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Comment "All services have been restored" (Score 1) 61

The outage lasted a LOT longer than 75 minutes. I tried repeatedly to get into BT webmail all morning - it was at least 3 hours after the outage before I succeeded. And during all that time, the BT DNS service was not working, so I couldn't do any other work.

#RANT# The BT-supplied router, the fornicating clunky useless and slow Home Hub 5, does not allow you to put in your own DNS servers. So while it is proof against subscriber morons, it is totally vulnerable to central morons#/RANT#

Comment Hopping Mad (Score 2) 151

I have written to my MP about this. She isn't the best MP in Parliament (known locally as the Chocolate Teapot, as in "as useful as a..."). But she is a scientist, and what the NCA have done is blatant disregard for government policy. I believe she has the ear of some influential people. With any luck she can cause the NCA some pain.

I would encourage any and all Brits to use They Work For You http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ - an easy and quick way to write to your MP, and say what you think (even if you disagree).

Comment Leaving Windows? Use Thunderbird (Score 5, Interesting) 418

When advising users who want to leave Windows, I tell them to install T-bird, let it import all their emails and address book from , and copy the result to Linux, when T-bird picks it up and uses it in a "It Just Works" manner. I have never seen another migration that was so effortless. You may understand that I don't want T-bird to disappear, or updating to stop, because there needs to be a painless way to get your stuff out of the hands of the Beast.

Comment Mostly FUD: Film at 11 (Score 5, Informative) 160

Yes, those things listed in TFA are important but they are not that difficult to handle. The worst thing about TFA is that it mostly does not offer the obvious solutions.
1. Getting to work remotely is straightforward. Don't ask for it till you have done an onsite contract first. Prove that you deliver. Then you can be trusted.
2. NDA. Yes, insist on the "standard exceptions" or walk away. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.
3. Yes, you have to educate people you work with. Also true when an employee.
4. Riding out storms. It's not hard to build up reserve money in your business - simply park some of the profit. I always had 6 months worth. You have to park quite a lot anyway, so that you have it ready when tax payment day comes.
5. Keeping up to date. Yes, that's tricky - but you do NOT need to chase the Flavour-of-the-Month like employees do. I only needed to change direction once in 20 years - plenty of earning opportunities always there
6. Reconcile agile and fixed-bid? That's ridiculous FUD. No freelancer is so stupid they do fixed-bid with open-ended requirements, surely? Leastways they only do it once. Every freelancer I have ever worked with was on time and materials.
7. Communications gaps. This is not a threat, this is an opportunity! This is where the freelancer can shine, by doing the internal communicating that the customer is themselves is incapable of. I have done this on every project, and got kudos for being helpful.
8. Time management. Ho hum. Everybody, freelancer or employee, has to manage their time.

Time needed for handling getting requirements and doing proposals? You call that non-billable? No, Dorothy, you roll that into your daily rate.

Comment Definitely yes... (Score 1) 121

When you sign up with an ISP, they ship you a router that is usually a piece of cheap tat in hardware terms, has incompetently or maliciously built software, usually lacks useful features such as QoS, usually has some or all features missing or locked down (my ISP has just shipped me a VDSL router that has no telnet or SSH interface and where I can't change their utterly crappy DNS servers)

So yes, please, build some open source hardware that will run tomato and/or OpenWRT (absolutely not DDWRT). I would like to be able to support a computer club in my village hall with 30+ participants over wifi - not possible with any ISP-supplied or consumer router sold here. - they choke at 10 users.

I notice that most routers in the shops here cost around $60-80 USD. I would happily pay up to twice that for a really competent router. (a business grade router would be complete overkill and cost double again).

Comment Basic version == Spaghetti (Score 2) 67

Over the years, I have had several goes at rewriting Ham(m)urabi, in an attempt to make it comprehensible. I just wanted to be able to tweak it, and it has defeated me (got bored and gave up) every time.
The BASIC code is the most appalling spaghetti, and would make an excellent illustration for any CS student of How Not To Code.

Comment Brainpower shows (Score 4, Interesting) 73

"Is this more evidence that we in the science and tech fields undervalue art and pure creativity?"

No, it shows that the better your brain functions, the more attention span you have to pay attention to many fields. Those of us who have to work our brains hard for those occasional flashes of brilliance don't have enough ooomph left over for "frivolities".

Comment Nothing New Under The Sun (Score 2) 234

Those who do not pay attention to the world around them, are doomed to reinvent the wheel (or in this case, balls covering water).

Thirty years ago, I was living in Sweden, where it was already nothing new that you cover an outdoor swimming pool with ping-pong balls to prevent heat losses and related evaporation. How come this was news, and a great stroke of genius, in California?

As an aside, they don't interfere with the use of the pool at all. You can dive in through them.

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