives in make sense in a world where buying bits of London have proved a very good long term investment for all involved. Or buying any property where the long term value is the land and building permits, and not the actual building.

It of course has nothing to do with either dirty money, nor with people finding ways around foreign capital exchange rules, nor with London being a magic portal into legal and taxational ringworlds of great ingenuity and terror. Because no good and honest bank would ever do that. HSBC only launders drug money out of tradition etc.

GDP is of course a fantasy that would be applauded even by Orwell. GDP has increased Free Citizen! Life is Good! Do the Spend! Watch the Strictly! Where is your trans-awareness-and-love day bracelet citizen? Do you not the love the trans and accept them as the wonderful people they are? Are you in fact, a Hater?!? Did you not see that GDP has risen, and We Are Happy! Don't be a Hater!

Where's my coat. I need to buy beer. Raising GDP and the happiness index at the same time.

What a pair of ace-holes: Crooks bug gambler's car with GPS tracker, follow him and rob him

MonkeyCee Silver badge

Re: Which one is it?

Silence is golden, duct tape is silver.

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