* Posts by Rich 11

4460 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009

Lapping the computer room in record time until the inevitable happens

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: "And the defcon light pole clicked up a level."

I was expecting the subsequent sentence to read, "I can fully recall the physical feeling of turning deathly pale."

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: postcode resolution

No, no, he would have had to climb the fence in order to see the hedge.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Australian rural addresses

Are six-digit numbers common?

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: postcode resolution

My mistake. I was under the impression -- speaking only from personal experience -- that the accepted delivery method is to chuck the parcel over a hedge somewhere.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: postcode resolution

Couldn't you have just climbed over the fence?

Tech professionals pour cold water on UK crypto hub plans

Rich 11 Silver badge

I couldn't believe the last two were serious considerations. Even the one before that was a bit suspect: no previous ministerial experience and, most tellingly, the first Prime Minister in my lifetime to be younger than me! Unsurprisingly he didn't turn out too well.

Anyway, my opinion on the subject, now or at a general election, doesn't really matter: I have one vote, Rupert Murdoch has several billion.

This is the military – you can't just delete your history like you're 15

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Written reports on pron.

I've twice had to investigate suspected use of work computers for, er, personal satisfaction during office hours. This was decades ago, when almost no-one knew there was such a thing as a browser cache, so it was always easy to figure out whether or not there was a case to answer. The first time I was able to categorise the type of material quite unmistakeably and warned my boss that I could tell him but that he didn't want to know. He said he did want to know. I told him he really didn't. He said he really did. I told him. He said he really didn't want to know.

The second case was much more serious than just a misuse of resources report to HR. After that I told my boss there wasn't going to be a third time; my job description didn't cover risk of psychological trauma.

Actual quantum computers don't exist yet. The cryptography to defeat them may already be here

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Actual quantum computers don't exist yet

That was probable.

UK signs deal to share police biometric database with US border guards

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Vassal State

I bet he's doing that even though he's wearing the boxing gloves as Nanny ordered.

NanoAvionics satellite pulls out GoPro to take stunning selfie over Earth

Rich 11 Silver badge

The flerfers will insist that the only photographic evidence allowed has to come from their favourite camera, the P900 with its 83x optical zoom capable of watching ships refract over the horizon.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Clever

Don't tell Ray Comfort. He'll jump up and claim that because it's banana-shaped God must have made the world, and made it perfect for humans. You know, a bit like the way Velvet Underground made the perfect album.

You need to RTFM, but feel free to use your brain too

Rich 11 Silver badge

Minor qualification

"PLEASE READ ALL THE WORDS..."

"...IN THE RIGHT ORDER."

BOFH: Tech helps HR investigate the Boss's devices

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Absolutely superb episode

And for the last three months everyone in HR had just thought that the watermark function had been enabled on the copier.

Turns out it's not as much a watermark as a skidmark.

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: The rich are indeed different

This is what body bags were invented for.

Half of developers still at screens even during breaks

Rich 11 Silver badge

Take a hike

I always used to go for a half-hour walk at lunchtime, even if it was pissing it down outside. During particularly stressful periods I'd also take a short walk during the morning and afternoon, sometimes more than one. Then I realised it was better for my health if I just did the walks and dropped the work element entirely.

My boss did once challenge me about disappearing for ten minutes in the middle of the morning. I told him he could either accept that or spend his day dealing with the fallout of me telling an annoying client to fuck off.

An international incident or just some finger trouble at the console?

Rich 11 Silver badge

Une langue pidgin

Does it matter, as long as everyone grasped the meaning?

Meetings in the metaverse: Are your Mikes on?

Rich 11 Silver badge

Real name [tick]. No scary heads [tick]. No offensive language [tick]. No weapons [tick]. No forgetting your trousers [tick]…

This check list appears to be incompatible with a House of Commons Select Committee meeting room, virtual or otherwise.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Metaverse metafictional metaphorically

Long experience suggests that most of the Americans who select these photo samples do not know what a bicycle looks like.

"Chet, try thinking of it as a two-wheeled convertible without an engine. No? Um, OK, can you imagine a pelaton with a second wheel, and that only works outdoors? No, take the laptop off your head! Oh, FFS..."

In IT, no good deed ever goes unpunished

Rich 11 Silver badge
Joke

My girlfriend's said the same about me.

US Space Force unit to monitor region beyond Earth's geosynchronous orbit

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Weapons in spaaaace

Certainly time enough for my life to flash before my eyes.

If you fire someone, don't let them hang around a month to finish code

Rich 11 Silver badge

I agree, but in the real world there's never any time to do what we might see as essential maintenance but the boss doesn't because no-one above him is kicking his door down about it. To him it's far more important that we spend our time modifying everything to use the new corporate colours...

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Long - but a good read

I have a horrible feeling that GBG shaved his beard down to a moustache and moved 150 miles south in 1984/5. It would explain a lot.

Rich 11 Silver badge

I got lumbered with updating a Fortran software suite which had originally been written by a Portuguese placement student, more because I'd done more work with Fortran than anyone else rather than because I knew the field (although the updates required were functionally comparatively simple). He'd effectively written everything in Portuguese except the menu prompts and error messages, so you can imagine what it was like trying to make sense of all those variable and function names abbreviated to fit Fortran's six-character limit, even with sensible and consistent comments.

Fortunately there was a Portuguese-English dictionary in the library and with a bit of guesswork from what I could remember of schoolboy French and Latin, I got the job done in three weeks. Then as I was demonstrating the end results to the department who owned it, a lecturer popped up and corrected one of my translation explanations. She'd been away for the previous month buying a house in Portugal and teaching an evening class in computing at a local college, in preparation for a phased retirement in the sun. I think my expression gave away my feelings; I was lucky I was so stunned I couldn't even swear.

IT outage at Scotland's Heriot-Watt University enters second week

Rich 11 Silver badge

The 2006 HERA job assessment and salary scale restructuring was supposed to put an end to that, but it was an uphill struggle to get professional qualifications and technical knowledge to be assessed more favourably than any other non-management non-specialist desk job (I think the finance and the library people saw the same issues as did IT and the other technical specialisms). It was almost like the assessment criteria had been written by management consultants who had failed to consult...

It ended up in a lot of local agreements recognising and resolving the problem, some of which I can well imagine hard-pressed universities have walked back on in recent years.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Yes, one university, in total isolation from all other universities and inter-university organisations. Idiot.

Rich 11 Silver badge

You're talking shite.

I recently retired after decades of working in IT at a university. It wasn't even a particularly large or famous one, but things were never run as unprofessionally or as incompetently as you claim. If you have a specific institution in mind, name it. If you don't, then stop making such broad unevidenced claims.

And we were fucking buried under SLAs.

'Hundreds of computers' in Ukraine hit with wiper malware as conflict continues

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: "Of course you realize, this means war"

Then if the actual owners of the shell companies want to come forward they can unfreeze their assets.

You've missed the entire point of the shell companies. The lawyers are hired by the shell companies and paid by them, not by the oligarch. Shell companies hide true ownership. The oligarch never has to poke his head above the parapet.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: "Of course you realize, this means war"

Everything owned by an Oligarch

Setting aside the fact that most of these properties were already -- on paper at least -- owned by shell companies through a convoluted network of onshore and offshore shell companies, Boris publicly signalled two days ago that it was time for the oligarchs to add an extra layer of complexity to their holdings and to recruit more lawyers ready to gum up the works and ward off any attempt at seizure.

Assuming there are few or no nuclear conflicts in the next few months, I think it's safe to say that the Tory hierarchy will be auctioning off many more offers to play tennis with oligarch's wives this summer. Expect the bidding to be heated.

Food for thought on the return to the office

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Working from home is great...

I solved the seagull problem by going nocturnal. Now when I hear them stop squawking at 5am I know it's time to go to bed.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: The Great DeResignation

Ambush cake presumably looks something like this.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Must-Attend Meetings

I never had it quite that bad, but always used to say if you don't pay these unexpected expenses, I'll make up for it by nicking three paper clips a day for the next six years.

Amazon, Visa strike global truce on credit card charges

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Still Avoiding Them

(One previous user. See within.)

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Still Avoiding Them

Not much point talking to Downing Street. They're currently preoccupied with flapping their mouth holes at Russia while working out how to best avoid Putin's oligarch friends having to remove their money from London.

The end of free Google storage for education

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: "Unlimited"

Do you work at CERN?

Make assistive driving safe: Eliminate pedestrians

Rich 11 Silver badge

So I take the turn as directed by Doze and hurtle the wrong way down the one-way street

It's France. No-one gives a shit. Unless the person in error is Italian, in which case a degree of cultural superiority will need to be imposed.

This malware gang plants incriminating evidence on PCs, gets victims arrested

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Shocking but unsurprising

"The people", being literally everyone

I don't think that populist governments do listen to everyone, or even pretend to, which is why they just do what they want to do regardless. Populism isn't about numbers of people but about who shouts the loudest, about who dominates the argument rather than about who speaks the most sense. It's appeasement of the mob, except these days the mob is defined by who gets the most airtime rather than who occupies the most streets. In fact it gets uncomfortably close to rule by media baron.

Talking of which, I see that dear Rupert has been let out of the doghouse. Now he can once more speak directly to his editors rather than merely issue a tweet each morning and wait for the high priests to interpret his delphic 280 characters.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: So NSO.

Look at Pakistan. I don't think the government there, on the few days when it tries to do better, really wants to risk a war with the ISI. Even the army doesn't want to go to war with the ISI.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Shocking but unsurprising

Populist governments do like to attack their own justice system, if they're not able to replace the judges with their own placemen.

Why is it that 'populist' always seems to equate with authoritarian and repressive? Perhaps people who vote for politicians who promise simplistic, short-sighted solutions to complex long-term problems are kept happy just as long as they see people whom they don't like have their rights and recourses restricted slightly more than their own rights and recourses are curtailed.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: So NSO.

Would it not follow that "government secret service agencies" deserve to be wiped off the face of the Earth?

That would depend who they target and who they allow to be harmed in pursuit of legitimate national defence. If they do more harm than good then they are in need of a leadership and cultural change. A rogue security service whose actions reflect badly on a government by harming their own population should be brought to heel, although we all know of governments who can't control their agencies and of governments who don't care what happens to the people they claim to serve. For them, the revolution can't come soon enough...

UK.gov threatens to make adults give credit card details for access to Facebook or TikTok

Rich 11 Silver badge

The rumours of a mini reshuffle (now that the adults are in charge) quieted the more ambitious and integrity-free MPs who were looking for an excuse to ignore the noise from their constituency parties. One more news cycle, one more dead cat on the table, and they'll all be wiping their brows in relief and putting it all behind them. Then they'll be free to get back to the most important task of government, handing over money to the wealthy.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Dead Cat

How do you know? Have you tried it?

No, I've not read the screen. Your software must be rubbish

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Simples...

Yes, good point. I've teached my lesson from your clarification.

BOFH: On Wednesdays, we wear gloves

Rich 11 Silver badge

Lino? We use the flensed hides of lost and forgotten tourists. Nine pints of John Smiths and they are ours...

Rich 11 Silver badge

Is there quicksand in England?

After half a day's work with a JCB on a secluded Skegness beach, yes.

Planning for power cuts? That's strictly for the birds

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: I say it's plausible

I'll see your piece of string and raise you a roll of gaffer tape.

Alien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than us due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Life, human or alien

But there's a middle ground where the rate of expansion exceeds gravity's ability to bring all matter together, and where my favoured iron atom doesn't end up in a black hole. Also you forget that Hawking radiation consists of particles which themselves don't end up (given expansion) annihilating with a suitable anti-particle or getting dragged into another black hole.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Life, human or alien

All matter will decay into some form of energy.

Unless you're positing some sort of Big Rip scenario I don't see how your average iron atom is going to be reduced to pure energy.

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Needs a moon of decent size

It's not something to fear.

To err is human. To really screw things up requires a wayward screwdriver

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: I would like to say No.

V = IR

(Voltage = Immune Response)

A fifth of England's NHS trusts are mostly paper-based as they grapple with COVID backlog, warn MPs

Rich 11 Silver badge

Re: Dear NHS - Get well soon

Ask any NHS employee and they'll tell you stories of waste, inefficiency, greed, endemic poor management and corruption.

Show me a large organisation which doesn't have that.

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