* Posts by Doctor Tarr

91 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Oct 2010


Researcher claims Harvard nixed social media research after getting Zuck bucks

Doctor Tarr

$42bn Endowment

Harvard are a 'non-priofit' investment firm with a school attached. They get massive tax breaks to help the rich get richer.

'Return to Office' declared dead

Doctor Tarr

That's far from simple and a really dumb idea. Just think about the admin overhead for employer and employee. Better you negotiate terms ahead of taking the job so you are compensated for the commute time.

If things change then renegotiate.

Doctor Tarr

You won't fatten the pig if you're always weighing it.

Binance and CEO admit financial crimes, billions coughed up to US govt

Doctor Tarr

Re: The cost of a jail-out card

Which raises the question…..

What’s more valuable to society? A long jail term or a $10bn fine? Assuming that the fine is paid and you can’t have both.

Overheating datacenter stopped 2.5 million bank transactions

Doctor Tarr

Re: This is what happens when you have unmanned DataCenters

I get your point but the DCs should have correct monitoring for those possibilities. Also inert gas fire suppression isn't compatible with meatsacks.

I once got a bollocking for being in the DC of a catalogue based high street retailer. They didn't know we were working in there. They also didnt think to question how their security had let us in tho.

The UK government? On the right track with its semiconductor strategy?

Doctor Tarr

Re: perspective

That is truly depressing.

As is the refurb of the Houses of Parliament costing £8bn best case and £22bn worst case. These are estimates so will quadruple given the shower of UK infrastructure programs.

Japan cruises ahead with drive-thru EV charging trial

Doctor Tarr

Re: Wouldn't you need to be pretty accurately lined up?

I would hope that for a production system there is some kind of beacon / gps / alignment paint which directs the car to the right position.

Doctor Tarr

Re: Vehicle ID based charging

“ I'm an angry, resentful luddite and I say no to this silly shit, period. I'll be driving a gasoline vehicle for the rest of my lifetime”

You do Luddite’s a disservice. They get a bad rap but supported workers rights and the skilled guilds in petitioning the government for better conditions.

You are not a Luddite but you are ignorant.

Mars helicopter to try for new speed record on Thursday

Doctor Tarr

Keyboard Warriors

"Ingenuity sets a record on every flight – by adding one to the number of flights taken by a (known) helicopter sent by humans to the Red Planet."

I love that fact that the Reg has to include '(known)' in the article, just in case someone chips in. Those pesky unknown helicopters keep breaking records ;)

It's nearly time --------->

You've just spent $400 on a baby monitor. Now you need a subscription

Doctor Tarr

Re: This is why I'm missing out on a lot of stuff

I’m OK with subscriptions provided I know up front what I’m getting into. What concerns me is when I also have to fund an expensive upfront cost for a device which can only be used with a specific provider - I’ve avoided this so far.

In this article it’s disgraceful that they introduce the subscription after the purchase. I’d refuse to pay even if I was cutting my nose to spite my face.

Aliens crash landed on Earth – and Uncle Sam is covering it up, this guy tells Congress

Doctor Tarr


If we can use reconnaissance drones why would intelligent aliens need to put meat sacks in theirs. Think about the infrastructure needed for it.

LG to offer subscriptions for appliances and televisions

Doctor Tarr

Re: Rent seeking

Unfortunately I see more manufacturers insisting on the device phoning home every day. It's for your safety obviously as there may be someone nefarious trying to grab your data, ie the manufacturer.

Comms watchdog to probe errors that left Brits unable to make emergency calls

Doctor Tarr

Re: Dry Run

@David H. Exactly the same for me. I'd recently received a letter openreach IIRC saying that there were issues at my end of the road so no fibre for me.

I called sky as the landline had died and then had the same experience as you.

I went from a patchy 12mb to a solid 350mb+

Bosses face losing 'key' workers after forcing a return to office

Doctor Tarr

Thanks but no

"three in four (75 percent)" this isn't the Mail Online. We don't need numbers explaining.

Techie wasn't being paid, until he taught HR a lesson

Doctor Tarr

Re: The flip side of this is a unique name

I have a very uncommon surname which I didn't like when I was a kid. However, it made it easy to buy the domain so my mail address can be firstname@surname.co.uk, which is pretty handy.

My name is not Tarr and I'm not a doctor either. I could have been professor Fether instead.

Doctor Tarr

Dumb Data Systems

In my current job it took three months to get paid through the normal salary run. Eventually the problem was resolved when some HR bod realised that when they entered my sort code into excel it truncated the first number, which was 0. I don't need to explain anything else on this forum :)

The HR peeps always made sure I got the salary in my bank next day when I raised the problem so props to them.

Missing Titan sub likely destroyed in implosion, no survivors

Doctor Tarr

Re: 4 murdered with their murdered

I understand your sentiment but they all signed disclaimers stating that this was as experimental sub and, as we’ve seen in these comments, an easy bit of research would have highlighted significant issues and risks in the design.

If i were an experienced explorer or billionaire then I’d be doing my due diligence before any high risk activity.

All the same, it’s tragic for those left behind.

UK warned not to bother racing US, EU on EV subsidies

Doctor Tarr

Re: I'm with Beanie

It could have all been running on carbon neutral peanuts if someone hadn't pushed Rudolf Diesel off the side of a ship.

(I have no idea whether the conspiracy is true but it's very interesting)

Doctor Tarr


Biggest SNAFU in UK history.

SF cops got warrant-free OK to watch protest via private security cameras

Doctor Tarr
Big Brother

Chipping Away

Our gummint don't need any encouragement but Speedy Sue’s going to love this. Provided her actions are not recorded.

Our ability to disagree with the Government is being removed, piece by piece.

Microsoft decides it will be the one to choose which secure login method you use

Doctor Tarr

Re: Reminds me of the convenience store down the block

That utopia is the UK, although it's not often I'd ever consider it that way ;) It was originally an EU regulation.

The fees you're paying a extortionate though. AFAIK there isn't a PSR equivalent in the US and it's not a role the any of the Fed banks fill. At least not to the same extent.

Doctor Tarr

Re: Reminds me of the convenience store down the block

You're being lied to about the cost of using cards. Check the PSR website for the facts. Interchange fee cap: 0.3% per transaction (credit cards), 0.2% per transaction (debit cards).

There is a misperception that cash is free. It's actually higher cost, especially for small retailers, than cards. They can also choose to avoid putting cash through the books which pushes the tax burden onto others.

I'm not advocating for the removal of cash though.

Microsoft puts the freeze on employee salaries, CEO pay still as hot as ever

Doctor Tarr

Re: I wonder…

Thanks, this is a much more detailed assessment than my one liner. Enjoy the virtual =>

Doctor Tarr
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Re: I wonder…

Nadella has quadrupled MS share price since he became CEO. For reference it dropped by around 33% under Balmer.

I'm not an MS supporter, but share price (investor return) is the No.1 measure of a CEO. It's how business works. Being a programmer means nothing in this context.

Balloon-borne telescope returns first photos in search for dark matter

Doctor Tarr

Re: We need a Reg unit of altitude

Or 378.0874 Burj Khalifas (with spire) if you need greater granularity.

CEO sorry after telling staff to 'leave pity city' over bonuses

Doctor Tarr

Re: Remember folks.

In a previous job the CEO (also founder and chairman) was asked how he stayed motivated. His answer was "as soon as i wake up the first thing I think of is how to increase share holder value".

He then went on to tell us why we should use increasing shareholder value as our motivation.

What a twat.

Theranos founder Holmes ordered to jail after appeal snub

Doctor Tarr

Re: Deterrence effect

Those stats are horrific but you are choosing to be somewhat economical with the truth. 16 of the released killers were in prison for manslaughter not murder so would not have faced the death penalty.

From DPIC, although the stats are readily available.....

"The death penalty carries the inherent risk of executing an innocent person. Since 1973, at least 190 people who had been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in the U.S. have been exonerated." https://deathpenaltyinfo.org

That's exonerated cases and does not include cases where the defendant was innocent (or would have had the punishment downgraded) but no one has made a case for them. And how many more would have had a long / life sentence rather than death if they were a different colour or from a different social background.

Deterrence only works on people who are unlikely to commit a crime in the first place.

Doctor Tarr

And add into the mix:

1) a culture where 'fake it till you make it' seemed to be an acceptable attitude

2) central banks / gummits pumping billions into economies through QE making cash cheap

3) FOMO on the next Apple, Amazon etc

4) messaging from young entrepreneurs and reality tv pop stars that if you want it bad enough you WILL succeed. And you're a loser if you don't.

Maybe she actually believed she could make it work at the start and then her biases took over.

Europe's right-to-repair law asks hardware makers for fixes for up to 10 years

Doctor Tarr

Re: Not practical

The fact it's not practical is largely influenced by there being no requirement to make it practical. If there was a requirement to ensure devices were repairable for a defined period (you could argue the time period required depends on the device or machine it's being applied to) then the designers would consider the points you raise. As it stands there's no need so no solution.

The UK's bad encryption law can't withstand global contempt

Doctor Tarr
Big Brother

No trust in the people who decide whats appropriate

As I understand it the bill’s child safety duties include obligations to prevent children from accessing content that the Culture Secretary considers particularly harmful – even if such content is legal.

The opinion of what the culture secretary deems appropriate is arbitrary and deeply worrying. The current DCMS Secretary has only been in the role less than month so too soon to comment on her. However would you really trust Nadine Dorries in deciding what's harmful? Given her blind faith in the honesty of Johnson would she block children / anyone from see information that contradicts her view? I absolutely would not trust her.

Would content be blocked for children investigating whether there are any similarities between the language being used to describe immigrants today and that of Germany in the 1930s?

The role seems to have a short term tenure regardless of the appointee. It's a low risk role to give to a supporter of the PM. This is far from ideal on such an important issue.

The examples I've given are for the current government but I wouldn't trust any government with this. All governments who are polling poorly become desperate and will try anything to stay in power.

UK Prime Minister wants £800M to spend on big British iron

Doctor Tarr
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Re: What could go wrong?


But as always a tory donor / peer / minister’s mate will get rich.

Signal says it'll shut down in UK if Online Safety Bill approved

Doctor Tarr

Re: Care

If you want a mortgage which doesn't cost you anything then get an offset - arranged without fees. I have one where the value of the savings account = the amount of mortgage, so no interest is charged.

The mortgage is paid by DD from my current account and the same day a SO is made from the savings to the current account. This keeps the balances equal.

It also means I've had £100k (now down to 50) of free money, a perfect credit rating of 1000, and an emergency pot in case of the unknowns.

The mortgage was originally taken out for home improvements which came in under budget so that portion was paid off quickly.

I also buy as much as possible on reward credit cards but always (this is absolute especially with Amex @ 70% apr) pay them off.

Amazon mandates return to office for 300,000 corporate staff

Doctor Tarr

Change if it's that bad

Reading through the comments it feels like the majority of commentards really don't like working with others in their companies or don't like (even hate) their jobs. If it's that bad stop moaning and go so something that makes you happy(ier).

WFH can be really beneficial to both employees and employers. It's also not unreasonable that a company would want you in the office for a couple of days a week if you were full time in the office before the pandemic.

Sweating the assets: Techies hold onto PCs, phones for longer than ever

Doctor Tarr

@TonyJ. To add to your comment, the cost of Microsoft products is a well understood business cost and easily baked into budgets and forecasts. The unknowns in migrating away are a massive turn off for finance and the rest of the org. Also, as an IT Director / CTO in a large org you've got a lot more to focus on.

Live Nation CFO on Taylor Swift ticket chaos: Don't blame me, bots made me crazy

Doctor Tarr

They don't want to fix it

They could easily fix it if they wanted to but that would prevent them earning again from the resale.

Take Glastonbury for example. There is almost zero resale market for the tickets as you have to be registered and your photo is printed on the ticket. If you're buying multiple tickets then you have to provide the registration info for everyone getting a ticket in your order. Getting the tickets is a scrum but that's due to being over subscribed, which is a different matter.

I recently went to see the Cure at Wembley Arena and the tickets were virtual and *only available on the arena app. The QR code changed repeatedly so you can't share or sell it on the secondary market, but you could sell the tickets back. The app sucked but that's easy to fix.

There are many ways to fix it if the will were there. Banning a company making the primary sale having any stake or agreement with one supporting the secondary market would be a simple and beneficial step forward.

*this was the only option available to me but there may have been other ways.

For password protection, dump LastPass for open source Bitwarden

Doctor Tarr

Re: KeePass

@steve button. I agree. Use all the precautions available but don't be afraid of the cloud. The online services we use are all hitting someone else's computers whether cloud based or internal DC. All our passwords are already out there on these servers anyway - hopefully encrypted.

Running servers to manage a password DB is totally impracticable for 99.99%+ of people, even for those like me who know how. And if you're running home infrastructure are you sure you're doing a better job on the security than teams who are 100% dedicated to it. I doubt it but it's unlikely that the ones doing it will be honest with themselves.

Twitter starts auction to flip the bird, furniture, pizza ovens, gadgets galore

Doctor Tarr

Re: I am not fluent in Medieval measuring units...

"One last time. These are small but the ones out there are far away."


Workday appoints VMware veteran as co-CEO

Doctor Tarr


Hopefully having to use the woeful workday UI & UX will lead to some improvements. Imagine using a consumer website that offered to email you when the request page had loaded. For the full early 2000's UI experience it needs to run in netscape.

As one mission returns to Earth, three more make for the Moon

Doctor Tarr

It’s astonishing that they ever get anything done with the oversight, meddling and short-termism NASA have to deal with.

Our gummint can't even build a railway track between Birmingham and London without major issues.

C++ zooms past Java in programming popularity contest

Doctor Tarr

Damn Statistics

"Popularity in this case is measured by queries related to programming languages that have been aggregated from 25 different search engines."

That seems a very odd an inaccurate way to make an assessment. Those measures may work for 'who's the favourite love islander?' (Or some other media twaddling nonsense) but not for a skill set millions of people earn a living from.

If I were (am) cynical I'd say the software company just wants some publicity from this.



Just 22% of techies in UK aged 50 or older, says Chartered Institute for IT

Doctor Tarr
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"The median hourly wage for older techies is £25, which is 14 percent higher than for IT specialists as a whole"

The average Tech is underpaid and over worked. Other professions in business don't get lumbered with the range of work some techs do. In the past as a developer i was also asked to fix things like paper jams in photocopiers or get headsets working. Literally anything that used electricity was fair game.

That never happened to other professions like HR, Legal or bean counting.

HR do salary assessments based on basic IT job skills and not on specialisation or value to the business.

Most tech people i knew go out when they hit the glass ceiling, myself included, and good, productive and knowledgeable people leave the profession.

TikTok NSFW if you work for the South Dakota government

Doctor Tarr

Not your device

It's effectively a work device so it's up to the provider what their policy is. I have nothing personal on my work devices (phone, laptop, tablet) and would not visit TT or FB (I don't on my own either). YT is only rarely used and only for work purposes. I also have no expectation of privacy on any of my work equipment. It's simple - only use work devices for work.

HP Inc to lay off up to 6,000 staff, cut costs by $1.4 billion

Doctor Tarr

Corporate BS

Gamers will be offered "seamless experiences across PCs, displays and peripherals."

WTF does that even mean?

With potential hurricane approaching, NASA leaves mega-rocket on launch pad

Doctor Tarr

Re: If it can't handle a little wind on Earth

On Mars no one can hear you scream - unless they are very close or very loud.

All the US midterm-related lies to expect when you're electing

Doctor Tarr

“The establishment have no interest in solving the problems of normal america.”

Do you believe that Trump has any interest solving the problems of ’normal America’? He’s just interested in his own power and staying out of jail.

Doctor Tarr

The Russians did interfere with previous elections and are doing it in these mid terms. They're quite proud of it.

A quote from Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin “we interfered, we are interfering and we will interfere,” Prigozhin, who has previously been accused of influencing the outcome of elections across continents, said in a statement posted by his catering company, Concord. “Carefully, precisely, surgically and the way we do it, the way we can,” Prigozhin, 61, added.

Elon Musk reportedly outlines horrible Twitter layoff process

Doctor Tarr

‘ Looks like Twatter has been severely mismanaged.’

Managed so bad it was only worth $40+Bn

Bill Gates' green investments to shift from tackling climate change to mitigating impacts

Doctor Tarr

Re: @NeilPost - Inconvenient?

@AC The UK has something like 400 tanks and 555 fixed winged military aircraft so calling these out as a pollution issue is moot, and typical of a 'big oil' or climate denier (I'm not saying you are but they use similar types of arguments to wind up a certain type of individual).

e-bikes are a peril on the roads and pavements so maybe ideally suited to war.

Too bad, contractors: UK government reverses decision to axe IR35 tax reform

Doctor Tarr

Re: Where are the Tories ?

@DS999 I'd be interested to hear from the down voters. Do they want an autrocracy?

The UK and US 'democracies' are so backward. We need to bring PR in so votes actually count for something.

SpaceX demonstrates that it too can shower the Earth with debris

Doctor Tarr

Re: Raising the odds?

“ "While holding" and "a winning lottery ticket" complicate the issue greatly as they're open to multiple interpretations, but if we reduce the lottery component to "having won" and assume we mean the jackpot, the probability of a jackpot in the UK……”

Being pedantic, the odds are much greater. You’d have had to have won the lottery and not yet handed the ticket in and be holding it outside, unless the space rock was large enough. Also, does buying online and having a virtual ticket count? Do you keep a lottery ticket after winning?

Anyway, I’m boring myself now.