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Comment I wish we could *find* grads for my work.. (Score 1) 349

We don't recruit many people here, maybe 5-6 grads a year into an IT department of 80, but find ourselves wading through hundreds of applicants, most of whom can't score above high-school level in the numerical and verbal reasoning SHL tests that we ask them to do. Personally, I think we're doing something wrong in our recruitment, but after a 6 month recruitment programme we only ended up with 3 out of 6 grad positions unfilled this year. That's for a £25,500 a year job in Berkshire.

Comment Because the "effort" is on the receiver's side (Score 1) 835

I'm an IT Manager for a Fortune 100 company and a couple of years ago ran our European B2B team, processing around $8billion of orders a year. Fax accounted for 20-30% of that order value and cost us a huge amount in manual order entry (both in effort and in terms of transcription errors). The majority of the faxes were, annoyingly, system generated - they just chose to send them by fax either by printing them out and feeding them in, or printing them to a fax driver.

We tried all manner of things to get rid of them and move our customers to other order placement mechanisms, as well as projects to implement fax OCR based solutions, but they generally fail for one reason:

- It is virtually no effort for the customer to fax us an order, so it "costs" them nothing

We tried moving them to a variety of different solutions:

Emailing structured forms: Nope, they have to re-type the fax produced by their order management system to do that
Web based order entry: Nope, they have to re-type into our forms
Systems integration: Nope, it'd cost them to get an email / FTP / HTTP / Web Services front-end put on their order management system

In the end, the best solution we found was a company in Canada who've produced a print driver for pretty much every OS. The customer loads it onto their server, PC or whatever they produce faxes from and print to that instead of their usual fax driver. That then intercepts the output and sends it to this Canadian company, who develop a map of that document format to turn it into an EDI message, which they then send to us in a standard EDI format. Because they were getting in before the data was transformed into an image, they could process it and send it, rather than trying to deal with some fuzzy, misaligned image after the fact. Great little idea.

So, I guess, as I said, the main problem with getting rid of faxes is that, generally, it's the supplier of a service who picks up the tab for them being unwieldy, unreadable and un-processable. There's no incentive for the customer to change - after all, the supplier should just be glad they're getting the custom.

Comment Re:Lip service for the MAFIAA, not evil (Score 1) 275

I can't work out whether you've posted this as a funny or whether you're an idiot. I hope it's the first and I get modded down.

There's nothing wrong with downloading "free music" or "limewire". Free music is perfectly available in both free as in beer and free as in speech. Limewire is just a piece of software and there's nothing wrong with downloading it. You can't do anything with it any more, but downloading it is perfectly fine.

And no-one would ever type in "how to pirate music", so no wonder it's not in Autcomplete. Neither is "how to snaffle music" "how to half-inch music" and neither is "how to speak to my mate who knows how to get dodgy CDs that I can rip into MP3 format so I can listen to music".

You're either funnier than I think or a retard.

Comment "the resulting mess" (Score 2) 160

Wow. Great scientific summary. Why is it a "mess"? Surely it's the output of one carefully controlled process that led to another carefully controlled process that resulted in a particular outcome. Or isn't it? Surely boiling an element in a vacuum is a pretty clean way of doing things? If it's a "mess", then the whole thing is clearly a load of old nonsense.

Either state the results or make it clear it's an editorial. Don't mix them up. Otherwise it's a mess.


Submission + - Uk Government Rejects Calls To Upgrade from IE6 (

pcardno writes: The UK Government has responded to a petition encouraging government departments to move away from IE6 that had over 6,000 signatories. Their response seems to be that a fully patched IE6 is perfectly safe as long as firewalls and malware scanning tools are in place, and that mandating an upgrade away from IE6 will be too expensive. The second part is fair enough in this age of austerity (I'd rather have my taxes spent on schools and hospitals than software upgrade testing at the moment..), but the whole reaction will be a disappointment to the petitioners.

Submission + - Blizzard Claims Ownership of All Starcraft II Maps 5

ccherlin writes: The EULA of Starcraft II contains an extremely disturbing clause:

3. Map Editor. The Game includes a program that allows you to create custom levels, maps, scenarios
or other materials for use in connection with the Game (the “Map Editor”). The following terms are specific to the Map Editor:
a. Map Content. You understand that the content required to create or modify STARCRAFT® II
Modified Maps (as defined below) is included in the STARCRAFT® II game client, and that all
such content is owned by Blizzard and governed by this Agreement. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND

Prior Blizzard games like Warcraft III had EULA provisions that prohibited selling maps created with their editor, but the copyright remained with the map maker. Now? Anyone who creates a new, popular mod like DotA with the Starcraft II editor will have no rights to their own creation.

Comment Find a better word than "pirate" for privacy.. (Score -1, Flamebait) 204

The fight for privacy by stopping monitoring of all your traffic has absolutely nothing to do with "piracy". Every time I read one of these headlines or one of these stories involving such a stupidly titled group as the Pirate Party, I just turn off. Piracy is stealing. Yeah, you might get to wear a cool eyepatch, and be taking it from the rich to give to the poor, but it's still stealing in most laws and, frankly, most moral codes. Let's even go to our friend Wikipedia:

"Piracy is a war-like act committed by private parties (not affiliated with any government) that engage in acts of robbery and/or criminal violence "

So, you want to steal things (music, movies, software etc.) and are telling us that we should support you because, er, why? Yeah, you might disagree with the law, but it's the law. I'd love to go around beating the shit out of people who don't wave thanks when I let them drive through in front of me in a traffic jam, but I can't because it's illegal. Beating the shit out of more people, helping others do it and calling myself the Let's Fuck Up Rude People Party isn't the way to get that changed.

The Digital Act is an abhorrent, but can these dickheads please stop blackening the fight for privacy by always associating it with stealing things?

Comment Business Logic vs Presentation (Score 1) 511

In the same way we try to divide the business logic layer from the presentation layer in systems design, when I'm drawing pictures on paper to explain things to someone, I want to get my point across (the business logic) without worrying what it looks like. If I try to do it on Powerpoint, I worry about colours, positioning and getting the presentation right first time rather than just letting the logic flow.

A computer screen and a drawing tool will never beat a bit of A3 paper and the ability to scribble and talk around it while people you work with can do the same..

Comment Re:Steps... (Score 1) 555

The whole point of the question is to break down how you do your step 3 when it's not trivial to compare all the various different architectures together any more and when you're not completely knowledgeable about them. Your option of just spending a ton of money is exactly what the questioner is trying to avoid doing.

So, like, well done on completely missing the point of the very valid question.

Comment Exciting New Possibilities? (Score 1) 88

I'm pretty sure in every other story like this we lambast the original programmers for their sloppy coding and demand the heads of the managers in charge.

Any chance someone has documented the exploit that was left so that other programmers can learn how to not make programs in future? Or are bugs in software acceptable when we can all install our own crap on the device in question?

Comment My old boss tried this... (Score 1) 1019

And it was purely because "other" people in the company (Fortune 100, big place) weren't allowed to listen to music because they had to listen out for the phone. He also didn't like that it looked like we weren't working as teams.

For me, music works because I have my best ideas when I'm not directly thinking about a problem - I have a very short attention span so music fills the gaps and stops me getting distracted onto something else.

"It's like deja vu all over again." -- Yogi Berra