* Posts by James Anderson

980 posts • joined 5 Apr 2007


British defence supplier Ultra Electronics to be sold for £2.6bn to US-controlled firm

James Anderson

Re: doesn't bode well for Britain's industrial future

Joseph Lucas ..... Prince of Darkness.

£3m for 8 weeks of consultancy work: McKinsey given contract to advise UK.gov on tech project business cases

James Anderson

Re: McKinsey

This is what happens when these brilliant guys take charge:


Mulliman was McKinseys lead banking consultant before McKinseu recommended him for CEO at Credit Suisse.his fellow McKnsey aviation consultant borked .Swissair

Report: 83% of UK software engineers suffer burnout, COVID-19 made it worse

James Anderson

Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

To quote the venerable (and stinking rich) Warren Buffet.

Survey paid for by Agile tools company finds you will be less stressed using Agile tools -- surprise.

In reality agile puts more stress on software developers. The lack of attention to process, the obsession with rapid deployment.

"Customer Collaboration" over "Contract Negotiation" is a recipe for scope creep.

Rapid deployments puts extra burdens on testers -- more releases with more bugs.

Agile may work in a funky Web2 startup, but, in large organisations there are very few success stories.

The world is chaos but my Zoom background is control-freak perfection

James Anderson


I used to have some of those in the last century.

My life as a contractor grabbing whatever gig iPad the most eur, chf, usd, the or even sometimes gbp the bookshelves had to go.

I suppose I could just position my Kindle top right of my zoom background.

IBM insiders say CEO Arvind Krishna downplayed impact of email troubles, asked for a week to sort things out

James Anderson

Re: 4.2 billion emails a week?

On one project I was at. The Client blocked internet access to the IBMers on the project when he realised they were spending two or three hours a day on being IBMers. Answering stupid emails, filling in HR forms, doing pointless power point courses so they could be labelled “certified … “ etc. etc,

The move did not end up increasing their productivity as they had to do all the crap at home and were knackered by the time they got to the office.

NHS England staff voice concerns about access controls on US spy-tech firm Palantir's COVID-19 data store

James Anderson

Re: blah, blah, blah

Lucky escape leaving the organisation before it appointed a corrupt, racist authoritarian as president.


The EU will collapse under the wait of its contradictions and bureaucratic inertia.

How long will the voters Germany, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden be happy handing out bundles of cash to the homophobic, gerrymandering rulers of Hungary, Poland or the gangsters of Roumania and Bulgaria?

Devilish plans for your next app update ensure they never happen – unless you start praying

James Anderson

Re: Ahhh

Pity Viz never had a “Billy Waz” character.

IBM's 18-month company-wide email system migration has been a disaster, sources say

James Anderson

Re: Bean counters?

No it was not!

Slightly better video but 60 minutes play time was not enough for a typical movie. So a fail for the primary use case.

James Anderson

Slight improvement then...

"blame on IBM CFO James Kavanaugh for cutting costs and not hiring the right people."

is slightly better than the usual

"cutting costs and firing the right people."

Hungover Brits declare full English breakfast the solution to all their ills

James Anderson

Ethnic imbalance

There is no mention of Irn-,,Bru or Lorne sausage which can only mean there were no Scott's involved in the survey.

Of the ,100 "cures"actually listed only three have any scientific value. The banana, the bloody Mary and especially the Bacon Butty.

Consult the "Ladybird book of the Hangover" for information on "Bacon Replacement Therapy"

Congestion or a Christmas cock-up? A Register reader throws himself under the bus

James Anderson

Nice server OS with a god awful graphical user interface. So scared of getting sued by Apple or MS they spurned any useful developments and stuck with the weird and wonderful like "spacial file browsing".

Arm freezes hiring until Nvidia takeover, cancels everyone's 'wellbeing' allowance

James Anderson

Re: Flim Flammery

Britain championed Free Trade in the 18th century, But in the 19th century this policy did not apply to the third of the world that was coloured pink on the map.

The British empire countries could only sell their raw materials to Britain and could only buy manufactured goods from Britain.

This worked well for the most part but did lead to a number absurd and unjust situations. E.G. India a country surrounded by sea and bathed in hot sunshine was not allowed to produce its own salt but was forced to buy mineral salt produced in Cheshire using the expensive and polluting process of evaporating brine over coal fires.

IBM Cloud’s biggest region hit by five-hour Severity One brownout

James Anderson

Re: I am still an IBM "Cloud Customer"

Does not actually bother me as it costs me nothing except for deleting the occasional spam.

But if I was still a shareholder I would question the unfeasibly large number of customers claimed for IBM's cloud service.

China sprayed space with 3,000 pieces of junk. US military officials want rules to stop that sort of thing

James Anderson

Bit worrying.....

A collision in space between two reasonably hefty objects would result in thousands of bullet and football sized chunks travelling a speed in random directions. Just a couple need to hit another satelite to create more bullet sized debris instituting a chain reaction. After some time the earth will be surrounded by a field of flying metal that ised to be satelites. No more GPS but on the bright side no more SKY tv.

Stuck in R/3verse: East Sussex County Council struggles to move forward with £25m SAP replacement

James Anderson

Re: Probably not upgradeable

Local government accounting is so different form business accounting that they were mis-sold SAP in the first place. Given the amount of customisation required to get a usable SAP system often requires more man hours than writing a system from scratch the added complexity of Local Government finance and personal requirements only complicates things further.

By requirements stuff like every penny spent has to be traced back to a "resolution of the council" and anyone who voted for the resolution is personally liable for any mis-spending.

As for HR many council officers have legal responsibilities when carrying out there duties (others do not!) and just working out who is allowed to do what can be a nightmare (consider that "what" can involve removing children from a parent and putting them in a care home.)

James Anderson

Re: Gone sapped?

Not really, Lock-in would be providing an easy migration path from R3 to Hana.

As usual with SAP even a minor upgrade requires you to relive the nightmare of configuring and customising the creaking monster to do anything close to meeting your actual requirements.

Philanthropist and ex-Microsoft manager Melinda Gates and her husband Bill split after 27 years of marriage

James Anderson

It matters a great deal to millions of people in the third world.

The B & M G foundation has been extraordinarily effective compared with government aid programs and most NGOs.

Eradicating polio and hopefully doing the same for malaria save thousands of lives and gives millions of people a chance to escape poverty and lead healthy productive lives.

The OS just gets crappier -- but hey people still buy it.

But can it run Avid? The Reg hands shiny new M1 MacBook to video production pro, who beats it with Blender, Handbrake, and ... Hypercard?

James Anderson

Re: Transition from PowerPc to Intel

PowerPC -- one of the many own goals from Motorola and IBM.

Motorola just abandoned their biggest customer, and, IBM couldn't be arsed to step in and produce a chip suitable for a high end laptop. Given the chips they have supplied to Sony and Nintendo over the years and the awsome compute power of the high end AIX chips, they could easily have come up with a chip with the right power consumption/performance for the next generation of mac books.

We seem to have materialized in a universe in which Barney the Purple Dinosaur is designing iPhones for Apple

James Anderson

Re: Ooh, Shiny

How would they know it’s purple. All the iPhone owners I know wrap their £700 “beautiful award winning design” in cheapo plastic novelty cases.

God bless this mess: Study says UK's Christian beliefs had 'important' role in Brexit

James Anderson

Re: Religion in the UK?

The EU is a bureaucratic organisation set up by mostly western European governments to harmonise regulations and ease trading. It has expanded over the years to regulate other areas. It is famously inefficient and unresponsive to the needs of anyone but its employees.

Europe is a large sub-continent which has hosted some of the earliest civilisations, has a 3,000 years of history and culture and currently comprises of dozens of regions and languages. The people are generally friendly, the food comes in many varieties and is delicious, the wines are excellent and the beer is OK. Europeans more than any-one else are responsible for the science and moral philosophies which comprise the modern world. England, Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland are part of Europe.

It seems to be a common mistake to confuse one with the other.

James Anderson

Re: I find myself saying...

If you program in any modern language then you should get a US keyboard.

All the square, curly things are on easy to access single press keys. All the rest are on simple shifts. You need never use the alt key again.

Arabic and Thai keyboards all have a US layout when English language is selected.

James Anderson

Religion in the UK?

I did not think they did that any more.

I personally know no-one in the UK who goes to church, mosque or synagogue regularly.

Although most will tick the "christian" box on a form they don't really believe it other than it provides an atmospheric venue for weddings and funerals.

Given that the fastest growing religion in the last census was "jedi" the UK is

pretty much an agnostic country.

The remoaner vs. brexiteer correlation is probably because Anglicans are more

likely to be ethnic English with all grandparents born in England, Catholics

are more likely to have some sort of migrant background (Irish, Italian, Polish etc.).

Ever wondered what it's like working for Microsoft? Leaked survey shines a light on how those at the code coalface feel

James Anderson

Re: "It sounds like some of these complainers don't know how good they've got it"

The free food is there to keep you in the office for longer.

It's all part of the USAin obsession with being at the workplace for an excessive number of hours.

It should be noted that countries that mandate shorter working week are just as productive.

Google proposes Logica data language for building more manageable SQL code

James Anderson

Re: Little late for an April fool joke

SQL is a nightmare to parse!

Large numbers of keywords to support.

Inconsistent grammar (sometimes "var = x " sometimes "(var1, var2) (x, y)"

Massively recursive you can place another "select" almost anywhere.

Really inconsistent as in you cannot place another "select" just anywhere.

It can also be tedious to write matching lists of variables to lists of parameters or values is just plain error prone.

Codd hated SQL! It took the beautiful mathematically provable relational algebra and turned it into a messy natural language with all its ambiguities and opportunities for misunderstanding.

Here are a few examples of SQL parsers:


Most of these come in at 2000 plus line of ANTLR code compared with a language like smalltalk with comes in at 104 lines of code.

Quality control, Soviet style: Here's another fine message you've gotten me into

James Anderson

Re: Such value for money

As a footnote the reason the scrap yard had so many spares was Aberdeen taxi drivers had a unique business model.

- buy a cheap lada

(cheap to run and easy to maintain)

- Run it until it broke down or, more frequently, the springs poked through the seats.

- scrap it and buy another one

James Anderson

Re: Such value for money

In the 80s various Russian touring perfume ring orchestras and groups always insisted on a performance in Aberdeen.

The reason being there was a local scrap yard with the biggest collection of used Lada spares in the world. Virtuoso violinists could be seen rummaging around for an alternator, ballet dancers getting grubby searching for a windscreen motor for granny’s car etc.

In a devastating blow to all eight of you, Microsoft pulls the plug on Cortana's Android, iOS apps

James Anderson

Re: FUD by chololennon

Windows appears to be abandoned and replaced with a buggy bloated unreliable OS called Windows 10.

The silicon supply chain crunch is worrying. Now comes a critical concern: A coffee shortage

James Anderson

Off to the Shops

Panic Buying? Who? Me?

Give me caffeine of give me death.

Move aside, Technoking: All hail the Sweat Master and his many inspirational job titles

James Anderson

Re: Mock tech-knocking as much as you like ...

According to this


Bitcoin has the same carbon footprint as Switzerland

and the same electricity consumption as Finland.

So basically Bitcoin is consuming as much resources as a Medium sized western country and will only get worse as the current Tulip buying frenzy goes on.

IBM's CEO and outgoing exec chairman take home $38m in total for 2020 despite revenue shrinking by billions

James Anderson

Re: One of the worst CEOs in history lost $134Billion in marked cap in 9 years

Still making mainframes, customers still buying them, IBM still making money on them.

The mainframe hardware and associated software and services have been subsidising IBMs attempts to re-imagine their business for 20 years now.

Ex-asylum seeker with infosec degree loses discrimination claim against UK cyber range provider after storming out

James Anderson

Re: winding up

Ridiculous. The U.K. has some of the weakest employment protection in the western world.

In France and Germany it is almost impossible to sack an employee, and it takes months of effort and documentation to do it legally.

With nearly 4% of the work force on zero hours contracts, lowly paid internships, short term contracts etc. etc. Short of bringing back serfdom its difficult to see how the balance of power could be shifted to favour the employers more.

Perhaps a stable, respected, well paid workforce with rights and job security might go some way to competing with Germany's industrial might.

Day 5 of Openreach strikes: No use of tech company toilets. No water. Fresh dates outlined

James Anderson

Re: BT share price

Dog whistle phrase for city plonkers is “closing real estate”.

They plan to sell of all there buildings and offices while the UK property market is overheated.

They will have to sack the people who work in those buildings, and lose any customers who expected some sort of service. But by then the financial wizards will have pocketed the cash and unloaded the shares into your granny’s ISO.

The sooner AI stops trying to mimic human intelligence, the better – as there isn't any

James Anderson

Re: Smells like, "dog turds"?

But he lives in France. how could he possibly get a beer that smelt of anything but water?

Real water that is, not French tap water or Evian.

Self-supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server virty users see stealth inflation

James Anderson

Re: IBM start Redhat on road to ruin

IBM have screwed up every software company takeover.

Lotus Notes -- was actually the best you could do and still have a workflow/db run on a 386. problem was IBM stuck with the original and hated UI for ever. Great idea destroyed by penny pinching.

Rational Software -- Rational Rose, Clearcase were ubiquitous in large companies. OO Superstars like Booch left almost immediately after the takeover. The products languished unloved for years.

Tivoli -- king of the entrprise monitoring software. Same old story of neglect, and, worse IBM's home grown collection of ancient tools (IEBCPY ffs!) re branded as Tivoli.

Redbrick -- the vanishing DB.


Chancellor launches £500m business software subsidy in the UK. What's 'approved' software then?

James Anderson

Would do better to abolish corporation tax

This is effectivly a tax on British owned and operated companies.

Foreign owned businesses just do not pay it.

e.g. Starbucks after some public outcry now "volunteers" to pay approx 3.5 million in corporation tax.

Costa Coffee pays 24 million.

Costa could actually reduce this by operating some well know fiddles involving Luxembourg but choose not to. These options are not viable for smaller companies.

So it raises very little money and gives a competitive advantage to giant multi-national companies over locally owned businesses.

IBM settles £36m Direct Line insurance platform project lawsuit, after claiming Teradata tried to usurp its spot

James Anderson

Timeous ?

Out of the box vocabulary for dynamic forward thinking brainless powerpointies.

Federal Reserve falls over in massive hours-long tech outage, knocks down US inter-bank transfer system

James Anderson

Re: This is just a friendly reminder...

I go one further and use different terminal colour schemes for different systems.

Whistleblowers: Inflexible prison software says inmates due for release should be kept locked up behind bars

James Anderson

They must have the resources in-house

Or at least in-cell.

Surely they must have a few skilled and motivated hackers on their books who would only be too glad to adjust release dates.

You want me to do WHAT in that prepaid envelope?

James Anderson

Most downvotes ever

I got the most downvotes ever when I posted a tongue in check comment on a leak of medical data.

The point being that anyone over 60 shared their medical history with anyone who would listen including random strangers on the bus.

Just to prove this thread consists entirely of people over 50 sharing their medical histories.

(No personal experience in the Colon department, but we could start a new thread on Prostate tests)

NHS Digital hands Deloitte £51m contract for tech supporting UK COVID-19 testing without competition

James Anderson

Brand Name Squating

NHS Digital has very little to do with the actual National Heath Service.

Realising that outsourcing health infrastructure to private for profit companies is deeply unpopular

the government has Hi-Jacked the NHS brand name to disguise it's "dosh for chums" scheme.

Had they called it Roll Rocye Digital they would be snowed under with writs, but, alas

the NHS cannot defend itself from a government that is ideologically opposed to anything

run by the government and would prefer us to have a fully privatised health care system

similar to the ludicrously inefficient and cruel system that fails the USA.

Nominet vows to freeze wages and prices, boost donations, and be more open. For many members, it’s too little, too late

James Anderson

Re: Not uncommon

Given that most mergers and/or acquisitions end up in failure. The job of merger and acquisition specialists is to sucker clients into believing otherwise so they can collect fat fees.

To quote Warren Buffet on the industry “Never ask a barber if you need a haircut”.

After first trying to use federal COVID-19 relief aid, State of Iowa comes up with funds to pay for Workday project

James Anderson

CGI - who he?

CGI mainframe. Never heard of such a thing. Neither has google.

Nearest I can come up with is a company that offers to migrate mainframe systems to unix.

So maybe they migrated off the well supported and maintained IBM mainframe to a dead end like Solaris or HP-UX.

Salesforce likes to play the diversity nice guy in public – Black ex-employee claims the reality is quite different

James Anderson

Re: re: The working class in the UK is very much an oppressed majority.

White working class are the only group that you can safely mock in public. Public schoolboy Harry Enfield has been taking the piss the white working class for decades without anyone complaining.

The labour party which was founded to represent the working classes of the UK has very few working class people in senior positions. The last serious senior labour politician who acted and sounded working class was John Prescott who was the but of endless ridicule.

For the most part the complaints about the under representation of ethic minorities in higher positions, is, actually just an under-representation of people from working class backgrounds in general.

So poor housing, underfunded education, no employment security, a stock market that rewards companies for reducing head count etc. etc.

James Anderson

While I agree with your comments. The white working class in the UK is very much an oppressed majority.

The situation in the USA is very different. I have scars on my tung from having to keep quite while senior well educated American colleges made blatantly racist comments. The number of times what I thought were decent friendly people decided because I was white I must be as racist as them and shared their abhorrent views over a beer.

130 years after the civil war the USA has a chronic race problem and thanks to Trump and co. It’s getting worse.

My bad! So you're saying that redacting an on-screen PDF with Tipp-Ex won't work?

James Anderson

Re: Last week's PDF redaction fail by a lowly employee of the European Union, however,

Current historical thinking is that WW2 was really WW1.1, so accounting for the Cold War it should really be WW1.3, Maybe it will be referred to as the Vista-ster.

Transcribe-my-thoughts app would prevent everyone knowing what I actually said during meetings

James Anderson

Re: And Then There Were Flipcharts

Marker Pens. I used to buy them in bulk form office world and take a couple of fresh ones to every meeting/presentation as the ones in the meeting room never ever worked. Worse some d**kh**d distributed some indelible pens so some feeble resoning could be on display for months.

What happens when the internet realizes the stock market is basically a casino? They go shopping at the Mall

James Anderson

Re: The Big Short Squeeze

You hit the nail on the head,

A short contract obliges you to return the borrowed shares on a specific date.

If you do not you get thrown off the exchange and can never trade again.

This is the magic of the current situation -- the hedge funds have to buy the shares.

As long as most hedge funds keep making bigger bets to try to cover their losses the share price will go up. So its a question of which fund loses their nerve or goes bankrupt first. The last hedge fund standing will clean up.

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community

James Anderson

Re: RE: doing things behind the curtain

I had to ditch a perfectly functional Epson printer because the driver stopped working after a win 10 update. It took about 4 hours to get the replacement printer up and running ( 30 seconds to get it working on Android ). Win 10 gives the appearance of “just works” because someone at the factory has spent weeks patching together a setup that works with their hardware.

I have only come across two boxes ( both cheapo PCs on a stick ) where Linux mint did not install first time.

150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'

James Anderson

Re: FFS. You cannot blame everything on brexit.

Currently EU fiscal policy and the EURO is governed by the German race memory of the 1920s hyper-inflation, they are applying remedies to fix a problems that occurred 100 years ago.

EU social policy has been high-jacked by the right wing zealots of Poland and Hungary -- and under the current rules there is nothing the other 15 members can do about it.

Interestingly both Spain and Italy have rejected the EUs Covid relief package after they saw what happened to Greece when they accepted a rescue loan from the EU. EU economists are still advocating "a course of leeches" as the solution to all problems.

Many good things abut the EU (its where I live) but it is very far from perfect.

Microsoft claims to have 200 million education users as it pushes new hardware and updated Classroom Pen

James Anderson

Beware running Windows 10 on low end devices.

As of early 2019 a device with ONLY 32GB of storage will be bricked by a windows update.

It’s only a matter of time (months probably) until 64GB is too small to handle a bloated update, given the appalling performance of the win 10 UI on celerion based devices I would advise anyone against buying a low end windows laptop no matter how cheap.

The other problem is these low end devices have cobbled together bios which will not allow an easy switch to Linux ( here looking at you ASUS).




Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021