* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

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

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

"If anyone signs up with any of them now we'll all know who gave them the idea."

Or we'll just think it was you signing up with a new handle.

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"start chipping away at their business model by restricting how Facebook can use the data. It might take that for Facebook to take the EU seriously."

At some point that's going to happen. Facebook will then find legislators treating it with the disdain it showed them. What goes around comes around. FB would be well advised to remember that.

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Re: Bullshit? Bingo!

"Buffer overflow protection prevented me from parsing it further"

You're not supposed to parse vision and mission statements. You might be tempted to analse them and then you'd discover they don't mean anything.

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

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"Very reliant on imports from Scandinavia and also the Netherlands"

Treat it as a dress rehearsal for Brexit.

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

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We keep telling you: It's somebody else's computer. You just don't have control over it.

Do UK.gov wonks understand sci-tech skills gap? MPs dish out Parliamentary kicking

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Re: "...the skill set is lacking because universities etc have not caught up with it yet"

"Instead, you hire a fully qualified experienced grad from abroad. Result, nobody gains the relevant experience."

Except the grad from abroad if their experience wasn't quite what they'd claimed.

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Re: Stream the schools not the children

"They do not work and only serve to reduce social mobility."

My primary was a small local village school. Nobody there could afford coaching. Some of us passed 11+, some didn't. I expect it was the same for all the other schools in the catchment area although many would have been larger.

There were a relatively small number who went to a small fee-paying school run by the grammar school head-master's wife (!). I'm not sure how much that affected their actual chances of passing.

Getting into grammar school was an opportunity, if you took it, for social mobility. Some did take it, some didn't. I've no idea where I'd have ended up without that opportunity but following a professional career doesn't seem very likely.

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Re: So many issues...

"STEM subjects are highly specialized and expensive, which is why schools struggle to attract specialist teachers and fund the equipment needed."

I say, chaps. Maths doesn't need all that expensive equipment so let's just have them teach maths. It'll be a lot cheaper and it's STEM just like the rest so it doesn't make any difference.

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Re: Stream the schools not the children

"this idea that it is a panacea to education is a middle class sop."

That may be because some of us middle class came up from distinctly non-middle class backgrounds via grammar schools and can see the advantages.

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Re: Long-term?

"Sadly those middle managers normally remove workload from clinicians, so without them clinicians end up managing."

All too often the middle managers are micro-managers who place their own load on the managed so the managed might or might not end up doing at least some of the original managing, they have to manage their managers.

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Re: Long-term?

"a can they've kicked into the long grass for it to be someone else's problem years later (e.g. pensions)"

Add PFI to that. A sensible energy policy. A sensible transport policy. A sensible planning policy... Anything involving hard thinking or unpopular decisions, in fact.

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"The PAC pointed the finger at the two departments that should be most knowledgeable – the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Department for Education."

Let's add a third: the Treasury and specifically HMRC for IR35, a notable deterrent to flexible working.

Why the 'feudal' tech monopolies run rings around competition watchdogs

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Re: Trading your data

"I've nothing to hide. I'm doing nothing immoral, unethical or illegal."

The two statements are a non sequitur. The fact that you're doing nothing immoral, unethical or illegal doesn't mean you've nothing to hide.

"Card info & name to make a payment. No you should NOT store my code on back of card."

Your T&Cs for the card mean that you shouldn't give out that code to anyone who proposes to store it. That means that you have got something to hide.

I wish people would simply drop this "I've got nothing to hide" stuff. It's just not true.

In huge privacy win, US Supreme Court rules warrant needed to slurp folks' location data

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"So warrantless spying is still fine."

More likely that this only involves one questioned means of gathering information so only governs that. It doesn't say that other cases involving other means couldn't be ruled on at other hearings and make use of this precedent.

Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally

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Re: Basic mechanical ability

"had to build a basic set of flat pack shelves over the weekend and my 4yo lad was interested"

Similarly, a couple of years ago I was assembling flat pack stuff for my daughter. Grandson was a bit older but also wanted to help. We progressed from him sorting out and hand me the correct screws to fitting them himself. Back in the day I mixed an awful lot of sand and cement and concrete for my dad, helped support the long end of 8x4 boards being put through the circular saw etc. You have to pass this stuff on.

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"Questioning rarely elicited enough information - so he would be given the appropriate toolbox - and possibly the large Stillson wrench too."

Crafty neighbour.

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They were fond of those vague "remove" instructions.

And "replacement is the reverse of assembly" ignoring how awkward it is to hold some concealed nut in place whilst you get the thread started or how to do some tricky alignment. I think the Hayes garage must be a collection of disassembled cars.

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Re: Key word is "Trainee"

"If they're that useless they probably make crap tea anyway."

Tea-making training is the first thing to tackle. People don't know that? No wonder the country's going down the tubes etc. etc.

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Re: He started a new life

"I've never understood what drives normal, non-psycopathic, people to take up dentistry anyway"

Money. Or it used to be.

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"A trivial request and one with which the carpenter complied without question."

It's the "without question" bit that's the problem. He should have asked enough questions to determine what size screws to provide.

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Re: Key word is "Trainee"

"I don't like seeing them be used as tea boys/ladies, I still see that as a form of bullying."

A fair point if that's all they're being used as; trainees should be trained and that's where most of their time should go. But someone has to get the tea so it might as well be the one whose time is least valuable in terms of the work being paid for.

BOFH: Is everybody ready for the meeting? Grab a crayon – let's get technical

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"a collection of 30+-year-old war stories"

BOFH's war stories go back 20+ years.

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Re: Screwing with others like the BOFH with the annoying lady

"she was a temp. Didn't know where the can was"

First thing to find out when starting a new gig.

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Re: The purpose of documentation

"I had to go with immediate effect, before I tipped off his Boss."

You should have tipped off his boss anyway.

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Re: "I prefer not to answer that but suggest you wear gloves to work."

"It's true PHBs have to shovel stuff. If they're good at it"

If they're good at it by definition they're not a PHB.

Amazon tweaks its word processor for easier online Office edits

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Re: Seems pricey....

I can see my aged parents and in-laws using it.

'How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child' Introduce them to LibreOffice instead.

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Re: Well I for one shall be ditching MS Office 2016

"LibreOffice is crap because undercover M$ employees contributed to it to sabotage it."

Citation needed.

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Re: Well I for one shall be ditching MS Office 2016

"In y experience, Libre/Open Offices have been so much riddled with bugs"

It's odd that those of us who use LibreOffice as our only office suite don't find that. Perhaps our experience is more extensive than yours.

Schneier warns of 'perfect storm': Tech is becoming autonomous, and security is garbage

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Re: 'Security is failing just as technology is becoming autonomous'

"If you can pull the plug on the thing then there's no issue, if not then accidents happen"

Likelihood is that the plug doesn't get pulled until the accident's happened.

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

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I should have added that your "open standard" of Word format is generally regarded as a bit of a kludge. Those who actually want to work with open standards usually prefer ODF.

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"most of all, 100 % of our customers and partners did work with the same software we did: Office, Adobe photoshop/illustrator/indesign /quark xpress."

And what about the consumer, the person who you hoped to read the product? Were there supposed to have a copy of Quark Xpress to read it? If all you were doing was print it you wouldn't need to have gone near PDF.

If you wanted it to have been read online then if you wanted to ensure they saw what you saw you'd have little option; your reader with Word or Word viewer might not have had the same fonts, or even fonts with the same metrics. Your reader then sees a slightly dishevelled document and forms their view of whoever sent it accordingly: remember that what's communicated is what's received, not what's transmitted.

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Re: PDF is clunky.

"Sometimes, this is done for security, because I suppose it would be harder to violate copyright with something where copy and paste are made impossible, but usually it's down to someone messing something up or being a control freak because I should view this document in the font they like."

In general I find that PDFs generated from a word processing document copy and paste just fine. If they don't then it's most likely a deliberate act. But being able to control the presentation in this way is the purpose of PDF. If people have taken advantage of that it's a little unreasonable to blame the format for that. They didn't want you to take the text out. That may rebound on them later but if so it's a problem of their own making.

PDFs generated from a scan are a different kettle of snakes. At best they've been OCRed into something very approximately resembling the text. At worst you have to hope you can find an OCR program that can deal with the font and the condition of the document that was scanned. If the original was a printed book you have to hope it was early in the print run.

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Re: PDF has its uses I suppose

"Even trying to edit a PDF is a series of unpleasant workarounds"

Trying to unscrew a welded joint is also tricky and for the same reason: they're both intended to be unchangeable.

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Re: I get thumbs down here?

No Yorkshireman'd say "t'lad" when referring to himself.

Depends. I could, for instance, say it when quoting a member of the older generation commenting about me.

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Re: What page was that on?

"You'll find it on page 19."

Only 2 away? Downloads of C19th books from archive.org or Google books can be way, way more out than that. With the occasional plate that didn't have a page number. And that's only vol 1 when the page numbering continues into multiple volumes. With luck the OCR isn't too bad and you can search for the actual page number.

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Re: PDF is clunky.

"Once upon a time, a certain company that I worked for, lost the original Word .DOC with 5.000 pages worth of documentation"

No backups? Careless. And why put 5,000 pages into a single document?

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Re: PDF is clunky.

"If your organization had a tough time extracting the info, then it's your organization that was at fault for making extraction difficult."

They may have done it because they were frightened of someone extracting the text from it.

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Re: I find PDF highly useful

"Email is, of course, HTML based"

You were doing well up to this point. HTML email is an abhorrent waste of bandwidth and spawn of the marketing brethren (see icon).

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Re: Ahem

"script LibreOffice to do the Word file creation from the OCRd PDF"

Oh, the irony.

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"As PDF's are really intended to be printed, there is generally no reason to have pictures/images that are of a higher resolution than is necessary to print the page."

If all you have is a printer, that's fair enough. I view PDFs on Okular and that has a zoom control.

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Draft in Word LibreOffice, publish in export as PDF.

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

"The number of press releases I see as .doc(x) - because obviously I'm going to have the same fonts installed on my Ubuntu/Mac/Win10 machine as you will on your Win7/Mac box."

You could, of course, make some - interesting - amendments to those before passing them on.

Test Systems Better, IBM tells UK IT meltdown bank TSB

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Re: IBM??

"I'm not sure why IBM continues to take on these types of jobs"

They get paid for them and in such circumstances they can name their price.

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"IBM also told TSB to prioritise telephony and branch channels"

These are only useful if there are sufficiently trained and helpful (a contradiction in terms?) are available and in particular the second is only useful if the customer's local branch hasn't been closed to save on staffing costs. These considerations are not unique to TSB.

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Re: Kettle

blame the "gee, this is easy" attitude referred to by some as "positive thinking"

Accompanied by referring to asking for clarification as "negative thinking". Both are indicators of absence of thinking by manglement.

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It said that a “limited number of services” - including mortgage origination and ATM and head office functions - had been launched on the new platform and a broader set of services to about 2,000 TSB partners.

The wording on the slide is a bit obscure. Given the preceding "IBM would expect world class design rigour, test discipline, comprehensive operational proving, cut-over trial runs and operational

support set-up:" I read this as saying it's what they would have expected to happen, not what did happen.

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"A report into the IT meltdown at TSB has suggested the British bank did not carry out rigorous enough testing"

Note to self: avoid feathers; might get knocked down.

Dixons Carphone profits drop 24% amid hack 'n' high street struggles

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Re: RE: Wolfe

"Last time i went to Currys the smug twat there blatantly refused to sell me the laptop i wanted"

The latest thing in retail seems to be that bricks & mortar should deliver "experiences". They really need to ensure that they can deliver better experiences than that. The fact that the e-word is usually a warning about user interfaces doesn't bode well.

NASA eggheads draw up blueprints for spotting, surviving asteroid hits

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Need to launch a lot more telescopes. Ooh, look. There are some nice galaxies and things in the background.

Script kiddie goes from 'Bitcoin Baron' to 'Lockup Lodger' after DDoSing 911 systems

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What's the chances the "supervised release" will require an internet connection to contact the supervision authority?

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