* Posts by Sapient Fridge

46 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jun 2008

Study finds 268% higher failure rates for Agile software projects

Sapient Fridge

Re: Next Week

In my experience Agile is useful for projects where you have close frequent contact with an engaged customer, and most of the functionality is fairly shallow i.e. each button or interface does something fairly simple/small. What it doesn't work for is large complex functionality where the customer has no interest in the deep workings of what's going on, and just wants a simple interface which hides it all.

For my first Agile project I was the (sole) developer writing a database upgrade framework that was going to take about 2 months to get the core engine working. At the initial meeting (of eleven people) for the first sprint the product owner wanted me to generate user stories, the documenters wanted initial documentation from me, the testers wanted test plans, and the project manager said he wanted a prototype GUI with a button saying "Start upgrade" on it. He said he didn't care what the engine did when it was pressed.

I told them that I wouldn't have anything to demo/document/test for at least a month, which apparently made me "not a team player"!

The alternative to stopping climate change is untested carbon capture tech

Sapient Fridge

Sorry to disagree but humans are actually responsible for most, if not all, of the 140ppm CO2 rise. You are right that our CO2 emissions are low compared to nature, but we are adding ancient carbon on top of the natural cycle. Over 150 years it adds up to the extra 140ppm we see today.

If you have a bath where you fill it at 10 litres per minute and have water draining out at 10 litres per minute then the level won't change. If you then add even a tiny drip from another source the bath will eventually overflow. That's what humans are doing with CO2. We are digging up ancient sequestered carbon and adding it on top of the natural production/absorbtion cycle.


Robocall scammers sentenced in US after netting $1.2M via India-based call centers

Sapient Fridge

Re: broken system

Yep, TPS enforcement is a chocolate teapot. They did actually change their boilerplate slightly as it used to say that they couldn't track down the company, but it now says that they can't prove the company was responsible for the illegal call. I'm guessing they got fed up of people pointing out that the complaints contained contact details for the very company they were saying they couldn't find.

They used to send out warnings to companies, but I don't think they even do that any more. It's run by the DMA, which explains a lot. The ICO is meant to enforce the law, but don't unless a company really takes the piss.

Email! HUH! Yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing...

Sapient Fridge

Re: 20 years ago..

When I was in my late teens I had a mate who ended up homeless so crashed on my couch for a while. I was on the dole so got money fortnightly, and had only just enough money to survive. My mate was paid weekly but didn't have any money when he arrived so we agreed I'd pay the first week's food for both of us then he'd pay for the second week.

Great plan, but the stupid <redacted> blew his wages gambling and we ended up living on sweet and sour spaghetti for a week as all I had left was a big jar of sauce and a load of pasta! Bad week.

One man's mistake, missing backups and complete reboot: The tale of Europe's Galileo satellites going dark

Sapient Fridge

Re: Sounds a typical

I was part of a team brought in to upgrade a large multi-terabyte company database. We did have multiple upgrade rehearsals but these took most of a weekend each so to save time the managers decided (against our advice) to use an old snapshot of their database rather than copying the live system, which would have added 3 hours to each rehearsal. This meant we were testing against the same old static data over and over again. When the real upgrade happened it failed because the live data had something unexpected which wasn't in the test data! Guess who got the blame?

Merry Christmas, you filthy directors: ICO granted powers to fine bosses for spam calls

Sapient Fridge

Re: Identity

What you do feign interest for long enough to get them hooked, then ask for a web site address to "verify that they are a real company". Or even give them a throwaway E-mail address and wait for them to send more information and/or contracts to it. Once you have that you can prove which company it is.

Sometimes they sell the details to another company (who doesn't care that the original call was illegal). Send the the second company a SAR (Subject Access Request) asking where they purchased your personal contact information from. That works pretty reliably, and the ICO will back you up if they try to ignore you.

Cloudflare speaks out amid allegations it safeguards banned terror gangs' websites

Sapient Fridge

Re: Cloudflare are also a spam support company

Most ISPs have AUP (Acceptible Use Policy) agreements with their customers which includes no hate speech, no terrorist glorification, no spamvertised pages, no child porn etc. When abuse reports come in they investigate to see if the complaint is likely to be true, and act if it is.

Yes this is more work, but almost every ISP on the planet manages it so why can't Cloudflare? Instead they do nothing about abuse reports and make it impossible to send reports to the real host.

Sapient Fridge

Notice that their is no "spam" option on their abuse form. And that is the most common use I see of their services (spamvertised web pages).

By providing bulletproof services to spammers, and ignoring all abuse reports, they become a spam support company.

Sapient Fridge

Cloudflare are also a spam support company

I'm an anti-spammer and have been for over 20 years. I send abuse reports to the source ISP and feed/hosts of advertised web sites (and redirects) for every single spam E-mail I get. This averaged (until recently) about 3 a day, so around 1000 reports a year. I'm mentioned in "Spam Kings" and was active in NANAE for years (obscure reference for anti-spammers).

Most ISPs take down obvious spammer sites rapidly but Cloudflare "mirrored" web sites are always a pain because Cloudflare refuses to act on abuse reports (no matter how much evidence they get) and they hide the IP address of the mirrored host which makes it hard to make the real host aware of the problem.

Fortunately Cloudflare's system isn't infallible and occasionally and, if you ping enough, you sometimes get the original web site IP. The last time this happened the real host ISP (xglobe.com in this case) investigated immediately after I contacted them. Their customer's rogue binary trading "affiliate" was kicked off and the customer donated £1000 to Children in Need as compensation for the amount of effort I had put in (67 abuse reports, one for each spam I received). I can prove all of this on request.

I have no problem with free speech, but I do have a problem with Cloudflare providing bulletproof services to spammers. Spam is illegal and is *not* free speech. I note that Cloudflare rules are not blanket rules as, for example, they (absolutely correctly) ban mirroring child porn, so they obviously have control over what they allow.

You will also note that Cloudflare's abuse report page has no "abuse type" category for spam, even though that is the most use I see of their services:


In my opinion they are a spam support company.

Arctic summer ice cover is 31st highest ever recorded

Sapient Fridge

Re: This again?

The denial of climate change in the face of peer reviewed science and events that are obvious to everyone puts everything that The Register publishes into doubt. Perhaps their tech articles have the same bias and lack of fact checking that their climate change articles do?

Scientific consensus that 2014 was record hottest year? No

Sapient Fridge

Re: Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

Anonymous Coward wrote:

> Just who actually stated "30 years" as the magical boundary between

> weather and climate first?

The World Meteorological Organization:


Defines climate as:

Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the "average weather", or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.

The reason for picking 30 years is that it is long enough to average out natural variation such as ENSO. As soon as you look at 30 year periods then the current warming trend is completely obvious.

Sapient Fridge

Picking ever shorter time periods to deny climate change

So the climate change "skeptics" have finally given up on saying that the temperature hasn't risen since 1998, and are now choosing ever later dates such as 2005?

Climate changes slowly. Of course if you choose a short period of time it's possible to say that it's not certain that temperature rose in that time, because natural variation swamps the signal. That's what the whole article is about, and it's misleading.

Look at the temperature record over the 30 years that climate scientists use as the period to define climate change. What do you see?

Also there never was a pause or hiatus:


UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines

Sapient Fridge

Taking text/Email/cold callers to court

Ofcom won't do anything, but the ICO will sometimes take action if there are enough complaints.



You can take private action, which has worked out well quite profitably for some people:


Much of the information there applies to cold callers as well. The key is to identify the calling company so you can take action against them.

Fed-up bloke takes email spammers to court – and wins piles of cash

Sapient Fridge

Taking text/Email spammers to court

I've got a web page about taking text/email spammers to court if anyone wants to give it a shot:


Payday loan firms are the WORST. Ugh, my mobe's FILLED with filthy SPAM

Sapient Fridge

Getting your own back on SMS spammers

If you reply positively to the spam text then you will get a return phone call. Play along until you work out who the company is, then turn the tables by reporting them to the ICO and ASA:



The law the spammers are breaking is as follows. Note that it makes no provision for sending to a dodgy "opt-in" list bought from someone on the net:

The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003


In sections 22(1) says:

"Except in the circumstances referred to in paragraph (3), a person shall neither transmit, nor instigate the transmission of, unsolicited communications for the purposes of direct marketing by means of electronic mail unless the recipient of the electronic mail has previously notified the sender that he consents for the time being to such communications being sent by, or at the instigation of, the sender."

and section 2(1) says:

"“electronic mail” means any text, voice, sound or image message sent over a public electronic communications network which can be stored in the network or in the recipient’s terminal equipment until it is collected by the recipient and includes messages sent using a short message service; "

Greenland ice did not melt in baking +8°C era 120k years ago

Sapient Fridge

It was certainly hot in America last year so by your reasoning they should have had a bumper harvest. Let's see how that worked out:


We may gain some crop growing areas, but you forget about all the growing areas that will be lost from seawater flooding, droughts and temperatures too high for current crops in those areas to cope with.


Inside the new climate row as Mystic Met Office goes cool on warming

Sapient Fridge

The meme that there has been no warming in 16 years is false

The Met Office predictions are lower than previous predictions, but note that they are still rising.

The global heat content of the planet has continued to rise over the last 16 years and surface temperatures are also rising, but that is not a long enough period to be considered statistically significant (which means that it has a 95% probabilty of not being by chance). Climate is never statistically significant over such a short period of time:

Look at the excellent video on the page for a very clear graphical explanation what is going on:


Look at it this way, the freak warm El Nino year of 1998 has now become the new "normal" temperature. Does that suggest no warming to you? How about the fact that 4.3 trillion tons of ice has melted in last 8 years?


When will the Register start getting its news from real science rather than AGW denier blogs?

CO2 warms Earth FASTER than previously thought

Sapient Fridge

Re: Eh ?


Sapient Fridge

Re: What the paper in question really says...

Warming oceans release CO2, which then results in more warming i.e. it is a feedback loop and CO2 amplifies natural warming. That means CO2 normally lags the initial temperature rise. The natural cause of that initial temperature rise is the Milankovitch cycles.

This time CO2 leads temperature rise rather than following it. but that doesn't mean that CO2 won't do what it always does and raise the temperature:


Ice age end was accelerated by CO2

Sapient Fridge

Re: How ironic

Can you support your first statement with a peer reviewed science paper? Nope?

The planet *is* still warming and the signal is obvious is you remove the temporary current cooling of La Nina, the solar cycle and aerosols:


Also see:


To see the answers to other AGW denier myths and misinformation see:


Sapient Fridge


Who said anything about Holocaust deniers? Nobody but you.

AGW deniers are something completely different, any connection exists only in your own mind.

Sapient Fridge

Re: But warming leads CO2 concentration, so...

Ice ages start when orbital positioning means that less sun falls on the northern hemisphere. Ice builds up which then reflects more sunlight, giving a negative feedback.


If CO2 rises high enough then it will override this effect and cause the ice to melt, giving a positive feedback. See the explanations for how snowball Earth ended:


To further complicate matters, if temperature rises enough from another cause (e.g. solar variation) then it can warm the oceans enough to release significant amounts of dissolved CO2. That then causes more warming. This is another positive feedback:


Medieval warming was global – new science contradicts IPCC

Sapient Fridge

So, does The Register do corrections?


Zunli Lu:

“It is unfortunate that my research, “An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula,” recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, has been misrepresented by a number of media outlets.

Several of these media articles assert that our study claims the entire Earth heated up during medieval times without human CO2 emissions. We clearly state in our paper that we studied one site at the Antarctic Peninsula. The results should not be extrapolated to make assumptions about climate conditions across the entire globe. Other statements, such as the study “throws doubt on orthodoxies around global warming,” completely misrepresent our conclusions. Our study does not question the well-established anthropogenic warming trend.”

Sapient Fridge

Re: So how *many* samples are needed to get *acceptance* of some evidence?

The hockey stick shape shows up whichever proxy you choose, not just tree rings:


You have fallen for the AGW denier propaganda.

Sapient Fridge

Other planets are not warming, and H2O s a feedback not a forcing

The other planets are not warming:


and water vapour is a feedback, not a forcing, because the amount of water vapour the atmosphere holds is directly linked to the temperature. As soon as the atmosphere cools the water vapour condenses out again, but CO2 stays put.


Water vapour is part of the feedback caused by CO2, and has to be taken into account when calculating the temperature rise from added CO2. Higher CO2 causes warming, which causes evaporation, which gives more water vapour, so more warming etc.

See here for answers to further AGW denier myths and misinformation:


Sapient Fridge

Re: Is this a news article or an op-ed?

The Register gets its "science" from WUWT, this was published yesterday:


which explains the bias.

Sapient Fridge

More head in the sand science reporting from The Register

Antartica is not the globe, and several proxies show cooling areas during the MWP which you carefully ignore. You need to look at the global picture:


You are basically cherry picking which proxies you report on, and ignoring the ones which contradict you. It's called confirmation bias.

But even if it were warmer in the MWP it wouldn't help the AGW denier case because there would have been a natural reason for that warmth. In fact it is known that solar input was high and volcanic aerosols low at that time, which would explain some warming.

Your problem is that those influences are not happening now. The sun's input has been stable (or declining slightly) since the 1970's but the global temperature has risen dramatically. Why? Where is the energy to melt 4.3 trillion tonnes of ice in the last 8 years coming from?

The global temperature doesn't change without cause you know.

Pacific nation prepares to flee rising seas

Sapient Fridge

Re: And on cue...

Wow, cherry picking just over a year's data. At this rate you will soon be claiming that sea levels aren't rising because clearly it falls twice a day.

Sea level is noisy because of the amount of water taken out of the sea and dumped on land as rain, especially in La Nina years. You have to look at the long term trend to see what is happening.


Oceans gaining ACID faster than last 300 MILLION YEARS

Sapient Fridge

Re: Optional

Perhaps if you read the paper then your questions as to how the scientists know the PH has changed over the last 300 million years would be answered.

Heartland Institute documents leaked

Sapient Fridge

Re: Y2Kyoto

So your argument against AGW is that not enough scientists support it? Have a look at the statistics again:


"A survey of 3146 earth scientists asked the question "Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?" (Doran 2009). More than 90% of participants had Ph.D.s, and 7% had master’s degrees. Overall, 82% of the scientists answered yes. However, what are most interesting are responses compared to the level of expertise in climate science. Of scientists who were non-climatologists and didn't publish research, 77% answered yes. In contrast, 97.5% of climatologists who actively publish research on climate change responded yes. As the level of active research and specialization in climate science increases, so does agreement that humans are significantly changing global temperatures."

Basically the more you know about the subject the more you understand that it is real. The reason a lot of scientists don't get involved directly is that standing up for the science nowadays invites attacks from people who have fallen for oil industry propaganda.

Sapient Fridge

Re: Re: AGW denier propaganda

Here's a list of things that would falsify AGW:

1) CO2 is found not to absorb and re-emit infrared radiation after all

2) CO2 levels in the atmosphere found not to be rising

3) Infrared radiation emitted from the planet in the CO2 bands found to be unchanged, even though CO2 levels are rising

4) Same for infrared reflected back down to ground level from the atmosphere

5) Another energy source is found to fully explain the temperature rise

6) Temperatures fall over several decades

Now what would falsify your position? Nothing? Hmm, tables turned I feel.

If you actually looked at the science you would find that the number of record high temperatures being recorded is outnumbering record cold temperatures 2:1, which is exactly what one expects in a warming world:


Temperatures only look stable if you cherry pick land and atmosphere datasets for short periods of time and which don't cover what's happening in the oceans and the poles:


On top of that there are several natural cooling trends at the moment (solar cycle, La Nina and aerosols) but if you take them out you get a much clearer view of the underlying trend:


Perhaps you would like to answer my question as to where you think the energy to melt 4.3 trillion tonnes of ice has come from, given solar input is declining?

Sapient Fridge

Re: Not actually much money relatively.

The only reason current energy supplies are cheap is that we are dumping much of the costs (and damage) on future generations to deal with. They will not thank us for doing this.

Raising the cost of fossil fuel use increases investment in clean energy supplies so they become cheaper. Eventually fossil fuels can be phased out, but this will take time.


Economic study after study has shown that dealing with the problem now will be *much* cheaper than trying to deal with it once the damage is done and we are commited to a far warmer planet e.g.


Sapient Fridge

AGW denier propaganda

In case you hadn't noticed, governments around the world are desperately short of money while oil companies are announcing massive profits. The oil industry has a vast amount more money to spend, and lose, over this issue which is why they are desperately trying to cloud the facts and "dissuading teachers from teaching science".

Look here to see the answers to the myths, misinformation and propaganda being spread by the AGW deniers:


All backed up by peer reviewed science. Where are the science backed denier arguments?

The recent report from the GRACE satellite data shows that 4.3 trillion tonnes of ice melted in the last 8 years alone:


The energy needed to melt that is 1.43405x10^21 J or, to put it into context, the output of a 1GW power station running for over 45,000 years. That energy is only a *fraction* of the energy that has gone into heating up the oceans in the same time period!

Where do you think that all the energy is coming from, given that incoming solar energy has been *decreasing* slightly over the last 30 years?

Headmaster freezes schoolkids for Gaia

Sapient Fridge

Charcoal only returns recently captured CO2

You are correct that charcoal has high CO2 emissions, but since that carbon was recently captured from the atmosphere in the first place it makes no long term difference.

Burning fossil fuel adds CO2 which was removed from the atmosphere millions of years ago. It's a completely different scenario.

Greens threaten to sue over solar power cash slash

Sapient Fridge

> Yes, this is a societal investment in renewables, as are subsidies

> for fossil fuels (never mentioned by Andrew. Ever.).

Andrew never mentions the subsidies for nuclear energy either. In fact the only subsidies he complains about are the ones for renewable energy sources. Biased? Yep.

Massive study concludes: 'Global warming is real'

Sapient Fridge

Nuclear fission might be a solution, if there was enough uranium. If you take the known reserves of uranium and work out how long it would power the world's electricity needs (ignoring non-electricity uses e.g. petrol for now) if other power sources were phased out then it comes out at about 12 years supply.

Thorium and breeder reactors could possibly solve that problem, but breeder reactors are slow at producing fuel and not currently economical, and thorium reactors are unproven technology. In addition nuclear reactors take a long time to build, and have serious political and waste disposal issues.

Toxic Plankton feeds on Android Market for two months

Sapient Fridge

My grey import Desire HD upgraded to 2.3 just fine

I actually have a Thai HTC Desire HD because that's what simplyelectronics.co.uk shipped me when I ordered one in the UK (I must admit I wasn't very happy when I realised I'd been sold a grey import, but that's another story).

HTC released the 2.3 upgrade for the European region last month, the Thai one was about 3 weeks behind. It arrived last week and installed without problem. So it's not true that they can't be upgraded here but you do have to wait for HTC to issue the upgrade for the phone's original region.

Use of Weapons declared best sci-fi film never made

Sapient Fridge

Feersum Endjinn

Feersum Endjinn is the only Ian Banks book that I found impossible to read, well not impossible but running the continual phonetic to word translation in my head was more work than fun. I gave up about 1/3 through as I just wasn't enjoying it.

Global warming is actually good for rainforests, say boffins

Sapient Fridge

evolution happens very s..l..o..w..l..y

And how many years ago was the "fookin big rock" and how long did it take for life on the planet to recover? I'll give you a clue, both answers are in the millions of years range.

Sapient Fridge

A fine example of AGW denier spin

Spin is best when it's mostly truth and simply misses out a few inconvenient facts. The article is a great example of this.

Yes, the planet has been hotter in the past. Yes, it has had more CO2. Yes, the jungles were lush, and yes, life will adapt. Everything in the article is true, the only thing missing is the amount of time it will take life to adapt to the new warmer conditions. It's millions of years.

The problem is that evolution happens very s..l..o..w..l..y and the planet is warming far faster than nature can adapt. This is why the extinction rate is thousands of times higher than the background rate. The planet has *never* warmed up as fast as it is doing now.

Asus offers Brits Eee PC 900 battery swap plan

Sapient Fridge

Grey imports?

I bought an Asus 900 when I noticed that the El Reg review back in April linked to a supplier who claimed to have them in stock.

Interestingly it arrived with a 5800mAh battery but an American keyboard so I suspect it was some kind of dodgy, grey import ;-)

Nice box, very happy with it. I also picked up a 6600mAh from Amazon UK which seems to work fine (though I fully expect it to explode any day now)