* Posts by Chairman of the Bored

566 posts • joined 19 Apr 2017


F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

Re: US military services

Coasties! Some dedicated, hard working men and women. Never seen a fat or lazy one. The service is too poor to afford a permanent desk jockey class, so just about every one is a real operator.

Back on the language topic: slide over to the bar and have a big fscking beer, on me.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

And you shall know...

...your developer by their prompts.

Years ago I was working a for Uncle Sam and had to use a brand new, custom piece of trusted software. I won't name the developer but the name rhymes with "IBM Federal Systems Division"

When a guy hotplugged that which should not have been hotplugged, the S/W died and brought up tons of error dialogs. In Mandarin.

So, I looked to the procurement spec. Must be American firm... coded by American nationals... export controlled... After reading the spec I expected a bald eagle to fly in the room, whistle the Star Spangled Banner, and stare into my soul to make sure my blood is red, white, and blue. But strings and grep said 'Mandarin' and 'German' and 'English written by a 5-year-old'

American, eh? Police would call the messages "a clue".

Called the support line about the hotplug problem and spoke with a very courteous and skilled Indian sounding guy improbably named "Bob". Yeah... I'll buy that for a dollar!

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Find the "A" key


I think his twin worked for me. Had an engineer who was a slow, two finger typist. He tempted fate by incessantly talking about an upcoming trip to the Caribbean while the rest of us were prepping for some serious cold weather field test action.

Prank? Someone with a pocketknife mirrored the alpha keys on his keyboard: qwertyuiop -> poiuytrewq. When he got back, hilarity ensued.

Prank 2 was filling his cube with balloons, many of which had stink bugs inside, but that's OT

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Favorite prompts

Some I've seen:

"Bang a lot of keys to abort."

"We haven't tested this function, care to have a go?"

Bipartisan Kumbaya: President Trump turns Obama's open govt data policy into law

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Another Chief

Summary looks good. Law itself? TL;DR

As usual we get another Chief-something, which will create six Deputy CDO's. Each of these will need six Assistant Deputy CDOs. These will need compliance officers, policy analysts, financial analysts, budget analysts. Drug testers. Procurement people. Probably need a CIO for the CDO at that point. What the hell, might as well get a few hundred telephone sanitizers.

At this point each agency will have its own Open Data Fiefdom, each with its own standards. These of course will not be interoperable because its too hard to mate icebergs.

The Chairman's take: "Whether you want to grow or shrink Government, you need to understand it will metastasize like pancreatic cancer trippin' on growth hormones"

CES flicks the off switch on massager award… and causes a buzz

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Wait, the authorities closed...

...a French nudist restaurant?

That must've been a hairy experience.

I'll get my coat, its the one with the hydraulic apparatus in the pocket.

Amazon Mime: We train (badly) an AI love bot using divorce bombshell Bezos' alleged sexts to his new girlfriend

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

Worst. Pickup. Line. Ever.

So they met when Sanchez was doing a photo shoot of rockets?

Did the line, "Hey, babe. Wanna make my rocket go up and fly?" actually WORK???

Oh, FFS. I just give up.

Peak Apple: This time it's SERIOUS, Tim

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Re: Market "too emotional?"


"I took that "Market is too emotional" comment to be referring to the STOCK market"

Absolutely agree that was the OP intent. But as an investor I need to look at the fundamental business model of a firm. If I perceive that their business model requires a stronger emotional purchase decision than their products warrant, I'm concerned about the investment. And that makes me a lot less likely to invest. So, turtles all the way down.

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Market "too emotional?"

Of course the bloody market is emotional! People buy luxury products based on their emotional "wants". They need some sort of perceived advantage in a product over other offerings to convince themselves that "want" is a "need" and therefore a worthy expenditure.

If you don't offer enough differentiation between your higher priced products and your competitions' products you make it harder for people to bridge that gap.

I want an adult beverage...

Senator Wyden goes ballistic after US telcos caught selling people's location data yet again

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Re: Ticked Off?

Interesting podcast, that.

Best use of "pissed on" I've seen was in a leaked "360deg feedback" evaluation of a line manager. The line that sticks with me are: "If he were on fire, perhaps I might deign to piss on him, but I'm conflicted."

The other gem was something along the lines of, "Out of millions of sperm, one wonders how his won the race."

We were having some morale problems at the time.

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

Re: Ticked Off?

About equal to American "pissed". Assume that's the same as UK "pissed off", but my main exposure to UK "pissed" has involved lots of ethanol.

Better to be "pissed off" than "pissed on" of course.

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Re: Ticked Off?

In US usage, "ticked off" means that one is angry about something. There is no implied action. Intensity of this statement is between "I am annoyed" and "I'm going to fire that tosser".

Put another way, if I've ticked you off we are at the point where a pint may no longer patch things up, but I do not have to worry about any rough stuff.

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A pint for Wyden

Wyden is one of the few senators I respect at this point. Sadly I'm not in his state. My representatives are ... different.

Bish, Bash... gosh! Good ol' Bourne Again Shell takes a bow as it reaches version five-point-zero

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Re: No

Ouch! Too close to home - daughter's first paid job just reverted to an unpaid internship - but have an upvote for a good, sharp reply!

The syntax I used to get out of the gummnit did not use shellcode, I had to write it in resumescript.

You were told to clean up our systems, not delete 8,000 crucial files

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Re: PST files on a network? - NOTWORK


"Um, I hate to say this, but even Microsoft have made it clear that accessing PST files within Outlook across a network is an unsupported configuration."

You are absolutely, totally correct. However, my organization was not entirely competent. Calling the admin "tossers" is probably a bridge too far though as I doubt they could achieve and sustain, let alone produce output.

We were expressly prohibited from keeping any email .pst on local storage- regardless of Microsoft's direction- because there was no backup solution provided for local machines. And in any case the local storage was barely sufficient for Windows Vista (shudder). More storage? Not unless you are a senior executive. Backup critical data? If you're not a senior exec, its not critical. Beancounters.

That's called a stupid sandwich. For extra sauce... we were prohibited from putting "technical" data on the network shares, since our IT contractor owned and operated the net, not the Government. So by definition we had no backups of whatever technical data we could somehow produce on that POS of a system.

I do not miss that job.

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

A file so large...

Must be very useful...

But now it is gone.

Gummnit job. Constraints: thou shalt retain copies thy emails. Copies thereof shalt thou keep. Both sent and received shalt thee keep. Outlook .pst files shall be thy instrument of archiving.

And lo! Despite mass storage being too cheap to meter, thy great organization shall set a limit of 512MB for each .pst. File size warning? We know nothing thereof, and shall not configure.

So it came to pass - like a good little boy I dutifully copied all of my emails into their .pst bins. One overflowed without warning and became utterly corrupted. The IT guy attempted to fix it, and the results were ... disappointing. Claims the network share upon which the .pst files reside are backed up proved to as hollow as the archive files generated from them.

A couple of days later I was asked to produce some emails on demand per a FOIA request. THAT did not go well.

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

Radio Talent?

My college had an outstanding radio station, courtesy of some serious alumni connections and $. Our recording studio and broadcast studio were physically separate but connected through some nice, low noise analog links.

Of course when I'm doing an actual live broadcast from the big studio these links died somehow, transmitting nothing but RF hash and 20V p-p or so of 60Hz ground loop goodness.

So in utter desperation we ran audio over 100' of extension cords up a hallway to get the show on air. The sound quality was absolute pants, just unbelievably awful.

But we had some people comment that "we really captured that warm tube distortion" and "best production work yet". Even from the band's rather pathetic groupies. WTF, over?

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

Re: Maybe it just needs to know where it is

Absolutely! And from them on all anyone had to do was grasp the handle and the net would work. Absolutely could not figure that out, the connections were not intermittent.

Actually I've got a piece of test equipment on my bench right now that did not start working properly until a circuit board was egregiously destroyed in front of it. No explanation available!

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Maybe it just needs to know where it is

I went to my mom's place of employment to help troubleshoot a printing problem involving a Macintosh, a Laserwriter, and an AppleTalk network. Late 80's sometime.

'twas the dreaded "Laserwriter not found" error.

After I admitted defeat, a really nice secretary came over and shocked us by saying, "I can fix it!" Without another word she picks up the mac by the built in handle, points the monitor towards the printer and says with authority, "Can't find it?

It's right f$cking there." Sorted.

Fake 'U's! Phishing creeps use homebrew fonts as message ciphers to evade filters

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BOFH solution

I worked for a Govt organization that sensibly locked down email clients to text-only mode. Outlook was deliberately crippled to prevent one from enabling anything but plain text.

BOFH part: If you tried to enable html, or send html, or click on a link, you were sent to a "reeducation camp". In this IT Siberia, people are forced to watch presentations on email safety. Powerpoint shows designed to crush the spirit and create unthinking compliance. One viewgraph every 30s for an hour. The quiz at the end requires a perfect score. Imperfect score? Re-do the training.

Full frontal vulnerability: Photos can still trick, unlock Android mobes via facial recognition

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Re: Stupid idea in the US

@Dave 126: nice, did not know that, and it's good to know. Have upvote!

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

Stupid idea in the US

For left pondians...

The lawman believes and the courts agree that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy concerning your appearance or fingerprints, as you leave those exposed in public all the time. So you can be compelled to unlock with your mug or prints. I assume this means they can use your photo - its not that much of a legal stretch in an already elastic system.

A PIN on the other hand is stored in your brain, so they need your permission or a court order. YMMV, and I've no clue what the rules are for right pondians.

Now, contemplate the smudge pattern your PIN entry has left on your display and think about a new PIN...

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?

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Re: Need a little personal help here

Trading rape futures? That's a hell of an edge case for the filter! Sometimes I will do a quick check to see if anyone is actually reading statements of work or work packages by including a Software Hardware Integration Task (SHIT) Job somewhere in the hundreds of lines of a WBS. Occasionally a filter will catch it. Far more rarely, a human will.

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

TMI failure

You're quite right that the Power Operated Relief Valve (PORV) indicator screwup was a big part of the failure chain. But there was one indication available that could have provided a clue: PORV valve tailpipe thermocouple readout was undoubtedly high, BUT the design of the control room was so jacked up it might as well have been under a filing cabinet, protected by a jaguar.

Apparently there were so many alarms going off the line printer spitting them out fell behind by hours.

Perhaps not the best user interface design?

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Need a little personal help here

The Marx bank is a type of high voltage generator, sometimes used to drive high power RF sources such as cavity magnetrons - frequently called "maggies"

When a Marx is fired one says it "erected"; google a schematic and you will see why.

So faced with a maggie that failed to thrive, a radar that wouldn't work, and a deadline ... I sent out an email to damn near everyone asking something like: "The e2v maggie is still unhappy. I don't think the pulser is getting an erection. help?"

Best answer: "take matters into your own hand"

Racing at the speed of light, Sage superhero bursts through the door...

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Worst one I've heard of

My dad was an Army officer. He got sucked into the Pentagon for a briefing and got lost in the maze. While looking for the cheese, he split his uniform trousers. With no time to hit the tailor shop, he grabbed a stapler, went to the head, did some itchy-but-effective mods and had a VERY uncomfortable time briefing.

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Re: Not me...


Epic. Have an upvote. Life is too short to waste working for idiots like that; glad you found out what you were getting into up front.

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Thumb Up

Re: Not me...

An upvote for having the common sense to buy her some dinners and make nice. That job sounds like a real treat.

I had a "win" one day; two other guys and I did some field work under some really nasty conditions. As we walked into our building to change, our immediate line manager bumped into us and laid into us for "unprofessional appearance", "careless attitude" and perhaps even "moral depravity"

Just as he asked "what the hell do you think you are doing?!" HIS boss happened to walk up and said to our immediate super, "Well, by the looks of things I'd say they were working their asses off. Unlike you. GTF in my office, now."

Looks at us and says, "Thanks, guys. I will be in touch. Carry on." Took care of us, too. And we got a written apology.

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

And then there are...

...company shirts

I have a relative endowed with some fairly large breasts, at least a DD cup but I am neither interested in nor authorized for more information about specific geometry.

She works for a nursing school and the school had some tee shirts made for a picnic. When she tried hers on there were peals of laughter and some mild language. Emerging from her room we all saw displayed - far more prominently than she wanted - St Mary's SCHOOL OF NURSING. With the all caps part stretched across the relevant parts.

Not cool!

The eulogising of The Mother Of All Demos at 50 is Silicon Valley going goo-goo for gurus again

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Re: Inappropriate calls across the office....

Nice specs on Wayne Kerr's LCR meter. Seems that he is tossing out some good stuff.

I served with a guy named Richard "Dick" Holden. Wonder how he is doing... afraid to Google it from work, though

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

Re: Telefunken invented the balled mouse?

Shaved! Now that's an idea. One thing that really pisses me off about getting yanked into the head shed is that I'm so old, so married, and seen so much weird ship in the service that it's physically impossible for me to care less what two consenting adults do with their I/O ports.

Just don't scan each others ports with company resources, because we do not budget resources for it. Keep your connectors clean and put them in your drawers when you are done. Simple.

On a related topic, we will know when AI is truly here when my "RF Connectors" and "Waveguide Caharacteristics" wall posters are considered pr0n and have to go away. I guess my DB-9 and -25 pinouts will be considered 'classic pr0n'

I miss my Rigid Tool calendar.

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Re: Inappropriate calls across the office....

You should introduce her to Mr. Wayne Kerr.

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Re: Telefunken invented the balled mouse?

Hands off my dongle!

Only recent one we had was a tech sending out a mass email complaining he cannot find any aerospace-grade nuts in his drawers.

This is why natural language processing is hard! Oh, I didn't mean it that way. It just slipped out...

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Re: Telefunken invented the balled mouse?

The Chairman has to get sensitivity training?

Um, yeah... I did, just last year. Now I'm bitter and vaguely hostile.

Last year a woman got "triggered" by my snack. I was late and rushed into my office. I absentmindedly grabbed my fruit supply out of my messenger bag, chucked it on my desk, and started logging into all my desktops.

Didn't realize my banana was resting on top of a couple of mandarin oranges in a way that was "sexually suggestive" "repulsive" and "triggering".

Oh fsck me! If I'd had been going for that effect I would've used a long Chinese eggplant and a couple of coconuts.

I won my appeal. But after all the publicity, sometimes a subordinate brings me two mound-shaped cupcakes with a perky lookin cherry on top of each. Hmmmm....

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Wait, you had 4" balls?

Daaaaamn! I will take back everything I ever said about Air Defense Artillery units...

Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

Telefunken invented the balled mouse?

I just learned something! Thanks!

War story - a rotten, horrible, no-good day in the life of the Chairman:

Back in the days of unreliable Microsoft ball-based mice I was the sole mechanical tinkerer in the office. Naturally I ended up maintainer of all rodents, and had an impressive collection of dirty, fuzzy balls in my drawers.

Upon opening my *desk* drawer one morning I found someone had, ahem, pinched my balls.

Enraged I called out in an open-plan office: "Damn it! Who has seen my balls?!" Unbeknownst to me there was a small gathering on secretaries a few meters away who damned near wet themselves with laughter. I was dating one of them at the time... Worse still, for weeks every time I went for a whizz someone would put on a concerned face and ask me, "How's it hangin'?"

From then on I always kept a weather eye on my balls. Does that make me a visionary, too?

Postmates plans rollout of autonomous delivery robots in US

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Defensive weapory...


Good point. It would just not be appropriate to have a cell or other electronic device on your person when you interact with one of these for personal gain. Might suggest a Guy Fawkes mask and hoodie. But a roving personal arms chest is rather tempting.

What I'm thinking of though is the possibility of using these for societal good. I wonder if police tactics against protesters might become better aligned with their claimed TTPs if they have these high viz robots watching them optically and electronically on behalf of the people and press? Something that faithfully monitors their behavior but is rather immune to intimidation and pepper spray?

Surveillance... it can be a two-way street.

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So I've got a thing that wanders around a city with a 'puter, a large battery, good optics, and some sort of wireless backhaul. With enough cargo capacity for a nice software defined radio, antenna farm, and power amps. Ohhh, yeah.

Goodbye War Kitteh and DoS Dog! I think I found something a lot more useful.

If I'm really lucky nobody will get hacked off, repurpose one as an IED, and send it back.

Godmother of word processing Evelyn Berezin dies at 93

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Another pint over here, please

In addition to a well-deserved pint for an innovator who saw a need and filled it...

...I'd like to raise a glass to the investors and managers who were willing to run with her concept for the years it took to become commercially viable.

These days the attention span seems to be the same as a fruit fly. On meth.

Time for a cracker joke: What's got one ball and buttons in the wrong place?

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Heard a rumor that with the first gen Logitech and Microsoft rodents - you know, back when rodents really had balls - used shaft encoders that connected to the PCB through a small four-wire IDC connector. Swap two wires and you invert the affected axis. Just need a small phillips to open the rodent and a paperclip to unlatch wires from the IDC. It's loads of fun watching software guys try to fix a HW problem in SW. Or so I'm told.

Taylor's gonna spy, spy, spy, spy, spy... fans can't shake cam off, shake cam off

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@AC, stupid question- in UK law is a caution in your record permanently?

Of course once we get Chinese-style social credit scores it will probably be indelible. Oh, joy.

Here's 2018 in a nutshell for you... Russian super robot turns out to be man in robot suit

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Cheap producers ...

Cannot be bothered to head over to

Christies, spend some coin, and buy a proper 18th century automaton:


Hole-y ship: ISS 'nauts take a wander to crack Soyuz driller whodunnit

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Who wrote the headline for this article?

I was enjoying my coffee. Now I am wearing it. V good.

Missed a trick though: could have stated that the 'naughts had to beat their way through some thick muff before finding the hole. Only to discover that some bloke had already drilled it.

I'll get my own coat, it's got fresh coffee on it

Google CEO tells US Congress Chocolate Factory will unleash Dragonfly in China

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Poor, poor Congress

Things have really gone downhill if they let Monopoly Man in with sacks of fake money.

Used to be, they would require the man have sacks of REAL money...

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

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Doom, f**k yeah!

I think if I were to look back on my grades in grad school there was a noticable dip when Doom came out.

I think the best way to do this was turn off the music background in the game and put on something totally ironic. Consume some ethanol and then play Moody Blues' "Tuesday Afternoon" while blowing things away. The overall effect is very strange. In a good way.

Register Lecture: Right to strike when your boss sells AI to the military?

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This is meta

Obviously at 15 quid a ticket this conference is not profiting from war like Boeing, BAE, Thales, Microsoft, etc. But another day, another dollar, eh? Call it a second order effect. Not only do people profit from war, we profit from complaining about war. Ain't humanity great?

'Say hello to my little vacuum cleaner!' US drug squad puts spycams in cleaner's kit

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Feeding time!

How to feed the LE troll:

Suppose you happen to know there is a surveillance device in a vac. Get some guys together and start talking about crank.

'Accidentally' bump the vac out of you line of sight and say "hey, guys, I never did push crank. The real money is in selling radioactive IoT connected butt plugs. See? I call this one the dirty bomb...."

Remember... any specific claim on your charging document that is demonstrably false makes it easier for your lawyer to argue the rest is BS

Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention

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Another way to skin the cat...

...oh, sorry, this is not about a hot dog. Horrible thing, that. They are at most only 25pct dog!

Bacon! The fifth food group. Oh, how I love it, but can no longer indulge as much. Good substitute: get yourself some decent local turkey ... slicr think and soak in a lime / pepper solution, then smoke along with some jalapeno peppers. Serve on a skewer with some fresh bell pepper slices and said jalapeno.

Pro tip: do not smoke Carolina Reapers in such a way that the smoke can enter your house. No particular reason for this tip, just sayin'

Adobe Flash zero-day exploit... leveraging ActiveX… embedded in Office Doc... BINGO!

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I just remembered what this trifecta reminds me of...

...I had an engineering ethics text years ago that had a comic poking fun at some issues we had in the 1970's:

...A DC-10 airliner full of Firestone 500 tires loses an engine and crashes into the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. The resulting fire is put out using asbestos blankets...

ActiveX + Flash + MS Office ... same damned thing.


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