* Posts by Steevee

31 posts • joined 29 Sep 2018

Not a Genius move after all: Apple must cough up $$$ in back pay for store staff forced to wait for bag searches

Steevee

Same here. When I started my current job nearly 8 years ago, we spent the first four months building the place before moving into a support role. Near to the end of these four months, I had a "catch-up" with the senior manager who hired me; most things were cool, but I pointed out to him that we routinely worked more than the 9-5 on our job spec, without any mechanism for claiming overtime. It was a couple of hours here, a couple there, but I calculated that we were averaging half an hour a day, five days a week, for those four months. His response was that we all do a bit of extra time here and there (he didn't), that it was essentially expected of us (but not in my contract), and that somehow it was for the greater good of the company, and hence us.

Well, much like these Apple employees, half an hour might not sound like much to some people, but when it's every day, five days a week, that comes to an extra day and a half a month, which to me at that time was about £500 extra a month, just as I became a parent for the first time. Later, the line manager we had wouldn't log any overtime that was less than an hour, but then that prick was also caught shaving hours off the overtime he did log, I was the one who proved it to HIS boss. Then tried to claim he was actually doing us a favour by moving the hours from other shifts, even though he never actually told us where those changes were, so we were probably working the "saved" hours anyway. I'm older and uglier now, and packing an MBA to boot. Anyone tries that crap with me now, they have exactly one chance to fix it before I shove my union card up their nose.

Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick

Steevee

Hand-me-downs

I've just refreshed my old Dell N5110 laptop to give it a new lease of life as a general email tool/portable entertainment machine for my little boys when we go camping. It was already refurbished when I bought it some years for the wife to do a bit of home-secretary-ing when the boys were babies, and we deliberately went down the refurbished route because it was the only way to get a Windows 7 machine instead of 8.0. Plus it's got front firing speakers, a full size HDMI output and I had already added a Blu-ray optical drive for movies.

Last month I installed a free upgrade to Windows 10, running on a £15 SSD (120GB is plenty), and even picked up a funky purple replacement shell for a few quid on eBay. Considering that until recently we were still using XP laptops in work for odd-jobs (lots of our gear still only talks via serial ports), I can see us getting a few more good years out of the old girl.

Brits may still be struck by Lightning, but EU lawmakers vote for bloc-wide common charging rules

Steevee

Re: Hopefully the UK will follow this

All this talk of Brexit is a total red herring, this is nothing to do with the UK "adopting" the same standards as the EU, but with Apple being pushed to finally adopt a common standard with every other manufacturer, instead of hawking their own, bespoke design. If/when Apple move to the USB-C standard, then everybody wins, regardless of what laws the UK does or does not have at the time; they are hardly going to make a UK specific model of every product with a Lightning connector just for giggles are they?

So you locked your backups away for years, huh? Allow me to introduce my colleagues, Brute, Force and Ignorance

Steevee

Re: Seen in the wild

"Not just hitting it - it's knowing where to hit it..." Also known as percussive maintenance. If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

Steevee

Re: Crazy Hammer Guy

Remember, when Odin asks "are you the God of Hammers", you say YES!

Capita unfurls new consulting arm. Hmm, what shall we call it?

Steevee

Re: How about naming the consulting arm Cap Advice?

Like "Cap in Hand"??

Steevee

Re: There is no such verb as "to ink"

I'm "inked"....and I have the tatoo to prove it.

Socket to the energy bill: 5-bed home with stupid number of power outlets leaves us asking... why?

Steevee

Discussions around beer are NEVER off-topic....

Consumer campaign to keep receiving printed till receipts looks like a good move – on paper

Steevee

Re: Emailed receipts build up the same plethora of personal data that loyalty store cards collect.

"Reversing the NFC tap, so that the reader sends the receipt to the device as part of the transaction."

That would of course require the buyer to be in possession of an NFC contactless card. I for one am not, for all of the security and privacy reasons opined in previous comments.

Steevee

Re: Digital receipts have their uses

I have found that Screwfix are actually one of the worst offenders for trying to get your email address out of you, one branch in particular. Every time I shop in any branch of Screwfix they always ask for my email address, but this one branch is notorious, and unfortunately the closest one to my work. Once time I went in to buy a back of nuts and bolts, worth about £3.50 for which I was paying for in actual beer tokens, and the first thing the assistant asked me for was my email address. The very first thing, before I had even told them what i wanted. When I politely declined to reveal my email address, he looked at me as though I had two heads, and insisted that he needed my email address, or, and I quote, "my receipt would not be valid". Seriously.

Now, I don't know who told him to state such utter, bare-faced crap, but I suspect that it was his manager, who in turn is under pressure from his bosses to slurp up as many email addresses as possible; maybe his annual bonus is based on such metrics. In subsequent visits to the same branch, I have not been told the same porkies, but I have seen that in order to buy anything without giving your email, the manager has to be called over to enter his super-secret access code to allow the till to process it.

I could throttle you right about now: US Navy to ditch touchscreens after kit blamed for collision

Steevee

Re: Touch screens

I recall that the hot-shot pilot in ST:Voyager deliberately built a heavy-duty shuttle/scout/fighter with manual controls and analogue displays because (a) he was a vintage technology buff and (b) he preferred the feel and feedback of the controls over the touch-screens they used everywhere else in the 24th Century.

Researchers peer into crystal ball to see future where everyone's ID is tied to their smartphone

Steevee

Re: Brainwashing campaign

In my world as an engineer, the phrase "for your convenience" is second only to "can you just...?" as a cause of excessive tooth wear by grinding.

BT staffers fear new mums could be hit disproportionately by car allowance change

Steevee

I had a "car allowance" as part of my pay package while working for a company in London. They just automatically gave you the money, and when I asked what would happen if I wanted an actual car, they were a little surprised, as 99% of staff took the money, then applied to general travel costs such as season tickets. In fact the only person I ever met there who did go for the car option, was a young lad who cleverly used the system for the insurance (included in the deal), AND build his NCD at the same time.

In the living room, can Google Home hear you SCREAM? Well, that's what you'll need to do

Steevee

Re: Scream

"GOOGLE, SOUND OFF LIKE YOU GOT A PAIR!!"

<Google turns sound off>

"....damn...."

Ex-student, 52, suing university for AU$3m after PhD rejection destroyed 'sex drive'

Steevee

I'm doing my Masters right now with the OU, and plagiarism is still considered a big no-no. With the advent of the internet, and advances in other computing technologies, they actually have the capability to map your work against almost everything else, just to see if you have claimed someone else's idea as your own.

Dedicated techie risks life and limb to locate office conference phone hiding under newspaper

Steevee

Re: ALL my calls from shouty men

Nope, when someone uses the word "disappointed" in the manner of your mother, that's when you know your're in trouble.

All's fair in love and war when tech treats you like an infant

Steevee

Re: Why has it been made so difficult?

The irony is that they still have to have staff covering these auto tills (not many, usually a rate of one staff per dozen tills) because, as Mr Dobbs article points out, the bloody things never work properly!

Steevee
Coat

Re: new sign

We had a similar sign in our toilets: "Please do not put solids down the urinal"

I took it to be a Jem'Hadar joke.

Lip-reading smart speakers: Just what no one always wanted

Steevee

"Brilliant. These jaw rattling devices will be cutting edge and cool, so hipsters will want them for about 5 minutes until everyone has them, at which point we'll be right back to the analog vs digital debate and headphones will become retro chic."

I think the hipster's greatest problem will be how a computer can read facial muscles through a thick, lush beard.

We don't want to be Latch key-less kids: NYC tenants sue landlords for bunging IoT 'smart' lock on their front door

Steevee

Re: Hope they win!

I would have thought that key-fobs were almost ubiquitous by now, the apartment complex i used to live in (and was on the governing board of too) had them starting in the late 90's for all the obvious advantages; they can be added or removed from the system at will, a tenant can buy extra ones as they need, and the cost of replacing them if an ex-tenant fails to hand them back is no more than replacing a single key. And of course hotels have been using the advantages of key-cards for as long as they have been around, for much the same reasons.

Raiding party! UK's ICO drops in unannounced on couple of dodgy-dialling dirtbag outfits

Steevee

Well, the problem is that these cold-callers are constantly tweaking their practices to fool both you and the ICO. First they tried to not give their number at all, but then we the public cottoned onto this and started ignoring unknown numbers.

Then they pretended to be a "real" number, usually a London one, but these could quickly be blocked, so they moved to a system where the (virtual) number they called you from would increment slightly. For a time last year, my wife and I were both plagued by London numbers that had the same first seven digits, but unfortunately phones can only block specific numbers, not a range of numbers.

However these numbers were all apparently in London (0203 usually), so if, as even my dear old Mum pointed out, you don't know anyone in London, you will end up simply ignoring anything with 020 at the beginning. So now they've moved onto pretending to be from other geographical areas. I've had cold calls supposedly from Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Leicester, and recently two from Leeds; they can also mimic mobile numbers too. I can't ignore any number I don't know because I'm desperately job hunting, and it might just be the break I'm needing. You're right about the ICO needing to deal with these clowns, because it's clear from their tactics that they are devious, malicious, and putting great effort into bypassing the letter and spirit of the law.

Don't mean to alarm you, but Boeing has built an unmanned fighter jet called 'Loyal Wingman'

Steevee

Re: In Harm's Way ..

Thinking about it, wouldn't an unmanned drone be especially useful in the Wild Weasel mission? Give the bad guys something expendable to shoot at so the manned fighter can HARM the heck out of them?

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

Steevee

Re: brexit

You do know that the Beeb used Crapita for their recruitment needs at Salford? I know 'cos i went through their wonderous process: 2000 job vacancies in the hands of social science graduates, who think "getting close to the sources of power in your department" (i.e. sucking up to the boss) is more important than, oh I don't know, an actual degree in broadcast engineering.

And no, I'm not making this up.

Steevee

Re: Spotted the problem?

Be-mis-spoken?

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Steevee

Yes, you are waaaay off topic, but since you’re here.

We have NOT had 2 referenda on being part of the EU, we had a say on the matter 40 years ago about joined a trading bloc called the EEC, nothing more. If we had known then (I use the proverbial “we”, personally I was still in cloth nappies at the time) what we were signing up to, would we have still voted yes?

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

Steevee

Spooky

I had a similar experience only last year. My first name is common enough (though with multiple options for spelling), my surname definitely is not, so while I use the usual firstname.surname@provider.co(m) format for my email I’ve never had any mistaken identity emails. One day I had what appeared to be spam email from a local government associated charity, asking me to get in touch following my meeting with them. I had never even heard of this organisation, let alone been to see them, but they were based in the town about five miles from where I live, so I was both intrigued and concerned that I had received “spam” that was so close to my real-world details.

I looked up the charity, got in touch by phone, and it soon became clear that they were genuine (they help people get being into work), and that they honestly believed I had popped into one of their branch offices at a high street area even closer to my home, a mere mile and a half away! I clarified that I did go to this shopping area all the time, but wouldn’t be looking for any assistance from them as I am fully employed, not to mention about twice the age of the young man they were expecting to speak to. During the conversation I was asked to confirm that my email was x.y@z.co.uk, and when I replied that my email was almost that, but ended in .com not .co.uk, we found the source of the miscommunication; a simply typo.

But this then led to the realisation that out there, very, very close to where I now live, there is a young man, with the exact same spelling of first and last names, and with the same email provider no less. Spooky.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

Steevee

Re: Robot?

I WAS going to look up Megurine Luka, but was worried it wouldn't be safe for work

Steevee

Re: #7 - "AI"

Ahhh, so it's the "digital TV aerial" for the next decade then.....

Could you speak up a bit? I didn't catch your password

Steevee

Re: Don't look at the man behind the curtain ...

I recently treated the missus to a trip to Dublin, but in order to get out of the airport and enjoy the craic, we first we had to pass through their "eGates". For those unfamiliar with the particular model used in Dublin airport, they are booths with glass doors front and rear, have one small photocopier like scanner that sucks in your face-down passport to take a memory of that, before a post mounted camera jigs up and down to match your eye-level and take a shot of your baffled and travel-weary fizzog.

As we were queuing up, we could could hear lots of mumbling about "these bloody gates", and how they never work, but I went through without any palaver. However, when my wife tried, using a passport that is a few years younger and ratrher less dog-eared than mine, it wouldn't let her past, nor would it let her go back. The screen simply kept telling her to try again, repeatedly. We were less than six feet from an elevated booth containing bored border guards, but non seemed to have noticed that movement through this supposedly high-speed, self-op facility had ground to a halt. In the end I had to go up to this booth, bang on the glass (I've seen The Fifth Element, I know how this could end), and politely ask the nice man if I could possibly get my wife back, as it was her birthday.

It's been said before, but travel security is nothing but theatre, implemented to try and make you feel safer, while simultaneously creating a market for expensive security hardware.

Tumblr resorts to AI in attempt to scrub itself clean from filth

Steevee
Happy

Re: I understand for the Coprophilia forums,....

Who are you to poo-poo someone's sense of humour?

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

Steevee

Re: never seems to taste the same?

I had the same thing when visiting friends in France....no electric kettle. It the same in the US too, they have an electric coffee machine, so why have a kettle too? Ended up boiling water in a pan on the stove to make tea. If I'd known that up front I could have taken my whistling camping kettle for the hob, or even just bought a cheap electric kettle from Argos to last the fortnight.

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