* Posts by Chris Cook

16 posts • joined 30 Sep 2007

IT pay jumps as skills gap widens

Chris Cook

simple answer...

Once the CBI figure out how to get 2+ years commercial experience of a technology without being able to get a job using it, it'll all be sorted.

Could do with a decent apprenticeship scheme, so that graduates could get a _basic_ job with _basic_ requirements for minimum wage.

Zuckerberg's Google boycott reaches 32 days (and counting)

Chris Cook

don't care anymore....

Perhaps we should ban the use of the term 'social-networking' and replace it with the more accurate 'time-wasting'.

Seriously, if I want to socialise, I go outside...

Microsoft proposes gadget feature disabling tech

Chris Cook


If this was an opt-in technology, I would be very interested. The number of times I've forgotten to turn of my mobile in a lecture or church service until half way though...

Open source code crawling with fewer bugs

Chris Cook

Obvious question...

So how does this compare to closed source code?

Next Ubuntu LTS in 2010, unless Linuxes synchronize

Chris Cook


I'm not sure choice is a bad thing. Sure, _unnecessary_ choice isn't good (like having 1001 different text editors), but people cope in other areas of life like choosing a car, or a breakfast cereal. I think there is plenty of room for three or four main distros, and many smaller specific ones for routers, firewalls, NAS servers etc. People should be able to choose what works well for them.

I guess what Mark Shuttleworth is suggesting shows how much code is shared between the main distros (e.g. Gnome, KDE, Xorg, the kernel, etc). Working together improving the software and fixing bugs would be a great benefit.

The key thing is ensuring that each distro "just works" for anyone who picks it up and uses it.

Brighton professor bans Google

Chris Cook
Jobs Horns

proper research

I guess a lot of people mistake research for ripping a few facts from any source and "putting them in your own words" (as taught in many schools).

No lecturer wants to be told what they already know (which will almost certainly include the reading list and the top 5 pages from Google). What they want to know is that you understand what is being taught.

The reading list is suggested as a _starting point_. At both college and university, I was asked to do as much reading around the subject as I did lectures. So by all means use the internet as additional source, but don't rely on it as a reliable source, or as a shortcut.

If you think a book on the reading list is outdated, discuss it with the lecturer. They may not realize if a new version is released. If you don't have an opportunity to talk to them (they all have email these days), then add discussion to the essay, contrasting the book with the net. Its an easy way to pad out the research/reading section if nothing else, and also shows that you may actually know what you are talking about. It will make the essay more interesting and make it stand out from the rest.

You also don't have to buy everything on the list, get a group of friends together, buy one each and share.

2007 worst ever year for data protection

Chris Cook

the more accurate figure would be "something between 25m and 37m"...

... so about half the UK population. Thats really comforting.

I guess the other half will lose their info this year

UK gov sets rules for hacker tool ban

Chris Cook

With intent

There should be some kind of "with intent" clause, like there would be if some chav/hoodie was carrying knives/ladders/hammers at night sniffing round someones backyard.

As has been said before, just about all these "hacking" tools have perfectly valid uses for a sys admin/power user, if only to check there computer is secure.

However, it should be obvious that if your not a complete dip-stick, stay inside the law, and don't draw attention to yourself then they can't come snooping through your disks without a valid reason.

Space shuttle launch knocked back again

Chris Cook


I should probably point out that the vast majority of connectors are soldered, crimped or grub-screwed to the cable anyway (I can't think of any that are not). The only reason to put a connector at a join is if it ever needs to be disconnected or connected at a later date by someone without knowledge of which wire does what.

The real issue isn't the electrical connection itself, but reducing the physical stress on the cable by supporting it adequately. There are many industrial connectors available that will remain mated long after the cable itself has broken.

Tiger Team brings haxploitation to TV

Chris Cook

UK date?

Any news on when/if this is coming to the UK?

Warner to back a single HD disc format?

Chris Cook

Cue the next 20 years...

... of people saying $losing_format was technically better (because they brought it and feel short changed, not that it actually was significantly better).

As for me, Ill wait until I have a HD TV, and people have made their minds up.

MoD: Frontline troops must have silent Xmas crackers

Chris Cook
Paris Hilton

But... but... but....

No, thats just silly.

Met plan moves police to out of town megabases

Chris Cook


This has to be the most categorically stupid thing I've heard in a long, long time.

How much of an idiot do you have to be to even _suggest_ this as an idea.

Bloody code!

Chris Cook

messy code

Surely messy, undocumented code is the issue itself, and how many exit-points/gotos/etc isn't relevant in anyway?

Consistency and readability should be paramount. Coding guidelines should aid developers to work as a team, not force them to produce hideous code when they come up against an odd situation.

Equally, if you've got bad coders working on your team, thats another issue that should be solved at the source, not solved by chaining all your programmers up.

As the old saying goes "Garbage in, Garbage out". You should try to solve the original problem if possible, rather than just applying a quick fix.

Mandriva Linux 2008 is out and about

Chris Cook
Gates Halo


I quite liked KUbuntu Gutsy beta, apart from the networking GUI. This seems to be a common complaint and there seems to be reluctance to fix it. All the bits and pieces seem to be there under the hood, but who wants to configure a text file theses days?

Ive also found its not very helpful when things arn't as it expects - I havent spotted anywhere in the documentation that tells you that you need to be connected to the internet to do updates, for example. When you try to update/install extras without a connection, it doesn't give a very useful message. This could really stump someone who wasnt used to the Ubuntu way of doing things.

Having said that, I think that they got the balance right between not including propriety / non-oss software by default, but allowing users to easily add these afterwards.

Its also easier to install than Windows XP is. One CD, and you have an OS and an office suite ready to go (but no Firefox on KUbuntu unless you install it from the repository). If they sorted the documentation / website so a user could actually find useful information, it'd be really good.

Fundy dunderheads make monkey of monkey man

Chris Cook

'Unified whole'?

> they overlook the point that science is a unified whole. The same science

> that resulted in the iPod includes evolution as a proven fact. You can't

> deny one without denying the other.

so no scientist has ever disagreed with another?

If there is one thing I have no doubts on its that 'scientists' will believe different things in the future than they do now...


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