* Posts by James Anderson

900 posts • joined 5 Apr 2007


How do you solve 'disruption' at the UK border after Brexit? Let's call Peter Thiel! AI biz Palantir – you're hired

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Hmm

Well they have been managing it for the past 26 years.

The goal seems to be achieving Mediterranean levels of over fishing in the North Sea.

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Hmm

You have obviously never been to the Broch (Fraserborough).

All five bedroom bungalows with four flash cars parked out front.

Deep sea fishing pays spectacularly well if there is a good catch.

James Anderson Silver badge

It will all end in tears

Using fancy AI for a basic book keeping tasks.

Enter goods: type quantity and value.

Change VAT if type not VAT-exempt

Charge extra tariff if tariffs apply to type

Send bill

How is AI going to apply to such a plodding business logic.

Amazon Lex can now speak British English... or simply 'English' if you're British

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Re: American English is English

I have been south of Louisiana -- need a boat though.

Oracle hosting TikTok US data. '25,000' moderators hired. Code reviews. Trump getting his cut... It's the season finale

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Why????

Like every other Web 2.0 by scanning your posts and comments and selling the data to advertisers.

Although for the most part companies that pay for “targeted” ads are the ones being conned.

Chinese database details 2.4 million influential people, their kids, addresses, and how to press their buttons

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Re: Oh....bad....bad....bad.....Nothing Like That Going On in the US or the UK.....No Siree!

However we would seem to be the least bad empire in history, the least bad colonialists.

I would even make a case for the least bad slave owners compared with say Algiers or Morocco.

Its just impossible to judge the past by today's standards. Worse to do it selectively and hold one nation to those standards while ignoring the behaviour of everyone else around at the time. Anyone with a West African background is more likely to have active slave traders among their ancestors than any ethnic Scottish person. White folks just turned up at the docks and bought what was on sale. The supply side was managed by native Africans.

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Oh....bad....bad....bad.....Nothing Like That Going On in the US or the UK.....No Siree!

What dreadful people we are:-

Ending slavery -- first to do so since ancient Persia.

Giving rights and protections to indigenous populations; the families massacred at Wounded Knee were just trying to get to Canada where "Old Women Queen" would treat them better.

Giving Jews a homeland in Palestine -- oops!

Saving the world from Hitler.

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Cheating, cheapskate, scofflaws

They should be paying Google and Facebook for this data like everyone else.

Oracle's Java 15 rides into town, waving the 'we're number one' flag, demands 25th birthday party

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Re: so wrong

There are two Javas.

On is a nice clean language with a few quirks ("a == b"; -> true is a if the same object instance as b otherwise false. WTF!)

JavaEE and its kindred frameworks Hibernate etc. is a bloated over engineered un-maintainable mess which slows down development to a crawl and produces bloated under performing code.

'Mindset reset' contributes to £1bn extra costs and another delay – 2 years this time – for Emergency Services Network

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Who was the priority?

Been on a boat recently.

Modern marine VHF radios transmit and receive data on id, position etc. without any problems.

Singapore to test compulsory COVID-tracker usage as condition of entry to some venues

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: This will enable us to open up safely in the coming weeks and months

The point is you are not allowed in without one. So there should be no unknown persons.

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

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Blockchain

Looks to me like a simple x509 cert security would completely solve this use case without all ti blockchain nonsense.

Classy move: C++ 20 wins final approval in ISO technical ballot, formal publication expected by end of year

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Nearly 30 years on

And still trying to get it right.

Problem : Bloated over complex language ...

Solution : More complexity.

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

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Oh, so now he's focusing on something ?

Give the guy a break.

Eradicating Malaria will save millions of lives and help lift the third world out of poverty.

If the money went on taxes it would likely be spent on giving serious military kit to untrained police in the name of "Homeland Security".

Besides after you first couple of million the amount of tax you pay (or not) is entirely up to you and your accountants -- just ask Donald Trump.

Anyone else noticed that the top countries for broadband speeds are well-known tax havens? No? Just us then?

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Blairite NuSpeak

Does this help https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGPLS3lNIxc

James Anderson Silver badge

Move to Spain

The internet is slightly slower than Norway or the Netherlands, but, the weather is much better.

In my bit of Spain 300MB fibre is standard and 500mb and 1gb available for not much more money.

Although the '300MB' is really "up To 300MB'. I have measured mine between 20MB at worst and 250MB


Spain is the complete opposite of Italy, Their are lots of small agile ISPs providing fibre and

the government forced Telefonica to share their cable ducts (the holes in the ground).

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: no mention of IPv6?

IPv6 isn't hat a bit like 8 track tapes.

Nice concept but never really took off.

James Anderson Silver badge

What surprises me is the United States was ranked a lofty 20th.

This does not tally with anecdotal experience of US broadband providers.

Techie studied ancient ways of iSeries machine, saved day when user unleashed eldritch powers, got £50 gift voucher

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Maybe get a process to delay that 11am thing too

11 a.m. - 6 hours == 5.00.

Probably opening of business at some NYC based trading platform.

IBM ordered to pay £22k to whistleblower and told by judges: Teach your managers what discrimination means

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: £22K? Is that all?

The sad fact is anyone taking their employer to an employment tribunal will never get a decent job again.

So 22K for a few months missed work is not adequate compensation for a career ending move.

Her only option now is to sit at an empty desk with nothing to do and collect a salary from IBM who desperately want to get rid of her but dare not sack her.

What legacy is IBM really shooting for? Cheating its own salespeople out of millions? Here we go again, allegedly

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: The same IBM

Not to mention ex President George Bush's dad who ran a bank dedicated to managing the National Socialists funds in the U.S.A

SQLite maximum database size increased to 281TB – but will anyone need one that big?

James Anderson Silver badge

Been using it for 20 years now.

Its pretty much my default database unless there are specific requirements for something else.

Such Requirements being:

50 plus concurrent users.

IT purchasing requires you to spend money on something slower and harder to manage.

Serious performance requirements.

Dynamic schema -- where nothing beats the ancient and venerable MUMPS.

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

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Do you think the universities are really that fussy about who they collect their 10,000 a year from?

Trump administration reportedly offers Oracle cheap end to $400m wage discrimination case

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They are a bunch of incompetent public school boys who are easily conned by "consultants" - but I do not believe they are actually corrupt.

eBay won't pass UK Digital Service Tax costs on to third-party sellers – unlike Amazon, which simply can't afford it

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Amazon Prime Ripoff

My partner was after a specialist shampoo and she search on amazon and it came up at 9 euros a bottle plus 4 euros shipping.

Knowing I have a prime account with "Free Shipping" she asked me to order it.

However on my prime account it was priced at 13 euros with free shipping.

Some strange orwellian version of the "free" word. Definitely not "free as in beer".

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: I must be missing something...

No -- but really!

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: I must be missing something...

Why so many up votes for a pedant!

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: I must be missing something...

Happens in Google sheets as well. Enter "10-12" to indicate pages 10 and 12 and you get Dec 10th or 12th Oct depending on your locale.

Incidentally did they take into account locales e.g. MAI would presumibly be mangled if users Locale was set to French so when nameing genes you would need to avoid all of this:


UK data watchdog having a hard time making GDPR fines stick: Marriott scores another extension, BA prepares to pay 11% of £183m penalty threat

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: A non-optimal strategy

It has actually had a negative effect on users privacy.

By requiring users to "agree" to cookie use unscrupulous companies have been putting in all sorts of extras into the unread "privacy policy" which legally exposes the users data to much more abuse than was previously possible.

James Anderson Silver badge

So net loss to the taxpayer

The amount collected in fines over the two years won't even cover the cost of running the department.

To say nothing of the millions honest companies have given to "GDPR compliance consultants"

for telling companies what they should have been doing anyway.

Typical Sir Humphrey meets Jean-Claude cockup.

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?

James Anderson Silver badge

It is truly sh*t

So problems I have had with windows 10.

In a household with three serious linux boxes two raspberry pies and numerous linux devices and three windows machines the probelms I have had in the last two years are:-

ASUS stick drive -- used as dodgy telly watching device -- bricked as 32GB is not enough disk space to update Windows 10.

Excellent 10 year old Thinklpad -- useless as wi-fi driver no longer supported.

Epson printer in perfect working order ditched as driver borked by windows 10 update.

Replacement stick drive out of action for a week as wi-fi driver borked after windows 10 update (eventually fixed after much downloading etc.)

Replacement printer (Cannon) took two days fiddling to get working with windows 10. ( 2 minutes to hook up to android phone).

In the meantime:-

One linux device in-operable for six months due to hardware security/experimental home brew software glitch.

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: How bad is it?

Well Amazon, Facebook Google run entirely on either open source or written in house dsftware. Cannot be that bad.

Micro Focus COVID-19 costs: Carry the one, decimal 9 places to the right... hmm. Holy cow, it's a $1bn+ loss

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Complete the transformation to reduce overheads

So on top of your employer expecting you to provide a smart phone, and, pay the phone bill they now expect you to provide office space, laptop, fibre internet plus pay all the 'leccy bills.

Trump's Make Space Great Again video pulled after former 'naut says: Nope

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Trump's campaign slogan..

Yes but people are still dieing at about 500 per day, lock down is non-existent and there is much under reporting as you need to pay for medical attention (like getting your death certificate filled in correctly).

Just a matter of time before the death rate exceeds the appalling UK total.

OOP there it is: You'd think JavaScript's used more by devs than Java... but it's not – JetBrains survey

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Python !?

Nice language but it eats cpu. FORTRAN is the poster child for long lived languages, closely followed by COBOL which tends to prove longevity is not a good metric.

James Anderson Silver badge

No. The server side is coded in php.

Someone got so fed up with GE fridge DRM – yes, fridge DRM – they made a whole website on how to bypass it

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Entirely legal

Congratulations on challenging the Budwieser/Molson duopoly. But please learn how to brew beer properly -- most American craft beer taste like someone stuffed a handful of dried hops in your mouth, bitter doesn't come close to describing the experience.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: He used the wrong excuse

Not unless he had a couple of you children to throw in -- otherwise it lacks credbility.

Legal complaint lodged with UK data watchdog over claims coronavirus Test and Trace programme flouts GDPR

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Re: Last month's solution?

Compare and contrast with Spain.

In early March they had the worst statistics of any country in Europe thousands of new cases and hundreds of deaths per day.

After 12 weeks of strict and strictly enforced lock down we now have tens of deaths per week and several consecutive days with no deaths reported.

With a committed government, a competent civil service and a properly funded health service the pandemic can be beaten.

Its a pity that the UK has a gifted comedian for a prime minister, a shambles of a civil service, and a health system that was failing long before the pandemic struck.

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: So what's the problem?

So where is the ink between track and trace and vacine development.

Vacines are developed in laboratories using a few samples of the vairus taken from a few patients.

No amount of data on how many people have been infected where will speed up or slow down the painstaking process of finding something that will fool your immune system into producing anti-bodies for a virus that is not here (yet).

Having said that the proposed implementation of test and trace is laughable -- a ridiculous call centre trying to trace contacts rather than switching 'leccy companies.

Its all an excuse to end lock down early and get the economy going again albeit with another 20,000 deaths.

I am so glad I can watch the unfolding disaster from a safe distance.

Brit MP demands answers from Fujitsu about Horizon IT system after Post Office staff jailed over accounting errors

James Anderson Silver badge

er studies suggest that there are approx. 15 bugs per thousand lines of code.

Not all of these get caught during testing. Its just good professional practice as a coder to assume that its your fault when something goes wrong.

Devuan Beowulf 3.0 release continues to resist the Debian fork's Grendel – systemd

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

Window NT. Was the fourth main stream OS architected by Dave Culter.

He is very talented software engineer and while NT was not as good as VMS it was very good.

Microsift may have since mucked it up but NT and its immediate successor XP were solid operating systems which established MS as a serious player in the Server room.

The services part of the OS was very well thought out and very well implemented. So I am not surprised that systemd looks very similar.

James Anderson Silver badge

.. relics of history! Join Judnetum the only truly representative of the people of Judea -- we know whats right for them.

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

The problem is the previous init solution rc.1, rc.2 etc. required several messy scripts, and, did not include any monitoring, and left everybody to come up with thier own shutdown strategy.

On HP-UX this got even worse with their practice of combining all of the above into a single script which then had to work out where in the statup/shutdown cycle it was.

I recently had my first experience of implementing systemd control for a service and was surprised how simple, effective and straightforward it was -- given the opprobrium heaped on it by the youngsters.

It seems to be a better implementation of the excellent Windows NT service interface!

It works well, its easy to use and offers far more control than other solutions -- get over it.

Laughing UK health secretary launches COVID-19 Test and Trace programme with glitchy website and no phone app

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Re: Good and bad

However as the most likely route of infection is from an infected surface to victims hand to victims face/food, the likelihood of knowing who sneezed on said surface two hours ago is almost nil.

At least a location based app could send enough data to identify sufferers who were at the same place and notify anyone else who was there to go and get tested.

IBM Sametime could rise again as HCL makes shortlist for India's home-grown Zoom clone

James Anderson Silver badge

Well not as dumb as the UK gov. which pays over the top for mostly American software, and, lets thier shrinking software development industry wither and die.

Incidentally one of the many harmful side affects of selling local companies to foreign conglomerates is that any locally sourced software is ditched for the corporate standard usually Microsoft and Oracle/SAP.

Man responsible for least popular iteration of Windows UI uses iPad Pro as a desktop*

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: So it doesn't even do what its creator needs ??

As any ful kno.

The users do not know what they want. Which is why generations of systems analysts and designers never ask. Always ask "what do you do", " why is it done that way","what are your problems" if you ask them what they want they will deny ever asking when you deliver the resulting mess.

IBM cuts deep into workforce – even its Watson and AI teams – as it 'pivots' to cloud

James Anderson Silver badge

Re: Cut loose, foot loose

It was a great pity when they failed to step up to the mark when Motorola bottled out of the PowerPC market. IBM had all the expertise to produce a viable chip somewhere between the low power Xbox games console chips and the mega Power server chips.

James Anderson Silver badge

The one thing they are really good at.

Not P45s (Pink Slips) which has certainly become a core skill, but hardware.

Which has been abandoned by management in spite of the fact that the niche zSeries mainframe line is the only real money maker the company has left.

While power series may be overpriced it is superb kit.

Ditching the laptop and PC market may have pleased the Wall Street analysts but it pleased Lenovo even more as they acquired a very profitable line in [prestige laptops. (Thinkpads just get better!).

SAP proves, yet again, that Excel is utterly unkillable

James Anderson Silver badge

Been doing this for years

Rather than go through the pain of speccing reports, messing around with headers footers etc. only to be told "we need the widget id on the item line and subtotals by tax period" two days before go live.

I just dump anything useful is a downloadable spreadsheet and let the users work out what they need in real time. Works a treat.

What does not work so well is using spreadsheets as primary input. I have done this rather than go through a massive data entry re-work of a semi manual system where most of the data was in spreadsheets we just read the spreadsheets. About 20 different variations in the format over a few thousand files, and, I will gladly de-sanguinate anyone who even thinks "merged cell".

It all went relatively smoothly - bet then they insisted on continuing to enter data via spreadsheets.



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