* Posts by uccsoundman

74 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Feb 2018


Security? Working servers? Who needs those when you can have a shiny floor?


Everything in order

My great uncle told a story. He was working for the FAA in the 1950's, generally doing stuff with radar. The transmitter house featured long lines of high power tubes with wire caps on top for the high voltage. Well one day some big-wig demanded an inspection tour of the transmitter house, and insisted it be live and the cages open so he could see all the pretty tubes (a BIG violation; it should be power (or at least HV) off and cages closed). But big-wig had the power to demand, so off they went. As he's walking down the line of tubes. one of the caps was crooked. So he reached out to straighten it. Woke up 2 weeks later in the hospital.

Microsoft’s Azure mishap betrays an industry blind to a big problem


Re: Emgineering 101

> Oh and agile is shit and we all know it,

Yes, but it's CHEAPER. Not only do you no longer need to do testing, but when the product fails, the contract temps that wrote it are LONG gone to another project at another company. The CIO only needs to point to the cost savings and no further questions will be asked. The shareholders only look at that cost and never at the cost of the failure (so sad, too bad). If you are a customer that lost money, oh well, that's life in the big city. Complain to the regulators? LOL, they are in the Bahamas partying with the CIO.

Boeing discovers Dreamliner defect, delivery delay decided


Re: What you get

-> You got what you paid for, boys.

Yes they did. They got the company, bumped the stock price, cashed out, and set the company on auto-destruct. Once it is dead, they will send in the buzzards to feast on the carcass.

Tech companies cut jobs to chase growth, but watch out for those shareholder returns


"None of this is conducive to long-term shareholder gains. "

That's the trouble. NOBODY is interested in "Long Term". Shareholders are only interested in the next quarter's results. In the long term they have long since cashed out to go milk some other cash cow.

Microsoft not a Teams player as admin center, 365 service suffer partial outage


Re: Completely agree

Yes, but when the cloud companies go to the pointy-haired-bosses and say why are you paying for computers, space to store them, and engineers to keep them running? Instead, outsource to us. We'll pay for the computers, space, and engineers, and rent them to you for a very modest sum.

So, they move to the cloud, sell their computers and their building, and fire the engineers. Just then, as if by magic, the cloud provider starts raising their prices and charging by the transaction. The resulting bill is DOUBLE what it used to be, and they're now in the grip of another company for their existence. And they can't go back, because they jettisoned everybody who knew how the old system worked.

But by this time, the CEO has been rewarded for cutting costs, and the stockholders have taken their money and run.


Theranos founder Holmes ordered to jail after appeal snub


I'm astonished that she might be going to jail. SURELY there's some powerful person she can sleep with to get this conviction overturned, or at least keep her out of jail permanently. I don't have such power, but if I did, I'd love to make that trade.

Don't worry, that system's not actually active – oh, wait …


Re: Why would one ...

Another reason is that these toaster ovens gobble gigantic amounts of power, and most office wiring isn't hefty enough to support them.

Errors logged as 'nut loose on the keyboard' were – ahem – not a hardware problem


Re: Higgins

Oh, around here Higgins would be fired! The chorus of "he's finding too many defects" would be so deafening that development management would waste no time in showing Higgins to the door! How many times have I been ordered to change sev-high defects to a feature request or lose my job, and told "Stop Testing; your finding too many defects, and we won't be able to release".

Tetchy trainee turned the lights down low to teach turgid lecturer a lesson


Re: Notes? How old school!

I eventually took a Shorthand class so I could take notes at talking speed. Not 100% effective (I wasn't that good at it) but better than writing longhand.

Amazon internal chat app that censored talk of unions and ethics may 'never launch at all'


Re: What an idiotic waste of time and effort

It's something you learn in business school, even undergrad. Capitalism ruthlessly rewards efficiency and punishes inefficiency. The most efficient business model is a Monopoly, and the most efficient labor model is involuntary servitude.


Re: Slack can already do this...

Amazon can do anything it wants in the USA. Remember that money = power and now Amazon has so much money they are FAR more powerful than the government. If really pushed, they will just lock the unionized warehouse and move next door. Yes it's against the law, but who cares; Amazon is now above the law. Remember in the USA, wealth equals absolute power, well above any government.

The time you solved that months-long problem in 3 seconds


Re: I replaced a network cable. -> We replaced a power cable

Q: What's a "Dicky Plug"? I haven't heard of that.

Big Tech revenues under threat from EU law proposals


Regulate me? I'll shut down your government!!!!

So, if I'm Amazon, I know that all these government and banking systems have long since moved all of their computing to the cloud. So, I just put up a bold and brazen warning; if you implement any measures that bother us in any way, we'll just turn off your cloud computing accounts. In 1 hour all of your governments and all of your banking systems will collapse. We will turn them on again only if you make us king and give us absolute autonomy. Long Live King Amazon!!!!

What's to prevent it?

We have redundancy, we have batteries, what could possibly go wrong?


Re: Stealing more than fuel

> The thieves turn up with a large powerful pickup...

They have Large Powerful pickups in the UK? I'm actually astonished. From what I've seen on TV the biggest pickup trucks I've seen appear to be about the size of a Tuk-Tuk, and would easily fit in the bed of the average size pickup truck here in the US.

Beware the big bang in the network room


Re: Service Windows

Or better yet, the only person who either had permissions and/or knew how to do the maintenance quit long ago because the company across the street was offering 2X the salary and was offering benefits like not being on-site 24/7/365 because you were the only person on staff. And BTW, he was the only one that knew the key-codes to get in the server room door and the only one who knew how to change them. So, as time goes on, the company has less and less access to its computers.

Or, how about maintenance is required but nobody knows where the machine is? Indeed in one case they didn't even know what CITY the machine was in.

Face Off: IRS kills plan to verify taxpayers with facial recognition database


Re: Simpler Solution

Because generating revenue is only one purpose of the tax system. The other is social manipulation. For instance, you can deduct the interest on your house mortgage, thus encouraging home ownership. Also VAT taxes only tax the money that you spend. Income taxes get a piece of any money you receive. So, if you win the lottery, the government gets about 1/2 of it even if you never spend a dime of your winnings.

Midwest tornado destroys Amazon warehouse, killing six after worker 'told not to leave'


This is because every minute of idle time costs Amazon money, and Jeff Bezos did not become a bajillionaire by wasting money on things such as safety. Besides, in the USA employees are disposable cannon fodder and we can always get replacements... or so they taught us in business school.

Better CEO is 'taking time off' after firing 900 staff on Zoom


Re: Making people redundant

> How would you prefer your company to be regarded?

Well it depends. A lot of Wall Street types and Boards of Directors PREFER heartless SOB CEO's. In the Al (Chainsaw) Dunlap school of management (we worshiped him when we were in business school), being a sadistic ass is a sure way to greater profitability. Reputation means NOTHING. However, I wonder how long it will be before said employees make it their life mission to punish these sadistic people.?

Computer shuts down when foreman leaves the room: Ghost in the machine? Or an all-too-human bit of silliness?


.-> Let's not even get started on the US's weedy 110V system which means that an electric kettle draws so much current it melts wires. At least they finally settled on AC as a sensible system, despite Edison.

We solve the electric kettle problem by not drinking tea. Of if we want tea (generally iced and sweet) we boil it on a stove.

But don't forget about our other odd electrical voltages. My great-uncle's farm ran on 32 volts DC. His lights were all 32 volt. You could even get a vacuum tube "farm radio" that ran off 32 volts. The system was charged by a windmill. I was a tiny boy when I saw it so take my observations with a grain of salt.

We're all at sea: Navigation Royal Navy style – with plenty of IT but no GPS


Re: "two main reasons why the Royal Navy no longer uses [paper charts]"

"He confirmed the same situation on US ships: no paper charts. The reason given was that they're a huge problem to store and keep updated."

Because I don't know: Why do paper charts need updating? Land masses don't generally move very much. Yes I understand that near a coastline you might have changes, but I'm thinking more about where on the face of the Earth are you. And storage? How much does a nice closet cost?

IMHO sailors need constant practice and refresh on the ancient ways. All you'd need to do is generate a nice EMP (even a "Carrington Event" would do) and all that electronic storage is toast. All they needed in the 19th century is a sextant, a paper chart, star tables and an accurate clock.

You want us to make a change? We can do it, but it'll cost you...


Re: Lines of Code

Spaghetti code and lines-of-code = pay. Sounds like an outsourcing company I worked with. We used them for software development AND writing test cases. Their metric was number of test cases per time period. They actually wrote a system that automatically generated unique test cases. As an example, instead of opening the app and clicking on options 1 through 100 in a loop, they wrote 100 test cases, all the same except for which option to click. 100x increase in productivity, so they asked for (and almost received) extra pay. Turns out the guys writing the checks knew nothing about code but just saw the spreadsheet metric and were taken in.

Needless to say the guys who pointed that out were not very popular with the contracting company.

No change control? Without suitable planning, a change can be as good as an arrest


We don't do change control and you can't make us.

A long story can be summed up by this: "We don't need to test, and we will not submit to change control. We're Agile, and agile can ignore all processes". Trouble is the PHB is only worried about "speed to market".

Thanks, boss. The accidental creation of a lights-out data centre – what a fun surprise


Re: Hands in Pockets!

I had a father-in-law with 9 fingers. It seems he was once a soldier, drunk on leave outside Ft. Knox, and somebody at a local bar pointed a gun at him. He somehow decided that sticking his finger in the barrel would keep him from harm.


Re: Access denied

I'm very surprised that the Boss did not self-certify, you know, because he is god.

The server is down, money is not being made, and you want me to fix what?


Nobody leaves

How about "I don't care if there is an active shooter in the building, anybody who leaves this meeting is FIRED!". Real life; several people died.


Re: Constantly, in a fashion.

So often the answer is 15 minutes of gathering, 10 minutes to explain is preferable to the 30 seconds of fixing because "I said so"

Don't cross the team tasked with policing the surfing habits of California's teens


Re: High-level manglement can be just as much a nuisance as unions

In defense of the suit wearers: I took typing in high school when typing was still done by girls in typing pool. I actually had to get SPECIAL permission from the school's principal to take the class since that was designated as "girl only" (like shop class was boy only). I also got my manhood questioned and received a few beatings from the jocks to remind me to stick to boy-stuff.


Re: Free school meals

>>All too often, we see situations where we'll pay more but claim to be saving money) just to be sure "they" don't get a free ride.

In a modification of 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (which at least in America is a root-level national policy, beaten into us as Children) "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not PAY, neither should he eat."

British gambling giant Betfred told to pay stiffed winner £1.7m jackpot after claiming 'software problem'


Re: Minimal Viable Product

> unnecessarily features

>> Like testing and documentation?

No, those would be called "Unnecessary Costs" and/or "Unnecessary Delays". Since we're Agile, we don't need to test.

CERN boffins zap antimatter with ultraviolet lasers in the hope of revealing the secret symmetry of the universe


Re: Another test of General Relativity

I don't think you are a physicist, so where are you reading this? I'd like to read it for myself.

Ship stranded in Suez Canal shifts, but not before spawning some choice tech memes


Re: Hold my beer moment?

I think the short-short version is this. There were high winds causing difficult steering conditions. Then they had an engine failure and a generator failure. There wasn't a backup generator, so while they had no power, they had no steering and were adrift and the wind drove them into the wall.

Interestingly it appears very few ships have backup generators. The bean counters see no need for redundancy. But I do wonder how much money was spent on freeing this ship and how much money was lost in stopped commerce, and how that compares to the cost of a backup generator.

Yes, there's nothing quite like braving the M4 into London on the eve of a bank holiday just to eject a non-bootable floppy


Re: The answer was "jelly"

If you have had kids, you'll add "drool". Actually that can be a problem with some pointy haired managers too.

'Agile' F-35 fighter software dev techniques failed to speed up supersonic jet deliveries


Re: Non-coders?

I worked in QA and the management metric was "number of test cases written" (not "number of requirements tested"). So the QA contractors wrote a script that auto-generated > 10,000 test cases, each testing exactly the same thing. They were RICHLY rewarded for far exceeding the production goals. Those who tried to write useful test cases were sacked for being too slow. Results: bad software.


>Finding enough ground staff for servicing might by tricky.

The solution is simple; fly them to India for Service

Don't be a fool, cover your tool: How IBM's mighty XT keyboard was felled by toxic atmosphere of the '80s


Re: Smoking

"...Almost every smoker I've ever encountered has said things like (in reference to the smoking ban before it came in) "It's my right to smoke in a pub... if non smokers don't like it they can go somewhere else..."

I was always amazed by this argument. Remember I'm in the USA out in flyover country. You get into your car and go to a special building where they serve you expensive portions of an intoxicating drug (alcohol). Their profit depends on you buying and consuming enough to be drunk. THEN you have to drive back home, dodging police officers looking for an easy ticket. But if the police don't catch you, you are still a danger to everybody on the road.

I've never heard of anybody killing a bus full of children because he smoked an extra pack of cigarettes, but I regularly pass a place where a bus full of children was killed because a driver had an extra 12-pack of beer.

Forget GameStop: Keyboard warriors and electronic trading have never mixed well


Re: Just last week....

I suppose that depends on the country you live in. In the USA some people are even required to provide their own PC's for the company to use. Certainly using your private credit card for company expenses, maybe to be reimbursed sometime in the future, is not unusual. The company's reply to complaints would be "Be glad you have a job, fool!"


Re: Ignisecond, n.:

My son (who was raised in the Midwest) got a job in the financial industry in NYC. He got to go on all of the business trips because he was the only one in his office of many that had a driver's license or had ever driven before. The company saved $$$$ by just renting a car and my son driving everywhere.


Re: Ignisecond, n.:

In the early 1960's, my dad went to Business school next to a prestigious engineering school. He once passed some multi-PHD professor in tears next to his car, unable to figure out how to change a flat tire (even with printed instructions on the trunk lid). And yet somehow they were still superior to all of the peasants surrounding them.

ADT techie admits he peeked into women's home security cams thousands of times to watch them undress, have sex


Re: Misquote

I had an uncle who was one of those "Dilbert" type engineers and built a glass breakage based home security system. It worked quite well, detecting glass breakage and sounding a Klaxon designed for a much larger space. There was an easy to use control box in the kitchen to turn it off. One morning my aunt wandered into the kitchen, and being half-asleep forgot to turn off the alarm. She went over to the Mr. Coffee, got herself a cup, and sat down at the table. Lifted the china cup, took a sip, and set it down on the china saucer. Well the resonance of the coffee in the cup with the noise of the cup hitting the saucer it sounded just like breaking glass, and on went the Klaxon. In less than a second the coffee was broadcast all over the kitchen, the china cup and saucer was shattered, aunty was on the floor, and in came my uncle with his big-gigantic pistol ready for business. Nothing bad came of the episode, but from then on aunty drank coffee from a plastic mug and the Klaxon was replaced by something less noisy.

Theranos destroyed crucial subpoenaed SQL blood test database, can't unlock backups, prosecutors say


Re: Lying is usually a crime

"Protecting patients should, hopefully, be considered more important than protecting investors."...

LOL! Investors would roast children over an open fire if it would protect their investments. Certainly compromising patient's health for shareholder returns is not a problem.

Pizza and beer night out the window, hours trying to sort issue, then a fresh pair of eyes says 'See, the problem is...'


Re: Prelalal dnceodig

It looks like you went to school in Kentucky LOL (I can say that; I'm from Kentucky)

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice


Re: I had more success …

"ABC entertainment president Tony Thomopoulos said that 'Police Squad!' was canceled because 'the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it,' "

Actually the implication was that you had to THINK while you were watching to appreciate it. The LAST thing that American TV viewers want to do is think, and the last thing the networks want to put on is something that requires thinking. Ask the audience to think and they will immediately switch channels.

There are exceptions of course, but the aggregate picture is sitting on the couch, blank stare, with drool coming from the mouth and a beer in hand. Since I know that most of the audience here is from the UK, the best picture I can draw of the average American TV viewer is the beer-swilling brother-in-law in the TV show "Keeping Up Appearances".

Software billionaire accused of hiding $2bn in income from IRS – potentially the largest tax scam in US history


Re: Idiot

He has nothing to worry about. Trump will surely pardon him. He always pardons white collar crimes.

Elizabeth Holmes' plan to avoid her Theranos fraud trial worked out about as well as her useless blood-testing machines


Re: One narcissist runs a fake company

American here: Staying away from politics in the spirit of this forum, but you'd be astonished how little the average American cares about what people in other countries think of us.

Excel Hell: It's not just blame for pandemic pandemonium being spread between the sheets


Re: Thirty years ago...

And I'll be that these newer faster fashionable techniques resulted in massive failures in production, downtime, and lost revenue, if not worse. But it was Agile, so that's OK. Who cares if the customer loses money?


Re: Relax...

You and I (and many others here) are the exception, but being a hiring manager for software development I am constantly astonished at how many CS graduates have never seen a command line interface. And in my company, until just a year ago, even MENTIONING Linux or Unix could get you fired; we're a windows house. So often it's just better to do what you are told and get the wrong answer than to risk your job by doing it right.

It really is your last chance to see anything at Cineworld for quite some time, and this big-screen bork speaks volumes


The last time I went to the Cinema was to see an obscure movie at the AMC that I *really* wanted to see ASAP. Took a friend from Church and we went to the Saturday Matinee. Movie was scheduled to start at 10:35 am. We had our seats at 10:27am. They played television commercials until 11am THEN started the movie. I vowed from that moment to never ever darken the door of a Cinema again. Add to that the cost of two tickets, even for the matinee, could have easily covered the DVD that came out a year later. The snack bar wasn't open yet, so food cost wasn't an issue.

The movie houses are still operating as if they had a captive audience. At one time if you wanted to see a movie, or get into air-conditioning, you had to got to a Cinema (or way-back, a Drive-Inn). Now I can get the good aspects of the Cinema at home without the kids and paying to watch TV commercials (yes I was very annoyed by that).

Unis turn to webcam-watching AI to invigilate students taking exams. Of course, it struggles with people of color


Re: Why use the word racist.

Or you could do like a company I worked for. Beards messed up the security cameras, so they implemented a new rule; everybody had to shave off their beard. Don't like to be clean shaven? Find a job elsewhere. This was really hard on the men who (due to medical issues) could not shave their beards. They had a hard time finding new work. This also begged the question of the men who wear beards for religious reasons. This was never an issue for us. The company was in the Bible belt and very few men of those religions lived there.

Your latest security headache? Ed from accounting using his kid as an unpaid helpdesk


Of course I ask my kids instead the IT help desk. After being outsourced, then multiple re-outsourcing to different contractors to lower cost, our IT help desk is less than useless. They are as dumb as a bag of hammers. They speak and understand English about as a well as a 1st year ESL student. They know less about computers than my aged grey haired mother. It seems their only solution is "well you can't do that anymore".

The other day, I got an inquiry about a ticket for me to obtain a laptop; a laptop that had long been delivered. After he found the ticket (only after I read him the number) he said they were holding the laptop for a configuration question. I said "no, the laptop is in front of me; this is no longer an issue". He said "no, you are wrong, you do NOT have your laptop yet". Lather, rinse, repeat. I finally hung up on him. I eventually found the head of the department that issues laptops and emailed her, and the ticket was closed forthwith.

My wife pointed out that if I had answered ever-so-slightly differently (and not even dishonestly) I could have got a new laptop for free and they wouldn't have been the wiser. Good thing for them I know God is looking over my shoulder.