* Posts by F. Frederick Skitty

232 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jan 2022


This typo sparked a Microsoft Azure outage

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Re: staging

The Monroe Doctrine in action.

Twitter loses second head of Trust and Safety under Musk

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Re: Content moderation = politics

Just to elaborate on your point about the ownership of UK news media, here's a brief breakdown:

Sun, Times - Rupert Murdoch, US and ex-Australian citizen

Daily Mail - "Viscount Rothermere" John Harmsworth, a "non-domiciled" citizen who therefore pays no UK taxes despite his main home being here

Express, Star, Mirror and almost all regional newspapers - Reach PLC, although the Express and Star were until recently owned by potty mouthed porn baron Richard Desmond

Telegraph - the deeply weird Barclay twins, who own a Channel Island that thanks to its feudal system means they avoided all UK tax

Independent, Evening Standard - Alexander Lebedev, Russian-British oligarch with close ties to the KGB/FSB and Putin (Lebedev's father was a KGB officer)

Guardian - owned by a trust that was intended to ensure the publication remains independent (the charter forbids any sale to another organisation)

Python Package Index had one person on-call to hold back weekend malware rush

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Re: Difference between PyPi and NPM?

To be fair, that was a particularly awful bit of undocumented code doing something unusual in amongst a swamp of other code that was utterly awful. I followed the OpenBSD folks as they cleaned up the sh*tshow that is the OpenSSL library, and quite frankly it's scary how bad it was.

Russian businesses want to party like it's 1959 with 6-day workweek

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Re: Capital idea comrades!


If you don't brush and floss, you're gonna get an abscess – same with MySQL updates

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"Zaitsev said he was not expecting a lot of SQL users to shift from 5.7 to MariaDB instead of MySQL 8.0".

In my employer's case, we did move to MariaDB from MySQL 5.7. From a technical perspective it was an easier change than going to MySQL 8.0, and it had the added benefit of not being an Oracle product.

Now we're migrating to PostgreSQL, since it lacks the quirky behaviour of either MySQL or MariaDB and has sophisticated full text searching that means we can also dump our separate Solr setup.

India's major IT outsourcers slow hiring and fret about deal pipelines

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Code checked in without testing? The last company I worked at that used an Indian outsourcer, the code wouldn't even compile!

Russia tops national leagues in open source downloads

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Re: We keep doing Russians favors

Somewhat tangentially Oracle have (had?) a substantial part of their R&D in St Petersburg. Although my experience of submitting bug reports to Oracle, even with suggested fixes for some where the source is available, was that a developer in that city would close the ticket since there's no money for Larry in fixing bugs...

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Re: We keep doing Russians favors

Russia doesn't need the help of fast food restaurants to destroy the health of its population. The drinking problem in Russia is so severe that it's the primary cause of Russian's appalling life expectancy.

Tesla ran over worker rights, again, US labor judge finds

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Re: There appears to be no other punishment

In the USA freedom just means the freedom to exploit...

BOFH: We send a user to visit Kelvin – Keeper of the Batteries

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Re: Keepers of...

I'm surprised the Finnish army doesn't do that... They had a well deserved reputation for reissuing worn out equipment until it has literally fallen apart and cannot be repaired by any means whatsoever. They were still reissuing kit from the 1940s and 1950s until at least the early 1990s.

I wonder if that changed when they aligned their equipment with NATO standards (which happened a while ago to make I easier to cooperate with other European armies, but is going to make transition to NATO membership unexpectedly easier).

Red Hat at 30: Biggest Linux company of them all still pushing to become cloud power

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"... it became the first billion-dollar pure-play open-source company"

I'm going to be a bit of a pedant and point out they have sold closed source software. I know, because I bought their CD-ROM for Motif development years before it was open sourced.

Cops cuff teenage 'Robin Hood hacker' suspected of peddling stolen info

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Re: Lesson 1

I'm hesitant to defend HMRC, but it's really the fault of the politicians. Funding for tax fraud investigations is derisory, and the case of the guy getting thousands of letters is due to a half baked change in law. Loads of Chinese sellers were avoiding tax on sales via sites like eBay and Amazon Marketplace, so the law was changed to force those sites to collect the tax. A blindingly obvious flaw was left - register as a UK based business and you can avoid the tax. Since no systems are in place to check addresses of company registrations, the Chinese sellers simply registered as UK companies using any address. Since many genuine firms use a shared registered address, it wasn't immediately obvious what was going on when the tax demands were sent out once HMRC cottoned on to the Chinese sellers' tax avoidance.

Why UK watchdog abandoned its Apple monopoly probe

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Re: time limits stipulated in the UK's 2002 Enterprise Act

The EU and UK are a far bigger market for Apple than China. In terms of affluent buyers likely to buy Apple's products it dwarfs the Chinese market. China also has a lot of homegrown competition for the iPhone with much better localised support - and the Chinese Communist Party likes it that way.

It's official: Ubuntu Cinnamon remix has been voted in

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Debian has had links on their own pages to install media with "non-free" firmware for years, and I've usually found myself needing them - probably because I tend to favour previous generation Macbooks that I can buy second hand, and they inevitably require such firmware. I can only assume that the Debian folk have been tracking the popularity of that semi-official install media and the change in policy for version 12 is a consequence of that.

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Does that sound too much work? Fair enough: use Mint then.

Or Debian if you don't need Mint's bells and whistles. The Cinnamon desktop was a bit poorly packaged when it first appeared as an option in Debian, but is now as polished as the other options.

Publishers land killer punch on Internet Archive in book copyright court battle

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Re: Ah, the digital age

I'm the words of the Virgin Mary, "come again"?

Ammo-maker says TikTok's datacenter site could deprive it of electricity

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Rather than creating a vibrant, multi-cultural society that reflected a shared history, the post-2014 government decided to de-Russify Ukraine, burn books, ban culture and are in the process of creating a schism between various branches of the Orthodox Church.

Either you know f*ck all about Russian and Soviet politics, or you're a Kremlin troll. Since Tsarist times, the policy of Russian leaders has been to deny the ethnic identity of minorities in their empires and then destroy those minorities culture, language, etc. Putin is just another in a long line of Russian chauvinists, seeking to aggrandise himself by assimilating other Slavic groups, Transcaucasians and others. Putin genuinely believes that Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Finno-Ugrians and Balts are "corrupted" Russians who need to be taught their mistakes by the oh so kind "Great" Russians. Amongst Russian nationalists many of those people are called "Little" Russians, which is a gross misrepresentation of the history and culture of those peoples. One long established way of weakening the identity of minorities has been to deport them to the Siberia (often a death sentence for many of them) and replacing them with ethnic Russians. This was even enouraged by Stalin, who despite being a Georgian was interested in achieving hegemony at any cost. The result can be seen in the Donbas and Crimea, although ironically most of the inhabitants preferred closer ties with the EU regardless of ethnicity - even the ethnic Russians could see what an authoritarian basket case Russia is under Putin.

F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

Re: Send in the celebrities

Boris in one of the Polish Migs (are they 2 seaters? If not, just hook him up to one of the pylons and drop him over the Russians

Yup, turn him into an AGM - Air to Ground Moron.

BOFH: The Board members are looking very ill these days

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Re: Openings in forestry

Or a chainsaw and rubber apron.

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Best BOFH in ages - so glad I'm working from home so the only one who gets annoyed at me howling with laughter is the cat.

Techie fired for inventing an acronym – and accidentally applying it to the boss

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He or she is referring to the straight edge punk band Fugazi, not the proggie folk who did an album of that name.

Singapore software maker says own hardware in colo costs $400M less than cloud

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I've seen going all in with the serverless approach destroy a business. It's like the worst form of microservice complexity coupled with an arbitrary execution time limit. They at least avoided sone of the cold start delays by using a scripting language, but then the actual code ran incredibly slowly. They also had to use the "bulkhead" pattern - basically caching incredible amounts of data for each system, with the inevitable lack of data consistency.

AmigaOS 3.2.2 released for those feeling nostalgic

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Did something similar with a very impressive flight sim called Falcon - although it was an Atari ST and Amiga rather than two machines of the same type. I never managed to successfully land the plane though, and always ended u having to eject at the last moment.

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So you were the posh kid with an Archimedes (and no games)?

Great Graph Database Debate: Abandoning the relational model is 'reinventing the wheel'

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In my experience, Graph DBs just allow incompetent programmers to make an even worse mess than they would with a Relational one. The complexties of graph query languages don't help. I was forced to use MarkLogic at one company, simply to justify a license that we'd acquired thanks to a former colleague's lack of impulse control. Technically impressive but an absolute nightmare to work with (MatkLogic that is, not my former colleague - he was just a nightmare).

Elon Musk yearns for AI devs to build 'anti-woke' rival ChatGPT bot

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Re: Privileged White Guy ...





Kremlin claims Ukraine hackers behind fake missile strike alerts

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Re: Probably one good reason for the UK not to have such a system.

There's reports of a failed Russian ICBM test yesterday. It tallies with Putin's announcement today of a new missile, but totally embarrassing that the test of what was presumably that same system failed!

Save $7 million on cloud by spending $600k on servers, says 37Signals' David Heinemeier Hansson

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Re: Clouds clearing

"The move to the cloud brought lots of short term benefits - particularly the ability to spin up and down instances for testing all kinds of things."

Really? I've always found it easier to use a VM on my local machine, and more recently Docker containers. No need to be connected to the cloud, no unexpected costs and no f*cking IAM complexity.

If you have a fan, and want this company to stay in business, bring it to IT now

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I thought at first this was going to be about a sudden upswing in the usage of fans (and surreptitiously sourced portable aircon units) overwhelming the power supply. Which is what happened to our office in the summer before lockdown.

Microsoft switches Edge’s PDF reader to pay-to-play Adobe Acrobat

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The built in support for PDF in macOS is probably down to the operating system's history. In its original NeXTSTEP form it used PostScript to describe what was on the screen, and the development libraries offered easy ways to add PS - and later on PDF - support to applications.

BOFH: Generating a report the Director can show the Board – THIS is what AI was made for

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Re: One line.

I laughed out loud at that part. Got me a few funny looks on the bus...

Suspect in Finnish psychotherapy center blackmail hack arrested

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Re: Arrested in Absentia

My understanding is that an "arrest in absentia" means a trial can proceed if necessary without the physical presence of a suspect and the statute of limitations doesn't impact the ability to sentence someone.

LibreOffice 7.5 update: A great time to jump on this FOSS productivity suite

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Re: Been using it since it first came out.

I remember when Sun first bought StarOffice, they did a promotion where you could get a free CD-ROM with the Linux version on it. It used Motif as the GUI toolkit on Unix platforms, and was pretty much feature complete compared to the then current MS Office 4.3

No, you cannot safely run a network operations center from a corridor

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Re: Losing face

Having worked as at a Japanese owned company, I have to take you to task for accepting their attitude towards non-Japanese staff. It's racism, simple as that, and saying it's just part of the culture does not make it OK.

The whole face saving thing was a nightmare as well. Rather than acknowledge and fix problems the Japanese management would just ignore it. The result was an appalling set of software systems where any attempt to clean them up would result in the development branches being ignored in favour of a quick bodge to the main branch.

It's also the only job I've had where I've seen a programmer sacked for not wearing a smart enough suit. The slightly rumpled appearance of the person in question upset a visiting Japanese director, who insisted the competent contractor was terminated the next day.

McDonald's pulls plug on Wi-Fi, starts playing classical music to soothe yobs

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Re: Even them playing classical music ...

Or a McShootup (of the hard drugs variety) according to a friend who worked in MuckDonalds and as the new guy had the delightful task of cleaning up the toilets...

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The "unruly Beethoven enthusiasts" line immediately made me think of the Viz comic character "Raffles the Gentleman Thug".

BOFH and the case of the Zoom call that never was

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Re: We have some of the old projectors still hanging there..

Honey in Yorkshire tea? Next you'll be suggesting the addition of lemon juice you heathen.

New IT boss decided to 'audit everything you guys are doing wrong'. Which went wrong

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Re: Standard MBA training

"The noisy arrival and silent departure of managers".

Third-party Twitter apps stopped dead with no explanation from El Musko

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Re: Twitter is a pretty small ‘app’

"Scale is also an issue."

Not really. Caching is straightforward since it's not exactly critical that people see the latest tweets the moment they're submitted. So while it deals with an awful lot of data, the issues that a lot of systems have to deal with aren't there.

Basecamp details 'obscene' $3.2 million bill that caused it to quit the cloud

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Re: "Most of that spend – $759,983 – went on compute"

Carbon dibaxide.

Sysadmin infected bank with 'alien virus' that sucked CPUs dry

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We had some idiot go round installing SETI@Home on every Windows machine they could get access too. Turned out to be a contractor who used the simple expedient of asking a user what their password was, then logging in once they left for the day. My manager was an ex-army officer, and the bollocking he gave the contractor before dismissing him could be heard from the other side of the building.

Twitter starts auction to flip the bird, furniture, pizza ovens, gadgets galore

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Reminds me of the auction after Enron went bust. It included a large scale model railway that had run around the perimeter of the London boardroom. A friend who worked there said that disgruntled staff were taking a lot of the more portable gear with them on the day Enron imploded, much of it finding its way to a certain auction website...

Russians say they can grab software from Intel again

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Re: Think about it.

I know of a few companies that use IP geolocation data to block all traffic to or from China, so I wonder if the same is now happening with Russian traffic.

This is the end, Windows 7 and 8 friends: Microsoft drops support this week

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I'm running Debian stable, nothing fancy. Going to give Cyberpunk 2077 a play tonight - I bought it over the Christmas period when it was half price and according to the reviews they've fixed the worst of the glitches that marred its release.

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Most aren't officially supported on Linux by their publishers, since it's still a vanishingly small audience, but if you check a game against the Proton database it will usually be listed as working on Linux. The only PC game I've not been able to play recently is the latest Far Cry one, but that's because the publisher refused to have it in the Steam store.

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If the games are on Steam, then you probably don't need Windows for them either. I'm running Steam on Linux, and have yet to find a game that doesn't work - some even work better, as in less buggy, than on Windows. For example, a number of bugs in oldie-but-goodie Dead Island on Windows are not present on Linux, so I assume some support in the Wine based stuff is better than on native Windows.

Fancy a quick tour of DragonFly BSD 6.4?

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Re: Not goading a flamewar...

It will be interesting to see how much NetBSD has caught up performance wise whe version 10.0 is released. At the moment it's a beta release, but debugging options are still enabled in the official builds which currently slow it down.

At one point, it's performance got a massive boost when the threading implementation was rewritten. This was around 2010 if memory serves, and there was also considerable work on the SMP side of things that the simpler threading design made easier. For certain workloads (PostgreSQL for example), it outperformed Linux for a while.

No more holidays for US telcos, FCC is cracking down

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Re: Age Tokens

Presumably the Auth consumer is going to have to contact the Auth provider to validate the token. At that point the provider knows exactly where the token is used.

CES Worst in Show slams gummi gouging, money-wasting mugs, and other dubious kit

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Re: Pass the urine

>shudder< You've reminded me of the mandatory drug tests from my time in the army. I'm not particularly shy, but having to wee into a pot in front of an NCO was not fun, especially since the tests were random and sometimes it was a major effort to produce enough pee for a valid sample.

Cleaner ignored 'do not use tap' sign, destroyed phone systems ... and the entire building

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Re: Cleaners and Signs

I had a similar problem with a cleaner who would helpfully turn off any plug socket that they found still switched on while they did their evening clean up. A handwritten sign in English asking him or her not to do it to a particular socket went unheeded, until someone mentioned our cleaners were all Brazilian for some reason. A new sign in Portuguese did the trick.