D4D

I said "fuck off, bollocks, you're a cunt"

Archive for the category “Cynicism”

Skewing Perceptions

This story from Business Insider contains one of the worst (or cleverest, depending on your perspective) graphs in history.

The story is about gun deaths in Florida, and contains the graph below, created by Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement.

florida_gun_deaths

Looks like deaths went down after the “Stand Your Ground” law came in, doesn’t it?

But no, look at that Y axis on the chart (or the bold ‘totals’). The scale is upside down – so gun deaths actually increased after that law came in.

I can hear Blue Witch gnashing her teeth about that graph already…

Breaking Things

Last Friday there was a big(ish) story in the BBC and Media about the convicted paedophile who is requesting his laptop – complete with ‘non-obscene’ images of one of his victims. Dorset Police were quoted in the story as saying it would be ‘unlawful’ to delete/remove those images from the laptop, because they’re not technically obscene or showing nudity.

Now, aside from the fact that there’s something so blatantly wrong with this entire process (and why wasn’t the laptop just removed/destroyed as part of the evidence and ‘proceeds of crime’ bollocks?) then surely this is a perfect opportunity for a tragic IT-related ‘accident’?

Make sure it’s believable, could happen, and is feasible, and it’d be the devil’s own job to prove anything.

For example, a liquid spillage. Or leaving the machine next to – I don’t know – some kind of large magnet. Maybe the metal scanner in a doorway. Or just mis-filed in such a way that a) it can’t be found or b) it got destroyed. Lost property, IT security, avoidance of possibility for divulging person information.

There are many, many ways in which this could’ve never been an issue. The mis-filing and “sorry, can’t find it” would be easiest (and probably hardest to be disproved) but any of them would work nicely.  It’s more of a problem now, because they’ve admitted that a) it exists and b) it’s currently in an OK state. Ooops.

People Carriers

As has been noted before on here, I do a fair amount of driving on any given week, mainly for commuting. It’s about 400-500 miles per week at the moment – although I’ve had greater mileages, and lesser ones.

One of the things I notice during those drives is how drivers do seem to group up, and that certain groups are infinitely worse than others. There’s always the usual culprits – BMWs, Audis, and White Vans, but there’s another one I notice more over time. MPVs, or people carriers.

I don’t know if it’s because BMW et al don’t actually do people carrier vehicles, but it does seem that MPV drivers are on a par with BMW drivers. In particular it seems that Citroen Xsara Picasso (now renamed the C4 Picasso, I think) are a breed of shit drivers. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen these vacuous bell-ends approach roundabouts in the wrong lanes, cut across lines of traffic, cruise across busy roundabouts, stick their cars into the flow of traffic, weave across multiple carriageways, and generally act like cunts.

So yes, welcome to the ‘shit drivers’ group.

  • BMWs and Audis
  • White Van drivers
  • MPVs – and Picasso drivers in particular.

East/West

I’m really hoping that this isn’t a poxy April Fool’s thing, because (as I’ve written before) it’s actually needed far more than HS2 is.

Network Rail have published a development plan which includes an East/West route connecting Bedford, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Oxford.

Phase 1 will deliver the infrastructure required for Chiltern Railways services between Oxford and London via Bicester as well as the works required for the later introduction of East West Rail services west of Bicester.

Phase 2, which is at an earlier stage of development, will deliver the EWR works east of Bicester to Bletchley and Bedford, including the Aylesbury to Claydon Junction line within this five-year period ending March 2019

So – still a long way to go, but it looks like it might just be a plan.

Not Extending

Six weeks in to my new contract, discussions are starting to happen about whether the contract will extend or not.

For the first time in quite a long time, I’m not planning to extend this one – I’ll be happy to finish it and go elsewhere.

Usually I’m good with sticking around, as I generally enjoy the work I’m doing. Here I’m happier to move on – the work’s OK, the people are OKish, but the overall atmosphere just isn’t one I want to continue working in if I can possibly help it.

Since I started, three other developers have left. I’ve been here six weeks, and I’m now the most senior developer on-site. There’s no indication that they’re bothered by this, or that they plan to recruit anyone else. Any contract extensions will be on a ‘monthly rolling’ basis – meaning that as soon as I’ve got one sorted, I need to start getting the next one done. It’s all budgetary bullshit. There’s no willingness to commit to anything longer, no organisation, no preparation.

And that’s going to get them left with a bundle of managers, and no-one actually doing the work.

It’s not the fault of my own team. It’s an institutional issue, something that goes to the core of the management structure, finance department and so on – and it appears that no-one has ever stood up and asked why things are like this, or complained that it leads to loss of talent, knowledge and skills. (Or maybe they have, and then not been renewed themselves – that wouldn’t surprise me)

Once I’m gone, it may be that in a couple of months I look back and think “I wish I’d stuck with it” – but I can’t see that being the case. I think I’ll be better off without the hassle, and I suspect that sticking around here will be more hassle than it’s ever going to be worth to have it as a long-term job on the CV.

And that’s why I think I won’t be extending this contract.

 

Apoocalypse

You can always tell when a day is going to be interesting..

Walking in to the toilets at work this morning I was greeted by the sight/sound of a man going in to one of the cubicles, squealing, shouting “Oh god, that’s fucking disgusting” and walking back out.

I have no idea what was in there, or what’d happened.  But you know it’s never going to be a good sign…

Travel Time

Over the past year, much has been made of the HS2 train route, and how it’ll improve transport links in the UK. It’s absolute balls, as most common sense would tell you.  Mind you, what *would* be useful would be a route going across the country, rather than up-and-down it.

An example…

My current contract is in Cambridge, and I live near Milton Keynes. Road-wise it’s an OK run, takes me 45-60 minutes each way.

But by public transport? Oy, fuck me, what a nightmare. For fun, I had a look.

Milton Keynes -> Cambridge isn’t a direct route (because there’s no ‘across’ rail line) Instead, I’d have to go :

  • From Milton Keynes into London Euston
  • From Euston to Kings Cross
  • From King’s Cross to Cambridge.

Now that is madness – it’d be 3 hours in the morning, and at least two on the way home. (Weirdly, trains seem to run better on the return journey)

And then you get to the real madness. The price. Because it’s a ‘via-London’ route, and at ‘peak time’ the cost was always going to be high. But it turns out that a day return comes to £73.70. Yep, just under seventy five quid. Per day. I don’t pay that for a week’s fuel.

And if you think I’m lying – here’s the screenshot from Trainline.com…

mk_to_cambridge

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