* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

UK.gov isn't ready for no-deal Brexit – and 'secrecy' means businesses won't be either

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"For us that means paychecks!"

For many that means lack of paycheques.

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

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Re: He's Not Sorry...

"Is your defense of Linus based on extensive observation of him, or just your angry emotions reacting to his detractors?"

I made the point in an earlier posts that business as usual doesn't make headlines. We thus get a reaction based not on business as usual but from the exceptions.

Having spent a good many years dealing with some members of the human race at the worst I've learned not to judge the general by the worst exceptions.

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Re: He's Not Sorry...

"The star-struck sycophancy is there for all to see in the Q&A parts of the various lectures."

That would be coming from others not him wouldn't it? Clearly there are a good number who don't agree with you.

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Re: He's Not Sorry...

"The guy's a dick."

Is this an observation based on extensive observation of him or just of headlines?

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Re: Rainbow haired

Some of us are very grateful for whatever hair we have left.

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Re: Best of luck to him

"The only thing he should have done imo is to have a named 'understudy' in place a couple of years ago."

You think he didn't?

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Re: Nice One, Linus ..... Onwards and Upwards to Further Leading Areas of Virtual Expertise

Careful there. I managed to parse of it.

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Thumb Up

"Give them a new forum, and make it clear that's where Really Important Things happen."

The B ark solution. I like it.

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Re: Linus moving the Linux Kernel Maintainers' Summit

"see a bunch of castles and some scenery in Scotland"

Don't be mean. Allow him a few distilleries as well.

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Re: I must say that sometimes he seems to have a point

"Although describing even minor mistakes with crackling vituperation does seem a bit on the er, emotional side."

As has been pointed out here a number of times the vituperation only comes in the most egregious situations where the developer hasn't responded to more gentle persuasion. Oddly enough neither el Reg nor anyone else posts regular articles on the lines of "Linus politely rejects a patch". Or maybe not oddly because it would quickly get boring.

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Re: Good for him.

"Unfortunately the organisers deciding to move that to Edinburgh may have thwarted his plans for getting the break away from it all he desired and deserved."

That's the way it looked to me. I wonder that Mrs. T made of it all.

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Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

"In your view, bullying people for their gender and sexuality is not just OK but somehow morally *necessary* as a badge of belonging."

I think the objection is to those who bully others who are simply using long-accepted parts of the English language. Personally, as a male, I suppose I would be entitled to object to "my" gender-specific pronouns being used as non-specific* but it's been that way for a long time so I just accept it. And should my wife object if a customer service person (as like as not female) address us as "you guys"? Personally I find the latter a little over-familiar in most contexts but again it's a generally accepted modern usage so I have to take it in my stride.

The real problem as I see it is the like of the master/slave row. Trying to rewrite much-used technical terminology is just asking for trouble. The next step in that direction would be to argue about the terms used for handedness of threads - or even the very concept of them being handed.

*They/their seems fairly natural to me, especially used in a context where the gender or even number of those referred ti is unknown. It was in fairly common use when I was young but I think the grammar zealots consider it an incorrect use of the plural although they seem to consider what has now become standard use of the plural for 2nd person. Actually I think so-called plurality in English is rather more complex than the grammar zealots realise but over the years I've dropped they/their but I'm tending to use it more.

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Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

"Obviously I hope it doesn't come to that, but even if it does, most of the OSS userspace is somewhat kernel-agnostic. "

Too much of it on the IoT side is also quality, security and privacy agnostic.

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Re: Don't let the namby-pambys run the Kernel, Linus!

"I can't think of any environment where being so abusive to your subordinates is allowed."

But can you also think of any other product on such a scale developed in that way? From TFA "10,000 developers from more than 1,200 organizations worldwide" all of whom are self-selected and over whom Linus has none of the conventional managerial options: he doesn't hire or fire (although he does have the option of refusing patches which isn't quite the same thing). He doesn't write annual reviews, recommend or withhold raises or promotions or award bonuses.

One has to conclude that having held that process together over so many years to produce a successful product he might be doing something right.

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Re: Congratulations

"I hope this is a success for Linus Torvalds and linux."

I also hope normal service is resumed as soon as someone tries to slip some nonsense into the kernel and won't take a polite "no" for an answer. The Code of Conduct referenced includes something about accepting constructive criticism. AFAICS the outbursts have followed failures of that..

Boffins ask for £338m to fund quantum research. UK.gov: Here's £80m

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They probably think it's enough. As the location of the funds will be subject to uncertainty all the recipients will think they might have got what they needed. Until they open the box, of course.

NHS smacks down hundreds of staffers for dodgy use of social media, messaging apps

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Re: [twitface discussion] under threat of expulsion from their register

"Obviously they'd rather any slightly disgruntled patient makes a formal complaint every single time about every single thing, rather than have them just grumbling ineffectually to their friends."

Or they'd rather have ineffectual complaints than be roasted on social media which seems to be about the only thing that has an effect these days.

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Re: Meanwhile

"It's quite damning when a free service like Whatsapp or FB Messenger does a better job at getting information from A to B than a system that cost tax payers millions of pounds"

Maybe they had their fax machines taken away.

Equifax IT staff had to rerun hackers' database queries to work out what was nicked – audit

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Re: No-one at the Exec level gives a shit

"told to shut up or find themselves another job."

I'm not suggesting that whoever committed the breach was such a person but that sort of managerial response, which I'm sure most of us won't find improbable, just piles one risk on top of another.

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"could someone tell me what they actually do?"

Get ignored?

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Re: Impressive consequences

"Feels like a monitoring tool should notice that it can no longer monitor something and complain."

That depends on there being somebody monitoring the complaint and deciding it's their job to respond.

How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

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Re: Who'd invest in such crap?

"I found myself asking that question when I went to view Stephenson's Rocket at the Almost-imperceptible Exhibition of the North."

Not quite the Rocket but for a real reality trip behind an early engine try Beamish.

Redis does a Python, crushes 'offensive' master, slave code terms

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Re: "Hurtful"

Likewise the complaint that "parent/child" terminology with respect to processes had to be renamed, because it was hurtful to orphans.

I'm not familiar with that one. How do they deal with orphan processes? And is anyone offended when they become zombies?

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Re: "Hurtful"

"There's a huge email thread where I work of people who find it offensive."

Who find what offensive? Hurtful?

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Re: Makes me glad I'm old, accomplished,

Surely just shutting down any suggestion of change is closer to "totalatarian"?

The word you're looking for is "consistent".

In tech-speak words have specific meanings. They may have been imported from some other context by analogy but once imported they acquire a new significance and it becomes important that they're used consistently. Unless we have consistency it becomes impossible to communicate. That means that if I ever used the term "slave" in documentation anyone reading it then, now or at some point in the future would know exactly what I meant. Even if we were to coin a new term now and use it in the future it would in no way remove the need for anyone entering the field in the future learning what the term "slave" meant in that context; there's too many examples of it being used in that precise, technological sense to do without it.

Your opening sentence is a perfect example of the pitfalls that are caused by lack of precision. It's clear from the fact that you think "replica" is equivalent in meaning to "slave" whereas they actually mean two different things. To try to impose the one term in place of the other would indeed be buggering about with the terminology if not with the actual language.

Perhaps you've wandered into this conversation from marketing or management where precision of expression is a disadvantage, exposing as it does an absence of meaning.

Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

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Re: Air is leaking out of the Soyuz capsule

"Only works with a North of England accent"

There's no such thing. It's all the rest of you who have accents.

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Re: Zero G

"Not the moment of intertia?"

Inertia isn't just for moments. It goes on and on.

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Re: Zero G

"or will the wielder spin around the drill?"

The one benefit of this entire thread is imagining just that.

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Re: Give Russia's reputation for poor workmanship

"At least Ikea put a stop to that"

I've had to re-drill Ikea components manufactured with half the holes out of place. But consistently manufactured that way - let it not be said that Ikea aren't consistent.

UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

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Re: Easy solution

Throw in a couple of extras: they can't hold jobs funded by the EU or be employed in facilities established in the UK to provide their owners with an EU-based facility and they can't buy food partly paid for by EU subsidies.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

"Like-it-or not, if you have a strong opinion on EU membership, you're probably in a minority amongst the general electorate."

This is true. It's the economic consequences of leaving that will inevitable fall on the majority and Leave, despite running a major Project Fear campaign of their own, called drawing attention to those "Project Fear".

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

"Tactically it's awful, as it hands the EU negotiators the option to offer nothing"

Do you still not understand despite watching the process so far? The "it" in your statement was the insistence by Leavers on leaving whatever the consequences. Why should the EU negotiators offer anything?

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

"We reached a result.

We implement the result."

Which was, by a small majority, that people wanted to leave the EU. There was no indication what they wanted to do instead. There was no indication whether they'd still want to leave if it cost them their job, if it reduced the quality of health care by denying the NHS staff (even if £350 million a day was really available it wouldn't help if there weren't enough UK staff) or if it cut pensions and benefits as a result of a contracting economy.

So, how does a responsible government react? How does any business react to an ill-constructed requirement? It tries to put in some detail. It does feasibility studies. None of that happened. Cameron stood aside. The gung-ho leavers stood aside from taking his position. The resulting half-arsed government tried to push ahead blindly without even determining what was the legal way of doing so*, let alone looking at practicalities. As a result the outcome is looking worse and worse.

*Remember that it took a citizen to bring the matter to court to determine that. She was vilified by Leavers who still haven't even grasped that without that a court could have come along now and had the entire invocation of Article 50 declared illegal for lack of Parliamentary consent. In fact, it's a pity she did take that step as it would have been a useful brake no have invoked now.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

"We agreed that the result would be implemented"

Actually no. It was an advisory vote and I doubt even its proponents had any workable idea as to how to implement it or even expected to win it. AFAICS they were just expecting Cameron to stay on and implement it when they won. The panic when it fell to them was evident. Those who stepped up to the plate failed, those who stood on the sidelines shouting have yet again, last week, ducked out of giving is their view of how to do it, apparently out of fear it would be torn to pieces.

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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

"Don't even bother posting on The Reg."

Good advice. You'll be dealing with people who, on the whole, have skills at working through the nuts and bolts of what decisions will lead to. It's their every-day job.

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Re: Bitter

And for the remoaners who keep going on about "Stupid Brexiteers didn't know what they were voting for...waaah!" - NEITHER DID YOU!

That's true. We didn't know what Brexiteers voted for for the simple reason that they didn't all seem to vote for the same thing. And we still don't know what they voted for.

What's worse, whatever they, as individuals, voted for, they didn't know what they were going to get because, as supplicants, it wasn't going to be in their hands. That we did know.

What we voted for was quite clear: the status quo.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"So I'd say we're stuck with referendums on major EU issues now. "

If we leave the only future EU issue would be about rejoining. And, just as with leaving, it would be on the EU's terms because, as with the existing fiasco, beggars can't be choosers. So preventing EU mission-creep would have to be accepted if/when we want back in.

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"Can you see any MP who voted against the motion to leave the EU surviving the next election if his constituency voted to leave?"

Yes, once it had been clear what the consequences would be for the constituency.

But can you see any MP who voted to leave surviving the next election once the consequences of leaving are experienced?

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"If the peoples' representatives ask the people for direction, then they follow the instruction they get back from the people."

The only sensible conclusion to draw from the result was "we're not sure".

However, taking the result as an advisory vote to leave the responsible thing would have been to start a proper project, starting with a feasibility study and to take a responsible decision, based on that, as to whether to continue. In effect we're now seeing the results of that feasibility study. Would a responsible government go on to the next phase in the light of those results?

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"I don't think that joining the Euro would be forced on the UK should some arrangement to stay in the EU be drafted."

Not as part of an arrangement to stay. I'm sure it will be part of the terms to rejoin.

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"But joining the Euro is economically insane"

Except as an alternative to something worse and that's going to be the consequence of this nonsense.

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"Who would have thought that Brexit was so complicated"

That's an easy one: everyone who voted against it.

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Re: #PeoplesVote for space race

"Brexit is more Enoch Powell and 'Watch with Mother'"

A strange combination but it could explain a lot.

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"in the same way that the British should be (but failing)"

Beggars can't be choosers.

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so why can't the UK play nicely with the EU??

FTFY But thanks for the insight into your thinking.

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Re: Remind me...

I was going to point out "fewer" rather than "less"

It's one of those things that people say because someone read it somewhere written by someone who heard someone say it because they'd read it somewhere....which just goes back to someone writing it originally just because they thought it should work that way. JRM and Bojo are just the sort of persons who would probably stand by it.

Tell me, is 3 fewer or less than half a dozen?

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Re: "Almost everything..UK media & UK politicians blamed on EU for over 20 years was a lie."

"Pervasive surveillance and near unlimited police powers with no accountability. HO doesn't have it's s**t together."

In the HO's view that's where it definitely does have its s**t together. And it wants to keep it that way so the sooner we can get out of the jurisdiction the ECJ and preferably the ECHR the better as far as they're concerned.

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Re: Remind me...

First off, a LOT of those jobs are set to be automated away.

Some. Others not. One of the problems with automating low paid jobs is that you spend money up-front to make savings which, by definition, must be small.

Secondly, isn't anyone concerned that "youth these days" [*] do not want to get their hands dirty?"

Once the economy can't afford to pay out as much in benefits they may find out that they're not given the option; come October they get sent to pick spuds, in January daffs etc.

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Re: Remind me...

Anything that goes wrong after Brexit will be blamed on "remainers"

We've already seen that attempt in other threads here. I doubt it will work. Nobody will admit to voting Leave unless they've declared it very conspicuously already.

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Re: Remind me...

"Particularly if those who are rioting used to support your position."

A sector poised to benefit from Brexit: pitchfork sales. Possibly also tar & feathers.

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