* Posts by Wapiya

28 posts • joined 24 Dec 2015

Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?


Corona did accelerate online tools for our schools.

But the states of our country try to use the itslearning platform. So all the state educational ministers decided that the abbrevation and link for this would be the 2 letter short form of the respective state and then .istlearning

Our state minister must have been asleep at the helm. Schleswig-Holstein shortens to sh .

The mirth of all students in the schools is still not lessening. sh.itslearning is quite unfortunate ...

The press had their field day.

British Army down thousands of soldiers after outsourcing recruitment IT to Capita


specialist vultures

Capita and a few other companies have made their business niche going as general contractors for multi-million contracts that are highly toxic.

Must of them have vague specs, are abolutely underfunded for the pie in the sky sold to the MPs. Most of them started as a valid and doable proposal, just to be bloated beyond recognition by various stakeholders.

Capita has a very capable legal/tender department. They sift those impossible tenders and enter a contract that will give them a healthy margin on a incoming train wreck.

They are the ones, where the devil uses a very long spoon.

There a a few more of them around Europe. Some are IT specialists, some construction.

If you get only these carrion eaters in a tender, you should abandon or at least reconsider the scope of the project at once. It is so flawed that it will either never work or need much more money for a minimum viable product.

In our part of the continent, Atos / Worldline is living in the same niche. In Germany there was a proposal and then a law for a special digital lawyer system to send and receive secure (end to end) and binding legal documents. Atos got the bid (only real contender because of the size of that thing).

The original spec were doable and Atos was on the brink of on time and on budget delivery (a money loosing contract till this point).

Then someone realized that the specs did not allow for a attorney suddenly dropping dead / being on vacation. The system was so secure (to spec) that no one, but the original receiver with his smartcard and his passphrase could read the document. No vacation stand in, no secretaries.

After that Atos had to do heavy kludges to get his in. And that was off spec and off the original contract, so they were paid by the hour (ka-ching). After a emergency stop days before deployment there were many further delays. And the system is still not working as envisioned, but working to spec as entered in the contract.

Same in contruction: The new Berlin airport (BER) was designed and the construcion firm gave a bid for about 3.5 billion euro all inclusive to build this airport till 2009.

The states wanted to spent less mony and said, they would plan an build it without a general contractor (they estimated 2 billion).

We are now at 7 billion euro and still have no BER. The companies that were bidding to be general contractors are getting more money now.

This is the reason, no one ever blocklists crapita. They would loose in court, because the original contract was crap, leaky and the project was already sinking before it was signed.

Captain Caveman rides to the rescue, solves a prickly PowerPoint problem with a magical solution


He doesn't know how to use the three seashells, snigger.

Mine is the coat with the swearing citations.

The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row


Re: Is this just an English thing ?

For job descriptions you are supposed to use both in German as well, in a similar manner.

Gesucht, einer/eine Geschäftsführer(in)

Gesucht Geschäftsführer (m/w/d)


* (m/w/d) stands for male, female, diverse

UK Home Secretary doubles down on cops' deeply flawed facial recognition trials


Re: Slide into a surveillance state?

Actually, I am kinda hoping that the massive mess we have got into now might be the end for FPTP.

AFAIK the UK has not a FPTP system. It is winner takes all. Even though it is often called FPTP there is no post to reach. You just have to be the candidate with the most votes. FPTP normally requires a second round of voting for the leading candidates unless one had the absolute majority on the first round. Or Alternate Votes. FPTP would be way better, but your WTA does prefer a block party system. If one side is split in multiple candidates, the other wins.

Let's Pope mass upgrade of Vatican Library data centre is blessed with some of that famed infallibility


Re: Vatican Library Data Centre

Their BOFH can pick his own email address and that could be as simple as va@va

The va TLD currently has no MX record. ua has one...

And va and BOFH does that mix?

Amazon agrees to stop selling toxic jewelry, school supplies to kids, coughs up some couch change ($700,000)


Re: 'Top priority'

That reminds me:


Ok Google, please ignore this free tax filing code so we can keep on screwing America


Re: Used it this year

Even Germany, land of paper money and forms, does provide a free version on the government website to file your taxes (since 1999). Even with digital signature, online filing, possible printout of filled out forms for old school filing and all. This year will be the last with a full client version. The website has been the main system for the last 5 years.

They call it ELSTER, (german acronym for electronic tax declaration) but the acronym does translate to magpie and shows some sense of humor.

The paid for programs all have to use the Elster client libraries to connect and if your are a freelancer/company you have to use the electronic version with digital signature to file our taxes (even monthly VAT) since 2005. But then you are not required to file a paper version.

All merkin non-tax forms I had to use always had this nice text about "help us to make this form/process simpler to use. Seems that tax is an exemption.

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it


Re: Corporate travel bookings

> I also had a VP tell me to take a satellite phone on vacation in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. "I told >him that I'd rather be sacked than take a company phone on vacation!" The Yank was informed by my >manager of the employment laws in the UK and only then did he stop shouting at me.

Just after a merger our new department head (yank from new parent co) ordered me to take the on call phone with me on my vacation. I went poker faced and required a written oder for the possible expenses because I left the EU and that was not allowed in our procedures.

He wrote the order on company stationary, I thanked him and went on vacation.

2 weeks later I turned my on call bill for full 14 days on call (day, night, weekends and two local holidays) in at HR. I then requested full refund of the vacation time, because on call != vacation as per procedure and time in lieu for 2 missed weekends with a certified copy of that order.

They payed without blinking an eye.

2 days later he left the company "to pursue other opportunities". I can't imagine why. 2 week vacation diving in egypt on company time.

MPs tear 'naive' British Army a new one over Capita recruitment farce


Re: Crapital Punishment?

This is standard for procurement and not limited to the public sector, but much more worse there.

The politicans want somtheing new and shiny (undiscovered country) and don't trust their servants to deliver. Or after multiple rounds of austerity measures the public sector has no one able to even plan this project.

So an tender is designed. By design of this process (no one able to coordinate multiple small contracts or even design these contracts) only big companies can bid. Due to "no one knows how to do this right" the tender is ambiguous as hell or impossible to bid on, if you care about the quality of your work.

Cue entering crapita or on the continent atos/worldline or t-systems. They do have enough lawyers to bid with weasel contracts. One of the usual syspects gets the contract and after that the finding "what we really want" sets in. Add mission creep by politicians after the fact with multiple rounds of addons / changes. Most of them incompatible with each other. The project is now old enough to vote and legally drink. The original tender is long exceeded, but most of this not covered by the original wording of the bid and payed by the hour through the nose (if you are lucky only the nose).

All this was expected by the bidding company and they do not care a bit (hence the no soul requirement).

And you cannot even block them from bidding in the next tender "due to inability to deliver", because they delivered on the original contrct or due to mission creep there is no valid target left that would hold in front of a judge.

I can give you examples for this even though they are from the continent, but the process is universal.

I think am too tired of the reruns and will get my coat.

'Numpty new boy' lets the boss take fall for mailbox obliteration

Thumb Up

Re: I've learnt to admit my mistooks!

Same strategy. Errors happen. Most of us are human.

If someone else fesses up (even under confidality) as senior admin I will do anything possible to solve the problem and to keep the impact minimal. There are several project managers amd admins that owe me their jobs. With them I can work together, because I can trust them to tell me what really happened.

If someone tries to shift blame instead of solving I will not cooperate and if someone actively blocks attempts to solve the problem to cover his/her tracks I will refuse to work with him/her together further on. Openly. That person cannot be trusted with admin rights and projects are doomed.

*taps on glass* Hellooo, IRS? Anyone in? Anyone guarding taxpayers' data from crooks? Hellooo?


Re: Just a question

> If the US government isn't doing anything for 20 days, do the USAins get 20 days tax rebate?

Sorry, this is government and not bitcoin. No proof of work required.


Re: Governing America

>When it seems Americans cannot govern themselves, perhaps it is time authority was returned to >London.

That would require at least the ability of London to govern itself.

Currently a shaman high on his prefered weed throwing chicken bones would generate saner results.

Washington Post offers invalid cookie consent under EU rules – ICO

Black Helicopters

Re: Nothing. Nadda. Zip. Zilch.


> Ha what a pointless response. They are not breaking the law, that is why the UK/EU can do damp squib about it. Because WP is not breaking the law, WP is in the US not the EU nor UK.

I quite disagree. GDRP (Article 3) rules require anyone who uses data from anyone residing in the EU to abide by the rules.

And if you think that is far reaching, the USA is far more intrusive. Their sanctions, compliance and so on rules apply to anyone being

(a) an american citizen regardless of residence, even if he never touched american soil

(b) anyone with a residence permit for the USA regardless of residence

(c) anyone currently being in the USA

I am still waiting for (d) anyone who is related or married to a,b or c .

I worked as a freelancer for a EU bank and they started with not having american citizens as customers (IRS rules at that time) . After the law changed in the US they dropped that, because they had to implement everything even for EU customers with geo filters.

Case study: An EU citizen on a short trip to the US uses his online banking to send some money to someone on the US sanction list. In the EU this might be allowed, but becaue he is currently in the US the money transfer will be blocked.

If he uses his mobile while in the US for telephone banking, the geo filter would not kick in (EU mobile number), but he still would be in violation of US sanctions and could go to jail.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location


Re: Poor Reliability.. better idea

[1] If God is omnipotent then why does the devil still (allegedly) exist?

Part of the design specification. Was buried in the annex: Free will

If you read the patch history, the developer tried to mitigate this design bug through several patches. Flushing out the worst developments, creating a commanded framework and monitoring the running system more closely even doing in situ patches.

According to The Lightbringer (Mr. Morningstar, verified by his brother Amenadiel), the universe was created when God and Goddess first met and fell for each other. Big Bang is so a fine description of what happened...

Astroboffins spot one of the oldest, coolest stars in the universe lurking in the Milky Way


Earth is the only planet with chocolate or coffee. So save the earth.


Re: Bah!

It is not weird and even chemistry counts Lithium (Li), Potassium (K), Sodium (Na) to the alkali metals. So the next element above H and He is a metal und should be there in abundance if this were a second or later generation star.

Voyager 1 left the planet 41 years ago – and SpaceX hopes to land on Earth this Saturday


Re: More power captain!

Nope, they had to reduce the heater below the rated temperature of the last functioning instrument in 2012 to have enough power.

Sorry but they will even be unable to transmit much longer than 2025. The tape system used to replay stored data, when there is contact, will not be able to slow down to the availiable speed. The bandwidth is limited due to the weakness of the signal. Even if the adapt the DSN to receive at the recorders minimum speed at that range, the power budget might not be enough for the last instrument. And that does supply data about the edge of the solar system.


Re: well


I do not know if this counts. But my oldest still running code was written during my practice semester while going for my electrical engineering degree. The company needed something to filter the signal to the Inmarsat satellite according to Inmarsat specs. I was the fresh face and told to mull about a solution for this new fangled requirements as I had just done the tests for the underlying math.

After some sleepless nights I found an obvious solution. I just needed the information of some future and past bits.

I went to the department head, proposed the solution and to my surprise he went to legal to start the paperwork for a patent application. The (small) royalties stopped a few years ago due to the patent expiring. But the code (written in gate logic, later VHDL) is still in use in their ASICs. The code is more than 25 years old.

HostingUK drops offline after losing Farmer vs Fibre competition


We did have redundant paths with our AS and telephone exchange to two different providers. They were contractually obliged to have them at least 5m apart. about 50km south the lines had to cross the river Elbe at Hamburg. The lines were in different pipes and the distance was kept. But they used the same bridge for the crossing only on different sides. One day a lorry carrying diesel fuel caught fire and damaged the bridge. The fire destroyed all cables inside the pipes on both sides of the bridge. We lost all connectivity for a day.

Legal had to fess up that they had not required different crossings or risk mitigation beyond 25km.

BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave

Paris Hilton

Must be Dell

Even though most agree, that this should be HPE (ex HP) and I did have some interesting clashes with HP support (this is for another time), the best ever happened with Dell.

Dell color printer, magenta and cyan replacement cartridges buth have a fault (a fixed fault line every few cms, probably some problem with the roll in the cartridge due to non recommended storage).

Have you ever tried to log a warranty claim (EU type mandatory 2 years for private customers, non UK.). for a printer cartridge? The web system requires a serial number to check the warranty, but they do not have one. If you try to log it via the printer you get "it is out of warranty, to old". The phone system works the same.

You are in a maze with tiny little redirects all alike.

I resorted to good old snail mail, registered delivery. After that they really did contact me by phone and tried to reject the claim (out of warranty after more than 90 days, even though this does not apply to private customers).

I did politely point out that with the claim reject they had just waived their right to repair and that I did want a refund or replacement now.

And asked for a number from 1 to 4. So that they could choose which lawyer in the family would extract his fee from them as this was a clear case of consumer rights violation.

I got my replacement cartridges with overnight delivery. And an apology from the manager.

Paris, because even she cannot suck that much.

That Brexit in action: UK signs pact to let Euro court judge its patents


Re: The right thing to do.

Lol. High German has the ability to string simple words together to form an new word. Some of these would need a full sentence or paragraph in english, at least some fill words in between. But even English has them (crossword, television).

A desk would be Schreibtisch (lit. writingtable). A lamp for this desk would be Schreibtischlampe. And if you want to be able to switch it on and off you need a Schreibtischlampenschalter (writing desk lamp switch). And crossword riddles (Kreuzworträtsel lit. cross word riddle) do not use these. ie. http://kreuzwortraetsel.focus.de

Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov


ID cards

ID cards are a smokescreen. They are not needed for the prevention of the problems.

For example: In Germany you have to have an ID card, but not with you. And the ID card proves nothing. Not that you are born, or even that you are a German citizen, even though it does state your nationality.

The only documents that really matter are the birth certificates (and these are only copies of the master registry) and/or your family register. The master documents stay with residency of the family. So you are still attached to your parents until you marry or have children. Makes fun getting marriage papers, if your parents did move often after you went your own ways. You are also required to register at the council hall of your main residency. Makes voting registers and some other things painless.

And we just had the proof, that the ID card and the passport prove nothing at all. My son and I had to get new ones. Even though we could ID with passport and ID card from that same council hall (after 10 years the old ended) and the same public servant, we had to provide proof of family registry. In my sons case the birth certificate. I could use the marriage certificate to validate myself and my wife for a future new ID card. As my daughter had her birth first registered within the same administrative region, she was by definiton validated.

At least now they have consolidated our family book after almost 20 years of marriage. Our master papers are now detached from out parents (with proper copies and documentation on the parent register) and form a new family book.

So ID cards are not necessary, only a central registry even without cards.

Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale


>You don't run a simulation of every single electron. You run a gross approximation that's computationally >cheap and good enough for the simulated humans' senses, and you only run the very fine simulations >when you detect that some of the sims are performing quantum physics experiments.

Hmm, that could be the reason of the particle/wave duality paradox. Normally only the cheap wave computation is needed, but sometime you go full particle processing. May impact the framerate of the simulation or the timebase, but the simulated would not notice.

An 'AI' that can diagnose schizophrenia from a brain scan – here's how it works (or doesn't)


Re: (f)MRI as a Dark Art ... ?

fMRI is best described as "how do you want the result"? It is a case where a small dataset is not sufficient.

The IGNoble Price 2012 for neuroscience proves this rather drastic.



Anything based on fMRI with a test base lower than a few million and sigma lower 5 is tarot reading from an expensive toy. fMRI is used by medical people, but the necessary evaluations have to be done on raw data by professionals in mathematics, statistics an computer science. Not by someone, who can use SPSS.

Tick-tick... boom: Germany gives social media giants 24 hours to tear down hate speech


Re: And is there an actual definition of hate speech attached to this bill?

Some things are lost in translation or cultural context. In this case hate speech. Germany has laws defining it. Although the translation should not be hate speech, but rabble rousing, defamation, sedition, incitement of the masses. Hate speech in english does not get it right. By the way: These laws came after WWII and were "suggested" by the allies.

This rabble rousing and some other "non free speech" thingies like defamation were always illegal in Germany. Even online. Only the enforcement was sometimes problematic, because offenders were hiding behind FB and others. And FB hides behind their rules, eben though the US definition of hate speech has only a nodding acquaintance with the German one. FB deletes posts for violations that are fully allowed in Germany, but okays forbidden posts.

And there is a fine distinction between hate speech and free speech. If you say " I think, these butterflies. should be burned" Then you are in free speech country. "You must burn these butterflies, now." like you were doing this on a marketplace with intend to do incite the masses to do so could get you into problems.

An this is my bone with this law:

The almost fully dropped judical oversight. Outsourcing control to a private company (FB). This will curb free speech. FB will proactively delete allowed posts to avoid being fined. This is something for the police and then judges. The law has still to clear the "Bundesrat", the assembly of the states. As this is a federal law, they can only delay, but that could get it past the end of the term of the current parliament in spetember. Then it will be void.

I think the law will either not be signed by the federal president or struck by the constitutional court.

BOFH: Password HELL. For you, mate, not for me


Re: Forgive my German

I do reserve Black Speech(tm) for more suitable occasions, like yelling at Russians at a hotel buffet.

Telemarkters get a very thick accent in Low German (low like High/Lowlands). Most of the non-native German callers do think it is a variant of unparsable English (For Germans it is like Scots to English). And you can use it to politely insult people. We do have several upper court decisions, that insults in Low German are always with a condescending irony and therefore not punishable. Even when used against the police.

Sometimes it pays to be a minority.

Kiwi judge rules Kim Dotcom can be extradited to USA

Black Helicopters

Asylum not needed

Kim has multiple nationalities and he has the German one. So he can waddle into the German embassy and stay there.

Germany does not extradite nationals and as born citizen they cannot revoke his citizenship. But they prosecute for crimes made outside if the US does make their case within the German justice system and it is a crime in Germany.

As last line Kim should consider this, as his charges would lead to at most 3-4 years unless the US has more on him than they showed and the evidence is admissable.

Mine is the coat with the summons for Schöffen duty for the district of his last known address in Germany (Jury on steroids/ Lay Judges for criminal cases). I want a front side seat.


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