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Cheques Restaurant - new rules

Since the beginning of the month, there has been a change in how the Cheques Restaurant can be used.
Before, people used to use multiples to do their weekly shopping. Now? Now you can buy ready-to-eat things, and use only up to two of them.

Until today, when my supermarket wanted to decline my ticket as I was buying frozen ready meals. They let it through, after much discussion, as they know me. Never mind the fact I bought the exact same thing in the exact same way on Tuesday...

Well, evidently the new legislation supports my view - that "plats cuisinés" can be frais, sous-vide, ou surgele. Or in other words: fresh, UHT, or frozen. Yes, frozen.

The problem? I can find lots of pseudo-official looking references which clearly state this, but I'm having a hell of a time finding the actual text of the law - so's I can print off a copy and wave it in their faces tomorrow...

Here I am, at work, feeling tired, and showing you the illicit oh-my-god-you-can't-have-that ready meal...

Bloody hell - exactly WHICH part of this isn't a ready meal, huh?


More paperwork madness

So there I was at the CPAM last week with my first and last three payslips. I was told to return this week with a year's worth and my recent tax documents.

I do. And to fill out the paper for being registered as a worker in France (what, you guys only just noticed!?), the same woman said I didn't need all that, and asked me for my first and last three payslips.




The SiteKiosk at work is infected. I'm not surprised, I coaxed it over to my site diagnostics script and it reported IE6 on vanilla XP. I ought to jiggle my script to try to ID the Flash version, but I'm guessing 5 or 6, as the video quality on YouTube is barely better than a mobile phone with highly visible on-screen dithering. In fact, YouTube now pops up big warnings as to the out-of-dateness of this setup. So, really, that it was compromised isn't really a shock to me.

Given it is on their intranet, and that Confi likes local networks, I do hope they will respond in a just manner. I documented it all and handed my boss a paper explaining everything... but I have worked it out as:

  • 1% they'll blame me for it
  • 9% they'll fix it and update to an IE8/Flash10 combo
    (0% they'll ditch it and go for an Ubuntu/Firefox combo)
  • 90% nothing will happen
Just to throw the cat among the pigeons, I pointed out an installation of Xubuntu could be installed on a USB key (or SD card) and if the machine is capable, boot into a more useful environment. I've got all the stuff at home, I did the exact same thing on an SD card for Azumi. But, hey, don't hold your breath. Really... don't...


Bye bye IE, bIE bIE!

[copied from the b.log version notes]

  • Various small changes to the layout and styles.
    I wanted to make this document HTML 4.01 compliant to work in standards mode instead of the current Quirks mode (which is not entirely the same on all browsers); but this means fully adopting CSS.
    While I am not against this in principle, I am not happy with the way the site would then render on non-CSS capable browsers. There is no "font", "bgcolor" and such. This is all handled quite nicely by CSS. As for incapable browsers... um... welcome to HTML 2.0!
    Thus, if it looks slightly different on the various browsers, so be it. I'm aiming for widest support, not best compliance.
  • There is some news, however. I will no longer be testing any part of my site using IE.
    Why? Well...
    • IE6 has finally been laid to rest, though numerous companies are still stuck with it as certain custom software only works specifically with IE6. It isn't just a situation that IE is the only browser to handle ActiveX objects, but also IE6 has so many standards quirks that it is not always possible to update.
    • Certain governments advise against using IE. Some say dump IE6, some say dump IE.
    • IE8 on my machine takes several times longer to do anything than my habitual browser, Firefox. The only thing IE8 does quickly is load, but given the integration between OS and IE, it is hardly a fair comparison.
    • Try installing IE6 and IE8 on the same machine and switching between them. Oh, wait, you can't...
    • Given that XP is a huge market share of internet use, even today, it seems to be incredible that Microsoft announce that IE9 will use special Direct2D GPU-assisted graphics acceleration. And because of this, it'll not work on anything pre-Vista. Like XP. Gun, meet foot...
    • Microsoft claimed that they want to embrace standards, like HTML5 etc, but they wish to downplay the significance of the Acid3 test. This is probably because IE8 scores a truly pathetic 20%. Current builds of IE9 are reported to be around the 50% mark. Other browsers are typically in the mid-to-high 90s or a full 100%.
    I will recant my decision if somebody can give me a reason to support IE. And I mean, a better reason than "I still use it!".


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Rob, 26th March 2010, 21:24
Are those like Lunchon Vouchers? 
As for kiosks - I'm surprised that more of them don't run a virtual machine, or unpack a image file to a RAM disk and use that - then any infections, plugins or whatever that end up installed are wiped on a reboot back to a nice clean install. Seems like a simple solution to me...
Rick, 27th March 2010, 21:40
Yes, I think they are more or less the same idea as Luncheon Vouchers. 
I'm not sure the kiosk is up to running a virtual machine, as it is based around XP so it'd need to be an OS running the VM which is a VM running an OS which is running a browser (through the SiteKiosk interface). 
That's why I suggested Xubuntu on a USB key. With the casper-rw persistant file, settings can be retained across sessions, and a small amount of data can be saved (i.e. browser add-ons and such); but if it was ever to become "compromised", it would be fairly trivial to recreate and reconfigure the thing... I put Xubuntu on an SD card for Azumi in, oh, I think it took about fifteen minutes to set up the device and unpack the ISO image into it. Another ten minutes for some brief tweaks to the settings (my preferred 'look', the WiFi key, etc...), plus a further five minutes for adding my preferred add-ons to Firefox. Half an hour, it's done. Actually, barely more than 10 minutes of my actual time. Once I'd set it going, I could carry on making a meal and just check on it now and again. 
But I don't know why I bother to type all this, for they won't be interested... <sigh>
YogiCK, 16th April 2010, 23:08
It's possible to use IE6 and IE8 on this same computer >
Rick, 17th April 2010, 13:20
Interesting idea, compiling every known IE together. How does it work re. stuff like ShDocVw.dll (or whatever it is called) - which does XP see at any given time? 
Oh, and I should point out that the Microsoft licence doesn't permit IE to be randomly redistributed (, note that "Redistributable code" relates only to the sp5* files). 
Which leaves us with legal installs in VMs. A lot of bother.
Rob, 27th November 2010, 21:19
re the kiosk .. interesting article here:

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