* Posts by Grease Monkey

1883 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

G7 nations aim for global 15 per cent tax on big tech and bin digital services taxes

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: Where are the min taxes for NGO's & Religion corporations ?

Do you really think that the likes of Oxfam are making even 1% of 1% of what the likes of Amazon make?

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: Too soft too weak

I think some people are missing the point of what this ruling does about tax havens.

At the moment what companies are doing is setting up a tax domicile in one of these havens then funneling all the money through that domicile and say "we are paying tax in country X so we don't have to pay tax in country Y"

What this ruling says is that the tax is to be paid in the country where the business is transacted, rather than where the money ends up.

So using Amazon as an example if you buy goods from amazon in the UK then the transaction is counted as having taken place in the UK for tax purposes. In other words Amazon can't then claim to be paying tax on that money outside of the UK.

Where this fails is that there is a lower limit of 10% profit margin on these taxes and Amazon claim to operate on 6.5% margins and as such still won't be liable to pay any tax.

I've never understood why corporations pay tax on their profits, but individuals pay tax on their income.

Grease Monkey Silver badge

10% margins

The devil as ever is in the detail. And of course the detail the devil is hiding in on this occasion is that these taxes will only apply on margins above 10%.

As has already pointed out Amazon work to a margin of 6.5% most of the time so they will still be exempt from paying taxes. And I'm pretty sure most of the rest of these companies can manage to cook the books to ensure that their margins at least appear to be below 10%.

The end result is that the G7 leaders get to look like the good guys for a while at least. And in a year or too when the headline start "Facebook and Google Still Paying Zero Taxes" the G7 leaders will respond "are we still talking about that?"

The Audacity: Audio tool finds new and exciting ways to annoy contributors with a Contributor License Agreement

Grease Monkey Silver badge

I think I can see what's happened here.

Somebody hasn't done their due diligence when buying the project. It looks like they thought they were buying the whole codebase and they only found out that they haven't bought what they thought they'd bought after they've signed on the dotted line. If that is the case then this is just a way of trying to grab the bits they don't own without forking out any extra for the privilege.

I'm not sure this will give them the reaction they want, it only takes a couple of popular addons to be removed and the platform will hemorrhage users. Especially when there are so many free alternatives around. And using the Apple App Store as justification seems like a strange justification. It's not like Garage Band isn't hugely popular.

I'm not an audacity user. I prefer a DAW to have MIDI sequencing. With such a major omission I'm always surprised that Audacity is considered the leading free DAW. I have however tried Audacity and it just isn't as good as some people claim. Or rather it isn't better than a lot of the alternatives. And that is where they could fall down. Start scaring users away and they are going to move to other platforms and then start telling their friends how good their new platform is.

Oops, says Manchester City Council after thousands of number plates exposed in parking ticket spreadsheet

Grease Monkey Silver badge

"It is easy to identify the owner of a car. For a modest fee, you can register yourself as a private parking company with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and look up anyone's name and address off the DVLA register of vehicle keepers. "

I still maintain the DVLA are breaching GDPR by selling details like this, but gov.uk think they are above the law.

Facebook Oversight Board upholds decision to ban Trump, asks FB to look at own 'potential contribution' to 'narrative of electoral fraud'

Grease Monkey Silver badge

How the press works

It's interesting to note how different media outlets are covering this story:

Guardian Headline:

Trump’s Facebook ban should not be lifted, network’s oversight board rules

Register Headline:

Facebook Oversight Board upholds decision to ban Trump, asks FB to look at own 'potential contribution' to 'narrative of electoral fraud'

BBC Headline:

Facebook ordered to rethink Trump's permanent ban

The Grauniad gives the main ruling the rest of the detail being in the story.

El Reg gives the main ruling, but also adds in the bit that they want us to concentrate on i.e. that Facebook were keen to promote the story of electoral fraud.

The BBC on the other hand produces a headline which actually seems to contradict the main ruling. I can only assume that this is either clickbait or the BBC want to promote controversy.

East London council blurts thousands of residents' email addresses in To field blunder

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: That's a paddlin'

Yes it is a data breach and the council should have reported it to the ICO as such.

Grease Monkey Silver badge

I had the misfortune to work in local government until about ten years ago. Even way back before I left we were using tools to send out an individual email when bulk mailing residents. Basically it was the same in house tool as we'd always used to generate snail mail, but mangled to work with email instead of a print run.

Sure it put more load on the mail servers than just sticking a few hundred recipients in the BCC field of a single email, but it didn't have as much opportunity for security cock ups (cocks up?). And it allowed for customised mailing. So you could have the recipient's name in each email "Dear Mr Smith" instead of some generic "Dear Householder" nonsense.

So what if I pay peanuts for my home broadband? I demand you fix it NOW!

Grease Monkey Silver badge

"I pay for a service and I expect it!"

I always love the customers who say this. Yes indeed you do, but are you aware what you actually pay for? Customers are often surprised that their contract stipulates a 48 hour fix SLA.

"You can bring that down to only 8 hours, but that would involve upgrading your care package to premium, which would involve a one off fee."

"8 hours!!! But I have a zoom call in five minutes!"

I just love customer expectations.

But it's always, awalys, always the CP's fault:

"This connection has been down for over an hour and nobody has done anything to fix it!"

"But you're only just reporting it and diagnostic tests are showing that the router is powered off."

"Are you saying I've switched my router off?!!?!"

"No madam I'm saying the router is not powered on. Can you check cables connected to the router it could just be a loose connection."

"I can't really check at the moment. It's in the cupboard under the stairs and it's dark in there."

"Well we can send out an engineer to check the router, but there would be a charge if there is no fault with the router."

"OK. Well I don't want that. Would it be OK if I call back later?"

"Of course madam, if you want to schedule a time we can call you back."

"But I'm not sure when this power cut will finish."

UK Court of Appeal rules Tiny Computers' legal remains can sue Micron and Infineon over 2002 DRAM price-fixing cartel

Grease Monkey Silver badge

The people worst impacted by memory price fixers were not PC manufacturers/assemblers. Indeed many of them made a lot of money off the back of the cartel. Those who were in support jobs back then may remember the thefts of memory. I remember whole office buildings being raided and either hardware being stolen wholesale or components being removed usually leaving the PCs an unserviceable mess. The end result being that companies had to replace every PC in that building or if they were lucky just buy new components. Hopefully funded by insurance companies. Meaning of course that the likes of Tiny probably did quite well out of all these shenanigans selling as they probably did a whole load of new hardware.

The victims and/or insurance companies on the other hand got nothing.

Apple's macOS Gatekeeper asleep on the job: Exploited flaw put users 'at grave risk' of malware infection

Grease Monkey Silver badge

What is it with Apple stories that as soon as anybody criticises Apple there is always some commentard who will wade in with "but Microsoft..."

This is a story about an Apple vulnerability but is seems a large section of the faithful believe only Apple and MS exist and as long as you can claim Apple are better than MS then that makes everything OK.

I'm sure a shrink would have a field day with these people.

39 Post Office convictions quashed after Fujitsu evidence about Horizon IT platform called into question

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: Lock up

I don't think it's so much the PO senior management as their own in house lawyers and Fujitsu staff that need hauling before the beak.

You could take your choice from perjury, withholding evidence, contempt of course or attempting to pervert the course of justice (or to be entirely fair temporarily succeeding).

'There was no one driving that vehicle': Texas cops suspect Autopilot involved after two men killed in Tesla crash

Grease Monkey Silver badge

"Musk has tweeted to say recovered logs showed Autopilot was not enabled nor installed on the crashed car."

Whenever there is an accident involving a Tesla I'm always concerned that it seems that only Tesla seem to be able to access the logs. The logs should be available to investigators without having to first pass through Tesla.

To have one floppy failure is unlucky. To have 20 implies evil magic or a very silly user

Grease Monkey Silver badge

A common enough fault back in the day. But most users managed to solve the problem after one or two iterations.

Floppy disks often lead to other problems however. Back in the eighties I used to support an accounts platform when many users didn't have an HDD in their machines. Two floppy drives were common. One for the "system" disk and one for the data disk. Often there would be a problem where we would ask the customer to mail us a copy of the data disk when they weren't willing to pay for us to visit site.

You've probably already guessed that we would often receive a photocopy of a floppy disk.

University of Hertfordshire pulls the plug on, well, everything after cyber attack

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Hope they don't run any cyber security courses...

Huawei tells the FCC it can't force US carriers to scrap its gear – that's Congress's job

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Stories around the US ban on carriers using Huawei still make me snigger.

Laugh number two was that it was very obvious form the outset that one major intended outcome of this was they US manufacturers would get the business so it was quite amusing when at least one major carrier decided to switch to Nokia kit.

But laugh number one (and the much bigger one) was when Trump suggested that carriers should buy their network kit from Apple. Yes there are US manufacturers who make carrier grade network kit, but Apple isn't a name that would spring to anybody's mind when discussing those manufacturers. Well anybody except Trump that is.

OMG! New free speech social network won’t allow members to take the Lord’s name in vain

Grease Monkey Silver badge

They won't allow the N word?

We're talking about a service aimed mostly at Trump's support base aren't we?

How the hell (ooops) are those people going to communicate without the N word?

Spy agency GCHQ told me Gmail's more secure than Microsoft 365, insists British MP as facepalming security bods tell him to zip it

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: Clearly not

Yes anti spoofing is easy to set up. You create an SPF record for your domain that lists the valid senders. However this only works if the receiving servers are set up to check SPF records for the senders domains and reject incoming email accordingly.

This is one reason you need to ensure all your end users only use your organisation's own email system and not some third party solution. For example when I worked in the public sector the rule was that nobody was allowed to use third party email solutions to carry out the organization's business. We would periodically come across folks using gmail to carry out business, usually because it was "more convenient". Convenience was not the issue - the rules clearly stated you could only use officially issued devices for official business. And guess what? All those devices were set up to stop you using third party email solutions on them. So by "more convenient" what most people meant was that they wanted to use their own phone/laptop/PC for email rather than their officially issues phone/laptop.

This was easy enough to achieve - employees were contractually obliged to follow the rules and would be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal should they fail to comply. Elected representatives however had a code of practice to follow. Few sanctions were available should they fail to comply.

No doubt the situation with MPs is exactly the same.

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: Email insecurity

This is standard practice. If you are a team leader and you are told to make your whole team redundant then it should be pretty clear to you that you are redundant too. A team leader with no team? That's no job then.

Don't forget there's supposed to be a consultation period first where people are told they are "at risk of redundancy".

I worked with a chap in the same situation who when advised to get the team together and tell them they were being made redundant (itself a breach of the guidelines as each employee is supposed to be informed individually) made the smart move of saying "so does that mean I am redundant too?"

A smart move because if he was told "no" then he would be able to claim unfair dismissal should they subsequently dismiss him. However the answer that came back was "yes" so he replied to his line manager "get your arse over here and tell them yourself then".

Grease Monkey Silver badge

It amuses me that so many of the commentards above are getting hot under the collar about the technical and moral arguments regarding Microsoft vs. Google without realising the true significance of this story.

The significance, if you are missing it, is not about whether one system is more secure than another. It's that the honourable (ahem!) member (apt) claims that some unidentified "friends" within GCHQ had told him that a free public email service was more secure that parliaments own in house email system. I would hope GCHQ are investigating who these "friends" are that would talk security to an MP without official clearance, checking their claims very carefully and taking the appropriate action. The latter being either improving the security of the existing email systems or taking disciplinary action against the relevant staff whichever is more appropriate.

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children

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Re: I am not a software engineer but...

As the report says there was never any risk to the flight. 1200kg on a plane of that size is not really much of a difference.

*IF* the plane had been operating at the limits of safety, for example on a very short runway then maybe it could have been an issue, but it wasn't and it's very unlikely that such a flight would ever be taking off from a very short runway in this country.

When taking off the pilots will pre-set things like the thrust they are going to use etc. but that doesn't mean that they just use those presets. Just like you wouldn't think "I'm going to drive up this hill on exactly 50% throttle in third gear" in your car. Yes you have an idea of what gear you will use and how much throttle as you approach the hill, but you wouldn't just keep those settings if you found the car was going too fast or too slow or you forgot that 27 stone uncle Bob was sitting in the back.

The biggest issue with getting weights wrong could be the fuel load, but commercial flights operate with massive safety margins on fuel for several reasons. They don't know if they are going to have to stay in the air for longer than expected, the weather conditions may not be as forecast and they may run into an unexpected headwind, etc.

Payment app MobiKwik denies customer data was stolen from it, has no idea how the info ended up on the dark web: Maybe it was your fault?

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: the times they aren't a-changin

Grovelling apology?

When it turns out to be genuine data they will just claim that a large number of users decided to upload their data to the dark web simultaneously in order to harm MobiKwik.

There is a point where the lie gets so big that it's impossible to start telling the truth without damaging yourself even further.

Ministry of Defence tells contractors not to answer certain UK census questions over security fears

Grease Monkey Silver badge

So what the ONS are saying is that they do not believe the census process to be secure.

As such I think the first thing that needs to be done is to find out who the staff are who have decided that the process isn't secure and to sack them.

Space station dumps 2.9-ton battery pack to burn up in Earth's atmosphere after hardware upgrade

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Remember the promises around Skylab when that did it's totally uncontrolled re-entry? No risk at all.

The size of the chunks that hit the planet would not have been harmless had they impacted in a populated area.

Given batteries tendency to conflagrate in a totally unpredictable way I don't trust that NASA can predict with certainty what's going to happen. They are probably just working on the same principal as they did with Skylab. If it does rain burning lithium on the earth then the odds of it hitting anybody will be pretty slim.

Desperate Nominet chairman claims member vote to fire him would spark British government intervention

Grease Monkey Silver badge


So lets get this straight. Members are not happy with the way the current board or running things. The current board won't listen to the members.

As such *IF* the government do decide to intervene then the members would be left in no worse position than they are now. OTOH should the government not decide to intervene then things can only improve.

So basically it's still a no brainer.

Talk about a Blue Monday: OVH outlines recovery plan as French data centres smoulder

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: How kind...

How is this "the EU"?

Remember the massive outage in Harbour Exchange last august the one that actually made the national news? Did you blame that on "the UK"?

Grease Monkey Silver badge

You've got to love shit like this...

"Noooo!!!! F4ck!!! Me like the most part of clients does not have any disaster recovery plan... My server is in Rack 70C09 - how to see if it is safe?"

If you don't have a DR plan there's only one person to blame when there is a shit/fan interface in the DC.

Clue: it's not the hosting company.

Microsoft's GitHub under fire after disappearing proof-of-concept exploit for critical Microsoft Exchange vuln

Grease Monkey Silver badge

"Other PoC code for the same CVE was still available on GitHub at the time this article was filed."

So if other PoC code is still up then this clearly isn't a blanket policy from MS to take down PoC code affecting their products. And yet the article does its best to state that's exactly what it is.

UK draft legislation enshrines the right to repair in law – but don't expect your mobile to suddenly be any easier to fix

Grease Monkey Silver badge

There's a different between the right to repair and the obligation to repair. One of the reasons given for this legislation is that sending white goods to the dump is bad for the environment. However a lot of people don't even bother trying to find out if their faulty appliance can be fixed. Washer on the blink? Buy a new one.

If you want to reduce the amount of repairable hardware going to landfill then maybe the solution is to educate folk to stop treating these appliances as disposable.

My oven died an irreparable death recently. I had already repaired it twice, but it finally died needing a new control board that was NLA not surprising given its age. I couldn't even find one used. The delivery driver who brought my new one told me that he couldn't believe how many ovens her replaced daily that only needed a replacement hearing element. His employer actually makes a reasonable amount of money seperating the repairable and selling it on to a company that sells reconditioned white goods.

Microsoft settles £200,000+ claims against tech support scammers who ran global ripoff from cottage in Surrey

Grease Monkey Silver badge

If such scammers are routinely shut down in the US often with the help of law enforcement, why did it take a civil case to do something similar in the UK?

Scamming people out of money is a criminal offence so why were plod not banging on the door of this cottage long ago?

Capgemini awarded towering £600m deal to run London cops' IT infrastructure

Grease Monkey Silver badge


I've been puzzled by public sector procurement since Brexit.

A certain politician who campaigned for Brexit said on more than one occasion that one of the bad things about the EU was that the British public sector was forced by EU regulations to put out all contracts to tender and must accept tenders from European companies on an equal footing to UK companies. Now it matters not whether you think that this is a good thing or a bad thing what matters is that particular politician made a big point of the fact that Brexit would mean that the public sector could and indeed should buy British.

However since Brexit got done (whatever the hell that little catchphrase meant) there have been loads of huge public contracts awarded to EU based companies. Including contracts made by government departments and I'm told the politician who made those statements about public sector procurement is now something of a big cheese in the government. Can't imagine who it might have been...

'Incorrect software parameter' sends Formula E's Edoardo Mortara to hospital: Brakes' fail-safe system failed

Grease Monkey Silver badge

"The braking system on Formula E cars is designed so that if the front brakes fail, the rear brake system is activated as a fail-safe," the Mercedes-EQ Team said. "In this instance, an incorrect software parameter that meant the rear brake system didn't activate as intended and the fail-safe did not kick in."

So software stopped the failsafe kicking in to apply the rear brakes? Jolly good. But I has questions:

1. How safe is the failsafe? Try stopping a car from speed using the rear brakes only. Easy enough to do just whip the handbrake on. Doesn't do a very good job of stopping the car does it? So you're piling down towards one of those hairping bends formula E track designers are so keen on and at your braking point you discover your front brakes have failed. How likely is the "failsafe" to stop you from hitting the wall?

2. Presumably the team are so keen to discuss the failure of the failsafe at length because that distracts from the total failure of the front brakes. So why did the front brakes fail so catastrophically?

Qualcomm under fire for 'anticompetitive' patent shenanigans causing pricey UK smartphones

Grease Monkey Silver badge

"I wonder rather than splitting this half a billion between the consumers and getting nothing, the government should take it and spend it all on something nice."

Sorry but that makes no sense. The lawsuit argues consumers have been overcharged and you think the logical response to that is to give the treasury the money? So what you've basically just advocated is a tax on smartphones that buyers didn't even know they were paying.

How long have you been a Tory MP?

Wells Fargo patent troll case has finance world all aquiver so Barclays, TD Bank sign up to Open Invention Network

Grease Monkey Silver badge

We're back to the usual thing of the patent system being utterly broken.

Sooner or later it's going to have to be fixed, but that will take an effort of international co-operation. Ho hum.

UK watchdog fines two firms £270k for cold-calling 531,000 people who had opted out

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: Caller Line Identification

Do not answer a call just because the CLI looks legitimate.

There is a thing called type 7 dialling. Where you can present a CLI of your choice when dialling out. The purpose of this was originally said to be one of two things. One was to present a CLI local to the recipient because they then could call back at local rate. The other slightly less trustworthy reason was that if somebody sees a dialling code they don't recognise or a none geographic number they are less likely to answer than if they see a local dialling code.

Legally you are only supposed to present a CLI that you own and also that will be answered if the call recipient calls back, but plenty of scammers use this technique to present a number that doesn't exist or sometimes a number for a totally different company.

There is a legitimate use for type 7 dialling, but the legal aspects are hard to enforce. One way to limit it would be to introduce a degree of liability to the originating CP. They are in a position to check if the presented CLI is actually owned by their customer.

Grease Monkey Silver badge

"The ICO does have powers to go after directors of businesses that have folded when it chooses."

This should not be a matter of choice for the ICO. It should be mandatory in any case where the directors have wound up the company. It seems to be standard practice for so many "call centre" (that is to say automated dialer scam-meister) companies to enter voluntary liquidation when it looks like the authorities might be on their tails or if a large bill might be about to fall due.

Phishing awareness gone wrong: Facebook tries to seize websites set up for staff security training

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: Is proofpoint being malicious

Are they begin malicious? No.

Are they being deceptive? Quite clearly yes, otherwise there would be no point in the whole exercise.

I think the question here is not whether the rules are broken, but whether the rules are correctly drafted in the first place.

Terraria dev cancels Stadia port after Google disabled his email account for three weeks

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: Google

Dominating in schools.

Not round here they're not. Microsoft Teams seems to be the tool of choice in schools herabouts. Google don't get a look in with the exception of their ubiquitous search.

There was some Googley stuff that had a bit of a foothold, but it seems to have been swept away by Teams. And good riddance to it. While teams is far from perfect the Google stuff that was in use was terrible clunky shit as you tend to expect from "free" services.

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: Stadia really seems to be in trouble

I notice they suddenly seem to have started advertising Stadia again. Which makes the whole strategy of stopping internal development seem even more strange.

I saw the resurgence of adverts and thought that Google must not be selling enough and are therefore trying to boost the uptake of Stadia. If that is the case then that would seem to be a dumb time to stop internal development. Or alternatively if they are stopping internal development maybe it's a dumb time to start marketing the platform.

Or maybe it's yet another case of Google's left hand having no communication with it's right hand?

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: This is weird

This sort of thing is why the idea of signing into third party services using your Google or Facebook credentials is such a bad idea. Yet so many people do it because it seems so convenient.

Then you get your Google/Facebook account disabled and suddenly you lose access to all sorts of apparently unrelated services.

Actually lets summarize that to: This is why dealing with the likes of Google or Facebook is such a bad idea.

Faced with the sack, Nominet CEO half-apologizes for taking the 'wrong tone,' asks angry members to hear him out

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: Too little, too late

Indeed his resignation may have saved the rest of the board, but his reluctance to release the reins means the rest of the board will likely be kicked out along with him.

Openreach engineers vote to strike amid changes to job grading structure

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: management grade

I suspect you have it in one.

A "Management Grade" is probably not eligible for overtime payments, but no doubt expected to work overtime. And other restrictions will probably include such wonderful things as a reduction in travel and other expenses.

The trouble with BT and Openreach is that they are a private company in the 21st century who still operate like the public sector in 1981.

Management get all sorts of restrictions such as no paid overtime etc. but with a much higher salary to compensate. The trick then is to move ordinary staff onto a management grade (complete with management job title for the cachet) but on their original salary. Having manager in your job title does not compensate you for the loss of income from lost overtime, expenses etc.

Openreach's statement about salaries appears to confirm that this is the strategy they are pursuing.

EncroChat hack case: RAM, bam... what? Data in transit is data at rest, rules UK Court of Appeal

Grease Monkey Silver badge

And there's your problem right there. This law (like so many) is poorly drafted.

RAM is very definitely storage. So anything in RAM can be said to be stored.

However if something is only in RAM for the purposes of being in processed then you could also argue that that it is in transit.

As such the law as it is drafted says that the method by which the data was collected was legal. It also says it was illegal in effect, but that's clearly nonsense. So in this case those prosecutions can proceed. However it also demonstrates that the law needs to be re-written as it's clear that something can't be both legal and illegal at the same time under the same legislation.

Minister tells the House of Lords it'll be another 12 weeks before UK's deleted criminal records can be restored

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Twelve weeks!?

I can only assume they are asking the office junior to manually re-enter the data from printed documents.

Brit IBM veteran wins unfair dismissal case after 2018's Global Technology Services redundancy bloodbath

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Older vs Younger

Dumping older staff in favour of younger staff is a short sited policy. In most large companies it's likely that further redundancies (sorry "efficiency savings") will be necessary at a later date. The beauty of keeping on your older employees is that you can hope that some of them will retire before your next round of redundancies is necessary.

Of course many people also cite the saving by keeping on younger staff being offset by the loss of skills and experience, but in my experience there's another risk to laying off your older staff. When a round of redundancies is announced then some staff will start looking for another job. Even after the redundancies have been confirmed some staff will continue to be nervous and will continue to look for another job. Not only that but you may apply for other jobs before the redundancies are confirmed, but the offers may not start coming in until after that point. I've seen this happen on a number of occasions. One particular instance involved a team of 12 Where it was decided that only 8 people could achieve the same thing - the fact that this wouldn't actually fit in with the shift patterns did not seem to bother management. However within two months of the redundancies being confirmed a further three people had resigned. This left the business with 5 people trying to do the work of 12. So what does this have to do with age? Well younger people are going to find it easier to find alternative employment. No only that but lower paid younger staff are more likely to be able to find alternative employment at a higher rate of pay. So this scenario is more likely to occur if you decide to lay off the older staff and keep the younger.

Chromium cleans up its act – and daily DNS root server queries drop by 60 billion

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There was never any need for the excess root server DNS queries. It was just lazy programming. For Google or the Chromium project to claim otherwise is disingenuous to say the least.

UK Test and Trace chief Dido Harding tries to convince MPs that £14m for canned mobile app was money well spent

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Interesting how most news stories on the subject mention Harding's time at Talktalk, even though that has very little bearing on the matter at hand.

However very few mention that she was crowned head of test and trace without any application process or due diligence apparently being carried out. Nor do they mention who her spouse happens to be. Both of which surely have a bearing on he ability to do the job.

Furthermore seldom is her role in the Jockey Club and her relationship to the Cheltenham Festival. You know the event which would almost certainly have been proved to be a super spreader event were it not for the fact that the government had chosen to suspend test and trace before it took place. Again this shows that she was never suitable for the role of head of test and trace if only because of a conflict of interest. The government allowed the festival to go ahead against scientific advice and it is therefore in the interests of the government that no research is ever carried out that may prove that it resulted in a spike in cases. Therefore placing one of the executives responsible for the festival in charge of test and trace can at best be considered questionable.

Oh and before anybody mentions the Liverpool v Atletico Madrid match. As has been mentioned so many times before there was an interesting bit of poliitcal maneuvering around the two events. Not only has it been pointed out that the government had to allow the Liverpool match if they wanted to allow Cheltenham to go ahead, but shortly after the two events took place some Tory ministers went on the offensive against Liverpool without directing any criticism of the Cheltenham festival. When interviewers brought up the Cheltenham festival those same ministers dropped their criticism of Liverpool FC.

Musk see: Watch SpaceX's latest Starship rocket explode while trying to touch down

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Didn't look like it exploded when trying to land to me. Looked more like it crashed into the ground and exploded on impact. Not a particularly fine distinction.

Grease Monkey Silver badge

Re: "so they stuck to the extant rules for the launch"

"As a result of this non-compliance, the FAA required SpaceX to conduct an investigation of the incident."

Have the FAA learned nothing from the 737MAX "certification". They asked SpaceX to investigate themselves? Just like they asked Boeing to certify their own plane.

Maybe this is a new model for all things. The Police could ask suspects to investigate themselves. Maybe we could all do our own MOTs and conduct our own driving tests?

Death Becomes It: Who put the Blue in the Blue Screen of Death?

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My personal favourite for confusing all and sundry has always been the classic "an unexpected error has occurred". Which of course implies that there are all sorts of expected errors just waiting to happen.

Although I do remember the old MDIS operating system which had an error message "PUNT!" Which I always took to mean "It's crashed, quick blame somebody else".

However the peak of user confusion was a system which had the error message "Would you like a lightly grilled stoat in a bun with fries?" inserted for when somebody selected a menu option that hadn't yet been coded. Somehow this snuck through the net before the system was passed for UAT. A few days into testing, one of the end users who had never used a computer in his life called the helpdesk and told them his computer had just asked him if he wanted a stoat. The poor sap on the helpdesk spent ages with the end user before he finally accepted that the message which had flashed up on the green screen terminal was genuinely asking the user if they required a small mammal of the genus Mustela and species Erminea.