* Posts by Commswonk

1558 posts • joined 3 Sep 2015

Struggling company pleads with landlords to slash rents as COVID-19 batters UK high street. The firm's name? Apple

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: My heart bleeds

Proving the fact that Apple can be petty and selfish. It would cost waaaay more to relocate than the few months diminished income via shops. It takes lots of moohlah to build an Apple Store. Just accept you have been told "No" and move on.

Normally a shop will determine its financial viability on the basis of income per square foot* and on whether that figure is rising or falling for any particular location. Given that Apple stores are more places of worship than trading posts they are more likely to be cost centres than profit centres, so I suspect that Apple is simply pushing its luck here.

* Other measures are available, or so I am informed

No wonder Brit universities report hacks so often: Half of staff have had zero infosec training, apparently

Commswonk Silver badge

University of York!

Whereas all the others are at the University of Bork, I daresay.

UK.gov admits it has not performed legally required data protection checks for COVID-19 tracing system

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History Repeats Itself...

IIRC Matt Hancock came up with an App for something some time ago and was roundly ridiculed for his efforts because of some glaring security blunder. He, of all people, ought to have known better than to play fast and loose with personal data collected in the name of Covid - 19.

On a not entirely unrelated point it would be interesting to see the results of some decent research carried out by qualified psycologists into why those who rise to the top of the dungheap that is politics are such complete fuckwits. It seems to be an inescapable truth.

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: But of course

Do you seriously think it would have been any different under the Corbynistas?

I came on to say the same thing but found that you had beaten me to it. However, the point is so relevant that I feel that repeating it here is worthwhile.

IMHO a Corbynist government would have been an even bigger disaster.

Trump gloats, telcos weep, and China is furious: How things stand following UK's decision to rip out Huawei

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: NSA Backdoors in Cisco and Juniper kit?

Can Boris and Donald spell "hypocricy"?? Clearly not!

Shame that you couldn't either...

Don't make any sudden moves: Huawei urges UK government to wait before declaring it 'unreliable'

Commswonk Silver badge

It will be interesting to see what uniform DC has designed for him.

Should that not have read:

It will be interesting to see what uniform DC has designed for himself.

GCHQ's cyber arm report on Huawei said to be burning hole through UK.gov desks

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Can't have the Chinese take over from US spying, old chap

It appears Downing Street has yet again been played by the Americans. It's like an infection you just cannot shake.

Probably true, and if so it's a truth that I regret. However, I would still see it as the lesser evil by quite a large margin.

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Can't identify the smell

However, from Snowden's leaked papers we know that the 'merkin spooks have inserted back doors into exported Cisco kit. So they're no better. Nokia, who knows?

A perfectly fair point, but IMHO the present situation regarding Huawei is only a small part of the much greater problem of actual or potential Chinese influence being to the detriment of wider British interests. Any involvement of foreign interests in the UK is there because the foreign interests see it as being to their benefit rather than ours, much the same as if I buy shares in company X it is on the basis that I hope that in the long term it will benefit me.

Shame we don't have our own hardware capability really. Past gov. policy was to favour the finance industry gamblers over manufacturing though.

Just stop thinking about the companies that the UK used to have; it's simply too depressing for words. If the names still exist it is only for the purpose of Badge Engineering. I think the way British electronic manufacturing has disappeared down the drain should be seen as a mark of shame.

<sniff>

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: If only

If only we had some sort of committee that could be convened to handle matters like this.. an Intelligence and Security Committee if you will.

Well yes, quite. However, any advice or "decision" from that committee would still be based on input from others; it has not, and could not have, and independent intelligence - gathering capabilities of its own.

On top of that, the I & S C is made up of politicians, and by all accounts many of those suspected of being "captured" by Middle Kingdom interests are current or one - time, er, politicians.

As a simple member of the public I expect a British government to make sure that it puts British interests ahead of those of any other country, and at the moment I worry that that may be far from the case.

UK.gov announces review – not proper inquiry – into Fujitsu and Post Office's Horizon IT scandal

Commswonk Silver badge

presumably there needs to be some investigation into who knew what before criminal charges can be brought because at the moment nobody really knows who should be prosecuted?

Perfectly true, but that investigation must be carried out by trained investigators with possible suspects interviewed under caution; a "review" is likely to fog the issue, and indeed gives the suspects the opportunity to fog it.

Just look at the way Grenfell was/is going, with the next batch of participants wanting (and IIRC getting) immunity from prosecution on the basis of what they reveal to the enquiry.

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Sigh of Relief

Paula Vennells will be praising god on this decision.

I would like to think that God will find some way of reminding Paula Vennells of the Ninth Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness...

Quite what form that reminder might take I don't know.

Commswonk Silver badge

The first things should be (a) any criminal prosecutions against the Post Office and/or Fujitsu and/or members of staff responsible...

OK; IANAL but IMHO the Post Office & if appropriate Fujistu should be on the receiving end of a criminal prosecution for Malicious Prosecution, and the responsible individuals (as opposed to the bodies corporate) be on the receiving end of appropriate punishments.

The prosecution of the sub - postmasters was pursued in the face of mounting evidence that something was wrong with Horizon but they pressed on regardless, even to the point of shutting down a formal enquiry that they themselves instigated when it was becoming obvious that the findings were turning out to be unfavourable to their case and even trying to get the trial judge to recuse himself because he seems to have spotted what was going on.

Paula Vennells CBE "for services to the Post Office" should be put under immediate review because she headed up a course of action that actually brought the Post Office into serious disrepute.

The government is the PO's sole shareholder and I have a strong suspicion that its proposed "review" is intended to prevent any serious investigation into the action that was taken, not facilitate it. At the same time, of course, it is allowing soldiers who served in NI during the troubles to be harried for events that took place 40 years ago with prosecutions being a distinct possibility as a result.

The sub - postmasters deserve better than this; in fact we all do. Much better.

The UK's favourite lockdown cheese is Big and Red but doesn't require a stinking great audit after consumption

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Cheddar why?

Oh, I thought you were complaining about the bouzouki player

Just in case anyone is wondering how a bouzouki player got into the discussion, here is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz1JWzyvv8A.

Memories... memories...

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it's dangerously simple to do

Commswonk Silver badge

a more meaningful and longer interaction

Sounds very like some sort of euphemism to me. In which case "I should be so lucky..."

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Unhearing government

@Lotaresco: "Supporting ministers’ priorities, enabling effective operation of public services and improving people’s lives." Either it's not very good at its job or it's not consulted for these mass-communication efforts.

OR (and IMHO much more likely) data security and the minimisation of the risk to the public from contact - tracing based scams simply isn't a ministerial priority. Why would this application be an exception?

Laughing UK health secretary launches COVID-19 Test and Trace programme with glitchy website and no phone app

Commswonk Silver badge

Oh No Surely Not...

In a decidedly low-tech scheme, the plan is for those testing positive for COVID-19 to get phone calls from NHS tracers, who will ask them who they have been in contact with.

AIUI the "NHS tracer" will not tell you who it is that you have been (or may have been) in contact with that has reported developing symptoms. On the strength of that you are supposed to tell the "NHS tracer" the names and contact info for any others with whom you have been in contact since.

Put another way any 'phone call from an "NHS tracer" has to be taken at face value without any obvious means of verifying that the caller is indeed an "NHS tracer".

OTOH anyone claiming to be from my bank has to be ignored along with any other caller with suspect credentials.

No wonder the Health Secretary was laughing...

TWAT

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Can't beat this

I heard about this years ago and assumed it was made up.

Quite understandable that, but read on...

On another occasion a highly experienced (Police) Driving Instructor was driving away from <redacted> and failed to take a fairly gentle bend in the road and finished up in a ploughed field.

Thereafter said bend was known locally as <Redacted>'s Corner. I don't know what the outcome of the investigation was although I do know who carried it out.

On yet another occasion there was a disgreement between a Dog Van (no canine occupant at the time) and another vehicle at a clearly marked and properly signed crossroads with clear lines of sight which the driver of the dog van seems to have ignored. Sadly I don't think I can expand on that story because to get the full flavour of it I would have to reveal the location and other factors that add to the overall entertainment value and those would identify the Police Force in question.

Commswonk Silver badge

Not Just a Maritime Problem

Once upon a time, many years ago, I worked for <redacted> Police. One Saturday night a patrol vehicle did a check on a car park that was completely deserted except for (a) the patrol vehicle and (b) a single, solitary car parked more or less in the middle.

Do I really need to say what happened?

Well anyway; happen it did, to the merriment of about 3500 people with the certain exception of the Officer who was driving the car at the time.

Openreach boss denies BT selling stake in UK's national broadband plumber

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Cash in before the collapse

It's a shame I can't work out if you're joking or ignorant.

I think it's the latter, given that the AC in question doesn't seem to know that Macquarie is Australian, not American.

Commswonk Silver badge

Warning: Weasel Alert...

From the article: ...BT Group CEO Philip Jansen saying: "On separating out of Openreach in terms of looking at the value of that as an individual entity, I mean, the answer is 'not now'.

Not now is not quite the same as No, is it?

UK housing association Places for People hands £21m to Salesforce to look after CRM and job scheduling

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Eventually you get to treat this sort of thing as a warning sign.

I suddenly remembered this Dilbert: https://dilbert.com/strip/1993-06-16

Commswonk Silver badge

My Eyes, My Eyes...

...designed to simplify the "operating landscape to be supported by an enabling integrated property management solution."

When oh when is someone going to develop an add - on that strips "management documentation" of such self - evident bollocks?

A burst of hysterical laughter from the perpetrator's loudspeakers (fitting thereof to be mandatory) for the first offence followed by the same laughter from every other employee's speakers (with a pop - up to identify the guilty) if any offending text is not removed by the next "save".

Somehow the idea of the above makes me feel better...

As nice as Pai: FCC chairman comes out in favour of Ligado Networks' 5G proposal, despite criticism from airlines and military

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: F*** the f-ing military.

However, a fair attempt. Please take note for further improvement.

You forgot the See Me.

Ex-TalkTalk infosec exec's equal pay and unfair dismissal claims tossed out at tribunal

Commswonk Silver badge

They effectively dropped in a Project Manager, to lead up their SecOps team

I came on to say much the same thing, although I would not have said "effectively" because that's exactly what they did. In fact the move proved to be ineffective.

Square Peg meets Round Hole.

Again.

India allows half of IT services workers back to the office next week

Commswonk Silver badge

Here's hoping...

.. that it's not the half that work for the Technical Department of Windows.

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: "#MeToo"

PCSO's have no authority and can be ignored, they are just civilians with the power of citizens arrest, same as everybody else, that's it.

Wrong, I'm afraid, at least in this case. Under Section 8 of the relevant regulation para 12 (a) (ii) a PCSO has powers under the regulation

Only an officer of the crown can stop you and ask questions.

Not entirely certain about that. They certainly do not have powers of arrest but they can legally detain someone pending the arrival of a sworn constable to effect an arrest. Also see the sentence above about Para 8 12 (a) (ii)

Commswonk Silver badge

I have just seen on the news the chief of Nottinghamshire police saying that at currently they are not going start searching peoples shopping to see if their journey was essential. But they might begin to do that if people don't heed advise to stay at home.

I heard that on the R4 News at 1800; I may have misheard but I thought it was Northamptonshire. It was then reported that the CC had retracted after getting a broadside from some politician or other.

It that sort of abuse of power if they do start doing that, that will stop people being behind the police during this crisis.

No it's much worse than that; public support for the police generally will be withdrawn and may / will take a long time to recover.

I am sure even with the emergency law that was passed it did not give police the powers to rummage through your shopping

No it didn't, but I think there are other statutes that will be used as a reason excuse to carry out a search. Forewarned is forearmed; best to let them get on with it unless you have something you really shouldn't on your person or in your bag. It'll be a nice waste of time for them.

Commswonk Silver badge

"#MeToo"

Mrs Commswonk and I ran foul of a couple of PCSOs when we drove 2 miles to a local park to have a walk. They were insistent that this was against the law, and (when pressed) even tried to use the current Statutory Instrument to back themselves up. Someone in authority had decided that a 2 km limit applied, which is utter bollocks; the S/I is quite clear about what the restrictions on movement are; see Section 6 of http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/350/made.

Somewhere along the line either the College of Policing and/or the National Police Chiefs Council had taken it upon themselves to come up with restrictions that were simply not included in the S/I. I find it deeply worrying that any part of the police service should think that it/they have the power to rewrite the law to say and mean something other than what it actually says.

Anyway within 48 hours the police (nationally) backed away from this sort of nonsense; I would like to think that my blistering email & letter to the local Police & Crime Commissioner* (who, from his website, was supportive of this sort of policing) had been a part of that rethink but somehow I doubt it.

I find it equally bewildering that Government & Ministerial spoutings are often still at lesser variance with what the S/I actually stipulates; read it - it is easily one of the most easy to read and understand pieces of "law" I have ever encountered. (Disclosure; IANAL)

* Lancashire, in case you were wondering.

Who's going to pay for Britain's Aunty Beeb to carry on? Broadband users, broadcaster suggests to government

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Ha

Let the people who use the BBC pay for it and let everyone else get what they want without propping it up.

Sorry but that idea is fundamentally flawed. Channels 3, 4 & 5 are paid for by advertisements. Even if I don't have a television if something I buy has been advertised on television then a part of what it costs me goes to the advertising and television companies, notwithstanding the fact that not having a television means that I did not see the advertisement in the first place.

In short I would be "propping up the independents" even though I was not watching their (often horrible) programmes.

No point in replacing one wrong with another...

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: April Fool

@ Jellied Eel:

+1 for "Beebonomics" :)

BT providing free meals to coax its healthy customer support staff back into office as calls rocket amid pandemic

Commswonk Silver badge

Indeed it isn't. While I can enjoy a bit of BT - bashing as much as anyone in this case it might not be wholly appropriate. Part of the "non - triviality" is replacing the one "desk top" per call centre worker *on duty* to have one laptop per employee, whether on duty or not. Apart from being able to get hold of that many laptops quickly (none to be had now I suspect!) the costs would be high and we all know that in the end it won't be BT but its customers that pay for it all.

Drones intone 'you must stay home,' eliciting moans from those in the zone: Flying gizmos corral Brits amid coronavirus lockdown

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Restrictions on movement

Just off the top of my head, is it permissible to leave the place you are living to post an important letter, or to take your car to a garage to be repaired...

I'm glad you asked that question; the day the restrictions were annouced I received a letter from the manufacturer of my car informing me of a recall to fix a possible problem that could (according to the letter) result in a fuel fire if ignored. I made the necessary 'phone call and the car is booked in for remedial action next Thursday.

I am (almost) hoping that plod stops me and asks where I am going and why. Given that I will have the recall notice with me it would be interesting to see what reaction I got.

Oh and the saintly* Mrs Commswonk will pick me up in her car to come home while the work is done, taking me back to the garage later in the day.

* Actually I'm joking there...

Cops charge prankster who 'corona-coughed' on aged officer and had it filmed

Commswonk Silver badge

Dutch Courage Required

From the article: And the nation's government today revised its restrictions on having a haircut. Previously patrons in need of a trim were limited to 30-minute visits.

And the UK restrictions came in just as I was considering having a haircut; the sort that takes about 3 minutes never mind 30. I have since bought a set of barbers' hair trimmers but the thought of letting Mrs Commswonk loose with them on my hair makes my blood run cold. She has a well - developed malicious streak. :(

A stiff drink or six* may be required before I take the risk.

* For me, that is, not Mrs Commswonk.

Your Agile-built IT platform was 'terrible', Co-Op Insurance chief complained to High Court

Commswonk Silver badge

Is this normal in the IT world?

From the article: A £175m IT platform for Co-Op Insurance that was subcontracted out by IBM to a third party...

The above made me shudder a bit. When I worked for <redacted> (an Agency of the Ministry of <redacted>) we set up a contract (or more correctly a contract was set up on our behalf) for the nationwide maintenance of quite a lot of (non - IT) equipment. We then found that much of the work was then subcontracted to other businesses of which we had no knowledge whatsoever, which was a bit of a nightmare because of the serious security concerns it raised.

When the contract came up for renewal we managed to get the terms varied so that we had knowledge of those subcontractors in advance, which was a bit better, even if only a bit.

Perhaps my views are out of date (excuse; I am long retired!) but if I were to contract out a chunk of work I would expect the company winning the contract to actually do the work and not pass it on to subcontractors of whom I have no knowledge, or (worse still) I would specifically not want to be involved, perhaps because of previous experience with them.

To me a subcontracted contract rings the alarm bells very loudly indeed.

Tech won't save you from lockdown disaster: How to manage family and free time while working from home

Commswonk Silver badge

Obligatory Dilbert(s)

https://dilbert.com/strip/1995-02-06

https://dilbert.com/strip/1995-02-07

https://dilbert.com/strip/1995-02-08

https://dilbert.com/strip/1995-02-09

(There is a "next" arrow to help!)

Bad news: Coronavirus is spreading rapidly across the world. Good news: Nitrogen dioxide levels are decreasing and the air on Earth is cleaner

Commswonk Silver badge

Is it time then to rethink cities before something comes along with a much higher mortality rate?

Maybe, maybe not. Thinking population might not be a bad idea, though quite what could be done about it is less easy to determine, short of giving Covid-19 a free run.

IBM puts 1,248 frontline techies at risk of redundo, warns of data centre closures

Commswonk Silver badge

Another relevant Dilbert:

https://dilbert.com/strip/1991-11-18

Took a bit of finding...

European electric vehicle sales surged in Q4 2019 but only accounted for wafer-thin slice of total car purchases

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: "would help to kick-start the market"

What actually mean to say is that you want to kick-start growth in the market, or something like that.

Yes but which market?

I have no idea what the current percentages are but at one time a significant majority of new cars bought were for corporate fleet use, including those issued to various employees. (And no, I don't just mean the C - suite occupants) Personally - owned vehicles were those passed on when the original corporate owners bought new and released the previous vehicles on to the second hand market.

If the above is still true then I can see why EV sales might be sluggish; not only would businesses have to provide charging infrastructure at company premises but also at the private addresses of those to whom the cars had been issued. On top of that there might well be a risk that the travelling requirements of those with company vehicles might be such that with no certainty of finding charging points at premises visited or at convenient places en route (coupled with time spent waiting for a vehicle to charge) the business model would have to accommodate the unknowns resulting from the above; not necessarily easy and effectively a cost to the business.

Politicians being politicians they are unlikely to have spotted these possible risk areas, and very possibly don't want to spot them.

There is a great deal more to increasing the number of EVs on the road than just announcing a cut - off date for the sale of ICE vehicles. A very great deal more...

US prez Donald Trump declares America closed to those flying in from Schengen zone over coronavirus woes

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Well

there are probably hundreds of un-diagnosed Americans wandering around.

Good heavens; think of all those people not realising they are American.

Resellers facing 'months' of delays for orders to be fulfilled. IT gathers dust on docks as coronavirus-stricken China goes back to work

Commswonk Silver badge

Hang On A Minute...

The tech industry has become concerned about the restricted supply of components coming out of Hubei province, where the city of Wuhan, ground zero for the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (aka COVID-19), is located. "So many supply chains route back to China, or at some point, even if even the manufacturers assembled their product in other countries, they still rely on components coming from China," Nethercot said.

The "tech industry" has been happy to increasingly rely on a near single - source (i.e. China) for both its components and completed assemblies or sub - assemblies. This used to be called "putting all your eggs in one basket" with all the risks that accompany that approach, and yet now we find ourselves witnessing a load of hand - wringing because supply chains have been disrupted.

Although outbreaks of infections such as COVID-19 might not be an everyday occurrence the SARS epidemic of the early 2000s should have been warning enough about what could happen in the event of a repeat performance, perhaps involving something worse.

I find myself wondering if those companies that find they cannot obtain the hardware that they need have force majeure clauses in their supply contracts, and if they haven't why not? If they haven't then they only have themselves to blame for the consequences.

I'd rather reserve my sympathies with those who have had to misfortune to catch the disease, or have died as a result (or have had a relative die) along with those who find themselves quarantined - perhaps far from home - or if not in self - imposed or enforced isolation unable to return because flights have been cancelled.

Capita hops on UK's years-late, billions-over-budget Emergency Services Network to keep legacy system alive

Commswonk Silver badge

ESN is voice and data. Airwave is voice. What is there to integrate?

The voice bit, so that wide area speech communication is maintained when (say) one force area has migrated to ESN while adjacent areas remain on Airwave pending later migration.

The previous VHF/UHF systems did not provide that capability, and the change to TETRA (Airwave) enabled it. Taking it away again for anything more than an hour or two might have a serious impact on emergency service operations.

It is also worth noting that Airwave does provide data comms, it's just that it is rather slow. IIRC the police don't use it much, if at all, while the ambo services do. Not sure about the fire service; their most critical comms is on the fireground which (again IIRC) doesn't use a trunked system anyway.

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: EE Data

As a condition of your 4G/5G operating licence you MUST provide... whatever... on all cell towers, no matter the network. <snip>

and the telecoms operators know exactly what's happening and there are no favourites taking backhanders.

Of course... the latter reason is exactly why things aren't operated in that fashion.

I strongly suspect not. If there are multiple providers providing coverage at any given location then if there is a problem of some sort it might be very hard to determine which service provider's equipment / system is at fault, making both reporting the problem and getting it fixed complex and costly.

For something like an emergency services network, which since the introduction of TETRA has provided seamless coverage throughout the UK, there are strong arguments for having a single provider. Multiple providers result in multiple interfaces between providers all over the country with all manner of problems likely to arise.

Not a good idea.

IBM exec told that High Court evidence in Co-Op Insurance case wasn't 'truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth'

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: "I did not have clarity from my own team"

So, you were parachuted into an existing situation and you could not manage, despite your impressive title, to get a complete picture of the siuation.

Point of order: general manager of cloud application innovation consulting is not an impressive title.

It is actually bollocks masquerading as an impressive title.

Managed services slinger Ensono waves goodbye to staff on both sides of the pond

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Future proofing the west.

Is the west doomed to become a consumer of others products?

Looking at the (UK) businesses allegedly running out of parts because of COVID-19 then I suggest the tense of your verb is incorrect; it's already happened.

I wonder if any of them are consider repatriating their production back to the UK?

Somehow I doubt it. :(

Come on baby light me on fire: McDonald's to sell 'Quarter Pounder' scented candles

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Gwyneth would rather you had a whiff of this...

New keyboard please.

Like NOW.

Ofcom measured UK's 5G radiation and found that, no, it won't give you cancer

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

It's unbelievable.

Not least because unless there has been a change of which I (being retired) am unaware EMF stands for Electromotive Force, which is a voltage, not a Field Strength.

It is with a heavy heart we must inform you, once again, folks are accidentally spilling thousands of sensitive pics, records onto the internet

Commswonk Silver badge

Re: Four sig fig?

a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing.

You missed out the "full of sound and fury" but have an upvote for the Shakespearian quote anyway.

Not enough of them on this forum...

Parks and recreation escalate efforts to take back control of field terrorised by thug geese

Commswonk Silver badge

Once Upon A Time...

When working at <redacted, but slight clue later!> some 24 years ago I and a colleague had to go to a farm to set up a (very temporary) SHF link for some news OB. I knew that trouble loomed when on trying to get through the gateway into the farmyard a couple of domestic geese (i.e. the white variety) squared up to me, notwithstanding the fact that I was driving about 9 tonnes of vehicle. I couldn't stay in the cab all day so I got out and the geese made it perfectly clear that I and my vehicle were not welcome on their territory.

Anyway the spot where we had to park and work was a short distance from where the geese were at their most protective so work continued uninterrupted until it came to pass that we decided on a brew - up, only to realise that the milk was in my colleague's car, and that was still within their designated security zone.

With 2 malevolent geese standing there my colleague was unwilling to risk going to her car, so I had to act as a decoy to lure the geese away from it. The geese decided that they really didn't like me, allowing my colleague to retrieve her car unmolested. I then had to run back to safety to avoid the avian hooligans, so "mission accomplished" and a brew was served.

24 years later and running from geese - or anything else for that matter - is something I'd rather not have to do.

You, FCC, tell us again why cities are only allowed to charge rich telcos $270 to attach 5G tech to utility poles?

Commswonk Silver badge

Hang On A Minute...

Unless I am much mistaken FCC stands for Federal Communications Commission.

Why is it interfering in matters which its remit does not (or should not) cover? Surely the charges payable by telcos ought to be determined by the owners / operators of the utility poles. If I was the owner of a network of utility poles I would insist that I had the right to determine what charges should be paid by those wishing to rent space on them and that the regulator for the prospective renters should bugger off and mind his own business.

Perhaps the utility companies should retaliate by specifying the maxmum that they will pay for 'phone calls, i.e. much less than now.

You want a Y2K crash? FINE! Here's a poorly computer

Commswonk Silver badge

Once Upon A Time...

Having once been a staffer at <redacted> I was invited back for a few weeks on contract in (IIRC) 1996 to check Y2K compliance on a certain department's equipment. As absolutely none of it contained anything resembling a clock or a calendar in some senses it was tedious certifying that audio amplifiers, video amplifiers, power supplies and so on would not fall over at the start of 2000. No IT equipment involved as there was another group looking at that. On the plus side it was an easy way of earning a few weeks money.

Then in 1997 I got a permanent job within the Ministry of <redacted> and had to go through the whole process again. This time it was a bit more tedious because there were some items where the HoD wouldn't take my word for it that such and such was immune to the Y2K transition so I finished up having to write to various manufacturers and suppliers to get their assurance that all would be well, backed up by surreptitious 'phone calls apologising for asking such damn - fool questions.

ISTR being given a 3.5" floppy that had a simple routine on it that would check any computer into which it was inserted would work or not after 31/12/1999, and it did prove marginally useful on one or two occasions. Probably still got it somewhere should the year 2000 happen again sometime soon.

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