* Posts by Fonant

238 posts • joined 20 Mar 2014


What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell


Given that the employer holds almost all the cards in an employment relationship, the most important part of the interview process is for the candidate to decide whether or not they've be happy working for that employer.

The employer needs to make sure the candidate is competent for the job, and, hopefully, whether they'd fit in with their potential colleagues. Since every job is different, an ability to think, learn, and adapt is often more important than some particular technical ability or experience on their CV.

As the article says, the employer needs to avoid anyone who is applying solely because they're desperate for a job.

A good interview should be a pleasurable experience for everyone involved. Whatever the outcome.

Subcontractors working on CityFibre's £45m Derby rollout threaten to 'rip up tarmac' in dispute over payments


Try buying cement, mortar or concrete, and you may well spot a distinct lack of the stuff. Even DIY projects are being held up.

England's controversial extraction of personal medical histories from GP systems is delayed for a second time


Re: Establish limits?

I think they're commenting on the "all eggs in one basket" problem with a single central database.

Verified: UK.gov launching plans for yet another digital identity scheme


Re: What's the high level picture...

I think the problem, as the government sees it, is that they don't get to track everyone with the current situation.

For us, this is a Good Thing.

We currently have multiple "identities", each one suited pretty well for the task we use it for. This works well and has each identity quite nicely separated, so if one is breached the others aren't affected.

Trying to have one "identity" that works as a bank card, passport, COVID-19 vaccination record, Windrush immigration record, password for all those websites, Tax Account Number, age verification, NHS number, Amazon account, Company Director registration, milk round number, etc. is (a) impossible and (b) a disaster waiting to happen when something goes wrong.

Happy 'Freedom Day': Stats suggest many in England don't want it or think it's a terrible idea



Especially since "the sensible thing" is all about benefiting others, not ourselves. We're a nation of very selfish people.

Compare with the Far East, where society is more important than individuals, where mask-wearing is common even when people just have a cold.



But what's the "right" date, though?

When we have some basic control over this deadly infection. That is, when people can be trusted to not spread this air-borne disease (when Hell freezes over) or when we have 90% of the whole population vaccinated (especially teenage children).

My brother emigrated to New Zealand last year. His family had to undergo many COVID tests and 14 days of compulsory and strict hotel quarantine. The first week they weren't allowed to leave their (nice, en-suite) room. Food was delivered to their door. The second week, after negative tests, they were allowed to use the hotel grounds for fresh air.

Now they have life as normal, no restrictions, no COVID in circulation. Yes, the restrictions on people coming into the country are strict and onerous. But, hey, no swamped medical system, no masks, no need for social distancing, everything is open as normal.

Cyberlaw experts: Take back control. No, we're not talking about Brexit. It's Automated Lane Keeping Systems


Re: "restricted to motorways and to speeds of 37mph"

Yes. That's where some level of automated driving might actually be useful and low-risk. Both for the driver of the car, and the reduction of unnecessary speeding up and braking that causes unstable "waves" in the traffic flow.

As soon as you include higher speeds and non-motorway driving, the ethical problems (and the political question of where to set the risk/performance trade-off point) become HUGE.

Ransomware-hit law firm gets court order asking crooks not to publish the data they stole


Re: Such pessimism

Hmmm... how would you define "rogue state", in a global sense?

You wait ages for a neutron star and black hole to collide, then two pairs come along at once


Re: Lies, damned lies, and statistics...

As Einstein observed, the whole concept of time is relative to the observer. The "once a month" is relative to us observing the events on Earth.

Poltergeist attack could leave autonomous vehicles blind to obstacles – or haunt them with new ones


Simpler DoS attacks possible

I fear that there will be simpler attacks on AVs. Simply walk, or ride a bike, or drive a car, as if you were about to collide with the AV (in the knowledge that you will stop, obvs). The AV will be forced to take avoiding action.

A new form of "chicken" for the teenagers of tomorrow, perhaps?

BT promises firmware update for Mini Whole Home Wi-Fi discs to prevent obsessive Big Tech DNS lookups



Why not ping to see if a connection is available?

I suspect something targetted-advertising-related is going on. Still Big Money available in that field, it seems.

European Parliament's data adequacy objection: Doubts cast on UK's commitment to privacy protection


Re: Just

"My data is everywhere. Has always been."

Your future data could be better protected. Which might just save you from having your identity stolen followed by the contents of your bank account. Or some other unwanted or embarrassing outcomes.

You data has only recently been "everywhere", it wasn't before the internet was invented.

Society is still playing catch-up as to what the implications of mass information gathering are. It is already usable to swing elections, and perhaps even destroy countries without needing any conventional war.

Space junk damages International Space Station's robot arm


Re: the robot arm’s performance is unaffected.

The vacuum getting in isn't a problem at all.

The problem is non-vacuum stuff getting out.

Google and Samsung merge their wearable OSes, tease Fitbit baked into the combo


Re: The platform is the problem

Yes. The email/SMS/alarm notifications are by far the most useful feature, other than old-fashioned "telling the time".

Cheap Fitbit works OK indoors, but screen isn't bright enough outside. Fitbits also seem to be designed to fail soon after the warranty expires. Quite fun to repair, building one out of working parts from failed ones, though :)

Vivaldi update unleashes the 'Cookie Crumbler' to simply block any services asking for consent (sites may break)


I don't care about cookie warnings

Recommended browser plugin: https://www.i-dont-care-about-cookies.eu

UK government gives Automated Lane Keeping Systems the green light for use on motorways


Re: 37 MPH...

I think the rule is "up to 37mph", above which speed the system disengages.

It's for use in congestion.

Won't somebody please think of the children!!! UK to mount fresh assault on end-to-end encryption in Facebook


Re: In my household she's just another Tory MP...

She's certainly very strongly against counter-terrorism. She said so her self. She was Very Clear about it.

Vote to turf out remainder of Nominet board looks inevitable after .uk registry ignores reform demands

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Mythic Beasts

Mythic Beasts are good, for all sorts of different reasons.

Blockchain may be the machinery of mischief, but it can't help telling the truth



Wouldn't you need a metablockchain to record WHICH blockchain is the correct one holding the NFT in question?

UK prime minister Boris Johnson reluctant to reveal his involvement in the OneWeb deal


Johnson is a professional clown. With all the deeper meanings that involves.

Free Software Foundation urged to free itself of Richard Stallman by hundreds of developers and techies


Re: Oh how the woke wimper

Quite agree. I can't understand why anyone thinks that being aware of other people is a bad thing. I try to be as "woke" as I can be!

From Maidenhead to Morocco: In a change to the scheduled programming, we bring you The On Call of Dreams


Used to work for a small tech company, working for GM Truck in Detroit, spending one week on site every month.

My boss saved money by booking a UK->USA ticket, and then USA->UK->USA return flights which were cheaper than the other way round.

One trip I was due to fly home but all eastern-USA airports were closed due to storms. Since my ticket inferred that I was a US resident I was low priority for later bookings, and was told I would need to wait a week (in Detroit!) before the next flight home.

Anyway, a phone call to our travel insurers later, I booked a one-way ticket on BA, First Class, leaving the next evening. Cost was astonishingly high, something like £2,500, but I really wanted to get home.

My seat was 2A, just behind a certain Jackie Stewart (who boarded as early as he could and was fast asleep by the time us "ordinary" First Class passengers were allowed on!). I remember that Mr Stewart had a member of BA staff to carry his passport and tickets for him. And a group of Germans who made sure that they drank as much of the free champagne in the First Class Lounge in Detroit as they could.

So that's how I got to experience First Class flying. Very surreal.

Palantir and UK policy: Public health, public IT, and – say it with me – open public contracts


Re: Nope, COVID-19 is not a catch-all excuse for backdoor deals

Remove the ability for Government to use "Henry VIII" clauses to give themselves power to ignore Parliament.

Implement Proportional Representation, to stop parties taking complete control with less than 50% of the popular vote. And to eliminate the problem of MPs not bothering because they're in a Safe Seat.

Reintroduce the concept of Ethics, Principles and Honesty to those working in public life.

Making it illegal for any MP or member of government to deliberately mislead the public.

Require all government ministers to be elected MPs, and not just "mates of the Prime Minister elevated without merit to the Lords".

Seagate UK customer stung by VAT on replacement drive shipped via the Netherlands


Re: It doesn't have to be this way.

As I understand it, and I could be very wrong, there's a difference between items "worth" less than £135 and those worth more than that.

Items worth less than £135 - EU supplier is required to register for UK VAT, charge VAT at the point of sale, and then send the money to HMRC along with VAT statement later.

Items worth more than £135 - EU supplier should NOT charge VAT, as HMRC will collect VAT and any applicable Duty, at the Customs border.

Red Hat returns with another peace offering in the wake of the CentOS Stream affair: More free stuff


Too late, trust has gone.

The problem is less about stopping CentOS as a robust clone of RHEL, but the sudden way they did this. What confidence am I expected to have that if I switch to using a free version of RHEL they won't just pull the plug again without warning?

Trust is everything. Difficult to generate, easy to lose.

'Meritless': Exam software maker under fire for suing teacher who tweeted links to biz's unlisted YouTube vids

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Quite Agree: memory exams are mostly useless

All my University Mechanical Engineering exams were open-book. You could take anything you liked into the exam, so long as it wasn't too big and you could carry it. Books, notes, calculators.

This meant you had to really understand the subject, and know where to look for answers. Just like in the real world. No engineer would rely solely on memory, so why would testing that ability be of any use?

This was way back in the 1980's, it's not a new concept.

UK taxman is supposed to know how IR35 reforms work but still lost appeal against TV presenter Kaye Adams


Re: Will be delayed (again)

MOO would mean that, at the end of the contract, the employer would be obliged to provide more work for the employee, and the employee would be obliged to do it. Which is employment, even if hidden behind a personal service company.

Without MOO, the contractor is free to say "no" to additional work, and the employer is free to not offer more work. Which is contracting.

LastPass to limit fans of free password manager to one device type only – computer or mobile – from next month

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Bitwarden. That's all.

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


Re: RHEL/CentOS7

CentOS 7 has it now. "yum clean all" helps.

150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'


Re: rm -r *

.... some time later:

rm: command not found

Leave.EU takes back control – and shifts its domain name to be inside the European Union


Re: But why?

Judging by their tweets, Leave.EU are now a general-purpose right-wing-nutter group. Commenting on all sorts of stuff that has nothing to do with Brexit.


Re: So Leave have left?

"Great" as in "large". Great Britain is the large part of Britain, the smaller part now being part of France, and called Brittany.

Trump silenced online: Facebook, Twitter etc balk at insurrection, shut the door after horse bolts and nearly burns down the stable


Re: They are only doing this since the Democrats will be in power in two weeks.

One man's "terrorist" is another man's "freedom fighter".

E.g. Nelson Mandela.

And, yes, they're almost always men.

Thought the M3 roadworks took a while? Five years on, Vivaldi opens up a technical preview of its email client

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Re: Fantastic

Arghh! The Register needs to fix it's commenting system. I got an error saying that my message Body was required. So I posted again...

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The new M3 (Vivaldi mail) needs quite a lot more work, but it's already extremely capable and powerful.

List all the messages to and from a contact, without needing to search!!

Looking forward to ditching Thunderbird as soon as I can :)

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I've been stuck with the not-very-good Thunderbird for some time now. At last we can have databased emails, with all sorts of different views made possible.

A simple one that I find extremely useful is being able to show all mail to/from a particular contact. Can't seem to do that in Thunderbird.

Oh, and the Vivaldi Mail (M3) searches are indexed and nearly instant!

Hydrogen-powered train tested on Britain's railway tracks as diesel alternative


Yeah, but at "only" 750V the currents involved are HUGE (thousands of amps!).

Brexit travel permits designed to avoid 7,000-lorry jams come January depend on software that won't be finished till April



The queues, will, in fact be self-limiting.

Possibly an initial spike in queue length, but then lorries will be forced to charge a LOT more for cross-channel work to account for the time spent queuing. At which point demand for cross-channel deliveries will reduce, and queues will reduce.

Until some dynamic equilibrium results where only high-value high-density goods, that can justify high transport costs, are left in the short queues.

There won't be much (relatively cheap) perishable food crossing the channel next year.


Re: 7000

Let alone the other lorries who haven't quite got their Kemits yet, hiding away anywhere they can find until the notification comes through...


Re: The other question

Yes, it only makes sense if there's a penalty issued at the border or very near to it. Otherwise who knows which lorries are going to Kent, and which to France?

Of course there will still be a queue to get to the border, and quite possibly a queue to get to the Kermit checkpoint. So companies will be tempted to send the lorry off anyway, and then apply for the Kermit while the lorry is travelling to Kent.

Unless HM Gov is going to have a list of lorry number plates that are deemed "international transport"?

With a million unwanted .uk domains expiring this week, Nominet again sends punters pushy emails to pay up

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Re: I am pleased to note

Ditto. Mythic Beasts, thank you, again!

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up



Why electric scooters? They're rubbish on rough surfaces like, er, UK roads.

Why not invest in cycleways for use by people riding bicycles and electric bicycles?

Fancy some post-weekend reading? How's this for a potboiler: The source code for UK, Australia's coronavirus contact-tracing apps


Re: Privacy Concerns?

See: Brexit campaigning, targetted adverts on Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Trump, Cummings, Farage, Aaron Banks, Thiel, Mercer, Palantir, Wigmore, 55 Tufton Street.

It's subtle but powerful. Find out lots about people and their lives, then carefully tell them what they individually want to hear, and they'll vote for you. Get into power, and you can do largely what you want.

They're not necessarily targetting individuals, they're targetting the entire population of countries.

Virgin Galactic takes another step towards blasting Richard Branson into space


Re: Everyone loves the NHS

Virgin Care certainly did sue the NHS, and they didn't need to.


UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told


Re: Open to abuse

This is the biggest problem: the users are expected to reliably and honestly say if they "think" they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Even honest people may have infectious COVID-19 with no symptoms, and symptoms might look like COVID-19 but be something else.

The false positives and false negatives will be significant.

Brit housing association blabs 3,500 folks' sexual orientation, ethnicity in email blunder


Re: You have to wonder...

Reminds me of the USA landing card, with the question "Are you planning to commit a terrorist act while in the USA?" with a helpful footnote that answering "yes" would result in you not being admitted into the country.

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?

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Re: So, who do the cool kids bank with these days then?

Starling, FTW!

If it's Goodenough for me, it's Goodenough for you: Canuck utility biz goes all in on solid-state glass battery boffinry


Re: 1000 cycles?

ICE drivers are stuck in the mindset that the car's available energy slowly disappears, needing rapid refilling every now and then. When in fact most EVs will start each day with a "full tank" automatically: no having to stop on car journeys except for very long ones (when you want to stop anyway).

Then we get onto local energy storage using your car, so you can run your house off the remaining energy in the car battery in the evening :)


Re: Still a problem though

Major power supply upgrades may not be needed, if local energy storage is available. Like a big bank of batteries that can be gently charged 24/7/365 to provide short sharp bursts of power to charge cars. Helps, in fact, to even out load on the Grid.

Many cars will be charged slowly over night, or slowly while sitting in the company car park during the day. Both helping to reduce peak demand spikes and lifting off-peak load.

Google lives in an Orange submarine: Transatlantic cable will get by with a little help from some friends


Re: The Repeater System




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