* Posts by Cederic

1276 posts • joined 22 Dec 2014

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Do you come from a land Down Under? Where diesel's low and techies blunder

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Gee…

Lynne Truss. Liz sells cheese and may yet become Prime Minister.

Google's diversity strat lead who said Jews have 'insatiable appetite for war' is no longer diversity strat lead

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Out of context

Your suggested replacement is a false equivalence. You're switching a trait for the people with a trait.

A better comparison would be 'dark skin', in which case he can welcome and treat people with darker skin as equals while still avoiding sunlight like a vampire.

I knew a girl like that once. She'd be beautiful whatever her skin colour but hated getting even the slightest tan. She married a black man..

Cederic Silver badge

I'm not sure why you were voted down as I agree, he was wrong to conflate the actions of Israel with people of Jewish faith and/or people with Jewish ancestry.

Critique Israel for its actions, challenge the racism and other issues of the Jewish faith but keep people with Jewish blood out of both conversations, as their race is entirely irrelevant to both.

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Out of context

The daft thing for me is that the quote on homosexuality isn't homophobic when taken out of context.

It must be possible to despise homosexuality while also supporting the right and freedoms of others to enjoy it.

I don't despise homosexuality (although I don't want to participate, thanks for asking, and please, stop running your tongue over your lips at me, it makes me uncomfortable and the other bar staff are teasing me about it). Others can't help who they're attracted to and if they can achieve a happy consensual relationship then go for it.

That doesn't stop him being effective in a diversity role, and indeed a level of self awareness and understanding may be beneficial.

(His comments on Jewish people relishing violence however I find unnecessary and at best deeply ignorant)

Amazon warehouse workers are seriously injured more frequently than those at similar companies – unions

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Days Gone PC: Melting pot of open-world influences makes for one of the more immersive zombie slayers out there

Cederic Silver badge

Re: "If you love a game, buy it at fucking full price."

Your support for the gaming industry is appreciated :)

My Steam backlog is down to a mere 150 games now. Almost all of those came with bundles though, so my guilt level is: None.

It does though mean that I rarely buy full price games. Sorry but your game just isn't worth £60 on release. Hell, to get the full Total Warhammer you'd need to spend £200+; even buying it all on sale has cost me over £100.

But that's because I've played it for hundreds of hours, so I keep going back and giving them more money. I'm still not buying Total Warhammer 3 for full price.

USB-C levels up and powers up to deliver 240W in upgraded power delivery spec

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Gaming laptops

One power supply rather than two, and I bought a second power supply for my overnight accommodation rather than carry one around, but I did buy a laptop of that ilk when I was working away from home four nights a week.

Meant I could use the same computer in both locations with minimal fuss and still get 'better than the average desktop' levels of compute and graphics.

Google employee helped UK government switch from disastrous COVID-19 strategy, according to Dominic Cummings

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Hang on

Plus of course the official Sage minutes telling us that Sage were not recommending a lockdown even in early March.

Mistakes were made. People made poor decisions. Data was inadequate or inaccurate. Models were fucking awful. We knew that anyway, but finding out where and why will help improve systems and processes, and hopefully enable a better response to future unplanned events.

I'm still not going to get irate at the individuals involved. Hindsight is wonderful but I'm honest enough to know I'd have made mistakes too, and I still genuinely couldn't tell you the best balance between 'let people die' and 'save the economy' - not least because if you don't save the economy, more people die.

So I'm just going to ignore all the finger pointing and media agitation over the next couple of weeks. They're just after scapegoats and stories.

Computer Misuse Act: Tell the Home Office infosec needs a public interest defence in law, says CyberUp campaign

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Additionally

Your computer is running zombie software. Please remove it from the internet.

Now, you've been notified, so under your proposal you could be prosecuted. I fear additional controls and protections may be required.

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Rather than a defence...

I understand the need for a 'public interest' defence but would be irate if someone tried using it to justify hacking my systems.

Your idea has some flaws but is also in its current form very much worth submitting to the 'call for action' so if you haven't already done so, do consider raising it with them.

One challenge is the targeted party doesn't know that they're being attacked for benign purposes; they could launch countermeasures and we end up with the plot of Neuromancer.

Surprise! Developers' days ruined by interruptions and meetings, GitHub finds

Cederic Silver badge

Re: What's a meeting?

Nooo! Never schedule late afternoon meetings for developers.

They've had lunch, they've dealt with the post-lunch meeting if there was one, they've settled into their chair, they've made some progress and they've finally achieved some flow.

They'll surface when they are done, at which point they can go home. That might be 3pm or 7pm but you can't predict it, they probably can't either and if you drop a meeting on them at 4pm they'll need another day to finish whatever they were working on because the productivity hit will be that high.

Have a 'meetings morning' or once a month a whole day of 'we know you wont get any work done but lets deal with all the corporate stuff today'.

Microsoft puts OpenAI's GPT-3 that it spent all that money on to work in Power Fx

Cederic Silver badge

could be worse

"It looks like you're trying to script business critical processing. Would you like me to do that for you?"

Although in fairness it couldn't be worse than the average back office function worker and their insistence on creating the mother of all badly scripted spreadsheets that will take between 18 and 40 months to cripple the entire global organisation.

Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow? We ask because one got into the office and left quite a mess

Cederic Silver badge

Re: A cat

Mine usually retrieve ground dwelling toys, although a couple of inactive flighted models have been encountered, one of which had leather wings.

Only one live avian and it did indeed defecate on my bookcase before basically shrugging at me as I approached, allowing me to take it into custody and provide it with safe passage to the greater outdoors.

Proposed amendments to UK Finance Bill target rogue umbrella companies ripping off contractors after IR35

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Pennies and Pounds

Hmm.

Annual pay £120k + VAT (low for a contractor).

Limited company paying minimum wage (40 hours/52 weeks) and dividends:

£1,190.76 income tax on wage

£1,075.78 NI

£20k on dodgy expenses because you can.

19% Corporate Tax on the remaining 81467.2 is £15478.77.

Dividend payment available is 65988.43

Tax on that is complicated.

0% * £2000 = 0

7.5% * £31737.2 = £2380.29

32.5% * £34251.23 = £11131.65

Total money handed to Government is thus £31,257.25

Total money kept by the contractor is a healthy £88k plus change.

Now let's look at the poor sod working for an umbrella company.

Total pay £120k + VAT.

Umbrella Company fee: £20 * 52 = £1040

Expenses: £0

£16,416.48 Employer's NI

£28,445.81 Income Tax

£5,929.71 National Insurance

Total handed to the Government is thus £50,792.

Total money kept by the contractor is a measly £68k. Over £20k less than the guy exploiting the system.

In the grand scheme of things £20k is not pennies.

Freenode IRC staff resign en masse, unhappy about new management

Cederic Silver badge

I think you've mischaracterised those two logs. I thought Lee came across well, as did Ariadne.

I did like "I have code running on two planets". It's shameless self promotion and yet unanswerably cool.

Cederic Silver badge

You need people to conduct server maintenance, apply patches, keep services operational.

You also need people to enforce server and network rules, deal with spammers and other abusive users, moderate conversations and protect users from bad actors.

A quarter of a million people make a lot of noise, even if they're all behaving. Not all will be behaving.

Guy who wrote women are 'soft, weak, cosseted, naive' lasted about a month at Apple until internal revolt

Cederic Silver badge

Re: a perfectly good communist country

Hungary under communism was far nicer to visit than East Germany. Very different atmospheres, with the Hungarians just naturally friendlier and feeling more relaxed.

No criticism for abandoning communism though, and I haven't been back recently to see what it's like now.

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Inclusive must mean that we only include things that we like...

To recap: You decry racism and sexism, express happiness that it's no longer tolerated in the office, and then attack someone for their race and gender.

Allow me please to perhaps make a suggestion: Do not be sexist. Do not be racist.

Cederic Silver badge

Re: "I'm actually honest, self-deprecating, and funny"

I don't understand though how this prevents them being a mother.

After all, gestating a foetus in a womb for several months before giving birth is what makes someone a mother, irrespective of any gender classification.

Cederic Silver badge

Re: I wholeheartedly agree

A concern that he won't separate private views from his work is very different to the reality of whether he did.

I can understand choosing not to hire someone that introduces a risk of internal friction. If you've already hired them though they absolutely should not be fired unless they actually do cause friction.

Others getting upset at things said outside of work (let alone a long time ago outside of work) is not a valid excuse.

Blessed are the cryptographers, labelling them criminal enablers is just foolish

Cederic Silver badge

Re: @Jake

Argh. My friend seemed to think that leaving his phone on my dashboard is perfectly fine, we'll only be a couple of minutes, nobody's nearby, stop being paranoid.

I think I've trained him out of it. I did have to threaten to throw his phone into an Icelandic fjord at one point.

Salesforce fell over so hard today, it took out its own server status page

Cederic Silver badge

Re: It was the engineer in the DC with the keyboard

Welcome to the world of DevOps, or, if you want to be paid a little more, DevSecOps.

This is why continuous delivery never became popular in the Finance industry.

UK's Computer Misuse Act to be reviewed, says Home Secretary as she condemns ransomware payoffs

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Sadly

Letting you send your CV directly to the hiring manager wastes their time filtering out a lot of people they don't want and removes some of the controls required to assure hiring obeys relevant laws and regulations.

I agree an account shouldn't be required but there are plentiful reasons for routing your application through recruitment professionals within the company first.

Copper load of this: Openreach outlines 77 new locations where it'll stop selling legacy phone and broadband products

Cederic Silver badge

line rental

So will they finally stop charging line rental then, on a line that you don't get?

I haven't had a landline for 15 years. That's £2000 I've saved on line rental, and Virgin have benefited because they provided broadband without it.

Philanthropist and ex-Microsoft manager Melinda Gates and her husband Bill split after 27 years of marriage

Cederic Silver badge

Record settlement

I dislike the description of the split of the Bezos family wealth as a 'settlement'.

They married. They agreed to share everything. When they divorced, they agreed to split what they'd previous shared. Technically his share of that split was a higher 'settlement' than hers, so describing hers as a record is wrong even if you don't look at anybody else's divorce.

Whatever the split agreed by the Gates (or their appointed legal representatives) it won't be a settlement. It'll be a split of family assets.

As for amicable, it's very possible that they've been planning this for a few years and waiting for their youngest to reach adulthood before disrupting the family. That may mean it is indeed amicable, or conversely it may mean that one of them has been waiting to avoid child support costs before ditching the other.

We'll probably never know. I'm fine with that.

Terminal trickery, or how to improve a novel immeasurably

Cederic Silver badge

Re: I'm a word wrangler...

Distaste at excess verbosity?

I have published fiction. It's terse, taut and every word matters; some people prefer that.

(I did not vote down the word wrangler. Other writing styles are also valid.)

Boomi busts out of Dell with $4bn sale to pair of private equiteers

Cederic Silver badge

Re: bomi?

No, they're actually very cheap as an Enterprise Integration option.

I'm chary of cloud integration services but if you need to get data from Cloud App A to App B (whether it's on cloud, on premise or at a third party) then they have a role and something that's cheap and just sits there working has business value.

Other options are of course available.

UK watchdog would cease to enforce data protection law if Supreme Court sided with Google, its lawyer tells judges

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Class action

The bailiffs will collect the cost of the small claim and the cost of the bailiffs at the same time that they collect the monies owed to you.

So it's still worth it, with the added bonus of sending the bailiffs round to upset a large corporation.

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Class action

However that discourages joining in the class action. Better to let others pay the expensive legal fees, then bring your own personal case citing their win as precedent.

Not only were half of an AI text adventure generator's sessions NSFW but some involved depictions of sex with children

Cederic Silver badge

A lot of single people haven't been able to get out and meet potential partners for the last year, seems to me it's better they relieve their energy through fictional text with a computer than some of the alternatives.

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

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Cruise control / License minder

If you push down to the floor on my car you'll override the speed limiter and accelerate. So really it's the same as manually maintaining speed by putting the right amount of pressure on your foot, except with far easier conformance to a specific top speed.

I love it for going past speed cameras. Means I don't need to ever check my speedometer which keeps me safer, and I can still lift my foot to accommodate the ebb and flow of heavy traffic without braking.

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Thought experiment

Brake and swerve towards the motorbike. By the time you're so far into its lane to hit it you'll be behind it anyway.

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Cruise control / License minder

Speed limiter mode also means you're not letting the car control the speed, which means you're interacting dynamically with the actual driving. That makes it much safer than cruise control which encourages a degree of inattention.

Not as many $1m customers as last quarter? Sorry, we're out: ServiceNow shares fall despite soaring revenues

Cederic Silver badge

almost excellent

I'm a bit torn on ServiceNow. Their technology is well designed and its capabilities are excellent but the UI always scares me away. I almost want ServiceNow as a purely API driven engine and provide the UI on-site.

(I think that's actually possible too).

Computer security world in mourning over death of Dan Kaminsky, aged 42

Cederic Silver badge

The story does mention, although perhaps it's changed in the past five hours.

University duo thought it would be cool to sneak bad code into Linux as an experiment. Of course, it absolutely backfired

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Place your bets...

I disagree with "They got caught after they published a paper."

The article suggests that the paper itself tells how they contacted maintainers to assure malign patches didn't make it into the kernel. In other words, they admitted to their actions prior to publishing the paper.

Which also means that this misstates what happened: "they willingly, knowingly and without authorization introduced security vulnerabilities". Technically they tested whether they could, but withdrew the changes prior to commit.

"what if someone works for a bank and decides to test the bank's security systems by moving some of the money into a personal account without telling anyone" is a flawed analogy. A better comparison would be a developer at the bank creating software that could do that, with the permission of their manager. Prior to the code going live they would reveal and remove that code and initiate a review of code validation and data security practices as their actions should have been spotted prior to their admission.

Which is something I've almost done. I just worked it as a theoretical exercise rather than writing the malicious code, which also meant I didn't need managerial approval and could get the necessary process changes without ever putting the systems at risk. But I knew the existing process (and information security practices and controls) from the inside.

For something like the linux kernel it's insufficient to sit externally going, "I could do that" and far more effective to demonstrate by doing it.

Harassers and bullies succeed in tech because silence is encouraged

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Tales from the Crypt

Well, usually it's nothing to do with their gender.

For instance I started one job at the same time as a younger lady with less experience. She was earning more than me, because she was able to negotiate a higher salary for, well, reasons.

Was it her gender? No, she joined from a high paying 'big five' consultancy, I joined from being made redundant by my previous company.

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Rednecks incoming.....

So you'd be happy to lose your job because of a false accusation?

They happen. I know, I've had a false accusation of sexual assault made against me. I was lucky, they weren't being malicious they were just mistaken and I could demonstrate that what they thought had happened had not.

We're still friends, even after she's moved to another country and got married. She's probably forgotten it entirely, but it could've had very serious consequences for me.

In employment you can't sack someone based on a single unsubstantiated accusation. Try that with me and it'll be tribunal then court, and it'll cost you far more than sacking the person making the false accusation.

Seeing a robot dog tagging along with NYPD officers after an arrest stuns New Yorkers

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Dogs are smarter than people

Six people a year are shot to death by dogs in America.

Docking £500k commission from top SAS salesman was perfectly legal, rules judge

Cederic Silver badge

confused

Failing at tribunal because the terms covered the company actions is unfortunate for him (although 800k for a single client sale would be excessive pay - IT salesmen get far too much anyway). What's confusing me though is the judge's reported comment on SAS profits.

Yes, paying 800k in commission would hurt their profits. So what? The margin on that contract would cover the commission anyway, and if not they didn't have to sign and agree it.

"I can't pay you because it would reduce company profits" just doesn't sound like a valid argument.

Who'd have thought the US senator who fist pumped Jan 6 insurrectionists would propose totally unworkable anti-Big Tech law?

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Lord Hawley

There is no such thing as white privilege. Feel free to attack his social background, the wealth of his parents and the legislation he's promoting, but leave his skin colour out of it.

Average convicted British computer criminal is young, male, not highly skilled, researcher finds

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Rinse, repeat?

Mental health issues don't necessarily mean 'depressed'.

Think of it another way: Young men with mental health and development disorders lack the support needed to fit into society and hold down a job.

Which might help explain this statistic, along with several other justice system and prison statistics, homelessness rates and suicide rates.

Cederic Silver badge

Would 'script kiddie' approaches be deemed 'low skill'?

Misusing known credentials is rather different to researching, acquiring and deploying prebuilt attacks, even if the person deploying them would not be able to create them from scratch.

Prince Philip, inadvertent father of the Computer Misuse Act, dies aged 99

Cederic Silver badge

Re: No TV - BBC !!!

The use of 'gammon' in this context is a racial slur. Racism is bad. Do not be racist.

Also: the BBC's coverage received more complaints than any other BBC output. In history.

We have never given census data to anyone – not even the spy agencies, says the UK's Office for National Statistics

Cederic Silver badge

We didn't pass data to them

They connected to our systems and took it by themselves.

Convince me otherwise :)

Amazon claims victory after warehouse workers in Alabama vote to reject union

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Why the need for a vote?

In some US states unions force a 'closed shop', in which you can't work for the company without joining the union.

It's bad enough working for a company that only negotiates with a union that doesn't represent you, I can't imagine having to actually pay the corrupt shits out of my pay too.

South Africa's state-owned energy firm to appeal after court rules Oracle does not have to support its software

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Contract...

Well, it's complex but the basic thing is that even Oracle didn't intend that higher figure. By applying their stated licensing rules precisely I was able to demonstrate that this would be their bill (even after substantial 'large corporate customer' discounts). This forced them to acknowledge their position was unreasonable, which opened the route through which I was able to suggest an alternate approach.

The rest is just commercial negotiations that I won't go into.

If we'd been hostile, unco-operative and not already spending and planning substantial sums with them those negotiations would likely not have taken that route.

Their shareholders don't look at the individual negotiations, they look at overall revenue, with the more sophisticated ones likely breaking that further into relevant groupings - e.g. new business vs renewals, cloud vs on-premise, services vs software licences, software vs hardware, etc. Audit related income may be significant enough to separate but I suspect (without checking) that its primary purpose is to drive new sales and renewals. Putting your customers out of business isn't good business.

Cederic Silver badge

Re: Contract...

Fraud suggests intent. Good luck licensing Oracle software correctly even with the best will in the world.

Disclosure: I've managed to get Oracle to admit they got their own licensing rules wrong, and led negotiations that cut an Oracle bill from around $2bn to "yes, you're already fully licenced, and you won't actually need all of those."

Ex-Geeks staff lose legal bid to claw back withheld training costs from final paycheques

Cederic Silver badge

Ab Initio is not an internal tool, it's an Enterprise Integration tool (used to be ETL but I haven't touched it for a decade) and the skills are highly transferable. Which would explain the steep increase in salary for one of the complainants.

Turns out humans are leading AI systems astray because we can't agree on labeling

Cederic Silver badge

Re: This is all my fault

With you on that.

Maybe they're not testing image recognition but instead training AI to identify when people are intentionally trying to trick AI. Seems about the only actual use they'll get from it.

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