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Comment Incident Manager (Score 4, Interesting) 300

I was working as a Major Incident Manager for a very large consulting company working on a huge government project. The management in the consultancy company were generally terrible, on my first day my colleagues took me out for a drink - they pointed out a bunch of people across the room and mentioned that it was the configuration management team who had all just been fired because management weren't happy with the way the process was going...just as my first example.

Another time I had someone from second line support come to my desk and point out that some of the monitoring was showing red, I immediately directed one guy to check from an end-user perspective to see the actual impact for users, another guy to pull the logs, and a third to dig deeper into the monitoring - they all scurried away to start assessing the situation. In the mean-time I leaned over the partition to my boss who was sat next to me, and mentioned the issue - she stuck her head up like a meercat, looked around, and said (quoting word for word), "I can't hear any shouting, I can't see people running around, I can't see people panicing, I don't feel this is being managed properly!". She then asked me if I'd informed her boss yet - I told her we were still evaluating the situation (again, apparently unacceptable), so she immediately snatched up her phone and called him saying the monitoring was red and we were in a crisis. Just as she finished her call the guy from the end-user perspective came back to my desk and reported that the issue was completely transparent to end-users. I passed this news to my boss who threw her hands up and said, "But I've called X! Now it's nothing?!". Yes. Quite.

A third story would be from the time her replacement (she was eventually demoted then fired) pulled me to one side and started screaming and swearing in my face because he didn't feel I was motivating technical staff to fix issues quickly enough because I wasn't in their faces screaming and swearing at them until any issue was fixed (yes - this is exactly what he meant). I'm sure any techies here will be happy to agree that this is not an appropriate motivational technique to get the best from your staff...but there you go.

I could go on - but instead I'll just summarise to mention that in the 12 months I worked there everyone in my team quit or was fired and replaced twice over except for me and one other guy...when my contract finished I wasn't sad to leave.

-- Pete.

Comment I see this being great for flex desking (Score 1) 80

Imagine an office environment where each desk/meeting room includes a monitor/keyboard/mouse for each user where the monitor passes through all connectivity via USB-C. Each user just carries a tiny lightweight computer that is "theirs" with all associated configuration/application/data, plugs it into the USB-C socket and off they go.

Not so different from having a laptop, except the devices are smaller, lighter, and cheaper - and with a higher quality screen, keyboard, and mouse. Sure you are constrained to work at points where there is a monitor, but in many cases this is a great solution.

-- Pete.

Comment Re:Shit post. (Score 4, Informative) 128

Where did the speed instruction come from? The driver's foot on the pedal?

The driver sets the maximum speed when they activate the autopilot, in much the same way as you set the speed when you use cruise control on any other car. Or are you saying speeding isn't the responsibility of any driver if they're using cruise control to break the limit?

Autopilot will slow down if there is traffic ahead, otherwise it travels at the speed set by the driver.

-- Pete.

Comment USA really needs to rethink healthcare! (Score 2) 209

I was interested to read in the article, "Medicare does not pay for them, nor do most insurers".

How is this even possible? You have overpriced healthcare in the USA, and then even if you have insurance, it won't pay for the treatment you need?!

Just for those people that think the NHS is a terrible thing, I'll just leave this here - hearing diagnosis, treatment, and aids are free on the NHS in the UK for people that need them...

-- Pete.

Comment "Social Engineering" (Score 2) 364

By "social engineering", I take it he's not planning to directly attack the hardware of the phone, which means he's planning to use the only other logical approach to breaking into this phone (and to me the only obvious attack vector open to him or anyone else as long as Apple stand their ground [correctly]).

Because this phone has a four digit passphrase, this means that the owner of the phone has hit the same four sections of screen at least hundreds, and more likely thousands of times. Maybe it is possible using very delicate and incredibly accurate equipment to detect some sort of impact print on the screen where it has been used in those four spots repeatedly. If it is possible to do this, then you have cut down the number of password from 10,000 to 24 different possibilities. From here you need to check everything you know about the phone owner to see if any of those combinations are personally significant in any way - even if the combination is entirely random, you'll still have a 41.5% to break the password with 10 attempts...

Meh - then again I'm not a half-million dollar a year hacker, so what do I know?

-- Pete.

Comment It's been available for a while (Score 3, Informative) 94

It's nice they've got an official box and all, but the service to send disks to Amazon has been there for a while (as a beta program).

Here is a blog post from 2009 explaining the service.

Of course, a nice official controlled and encrytped box is a far tidier way of doing things!

-- Pete.

Comment Re:"... only if we're married or similarly situate (Score 1) 258

Frankly, don't see the point of having separate bank accounts, it is both your money, but if it makes your life easier, go ahead. :)

We actually have a bunch of accounts, each serving different purposes. It helps for budgeting when you know that the X amount in your personal account is available for whatever personal expenditure, the Y amount in your general account is for bills, rent, etc, and the Z in the savings account is there for other purposes. As I am a freelance contractor, I also have a business account, and I need to be able to explain each transaction there for taxes etc.

-- Pete.

Comment Re:"... only if we're married or similarly situate (Score 1) 258

You let your wife have the money, but not the passwords?

Seriously, if you don't trust her with everything, why the hell are you married to her?

She has about the same access to the money as she does to the passwords actually...they're both in a vault (aka "bank") that she has access to if she absolutely needs it. Day to day access she has her own money and computer accounts that she can use, and she doesn't use the same ones that I do. Just because I'm the one who usually accesses the "main" bank account and my passwords, that doesn't mean she's not trusted to do it, and she's certainly not blocked in any way from either.

I see this as different from "sharing" passwords, she doesn't know my passwords because she doesn't need to look (need is different from capability here). She trusts me to have my own accounts, and I trust her to have hers.

-- Pete.

Comment "... only if we're married or similarly situated" (Score 4, Interesting) 258

I answered, "... only if we're married or similarly situated", but even then it's not so cut and dried. I generally don't even let my wife have my passwords, but there is a paper note with the master password to my password vault that she can access if there's a dire need.

It doesn't help that whatever I do (including setting up her own password vaults), she keeps terrible passwords for herself, and forgets them on a regular basis. Whenever she needs to access files on the NAS even with her own ID, I need to reset her password etc. This is frustrating to say the least.

-- Pete.

Comment Not the only factor? (Score 5, Interesting) 324

Actually I see another reason to keep the base model at 16Gb. App development is crucial to the iPhone (and any other smartphone out there), and many developers don't like to do the extra work to keep their application sizes sane. However, as long as the base model is 16Gb, app developers need to keep this in mind when developing their apps.

If this encourages even only some developers to keep their applications down to a sensible size (knowing that anyone with a 16Gb device will either avoid their application, or delete it as soon as they run low on space) then I guess it's worth it.

I'm not saying the extra money in Apple's pocket isn't a factor, but I'm sure there are other factors at play here, this theory being just one of them.

-- Pete.

Comment Already done... (Score 4, Informative) 80

I was a backer of this project that was pretty much the same:
Packed Pixels

Nice screen at 2048 x 1536, but not yet delivered. They just about hit their funding goal of £60,000 on 29th November 2014, and they're now taking pre-orders. It would probably be better to just pre-order one of these than back a whole new Kickstarter - at least these are close to production.

-- Pete.

Comment Re:Since when? (Score 1) 83

As long as people like you exist, and they always will, it goes to show why we should never trust the government to have these sorts of capabilities.

Snoop on property within the UK .. fucks sakes, you realize we're talking about people here right. Nah, best to call it property and further distance yourself from what this really means.

Shame on you.

You appear to be mistaking someone who is stating the facts of the situation for someone who agrees with the situation.

Laws should be written simly, cleanly, and transparently, and the security forces of a nation should be working for the greater good of the nation rather than against the native citizens of that nation.

As an aside, I have spent most of my working life working (both as an employee, and as a contractor) with a company that is alleged to have been a direct target of GCHQ.

-- Pete.

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