* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

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the government remained optimistic

Due diligence. We've heard of it. Actually we haven't? What is it?

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"On the latter figure, Bebb smiled wryly and suggested the committee not believe everything they read in the papers."

I think they knew that already. It always works out more expensive. In fact, there's a sort of Hofstadter's law at work on MoD cost estimates.

Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

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Failed Darwin attempt. Better luck next time.

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Re: Great outcome, but what about over here?

"not having doors that can survive a brick being tossed at them"

Article says it was tossed through an adjacent glass panel. A door that can always be unlocked from inside and has a glass panel within reach of the lock should always be regarded as unlocked.

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Re: Psycho creeps will always be with us.

"in the UK the mom would probably have been arrested."

I don't know why you got the down votes as this is what happens.

I've known it happen when an elderly couple in a remote cottage in S Down or S Armagh were being attacked. It took a little while for the police to get someone senior enough to countermand it (a gold course was mentioned). The SOCO who attended the PM told me there no brains in the carnial cavity but he wasn't sure there'd been any originally.

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Re: Now he can get a tattoo, "Shot by the Mom!"

"To be fair, firearms didn't exist when the fairy tale of LRRH originated"

I'm not sure when it did originate (although they existed when the Brothers Grimm wrote it up) but before firearms there were bows and arrows to which firearms were the successor.

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Re: Isn't he supposed to be ...

"given that apparently he was acting alone."

They can always add the Walmart. Or claim he has a split personality.

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Re: "Flew halfway around the world" = "Auckland to Sydney"?

"if it's a trollbait I salute you twice as vigorously!"

Two fingers instead of one?

FireEye hacked off at claim it hacked Chinese military's hackers

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Turning on the camera to view the screen would be a neat trick if you could persuade the user to work with a mirror behind him.

Now NHS Digital is going after data on private healthcare too

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"The body has just launched a campaign promoting this to coincide with a new patient data opt-out scheme and new EU data protection laws"

An opt-out scheme or EU data protection laws? Surely it must be one or the other, it can't be both.

Who wants to cram some BOFH skills into their brains? How about from, er, Google?

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Re: Why doesn't ElReg sponsor...

Idea of the week!

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Does it cover cattle prods, dodgy window catches, tapping phones and cameras and, of course, the correct use of skips, carpet and quicklime?

And all the extra info re beer and pizza in last week's BOFH?

UK Foreign Office offers Assange a doctor if he leaves Ecuador embassy

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"Assange is Australian"

Or Ecuadoran these days.

Perhaps the US intends to grant him unsolicited and retrospective citizenship so they could charge him.

Veritas to put biz tech support on the slow boat to India – insiders

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"The Veritas office referred to is in Heathrow, Florida not Heathrow, England."

Just as well. If it was Heathrow, England it would be at risk of being flattened at some time in the next few years or a few years after that. After Boris, of course. He's still going to get flattened first by lying down in front of the bulldozers. He's still going to do that, isn't he? Isn't he?

The suits helped biz PC makers feed their kids in bumper Q2

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I'd have thought businesses would have kept the old fleet running until new post-Meltdown/Spectre processors become available.

'Black hat' extortionist thrown back in the clink after Yelp-slamming biz

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Re: 8 years?

The initial imprisonment was for extortion against a particular victim.

The second was for "retaliation against a witness, victim, or informant", in other words against the justice system itself. Property does not enter into this at all. No wonder it's the more serious offence.

Not mentioned in the article but does he get to serve the remainder of the 37 months consecutive with the new sentence?

Great news, cask beer fans: UK shortage of CO2 menaces fizzy crap taking up tap space

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Re: dress rehearsal

"What, they're going to refuse to sell CO2 to us after Brexit?"

Blocks of dry ice are going to look a bit depleted after they've been sitting waiting for customs clearance for a few days.

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Re: Is this Correct?

"All the plants that I've ever handled plan their maximum usage of fertilizer during spring and summer"

The production is going to take place ahead of use so the earlier peak is understandable.

Uber's London licence appeal off to flying start: No, you cannot do driver eye tests via video link

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Re: Just make them

Want to pretend to be self-employed - run full accounts, payroll and pay your tax as a company.


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"Uber modified its systems to require employees seeking to apply such tags to obtain pre-approval by a manager and legal clearance. Violation of the policy would lead to disciplinary sanction."

Translation: Not no.

So you're doing an IoT project. Cute. Let's start with the basics: Security

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Re: Nice guys finish last

"The problem is that if you take the time to solve the security issues and make sure that you don't access too much data, your project is one generation late to the market."

That's why regulation is needed to level the playing field. That way, if you don't solve the security issues you don't get to the market.

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"There's a perception that you can get any and all data and then think about it later. You need use cases."

There's nothing new or specifically IoT related about that. It's just the magnitude of "all" that's changing.

Software changed the world, then died on the first of the month

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Re: Data format parsing

"Best not to make assumptions about formats."

Or about anything else unless it can be avoided. Assume that every address includes a street number? No they don't. Assume "City" is a meaningful field name (including in historic addresses)? No it isn't. etc. etc.

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Re: Data format parsing

"Usually when they won't accept spaces, it's because they've fixed the textbox at 16 characters wide... to prevent people putting in numbers of the wrong length."

The length check should, of course, take place on the canonicalized version.

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Wasn't there a version of Sun's OS in the late '80s that fell over the first time it got to a leap year?

About the same time I'd inherited an application written by one of the company's directors. He was a COBOL programmer by trade who'd adapted to C by way of a number of macros that tried to introduce some COBOL idioms but that's by the way here.

One of the functions was only intended to run on a specific day of the week - Monday or Friday, I can't remember which. This fell over at the start of the new year. There was a page and a half of code which I couldn't understand to work out the day of week to check it was running on the right day. There was probably a relationship between my not understanding it and it not working.

The database in use was Informix which has a function for returning today's date in its internal date format: integer with 1 corresponding to the first of January, 1900. So run cal 1900 to determine what day of the week that was (Monday), calculate today's date mod 7and check for whatever result would be correct in the context of the program's requirement and job done. I never did work out what the page and a half of code actually did; I just deleted it.

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Re: @Rich 11

When I came back she told me that what the developer, who hadn't questioned anything in the verbal "spec", had produced for her was "exactly what I'd asked for" but "didn't do what I wanted".

That's IT's ultimate revenge on users.

GDPR forgive us, it's been one month since you were enforced…

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Re: Dicks sporting goods misbehaving?

"Don't be a ..."

Nominative determinism?

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Re: Entitled whinging

"If a non-EU company decides it is easier to lock you out rather than comply with pointless regs"

If they decide EU business isn't worth their while then it's reasonable that they regard the regs as pointless although those of us in Europe don't agree. For a company that does local business in a non-European company that wouldn't damage their business. If, in future, they were to want to expand their business they'll need to reconsider.

However, for those in media who regard themselves as important opinion leaders it's a very high risk strategy. They can't really afford to drop out of such an influential region. Are they finally getting round to fixing it or are they still sticking their heads in the sand and hoping it all goes away?

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"several UK online newspapers."

The entire Trinity Mirror group for a start. The first time I hit that I stopped partway through and emailed the paper telling them they were in breach. They wrote back and assured me that their group expert said they weren't. I wrote back again giving the URL of the ICO's page on the subject, directing their attention to the specific sentence in the specific paragraph. There was no reply and last time I looked nothing had changed.

Time to start the complaints to the ICO.

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Re: And once again...

"GDPR is a pita"

It depends on how you've been treating personal data in the past.

If you've not assumed you have rights to spam everyone who ever bought as much as a postage stamp years ago - or even enquired about buying one - you're probably at least well on the way to being compliant.

If you made a business of buying and selling people's data then not only is it a PITA, it's one you richly deserve and should have got years ago.

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Re: And once again...

"But what about the data retention law, from that very same EU? ... Wouldn't you say that this somehow contradicts with the GDRP?"

No it doesn't.

The reasons for this have been explained here numerous times; most recently, at least on my part, with complaints that we have to keep explaining it. So now I won't bother explaining, I'll simply tell you that there are provisions within GDPR for this and similar stuff. If you want a full answer to your question, go and swot it up for yourself. If you're tasked with GDPR compliance in your own company it's the sort of thing you should be doing anyway.

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Re: Kind of scary

"I have to wonder why the legislation in the EU has any bearing or impact on websites operating in other jurisdictions."

It bears on anyone handling PII of data subjects resident in the EU by giving those people certain rights. Where the data is held or processed has no bearing; those rights now exist.

"And even if they have reasons to be compliant it makes you wonder what sort of scary crap were they doing before GDPR that means they have to block access afterwards."

Indeed. And if they hold problematic data they'd acquired before they started blocking they're still in contravention. If they haven't purged their old data the blocking means nothing. In fact, it raises a flag for someone who has use the site beforehand and fancies taking a poke at them...

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Re: NPR and Bodhi Linux

"Bodhi Linux admins, however, took the rather extreme step of deleting their support forums entirely, just in case"

It doesn't reflect well on their ability to develop functional S/W. It's a long time since I looked at Bodhi and the memory I took away was style over function so I can't say I'm overwhelmed with amazement to hear it.

UK taxman has amassed voice profiles of 5.1 million taxpayers

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Re: Give it a year

By default it becomes part of EU law on Brexit. The UK is going to need to keep it there in order to continue doing business with the EU. The new DPA specifically puts it into UK law more or less. It's the "less" bit that's going to cause problems down the line.

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"HMRC ... is developing a new process which will be operated on the basis of the explicit consent of the customer."

Translation. We had two years warning which we ignored. Now we realise we have to do it. Can we have a moratorium?

Linus Torvalds tells kernel devs to fix their regressive fixing

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Re: Is it still...

"...not finished?"

It's not being finished, it's being maintained. In S/W development maintenance is a never-ending process of chasing new requirements. In an O/S - and take your pick of vendor or open source project - those new requirements are largely innovations or updates in the H/W on which it sits.

Arguably it was finished by definition at 1.0.

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Re: A thin line

Design documentation comes from the system architect. In collaboratively developed S/W the system architect's role, such as exists, falls on the maintainer. But in the maintainer's role is mostly reactive rather than proactive. He can determine architecture by admitting, leaving out or even removing stuff (in Linus' case he's already said he doesn't write much if anything any more).

Contributions of S/W are determined not by some over-arching view of what should be in there but by some developer (or, more likely in the case of Linux, their employer) concluding that something is needed or needs fixing*. Part of the traditional system architect's role it do determine what the requirements are for the system. The collaborative approach supersedes that part by having contributions arise directly from the perceived requirement.

Documentation is, however, a point that ought to be thought of more. One approach would be to require a documentation patch. For new functionality that could go into the primary documentation, for bug fixes it could mark an item in a reported bug list as being fixed or report the bug and mark it fixed at the same time. That would solve Linus' immediate problem except that it's a bit late to start that now.

* Occasionally a contribution can arise from someone providing a bounty.

Facebook sends lowly minions to placate Euro law makers over data-slurp scandal

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Re: @Shadmeister

"The EU may implement a fine, but not the 4% which has been indicated here."

Citation needed.

"The court proceedings against the VW people etc., is not the EU, but the USA."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44517753 This was in Germany, not the US.

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Re: I've said it before, I'll say it again.

"fines have no clout."

Fines which scale with turnover have clout. Your cleaning lady won't be spending 4% of your annual turnover, possibly several times a year, unless you have a serious contamination problem or a barely visible turnover. And when things get serious it won't be your cleaning lady who goes to gaol, it will be the senior local management.

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Re: @Shadmeister

"Will the EU implement such a fine against the social platform that every loves to use and cause disruption ? No."

No? Really?

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"Facebook is worth nearly 1/2 trillion dollars."

What does "worth" mean? If you mean money in the bank you might have a point although the shareholders might want some of that "returned" to them.

If you mean stock market valuation then you have to account for the fickleness of the stock market. It's not real money, just a projection of the price at which recent transactions took place. A surplus of sellers over buyers will change that in an instant and feedback can amplify such changes. Sticking with your point of GDPR fines a 4% fine would cause at least a bit of a wobble. If there were a few cases ongoing and FB had to announce it was making a provision of an eighth of its turnover for possible fines the feedback loop might really start a plunge.

Actually, I was thinking not of GDPR which is done and dusted as far as legislation is concerned. But what of new legislation? A reconsideration of corporate taxation rules? What about the idea of having companies pay the data subjects for slurpage as discussed here https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/06/22/cowen_technopoly/ ? Or, more likely, governments being governments, valuing the slurpage as a taxable asset?

And don't just think in terms of fines; we are starting to see criminal sanctions against company officers, e.g. in the case of the VW emissions business. Zuck and his friends really wouldn't like legislation that puts them in line for those (actually GDPR already does).

How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

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Re: Format of choice for immediate offline reading, easy sharing or simple portability

"Again, you want proof or you want ceremony?"

Ceremony, complete with witnesses, used to be the whole point of signing.

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Re: Format of choice for immediate offline reading, easy sharing or simple portability

"At my company, we moved our quality manuals from PDF to Markdown in 2016."

AIUI Markdown is text only. So your quality manuals don't need illustrations of any kind?

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Re: "Placement and styling is important."

"Printing? Bloody printing? What is this? 1980-fucking-5?"

Just wait until your business gets challenged on something and you need a paper trail to prove your side of it. BTW you'll find that swearing at the judge doesn't improve your case.

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Re: Format of choice for immediate offline reading, easy sharing or simple portability

"I don't get that jump with Foxit Reader when it's displaying in 'continuous' mode."

Nor Okular with scrolling although pg up and pg down keys respond with a jump.

Software engineer fired, shut out of office for three weeks by machine

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Re: California

"So I'm sure there's a lawyer tooling up right now for the improper dismissal suit."

If he was on contract for services* there would be terms in the contract for termination.

* Which seems to be the case as there was still a agent pimp recruiter involved 8 months after he started.

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Re: non-story?

"So basically the engineer in question was on a short contract that wasn't renewed."

This conflicts with the report that he was 8 months into a 3 year contract. It sounds more like this was a failure in a manual procedure to transfer the data over to a highly automated system.

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Re: The Bastard System Operator From Hell

"You mean the BOFH series that has been officially published on this very site for years?"

Yes. Have you never followed the links at the bottom of the articles? There's one that specifically says 95 - 99.

Azure North Europe downed by the curse of the Irish – sunshine

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So Azure can't cope with azure skies in Ireland.

Coat - didn't bring one in this weather.

Smyte users not smitten with Twitter: APIs killed minutes after biz gobble

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"offered acknowledgment that the acquisition had been handled poorly."

For the amounts of money the execs are paid they should be expected to not handle it poorly.

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