* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16427 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

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Re: The only solution...

"Slaughter is natural causes, for a cow."

I live next to a farm. A while ago I went to look for the farmer, probably to tell him yet another of his sheep had escaped. There was nobody about but I found a dead cow lying on its side the yard and it certainly hadn't been slaughtered.

However, the mention of sheep raises the ideal solution: mutton fat. It seems to be an article of faith amongst sheep farmers that a sheep's only ambition is to die as soon as possible.

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Re: One fairly serious alternative is ...

"Some of us will remember that Castrol oil was originally based on castor oil"

Ah, the smell of burning Castrol R.

Now there's an idea. Use castor oil. It would help money slip through our fingers even faster.

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Re: Stupid....

"At least with equines, loss of function in one leg is considered sufficient grounds for euthanasia."

With only 3 legs they'd still cost the same to feed but couldn't run. Many unsuccessful punters have been convinced their fancy only had 3 legs.

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"Both Linen and Cotton are plant based fibres, produced from cellulose."

Cotton is cellulose. Linen is lignin, that's why it's more durable.

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Re: best solution!

"You might be surprised by the amount that went in the Neolithic."

Very little actually. Most clearance was well post-Neolithic.

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Re: best solution!

"Most of it went pre-industrialisation"

By and large, pre-industrial revolution, woodland was well managed for sustainability (except, of course, the word wasn't used). Coppicing made growth for fuel and material for small wooden items - implement handles, etc. - into a crop taken every few years. Felling for the navy could be a different matter but there was some panic planting of woodland for the sake of the navy just before iron ships came into being. There was also importation from the Baltic.

The real killer was that with the replacement of wood as fuel and structural timber by coal and iron there was no need to manage woodland in the same way.

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"reminds me of a system I once worked on."

In my case it was reporting for an ice-cream etc. manufacturing plant. The one that got me was the item "Tiramisu tanks". They made tiramisu in tanks?

Going on site required white coat and industrial steel-toecapped shoes. The white coat was no problem for an ex-scientist but they might have objected if they'd known where it had been previously. The shoes had to be bought but came in useful for years as gardening shoes but were universally referred to as the ice-cream factory shoes.

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"But you can counter simply asking if they want to go back to wool or linen undergarments, T-shirts, and so on."

But your dedicated vegan environmentalist is probably entirely clad in artisan-woven nettle fibre.

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The only solution...

...tallow from a cow that died of natural causes.

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Re: best solution!

"Keeping with linen implies cotton"

It implies linen. Different plant, different part of plant, different biochemistry.

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"How will other people complain if other oils were chosen instead?"

Rape seed oil (canola across the pond) would probably find objectors to complain about about Monsanto, GM & pesticides.

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"the equivalent of 300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared for the planting of palm trees"

Plant 300 actual football fields for palm trees (a much better use for them), use such oil as is needed for the notes and sell the rest. It might help pay off HMRC's bill for substituting Crapita for freelancers.

Confidence in £70m customs system has 'collapsed', warns Treasury Committee

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Re: Brexit is wonderful

"75% of the population outside Islington would agree with you."

There was an article in our local paper a few weeks ago suggesting that about 10% of voters (Leave voters was sort of implied) had changed their minds. Given that there's been so much more discussion in the media since the referendum as to what the outcome might be I suspect that if you ran it again there'd be a Remain majority even outside Islington.

Of course Islington, just to be contrary, might vole Leave.

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Re: Early warning?

"want to be part of the UK"

Whatever that might be in a couple of years time. OTOH they could link up with Scotland.

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Re: Early warning?

"but in his defence he was really busy spreading lies that month."

Which month were you thinking of?

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"I'm sure you've got a clever way of circumnavigating Spanish airspace?"

Fly over France. There must be a few days in the year when their Air Traffic Controllers aren't on strike.

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"Well they won't have to worry about Gibraltar travellers. We're about to lose it to Spain."

Time to revive an old idea of mine from pre-EEC membership days: until Spain stops claiming it, all tourist flights from UK to Spain are banned; you can fly to Gib because it's a British overseas territory and take surface transport to Spanish reports.

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Re: Requirements?

"And, of course, if the requirements were specified before the Brexit vote, then there is going to be the mother of all change requests."

Brexit makes all problems like that disappear. Brexit is wonderful. Bexit scales. Brexit is magical. No, no problems at all.

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Re: Blame IR35?

You can be sure their reply to the Select Committee won't mention it. They've got enough brain cells left to realise that wouldn't be a good thing. The Committee will have to work that out for themselves.

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On 25 November, 2016, the project was rated "Green", meaning it was "successful" and "on time". But by 31 January, it was rated "Amber/red", meaning it faces "major risks" and "urgent action".

Could that have anything to do with the IR35 changes?

Trump sets sights on net neutrality

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What if the absence of net neutrality were to result in his tweets getting lost somewhere in the intertubes?

Yee-hacked! Fired Texan sysadmin goes rogue, trashes boot business

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No matter how ill-advised such revenge might be it's only common sense for management to try to part on good terms, just in case.

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Re: What a Muppet.

"I'm pretty sure this wasn't a well thought out plan."

It sounds as if some preparations were made in advance.

BOFH: The Boss, the floppy and the work 'experience'

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Re: Being on a placement myself...

"RPG is/was a business language. It stands for Report Program Generator"

Alternatively, Rocket Propelled Grenade.

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Re: Being on a placement myself...

"As for making tea, how come for PFYs these days it's like asking them to do some unknown arcane ritual ?"

There is hope for the future. My grandson who hasn't even graduated to the PF stage yet has not only learned to make tea but also to drink it.

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After receiving a disclosure like that I suppose James is now rolled in carpet under a layer of quicklime.

UK gov draws driverless car test zone around M40 corridor

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"And if every vehicle is driverless, there will be no reason to own a vehicle. Just call one from the idle-auto-car carpark."

And see how successful you are at that because everyone else wants one at the same time. It's called rush-hour.

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Re: "UK...leader"...?

Have we got even a single manufacturer working on this - and I mean under UK ownership?

FTFY

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Re: Technology to save lives

"A fleet of publicly owned driverless cars may work if there are enough for them to be treated as cheap taxis"

Where does the money come from?

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Re: Technology to save lives

"How about a better, faster, cheaper public transport system (most of us not in London have to endure dismal public transport )."

How about reversing the aggregation of work places into bigger and bigger urban centres? The people wouldn't have to commute stupid distances to work.

WONTFIX: No patch for Windows Server 2003 IIS critical bug – Microsoft

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"For some clients policy - the system carries an accredited security rating, applying updates would require the system to be reassessed..."

If the accreditation doesn't mandate being kept to current patch levels (subject to testing/review of the patches) it's the accreditation that needs to be reassessed.

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Re: @Doctor Syntax

I do sympathise with both sides of that argument. Changes break things; I've seen an OS upgrade push a (just) working system into serious thrashing*. That's why you either have to go with a system for which you trust the vendors not to break things or have a test system.

*This was back in the days when memory was really, really expensive. I finally got the budget for the extra sticks I'd been asking for.

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Re: @LDS re: updates

"they argued that their software was compiled for that kernel"

To make that stick they'd also have to argue that either they'd lost the source or that it was so bad it could only be compiled for that kernel.

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"A number of customers I work for have a policy of not patching"

Is that a policy or a habit? Or, more likely, a lack of a habit of patching?

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"many really outdated software are left in operation, sometimes because you have no choice (i.e some specific machinery)"

True, but if you're also giving it an internet connection you're doing it wrong.

Forget robot overlords, humankind will get finished off by IoT

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"Besides, aren't they designed to emit a piercing alarm when interfered with?"

Leaving the alternative meanings aside, I have a vision of the pavement full of trembling, screaming robots because someone went along clunking each of them with a 2lb hammer. Then there's all sorts of innocent fun to be had by picking them up and standing them on their heads.

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"Using a brolly makes it too intentional"

Not at all. It looks like it's going to rain any minute. Stupid to go out without one.

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Pavement cyclists are easily dealt with. An umbrella whose tip accidentally finds its way into the spokes of the front wheel. For good measure you can abuse the bloodied cyclist lying on the pavement for damaging your brolly.

Wet, wild Mars stripped off by hot young star, left barren and red faced

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"President Donald Trump signed a bill last Tuesday, pledging $19.5bn in NASA funding covering the budget for 2018 and including human exploration of Mars as a priority."

Someone told him about the possibilities of a golfing resort?

Don't fall for the AI hype: Here are the ingredients you need to build an actual useful thing

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You forgot one of the most essential elements. A hip brand name.

Facebook, Google, etc: Yeah, yeah, we'll work on the nasty stuff about bombs – but we ain't doing no backdoors

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"Censoring these group's network is not actually hard if you know their process."

That's legislator's thinking.

Do you want to know what really happens if you do that? If so, read the following very carefully.

They will change their processes.

IT contractors behind IR35 calculator to leave HMRC... because of IR35

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"Unions and Employment Equivalency"

Admittedly my experience of this is from 30 years ago but there were separate groups of general service, scientific and engineering. There were differentials between them. When I first joined PTG (engineering) were at the bottom of the heap. They then got an increase because of difficulties of recruitment which left scientific grades at the bottom.

I don't know how IT fitted into that group - it might be that S/W are in general service and PTG is restricted to chaps with screwdrivers and soldering irons. But in principle, unless things have changed radically, there would be no problem with a set of scales to make recruiting IT on realistic salaries.

The real problem would be the thought that they might get near, let alone above, general service grades who, as far as I could see, were interchangeable as they were all equally unqualified for any work they might be given.

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Re: Travel expenses

"What will actually happen is those contractors will have to move closer to London"

Today's contract might be in London, in three months time the next contract might be in Glasgow. Yet another misconception of how contracting actually works. Meanwhile if BigCo has an employee based in York and wants them to spend 3 months working on a London contract will there be any ban on paying that employee's expenses? The whole issue is down to a failure to see the need for a level playing field for small business vs big business.

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Re: easy pickings

"b) I don't have enough cash to lawyer up and take them to court"

Aren't the PCG or whatever it calls itself these days taking on defence cases or aren't you a member?

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Re: ???

"how can it take 250 people to write a simple interview based webapp that runs through some rules and spits out an 'employed' or 'self-employed' answer?"

FTFY

Europe to push new laws to access encrypted apps data

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Maybe bringing https://www.searchinternethistory.com/ to politicians' notice might concentrate their minds a little (or concentrate their little minds).

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I look forward to Věra Jourová leading by example and doing a Clarkson. She wants to expose the EU population to having all their online security compromised. She should compromise her own to show how safe it is by telling us her banking, email and any other online credentials she has.

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"Except the comment was on Amber Rudd - who is the Home Secretary. "

Which comment? Yours seems to have been the first in the thread to mention her. The article primarily deals with a speech by EU Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová.

Samizdat no more: Old Unix source code opened for study

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"Comp Sci departments and others around the world can work with a newer Unix than 6.0"

They've been able to do that for a long time. V 7 code was open-sourced years ago.

Don't believe the hype: UK's £455m Government Digital Service lacks a clear role – fresh audit

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However, and as a major plus for all of us techies, I understand that there's still plenty of money to be made from the use of sealing wax, string, and various other adhesive substances, in an attempt to try to cross-reference the various population-scale databases that exist within the UK.

FTFY

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