629 posts • joined 30 Sep 2011
Working for a totally unrelated kind of business, back in the early '90s the owner decided to become an ISP as well. Note "as well." As part of the process, the busness moved to a somewhat larger space, and I and my partner were tasked with wiring the office's network. It was coaxial, hand pulled, with BNC connectors, and never forget the terminator. Anyway, we got the network running. Then things like printers and other computers were connected, and finally, we got a genuine CAT5 system and an honest to whatever, would-be BOFH (he had delusions of grandeur, we knew the wiring - rubs hands together). Anyway, between our real jobs, we also pulled "support" duty. In particular, we had an office manager - an extreme fundamentalist, who at one point did not report to work because she and her husband and fellow certifiables were on a hill top waiting for God - who never got the appointment note.
She would settle into he desk, and start work. Sooner or later we would hear a shriek of rage and a yell for help. Her system (no one else's) had frozen, crashed, would not respond to commands ... One of us would walk in, ask her to move out of her chair, take her place, and her computer would behave sweetly. We would then ask, "what is the trouble?" She would explain that it would not print, would not ... Which we would then do and it would be fine. All we could tell her was "you can't get impatient with the electrons or they'll go one strike." The problems persisted through rewirings and different systems and new printers. The only diagnosis we could ever come up with is that electronics didn't like her.
One of my friends knocked one day and growled that he had locked himself out of his foot locker. I said maybe we could pick it, so we went around to his place and took a look. It was a beautiful piece of woodworking, glossy oak. He told me his granfather made. The lock was a padlock through a hasp. Picking was a definitely possibility, but any quasi-cubical object has six sides. So I turned it aound and discovered the hinges were face mounted. So we broke out his Swiss Army knife removed the hinges and he retrieved his key.
The trial would be a colossal waste of public funds s it stands. The closed charges evidently provide hte Feds with time to manufacture evidence that the apology was a fake and that Markara was building an arsenal of cream pies and banana peels to use against Pai.
Re: He commited a Felony
Yeah, "felony" by definition rather than content. Just goes to show that the jackassery of of Pai successfully triggered further jackassery. "Threats" are not treated as First Amendment protected speech here in the home of the "brave," although the immense majority of threats are uttered by frustrated people who never learned to curse, swear and utter Shakespearian obscentities. Otherwise he might have uttereed something more like, "the devil damn thee black thou Pai faced loon," or something similar.
Re: @Ted Treen ...@AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already
@Ian Michael Gumby
The law in the US varies from state to state. In most the some breaking into your house does not have to display a weapon to be considered a threat to your safety. In this case he had both a fair warning, AND a weapon, although probably not visible. He was carrying what the police sometimes call an abduction or rape kit. Most states have in addition to a "stand your ground" standard, either overt (as in Florida) or simply by omission as in most of the rest, that means that you can defend yourself if threatened, whether or not you are in your home, even California. While the common advice - even in the US - is to follow Monet Python's example and "run away," many people simply cannot do that because of age, infirmity or simple lack of condition. And, police response time is typically at least an order of magnitude longer than the typical "violent interaction" time between a felon and victim. Ideally, we should prosecute ANYONE who sues someone who defended themselves and injured or killed the felon as an accomplice to the crime. They are after all attempting to profit from the crime or attempted crime. And, while juries occasionally go off the rails, in the US they are not commonly sympathetic with the criminal, injured or not, or his or her relatives.
Power? What power?
About 20 years, working on an archaeological project in Israel, the director had the habit of buying and shipping most of the computer hardware over from the US at the start of the field season. Actually, every member of the crew carried some expedition-owned gear as part of the baggage alotment. So first day, our job as lab staff was to set up the computers and LAN. So, as noted, hardware purchased in US, staff from US, in Israel. Israel uses the same 240 volt power standard similar to the UK and other European countries. Setting up the gear, we have several "work stations" - actually PCs with MS Windows (may be even Windows 98) using the basic networking tools that came with Windows. One machine was much more powerful since it handled the GIS system, We installed and powered up each system safely until we got to the GIS system with a pentium processor, loads of ram and a huge harddrive (for the time). I leaned over to plug in the big guy and there was a loudish "POP" from inside the box, accompanied by that order of burnt electrics. On that one machine, the biggest and most critcal we forgot to throw the switch over for 240 volt power. Happily it only took a trip to Haifa to find a replacement power supply.
Re: What measure of 'drink' did these Americans use?
A standard drink made with hard alky served in a bar is 120 ml. Another way to see it is that a US "standard" drink contains 14 grams of pure alcohol. Standard beer serving is 12 fl oz (US) at 5%. Wine standard is five ounces at 12% ABV, and 1.5 ounces distilled booze at 80 proof (40% ABV).
Re: The difference
"...even though incompetence is widely available anyway, people often prefer the vendor's incompetence over a third party..."
They even prefer paid incompetence over free incompetence. And may even be disturbed is the free incompetence is slightly less so than what has been paid for.
A thouhgt - a very curious and potentially disturbing one
If you consider just how long Simon has been ensconced in his ops room, and the close and - ah - intimate knowledge he has of company operations, there is more than a small chance that he actually owns the company or a majority through blind proxies. Owning the company and its administration would provide job security. I knew a janitor who never needed to work because unbeknownst to anyone up the line. he actually was the boss of all bosses and really did know where the bodies were buried. He mainly showed up to keep an eye on things and note any new graves.
Ah yes. My first job - actually related to computers as anything but tools - I was sitting at my desk trying to kludge together some dbaseIV code to parse a very large (for a desktop PC) data file into a saner order. My new employers calls me to his office where his computer "is slow." He is writing a report in WordPerfect about 12 pages worth so far. He is formatting the document as he writes and then edits, rewrites, redits reformats and on and on. He wanders off to get coffee or visit bar or something. I close the file and wait a very long time. Once the file is closed everything seems jake. Nothing slow, programs come up quickly (for the early 1990s). There's no internet in the office yet and the world wide web is merely a rumour as far as we are concerned. So I loaded his document and it was really, really slow. Hmmm. I gave the WP reveal codes command - WOW! The text is literally lost in orphan formatting code. So I closed it again and checked the file size, which for DOS, was huge. I don't recall the actual size. So I went in cleared loads of orphan codes away and cleared them away and cleared them away. Then I saved and reloaded the file. It was fine. Closed WP and went back to my own work. I here the boss enter his office and settled there's a brief quiet period and then a girlish shriek and my name screamed. So trotting in, I see he's paper white. He had noticed the difference in file size. It considerable convincing. Even looking at and printing the whole file could not initially convince him loads of important stuff hadn't simply vanished.
Re: cellphone, mobile, handy
Glance at BBC News. One of the Sections is "US and Canada." I rather wonder what the typical Canadian thinks of that. Being from south of the border, my experiences in Canada never involved even needing a passport. I did get an RCMP officer a little aggravated once, but that was settled by backing away from the border crossing to a pull out and cooking and eating the sweet corn we were carrying.
When the BOFH first appeared the "cellular telephone" was a very, very new new thing. They were actually about the size of bricks (no back pocket carrying) and would get hot enough that you might start worrying about an explosion next to your external acoustic meatus. In the US these monsters were referred to as "cell phones" in distinction to land lines. However, "mobile" was an option. "Smart phone" is an oxymoron.
Re: This will deter foreign citizens from wanting to come to the US
It deters me and I'm a citizen.
Re: its optional....
That really depends on how you view US history. Prior to the Civil War (American) anywhere from half to four fifths of the immigrants from Europe arrived as indentured servants. Some "voluntarily" indentured themselves. Others were shanghaied off the streets and came to bound for America as "indentured servants." Britain also sent "excess" population with criminal records our way as indentured servants. The short lesson here is that while this period is often referred to as the "colonial" period, the majority of immigrants would be called "refugees" these days and many arrived unwillingly regardless of their continent of origin. One of the south's reasons for "preferring" African slaves was that they looked different enough to be tracked readily of they escaped. There was no significant Federal interest in immigrants until the late 19th Century when the "Chinese Exclusion Act" was passed. Ten years after that the first immigrant (from Ireland) was processed at Ellis Island.
For some of us "hardline" Americans "illegal immigrant" sounds un-American.
Re: If you want puritianism then
"...Typically items in the trunk are deemed to be in the possession of the driver so while they're ok with you taking what's left of the wine bottle from the restaurant you have to have someone walk it home."
Not really. Just drive sanely, signal turns and lane changes, actually stop at stop signs and stoplights. A cop won't pull you over unless there's something resembling a cause that can justify the stop. The commonest reason for a stop is a "rolling stop" at an intersection. They also love catching people talking on their cell phone or better, texting. The fines are steep and contesting the ticket requires actual proof you were not using your cell phone.
Re: Advertising falls most heavily on the poor
Ban adverts. Or at least get rid of the bandwidth gobbling s**** that make so many web pages so very, very ugly and noisy.
Re: Ha ha that's funny
Fredrick Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth discuss the concept of "free will" in a civilization run by ad companies in Space Merchants. A true classic.
Re: who would play BOFH and PFY?
"...(too obvious, typecast?) With characters named BoFH, PFY, BOSS, HR droid, surely you jest.
Ironically perhaps, the legal basis by which the public has right of way across that property extends far back into English history. The rule in California is that a private ownership of a route used publicly has to be maintained by denying public access to the route annually. I used to help my father-in-law close off a short road on land he owned connecting two other roads, erecting a barrier and running tape across the entrances.
Re: Great Headline, Register
The original story was "The Sentinel" and ends with the narrator wondering if the "builders" might not have become cranky in their old age, jealous of younger races. The movie begins with that and then builds on a "singularity" like concept of "evolution." (Evolution really has no direction its headed in so YMMV.) Some of the movie has concepts that probably really hark from Childhood's End. There was no original book as such, just a novelized version of the movie.
The trouble is that not a few of us actually did, once upon a time, genuinely find some page or document that is now not found. It was there, and now it is not. That is not a user problem.
Re: I miss Altavista
They're really optimized to provide your eyes to ads they get paid to slobber all over the display. Now we have cheeky sites that complain "you are using an ad blocker. We'll die if you don't let us use your machine the way we want to. Please help us." A decent ad knows its place. It stays where it belongs, makes no noise, and doesn't need pop-up windows and the entire screen.
""Enormity" means great evil, not large size."
Not necessarily. It has come to be used that way, but it really simply means immensity. The use is well established in literature.
Re: PC world
You left out, "that cup holder too cheap. It broke when I out my mug in it." No joke. I took the call myself. My first bewildered response was "cup holder?" Since we were an ISP and only sold internet connection, the hardware calls were particularly aggravating. But our boss was sure that we would get more business by helping the folks that had gone to some local assemble it while you wait shop.
' ... This is different from the customary USA constitutional legalfest where a village court can discuss the first, second, etc amendments taking "village court decisions"....'
The US situation is such that any court decision that actually intrudes on a constitutional right can be reversed either by a higher state court or a transfer to a federal court which disagrees with the original decision and that disagreement becomes "precedent." The really problematic aspect arises when someone invokes the Ninth or Tenth Amendments. The Ninth essentially acknowledges that there are "rights" retained by "the people" which are not enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The states are not mentioned in the Ninth. Only the individual rights regarded as the most important are delimited in the BoR. More confusing though, the Tenth notes that rights which are not "delegated" to the Federal government or explicitly forbidden to the states by the Constitution are "... reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." That is nicely confusing, setting up a conflict between the states and their populations. If there were only the first nine amendments, there would no major issue about state's rights. Their "rights" would be limited to those granted by the constitution.
Not sure where you are from, but plainly you never served on a jury in the US. There is no such entity as a "village court." In fact searching the term would lead you lead to real estate ads. US law follows the common law system inherited from Britain. A defense lawyer might try to nullify a jury using constitutional arguments, but the judge will instruct a jury according to law and statute. Any constitutional issue would be settled in a federal court or potentially the Supreme Court.
The old "sewing machine" control
Working in one of the first ISPs in the San Joaquin valley in the California in the early '90s I took precisely the same kind of call. The lady had her mouse on the floor as a result of analogical reasoning. It looked vaguely like a cheap foot control for a sewing machine so she put it on the floor. It required a little questioning to determine precisely what the problem really was, but she hung up a happy customer. It was a surprise for me to find similar stories disposed of as "urban myth" within five years.
Re: A good read?!
She was the daughter of of Alfred Kroeber, arguably one of the most influential of American Anthropologists and certainly one of the more important early names. It was Kroeber who brought Ishi to UC Berkeley. The influence of regular exposure to anthropological and ethnographic patterns of thought is evident throughout much of Le Guin's work. When I was in college I took Anthropology classes and the various professors liked to let students know their "pedigree" as heirs to Kroeber's legacy. The nearer they were to Kroeber in terms of teacher-to-teacher lineage, the more they let Anth students know how privileged they were to have them as professors. It was rather comical one-ups-manship. Le Guin though, wrote fine fiction. I was particularly fond if the Earthsea novels.
Re: Capacitor, HAH !! I raise you 2 stories
Ah, yes. Those happy days. We ware called in by the office administrator one day because her computer was "misbehaving." We inquired as to the specific bad acting and were informed that something "smelled bad." We could indeed smell hot electric somethings, but had our own, real jobs as well. So we remarked that we hoped her files were backed up, they were. We also told her we were happy to hear that she had not seen any smoke. She made some inquiry to which we informed her that "those ICs run on smoke. If it gets out they stop working." To which she sniffed contemptuously and snarled "no they don't." A very short while later she screamed quite loudly. We went running in to observe, or call emergency services, or laugh depending. She was standing up, backed against a wall. A thin wisp of smoke was drifting out of the louvers on the case. We broke out a screw driver and - after unplugging the beast - dismantled it. There, on the small processor board of a hard drive, in a largish chip was a small crater with a small amount of smoke lifting from it. We showed it to her and said, "see?"
Democracy - hmmm
The real problem is not the damage to democracy, which in a rather raw(ish) form went and saddle us with Trump. The US is a republic and as such, theoretically elects (democractically) well informed "specialists" to do work that us proles are too busy being productive, lazy or ignorant to address directly. That is, a republic is an indirectly democratic government rather than a democracy per se. The US Constitution actually enshrines certain nature rights in the Bill of Rights and if one reads them very carefully, and one is equipped with good reading skills and perhaps a slight skill in wading through the wordiness of the late 18th Century, then it quite clear that the authors trusted "democracy" just about as far as they trusted the British monarchy - i.e. not at all. Mobs are, after all, democracy in action. One of the natural rights the Bill of Rights enshrines is the right of dissent - regardless of the kind, but particularly from religion. Among other things they had studied the history of England and its Glorious Revolution carefully. The lessons learned were what structured the US Constitution and one reason that British common law authorities are still cited in US law. No, the real damage is the self-inflicted damage done by the republican (not Republican) government on itself that provided the weakness exploited by all that fake news.
Re: Jet Engine
Far, far too late. The UK literally sold the USSR the technology for the early MIG engine. There was an "agreement" signed and sealed, that promised sincerely that the USSR would never, ever use the engines for anything warlike. Then the first MIG captured showed they had replicated the engines. So, technically they might not have broken the promise, but ...
"Simon's taking inspiration from George R R Martin..."
Not all. BOFH was around long before GoT.
Getting the location of the cell tower?
When a cell tower is planned the desired location is fixed to a high degree of precision - less than a meter IIRC. That location is fixed with an accuracy of about 1.3 mm in latitude, but the longitudinal distance will vary with distance from the poles. The locations are public knowledge (at least in the US).
Re: Try obeying the law - won't always work
Never getting hassled simply means you aren't a "modal" figure. I've been stopped and searched more than anyone of any human variation in appearance I know. I spent about six years - or maybe a couple more - not scaring the guys with guns at least once a month and occasionally twice a week. Never ticketed, never cited, never arrested. Asking "why" they stopped me, the answer's gist is that the police DO profile - and not just racially. If you are the right build, you may match the modal description for a possible "perp" - their words - of whatever race you belong to. So, the BOLO says "white, dark hair and beard, six foot, athletic build, blue jeans and boots, military jacket," and you match that, they stop and question you at the very least. Small, white Toyota pickups were apparently also popular with the criminal set. By the time it happened about 20 times, I knew the routine. That actually made some of them more suspicious. Some would get twitchier because I followed directions carefully.
Re: Better justice is the difference
By and large police are pretty well behaved. But they are dealing with individuals who frequently have an exaggerated idea of what they are entitled to. I gave the bum's rush to a former in-law one evening following a death in family. He tried to start some sort of counseling session in my house. No one wanted to hear it and when we asked him to postpone it until a better time. Instead of changing the topic he started in on his constitutional rights under the First Amendment. I hustled him out the door and down the walk, one hand on his collar and the other helping him along by his belt pulled up high and tight at the small of his back, explaining that the First guarantees freedom of speech, but not an audience nor a venue. He called the police outside the gate. They came, explained the same thing to him, and that trying to return after being told to leave was trespass. Then they told me that it might be better to let them handle the riff raff. If he'ld been injured when I chucked him out the gate I would have been at fault, but I had their sympathy since he would not shut up about his rights. So they escorted him off to his car and nodded good night to me.
Re: the big media fallacy
There's little evidence advanced that any agency other than Russia interfered. What is interesting though is that the evidence made available indicates that the purpose of the interference was not to get the Duck elected but instead to aggravate existing rifts in the US social structure.
Re: So much bullshit
The difference is "in house" versus "out of house." With Republicans and Democrats we know they are both lying their ***** off, but the issues are clear cut enough to decide which side you are leaning toward. The Russian ads are not directed in support of some specific candidate but toward disrupting social coherency. They take explicit points being argued within US society (gun control, police shooting, racism, etc.) and amplify them into outright conflicts. The evidence resides in the fact that once Trump won the election, the campaign did not stop. The "liberal" protests following the election were actively "supported" by the very same Russian sources that targeted Clinton. The purpose is social decohesion in the US that would limit our productivity and ability to respond coherently to common threats.
Your opinion is is nice to see ...
... but, being American (USian) I have to say that the sad truth is that there are loads of people with barely room-temperature IQs out there that definitely would jump at the chance to "text" their vote, rather than mustering at a polling place. Every year the IRS reminds everybody that will pay attention that they do not contact someone over the phone for the purposes of informing them of an audit or other action. Yet every year people receive phone messages explaining that the caller if from "the IRS" and that to avoid further action the individual receiving the call can send check, money order or use their credit card to pay the delinquent amount.
Re: I'm confused
As others have already said, "both." The ads collectively don't target some specific candidate and support another. Instead they are directed at social fault lines in the US and the political process. Were I to speculate, and I am, then I would not be surprised of the attack reaches back much farther in time. Consider the crop of candidates available by the time of the election. How many were really good choices? What the US ballot needs is a "none of the above" as a choice for president. It would require some sort of interim "caretaker" system - possibly carrying over the incumbent for one year or something similar, while the parties take in the message and look for genuinely qualified candidates.
"...And his fingerprints on the window key as more evidence...."
Reread the bit when the Boss returns the key. He wiped it before dropping in the drawer. One to watch closely.
Ah - museums
One of the great problems of the hoarder mind set - and all decent museums are run by hoarders - is the inability to accept that there are limits on available space, and especially available space with appropriate climate control for fragile items (old texts, woven material, organic material, etc.). Dealing as they often do with bean-counting, penny pinching, space grabbing types, decisions are frequently made that resort to make shift lodging for critical collections. Occasionally the decision makers did not bother to inform the curators of the decision to relocate (or even OF the relocation). The school I went stored some collections in a structure know fondly as the "rat house" thanks to the large population of a hybrid wild/lab rat mix. Same school, after it was determined that the rat house needed to be razed for ?, the collection vanished to be relocated months later under the music building in an area contaminated by PCBs from the transformer. The engineer screamed aloud when he saw that "someone" had piled cardboard boxes full of flammable materials next to the transformer. My professor was unhappy as well and told the engineer that as soon as we could negotiate new storage space with university, the materials would certainly be moved. While negotiations were going on the collection once more vanished and was rediscovered several miles away at "the aquatic center" where the rowing team kept their shells and oars. Before it could be rescued, a winter storm came through removing the roof, dowsing the collection, doing massive damage to original paper work, and requiring hazmat operations - mold don't y'know - to rescue what could be rescued. Since the collection actually belonged to the US government we were able to point to the school administration and explain, "they did it!"
At another major university, the museum, renamed from a prominent anthropologist to a cranky 19th century, very wealthy woman who bequested an endowment to the school, relocated a large part of the collection to a space under the women's pool. The area was constantly exposed to chlorine gas. The consequences for the collection when constantly exposed to chlorine gas were unhappy.
Nope, not from Texas. Grew up on a ranch though. We and our neighbors mostly used either gasoline or horses for herding. Gasoline in ATVs, hay in horses.
Thanks for that. As a USian, I've run across the term "red diesel" in British literature but never could figure out what it meant.
Re: More spying?
Until you catch the webcam popping out of the lid to watch the key board as you type in your passwords, your biggest worries are mainly about being caught napping or someone noticing how often you seem to be AWOL. And, just for laughs you can make faces at the camera, rude gestures, and if the spy can read lips, more fun. Now the lass attending meetings from her bedroom, well either she should worry about her webcam more, or she has alternate income streams.
This episode really makes me appreciate my old boss. He was odd, left pr0n up on other people's pc's and forgot an at least quadruple-X magazine in the [female] office manager's scanner once, started an inhouse plague international computer viruses until we destroyed his infected floppy disk, but by and large, really kept out of the way.
Ah - Alta Vista
It had a vastly superior search syntax to G*****. Among other things you could make a soft criteria for related terms within a certain proximity (number or words) in a document with none of the "Did you mean ...." crud. With ads priotized the usefulness of the big G is even more limited.
Stephen was one name, but if you read over BOFH it seems probable that there have been several PFYs over time. Some went on to become BOFH themselve's; others came to a bad end. The BOFH reserves his true disappointment for PFYs.
Re: Brown plague
No, you don't want to defend Nazis, but you do want to know who they are, along with all the other --ists with extreme ambitions. So, let them talk. The labels they create are what they themselves are wearing.
Re: 'scum in the shadows'
The MSM doesn't inform any more, if it ever did. At best it is an entertainment enterprise. At worst it continues to operate in the William "You get me the pictures, I will provide the war" Randolph Hearst mode.
Re: 'scum in the shadows'
...Brexit and Trump did make it more acceptable to be openly racist in the UK and US....
In fact, the ones who "caused" this were the lazy twits that stayed home and didn't bother to vote because they couldn't believe the issue was as close as it was. In the US a minority voted, and a bare minority won thanks to the peculiarities of the Electoral College. In the US one advantage of the First Amendment is that we can always watch the idiots slat the "I'm an idiot" label on their foreheads when they open their mouths. Unfortunately, there are other idiots who think know what someone else thinks is a bad thing, especially if they don't like what other thinks. The Right and Left are both like that and aren't about to sit down and talk about substantive issues since both sides run on faith in their convictions.
Stopped clock moments
Yep. I thought Trump's remarks were on of his stopped clock moments (depending on the stopped clock and the country it's in, the clock will show the right time once or twice a day).