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* Posts by John Brown (no body)

5452 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Angler hooks German's todger at nudist lake

John Brown (no body)
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"Not long to think it up, it's the whiting it down that takes ages.."

Oh my Cod! Stop basking in your own glory.

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Your wget is broken and should DIE, dev tells Microsoft

John Brown (no body)
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"1) How often did the shell move from /usr/bin/bash and /bin/bash lately?"

On non-Linux Unix-like systems. It's not the default shell on FreeBSD. It's a user installed port/pkg so the binary goes in /usr/local/bin/bash. No doubt others will have other examples.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Another example

"The alias of 'wget' for 'Invoke-WebRequest' has been around for years (it was added in Powershell 3.0)."

I suppose the real question is, why the hell did MS use a unixoid alias for an existing powershell command in the first place? Consider the MS attitude to Unix in general and Linux in particular, especially back when PS3.0 was introduced.

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Gaze in awe at Elon Musk’s historic 156-foot erection

John Brown (no body)
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Mushroom

"Bezos achieved the first Earth bound powered landing, which is a different thing."

If we're being fussy, one could argue that the Russians have been doing powered landings for years. Admittedly it only "powered" for the last few feet, but still....

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John Brown (no body)
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Joke

Re: Oh my, Mr Musk!

It could have been worse if he'd forgotten the comma in the subject line.

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Windows Phone dives into irrelevant-like-BlackBerry territory

John Brown (no body)
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Re: We live in a rather paradoxical situation

"However there's no space left for yet another "Facebook"-Machine. The swiping idiots market has been thoroughly grazed by Android and iOS."

In the early days of home computers, selling a few thousand was enough and lots of people did it with different and cometig platforms. Later, it was 10's pf 1000's/ Then 100's of thousands. These days, few if any are prepared to go to market unless they think they can sell millions of not billions. No one wants to just "make good", they all want to be billionaires. Even the big boys are not interested in small market shares, just look at MS and their WinPhone.

Not enough people want devices that are more than a Facebook machine, so no one is prepared to do it,

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Not surprising that...

"Windows phones are seen as "business friendly" as they support Exchange out of the box "

So did my old Galaxy S2 and my current Galaxy S5.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Not surprising that...

"...Blackberry and Windows sales are very similar; both are targeted at the business sector. I've been working very closely with MS on Windows Phone for the past two years and it is being developed, and targeted, as a Blackberry replacement, not for the personal market."

You seem to know more about the inside workings of MS than their own marketing and PR flacks. Did you not see the hugely optimistic sales targets for WinPho10? Were Marketing and PR lying or had information simply been withheld from them to allow for "plausible denyability"

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Microsoft

"The alternative seems to be use Open/Libre Office and use a UI from the 90's"

Just because you think it looks like it's from the 1990's doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it.

I use both, and personally find MSOffice too cluttered in the menu bar stakes and the flat UI makes it harder to find stuff IMO. Now, I won't say that everything about 1990's GUIs are great or that all changes since were poor, but I often think that "refreshing" a GUI is not always a step forward, especially when it's not for proven usability improvements but just because marketing think it's time for a brand "refresh".

MS have cut down the opportunity for user to customise their desktop easily to wallpaper, colour scheme and sound effects only. It's still "flat".

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iPhone: Apple's Mac battle with Windows rebooted

John Brown (no body)
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Re: OSX core

"I agree with your message otherwise but do note that OS X is not Linux and has nothing to do with it, except that the BSD based OS X core has a somewhat similar free software license."

FWIW the OSX kernel is Mach derived while the userland is BSD derived.

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John Brown (no body)
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"Fifteen years ago Sony was King of the World and Samsung was just a computer peripheral manufacturer."

Not a good comparison. Samsung were the worlds biggest RAM chip maker and second only to Intel in overall chip manufacture. They also built stuff, like the Peteronas Towers and the Burj Khalifa. They were on their way to being the worlds largest flat panel display builder. They were also building ships. For that matter, about 15 years ago they were building fighter jets and tanks/mobile artillery. All that and lots more,15 or so years ago, and they've grown and diversified since then :-)

Sony are and always have been more narrowly focussed, mainly in various aspects of the entertainment industry, be it transistor radios and their successors or making the music, TV shows and films.

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DVLA misses out on £400m in tax after scrapping paper discs

John Brown (no body)
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Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

"In one of his books David Niven claimed that during a broke period he'd used a Guiness bottle label instead of a tax disc."

I remember once seeing a car with a Newcastle Brown label in the windscreen :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

"That wasnt her being an idiot, that is how they cross the road in China, you walk out slowly and let the traffic flow around you, while watching for any vehicle that looks like it might not."

Universities, at least here in the UK, mostly run special courses at or just before the start of term to teach the new foreign students a little about how life works in the UK. Crossing roads is one of the topics taught. Whether it sinks in or not is another matter.

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John Brown (no body)
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"those £0 cars are not going to be allowed much longer - read this and prepare for £140 a year if you buy from 2017"

To play devils advocate for a moment, that was always going to be the case. The scaled down VED bands for zero and low emission cars was always intended as a carrot to encourage people to choose those options. I don't see a flat rate coming back in the near future, but the banding rates will go up as planned. It may be that this is happening sooner than planned. I don't remember the details now.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: In reality...

"Petrol contains roughly 88% of the carbon as the same volume of diesel, so tax petrol at 88% of diesel!"

It's not quite that simple though! Diesel give better MPG. On the other hand it spits out more nasty shit.

And anyway, this is Government you are talking about. YOU will be no better off. Diesel drivers will just be taxed even more!

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

"Unlike the USA, pedestrians ALWAYS have right of way on UK roads except where expressly prohibited (motorways, etc)"

Although that's true most of the time, wandering randomly through moving traffic probably isn't a good idea, especially when drunk or just being stupid and running out into a road, and that will be taken into account.

Likewise, obstructing the highway is an offence punishable by a fine. You could argue that a pedestrian running out into the road without warning doesn't have right of way but is causing an obstruction. Pedestrians, and I one too, as well as a driver!) might legally have the right of way, but they also have a duty of care to themselves and others.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: This should be one of the easiest taxes to collect ...

"Don't go victim-blaming you piece of scum!"

Ummm....I think you missed the point. It's not always the drivers fault. No idea of the stats and I don't really care, but your holier than thou attitude that it's always the drivers fault tells me that you are little more than an idiot yourself and probably one of those self-important morons than saunters across roads with no thought of all the people you are holding up "because it's your right". Courtesy goes both ways.

No one deserves to be injured or die in an RTA, but the culpability needs to be assigned justly. Why should some poor car driver have to live the rest of their life feeling the horror and guilt at having run over and killed a drunken pedestrian that runs out in front of them? Or jumped off a motorway bridge?

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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

John Brown (no body)
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Re: I don't care what he's been accused of

"When we lost the right to silence with the password law that should have been a red flag to everyone."

The right to silence was already long gone when they introduced the new law which *requires* you to give up passwords and PINs

"if you do not mention anything now which you later rely on in court, it *may* harm your defence" (my emphasis.) The password reveal thing is an automatic "go to jail" if you don't answer, not a "may harm your defence" thing, subtly different with far worse consequences.

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John Brown (no body)
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"So if he gets married he has still tell the cops he is having a sex ?"

Not sure if he's married now or not (or if he ever was), but he is referred to as "a father of two" in the news stories.

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John Brown (no body)
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Facepalm

Re: Clear signs

""innocent until found guilty"

FFS people! That's the fourth or fifth time I've seen that misquoted. That is exactly the problem here.

It's UNLESS, not UNTIL.

"innocent until found guilty" implies that you ARE guilty of something and they'll keep trying 'till they get you for something, anything. That's the whole basis of this story.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

"Innocent in fact, or otherwise, he was not found guilty by the jury and he therefore has the right not to be punished for it. It sounds like he should be bringing suit against the police for theft (of his phone, etc.). Hopefully someone will take on his case pro-bono."

Although I agree with you, the actions of the Police, especially the implications for anyone who might one day upset a police officer are very worrying. What we need to remember here is that this SRO order was granted in a civil case, which has a much lower burden of proof. (leaving aside the legal argument over whether the conditions applied are allowed by the Order or even legal in themselves)

There are shades of the O.J. Simpson case here except it's the Police bringing the civil case. Which is strange in and of itself because if you go to them and they decide it's a civil case, they won't touch it.

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Microsoft can't tell North from South on Bing Maps

John Brown (no body)
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Re: If I remember correctly

"Microsoft Windows, Where do you want to go today ?"

Well it looks like we can add this to the growing list of things we can't trust them for."

I think it was always a rhetorical question. If it wasn't, it is now.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update completely borks USB webcams. Yay.

John Brown (no body)
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Re: The beginning of the end

"A Microsoft infestation is like malaria: just when you think you've got it under control it flares up again. As long as you have a large volume of C level people that rather believe the chap they meet in a club than their own techs, as long as very senior people can be swayed by some sponsorship to look the other way and as long as consultancies and advisers make more money off the continual maintenance of Windows based platforms than they would do off a far more stable Open Source environment Microsoft can pretty much do what it wants - the rest of us have no choice but to follow."

That's what they used to say about IBM. They sold off their printer business. Then they sold off the PC and Laptop businesses. They're still around, they're still big, but they don't really have any impact on the market that most people remember them for. They used to dominate it. Hell, they more or less invented the desktop mass market.

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Shopped in an Eddie Bauer store recently? Your card's probably gone. It's just gone

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Mandatory cop-out

Yes, this! It's like they assess the cost of proper security and balance it against the likelihood of being hacked and the consequent costs. The problem is, they don't seem to understand the probabilities. It's "if", not "when". I suppose they might be gambling that not spending the money shows they are "prudent" so they can grab their bonus and bugger off before the inevitable hack occurs.

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UK's mass-surveillance draft law grants spies incredible powers for no real reason – review

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Business as usual

"Eh? Who killed Fusilier Lee Rigby? Who blew up three underground trains and a bus?"

As with pretty much every terror attack across Europe in the last 10-15 years, those acts were carried out by people "known" to the security services, but they still managed to plot, plan and carry out their attacks, despite all the data gathering, It make one wonder if they spent a little less money on collecting and scrabbling through all of our data, they might have ,more to spend on actually surveilling some of these suspects they already "know" about.

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My headset is reading my mind and talking behind my back

John Brown (no body)
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Mushroom

Re: @Fungus Bob

"Newtons is weight. FTFY."

You callin' Sir Isaac fat?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Bah!

"As late as 1984 people in the IT industry I worked with believed the widely-held-in-England fairy tale that wearing sunglasses relieved hay-fever."

But they do seem to help reduce the amount of pollen getting into your eyes when driving. As a hayfever sufferer who drives a LOT, it does make a difference. Especially the years when I'm badly affected.

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John Brown (no body)
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Happy

Re: Yellow 'sunglasses'

"Apparently the latest thing for such conditions is a pale reddish tint (I hesitate to call it pink - but it looks rather like that). Maybe I'll try that."

You mean rose tinted specs?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Yellow 'sunglasses'

"I used to try and dress like Starsky when I was seven (no kid would want to dress like Hutch, all those wool sweaters)."

You preferred the wooley cardi instead of a leather jacket? Old before your time?

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Password strength meters promote piss-poor paswords

John Brown (no body)
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Re: crap passwords should be reused on low risk websites

Follow the rainbow and hope?

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John Brown (no body)
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crap passwords should be reused on low risk websites

Great! Now all we have to do is educate the users on risk assessment!

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John Brown (no body)
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"Here's your new password, you won't be able to type it, much less remember it. Please save it in your password manager and enter it twice now."

And then the user chooses the master password for the password manager, and it's 123456 because they have to type it every damned time ;-)

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John Brown (no body)
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"But any password system that's out to block reuse and common foibles won't keep a hash but the actual password (encrypted if it's smart)."

Good point. It doesn't even need to keep the current password stored at all other than as the normal hash. At the point where the system asks you to change your password, it asks you to enter your existing password first. It can use this to match against the new one, at which point the old one is now forbidden and safe to keep stored and added to the list of n previously used passwords. Still encrypted preferably since if anyone got access to a users previous list of passwords, many will probably demonstrate a pattern of password construction.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Passwords need to be rethought

"I favour lines, couplets, or even stanzas from poems or Shakespeare plays"

Most people would likely choose one of the most well known quotes, and they are susceptible to dictionary attacks. Great if you have an interest and knowledge of more obscure quotations, but most people don't. One government dept, I did work for assigned passwords to users, non-changable by the users and were invariably the initials from common nursery rhyme lines. Randomly capitalising letters or adding unexpected punctuation would help if it's long enough. A personally memorable phrase that's not a literature quote would be even better.

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Uber and Volvo take on Ford in race to launch self-driving vehicles

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Got fed up of being flashed.

"ridiculously bright LED DRLs"

Yep. Those and HIDs should banned. Very distracting when it's dull, dawn or dusk, some seem to go off like camera flashes in the rear view mirror when going over bumps or the boot is loaded up. Do cars no longer have sidelights any more? It seems as if most cars these days have auto-on headlights which come on well before they are needed. Last few hire cars I have have the option to switch that function off but only until the next time you turn the ignition off. According to the manual in one hire car, one of the ways the car "decides" to switch on the headlights is if it "sees" oncoming traffic with their headlights on. Madness!

This probably explains why I see more than usual numbers of cars driving with no lights on when they should be on, especially in wet conditions on well lit roads. The driver is probably in the second car or a borrowed one and doesn't seem to realise they are still responsible for turning the lights on when the car doesn't have auto-on lights.

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John Brown (no body)
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dogging while "driving" in rush hour? <shudders>

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CERN staff conduct 'human sacrifice' at supercollider site

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Petrol on fire

"Goddess of Creation and destruction? Surely not, I always thought Shiva was male and had to be placated by his Wife to ensure he didn't destroy the Universe?"

You are correct. I greatly simplified, probably over simplified. Hindu gods have many, often conflicting aspects, and Shiva is one of three gods who make up a triumvirate of creation, constancy and destruction, Shiva being the destruction bit but has many positive aspects too.

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New UK trade deals would not compensate for loss of single market membership

John Brown (no body)
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Re: @Tom 64: Really ....

"Negative equity is a nasty situation to find yourself in."

Only if you want or need to move. Other than the sense of injustice that you paid £200K for a house now worth £100K, if you're not planning on selling before it's paid off, it's not a problem. Unless wages also go down in real terms and you can't keep up the repayments.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Really ....

"NO they will NOT be employed elsewhere.... the numbers speak for themselves even the massaged unemployment shows more than a million people sitting at home twiddling their thumbs."

It's worth noting that in those employment figures was a number demonstrating that the number of people in work has increased. Except in the West Midlands and London. Yeah, the unemplyment numbers are fantasy because they don't count people on training courses as unemployed and the numbers "in work" don't tell us about full- and part-timers, but it's not as cut and dried as some here are making out.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Really ....

"it keeps money here. This is what the entire rest of the world does... including France, Germany, Italy and the USA"

It's almost as if the UK is a failed experiment in globalisation started under the leadership of Blair, who in his early career stated he planned to be the first president of a fully united Europe. While "we" went down the route of always buy from the cheapest supplier globally and lost most of our industry, no one else followed.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Really ....

"May is NOT a Brexiter"

She did campaign on the leave side early on but then sort of faded into the background. Not sure if she really wanted to leave or was just hedging her bets.

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You shrunk the database into a .gz and the app won't work? Sigh

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Useless backups

On a similar note, but a smaller scale, I once got sent out to a local branch office of a major UK insurance company to have a look at a failed backup tape drive. Got there, had a quick look at the logs, went to the manager and told him the tape had expired. ie it was a dated tape which the backup software would refuse to use after said expiration date. "Can I have a new one please?" says I. "A new one?" says he, "what new one, we only have the one head office sent us when the it was installed.

A quick call to their HQ IT dept, and the guy says to me "ah good, did you find the fault? We've had 4 other offices call in with the same fault (voice in background "we just got another 5 called in"). So I tell him the reason for the backup failure and to likely expect calls from *every* local office if all the tapes came from the same batch, and the lack of any tape rotation (hard to do with just one!) and lack of spares. Cue a minutes silence. I suspect it was the time to pick up his jaw after it dropped rather than respect for the dead tape. Eventually he says they'll get on that right away and send a dozen tapes to every office and a new procedure description to do proper tape rotation. I also pointed out that the backup software config had an option to email the status report but that was currently blank. He sounded rather sheepish now he was over the shock but did explain he'd only been there a month and was still trying to get up to speed on the mess left by a previous sysadmin.

In all that chatting back and forth, I never did ask why no one had simply remoted in and looked at the logs themselves in the first place instead of just assuming a hardware fault. Maybe he didn;t have passwords? That'd not surprise me in the least.

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John Brown (no body)
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"Pah! I worked with someone who went to the wrong African COUNTRY on a support call."

Bollocks! You beat me! We had our south west engineer go to a call in Poole, Dorset, pre-sat-nav and smartphone era. He rang back after a 2 hour drive saying he can't find the street. He'd even asked around and none of the locals knew it either. Bloody call centre had got confused and should have sent one of the northern engineers to Poole, near Otley in North Yorks.

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NASA dangles ONE MILLION DOLLARS for virtual Mars robots

John Brown (no body)
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WTF?

Darpa?

Isn't this a slimmed down and easier challenge than the already existing DARPA one?

The only real difference is engineering the robot to work in a nearly airless environment at very low temperatures and that's already an in-house skill NASA has.

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Microsoft promises free terrible coffee every month you use Edge

John Brown (no body)
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Headmaster

Re: You dont' know what bad coffee is

expresso espresso

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Where's the coffee?

"Or McDonalds coffee. I ended up buying one from a McD motorway service station (I was desperate for a drink) but ended up leaving it on the table. Undrinkable."

The only way to drink that and similar coffee-like beverages is to convince yourself that it's not coffee. It's a warm, brownish drink of indeterminate but probably sweet taste, preferable with other added flavourings. Thinking of it as actual coffee inevitable leads to disappointment.

Think Vimto, or Cola. Effectively "invented" flavours..

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US Patent Office sued after it declared a power outage a 'national holiday'

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Lemme see if I read this right

"With the power out, it would not have been. So the PTO extends deadlines for filings to make up for the outage."

On the other hand...

Mother: Why were you late home?

Kid: The bus was late/broke down/in an accident

Mother: So why didn't you get the earlier bus?

Yeah, I know, it sounds trite but it's planning ahead and building in slack time to allow for unforeseen eventualities. Unless there was a good reason for filing on the last legal day, why should an official body make allowances because of the operation being unexpectedly closed for a couple of days.

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Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell for Linux, Macs. Repeat, Microsoft has open-sourced PowerShell

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Why is ssh built in?

"Yes, that's the issue. People continue reinventing an outdated system - Linux is an example, instead of finally getting rid of it and design something for the XXI century onward."

The problem there is entrenched existing OS, vendor lock-in, comparability and the applications ecosystem.

Not to mention that no one seems to know what a modern XXIst century OS ought to be. Why would it be better? How would it be better? Why is "a 1970's based" OS so bad for the modern day? Most people creating new OSs today are building their own versions of the accepted OS designs already extant. A paradigm change (which is what you seem to be suggesting) is the sort of thing that comes from a genius visionary, not your average code hacker following the accepted teaching.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: "On Linux we’re just another shell"

"- Is anyone else reminded of Xenix (alternatively, is anyone here old enough too any more)?"

ISTR a Tandy TRS-80 Model 12(??) or 16(??) with a pair of 8" drives built in which ran that. Never saw one in real life thought.

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Two G4S call centre staff sacked over 999 answering scam

John Brown (no body)
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Re: G4S staff fraudulently meet quotas

"Of course none of their managers will be held to account."

Correct. Because all the memos and emails lay out the correct, legal and fair obligations for the employees to follow. The other stuff is all done verbally.

In a previous life, we all got a memo reminding us to always drive within the law. But we were still expected to get to jobs 100 miles away "on time" even when it was legally impossible.

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