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Messages - IainB [ switch to compact view ]

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Google have probably been looking for an excuse to kill off the failed G+ Beta for some time now, without further upsetting the residual users. This "vulnerability" may well present a timely and convenient justification for doing that.

Maybe there's a silver lining here. I mean, for example, supposing that the market value of Amazon and Apple stock had just tanked on a lack of confidence, based on the news of the Chinese hack published in good faith by Breitbart, and that stockholders had been subsequently unloading it like the plague before it fell even lower. Suppose that someone had decided to buy a lot of it at the currently lower bargain price levels and then the "convincing" news that it's not a hack after all coincidentally meant that the stock just bought would be worth a lot more overnight as confidence was restored. That someone wouldn't even need to settle on the purchase before selling it at a clear windfall profit.
Wouldn't that be a lucky thing!?    :Thmbsup:

These things can be just "lucky coincidences" for some and "opportunities" for those imbued with good investment foresight. And it's not like something similar hasn't happened before - is it?

For example:
  • Tesla: the report in the news that Tesla likely to face SEC investigation following Musk tweets amid debate of market manipulation. It seems that the CEO of Tesla apparently could have inadvertently probably caused a temporary spike in the continuum of Tesla stock value by Tweeting what turned out to be an apparently incorrect/untrue statement about funding being available for a private buyout, or something. This apparently could have run counter to SEC rules, in retrospect.
  • Intel (Spectre/Meltdown): a  while back I read somewhere that the CEO of Intel had apparently/reportedly unloaded a lot of stock shortly before the Spectre/Meltdown "security flaws" were so systematically published and likely to cause a temporary spike in the continuum of Intel stock value. (I don't recall reading whether this could have run counter to SEC rules in retrospect, or whatever.)

I recall reading of a big investment funds manager in the UK in the '70s called Jim Slater, who seemed to be perpetually having that kind of luck - he seemed to have really good foresight; apparently made millions by it. He was apparently put into clink and did time - I don't recall the full details - but he was recognised as being a good investment adviser.    :o

Living Room / Re: Problem for very strong brains
« on: October 06, 2018, 02:00 PM »
@kalos: It seems you might be posing typical problems in CPA (Critical Path Analysis).
I would therefore suggest that you do a (or search for:
  • (a) optimising the critical path - e.g., result here.
  • (b) optimising the management of resources (optimisation of resource planning/utilisation) - e.g., result here.

Also worth referring to is the excellent Microsoft Office Project YYYY Inside Out training package on CD.
Here, for example, is the summary of what's in it, from the Complete eBook of the Microsoft Office Project 2003 Inside Out version:
What’s on the CD
Your Inside Out CD includes the following:
  • ●    Complete eBook.  In this section, you’ll find an electronic version of Microsoft Office Project 2003 Inside Out. The eBook is in PDF format.
  • ●    Project Standard Trial.  In this section, you’ll find a trial version of Microsoft Office Project 2003 Standard Edition.
  • ●    Computer Dictionary, Fifth Edition eBook.  Here you’ll find the full electronic version of the Microsoft Computer Dictionary, Fifth Edition. Suitable for home and office, the dictionary contains more than 10,000 entries.
  • ●    Insider Extras.  This section includes files the author selected for you to install and use as additional reference material.
  • ●    Microsoft Resources.  In this section, you’ll find information about additional resources from Microsoft that will help you get the most out of Microsoft Office Project and other business software from Microsoft.
  • ●    Extending Project.  In this section, you’ll find great information about third-party utilities and tools you use to further enhance your experience with Office Project 2003.
The Companion CD provides detailed information about the files on this CD and links to
Microsoft and third-party sites on the Internet. All the files on this CD are designed to be
accessed through Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 5.01 or later).
The Complete eBook on its own (without the CD) is very useful, and you might well be able to lay hands on a hardcopy or .PDF file of that in a corporate training department, corporate library or public lending library.

Living Room / Re: I'm getting married, wish me luck!
« on: October 06, 2018, 11:02 AM »
Huh - what? Well that explains it, I guess. Dereliction of duty due to personal circumstances being allowed to take priority? What the heck has got into you?!

Well done! Congrats to both of you.    :Thmbsup:

Nah. We all know them pesky Russkies rilly the ones wot dun it, eh?

Living Room / Re: silly humor - SafePlaces.swf
« on: October 03, 2018, 03:02 PM »
SafePlaces.swf (in the .ZIP file below) was something of a classic in its time - one that I recently dug up.
Is has some fun for young and old. Bit of an amusing puzzle.
The links to the music that the little guy has on his cassette player are broken though, but they may be on Wayback.
Have fun.
Clue: experiment by clicking objects with the mouse.

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: September 29, 2018, 04:27 PM »
Today I was reading some US media channels in my BazQux feed-reader that seemed to be absolutely choc-a-block with "news" about the pillorying of one Brett Michael Kavanaugh (a US Circuit Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit) - almost to the exclusion of any other US/world news.

I don't know anything about Kavanaugh, but what struck me was a news feed ( that referred to it as Kavanaugh's 'character assassination'.
The related videos were absolutely pure theatre...
Costanza popcorn-eating watching TV anim.gif

- but, watching them I had a sense of déjà vu and after a bit of head-scratching, I finally traced it back to that well-known hated/loved world leader, Adolf Hitler. I mentioned in this discussion thread, back in 2011:
...I am reading an interesting book at the moment, as I explained in a separate post...
...I had not actually wanted to read it, though I had been steeling myself for the time when I would have to.
I am reading this English translation, here, if you want to take a look: Adolf Hitler - Mein Kampf (James Murphy translation).pdf...

At 557pp, Mein Kampf is not a light reading exercise, but searching the .pdf file eventually turned this up: - Hitler was apparently describing the timeless methods that would seem to have been employed in the Kavanaugh pillorying:
From Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler - from pages 78 and 79:

... By far the most effective branch of political education, which in this connection is best expressed by the word 'propaganda', is carried on by the Press.  The Press is the chief means employed in the process of political 'enlightenment'.  It represents a kind of school for adults.  This educational activity, however, is not in the hands of the State but in the clutches of powers which are partly of a very inferior character.  While still a young man in Vienna I had excellent opportunities for coming to know the men who owned this machine for mass instruction, as well as those who supplied it with the ideas it distributed.  At first I was quite surprised when I realized how little time was necessary for this dangerous Great Power within the State to produce a certain belief among the public; and in doing so the genuine will and convictions of the public were often completely misconstrued.  It took the Press only a few days to transform some ridiculously trivial matter into an issue of national importance, while vital problems were completely ignored or filched and hidden away from public attention.

The Press succeeded in the magical art of producing names from nowhere within the course of a few weeks.  They made it appear that the great hopes of the masses were bound up with those names. And so they made those names more popular than any man of real ability could ever hope to be in a long lifetime. All this was done, despite the fact that such names were utterly unknown and indeed had never been heard of even up to a month before the Press publicly emblazoned them.  At the same time old and tried figures in the political and other spheres of life quickly faded from the public memory and were forgotten as if they were dead, though still healthy and in the enjoyment of their full viguour.  Or sometimes such men were so vilely abused that it looked as if their names would soon stand as permanent symbols of the worst kind of baseness.  In order to estimate properly the really pernicious influence which the Press can exercise one had to study this infamous Jewish method whereby honourable and decent people were besmirched with mud and filth, in the form of low abuse and slander, from hundreds and hundreds of quarters simultaneously, as if commanded by some magic formula.

These highway robbers would grab at anything which might serve their evil ends.

They would poke their noses into the most intimate family affairs and would not rest until they had sniffed out some petty item which could be used to destroy the reputation of their victim.  But if the result of all this sniffing should be that nothing derogatory was discovered in the private or public life of the victim, they continued to hurl abuse at him, in the belief that some of their animadversions would stick even though refuted a thousand times.  In most cases it finally turned out impossible for the victim to continue his defence, because the accuser worked together with so many accomplices that his slanders were re-echoed interminably.  But these slanderers would never own that they were acting from motives which influence the common run of humanity or are understood by them.  Oh, no.  The scoundrel who defamed his contemporaries in this villainous way would crown himself with a halo of heroic probity fashioned of unctuous phraseology and twaddle about his 'duties as a journalist' and other mouldy nonsense of that kind.  When these cuttle-fishes gathered together in large shoals at meetings and congresses they would give out a lot of slimy talk about a special kind of honour which they called the professional honour of the journalist.  Then the assembled species would bow their respects to one another. 

These are the kind of beings that fabricate more than two-thirds of what is called public opinion, from the foam of which the parliamentary Aphrodite eventually arises.

Several volumes would be needed if one were to give an adequate account of the whole procedure and fully describe all its hollow fallacies.  But if we pass over the details and look at the product itself while it is in operation I think this alone will be sufficient to open the eyes of even the most innocent and credulous person, so that he may recognize the absurdity of this institution by looking at it objectively. ...

- which all rather coincidentally seems to indicate that The Führer was apparently sitting in Cell 9 writing about the producers of what we today have labelled "Fake news".

My conclusion: Mein Kampf is worth a read as it may have perceptive, real educational and historical value - and maybe news media organisations have for years appreciated this fact and been using it as a textbook tutorial for honing their "reporting methods".

Utterly amazing. Read dis book!    :Thmbsup:

General Software Discussion / Re: Et Tu, CCleaner!
« on: September 29, 2018, 11:55 AM »
@ital2: Thanks for the rant and info. It was interesting - especially the bit about System Ninja - and mostly/all made sense to me.
Regarding having to close a browser before CCleaner can delete its cookies, etc.: I would guess that the reason for having to close a browser before CCleaner can delete cookies or other files (e.g., cache) would be simply because those files will tend to have been locked by the browser whilst it is running and only get unlocked when the browser is shut down.

Living Room / Re: How has everyone been?
« on: September 29, 2018, 08:20 AM »
I'll try to address this later or in a future post IainB but I just finished listening to ContraPoints' Discord Hang Out right now and I need to rest and later I have to prepare for a 15 minute talk with Dr. Debra Soh in Patreon.
Well, I'd probably do the same in your shoes, truth be told. Always take the easier option. The world ain't gonna stop spinning if we say "manyana". And getting some rest is always a good idea anyway, in these turbulent times.

Download Fuzzy Lookup Add-In for Excel:

Nice find! Looks interesting.    :Thmbsup:

I downloaded it to try it out, but I have Win10-64 Pro and MS Office Excel 2016 and noticed that that wasn't covered (not necessarily forwards compatible) in the page The Fuzzy Lookup Add-In for Excel performs fuzzy matching of textual data in Excel, where it says:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images, with my emphasis.)
Supported Operating System
Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista

Preinstalled Software (Prerequisites): Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010 or 2013
1 GHz processor, 1 core or higher
1 GB of RAM
2 GB of available hard disk space
The following libraries are required and will be installed if necessary:
.NET 4.5
VSTO 4.0

As a long-time Excel ASAP Utilities user, I couldn't seem to get any joy from "fuzzy" either.
Still, I shall try this one out (suck-it-and-see). Stuff from Microsoft Labs is usually pretty tolerant.

Living Room / Re: How has everyone been?
« on: September 28, 2018, 10:16 AM »
@Paul Keith:
Sorry, but I don't quite follow. I'm a bit confuzzled over this whole hikikomori thing.
What exactly are the criteria to be met before one can be said to be "hikikomori"? Are you suggesting that you meet all those criteria? Is race one of the criteria? Or ethnicity?
If there aren't any such criteria, then why the heck not?

If someone doesn't necessarily meet all the criteria (whatever those criteria might be), but yet identifies themselves as being hikikomori anyway, then who are we to deny them that self-identification? Or would they be officially deemed to be masquerading as hikikomori, or appropriating the hikikomori culture? If they were - in either case - then would that be an offence punishable under any state law in any country, or perceived as an unacceptable offence against social/moral virtue?
Should such pretenders be punished?
Is it possible for hikikomori-like characteristics to be scientifically assessed/measured with some kind of psychometric tests - e.g. (say), like Aspergers or IQ might be measured?
Is there an official hikikomori society that only hikikomori can be members of - sort of like Asperger support groups or Mensa - where to be a member one would need to score over so many hikikomori points to qualify for membership?

If there were a pukka hikikomori group, then should new members be admitted initially as equal members, or as Novices or Associates at first and then have to work their way up by degrees to Fellows, or something?
Should these hikikomori groups be open (e.g., like LBGTQXYZ, the German National Socialist Party, or whatever), or more closed/secretive (e.g. like the Masons or the Rosicrucians, or like those people who persist in stealing the food from my marked food containers in the office fridge)?

Is being a hikikomori something that one should feel socially fortunate about (e.g., like being given a winning ticket in the lottery of life), or the opposite (e.g., like contracting leprosy, or an STD)? Is being a hikikomori determined genetically - e.g., like gender X/Y chromosomes - or is it something that one develops into or feels oneself and one's self-identity to be intrinsically and inextricably drawn towards and part of (e.g., including various religio-political ideologies or belief systems, such as (say), 7th Day Adventists, Devil Worshippers, Klingon language speakers, LBGTetc, pedasty, God's Army, Nazi/fascism, or the KKK)?

Serious questions indeed. Enquiring minds need to know, and I think we should be told.

Living Room / Re: How has everyone been?
« on: September 27, 2018, 09:36 PM »
@Paul Keith: Eyebinallrightmon. Howubin?
EDIT: Corrected spellin: Eyebinallritemon. Howubin?

Living Room / Re: Privacy - HAT (Hub of All Things) = Sovrin ?
« on: September 27, 2018, 11:55 AM »
EDIT: Oops! Forgot to post this initially:
Identity For All - Permanent Digital Identities that Don’t Require a Central Authority
The Sovrin Solution
Sovrin is a decentralized, global public utility for self-sovereign identity. Self-sovereign means a lifetime portable identity for any person, organization, or thing. It’s a smart identity that everyone can use and feel good about. Having a self-sovereign identity allows the holder to present verifiable credentials in a privacy-safe way. These credentials can represent things as diverse as an airline ticket or a driver's license.

Sovrin identities will transform the current broken online identity system. Sovrin identities will lower transaction costs, protect people’s personal information, limit opportunity for cybercrime, and simplify identity challenges in fields from healthcare to banking to IoT to voter fraud.

...Interestingly enough, this would seem to be exactly the sort of thing that HAT (Hub of All Things) - referred to above per Armando (2016-07-29, 14:49:38) - is apparently designed to protect us from, whilst at the same time increasing our privacy and freedom of choice:

What is the Hub of all Things?

The Hub of All Things

MEGA - MEGAsync - General Data Protection Regulation Disclosure:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
General Data Protection Regulation Disclosure

In 2013 MEGA pioneered user-controlled end-to-end encryption through a web browser. It provides the same zero-knowledge security for its cloud storage and chat, whether through a web browser, mobile app, sync app or command line tool. MEGA, The Privacy Company, provides Privacy by Design.

As all files uploaded to MEGA are fully encrypted, their contents can’t be read or accessed in any manner by MEGA. Files can only be decrypted by the original uploader through a logged-in account, or by other parties who have been provided with file/folder keys generated by the account user.

Personal data is information relating to an identifiable natural person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier.

MEGA stores the following categories of Personal Data
Contact Details
  • Email addresses
  • User’s name (if provided)

Transaction Details
  • IP address and Source Port for account creation and file uploads
  • Country location (inferred by matching IP to MaxMind IP database)
  • File size and date uploaded
  • Date that file/folder links are created
  • MEGA contacts
  • Chat destination contact(s) and time sent
  • Call destination contact(s), call start time and call duration
  • Subscriptions and payment attempts
  • Information provided to a payment processor when processing a subscription payment, such as Tax ID number, but not the credit/debit card number.

MEGA does not receive or store special categories of personal data or data relating to criminal convictions and offences, as any files that are uploaded to MEGA are fully encrypted at the user’s device so the encrypted data is not able to be decrypted by MEGA.

MEGA doesn’t share the data with any other party other than with competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences and as specified in the Privacy Policy clause 11.

The purpose of storing the data is to manage account login and activity and to respond to information demands from authorities.

MEGA stores personal data but does not carry out any other processing activities on such data. This storage of personal data is necessary in order to provide the secure login to MEGA’s systems and to satisfy compliance obligations.

Lawful Basis of Processing: Contract
The processing of data is necessary for performance of the contract that MEGA has with each user, which they accepted through the Terms of Service when creating their account.

The Terms of Service clause 2 requires the user to agree to the Terms or otherwise to not use the service. Acknowledging and accepting the Terms of Service is a mandatory step in the signup process in all clients - web and mobile.

Clauses 50-51 of the Terms of Service incorporate the Privacy Policy by reference. The Privacy Policy specifies the personal information that is stored.

Retention of Personal Data
Personal data is retained indefinitely while the user’s account is open. After account closure, MEGA will retain all account information as long as there is any law enforcement request pending but otherwise for 12 months after account closure as users sometimes request that an account be re-activated. After 12 months, identifying information such as email and IP addresses will be anonymised (except that email address records will be retained for reference by the user’s contacts or where the user has participated in chats with other MEGA users) but other related database records may be retained.

After user deletion of a file all deleted files will be made inaccessible, marked for deletion and deleted fully when the next appropriate file deletion purging process is run.

After account closure all stored files will be marked for deletion and deleted fully when the next appropriate file deletion purging process is run.

Data Subject’s Rights
Each user has the rights specified in this disclosure notice.

Withdrawal of Consent
Users can only withdraw consent to MEGA collecting the specified personal information if they close their account.

Statutory and Contractual Obligations
Personal Information collected by MEGA is not collected because of any contractual or statutory obligation to third parties.

Automated Decision Making and Profiling
MEGA does not undertake any automated decision making or profiling.

The Right of Access
Individuals have the right to obtain:
  • confirmation that their data is being processed;
  • access to their personal data;
  • Any requests should be submitted to [email protected] The information will be provided promptly, and at least within one month, without charge unless the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive.

Individuals are entitled to have personal data rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete. If MEGA has disclosed the personal data in question to any third party (such as a compliance authority), it will inform them of the rectification where possible and will also inform the individuals about the third parties to whom the data has been disclosed where appropriate. The only third parties that might have had disclosure are compliance authorities.

The right to erasure does not provide an absolute ‘right to be forgotten’. Individuals have a right to have personal data erased and to prevent processing in specific circumstances:
  • The personal data is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was originally collected/processed.
  • The individual withdraws consent.
  • The individual objects to the processing and there is no overriding legitimate interest for continuing the processing.
  • The personal data was unlawfully processed (i.e. otherwise in breach of the GDPR).
  • The personal data has to be erased in order to comply with a legal obligation.
  • The personal data is processed in relation to the offer of information society services to a child.
Any requests for erasure will be considered in detail and would probably result in closure of the user’s account.

After account closure, MEGA will retain all account information as long as there is any law enforcement request pending but otherwise for 12 months after account closure as users sometimes request that an account be re-activated. After 12 months, identifying information such as email and IP address will be anonymised (except that email address records will be retained for reference by the user’s contacts or where the user has participated in chats with other MEGA users) but other related records may be retained.

After user deletion of a file all deleted files will be made inaccessible, marked for deletion and deleted fully when the next appropriate file deletion purging process is run.

After account closure all stored files will be marked for deletion and deleted fully when the next appropriate file deletion purging process is run.

In some cases a person may receive an email from MEGA asking the person to confirm their new account email address, but in fact they haven’t tried to open an account - someone else has started the process and used their email address either maliciously or by mistake. In these cases, MEGA has an ephemeral/incomplete account that might be used to upload files. On request, and after proving ownership of the email address, MEGA will arrange for the account to be deleted.

MEGA can refuse a request for erasure:
  • to comply with a legal obligation for the performance of a public interest task or exercise of official authority.
  • for public health purposes in the public interest;
  • for the exercise or defence of legal claims.
The Right to Restrict Processing
Individuals have a right to ‘block’ or suppress processing of personal data. When processing is restricted, MEGA is permitted to store the personal data, but not further process it. As MEGA only stores, and doesn’t further process the stored personal data, no action will be taken in response to a request to restrict processing.

Data Portability
The right to data portability only applies:
  • to personal data an individual has provided to a controller;
  • where the processing is based on the individual’s consent or for the performance of a contract; and
  • when processing is carried out by automated means.
On request by email to [email protected], MEGA will provide a user’s personal data in a structured, commonly used and machine readable form such as JSON files.

Note that all files in a user’s account can be downloaded and decrypted through any of the usual clients.

Lead Data Protection Supervisory Authority
The Lead Data Protection Supervisory Authority is the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection. This is the appropriate authority for accepting GDPR complaints about MEGA.

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Having worked in Defence and marketing and having managed the design, development and delivery of smart nationwide credit-card driven EFT-POS systems which collect, curate, manipulate and use user data for marketing advantage, I have learned some very good reasons why the individual needs to understand:
  • (a) the value and fragility of personal data-privacy and
  • (b) its relevance to freedom/liberty.

I generally try to think for myself and prefer to take a healthily skeptical and politically agnostic outlook on life. I am personally fed up to the back teeth with the incessant incitement to outrage and the bombardment of absurd political bias and being told how to behave or encouraged to moronically right-think all the time, as pushed by a majority media cohort apparently funded by vested interests (i.e., propaganda, AKA "fake news") seemingly hell-bent on manipulating us (e.g., including the Facebook - Cambridge Analytica fiasco and SnowdenGate.).

Though it inevitably seems/tends to push its own peculiar political bias a lot of the time (like many websites), the website occasionally publishes what seem to be relatively well-balanced posts on topics that could be of interest. I therefore keep it in my BazQux feed-reader and periodically check it out.
IMHO, the item copied below from is potentially informative and thus worth a read:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images, with my emphasis.)
People browsing using Chrome were quietly logged into their Google accounts without their consents | So much for users’ Privacy
 Felix Omondi  September 24, 2018  Apps and Software

A professor at Johns Hopkins and a cryptography expert, Matthew Green, called out Google for making changes to Chrome, making the browser log in users into their Google account without the consent or even notifying them. A move security experts say puts the users’ privacy into jeopardy.

Historically, Chrome users have had the option of using the browser without logging in to their Google accounts. Although logging in does come with some obvious benefits such as having your bookmarks, passwords, and browsing history synced in the cloud and available across any device you are browsing on using the Chrome browser.

However, for security-conscious users who do not have Google – the most prominent advertising entity in the world – have their browsing data for purposes of sending them targeted Ads. Now that Google has made changes to the new Chrome to make the browser log users secretly into their Google Accounts means Google will get the data of users who would otherwise not have logged into their accounts.

Google has come out addressing these concerns raised by security experts stressing that users must have consented to the sync feature thus allowing the browser to transfer their data. Buried in the sync feature, is the revelation that for the sync feature as it works out will automatically also log you into your Google account.

So when a user logs in to their Gmail account on the browser, Chrome also automatically logs into their Google account. All that happens without the consent of the user or the user getting notifications.

“Now that I’m forced to log into Chrome,” wrote Green, “I’m faced with a brand new (sync consent) menu I’ve never seen before.”

Copied from: People browsing using Chrome were quietly logged into their Google accounts without their consents | So much for users’ Privacy | Innov8tiv - <>
Interestingly enough, this would seem to be exactly the sort of thing that HAT (Hub of All Things) - referred to above per Armando (2016-07-29, 14:49:38) - is apparently designed to protect us from, whilst at the same time increasing our privacy and freedom of choice:

What is the Hub of all Things?

The Hub of All Things

Happy days.

...I want to model the processing of some cases, so I know the process time of each case and the number of employees, so I can find the end date. ...
Off the top of my head...hope it makes sense and helps or is somehow useful:

Suggestion #1 - Project Plan:
If you are wanting to treat this as a time-and-resource dependent process plan, then a good project management tool (e.g., MS Project) using Gantt or Network/PERT diagramming might be the most useful. It will help you plan it out over a projected calendar period, to a planned/estimated $Cost and with planned/estimated resource utilisation (and output). Any changes to those factors (time, $Cost, resources) can be adjusted for in the plan, as reality may (it usually does) necessitate from time to time as the plan is executed.

Suggestion #2 - Process Model:
If you wanted to model the process steps for each of several case types, then, from experience, a functional process modelling tool using the *IDEF0/3  **FIPS would probably be the most useful - i.e., one that has DFD (Data Flow Diagramming) and ABC (Activity-Based Costing) built-in.
*   IDEF0/3 - Integration Definition [for Function Modelling] /[for DFD].
** FIPS - Federal Information Processing Standards.
Avoid using BPMN (Business Process Modelling Notation) modelling tools unless all you need is a diagramming tool (i.e., not a FIPS candidate).
An IDEF0 model shows the process ICOMs:
  • Inputs: to each process step.
  • Controls - e.g., including SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), Rules/Regulations, applicable to each process step.
  • Outputs from each process step.
  • Mechanisms: Physical systems and human resources used in the operation of each process step.

Modelling with this would be more about process analysis and/or re-engineering and would only be relevant/useful where your processes were already at *CMM Level 3 or higher - i.e., stable/consistent (not in a dynamic state of change), well-defined and documented and with defined process owners. Such processes would be well-understood and generally more or less in statistical control and thus have relatively predictable performance. Thus each case type will have typical process step performance characteristics (step-time/duration) in computed best/middle/worst case scenarios.
NB: *CMM - Capability Maturity Model.

Using such a modelling tool on CMM Level 3 (or above) processes, you will be able to model the processes to establish overall performance (e.g., including output results and throughput times) and $Costs. To do this, you will need to have established (from sampling and observation) average times for each process step and allocated a notional $Cost for each process step. The model will thus be able to tell you the incidental and accumulated process duration and the incidental and accumulated process $Cost at any point along the process, right up to the end-point.

NB: Use of spreadsheets: You could do most of the number-crunching aspects of this in a spreadsheet, if you did not have an appropriate modelling tool. The use of pivot tables could speed things up and a proficient Excel user could also produce static model diagrams in Excel, alongside the numbers (which could be useful).
You could also easily add Gantt-chart calculation/function to a spreadsheet model.

Finished Programs / Re: DONE: Tally folder contents by file date
« on: September 24, 2018, 07:14 AM »
From here: Powershell version ...
Ohh...nice find.   :Thmbsup:

Another potentially helpful privacy sanitisation list from (too long to post here, so just the link): 8 Steps to Secure Your Facebook Privacy Settings

A salutary tale with a recommended privacy sanitisation list, from
(Copied below.)
The Shadow Education Secretary wants to make teachers more vulnerable
tags: Civil liberty & Regulation, Education & Academia, Internet, Privacy & Panopticon, UK affairs
Natalie Solent (Essex) - September 23rd, 2018

The Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner MP (Lab), has called for a ban on anonymous online accounts.

The education spokesperson also called for social media companies to ban anonymous accounts, complaining at a fringe event organised by the Guardian in Liverpool that most of the people that abused her online did so without using their real names.

Rayner said that social media firms should take greater responsibility for their users and complained in particular that Facebook seemed to have indicated that politicians should accept a higher level of abuse.

When asked what she thought about social media, Rayner said: “One of the first things they should do is stop anonymous accounts. Most people who send me abuse me do so from anonymous accounts and wouldn’t dream of doing it in their own name.”

Rayner conceded that using real names would not stop abuse but “it would certainly help a little bit. I think they should do more, they do have a responsibility for online”.

As I mentioned earlier, Angela Rayner is the Shadow Education Secretary. That ought to mean that she is aware that teachers, like MPs, are often subject to harassment. The Times Educational Supplement had an article on that very subject just a few days ago: “Why your social account is not as private as you think”. It began:

The teacher’s Facebook account was set to private. She was certain of that. Yet, in the past week, she had received four friend requests from former pupils. She could not work out how they had found her.

So, as I am a researcher at the Greater Manchester Police – and her friend – she asked me to take a look. Within 10 minutes, I had not just found her, but I also had her full name, her partner’s name, the school she worked at, the name of one of her children and multiple images of the street she lives on.

The writer, Chris Glover, proceeded to give ten tips that teachers should employ to protect themselves:
  • 1. Keep accounts separate.
  • 2. Vary usernames.
  • 3. Check posts about you.
  • 4. Beware of public posts.
  • 5. Review privacy settings.\
  • 6. Don’t follow your school account.
  • 7. Avoid using your real name.
  • 8. Change the friends-list setting.
  • 9. Switch off location.
  • 10. Delete dormant accounts.

Following the above advice should help ensure that teachers can enjoy participating in life online while minimising the very real risk of being tracked down by former or current pupils bearing a grudge, or simply by people whom it is best to keep at arms length for professional or safeguarding reasons.

Until a Labour government gets in and makes Nos. (2) and (7) illegal outright, and demands that all of your personal details are held in one place by a social media company so as to be conveniently available for hackers and identity thieves.

The context here (for the benefit of non-British readers) is that the UK currently has a Conservative-led government, so the Labour party is the party "in opposition", as it were, and has "shadow ministers" for each of the main ministerial departments, of which Education is one.
There are 2 rather depressing things about this:
  • 1. Rayner - who is in the important role of Shadow Education Secretary  - would need to know about current issues in Education and would be expected to have her fingers on the Education pulse, as it were, yet she was apparently recommending a ban on anonymous online accounts, and she would have presumably been stating that as a Labour policy approach.

  • 2. However, despite being Shadow Education Secretary, Rayner seemed to have been unaware of the article in The Times Educational Supplement on this rather important matter, published a few days prior. This looks to be a classic clueless and foot-in-mouth response by the Shadow Education Secretary and it could have adverse consequences - e.g., tend to make floating voters (and possibly others) think twice before voting Labour in the next general election.

Though it is rather telling - and Labour voters could be forgiven for weeping or doing a face-palm over this, just as the other voters could be forgiven for having a LOL moment - if we look on the bright side, then the article  in The Times Educational Supplement gave us 10 very good points for improving privacy. These are points that we could extract and all follow to our advantage - i.e., not just teachers - and if Rayner had not made the gaff that she did, then we might never have heard of the 10 points and they would have remained buried in the article in The Times Educational Supplement.

Living Room / Re: How to do funky text?
« on: September 22, 2018, 02:41 AM »
;D The caption on options name it right "f**k it up"
So it does. Very droll.

@Renegade: Is that what you were after?

LaunchBar Commander / Re: Can't get Sendkeys to work
« on: September 22, 2018, 01:53 AM »
maybe try ^(+(b))
Ahh. The penny just dropped.
Thanks for that. It helps solve a bit of a puzzle for me. I had been meaning to go back and read the rest of the LBC Help file about this, as it had been niggling away at the back of my mind. I mean, if I had been wanting to do the same thing as @kimbriki seemed to be wanting to do, then how might I go about it? I didn't actually want to do it and couldn't immediately see "why" (i.e., the user requirement) for his wanting to do it, as I thought that, if it was me, then I would usually use AHK (AutoHotkey) to do send a text string or hotkey and did not see that LBC was necessarily the "right" tool for that job. However, after reading the rest of that page of the Help file, I think I see that LBC may have other potential uses extending beyond the obvious and that I had not considered - e.g. (say), it could be used to invoke AHK functions - effectively as subroutines - opening the way to the possibility of providing a higher level of automation (which I am usually all in favour of).
This had been a minor puzzle for me  - one that I had been idly wondering about in the first place, in my exploratory use of LBC.
I looked in the Help file for something that seemed relevant to what you had written (above). This was the bit that caused me to think:
(Text partially copied below, with my emphasis.)
Sendkeys Documentation
Special strings that you can use in a {sendkeys} clip, from the TPushKeys help file:

Function key definitions are enclosed within braces, keys from F1 to F24 are represented by:
State Modifiers
Shift Key                +
Ctrl Key                        ^
Left Alt Key                %
Right Alt Key (Alt Gr)        !

Prefix any key definition with the appropriate modifier to affect the key press immediately following it e.g. +ab will result in the key strokes Ab being directed to the application.

To extend the modifier to affect a group of characters enclose them in parentheses e.g  !(ab) will result in AB being simulated. Parentheses may be nested so that !(+(ao)) will give ÁÓ.

Note: State Modifiers need not be used with standard keys as they can be entered directly. See example

IMPORTANT: When you want to trigger normal letter keys in combination with Ctrl Alt Shift, you *MUST* use lowercase versions of the letters, or a SHIFT key will be simulated.

To simulate the press and release of a modifier key then the key symbol must be the only character in the Keys string. See example ...

...(there's more).
This new functionality is provided by the TPushKeys component by Alan Warriner which encapsulates, and extends, Christopher Latta's PushKeys code ([email protected],
I think I now better understand why you embedded TPushKeys functionality in LBC.
Seems pretty nifty.

LaunchBar Commander / Re: Can't get Sendkeys to work
« on: September 21, 2018, 03:15 AM »
@kimbriki: Presumably, you want CTL+SHIFT+B to be sent to simulate a single simultaneous hotkey depression, right?
I am not familiar with using sendkey in LBC, but from the Help file it seems that keys are sent sequentially, which, if true, could explain why you see the output as "b" in both the cases you give above.

Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! - the exotic spresm.
« on: September 19, 2018, 08:55 PM »
I don't know who/what the guy is in this BBC clip, nor what he's on about, but he's apparently just introduced a new expression into the lexicon of the English language - "exotic spresm": <>

The pundits seem to reckon he (probably) may have been trying (and failing) to be clever/trendy, by saying "erotic spasm", as the lady here (watch the guy's eyebrows): <>

These both look like "priceless clips" candidates.

Interesting post + suggestions at
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
CCleaner Disregarding Settings and Forcing Update to Latest 5.46 Version
CCleaner Disregarding Settings and Forcing Update to Latest 5.46 Version
By Lawrence Abrams 
September 17, 2018 01:36 PM
Image: CCleaner melting

Reports are coming in that Piriform is forcing CCleaner to update to the latest 5.46 version even when users had configured the program to not perform automatic updates. To make matters worse, once the users were upgraded to the latest version, their privacy settings were reverted to default, which is to allow anonymous usage data to be sent to Avast/Piriform.

This was first reported on September 6th at Piriform's forum, where users stated that their installed versions of CCleaner were being updated to 5.4.6 even after disabling automatic updates. This was later confirmed in a post to our forums.

Post at
In that same Piriform topic, an employee replied and stated that "Since the release of v5.46 we have updated some users to this version to meet legal requirements and give users more autonomy and transparency over their privacy settings."

Post to Piriform Forum from employee
As a test, I downloaded and installed the Slim version of CCleaner 5.37 that we host at

During the setup procedure, I configured the program to not automatically check for new updates. Even with that setting disabled, CCupdate.exe was automatically executed by the installer and CCleaner was updated to version 5.46 before I could even start the program. This is illustrated in the video below.

... This is obviously a concern that CCleaner is ignoring user's preferences and forcing the update of a new version. BleepingComputer has contacted Piriform/Avast for comment, but have not received answers to our questions at the time of this publication.

How to disable CCleaner automatic updates
As CCleaner is ignoring a users preferences and forcing updates to be installed, if you want to disable updates you need to delete an executable called CCUpdate.exe that is installed along with CCleaner.

When CCleaner is installed, it will install a file at C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCupdate.exe that is used to install updates to CCleaner. This program is then configured to automatically run every day by a Scheduled Task called CCleaner Update.

CCleaner Update Scheduled Task
To prevent this program from running you should delete the scheduled task. To be even safer, you can delete the actual C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCupdate.exe executable.

Once the task and executable have been deleted, CCleaner will no longer update without you actually installing a new version.

Thx to Ivan for sharing the news tip.

Official Announcements / Re: - Our Favorite Websites
« on: September 17, 2018, 11:09 PM »
Shell Extension City was the first site to acknowledge donationcoder and send people our way that appreciated us.  It was the earliest and most important nod of approval for donationcoder, and it meant a lot.
Yes, and I think (not sure) that may have been how I first arrived at the DC forum. Shell Extension City is a great site, but they are not very active nowadays - they have made 10 posts so far this year; the last being Mar. 20th. I read the post titles via my BazQux feedreader and always go to the site if the post looks interesting.

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