* Posts by Mark Flingstone

23 publicly visible posts • joined 24 May 2007

Microsoft will fiddle with prices as euro burns, UK biz fears

Mark Flingstone

Re: Pot meet kettle

You're right. I didn't make myself clear.

I found a nice example of what shall be done on the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/opinion/ban-pure-speculators-of-oil-futures.html. Tricks similar to the ones described are used constantly to raise or lower euros against dollars against ... you name it.

Greece is on the verge of collapse - no matter what currency they use - but in fact they use euros, so why don't we bet against it.

Stronger regulation against betting money you don't have is a wise move anytime, and even today.

However, I am pretty certain that banks and traders will not accept stronger regulations, since, for better or for worse, they live and make profit this way.

Back to Microsoft.... They want to simplify their price catalogue using the same figures by stating that 100 USD = 100 EUROS. They're not alone in this.

Mark Flingstone

Pot meet kettle

Strange how Euro rates were stable last time only cash-based stock transactions were allowed and British financial jugglers were at home playing with their dog.

One may be tempted to try again - for two or three YEARS - and look where smug Britain will be then.

Duff French missiles for Royal Navy finally fixed

Mark Flingstone

Re: AC@I worked in Aerospace

Half of Italian air defense radars shut down, remaining radar logs deleted, witnesses killed, parts of fighters aircraft mixed with DC9 ones rescued from seabed, DC9 fuselage showing the entry blast of a missile, one Libian fighter craft downed in Southern Italy...

Just read before trolling, mate.

Mark Flingstone

Good news

That' very good news that targets successfully survived French missiles.

It's a pity that civilian air flight ITAVIA didn't have any defense whatsoever in 1980... and was downed by a French missile with 4 crew and 77 passengers aboard.


Copyright wally of the week

Mark Flingstone

Executive director

Another instance of a Scarlett O'Hara approach to taxpayers' money ... gone with the wind ...

1 in 3 users reviewed Facebook privacy roll-back

Mark Flingstone

I did it

Received the email, and, although I registered with fake* name, surname, birth date, no photos and nothing else, I promptly denied any access to all useful (grin) info I published.

FWIW, in Italian, FACEBOOK may also be prononunced FESSBOOK (slang on FESSO - dummy).

(*) why did I register? needed to know how many freetards among my colleagues/friends registered

Google accused of scrubbing bloody Berlusconi pics

Mark Flingstone

Photos are still there, pals...



2nd picture top left

Check your settings for explicit content...

Street View snooptrike stalks Siena

Mark Flingstone

@Jacqui Smith: bikes are fine, now can we get rid of some bikers?

I feel you'd like to know that I'm not against bikes, I'm against *some* bikers, esp. when they use a mobile phone, jumping red lights and raising middle fingers when you horn.

I acknowledge I may be biased. Maybe I am just plain jealous. So feel free to say I'm a moron or whatever while you cycle away.

Croats flock to support openly corrupt politician

Mark Flingstone
IT Angle

a new swine flu pandemic

is spreading. Italy has a prime minister appointed that way, Croatia might have a mayor, what's next in your country?

Beatle associate can sue over 'charlatan' claim, says High Court

Mark Flingstone


there must be a way to compel this guy to prove his magic in court.

If he backs out, case closed; If he agrees, case closed as well.

However I might be wrong. So Alex, please invite Harry or Hermione or other schoolmates of yours, and turn NYT+IHT journos into frogs, although I warn you - some in the audience won't be able to see the difference.

What the heck is an IT Architect anyway?

Mark Flingstone


ITAs (1) are the expert system engineers, that coexist in so many ICT companies with an insanely high number of losers that "design" systems on paper.

As a side note, ITAs (1) usually refer to the losers calling them "ignorant technical a**holes" or ITAs (2), and this leads to confusion.

The damage is compounded by the fact that an ITA (1) can easily spot an ITA (2) in five minutes, but bosses tend to mix them up.

Bosses and non techies may use the following theorem: ITAs (1) are the ones summoned up when the ITAs (2) run away (nothing works, customer gets suspicious, phone rings).

HP loads PC with nonexistent web browser

Mark Flingstone


HP engineers finally let world+dog know where they kept their heads while sandboxie got up to release 3.30.

Yeah, you got it. In the sandbox.

On the other hand, since it's already been available for a while, there are ample margins for early birds to be granted a patent for it by USPTO.

Europe acts on mobile charges

Mark Flingstone

@ A J Stiles

"Does anyone remember when the banks tried to ...?"

Very well, since it still happens in Italy, where I happen to live.

Also, when Italian telcos were forced to clear "recharge" commissions for pay-as-you-go contracts, *all* the rates jumped up (10% to 20%) even for credit card or bank-based bills that weren't subject to additional fees at that time, and no one was able to restore the status quo ante.

Hans tells a different story on the very same tune.

The coat is mine, that guy is the telco man.

Bugs casts shadow over Firefox 3

Mark Flingstone
IT Angle

inexorable, adj.

touched a nerve, perhaps?

Brussels wants eID cards to work Europe-wide

Mark Flingstone
Dead Vulture

if accessibility comes to mind

google "rfid skimming".

Oh, no, sorry, I forgot the easy way: get two people that "know" who you are (or pretend to be), go to the nearest office, declare who you "are", sign all the paperwork and a freshly-minted ID is in your hands.

Homework for the amazed reader: state the country name where this is possible.

(prize list available on request)

White House admits non-existent email backups

Mark Flingstone

@ Stuart Van Onselen

"Rather give me the Italian politicians. They're lively, colourful and interesting, and they don't have any ability to invade anybody!"

If you find them lively, colourful and interesting sure you don't live here. One week is enough to be bored to death seeing them on TV at late nite shows making a*holes of themselves.

Well for sure they aren't able to invade anybody since (a) they're too smart and too few to build an army of their own and (b) Italians are way too clever for being sent abroad for fighting Dubya wars...

... uhm, maybe I am missing something... we went to Iraq after all...

Web infection attacks more than 100,000 pages

Mark Flingstone
Paris Hilton

@To all web programmers on El Reg

Please use parameters in your queries, instead of lame quoting mechanisms all invariably at risk when dealing with unicode...

Paris because she knows to deal with raw data

SQL string in URL exposes sex offender data

Mark Flingstone

sanitize, tr.v., -tized, -tiz·ing, -tiz·es.

may stem from the original sin of windows odbc_ calls, that don't allow for parametrized queries. Nowadays, even if PDO does (also on odbc-based datasources) everyone keeps their 1980's way of thinking, also odbc_ calls are so lower-level that have to be much more efficient (...)

For the rest, I agree: if it is numeric/integer, get (int) in front of it, wrong dates can be checked or allowed to pass thru as parameters (and trapped as sql errors), etc.

Output: htmlentities all the way.

Mark Flingstone

Morons... you too

So POSTs are more secure than GETs? Go get your PHP for dummies again, pal...

Frattini blows off Brussels to join Berlusconi.gov

Mark Flingstone


making assholes of yourselves discussing which choice would have been the best for the country.

Neither side has a clue of what is needed in the long run to get out of trouble - education and a recipe of the 1980's: perestroika.

We got lots of money thrown at the 3 "I"; english, computer science, private sector into schools. Net results: english: none-stop dubbing foreign movies and you'll see; computer science: ok, now kids know how to start windows, a right skill when they turn 20; private sector: MIA.

Re: perestroika, just guess what will happen if every contract were awarded to the best competitor instead of the worst, but bribe-paying one.

Just another bunch of italians venting their anger in the wrong place...

Convicted cybercrook stands for election in the Ukraine

Mark Flingstone

@Diplomatic immunity - Anonymous Coward

Much ado about nothing - this is nothing more than cut-and-paste Italian politics.

Italian parties right, left and center have been doing that for years... and look, what a lovely country we live in...

But relax, no Italian pride over there, no IP to protect.

Pilato has a first here... can you remember "Who do you want us to set free? Jesus or Barabba?"

Note: that's not "I'll get my coat" but "A politician is stealing my money" icon

Your boss could own your Facebook profile

Mark Flingstone

Manual backup

One shouldn't underestimate the power of copy-and-paste.

Of course, there's always a penalty you have to pay when you use the clickety-click variety of pen and paper.

For those who don't want to, an 2GB USB sticker goes for less than 20 euros, privacy and copy-rights included.

Expel the IT bodgers, says Microsoft

Mark Flingstone

Nice to have

Here in Italy, an attempt to have some regulatory board for the IT profession botched years ago.

As a result, wannabees and others still plague the IT world.

In addition those guys/gals usually prove to be cheaper than a real professional, and here you go, they are in, you are out.

By the way, I am happy for those that enjoy the new wave of IT spending across Europe. If you have some spare, please send'em here - address available on request.