* Posts by DuchessofDukeStreet

88 posts • joined 28 Jul 2017

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DBA drifts into legend after inventive server convo leaves colleagues fearing for their lives

DuchessofDukeStreet
Pint

Re: Why? Just why?

Not IT related in any way but, like many people, I spent some of my early adult life working behind a bar. A good number of the other staff were students taking their first job to supplement their university grant, and therefore deemed ripe for practical jokes by the regular clientele. Added to the usual funnies about telephone calls for Mike Hunt (pre-mobile era....), the local speciality on a first shift was asking for a pint of Guinness shandy. Ignoring the fact of this being a criminal waste of the black stuff, the first introduction of Guinness to a glass half full of lemonade resulting in a volcanic explosion of froth, embarrassed barman, next attempt, more waste, more embarrassment, another attempt, etc until another member of staff intervened and the customers placed their real order.

All fine until they tried it on a young home counties lad, not realising that he'd spent his entire life living in a pub and been pulling pints since he was in primary school. One "perfect" pint of Guinness shandy and an out-stretched hand for the payment later, and that particular joke was permanently retired...

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DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Why? Just why?

Every industry has its own jokers; I'd argue that the military is probably the most humour-ridden. And probably the best at knowing where the line is - which is usually several battlefields beyond where a civilian thinks it is.

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Fujitsu: Closes director's gate to Tait, 9 execs abdicate, and for German workers – a crap Weihnachtszeit

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: The first non-Japanese exec ever invited on to the board...

I'm not operating on 100% today but the pdf link: http://pr.fujitsu.com/jp/news/2018/10/en/26.pdf shows EMEIA Region in exactly the same position in the structure, reporting to the President.

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Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: The Distaff Sound

What you may not realise is that for half the population, having "pockets" in clothes isn't an option. There is a whole tranche of feminist writings on the topic....https://mic.com/articles/133948/the-weird-complicated-sexist-history-of-pockets#.IMpjS0q4C

And while I'm reasonably sure nobody else is going to appreciate my enthusiasm, I LOVE my handbag (with or without a phone in it). But it is most definitely a physics-defying space inside, I will never need a Tardis...

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DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Little Big is so cool...

A former (thank god!) colleague of mine had his message ringtone set to an audio clip of his toddler daughter saying "daddy, daddy, a message!" complete with Violet-Elizabeth Bott lisp, at high volume.

I hate open plan offices. And HR rules that prevent me bringing a sledgehammer into the office.

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Fallover Friday: NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank go TITSUP*

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Back now

Clearly not - and be grateful. It involves spending a lump of time (usually in the idle of the night) talking to generic managers who don't know or understand what your specific area of technology is about, never mind your change so that they can make the decision to do the thing you knew about several hours ago.

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Developer goes rogue, shoots four colleagues at ERP code maker

DuchessofDukeStreet

As a (former) gun owner in the UK, I never figured out why the US pro-firearms-legislation didn't take the pitch of managing licensing. Take the approach of "all right thinking Americans can have a licence and own a weapon, it's only the criminals and lunatics and foreigners that can't". Definition of "right thinking American" to obviously match your own prejudices and social values....

I can piss off my colleagues but I don't think I've ever done it to the extent that any of them would want to murder me. :-(

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Fujitsu says sayonara to UK exec heavyweights

DuchessofDukeStreet

Hokey Cokey

Put your left arm in,

Your left arm out:

In, out, in, out.

Shake it all about.

You do the hokey cokey,

And you turn around.

That's what it's all about!

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'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

DuchessofDukeStreet

Being Blonde

So if you've got a vacancy for a taxi driver in Seattle, you target your advertising at the following categories:

current location

current or former job as "driver"

interest in "cars"

socio-economic group

etc

you don't target

gender

religion

race

What's the problem?

It would be illegal in most countries of the world for me to go to an agency and ask them to recruit me a male developer for a role, why would it be acceptable for me to ask for an advert to be targetted only to men? It *is* the 21st century....

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How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

DuchessofDukeStreet
Pint

Have Beer. Or Vin Rouge. Molto Vin Rouge.

I made the mistake of reading this whilst dialled into a very dull conference call, sat in a very quiet but populated office (I know it's beer o'clock but it ain't happening today!). I now have two sets of people trying to work out why I've fallen off my chair, with my legs crossed, tears rolling down my cheeks and a hand pressed over my mouth to stop the inarticulate squeaks and random noises escaping...

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A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: I concur

That must be one of the few occasions that someone's been accused of *not* being a w.....

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British Airways hack: Infosec experts finger third-party scripts on payment pages

DuchessofDukeStreet

An entirely non-technical tactic - I use a second credit card (issued by a provider I have no other financial ties with) for every single online transaction I do, and check its transactions frequently. My main card - which has a higher credit limit - never goes near a website, and nothing on earth would induce me to put bank account card details into a website (except within my own bank's website). It's not going to stop someone getting the details, but it will reduce the inconvenience to me if it happens.

It also made it really easy for the main card provider to spot a fraudulent transaction when the offline card appeared to be used on an online transaction, as it was completely out of pattern.

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A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Upsetting non-techies can be hard

Can I have the instructions on how to do it.....? :-)

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'World's favorite airline' favorite among hackers: British Airways site, app hacked for two weeks

DuchessofDukeStreet
Black Helicopters

Re: Great timing...

Maybe IBM are employing a team of saboteurs to cause major issues at companies possibly considering using them, so they can ride in to the rescue and charge gazillions in consultancy fees....

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Boss regrets pointing finger at chilled out techie who finished upgrade early

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Rug Pulled by pissed off third party..

Only for the user community surely as there would be no "IT function" in the company any more? And no IT system would mean no finance system and no means of tracking or paying anyone....?

It probably depends on the size of the respective parties but outsourcing companies are probably more likely to tolerate delayed/lack of payments than an employee would.

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Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal

DuchessofDukeStreet
WTF?

Re: The reason I left...

Not arguing with the story (we all know that companies can occasionally be idiotic) but why on earth were *you* put on notice, and not the IT manager? If the Director could organise gardening leave for you, why didn't he organise it for the manager instead?

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DuchessofDukeStreet

Positive Glitch

Some years ago I was working on a programme to implement a new HR system for a large UK-based multinational group and during testing spotted that the access wasn't segregated so that any user then had access to all employee records, up to and including the board. The programme team (who were already several million overspent and a year behind schedule) refused to accept this as an issue and insisted that the product was "working as intended". So I took a screen shot of part of the HR Director's record, blocked out some parts of it, and emailed it to him, with the words "I don't believe I should be able to see this..." and surprise surprise, there was suddenly a defect being fixed. I never did win the argument about not using production personal data for testing though.

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Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Plot twist? What plot twist?

Moi, aussi....

The previous owner of my flat was rather prone to doing random bits of DIY that really should have been done by a professional, so I have multiple plug sockets in rooms in random places, and mixes of wall and ceiling lights running off multiple circuits. When I first moved in, my dad was up helping me replace a nearly-antique fluorescent tube in the kitchen with something more modern that I could actually still but bulbs for. We worked out that there were two separate circuits in the main fuse box and switched off all the fuses to cut the entire power supply into the property, and dad picked up the drill. At which point the penny dropped that the mains-powered radio in the kitchen was still active....I've never yet worked out where that circuit comes into the property or how to turn it off. I've also never put a drill into any wall myself and warn any tradesman coming in - they've never solved it either but they've all survived.

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Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

DuchessofDukeStreet
Coffee/keyboard

Coffee

I'm almost glad I left this for Monday morning - because I've never laughed so much at the comments section before.

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Early experiment in mass email ends with mad dash across office to unplug mail gateway

DuchessofDukeStreet
WTF?

Firetruck?

Is this a leftpondian expression? Is there a SFW translation...

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DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Groupwise

Groupwise? *shudders*

One of my (non-IT) colleagues did something similar in a previous life. He was on secondment to a customer who insisted that all secondees use their IT hardware and systems only, and didn't provide access to third party webmail etc. So he set up a forwarding rule to send any email sent to his employer's email address onto his customer email address, which he had access to throughout the working day.

Fine until he went on holiday.

At which point every employer email generated an out of office email from the customer system - which then created both a new forwarded email and an out of office from the employer system, which then created....you get the idea. By the time the two IT functions had managed to get together to stop the mess, the email platforms of the two organisations had completely imploded.

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Tech support chap given no training or briefing before jobs, which is why he was arrested

DuchessofDukeStreet
Paris Hilton

Re: Back in my day

Rope, cable ties and tape.

But that will get you tied up in all sorts of interesting places...

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Tired sysadmin plugged cable into wrong port, unleashed a 'virus'

DuchessofDukeStreet

At the call centre offices of a previous employer, there was an area of meeting rooms (for impressing prospective customers) with unsecured public wifi. I suspect there were a lot of things wrong with the setup overall, but it all went very wrong when an unidentified helldesk grunt decided to resolve a complaint of slow performance by plugging a corporate network cable into the router and exposed the entire estate to any passing pedestrian with a wifi enabled device. Given that the corporate philosophy for that particular office was to remove authentication from any system that didn't absolutely need it, that also meant open access to vast swathes of corporate data and systems.

The immediate fix when I reported it to the InfoSec head (because he'd bailed me out of a hole with a customer recently and we were quite good pals) was to remove the cable. The local head of IT was very disgruntled when I also asked what was being done to stop it happening again. "We've told people not to do it". Every single person, including visitors who might be in one of those rooms? SIlence.....

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Leatherbound analogue password manager: For the hipster who doesn't mind losing everything

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Name > website / Phone No. > password

If it's going to be useful it needs to be kept where it's going to be used - ie next to the computer, and readily accessible.

For those of you old enough to remember, was the Phone Book ever kept anywhere other than by the phone? (For the rest of you, this means back in the days when a home had a single land line with a handset usually in the hall, and the search engine of local phone numbers delivered in two thick softcover books delivered to your front door every twelve months. National and international (!) numbers had to be requested from the operator).

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Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Work Experience

I had the opposite experience having spent a few years in a civilian role in a UK military establishment. For the first year or two, I drove up to the single bar barrier, vaguely waved my car permit through the windscreen at the guard in the gatehouse shed, the barrier went up and in I went.

Then 9/11 happened.

The next shift, I drive round the corner and am confronted by a closed blast gate and someone pointing a very large gun at me and insisting I step out of the car. Disconcerting enough, but the last time I'd seen that particular individual had been the previous Saturday night in my other capacity as bar staff at the local nightclub where he'd been so drunk he was holding onto my bar to stay upright.

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IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: "Act normally! Ginni and the team are here to see what Austin is really like."

Back in the days when I worked in construction, we had a long and successful tradition of promoting internally so that the Chief Exec was invariably a man who'd started his career in a hard hat and muddy safety boots (it all went a bit wrong when we started hiring in folks in smart suits instead, but that's a different story....). Banksman on a major site saw someone he didn't recognise in civvies on the site and offered a "robust" challenge to the intruder to "suggest" that he vacate the area. There was no objection raised to this but as they walked together towards the exit gate they bumped into one of the senior site engineers, who went a bit pale and demanded to know what the banksman was doing manhandling the CEO...

CEO's response was that he'd been walking around the site for 30 minutes and no-one had challenged him until the banksman, who he was very impressed by - but less impressed by the site manager's approach to security or public safety.

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Tech rookie put decimal point in wrong place, cost insurer zillions

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Farthings

My first job when I left school was for a company that did exactly that. After a few years in the office, I was "promoted" to a door to door collector position - which proved utterly to me that I never ever ever want to work in sales of any sort, nor do I ever want a job that again exposes me to not working in the mornings and becoming a watcher of daytime tv. That was in the 1990s and whilst it was a pretty archaic business model, there were still a good few companies in the UK in the Industrial Life Assurance market.

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In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: The thing is... it's nothing new.

I can only think of one that I know of and that's FetchEveryone, a small-ish UK-centric website/social forum focussed on running, with a bit of cycling and triathlon thrown in. Free of charge to anyone who registers with adverts on the page (well behaved and monitored adverts, but there anyway). You can take a subscription for a monthly sum that allows you to request all the adverts be turned off to you.

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DuchessofDukeStreet
Pint

Re: World Gin Day

Replace sloes with chopped rhubarb, halve the sugar and add a handful of grated ginger - even better.

To avoid the pine-cleaner taste, try suffixing the words "gin and tonic, please" with "anything but Gordons". Works wonders.

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Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

DuchessofDukeStreet

re: PEBCAK

See also PICNIC - Problem In Chair, Not In Computer

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Did you test that? No, I thought you tested it. Now customers have it and it doesn't work

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Soldering irons

The female half of the species learn that from curling tongs and hair straighteners, although I still manage to forget once a year or so...

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Tech support made the news after bomb squad and police showed up to 'defuse' leaky UPS

DuchessofDukeStreet

Reading the article, the customer wasn't a contract customer, just someone who called on their nearby IT support business on an as and when task based approach, and didn't have any ongoing internal or external support.

Of course after this, they may well have become a permanent customer...

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DuchessofDukeStreet
Flame

Re: We shut down central Edinburgh with a fridge

Charlotte Square as in where the First Minister lives? Possible report of a chemical incident a few buildings away? Sounds as though you got off lightly with the response level. :-) I've seen the same quantity for a fire in a nearby block of flats - but as it was my flat that had the flames coming out of it, I was just grateful.

(icon for the picture, not the meaning)

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TSB's middleware nightmare: Execs grilled on Total Sh*tshow at Bank

DuchessofDukeStreet

I also got that email. trouble is, I've never had an account with Lloyds or TSB in my life. And the email address that received the letter has never had an email from TSB in the three years that it's been active.

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Newsworthy Brit bank TSB is looking for a head of infrastructure

DuchessofDukeStreet

The Only Way is Up

Let's face it, you'd have to be astoundingly inept to get even close to the levels of disaster the previous incumbent has produced, and whatever you do cock up could be immediately blamed on "legacy issues" without the slightest doubt. So you're guaranteed to be an improvement. Almost sounds like the ideal job...you'd just maybe insist on keeping your current account somewhere else.

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Brit bank TSB TITSUP* after long-planned transfer of customer records from Lloyds

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Just as worrying...

I think I'd be more worried about my bank account being pwned than my phone...

The call permissions is to enable a customer to make a phone call from within the app itself that is then treated as pre-authorised for security purposes, rather than re-running all the questions about your granny's sister-in-law's mother's maiden name, or the last three purchases made with your debit card - all of which are difficult when you've just had the bag lifted and are now standing in a dark street in a foreign country with neither cards nor cash. Or any other stressful circumstance at which you might actually *need* to talk to the call centre.

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BOFH: We know where the bodies are buried

DuchessofDukeStreet

Simon's side of the pond

Simon is not on either side of the pond surely? Although the BOFH appears firmly resident in the eastern side (where the purchase of assets alone can only be done from a company in bankruptcy/administration/receivership).

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Mind the gap: Men paid 18.6% more than women in Blighty tech sector

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Popcorn

The perils of imprecise comment...

"Doctors" is a wide group and yes, pretty close to equal numbers of genders (and likely to hit a female majority) across the whole. But even in that single profession, there is a clear gender pay gap http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/The_gender_pay_gap%3A_female_doctors_still_earn_a_third_less_than_male_doctors

Do I know why? No, but I might take a guess that there's a high male majority at the senior consultant level which is where the high earners are mostly located. And probably a female majority in those newcomer "junior" roles from that 21st century trainee intake. The majority of GPs that I know are also female but that could just be an oddity of my social circle - GPs get paid less than consultants as well.

Nursing pay might be "laughable" but there's still thousands of people who want to do it. Why do women want that job, and men don't?

I'm just old enough to remember an MD openly stating that women were employable in Personnel or as accounts clerks or secretaries, but the "proper" jobs were only really for men. I'm about half way through my working life and that was a few years into it. So that's half your female workforce having started in a world where they were told that there was no point even thinking jobs with career prospects and pay packets to match. It's a good job plenty of us are bloody minded women who went, nah, I'm better than that.

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DuchessofDukeStreet

Popcorn

There are some articles that shouldn't be written on a Friday...where's my popcorn?

Jake had it right earlier - it's not why are women paid less than men, it's why are women over-represented in jobs that pay less, and men over-represented in jobs that pay more? Why are so many women nurses and not doctors?

Technology (in the UK at least) is a white male industry - why's that? And most of the women in this building at least are analysts and administrators, therefore paid less than the architects and specialists - why's that? To the best of my knowledge, the female analysts get paid the same as the male ones (experience and expertise considered), so we're legally compliant.

And it's not motherhood that does it. There are two mothers in this building and they probably have the first and third highest salaries of all the women. But the fact that I know that probably tells you how few women there are here, in a company that pays good salaries in a generally well paid industry.

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Please no Basic Instinct flashing, HPE legal eagles warn staffers

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Can be embarassing

I'm not sure why you're accusing CertMan of lechery or misbehaviour - it might be an appealing sight to some of you and/or in certain circumstances, but probably not in anything resembling a professional environment (barring the oldest, I suppose). I had a similar experience when attending a meeting at a sister company office a few years ago and was sat in reception waiting for my host when a girl arrived to start her first day in a new job and was directed to take a (low) seat opposite me whilst waiting for HR. No. Just, no. In what universe is that appropriate for work, especially with a new employer? Having said that however, I did once flippantly describe the entire workforce of that office as being "either dressed by Primark or auditioning for a part in Geordie Shores"...

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User asked why CTRL-ALT-DEL restarted PC instead of opening apps

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Feeling Old...

I'm getting the impression that the whole development of personal computing was driven by the desire to play games?

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I couldn't give a Greek clock about your IoT fertility tracker

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Swagging breaks

That's the BOFH approach....

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Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Banda machines

Oh god, what a flashback. We had one in my first job (late 80's) which I'd happily forgotten about. I can still remember my manager's delight when a publishing company moved into the office suite across the stairs and had a new-fangled photocopier that they were willing to let us use occasionally. For some years later, I discovered that whenever I applied for admin jobs, there was always a question (alongside your touch typing speed and ability to take shorthand) as to whether you knew how to operate a photocopier...

6
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Sysadmin left finger on power button for an hour to avert SAP outage

DuchessofDukeStreet

Which Idiot of Designer?

The one who recognised that most office users would end up with a large box sitting beside their legs under their desk - buttons on top are the most accessible from a seated position (assuming you're talking about a vertical unit).

For horizontal ones, on top still makes sense as it prevents them being knocked accidentally for objects being pushed around the desk surface.

But also one who doesn't own/is owned by a cat, and doesn't recognise their tendency to jump onto any available (and inconvenient) surface, particularly one that's radiating heat.

13
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My PC is broken, said user typing in white on a white background

DuchessofDukeStreet

Black on Black

I was working on a desktop upgrade a few years ago where we came across a little used but utterly critical (of course!) application that had been written in house at some point in the 1990's with no documentation or support existing (and the author/s having left the company turn of the century). It had survived various previous upgrades intact but trying to run it on Win7 rendered two screens entirely black. Black text on a black background. We managed to work out that the author had used some custom non-standard colouring that Windows could no longer identify and rendered black by default but we never did manage to get to rewrite it; the customer realising that they'd be better off writing a new piece of code to do the task this obsolete stuff did.

And I have far too often managed to turn text and background the same colour within a MS document - the ribbon buttons are next to one another and far too similar in appearance...

6
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Stop us if you've heard this one: Ex-Googler sues web giant claiming terrible treatment. This time, sex harassment

DuchessofDukeStreet

It's About the Numbers

A small percentage of people are arseholes, and a small percentage of those are people who find it acceptable to say and do sexually-inappropriate things to other people, including their colleagues. The more time you spend in the company of people who have decent moral standards, the more likely you're going to buy into that level of behaviour.

If you've got a company where the gender balance is 50/50, the five creepy blokes are likely to be misbehaving to a number of different women (or other blokes, or women misbehaving to men, or other women).

In a company with a strong gender bias to male, that creepiness is focussed on one woman, because she's the only victim available. Compound it by the fact that there isn't a balancing effect from the collective team that "this isn't okay", and it becomes a default behaviour that the wider group normalises. Until the woman gets to the point where it isn't tolerable any longer and makes a complaint (slightly different topic but you all know that a domestic violence victim tolerates being hit 42 times before they call the police, right?).

There is a awesome collection of nerf guns in one room in my building. The team are banned from using them on a regular basis, then it becomes Friday afternoon fun, then end of the day fun, then a free for all, then someone gets hit and complains and the ban comes back in. I'm one of only two women who goes into that room on a regular basis; none of the guys have EVER shot at us. Every male visitor - fair game. Discrimination? Yeah maybe. But they've all seen the sharpness of my heels - if I throw one of them back it's going to hurt a great deal more.

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RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: Well at least

Screwfix still operate under the model of being a trade business that happens to let private individuals walk in off the street and buy stuff.

Maplin decided to stop being a trade supplier, and become a high street (high street equalling expensive retail park these days) just as that business model imploded.

As the original poster said, if I'm going into a physical shop, I need to be getting one of these things from the visit:

- immediate possession of the item

- expert advice and knowledge from the staff

- physical inspection of the goods before buying

- subjective value in supporting a physical business in the local area (my parents are *never* going to buy online, no matter how long they live, so I still want them to have access to a range of shops)

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Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

DuchessofDukeStreet

Car Maintenance Checks

My dad refused to allow me to apply for my provisional licence until I'd learnt how to a lot of the basic maintenance and repair checks: checking and replacing fluids incl oil, changing a tyre, etc. This was on the grounds that he couldn't bear the idea of another mechanically incompetent driver in the household - at that time my mum hadn't even put fuel in her car in ten years and hasn't ever done since . In theory I still know how to do all of these things but it's been a long time since I've done anything more than check levels and pour some liquids into the correct reservoir.

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Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: and there was a screaming sound coming from inside the computer room.

Where is Simon?

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Sysadmin crashed computer recording data from active space probe

DuchessofDukeStreet

Re: NOT ONE WARNING to the effect of "don't use spaces" existed

Is that where that infuriating %20 comes from? It's been driving me nuts for months - now I know why!

Thank you.

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