* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Neo-Nazi man jailed for anti-Semitic Twitter campaign against MP

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Re: Jailtime for libel?

"still, it will give him time to think."

But will he?

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Re: Ironic

"or the poor kid who's mum named him Taliesin, and sent him to a C of E school."

I take it you don't know about Taliesin. Google is your friend.

Russian hackers got Trump elected? Yeah, let's take a close look at that, says Obama

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"Trump himself kept denying there was any evidence of it."

Yes Minister aficionados will have their own reading of this.

US think-tank wants IoT device design regulated, because security

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Re: Regulation on IoT

gummint regulating IoT: yes they've done so WELL thus far, on regulating "teh intarwebs"

Yes, they have done well so far. The US govt. was instrumental in setting the whole thing up. Someone had to pay for all that work at DARPA. And don't forget that the net depends entirely on regulations. They're called protocols.

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Re: Wishful thinking

"Remember, the average person doesn't care."

The average person will care a great deal is their ISP cuts them off if they don't remove their rubbish. And their ISP will care a great deal if their traffic doesn't get routed. Sometimes Draconian is best.

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Re: Accredited Standards Body

"Remember, companies like Google and Amazon have their own private networks outside the Internet."

They'll still want the internet around for customers to access them. Otherwise their internal components will be eking out a precarious living taking in each other's washing.

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

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Re: Push back and automate

"one chap has Beer"

Only one?

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Re: Why "20+ hours"

" he should insist on doing a small number of more technically competent power users first"

No, as per another comment, start with 1IC & 2IC. There's probably a degree of overlap as 2IC probably reckons he's one of the more technically competent power users.

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This educational institute; it wouldn't be KCL by any chance?

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Re: Two questions...

"Personally, I just name the devices with their asset numbers"

Its the way to be sure - then the user has it written in front of them.


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"What kind of precedent would it set if we all started doing what the Boss tells us to do!!"

IT's ultimate revenge is to carry out the request exactly as asked.

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"Then, just do it."

Even allowing for all the other stuff to work properly there is a fundamental problem which was fully explained in the article. The proposed naming system cannot guarantee to produce unique names and unique names are an essential requirement. So just do what, exactly?

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"Then a student with a double barrelled name joined the school with a hyphen separating the two last names."

Ah. The double barrelled surname problem.

Client's client had a database in which the names were properly structured but for some reason decided to amalgamate forename and surname into one string, surname first to send to us. We were then expected to transform it into the correct sequence to print. Hyphenated surnames would have been OK but non-hyphenated... After giving them a few examples they saw my point. However instead of a correct fix - either send it as two fields or concatenate it in the right order, they kept things as they were and sent an extra, numerical parameter, to shown where it should be pivoted.

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Re: Futile

"There are always reasons you're not privy to, and having to explain to every sulky admin the rationale behind the request is a ball-ache and unnecessary."

Actually it is necessary. If you have a rationale it should be shared unless there are good reasons otherwise. It's more likely to get buy-in to what may well be an otherwise incomprehensible idea or at the very least assures everyone that you aren't actually deficient of marbles. It ensures that new situations can be dealt with appropriately. It enables the process to be modified or dumped if circumstances change to make it inappropriate. At the very least it makes you check that your rationale was well enough thought through to enable you to put together a coherent explanation.

If it's a ball-ache explaining it maybe it wasn't a very good idea and even if it was, it was your idea, it's going to be an even bigger ball-ache for somebody so why shouldn't you suffer a little too?

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"What happens if you have a John Barton Smythe, a John Barry Smith and a Josephy Barry Smithson?"

And a Julian B'stard?

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Re: Two questions...

"Why etc"

Likely answer to both questions: because the current request is only the latest in a long line of "because I can" decisions by nuppit management which has left the entire IT estate in a shambles.

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Re: From a user's point of view...

"Company I work for gives new hires a form for firstname, lastname and optional nickname."

What about clashes? Always assume they'll happen and be prepared.

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Re: 2IC's name

"Don't get me started on Asian names which may have only 3 letters in the first and last name.... or worse yet only 2 letters..."

Interesting read here: https://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-personal-names

Worth pointing out to anyone who has ....erm...bright...ideas about naming schemes.

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Re: Push back and automate

"There _are_ collisions and people do want to change their username/initials when they get married or divorced"

Throw in name changes following gender reassignment. That will really panic HR if they find themselves forced into taking a non-PC decision.

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Re: funny thing about these requests

All clashes of initials should be referred to 2IC for prompt resolution. I take it the work will be done overnight so a few of these clashes will be discovered at 2am, 3am etc.

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The clever BOFH makes sure that the consequences of Management actions fallfail where they should.

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Re: To the 2IC

"Obviously you'll be looking longer if you've particular requirements for your employer,"

such as, in this case, sanity.

HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

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Re: From the HBO legal department

I have trademarked the term "Th' neets are fair drawin' in.(TM)" So everyone across Lancashire and Yorkshire owes me a bundle.

Not really. That 'h' shouldn't be there.

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Re: I've had a call

"I was woken up at 3am by a call that turned out to be an American lawyer"

Correct response: "Give me your home number and I'll call you back".

China is building a full scale replica of the Titanic to repeatedly crash into iceberg

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Re: Nope

Here's a real and recent trademark dispute over the name: http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/titanic-spa-take-legal-action-12280143

Brits think broadband more important than mobes, cars or savings

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"Sounds like an odd target demographic."

Certainly atypical in terms of the country as a whole. I'm pretty sure it's skewed towards the top end of the age range but not particularly rural.

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Re: Great Weasel Answer. Top marks for ingenuity.

Think what Which's readership is like. I'd expect them to be more likely than average to be the sort of people who have taken saving and investment seriously. In that context don't you think the rating for pension contributions is surprisingly low?

The explanation which occurs pretty automatically to me is that these are replies from people in the same situation as myself:

I'm retired. I no longer have to pay pension contributions so I'd rate that zero. In fact, I'd make pretty similar responses, including rating broadband highly. The main difference is that given the craptitude of public transport round here I'd rate running a car somewhat higher than in the article.

Of course I don't have any interest in the game of FTTP promotion.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"More also considered broadband an essential than they did savings (70 per cent) and pension contributions (53 per cent)."

I suspect this tells us that a large proportion of the survey are already retired and living off their savings and pensions rather than contributing to them.

90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

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Re: Extended support?

"Did Citrix think to ask the trusts whether they had their own extended support agreement?"

Or whether they have exposure to the internet?

There could be quite a number hooked up to expensive kit with XP-only applications for which there's no alternative. There's no chance of upgrading in such a situation and the best solution is to protect them.

Shared services centres flop: Only one UK.gov department uses them

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Re: Needs saying!

"I hope lessons have been learned!"

Of course they have. It's just that nobody knows what they are. But they've been learned.

Can ISPs step up and solve the DDoS problem?

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Re: Actually curious...

Probably a case of "we'll do it when everyone else does".

Playtime's over: Internet-connected kids toys 'fail miserably' at privacy

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Re: Not surprised

"At that time the Hospital was the benefactor of royalties from Peter Pan"

Or at least the beneficiary. It should be in perpetuity as far as the UK is concerned. Jim Callaghan campaigned for an amendment to the copyright act to enable this.

Russia's bid for mobile self-sufficiency may be the saviour of Sailfish

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Re: Interesting

"Seriously, when was the last time you said; "holy shit, I got to get one of those awesome Russian cars, or computers, or DVD players, or toasters?" Let me guess... never. They have a hill to climb, and nobody cares but them. Good luck with that."

Remind me again, how have NASA been getting to the ISS these last many years?

Microsoft says LinkedIn will make Trump, Brexit, voters feel great again

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Re: Slurp, slurp, slurp...

"No option given, they simply logged me in."

You must have had an account set up in order for them to have logged you in. That was your first mistake.

I was a robot and this is what I learned

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Re: It can never succeed beyond the novelty stage

I was envisaging taking this to the limit. Apart from exhibitors, or at least the construction crews for their stands, everyone attends as a telepresence. It would mean the venue could be in the cheapest possible shed with no worries about Elf 'n' Safety, fire regs, etc. The lower cost would offset the promoters' ability to screw the attendees for extras.

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Re: Event capacity?

'I once stayed at a hotel where the most paletable thing on the menu was "fried ceasar salad".'

A few years ago we stayed at one of the chain hotels near Kings Cross. The end result was an email to them explaining why their Caesar salad wasn't.

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Thumb Up

Re: Picture paints 1000 words

And far fewer than 1000 words paint a picture.

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Re: Event capacity?

"What's wrong with paying to use one?"

I'd guess it could be cheaper than the alternative of flights, taxis & hotels.

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"Can it tell the difference between a throng that will part - or someone on a collision course?"

Nothing that scythe blades on the wheels can't deal with. Boudica should have patented it.

Information on smart meters? Yep. They're great. That works, right? – UK.gov

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Re: Do you trust the government and energy firms?

"Can anyone else see where this is all going?"

Yes, lack of ability to come to your own decision on a case-by-case basis.

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Re: Umm....

'Well, when you install a qualifying PV array, the "feed in tariff" is paid for twenty five years, with an inflationary uplift every year.'

Unless it becomes politically expedient to cut it. Don't base your own budget on what governments offer. They're not to be trusted, especially beyond a general election.

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"The government has insisted it is effectively communicating the benefits"

I'd have thought that not communicating any benefits is being effective.

Fitbit picks up Pebble, throws Pebble as far as it can into the sea

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The company said that existing Pebble watches ... will continue to work for now but there will be no support or warranties, and "functionality or service quality may be reduced in the future."

If I were in the market for such a thing I would find this soooo reassuring to buy a product from this company.

Do these people have any wits at all?

Everything at Apple Watch is awesome, insists Tim Cook

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Re: Another useful gadget

"Smart watches - almost as useful as smart meters!"

Even better: twice as useful as smart meters.

Hackers actively stealing Wi-Fi keys from vulnerable routers

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Meanwhile even the Beeb seems to have noticed: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38223805

US Supreme Court slashes Samsung's patent payout to Apple

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Re: I still can't grasp...

"fined the both of them for wasting the courts time"

Both? Think that one through. There you are, minding your own business when someone takes you to court. The court decides you did nothing wrong but fines you anyway for defending yourself.

Canada asks citizens: How would you like us to spy on you?

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Re: AC So let me get this straight...

You forgot that many in Labour and the clueless Left/Greens/Anarchists at the last election waffled on about "mass surveillance" and "privacy rights", and lost the election.

We remember that Labour, when in govt, had similar ideas, including identity cards. We also remember that Labour have a long track record of appalling economic management. There are good reasons why they lost the election. Sadly, this seems to be a party-neutral issue. Home Secs. of any political persuasion seem to go native PDQ.

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Re: hidden agenda

"I can only assume that this is really about something else."

Maybe just PR, but maybe something along the lines of plausible deniability.

The UK's Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court

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Re: Welcome to "justice"...

"I doubt that anyone on the Trump team even knows that this law exists."

If they don't I'm sure it'll be explained to them by someone who wants it for themselves.

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"Aww poor little flowers."

The poor little flowers are all of us.

What protection would you expect if you were wrongly accused? You'd expect the prosecution to have to prove its case against you. You'd expect that it wouldn't be allowed to take short cuts, to suppress evidence or to present false evidence. In short, you'd expect to be assumed to be innocent unless you were proved guilty in a fair trial.

But you might say "I know I'm innocent, I shouldn't be treated like those bad drug dealers who are guilty."

Well, you may know you're innocent but in advance of a case being heard I don't know whether you are or not nor do I know if those accused of being drug dealers are guilty or not. All I or anyone else including a court can do is make the same assumptions about all of you. It is arrant nonsense to think that there is some means by which you or I, if wrongly accused, are to get some rights and those rightly accused are not.

If from your point of view as an innocent wrongly accused, that assumption of innocence, then that assumption must be extended to all. And in the past that has been reckoned to be a fundamental right of all of us.

Another right, going all the way back to Magna Carta has been our right to due process of law. Due process has come to include the need for TPTB to present an independent judge or magistrate with a prima facie case sufficient to justify a warrant.

This Act sweeps all these rights away and not the least of the issues is that instead of being signed by an independent judge or magistrate warrants are now to be signed by a minister. That raises a whole new spectre of political persecution.

The poor little flowers are all of us.

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