* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

That scary old system with 'do not touch' on it? Your boss very much wants you to touch it. Now what do you do?

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Re: Insurers, banks, board of trade, government...

"Unfortunately the full benefits will only be known a decade down the line, which the higher echelons will not like: it has no tangible immediate benefit for the shareholder value, costs (now) only money, so it will decrease their fat bonus payments."

However, apply this to the TSB fiasco. What they thought was that running on the old Lloyds platform was costing them too much money and the dis-benefits of screwing up the migration became instantly well known.

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Re: But what about...

"How do you migrate the unknown?"

You switch it off, hoping you can successfully switch it on again. If nobody complains you can leave it switched off (but don't skip it before the end of the accounting year). If someone does you're now know what it does.

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Re: 6 point plan?

"In my experience most of these old systems are still in place because there has never been budget to replace them"

And because they're what the business uses to earn its money.

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“In your greenfield you can introduce a microservice architecture so that the developers and new applications can use the latest technologies, build tools, frameworks, and methodologies to help the business innovate and adapt quickly.”

More likely they'll develop a minimal set of apps which do what marketing wanted but don't deal with everything marketing didn't think about such as invoicing end user customers when you've always dealt with distributors before or handling returns.

Brexit campaigner AggregateIQ challenges UK's first GDPR notice

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Re: So this is punishment for supporting Brexit

"Brexit took place on June 23 2016"

No it didn't. I think you may be deluding yourself.

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Re: So this is punishment for supporting Brexit

"Besides anyone who thinks their personal data is private on facebook is deluding themselves."

That's why we have GDPR - to protect the deluded inter alia.

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Re: They screaming, me smiling

".. you never know when it might be useful in future. Eg all those landing cards for West Indian migrants"

From the PoV of the HO trying to build a hostile environment they were indeed a toxic asset. That's why they were destroyed. They turned out to be even more toxic in their absence, hence the HO is now rudderless.

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"Serious question but how are the ICO going to enforce the GDPR against a Canadian company?"

Start by serving a notice on their bank to freeze their account. The company may or may not have assets in the UK. It's very likely their bank does. On the whole a bank is more likely to be prepared to throw a customer under the bus rather than tangle with the government of a country where it has assests and, presumably, a banking license.

Barclays and RBS on naughty step: Banks told to explain service meltdown to UK politicos

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Re: MPs are not Knowledgeable enough to ask these questions

"banks are IT with a layer of marketing"

Don't forget the casino bolted onto the side.

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"They just took it out of the wages of the delivery riders."

In the case of banks, take it out of the bonus fund as a regulatory requirement. Performance will increase amazingly.

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

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Re: "over-zealous yank"

"Am I the only person who read that title totally differently to the way the author intended?"

What way did you think the author intended you to read it.? This is el Reg, not /.

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Re: I can trump that !

He put down with the phone, turned to me with a grin and said "We've just brought down the whole trading floor at XXX bank."

Does that still work? It could explain quite a lot.

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Re: ANY Unplugging the keyboard = kernel panic ?

"press any out of keys"

Obvious response: which are the "out of" keys?

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Re: Unplugging the keyboard = kernel panic ?

"Plug in a keyboard and press F1 to continue booting"

I think it more likely to have been the result of a specific error message and the automatic concatenation of a standard phrase to any boot-time non-fatal error message.

The Intel board on my Mythtv box does something similar. It has a setting in the BIOS for running keyboard-less but on boot still reports that there's no keyboard and that the error is "logged" (where? - no don't tell me I'm not really interested) but carries on booting which seems to be the only effect of the BIOS setting.

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Re: DevOps?

"It may not have been called "DevOps", but we most certainly used the same concepts and methods in the mid 90s."

One of the joys of being a grey-beard is that you can watch all the young folk [re]discovering so much stuff. All we need is a buzzy name and we can get waterfall development back in fashion.

HMRC contractor scores IR35 payout after yet another taxman blunder

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Re: "HMRC settled the tribunal case immediately before it was due to start"

"always assume incompetence first and maliciousness second"

This is HMRC. Assume the tax inspector has financial targets to meet. Neither incompetence nor maliciousness need be assumed when self-interest enters the picture.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "HMRC settled the tribunal case immediately before it was due to start"

"Settling at the last minute should be seen as a form of willful obstruction."

"Steps of the court" settlements are fairly common in civil cases. Quite likely either this is their first meeting with their barrister after he's had a chance to review the case fully and to negotiate with the palintiff's lawyers. I know it's usual here to condemn lawyers but they can be more amenable to negotiating than their principals.

You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

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Is the old cardfile still a thing in there?

Dead retailer's 'customer data' turns up on seized kit, unencrypted and very much for sale

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Re: Until such a time as

"I mean, it's already pretty risky, but who's going to put their time and money into a business if they can go to jail over their employees screwing up?"

The directors remain responsible for the company being run legally. Limited liability protects against debts. It's just that TPTB are reluctant to enforce it, presumably for the reasons you suggest. They need to use their powers more often if the actions are carried out in bad faith. At present the maximum extent seems to be to disqualify a director.

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Re: Until such a time as

"Company Directors are personally held liable"

Yet another of these things we have to repeat from time to time. GDPR and its UK embodiment in the new DPA has just such provisions.

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Re: How's this different than normal?

"Adding responsibility for the data to the process adds additional costs no one wants."

Wanted or not the responsibility exists.

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Re: How's this different than normal?

"Make it a penalty on the liquidator to allow customer data to leak from a company they've closed down."

It would have been under DPA, it is now with knobs on under GDPR.

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Re: How's this different than normal?

"Not many liquidators would have the means, knowledge or time to make sure things are securely wiped, and if it has come down to the end, its doubtful anybody still left at a company does either."

Once one of them has been hit with a big GDPR fine they'll all make the time and acquire the knowledge. Either that or send the disk for secure destruction.

I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

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Re: User Hostility

"in our office we're convinced that the shiny web-based expenses thing newly foisted on us is designed to make you want to give up 'cos it was only a couple of quid"

In my time in the Cvil Service TPTB achieved that purely with paper. Even if the expenses might amount to 100 miles each way of motoring costs.

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"Lyons airport - where is that?! Anywhere near Lyon?"

An airport. Of course it wasn't near anywhere.

Tech to solve post-Brexit customs woes doesn't exist yet, peers say

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Re: Majority of trade already outside of EU

"Australia has indicated it will want similar concessions"

They'll probably be acceptable to Brexiteers, at least until it's found they're supporting the wrong cricket team.

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Re: Majority of trade already outside of EU

"The Mini factory is going to shut as soon as Brexit happens - BMW own that."

And JLR are going on s 3-day week until Christmas (at least).

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Re: Majority of trade already outside of EU

"Falls at the first hurdle. Better stick to fox-hunting."

Fox hunting not advisable for those who fall at first hurdle.

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and will take at least ten years before it is abandoned as not working because they noticed we'd already sacrificed the pound as part of the price to rejoin the EU and salvage some of our economy.


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Re: "there's a transition period after March"

"EU economic projections from a couple of years ago (agreed by the World Bank) had UK poplulation hitting 85 million by 2040."

Economic projections from anywhere need to be treated with rather more scepticism than Gartner projections. Every budget I can remember includes the Chancellor making projections which are increasingly rosy in the future. The next year is hardly better than the current year and the current year is usually a bit disappointing. Even when one of those halcyon years forecast for the future becomes a bit disappointing once it's the current year.

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

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Re: All these years on

Pity those who never even seem able to get to even 2nd normal.

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Re: "you were seriously stuck up a gum tree"

"And even then, there was always UUCP via dial-up. All you had to do was look around, the options were there."

Where you were, maybe. Where I was in '88 the only thing UUCP did was get you through to the other Zilog (via a parallel cable IIRC).

And, yes, vi is still the direct connection between brain and file.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Whenever I declared a LongMixedCaseIdentifier, I instantly forgot its precise spelling."

Right now the younglings are thinking "Why couldn't she just copy and paste it?".

Thanks, Verity, of 30 years of IT writing that ranks with the sadly-missed Stan Kelly-Bootle.

What's that smell? Oh, it's Newegg cracked open by card slurpers

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"Impossible to do when you have tens of thousands of NPM dependencies that each talk back to some server."

You've just outlined the prerequisite for what A/C said.

No, the Mirai botnet masters aren't going to jail. Why? 'Cos they help Feds nab cyber-crims

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Re: This bit makes me queasy...

"Is there any part of American society that does not have a $ value?"

Probably the victims. How far does $127,000 go in terms of damage caused? At the very least that crypto-currency should be liquidated and the proceeds added to the compensation.

Oi, you. Equifax. Cough up half a million quid for fumbling 15 million Brits' personal info to hackers

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"Makes me wonder why this country is in trillion pound debt"

Gross financial mismanagement not directly connected to

"and we are handing out poxy finds to corps"

Read the article and note that this was the maximum fine under the legislation at the time. Would you be happy if a regulator could just make up penalties at whim? (Think carefully what you ask for before you answer: "Mr Wibble, you were found parking on a double yellow line for the second time. You clearly have disregard for the law. Your car will be taken and crushed and you will serve 3 years in prison.")

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"Ok, I might be being a bit thick here, but why is this shit being held on servers connected to the internet anyway?"

Because that would mean segmenting their networks and it might be a bit inconvenient. Convenient trumps security and will continue to do so until it gets too expensive.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I agree, but the fine is as large as it could be under the old rules."

As the article says but maybe some don't read beyond the headlines.

What businesses should be taking note of it that the regulator has no qualms about setting maximum fines for the really big offences. A business such as Equifax might be able to shrug off £500k but 4% of global turnover will get their attention and this is a signal that it's not a remote probability in such circumstances. It really is worth while spending money on security.

Presumably other EU regulators will be looking at whether any of their citizens were affected and issuing their own fines. And if the US continues to be tardy getting round to issuing penalties then that should be taken into account when the Security Figleaf gets looked at again.

Apple hands €14.3bn in back taxes to reluctant Ireland

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Re: All people on the Island

"That's why people born in the North can decide to represent the Irish Republic."

It's also why they can claim an Irish passport & retain EU citizenship which is very useful in these troubled times. My children have done just that.

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Re: Rules are not equal

"The correct answer is to stop deferrment, but for the US to lower corporation tax and/or dividend tax"

The other alternative would be for multinationals to move their corporate HQ out of the US entirely with just a US subsidiary for sales there. A subsidiary which would, of course, make vary little profit. There might not be enough incentive in that alone but if the US govt. were to insist US corporations were to put in back doors in encryption then it might provide the extra incentive.

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"I suspect that they were thinking that low taxes were their only tool to attract investment that they otherwise wouldn't see at all, it creates a few short term construction jobs, and after that it is just a tax resident business."

There's more to it than that. It lowers corporation tax across the board which makes all the other companies, including those with a higher proportion of employees to revenue, more competitive internationally. Essentially the multinationals are subsidising the national companies. You can only do this if your real economy is relatively small so only a few countries can play in the multinational taxation market which pisses off those who can't.

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"There's got to be an angle here surely."

Yes. It's been explained above. Several times. It's also been explained after previous articles. Several times.

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"How deep in Apple's pockets must these politicians be to be refusing this tax being forced onto their country and the benefits it could have for their constituents?"

Yet again we have to explain.

Apple locates in one country.

The country that they land in gets corporation tax of x% of How Much!!!.

x% of How Much!!! is a tidy sum.

What's more it's a tidy sum more than zilch which is what all the other countries get.

It's a competitive bidding situation. Ireland put in the lowest bid and got the gig. That benefits their constituents because it brings that tidy sum into the nation's coffers. It also brings some employment although not in proportion to the amount of money that's flowing through the company. For extras it also means that the corporation tax for all other Irish companies is lower as well and that puts those companies, including those that employ proportionate numbers of people, at a competitive advantage.

In short it's a big win for the constituents, so much so that ever since Ireland won the rest of the EU governments who missed out have hated Ireland for it. That's why things have ended up this way.

Holy macaroni! After months of number-crunching, behold the strongest material in the universe: Nuclear pasta

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Given that they consist of nothing but neutrons & protons in a single structure I'd have thought they counted as a single atomic nucleus. Just add electrons for a complete atom.

Man cuffed for testing fruit with bum cheek pre-purchase

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"Brings new meaning to try before you buy"

Makes you wonder what he was trying them for.

Michael Dell serves up stump speech to settle sceptical investors

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"the company still has a relatively low proportion of subscription revenue."

What is it that makes people think that making stuff and just selling it is a problem? Yes, I know as a CFO you'd like people to pay you money in perpetuity but from a punter's perspective would you prefer a one-off cost or a millstone?

Who ate all the PII? Not the blockchain, thankfully

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These attestations: are they something like third party signatures on a PGP key? Only this time with blockchain, of course. Everything old is new again.

London tipped to lead European data market. Yes, despite Brexit!

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"it's probably worth taking this report under advisement."

The advisement will be found under a large pinch of salt. I take it Equinix has an interest in this prediction coming true.

Oz government rushes its anti-crypto legislation into parliament

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Re: They know not what they do

"I seriously believe that they know exactly what they are doing."

It depends on who "they" is. Intelligence agencies do but do you seriously think the average politician knows the implications?

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"We have to take away people's rights before they have time to vote us out for trying to take away their rights!"

You can always vote them out for having done it.

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