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Comment Robodial (Score 1) 280

On my very first job as a programmer, got given a "special task", which i jumped at with it being my first job and wanting to impress.

Ended up being a fax machine robo-dial app which had a list of over 2 million fax machine numbers, would cycle them all sending them a fax with our marketing information, and then loop back to the beginning and start again on the next piece of material. Would even switch the numbers it came from to disguise it was coming from the same place. Sent 2 million faxes every 3 days or so (using 90 outgoing lines).

Was initially an internal app, but the company was so impressed with what i came up with, they packaged it and started selling it as a product.

If you get robo-dialed faxes in the UK, its probably my fault...

Comment Replace "the cloud" (Score 1) 262

Replace "the cloud" in everything written with "some virtual machine(s) somewhere within an amazon data centre in a specified location", otherwise known as, a virtual private server.

The cloud is a fancy sales word for a set of scripts that a VPS provider uses to make it easier to deploy to and manage their VPS system. Nothing more, there is no more risk in putting medical info on a "cloud" server than there is on any other internet facing server, not that all cloud servers are cloud facing.

For example, i have several azure mssql cloud instances, none are internet facing, but still afford the scaling that "cloud" services give.

Submission + - Hotel in UK tries to stifle freedom of speach ( 1

Bizzeh writes: A couple have been "fined" £100 by a Blackpool hotel for leaving critical comments on Trip Advisor. Not only unfair trading practices, but stifling freedom of speech, and a violation of privacy and illegally storing credit card details.

Comment The main problem... (Score 1) 249

Aside from lack of privacy, the main problem i have with contextual ads is: Say i go to Halfords website to buy a few things.. Later that day, i will be inundated with ads for those particular products, from halfords. Why am i being targeted for things i have just bought a hour ago? When the analytics script should catch from the checkout page that i bought these. Contextual ads are always too late for me, I am constantly seeing advertisements for things i have already bought, or have already done.

Submission + - Why Microsoft skipped Windows 9

Bizzeh writes: Microsoft may not be everybody's favorite company, but they are the kings of backwards compatibility. When testing what was Windows 9 (and is now Windows 10). It seems like they came across some compatibility issues from the Windows 9x days. Mentioned by Mikko Hypponen on twitter (, quite a lot of products test the version string with "indexOf("windows 9")". Using searchcode, we can see what he means.

Submission + - Should developers fix bugs in their own time? 7

Bizzeh writes: Today my boss came to me with what he thought to be a valid point and analogy. If a builder builds a wall, and a week later, bricks begin to fall out of the bottom, but he continues to build the wall higher, he would have to replace those lower bricks he did not place correctly at his own expense and in his own time. When a software developer writes a piece of software, when bugs are discovered, they are paid to fix them by the company and on the companies time. I didn't know how to refute the analogy at the time, but it did make me think, why are bugs in software treated differently in this way?

Submission + - Why statistics lie, even though they look correct

Bizzeh writes: Why does it seem like everything gives you cancer these days? Well, it doesn’t, there is still very little that is known about what actually causes the mutation that brings on a cancerous tumour. The reason studies find that things like bacon, beef, soft drinks, chocolate and more or less anything that taste nice, can give you cancer is because, that is what the person conducting the study wants to find. To understand this, you first need to know how these studies work (for the most part). A questionnaire will be created 1. do you eat crisps, 2. do you eat chocolate, 3. do you drink soft drinks, and so on. These questionnaires will then be handed out to cancer patients, about 1000 or so to make the study "valid". Once all these have been completed, any question where more than 50% of people answered yes becomes a probable cause, more than 60% means "this gives you cancer", because all these people are doing this, and they all also have cancer. They then hand out the same questionnaire to the people who have gone into remission, or have been cured, or had a false positive result, and ask them the same questions, because most of them already believe this rubbish, they would have avoided most things on the list, so would answer no, and less than 50% of them would have answered yes, meaning the reverse test supports the original test, if you don’t have these things, you won’t have cancer. The problem with these tests is that the questions are very closed questions, designed to get you to answer yes, or no, not allowing an in-between number or a "maybe", restricting the number of points within the data to calculate, giving what seems to be a concrete result. The tests are designed this way, because whoever came up with the tests wants a positive or negative result for that particular thing based on their own like or dislike of that particular thing. This is why poor news outlets publish this rubbish, and real information is published in real scientific publications. So the next time somebody says "you can’t eat that" "you can’t do that" "because it gives you cancer", unless your licking a nuclear fuel rod or trying to eat a microwave, ask them to back up their statement with a scientific journal and then ask them to take a one way flight into the sun.

Submission + - Fusion milestone passed at US lab ( 1

Bizzeh writes: The BBC reports that Researchers at a US lab have passed a crucial milestone on the way to their ultimate goal of achieving self-sustaining nuclear fusion. Harnessing fusion — the process that powers the Sun — could provide an unlimited and cheap source of energy.

But to be viable, fusion power plants would have to produce more energy than they consume, which has proven elusive.

Now, a breakthrough by scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) could boost hopes of scaling up fusion

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