* Posts by Franco

1144 posts • joined 11 Apr 2008

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Everyone back to the office! Why? Because the decision has been made

Franco Silver badge

Contractor here too, so WFH was a common thing for me long before pandemics, largely because when you're working on big projects that are too many contractors and not enough desks. I've often had to explain to PMs though that I DO need a build area if they expect me to work on desktop refresh projects, as although initial testing can be done on VMs, BIOS settings and drivers need to be tested on the actual devices they are intended for.

After one particularly long and tedious explanation of why I needed space and an example of every device that was being used in the refresh project, I was told by the head of department that he liked working with contractors because "they speak truth to power", a prime example of the God Complex Dabbsy talks about. My request is a requirement of the task they have engaged me to complete, but they frame it as if it's a civil rights issue.

First steps into the world of thought leadership: What could go wrong?

Franco Silver badge

I get at least one a month saying they can see I've been contracting for years but thought I might be interested in this perm vacancy they have, usually the same agencies but a different person showing how quick their turnover is.

Franco Silver badge

Recruiters on LinkedIn "You have the skills for the role I'm recruiting for at a salary of X, but we're a bit concerned about how often you change jobs"

Me: I'm a contractor, so not interested in your salary. I sign up to do a project, finish it, and then move on

Then of course you get the sales bods who see you're a company director. Translation in parentheses.

"We want to connect (Sell to!) with business leaders (anyone) such as yourself and help them strengthen their brand (we sell snake oil, but call it brand recognition or social media optimisation or some such shite).

and then the "INfluencers"

"Please tell us how we can help you"

Me: stop spamming me

And that's before you get to the "I work 9-5, I'm 21 years old and have 3 kids, 5 houses and 8 cars and you can too!", "I had 10 cars yesterday but I gave 2 to homeless people I met on the way to work" and the CONSTANT virtue signalling.

Microsoft unboxes Exchange Online certification in bid to push customers off-prem

Franco Silver badge

Given how much of the internet and infrastructure is now in the hands of so few big players, it won't be long before it comes crashing down again. Greybeards like me were always told never put all your eggs in one basket, never mind a basket you don't even own.

Cloudflare might be the one that tips it over the edge, another big outage last week.

UK Home Office signs order to extradite Julian Assange to US

Franco Silver badge

Re: "a hard-hitting investigative journalist"

It's Assange's ego that's got him in to this. If he'd just anonymously published everything leaked to him he'd have been fine, but he's made himself the public face of Wikileaks, only leaked selectively and chosen to editorialise on what he's leaked.

Made himself the story, which is the first thing journalists (if he were one, which he is not) are taught not to do.

Franco Silver badge

Re: In other related NEWS

She should have been out of a job over the bullying investigation, that's why the Prime Ministers FIRST ethics advisor quit, never mind the one that did this week.

Leave that sentient AI alone a mo and fix those racist chatbots first

Franco Silver badge

Re: Fleshy Ones

Talky Toasters more likely, AIs designed to make us buy and eat more bread products (or indeed products of any kind)

No more fossil fuel or nukes? In the future we will generate power with magic dust

Franco Silver badge

Re: Give it time

Sorry, I need it in football pitches to fully comrehend the scale. ;-)

Microsoft delays next Exchange Server release to 2025

Franco Silver badge

It'll be longer than 4 years, IME no version of Exchange is ever genuinely production ready until about a year, sometimes a lot more, after it ships. There are always interoperability issues, or features removed that they don't tell anyone about (remember the attempts to kill Public Folders in Exchange 2007?) that need hotfixes or service packs to put right.

Franco Silver badge

Microsoft NEVER trumpet it from the rooftops when they do a u-turn, they're like politicians.

Case in point, I've been working on an image deployment project and was planning to move desktop OneNote as they'd made a big fuss about removing it in favour of OneNote for Windows 10. When I did some research as I couldn't find a way to customise the Office 365 installer it turns out they've changed their minds and desktop OneNote is not now being deprecated, but it was exactly the same, a low-profile blog post that made the announcement.

The next time your program is 'not responding,' (do not) try these steps

Franco Silver badge

Re: Ten

There is also a temptation at 11 to carry a tin-foil wrapped cucumber through airport security, which would have been very amusing in the 80s but these days will probably get you a free prostate exam.

Tweaks to IPv4 could free up 'hundreds of millions of addresses'

Franco Silver badge

Re: YAY! Lets break all EOL Operating Systems

IMO that's a non-issue. I encounter lots of those types of embedded systems as well (E.g. CNC machines) and if they're networked at all it's only on a small private isolated VLAN o completely air-gapped network so that job files can be put on the embedded systems.

Not only are they on those networks now, but they always have been even before their OSs went EoL.

Franco Silver badge

I feel like I'm back in 2011 when Microsoft bought ~666,000 IP addresses for $7.5m from the remnants of Nortel. Wonder what they're worth now?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12859585#:~:text=Microsoft%20has%20offered%20to%20pay%20%247.5m%20%28%C2%A34.7m%29%20for,generation%20of%20address%20is%20close%20to%20running%20dry.

Tech hiring freeze doesn't mean people won't leave

Franco Silver badge

Re: Spot On

They still micro-manage, only now it's "you were offline in Teams when you should have been online"

Elon Musk orders Tesla execs back to the office

Franco Silver badge

Musk really is going out of his way to conform to the stereotype of "billionaire tech genius" these days. I genuinely have no idea if he's made any contribution to any of his companies beyond providing money and a face, but he's got acting like a total arse down pat.

Spam is back with a vengeance. Luckily we can't read any of it

Franco Silver badge

Korean Spam sounds yummy, I'm imagining barbecued spam and some nice spicy noodles.

Junk mail filters are incredibly dumb these days IME. Anyone who likes the outdoors will know that hiking/walking/camping gear isn't cheap, and especially if you add the word "lightweight" in front of it. Signing up for company newsletters usually gets you a first order discount. Usually the "click here to confirm subscription" email gets through, then the actual newsletter doesn't. Emails from confused.com get through, but emails from the car insurance company I've just signed up to get blocked

UK government having hard time complying with its own IR35 tax rules

Franco Silver badge

Re: False information

"Whether you buy tools or not has no bearing on IR35 outcome."

It shouldn't, at least not in the context of most of us here working in IT, as no company with any sense will allow devices they don't manage on their network. It is however a consideration, albeit a small one, for people in a lot of trades such as electricians, plumbers etc

Franco Silver badge

Re: Can anyone get it right?

Not for a second defending the current government, but this particular shit show has spanned 22 years and numerous administrations.

HMRC are firmly of the opinion they are always right. The courts rarely seem to agree.

Safari is crippling the mobile market, and we never even noticed

Franco Silver badge

Re: Crap article

As far as I am concerned choice is a good thing. There is also a worrying trend in the industry that as long as one vendor "gets away with it" then the others will follow, for example the trend towards portless phones and vendor lock-in on peripherals.

No doubt security is good and some of what Apple do in keeping their appstore tidy is a good thing, but (IMO) the browser engine lock-in is a deliberate hamstringing of browsing on iOS to drive people to the appstore where the profits are.

Franco Silver badge

Re: Crap article

I've had this argument on these pages before, the Macolytes don't accept the fact that Apple has 100% control over the devices and how software gets on to them, even in app transactions go through Apple (Just ask Epic Games)

As always to those who drunk the koolaid, control is good so long as it comes from Apple. If it's Google or Microsoft or whoever else then it's terrible and Steve Jobs wouldn't have stood for it.

Failed gambler? How about an algorithm that predicts the future

Franco Silver badge

To be fair it's a big problem powering your infinite improbability drive when the onboard drinks dispenser produces a drink that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

Franco Silver badge

I'd try and write some sort of clever comment normally, but right now for some reason I'm entirely focused on coffee.

I predict the future is caffeinated.

Logitech Pop: Stylish, portable, but far from the best typing experience

Franco Silver badge

Ugly and overpriced IMO, and (this is a purely personal preference) I much prefer Bluetooth over dongles for connectivity, having managed to lose or break more than one dongle over the years. Might not matter to someone less careless than me though.

Also don't really see the point of emoji keys over numbers, when (in Windows anyway) emojis are just Windows key + :

Voyager 1 space probe producing ‘anomalous telemetry data’

Franco Silver badge

I love reading these stories about the Voyager program, it's incredible how well designed and built it was to still be functioning so well so long past it's original requirements.

You can keep your old ERP system, but you'll still need ServiceNow, CEO tells The Reg

Franco Silver badge

At my last contract the most challenging thing I had to do was figure out how to log a change request in ServiceNow. It was (to use the highest tier of difficulty from Carmageddon) harder than french kissing a cobra.

Oracle really does owe HPE $3b after Supreme Court snub

Franco Silver badge

Might cover a small part of the lawyers fees.....

Confirmation dialog Groundhog Day: I click OK and it keeps coming back

Franco Silver badge

Standup

I've just started a new contract where they don't call them standups, they call them drumbeats. It was bad enough when "town halls" started to be a thing.

I think all this naming malarkey might be starting to effect my mental health. ;-)

Switch off the mic if it makes you feel better – it'll make no difference

Franco Silver badge

Fun Audio Fisticuffs

To be honest I thought this name sounded more like a novelty bluetooth connected "adult toy" than a band, given the current penchant of coloured pencil departments around the world for cutesy hipster names. PowWowNow being one that really irrationally annoys me.

Don't hate on cryptomining, hate the power stations, say Bitcoin super-fans

Franco Silver badge

K. I was looking at tractors on my phone and accidentally ended up on a cryptomining site

(reference to a recent incident in UK parliament for those outside these shores)

Meetings in the metaverse: Are your Mikes on?

Franco Silver badge

At least if you are going to have multiple Mikes let them be different versions from throughout the multiverse or like the Council of Sheldons from TBBT.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3lufjIMpO0

Apple's grip on iOS browser engines disallowed under latest draft EU rules

Franco Silver badge

Re: We live in a lovely world where third party software is completely benign

Still a strawman argument. If Apple are required to allow third-party app stores you still have a choice to use Apple's appstore or not. There will also be requirements on the third party appstore in regards to app content and safety. If Apple have been required be law to provide these appstores then they cannot legally revoke the warranty if one is used.

Franco Silver badge

Re: We live in a lovely world where third party software is completely benign

That's utter gibberish.

Because of the control that Apple have over their devices that you all seem to think is OK, there is no way to install an app without having already voided the warranty by jailbreaking unless Apple approves said app for inclusion in the App Store, and as Apple are of course so wonderful and benevolent and would never let a bad app in to their walled garden how could said app adversely affect your phone?

Franco Silver badge

Re: Shiny shiny ...

And the vast majority of Firefox's money comes from Google in return for being set as the deafult search option. FF is still my browser of choice though....

Franco Silver badge

Re: Shiny shiny ...

It's an "Apples" and Oranges comparison (no pun intended) but a popular argument nonetheless. There is certainly legitimate concern that Google have too much control/influence over the direction Chromium goes, which of course affects pretty much every browser other than Safari and Firefox. Google's browser dominance has largely come from drive-by downloads, user apathy and Microsoft's inability to build a usable browser using anything other than Chromium

As always though, those who have drunk the Koolaid believe that Apple control is good and Google or Microsoft is bad

Elon Musk set to buy Twitter in $44b deal, promises stuff

Franco Silver badge

Improve Twitter?

He also owns SpaceX so he can "Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

Robots are creepy. Why trust AIs that are even creepier?

Franco Silver badge

Ahhh, smug mode.

Red Dwarf was incredibly prescient with Kryten, a robot designed not to look too much like a human because it freaked humans out

Netflix to crack down on account sharing, offer ad-laden cheaper options

Franco Silver badge

Re: 'Peak Netflix'

I do that with CDs, cheaper to buy them on ebay from Music Magpie or whoever than buy them digitally, plus I generally like looking at the lyric sheets etc at least once or twice. Rip them to MP3 and stored on my NAS for regular use. Boxes and boxes of them in my loft though!

Franco Silver badge

Re: GREEEEEED

I don't have a problem with short runs if they are what was intended. E,g. True Detective or Fargo is always conceived as an anthology so each season is a standalone story. Netflix though seems to flip-flop between dragging out for far too long (House of Cards) or 1/2 and done with no notice to the creators to wrap it up coherently.

The one exception at the moment seems to be Cobra Kai, which is so much better than a continuation of a cheesy 80s film franchise has any right to be.

Franco Silver badge

Re: GREEEEEED

It's going to be an issue alright, even someone who lives alone is likely to have it on at least one Smart TV or similar, a phone, a tablet and maybe a laptop as well, never mind families. How they choose to differentiate between legitimate use and password sharing is going to be a challenge.

This story has also been on a lot of the TV websites for obvious reasons, and most people are saying it's not cost but content driving them away. Netflix throws too much at the wall, and very little sticks for more than 1-2 series before they cancel it.

Microsoft plans to drop SMB1 binaries from Windows 11

Franco Silver badge

Some older NAS boxes don't support it and never will because the vendors want you to upgrade. Used to have a Netgear ReadyNAS and the Duo firmware didn't support anything other than SMB1.

The second issue is that almost every contract I work at, there's still a few Server 2003 boxes lurking around with a legacy app that is still required but can't be moved to anything newer for whatever reason (vendor gone under or it's got to be kept for a few more years unused for compliance reasons).

When the expert speaker at an NFT tech panel goes rogue

Franco Silver badge

Re: It's scams all the way down

There was, and indeed still may be for all I know, a mass increase in demand for old bakelite telephones as they became the must-have accessory, even when no one uses land lines anymore.

Franco Silver badge

Re: It's scams all the way down

I'll no doubt attract downvotes for this, as I do every time I criticise him, but this is entirely why "Banksy" exists. The image is entirely used to sell shite to gullible idiots. As Charlie Brooker puts it, his work looks dazzlingly clever to idiots.

Franco Silver badge

I can't shake the feeling that NFTs are for hipster cork sniffers who just want to be able to say they "own" it.

As for crypto, I'm putting no faith in anything thats value is essentially tied to Elon Musk's tweets.

Atlassian comes clean on what data-deleting script behind outage actually did

Franco Silver badge

Twas a major cock up, but hearing how it happened I'm not surprised. I had a contract a while back where one of the things we did was setup Atlassian Cloud (Non-profit organisation so they got very favourable pricing, hence the choice of Atlassian by the higher-ups) and Insight was very clearly an afterthought. Jira and Confluence had lots of tools for importing data and customising it, Insight was almost entirely accessible only via a REST API if you wanted to do anything in bulk and had pretty much no documentation and support knew almost nothing about it.

They added a web-based bulk import tool for assets a few months after I'd written a PowerShell script to convert everything from a CSV to a JSON and then import it via the REST API.

At last, Atlassian sees an end to its outage ... in two weeks

Franco Silver badge

Mass exodus from Atalssian Cloud in the post no doubt. I'm reminded of the mass Blackberry outage of about 10 years ago, that signalled the beginning of the end for Blackberry.

Franco Silver badge

Re: slightly good news?

Unfortunately those options are becoming fewer and further between. PHBs want cloud, vendors want to sell cloud and as stated in the article Atlassian are stopping sales and support for on-prem products.

Fish mentality: If The Rock told you to eat flies, would you buy my NFT?

Franco Silver badge

The fish is probably upset because it's owner didn't get it the matching earpods that it wanted. Either that or because the tank doesn't have rounded corners.

In the graveyard of good ideas, how does yours measure up to these?

Franco Silver badge

Not sure what level this would measure at...

Many years ago when we were on holiday somewhere in Spain as children, my sister saw an ex-pat couple walking their dog and asked (not knowing that they were ex-pats) if they had hired the dog for a fortnight. We mocked her quite mercilessly for this at the time.

Nowadays renting a pet seems to have become a thing, for reasons I can't quite comprehend, but it seems my sister was a visionary.

Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?

Franco Silver badge

Re: Turbo Pascal - Missing Semi-Colon at line 454

My most recent experience with something like that was during a GPO refresh. I was adding corporate bookmarks to Edge and Chrome, which is done via JSON. However the JSON needs to be on a single line for the GPO, which is entirely unreadable (at least to me) so I was using Notepad++ with a plugin to verify the formatting and then truncate it to a single line. The version of the plugin I downloaded at first was putting spaces in places they shouldn't be and causing the GPO to fail to parse the JSON string.

Franco Silver badge

Re: Turbo Pascal - Missing Semi-Colon at line 454

I'd forgotten about that, caused much swearing when we were sitting Higher Computing and had to write programs in Turbo Pascal. Made things so much easier when I went to Uni and the text editors were designed for coding and matched parentheses and recognised comments etc.

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