* Posts by James Anderson

1044 posts • joined 5 Apr 2007


Soaring costs, inflation nurturing generation of 'quiet quitters' among under-30s

James Anderson

Re: Managers beware

Ah! Then I should behave like all the other vendors.

Screw the customer for as much money as l can and deliver as little as possible.

Larry Ellison will be proud of me.

Wearables sales slacken as the novelty wears off

James Anderson

Re: An $800 watch

I can trump your 239 GBP I got a brand new Xiomi A1 for 199 euros four years ago. Its a google One phone so the software is up to date its fast light and good looking in plain black.

Some people might think the camera under powered but I prefer a real camera for pics.

In Rust We Trust: Microsoft Azure CTO shuns C and C++

James Anderson

I would dispute the rust is a good language. It is memory and type safe, but at enormous cost in terms of complexity and obscurity. ( almost as bad as C++).

This will impose an massive penalty on development time.

UK govt refuses to give up on scoring Arm dual-listing for London

James Anderson

Re: Move along....nothing to see here...

It’s irrelevant now anyway. The smart money is moving to RISC-V (NASA is almost the definition of smart in this er.. space) nobody will ever trust ARM to be independent and impartial again.

Yet another case of British industry being destroyed by the City of London avarice.

UK tech sector facing structural difficulties, says analyst firm

James Anderson

Re: When BREXIT and MURICA end your markets you fall like a heap

Sorry but this systematic failure has nothing to do with BREXIT or the EU.

London has for years been running a massive financial industry whose only purpose is to pay its senior staff massive bonuses. Nothing else! All they know how to do is asset stripping.

They force companies to make short term gains via cost cutting the result of which is long term decline. When they are no longer profitable they are sold to foreign investors who are only interested in the brand name.

Think about it the whole world runs on LCDs, lithium batteries and ARM chips. All of which were developed in the UK but not a single UK company makes these. The City of London did not invest a penny in these world changing innovations.

Solve food poverty eat the Bankers. mmm trader sausages ...

Microsoft to stop accepting checks from partners

James Anderson

Re: Spelling!!!

El is in fairly common idiom in British English. I believe it started during “El Tels” ( Terry Venables) stint as manager of Barcelona.

Former Microsoft UX boss doesn't like the Windows 11 Start menu either

James Anderson

Been using it for a few months.

SHMBO’s laptop upgraded from w10 without asking so we are stuck with it.

It took a couple of weeks to get used to but it’s not better or worse just a bit different (and pointless).

The really annoying thing is the logon screen. There is a seminar transparent widget covering the password box. If you click it it starts the edge browser in the background and opens some pointless travelogue page. You need to move the mouse away from the password box click on the background then enter the password to get around this. Message to MS —— I DO NOT WANT TO RUN EDGE.

Court voids 34,000 unfair Fuji Xerox contracts

James Anderson

Re: Is there a single printer vendor...

The "broking device" is no longer required.

Microsoft does it for them by trashing the device drivers on every windows update.

Google sues Sonos yet again, claiming it stole IP and infringed patents

James Anderson

Re: Another one they copied from Microsoft?

Actually Sonos is the one with a history of patent trolling.

Any company making wireless speakers has to pay them royalties even though the basic technology was developed by the now defunct Squeezebox/slim devices.

Meta proposes doing away with leap seconds

James Anderson

Re: Do we need leap seconds?

Basic problem here is thar “seconds” is about the only SI unit that shares an name with an older unit. Second used to be defined as 1/86400 of a day. In the SI it is based on the transition frequency of a ceasium which unlike an earth day will never vary ever. Over the years to two defintions have diverged but everybody still thinks of it as a fraction of a day.

Microsoft to blockheads: NFTs and blockchains aren't welcome in Minecraft

James Anderson

Re: "you get when you spend decent money on an artwork"

Er, thye do disappear -- especially when moving house. :-}

James Anderson


NFTs are basicly a digital version of the "Certificate OF Authenticity" you get when you spend decent money on an artwork, and, pass on if you sell it.

These certificates have no real value and are easy to fake but you always get one from the dealer and any buyer expects to see one. Its the the equivalent of kicking the tyres when you buy a used car. It's pointless, but everybody does it and is part of the ritual.

So now we have a digital equivalent of the shiny parchment sheet which is just as worthless and just as useless, and much much easier to fake. Just how would you verify that an NFT is genuine? How would you verify that its not the tenth copy of the NFT that is being sold to you. How is your copy of the digital artifact better than the millions of other copies without an NFT?

The main use case for blockchain is to part the gullible from there money.

India's Internet Association ends crypto advocacy to do something more productive

James Anderson

Solution in search of a problem

We already pay for almost everything digitally. direct Debit for the leccy bill, Credit Card for airline tickets, Online Banking for the gym subscription, bonking the debit card at the supermarket checkout. About the only time I use cash is in bars and restaurants as I like to have some change to leave the staff a tip that won’t be snaffled by the management.

All of this is “digital” and it’s reasonably secure and reasonably energy efficient.

The only real use case for crypto currency is Money Laundering.

Accenture bags IT services contract for UK tax collector

James Anderson

Re: Droppings

Its worse Accenture were consulted on how to tax independent contractors. Resulting is the IR35, Umbrella mess which has been inflicted on the most skilled professionals. Thus leaving the field free for the big four to charge top dollar for the least skilled duffers.

Leaked Uber docs reveal frequent use of 'kill switch' to deactivate tech, thwart investigators

James Anderson

Re: Neelie Kroes

Uber used billions of Venture Capitalist dollars in a failed attempt to get an Amazon style monopoly on taxi services. They operate at a substantial loss charging fees that do not cover costs hoping to bankrupt existing services.

In the UK at least taxis and mini cabs are heavily regulated although over priced and decidedly old tech and not particularly user friendly.

The one good thing about Uber is that it gave existing services a wake up call. Almost every taxi company now has on line booking.

Now-frozen crypto-lending biz Celsius accused of devolving into a Ponzi scheme

James Anderson

Re: basically paying someone else to go to the casino on their behalf

Invest in real businesses that solve real problems. Yes they used to do that up to about 1959.

Tech professionals pour cold water on UK crypto hub plans

James Anderson

Re: Meanwhile...

Just a fancy name for the Running Dogs Of Capitalism.

IBM settles age discrimination case that sought top execs' emails

James Anderson

Re: As good as admitting guilt

Could be time for a shareholder lawsuit.

Management burning money to cover up their mistakes -- would p*ss me off if I was still foolish enough to own IBM shares.

Airbus flies new passenger airplane aimed at 'long, thin' routes

James Anderson

I think Pascal is a USain (Septic Tank).

US airlines "First Class" is what European business class was 20 years ago.

Slightly bigger seat, slightly less crap service but not actually that expensive.

Not a GNOME fan, and like the look of Windows? Try KDE Plasma or Cinnamon

James Anderson

Re: I know it's the pettiest gripe ever...

Nope -- even pettier gripe it sounds like CDE.

I had the misfortune to work with the early unix CDE desktop and what a mess of obscure config whiles it was.

The unix bods seriously believed they could compete with windows desktop and were totally deluded.

I can never contemplate KDE because the spelling (if nothing else) is so similar to CDE.

Concerns that £360m data platform for NHS England is being set up to fail

James Anderson

Re: Misunderstanding the NHS

Absolutly. What is required is a well defined set of message formats and protocols for exchanging medical data.

The financial world has had these for years SWIFT, FIX, etc. These are standards based message formats which the various institutions are free to implement however they like as long as they follow they structure the messages correctly and follow the communications protocols.

James Anderson

Purpose = profit

I have a 40 year IT career and this is the first time I have come across "Purpose Based Access Control".

I quick google come up with some results but nearly all relate to palitar's sales bumf/propaganda and a couple of obscure research papers.

I would guess that "purpose" is a synonym for "paid".

You could have a situation where your doctor whose "purpose" is healing would have trouble accessing data that a big pharma company whose "purpose" is profit can easily mine.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables

James Anderson

Re: Digital transmission?

The actual difference is that most CDs (and most pre-recorded cassettes) the mix was optimized for in car players where the speakers were smaller and the music had to compete with road and engine noise. Vinyl was never optimized for mobile players for some reason :-).

IETF publishes HTTP/3 RFC to take the web from TCP to UDP

James Anderson

Re: Optimisation...

So now the application has to detect dropped packets, request resends and correctly reorder out of order packets.

Big gains especially over a dodgy mobile phone connection.

Original killer PC spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3 now runs on Linux natively

James Anderson

Why stop there.

A long time ago I was at a site where they used a mainframe (370/MVS/TSO) spreadsheet.

It was actually slightly better than 123!


Supreme Court urged to halt 'unconstitutional' Texas content-no-moderation law

James Anderson

Re: Balkenisation?

Well their are two sides to the climate change issue, scientists who have spent years researching the issue gathering data and checking the results versus a bunch of nutters and shills financed by oil companies,

Likewise on vaccines we have bio-chemists, doctors and health safety officials who do careful research double blind trials who can point to millions of lives saved dure to vaccines versus a discredited doctor who failed in a scam with a scus bag lawyer to blame autism on vaccines and sue the health services based on falsified research. Yet millions choose to believe thew charlatan and children are dying of preventable diseases as a result.

It is worth noting that while the doctor was thrown out of the profession the law firm who sponsored the "research" is still practicing.

James Anderson

Re: Balkenisation?

Removing lies and insults from social media is not censorship.

Its basic manners and decency.

James Anderson

Re: Balkenisation?

Did you read the post.

The law in dispute bans social media sites from moderating content.

The challenge is that social media companies have a right to set the rules on their platforms.

It seems strange that this “conservative views are suppressed” keeps coming up given the deluge of petty prejudice, misogyny, misinformation and hate that spews out of large scale media operations like Fox News.

Hate speech and “conservative” views cause actual harm; witness the recent deaths in Buffalo.

.NET 5 and Windows 10 20H2 drop out of support

James Anderson

Newish hardware rendered obsolete

Low end laptops and celerion based “sticks” purchased as late as 2021 are now obsolete.

Bill Gates no longer runs the company, but is busy saving the planet. Perhaps he could have a word with the current management who are consigning millions of perfectly good machines to landfill.

Eggheads demo how to fool share-trading bots with carefully crafted retweets

James Anderson

They were not using reaL stocks. They downloaded the AIs and fed them made up data.

IBM outlines first major update to i OS for Power servers in three years

James Anderson

If in doubt change the product name

This venerable OS started life in 1978 and was christened "System/38" but by the time it got to high school age it was renamed OS/400 but it must have done something bad around 2004 as it souk anonymity as "i5/OS" or just plain "i" to its mates.

The whole AS/400 series were strange beasts featuring many unique architectural ideas some like addressing ram and all the disk storage as one single address space faded away others like concatenating file systems (libraries in OS/400 terms) are now mainstream and the basis of modern container systems like docker.

'IBM is now a very different company' says CEO as Q1 2022 beats expectations

James Anderson

Yep for years the mainframe hardware and software been subsidising the increasingly frantic efforts to grow a profitable AI/cloud/quantum/boondoggle business.

Creative accounting has transferred mainframe revenues to whatever current fantasy products they are pushing to convince wall street they have a long term future.

IBM is in the same position as UNISYS were twenty years ago. An extremely profitable legacy hardware and software business with lots of locked in customers but no viable new products.

At least UNISYS faded gracefully without abusing its customers and employees.

Apache says Struts 2 security bug wasn't fully fixed in 2020

James Anderson


I always thought it was a bug.

An open-source COBOL contender emerges

James Anderson

Re: "guaranteed a job."

You forgot about the “lives in India” requirement.

Seriously if there was any truth in the “COBOL guys get paid a ton of money” fantasies it would show up in the job ads. In truth there are very few vacancies and they offer a pittance.

Machine learning the hard way: IBM Watson's fatal misdiagnosis

James Anderson

Re: One doesn't imply the other

42 - What are number of hours a year Ginny works for her seven figure salary?

James Anderson

Re: One doesn't imply the other

While Watson with its Terabytes of data could beat a.stsnd alone human I doubt it could beat the more standard configuration.

Human + smartphone + Google.

Yule goat's five-year flame-free streak ends ignominiously

James Anderson

Thatchers policies all ended up as ignominious failures.

Take for example the triumphant privatisation of the gas and electricity boards.

No long term planning for the end of North Sea gas has left us in hock to Putin and some rather unpleasant Shieks.

Our electricity supply chain is now owned by the French and German governments and your bills are doubling every year.

Not the kind of note you want to see fluttering from an ATM

James Anderson

Re: Its the graphics

It’s actually because there are only three or four companies that make ATMs two have used Microsoft from the year dot, and, the third used OS/2 but migrated to windows after that unloved OS faded away.

UK's Defra and Ministry of Justice facing £120m IR35 tax bills thanks to inaccuracies in assessing contractors' status

James Anderson

Could be desperate managers trying to retain staff.

Given that most contractors have made it very clear that they will walk if they are placed under IR35 it's likely that managers have been gaming CEST in order to keep vital contractors on board and get their projects done sometime near the deadline and somewhat compliant with the original requirements.

I very much doubt the many contractors have returned to permanent employee status, or, if they did not for very long.

One of the joys of being freelance is that you do not have to deal with HR. Catbert is not a parody but a pretty accurate picture of the average HR bod.

The Irony is that the overall tax take will be less as the various departments with be forced into the hands of serial tax dodgers (and bodgers) from Crapita, App-sent-manure et al.

Google Chrome's upcoming crackdown on ad-blockers and other extensions still really sucks, EFF laments

James Anderson

Re: Acceptable ads?

I remember Alta-Vista and all those adds for Kalashnikovs. Targeted advertising really meant something then.

James Anderson

Re: Acceptable ads?

Ads are literally the price you pay for free search and content.

Its the model that drives 95% of the web.

There are a few "must subscribe" sites like the Economist or New York Times, and, a few beg for money sites like Wikipedia but if its not e-commerce the chances are its funded by adverts.

Still its fun to search for items you will never ever purchase like "John Deere Parts" and see yourself uselessly targeted for those products.

West Sussex County Council faces two-year delay to replace ageing SAP system for Oracle

James Anderson

English local gov != US Corporation

Buying a system designed to meet the needs of a large US business for an English local government body is never going to end well.

The accounting and legal requirements are completely different.

CentOS Stream 9: Understanding the new Red Hat OS release for non-Red-Hat-type people

James Anderson

In the cloud only free software makes sense.

Paid for licensed software negates all the advantages of running applications in the cloud.

Business booming -- fire up another instance and clone the software -- but not if you need to get a another set of licenses.

Trust IBM to spork billions on a company with a dead business model.

Shocking: UK electricity tariffs are among world's most expensive

James Anderson

I don't get this nukes are expensive meme.

France's electricity is half the price of UK electricity largely because of the amount of nuclear power they have on tap. This in spite of the UK getting 5% of its electrical power from cheap French imports.

The UK has had great early experience of nuclear energy with the Magnox reactors (which were not really built generate electricity but rather to provide weapons grade plutonium). Later projects were economic disasters due to insisting on the use of untried "innovative" local designs.

'Automate or die!' Gartner reckons most biz apps will be developed via low-code by the people who use them

James Anderson

Re: No Code = Beinoff B.S.

As was BASIC, SQL, and a bunch of 4GLs (Focus, Ramis, MarkIV).

Interestingly these "easy 4GLs allowing business users to develop applications" turned out be a high paying gig for skilled contractors.

Keep calm and learn Rust: We'll be seeing a lot more of the language in Linux very soon

James Anderson

Re: The way in which this turd is being pushed “top down” makes me want to puke

The problem is most of the kernel code and commonly used libraries were written in C before every computer was connected to the internet and random scumbags could send malicious packets down the wire.

There was no such thing as buffer-overflow attacks when most of this stuff was written. New code written in C is written with security in mind and check for vulnerabilities. It simply a matter of using the "safe" calls and writing sensible code.

James Anderson

Re: The way in which this turd is being pushed “top down” makes me want to puke

I can program in about 20 languages and C++ is the only mainstream language I truly dislike.

Horrible syntax, unstable APIs , the unreadable Soustrup tome.

Rust is OK but a tad immature and definitely not for application code.

PS. correction:

": "C combines the power and performance of assembly language with the flexibility and ease-of-use of assembly language."

IBM 360 assembler is much more powerful and easier to use than "C".

Microsoft previews Visual Studio 2022 for Mac, but why bother when VS Code runs just fine on Apple hardware?

James Anderson

Re: piqued

I use vim a lot -- and it is very powerful if you know how to use it.

Years ago I made a deliberate choice to use it as my default text editor.

This was because I knew that when I got a call to fix some security hardened server stuck behind numerous firewalls so the only option was to go to the machine room and access a green screen.

The only editor on the system would be plain old "vi" and the only shell would be "ksh".

"ksh" operates like a one line window into a text editor. You had the choice of "vi" or "emacs" coomands. As no one would ever contemplate allowing "emacs" on a secured machine (its basically a front end for a LISP interpreter and would be like installing a whole dev environment on your production machine).

So learn vi and use it often so you know how to move up and down the command history in "ksh" and edit commands without the aid of the O'Reilly mini manual.

Get FOSS-happy, China tells its financial institutions

James Anderson

While banks developed their own software in the 1980s and many of these systems are still running, most banks buy off the shelf solutions from companies like Fidelty andTenemos.

Financial services are an extremely complex and sensitive area. While many solutions are based on open source software and tooling there are very very few actual FOSS applications.

'We will not rest until the periodic table is exhausted' says Intel CEO on quest to keep Moore's Law alive

James Anderson

Re: "two advanced chip factories in Arizona"

The attraction is clean air. A combination of high altitude and no rust belt industries mean cleaner air. This makes it easier to maintain a dust free environment in which to manufacture chips.



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