back to article BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it

"Wah wah wah wah wah..." "Wah wah wah wah wah... "...You know - the Internet of Things," the Boss says. "The internet of what things?" I ask. "You know, everything," the Boss says, tossing me the proverbial geeky talking stick. "Everything?" I ask, watching the stick fly by and fall to the ground. "Yes, you know, the …

  1. Alien8n


    Reminds me of one company I used to work at that wanted to put swipe card entry on every single door so they could track employees. The excuse they gave was to ensure people weren't spending too long in the toilet...

    Needless to say the idea was about as popular as booking Gary Glitter for a children's party.

    1. Phil W

      Re: Tracking

      I have to say it's nice of them to be so concerned about your digestive health.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tracking

        If the belt buckle really is riveted shut, the messy end of your digestive system could make it very unpleasant.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: the messy end

          You need to be more specific. I've seen quite a few messy ends in the pub and they were nowhere near a belt buckle.

          Well, not initially, that is.

        2. Mpeler

          Re: Tracking

          The ring-stinger thinger...

          As if the battery pack wasn't hot enough...

      2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: Tracking

        Yes, normally they couldn't give a shit

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Tracking

          At my place of work, you have to have a swipe card for almost everything. Main building is coded as a G swipe. Want to get into the other block? You need a B swipe. To get into the secure animal facility, you need an X swipe. For the lift lobby, you'll need an L swipe. And if you're going to the toilet, better make sure you have an R swipe.

          1. Keven E

            Tracking memories

            Perhaps everyone should tattoo thier IPV6 addy or perhaps thier MAC addy (IOT chip implant coming soon to a theatre near you) and use them at door input panels...


            Speaking of memories (I enjoyed the first time around), TRT, have an upvote for applying 'cut and paste' and getting even more upvotes than the original, yet I'd bet you've had more than these two chances...


          2. ShadowDragon8685

            Re: Tracking

            Jesus H. Chrysler where do you work, Jurassic Park?

    2. Skoorb

      Re: Tracking

      Oh, that old chestnut.

      Assuming the whole building isn't covered in security cameras, it takes less than a week for people to just start hitting the emergency door release switches and leaving all the doors unlocked again - especially when you've left your ID card behind and are now trapped in the toilet.

      What also tends to happen in some middle manager decides when people should be "allowed" to pass through certain doors based on building opening times etc and comes up with some convoluted schedule of when doors can be used. I have seen:

      - Someone get trapped between two sets of doors as he walked through the first set just as the clock hit 8pm and both sets locked themselves shut.

      - Rooms get booked for evening use, but someone forgot to "unlock" one set of doors required to get to the room.

      - A room get booked for weekend use, but the building locking itself too early (though all internal doors were fine), trapping everyone inside until they walked out a fire escape, activating the fire alarm.

      - "Out by 12 hours" errors in the schedule, unlocking buildings overnight.

      It's just not worth it and tends not to last long, especially when some manager gets trapped somewhere, or the only way someone can escape is by activating the fire alarm and evacuating the entire building.

      Also, the "no tailgating" rule is impossible to enforce pretty much anywhere outside of a secure mental health unit or a prison.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tracking

        Also, the "no tailgating" rule is impossible to enforce pretty much anywhere outside of a secure mental health unit or a prison.

        Try getting in to the Home Office ad other similarly equipped buildings while tailgating....

        1. IglooDude

          Re: Tracking

          I assumed the Home Office was covered by the 'secure mental health unit' reference.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Tracking

            Not so secure any more.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: tailgaitng

          I tailgated into an NHS site the other day - in a a boss.

          saved explaining who i was into the crackly box.

        3. kraut

          Re: Tracking

          The Home Office is clearly covered under secure mental health units.

          Sadly, in this case, it's their security, not ours.

      2. Mookster

        Re: Tracking

        [Also, the "no tailgating" rule is impossible to enforce pretty much anywhere outside of a secure mental health unit or a prison]

        for proper security you use man-traps: Go in, doors close, show badge, type PIN, exit doors open.

      3. Mike Henderson

        Re: Tracking

        Or the system is unaware of leap-years, thus unlocking the building on the Saturday after Leap Day in the mistaken belief it was Friday. And on Monday everything is locked because the imbecile security system thinks it's Sunday

      4. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Tracking

        Oh, the fun of timed events.

        Whenever a client asks for them, I have to remind them that a timed event happens at the time they designated and will always happen, unless they manually tell it not wait/cancel that day.

        Then I ask exactly how they want to do the wait/cancel.

        It's important to get that in writing, especially the "We don't need that" comments...

      5. CoolKoon

        Re: Tracking

        "Also, the "no tailgating" rule is impossible to enforce pretty much anywhere outside of a secure mental health unit or a prison." - Some managers seem to think otherwise and enforce rigid (and rather idiotic) door entry policies for that (the card only lets someone out if he/she used it to get in and vice versa). Manglement's creativity (and sadism) is limitless.

        1. PC Paul

          Re: Tracking

          We have that system on one of our more secure areas. It actually works fine until there's a fire drill when everybody leaves through the emergency exit, and the system then refuses to let anyone back in because as far as it's concerned they are all in there already. Even worse is if some twazzock put the door control system console inside the secure area.

          We were only saved by the fact that someone had been off site for a meeting and came back so everyone could tailgate them in and get back in sync...

    3. IglooDude

      Re: Tracking

      Truly if they're worried about people spending too long in the toilet, they should start by tracking executives, whose time costs the company more than anyone else's? And in the spirit of leadership and transparency, make that tracking data accessible by all company employees?

      I think I just figured out my next suggestion box submission...

      1. Andy Non Silver badge

        Re: Tracking

        If folks are spending too long in the toilet it would make more sense to send typhoid Mary who works in the canteen on a food hygiene course.

        1. Chairo

          Re: Tracking

          If folks are spending too long in the toilet it would make more sense to send typhoid Mary who works in the canteen on a food hygiene course.

          No, the best would be to cover the toilet walls with tinfoil to make sure the "occupants" can't get a good cell signal inside the loo. That would also help to shorten they stay and additionally help to improve mobile hygiene.

      2. K

        Re: Tracking

        As one of those executives who reads el-reg whilst skiving in the crapper, I distinctly reject this idea as unworkable.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ensure people weren't spending too long in the toilet

      That's why you clone an HR droids RFID tag...

    5. swm

      Re: Tracking

      I was on a job interview in the San Francisco area and had to go through a lengthy security process to get in for the (all day) interview. when we broke for lunch we went out an unlocked side door to lunch and returned through the same door. At the end of the interview I left by way of the very secure entrance surrendering my temporary pass etc. I asked about this and the interviewers said there was no problem if you made the number of entrances and exits match through the main entrance.

  2. oldcoder

    What? No mention of food efficiency sensors? They compute the percentage of useful food from the intake and the output....

    Though I understand the installation of the sensor is a PITA.

    1. Crisp
      Paris Hilton

      Have you tried using a lubricant?

  3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    I'd love to slap a tracker on my boss. And his boss.

    Oh well... 40 mins untill the weekend, and counting...

    Have a nice weekend, everyone!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or indeed to track a slapper on your boss.

  4. Sgt_Oddball

    Surely shome mishtake

    Wouldn't the tracker stop working after the batteries start combusting?

    Maybe instead network the fire alarm sensors to track the bosses progress through the building?

    (also it sounds like the sort of idea that could be sold to the beancounters on account of looking after the health of the employees to prevent pulling a sicky by giving them a real reason not to be at work.)

    N.b. Fire natch.

    1. Efros

      Re: Surely shome mishtake

      You'd have to make sure the sensors were sensitive enough to track something approaching mach 1 when the batteries start combusting.

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Surely shome mishtake

      Just follow the smoke

  5. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Missing the two-way aspect

    Why no mention of the built-in cattle prod?

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Oh I like this one.

    It would appear that this boss' demise will be a well documented catalogue of 'accidents'. Something that will keep HSE fully occupied for months (hence off the BOFHs back)

  7. Robert Helpmann??

    Parts Sourcing

    Since the original stipulation was that "the battery system would be a little hefty to start with", they should be sourced from used hoverboards. I am sure they will work as intended.

    1. NotBob

      Re: Parts Sourcing

      That or any of several varieties of laptop batteries. Those always work perfectly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Parts Sourcing

        You can make any Lithium battery go bang. The cells aren't the issue, it's the circuitry that prevents charging or discharging at silly levels to stop the battery heating up too quickly and going either near or into a thermal runaway.

        Remove this circuitry from a healty battery pack and you've got something that's going to go bang the next time it's charged by a cheap "charger" that's just a step down transformer without any current limiting hardware.

  8. Trygve Henriksen

    The only thing that needs to be enabled with IoT is the stapler. You can never ever find it when you need it...

    Well, maybe the 'off' button on any video projectors in the building, so that we can run a remote shutdown on them when a scheduled meeting ends. with the cost of new lamps, that system should pay for itself pretty quickly...

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Stapler tracking is a great idea, as mine is always getting nicked. Along with the hole-punch.

      But the projector kill switch is in dire need of a new feature. It needs to automatically operate on any Powerpoint that's gone on for more than about 90 minutes, be able to shut down on detection of Comic Sans (I don't actually mind this font - it's just usually a fearful sign of doom whenever it turns up in a business context). And possibly have an optional feature to introduce porn slides to any presentation that I don't want to sit through any more of, say when the pub's open.

      1. Unicornpiss

        Tracking HDMI cables...

        I'd love it if we could track the HDMI cables from the conference rooms. They disappear faster than airline-sized bottles of liquor from our conference rooms. Apparently very well-paid people can't seem to afford them for their home entertainment systems.

        1. Dave Bell

          Re: Tracking HDMI cables...

          This is what comes from using standard consumer cabling to carry the business's confidential data. Other people can use the cabling, and have you seen how little space a block of USB storage needs today? The system needs to use a non-standard connector, tagged with IoT to ensure security, which is the only connector available on the data source and display devices,

          Of course, this means that a large number of projectors, large flat-screen displays, and executive lap-top computers must be disposed of to close the security loophole.

          I know just the company to dispose of this hardware, for a very modest fee, taking care to carefully examine all data storage to ensure that no critical corporate information is passed on to unauthorised third parties.

          And I would reall like a new large-screen display on which to play Kerbal Space Program.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      the 'off' button on any video projectors in the building

      Many projectors these days - if networked - respond to PJLink (PDF). Unless your admin has been particularly careful and enabled the security feature, this very simple protocol can be extremely useful. Of course, many projectors also have web interfaces, but these are often clunky and buggy and best avoided, and the less said about proprietary systems such as Crestron RoomView, the better.

      I speak here as someone looking after a fleet of 30-ish mainly Panasonic projectors that are all started and stopped automatically each day.


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'The only thing that needs to be enabled with IoT is the stapler. You can never ever find it when you need it...'


      Here's a thing, I usually find at least one stapler per week in the workshop (a woodworking shop) where they've no rights to be (usually lurking on the bed of a saw, precariously positioned near the sharp rotatey-cuttie-chompie-slicie-thingies) and everyone disavows any knowledge as to where they came from or why they're there. Thanks to this, the admin staff here are building up quite a nice collection now, and they're all 'different' (manufacturers, types, age - some are obviously at least a couple of decades old).

      If it isn't a complex and pointless wind up being perpetrated by one of the wags here, then obviously your missing staplers are making there way here, by mystic pathways known only to themselves and Biros, in vain hope that someone doesn't notice them and they end their miserable staplery existence by being accidentally knocked into the previously mentioned rotatey-cuttie-chompie-slicie-thingies..

      I seriously, seriously need beer...thanks to a bit of a clusterfsck I missed the pub last night..

      1. MonkeyCee

        On the wags

        I bet fifty on the wags.

    4. -tim

      Tracking the stapler?

      I only need to track one red stapler.

      Thank you very much.

  9. paulf


    "One that can tell you how fast you accelerate"

    I was expecting something about the boss investigating high buildings and terminal velocity at this point.

    And this was just superb:

    "The PFY [...] having picked up on my saying the same thing three times in quick succession – our Bat Signal for an exciting new opportunity to make someone cry."

    A Friday pint, Sir!

    1. Laura Kerr

      Re: Acceleration

      Yup, the trigger word was 'accelerometer'. I was expecting Simon to install something to control the speed of the lift motor, and invite the Boss to volunteer for the 'calibration' test.

      And a pint from me too!

  10. tony2heads

    Crappy power supplies! GAAH

    We recently had a power supply for server class machine sent to us with NO BEARINGS in the fan; apparently the manufacturer had to specially request a version without bearings to shave a couple of $'s off the cost.

    Needless to say they failed after a few hundred hours of operations,

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: Crappy power supplies! GAAH

      I have found that some good server-class hardware can be miraculously restored to silent operation by replacing the fans, but the system was old enough that the original fans were way beyond their design life, and the overall system was rather sluggish by today's standards.

    2. LINCARD1000

      Re: Crappy power supplies! GAAH

      Ooooh... that sounds familiar. Sleeve bearings (or similar).

      I worked a few years back for a certain video conference equipment manufacturer (since borged) in their reverse logistics group and noticed a pattern of fans failing on a certain popular and high-end model of codec and did some investigation.

      Sleeve bearings.

      And they all began failing at once all around EMEA and APAC on codecs of a certain age. I alerted our service centres at the time to stock up on replacement fans (with ball bearings) and informed our R&D and production groups about the epidemic. I don't think they cared because the up-front cost was less for production - they didn't care about the back-end cost for repair/replacement as that didn't affect their budgets, despite it being a higher cost to the company in the longer run.

      Deep sigh.

      Icon for the system temperatures of some of the units. Our service centres sent me occasional photos of various faults for shits and giggles... many of these in a lovely shade of toasty brown.

  11. chivo243 Silver badge

    Optional rewording

    the boss puts the ID in IDIoT. The boss who subscribes to the axiom "he who dies with the most gadgets wins."

    Please keep these people out of my office... or they will be winners...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Solution in search of a problem

    Everything's better with bluetooth

  13. zaax

    Its surprising easy to hide a tracker on someones phone

    1. Allan George Dyer

      "Its surprising easy to hide a tracker on someones tracker"


  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All this 'time spent on the khazi' talk reminds me of a spread sheet (poor choice of words) I used to have back in the day that calculated how much you earned while on the throne.

    Dredging my memory now to try and remember what the most someone earned in a visit was.

    1. BenBell

      £2.29 (and half a penny)

      ..about an hour ago

      ...just in case you were wondering :)

      Home time!

    2. Notas Badoff


      the reason for the expression "shits and grins" ?

  15. crosenblum

    Bosses need to be tracked.....

    For performance issues...clearly...:

    I mean to track them, to make sure they're no where near you,

    and using something like IFTTT to send them a message, to get them

    to go back to their offices for some random reason.

    Just like there is a BOFH Excuse Generator, there should be an

    "Get Boss to Go Away Message Generator"...

    Any ideas or suggestions?

    1. Mark 85

      Re: Bosses need to be tracked.....

      "There's donuts in the break room." Where I worked, this usually worked the best. However, if someone wasn't aware of the message and they happened to be between the boss and the break room, they often times ended up as a grease smear on the carpet.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Bosses need to be tracked.....

        Upvote for "often times".

  16. EvadingGrid

    IoT is just a bad idea

  17. Paul 129


    Missed opportunity...

    Camera feed of forward vision. Left and right controls are achieved by application of porn, and suggestions in the HUD and Text to Speech audio system.

    Activate, TTS system gives a managerial suggestion. Score is determined by the length of time BOSSBOT is occupied outside of Mission control.

    Supplementing control system with boxes of donuts that specially open in the bosses line of vision. Sip calls to set off staff members near his position, Sprinklers, fires, lift malfunctions etc all fair game. Bonus points for extra toilet time, from doped donuts etc.

    Who needs Sims!

    Also have the option of a odor release, or perhaps a small uncomfortable electrical simulation in the neighborhood of SIGNAL INTERFERENCE, to help train your BOSSLE.

    and thats before you get to the cockroach modifications where you directly implant electrodes to um... Increase the available bandwidth.

    Going for the simple boss bomb? At least have him locked outside and looking like a suicide bomber!

    Come on Simon and PFY!

    Get with the PROGRAM!

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