* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Brit boffins brew nanotech self-cleaning glass

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George Formby hangs up his bucket and sponge

...keeps ladder

Newly minted DevOps consultancy roams world, looking for CIOs in pain

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"Want to learn more about DevOps, Continuous Delivery, and Agile?"

NOOOOOOOO!!!! Too much already.

Blighty's Parliament prescribed tablets to cope with future votes

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Re: What happened to austerity?

I agree with your premise - the MP should be physically present. The existing system doesn't guarantee that either, of course, simply that they must be within 15 mins of the HoC. The tablet could achieve this by requiring the vote to be placed through HoC's own wireless network.

But what I see as what could go wrong as something different; that when the MP tries to vote they discover that someone (?in the whip's office) has already voted in their name.

Gov must hire 'thousands' of techies to rescue failing projects

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"Waterfall doesn't work"

It's not meant to. It was invented as a straw man to explain the need for something better. But reading was too much like hard work for a lot of people so they went with waterfall.

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Re: Wagile or AgiFall


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Re: don't forget the mythical job specs

"we don't hire anyone over 45 because they know more than the bosses and will talk back"

Scrub that. We don't hire anybody over 30 because they've been round the block at least once & aren't impressed by the BS any more.

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Re: The X Prize approach


I think the O/P was aware of all that. That's why he suggested a different approach. And no doubt with tongue firmly in cheek.

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"Consultants are litterally showered in cash for saying the same thing that the IT sucker down the corridor said."

It's more likely that notice will be taken of the consultant because of what he's been paid. It cost more therefore it must be worth more.

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Re: Nope


Whether you'd be better off in the CS or not probably depends on a variety of things.

After 14 years I think I avoided a nervous breakdown by getting out. Apart from anything else I spent about half that at the top of my pay scale in a department that quite cynically didn't hand out promotions above that level (cynically? I was offered a promotion, no board or any other formalities as soon as I handed in my resignation). After a few other permie jobs I spent the last 10 years of my working life freelance and found I'd finally got to be where I wanted.

But if it works for you, best of luck.

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Re: Nope

"In the end there isn't a substitute for experience, the problem is that it costs more."

It might cost more by the hour. It costs less overall.

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Re: "he was useless, managed to delete the website a couple of times"

"f your team has fewer than five members, everyone has access to the production system. It also means your system isn't that valuable in the first place."

The first part may well be true. The second, not necessarily.

There's one point to bear in mind - if you're going to have to support it in production you end up writing something you can support.

If you're supporting something in production you might find yourself working more closely with users and gain a better understanding of their jobs which feeds back into the ability to match what you develop with those needs.

A lot of this has been lost with separation of functions. Now it's suddenly so fashionable to get back to doing this sort of thing that it's acquired a name: DevOps.

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Re: "he was useless, managed to delete the website a couple of times"

"Why on Earth would you let a developer have access to a production system?"

Where did it say he was in a developer?

Sorry, kids. Microsoft is turning Minecraft into an 'educational tool'

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"free for as long as they get to keep them (for many uni students, that's for life)"

That won't be free as in beer or free as in speech but free as in "you are the product".

Drydex malware busting bursting British business bank balances

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"I assume this needs a web based e-mail program, or at least one that displays html documents for this to work."

Probably not. I don't know about you but I find that spam that claims to be an invoice actually has the alleged invoice in an attachment. Even if the enclosing email is plain text and read in a text-based browser anyone who actually thinks it's an invoice they have to look at it is going to try to open the attachment and that's the dangerous act.

"those in top management"

Those in top management might well be the source of a good deal of harm but this type of attack is likely to be aimed at accounts staff. They deal with invoices and banking.

IRS 'inadvertently' wiped hard drive Microsoft demanded in audit row

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Re: I'm conflicted on Microsoft at the moment

It's not difficult. Just look at it case by case. What's in Microsoft's interest in that particular case?

New open-source ad-blocking web browser emerges from brain of ex-Mozilla boss Eich

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Re: Looks like a great idea...

"they at least pay the bills"

But don't you think there ought to be a better way for sites to pay their bills than letting the advertising industry poke their fingers into visitors' eyeballs and ears and letting the scum of the internet have a go at pwning visitors' PCs?

Has it really come to this?

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Re: Brought it on themselves


Let's extend your argument a little.

On the whole websites and email are harmless and don't try to install malware so there's no reason not to run your OS in admin mode all the time and no need to use anti-virus software.

You're failing to understand that by now adblocking isn't just to avoid all the attempts by advertisers to loose their screaming jiggling auto-play brain-farts on you, it's become part of your normal security setup to keep malvertising out.

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Re: Sounds interesting

'As it is, I need "Classic Theme Restorer" ... to have sensible GUI / UX interface. I had to install an addon/plug in thingy on Thunderbird too.'

Try Seamonkey: Firefox & Thunderbird functionality under one roof and a classic theme.

HP takes utility computing to the kids... well the teachers

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“One of the big learnings we had to incorporate was how do you develop something that is transparent and perceived as affordable in comparison to paying upfront”

He's not going to impress many English teachers. At least I hope he's not although standards may well have lapsed since I was at school.

Waving Microsoft's Windows 10 stick won't help Intel's Gen 6 core

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Re: Laziness of sales and marketing VPs

"Windows 10 is terrific and I urge everyone to upgrade their personal 'at home' computers to it asap."

Why would I want to do that?

My Linux OS runs pretty well anything I need, proprietary or open source. Of the few Windows applications I need most will run in Wine. The exception will run in W7 or W2K in a VM and given Microsoft's aggressive pushing of monitoring by upgrades it will be the latter in future.

I see no reason in moving to a make-work OS that I'm going to have to actively police to make sure it doesn't leak information to its maker any time said maker pushes a non-optional upgrade that might change the privacy settings - and that has T&Cs that allow them to grab any login credentials and transaction data when want.

And when my particular version of Unix-like flavour of Linux goes out of support then rather than downgrade to something more Windows-like I'll simply go to a proper Unix variant.

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Re: Red Herring

"drop support for legacy IE and the nightmares of ActiveX"

Which is part of the problem for users with business-critical soft ware tied to those features.

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Re: Bassackwards

"They could choose Linux or Mac OS. They choose not to choose it.

So retailers choose not to offer much Linux."

Did you notice the comment title?

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Re: Let me get this straight...?

"You may as well run a webserver in the kernel while you're at it"

Or in your init.

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"run Windows 10 just fine."

Odd. It looks like plain English but it doesn't make sense.

IBM still on a (downward) roll with 15th consecutive quarterly revenue drop

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Re: Transformation

"have no real clue what to do next"

Maybe not. Surely there are still a few techies left who can be fired to save money.

Bone-dry British tech SMBs miss out on UK.gov cash shower

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Re: not so Smart

'i.e. you're a medium size company that can afford a full time "grants-getter"'

Or make being famous a full-time occupation http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/03/25/how_did_millionaire_supermodel_lily_cole_get_200000_of_taxpayers_cash/

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"In addition, there is no market for the product as companies already strain to reduce the amounts sent to landfill and avoid excessive charges."

If they already strain to reduce the amount I'd have thought that that would make them a ready market for a product intended to help them.

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"Where is the editor for this article?"

I don't know about the editor for this article but I've just been spammed on my private domain by the ex-editor. Anybody else?

It looks as if I'm going to have to set up a new alias for reporting typos or use my hotmail spam bin address.

For pity's sake, enterprises, upgrade your mobile OS - report

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"a large percentage of users who's mobile phone manufacturer have not actually released the updates"

The whole thing reads like a thinly disguised attempt to flog new phones on the basis that you'll never get an update on your old one.

Ad-clicking bots predicted to rip US$7.2 billion from Mad Men

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Re: It's entirely their own fault

"spewing out http requests to the far corners of the glove"

Otherwise known as giving the finger.

European human rights court rules mass surveillance illegal

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Re: Who will rid me of the ECHR?

"Not at all; even if the most liberal governments need to be accountable to someone."

Which, in a democracy, should be its people. The fact that we need an external court to do that is something that both Conservative & Labour should be ashamed of. Both because both have form in this.

Bigger than Safe Harbor: Microsoft prez vows to take down US gov in data protection lawsuit

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Re: Picking their principles

"One has to wonder why it is they've taken a stand on this particular issue."

That's an easy one. They want to be a big cloud player. Denial of access to the US govt. is going to be an item on any potential non-US customer's checklit.

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Re: Very important case

'If Microsoft loses this case, there can be no "Safe Harbour"; all data held by American companies is outwith the protection required by European Law'

It's more subtle than that. The article makes reference to the trustee model that MS are exploring with Deutsche Telekom. Essentially it's possible to set up an arrangement where the US corp doesn't actually get access to the data. Access is controlled by an EU company with wholly EU ownership (not an EU subsidiary of the US corp) under a contract governed by the law of an EU country. The contract would need to exclude any rights of the US corp to demand access.

Recall: Bring out yer dead and over-heating Microsoft Surface Pro power cords

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Re: Are "electronic" components involved in the failure?

"Blame that low-ball sub-contractor they tapped to make the cable..."

Certainly blame them. But a sub-contractor's faults don't excuse the principal who sub-contracted the work; that's where the buck stops.

Internet of Things 'smart' devices are dumb by design

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I can only repeat a comment I've made before. Consumer items usually have various certifications before they go on sale, e.g UL. The certification authorities need to incorporate checks for crap like this in the certification process. Fail and they don't get their certifications.

Microsoft: We’ve taken down the botnets. Europol: Would Sir like a kill switch, too?

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Re: Not invisible

"From the article they suggest using it if they detect an infection or a crime."

If they think they've detected a crime it's up to them to prove it in court (whoever they might be).

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Re: Imagine

"but if this happened to me I would complain to the vendor"

If that happened to you you should blame yourself for being so daft as to buy a fridge that needed to connect to the internet.

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"why not implement something like this at the ISP level"

Yes, this is the appropriate place. The ISP is the route for the user onto the net. There may well be something in the ISP's existing T&Cs that enable them to disconnect a user after due warning. If there isn't updated T&Cs re internet access from the ISP are more appropriate than MS changing its T&Cs to allow it to kill a customer's computer. A communication from the ISP is less likely to be treated as a scam than one from MS although maybe the users who get pwned are probably unaware of the Microsoft-calling scam.

The downside is that it doesn't deal with the laptop on the coffee-shop WiFi.

Adblock Plus blocked from attending ad industry talkfest

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Re: It's even a problem on store sites!

"No, I don't want your light bulb newsletter. Just take my order and send it to me"

No, I don't want your light bulb newsletter. I'll find another site to take my order and send it to me.


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Re: Adblock's next step?

"There are three ways to look at this issue, from the viewpoints of the user, the site owner and the advertising agencies."

There's a fourth (and these days a fifth).

The fourth is the actual advertiser. He's been sold on the idea of advertising by some agency in the advertising industry. The poor sod is now paying the industry and the website to piss off potential customers. The advertising industry is very good at selling advertising. Providing that's good for their bottom lines they've got what they came for. Why should they worry about anyone else?

The fifth? That's the malvertisers.

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Re: Adblock's next step?

"And I'm sure you will happily pay for *all* of the content you consume without charge to you? Glad you can afford that."

As far as the advertiser's concerned if they were advertising something I might want then they're better off if I block the advert. If I get the ad them I'll probably boycott them and look for another vendor. And the more obnoxious the ad then the more likely the boycott.

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Communique from the conference

La la la la la. Can't hear you.

Snowden bag-carrier Miranda's detention was lawful – UK appeal court

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Re: Democracy gone.

'"Lord Dyson also said that the publication of material can amount to an act of terrorism, as defined by the Terrorism Act, if the publication endangers life and the person publishing the material intends it to (or is reckless as to whether it does) have that effect."

And as governments decide what info "endangers life" saying something the government does not like can now brand you as a terrorist.'

It's not clear from the article whether that comment was part of his reasoning or obiter dicta (Google is your friend). It would in any case be up to the court to determine whether something endangers life, not the government. Publishing instructions on how to make a bomb might reasonably be construed as endangering life. Publishing something that merely embarrasses the government would make for a tough job for even the best prosecuting counsel. With that in mind and without a better account of the case I'd guess it wasn't part of the judge's reasoning.

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Re: Freedom of speech dies

'Ah, that old canard. Shouting "FIRE!" in a theatre is, or should be, perfectly legal.'

In practice I'd expect a court to take intent into account. If there was good reason to believe that there was a fire or other danger and the shouter acted on that basis then fair enough. If the court believed the intent was to cause mischief or endanger life then it might convict accordingly.

Trump's new thought bubble: Make Apple manufacture in the USA

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Re: I Feel Dirty

"So as wrong as I was regarding Peugeot"

Not really. They took over Chrysler UK who'd taken over Rootes who were a British company.

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Re: If the American people want to put their trust in The Donald

"Best case, they continue to design the same quality and style of product they do now, only at lower margines."

Best case from whose point of view? Not necessarily Apple's. They could up-sticks and locate themselves in the most convenient country. If need be they could de-list from NYSE. So could any multinational - the clue's in the name, they can headquarter in any country they find convenient.

If this were to happen it would almost certainly prompt other multinationals to do the same. The shock-waves could affect us all.

Friends Reunited to shut down. What do you mean, 'is it still going?'

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Re: Still chuckling

"the owners of The Beano"


They have a substantial online business including FindMyPast. One of their sites is GenesReunited. I took up their free trial long ago & backed out PDQ as they seemed not to be able to not send emails about the most unlikely matches of name.

Twitter goes titsup

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"This is like unwrapping a fresh roll of bin bags and not having anywhere to throw the wrapper."

Or buying a new pair of scissors that came trapped in one of those toughened plastic packs that nee scissors to cut them open.

Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

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Re: Mint Imperial?

Are you by any chance based in Stockholm? You certainly exhibit the syndrome.

If something comes down the MS upgrade channel that overnight obsoletes the boxes those 3500 users are running on you'll happily put your hand in your business's pocket & write out an order for 3500 new boxes, won't you?

I once ran a Unix unit in a shop where the IT management had a similar one stop shop mentality. They were going to replace my system in 6 months time. For years and years. Eventually I retired. I regret not being there to see what happened in the end. Their one stop shop was for VAX/VMS.

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Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

"If the telemetry is of concern"

There's an implication that it isn't of concern to you.

Have you read and understood the T&Cs? Go back and read them again.

Read the bit that says they keep your login credentials. Can you find anything that limits it to login credentials to their services? The bit that days they won't keep login credentials for your bank or your work if they feel like it? If you can't find that doesn't it worry you, even just a little?

The same thing about keeping details of your transaction - can you find anything there that restricts them to just purchases from MS & not M&S?

Or did you think that this was just an oversight & MS couldn't find a lawyer to check them over?

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