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 Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Contract IT Work in the UK

Someone asked about contracting in the UK on one of the mailing lists I subscribe to- a mate in Auckland who has been there done that posted a fantastic reply. Reproduced here for your information and pleasure.

Tims guide to working in the UK...

Cheat Sheet Version:

--------------------

* Its way easier when you're there (if you're applying from here many aren't interested or wont take you seriously)

* Gift of the gab goes a long way ;-)

* Many agents are petty & classest - don't out-class the agent

* Be good, but not too good - most contracts will become rolling

* Good contractors rates can provide a cheap and enteraining night a some antipodean pub

* Register quick and flirt with agents for securing invites to xmas functions.

* Stock up on condoms

Long Winded Inane Banter Version:

---------------------------------

Looking is always easy (no more difficult than doing single handed searches for porn on the web) - Securing a job is another story - I've found a lot of agencies and potential employers will ignore you if you're applying from here - however when you're there & they can see a face it makes all the difference (although I've also secured jobs remotely from here so it is possible - probably more so because they didn't actually get to see my face first).

Be good (quite easy because poms are lazy whining bastards - you'll seem like a breath of fresh air to management) but not so good that you have a high profile - most contracts will turn out to be rolling, ie if you're good and keep a low enough profile they'll just forget you're there and keep paying you. Here's a few other dubious tactics to increase your revenue:

- I've heard of some contractors billing more than 24 hours a day (dodgy)

- Also heard of some guys creating off shore accounts and invoicing from there (ie zippo tax), you just need to find an 'imaginative' accountant (very dodgy)

- I've also heard of contractors decreasing income (for tax purposes) by having a large entertainment account - the record I know of is one evening costing 1200quid for a few guys having dinner.

If you're a true billy-no-mates IT nerd then you'll probably have the social skills of a boy donkey's dingle dangle, fortuntately you're in luck, london is crawling with poor antipodean travelling scum who choose a socialistic view and correspondingly poorly paid bar jobs (unlike you with your superior capitalistic pig point of view and matching high paid job)- on any given night you can find a herd of these steaming social animals at a pub in Shepherd Bush who will be instant longlost mates if you buy a few rounds of snake bites with you're new found wealth (read: contractors rates). The down side is having to listen to their drivel and pretending that just because you were brought up 400kms apart that you have something in common..

The worst are the kiwis, after 12 pints you'll be expected to strip off and do the haka half naked on the bar. Another down side is the prevalence of STDs within this incestuous bunch.

Also, it goes without saying that regardless of whether you're a pure genius or a complete plonker who cant tell the difference between a virus and a visual development environment whose name ends in .NET and was developed by one of the biggest s/w companies, if you've got the gift of the gab and can spin a yarn or two about how you single handedly re-architected all the backend systems of a forbes 500 multinational then you're in with a grin.

Oh, one more thing, they're a cheesy classest society over there so it pays to target your self sales pitch to suit the audience, you know, if the agency is located in the east end then talk applesnpears cockney drivel or if its some snooty cow from knightsbridge then just drop a few names, like the time you & uncle steve ballimer went skiing in tahoe or that time you got drunk as a skunk on larry's yacht and fell overboard etc.

And lastly, now is a good time to go over there - some of the bigger agencies throw fantastic christmas functions, and some of their staff are really slutty (guys & girls - depends on which way you bend) ;-)

.NET | Human Aggregation | Rambles|Tuesday, November 02, 2004 7:30:57 PM UTC|Comments [0]|    

Shitty Linux Box Firewalls

OK... so I've been spending a bit of time working on infrastructural things over the past few weeks and I've come upon an interesting phenomenon that I shall call the 'Shitty Linux Box Firewall Phenomenon'.

It can be described thus:

For some reason it seems that a broad group of technical people subscribed to the Linux box as a firewall approach to internet security. Now this is probably not an altogether bad thing- we're running a software on OS firewall here too. But, they seem to think that because Linux can run on the smell of an oily rag, their firewall should be run on the smell of an oily rag. e.g. 'Oh we keep a whole heap of old hardware floating around for when we install firewalls at customer premises'.

What's with this. If you value your network connectivity, and judging by the expletives bandied around here at our currently shitty pipe most people do, then you want your firewall to be running on your best hardware, not your worst.

A firewall (particularly a software one) represents an pretty risky single point of failure for your network. It's not like you can just ring up Cisco or Watchguard and ask for a forward replacement when it shits itself. So why run it on shitty gear! I ain't got no problem with the concept of Linux as a firewall but put it on a decent box- ideally something with redundancy such that you can swap out a decent chunk of the machine without turning it off. Things like hot swap power supplies and Raid 1 with a hotspare drive.

Anyway rant over.

Rants | Toy Box|Tuesday, November 02, 2004 6:55:25 AM UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, November 01, 2004
You heard it here first....

Just ask Yahoo....

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=who+will+win+2004+election

Politics|Monday, November 01, 2004 8:00:05 PM UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Friday, October 22, 2004
Coming soon to a city near you....

I'm doing a speaking tour for a series of Microsoft MSDN events in early November.

I'll be in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch talking about Web Service Architectures and the Microsoft Application Blocks.

When the registration site is posted I'll let y'all know the link.

 

.NET | Kognition|Friday, October 22, 2004 4:34:34 AM UTC|Comments [0]|    

...and more Votergasm....

From their mailbag....

HDN Cash writes:

I will bet you 10,000 dollars that you won't put your picture on the website. I will bet another 10,000 dollars that you are a fat, pasty white, patchouli-wearing liberal skank whore who would fuck limbaugh laying on the side of the road. How about this, go fuck yourself.

Dear HDN:

$10,000! You must be very successful. I like successful men. I tell you what. You put up the cash, Ill put up the pic. But youd lose the other ten grand, too. While I do not wear patchouli, I have been known to use a sprig or three in Michelles Famous Mint Jelly. I hear Limbaugh loves eating mint jelly on the side of the road, so in a way, youre half-right. Maybe just make the check out for $15,000 and well call it even?

Faithfully, Michelle

|Friday, October 22, 2004 4:06:49 AM UTC|Comments [0]|    

More Votergasm....

Disclaimers:

  • Pledge-fulfilling sex must be consensual, legal, and generous. And safe. And hot.
  • Acceptable sexual positions include, but are not limited to: missionary, doggy-style, cowgirl, reverse cowgirl, leapfrog, butterfly, humpback whale, cling wrap, squashing of the deck chair, accordion, reverse piggy-back, advanced ("twin") leapfrog. Male-male, female-female, group, and oral variations of these positions can also be used to satisfy the pledge.
  • Taking the pledge indicates a good-faith effort to abide by its provisions. Pledge-takers who have violated withholding provisions become effective non-voters, and are barred from sex with fellow pledge-takers.
  • Pledge-takers who fail to vote are forbidden from masturbating. (Exemption: pledge-takers who are not eligible to vote are encouraged to masturbate frequently.)
  • "Cybersex" does not satisfy the pledge, dorkwad.
  • Non-voters may render themselves eligible for sex with American Heroes by voting at least twice in local, primary, and/or 2006 congressional races. Those voting in only one such race qualify to perform, but not receive, oral sex on American Heroes.
  • Achievement of a Votergasm during election-night sex is probable, but not guaranteed. Those encountering difficulty reaching Votergasm are encouraged to slow things down, talk about it, and reduce the pressure. Other techniques include the use of massage oils, toys, "dirty talk," "ballot stuffing," and "exit polls."
  • Per the U.S. Constitution, children conceived on election night are eligible for gigantic interest-free loans from the U.S. government, and special t-shirts.
Human Aggregation|Friday, October 22, 2004 4:03:39 AM UTC|Comments [0]|    

Votergasm.....

From the ever onto it DPF

 

The BBC reports on an excellent initiative in the US to get more people voting. Sex!

People can pledge at Votergasm to either:

* withhold sex from non-voters for a week after election night

* have sex with another voter on election night as well as withholding sex from non-voters for a week

* commit themselves to having sex with another 2004 voter as well as turning down all non-voters until the 2008 vote.

Human Aggregation|Friday, October 22, 2004 2:32:04 AM UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Saturday, October 16, 2004
Neglecting My Blog

OK... so the neglect stems from working my ass off at the moment... so here a a few quick link reposts from others :-)

Bill has some good religion mockery...

NEWNAN, Ga. (AP) - Across the Bible Belt this Halloween, some little ghosts and goblins might get shooed away by the neighbors - and some youngsters will not be allowed to go trick-or-treating at all - because the holiday falls on a Sunday this year.

Rory reviews Team America..... in true Rory style....

I wear a purse (well, it's a camera bag, but it functions as a purse), I like gay people just as much as I like everybody else, and I think it's OK to swear in churches (I don't actually do this, as I don't go to churches, but the concept doesn't offend me).

However, I am not PC...

I'm buying that man a beer- I too used to wear a lovely man bag...... but have since dumped my bulky Pocket PC for a Smartphone....... so don't need it any more...

DPF has some good bullet points on the John Tamihere 'thing'....

Today on TV One and Three we found out about the free Land Cruiser worth $40,000 which had Waipareria pay lease payments on, right up until four months ago

and... he also links to ... McCully and the Sex Industry - A Guide to Occupational Health and Safety in the New Zealand.

Human Aggregation|Saturday, October 16, 2004 9:30:10 PM UTC|Comments [6]|    

 Tuesday, October 05, 2004
You Are ^%&%$*$^& Kidding Me!

[via DPF]

A well-known and inspirational speaker, Mike Tamaki, has unwittingly been caught up in the latest tertiary education funding scam says Nationals Education spokesman, Bill English.

I have been advised that people who attended a business lunch in Timaru earlier this year were told that they could stay and hear Mr Tamaki speak if they filled out a form enrolling them at this course at Aoraki Polytechnic.

This form made their attendance at the lunch an official community education enrollment, says Mr English.

This stuff drives me insane! Half of these provincial Politechs couldn't educate a cow in a bloody milking shed. As an employer and taxpayer it makes my blood boil seeing this sort of crap masquerading as education.

P.S. New category added - Taxpayer Ripoffs

Politics | Taxpayer Ripoffs|Tuesday, October 05, 2004 7:47:29 PM UTC|Comments [0]|    

Muahahahaha- Teledildonics

The UPS guy delivered my Sinulator the morning of the day I was giving a party. I signed, sent him on his way and returned to my preparations. It wasn't until hours later, draped around the room with about 20 friends, that I remembered my new toy.

The Sinulator is a device that lets you connect a sex toy to your computer so that other people can control it for you over the internet. After announcing to the room that I had one of these, I really had no choice but to open the box and pass the thing around.

http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,65064,00.html

Human Aggregation|Tuesday, October 05, 2004 8:55:09 AM UTC|Comments [0]|    

New Office

That's right. Kognition has shifted offices... again.

We shifted into the Centre for Innovation at Otago University.

We've pimp'd up the office pretty nicely (see photos below).

One is of the area we call the Glasshouse- it's got two all glass walls looking out onto the University and we've got nice leather couches, cacti and an air hockey table in there.

The other half of the room is where we work- though it also has our DJ Setup. It'll also be where our big ass server rack is gonna go when it arrives- servers have arrived, just no rack yet.

Anyway- check the photos.... Bill, come visit, Casey, export yaself here

 

IMAGE_00093.jpg (32.53 KB)

IMAGE_00094.jpg (26.49 KB)

IMAGE_00095.jpg (21.92 KB)

IMAGE_00096.jpg (32.87 KB)

Kognition | Rambles|Tuesday, October 05, 2004 5:06:20 AM UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, September 30, 2004
Loon of the Week... part 3

OK... so some Density Raver has come back and posted some Jesus Speak in my comments...

Herewith some reply... theirs in blue.... mine in black.

God made the world. The world did not 'just happen'.

Science and Mathematics would tell you that there is a pretty good statistical chance that the world did just happen and then evolve- well some of us evolved....

God is the most powerful thing that exists.

OK... let me just run off and prepare a suppository form Atomic Weapon.... and we'll see who or what really holds the power around here.

It's up to us weather we choose to love him or not, but there are consequences to what we choose.

And I guess it's also up to him as to weather [sic] he grants us each some basic literacy skills....

There is good and evil, God and the devil, and there is heaven and hell.

Oh ... Can I be evil...  Evil is so much more fun than good.

The devil HATES you - he wants ... to kill your joy and ruin your future.

So basically the Devil wants me to become a Destiny Church Parishoner...

Hell is a horrifying place, where there is the worse torment and agony - and it ever ends. If you go there you will stay there for eternity.

Worse than what? Listening to an hour of Brian Tamaki every morning?

In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus upheld the commandments in the Old Testament saying he had come to fulfil, and not abolish those laws. One law is Leviticus 18:22 where God commands do not have sex with a man as with a woman, that is detestable.

You can't 'have sex with a man as with a woman'... it's physically impossible.... Oh... unless the woman is super kinky... but I guess that's detestable too?

So the Jews needed little convincing.

Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.  Jesus through Paul therefore calls homosexuality a perversion.

Perverse or otherwise, some people seem to find it jolly good fun.... so who am I to intrude... More importantly what entitles you and your god to intrude given that many of them think religion to be little more than a self perpetuating fairy tale..

Sacrilegion|Thursday, September 30, 2004 7:18:12 AM UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Ingram Micro Acquires Tech Pacific.

http://www.techpaq.co.nz/techbyte/2004_September/TP_IngramMicro_Acquisition.pdf

We are pleased to announce that Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE: IM), the worlds largest technology distributor, has entered into an agreement to acquire Tech Pacific and combine our companies to better serve you and the Asia Pacific region.

Human Aggregation | Toy Box|Tuesday, September 28, 2004 10:30:14 AM UTC|Comments [95]|    

 Monday, September 20, 2004
This Is Not The Weather Channel

Kirk posted something titled 

They don't talk politics on ESPN or The Weather Channel

Bill and Casey are quick off the mark on this one and given my propensity to rant and rave on everything from politics to religion I'm gonna pop my two cents in as well.

I have the advantage that I'm not beholden to anybody when it comes to blogging. I'm my own boss, host my blog on my own server and as such tend to blog about what I feel like. I feel absolutely no obligation to people who read this blog other than to try my darnedest to be accurate and substantial in the things that I post. If you don't like my politics (devout libertarianism) then don't go near my politics category. If you don't like my religious views (devout atheism) then avoid my sacreligion category.... simple huh! Oh, and if you don't like my spelling, typos and grammar... bugger off right now!

I'm no 'self proclaimed expert', but, I take an active interest in politics and in my wonderful democracy that's a darn site better than many useless inert nothings manage. Kirks post almost infers that ones aptitude or capability in different pursuits are wholly unrelated. I think quite the contrary is true- from what i have observed if someone is a clued up cookie in one aspect of life (say technology) then chances are they'll be pretty smart in other areas as well. It's my submission that if your technical content is sufficiently useful to warrant someone like Kirk subscribing then you are most unlikely to be the sort of person who would make 'vote for X' or 'Y is a moron' posts. Rather, you are probably likely to be the sort of person who will at least have something useful, thought provoking and insightful to say on politics- whichever side you happen to say it about.

*Please note that the above applies to politics only. I shall continue to feel unrestrained in so far as calling religious people closed minded moronic idiots (in the nicest possible way). Religion being a fantasy about which nothing useful, thought provoking or insightful can ever be said.

Politics | Rants | Sacrilegion|Monday, September 20, 2004 9:50:05 PM UTC|Comments [0]|