* Posts by Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

59 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Feb 2011

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Senior engineer reported to management for failing to fix a stapler

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

I've built wheelchair ramps. Any idiot can do it. It's utterly trivial, and they cost less than the ridiculously inflated prices to buy one, even if you have to buy the tools too. ...

£2500!

Yes, but £2000 of that is to cover the legal fees when the manufacturer gets sued when some Darwin-award candidate does something spectacularly idiotic in the vicinity of said ramp. (Because the insurance won't cover any old installation done by any old Dunning-Kruger afflicted jobsworth.

The perfect crime – undone by the perfect email backups

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re; Ahem and Re: I once did

Re: Ahem: There is a third (or fourth) group. Those who manage but have no understanding of what it is that is being managed.

Which leads to :

Re: I once had a file ( a prospective lawsuit) where the clients owned 50% of the shares of a restaurant business which was actually run by the owners of the other 50%. My clients Group 1, put up 80% of the original investment. Group 2 ran the place. Group 1 lived in Vancouver, BC. The restaurant was at York University near Toronto, so Group 1 had little hands-on capability. Group2 consisted of dad, mum, 2 adult sons and adult daughter.

Since Group 1 was so far away and "'did nothing to run the place", Group 2 decided that they did not have to treat them fairly or account properly for the operations and could rip off the business. In part, the ripping off was an income hiding scheme.

Group1 was suspicious but did not know quite where to start. We started with disclosure requests under the Shareholders Agreement, for an accountant to look at things. They basically had no choice but to co-operate with us in disclosing the financial documents, cash transactions and credit transactions. We actually used a guy who had been a trouble-shooter and forensic manager for a couple of fast food chains. We told them he was an accounting student/intern. In fact he knew more about the business than any of the actual accountants.

We found out that students could use their student ID card as a credit card (about 60% of weekday transactions and 80% of Sunday morning events.

We soon determined that group 2 had been substituting in a 'spare' cash register on Sundays. The cash sales from that register did not appear in the account system, and we were told that the place was 'not even open' on Sunday mornings (which was a lie).

They had NO idea that every student id transaction run through the card reader was recorded with the University and, of course, easily recovered. (The University effectively operated as the merchant service provider for the cards as well as the issuer.)

They had NO idea that the cash registers produced a 'z-tape' recording *every* transaction. They had NO idea that the student ID card transactions were also recorded in the register as credit transactions (as would Visa/Mastercard transactions).

Since they had NO idea, they had boxes and boxes of old z-tapes (think: the equivalent of backup tapes). The registers were quite sophisticated for the time, so the z-tapes recorded that the order was a burger at $x or a cheeseburger at $x+1. It also broke down the 'combo' orders into the constituent parts (for inventory purposes).

And so we knew that the steaks which were ordered every week, NEVER got sold to a customer.

They had some idea that they needed to balance the cash deposits at the bank, so the Monday morning deposit only included Saturday's cash. Sunday did not exist. It turned out that Dad had a separate account at a different bank which got the skim. (No idea what story he told them there about the cash he deposited. Would likely ring money-laundering bells today.)

They could not hide the cheques from the University paying off the student credit card amounts, but claimed that the extra was Sunday afternoon and that, because of staffing problems, they did not take cash on Sundays.

In the end we never did issue a Statement of Claim. We reconstructed the financial history as best we could for the past 2 years and figured out roughly how much had been skimmed and inventory stolen. (Oh yes, son #1 was selling stuff out the back to another restaurant for his own skim. Mom and Dad did not know about that. And I think that daughter was blackmailing her brother for a cut!)

And then, we had a Sunday meeting where we laid out our (reconstructed) history of their frauds. After a while we left to let them talk. We were four walls and 3 doors away and could hear the kids at Dad: "We told you it wouldn't....". And Dad "But I don't understand...How did they know"

It was the only time in 40 years where I heard the opposing lawyer tell his clients to settle *in my presence* or he was going to ditch them.

A settlement satisfactory to my clients was soon reached and there was an entirely new crew in place on Monday and my clients ended up owning 100% of the shares. I got an entirely satisfactory bonus.

Takeaway: A manager who does not understand what he is managing is a disaster waiting to happen.

Secondary takeaway: That keyboard with a key for every item on the menu, is NOT there just so 'Mister-Want-Fries-With-That?' can actually serve you, but more importantly, so the franchisor knows exactly how many orders of fries were sold. Any efficiencies in order transmittal to the kitchen, and service delivery are merely nice adjuncts for the franchisee. Follow the money.

Fedora starts to simplify Linux graphics handling

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

What is a 'New Install'

Everyone is quoting Fedora which apparently says that this will only apply to 'a new install'. But what, exactly, is a 'new install'? Does that mean 'any install which is not an upgrade'? I started using Fedora at FC4, iirc. I have never done an upgrade. I just use the custom partition portion of Anaconda (or its predecessors), to keep all of my partitions except / and /var, which are re-formatted. All of my data remains untouched.

Is that a 'new install'? If so, all 5 computers in the house will be obsoleted as none of them use UEFI. This desktop has a UEFI-style bios interface, but boots from the "legacy" BIOS.

I don't care if fbdev goes away if the replacement software is transparent. I do care if X goes away (although wayland *may* be less of a problem in a couple of iterations. As far as I can tell wayland, at present, does not allow for a root user login, which is entirely stupid and idiotic. I know. I know. Root=BAD. Except that setting up a computer is a lot easier as root. AND I LIKE THAT. (From my cold dead fingers, etc. etc.)

Fedora needs to step back a little and really think about the unintended consequences of messing with some of this.

BOFH: The evil guide to upgrading switches

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Malicious Compliance

Read The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek

He follows orders *exactly*. Hilarity ensues, except for the officers, who end up with high blood pressure...

You can buy a company. You can buy a product. Common sense? Trickier

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Not a coincidence

You forgot

"You did WHAT???" followed by "WTF did you do THAT for???".

Reminds me of the Holmes Corollary to Murphy's Laws:

Notwithstanding any rule or law of physics or chemistry to the contrary, if it happened, it must be possible.

(This law resulting from an epiphany on over-hearing one end of a telephone conversation: 'What? But that's impossible!'

Pop quiz: The network team didn't make your change. The server is in a locked room. What do you do?

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Been there, done that.

Long ago in a galaxy far far... well you know the rest, I worked for a large mining company. In the head office, downtown office tower yada yada. A security consultant was making a pitch to hold a security review. Ended up with him making a bet that he could get to the CEO's corner office in less than 10 minutes from the elevators without bashing in the front doors, or using any doors. But he was allowed to damage things. Any damage to be covered by the loser. Start time in 10 minutes. He went down to the parking garage and came back with a duffel bag. 3 - 2 -1 Start.

He opened the duffel and came out with a small chain saw! Walked down the corridor, measured a distance from the back door. fired up the chainsaw, and within 1 minute had cut out a person size hole in the 2 layers of drywall between the corridor and as it happened, a photocopy room. Did it without even touching the back of the copier or its stand. Pushed said copier out of the way, and was sitting behind the CEO's desk in about 6 minutes total.

To the complaint that he could never get away with doing that if it were a real burglary because of the noise involved, he plopped a box cutter on the desk.

He got the contract. He even recommended his brother-in-law to fix the drywall. HE got the contract and did a good job too.

Building security was not amused.

Software guy smashes through the Somebody Else's Problem field to save the day

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: I recognise the story

This is kindergarden school level. Fellow how worked with my father, long ago, was forbidden to have a copy of, or read from a paper he had written. My father however could have, a copy of said paper in Toronto or Houston without problem, since he had a security clearance (born in UK) while the writer of the paper could not qualify having been born in what is now part of Hungary, but was then (the horror) Russia!

BOFH: You. Wouldn't. Put. A. Test. Machine. Into. Production. Without. Telling. Us.

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: The guy's here...

Retirednow. For many years the Teraview on-line real estate /title software required a new password every 2 months or so.

For years I updated the password by going from 123Thisisme to 124Thisisme. When the damn system rejected my password I just backed up a few numbers and tried again, re-iteratively. No post-it notes required. Ended up at 152.... iirc. But I can't remember whether I started with 1 or 100!

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

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: The endless story

"Users do not read. Users do not think."

Wrong!. Users have been taught to be unable to think.

Furthermore George Carlin was eerily prescient: "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."

ThinkPad T14s AMD Gen 1: Workhorse that does the business – and dares you to push that red button

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Price point

"I still have my T430s that is 7+ years old. "

I'm running an X61 which I bought *used* in 2008. I have replaced the battery, upgraded the RAM, and switched to an SSD and it is still going strong. In fact, now that I think about it, it's had 3 different SSD's in it, each larger than the last (30 -> 128 -> 512 GB). Mine is the X61s with the tablet display and built-in pen storage. WIth the lockdown, it's not been getting a lot of love lately, however.

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: It is why I buy Thinkpads

"

Re: It is why I buy Thinkpads

How many decades have the ThinkPad faithful been using the TrackPoint?"

At least 2 decades that I know of. I bought a *used* IBM T600 in mid 2001 and it was over 2 years old then.

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Red pointy thing

"Also, there are people (like me, and some of my colleagues) that hate the touchpad with a vengeance. I never managed to get used to it: I use it when I really really have to, but it always come unnatural to me.

If anything, i would welcome a model without the touchpad: I've to actualy disable it, or I tend to accidentaly trigger random mouse movements with my hands otherwise.

P.S. Lenovo also sells external keyboards with trackpoint, and historically i remember some proper large one with it... never managed to get one, tough..."

I detest the scratchy thingy too.

Lenovo sells wired (USB) keyboards with trackpoint. Also available through Amazon, about $60 USD. There is also a Bluetooth model, but it is silly expensive. I've been thinking about the bluetooth version as a replacement for my Logitech Dinovo cordless when it dies. Be nice to have a trackpoint for the desktop computer as well as the X-61.

Decade-old bug in Linux world's sudo can be abused by any logged-in user to gain root privileges

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Fedora as far back, at least as Fedora 28

Fedora 28 uses sudo -V 1.8.23

Fedora 32 uses sudo -V 1.9.2

Cats: Not a fan favourite when the critters are draped around an office packed with tech

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Some cats are not bothered by either the music or the keys moving under them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_I_sOCq1a4

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Catnip?

"Only needed if going to Scarborough."

Faire comment.

There ain't no problem that can't be solved with the help of American horsepower – even yanking on a coax cable

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Closest I've had to that ....

I never realized that winning a Darwin award was actually a competitive event. After the first awardee had removed himself from the gene pool, I am surprised that anyone in the unit would even attempt physical destruction of an unknown pipe.

My suggestion would have been to put a couple of wraps of det-cord around the offending pipe, and retire to a safe distance, and then retire the same distance again just in case the pipe was actually carrying natural gas, or propane, before touching the battery terminals. (Note that I said it was my *suggestion*. If someone said 'here, you can touch this off' my answer would not be 'no' but 'hell no'. The downsides are far greater than the upsides for the actual miscreant. )

"Oi'l be a'right" is almost as much a signature last dying statement as 'Oh yeah? Watch this.'

Onwards! To the airport and adventure! And this rather lachrymose Linux screen

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Ahh, so you are sturdy enough to become an old sturdy fart!

Mate, it's the '90s. You don't need to be reachable every minute of every hour. Your operating system can't cope

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Perhaps

"Now, installing discipline in the senders of email, that is a wholly different matter..."

You need one of these, applied often:

https://imgur.com/gallery/p5SRy4F

And a badge imprinted: The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Ever wonder how a pentest turns into felony charges? Coalfire duo explain Iowa courthouse arrest debacle

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: There's more..

"It would be good if security auditors could get the status of lawyers re. client confidentiality. Now I'm the first to admit I havent' quite worked through all the negative implications of that (after all, you could be hired by what turns out to be the front of something rather dodgy), but I think security people could do with more protection."

If you are a pentester for hire, you should seriously look into ensuring that you are directly hired by a law-firm acting for the corporation you are to test. That can provide, in some circumstances, complete confidentiality as your work, is legal work-product. If the corporation has no ongoing litigation, or problems with its security, this may not work. But even the fact of being hired by the lawyers, with sign-off from the corporation to be tested (warranty and indemnity agreements, contractual scope of work etc), will be a big CYA in the case of problems.

Long ago, I was present, as a very junior not-to-be-heard-from minion, when a 'pentester' stated that he could get from the outside hall, to the President's office in less than 3 minutes, without tripping the existing alarm. (30th floor of office tower). The President told him to do ahead, so he did. What he did, was to kick a hole in the drywall from the hall, into, as it happened, a storage room, and then mosey down the hall to an office just outside of the range of the motion detecting alarms in reception, and proceed to kick his way through 3 more walls to the President's office. Made it by about 6 seconds.

Took about 2 weeks to get everything repaired. The building management was NOT amused. A LOT of finger pointing and recriminations ensued. He was not hired. But the alarm system was somewhat enhanced thereafter!

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: "the team said the plod were actually rather cordial"

Yup. Just like 'the hoi polloi' is equally and frequently used (and abused).

Das reboot: That's the only thing to do when the screenshot, er, freezes

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Yes, Daily, or even hourly!

Hah! Beat me to it. And that's only the User's Guide. The Advanced Programmers Guide puts it to shame.

Behold: The ghastly, preening, lesser-spotted Incredible Bullsh*tting Customer

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

"She went absolutely bananas".

In other news, Ladbroke's has declined to take any bets, at any odds, on whether or bot 'She' was named 'Karen'.

Dumpster diving to revive a crashing NetWare server? It was acceptable in the '90s

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: A long time ago

Hah! 44 years for a government 'temporary' building is hardly trying.

The last 'war-time temporary' building in Ottawa Canada, was torn down in early 2012. It was constructed in the 1942-1944 period.

So 68 to 70 years. That last building was just to the east of the Supreme Court Building on Wellington Street and behind the Department of Justice Building. The site is now a parking lot. Of course.

This hurts a ton-80: British darts champ knocked out of home tourney by lousy internet connection

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Professional Failure

Sounds like a professional failure of the ignorance sort. Presumably he is not completely in the middle of nowhere, so he has a cell signal.

And apparently, no-one has ever told him that he can use his *phone* as a Wifi hotspot to feed his laptop/webcam etc. to the internet using the cell instead of the crappy wired link he is stuck with.

Turn off the home's router. Turn on tethering on the phone and set an SSID, just like on the home router. (You can even set the SSID and password the same as the wired router, so long as you remember not to have both 'on' at once). If available in settings, select a 5G band wifi signal for higher short range throughput over Wifi. Re-set the laptop/webcam to connect to the phone's wifi.

Keep Calm and Carry On.

Yes, this will eat the data quota, but if he is a professional player, it's a cost of doing business.

But then again, an unlimited calls, unlimited data plan could be worth it.

Remember that clinical trial, promoted by President Trump, of a possible COVID-19 cure? So, so, so many questions...

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

The most important statement in the whole article.

-And because of that, whatever happened in France *must* be wrong and discarded.

Right after those comments by President Trump, Dr. Fauci mentioned that the reports were "anecdotal". To a prissy statistician bureaucrat , everything is 'anecdotal' if it is not a perfectly designed test structure and report with a control group.

To him, if 10,000 doctors treated 100 patients each, and 96% of them recovered, it would still be 'anecdotal' reports. Unless of course, there were another million patients, who were given nothing, (and of which maybe 50% would have died).

Typical of the LameStreamMedia to latch onto President Trump's reference to the drugs being FDA approved and call that a lie (since the FDA has not approved *anything* to treat the coronavirus). But this is not what the President said, nor meant to imply.

There are two things going on here: alleviating patients and doing research. Doing the first can often, and should often conflict with the second.In a more rational world the power of the FDA to obstruct the first would be much more restricted.

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Knowing stuff is beneath them

"> It's a kind of snobbery. Knowing stuff is beneath them.

Ah, how I love this kind of people... A few times I managed to handle that was by saying "I do this ONE more time for you and I'll explain things, you better listen.". Some listened, others not. May not be possible in your professional role, though."

For some, it is *doing* stuff which is beneath them. An they will only learn if they are forced to.

All names have been retained to shame the guilty. Long ago, my parents rented a house to an arrogant stuck-up prick by the name of Ivan Head or as I thought of him, "the ASP". Head was a good buddy and ex-classmate of Pierre Trudeau. This was back when Pierre was the PM. The ASP had a habit of yanking on the damper control of the fireplace and pulling the damper (a heavy slab of mild steel) out of position. The slab is only held in position by gravity, so the fix is just to lift it up, align it and drop into place.

I should note that the ASP was bilingual, had 4 degrees, including an Ll.B. and Ph.D, and was a deputy minister rank in the civil service, and was President of the Canadian International Development Agency. He got his job through cronyism I am sure, because he was useless. Despite his education he professed to be unable to use a screwdriver or a hammer. One evening circa summer 1974, he was hosting a dinner party and Pierre Trudeau, his wife and other high eminences were to be guests.

I arrived home and had to have a "strong verbal discussion" with an RCMP officer, after driving past the not-yet-fully-in-place road block, at an "excessive" rate according to said officer, in order to be allowed to enter my parents home, which was next door to the ASP's. And then the ASP called my mother and demanded that I attend to fix the fireplace "which had broken again". This was the third time in 3 months. I attended and found the ASP, all done up in a tuxedo, black tie. He exhibited his usual brusque and demanding persona. But this time, I was pissed that he had refused to learn not to yank on the damper control. And I was pissed at having to have an altercation with a cop, in order to be able to park my car and walk into the house. I wasn't supposed to park in "this driveway".

So this time, I held the flashlight, and made him get down on his hands and knees and fix the 'damage' himself. He actually got *soot* on his hands and almost strained his back bending down to look up into the fireplace. Poor guy. Of course it only takes seconds to fix once you know how the damper is arranged.

The next day he bitched to my mother, about how I had insulted him *by actually making him fix the damper in *her* house*. My mother responded with words to the effect of "you didn't know how to do it, you broke it, and now you are complaining about being taught how to fix it by someone who knows how to do it?"

HE NEVER SPOKE TO ME AGAIN. It was so nice.

After 20-year battle, Channel island Sark finally earns the right to exist on the internet with its own top-level domain

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Tabloid Hyperbole

"if every rock that pokes its head up from the sea gets stuck on the list, "

So the campaign to get a TLD for Rockall Island starts NOW!

First impressions count when the world is taken by surprise by an exciting new (macro) virus

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

To the Editors at El-Reg.

The protagonist-auto-anonymizer subroutine needs some AI. This guy should not have been named 'Sam' but instead named'Cassandra'.

The self-disconnecting switch: Ghost in the machine or just a desire to save some cash?

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: How much?

"With a spring-loaded tray of confetti in the middle drawer?"

Not confetti. If you can find a source, the chads from Hollerith punch cards work MUCH better.

My brother found punch card chads in a suit pocket 10 years after his wedding....

Stand back, we're going in: The Register rips a 7th-gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon apart. Literally

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Who actually needs the talking to?

"That said, whoever decided to put the Function key where the left-hand Control key would be on nearasdammit every other PC keyboard needs a stern talking to."

You are the one who needs the stern talking to. IBM and Lenovo Thinkpad keyboards have basically *always* had the Function Key bottom left with the Ctrl Key next to the right. I have a 10 year X-61s and a 10 year old T-60 here and both have the same keyboard layout as the X-1 in the photo. And, without box diving, I am reasonably sure that the 20 year old T-600 down in the basement has the same layout. (Yes, I oughta do some cleanup!).

The silence of the racks is deafening, production gear has gone dark – so which wire do we cut?

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Not that many morons ago.

I read the first line of this as: "Not that many morons ago,...."

It was a couple of lines later that it sank in, that I had mis-read something!

Mystery GPS glitch grounds flights, leaves passengers in the bar

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: back in MY day...

Loran C was turned off in North America in 2010. Apparently, still running elsewhere in the world.

Until now, if Canadian Uber drivers wanted to battle the tech giant, they had to do it in the Netherlands – for real

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

The proper name is "Court of Appeal for Ontario", not 'Court of Appeals'.

If you read the decision in its full form, the name was at the top of the first page!

The link given at para 3 is now stale. The full decision is at:

http://www.ontariocourts.ca/decisions/2019/2019ONCA0001.htm

Or in legal-speak 2019 ONCA 1

A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Bad managers are like knotweed

"I'd be interested if anyone has a notion to explain this ...."

It's a digression from the usual sort of anecdata... but I'll try.

One represents the world of feelings and desire, the other the world of the reality of *getting things done*. The prime advantage of military education (and that includes boot camp/basic) is to bash into everyone's head that the team and the result are of a much higher priority than ego, especially ego which gets in the way of dealing with reality as it is, rather than how you would like it to be.

Sort of BTW, but not really. Earlier this year the USS Fitzgerald collided with a freighter, in Japanese waters. It turns out that the Officer of the Deck on the USS Fitzgerald, and the Officer in charge of the Combat Information Center were engaged in a tiff more appropriate to a pair of 12 year old girls, which they were acting like: they were not speaking to each other. Although CIC was aware of the risk of collision shown by the constant bearing angle between the ships, CIC did not so inform the bridge and trigger some reaction before it was too late. Seven sailors died because of that ego storm.

"Two entirely different creatures, it seems. It's weird."

In 2004, Michael Barone wrote a book about this dichotomy, called 'Hard America, Soft America.'

'A peculiar feature of our country today, says Michael Barone, is that we seem to produce incompetent eighteen-year-olds but remarkably competent thirty-year-olds. Indeed, American students lag behind their peers in other nations, but America remains on the leading edge economically, scientifically, technologically, and militarily.'

A REALLY REALLY interesting read.

Also about then, I read an article in some publication, written by a lefty journalist (but I repeat myself (damn! I just typed 'mysql' and had to go back!)) who was embedded with an Army unit in the sand-box. He was astounded by the men he met: "Where do they find people like this?" They were, of course, completely unlike anything he had ever seen at Columbia U, or Brown. The mind-blower for him, was when a Corporal gave up his lottery-gifted planned satellite phone call to his expectant wife back home, so that the Sergeant could use the platoon's only allowed call, to call the parents of their recently killed brother in arms. The journo could neither imagine nor understand this selflessness: Where do they find people like this? To him it was as if they were grown in Montana or Idaho or Kansas. But such people are not found, they can be and are made. And the modern educational system (including Oxbridge etc) *does not teach that*. STEM at least requires that the bridges not fall down, but that is unfortunately not enough on its own.

Here endeth the digression.

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Bad managers are like knotweed

Germany may not suffer from the equivalents of Eton, but France surely does.

Intel rips up microcode security fix license that banned benchmarking

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Now we can understand

IIRC there was an announcement here (poss Arstech) which described the new chipsets which Intel was introducing.

And mirabile dictu, there are upcoming chips *which have no HT*. Cannot remember if the i9 does or doesn't, but the i7 is the other way round. And this does not depend on the core count.

So now we know why THAT has happened. No HT -> no slowdown from contention for the FPU, probably minor slowdown relatively but obscured by a clock speed jump, of course.

Boss regrets pointing finger at chilled out techie who finished upgrade early

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

I use prepaid gift cards in restaurants esp while travelling, and for monthly type payments which you might want to drop. They *always* get declined when the money is gone. Like an Oyster card: no money, no ride.

Cryptography is the Bombe: Britain's Enigma-cracker on display in new home

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

History Facepalm

George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to get the dates wrong".

Or something like that, I think. But I can't remember....

Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: If you get a bit twitchy ....

I saw what you did there!

Veddy British wot? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink

UK Court of Appeal settles reseller's question: Is software a good?

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Goods, Services and Products

In Ontario, the Sale of Goods Act has a definition: goods are chattels personal.

Which would include a licence to use (even if restricted, encumbered or castrated).

Is there a definition of 'product' under the Consumer Protection Act?

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Magnetic Tape and Magnetized Razor Blade

I notice you do not report on the efficacy of your splices.

Using a razor blade that has been stored on a magnet, means that you are using a magnetized razor blade, on magnetic tape.

That produces loud bang, or pop noises in the resulting tape

But then I note that you only referred to your work there on the one day.

Drunk canoeing no longer driving offence in Canada

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

"It's high time."

I saw what you did there!

Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: It's a phase young programmers go through

"And this is how we get things like DBUS, ConsoleKit, PulseAudio and SystemD."

The last three of which were "brain-children" of on Leonart Poettering....

Microsoft loves Linux so much, its OneDrive web app runs like a dog on Windows OS rivals

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Razors Galore

Napoleon Bonaparte: Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

Heinlein's Law :"Never ascribe to malice that which may be explained by stupidity."

Clarke's Law : "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Grey's Law :"Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice. "

Newbury's Corollary : "Any sufficiently advanced malice is indistinguishable from incompetence. "

In this case, I vote for my corollary.

BT hauled into Old Bailey after engineer's 7-metre fall broke both his ankles

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: More than reported here?

"Makes me glad I work in a nice warm, non-moving office where the biggest threat is tripping over an ethernet cable..":

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED IN A WORKPLACE ACCIDENT BY TRIPPING OVER AN ETHERNET CABLE?

HI I'm LARCEN E. WHIPSNADE, one of the trail lawyers at Dewey Cheatem and Howe LLP and I can help you recover the damages to which you are entitled! Your injuries are important to us! Do not suffer in silence any longer. Contact us now! And remember, you don't pay a cent until we recover for you. Contact us at contingencyfeesarefirst@do-we-cheat.com!

Good thing this dev quit. I'd have fired him. Out of a cannon. Into the sun

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Let me guess, that last one was an academic?

I am pretty sure that Fortran started out to use only 1-72. The ability to add line-numbers in columns 73-80 came a little later.... If memory serves ( but sometimes it can only volley at all well) the changeover was about 1970 or so. Since I can remember writing line numbers on the cards and only later being able to use the end columns..... Dropped a box containing a ~4000 line program down a stairwell once. Luckily it was AFTER numbered columns were available...

Long ago in a galaxy far far away....

BOFH: How long does it take to complete Friday's lager-related tasks?

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: admin obverhead

"I know you too well. You've got a fucking script written to stuff the timesheet database automatically on a Friday afternoon, haven't you?".

To which the only proper reply would be:

You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment.

LOHAN test flight: Results in from Oz jury

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Re: Units

@marshalltown.

Must write a food reminder to never let you navigate at sea, if you are going to use Glover's as a reference.

A British statute mile is exactly 5280 feet. A US mile is 5280.01056002 feet. (The history of THAT must be interesting! And I did not know that until today.)

But a nautical mile is NOT the same as a British statute mile. A nautical mile was for at least a couple of centuries a 'sea mile' equal to one minute of latitude. And of course, one minute of latitude actually varies with latitude as the earth is not spherical. Generally it was taken as 6080 feet. From about 1890 the British admiralty and the US differently defined a nautical mile to equal one minute of arc of a great circle on Clarke's spheroid (of 1866) approximation of the shape of the earth: 6080 and 6080.2 feet respectively. Both eventually gave that up, and now use the International Hydrographic standard (of 1929) , of exactly 1852 meters or .6076.1154 feet. (Amazing stuff hidden in a copy of Bowditch!)

Brit balloon bod Bodnar circumnavigates planet

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

Countries Crossed

I make it 21 countries to and including Sweden:

England, France Italy Albania Macedonia Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, North Korea, Japan, USA, Canada, Greenland, Holland, Denmark and Sweden.

With a fair short at including Finland...

And it could have clipped a corner of German territory between Holland and Denmark.

Amazing and astounding. ELEVEN GRAM PAYLOAD!

Wow!

Survey: Patent litigation skyrocketing, trolls top 10 sueball chuckers

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

I've seen that graph before.

You Idiots! You stole that graph from Michael Mann. I've seen the hockey stick. It means we're all gonna DIE!!!!!!

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