* Posts by Robin

34 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

Yahoo! co-founder takes open road against Google


Lack of integration hurts Yahoo

I think one issue with Yahoo is that it has a lot of high quality services (Flickr, Delicious, YUI, Search, Mail) but somehow the integration (beyond a common login) just isn't there. It's kind of strange because they acquired some really popular apps such as Delicious, but don't seem to have a strategy for integrating that into it's other services. In fact go to the Delicious homepage and you'd struggle to realise it is run by Yahoo. With Google on the otherhand you are never more than about 3 clicks away from any of its services.

I've been using Yahoo Mail since 1997, yet that is about the only Yahoo service I use in earnest. It's pretty much Google for everything else, eventhough Yahoo offers the same sort of products.

Jobless Brits face influx of foreign IT workers


@ @Jim (AC):

"Overseas employees - Has anyone met one who can speak intelligible English?"

UK based employees - Has anyone noticed how poor their German, French, Spanish or Italian is??

Fact is most foreigners speak good enough English to get a job in England. Most Englanders speak no foreign language whatsoever. Hence: 1m foreigners working here. 200k Englanders working abroad (stats from a post above).

But TimNevins got it right: The real problem is Capitalism and shareholders. Bank A makes 10bn profit by investing in dodgy US properties. Thus Bank B must invest in dodgy US properties in order to appease its shareholders. Bank A goes bust because said dodgy properties are worthless. Bank B goes bust for same reason.

Likewise IT Co. A makes extra 100m profit by offfshoring junior roles. IT Co. B must follow suit or be destroyed by shareholders selling out.

Google blames Gmail outage on data centre collapse


@A FREE service

Some people are paying for this service

I would have thought maybe google would have two systems running. One for the free users and one for the paid for users. Then they could try out all their changes on the free users first...

Also interesting how when Google suffer an outage the public reaction is like: "no worries, these things happen", but when it's anyone else (eg Microsoft or even Yahoo) it's "Bunch of losers, waste of space, Kill Bill".

Google on trial over Italian 'defamation' vid


It's not black or white

There's no need to moderate 100% of all videos. Once you trust a user to post sensible stuff, there's no need moderate them further. What is not acceptable is that ANYONE can sign-up to YouTube and post ANYTHING without some kind check. The BBC fully understands this. Why is it so difficult for Google to understand this? Hiding behind freedom of speech simply not acceptable.

With freedom also comes responsibility. Otherwise it's anarchy.


This is serious guys

I think a little more respect is needed from the previous posters as to what actually happened and to simply say Google is 100% not responsible is simply sticking your head in the sand. I've never used YouTube. I just created an account, logged in and uploaded a video. The only warning re laws was a box to the left which explicitly mentions copyright laws but makes no mention of privacy laws. You will find these in the community guidelines if you look hard enough. And even then it is not explicit that you are not allowed to upload defamous material - it simply waffles on about respect. I think Google needs to ask users to click a checkbox on each upload to acknowledge that they know they are not allowed to publish defamous material. This sounds like overkill and it probably is, but Google can't just wash it's hands of this and say we took it down a month later. With YouTube Google is a publisher and therefore needs to abide by them same publishing laws as others. Whilst it is obviously not possible to moderate every single uploaded video, maybe they should take a leaf out of the BBC's book. Your first few uploads are moderated until Google are certain you're a not a juvenile 15 year old uploading harmful material. This is not rocket science. It is good for the community and respectful.

Russian rides Phantom to OS immortality


@Christian Berger: Vaporware???

With a name like Phantom? Surely not...

C dominated 2008's open-source project nursery


@Jamie Kitson

Agree 100% In fact more releases might well = worse as things get patched due to the poor quality in previous releases. They should be using a mixture of metrics such as commits, committers, downloads and so on. I imagine though, that then they would actually, you know, have to do some work for the report rather than just auto analyse a bunch of stats on open source sites.

Steve Jobs takes medical leave from Apple to focus on health

Jobs Halo

Why the dig Gates?

This is an article about Jobs's health, so why do some childish fanboys still feel the need to take a dig at Gates in the comments (essentially wishing him dead)? Jobs has been truly visionary in PC market and I hope he recovers in the near future. But, despite what anyone claims, so has Gates. Without Gates we might all still be locked into expensive bespoke IBM solutions.

Microsoft and HP tackle SQL-injection scourge


So, if it's easy to code against why does no one provide the solution here?

So, if it's easy to code against why does no one provide the solution here?

I think @Confusion has it correct. Sql-injection traditionaly surely means preventing a query being run on the DB that was created from a malicious form field value. This is obviously coded against using parameterised queries. And if you're not doing that then you shouldn't be writing SQL queries in your code.

BUT if you're talking about malicious HTML and JS content being stored in your DB, then I am not sure the above parameterised queries will make any difference.

So all you clever cloggs out there: how exactly do you do this?

easyJet warns Expedia: 'Hands off our flights'

Thumb Down

Expedia are cheaper than BA though

Hmm, I always book with Expedia for my regular business flights because they are about £10 cheaper than buying it directly from the airline - BA in my case.

On the otherhand I just found out that flights booked through Expedia don't automatically get added to the BA Miles and more program even if you provide them the your club number. Maybe it's worth paying that extra 10 quid!

Microsoft says ‘hasta la vista XP’ - well, kinda


@Seanie Ryan

"I remember when I first booted Win2k and the message on screen said "Built on NT Technology". laughed myself silly. 'Drive our new car, its built on the chasis of one 5 years ago'"

Er, most new cars are probably built on chasis designed 5 years ago.

India and Belgium decry Chinese cyber attacks


@Graham Dawson

The Hague happens to be in Holland....

Microsoft could go it alone without Yahoo!


@Richard Foersom

There's lies, damn lies and statistics or something like that.

Yahoo.com is top of the list, that is true. But Google takes up much of the rest of the top 40.

Why is this? If you go to yahoo.co.uk you end up on uk.yahoo.com, which is therefore a hit for yahoo.com not yahoo.co.uk. This does not happen on Google.

A quick count of Google sites in the top 40: 14

A quick count of Yahoo site in the top 40: 3

I believe Google is the most visited company on the web. But this is only a belief as I have no stats on the matter....

Yahoo! to post Google ads on Yahoo!


Re: Good or bad

"On the other hand, if Google start getting into bed with them, we're letting yet another IT giant creep towards a monopoly"

I thought Google already were the search engine monopoly. Does anybody actually use Yahoo Search, Live or Ask??? The only people I know who use Live are ones who don't know they are using it because they think a browser is the web and it happens to be IE on their machine.

Nokia coughs up €200m over axed German workers


@John Band

Actually Tom's Math was wrong, since the pay off, if calculated his way is 86K in Euros not $. I doubt very much all of that figure will be going to ex-employees (at least not directly). But I agree that a 50K Euro payoff would not be unusual for a skilled worker in Germany.

Should Europeans pay to receive phone calls?


re: did anyone actually read the article properly?

Seems not. My understanding is that they are referring to the termination fees on local calls, not on all calls. And if you bundle the receive fees into the monthly allowance I guess no one will know anyway. And as Chris Miller stated it already happens when you're abroad.

To those on contracts I doubt it would make much difference as you get so many free minutes anyway nowadays. Pay-as-you-go could be screwed though.

Bill Gates chuckles at Google Apps

IT Angle

Re: Re: I forget...

AC, are you an Apple fan boy

"Windows - Xerox/Apple"

Didn't know Xerox and Apple were one company. It actually was:

Windows/Apple - Xerox.

But I think Ian "What are all the documents for?" has got it spot on. Who actually uses 99% of any MS Office application? They are so complicated I often can't even get basic formatting right and resort to typing the thing in an HTML editor or a Writeboard on basecamp. So much for increased Office productivity. But then if stuff actually worked and were easy to use all those support employees and consultants would be out of a job.

Microsoft! bids! $44.6bn! for! Yahoo!


Google search to take 90% market share overnight

Presumably one of the main reasons for such a takeover would be to get the Yahoo share of the search market. I suspect a takeover by MS would drive most Yahoo searchers to Google though....

Gates Halo


What, you mean like Google?

Yahoo! readies! jobs! purge?


Re: The Problem with Yahoo!

And also that they spend money on useless stuff like Yahoo Pipes. Where's the value to Yahoo in that? Compare that to Google Maps....

DVLA's 5m driver details giveaway


Re: did this m yself recently

On the otherhand is anybody's info at the DLA actually still up-to-date. I know I haven't given them my new address since I got my licence 15 years ago.... good job too!!!

Mozilla hits back at Firefox 3 quality slur


Thank you AC

@Anonymous Coward:

Thanks for explaining to me why my firefox keeps on crashing on me. I also have firebug (on by default) and it FF has been crashing several times daily recently. Not goog at all. Am thinking of switching back to IE7!

Confused BBC tech chief: Only 600 Linux users visit our website



"User don't choose windows?" Do they not??? I use Windows every day BY CHOICE. I am perfectly capable of getting Linux on my PC or using a Mac, but I've not seen anything there that is SO much better that it's worth changing to. No one is forced to buy a PC with Windows on it. There are alternatives. The "They don't have a choice" argument is just completely bogus.

As for the BBC. They should make their player available to all. But I am getting quite alarmed at how much of the licence fee is being spent on "IT". The BBC should be about programming and news. Not building ground breaking IT apps.

Long lunching Luddites show world how to do IT


La merde

@James Anderson

The whole of Paris stinks of la merde, that's why so many perfume companies are french I believe....


Vive la France

France is poorly understood by anybody with an anglo saxon background. They do things their way and it works about as well as any other way. With regards to technology in general, without France there would be no European space industry, no Airbus and no Eurostar.

Germans plan 578m-high überpyramid


Is this a joke?

Are these guys serious. Their site uses wordpress and you can sign up for free? They then promise to fix GMail's spam problem and also let you provide a url which gets posted on their website. Sounds like an interesting mix between dodgy link exchange program and an undertaker's spam list.

Newest Ubuntu dubbed 'Hardy Heron'


Re: Double take

"...would Vista be Worthless Weakling or Woeful Wanker"

Are you implying that we only have three more windows releases left (XYZ) before M$ go bust or something?

Patch Tuesday update triggered Skype outage



My contribution: is correcting a misleading comment about the BBC (and no I don't work for them or use their services very much).


Re: Interesting BBC spin...

"Given all the online talk recently about the spooky, near clandestine, links between Microsoft and the BBC I find it very interesting that the BBC news version of this story doesn't mention Microsoft or Patch tuesday at all."

Actually it does. This is how misinformation starts, through misinformed comments linked, tagged, pinged and trackbacked across the web....

Power outage knocks out major websites


Not good enough

This has happened a couple of times to the hosts I use. It is always the backup generators and I think this becoming something of a joke. They are obviously not maintained properly and not adapted to cope with increased number of servers. If I am paying good money for hosting which claims to have backup generators then I can expect them to work during a power outage. Is that so difficult?

Net radio saved from certain death


Setup shop somewhere else

Why don't all these internet radio stations simply shift their servers off shore. End of story. All taxes will then go to some carribean island and the RIAA will have no control whatsoever over the radio stations. Sounds good to me!

How to sniff out private information on Facebook


re: Bug

AKA as "a feature".

'IE8 compatible' - the cure for web standards headache?


What about the doctype?

And there's me thinking that I should use the doctype statement at the top of the file to define which standard I want to use.

Stupid me...

Is the relational database now a commodity?


Another word from a developer

I entirely agree with Micha.

But this all depends on the application being developed. I get the impression that nearly all of the DBAs discussing the merits of one DB or another are missing the point in terms of most database driven applications developed today. That is I would estimate that at least 90% of such applications will never have a need for any specialist feature of all the big DB manufacturers because they will never experience such huge demand. I'm talking about small agencies developing small, low volume, websites for many different clients. Such clients couldn't care less about the DB. For such developers systems such as Hibernate, Ruby on Rails or Subsonic are a godsend exactly because they cut out the entire DB layer. Sure Yahoo or Amazon will never be able to run their systems using off the shelf ORM tools, but then most applications are not Yahoo or Amazon.

Where I work I am the only developer which means I have to do everything from front end HTML and JavaScript to DB administration. I am not an expert in any of these but am sufficiently capable to work well in all of these areas. We use MySql and it is perfect for our needs because a) it is cheap and b) it is quick (or at least quick enough). We may soon be moving to MS Sql Server because this integrates better with .Net framework we use. 3 years ago we simply honestly didn't have the cash to spend 5k on a DB. Now we do. What I am trying to illustrate here is the needs and possibilities of the developer and his client are the biggest factor in making these decisions.

If you have the cash to employ a full time DBA then obviously you'd better make sure you are using the most appropriate DB. Until such a time the question is not relevant in my view. And if you run into DB optimisation issues before you can employ a full time DBA then there is something wrong with your business plan!