* Posts by Chairman of the Bored

932 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Apr 2017


Who had Intel in the 'discrimination lawsuit' pool? Congratulations

Chairman of the Bored

Damn, you're more cynical than I am!

@AC, Part of me wants to disagree with your analysis about how the complaint will be dismissed, and the complainant neutralized. You paint a bad picture, but I've actually seen this one colored in a few times. So what the hell, have an upvote for honesty!

Microsoft's Windows supremo Terry Myerson is now Terry BYE-rson

Chairman of the Bored

One good sign for MS

They didn't fire Myerson after his first project cratered. In this day and age a zero defects mentality when it comes to employee performance seems all too common, and leads to risk aversion and group think. At least it looks like there was some flexibility for Myerson, at least once.

Have to strike a balance of course because at the other extreme a high tech firm is not an employment house for the villiage idiots.

Shaking up the Nad Men: Microsoft splits up into 'cloud' and 'edge'

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Hmm "the Nad men"

I actually like the 'nad men in the title. (Not for that reason! Brain out of gutter, sir!)

It's just that now when people get laid off from Microsoft we can say they got kicked in the nads.

Microsoft Store adds ‘private audience’ apps to its Store

Chairman of the Bored

Re: How can we tell?

Simplicity itself- if the product or service you depend on is backed by a firm that went titsup or cancelled the product... What you have installed is the final, definitive version. Everything prior to that was beta.

I wish I were kidding.

Any social media accounts to declare? US wants travelers to tell

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Wonder how many State Dept employees would make the cut?

Hopefully not the one I dated, mate. If so, drink this --->

Chairman of the Bored

Wonder how many State Dept employees would make the cut?

I dated one, until I realized she was b@tsh!t crazy. Wait, there is no blank on the form for that. Good to go!

Apple, if you want to win in education, look at what sucks about iPads

Chairman of the Bored


For people questioning what educational objectives are met by using tablets, Chromebook, etc in middle school classrooms... You're missing the point

Teachers have to use the tools issued to them, good bad or indifferent, and have my utmost respect for their efforts.

Why the electronic devices? In suburbia, local governments compete for population (tax money) against each other. One of the biggest selling points of a locality for yuppies is "how good are the schools?"

Metrics such as number of devices per child, number of "digital classrooms", the age at which children enjoy the glories of "digital classrooms" then serve as proxies for school system investment. Every school system doing relatively "better" than it's peers will spout off all such metrics on their malware-ridden and poorly designed website.

I wasn't born this cynical, I learned it in school. And I've reinforced it by volunteering to teach an odd class as needed...

$0.75 – about how much Cambridge Analytica paid per voter in bid to micro-target their minds, internal docs reveal

Chairman of the Bored

Total idiots

Who's got time for all this "learn about who the voter is" or "what flavoring do we add to our brand of BS to make it tolerable"?

Where I come from we cheat for real.

The right way to do it fill out a stack of ballots however you like, and then print out little slips of paper with names on them of voters you suspect won't vote (*) or you know to be dead, incarcerated, etc. In "friendly" precincts any old name will do.

Load up some vans of homeless guys with promises of cash, cigarettes, and cheap booze (**) and make sure each knows who he is supposed to be (***), and drive em from precinct to precinct to vote.

That's how to cheat like a boss... You don't ask who a punter is, you freaking TELL him who he is.


(*) A couple of bucks will usually suffice to keep an average inner city American from voting or vice versa. Quiet word from union boss can do the trick, too.

(**) Pro tip: Make sure you give the cigs liberally as you drive, but do not issue any intoxicants or cash until all the voting is done.

(***) Attempt to make sure the same ID is only used once per precinct

Super Cali goes ballistic, Starbucks is on notice: Expensive milky coffee is something quite cancerous

Chairman of the Bored


Sister-in-law is a certified, left coast, card carrying Californicator. She absolutely will flip out about this.

Maybe going nuts over every jot and tittle in the press is unhealthy? Whatever happened to eat, drink, and be merry?

I told her that despite eating nothing and thinking only wholesome thoughts... She will eventually die anyways. And it will look really stupid when she's in the hospital dying from absolutely nothing. At least I will know what's going to take me out!

Apple iOS 11.3 adds health records for battery, people too

Chairman of the Bored

Steve Jobs handling battery issue?

You're olding it wrong!

'Tis the season: Verizon first in line to flog Palm phone resurrection

Chairman of the Bored


Probably the first time a decent "handwriting" recognition software was shipped for a mobile device. When you look at how modest it's hardware requirements are, you realize that it's truly a feat of software design and implementation.

Other than my HP-48 calculator my palm was my only truly indispensable piece of kit in the late 90's. And do NOT get me started on the death of HP calculators...

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

Chairman of the Bored

My boy's Cub Scout troop sent an email invite...

...for their annual formal dinner. Part of the email said we would have "erotic foods" I hope like hell that's a spell chucker artifact. Begs the question... Who trained that things AI?

Chairman of the Bored

If I wrote spill chuckers...

...or perhaps decent macro viruses what I would do to advance humanity is use the tools to help my fellow man.

My goal to is to seek out and destroy euphemisms. Euphemisms prevent clear understanding of issues and I believe allow weak-minded managlers to avoid internalizing responsibility for their mistakes.

Based off whatever passes for my career, the following substitutions will be made:

Negative patient care outcome > patient died

This is only a representative sample of the data > I'm lying my ass off

Departure from controlled flight > plane crashed

Controlled flight into terrain > pilot fscked up

Radical departure from structural integrity > it broke, badly

Some minor program transients > contract gone, abandon ship

This employee requires a bit more time for training > village idiot

You're being made redundant > hey, business is slow and I need as much cash as I can scrounge for my own blow habit, so see ya.

Chairman of the Bored

No spilling needed

Just communicate using nothing but acronyms. That's what the government does.

I once got a product back from the field, and nearly everything I needed to know about the return was written in acronyms:


It even rhymes.

Take the dashboard too literally and your brains might end up all over it

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Data sources

For a good read, check out the chapter in Freakanomics about how teachers in Chicago game the student attainment exams. Interesting lesson on data falsification and the artifacts one leaves behind when attempting to be "clever"

Red Hat is in the pink: Cracks $3bn revenue run rate as subs take off

Chairman of the Bored

Even more importantly

The Red Hat guys I work with care about MY business model and how the OSS can be best employed to move me forward. Very different from, say, IBM which is a one trick pony with a broken back selling 'business transformation!' constantly. Good to see them healthy. I'm not not sure I've wrapped my head around systemd yet.

How do you make those darn code monkeys do what you want? Just give 'em a little nudge

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Zapp Brannigan writes

Nice. My problem is that I leave my women like I take my coffee: cold, dark, and bitter. Similar to my experience with DevOps so far!

Chairman of the Bored

Problem is...

...the average manager who grasps at the buzzword of the day to "transform his organization" is generally not the kind of guy or gal who provides inspirational leadership.

True leaders are like eagles... Beautiful, powerful, majestic. And of course an endangered species.

Sysadmin wiped two servers, left the country to escape the shame

Chairman of the Bored

You got to know when to run

Just out of high school I worked briefly at a steel mill in the electrical shop. They had these "little" 1 to 10MW aux generators that ran on gas to handle peak loads. Part of my job was to synch these to mains bus before closing breakers. I failed, and one of the synchronous machines ripped off it's mounts and left the shop. For the most part it went dark. I quit real fast and did a GTFO before the metal workers - paid by the piece - arrived to perhaps literally tear me from limb to limb

April FAIL as IETF's funny-but-dodgy draft doc arrives a week early

Chairman of the Bored

Released early?

Perhaps a commentary on Arthur's innumeracy?

Three, sir!

NASA fungus problem puts theory of 'Martian mushrooms' on toast

Chairman of the Bored

Suggested title...

There's a fungus among us!

FBI raids home of spy sat techie over leak of secret comms source code on Facebook

Chairman of the Bored

JTRS waste

My father was a Ranger, then a civil servant, and finally a contractor. So he got to see every side of the US defense industrial complex, as have I.

He would speak of the "three D's model" of acquisition and administration. I've found it accurate.

The USAF is "dazzling". Nobody can spend money like the Air Force; even the blades of grass on the golf course are gold plated. NRO falls into this bucket. If you nick $340k I'm amazed they even notice - that's probably one day of golf course upkeep for a single numbered Air Force.

The Navy is "deceptive". These guys never tell you what they really want. Everything is a mind game, and everyone is treated abusively - esp sailors and contractors.

The Army is "dumb". No explanation required. That explains JTRS.

Chairman of the Bored



How's this for technique? New property management bureaucracy in place. But I'm doing an urgent test and need to liberate a spec an and take it into the field right now! No time to fight the pencil pushers.

What to do? Grab the spec an and walk it up to the security desk like a boss. Tell the guard to watch after it a sec... "Real important that nobody takes it... We will all be in dheep schitt!" Hit the men's room, return, thank the guy and walk right out the door with it. That, sir, is proper tradecraft.

Chairman of the Bored

Re: High End Radios Are Disappointing In Appearance


A Rohde and Schwarz FSW series signal analyzer / receiver with all the software needed to handle, say, 802.11 protocols and Bluetooth + intercept antennas will set you back about $400k US.


Totally worth it if you need the expensive ultimate in test and measurement receivers. And I used to be an HP bigot, back before they sucked...

Had one at work. It had its own room, and was the domain of The Master Technician. We engineers MIGHT be able to use the system if the master tech felt that we were sufficiently competent. And morally pure. You did not bring drink into the room. You did not bring food into the room. You did not think impure thoughts in the room...

Chairman of the Bored

Radio costs .gt. $200k?

But worth absolute zip? I give you the US Army JTRS. $15billion failed development program. Yes, that's with a "B". Nothing to show for it except billions in continued orders of legacy radios.


So, yes, it's easy to hold a $200k radio but you might want to wash your hands when done...Oh, wait - Boeing's JTRS ground "mobile" radio prototype was 90kg. Hold in your hand? Um, no.

Maybe in some muddled way this luser was actually a patriot trying to hurt our enemies by giving them crap radios?

Chairman of the Bored

RDP connection from score system to home?

I sure hope that's not what I just read, because that raises my WTF knob to 11.

Horn star Sudan, last male northern white rhino, dies aged 45

Chairman of the Bored

Not just the megafauna being attacked...

...many African and Indian game keepers are being shot by poachers. For a while there it was something like one per week.

Game wardens trying to defend endangered animals put it all on the line; must be hard to sneak and peek in the bush with their big brass pairs clanking.

A pint, gentlemen.

FYI: There's a cop tool called GrayKey that force unlocks iPhones. Let's hope it doesn't fall into the wrong hands!

Chairman of the Bored

Re: "...when the device, a 4x4x2-inch box, is stolen from police..."

Stole all the cameras? That takes cajones.

My local precinct in Baltimore had a potted pot plant, I guess for training and familiarization? Some crackpot stole the potted pot.

Inviting nearby exoplanet revealed as radiation-baked hell

Chairman of the Bored

I sent the article around the office...

...and am now just waiting for the snowflake contingent to moan about the infographic showing a phallic protrusion violating the peaceful vegan planet's safe space. I wish I were kidding.

Air gapping PCs won't stop data sharing thanks to sneaky speakers

Chairman of the Bored

E-field coupling through Faraday cage?

Think there is an error in the article; no way you are getting electric field coupling through a Faraday cage. Magnetic? Yes. With effort and short range. Im too lazy to check the research myself, but there you go.

Grumbles something about magnetic coupling from fluorescent light ballasts into instrumentation inside Faraday cage... Screwed up measurements... Perfectly working product stuck in test past deadline fixing what wasn't broke... Feelings of rage... WTF do we have these stupid screw looking bulbs anyways?

Developer mistakenly deleted data - so thoroughly nobody could pin it on him!

Chairman of the Bored

I misread part of the text as...

"[...] one Friday afternoon five *beers* ago [...] Thats usually the start of data problems, in my experience. Not that I admit anything.

I have a hazy recollection of being called in to back something up after the proper backup software did not work and doing something like 'sudo dd if=/dev/sda<wrong> of=/dev/<mission critical volume> bs=4M status=were_screwed'

Honestly cannot remember if that was before or after using the intoxicants. And that, your honor, is how it happened

Europe is living in the past (by nearly six minutes) thanks to Serbia and Kosovo

Chairman of the Bored

Re: US grid to float high in freq:

@AC, all posts - thanks for the insight; genuinely learned something about the time beasts that used to rule my life.

Chairman of the Bored

US grid to float high in freq:

Regulatory bods to let grid drift generally higher in freq to improve stability and reliability, conditioned on the assumption nobody cares about grid-based time:


During peak demand the US grid would always run a bit slow, by fractions of a percent, and then run high at night to compensate. My high school had these massive IBM clocks in the hallways, looming darkly from the ceiling. One outside every classroom and all running running in inhuman lockstep. Awful "bang" every minute when the hands would move. Imagining you were in some sort of penal or mental facility was not difficult. I think they were on grid freq and could swear during some classes that freq was actually tens of percent low.

Sneaky satellite launch raises risk of Gravity-style space collision

Chairman of the Bored

Re: According to the linked article

Right; thanks for clearing that up. Wondering how tough it would be to make an inflatable corner reflector

Chairman of the Bored

I'm not sure I understand the gripe

The four comsat launched in this exercise are about the same size as a 1 unit cubesat (10cm cube) of which literally hundreds are on orbit. Per international agreement (United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) these either require deorbit thrusters or an orbital altitude low enough that drag will cause reentry at most 25years after their 3-4 year service life is up. Generally, small SATs below about 600km will decay in that timeframe.

The problem with cubesat is that you hitch a ride and therefore do not necessarily know at design inception bahere you are going to be. A significant number have ended up in orbits with decay times over a century:


So I wonder if the real issue is whether some damned fool put these in meo or geo, thereby burning a perfectly good orbital slot allocation.

Note that the worst debris problems up there now are due to China scragging a weather sat testing an ASAT system and the Russian satellite bonking into an Iridium sat. Other than that mess most space debris is due to booster upper stages breaking apart, separation debris, etc

A ghoulish tale of pigs, devs and docs revived from the dead

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Love it!

Trust me, the thought crossed my mind. Actually I was more focused on how to make the body disappear. Question - if you shoot a guy for ranting in all caps ... Do you need to use a silencer?

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Love it!

That's dark and scary. Think we need to start drinking immediately.

Chairman of the Bored

Secret is out

@Bob, one of your mates must have spilled the beans. I asked an IT manager how things are going...

IT: "Like a duck"

ME: "What the fsck?"

IT: "You see us gliding gracefully across the lake. Underneath the feet are paddling like hell"

Chairman of the Bored

Love it!

You've confirmed some of my deepest, darkest suspicions about what really happens when I grovel and beg for old data to come back.

Sometimes, though, it comes back on its own. Like my night of the living dead:

Supposedly in this one govt agency emails - once purged off the exchange server- are gone forever. Of course that's utter BS because if management wants to pop you for misconduct they can suddenly get not only what you've written, but even stuff you only dreamed of after a few stiff drinks. Mere mortals do not get their lost emails restored.

Imagine my surprise when I opened up outlook after a prolonged server outage and magically found my mail spool transported ten years into the past. Instead of my working set of spam, I was seeing one specific day in 2005 all over again.

Here's the part that keeps me awake: email on the top was in all caps, title screaming: "YOU ARE LATE FOR A MEETING!" Problem is the guy who sent it - one nasty piece of work - had died shortly after sending me that.

So where the hell is he, and am I late for a meeting upstairs or down?? Is the weather uncomfortably warm??? Speak, ghost of the server, speak!

Sheer luck helped prevent mid-air drone glider prang in Blighty

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Soooooo.

@nursing a semi,

Nice! But didn't get a rise out of the pilot I ran it by. Former fighter pilot. Said "the only luck here is with guys who cannot fly. You're lucky there are guys with balls and skills like me overhead.". Oi!

Q: how do you know if there is a fighter pilot in the room?

A: don't worry about it, I'm sure he will tell everyone quickly

We all hate Word docs and PDFs, but have they ever led you to being hit with 32 indictments?

Chairman of the Bored

PDF signatures?

I did a social experiment: at the time of the experiment I worked for a really huge org with an absolute fetish for signature chains. Big, big govt. Anything you can imagine required at least five electronic signatures in a PDF - no matter how inane. Personal record was needing 15 signatures to operate an FCC part 15 transmitter outdoors. FFS! Oh, where was I?

Experiment? On every document I created I made damned sure my electronic signature was invalid. Hundreds of documents. I made sure Adobe would scream about signature errors on every opening. Care to guess how many times a question was raised? That's right... nada!

Chairman of the Bored

Re: How the mighty have fallen

No downvote. I understand your sentiment entirely and I'm sickened that we have holiday camps for the wealthy and sheer hell for the rest. But I've know too many sexual assault victims to wish that on anybody. Maybe we can compromise on a hard labor regime? Maybe make these bastards earn their keep by patching holes in roads, cleaning up harbors, etc?

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Well, you see, now there's the problem...

Simple solution I've seen: have two bookkeepers. One keeps a clean set for the tax man and banks, the second - paid in cash - tracks the kickbacks "donations" and cash income. Make damn sure these guys never meet.

Guess Manafort was too cheap to do a proper job.

Pro tip: if you find yourself in a situation where you DO know both bookkeepers, GTFO.

Chairman of the Bored

Re: How the mighty have fallen

No downvote b/c I agree that it's a great article and that Manafort got himself into a serious jam. But I cannot support the notion that sexual exploitation of convicts is a legitimate approach to punishment in a supposedly civilized society.

That being said, his class ends up going to a minimum security country club instead of the hellish club fed that would await the rest of us.

Is this why Facebook is such a toxic dump? HP, HPE sued for 'leaking chems' into office site

Chairman of the Bored

If it had been any other California school...

...I'd say go fsck yourself... Clean up the rad waste legacy left behind by your nuclear weapons labs... and then maybe we talk about a little PCBs in your dirt.

Stanford is a weird case though. In the 70's they supposedly eschewed profiting off of classified defense research. But then in the 90's they had to pay back US Navy for defrauding the Office of Naval Research throughout the 80's. Something doesn't compute?

IBM gives Services staff until 2019 to get agile

Chairman of the Bored

Re: agility

@disgruntled yank,

"Scram masters" - THAT is a truly wonderful turn of phrase, one I shall use every time I see yet another scram master leave moments before their nitrogenous waste hits the rotary aspirator. A pint, sir!

Chairman of the Bored

Obligatory link: Hitler teaches agile

Absolutely NSFW


Trump buries H-1B visa applicants in paperwork

Chairman of the Bored

As much as I'd love to see action on this...

...the proposed remedy is completely BS. Administrative equivalent of a Potemkin village. If Trump were serious about doing something here, the lottery system would have gotten an overhaul instead of adding more paperwork requirements that outsourcing firms will merely write some Word macros to overcome.

My reasoning:

There are 85k or so H1-B visas available in a given year USA graduates about 300k STEM grads / 90k-ish engineering grads - 85k is not a drop in the bucket. With roll overs and exemptions the real number is probably far in excess of 100k.

Employers bid against the lottery pool, and the large outsourcing firms go for tens of thousands at a time; last numbers I saw were about 40pct for a handful of firms. If you are a small business with a legit need for a handful of specific foreigner's skills (in my case, specific local language expertise) you are frozen out and have to move that work overseas - an added knock-on offshoring effect.

What's the point of an H1-B-like program? Twofold: you want your businesses to have an ability to leverage truly unique talent, and you want to create a citizenship path for truly gifted foreigners so they can set up businesses in your country and hire a boatload of your own citizens. Allowing outsourcing firms to dominate the visa lottery serves neither objective.

If I'm an outsourcing firms it costs me nothing to stuff the visa "ballot box" as my application fees for unsuccessful applications are refunded.

This is federal law - and a truly bipartisan fsckup. Could it be the chief executive does not have the testicular fortitude to confront Congress on this and just signs EO to make it look like progress?

Cali cops' Clue caper: Apple technicans, in an iPhone repair lab, with the 1,600 silent 911 calls

Chairman of the Bored

Maybe the AI panicked...

...upon seeing particularly ham-handed techs, the iSpies' internals said, "screw this! Im getting outta here!" And called for assistance

Amateur astronomer strikes it lucky with first glimpse of a Supernova

Chairman of the Bored

Got to admire the amateur...

...most really cool discoveries seem to start out with "gee, that's strange" rather than "eureka!". The hard part is not dismissing an observation that looks strange as "noise" or "error" and actually investigating the cause. I believe a pint is in order.