* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Brit MPs brand Facebook a 'great vampire squid' out for cash

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: OK: Facebook is a bad boy ...

Google try and circumvent that by pop up "our agreement with you"

It's going to be interesting to see what happens to this under GDPR given that agreeing to extended data collection, to coin a term, can't be tied to provision of a service.

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Re: "Vampire Squid"

Good to know that "vampire squid" is a acceptable parliamentary language. Maybe we'll get to hear more of it.

Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive

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Re: Users....

"Print after print spews forth."

Long time ago I dropped in at a local computer shop found puzzled staff at the printer (sprocket fed - it was a long time ago). They'd sent some massive file by mistake and switched off the PC hoping to stop it only to find the printer continued for about 40 more pages. Well, printers have buffers don't they?

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Re: Angry client rolled over the Ethernet patch cable with his office chair

Why was a patch cable unprotected in a situation where it could be rolled over - or tripped over? Sometimes elfin safety have a point.

Who will fix our Internal Banking Mess? TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes

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"You'd also move all of your staff's accounts over to the new system (fun for them) to see how it handles that volume of business for an extended pilot period in the run up to go live."

Maybe that was the plan but the staff saw it coming and switched.

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Re: So TSB's answer is to throw more people at at it.

"Clearly, nobody in TSB manglement has read The Mythical Man Month. Ironic, since it was written by a former (and highly respected) IBMer."

You might have read at least the first post.

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"it's nice to know the general is beside you when the troops are at the front line."

Even if he's only refilling the kettle and cutting the sandwiches. In fact especially if that's all he's doing.

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Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

"I am hoping the details do get leaked, but I for one am not pinning this entirely on TSB."

What has to be pinned on TSB is that they took stock of the situation and decided they were in a position to go ahead in a single operation. And then found they weren't.

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"It's nothing that you can't do yourself by going into a branch"

A bank branch? What's that?

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Oh, the irony

Wasn't the whole reason for splitting TSB from Lloyds to avoid the situation of having banks that were too big to fail?

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Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

"This Peter Pester twat sounds like a complete waste of space."

Sounds like the Peter principle at work.

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Re: not a customer

sounds like a complex undertaking done badly for good reasons.


I'm not a customer either - I escaped that fate. If I were I'd certainly be agitated.

There's an old saying, "if you fail to plan you plan to fail". What does the present situation tell you about their plans?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A disaster

"Shame really as the local branch have good long term staff"

It was one of the staff of a local branch when it was part of Lloyds that prompted me to leave Lloyds although the damage had been done when Lloyds closed my preferred local branch. Just as well I did - maybe I'd have been transferred over to TSB when they split.

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And the irony is that the book reflected his time at IBM when IBM was a force to be reckoned with.

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"We're putting things right"

After putting them wrong.

Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov

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"it was the subsequent changes by the Tories that made it an issue"

You may be right but I tend to look at the constant in all this. The Home Office itself.

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Re: Excellent article

"And that's now where the national records office is?"

Yes, at least for England and Wales. Presumably you'll recognise the name Smedley Hydro.

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"allow people to exercise their rights"

One of the rights we've grown used to in the UK is not being challenged for our "papers".

On a practical basis how does such a paper-based registration system get booted? I can present to someone registering me a birth certificate of someone who looks roughly the right age but how do I prove I'm the person named on it? Does every baby get micro-chipped at birth so that in 70-80 years we have completely documented population?

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"This does not surprise me, the whole scandal looks like some Tory xenophobic plot to make the country as hostile to immigrants as possible."

Close but no cigar. Labour politicians from the time have already admitted that the decision to destroy the papers happened in their time in office.

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Re: Excellent article

"the old Somerset House as it was, wherever it's moved to"

Southport. I suppose a Home Office office in Croydon wouldn't know about such things. After all, it's north of Potters Bar.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"the plan was to leave the building in which the documents were stored in."

There are other parts of government with other buildings who store documents with similar significance. The GRO, part of the Passport Office and, in turn, also part of the Home Office would have been entirely appropriate. John Reid wasn't wrong.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Regardless of how, or what, you think of the Home Secretary at that time in 2010 (the British prime minister Theresa May herself), a minister or high-ranking civil servant overseeing the Windrush files should never have had to sign off on any data disposal. Good data administration policy should have been in place and meant it was part of a run-of-the-mill activity done once a month, or maybe once a quarter, without the need for upward reference."

And who signs off on the policy in the first place?

Each class of material needs its own policy. A sensible policy for these records would have been to treat them as being in the same class as BMD material and GRO are still storing everything in that category right back to the start of civil registration on the first of June 1837.

Blighty stuffs itself in Galileo airlock and dares Europe to pull the lever

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Re: How?

"No-one explicitly voted for what T. May and her cabinet are doing / proposing in terms of N.I., GFA, ECHR, ECJ, customs union, single market, Euratom etc."

No one voting leave explicitly voted for any particular thing because the only explicit option was staying in. The other was a load of unicorn droppings which would have meant different things to different people.

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Re: Europe doesn't owe the UK a living. You've chosen to leave. That means leaving.

"You've chosen to leave."

No I haven't.

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Re: EU friends apparantly

"Yes, have you?"

You seem to have omitted standards for the home market. What will those be and who will set them?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: EU friends apparantly

I'm one of those people that don't see any need to change them at all, unless you're suggesting that the EU won't let "us" use "their" standards?

That's fine for existing standards. What about standards that get made in the next few years? Do we make out own or do we use the EU's? How much would it cost to make our own? If we made products conforming only to our own standards how would we persuade others to accept our exports? Would it be economic for manufacturers to produce two lots of products, one conforming to our own standards and those of the EU? Would that then mean it would be more economic to just accept future EU standards as well as existing ones? What input would we have into the EU's future standards? What was all that about taking back control?

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Re: £14 billion

"Ones who can be booted out by their local constituents."

Unlike MEPs who can only be booted out by their local constituents.

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Re: If this was....

"We haven't left yet. We're still in the negotiation stage."

And the problems are already beginning to show.

Burying your head in the sand is such an undignified posture. It leaves your arse sticking up in the air.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: EU friends apparantly

"But ok brexiters wanted it now you have to deal with it."

Sadly, we all have to deal with it.

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Re: EU friends apparantly @ ArrZarr

"I don't believe 10 is enough."

These will be Brexit satellites. They'll go round in small circles over the UK. If they were to stray off course the big nasty EU might be able to use them as well. 10 should be plenty.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: If this was....

"the remainers rejoice"

No, we don't. We're saying "we told you so" because - well, we did tell you so. That's not the same thing at all.

We didn't rejoice about the result because we could see what would happen. We're not rejoicing now that what we said is starting to become obvious because, frankly. it's nothing to rejoice about: it never was, it isn't now and it isn't going to be.

A bit of mea culpa from the leavers would be appropriate but I don't think it'll happen. At some point it'll transpire that nobody actually voted leave because nobody can be found who'll claim to have done so and the result of the referendum will appear to have been some odd fluke of mathematics so we'll end up going back in. Giving up the pound in favour of the euro will, of course be the price, referendum day anniversary will be celebrated by burning effigies of Farage and the anniversary of leaving day by burning effigies of Gove. Something will have to be thought of the BoJo and the rest of them.

That's no moon... er, that's an asteroid. And it'll be your next and final home, spacefarer

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Life Aboard A Colony

"With a gentle push many astroids could be put on such a path and gravity will do the rest."

How do they stop? It could be a nasty crash when they reach the bottom.

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Re: Will our Descendants Feel the Same Way?

"Watch a video, film or documentary about people from 50 or a 100 years ago. Do you feel connected? Can you understand how they feel?"

Ah, youngsters and their sense of time. Had it been the custom back then a video from 50 years ago could have been our wedding video. And a cousin-in-law's home movies from further back still have the teenage me on them. So when I see photos of similar village events from 100 years ago of course I feel connected to those as well.

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"algae capable of producing enough oxygen to keep gangs of rats alive for months at a time and in return the rats produce carbon dioxide for the plants ."

And the rats will eat their own dead.

"Where's Grandad"

"Shut up and eat your burger."

ISO blocks NSA's latest IoT encryption systems amid murky tales of backdoors and bullying

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"that places the IoT at a dilemma"

OTOH I don't think it places most of us in a dilemma in respect of IoT. We wouldn't trust it with or without encryption. In fact, without makes it easier for the users products to see that it's up to. It's the vendors who need to be trusted and anything that makes it easier for them to hide what they're up to is a good thing. For instance, would anyone have discovered that a smart TV was analysing the user's LAN and reporting back what files it found if the communication had been encrypted.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "the NSA started attacking the reputations of those experts"

"Don't forget : it takes time to build trust, but only an instant to lose it."

And even longer to rebuild it.

ICANN takes Whois begging bowl to Europe, comes back empty

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"Unless they decide to just cut things off and spare the hassle."

No problem. They'll none of them be missed. (Can you provide a little list?)

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"But what about foreign businesses with no physical presence in the EU?"

If they want my custom they have to compete with businesses in the EU who are playing by the rules. So either they play too or else they lose out. What GDPR provides is a set of rules respecting the rights of the European customer. Within Europe that provides a level playing field. I can choose vendor A, B or C and be sure I have the same protection for my rights and, depending on their competence, must have more or less similar costs to achieve it. So why on Earth, if I value those rights, would I choose sleazy vendor D who provides an inferior, cheap and nasty product?

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Did ICANN really think WP29 were daft enough to allow a precedent? If they had done they'd be besieged by everyone else with FB's lawyers fighting to the front and shouting loudest.

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"Still waiting for the balkanization of the Internet, where businesses who refuse to play ball and can't be fined by the EU (due to lack of presence) are simply blocked wholesale."

You've overlooked market forces. If as a European resident I want the protection of GDPR and I'm currently registered with such a business I simply move my registration to where my privacy is protected*. The rogue US registrars can either play ball or lose customers.

*I did this a long time ago anyway.

The Agile and the Continuous: Database Drift ... Neat film title but something to avoid

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Re: risk adverse

The DBA said something along the lines of "I'm not truncating shit until you get the CEO of the company on the phone to approve that change"

On the phone? A real DBA would want it in writing.

TSB boss: We know everything's working, you just can't see that

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"TSB are required to provide all your details to allow this."

Being required to do something and being able to achieve it are two different things.

TSB outage, day 5: What do you mean you can't log in? Our systems are up and running. Up and running, we say!

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Re: Fungible software engineers...

Visited Leeds today. Getting off the train there was a poster: "Write code/solve problems/save lives No experience needed". My emphasis. What really worries me - this is the firm that does my doctors' practice S/W.

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Re: Just emptied my account.

"What if I empty someone else's account?"

You'll need more in yours to pay for your defence.

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Pester said in September last year that "over 2,500 man years of effort by TSB, Sabadell and our technology partners" had gone into TSB's "new banking platform for the digital age".

What counts is what comes out, not what goes in. He's emphasising the wrong thing.

Critical infrastructure needs more 21qs6Q#S$, less P@ssw0rd, UK.gov security committee told

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One thing about large banks and building societies is that instead of educating customers to recognise and delete phishing emails they're training them to respond by sending out emails, or having 3rd parties send out emails which is even worse, with lots of links to click.

It's bad enough that this trains customers to be phished but even worse one must assume that whoever send out such emails sees nothing wrong in them, would see nothing wrong in receiving one and would happily click on a link to expose their employer's system to whatever nasty was lurking there. It doesn't matter how good their passwords are if they've just installed a key-logger.

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Re: Plus: No one will say whether Huawei, ZTE are the baddies

"But don't take the governments word or my word on this, educate yourself with the tools available to examine them for yourself."

But I don't own either so unless I buy them I wouldn't be able to examine them for myself. Have you done so?

Yahoo! fined! $35m! for! covering! up! massive! IT! security! screwup!

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Re: How about fining BT for also failing to disclose the breach.

"As always, BT's cosy 'Fcuk buddy' Ofcom should investigate, but don't hold your breath."

Wrong regulator. If it was a breach of personal data then it's ICO business.

'Your computer has a virus' cold call con artists on the rise – Microsoft

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Re: Is you fridge running, Are there any walls in the house at all

"My bank rang me the other day, using what appeared to be an internet phone number, they wanted me to identify myself."

They get very confused when you point out that they rung you and it's up to them to prove who they are and no, telling you half of your post code isn't good enough.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Automated calls

"I get those from UB/RBS. They may be real as it happens the same evening when we have visited the branch. "

I used to get those ostensibly from HSBC when I had a business account with them. I always insisted that as I'd told my bank that I wouldn't take such calls they couldn't be who they said they were and in fact I wasn't either confirming or denying that HSBC was my bank. Always followed up by a letter from HSBC saying they'd really like to sell me some unwanted services discuss things with me.

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