Re: Apple at odds with reality
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231 posts • joined 20 May 2011
I think in this particular case, it was less that the user had done something dumb and more that they were insisting that it was the fault of IT support. It takes a very, very patient person to hold their cool when faced with accusations that they don't know what they're doing from someone who caused that problem themselves.
I try to hold my patience as best I can. It occasionally works.
My colleague failed to hold his and managed to insult the user (though he didn't mean to). That also worked :)
I thought it was just me as well!
The Head of Marketing had issues getting to a website. I walked in, hit the (apparently same) link that she'd been trying and hey presto!
Can't explain the street light thing though. That's just weird.
Infra-red light sensors as well. They don't spot me unless I'm right on top of them. Very annoying when I'm in the gents and the lights decide that no-one's about any more.
I've experienced a similar phenomenon here in Northern Ireland. Most people I meet here can tell, from a name, accent or turn of phrase, whether someone is Protestant or Catholic. It's almost a reflex for some of them (inc, I was born and raised in England and have a very British-sounding accent. Guess which group I get lumped in with, despite being agnostic :) )
Despite the above, I've never experienced any problems regarding this. It just seems to be something people here are aware of, even if they don't act on it.
I'm not sure I get where the "leave it wherever" mentality came from originally. If I rent literally anything else, I'm responsible for returning it to the renter in a reasonable condition. If the renting company allows their users to leave the scooters in the middle of any pavement, you start getting these issues coming up (like littering & public nuisance, damaged vehicles, having to round them up from all over the city each night).
Surely it would make most sense to scatter a set of stands around a city (e.g. next to transit hubs, car parks, major shopping locations etc). Most people who want to use these things will likely arrive in a city via a transit hub etc and will likely be returning there at the end of the day.
People who live and work in a city (whose house and workplace aren't located near a stand) would likely buy their own version for commuting, if they don't already have something comparable.
I don't think treating anything that a human might handle semi-regularly with chilli oil is a great idea. One cable comes loose, you plug it back in, unthinkingly rub some dust out of your eye... and suddenly you have a real problem.
I did something similar in my uni days. Rubbed the insides of a jalapeno pepper on the door handle of a particularly obnoxious housemate (himself a bit of a prankster). The results weren't quite as funny as I thought they'd be, even with something as mild as a jalapeno.
On another note, both dogs and cats are permitted in my office and no cables get chewed. Allowing rodents free rein is probably asking for it though.
I tend to adopt a subtly different approach.
Like you, I feel the call of Loki and the desire to let chaos reign. In my case, I usually take a moment to consider whatever task or game that has been set for the team, then declare a method to solve it quickly, meeting most requirements, and in a way totally outside the spirit of the task. It's way more fun to watch whoever came up with such a daft game squirm, and watch your team delight in the knowledge that they beat the system and can now bunk off for a smoke, chat or drink for half an hour while everyone else faffs around doing it the "right" way.
The last time this happened was at a work Christmas do. Some bossy so-and-so came up with a team building task, to pass a grapefruit / orange along a line of people using "anything but your hands". The other team started trying to use their chins, the crook of their elbows, teeth etc to pass the grapefruit along. My team (once I'd communicated my idea along the line), used glasses, napkins, and finally a fork jammed into the thing to pass it along the line. Didn't use our hands :) Needless to say, our team won. Miss Bossy wasn't happy, but my manager was rather chuffed at us "thinking outside the box". My manager was also on my team :D
One company I worked for (not a small company) had a policy of putting the lowest 15% performers of an entire department on a disciplinary action at the end of every month. People who got fingered two months in a row were fired.
Most people who worked there actually did a decent job, and given their "targets" were way above the actual amount of work they were given to do, the performance statistics were largely random. This effectively turned the entire policy into a game of Russian Roulette. Strangely, the performance of the department tanked and we ended up losing on average 4 staff every Friday for an entire summer.
I had an issue with ransomware a little while ago. The core program was a small enough thing, but the little bugger had a nasty habit of copying itself into every one of the locations you described above, every time it booted. So if you cleaned and rebooted the machine (air-gapped, of course) and you'd missed even one version of the program, it'd restart and copy itself everywhere again (though at least you could use Task Manager to figure out where it had started from -this- time).
It wouldn't have been nearly as easy for something like that to revive itself without Microsoft's scatter-brained approach to start-up programs.
There was one place I worked (briefly) that had a lot of developers working on the same (extremely old) code base. It was good practice to tag each new script with your name, the date that it was authored, and what the code was supposed to do. The usual good practice stuff.
One day I came to modify a bit of code. I couldn't work out what it did, and all of the variables were variants of swear words. I scrolled to the top of the code file to look for the author, then leaned over to one of the senior programmers and asked "Who's Wilma Dickfit?".
The senior programmer (a good-natured ageing metal-head), leaned over, read the header note without a change in expression, then shouted "Oi, Wilma!" at the far corner of the office. Everyone else turned to look at one mid-twenties programmer who had turned beetroot-red :D
Apparently he had a bit of a reputation for immaturity, and an inability to learn from experience.
Don't bet on it.
They're too big to financially fail, but one too many politically embarrasing situations and Boeing will start to lose those big contracts. Then they'll start losing money and cutting jobs (after all, they won't need the people who were working on those contracts anymore). They might get one or two bailouts, but no politician wants to be challanged on why they're spending so much money on an embarrasment of a company, and with less people working at Boeing there's less incentive for politicians "bringing jobs to their states". That's when the government will yank support and Boeing will go down hard.
The death Boeing dies will be a political one.
I have a feeling I'm sailing against the wind on this one, but in all fairness I've got a Microsoft branded keyboard that I bought for £12 from John Lewis somewhere between 10 and 15 years ago. I've gamed with it, written novels and done development work with it. It's still clean, doesn't have any issues (yet) and only gets minimum maintenance. Currently using it now.
Treated right (or in this case just not abused), even a halfway-decent keyboard can last a fair while.
Look, if you don't want to use it then don't. But please don't disparage people who are putting a lot of effort into trying to help. It might be entirely useless, but running this thing actually doesn't impact me (or a lot of people) much at all. And it's pretty likely to have some kind of a positive effect.
As to your proposal that one good programmer and data analyst is worth a million machines... how does one good programmer and data analyst with the power of a million machines match up?
I just fed the troll, didn't I?
Be glad if you never find out what internal varicose veins can do.
Mine aren't quite at the level of hemorrhoids, but they can require quite a thorough wiping to get properly clean. They are also easily irritated, which can encourage the gut to retain water and not really produce anything all that solid, which in turn requires more wiping. Having said that, even with all the above I still won't go through a roll a week.
And I'm only 34....
I shamelessly panicked in a traditional British fashion. I bought another box of tea. Well, the tin was almost empty, what else would you expect me to drink? God forbid that the supermarkets run out of that, what would the world come to?
</Colonial British General voice>
Graphene tends to lack the hydrogen component that's somewhat typical of hydrocarbons. Also, I believe small flakes of graphene shear off graphite (i.e. pencil lead) all the time, so if it was detrimental to your health I'm inclined to think we'd have found out by now.
Veritasium did a video on Youtube on how you can get small graphene flakes with just a pencil and sellotape. The tricky part seems to be making big sheets of the stuff.
It was a reference to an earlier article, in which a certain gent invested an amount of illicit cash in bitcoin, then stored the passwords on a piece of paper stored with his fishing rod.
When the feds came looking, it turned out the paper had been thrown out by his landlord along with the rest of his gear
Her statement is also belied by the fact that they pulled an innocent man off the street and found something to fine him for (I believe he swore at the police officer) just because he hid his face from the facial recognition cameras.
Grade A felon right there.
I hold my hand up here, the situation was exactly as MiguelC describes. I was that guy, and yes my code did hook in to "god knows what" as CaptainScarlet suggested.
But... my team was starved of resource. I asked for SQL and was turned down, so I used what tools I had to hand. A year later, the three-month backlog of work for my team had disappeared. The quality of the work we were doing had shot up. I was saving the business something between £200k and £300k in labour costs. And all the while, I was telling upper management that this software was business critical, I was the only one who knew how it worked, and I hadn't been allowed the time to document any of it.
I left the company after my entire team were made redundant. I had a redundancy date 'pencilled in' and pushed back several months in a row, yet my software was still in active use in several teams. I have no idea what happened to my software after that.
So Access... yes there are better tools for the job. But it can be damned useful in a pinch. And it was my ladder into proper software development :)
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