* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Connectivity's value is almost erased by the costs it can impose

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"Glitch had lost everything I’d typed in the previous two hours."

Getting the name right is essential for a project.

British Airways poised to shed 1,000 jobs to Capita

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They used to say "experience is a dear teacher but there are those who will learn at no other". Now it seems there or those who won't even learn from experience.

Congressman drafts COVFEFE Act to preserve Trump's Twitter tantrums

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Re: It's a good idea

The books of the Yes Minister scripts are presented as if they were academic historical research based on cassettes dictated by Hacker late at night post-whisky. The introduction says that the inconsistencies "have been preserved as they allow us insight into the mind of this great political leader" or words to the same effect. Although Yes Minister was entertainment (or maybe we should class it as infotainment) it seems that fact has ambushed fiction and a similar argument could be made for preserving the Trumpetings.

Damian Green now heads up UK Cabinet Office

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Re: Oh bugger!

"Got a chip on your shoulder perhaps?"

No, but rather too many PPE monkeys on our backs.

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Re: Oh bugger!

"The sooner Oxford & Cambridge colleges are closed (and the facilities razed to the ground, just to make sure) the better."

I understand that they do actually have real science and engineering depts as well. Just close down PPE courses - or, even better, require a STEM degree for entrance.

Oh snap! Election's made Brexit uncertainty worse for biz, says BT CEO

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Re: Stability, certainty?

"I need a new set of fingers."

I was going to ask you if next Tuesday was already reserved.

Hundreds stranded at Manchester Airport due to IT 'glitch'

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Re: "Twhingers"

"Is Twitter only now used as a way for people to whinge at the PR depts of companies when they have some minor grievance"

Given that in most businesses customer facing staff are powerless to deal with the most minor complication, not even having the ability to escalate it, it looks as if Twitter is just about the only way of getting the attention of anyone in the business with any nous* this looks as if it's becoming SOP. It's yet one more instance of making the customer do the work, in this case escalating a case.

*Assuming such a person exists

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Re: Check-in System?

"Why cant we do that?"

Because once the flight's overbooked it's much less messy to block surplus passengers at check-in then to turf them off the plane. Just ask United.

From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong

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Re: Mandatory voting.

"when it can have no effect on the outcome where they live."

That old chestnut!

So many young voters took that view a year ago, discovered where that had got them, changed their minds and found that in a lot of constituencies it had a substantial effect.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: First Past the Post

"This. It depresses me how many people said they were voting for May or Corbyn when they are actually voting for their own local MP."

Why shouldn't they vote that way. It might make a difference if their local MP makes it clear they're going to oppose the party leader on some topic or other. I corresponded with my local MP over surveillance. He stuck by the party May's line. I told him I wouldn't vote for him as long as she remained leader and I didn't.

"There's nothing in the rules to say a party can't change their leader, and hence who becomes PM, 5 minutes after the election is won."

Probably not 5 minutes after it's won. After it's lost is a different matter. In any case if a leader who voters aren'tt prepared to support is replaced then the voters can act accordingly.

"So much so that even the press started calling the Tory Manifesto the May Manifesto."

In which case what's wrong with refusing to vote for her proxy, the local candidate?

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Re: First Past the Post

"Also, as the Lib Dems found out, our their voters don't seem particularly patient with the policy compromises that PR forces."

It was they who suffered, quite unfairly, I think by this. It would have been grossly irresponsible in 2010 to let the country slip back into the hands of Brown or to saddle it with a government too weak to start sorting out the mess that Brown had left behind. Sadly their supporters haven't forgiven them for temporarily becoming more than a party of protest.

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"But objectively I don't believe the UK can afford all it covets."

But your downvotes should tell you how widely that fails to be understood.

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Re: So when will the politicians learn?

"Politician that triangulate peoples opinions and polls are not leaders, but, almost per definition, followers."

To some extent I can sympathise with this. However the last several years should have taught us one thing: politicians of all parties - here and in the US - got completely out of touch with what the electorate was thinking. You can't lead if you take peoples' willingness to follow for granted. Leadership needs more than sound-bites.

Raspberry Pi sours thanks to mining malware

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Re: "Change your default user name"


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"a use for the Raspberry Pi"

There are plenty of those, for instance running a local instance of Nextcloud with a 1TB disk.

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Re: On a more serious note: schools

I'd guess in schools you'd want a common password for your common login ID with maybe personal IDs for the pupils. Good practice would be to set up one Pi, change the pi password and then clone that card for the the rest.

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"If I've done the sums right that turns into about $5/day"

Riches! If you're and 8-yo.

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"you would instinctively change the password on first use as you did on that shiny router you bought. You would also have to enable ssh"

These are aimed at kids (my 8-yo grandson for instance). They won't necessarily have basic sysadmin skills. Also, as he did, they might forget the P/W if changed. (Actually in his case it was a different OS with a different default P/W. An OS update appeared to have reset it probably back to the OS default. I'd tarred off his home directory and re-flashed the OS before I realised the default was different.)

You're right in that they'd have to enable ssh. On Raspbian that's done through the same menu as changing the password but unfortunately the two aren't linked.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"recent-ish Raspbian versions warn you every time you login via SSH if you retain the default password."

Also, IIRC, Raspbian ships with sshd off by default. Turning it on is an option in the raspi-config script. It wouldn't be difficult to add a step to the script to require a password change at the same time.

There are probably conflicting requirements here. While we - and, I'm sure, the Raspbian team - know that this would be a Good Thing the device is aimed at youngsters and it's quite likely that they'd lock themselves out by forgetting the password. However, flashing a new card would be a quick fix for that.

Uber board: We accept all recommendations. Any execs left to carry them out?

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"The company is also expected to add another woman to its board."

Some minor celeb appointed as "creative director"?

Two leading ladies of Europe warn that internet regulation is coming

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Re: The two most powerful women in Europe

"she can't pass any legislation without the permission of Arlene Foster and Ruth Davidson"

She might even have to get her own rank and file to agree.

Jailed fraudster admits running same cold-caller con from behind bars

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Re: Fool me once

"As regards further punishment, it would be sweet if some sort of proceeds of crime order could be made against all those convicted to recover the missing £66m, just as they are about to be released from prison."

I'd hope recovery proceeds have already been started. However AFAIK this goes to public funds rather than to the victims. Still, they may have to pay a £15 victim surcharge.

IBM warns itself of possible outages in lab shift screw-up

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It looks as if the final implosion is getting close.

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Re: "two week outage"

"that's a dig at IBM not Trump"

Downvoted for not realising the two are not mutually exclusive when it comes to digs.

Intel to Qualcomm and Microsoft: Nice x86 emulation you've got there, shame if it got sued into oblivion

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Re: Windows HAL

It's a long time ago but AFAICR it wasn't anything to do with the instruction set but with presenting the processor with a consistent API to the hardware. The kernel is still compiled to the native code of the processor but the developer doesn't have to worry about what sort of bus etc that the CPU can see. I'm not sure how this relates to the drivers; maybe their job is to present the HAL API.

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Who needs who the most?

Microsoft to Intel: Remember all those chips you sold on the back of Windows? We're going to start releasing the Intel versions of Windows about a year behind ARM before phasing them out altogether. We have some nice ARM to Intel emulators we could licence to you.

Whisky snobs scotched by artificial tongue

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"Heck, most of them can't tell the difference between Moet and carbonated grape juice."

Is there one?

Windows 10 Creators Update preview: Lovin' for Edge and pen users, nowt much else

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"The Linux bits? Exciting. .... Everything else? Meh!!"

So just get rid of the everything else.

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Re: Fall Creators Update

"Yeah ,like you buy a new car that is exactly the same as the old one?"

As far as the controls go, yes. Don't you? My car has a steering wheel. What does yours have? Handle bars? Tiller? Pedal bar?

Boeing preps pilotless passenger flights – once it has solved the Sully problem, of course

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"As long as they train the stewardess on how to hold down the power button for a systems reboot."

Stewardess? That's an easier problem to solve. Catering will be self-service before the pilots go.

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So there'll be a pile of Dreamliners on the bed of the Hudson after all the test landings.

Spy commissioners: Did we audit our bulk data sharing with industry? Err... not exactly

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Re: Does anyone think it pretty strange there's a "Regualtion of Investigatory Powers Ac" and

The reason there are so many similar Acts is that each one so far has been smacked down when it goes to court so they have to supersede it with a new one. It's a trial of patience.

Donald Trumped: Comey says Prez is a liar – and admits he's a leaker

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Re: Sir Humphrey would never have been caught out

"he would without hesitation have declared unreserved and irrevocable loyalty to the Presidency."

No, he would have said something which the President would have believed to have been an expression of unreserved and irrevocable loyalty to the President bu whicht, when examined more closely, and with proper guidance would, in due course, have been seen to have been capable of a different interpretation and, indeed, whatever interpretation circumstances might require as dictated by those same circumstances as they might change. I could clarify it at greater length, of course.

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Re: Lies, damned lies and Trumpy's declarations

"The US Constitutional system has lasted for a long time"

What are you studying?

American history.

I see. And what do you do in the afternoons?

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Re: @Kiwi Two things..

"If its a bluff then its only as effective as long as you don't know the answer to the question."

It's also only effective if Comey knows his account is different to what actually happened. Give or take the vagaries of personal recollection there are only two people who know what happened and Comey is one of them. If what he said is what he recollects and he's satisfied his recollection is sound then he's not going to be bluffed. If he recounted what happened then why should he worry about tapes unless they're doctored?

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Re: Comey: Weird, but it doesn't matter.

"I expect nothing to come of all this except to make America look (more) ridiculous to the rest of the world."

It's always comforting to know that there's someone worse off than oneself. America, we thank you.

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Re: A pardon doesn't prevent a trial

"However, the pardon would remove the leverage the special prosecutor would have over Flynn to get him to roll over on Trump - it would be the threat of prison rather than the threat of a show trial that motivates him to sell out Trump."

I've no idea whether this is a realistic situation you're discussing but this would be a total travesty of legal procedure. One doesn't have to be a Trump admirer to see that although I suppose it helps to be a detached bystander.

You know this net neutrality thing? Well, people really love it

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"According to the poll, which spoke to 1,000 people split evenly across political lines (and including independents), 73 per cent of Republicans support net neutrality too."

So what? None of them pay lobbyists.

DUP site crashes after UK general election

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"the DUP could be the UK equivlant of republicans."

You clearly don't understand NI politics although "loyal to the half-crown not the Crown" had a certain resonance.

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Re: DUP - Dud Unelectable Politician (nowt to do with Ulster)

"The alternatives were Boris and Gove"

My guess is that Hammond will elbow the lot of them out fairly soon. And sooner if she sacks him from the cabinet.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Democracy

"Once again, the British public demonstrate that they can't be trusted with democracy."

Far from it. We've placed a curse on all their houses and very well deserved it is too.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Conservatives + DUP = IRA?

"They want a hard Brexit.

They don't want a hard border to the south

They don't want a 'border' with Great Britain."

Reminds me of the old saying. The Irish are in revolt, they don't know what they want and they won't be happy until I get it.

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Re: Irritatingly smart-arse comment

"a decent Swedish black metal band"

Of which you need several to hold together a barrel.

Afrinic shuts down IP address shutdown over internet shutdowns

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"IPv4 addresses are about to become precious"

So drop the policy and just be economical with addresses. Allocate all the governments the same block.

Cabinet Office minister Gummer loses seat as Tory gamble backfires

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Re: "And the Labour Party actually got behind the campaign."

"Bought a huge number of people into the party"

Bought? Simple typo or Freudian slip?

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Re: None of them would have if it was a two round system

"Super-Kipper is dusting off his action man suit and ready to lead the party again if there is another election."

That wouldn't surprise me. I always said the leadership was a revolving door with Farage in most of the compartments. What would be surprising would be if he found a party to lead.

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Re: None of them would have if it was a two round system

"As it stands they assimilated the UKIP vote"

In most of the results I saw last night the collapsing UKIP vote seemed to have been shared out. I think UKIPpers by and large went back to where they came from.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Ploughs ahead with BREXIT..."

"There might very well be a revolution if she didn't plough ahead with it."

Think about this for the moment.

Remember that the original vote was close.

Now observe what happened to UKIP - their vote collapsed.

Consider what happened in the areas which predominantly voted Leave. The Conservative vote went up but not enough for them to win seats from Labour.

Finally, consider what happened in the areas which predominantly voted Remain. The Conservative vote went down in large enough amounts for Labour to win seats.

May's majority disappeared because of Brexit. The argument that the country was solidly in favour of Brexit was never really valid given the narrowness of the majority. What the current vote seems to be telling us is that that majority probably doesn't exist any more. Electorates are volatile at best and we're now seeing the effect of Remainers who didn't vote a year ago turning out now to do what they can to make their displeasure felt. That's why some of us have been saying all along that a binding vote should require a supermajority to change the status quo and being bound by an advisory vote that produced a fairly even split was wrong.

She'll plough ahead with it if she's left in office out of sheer pig-headedness. If she was replaced by someone who didn't there'd be no revolution. The result tells you that.

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Re: the best we could have hoped for.

"I just treated myself to a second cup of tea."

It's probably for the best. Yorkshire tea, I hope.

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Re: @ Doctor Syntax

"special advisors"

I think her cabinet are hopping mad about the campaign decisions she took on the advice of her SPADs and without consulting them. As she now has to pay a lot more attention to what her party thinks I expect her special advisers are going to be on a short lead in future and that's assuming they're not ushered out through those gates at the end of Downing St.

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