* Posts by Dr Scrum Master

514 posts • joined 6 Aug 2012


Bad news, older tech workers: Job advert language works against you

Dr Scrum Master


"We find strong evidence that ageist language related to communication skills, physical ability, and technology skills, even when it is not blatantly or specifically age-related, deters older workers from applying for jobs," the paper argues. "Job ads that feature ageist language attract younger applicants on average than job ads that do not feature ageist language."

Ageist language such as: must have good communication skills (able to write coherent sentences without emojis), must have physical ability to get off arse to fix a problem, and must have a wide range of technology skills rather than just a few months of the latest fads?

Actually, I don't mind ageist flags in job ads, or any other ists for that matter - it gives me an impression of the working environment without going through the rigmarole of applying and being interviewed. I really don't want to go on a recruitment merry-go-round only to then discover that the environment is just not for me.

Amazon puts 'creepy' AI cameras in UK delivery vans

Dr Scrum Master

Bad Behaviour

It may be creepy, but have you seen delivery van driver behaviour on the UK's roads?

The police forces have given up patrolling and responding to anything that is (partly) covered by insurance, so nobody is worried about getting caught, and even if they are caught by the public they're not worried about the police doing anything.

So now we have private enterprise doing something.

Microsoft adds unscheduled breaks to most certification exams

Dr Scrum Master

Re: As with all exams

[2] they absolve HR departments from the perceived need to asess the actual competence of candiates

Letting HR departments anywhere near the process of assessing the competence of candidates is a bad move.

Letting HR departments anywhere near candidates is also a bad move.

In fact, HR departments are just a bad move.

US Navy told to do a 'supplemental' integrity investigation of $2.5b Dell deal

Dr Scrum Master

Re: Which Navy?

Of course, there's no history on the page so nobody can see what the title was when I made my comment.

Dr Scrum Master

Which Navy?

Oh, the US Navy...

IoT biz Insteon goes silent, smart home gear plays dumb

Dr Scrum Master

Re: I drove by the Edsel dealer today….

Were you driving an Edsel? Because the loss of the dealer would not lead to the loss of function for the Edsel.

Twitter faces existential threat from world's richest techbro

Dr Scrum Master

Re: true democracy

"Free Bwian!"

Docker goes double unicorn with $105m Series C funding and $2.1b valuation

Dr Scrum Master

Highly Popular, Not Profitable

If I read this correctly, we have a highly popular piece of software, but the vendor still has to cap-in-hand to investors because they can't make the product pay its own way?

Activist investors attempt to push through racial diversity probe at Salesforce

Dr Scrum Master

Division and Exclusion

The new mafia that promises to denounce you to the Red Guards if you don't buy their snake oil.

Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?

Dr Scrum Master


We had a technical which slowed down our response times.

I thought this was a reference to a Toyota pick-up with a heavy machine gun mounted on the back.

UK criminal defense lawyer hadn't patched when ransomware hit

Dr Scrum Master



Proprietary neural tech you had surgically implanted? Parts shortage

Dr Scrum Master

Just one occasion

There's just one occasion when it might possibly be useful for a computer to make a noise to get my attention: when I'm not looking at it and when it's something that I should do there and then. The only thing that I need to do there and then is join a meeting because there are other humans.

At all other times, a pop-up is the absolute limit of attention-grabbing that's required.

Mobile-based ID wallets for government are coming

Dr Scrum Master

Single Point of Failure

Mobile phones, the single point of failure for the 21st century.

Credit card? Put it on your phone.

Debit card? Put it on your phone.

Cash? Put it on your phone.

Ticket? Put it on your phone.

Boarding pass? Put it on your phone.

2FA for all your banks, government services, etc? Put them all on your phone.

ID? Put it on your phone.

Lost your phone? Oh dear.

Phone confiscated by the police for an "investigation"? Too bad.

Police "accidentally" lose the phone? Sorry, can't help.

Yes, Mark Zuckerberg is still pushing metaverse. Next step, language translation

Dr Scrum Master

Computerised universal translation? Sounds like another plan to create more conflict in the world.

UK pins hopes on 'latest technology' to whittle down massive National Health Service waiting lists

Dr Scrum Master

Stop Worshipping the NHS

Politicians need to stop treating the NHS as an idol to be worshipped.

Aspects of it are better than similar aspects in some other countries.

Other aspects of it are worse than similar aspects of it in some other countries.

Nye Bevan was idealistic regarding the NHS. Instead, it is a never ending money pit where people make more and more demands of it.

Meanwhile, later politicians have played around with it, increasing bureaucracy (while the NHS is already wasteful) and reducing capacity.

Meanwhile, the per capita rate of doctors in the UK has increased over the last few decades, while the time it takes to see a GP has increased. Clearly there are systemic faults to be addressed.

The UK has had decades to fix care provision - it's not a health service, it's a sickness service - and no politician is brave enough to grasp the nettle.

Do sell the NHS.

Then we can go and buy a decent health service from some other country - there are plenty to choose from.

UK government backs away from proposals to remove individuals' rights to challenge AI decision making

Dr Scrum Master

Re: "to provide human review [of AI decisions] ... not be practicable or proportionate."

Technically, I don't see AI being used to make any decisions, it's just statistics under the hood.

Unless one means Artificial Idiocy.

Spruce up your CV or just bin it? Survey finds recruiters are considering alternatives

Dr Scrum Master

Please be kind and remember HR & recruiters do not understand the job

Which is why misunderstanding can be reduced by removing HR from the recruitment process. In fact, remove HR in general and remove many more business problems.

Dr Scrum Master

Re: Do you feel lucky?

find real gems who had been binned by HR before getting to my inbox

That's the problem with using HR - or rather one of the problems of using HR at all.

Meta Platforms demands staffers provide proof of COVID-19 booster vaccine before returning to office

Dr Scrum Master

Re: Good.

Yes, beware of that plague with a 99% survival rate where that rate decreases when there is already a co-morbidity which already reduces one's life expectancy.

Bitcoin 'inventor' will face forgery claims over his Satoshi Nakamoto proof, rules High Court

Dr Scrum Master

So much so that when someone puts up a Youtube video to refute claims of ballot irregularities ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aokNwKx7gM8 ) they are very guarded in what they say... almost as if they were wary of anyone who might be litigious!

At 9 for every 100 workers, robots are rife in Singapore – so we decided to visit them

Dr Scrum Master

Re: What is a robot?

Indeed, next we'll have people describing statistical pattern matching as "artificial intelligence"

Microsoft rang in the new year with a cutesy tweet in C#. Just one problem: The code sucked

Dr Scrum Master


At least it wasn't dates in Javascript.

Indexing months from 0 is just so intuitive...

Newly discovered millipede earns its name by being the first to walk on one thousand legs

Dr Scrum Master

Re: Clearly it should be millepedes or millepeda

The English word “mile” comes from Latin mille passus “a thousand paces” / mille passuum “a thousand of paces”.

At 1,760 yards, I wonder who's pace is 1.76 yards long.

Microsoft signs settlement with US Justice Dept over 'immigration-related discrimination' claims

Dr Scrum Master

Proof of employability

the company discriminated (sic) against at least six lawful permanent residents based on their immigration status during this visa evaluation process, by asking them to show a Permanent Resident Card to prove they had permission to work without employer sponsorship

I'm almost at a loss for words.

What's so wrong in asking people to show that they have the legal right to work in a country?

What a bunch of bricks: Crooks knock hole in toyshop wall, flee with €35k Lego haul

Dr Scrum Master

Re: Ah, Lego

Downvoted for "Legos"

Australia will force social networks to identify trolls, so they can be sued for defamation

Dr Scrum Master

Society, Social Media and the Law

No, it's not the title of an academic paper.

Society, social media and the law still haven't worked out how to live together. The benefit of social media is that it brings people together. The threat of social media is that it brings people together: paedophiles, terrorists, loud-mouthed gits, idiotic teenagers, conspiracy theorists, etc. Then legislators do the one thing that they know how to do, and that is to legislate (when we already have libraries full of statutes that the police barely take any notice of). I don't know what the solution is, but legislation is rarely the right answer.

Academics tell Brit MPs to check the software used when considering reproducibility in science and tech research

Dr Scrum Master

Re: Not just software

How depressing.

IBM researcher suing for age discrimination blames CEO Arvind Krishna for his ousting

Dr Scrum Master

Re: Poor shareholder value

Given that El Reg is principally Right-Pondian, one would presume that the management deemed a Sarcasm Alert icon to be superfluous.

Sheffield Uni cooks up classic IT disaster in £30m student project: Shifting scope, leadership changes, sunk cost fallacy

Dr Scrum Master

At our place we were held back in amending the gender field in our systems from a simple Male/Female

Sounds like a good thing

Super-rare wooden Apple 1 hand built by Jobs and Wozniak goes to auction

Dr Scrum Master

Ah the good old days, when goods were made of recyclable and biodegradable materials.

Calendars have gone backwards since the Bronze Age. It's time to evolve

Dr Scrum Master

Start Date

Before we go around synchronising schedules, how about using a calendar with a sensible start date?

1st January does not correspond to any significant lunar/solar event. Starting the year at either the Winter solstice or the Sprint equinox is at least a significant solar event, and has built-in synchronisation, at least for those paying attention to the rising of the Sun.

Online harms don’t need dangerous legislation, they need a spot of naval action

Dr Scrum Master

Re: There's still the old problem

Given the number of people who equate words with "literal violence" then I'd say there are plenty of people who can't tell the difference between what is actually harmful and what's not.

Dr Scrum Master

Re: There's still the old problem

So-called hate speech is already a messy precedent which should be repealed.

Incitement to commit an offence should be sufficient. And it might actually be useful if police were to take death threats and other threats of assault seriously - rather than bending over backwards when someone says that their so-called gender identity feelings have been challenged.

Orders wrong, resellers receiving wrong items? Must be a programming error and certainly not a rushing techie

Dr Scrum Master

Punch cards?

Cards for receiving punch?

Cards for receiving a punch?

Or do we mean "punched" cards?

Every Little Helps: Former Tesco boss Dave Lewis to advise UK govt on supply chains

Dr Scrum Master


Fragile, over-optimised supply lines don't help.

Centralising distribution and relying on HGVs reduces the number of points required for a system to fail.

Closing small abattoirs means more transport required for animals to be butchered, and increases costs in the supply chain.

Interrupting the supply chain to a large abattoir or a large distribution centre interrupts the supply to a larger area and a larger number of customers.

Reliance on cheap foreign labour is a fragile over-optimisation.

Zoom-o-cracy: Wales MP misses vote, allowing COVID-passport rule change, blames the IT dept

Dr Scrum Master

But it's conference season

I still don't understand why the Welsh Parish Council was holding proceedings during the party conference season. Westminster shuts down for the conference season, so why not the devolved assemblies?

Indian state cuts off internet for millions to stop cheating in exams

Dr Scrum Master

Re: Sad

That still leaves open the usual bribery route.

Macmillan best-biscuit list unexpectedly promotes breakfast cereal to treat status

Dr Scrum Master

Re: Penguin, etc.

Last night, for the first time in years, I bought some fresh apple and cream turnovers, and a couple of small strawberry and cream cakes from Asda.

I think the "from Asda" is the key piece of information. I bought some bread from Asda about 14 years ago - absolutely awful stuff.

The unit of measure for fatbergs is not hippopotami, even if the operator of an Australian sewer says so

Dr Scrum Master

Re: Pural

Aren't hippopotamuses the inspiration for writers to write about horses and rivers?

Trial of Theranos boss Elizabeth Holmes begins: She plans to say her boyfriend and COO Balwani abused her

Dr Scrum Master

Re: "Erasing her capacity to make decisions"

Having seen footage of her, did he also (allegedly) only allow her to blink when he said so?

Tesla battery fire finally flamed out after four-day conflagration

Dr Scrum Master

Re: Extinguishers...

Why not just have submerged battery packs?

As soon as a fire starts, open the flood gates.

Hundreds of irate UK Parliamentary staffers sue IPSA over 2017 salary spreadsheet publication snafu

Dr Scrum Master

would you be happy to have your pay and entitlements made public to all of your neighbours?

You would in Sweden, but we're not in Sweden.

Still, it's good to know that people do still do things differently elsewhere.

Northern Train's ticketing system out to lunch as ransomware attack shuts down servers

Dr Scrum Master

Northern Train's ticketing system

It's certainly been quite some years since I travelled by train in t' North, but I'm sure there was more than one train operating.

Gung-ho tank gamer spills classified docs in effort to win online argument

Dr Scrum Master

I suppose one should leave this as a Shibboleth...

actually, two Shibboleth.

Teen turned away from roller rink after AI wrongly identifies her as banned troublemaker

Dr Scrum Master


97% is like the 98% certainty I remember from an AWS facial recognition demo.

There was a 98% certainty that the subject was wearing sunglasses. He wasn't. He was indoors with overhead lighting which obviously lead to his brow casting a shadow over his eyes.

Dr Scrum Master

Using it wrongly

Facial recognition should be used to identify potential matches.

Humans should then be responsible for making decisions.

The lights go off, broadband drops out, the TV freezes … and nobody knows why (spooky music)

Dr Scrum Master


Love it!

I'll try to use it in future.

Jackie 'You have no authority here' Weaver: We need more 50-somethings in UK tech

Dr Scrum Master

Re: It is not skills..

Because in any randomly-selected population, it's pretty unlikely that you're going to get a distribution of people who match arbitrary characteristics of the larger population.

As for a self-selecting population - such as people interested in IT, nursing, aircraft, boats, sewing, etc. - it's astronomically improbable that it would come close to the distribution of people who match arbitrary characteristics of the larger population.

Dr Scrum Master

Re: It is not skills..

So in most countries other than the USA, Oz, NZ, Canadia, most of the population are BIPOC (sic)...

Evidence planted on laptops of jailed Indian activists, says forensics firm Arsenal Consulting

Dr Scrum Master

Russian, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Pakistani, etc etc



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022