* Posts by Doctor Syntax

15024 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Tech to solve post-Brexit customs woes doesn't exist yet, peers say

Doctor Syntax
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Re: Majority of trade already outside of EU

"Australia has indicated it will want similar concessions"

They'll probably be acceptable to Brexiteers, at least until it's found they're supporting the wrong cricket team.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Majority of trade already outside of EU

"The Mini factory is going to shut as soon as Brexit happens - BMW own that."

And JLR are going on s 3-day week until Christmas (at least).

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Majority of trade already outside of EU

"Falls at the first hurdle. Better stick to fox-hunting."

Fox hunting not advisable for those who fall at first hurdle.

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Doctor Syntax
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and will take at least ten years before it is abandoned as not working because they noticed we'd already sacrificed the pound as part of the price to rejoin the EU and salvage some of our economy.

FTFY

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: "there's a transition period after March"

"EU economic projections from a couple of years ago (agreed by the World Bank) had UK poplulation hitting 85 million by 2040."

Economic projections from anywhere need to be treated with rather more scepticism than Gartner projections. Every budget I can remember includes the Chancellor making projections which are increasingly rosy in the future. The next year is hardly better than the current year and the current year is usually a bit disappointing. Even when one of those halcyon years forecast for the future becomes a bit disappointing once it's the current year.

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30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

Doctor Syntax
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Re: All these years on

Pity those who never even seem able to get to even 2nd normal.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: "you were seriously stuck up a gum tree"

"And even then, there was always UUCP via dial-up. All you had to do was look around, the options were there."

Where you were, maybe. Where I was in '88 the only thing UUCP did was get you through to the other Zilog (via a parallel cable IIRC).

And, yes, vi is still the direct connection between brain and file.

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Doctor Syntax
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"Whenever I declared a LongMixedCaseIdentifier, I instantly forgot its precise spelling."

Right now the younglings are thinking "Why couldn't she just copy and paste it?".

Thanks, Verity, of 30 years of IT writing that ranks with the sadly-missed Stan Kelly-Bootle.

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What's that smell? Oh, it's Newegg cracked open by card slurpers

Doctor Syntax
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"Impossible to do when you have tens of thousands of NPM dependencies that each talk back to some server."

You've just outlined the prerequisite for what A/C said.

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No, the Mirai botnet masters aren't going to jail. Why? 'Cos they help Feds nab cyber-crims

Doctor Syntax
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Re: This bit makes me queasy...

"Is there any part of American society that does not have a $ value?"

Probably the victims. How far does $127,000 go in terms of damage caused? At the very least that crypto-currency should be liquidated and the proceeds added to the compensation.

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Oi, you. Equifax. Cough up half a million quid for fumbling 15 million Brits' personal info to hackers

Doctor Syntax
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"Makes me wonder why this country is in trillion pound debt"

Gross financial mismanagement not directly connected to

"and we are handing out poxy finds to corps"

Read the article and note that this was the maximum fine under the legislation at the time. Would you be happy if a regulator could just make up penalties at whim? (Think carefully what you ask for before you answer: "Mr Wibble, you were found parking on a double yellow line for the second time. You clearly have disregard for the law. Your car will be taken and crushed and you will serve 3 years in prison.")

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Doctor Syntax
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"Ok, I might be being a bit thick here, but why is this shit being held on servers connected to the internet anyway?"

Because that would mean segmenting their networks and it might be a bit inconvenient. Convenient trumps security and will continue to do so until it gets too expensive.

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Doctor Syntax
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"I agree, but the fine is as large as it could be under the old rules."

As the article says but maybe some don't read beyond the headlines.

What businesses should be taking note of it that the regulator has no qualms about setting maximum fines for the really big offences. A business such as Equifax might be able to shrug off £500k but 4% of global turnover will get their attention and this is a signal that it's not a remote probability in such circumstances. It really is worth while spending money on security.

Presumably other EU regulators will be looking at whether any of their citizens were affected and issuing their own fines. And if the US continues to be tardy getting round to issuing penalties then that should be taken into account when the Security Figleaf gets looked at again.

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Apple hands €14.3bn in back taxes to reluctant Ireland

Doctor Syntax
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Re: All people on the Island

"That's why people born in the North can decide to represent the Irish Republic."

It's also why they can claim an Irish passport & retain EU citizenship which is very useful in these troubled times. My children have done just that.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Rules are not equal

"The correct answer is to stop deferrment, but for the US to lower corporation tax and/or dividend tax"

The other alternative would be for multinationals to move their corporate HQ out of the US entirely with just a US subsidiary for sales there. A subsidiary which would, of course, make vary little profit. There might not be enough incentive in that alone but if the US govt. were to insist US corporations were to put in back doors in encryption then it might provide the extra incentive.

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Doctor Syntax
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"I suspect that they were thinking that low taxes were their only tool to attract investment that they otherwise wouldn't see at all, it creates a few short term construction jobs, and after that it is just a tax resident business."

There's more to it than that. It lowers corporation tax across the board which makes all the other companies, including those with a higher proportion of employees to revenue, more competitive internationally. Essentially the multinationals are subsidising the national companies. You can only do this if your real economy is relatively small so only a few countries can play in the multinational taxation market which pisses off those who can't.

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Doctor Syntax
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"There's got to be an angle here surely."

Yes. It's been explained above. Several times. It's also been explained after previous articles. Several times.

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Doctor Syntax
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"How deep in Apple's pockets must these politicians be to be refusing this tax being forced onto their country and the benefits it could have for their constituents?"

Yet again we have to explain.

Apple locates in one country.

The country that they land in gets corporation tax of x% of How Much!!!.

x% of How Much!!! is a tidy sum.

What's more it's a tidy sum more than zilch which is what all the other countries get.

It's a competitive bidding situation. Ireland put in the lowest bid and got the gig. That benefits their constituents because it brings that tidy sum into the nation's coffers. It also brings some employment although not in proportion to the amount of money that's flowing through the company. For extras it also means that the corporation tax for all other Irish companies is lower as well and that puts those companies, including those that employ proportionate numbers of people, at a competitive advantage.

In short it's a big win for the constituents, so much so that ever since Ireland won the rest of the EU governments who missed out have hated Ireland for it. That's why things have ended up this way.

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Holy macaroni! After months of number-crunching, behold the strongest material in the universe: Nuclear pasta

Doctor Syntax
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Given that they consist of nothing but neutrons & protons in a single structure I'd have thought they counted as a single atomic nucleus. Just add electrons for a complete atom.

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Man cuffed for testing fruit with bum cheek pre-purchase

Doctor Syntax
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"Brings new meaning to try before you buy"

Makes you wonder what he was trying them for.

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Mickey D serves up stump speech to settle sceptical investors

Doctor Syntax
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"the company still has a relatively low proportion of subscription revenue."

What is it that makes people think that making stuff and just selling it is a problem? Yes, I know as a CFO you'd like people to pay you money in perpetuity but from a punter's perspective would you prefer a one-off cost or a millstone?

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Who ate all the PII? Not the blockchain, thankfully

Doctor Syntax
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These attestations: are they something like third party signatures on a PGP key? Only this time with blockchain, of course. Everything old is new again.

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London tipped to lead European data market. Yes, despite Brexit!

Doctor Syntax
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"it's probably worth taking this report under advisement."

The advisement will be found under a large pinch of salt. I take it Equinix has an interest in this prediction coming true.

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Oz government rushes its anti-crypto legislation into parliament

Doctor Syntax
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Re: They know not what they do

"I seriously believe that they know exactly what they are doing."

It depends on who "they" is. Intelligence agencies do but do you seriously think the average politician knows the implications?

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Doctor Syntax
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"We have to take away people's rights before they have time to vote us out for trying to take away their rights!"

You can always vote them out for having done it.

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Microsoft: Like the Borg, we want to absorb all the world's biz computers

Doctor Syntax
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"The admin can quickly get a job somewhere else"

Preferably running his own business and abstracting copious quantities of beans from the counter every time something goes wrong.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: No.

"They already have all the keys, with updates that can't be inspected or stopped."

Not here, they haven't.

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Doctor Syntax
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"I really hope that's tongue in cheek. F'rinstance I make my living now from my own bespoke applications none of which remotely resemble anything that MS offers."

You don't have to read many of my posts to rest assured about that. Writing and administering bespoke stuff was also the way I made my living for a large part of my working life. Even when the main application was a bought-in ERP system there was always something bespoke to do round the edges.

"I wish now that at the time, when the whole process started, that Linux were as it is today."

There was SCO inter alia. Linux didn't appear out of thin air.

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Doctor Syntax
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"What happens if one has legacy code which won't run on the latest version of Windows due to incompatibility issues with the compatibility mode?"

It's one's own fault for using something Microsoft didn't provide. Just ditch it and use something from them that more or less fits and adapt to it.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Testing

"How would this fit into the broader change management plans that companies have for their important stuff ?"

Management fit their important stuff around what Microsoft plans. Problem solved.

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US State Department confirms: Unclassified staff email boxes hacked

Doctor Syntax
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"no classified data had been accessed – those documents are transmitted through a separate email system."

Always? Really? Sure?

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The Reg chats with Voyager Imaging Team member Dr Garry E Hunt

Doctor Syntax
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Re: El Reg delivers.

"You know the drill."

Is that the one that made the hole in the Soyuz?

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Doctor Syntax
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"Lucky we didn't have politicians at our neanderthal stage"

Neanderthals were a different species with only a small genetic contribution to modern humans via interbreeding. Otherwise they're extinct. Perhaps they did have politicians.

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Doctor Syntax
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"We had already realised that you could do Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus-Neptune, and we knew that if you filled up to brimming point the spacecraft with all the fuel it ever needed, it'd be OK. We did. But we never told anybody."

Fait accompli. Always the best way.

Fascinating article. Thanks.

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Now here's an idea: Break up Amazon to get more shareholder cash

Doctor Syntax
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As a customer on the retail side it's becoming clear that they're losing the plot in terms of getting the goods to the customer. I wonder if the whole business has got too big and diverse to manage properly. Splitting it up might help.

What wouldn't help would be someone taking advantage of the fact that it's largely debt free, borrowing heavily to buy the bits, loading it up with debt from that and then gradually running it into the ground before calling in the administrators. Not that that sort of thing ever happens, of course.

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No wonder Oracle exec Kurian legged it – sky darkens as cloudy tech does not make it rain

Doctor Syntax
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Re: The world has changed and Oracle hasn't.

"Ask any business beancounter and they will tell you IT has always been a dirty blackhole"

That's the problem with a lot of businesses - their beancounters who treat one of the most significant engines of the business as a cost to be minimised.

I'm reminded of my days back in forensic science. Some of the detectives who brought in cases would share a lot of detail with us because they felt they got better results that way. Others didn't think it worth while because they didn't expect to get anything useful. Would it surprise anyone that both groups usually got the results they expected?

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NHS smacks down hundreds of staffers for dodgy use of social media, messaging apps

Doctor Syntax
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Re: … FFS

So 'I'm really going to annoy myself by, like, imagining the article being read, like, by someone frying their vowels, like, a lot.

FTFY

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Doctor Syntax
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So whether doctor, nurse or "other", you can be a briliant manager, or you can be an appalling one.

One of the underlying causes of good whatevers becoming appalling managers is that only management is considered worth the higher pay grades. The result is that competent whatevers get promoted to management irrespective of whether they have any talent for it. As a result the work is given to those too inexperienced or incompetent to be promoted to management and managed by those who weren't appointed for managerial ability but could have done the work well.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: deeper than that

"so the practice is nothing new, even if there's more ways of sharing."

There was and no doubt still is a certain amount of sharing such info in the formal medical literature - or at least in the medico-legal literature where the results ended up in the coroner's court.

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Microsoft reveals train of mistakes that killed Azure in the South Central US 'incident'

Doctor Syntax
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Re: RE: asynchronous nature of geo-replication could have led to data loss

"Databases are particularly vulnerable to this kind of data loss. In the case of an on-premises outage a skillful systems person could stitch things back together again, having direct access to the actual underlying files: Not easy, but arguably doable."

Some customers might have wanted to prioritise fail over to integrity (management, of course, would want both but pay for neither, that's a different argument). On-premises gives them the power to decide.

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UK.gov isn't ready for no-deal Brexit – and 'secrecy' means businesses won't be either

Doctor Syntax
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Re: Y2K all over again

"I am totally opposed to leaving the EU for several reasons, but that doesn't mean that I think that leaving will cause immediate disaster."

More like a slow motion car crash.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Hmm

Which in hindforesight would have been the best choice

FTFY

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Hmm

"With a competent government, this could all have worked out fine."

Sir, I admire your optimism on both counts.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: @codejunky

"Because I don't otherwise see how you can possibly blame remainers for the EU's refusal to negotiate!"

I've said several times he'd eventually come out with the "No true Scotsman" excuse. What I didn't realise was he'd push it to such limits.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Hmm

"Why instead are the brexiters forced out"

They weren't. They had a chance to get their shit together when Cameron resigned. Instead they stabbed each other in the back and left it to May. Leave had their chance. They blew it. But if your version of Leave was "Out! Right now!" then this report tells you what the consequences would have been.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Hmm

"Funny how Cameron didnt negotiate anything (and would be staying to negotiate) about leaving"

Why did you expect him to? It wasn't what he wanted. It wasn't what he campaigned for. It wasn't something he believed in. Why should he be expected to implement something to which he was opposed?

"Even though we are the ones not getting what was voted for."

Just what did you vote for?

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: No shit, Sherlock?

"After all, they were only following orders."

More likely trying to guess what the orders might be when they finally get them, probably about the end of the second week of March.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: No shit, Sherlock?

"Why do we need a report on this? We can all see it for ourselves, whichever way we voted."

I doubt it. There are plenty in denial. They believe it's the best of all options. If they get their way they'll blame the consequences of the Remainers.

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Doctor Syntax
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"For us that means paychecks!"

For many that means lack of paycheques.

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Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Doctor Syntax
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Re: He's Not Sorry...

"Is your defense of Linus based on extensive observation of him, or just your angry emotions reacting to his detractors?"

I made the point in an earlier posts that business as usual doesn't make headlines. We thus get a reaction based not on business as usual but from the exceptions.

Having spent a good many years dealing with some members of the human race at the worst I've learned not to judge the general by the worst exceptions.

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