* Posts by John L Ward

21 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Mar 2008

Capgemini: We love our 'flexible, flowing' spade

John L Ward

The spade was chosen because Serge enjoyed playing bridge, hence the reason why the marketing rubbish goes on about it being the "highest value suit in a deck of playing cards" generally true for Bridge and not much else.

Uber breaks self-driving car record: First robo-ride to kill a pedestrian

John L Ward

The 'killer' question

I used to cycle in London. My wife hated it, and to be honest I was the one always on guard.

Then along came Boris bikes and a whole generation of idiot cyclists without helmets scared most London drivers to the point where they are paranoid about ensuring they don't mow down a two-wheeler. Now I like cycling in London, as most drivers take excessive care about cyclists (NB I observe the highway code, and get annoyed at all the idiots that ignore traffic lights etc...) it is generally other cyclists that behave like idiots.

It has always concerned me that as long as an autonomous vehicle shares the same space as anything on two wheels (from a spotty adolescent caning a 250cc motorbike then emergency braking in front of a 'convoy' of autonomous vehicles on the motorway to a drunk exec deciding that a Boris bike is the best way to get to the last train out of waterloo at 11:30) let alone two feet, we will always have problems.

Old jet bits, Vader's motorbike gear, sonic oddness: Hats off to Star Wars' creative heroes

John L Ward

Re: The only good Star Wars film are the ones with

The only good Star Wars films are the Despecialized (sic) editions, just see QXifjbxZDAM on YouTube for exactly how much effort fans are prepared to put in...

Apple: Hey TV people, wanna be in the same place Samsung phones are these days?

John L Ward

Re: I want...

And surely all this fragmentation driven by provider isolation will do is perpetuate the warez industry and the accompanying risks to the non-it downloaders who use it rather than paying multiple subscriptions.

Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive

John L Ward

3d tattoo printing site hacked

GDS: We might miss our digi-goal. Quick, MAKE IT BIGGER

John L Ward

Never a cloud...

Plus it seems that many of the digital exemplars that seem to work are simply a new face on an already working system, such as the one for application for a replacement driving licence (which was, let's face it a (not so) glorified electronic form...).

I bet that a lot of civil servants who have had their noses put out of joint by the abrasive attitudes of the GDS lot are just quietly sharpening their knives for when GDS finally lose enough support to keep them and their rather large contractor rates going without any major results...

...and the SIs who are looking at the silver lining of mending all of the 'good work' done by those exemplars.

Plus ca change...

Get internet access to those POOR country bumpkins, says UK.gov

John L Ward

It's not just farmers...

...since as one of those IT people that work from home in the countryside 1-2 days a week, i would really love proper broadband speeds so that I can also catch up with Breaking Bad on Netflix.

It just seems sad that while BT are not coming anywhere near my home with fiber in the near future, they are also being allowed to stop community broadband initiatives such as B4RN (Briadband 4 Rural Networks) by upgrading specific exchanges and thus preventing the community broadband getting the funding to actually connect people up in rural areas.

Still waiting for my 100 meg SDSL...

Apple blats WireLurker OS X, iOS malware – but fanbois aren't safe yet

John L Ward

Re: So where does this certificiate they revoked come from?

So, and I may be getting this wrong here, there is a social attack vector where you install what seems to be a completely legit (and possibly useful) app, potentially using a freemium model to make it more immediately attractive but which installs the Enterprise Licence, at which point you have opened up the door for any additional apps using that are signed with that certificate, even if it is a year later (as long as it is before the revocation date)?


Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls

John L Ward

Oh how we forget the lowered expectations of earlier times...

Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?

John L Ward

Forget scottish independence...

London is in more need of independence...or we are in more need of independence from it...

So why not make London (well, everything inside the M25) into a city state, leave it to raise it's own taxes, build it's own airport in the estuary etc. - you could even extended it to the South East if that made sense.

Then you move all of the UK institutions out of London, revitalising other UK cities - this includes UK government, which could go to Birmingham/Manchester (or even a virtual parliament shared with Edinburgh/Cardiff).

Job done.

Is it the end of Big Data? Quarta Horribilis for high-end storage

John L Ward

I would have replied earlier, but...

...I fell off my hype-cycle.

DON'T BREW THAT CUPPA! Your kettle could be a SPAMBOT

John L Ward

Why have a kettle curtain when you have millions of Kettle Chips?

Steve JOBS finally DEFEATS the PC - from BEYOND THE GRAVE

John L Ward

Re: Prognostication



Why next iPhone screen could be made of SAPPHIRE - and a steal...

John L Ward

Re: Ah yes, Hunting for Slags...

"My day job for the last year or so has been huntin' slags in the famous Ore Mountains" - sounds even funnier if you say it in a pirate voice...

The software industry: So efficient, we invented shelfware

John L Ward

Throw the switch, Igor...

Information has always been at the heart of IT - properly designed IT systems take the core information a business needs and models how they interact with that information, realising some elements in systems that make it happen faster, better, cheaper and without forgetting the 'wetware' bits.

Anything else is either imposition of a process by IT on the business (SAP anyone?) or the politics of the organisation (the NHS NPfIT failed because it did not understand what it was really trying to achieve and failed to control the scope of what it was delivering, a lot of due to the politics of the 'what does it mean for me' crowd).

Shelfware? The over aggressive sale of software to under-informed users desperate for a solution to past mistakes in IT decisions.

Open Source? tends to end up as nice implementations to solve a particular business problem (fragmenting information) or in larger systems that need expensive technical resource to oversee and customise, sorry configure (well we all like to twirl the propeller on out hat every now and then, don't we?)

XaaS? Again it tends to drive more information fragmentation - until someone comes up with a proper solution to orchestrating the flow of information (including service confidence monitoring, security etc.) between the crufty old in-house systems and the bright shiny clouds.

If only people spent more time looking at the arrows between the boxes in the LEAN process flow charts - each one is a 'communications event' with some 'information' passed across it - then they would understand more about what to do with that information and have a reasonable chance of ending up with a solution that worked properly with that information. Instead we rush like 5-year olds to the shiniest software vendors Christmas tree.

And as for the 80% of information the IBM say will be without provenance (i.e. unverifiable in truth or origin), by 2016 or so (that's unverifiable, I can't remember what the presentation said...) let's leave that to the 'Super Hadoopers' to give us some insight that we can test against our own known facts.

Off to get out the Tea (as a) Service and a plate(spin) of Virtual Hobnobs...

Steve Jobs to supervise iPhone 6 FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

John L Ward

Re: and...

Maybe they're using SpiritPad to get his design feedback...after all it is made by Mad Monkey Militia.

Drilling into 3D printing: Gimmick, revolution or spooks' nightmare?

John L Ward

Shurely not...

...just a focus on what it means to individuals.

If the technology improves as it surely will, at some point it will begin to affect worldwide logistics. Many cheap items have poured into Western markets based on simple mass-production and low cost shipping. Even in higher value items the reduced costs of mass-production can be seen, for instance paying more for smaller memory chips than their higher capacity replacements as the production lines tail off.

If you take 3D-printing to one logical endpoint, the economies of scale argument will yield, at least in part, to the flexibility of local supply - in the case of the washing machine part, why mass produce a part having made an expensive injection mould template, spend money producing and storing it in the hope that the 20,000 units you have made will sell out eventually (although in a decreasing return vs. cost of storage and sunk cost). Even it if moves to the professional 'print and collect' model of local (country or region-based) commercial part printers, this changes what is currently a complex logistics component (ha!) of the manufacturing cycle to the delivery of raw materials to those localised printers.

It will probably also have other, less expected effects - for instance manufacturers who design their products to be more (or let's face it, less) able to be repaired or modded using 3D printed parts - printed iPhone ear-clips anyone?...

So IMO the more interesting space is how and when it will start to impact all those container ships circling the world full of mixed goods and spare parts (which incidentally have been credited with removing one of the key advantages behind the EU economic model at about the time that the treaty was first signed...).

Bill Gates: Windows Phone strategy was 'a mistake'

John L Ward

Re: wow

Like it or hate it, I think that the reason for the mangled interface that is Win 8 is threefold:

1. MS needed to move away from the mouse-driven Start menu addicted interface that has been with us since Windows 95. They couldn't move straitght to Metro because the market (particularly the commercial market) would not have been able to take such a shift in an interface we are all too used to using, also;

2. Most of the ISVs are locked into the Start Menu paradigm and needed time to re-write their apps to work with touch rather than mouse. The real driver?

3. They realised that if they can get true integration between MS O/S's on desktop tablet and mobile then they have the ability to provide a one-size-fits all solution that the opens up the market to developers that embrace Notro. After all it's something that worked before (NT anyone?)...

I'm not saying I agree with any of this strategy, but it is almost like Windows 8 is the 'fall-guy' operating system (Vista anyone?) designed to wean consumers/developers all off the bottom left corner of the screen, because they realised that it will happen anyway.

Epic fail? Maybe, but perhaps 'betting the farm on Windows 8' seemed better than a slow death...

IBM brains ponder universe, say kids will go nuts for STEAMPUNK

John L Ward

Is it me?

"Imagine modern tech but powered by hot air."

Yes, seen a lot of that in my time, with Oracle probaly at the front of the queue - step forward Mr Ellison and recieve your brass and gunmetal self-adjusting tiepin.

Linux kernel dumps 386 chip support

John L Ward

We're all so busy thinking back...

..., yet as someone who went from home electronics (ah the joy of cutting Veroboard) through the early efforts of Sir Clive (dodgy 16k RAM packs anyone?) to the joy of the BBC B and on, I'm just wondering what kind of conversations my children (and theirs) will be having in years to come...

"What? Apple are dropping support for the A4??? What about my iPad? Steve Jobs will be spinning in his grave!"


etc. etc.

BBC Micro creators meet to TRACE machine's legacy

John L Ward

I'll never forget...

...the rocket I got from falling asleep at the Christmas table between courses, mainly because I had stayed up all the previous night playing Elite.

Ah, happy days...