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Comment Re:Exactly that (Score 2) 296

Which is why as well as a quiet space, I also think a good environment for developers is one that supports flexible working. I start at 7:30 and finish at 4, because at least I can get about an hour and a half to two hours in of decent code first thing before the office gets too noisy. Some of the other devs prefer later starts and do 10 until 6:30. As long as everyone is in between 10 and 3 then that's ample time for collaboration.

You shouldn't have to work an extra 2 hours over to get your work done, you should be able to come in 2 hours later.

Developers need to be well slept, and able to focus - a quiet working area is only part the equation, not being forced to work extra hours because the working environment is shit is another part of it. Home working at least every now and again can also often help with this for some people.

Comment Re:Scapegoating (Score 1) 356

That's the god argument - how do you know he doesn't exist?

Provide me some evidence that they are stopping any attacks because of mass data interception. Every time our security chiefs in the UK are questioned on it they say things like "We've stopped maybe 3 or 4 in the last year", but can't provide any details about them whatsoever, and can't even get a firm figure - is it 3 or is it 4? we're not talking about a large number here. It shouldn't be hard to know how many such big, important cases with massive bragging rights you've succeeded in dealing with. If they can't give a firm number when the number is so small then that implies that they're struggling to find many cases to be even remotely linked closely enough to terrorism to class at stopping terrorist attacks. When they were pushed for more info we manage to get a suggestion that many such attacks weren't even to do with Islamic terrorism and they included things like anti-fracking protestors sabotaging equipment, and hard-line animal rights activists sending letter bombs to animal testing labs.

If they can't provide any evidence to back up their claims (i.e. they don't seem to be able to point to prosecutions), and can't even decide how many they've supposedly dealt with even when they're talking about ridiculously small numbers then it seems unlikely it's achieved anything much - this is for what it's worth, for all cases for a year, not just those which have been dealt with thanks to mass data farming - for that, there's not just no evidence that it's been succesful at all, but not even any claims it has - they just say they need it and that's the last we hear. When we have had prosecutions, they've often been over trivial things (like "He had a copy of the jolly roger's cookbook, so he's a terrorist) and typically they collapsed. If you don't know what the jolly roger's cookbook is then it's a collection of text files that just about every kid with access to the internet had a copy of on a floppy disk in the 80s/90s, but much of which was entirely fictional.

Meanwhile people who are known to the security services keep carrying out attacks, so it's clearly not having any impact on the people that actually have the capacity to carry out an attack either way - even when they could do targetted interception and get a warrant to outright read their digital communications contents, not merely the metadata.

Comment Re:Nonsense (Score 3, Insightful) 260

It's an education thing. People who know how English evolved know that 'he' can be both masculine or neuter, depending on context. It's been that way since before 'ye', 'thou', 'thy' and similar words went away.

People who are uneducated may assume that 'he' is only masculine and will choose to feel oppressed about it. I can't imagine how bad those people feel using romance languages where half of the nouns are masculine gendered.

It's somewhat awkward, but less so than losing the singular/plural distinction. Style guides are a useful reference, but feel free to ignore their inconsistencies and poor suggestions.

Comment Re:German approach (Score 1) 152

germans ARE allowed to monitor.

csb time: I used to work at cisco in the US and a friend who worked at cisco in .de told me that they disclose to their german employees the kinds of wiretapping they do (mgmt) to their employees. mgmt can turn on the webcam and mic at any time, do screen captures, enable keylogging, lots of things. all cisco laptops from corp IT come baked-in with corp spyware. not to worry, ALL big corps do this, now, and they bake-in fake certs so that you authenticate with the corp firewall even when you get a 'lock icon' on your ssl browser.

the only diff is: the US managers are not allowed to say all this and the german mgrs have to disclose it. the only way I, a US employee, knew about this is that I was friends with someone who did get told this, who lives in .de.

they most certainly log and do bad things; just like the US does. but their people, at least, are TOLD about this.

Comment Re:Scapegoating (Score 1) 356

There's no such thing as a perfect terrorist, especially when this one was already known to the security services.

He may have been a lone operator, but pre-disposition to violence, coupled with conversion to Islam, which follows the exact same pattern of a number of other attacks over the last decade means this person should have been well on their threat radar.

It doesn't need a matrix style setting because that's retarded and does not exist - it just needs that the security services start doing a better job of using these key indictators that keep popping up time and time again to detect actual threats.

The problem is that rather than focussing on people like this, who have already been flagged to the security services and who subsequently show up a number of other indicators, they're too busy sweeping up everyone's data whilst having no clue what to actually do with it.

When the person is known to the security services, when they've exhibited a number of behaviours such as willingness to harm other human beings, pre-disposition to brainwashing (i.e. religious conversion) then it's absurd to say there was anything but an intelligence failing here. Sure, maybe there were a thousand other people that also looked like this and they couldn't figure out which ones to focus on, fine, but that's still a failing - they still need to understand why they can't pick these guys out from the others, and still need to prioritise their resources on these thousand people rather than spend billions on mass data farming that apparently isn't helping them whatsoever.

Comment Re:Elite (Score 1) 155

Ah yes, this is like how everyone calls IT, IT, but UK government, schools etc. decided to try and start a trend to rename IT to ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) as if communication wasn't in itself an information technology and hence IT already a perfectly sufficient acronym.

It never took off, to this day I never see anything other than IT in private sector (except when trying to attract the odd bit of public sector business), whilst schools and some UK public sector departments still desperately try to cling on to their redundant and unncessarily convoluted ICT pointlessly.

I think it'll forever remain a mystery as to why public sector makes up and distorts terms for things that are already well established and commonplace under different terms everywhere else, but I'm sure there's a cost saving in figuring out how to stop them doing that in there somewhere. Bonus points for the person who figures out how to save the tax payer millions by putting a stop to this kind of pointless shit.

Comment Re:Scapegoating (Score 1) 356

They are - she also said a day after it happened that there wasn't an intelligence failing, which is obviously not true, because, well, it happened.

Any succesful attack is an intelligence failure, you can argue there's nothing more intelligence could've done, but it's still ultimately a failure.

The fact that MI5 once again, as in the case of just about every terrorist attack in the Western world of the last 20 years knew about this guy really says it all - we're still, even now, despite this being a repeated failing, building bigger haystacks, rather than getting better at finding the needle. So what's the solution this? Obviously build a bigger haystack again.

It's the same old fucking story and until someone starts focus on where the real failures are occuring - the security services - and stops treating them like an untouchable force that can't ever be criticised, then we're fucked. There's a reason terrorists and the Russians alike are running circles round Western intelligence at the moment and that's because no one's willing to consider that they might actually be shit, and that drastic measures might be needed to sort them the fuck out, like sorting the inept leadership who think more data is the solution despite the fact that tactics has been failing for 20 years now.

Comment Re:Sorry, it's time has passed (Score 4, Interesting) 206

OS/2 got interrupt handling exactly right. I could format a floppy, play Wolfenstein in a window, and have a mod tracker playing in the background on a 486/25. BeOS got close but was never quite as good.

My Linux machine today can't copy to a USB hard drive without making the rest of the system unusable.

It seems like Linux could still learn some tricks from these old OS's.

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"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell