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Emrys

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Current location: Scotland
Member since: Sun Sep 6, 2009, 11:57 PM
Number of posts: 6,379

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Subpostmaster federation deliberately kept public in dark over computer problems

The federation representing subpostmasters deliberately suppressed information about computer errors that could have saved its members from devastating life-changing events

The National Federation of Subpostmasters (NFSP) deliberately kept stories of Horizon errors quiet because it “did not want to kill the project”.

The NFSP, a membership organisation representing subpostmasters, even proposed to propagate positive news about the accounting system to hide the problems experienced during its roll-out.

During a Horizon scandal statutory public inquiry hearing, Colin Baker, former NFSP general secretary, said project sponsors didn’t want the public to know about the problems with the software. “The public... didn’t know, and we didn’t want them to know it was perilous and threatened. We wanted them to think it was fine,” he told the hearing.

The Horizon accounting system was rolled out in 1999-2000 to replace manual accounting practices at about 19,000 Post Office branches. However, errors in the system caused unexplained losses for subpostmasters, for which they were blamed and punished, with many forced to pay back shortfalls and 736 prosecuted for financial crimes.

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252527837/Subpostmaster-federation-deliberately-kept-public-in-dark-over-computer-problems-secret


A long-running nightmarish scandal that ruined the lives of a number of subpostmasters and drove some of them to suicide.

Making sense of Ukrainian war memes: From watermelons to Saint Javelin

“Breaking: This lettuce outlasts Russian annexation of Kherson,” reads a meme posted a few hours after Russia announced its retreat from the city of Kherson.

This is a remake of a joke about the former U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss, whose short term in power was compared to "the shelf life of a lettuce."

https://twitter.com/saintjavelin/status/1590384183452794880
Saint Javelin
@saintjavelin



Ukrainians have created a trove of war-related memes since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion on Feb. 24. They have become a part of modern folklore – like songs and poetry, memes help Ukrainians express what they feel in simple metaphorical language.

There are other benefits to memes: They can offer some relief from the traumatic experiences of the war. They can also keep people engaged and informed, according to Christian Borys, creator of the popular Saint Javelin meme. The image depicts Virgin Mary cradling a U.S.-made FGM-148 anti-tank weapon used in Ukraine.

Most people don't read long articles about the war, Borys said, but they scroll through Instagram or Twitter every day, and the memes they see there give them an idea of what's happening in Ukraine.

https://kyivindependent.com/national/making-sense-of-ukrainian-memes-from-watermelons-to-saint-javelin


The importance of Ukraine's deft use of online propaganda during this war shouldn't be underestimated. It can humanize reactions without trivializing them, and humour and satire are more relatable and more likely to go viral than polemic.

Criminal rivalries and Russian power politics [Twitter videos] (some arguably NSFW)

(This was originally posted as a reply to an OP in Latest Breaking News, but I figured it would probably sink without trace there.)

https://twitter.com/vidtranslator/status/1590485260407406592
VidTranslator - targum.video AI bot
@vidtranslator

Hey @SergAibertich, here's your video [ai] translated from Russian as requested by @57thOverlanders.

Follow @altryne to get more free transcriptions.

[Twitter video]


I disturbed myself last night by reading around the prevalence of prison culture in more mainstream Russian society. I knew Putin was a jumped-up gangster, but I hadn't joined the dots laid out for me.

In brief, there are two broad factions in the Russian criminal fraternity - those who are opposed to the state (like Grisha), and others (like Prigozhin and Kadyrov) who have thrown their lot in with it as allies and profited, but nevertheless could pose threats to the current regime.

What follows is not pleasant, and if you're prone to triggering or in a work environment, you've been warned.

The Russian criminal hierarchy ranges from "thieves-in-law" at the top to "cocks" at the bottom. Rape is endemic in Russian prisons, and is not equated with homosexuality if you're a "top". It's seen as a method of enforcement and punishment. At the bottom of the hierarchy are "cocks", who once they've been raped are regarded as untouchable except for sexual purposes.

The turf war inside Russia is developing as ex-inmate Sasha Kurara posted the two videos posted below, in which he claims that he was in prison with Prigozhin many years ago, and that Prigozhin was a "cock" and served him sexually.

https://twitter.com/wartranslated/status/1597578177798627328

Dmitri
@wartranslated

A Russian man who introduces himself as an ex-convict who served sentence with Wagner's Prigozhyn claims the latter was providing sexual services to other prisoners.

[Twitter video]


https://twitter.com/wartranslated/status/1597648181734825984
Dmitri
@wartranslated

So there's more to the story with the ex-convict who claims Prigozhyn was adventurous in prison. There's a second video where the man confidently confirms his statements.

[Twitter video]


Making these inflammatory claims that, if accepted, are terminal to Prigozhin's reputation among the criminal fraternity, is obviously a very dangerous business, but Kurara doesn't seem concerned and offers to meet anyone angered by his claims (by implication, henchmen of Prigozhin) at a location of their choosing. Undercutting Prigozhin in this way could serve the purposes of many, including Putin, who may foresee a threat to his power from the influence of the Wagner Group.

I'd foreseen the possibility of ethnic civil war in the Russian Federation as a result of the war in Ukraine's failure. These turf wars add another dimension.

The video mentioned in the OP, with English subtitles [Twitter]:

https://twitter.com/vidtranslator/status/1590485260407406592
VidTranslator - targum.video AI bot
@vidtranslator

Hey @SergAibertich, here's your video [ai] translated from Russian as requested by @57thOverlanders.

Follow @altryne to get more free transcriptions.

[Twitter video]


I disturbed myself last night by reading around the prevalence of prison culture in more mainstream Russian society. I knew Putin was a jumped-up gangster, but I hadn't joined the dots laid out for me.

In brief, there are two broad factions in the Russian criminal fraternity - those who are opposed to the state (like Grisha), and others (like Prigozhin and Kadyrov) who have thrown their lot in with it as allies and profited, but nevertheless could pose threats to the current regime.

What follows is not pleasant, and if you're prone to triggering or in a work environment, you've been warned.

The Russian criminal hierarchy ranges from "thieves-in-law" at the top to "cocks" at the bottom. Rape is endemic in Russian prisons, and is not equated with homosexuality if you're a "top". It's seen as a method of enforcement and punishment. At the bottom of the hierarchy are "cocks", who once they've been raped are regarded as untouchable except for sexual purposes.

The turf war inside Russia is developing as ex-inmate Sasha Kurara posted the two videos posted below, in which he claims that he was in prison with Prigozhin many years ago, and that Prigozhin was a "cock" and served him sexually.

https://twitter.com/wartranslated/status/1597578177798627328

Dmitri
@wartranslated

A Russian man who introduces himself as an ex-convict who served sentence with Wagner's Prigozhyn claims the latter was providing sexual services to other prisoners.

[Twitter video]


https://twitter.com/wartranslated/status/1597648181734825984
Dmitri
@wartranslated

So there's more to the story with the ex-convict who claims Prigozhyn was adventurous in prison. There's a second video where the man confidently confirms his statements.

[Twitter video]


Making these inflammatory claims that, if accepted, are terminal to Prigozhin's reputation among the criminal fraternity, is obviously a very dangerous business, but Kurara doesn't seem concerned and offers to meet anyone angered by his claims (by implication, henchmen of Prigozhin) at a location of their choosing. Undercutting Prigozhin in this way could serve the purposes of many, including Putin, who may foresee a threat to his power from the influence of the Wagner Group.

I'd foreseen the possibility of ethnic civil war in the Russian Federation as a result of the war in Ukraine's failure. These turf wars add another dimension.

Aidan McAnespie: Ex-soldier found guilty of checkpoint shooting [Northern Ireland]

Former soldier David Holden has been found guilty of the manslaughter of Aidan McAnespie in Tyrone 34 years ago.

The 53-year-old is the first veteran to be convicted of a historical offence in Northern Ireland since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Mr McAnespie was killed by a shot which ricocheted off the road and struck him in the back.

His family said they were "relieved and happy" with Friday's verdict after a 34-year wait.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-63754980


This is the first conviction of a soldier for a killing in Northern Ireland during the Troubles since the Good Friday Agreement. An appeal may be lodged but if not, sentencing is due to take place in the new year.

It may also be the last conviction, depending on what amendments are accepted to the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill which is due to be passed in the coming year.

How SpaceX staff coped with Musk as boss in the past

Yeah, I know, another Musk post. This was found on Tumblr and should be treated with the same trust/suspicion you'd show toward anything anonymous found on the web, but others who've worked at SpaceX say it rings true:

numberonecatwinner

I was an intern at SpaceX years ago, back it when it was a much smaller company — after Elon got hair plugs, but before his cult of personality was in full swing. I have some insight to offer here.

Back when I was at SpaceX, Elon was basically a child king. He was an important figurehead who provided the company with the money, power, and PR, but he didn’t have the knowledge or (frankly) maturity to handle day-to-day decision making and everyone knew that. He was surrounded by people whose job was, essentially, to manipulate him into making good decisions.

Managing Elon was a huge part of the company culture. Even I, as a lowly intern, would hear people talking about it openly in meetings. People knew how to present ideas in a way that would resonate with him, they knew how to creatively reinterpret (or ignore) his many insane demands, and they even knew how to “stage manage” parts of the physical office space so that it would appeal to Elon.

The funniest example of “stage management” I can remember is this dude on the IT security team. He had a script running in a terminal on one of his monitors that would output random garbage, Matrix-style, so that it always looked like he was doing Important Computer Things to anyone who walked by his desk. Second funniest was all the people I saw playing WoW at their desks after ~5pm, who did it in the office just to give the appearance that they were working late.

People were willing to do that at SpaceX because Elon was giving them the money (and hype) to get into outer space, a mission people cared deeply about. The company also grew with and around Elon. There were layers of management between individual employees and Elon, and those managers were experienced managers of Elon. Again, I cannot stress enough how much of the company culture was oriented around managing this one guy.

Twitter has neither of those things going for it. There is no company culture or internal structure around the problem of managing Elon Musk, and I think for the first time we’re seeing what happens when people actually take that man seriously and at face value. Worse, they’re doing this little experiment after this man has had decades of success at companies that dedicate significant resources to protecting themselves from him, and he’s too narcissistic to realize it.

This post is long so I’ll leave you with my favorite Elon story. One day at work, I got an all hands email telling me that it was Elon’s birthday and there was going to be a mandatory surprise party for him in the cafeteria. Presumably Elon also got this email, but whatever. We all marched down into the cafeteria, dimmed the lights, and waited. Elon was led out by his secretary (who he hadn’t fired yet) and made a big show of being fake surprised and touched that we were there. Then they wheeled out the cake.

OK, so, I want you to imagine the biggest penis cake you’ve ever seen. Like the king of novelty sex cakes. Only it’s frosted white, and the balls have been frosted to look like fire and smoke. This was Elon’s birthday “rocket” cake.

For as long as I live, I will never forget the look on everyone’s face — in that dark room of mostly-male engineers — when he made a wish and cut into the tip.

https://www.tumblr.com/numberonecatwinner/701567544684855296/elon-wyd

The Ukraine conflict is exposing the limits of cyber warfare - and Russian hackers

It’s safe to say that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine hasn’t gone to plan. Russian forces are suffering mounting setbacks, after underestimating the resistance of his adversaries — and that’s just in cyberspace.

The Kremlin’s hacker army – like its conventional military – hasn’t lived up to its fearsome reputation. At least, not yet. 

Analysts have offered an array of explanations for Russia’s cyber limitations. They range from upgrades to Ukraine’s defenses to changes in the Kremlin’s tactics. 

https://dlsserve.com/the-ukraine-conflict-is-exposing-the-limits-of-cyber-warfare-and-russian-hackers/


A long article I found it worthwhile to read.

Revealed: Tory peer Michelle Mone secretly received 29m from 'VIP lane' PPE firm

Documents suggest husband passed on money from PPE Medpro, which secured £200m contracts after Mone lobbied ministers

The Conservative peer Michelle Mone and her children secretly received £29m originating from the profits of a PPE business that was awarded large government contracts after she recommended it to ministers, documents seen by the Guardian indicate.

Lady Mone’s support helped the company, PPE Medpro, secure a place in a “VIP lane” the government used during the coronavirus pandemic to prioritise companies that had political connections. It then secured contracts worth more than £200m.

Documents seen by the Guardian indicate tens of millions of pounds of PPE Medpro’s profits were later transferred to a secret offshore trust of which Mone and her adult children were the beneficiaries.

Asked by the Guardian last year why Mone did not include PPE Medpro in her House of Lords register of financial interests, her lawyer replied: “Baroness Mone did not declare any interest as she did not benefit financially and was not connected to PPE Medpro in any capacity.”

The leaked documents, which were produced by the bank HSBC, appear to contradict that statement. They state that Mone’s husband, the Isle of Man-based financier Douglas Barrowman, was paid at least £65m in profits from PPE Medpro, and then distributed the funds through a series of offshore accounts, trusts and companies.

The ultimate recipients of the funds, the documents indicate, include the Isle of Man trust that was set up to benefit Mone, who was Barrowman’s fiancee at the time, and her children. In October 2020, the documents add, Barrowman transferred to the trust £28.8m originating from PPE Medpro profits.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/nov/23/revealed-tory-peer-michelle-mone-secretly-received-29m-from-vip-lane-ppe-firm


This is just the very tip of the iceberg of the grift surrounding the purchase of PPE (personal protective equipment) by tory cronies and funders during the pandemic.

This is it:

https://twitter.com/DerrickNAACP/status/1594147256751513600
Derrick Johnson
@DerrickNAACP

You are failing our democracy.

Your garbage poll means nothing. Did people outside the US vote? Did you reach out to marginalized communities—the targets of Trump’s rhetoric—for their input? Your followers don’t represent America.

If you run Twitter like this, God help us all.

Elon Musk
@elonmusk

The people have spoken.

Trump will be reinstated.

Vox Populi, Vox Dei.


Oh, and the Latin quote Musk mangled there, to sound all high-falutin and 'nuff said, reads in full:

Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, vox populi, vox dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.


Which translated reads:

Do not listen to those who say the voice of the people is the voice of God, because the tumult of the common people is always close to madness.


I guess somebody ought to point out to him that social media is about *shock* people.

The coding and software is just a means to an end. And it wasn't actually that broken in the first place.

That wasn't where Twitter's problems lay. But I don't think he has the foggiest idea how to work on those problems, and trusting anyone else to come in and know more than he does about what the issues are and how to fix them isn't going to happen, mainly because they'll require that he changes his behaviour.

So he'll just drive on with the technofixes that achieve nothing that Twitter needs right now and the disgusting corporate atmosphere he's building until somebody yanks his lead real hard.
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