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* Posts by J.G.Harston

1671 posts • joined 4 Mar 2009

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

J.G.Harston
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You can't even pay your tax with your National Insurance number, even though it is a requirement to be paid and appears on your pay slip and P60 (yearly salary statement). To pay your taxes you need your Unique Taxpayer Reference Number. But you still need to put your National Insurance number on your tax forms.

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J.G.Harston
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I keep my national insurance number in my head.

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J.G.Harston
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It's personation (assuming the identity of another person with intent to deceive), not *im*personation.

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GCSE computer science should be exam only, says Ofqual

J.G.Harston
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But that's *not* what's happening.

Employers: We need school-leavers to know how to use computers!

Politicians: Right... that's called "IT" innit? Oi! Teachers. You've gotta do this "programming" stuff.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Teaching is neither tutoring nor coaching

My neighbour has been a social worker for 20-odd years, and I'm constantly having to go around to explain to her where she's saved her documents, and that Acobat Reader is not a word processor, and that Microsoft Word is not an email program, and worst of the worst, that what she sees in *that* window is actually her PC in her office in the town hall, not the PC under her feet under her desk at home, and that a document saved from *this* window is inaccessible to *that* window. She keeps mumbling "I must get some training", but my thoughts are: why the **** were they not trained in this *before* expecting them to use it?

And not just how to use the remote access system and their casework management system, but the bare fundamentals of "this is a file system", "this is a directory structure", "this is how to keep things tidily arranged", "this is what the file system looks like from the filer vs this is what it looks like from a file dialog", etc. I sometimes wonder, do they dump paper records in a huge pile in a cabinet drawer? As that's what they do with electronic data.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Ofsted Have Caused It

And none of them is IT. Which realistically is what we *should* be teaching.

"IT" is today's "how to drag a pen over a sheet of paper and get these things called words and sentences to appear, because when you go to work you'll need to be able to drag a pen over a sheet of paper and get these things called words and sentences to appear".

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J.G.Harston
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Re: There are no teachers

My best teachers at school were physics (former British Steel metallurgist) and chemistry (former British Tissues materials analyst).

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J.G.Harston
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Re: There are no teachers

Perzaktly! I've tried to apply for the bribes - oops, I mean government sponsored ICT teacher training courses for the last three years, and have consistantly been tuened down every single time. If they are so desperate for teachers, why the **** are they turning people away?

Never mind, if I carefully manage a starvation diet for the next ten years, I'll be able to draw early on my pension and piss off out of the job market.

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J.G.Harston
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You shouldn't be asking IT staff for programming help, you should be asking programmers for programming help. You should be asking IT staff for IT help, such as changing the printer cartridge.

As expected, commentators have swept themselves into the whirlpool of confusing "IT" and "programming". "IT" == "driving a car". "Programming" == "*CREATING* a car".

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Oh, please...

"Your university degree certificate does not signify that you have learned anything. It signifies that you are _CAPABLE_ of learning".

That may have been the case when you, I and your Dad went to uni, but today it simply proves you've managed to stay alive for three years.

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J.G.Harston
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Oh dear, are we still insisting on teaching children to build a car engine because the future depends on being able to drive?

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Mything the point: The AI renaissance is simply expensive hardware and PR thrown at an old idea

J.G.Harston
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Re: Quite.

"Humans seldom reason their way towards conclusions; they reach conclusions and then rationalise the whys and wherefores"

Which is exactly why the scientific method was invented, to circumvent those human biasis.

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Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?

J.G.Harston
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Re: Given the toxicity of the toner powder, Mike called an ambulance forthwith.

It's the breathing of the stuff that's the problem, it's so fine it will block the aviolas in the lungs (or whatever they're called). Getting a medic to check them over is a good idea in my opinion.

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Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

J.G.Harston
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Re: The name 'Tesla' has been hijacked

Hay! I've got an adze. I use it for chopping out tree roots.

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This revolution will not be televised – but it will be sanctioned: Googlers walk out over 'sex pest' executive scandals

J.G.Harston
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Contract is subserviant to law. You cannot contact to break the law. Fundamental part of rule of law innit.

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J.G.Harston
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"A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity"

As far as I can tell, Google only discriminates on pay according to how much work you do, and only discriminates on opportunity according to how able you are.

We'll know when Google starts discriminating in favour of people incapable of doing the job when Google starts going belly up.

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UK banking TITSUP*: This time it's Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks

J.G.Harston
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YorksBank's online banking was just fine, then they WindowsSlabbed it, killing the usability. It used to have numbers in neat columns, y'know, like a display of financial information. Now everything's all over the place.

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Budget 2018: UK goes it alone on digital sales tax for tech giants

J.G.Harston
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Easiest way to pay no profits tax is to make no profits by paying your staff loads of money. Unfortunately, that means you end up paying payroll taxes instead, often *more* than the profits taxes you would have paid if you'd not paid the staff more money.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: A tiny step in the right direction

No, the EU-mandated minimum amount that VAT can be is 5%, so resulting in tampons being priced at 3.2p instead of 3.1p.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Brexit coin

Shouldn't it be a 52p coin?

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Budget 2018: Landlords could be forced to grant access for full-fibre connections

J.G.Harston
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You'd think having services into a property would be something a landlord would want. Which is more likely to get a paying tenant? Property A with utilities or Property B with no utilities?

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People outperform computer programs for 'compressing' pix

J.G.Harston
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I'm surprised they actually got real work out of Mechanical Turk. I was registered on there for ages and all I got was spam.

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Roughly 30 years after its birth at UK's Acorn Computers, RISC OS 5 is going open source

J.G.Harston
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RISC OS didn't/doesn't load from ROM, it *RAN/RUNS* from ROM.

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Can't get pranked by your team if nobody in the world can log on

J.G.Harston
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What's this "left my machine unlocked" nonsense? Surely if you leave your machine it locks itself. And if it doesn't why the hell not?

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Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

J.G.Harston
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Just a point of pedanty: Sheffield Hallam is *NOT* student-heavy, that's Sheffield Central next door.

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Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

J.G.Harston
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Until I lost it, on my previous phone I used Barwick Green. Then, one evening I was in the audience for Any Questions....

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Scanning an Exchange server for a virus that spreads via email? What could go wrong?

J.G.Harston
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Re: Thing of the past, thank god! -users just do not get why you need to limit their mail to 2Gb

And why on earth store it *in* *your* *mailbox*???? Extract it and store the file as a file in the file space for files.

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Virgin Media? More like Virgin Meltdown: Brit broadband ISP falls over amid power drama

J.G.Harston
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Me too. I'd forgotten they went through Blue Yonder. Weren't they NTL at one point?

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Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

J.G.Harston
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My ISP was going out of buisness and turned off my service. Argh! I screamed - all my (recent) email is on there! Ok, we'll turn it back on for a couple of hours. Logged in and fetched all my email locally. Phew.

Set up new account on another ISP. Configured my email client. Connected to the new ISP and the email client promptly sync'd my local files with the empty account on the new ISP. ARGGGGGGHHHH!!!!!

On my PC I still have a big directory on the current drive containing files made up from every allocation cluster on the old drive after I imaged it and extracted all the contents, which I go through from time to time. I still have a gap of about a week in my email archive that I haven't found yet.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Try uninstalling a video game...

Not quite, but TEMP=C:\DOS

Then install something that tidies up the TEMP directory on exit.....

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A web where the user has complete control of their data? Sounds Solid, Tim Berners-Lee

J.G.Harston
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Wouldn't you have to legislate to ban people from chosing not to use Solid?

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Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

J.G.Harston
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Re: Hot water...

15A x 120v is 1800W. Here in Blightly we get 13A x 240v = 3120W, almost twice your "plenty to spare".

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J.G.Harston
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The only time I've used my phone for navigation while walking was to check what time it was so I could work out which direction was north.

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Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

J.G.Harston
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Re: MOSFETs and clean rooms

I once had to recover a DOS/Win system where some bright spark had set TEMP=C:\DOS

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J.G.Harston
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Re: MOSFETs and clean rooms

Part of that is idiots who use *your* intray as *their* pending tray, and then they wonder why their work has vanished. Ditto morons who *store* things in *rubbish* bags. It's in a *RUBBISH* bag, so it got put in the *RUBBISH* bin! WHAT. DID. YOU. EXPECT?????

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A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

J.G.Harston
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Re: Anyone got...

Something like:

Business for sale for 100K.

I borrow 100K from the bank and use it to buy the business.

The business then borrows 100K and uses it to pay me 100K which I use to pay the loan I obtained to buy the business.

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J.G.Harston
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I knew Maplin was on the way out around 2005 when I went into my local store to buy some 40pin IDC box headers for an drive interface I was building - and not only did the staff respond in puzzled bemuzement, it didn't even exist in the catalog. I then asked a work colleague with a credit card to order me the bits I needed from Farnell.

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Man cuffed for testing fruit with bum cheek pre-purchase

J.G.Harston
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Re: Bread

The story made me immediately think of this.

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Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'

J.G.Harston
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Re: Dangerous

That's why they're moving to emails within nhs.net, so they're never seen or processed by the outside world. Any flaws in the email process are then entirely internal.

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'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

J.G.Harston
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Re: "Become a royal Navy Engineer" advert

Well somebody should sue, as they advetise the opportunity to become a technician, not an engineer.

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First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards

J.G.Harston
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"This includes simplified access to .GOV websites"

Why should the UK government introduce ID cards just so we can use US government websites?

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Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

J.G.Harston
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Re: So now your going to upset the Indians and the Hippies?

First Nations and Persons Of Restricted Hygiene.

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J.G.Harston
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So, what verb should I use for the action that occurs when the interupt line changes state and the processor redirects execution away from the mainline code?

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Hold on a moment...

Main/Subsidiary? Then PCBs can still be labelled M and S.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Blackboards???

If the thing you write on is now to be called by the thing you use to write on it, then that forces us to have markerboards, inksheets and stylusboards.

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UK.gov's no-deal plans leave HMRC customs, VAT systems scrambling to keep up

J.G.Harston
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VAT: Wasn't it announced last month that all import VAT would be subsumed into normal annual VAT returns, regardless of source of import, regardless of a deal or no deal.

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Nope, the NSA isn't sitting in front of a supercomputer hooked up to a terrorist’s hard drive

J.G.Harston
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Orac was meant to be fiction, not a blueprint.

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Software dev-turned-councillor launches rubbish* chatbot

J.G.Harston
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Facepalm

Re: Oh great

- What's the postcode?

+ Doesn't have one, it's "un-named road", 150m from the junction with "un-named road" that runs between the Bxxx and the Byyyy". Grid reference NZxxxx xxxx.

- I don't recognise that postcode.

I had an almost identical conversation with the polis trying to direct them to a car smash at the top of the moors 15 miles from the nearest phone signal.

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Don't let Google dox me on Lumen Database, nameless man begs

J.G.Harston
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Kafka-eqsue

...but the other way around.

There are two fundamental items of information any defendant requires to defend themselves from a legal charge - what am I charged with, and ***WHO*** is charging me.

There are arguments for and against as to whether the public should have access to this information before, during, or after a trail, but *within* a trial it is fundamental.

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Surprise! VAT, customs likely to get a bit trickier in a Brexit no-deal world

J.G.Harston
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Re: This Train Wreck is getting interesting

Why would we put tarrifs on things we want to buy?

That is how tarrifs work, you know. The importing country's government forces importing consumers to pay more than they otherwise would.

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