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Comment: Re:Wait, so I shouldn't have used that at work? (Score 2, Interesting) 227 227

A few years ago, around 2006/7, I worked in a (UK) school doing IT support. One of the guys in the science department was some kind of Linux geek. He had a Red Hat server running on the school network for some reason or other, I forget what, and he had requested and been given an external IP address on the network so that he could get in from home and do... whatever.

So, one day the big talk is that the local education authority, who provided the Internet connection, have been getting calls from the US Department of Defence wanting to know why they're getting hundreds of thousands of hits to some of their servers from this address block. The education authority traced it to the school and we traced it to this guys Red Hat server and pulled the plug. I didn't get a good look at it, but it was running a 2.4 kernel well into the 2.6 days, so I'm guessing there were plenty of other things that were out of date on there.

I don't know whether you'd lay the blame on the science teacher or the admin who let him put that box on the network with an external IP address and then didn't spot oodles of outgoing SSH attempts or whatever, but one way or another someone took it on trust that someone else knew what they were doing with Linux when they clearly didn't.

Comment: Re:ATM Skimmer (Score 1) 251 251

It doesn't mean "no tips" at all. I have used card readers that prompt you for a tip. The waiter starts out by putting in the amount of the bill, then gives you the reader. At this point, the reader asks if you want to tip, and if you say yes, it asks you how much and you put the amount in. The reader then gives you the total to check, and if you're happy with it, you put in your PIN and the job is done.

In relation to other things people have said in this thread, it's interesting to see how things have evolved in the UK as regards how people feel about letting their cards out of their sight. Some places still want you to sign receipts rather than using Chip and Pin so they'll take your cards away to the till rather than bringing a Chip and Pin machine to you. When I've been out with people and that's happened, people have been vocally concerned about their cards being taken away, where previously you'd never have really given it a second thought.

Comment: Re:A UK Perspective. (Score 1) 637 637

- socialized healthcare is available via NHS, so (at an individual level at least) no personal funding at all is really necessary. This includes all drugs and birth control (both temporary and permanent).

Not all drugs are free, as I'm sure you know. Prescriptions cost £7.20 a time (~$11) though that's per script, not per package, so your doctor might do you a favour and stick several months worth of several drugs on one script. You don't pay if you're pregnant or if you have a child under one, and there's various other get-outs that I don't recall as I always have to pay these days, but it's things like being under 16 and in full time education or having certain disabilities. If you're very poor you could apply for an HC2 exemption, but you have to be broke as fuck to qualify for that.

Birth control is free though, and even if it wasn't I'm reliably informed that you could just hit up the Brook Advisory for millions of free condoms.

One thing that is most certainly not free under the NHS is dentistry, which has become hilariously expensive and is on the verge of collapse, such that most people I know have moved over to dental insurance instead.

Comment: Re:Car insurance? (Score 1) 637 637

Given that the option also includes "transit pass", I would imagine that the point is giving up your ability to travel, one way or another.

I selected this option, as I work further away from my house than I care to walk, by quite a distance, so I'll be hanging on to my rail season ticket as long as possible.

Comment: An apt choice of words... (Score 3, Informative) 425 425

Ticket issuers Ticketmaster and Veritix tout paperless tickets as a way to eliminate worries about lost, stolen, or counterfeit tickets, and to banish long will-call lines.

Note for the British English impaired - a tout is what you on the other side of the pond call a scalper.

Comment: Replying because I voted incorrectly... (Score 1) 957 957

I mistakenly selected "Earned me a stern reprimand" when I should have gone for "had a serious chance of leading to jail", which is quite a slip.

About 9 years ago I got in trouble for crashing into another car. I was pulling out of a minor road to cross more major one. I looked right, then left, then forgot to look right again (I'm in the UK btw) and as I pulled out I got hit from the right by a car with a couple of old guys in. My car got turned through about 60 degrees and ended up partway across the carriageway I was crossing. The other car ended up crossing the other carriageway, mounting the kerb, running over a tree and coming to rest just shy of someone's garden wall. Mercifully no one was seriously injured.

The police turned up and had a look around, took their pictures and so on. I got pulled into a car and told that my choices were either to face a charge of careless driving (possibly even dangerous, I forget) which I think could lead to up to 6 years in jail and a £6k fine, or I could go on a "Driver improvement course" and get away without even being arrested. I took the course, naturally, which was a 2 day affair with lectures on careful driving and some practise driving with instructors. At the time, it became very clear that it should actually be called a "You can't drive for shit course" as some of the people there were truly inept - one woman wouldn't go beyond third gear, a guy I met was on his 6th write off... really useless drivers. Still, the choice between spending £120 and 2 days on that course, or potentially going to prison was a pretty easy choice.

I still don't think I was entirely in the wrong with regard to that accident. I was joining a road with a speed limit of 30mph, and with a good long line of sight when looking to the right, so for someone to go from being not there to being on top of me in the time it took for me to fail to glance right and move out suggests to me that they were speeding. The fact that they managed to run over a tree with a 6 inch wide trunk after hitting my car and mounting the kerb also doesn't persuade me that they were doing just 30mph.

All that being said, the evidence would have been clear to the police officer - at the time I was a 19 year old man with very short hair driving a red car. Case closed, your honour.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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