Sunday, 20 April 2008

Spilt Coffee...

Cough - splutter - spray.

All over my keyboard, no less.

And I'm still laughing my backside off

What just happened?

I read an article on The Register. You have to laugh at the terms and expressions some folks come up with. In Gulf War one, it was General Normal Schwartzkopf's "Studies of Bovine Scatology".

Today's Register article stated that a major internet advertising company, BareFruit, when told how hackers could use a flaw in the way they delivered their advertising to their client's customers, "defecated masonry"

How colourful

Especially as I was chomping on toast and taking a swig of coffee at the time

I'll get you, my pretty - and your damn vulture too! (with apologies for the misquote )

Saturday, 19 April 2008

An interesting week...

Well, it's been interesting, and a little surprising, coming back from three months of 'being on the sick' to being a full-time wage slave again!

I've been seconded from my normal job of driving a bus to the Customer Services section of the firm at head office; revealing is not quite the right word for the job; it's mostly computer-based, handling complaints sent in to London Buses Limited, which are then re-directed down to us, the Bus operating Company. We then investigate, and report back to LBL, who pass on our comments (we have to be polite in our replies to LBL!) back to the customer, in most cases.

Then there's the internal aspect - folks from all over the company come to us in the first instance for information, phone numbers, and much more besides. To say that we're the central clearing house of information and complaints wouldn't be stretching things by much - and strangely, I'm finding it oddly satisfying; I'm able to get my head down and plough through the work (while learning the oddities of the computer system we have to use, of course); granted the phone will always ring just as I'm getting my head around another problem, but hell, that's life!

Interestingly, the company posted an internal vacancy advert about the same time as I arrived on secondment. Let's hope my having one foot under the table, on secondment, helps my chances of getting this job full time - it pays around five grand more than I'm getting as a driver as well!

Oh yeah - the best bit about the post?

The coffee's free!

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Back To Work I Go!

Well, the sick leave is almost completely over; I go back to work on Tuesday

The sick note says: "Indoor duties for two weeks then to bus driving"


I've been bloody climbing the walls with boredom this last while, I can tell you! The first month off was a bit of a novelty, aside from the shock of having had the bloody heart attack, of course; month number tow was settling into the daily routine.

Month number three (this last month)? Let me put it this way: I've been ready to try for low earth orbit on boredom power alone!

So, updates'll be a wee bit slower now, but at least I'll be back earning a half-decent wage again!

Enjoy your weekend! I know I will now

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

What next?

OK, for background on this, read the news, and come back...

How in the HELL can you copyright a street sign for pities sake?! Street signs display names, and are PUBLIC information. By copyrighting them, you are effectively prohibiting even map-makers from using the street names. Hell, someone writes an address on a letter, and bingo, copyright fees are incurred. The reason? If you copyright something, you MUST go after copyright violators, or lose the right to the copyright. It's a legal technicality thing, but trust me, it's true: Protect it or lose it.

Where the HELL do you draw the line?!

Easy. You TRADEMARK it, not copyright it.

Westminster Council went about this in entirely the wrong way - all they needed to do was TRADEMARK the DESIGN of the street signs, not copyright the content, to prevent unlicenced reproductions. Talk about local government stupidity.

It's also, and in my humble opinion, clearly a case of more Council officials seeing a potential money train, and going after it with little regard to the innocents who'll be caught in the middle. Say a tourist snaps a photo of the street sign. A council official notices, and gets a Copper to take their details, as they've obviously just committed copyright theft (image of copyrighted materials). Instant criminal, they just incurred a fine. See what I mean?

So, as I asked a moment or two ago:

WHERE do you draw the line?

By the way, fair use policy extends to all my blog articles - you MAY use text and images that I have produced, provided they are not used in any profit-making effort of any kind. For that, you'll need a licence from me ;) Third Party material may be subject to other copyright restrictions, so I wouldn't touch those if I were you ;) The T&C at the foot of the page will be amended before long :)

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Welcome to the Great British Summer!

Well, so much for nicely delineated seasons, I guess - this was the view out of the front of my flat this morning! A bigger photo can be found here This was the view out of the back...

At least one of my neighbours had some fun :)

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Whoops... IBM appears to be in the smelly stuff...

Just spotted this over on The Register...

It seems that IBM has been temporarily barred from bidding for new contracts with the US government. Now, the problem comes when you discover how they found out they were barred: Someone told them. Not someone from the USG. That'd be too easy.

Someone else who spotted the barring on the US Department of Justice website told 'em.

That's right. An ordinary Joe Public (a.k.a. "Third party") told Big Blue they were in Crapper Alley.

Here's my take on this...

OK, they're prohibited form making fresh tenders under this notice, and it's a federal notice to boot.

30 days to appeal such a prohibition is fine and dandy, but if you're NOT told you're under the hammer, you're royally screwed. IBM were damned lucky someone else spotted it, and told them.

So, the questions now become:
1. Why did the Feds not tell Big Blue that they were under a prohibition to tender?
2. Who profits from IBMs prohibition?

Answers on a postcard?