* Posts by MonkeyCee

865 posts • joined 16 Apr 2013

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Wi-Fi hotspots can put iPhones into ETERNAL super slow-mo

MonkeyCee
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Re: I don't really have much sympathy for people who fall for such tricks

I thought overclocking was more to do with processors being binned at one clock speed, then sold at that clock speed or below. So if you get lucky, you get a chip that can do 1.15Ghz that was sold as a 1Ghz chip.

It's a result of the slightly random results from silicon doping, and that the manufacturing process aims for the best results. So if you get 30% of your batch doing 1Ghz, 40% doing 1.05Ghz, 20% doing 1.1Ghz and 10% doing 1.15Ghz, but the market is for 80% 1Ghz, 15% 1.1Ghz and 5% 1.15Ghz then rather than throwing away perfectly good silicon you just mark some of your faster chips as slower ones.

I've had a number of video cards that you can get 20-30% more performance out of, equivalent to the ones costing 50% more, for a 1-2 degree increase in operating temperature. But it only works on some cards.

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The Walton kids are ABSURDLY wealthy – and you're benefitting

MonkeyCee
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Re: Wealth redistribution

"that scenario was used to describe why most drug dealers are poor."

For those that haven't read it, its not _quite_ as cut and dried as that.

An economist got friendly with, and got to study how a "drug gang" operated. This consisted of the "boss" and his "workers". The operation ran quite a lot like a franchise, where the workers got (effectively) minimum wage plus worker benefits. These benefits where legal and medical help for those in the gangs area of control, and functioned much like civic taxes (from an economical standpoint). The boss did actually make quite good money, and once he'd been running the group for a few years making good returns for the parent organisation, he got promoted.

So not too dissimilar to standard corporate practice, worker bees and taxes get paid at about the same rates, owner-managers get a few years at slightly better wages, then get a promotion to middle management.

I went a read some of the study that the book used, and it didn't seem so much that McDonalds paid better, the main difference was in fact the benefits (especially the medical) and that some people got the benefit before joining the gang.

Like with all work, doing it yourself is a mugs game, organising others too do it and getting some points on each productive hour/sale is the way to go.

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You’ll be the coolest guy in IT if you ain't got your ID

MonkeyCee
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Learn from the BOFH

Not on my first site management role, but pretty early in my lucky days doing such, I learnt that some of the best security practices consist of the following (thanks Simon):

1. Identify the people who have the fullest access to the facility whilst being paid the lowest. Usually security and the cleaners.

2. Find out their names, birthdays, and booze preference*

3. Ensure they get a card and a gift from your security budget 2-3 times a year. Birthday, Christmas, and something in between.

This means they know who you are, appreciate you value them as people as well as their function, and when you need the rules bending they will fall over themselves to help you.

Had to explain to the boss why I had a box of mixed spirits in the IT supplies cupboard, next to the clicky bat. Best site security policy ever :D

* Or for the non drinkers, something equivalent. A book of cinema tickets for the nice Muslim chap in this case

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Ex-cop: Holborn fireball comms outage cover for £200m bling heist gang

MonkeyCee
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C'mon Reg

So there's a quote from an ex-flying squad cop (they do still exist, I think the US equivalent is Robbery & Homicide division) which sounds all nice and plays well with the Ocean's 11 theme for this robbery.

Or the London fire brigade said its initial assessment showed the fire was caused by an electrical fault damaging an 8 inch gas main which ruptured and fuelled the flames.

It's a gas fire, not electrical. Could still be deliberate.

As for the actual crime... the noise could possibly been explained by work on Crossrail. But what mystifies me is that CCTV and various sensors weren't checked or triggered, and that there wasn't any physical inspection of the premises over the long weekend.

Most of the other thefts I'm aware of from the area are more of the confidence trick type, the theft in 2003 from the same safety deposit boxes seemed to involve duplicating keys or lockpicking (or bumping or some other non destructive manipulation), and a long list of people selling fake goods or switching items.

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BT Home Hub SIP backdoor blunder blamed for VoIP fraud

MonkeyCee
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Blame the client

If you read between the lines the network monkey did what the client asked, and if they had two brain cells to rub together they would have gotten what they did, and any "shortcuts" signed off on.

At least this is what I do whenever I'm pushed to do something that is not best practise. Or just fucking stupid. So that when somehting cocks up later, and people start screaming, I can point out the issue was identified, and the correction ruled to expensive. Usually someone wants it to work rather than work securely, and explaining it like you've installed a new front door, but locking it is so much hassle, we;ll just let everyone in, because only the right people will come here, yeah?

Also had clients that won't allow (for whatever reason) you to use a box built as a firewall, it _must_ be Cisco or the ISPs kit. They'd rather have a default corporate product than anything that looks "unprofessional" in the rack.

If I'm being paid to set your network up as specced, I will. Even if it's a stupid insecure setup, I'll tell you so, but still get it up and running. If you're paying me to secure your network, then I'll secure it, even if it inconveniences people who are using it. I charge different rates because in the first case I am not responsible for stolen data, the second I am. You don't get a free upgrade.

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Silk Road coder turned dealer turned informant gets five years

MonkeyCee
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Re: 5 years?

"I'm no expert on American (or any other type of) law, but the Yanks do seem to like plea bargains and offer very large reductions in sentences as a reward to the offender."

It's about 95%. In other words, 19 of 20 criminal cases are decided by the prosecutor, not a court.

It's not a reward to an offender, it's almost always used as a threat. For example, take a plea, lessor charge and 5 years, or if you go to court we'll push for all charges and 30 years. It's supposed to make the system more efficient, but in practice it punishes you for having poor/cheap legal advice.

Oh, and what is in the actual written plea matters, not what you're promised.

As always when you are in trouble with the law, get a lawyer. If you're not an American, and you get busted in the US, get hold of your consulate because you will get fucked in any plea deal.

Smart criminals avoid committing any crimes in or around the US, since they are one of the few people who act as the world police.

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NZ used XKEYSCORE to spy on World Trade Org election emails

MonkeyCee
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Re: NZ got caught (again)

Not just GCSB but the NZ police. Turns out that while Jo Public is allowed to record anything they like from public property (take photos video, etc), if you are the police and you wish to use it in evidence, then you've got to get a search warrant. Always had to get a warrant if it was on private property. Turns out the police had been informed of this, but decided that getting warrants is really annoying.

The trumped up "terrorism" case got kicked out on this, and suddenly realising that they had been using ILLEGALLY GATHERED EVIDENCE for some 300+ successful convictions, the law was retroactively changed so it became legal.

Not that NZ cops are above the law, oh no. No way serial rapists could operate and get covered up (or wrecking trials) by their mates.

Fuck John Key too.

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Swedish city demands £40,000 to repair teenage hacking spree

MonkeyCee
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Re: Still fair compared to other countries...

"Same principle as shops taking civil action against a shoplifter for costs incurred as a result of the theft."

There's very strict rules on what they can charge for that, mainly based on value of items they nicked. You can't charge a shoplifter for the costs of a CCTV system installation, or claim that they have to pay $40k for the security firm to do it's fcking job properly.

Also seems to fail the deterrent value test. If you white hat it, point out the insecurity you get fined and prosecuted. If you steal the information, use it to cause harm or gain profit, you get fined and prosecuted.

Should have made his community service to toughen up their infosec. Well, except that it probably boils down to "is very inconvenient being secure. Please give everybody all the access to all the passwords". Or perhaps it's the "we haz autosaved passwords everywhere, we iz super secure".

If people treated physical security like infosec they would get laughed out of court.

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Apple boots Windows 7 out of Boot Camp

MonkeyCee
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Re: Looks stupid from an enterprise perspective...

Sure you can't officially stick OSX on a PC, but Apple are really not concerned about you actually doing it.

I've built a number of hackintosh boxen, and you can even buy them complete in certain EU countries that actually follow them anti-competative laws (eg Germany).

Bootcamp is nice for what it is, and it really shows what a shit job HP, Dell etc do with driver install. Install Windows onto a intel based mac consists of install OS, install combined driver package, reboot. Why the PC manufacturers can't get the equivalent done right, so you need 6-12 driver packages that always seem to be created once and left. Don't get me started on the useless restore disks...

However, most fruity trypes are _much_ better off with VMware, Parellels or other such software, since they won't have to reboot the whole box each time they need to do the 'doze. Plus you get to use the image you want, rather than having Apple force you down MS upgrade path.

As for the designed obsolescence, yeah, Apple is a pain. When they've not actually broken the hardware (connectors, glued battery) they actively break the ability to upgrade without spending. Which is a shame, since I have a few clients who still use macs that are nearly as old as me (mmmm, beige boxen) and a fair few who's G4/5 based machines still chug along just fine.

As for Windows, 2000 and XP still work very well, you can even get XP to use the full memory range (ish), I've yet to find any real issue with 7, and I've yet to find anyone who finds 8.1 (or 8) an improvement.

Maybe we need a Worstall article about how making a really good product is actually bad for a company that is reliant on a constant revenue. The Laserjet problem maybe :)

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Skin colour's irrelevant. Just hire competent folk on their merits, FFS

MonkeyCee
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Joke

Re: The only problem is...

"Because they need them to lift heavy objects."

They are patients or clients, never objects.

Will the objectification never stop?

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MonkeyCee
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Re: The only problem is...

I'll second the comments regarding positive discrimination for men in teaching and nursing roles.

In teaching it usually means that if you're a guy you can usually get a management position a lot quicker, get your pick of after school BS activities and the leadership team will jump through hoops to keep you onboard. If your subject is a flavor of STEM, then you get the same treatment only amplified.

Of course, you have to put up with making sure you can't ever be accused of being a sex pest, get constant training and awareness increasing about not being a sex pest, and having pretty much every male parent suggest that you might be a sex pest. I'm not bitter about my time working (non-teaching) in a school, oh no.

There are a few scientific fields where it seems like a switch got thrown 30 years ago, and no more men entered the profession. I like to think of them a seahorse companies/departments.

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Accused Silk Road boss's lawyer insists he was just a fall guy

MonkeyCee
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Re: Effective "a big boy did it and ran away" defenses require...

I know it's fun to blame the lawyers, but it probably isn't the fault of the defence brief, more likely the defendant has not been too helpful, or has opted to not go after some of the stronger options available. This may tie in to the fact that the defendant is facing other charges, and might rely on something that would be contradicted by his more robust options in this trial.

From what I gathered from people who actually know US law (I know a bit of contract law, not much criminal) if he had said the Icelandic server was his, then the search and seizure of it would be on very shaky legal grounds, and the majority of the state's evidence may have been dismissed. The judge pretty much pointed this out, but the defence decided to not make the claim.

There are a few ideas about this, one being that "the server is mine" might make the running Silk Road prosecution fail, but would slam dunk the attempted murder charges. Others include Ross directing his lawyer to not se this approach, that the funding for his defence would dry up (it's donations) if he went and said "Argh, I be DPR, that be my scurvy server".

In my experience if there is idiocy in a courtroom, it's caused by clients, rather than lawyers. They might be evil and want to get paid, but they usually will give you the best advice to win.

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GCHQ: We can't track crims any more thanks to Snowden

MonkeyCee
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Re: The clueless will pay for their ignorance

Seeing as we all got put on the hook for about twenty five grand a piece by the powers that be I"m not sure I'm all that worried.

It should also be noted that the filth are shit at dealing with identity theft or having your card skimmed. Thankfully the bank doesn't need a crime number to investigate, or sort out the ledger balance (your bank account isn't your money, it's the banks money which they promise to pay you at some point in the future). Try to get the police to take a report, with evidence, of your card being cloned. Not interested, will add to crime numbers, won't get solved. Worse than reporting a burglary, which at least here in the Netherlands has the police doing door-to-door enquirys.

It was nice to have the cops show up to try and solve a crime, rather than confiscate my lovely plants.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: A balance must be struck

The CIA (or equivalent intelligence agencies) is up to it's neck in gun running and drug smuggling, as advisers and getting people out of trouble. Because it's more important for national security that the various organised smuggling groups carry on their trade, but keep an eye out for the "wrong" stuff being smuggled in.

Of course there is actual gun running to the various militant groups, but I'm pretty sure that's a fundamental part of your intelligence agency, support the faction that you prefer to win.

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Lonely this Xmas? Nerds, n00bs and no-hopers' guide to dating apps, Pt.1

MonkeyCee
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Re: Pictures of one's privates

"Unless ... (poses with little finger to corner of mouth) ... it was a Massive Homosexual Conspiracy."

Isn't that the title of the beeb's HR department?

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Hack flings bootkits from Macs' Thunderbolts

MonkeyCee
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Re: Thunderbolt devices used as spark gaps?

I know a few places which use air gapped macs, for the same usual reasons, they are the front end onto some expensive science kit which has a six month waiting list to use (two if you can bribe the tech to stay after 8pm). As for far too much other stuff, it requires you to have a very specific version of the OS, and usually no updating or much in the way of security. Thankfully USB drives are so cheap these days that the current method is that you MUST use a brand new stick each time.

Google does a fair bit of stuff using macs as the base platform, but unsure if anything they are doing needs to be gapped rather than secured other ways.

In general this falls under the "don't plug anything into the important machine" so should hopefully only be able to target those who aren't exercising the correct amount of paranoia for their position.

I would say that USB is a much better attack vector, mainly because you can modify a peripheral to have a USB drive stashed inside with your payload on it. Send someone a nice shiny mouse or keyboard and it'll end up plugged in without them checking with IT.

If you can touch it, you can own it. If you can get someone else to touch it for you, you can also own it.

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Frustration with Elite:Dangerous boils over into 'Refund Quest'

MonkeyCee
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Re: Enough of the "they"

Completely agree on Braben being the issue here. Kickstater seemed IDEAL for him, as you don't have to compromise with your investors (since they don't actually own any part of the company) or your customers, since they've already paid.

SWG is a great example, since it's a game that I played a bunch, from release until just before player cities and vehicles (crossing half a planet on foot to chase down a bounty, masochistic joy), and came back after the CURB since the rebalancing had just broken most of the high end equipment. Then Sony changed it into a WoW clone/shooter with the previous hero class (Jedi) now just a standard one. The real reason I quit was not just that they broke the game every couple of years, but that there where clearly several different development groups working on it at the same time. So they where updating and improving classes up until a few weeks before they completely removed the current class system.

You can say many bad things about WoW, but they are pretty good about not breaking the core game for the players (kill stuff, get loot, kill more challenging stuff, get better loot)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: development practices

"Jesus fucking christ, are you serious? And Braben agreed to this madness?"

Should have made it a stretch goal. But then that would have required him to have an actual plan for delivering E:D. Rather it seems to be "how much funding can we get" rather than getting funding for what they can deliver. But does reek of the salesman promising the moon to get the sale.

Most of the stink seems to be around the very public adding of the "offline" feature, followed by increased revenue, followed by the very sneaky re-defining of "offline" as "solo" in an email update.

I'd be interested in what the members of el Reg would say if this was your standard IT project. Lets say an on demand TV application that offers you the ability to download and watch shows at your leisure, streaming only for stuff released that week, but the back catalogue you can watch anytime. Then, after collecting their funding and pre-sales, the company says that due to unforeseen issues, it's all streaming, no download.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Conclusions of all this mess

Have a look at the expansion packs for Oolite. The only one I always have is the random ship names.

The expanded cargoes is good for making it a trading game that consists more of being a ferry between two systems, illegal cargos gives you other options for being busted with illegal stuff, such as handing them over to the authorities, hence you can "free" slaves :)

The navy and assassination missions are worth a look if you like the fighty side.

Totally recommend Oolite, as it's free, available, and no-one is going to suddenly demand you play it online.

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MonkeyCee
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Online/offline

Just to weigh in with my $0.02 here.

If you back something on kickstarter, you do not get either the protection of a purchase (despite HM customs opinion on it), nor do you get any guarantee as an investor. It's a great system for funding things that you aren't fussed about the details of, but from the end user perspective you get whatever the devs feel like giving you.

Now that might seem very cruel and offhand, but lets be clear, major game companies get away with releasing games that do not meet the advertised features on the box, and get away with it. Diablo 3 pvp off the top of my head as an example (they may have taken it off the box, but the EU versions I saw stated it on the feature list). So you can promise something, never deliver it, and it will be just fine :)

I accept that any game that I will be playing against other people will need to be online, with important parts outsourced to the servers for balance. The fact that it's still perfectly possible to "hack" them, as some of the processing needs to be done locally (map hacks, aimbots etc) but at least you should get more detection of that server side.

For solo games, I should _not_ have to maintain an internet connection, nor should it really matter if I want to edit/cheat the game. It's _my_ game, that I'm experiencing, and if I find it fun to use mechanics that would be unfair in multiplayer, so be it.

I will express my confusion at exactly what the appeal of E:D is, compared to the existing products out there. You have Oolite, which is your single player goodness, with a barebones trading/fighting game, and a whole host of expansion packs so you can create the sort of universe you want. It's free, you can edit pretty much anything in the game, and generally quite a nice community. If you're keen on the "play with others" then I'd have thought Eve would be the ticket. Not really my thing, since it seems to be more like an actual war, 97% boredom, 3% crazy busy terror where everything gets blown up. Plus applying for guilds (yeah, they're called summit else) involves more effort than getting a real world job :)

So E:D isn't Oolite with nicer graphics, it isn't Eve, and the company doesn't seem to sure how it's going to fund itself in the future. If the game is reliant upon servers, then who will be paying for them in a couple of years time? Adverts, subscriptions or micropurchases would be a sensible guess, but are any of these going to appeal to those who already paid for the production of the game?

The multiplayer online games I play, which rely heavily (or entirely) upon having humans playing your opponents for the challange have one of three methods for ensuring they continue: they charge a sub, either for access or "better" access (more xp etc), micropurchases for game world goods (which is it's own can of worms) or the server code is released in the wild, and your accumulated stats only work on the place you did them. I would assume that at some point if the subs/purchases are not covering the running costs, then no more game for me.

What happens when E:D runs out of money for servers?

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ARG! A GHOST SHIP! Pirates sunk by UK cops return from watery grave

MonkeyCee
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Re: Another strong arm tactic based on lack of knowledge

See above regarding police and courts.

The short of it is the legal system, parliament for adding or removing laws and the courts interpreting and applying them, is separate from the policing of those laws. A great deal of the time the fuzz relies on their own interpretation of laws (see taking pictures of cops) or their ability to book you for something provable.

It can be argued that it's not up to the cops to decide which laws to enforce, they just book 'em all, and let justice (in the form of the CPS and the courts) to decide who actually gets taken to trial.

In general, in the western world, most cases never see a court. You are often punished for insisting on your right to trial, in that the maximum charges will be brought against you, as compared to a lessor plea.

Courts are expensive. Investigations less so. If making a request solves the "crime" rather than getting a court order, it seems like a fine use of taxpayers money to me. Then again, I'm pretty much against most prison sentences. Either the crime is trivial enough to be managed with fines, serious enough to require intervention but the person can be changed (which may be a prison like situation) or the person can't be changed, so hang 'em.

Off topic, I presume the whole death drugs issue in the USA being solved with gassing or shooting rather than hanging is because seeing lots of black chaps in nooses might show how little things have changed.

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The quid-a-day nosh challenge: Anyone fancy this fungus I found?

MonkeyCee
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Re: Re. Silent Spring

Just make natural fly traps :)

Take a jar, punch holes larger than fly in top. Fill jar with small amount of fly tempting liquid. Vinegar or stale booze often works wonders.

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Why two-player games > online gaming: See your pal's shock as you bag a last-second victory

MonkeyCee
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Re: Must be the hippy in me...

Ah Bubble Bobble :)

In an old flat we'd play all sorts of games, the PS2 was the mainstay for console stuff in the livingroom. While the various fighting games got most of the attention, nothing brought out rivalry and swearing quite like Bubble Bobble.

Maybe it's the inevitable cycle of A drops a pile, dumps on B, B swears, wrangles way to dump some of pile thus dumping more on A. Repeat until police are called. We then toned down the insults to no longer include threats of dismemberment or bodily harm, although "Why don't you just STAB ME IN THE FACE!" stuck around as a general statement of complaint, ideally about the smallest thing. That was coined by my darling ten year old niece.

Oh, and I'm not allowed to babysit her around my "rude" friends, after she called her dad a "fuck knuckle". Well, she used it in a full and descriptive sentence, but I'm pretty sure she knew the rest of the words prior to that. Don't think it helped that my sister laughed when the kid went off :)

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'Maybe I'll go to Hell, but I think it's a good thing' says plastic Liberator gunsmith Cody Wilson

MonkeyCee
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Re: A better alternative

Switzerland has a low gun crime rate for a variety of other factors than gun ownership. High wages (for everyone) means greater equality, hence less property crime.

Also it's very rarely the Swiss chaps who are the ones I'd be worried about harming and getting shot. Swiss ladies are often better shots than the gents. Plus the required home defense and food storage makes most US "preppers" look like the amateurs with guns they are. Does your house have a bunker and a months food per person? :D

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Windows XP is finally DEAD, right? Er, not quite. Here's what to do if you're stuck with it

MonkeyCee
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Re: 85000 XP!

You'd almost think that it was a deliberate act by a group of individuals who benefit from less tax enforcement that pushed through austerity measures that involve cutting the workforce that collects the government incomes.

IIRC there are roles for assessing tax evasion/avoidance that where paid 30k and produced the best part of a million quid a year in extra revenue. So a role that gives the government an extra 900k a year (I'll allow silly money for pension and employment costs) from the 35 billion a year that is lost would seem to be something you'd hire more off in a recession. Instead they get their numbers cut.

But then I've got odd notions of the country being governed for the benefit of the masses, rather than for the few. UK plc has gotten a lot meaner to it's serfs in the last few years, I'm glad I now live in NL plc, where at least the bilderburgers in charge here make sure the serfs have cheap booze, fags and high quality ganja to keep us pacified.

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AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'

MonkeyCee
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More stats needed

Most importantly, what's it's hash? Better than a pair of 290x?

Because no-one in their right mind buys an AMD card for gaming. For mining and gaming, sure :)

I use r9 270, since you can often get 270x performance out of them, if you're lucky 500 khash/s, for ~130 watts. Depending a bit on what undervolt and overclock you can get out of them.

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Money? What money? Lawyer for accused Silk Road boss claims you can't launder Bitcoin

MonkeyCee
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Re: would have thought it would count as a bond or certificate

According to the IRS it's property. So is a bond or a stock. A treasury, gilt or other government bond is "money" in the sense that it can function as a deposit from a retail bank to a central bank.

Essentially it's money if you can pay your taxes with it. If you need to sell it to an intermediary to get the cash then it's property.

I'd like to turn up to pay my tax with goods. Maybe a head of goats, just drop them at the office :)

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Hey, Michael Lewis: Stop DEMONISING Wall Street’s SUPERHUMAN high-speed trading

MonkeyCee
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Speed is also part of the problem

As a 33 year old who's currently a student of the econometric arts, I got to write a wee paper on HFT. And explain it to 18 year olds, who often believe I'm pulling their leg when describing various financial instruments or mechanics. Some of the poor dears even look lost when we're just describing futures markets. The definition of a HFT order (a least in academia) varies, but generally that it is in existence for a very short period of time, usually microseconds. It's this rapid cancelling of orders (and high cancellation to fill ratio) and their affect upon prices that is missing from the article. When HFT is making all it's trades, all is well. When it pulls the plug, or only trades one way then bad things can happen.

A HFT trader gets to act like a market maker (like an exchange), by trading across the spread as explained in the article. This increase in competition has lead to a reduction in spreads (yippee!) without the requirement for the HFTs to trade in adverse conditions (boo!). The ability to withdraw liquidity from a market without any responsibility for being a market maker is not a good thing.

I presume the point about front running is that is hair close to insider trading (which is also hard to pin down exactly) which is A Crime. Stuffing order books, momentum ignition and stop hunting are unethical, but are impractical to stop with legislation, maybe with anti-dumping or anti-competition laws. But they do allow HFTs a great deal of not-outright-illegal ways to tamper with prices. Sometimes just the combination of speed, volume and lack of oversight means that laws are being broken, if only because those laws assumed a person at some point was involved. Events like the full flash crashes to the ongoing micro crashes (or deliberate dumps) show the issues, and each time things get a bit more fixed.

The suggestions I've seen for "fixing" it where: introduce high cancellation fees on orders or longer minimum offer times; requiring anyone with over a certain threshold of trading volume to have to act as a market maker (or a supplementary liquidity provider I believe it is termed); resolving transactions at regular intervals rather than in a continuous fashion (I've seen this suggested for values from 100ms to five minutes); and various forms of circuit breakers suspending trading if price moves too rapidly.

Of course, the idea that even if the various technical toys are taken away that the financial mafioso will suddenly not find more perfectly legal ways of fleecing all the other players is laughable. It isn't even a conspiracy (that would be hard to pull off) just a group of smart people who are given rules by a group of less smart people, and then seek to make the best individual profit within the rules given. HFT exists in part because of the legal requirements to give "the best" price (best value rather than fastest to close), which means getting some amount of the order book from each exchange, so everyone is all about getting the quotes around as fast as possible.

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Homeopathic remedies contaminated with REAL medicine get recalled

MonkeyCee
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Protected title

In the Netherlands (and Germany too I believe) there's a lot less fuss about this. Because there are plenty of natural health shops and woo sellers, but homeopath is a protected title. It is legally a medical specialty, so you can't call yourself a surgeon, a cardiologist or a homeopath without actually possessing a MD.

Now I'm not a fan of woo, or legitimising quackery. My dad's a GP, and as far as I'm aware most of the time you get better through a combination of rest, drinking and eating. A small amount of the time it will require an intervention. So visiting a homeopath who will be able to refer you if something does require further testing, and has had a proper education is quite valuable.

It's also a good use of those with a MD who aren't up to practise. Not intended as a criticism, a MD is a very intellectually challenging qualification, the medical profession attracts those who want to heal and help, but you can't really test how well someone copes with losing patients until they do. So some will not be good because they become too detached, and some will break because they can't detach enough. So having a place for doctors who generally like having patients who are not really sick is a good idea, especially as on the odd times when they are genuinely ill then they can actually spot it.

I would also trust far more to the ethics of a MD than an evangelist for homeopathic remedies.

The other thing that annoys me about defenders of homeopathy is when you bring up the money, they defend it by pointing out the pharma industry profits. Yet big pharma can still manage to get me medications for most things at the cost of 1-3 cents a pill for generic paracetamol and antihistamines. Maybe 10-20 cents a pill for vitamins and minerals, gets cheaper each year, Yet homeopathic sugar pills go up in cost each year.

Worst scam for it I heard was my old landlady in the UK. After spending nearly three thousand quid on treatments over six months, her homeopath "discovered" that her tenant was also getting homeopathic treatments, and so convinced my landlady that these where interfering with her treatment. Thus all the medications had to be repurchased, and the tenant had to transfer the to homeopath to "synchronise" the treatments. Glad to see my rent money was going to a noble cause.

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Imprisoned Norwegian mass murderer says PlayStation 2 is 'KILLING HIM'

MonkeyCee
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The Boston solution. Shot in the back of the head after "attacking" the security.

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LogMeIn: We're stopping our free offering from now

MonkeyCee
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I thought the whole point of "free" software, was when you get to the point of it's actually important to doing a particular function, then pay for the full version. First time I used Teamviewer to do something I got paid for doing, I upgraded to the full version. I borrowed a copy of Spinrite, saved a drive, so I forked over for my own copy.

I tend to think of free software as trial versions.

Open source is different, but I still support paying the people who make me useful things a buck or two.

The risk with not paying/being prepared to pay for a product is unless it serves someone else a purpose, it will one day either go completely (google reader) or become a pay for product. If it is then not worth paying for, then perhaps it's worth researching a product that will stick around.

I use plenty of "free" Google products, and a few paid for ones. I am under no illusions, based on the ads I get served, that my "free" products are mainly extended market surveys to better flog my eyeball views. But that's fine, fair trade I say.

I even prefer the free newspapers to the paid for ones. Same pile of bias and guff, both bring the windows up in a lovely shine :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Hmmm

They'll be using Teamviewer? Or Remote Desktop?

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Want Google to erase your data? Just wait for it to kill off one of its apps

MonkeyCee
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Already happened

I have a friend who is a military historian and there are already honking great gaps in the documents due to changing technology. He reckons he knows far more about the actual workings of say the US civil war armies, as there are large amounts of records that are still readable (orders, inventories etc) as they are on paper. However US records from the late 60's and 70's are stored in electronic forms, on magnetic tape, and either have been corrupted, the reading tech doesn't work, or the documentation for the formatting is no more.

Plus paper is magic in legal areas :)

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How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks 'at speed of light': Spy tech catalog leaks

MonkeyCee
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Motivating assets

From my in depth knowledge gleaned from Le Carre, I thought that assets are motivated by a variety of causes, idealistic or financial being the "best" in terms of keeping control. Honey traps are pretty darn tooting too.

So whilst those who have strong feelings towards the homeland/against the enemy might be great, often those who need the cash are even better. Even going as far as to get those useful persons into debt in order to make them more malleable to a bribe.

Like in Blackadder goes Forth, turns out the chap called Fritz with the strong German accent is in fact not a German but a British spy, whilst the German spy speaks perfect English. So the Chinese-American with Chinese grandparents might get more scrutiny than the 10th generation Irish-American.

As the Middle Kingdom has been playing this game for longer than pretty much all the nations it is facing, I would also suspect that it could manage to smokescreen it's spying through, I don't know, a corporate espionage front? You might not be willing to spy for the Chinese, but for a competitor? Damn spies, being all tricksy and stuff.

I thought the age old issue of espionage was you never quite know exactly who is working for whom, or where your stuff might end up. Hence the plethora of double, triple agents, and the preference for turning an enemy asset into a false feed rather than removing the asset.

LOLs at the AC on this. Because the spooks totally cannot get through the reg's awesome securitah!

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Gay hero super-boffin Turing 'may have been murdered by MI5'

MonkeyCee
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Re: Delusional...

My understanding is that the secret service tries to save the taxpayer money buy recruiting it's hired killers, uh, I mean contractors, from a pool of already trained and vetted killers known as the armed forces. Who are also pretty good about doing bad things in service of the greater good and keeping quiet about them.

Certainly it is what appears to have happened in colonial actions and Ireland. I mean, there would be no way british soldiers would be performing drive by shootings on civilians in the midst of the troubles.

Personally I'd put Turing's death down to accidental poisoning. There are plenty more convenient suicides and accidental deaths that have the fingerprints of the security services on them. Wrists cut with a blunt knife, hung from a print-less rope without a means to reach the elevation, glass with prints, empty bottle of booze wiped clean, being found zipped inside a bag etc. I have heard it suggested that a hit and run, being run off the road or a straight up collision with something more massive would be a suitable way to assassinate someone without it being investigated as a murder.

I suppose the security services could always "contract" out to a third party by passing on information. Lots of political assassinations (I'll put journos in that group too) again are very convenient to the current political structures but can be blamed on criminal groups or corruption.

I live in the Netherlands currently. Just over 10 years ago the leader of a political party who was actually seen to be making changes in the political landscape was shot and killed in the run up to an election.

No point being AC. The spooks already know who I am :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: @Don Jefe

I do see your point about how a cultural identity can be "mainstreamed" like the various attempts to sell the gay lifestyle (metrosexual lolz), assorted black and latino culture etc. And while for some in those groups, the acceptance isn't what they where after, what they want is to be recognised for their special identity, in fact most people in those groups would really like to just be accepted into society as a whole.

As you write articulate and often thoughtful posts, I'd like to pick apart a couple of your points. As a (presumably) white person, globally you are a minority. Certainly if you have a net worth of 25k or more, than you're in the richest 20% of the world. However, not to be too much of a prat about this, I assume you're talking from a perspective of the UK, where being white, straight, mono-lingual english speaker, and non-practising CoE would put you in the rough majority. Pretty much any of those things not being the case, you'd be in a technical minority. So quite a lot of people are in minorities, but don't get much stick, because they 'fit in" with the majority. Religious tolerance has also been a cornerstone of modern societies due to the great amount of persecution and wars that have been , and are currently being waged with religious justification. I imagine because it's very hard to argue with "God told me to murder the bastards" which leads to prolonged hating on each side.

The other point was on the news focusing on someones skin color means there are less "must promote black people" stories, but you would have to admit that it still comes up a great deal. Perhaps a bit between the lines, or in the decision to use say a particular athlete to promote team GB because they "tick the boxes" (ie are black and female). In the US it still is very much an issue, perhaps to to whitey becoming a minority, or the greater amounts of mixed race children. Obama was the first "black" president, despite the fact that apart from his father's genes, his cultural upbringing was pretty much upper-middle class. If a major UK political party selected an indian, black or asian as it's leader, you could measure the columns written on it in meters. Hell, even a female leader is a rarity. So I find it hard to believe that there is real equality, except perhaps under the law. It's like saying there is gender equality, just only applied to those under 40 (well, not quite, but it's closer) because despite law changes, there is still a strong cultural attachment to certain roles.

On a slight side track, it should be noted that gender equality is pretty bad for younger blokes (on average). I've joked about seahorse workforces where you get 90% male over 45 and 90% female under 35, caused by a combination of hiring practises (got to balance those numbers, can't arbitrarily fire half the staff 'cos they are blokes, thus strong emphasis on hiring ladies) and the fact that women are usually better employees than males. Heh, that will get me some stick, so perhaps if I phrase it as women in general are more open to criticism of their work, better at defusing social tensions, more able to admit mistakes or seek assistance, better able to compromise, change jobs less, have less of a need to assert their ego at work, all of which make them more desirable as employees. Oh, and are more likely to undervalue their own skills. Of course this is a massive generalisation, there will be tons of men who are like this, and tons of women who aren't. But much like saying on average women are more agile and men are stronger, there will obviously exist women that are stronger than most men.

Back to the main topic, another key issue about minorities is how easy they are identified. Because in some ways that is the only way you can actually test the bias. If you have a different skin tone or gender than the "norm" then it's pretty easy to notice. If you're gay or follow a religion without strong outward identification (skull cap and curly locks, turban, big arse beard, or just it being the first thing you say to someone) then you get to see the change in reaction as you get mentally moved from the majority to the particular minority. You do get a bit of the race/gender thing these days, especially in tech. I have a friend who is a very good coder, who has had several roles where she pretty much had the job sealed (based on her exsting work, references and email) but when she turned up to interview the sudden change because she "might not be a good fit" in the 100% company. Funniest was when they had actually sent her a formal job offer, and had to work out how to retract it without admitting their sexism. Turns out Regan is suitable a name for either gender, but sexist blokes assume that only men code.

There is some interesting research on how people react differently to the same piece of work depending on the perception of whether the author was male or female. The two studies I recall are both done in academia, by groups who strongly identify as gender equalists and firmly in the PC camp. Turns out they are still pretty sexist. One was on how a paper was graded, with a male name earning about half a grade more, the other was on career advice based on a CV. What I personally found more interesting than the research itself (which pretty much confirms social norms) was that the academics who where used in the study rejected that they where sexist, despite the results. The CV advice was especially telling, since a number pretty much said "of course my advice is different to a male or a female" whilst denying that it was evidence of sexism.

Anyways, went way off topic there. In general I would say that unless you spend some time as being identified as a minority, then telling them that they "pretty much" have equality doesn't really cut it. You can experiment if you like, just tell a few workmates that you used to date men*. Then see who refuses to eat at the same table as you. Or when reporting an assault to the police, mention you where holding hands with another bloke.

No offense intended. It's a touchy subject after all.

* unless you actually want to deal with the backlash, stick with this as a thought experiment. I got written up by HR (and subsequently left the company) after I had a go at a colleague after he suggested that "hanging was too good for fags". Now I stick with the loud "Ha ha, murdering people different to us is funny. Give us another, I hear you've got a good line in rape and nigger jokes"

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Beastie Boys parody sueball tennis ends after toy firm yanks Girls

MonkeyCee
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Re: Arrogance, they haz it

"So GoldieBlox blatantly rips off the song, then has the balls to say they felt they had no choice but to defend themselves by counter-suing the creators?"

Preemptively counter suing too. So since no-one had actually sued anyone at this point, Goldiebox sued the Beastie Boys after the Beastie Boys reps contacted them to say "you used our song"

Step 1: Create campaign stealing an artists song. Ensure you choose an artist who won't sue you for damages

Step 2: Initiate court case against artist

Step 3: After public outcry, drop suit, play nice.

Step 4: Success. Campaign has more hits than ever, video gets watched by millions, and many articles are written.

So without paying the Beastie Boys anything, Goldiebox gets to use their song, and their brand, to push their product.

Pink construction sets telling girls they can be princess engineers is still sexist crap.

Are we really still having to persuade ladies to be engineers etc? All the STEM courses I see (plus business, law, medicine and accounting) have over 50% female by the end of first year. I joke that a number of engineering workplaces seem to have "seahorse" staff, where it's 80% male for the 45+ and 80% female for the 25-35 group.

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'MacGyver' geezer makes 'SHOTGUN, GRENADE' from airport shop tat

MonkeyCee
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Re: Theater, indeed

This is exactly my point about AQ attacks and 9/11. If a group is so well organised they can pull off simultaneous multiple hijackings, but are unable to attempt "simple" terror attacks in the following years, then what changed?

Surely a Mumbai style attack (maybe no grenades) is possible in the US, being as weapons aren't that hard to come by. But that wouldn't have had enough impact to justify on going war and a massive expansion of the security state.

It's almost like that was the goal, waiting for an excuse...

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The ZOD FILES: Climate documents from 2007 'must stay secret'

MonkeyCee
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Re: Will CAGW alarmers step up?

While undoubtedly climate change is happening, if we are pushing it faster then the problem is can we ever stop? I'm all for a bunch of the technologies pushed by the greenies, but on their own merits. So not windmills, hydro and more efficient plants. Even if they're coal burning.

In fact, if we're REALLY keen on this stuff, then we'd all be paying massively more for our stuff, so that all countries can scrap inefficient plant. Oh, and pay for the improvement of the poorest couple of billion. Call it reparations. No? Not enough you say. You'd be right. There is only one "solution" to AGW, and it's a very final one. It's on a giant sundial in Georgia :)

We'll just adapt. Probably start living in burrows, purifying our air and water.

Oh, and the climate busybodies are never going away. Nature of institutions, whatever they get set up for, their main purpose is to continue existing. Anyone who has a nice tax free gig (I work for the world! No tax for me! See also UN, IMF etc) with no actual results needed is hardy going to walk away. Get some promises, get sad when they get ignored when job votes trump green votes. Continue cashing the cheques.

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Google SO CAN scan ALL BOOKS onto its sites - judge

MonkeyCee
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Re: 30M Down, 100M to Go @jnffarrell1

How would that work? The coffee and the spliff go together before posting on the reg.

It's the half pint of whiskey and half a gram of meth before posting on the daily mail that you've got to do in the right order :)

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Dark HEAVY METAL star fires up jets, vomits hot ROCK into space

MonkeyCee
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Re: Lots of it about

Gravity.

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'F-CK YOU GOOGLE+' ukelele missy scoops BIG WAD of $$ - for Google

MonkeyCee
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Re: yea google F*ck you

Logic fail by Not that Andrew.

You have been able to use your gmail account to sign into youtube.

Now you are required to.

These are different things.

If you are having trouble with this, imagine you have been able to use your credit card to buy food at the supermarket. Now you are required to, no credit card, no service. Not to help consumers, but because it makes gathering marketable data on you easier.

Of course, expecting Google to do anything other than get more marketing info to sell is a bit like being shocked that BP want oil out of the ground and not left in it. There is no such thing as a free lunch. A free product means the consumer is the product.

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Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

MonkeyCee
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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

Or you bring a bag that you re-use. If you're walking your food any distance a pack is nice.

Works just fine in the Netherlands. 25c gets you a decent quality plastic bag at the supermarket, or there are boxes for free, or they sell re-usable shopping bags. Retail stores just pass it on in general prices, much like gift wrap. It's not like you buy a laptop, and they stick 25c on the bill for the bag.

It is of course a very Tory tax policy. Lots of small bits from the many, rather than collecting from the wealthy few. It's why even the mere suggestion of a wealth tax caused them to both deride it, and then flip the same policies back onto the Labour/Lib voters. Doing too well of the public teat? That's fine if you live in a Mayfair mansion, but you're out of luck if you live in Brumly and your kid is serving in the 'stan. That spare bedroom is paid for by the taxpayer don'cha knowit. We're a bit short of cash after spending unimaginable fortunes bailing out the gamblers when they lost. When they won they bought mansions in Mayfair. Or careers in politics.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

"I wouldn't be so annoyed about laws checking tennants if there were also laws forcing the 'landlord' to prove who they are and that they own the property or room they are renting out. I've been burnt by that particular fraud myself."

There are surely? I know at least where I live now that for a couple of euro I can get the details of who owns a property. I did find in the UK that as soon as anyone realised I might know anything about rental law, the place would become unavailable. Even asking which deposit insurance scheme they use ("that's not any of your business") has caused me to be asked to leave.

The whole "fake rental" scam seems to work because normal renting is so scammy. Hand me you rent, your rent in advance, and your contribution to my pension fund, I mean deposit. Then I'll only see you again if someones being turfed out or the rents not shown up. It's one of the reasons to pay by credit card or cheque, if they insist on cash walk away.

Just signed the paperwork on my first house. Cannot wait to be done with landlords.

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OH what a LOVELY, well-rendered WAR: Yes, it’s 'Call of Duty: Ghosts'

MonkeyCee
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Re: "From a physics POV..."

Is there a difference between physics and chemistry? I've only poke around at undergraduate level, but it seems that it's all the same stuff, just differing focus. Physics is modelling all the parts, chemistry is focused on the low to mid level complex systems resulting from this (and can obviously be observed prior to "discovery" and often are the methods of discovery), and biology is the study of the mid to high complex systems. All physical scientists. Then we get to medicine, the first social science :)

Then again, I know people who still feel it was an insult to give Rutherford the Nobel for Chemistry :D

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10 Types of IT managers from hell

MonkeyCee
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Re: Actually, there are a couple more types

I thought the way to deal with the expert is to let them be paid (and have rank) of management, but just delegate all actual management tasks that are not directly in their expert role to someone else. Call them a compliance manager or something.

If they are mission critical, just move them off the org chart, and add them as an asset ;)

Tokens are morons shurly :)

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Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

MonkeyCee
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Didn't you just load like 75 quids worth of ink into it? Any reason you didn't get a colour laser for 500 quid instead?

Only inkjet I ever saw the use of where plotters. Everyone else needs a laser.

Unless you're in publishing. In which case, you should be intimately aware of what your printer needs in order to get you stuff to come out how you want.

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Do dishwashers really blunt knives

MonkeyCee
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Re: Ceramic

Never saw the point in Global. Looks cool, average steel quality, no bolster. Handle is OK in normal position, but lack of bolster means (for me anyway) when holding it with the blade in a pinch, the side of my middle finger is against a straight and rather uncomfortable edge. Hardly sold any either, but that's more just bad price point. You could get a forged one for the same price, or comparable one for a quarter of the price.

A steel is a steel. Cheap works just fine :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: corrosion

Since I managed to miss it in my spiel above, you are absolutely correct. High carbon needs more frequent sharpening, but can hold a finer (thus sharper) edge. It's softer, and will also take more abuse before snapping or cracking.

Even if you decide they are too unhygenic for the kitchen, they work great as hunting or butchering knives :)

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MonkeyCee
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It is indeed much more about what you do with it, rather than quality of your tools.

I worked in a catering shop that did a large range of knives (House of Knives in Petone) when I was at school, so got to see the people buying the full sets of forged Wusthof for looks, as well as lots of actual cooking professionals. Best way to sell someone was to let them chop up some carrots with a good example of each knife type, and let them decide. We also supplied the local catering college, and made sure they got good knives rather than the shit they get palmed off on some others.

Also lots of demonstrating steels and sharpening. Steels is nice and easy, you are drawing the blade across the lines in a smooth cutting motion at a 20 degree angle (roughly a quarter of a right angle) with firm but not hard pressure. The "safe" way is to put a steel vertical point down on a chopping board, and cut down it, so you should not cut anyone. A steel "realigns" the fine edge of the blade, pushing it back into alignment. Sharpening is cutting a new fine edge. You can steel your blade on pretty much any hardish metal, I've used the spine of other knives before in a pinch (and steel worktops, palette knives, pan lids etc)

As far as sharp knives go, proper butchers are the fussiest. It's the literal profit margin. But short of the cleaver and cooks knife, pretty much all butchery knives are flexible. Hence tend to be steeled often and sharpened more than any other knife.

For kitchen work, either a light, narrow high grade stamped steel blade or a more weighty forged blade will suit, depending on your budget and feel. Handle comfort is important. I've had professionals swear by each, the lighter blades need to be steeled or sharpened more often, but are less tiring and cheaper. If you need a single large cooks knife (over 10") then you mainly need the length as leverage, so a $30 Victorinex is as useful as a $400 for splitting pumpkins.

My biggest problem with Wusthof is they started making rolled steel stuff that looks like their forged stuff. I've spent a few thousand hours in kitchens using a Wusthof as my workhorse, with Victorinex for my paring knives.

My last work knife was a 9" Classic that was about 5mm thinner from repeated sharpening, and so the bottom inch or two worked as a cleaver (with a wider edge ground on it), and the rest as a normal knife. I won it in a poker game, and traded it away for bag of weed. That was a proper cooks knife :)

As for not being able to tell the difference, I've always been the one with all the kitchen kit in flats, and after the "knife talk" (I have plenty of normal ones, so the few that I'll get mad if you break I'll highlight, and the others can be wrecked) the flatties will use them. And have strong preferences for the Wusthofs. And when flats have moved on, and we run into each other, they always mention that they missed having sharp knives.

Going back to selling them to people, if they are both sharp, you'll notice the difference with a forged knife over a non forged one. Not one that by itself justifies paying 5-10x the price, but there is. If you can't tell the difference, then either they are blunt, or they are rolled steel Wusthofs. In which case, then there isn't any real difference, apart from the handles.

Dishwashers blunt knives when they get knocked against other things, as well as all the other noted parts. In general, knives need sharpening after a bit of use. At home, the wear on the edge from the dishwasher (assuming it gets washed after making dinner for 4) is probably as much as it gets from cutting things. All in all, probably going to have sweet FA effect on the blade. Handles, maybe a different story. Wood sucks for dishwashers, but is less problematic if ignited.

In terms of bang for your buck, a rolled stainless steel cooks knife (german, french or chinese) with a handle that fits your paw, ditto for a paring knife, is perfect. For a knife that will outlast you, forged ftw. I swore I'd never get a forged paring knife (frippery! It'll get thrown away with the peelings!) but got given one as a gift and use it for everything.

As for high carbon knives, I can't think of anyone who sells them for cookware, other than handmade stuff. You want harder, more brittle for cutting. And if you wanted flexibility, you just make a massively cheaper rolled steel. They have a use (easy to resharpen, hard to snap), but they rust like buggery.

TL, DR: Get Wusthof Classic or Grand Prix forged knives if you can afford it. All good rolled steel knifes are basically equal. Handles are important. Dishwasher safe knives are fine in dishwasher.

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