* Posts by Rande Knight

74 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Nov 2007


FBI, NSA to hackers: Let us be blunt. Weed need your help. We'll hire you even if you've smoked a little pot in the past

Rande Knight

Re: Its a body count thing....


The thing about a lot of IT experts in the past, is that it's their hobby as well, and have spent a lot of time outside work doing stuff that give them skills.

But there's only so many people who have an obsession with tech and will 'train' on their own time.

Everyone else will need time and money being trained, even if they have the required aptitude. And that costs a lot of money that businesses and governments aren't used to paying.

We knew it was coming: Bureaucratic cockup triggers '6-month' delay of age verification block on porno in the UK

Rande Knight

Re: The party of business

Hopefully they'll store them in a basement for 50 years and when they come out, they'll be humourous collectors items like the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' posters.

El Reg deep dive: Everything you need to know about UK.gov's pr0n block

Rande Knight

Laws for other people

I would like to know who in Parliament is going to stand up and say 'I signed up to AgeID and found it safe, secure and easy to do'.

Lead by example please!

IBM thinks Notes and Domino can rise again

Rande Knight

I quite enjoyed developing for it,

It was/is a really good Rapid Application Development platform.

I could knock up a functional change control system within a week and have all the bells and whistles done in 3 months (even with weekly specification changes).

Several times I was asked to write a quick application to fill a gap while the Java/C++/Oracle team were busy doing the proper Enterprise Ready version over the next 6 months.

I'd come back 5-6 years later and my application was still there running because it did the job adequately, and cheap code that works okay beats expensive code that doesn't work at all.

No market for it anymore and I'm doing PHP/Python these days. I don't mention that the application i've spent 6 months (and counting) writing could have been done in 2 weeks in Notes.

Singapore court awards $2.9m over bad job reference

Rande Knight

Phone call

HR will only give job title, dates from and to.

That's why they call your old boss and get a phone reference. They can be more candid when there's no record on paper.

Swedish school pumps up volume to ease toilet trauma

Rande Knight

I didn't go to the loo much at school either

But that was mostly due to soap only being provided when there was a school inspection due.

...and it being a hangout for bullies/drug users.

Hyperloop One teases idea of 50-minute London-Edinburgh ride

Rande Knight


People here will protest the building of ANYTHING visible.

And due to the public consultation process, it doubles or triples the cost of doing anything.

Windfarms are just fine...as long as they are over the horizon from the highest point on the coast.

The last time El Reg covered IBM Domino we used a chisel

Rande Knight

It's still good, but died because no one understood it

Everyone loves to hate Lotus Notes because it's a crap and bloated email program.

And that's the problem right there - it's not an email program.

It's a workflow program that can do email. And it does workflow really well and fast. Used a non-relational database yonks before they became popular. Never had the Y2K problem. Did foreign characters natively before Unicode existed.

A common problem with trying to get rid of it is : "Yes, we can replace that with Java-Oracle using Spring for £500K" "But, but it only cost £80K to start with and £40K in maintenance since!" The answer is of course, to phase out and close that division of the company so no one higher has to answer that question.

Sexbots could ‘over-exert’ their human lovers, academic warns

Rande Knight

Re: Dolls

"For men, there is a large stigma with using any form of sex aid or sex worker, and the stigma is larger for using a sex worker."

I think it's the other way around.

You might tell your mate that you shagged a prostitute.

But you'll _never_ tell your mate that you've got a Tenga in your bedside drawer.

Man accused of $180k ass-based gold smuggling scam awaits verdict

Rande Knight

Stupid criminal is stupid

Another criminal gets caught for being stupid and not even taking the most simple money laundering precautions.

If you want to launder gold, start up a jewelry business making gold rings and chains, you buy an amount of gold legally and then you sell the rings and chains at a larger markup than usual due to the increased amount of gold you can include using the pilfered loot. Took me 2 mins to think of it. No doubt with some actual thought someone could think of one better.

UK employers still reluctant to hire recent CompSci grads

Rande Knight

I see nothing has changed

I graduated in 96 and even then they didn't teach programming (past the first few lines in Year 1)

Coding was something we were expected to learn by ourselves. What they did teach was the theory behind programming, rather than the syntax and foibles of a particular language.

And even today, 20 years on, I can count on my fingers the number of times training was provided to anyone on my teams (I was allowed one, in 2000). We train ourselves on our own time because no one else is going to. They really need to be up front about that so that in the 6 months before the first job, the new grads have been pounding keyboards and heads against desks doing some real coding.

New York outlaws ticket-hoarding buybots

Rande Knight

Supply and Demand

How about just putting them on ebay or similar and let the tickets go for their natural price rather than rig things in contrived manners?

Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Rande Knight

9 1/2 shoes

Yes, I've got very wide feet too - probably something to do with going barefoot a lot as a child.

It's rare that there will be shoes available in size 9.5, so I either have to go with size 9, which are only bearable for a few hours, or feel like I'm wearing clown shoes in a size 10, with my feet slipping backwards and forwards (and getting blisters if walking for any significant distance).

Peer tables motion to kill vaping rules

Rande Knight

They're better for me

I don't smoke, but I support vaping because they're better for me - I don't have to deal with 2nd hand smoke nearly as much these days.

If people want to slowly kill themselves with their drug of choice, then I'm not going to stop them; but I will try to prevent them (physically) hurting other people when they do so.

Snowden WAS the Feds' quarry in Lavabit case, redaction blunder reveals

Rande Knight

No good guys or bad guys....

...there's only U.S. and THEM.

They swear to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic...and if there aren't any, then they need to make some to defend against.

E-borders will be eight years late and cost more than £1bn

Rande Knight

Government subcontracts

Most of what is generated is paperwork. Lots of paperwork. A substantial portion of which is 'proof' that taxpayers money isn't being wasted. Irony at it's best.

It killed Safe Harbor. Will Europe's highest court now kill off hyperlinks?

Rande Knight

Re: your analogy

"That implies that simply LOOKING at something breaches copyright.

We're not quite there yet..."

They've been trying for quite some time if it's the same as 'stealing' a smell.

Women account for just one fifth of the EU’s 8m IT jobs

Rande Knight

Re: Bell end reader?

This has been envisioned actually.

Buttobi CPU

How to save Wikipedia: Start paying editors ... or write for machines

Rande Knight

I wouldn't pay for it

If I had to sign in to get the data, I simply would move down to the next entry in google search results which quite often is the source material for what has been reformatted into an easily digestible version on wikipedia.

(I donate once every couple of years as the 5 minutes is worth it to me)

Hash-tag CompSci: FBI grooms pre-weed teens

Rande Knight

How about stop caring what people do in their spare time...

...and start caring about how well they do their job?

If their drug taking adversely affects their job performance, then fire them.

If not, then keep them.

BAN the ROBOT WHORES, says robot whore expert: 'These AREN'T BARBIES'

Rande Knight

Where does she draw the line?

Obvious a dildo is a sex toy, but when does it become a prostitute?

When you have to pay to use it?

When it's got an embedded AI?

When it's got legs and can move around?

When it's got a voice and _could_ say no except that it's programmed to never say no?

Anonymous UK 'leader' fined for revealing ID of rape complainant

Rande Knight

Re: Willing consent

"I think men will soon need to have printed consent form with dates, times and witnesses for sobriety before any sexual act is performed"

They had a movies with that scene in it - 'Cherry 2000'.

BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?

Rande Knight

Landline number

As well as being required to have a landline for ADSL, the only other use I have for it is being required to input a landline number into online forms as some will refuse to accept mobile phone numbers.

I think this is to do with security or maybe a holdover from when calling a mobile cost was expensive.

Women are fleeing from the digital sector, reckons UK.gov report

Rande Knight

High WIS

Or women are wiser than men with aspergers and decide there's better working conditions elsewhere.

It's pretty simple to get more women in - just offer home working and/or flexible working hours and training. It won't give parity, but it will help a lot.

Why OH WHY is economics so bleedin' awful, then?

Rande Knight

Crash should have happened in 2004

Which was when house prices hit over 3.5 average wage.

I actually had my house on the market expecting the prices to crash as I ignorantly thought that no idiot would lend more than that as they wouldn't be able to pay it back. If if things had crashed then, it wouldn't have been nearly as deep or as long.

The govt were being willfully blind as the BIG indicator - inflation would have told them something was up, except that they left house prices out of the various inflation indexes. And this STILL has not been fixed, so I'm fully expecting more boom and bust in coming years.

Gwyneth Paltrow flubs $29 food stamp dare, swallows pride instead

Rande Knight

Not sure about healthy...

But I wouldn't go hungry on £20 a week. It's not that much less than the £25 a week that I currently spend.

It's easy if you really like rice, potatoes and/or pasta.

Swedish city demands £40,000 to repair teenage hacking spree

Rande Knight

And this is why you always alert people anonymously - a lot of people with power like to shoot the messenger when they don't like the message.

Skin colour's irrelevant. Just hire competent folk on their merits, FFS

Rande Knight

Re: The only problem is...

Apparently the NHS _is_ going on about needing more male nurses. Because they need them to lift heavy objects.

I think they just need to get some powered exosuits so that women can lift things too. And kill Alien Queens out to infect us with their babies.

DfE would like to have more male teachers - as long as they are provably not males that like children a little too much or even likely to be accused of such. I can understand men not wanting to do it as even an accusation that's not proven false will ruin their career.


Rande Knight

Re: That's not even tax avoidance, that's tax evasion.

It's cheaper for him than credit or cheque because there's no chance of people cancelling the cheque or reversing the credit card charge - which customers do to tradespeople amazingly often because of buyers remorse, or they know that they can then either squeeze out some more service for free or simply pay at the vary last second after you've spent hours preparing documents to sue them, in the hopes that you simply won't bother because it's not worth the amount of time.

So yes, giving a discount for cash makes sense, and not (just) for tax evasion. Even people who would otherwise rip you off will often pay you cash because 'it's a bargain'.

Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

Rande Knight

Re: king of fools bad != stupid

"You should bear in mind that there is a minimum requirement for education and reasoning ability to be a law enforcement officer in the US"

Yes, but there's also an upper limit to how smart they are allowed to be.


UK slaps 25 per cent 'Google Tax' on tech multinationals

Rande Knight

Financial Transaction Tax and Commissions

There's several blunt force things that could be done to make them pay their taxes.

a) Financial transaction tax. Every time money changes hands, the govt gets their cut. Send money to your parent company overseas? ->Get a cut. Downside: would _kill_ high frequency trading.

b) Global tax accounting - if you don't pay at least our rate _somewhere_ in the world, then you get to pay the difference here. Makes it unprofitable to bother sending the money to low tax countries. USA already does this with individuals.

And then there's paying HMRC taxmen on commission. Currently they'd rather hassle the individual because it's expensive to hassle BigCorp. Pay them on commission - say 5%, and it would suddenly seems like a really good idea to take down Vodaphone for £5billion. And not bother the little guy who made a £1000 mistake.

Google kills CAPTCHAs: Are we human or are we spammer?

Rande Knight

Diversity needed

The reason they can solve them is because it's the same type of problem all the time. Viruses hit harder when the crop has little diversity.

Have a range of problem types. Have maths problems, ethics problems, 2D and 3D puzzles, mini-games...the possibilities are endless.

OTOH, I do like the idea that this is just a way to make spammers solve the image recognition problem for them (now that they've solved the word recognition problem) and then buy the solution on the grey market for a few thousand.

What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

Rande Knight

Re: Meanwhile....

It _is_ cheaper for me on metered.

But then I was raised in rural Australia, know how to have a bath in 2" of water, only flush for No.2, never wash the car, and run the washing machine fortnightly.

The meter saves me £20 a year. Not really worth it IMO, and totally not worth it for anyone with a family.

Yes, Samaritans, the law does apply to you. Even if you mean well

Rande Knight

Fight back

Fight fire with fire. Make a Suicide Clippy bot - "It looks like you want to top yourself. Would you like some hints?"

Feminist Software Foundation gets grumpy with GitHub … or does it?

Rande Knight

Re: Pussy Power FAIL

"Given that - as represented by the logo of this movement - += is followed by nothing [ C+= ], it is also a syntax error. It will be flagged as such by any male, inflexible, testosterone-drunk, oppressive, closed-minded, boorish and insensitive compiler."

Actually, I think it could be a useful concept in functional/lazy evaluation languages.

[C+=] makes C an indeterminate number that is greater than variable C was previously.

So (C==D) would return true if D was in the set/range of numbers symbolized by C.

Twitter's shock block unlock deemed cockup, gets a lockup

Rande Knight


How about making all the potential solutions be options?

Then individuals could decide how to deal with unwanted readers/posters?

A. Blocked users cannot read my tweets.

B. Blocked users cannot send me tweets.

C. Blocked users cannot follow me

D. Blocked users cannot mention me. (not sure about this one - potentially open to retaliation).

D. Only my followers can send me tweets.

E. Only my followers can read my tweets.

F. I must actively accept new followers.

Fat-walleted execs? Nope, it's a corporate tax swerve that REALLY ticks Brits off

Rande Knight

Re: Shurely shome mishtake

The same people who believe that legal===ethical.

Romance is dead: Part-time model slings $1.5bn SUEBALL at Match.com

Rande Knight

I'd wait until it seems she's likely to win.

Blighty promises £49m to get more British yoof into engineering careers

Rande Knight

Re: The Prof is absolutely right

An great engineer can create something great and sell it once.

A great salesman can take junk, and sell it over and over again.

I'm guessing this is the same as our 'IT shortage', where the shortage is highly skilled and experienced people willing to work for peanuts?

Simple supply and demand. If there really was a shortage, the wages would rise until demand was met. I don't know about engineers, but I'm still on the same rate as I was in 2005.

I suspect they fully know about supply and demand, and want an oversupply to reduce wage demand.

Baldness fix from foreskin follicles

Rande Knight

"My sister buys products for her hair and spends ages with dryers/tongs/straighteners and the bollox."

You sister spends ages with her bolloxs?

'Google IS a capitalist country... er, company'

Rande Knight

Long intro statements

They'll just counter with even longer introduction statements before you can press any numbers eg.

"Please listen to all of the following instructions as they may have changed even though we've not in fact changed them in the last 3 years, but it's theoretically possible. Also note that your call may be recorded for training and quality purposes and will be used as evidence if you threaten or abuse us, but will definitely be deleted^W won't have been recorded in any case our operator is rude or gives false or misleading information. Any attempt to reduce the time spent listening to these automated messages will cause a dropped call and make you listen to these messages again. We may do this in any case in low call periods to keep our revenue numbers up. Now please wait and listen to some musac for another 5 minutes and then press 1 and then # and then 653217688999123 within 1 minute of the beep and then listen for further instructions."

Identity cards: How Labour lost power in a case of mistaken ID

Rande Knight

If all they wanted was a usable ID card,

They could have gone the way of the USA and just allowed people to have 'non-drivers' drivers licenses. Would have cost very little to implement.

The big cost was the database behind it, which was to record and have access to every piece of data about you that they could think of. The big cost and the big danger.

Uni profs: Kids today could do with a bit of 'mind-crippling' COBOL

Rande Knight

Or...companies could...train?

If companies need people with a particular language, they could spend some time/money and train their people.

Except it's more cost efficient to push the cost somewhere else and complain that they can't find people that someone has paid the cost to train.

Judge drops TV ad-block block: So how will anyone pay for TV now?

Rande Knight

Targetted Advertising

A lot of the rage against advertising is because they are trying to sell you stuff you don't care about.

I'm surprised they don't look at your viewing stats/other info they have on you, and serve up ads from your Sky+ storage (also solving the localisation problem). And then let you vote on the ad once it's half way through running. Vote it down, and you'll never have to see that ad featuring blue liquid again, vote up and you'll get more cute puppies running around with toilet paper.

Publishers, Apple bend over for EU eBooks probe

Rande Knight

Re: Apple could sell books at a loss, but they won't...

"But I bet it'll be a cold day in hell before the decide to get into the retail game by selling loss-leaders. Without the agency model there is no way anyone can compete with Amazon on prices.."

Because it costs so much to make the warehouses to store and the internet tubes to deliver the ebooks right?

PLT chair: UK Radio Society is 'living in a dream world'

Rande Knight

Re: "i bet most house wiring is inspected ressonably regularly"

If someone comes in to change wiring in your house, then they should be Part P registered (ie, registered as 'competent'). It's also theoretically possible to pay the local Council to test and sign it off if the electrician isn't registered, but the response can vary greatly.

However, there is nothing to stop a house owner doing work themselves. It's only when they come to sell that it may be a problem if it's been done badly.

High Schools putting kids off IT careers, deepening skills shortage

Rande Knight

Supply and Demand

There isn't a shortage of supply, there's a failure of demand to put it's money where it's mouth is.

What the bosses are complaining is that they don't like the standard of the monkeys they are getting for the peanuts they are paying.

All they need to do is raise the amount of money (pay, conditions, training etc) until smart students decide that IT is a worthwhile career rather than say, Law.

Or if they are complaining they can't get _anyone_ with the right skillset no matter what they pay, perhaps they should consider things like internal training, internships etc, rather than complaining that someone else isn't training their staff for free.

Vixie warns: DNS Changer ‘blackouts’ inevitable

Rande Knight


What did they do? Call them up and say 'Hello, I'm from technical support, I'd like to remote acess your..." *SLAM*.

Certainly that's what I've done when scammers I can barely understand from India try to con me into letting them have control of my computer.

What I would have done is block users by the final number in their IP address, one each day, so only ~1/250 would be calling their ISP each day, spreading the pain.

GCSE, A-level science exams ARE dumbed down - watchdog

Rande Knight

The Bell Curve

It's quite simple. Introduce statistical scaling.

It means that the difficulty of the exam can vary a little each year, but you'll still get the same level of students getting the same grades. Grade inflation wouldn't be a problem.

It would be especially useful for university placements as they could more easily pick out the exceptional students.

I did highschool under this system and it works fine for written exams. It's not as good for practical assessments.

Tumblr CEO realises ads don't make him sick after all

Rande Knight

Insert Pics

Surely the ads would just be adding targetted images/ads into the users Dashboard?

If the user is interested, then they can click on it, and the animated gif can play.

One ad per 50 images would probably be tolerated, especially if the ads are well targetted to fit in with the users preferences. eg. a guy who likes looking at cars may not even notice if an image of a car with some text shows up.

...so bets on how badly they can annoy their users in 3,2,1...