* Posts by Doctor Syntax

7810 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Manufacturers reject ‘no deal’ Brexit approach

Doctor Syntax
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Re: "no deal better than bad deal"

"Of course, if they don't think a good deal is achievable, they could save themselves time and resign now."

Given what they've convinced themselves of already I don't see how this could possibly apply.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Fake news and hyperbole and scaremongering

To which side were you addressing that remark?

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Welcome to Trump.UK

We should make sure that when "tired of expert" people are injured, no experts are available to treat them.

I thought we had.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Welcome to Trump.UK

"like it or not England would likely vote them off and enjoy the savings"

Something we agree on. If we'd had the vote last time round they'd have been gone. But it wouldn't have suited Salmond's ego - too much like being thrown out.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Welcome to Trump.UK

"He gambled the entire country for the sake of party politics and to cement his own position."

Probably a serious mis-statement of his thinking. The right-wing eurosceptics were a menace for decades. He would have expected to win and thus not see it as a gamble. I think it was a ploy to get the eurosceptics back into their box. It didn't work with all the ominous consequences you mention. If it had you'd probably have been praising him for a brilliant out-manoeuvring of the Gove faction and UKIP.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Welcome to Trump.UK

"Scotland will leave the EU, either as a part of the UK or, if independent, on it's own, and will have to apply to join and suffer the time and requirements that takes, including, creating their own currency."

They already have banks that issue their own bank notes (ignoring for the moment that the UK tax payer owns a substantial slice of that).

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Doctor Syntax
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"but we will still be covered by the ECHR."

It would be nice to think that. One thing that's been a preventative factor there is the Good Friday Agreement. Unfortunately that's unravelling before our eyes. And May would clearly like to ditch the ECHR. She probably can't believe her luck.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: It'll be fine

"Again, that's fine, the EU is not a big export partner for the UK and it's not like those exports will cease to exist merely lose volume."

I regularly drive past a specialist shipping packer. Not the sort of place that shoves stuff in standard containers. They deal with the big one-off jobs, the sort you see as wide loads on the motorway (some of those wide load escort vehicles are hanging around from time to time).

No doubt the businesses that use this firm sell to a world-wide market. But at present the EU won't really be an export market for them - it's their home market. And they're going to lose 28/29ths of that. The sad fact is that a lot, maybe a majority of the employees of those specialist firms probably voted for Brexit. Will they wish they hadn't in a few years time?

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: It'll be fine

"You need to re-read Article 50 from something that isn't the Daily Fail or The S*n."

Good luck with trying to get them as far as para 3. There were some showing up here when the court cases were on who clearly hadn't read, or maybe read and not understood, para 1.

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FYI Docs.com users: You may have leaked passwords, personal info – thousands have

Doctor Syntax
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The cloud..

..the gift that keeps giving.

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UK Home Sec: Give us a snoop-around for WhatApp encryption. Don't worry, we won't go into the cloud

Doctor Syntax
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Re: Oh, Oh. Another Home Secretary Gets the GCHQ Power Point Session

"The Human Rights Act is a UK law passed in 1998....Pity the Home Secretary doesn't do some reading before opening her mouth."

Yes, but the current PM has been wanting to repeal that ever since she was Home Sec. She's not going to want a Home Sec going against that. Don't pity Amber Rudd; she was doing exactly what was required of her.

The main thing that was stopping May was being in the EU.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Amber Rudd, a mouthpiece of utter conjecture.

"I'd take the mention of WhatsApp by a 52 year, at best, a statistical rarity."

Do not spoil your arguments by throwing in casual, uninformed and irrelevant ageism.

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Doctor Syntax
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It would help of the political interviewers had some technical nous.

Rudd should have been asked if she was prepared to lead from the front and publish all her credentials for online banking, eBay, Amazon or whatever. As she'd have been bewildered she (and the audience) could have then had it gently explained that this was, in effect, what she was demanding of the rest of the population.

As it is any politician can walk into any radio or TV studio, spout whatever nonsense their department has fed them and walk out unchallenged about any of it.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Halcyon visions of yesteryear

"Masood wasn't on anyone's watch list. He just a small town thug that came completely out of nowhere."

The reports I saw said that he was known from being on the fringes of some previous case but wasn't considered important. If this is the case we have yet another instance of the intelligence services being able to follow up on someone they did know about whilst trying to keep an eye on everyone in the country. Maybe a more focussed approach would be more practical.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Here we go again. The 'Claire Perry Test'

"Not just tech stuff : one has to wonder what this person is doing as home secretary."

Don't you realise that this is the Home Office's main requirement of a Home Sec? They have to be so devoid of any relevant knowledge that they can parrot whatever they're told without showing any signs of cognitive dissonance and remain totally brainwashed even on being promoted to PM.

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UK digital minister Matt Hancock praises 'crucial role' of encryption

Doctor Syntax
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"The pool of political talent available to Theresa May when she had to choose a Home Secretary must have been very small."

Well, given her record as Home Sec she wasn't going to appoint someone like David Davis to the job. She'd want someone to follow in her own footsteps.

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Dishwasher has directory traversal bug

Doctor Syntax
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"The worst case is that it effectively becomes a denial of service on a lab until it's fixed"

Until the malware starts connecting to the lab centrifuges. Or intercepting LAN traffic and reporting back.

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Doctor Syntax
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"By the looks of it, the 8528 is a very high end labatory glassware cleaner and disinfector with many programmes and reporting facilities"

Which means it has even more reason to be properly secured.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: A software bug in a dishwasher?

"use a cast iron ballast instead of concrete."

Ballast of any sort must be more or less unique these days. Just replaced the washing machine and the guys who took the old one away were a bit taken aback by the weight.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Bewildered. (That's grown-up speak for "wtf")

"With the MobileControl function you can keep an eye on your Miele appliance, even when you're not at home - via smart-phone or tablet PC. Not only can you access the programme status, you can also conveniently select and start programmes regardless of location using your mobile terminal device. Simply download the Miele@mobile app and connect the device to Miele@home. When you return home, your Miele appliance has already finished its work. "

It's a pity I'm not in the market for a new dishwasher. I'd have let a salesdroid give that spiel just so I could have asked "Why would I want to?". And then show them my ancient non-Apple, non-Android phone.

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Doctor Syntax
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"It's unclear which libraries Miele used to craft the Web server, which means without a fix from the vendor – for a dishwasher – the best option is to make sure the appliance isn't exposed to the Internet."

No. That's the second best option. The best option is not to buy anything that's given a facility to connect to the internet that it doesn't need. A dishwasher doesn't need a facility to connect to the internet.

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UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

Doctor Syntax
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Hypocrasy.

""As the worker (contractor), would you accept as substitute a suitably qualified worker instead of the worker?" "NO" --->> instant IR35 fail."

Once upon a time the IR as it then was had a boiler-plate contract on their site. It was for companies supplying services to them. Let me emphasis that, it was a contract for services, not a contract of service*. It included a term allowing them, the IR, to name specific individuals of the contractor's staff who could not be substituted without their, the IR's agreement. In other words the IR, when they were the client, were quite cool with the idea of a key man clause. I'm sure I still have a copy somewhere.

*Permies might not understand the significance of this but believe me, it is very important.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Ffs...

"My understanding is that companies won't contract a self-employed person because the rules change in the 1990s meant that two consecutive contracts would be equated with permanent employment, leaving the employer open to claims for employee rights."

My understanding is that it was HMRC's predecessor IR to blame. In the event of a self-employed person defaulting the Ltd Co engaging them became liable. The Ltd Co form of engagement protected the engager against this.

It seems to be an attitude to risk on the engager's part as I discovered a client who also had freelance graphic designers taken on as SE. I could probably have contracted with them on that basis. However I already had my Ltd Co set up so continued with that.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Stop taking the p***

"No, the employer pays it once and the worker pays it once, same as everyone else. It ain't your money cos you're not a limited company."

I sort of take your point. The worker isn't the limited company and this really should be emphasised.

But the likes of the first post fail to make the distinction and ISTM that the previous A/C was replying in terms that they might understand. The amount invoiced isn't the amount that's available to be paid as salary and/or dividends. There is a world of difference between the nature of the payments the engager makes out to a permie and a freelancer's Ltd Co.

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'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court

Doctor Syntax
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Re: W10

"If only you're computer literate, you must know all this."

A lot of people buy computers to do stuff. They're not necessarily computer literate. They paid good money for what they bought. They don't deserve to become victimised.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Uh what?

"...a class action that includes every person in the US who upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and suffered data loss or damage to software or hardware within 30 days of installation"

I can understand if the upgrade procedure somehow caused data loss or 'damage to software' but I haven't heard of Windows 10 either damaging hardware or causing data loss.

It's the sort of thing any lawyer would put in without even having to set the brain in motion for two reasons: firstly it saves having to investigate whether any hardware failures did happen so if someone does turn up with such a corner case they've already got it in there and secondly it cuts Microsoft off at the pass if they try "it was a hardware issue" as a defence.

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Doctor Syntax
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"Where do we join ?"

Small claims court.

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Doctor Syntax
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"I'm just so glad I'm retired."

That's the prime requirement for being expected to support friends and family.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Why not include automatic updates in the class action?

"It genuinely made itself too big to sue into the ground."

No excuse. If for no other reason it would discourage others from using the same tactic.

In any case, if it did get sued into the ground there'd be good money to be made supporting the victims so someone would be ready to buy up the assets at fire sale prices.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Place your bets

"Seriously, when did you last hear of a software company being successfully sued on the grounds that its product failed to perform as advertised?"

The article quoted some examples relating to W10.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: About time

"Nice ignoring of context by the spokesdroid"

The standard journalistic response to these sorts of statement should be "how did you manage to say that and keep a straight face?".

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Bloke whose drone was blasted out of sky by angry dad loses another court battle for compo

Doctor Syntax
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Re: Guns...

@ bombastic bob

Upvoted for Bathsheba reference and absence of superfluous upper case. But pointing lasers into the sky? There are too many idiots doing that already as has been pointed out in these pages

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: What a colostomy bag...

"chainsaw to cut down the pole, a cricket bat to beat the shit out of the camera, & then offer to smash in your skull if you do it again?"

I say, old chap, do the colonials actually have cricket bats to hand?

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I've Been Moved: IBMers in same division slapped with 2nd redundo scheme in 2 months

Doctor Syntax
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Re: Infrastructure

"Cloud based services are so clearly the future"

And as the outages become more frequent their vendors will be able to say they were the future once upon a time. Anybody who can't see that coming needs to read the news and to have been around long enough to realise that IT is a fashion industry.

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Astroboffins stunned by biggest brown dwarf ever seen – just a hop and a skip away (750 ly)

Doctor Syntax
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Re: It's quite a small object

"Dark matter is the luminiferous aether of our age."

Or even Phlogiston.

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Doctor Syntax
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"I assume you mean more than 99.9% hydrogen and helium "

The paper doesn't mention helium.

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Doctor Syntax
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Some other gems

Way back in the days of plain old character terminals (the ones which were efficient for data entry - just use the keyboard and don't fumble with pointing devices) the function and arrow keys sent control strings. These were usually initiated by an ESC and the OS used the delay between that and the next character to work out whether it was just an ESC or a control string initiator. Cue a bit of delay on the network and the OS got it wrong so that the rest of the control string got sent into the program as data. That was rapidly followed by the accountant demanding to know why his staff were mis-entering data. ISTR there was some tuning available to lengthen the allowed interval so that got sorted.

Ubuntu favouring what looks for a moment like a progress bar but actually just whisks a short bar backwards and forwards until it's done.

KDE. The task bar can be set to autohide and restored by taking the mouse pointer to a user-chosen location. Make it the bottom edge and any attempt to take the mouse to the bottom of a window at the bottom of the screen brings up the task bar. Similarly going for the scroll bar on a window at the right hand edge. The bottom left corner seemed the most convenient but least likely place that you'd take the cursor by accident, the likeliest target there would be the menu button on the task bar itself. KDE 3 included corners as well as edges in its choices so that worked out well. KDE 4 restricted the choice to edges. WHY????

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: You hit it Dabbsy

"Even better would be if they made the damn things easier to open after tearing them off the roll."

That was my point. The idiots who inflict these things on others will continue to be idiots until they're made to experience the consequences long enough for the problem to penetrate whatever they're using for brains.

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Doctor Syntax
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I wonder if some of these misfeatures on web pages can be attributed to using bits of Javascript from so many different sites. Every time the user does something the browser has to go off to some other server(s) to get the instructions to tell it how to respond.

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Doctor Syntax
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Another variation is the menu that jumps as soon as you click on an item leaving you wondering whether you've clicked on the wrong one. Maplin, I'm looking at you - for that and numerous other UI shortcomings.

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Blinking cursor devours CPU cycles in Visual Studio Code editor

Doctor Syntax
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Re: bring back vi and assembler on command lines

"FORTRAN 77 on a Control Data Cyber-whatsisname. Using punchcards. In the early 1980ies."

Johnny-come-lately.

FORTRAN IV on ICL 1900 series, punch cards, 1970.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: The solution -

"Real programmers use switches to manipulate the memory directly"

I once read that some IBM system program was written in FORTRAN but after compilation some manual editing of the binary took place. The program as shipped had no corresponding source code.

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Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

Doctor Syntax
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Re: Rats!

"wire wool ... is a fire hazard"

My late cousin-in-law used to work at Holme Moss https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holme_Moss_transmitting_station

They had a rule that all wire wool was to be stored in closed tins. I suppose stray RF was a bigger pest than rats.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: @VRH, Best traps

"I prefer to buy Kimodo Dragons & let them run wild through the place. If a boss gets uppity, a salesdroid shows up, or someone starts talking in buzzwords, feeding the remains to the Dragons is a great way of getting rid of the evidence."

You are the BOFH and I claim my £5.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Best traps

"So your choices are glue or patience and a pellet gun."

One of my first jobs was with biological supplier mostly dealing with schools*. One of the products was dead rats for dissection. Over the years a few had escaped and they bred. The head of the microscope slide section decided to stay in one evening with a gun and potted one. Then he remembered rat blood often has trypanosomes and went to fetch a syringe intending to make up some slides. He should have taken the dead rat with him; by the time he got back the others had dragged it away, presumably to eat.

After a little while they went bust. They'd invested in making microscopes just at the time the Japanese were moving into the school microscope market. It must have been one of the receivers' odder jobs. There would have been some strange assets. One of the set items for A-levels that year was a bull's eye. For weeks I'd been visiting the slaughter house and come back with bags of bulls' eyes. The schools had got wind of the impending doom so hardly any ordered them. There was a big vat of them steeping in formalin.

*at the same time SWMBO was a teacher. She reckons we still owe her some dissecting scissors.

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Our Sun's been using facial scrub: No spots for two weeks

Doctor Syntax
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"The sun is going out?"

Dunno. Has he got his hat on?

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: Solar Constant....is NOT constant....

"Faux has ANECDOTES and TESTIMONIALS on his side!"

I'd like to know if Faux things the Dunning–Kruger effect is faux science.

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Gov may need to splash £245m per year on IT contractors – NAO

Doctor Syntax
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Coat

"Amyas Morse"

Younger brother of Endeavour?

Mines the one with a crossword dictionary in the pocket.

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Doctor Syntax
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Re: GDS Academy?

Rule 1b Passwords again. Require a certain number of different types of character but don't tell the user what they are. Also disallow certain characters and don't tell the user about those.

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Pure Silicon Valley: Medium asks $5 a month for absolutely nothing

Doctor Syntax
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Re: Medium?

"Which provider will suffer the greatest number of outages over the next 36 months?"

Whichever you choose.

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