* Posts by Dave Schofield

53 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Apr 2012


CompSci academic thought tech support was useless – until he needed it

Dave Schofield

Re: Depends.

>It's rigour in English too. It's rigor in American. Americans do not speak English and I don't know why they insist that they do.

Rigor is also a British English word. One with a completely different meaning.

(A sudden feeling of cold with shivering at the onset of a fever, or short for rigor mortis)

Musk's first year as Twitter's Dear Leader is nigh

Dave Schofield

>Not really. He is sinking his own money into it, and he has a large supply of that. And he's also not paying his bills, another way of trimming costs. He can probably sustain Twitter for a very long time, though at some point the courts and creditors will get their way and it'll start costing him more than at present.

Much of the backing (for the purchase) was from Saudi Arabia - where anyone who posts anything remotely critical of the regime has been finding the police at the door and (in a least one case) a resulting death sentence. Helping authoritarian regimes and most likely attempting to help Trump back into power are probably good long term strategies for the Musk companies.

BBC to staff: Uninstall TikTok from our corporate kit unless you can 'justify' having it

Dave Schofield


>And the BBC have acknowledged that some staff will require access for that reason. But that part of the BBC involves < 5% of the staff, if that.

Isn't the BBC a *broadcaster* and as such most departments will use social media to advertise the TV channels, radio stations, websites and all the other stuff it does?

Yes, Karen in accounts and Keith in maintenance won't, but it would be far more than 5% of the staff involved with making broadcast content - and that is before you get to the contractors and freelancers who produce content for the BBC.

Atlassian CEO's bonkers scheme to pipe electricity from Australia to Singapore collapses

Dave Schofield

Re: Sorry for stupid question...

>Won't work, the sharks would just twiddle it with their fingers.

Is that while they are waiting for their lasers to recharge?

UK facing electricity supply woes after nuclear power stations shut, MPs told

Dave Schofield

Re: Lack of energy policy for 30 years, nuclear costs

>Funny how it's always the Liberals at fault in the coalition and never the Tory with the majority.

IIRC it was the Liberal MP Chris Huhne who was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change at the time who nixed it with the support of Cameron and Osbourne. This was before he attempted to subvert the course of justice and was sent to prison for trying to dodge a speeding ticket...

'Last man standing in the floppy disk business' reckons his company has 4 years left

Dave Schofield

Re: Speaking Of Ancient Storage Methods .....

>I vaguely remember being told that blueprints for the UK's nuclear reactors were CNC milled into slate and stored in a disused mine somewhere. Can anyone confirm this?

I can't confirm that (or deny it either!), but I worked on a bid for new nuclear reactor that specified data retention in Azure of 100 years for all components down to nuts and bolts.

In a time before calculators, going the extra mile at work sometimes didn't add up

Dave Schofield

Re: Is it true?

>There is the story that a major UK bank in the 1990's was still using an LSD back room mainframe process to run the bank and converting from/to decimal at the interfaces.

>Is it an urban legend?

I read the same story on here, so there is a good chance either way. Although I understood it was still running in the background until well into the 2000s.

BOFH: Time to put the Pretty Dumb F in PDF reader

Dave Schofield

Re: In the early 2000's

Many years ago I was given the fun* task of migrating users from Lotus Smartsuite to Microsoft Office. Cue many weeks of trying to understand and convert macros in documents that were mission-critical but written by someone no longer employed and nobody knew what they did other than "I click on that button and it works"...

*Imaginary values of fun.

Honeymoons last a couple of weeks – the same goes for any love for the IT department

Dave Schofield

>All very true. There's probably some theory that can explain the relationship between failure-events (Boo!) and success-events (Yay!) and how, over time, they cancel each other out, so the current perception of your "awesomeness" depends on whether the last event was a success or failure. Most of us had successes last year in getting WFH going, so we may still have the "hero" scent to our users.

At least one former organization awarded staff higher grades in the annual appraisal if the account they worked on suffered more serious, high-visibility failure-events than those who worked on accounts that just ticked away because the systems were managed better...

After 15 months in preview, GitHub releases Codespaces – probably the fanciest new shiny since Actions

Dave Schofield

Re: A question or two

>GitHub itself is "almost 13GB"

It might just be *very* well commented.

Pigeon fanciers in a flap over Brexit quarantine flock-up, seek exemption from EU laws

Dave Schofield

Re: Seriously?

>If you look carefully you'll see the EU nations flapping about doing their own thing to a large extent and, were we still in the EU, we'd also have had that option.

You even have some countries in the EU (Denmark) that are in such a relatively good position cases-wise that they can afford to suspend use of the AZ vaccine because the relative risk of developing a blood clot that requires hospitalization is higher than the current risk of being hospitalized through Covid infection.

And even with the 3rd wave sweeping through some countries now, the excess death rate in quite a few EU countries is significantly lower than the UK (Ireland and Germany are ~half that of the UK).

Parler games: Social network for internet rejects sues Amazon Web Services for pulling plug on hosting

Dave Schofield

>Totally agree. Do the pro-shutdown-Parler contingent not know why free speech is important? Plus, the absurdity that you could keep certain views smothered in a world where a new platform will meet the market demand (in time) seems lost on many.

This segment of the pro-shutdown Parler contingent would refer you to Popper's Paradox of Tolerance.

"The paradox of tolerance states that if a society is tolerant without limit, its ability to be tolerant is eventually seized or destroyed by the intolerant. Karl Popper described it as the seemingly paradoxical idea that in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance."

There are two sides to every story, two ends to every cable

Dave Schofield

Back in the days of coax...

Or the late 90s. We had a network segment that randomly kept falling off the network for a few seconds at a time. The "fault" was eventually traced to one of the network guys stretching his legs under the desk and moving the cable just enough to break the connection. Then when he sat up straight it started working again.

Brexit border-line issues: Would you want to still be 'testing' software designed to stop Kent becoming a massive lorry park come 31 December?

Dave Schofield

Re: I am sure Boris will be on holiday when the $h1T hits the fan

>It’s why Farage has an EU pension, dual nationality to get himself a German passport... and lives in the US.

As much as I despise the frog-face fuckwit, it is unfair to say he lives in the USA - he came back from the Trump rally in Ohio where he spoke to an empty car-park in time to break his quarantine a day early when the pubs opened, and he appears to have found a new calling as a dingy nonce.

UK govt reboots A Level exam results after computer-driven fiasco: Now teacher-predicted grades will be used after all

Dave Schofield

>Scotland took 7 days, but that was a couple of weeks ago and the Tories just sat on their hands and did nothing while they watched what happened north of the border. The Education Select Committee was warned back in July that there was a problem.

Not quite nothing. Many of them were very quick to call for the head of the Scottish education system and Nicola Sturgeon in social media posts that were frantically deleted after Thursday.

Netflix starts 30-day video data diet at EU's request to ensure network availability during coronavirus crisis

Dave Schofield

>Not having a TV I shall assume this is an opportunity for aerial territorial television --- not using bandwidth --- to flood the airwaves with stupendous programmes of great value and fascinating beauty to smash the streaming networks.

(Un)fortunately, most TV shows are wrapping up shooting for a period of time until the situation improves. It might be a diet of repeats shortly.

London's top cop dismisses 'highly inaccurate or ill informed' facial-recognition critics, possibly ironically

Dave Schofield

>With the definition of 'serious' constantly shifting depending on who operates this system, until 'serious' includes protesting fracking, chlorine chickens or privarisation of the NHS or uncovering corruption of the ones running the system.

They are already trying to classify Extinction Rebellion as a terrorist group...

One-time Brexit Secretary David Davis demands Mike Lynch's extradition to US be halted

Dave Schofield

Re: David Davis

>I suspect his anti-EU stance has more than a little to do with having worked for the British Sugar Corporation, of which the best that can be said is that it seems to be a little less evil than British American Tobacco.

For someone with an anti-EU stance, he was certainly paid enough from companies in Ireland and Germany during the last Parliament....


Boris Brexit bluff binds .eu domains to time-bending itinerary

Dave Schofield

Re: Ah, now it all makes sen...wtf?

>IANAL but does the Benn Law actually compel Borris to actually accept an extension, should EU grant one? Or does it just say he must request one? In law the two are not the same.

The Benn Act means that he has to take any extension to Parliament for MPs to vote on accepting it.

We're all doooooomed: Gloomy Brit workforce really isn't coping well with impending Brexit

Dave Schofield

Re: When to move abroad

>I'm thinking the Channel Islands. It's a bit like France but with decent chips and beer. The only risk is that when the Disunited Kingdom of England and Wales becomes Singapore-at-Sea there'll no longer be much reason to launder money through Jersey.

You might find that you need money to move there. Unless you get a job qualifying for residency, you'll be on the open market and an arm+leg for a 1 bed flat. Any medical conditions will add a few £00s onto the quote for medical insurance as they haven't got an NHS either.

US foreign minister Mike Pompeo to give UK a bollocking over Huawei 5G plans

Dave Schofield

Re: 51st state

>But the new 7th in line to the British throne is also a US citizen. A few "accidents" and a Yuuuuge election campaign in 20-30 years and a British king could be President of the USA :-)

Got to be at least 35 and living in the USA for 14 years before they qualify to run.

Russian volcanoes fingered for Earth's largest mass extinction

Dave Schofield

>The Deccan traps coincided with the dinosaur-killer asteroid, so it is hard to see which had the greater effect on life on earth.

I don't like coincidences like that. The chances of a large, destructive asteroid impact at the same geological time as one of the largest volcanic impacts. I'm not a geologist, but it is possible that one of the results of a large asteroid impact manifests as a release in pressure at a weak point in the strata - the Deccan Traps eruption was a result of the crust readjusting to the impact?

Hurry up and make a deal on post-Brexit data flows, would you? Think of UK business – MPs

Dave Schofield

Re: Ha

>Both of those reduce the cost of living for everybody! The whole country has reduced cost of living. Sounds like a good start. Also we wont be losing access to the EU and all trade stopping, that is project fear.

So you want to ruin the environment along with both the farming and manufacturing sectors?

Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

Dave Schofield

Re: HS2 and the Galileo replacement

>Instead it's a Ponzi scheme where the new entrants pay the pensions for the old ones. That sort of system always has problems as membership changes.

Just like the State Pension in the UK then?

No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

Dave Schofield

Re: Well

>Not sure that would work. The current NI gov want out of the EU.

There is no current NI government. The power sharing arrangement collapsed (last year?) after the Cash for Ash scandal. But if/when it reassembles it will probably be against Brexit as the majority of the parties were and - only the DUP was heavily pro-Brexit and they do not have the majority of seats - The DUP have 27, the same as Sinn Fein, but less than Sinn Fein (27), the SDLP (12 seats) and the Alliance Party (8 seats) combined who are against Brexit. That discounts the UUP (10 seats), who were Remain, but support the referendum result and the minor parties.

Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

Dave Schofield

Re: Not EU? - Declare a new continent

>I am PROUD to be identified as one of the galloping Brexiteers

But not proud enough to not hide behind AC?

UK.gov admits Investigatory Powers Act illegal under EU law

Dave Schofield

Re: Odd.

>They can set up a massive, entirely new, government department to handle the phenomenally complex Brexit negotiations and machinations in a few short days, but a small unit to monitor one small area of responsibility is impossible.

To be fair, DeXEU (or at least the Minister) do seem to be making an almighty balls-up of it. Where exactly are the (58/39/none) impact assessments that were due to be published earlier this week?

MPs slam HMRC's 'deeply worrying' lack of post-Brexit customs system

Dave Schofield

Re: Why do we need to import anything...

>You didnt. WTO rules state the maximum we can charge, there is no minimum. Only what we apply to one we must apply to all. So where the EU prices the poor world out of foodstuffs because it will upset french farmers we wont be stuck with that dumb policy and can easily reduce the costs of imports without protecting the protectionist interests of the rest of the EU.

Just out of interest, but what happens to the native UK farming industry if we reduce import tariffs to 0?

Blade Runner 2049: Back to the Future – the movies that showed us what's to come

Dave Schofield

Re: Autonomous vehicles

They were in Judge Dredd comic in the late 70s, probably earlier sources too.

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Dave Schofield

Re: you sneer at her...

>On paper. But if you recall the widespread opposition to the Iraq war, I'd say that proves that Parliament do what they want, with and often without the consent of the people.

For fairness, opinion polls were mostly in favour of the Iraq War at the time. With time that has shifted against it. But we all know how good opinion polls are.

Act fast to get post-Brexit data deal, Brit biz urges UK.gov

Dave Schofield

>That's a very convoluted way of referring to her by her proper title: Twat.

You sir, are far too polite.

Another Brexit cliff edge: UK.gov warned over data flows to EU

Dave Schofield

Re: "The potential downside of not getting this right is very serious,"

>Because staying in a failing political empire that crashes from one crisis from another is clearly an even worse one? It's not like the UK is the only country where anti-EU feeling is steadily growing. Is there any EU country that is becoming more pro-EU over time?

France and Austria from the recent elections.

Cabinet Office minister Gummer loses seat as Tory gamble backfires

Dave Schofield

Re: Well look on the bright side

Would those MPs that can't vote on devolved matters be able to vote to change their right to vote on devolved matters?

The internet may well be the root cause of today's problems… but not in the way you think

Dave Schofield

Re: Optional religious wars were ended?

Religious wars started much further back than 2017 years (+/- whatever the current error on the dates is). Religion is just a handy excuse to kill people you don't like.

First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired

Dave Schofield

Re: Last place I worked...

s>One of the analysts working with a Prod DB ran an update query without the WHERE clause. Much hand wringing and gnashing of teeth followed, possibly by some braid pulling.

Way back in the depths of time (mid 90s), I was by default the DBA of an Informix database and was learning SQL. I managed to set the primary key field for a large subset of records in the database to the same value through a badly configured UPDATE query. That took some sorting out, but I managed it eventually.

UK PM May's response to London terror attack: Time to 'regulate' internet companies

Dave Schofield

Re: Book stores.

>The sums never add up with politicians because their numbers are all based on getting reelected and staying in power. How can you tell if a politician is lying ... their lips are moving.

Now, they also appear to lie if posting on Twitter as well. We can no longer rely on the lips moving to predict non-truth.

Dave Schofield

Unfortunately (and it seems a lot of the media are ignoring this point), she can't actually do anything at this time. No Parliament, so no new laws. Purdue rules prevent any changes to government policy so as not to unduly influence an incoming government that might be of a different party.

It's all grandstanding in an attempt to win votes, and realistically it is years too late.

Uber is a taxi company, not internet, European Court of Justice advised

Dave Schofield

Re: Remind me again what the ex-labour cabinet are doing now?

I think Mark Thomas had the best idea in one of his routines - People in elected office should be taken outside and shot at the end if their five years term. We'd either get complete nutters or extreme altruists. Either would be a big improvement on what we've got now.

Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

Dave Schofield

Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

>As long as you understand doing that without a bilateral agreement opens the UK to WTO action forcing the same zero tariff for every WTO member, at every UK customs border. With no obligation to reciprocate from them. Without reciprocity free trade doesn't mean much and seeking deals becomes pointless.

I've tried asking this in other places, but either get ignored or a jingoist answer that ignores facts but the audience on here is usually more knowledgeable than some other parts of the web. Does anyone know:

a) How long it will take to disentangle the UK WTO schedules from the EU schedules. At the moment, we are a member as part of the EU, so our "share" is part of the overall EU "share". It took five years for Bulgaria and Romania to merge theirs with the EU, so are we looking at a similar timeframe?

b). What happens to cross-border trade if we leave the EU customs union on 31/3/19 and then do not have our own WTO tariffs/schedules in place? Can we even import/export during the cross-over period, or are there draconian tariffs slapped on by default (working on the assumption that international trade outside the WTO and other trade agreements is frowned upon)

'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

Dave Schofield

Re: Not regulated?

>So the E in an MCSE is bollocks?

The E in MCSE is now for "Expert" for this very reason. I make no comment on the validity of that assertion.

Gov wants to make the UK the 'safest place in the world to go online'

Dave Schofield

Re: For safe read censored/controlled/spied on

>Frankly come the glorious day we should put all these politicians on a one way rocket to the sun.

What a waste of a perfectly good rocket and fuel, and what did the sun do to deserve that? (unless you meant strap them on a rocket heading towards the headquarters of The Sun?).

Brexit White Paper published: Broad strokes, light on detail

Dave Schofield

Re: Words fail me

>>Roll on 2019 when the whole stupid thing gets dumped, along with May and her crazy friends.

The next General Election is 2020, then 2025 (without votes of no confidence). Expect at least two major parties to have manifesto pledges to rejoin the EU, and I doubt they will be stupid enough to hold another referendum if they win.

My current prediction is to rejoin in about 10 years, but losing the £, veto and various other bits we have now. That would make pulling out again a hell of a lot harder.

Why Theresa May’s hard Brexit might be softer than you think

Dave Schofield

Re: Stretch your legs on March 25

>>Not those who voted leave to divert £350m/week to the NHS as that was admitted to be a lie before the votes had all been counted.

Never worked out how the people behind that bit of fiction are not currently banned from public office at the very least - as should anyone caught committing election fraud.

Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

Dave Schofield

"They came for the palmists, but I wasn’t a palmist so I did nothing

They came for the bungee jumpers, but I wasn’t a bungee jumper so I did nothing

They came for the players’ agents, but I wasn’t a players’ agent so I did nothing

They came for the Charles Manson fans, but I wasn’t a Charles Manson fan so I did nothing

They came for the reflexologists, but I wasn’t a reflexologist so I did nothing

They came for the camp TV chefs, but I wasn’t a camp TV chef so I did nothing

They came for the RoMos, I laughed

They came for the martial arts enthusiasts, but I wasn’t a martial arts enthusiast so I did nothing

They came for Eamonn Holmes and I think I’m right in saying I applauded

They came for the fire-eaters, but I wasn’t a fire-eater so I did nothing

They came for Dani Behr, I said she’s over there, behind the wardrobe

Turn a blind eye, sometimes it’s best to

Turn a blind eye, sometimes it’s best to"

"Turn a Blind Eye", Half Man Half Biscuit

Dave Schofield

Hopefully not. That way leads to a massive UKIP gain in the next election as middle England goes ballistic.. That's an even scarier thought than President Trump.

Given that they are currently on their 3rd leadership vote in six months, UKIP are pretty much self-destructing. There could be an increase in votes for the EDL, BNP and other toxic scum though.

Dave Schofield

Re: Handy....

Brexit nonsense? Nope. I voted out so we got back the right to govern our own country. Seems like there's some 'domestic' issues to deal with as well. Heaven help the HoC if they decide not to vote as the people wish ....

When did we ever not have the right to govern our own country? - Laws still have to be passed through parliament.

Which laws would you like to get rid of that are so bad for us?

Hardboiled, fast-paced, mind-bending fun – Dark Intelligence IS sci-fi

Dave Schofield

Having read both the Culture and Polity novels, I see the difference as being down to politics. The Culture is socialist and the Polity is the capitalist equivalent.

Life support turned off: NHS Direct dies silent, undignified death

Dave Schofield

Sad Day

Worked for NHS Direct for about 6 years until cost cutting closed one of the DCs down and redundancy called. It might have had its faults, but at its peak it was a good service used by lots of people who would otherwise have gone to their GPs or A&E.

Climate change will 'cause huge increase in murder, robbery and rape'

Dave Schofield

Re: I know this one.

"Temperature rises ---> violent crimes rise as people get more short tempered and aggressive."

Only up to a certain temperature (~body temp IIRC) - above that point it falls again as people are too hot to do anything.

Twenty classic arcade games

Dave Schofield

Re: Others

Surprised at no mention of:

Pacland/Super Mario Brothers


Space Harrier

Marble Madness


But, each to their own and they all took a big chunk of my available cash. Might be time to fire up MAME again tonight...