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The Actuator - June 29th

Level 17

Well, Britain has voted to leave the EU. I have no idea why, or what that means other than my family vacation to London next month just got a whole lot cheaper.

Anyway, here is this week's list of things I find amusing from around the Internet. Enjoy!

EU Proposal Seeks To Adjust To Robot Workforce

Maybe this is why the UK wanted to leave, because they don't want their robots to be seen as "electronic persons with specific rights and obligations."

Real-time dashboards considered harmful

This is what adatole​ and I were preaching about recently. To me, a dashboard should compel me to take action. Otherwise it is just noise.

Many UK voters didn’t understand Brexit, Google searches suggest

I wont' pretend to know much about what it means, either. I'm hoping there will be a "#Brexit for Dummies" book available soon.

UK Must Comply With EU Privacy Law, Watchdog Argues

A nice example of how the world economy, and corporate business, is more global than people realize. Just because Britain wants to leave the EU doesn't mean they won't still be bound by EU rules should they wish to remain an economic partner.

Hacking Uber – Experts found dozen flaws in its services and app

Not sure anyone needed more reasons to distrust Uber, but here you go.

History and Statistics of Ransomware

Every time I read an article about ransomware I take a backup of all my files to an external drive because as a DBA I know my top priority is the ability to recover.

Blade Runner Futurism

If you are a fan of the movie, or sci-fi movies in general, set aside the time to read through this post. I like how the film producers tried to predict things like the cost of a phone call in the future.

Here's a nice reminder of the first step in fixing any issue:


Level 9

Hopefully you mean the UK leaving the EU, not Britain leaving the UK!!

Level 20

sqlrockstar​ has a nice tshirt collection!

Level 17

Whoops! Yes, and fixed. Sorry about that!


ecklerwr1​, it seems one of the perks of being a head geek is the awesome t-shirt collection !!

Seriously, the travel cost reduction to Great Britain--I'm not going, but what a great opportunity!  How much will you save, either in $ or in %?

Robot work force?  Get used to it.  Japan and Detroit have gone down this path, as have many manufacturers around the work--especially in sterile medical / IT or high-production environments.  They'll become some sort of 4th-class-citizen if AI ever gets working per Asimov's Three Rules and positronic brain  equivalence.  But what will happen to the workers they replace?

Agreed--Real Time Dashboards need to be valuable, not over-stimulating or causing more harm.  Sensory Overload became a problem for fighter pilots decades ago when more information and alerts/alarms/heads-up-displays became more and more prevalent--and demanding.  Can't we learn from their experiences?

Reports I've heard about Brexit and Great Britain's citizens' understanding of the impact and the ramifications of leaving the E.U. suggest many folks may have been reacting negatively to change in their lives that they associate with E.U. membership.  Whether moving to the Euro, or not moving to resolve the problems within Syria--and thus preventing the need for Syrians to flee from their homes, and become a possible burden on E.U. members, or not maintaining pride and independence of the Island Nation by becoming partners with other E.U. nation/states--and becoming subservient to E.U. rules . . .   I don't know if anyone presented a pro's & con's spreadsheet to G.B.'s citizens to analyze.  If Brext, then . . . what?  Fewer incoming refugees, but poorer business contracts and higher taxes and tariffs and poorer exchange rates for the British Pound Sterling?  No one telling Britain what to do, how to comply--at the cost of not being part of a team that leverages business and political relations that come from reduced boundaries?

Uber.  What a fun idea.  Unless you make your living as a taxi driver.  Or unless you fall into the subset of people who've had bad experiences with it.  Or unless you're at all concerned with data or personal security.

Ransomware?  That's just extortion, whether it's today's unorganized or organized criminals, or gangs/thugs from big cities in the last few centuries, or even Danegeld from even further back  The word the FBI and Homeland Security have on it is that those who pay it are most likely to be hit repeatedly by it in the future.  Hey, if I go to the refrigerator and find a cool and refreshing beverage to take, I'm likely to be back when it runs out.  But if the fridge is empty, I won't return.  Use common sense.  Don't pay the ransom!

As for the Blade Runner analysis--wow, did someone have a lot of time to burn!  I hope they got paid by the minute and by the word.

Level 17

Thanks for the comments! I'm not sure how much we will be saving, I am thinking right now it is about 15%, but inflation could kick in at some point and wipe out such gains.

15% is a lot--especially on a trip that could easily cost several thousand dollars (if you were bringing a spouse & a couple of kids).

Level 17

But the airfare, hotel, and tours have been bought already. This dip only helps on the things we buy during the trip, so food, etc.

Ah, I thought that was for airfare.  So you expect to see improved buying power through the better exchange rate of the US dollar for the pound?

I'd love to see some financial group analyze and report the difference between the pre-Brexit airline fares and hotel rates and exchange rates to the post-Brexit environment.

I have Scottish and English family. The feelings are mixed across the board on this decision. We will all bear witness to a dramatic shift in the global economy, and I suspect the final death knell in the once great British Empire (which I am a subject of)/ The timing of this along with the U.S. election is just uncanny.


Uncanny may be a bit understated...

I think Brexit mirrors what we have her in the US, two distinct almost 50-50 cultures.  For the rural producer, Brexit will be a boom, for the urban comsuming Londoner it will be a bust as the flipside was true with the initial joining of the EU was a boom for the consumer Londoner whilst a bust for the rural producer.

There seems to be less consensus in the world today.

Level 14

sqlrockstar​   reading your weekly columns are rapidly becoming one of my must-do tasks on Wednesday!!!!

The Brexit results are interesting... Northern Ireland and Scotland vote to stay.... (How long before the SNP fires up a new independence referendum..... so it can stay in the EU? and there are faint calls again for Irish unification...)

Divisions indeed!!

Social Security set asides "the draft motion also asks whether funds should be established to cover robots' legal liability and floats the possibility of robot owners paying social security to account for the toll of automation on human workers." ----- not sure Mercedes or Renault ever did such a thing for suffering horse farms, buggy whip makers and blacksmiths!!!

Ransomware is an electronic gun.... designed to be pointed at our electronic heart!

Love the BladeRunner section...

Level 14

Great reads as usual.

If airfare goes down after booking, you should get a refund.  It's happened for me--but only upon asking ahead of time.

That can also apply to hotels, car rentals, tour packages, etc.

I'd love to read more about the positive and negative thoughts.  IM me--I'm a student of the topic, and am too ignorant.  Coming to a better understanding the thoughts about leaving the E.U. would be enjoyable, if you have the desire and time to share.


I must admit, I didn't read all of the links.....but I have to comment on the jeep in the background! That's a beautiful color! Looks a lot like mine!


Ahh yes JEEP = Just Empty Every Pocket

Someone stole your doors, man.


Great reads as always. I'm currently visiting the UK and can't find anyone that voted to leave the EU. Who are the folk wanting out? I've asked several people and everyone I asked voted to stay in the EU. Funny thing though, the passport agent at the airport was trying to be funny because I went through the EU line in Scotland with a British passport and I was advised that I should have gone through the non-EU line. I think she was kidding but who knows.

Level 11

That is one fantastic shirt!


okay...I was just sent a link to some t-shirts that only geeks will get...

There are some good one in there...

Level 17

Awesome Stories, thanks for the entertainment!

Level 17

I made a poster in college that looked very similar to this... and just about the same colors... WHERE'S MY CUT?!?!

32 T-shirts so geeky only IT pros will get them - Page 27 - TechRepublic


cahunt​, don't know.  That is above my paygrade.  I'm just the messenger.

Level 17

Now I have to either find that Illustrator file, or the Digital Portfolio that I built to show off some of those old projects.....sheesh as if I need more things to do, rifling through old drives for random projects and artwork isn't the time consumer i need right now. But I need to find it, now. 

Level 17

YES!!! It is 'Rescue Green', and Jeep stopped the color back in 2008-ish. It took me over a year to find one. I've never enjoyed a vehicle so much.

Level 17

Nope, they are in the shed, it's all good.

Level 17


Level 12

Perhaps the most amusing aspect of the UK's departure, assuming that any part is amusing, has been the strange tangential call to welcome the UK into the US as the 51st state.  That idea strikes me as so odd that it's almost satire.

Level 17

I know, that's crazy talk. Everybody knows Canada is the 51st state already.

It's been apparent that the States have been in love with G.B.'s constitutional monarchy for a long time.  The fascination with royal weddings and heirs and gracious proper behavior (versus scandalous behavior) and the Queen's dedication to her role--all these are attractive to many of us here in the colonies.

I look forward to seeing the impact of G.B.'s exit from the E.U. on both the E.U., the refugee situation, and the U.S. stock market over the coming months and years.


I still haven't used Uber. There's just something about it that I can't warm to. I never catch cabs (unless it's for work so they pay anyways) so I haven't had a need for it. But in the time of need, I'd still pick the good old fashioned cab.

Level 13

How do you turn it off???????????????

About the Author
Thomas LaRock is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft® Certified Master, SQL Server® MVP, VMware® vExpert, and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 20 years experience in the IT industry in roles including programmer, developer, analyst, and database administrator.