* Posts by Simon Ward

920 posts • joined 3 Apr 2007


Take your pick: 'Hack-proof' blockchain-powered padlock defeated by Bluetooth replay attack or 1kg lump hammer

Simon Ward

Re: Sounds familiar

Yeah, but they didn't have blockchain did they?

Rookie mistake, that.

Mark Shuttleworth to revive Ubuntu Community Council after body shrinks to single member – Mark Shuttleworth

Simon Ward

Re: One man, one vote

It's the 'Vetinari Principle' - he's one man, he has the vote.

QR-code based contact-tracing app brings 'defining moment' for UK’s 'world beating' test and trace system

Simon Ward

I'll give it ....

.... 24hrs before someone discovers a juggernaut-sized security hole or twelve in it.

Or am I being too optimistic?

Larry Ellison abruptly pulls rug from under philanthropy foundation after two years to 'focus on COVID-19 fight'

Simon Ward

Re: a "laboratory for health and wellness powered by data"

Hate to break it to you, but Bezos probably got there first ....

Amiga Fast File System makes minor comeback in new Linux kernel

Simon Ward

Re: My life is now complete...

And you'll still find the odd one or two lurking in the darker corners of some recording studios.

If you're really lucky, they might still be in working order, too.

Ah, those were the days - couldn't afford Cubase, and none of the 'usual suspects' were able to get me a cracked copy, so I wrote myself a MIDI sequencer as a way of learning 68000 assembler.

I wish I still had that degree of drive and curiosity - sadly, working as a developer for 20-odd years has pretty much beaten it out of me.

'We're not claiming to replace humans,' says Google, but we want to be 'close enough' that you can't tell it's a bot talking

Simon Ward

Re: Oh, the irony

Well, they have to train Sundar Pichai's neural network somehow ...

Facebook are probably doing something similar in a vain attempt to make the Zuckerborg pass for human.

CenturyLink L3 outage knocks out web giants and 3.5% of all internet traffic

Simon Ward

Could this be the reason for fleaBay's TITSUP as well?

World+dog were getting DNS resolution errors, which made it kind-of hard to update your stock levels and whatnot :-/

Trump backs Oracle as potential TikTok buyer

Simon Ward

Re: Couldn't...

I strongly suspect that your tremendousness in the eyes of Trumplethinskin is in direct proportion to how bigly yuuuuge your contributions to The Cause are.

Simon Ward

Re: Couldn't...

Oh, wait, is Mark Hurd still there?

Only in spirit, I suspect.

Dido 'Queen of Carnage' Harding to lead UK's Institute for Health Protection because Test and Trace went so well

Simon Ward

Re: Am I the only one

A dildo will satisfy (at least) one person.

But at the same time, someone and/or something is going to end up getting totally fucked ...

Simon Ward

I think Ofqual might have an algorithm or two going spare ...

UK govt reboots A Level exam results after computer-driven fiasco: Now teacher-predicted grades will be used after all

Simon Ward

Presumably the C was in English ...

SAP blogger reveals top tips for keeping clients happy: Don’t swear, remember to write a pithy subject line, and TURN OFF CAPS LOCK

Simon Ward


Sales drones?

Members of the Department of Stating The Bloody Obvious like Logan Whatsisface?

Although in a lot of cases, I suspect a lot of them would be hard-put to find their wanking equipment with a map, GPS and native guide.

AWS creates a quantum computing cloud with classical testbed plus rentable qubits

Simon Ward

Re: "AWS suggests the cloudy option for complex algos that use 34 or more qubits"

Seems like it solves the problem of highlighting those with more money than sense pretty well ...

India connects submarine cable to islands where some still live in the stone age

Simon Ward

a speck of land that it is forbidden to approach because its residents appear not to have left the stone age and like it that way

And not a day goes by when I think that they may have the right idea, after all ...

We've reached the endgame: Bezos 'in talks' to turn shuttered department stores into Amazon warehouses

Simon Ward

EY to outsource compute function, sending 800 staff into the loving arms of... IBM

Simon Ward

My bullshit bingo card was complete by the end of the second paragraph.

Surely a new record ...

USA decides to cleanse local networks of anything Chinese under new five-point national data security plan

Simon Ward

Re: US apps are clean - ha ha ha

I know that.

You know that.

J. Random Luser, on the other hand ....

You think the UK coronavirus outbreak was bad? Just wait till winter: Study shows test-and-trace system is failing

Simon Ward

Re: But... but...

why the UK can't just reuse this code is unclear

As others have pointed out, a bad case of NIH syndrome and Brexit.

After all, as a Proud Independent Seafaring State[tm] whose governing class appear to prefer ideology over reality, we can't go using the same stuff as those filthy forriners, can we? On top of that, it means that we can't give the job to our mates without going through all that tedious competitive tender stuff.

Taking back control, innit?

Face masks hamper the spread of coronavirus. Know what else they hamper? Facial-recognition systems (except China's)

Simon Ward

Re: Need to be careful

Not gonna lie, I've been seriously tempted to get a plague doctor mask .... the biggest problem is how to accomodate my glasses (it's no exaggeration that I'm damn near blind without them ...)

(see That Wiki if you don't know what I'm talking about.)

WTF is cloud-tethered compute? We're not sure either, but it just made a hype cycle for the first time

Simon Ward

Re: 40 Odd Years Mature

What has changed?

There's more money to be made now?

Simon Ward

I, for one, look forward to this term being trotted out by bone-headed slave-traders and its appearance on job descriptions written by hiring managers with the IQ of soup.


It pains me to think that someone at Gartner gets paid (no doubt very good money) to come up with this bullshit.

Intel couldn't shrink to 7nm on time – but it was able to reduce one thing: Its chief engineer's employment

Simon Ward

Ultimately, it all comes down to Quantum[tm]

That is/was closer to the truth than you can possibly imagine ...

Back then, the principal question seemed to be "how can we mitigate quantum effects?" whereas now, as noted upthread, there seems to be a split between "how can we mitigate quantum effects?" and "how can we make quantum effects work in our favour?" - as node sizes shrink, these questions, and their answers, become rather more important.

Of course, we all know that the real answer is "you never know until you look" ;-)

Simon Ward

Maybe so, but the laws of physics are a harsh mistress and they don't give a rat's ass how good your competition is or how well they're doing.

It's been a long time since I worked in the semiconductor industry, but even then people were chewing over the practicalities and problems associated with sub-10nm nodes - once you start getting down to atomic scale there are some very real problems to overcome.

Memory is fuzzy, but 'state of the art' back then (early 2000s) was 65nm and the transition to 45nm was starting to gather pace, as was the use of 300mm wafers to increase yield - 10nm was still a way off, but it was still weighing on the minds of people far smarter than me.

Google extends homeworking until this time next year – as Microsoft finds WFH is terrific... for Microsoft

Simon Ward

Re: ... welcome to the machine

Have an upvote for the recommendation - I'm on a bit of a 'dystopian SF' kick at the moment, and that looks like it'll fit the bill rather nicely.

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory

Simon Ward

Whilst I loathe and detest the fact that Microsoft-era BillG (and his successor, Monkey-boy Ballmer) got insanely rich by pushing sub-standard products, there's no denying that since stepping down from MS, Bill has put a fuck-ton of money into healthcare initiatives and the like, and it's not just Bezos style 'tax dodge disguised as charity work' lip-service, either.

I don't have to like the guy (I don't, see above) but respect is most definitely due for his charitable efforts.

VMware to stop describing hardware as ‘male’ and ‘female’ in new terminology guide

Simon Ward

Please remove trigger, it gives me PTSD from having to watch reruns of Only Fools and Horses.

Awright then, Dave ...

Hungry? Please enjoy this delicious NaN, courtesy of British Gas and Sainsbury's

Simon Ward

Who knows what else have they rushed through testing like that?

What is this 'testing' of which you speak?

It's not fun, shiny and (fr)agile so why bother? That's what your customers are for.

Simon Ward

Its British Gas. I never expected less, and am surprised that there is not more.

Oh there is, soooo much more - you have no idea. Their website is a clusterfuck of epic precautions - the login process is painful enough and it just gets worse from there.

The British Gas website pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with modern software 'development', to whit: spaghetti coding: chuck stuff at the wall and keep the stuff that sticks, irrespective of whether it works or not[*].

Is $FRAMEWORK or $METHODOLOGY new and shiny? If so, crowbar it in there and fuck the consequences - form triumphs over function eleven times out of ten.

Why pay for QA/testing when your long-suffering customers will do all of that for free.

[*] - I would say that the Hive website was the Ur-example of this, but it seems to have settled down a bit of late, both in terms of 'style' and stability.

Reviewing and profiling your code is boring? Well, Amazon will now sell you an AI editor to do it for you

Simon Ward

So a 100,000-line code base processed in one go will set you back $750

Who knew that "Hello, world!" could be so costly ....

... still, if you write stuff in Java you're probably used to that.

'It's really hard to find maintainers...' Linus Torvalds ponders the future of Linux

Simon Ward

Re: I wonder why?

Toss in a genetic algorithm and you might find your solution before the heat death of the universe.

Or you'll re-invent Perl ...

Simon Ward

Re: I wonder why?

It's all just ones and zeroes. If it isn't a one then it's a zero. How hard can that be?

Getting the ones and zeroes is the easy bit ... it's putting them together in the right order that's the trick.

As the late, great Eric Morecambe once said: I'm playing all the right notes, just not necessarily in the right order ...


Simon Ward

Re: I wonder why?

Linus' potty mouth notwithstanding, let's not forget that some of this shit is hard - my last tussle with the kernel was way back in the 2.mumble days where I had to write a couple of drivers for some hardware in my lab - my C chops were a lot better back then but even so, hacking on the kernel was not for the faint of heart (one bit of hardware was sorta-kinda supported, which made life a bit easier, but the other wasn't so I had to work from datasheets and whatnot and write everything from scratch) - still gives me nightmares.

You want documentation? Well, there's the code itself ... other than that, good luck!

I probably wouldn't even know where to start now.

There's also the 'some of this stuff is boring' aspect - whilst you'll probably have no shortage of people queuing up to work on the latest shiny shiny or the $ARCHITECTURE_DU_JOUR, there's no escaping the fact that the 'boring' stuff in the kernel will need occasional care and feeding as well, and that's not as sexy by half and people will be less inclined to do anything once the current maintainers have moved on[*]

[*] - I'm one of those developers who actually enjoys working on the 'boring' stuff. It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it ...

Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

Simon Ward

It's a bit of a running joke round here, but:

- The Audi logo is referred to as "The Olympic Rings Of Twattery",

- Audi itself is an acronym for "A Useless Driver Inside"

- BMW actually stands for "Bloody Minded Wanker" (or, as a German-speaking colleague of mine had it, "Bayerische MistWagen")

(and another wag pointed out that the Porsche Cayenne is proof that Germans do actually have a sense of humour)

White Audi TTs in particular are filed under "things to run away from very fast" since they always seem to be driven by hairdressers with the spatial awareness of a goldfish and the IQ of a can of soup.

BMW and Audi do make some very nice cars, but the image is tainted by some of the idiots who drive them. Much the same could be said about Apple products ...

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements

Simon Ward

Enough ....

TBH, I'd rather have the folks working at $WHEREVER slaving[*] away developing code which works rather than sitting in healing circles wringing their hands about whether or not someone, somewhere will be offended by what has been written.

Y'know what? I don't give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut whether your code uses 'master/slave', 'parent/child' or 'this/that' - as long as it works, I don't care. I really don't. If you must insist on this new-age, touchy-feely, snowflake bullshit then please, keep it to yourselves - or failing that, you can look through some of my code: the terminology used therein would probably make your fragile little heads explode.

[*] - yeah, I used 'slaving'. Downvote away ...

Contact-tracing app may become a permanent fixture in major Chinese city

Simon Ward

Re: So

Oh, I reckon that Priti Vacant is already taking notes ...

Berlin's renowned nightclub scene is showing signs of life. Just one problem: No dancing

Simon Ward

I personally would settle for 'just another beer garden' at this point.......

I'll settle for 'another beer' - I don't give a rat's ass about the surroundings, although on balance I think I'd rather be in Berlin rather than this pathetic excuse for a country.

Simon Ward

The Goodies predicted this in 1979 ...

(RIP, Tim ...)

As Amazon's stock price soars and Bezos adds to his billions, affiliates face massive cuts in their commissions

Simon Ward

Re: I Would be grateful if You could find a New Photo of the Ineffable Bezos

Sorted ...


(of course, it should be BEEEEELLLLION dollars, but you get the general idea)

From Brit telly presenter Eamonn Holmes to burning 5G towers in the Netherlands: Stupid week turns into stupid fortnight for radio standard

Simon Ward

Giving credence to such ideas merely reinforces them, and contributes to an atmosphere where gullible rubes set fire to 4G antennas, because they're too fucking stupid to know the difference.

And therein lies the nub of the problem (emphasis mine) ... these are the same fools who are lauding Spaffer and Hancockup as saviours of the NHS despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

George Carlin was right ... if my code scaled as well as stupidity appears to then I'd be happy indeed.

Upstart Americans brandish alligators at the almighty Reg Standards Soviet

Simon Ward

Re: I err on the side of caution.

"I keep 1 TrumpEgo away from everyone else to limit the ability of anyone to infect me."

How many Beeblebroxes[1] is that?

[1] - because, as any fule kno, Zaphod Beeblebrox's ego is the largest thing in the universe.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock both test positive for COVID-19 coronavirus

Simon Ward

Re: Thought for the day

In these trying times, when we are all advised to cough or sneeze into the crook of our arm, please spare a thought for those poor unfortunates who can't tell their arse from their elbow.

Oh come now, that's easy ... the arse is the bit they speak out of.

Simon Ward

Re: Lets hope

I hope he's OK, because if he isn't we'll end up with Dominic fucking Raab running the show.

You know, the foreign secretary who didn't even know that Dover was a port ...

Our 'solution is killing us in a number of areas' IBM said about doomed £175m Co-Op Insurance project

Simon Ward

Re: Oh look, another failed megaproject

Brilliant at ditching people.

Services, not so much.

Are we having fund yet, npm? CTO calls for patience after devs complain promised donations platform has stalled

Simon Ward

Re: This is some serious stupid

And he didn't think of this from the beginning... why?

Because bandwagons wait for no man?

Linux in 2020: 27.8 million lines of code in the kernel, 1.3 million in systemd

Simon Ward

Re: I've had .....

I think he really is an Employee of MicroSoft in disguise ... or a total asshat .....

The former would be difficult to prove.

The latter .... not so much.

He's the new millennium's answer to Joerg Schilling (if you don't know who he is then look him up - Poettering clearly took asshattery lessons from him)

And yeah, PulseAudio is an absolute fucking abomination.

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan

Simon Ward

Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

Didn't Lewis pass away?


Maybe you're confusing Lewis with Lester? (Gawd rest his soul)

Exploring AWS CodeGuru: New automated code review has smart features – but Java-only

Simon Ward

Re: IP

Won't stop the imbeciles in the C-suite crawling all over it like a rash, though, and the people who actually do the work will have to use it whether they want to or not.

(until they receive their first invoice, that is ...)

Behuld – zee-a internet ouff tuilet tissuoe at Meecrusufft Sveden. Bork bork bork!

Simon Ward

Oh, sweet Zarquon ...

Looks like someone gave manglement a copy of 'Snow Crash'[1] to read and they took it a bit too literally ...

[1] - see here ...

Medic! Uncle Sam warns hospitals not to use outdated IPnet freely on their networks

Simon Ward

Re: Get decent IT staff and make the insurance companies pay for it.

"You'd think with the amount Americans are overcharged for their healthcare that they would have the best IT that money could buy."

Nope, just the best lawyers money can buy ...



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