* Posts by Andy 73

366 posts • joined 9 Jul 2009


As Europe hopes to double its share of global chip production, Intel comes along with $20bn, plans for fabs

Andy 73

"But not Brexit Britain"

.. well of course not - they're after the 8bn subsidy, not giving a vote of confidence for the political leadership of the EU.

...who are in turn panicking over global supply chains. It looks like the new fabs will all come on line just about the time we go through the bust phase of the chip supply cycle.

Richard Branson uses two planes to make 170km round trip

Andy 73

Miserable and small minded

What a shameful article.

One of the reasons Bezos has had the success he has had, is that America celebrates and supports success of it's citizens - even the ones who (like Bezos) manipulate the tax system to reduce their outgoings to a bare minimum.

To read an article where there is an apparent need to do anything to 'take the piss' of a hard won achievement is quite frankly unpleasant.

Grow up.

Robots still suck. It's all they can do to stand up – never mind rise up

Andy 73

Re: Musk, are you listening?

I think you've missed the point that, with Autopilot Musk is selling everyone robots, with grand claims of their abilities for autonomous control.

Andy 73

Musk, are you listening?

Are you in there, Musk?

Microsoft: Behold, at some later date, the next generation of Windows

Andy 73

Poor Show, The Register

Satya does a whole presentation with a ZX80 sitting on the shelf behind him, and you didn't notice?

Watchdog 'enables Tesla Autopilot' with string, some weight, a seat belt ... and no actual human at the wheel

Andy 73

Defending Tesla

Fascinating to see people rushing to defend Tesla here, "Idiots will be idiots".

Yes that's true, but knowing that, perhaps it would be a good idea not to give known idiots the easy means to kill themselves and those around them, whilst claiming "This thing drives itself!" ?

The 40-Year-Old Version: ZX81's sleek plastic case shows no sign of middle-aged spread

Andy 73

Bluto - mysaterious expansion card

Close examination suggests the mysterious expansion card is the little known Sinclair WiFi Receiver.

Truly ahead of its time.

Amazon turns Victorian industrialist with $2bn building project to house workers near new headquarters

Andy 73

Quite in Favour

The Cadbury development dramatically improved worker's housing, and is still used as an example of progressive and socially aware architecture.

Given that there is a death spiral of housing costs and worker pay in high-tech communities in America, it seems quite a good idea to take the price of putting a roof over your head out of the equation. Optimistically, we could even see innovation in modern homes and communities.

Ultimately, though the article tries to paint this as an example of Victorian-style oppression, workers have a choice to go there or not. People willingly moved to the new developments like Cadburys (and ultimately formed major cities in the UK) because it was a damn sight better than living in a rural hovel.

And now for something completely different: A lightweight, fast browser that won't slurp your data

Andy 73

Good to see

Good to see this still evolving, and a refreshing change from the all-guns-blazing announcements from VC-backed dream factories.

Cabinet Office takes over control of UK government data: Mundane machinery or Machiavellian manoeuvrings?

Andy 73

Re: You know you're in trouble..

Just replying to myself here.

Cadwalladr having to hand over £62,000+ for not being able to produce any evidence whatsoever for the Russian influence claims she made should be a deep embarrassment to those who fawned over her. Withdrawal of the defense of "truth" from her court case with Banks, despite so much support suggests that (to put it politely), she "made up" the stories that got her so much attention.

I'm sure this will add to my collection of thumbs down, but there you go.

Andy 73

You know you're in trouble..

..when Carole Cadwalladr is being sited as a news source. She is obsessed with conspiracy theories around the Referendum and the Tories.

The exodus continues: Less than half of contractors expect to stick with their employment set-up after IR35

Andy 73

Re: Reality is not agreeing

You may have to wait for HMRC to release any figures - it's not the done thing to set policy based on actual data. Instead, vague threats and faith based policies are to be pursued.

This should be a real embarrassment for our Government, right at the time where agile support for new businesses, SMEs and greenfield projects are most needed.

Why is IoT locked in 'proof-of-concept hell'? Stakeholders don't talk to each other, and return on investment is hazy

Andy 73


If the benefit of some huge investment in IoT 'stuff' is so unclear, or so diffuse throughout a business that no-one can become passionate about it, then no-one is going to champion it.

Proof of concept usually limits itself to "is this technically possible?". The problem is "Is this adding sufficient value?" Until one (or possibly two) stakeholders can say "yes", then we have a Mexican standoff, with everyone waiting for someone else to pull the trigger.

Alternatively, if your IoT thing only becomes valuable once everyone has fully invested in it, then - short of the CEO becoming an evangelist overnight - no company will risk adopting it.

Immediate and localised reward is necessary. "What do I get for investing in this gadget for my department?"

UK privacy watchdog wraps up probe into Cambridge Analytica and... it was all a little bit overblown, no?

Andy 73

Re: ICO is a Chocolate Teapot

I assume that means it didn't give the answer you wanted it to give?

Tech ambitions said to lie at heart of Britain’s bonkers crash-and-burn Brexit plan

Andy 73


I can't see the point in trying to have a grown up conversation about how to improve innovation, research and business growth in the UK, when the mere mention of Brexit, Cummings or any current political party will bring all of the frothing loons out of the woodwork arguing that we can't/ won't/ shouldn't do whatever the other frothing loons insist we can/ will/ must do.

For what it's worth, if we are to replace initiatives like Horizon2020 and other research and innovation friendly schemes, we should do so with our local knowledge base, workforce and skill set in mind. On the whole I think such schemes are good, if rather heavy on procedure and documentation.

Equally, Cummings is a big fan of the idea of a UK equivalent of DARPA, funding 'moon shot' projects and encouraging emerging technologies. Again, I don't think it's a bad idea.

As a country, for various reasons, we are not very good at risk, early business growth and long term market ownership. However, we've got some very smart guys who drive real innovation and deliver engineering excellence that brings the whole world to our doorstep. That suggests that we should think carefully how we handle funding and finance.

Not going to happen though, because the political infighters will be too busy ripping each others' heads off.

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory

Andy 73


Can someone with a good grasp of English go over this article and sort it out please?

All-electric plane makes first flight – while lugging 2 tons of batteries aloft

Andy 73

Not really new..

Yuneec (which at the time was 50% British owned) developed the E430 Commercial 2 seater aircraft eleven years ago. It won various awards but was sadly not developed further.


Author of infamous Google diversity manifesto drops lawsuit against web giant

Andy 73


In the rush to demonise him, a small portion of the internet are only serving to bolster cases like his.

Yes, of course his memo was supremely badly judged, sexist and all the rest - but the reaction to it shows all the characteristics of a purity spiral (go look it up). He's gone from being a socially maladjusted geek (hardly rare in this industry) to being a fascist sympathiser in just a handful of comments.

Ex-Imagination Technologies boss tells UK Foreign Affairs Committee: Britain needs to stop overseas asset stripping

Andy 73

Re: And who will pay ?

Companies don't *have* to be sold.

Andy 73

Security and stability

The recent pandemic has been a timely reminder that, even ignoring security, the last couple of decades' rush to globalisation has resulted in chains of production and ownership that are highly dependent on a status quo.

We saw this sudden awareness of structural risk emerge from the 2008 financial crisis - but didn't extend that awareness to physical production and intellectual property. We should be clear that the financial benefit of handing production and ownership offshore can result in structural risk and a long term weakening of our ability to compete, produce and innovate.

I'm doing this to stop humans ripping off brilliant ideas by computers and aliens, says guy unsuccessfully filing patents 'invented' by his AI

Andy 73

Lawyers will currently be pulling up their sleeves...

...they just need to convince USPTO to accept machine generated patent applications, write some dumb-ass software to mash together every word and phrase in the USPTO database, and hey presto, everything that could every be invented will be patented in one fell swoop.

"And pray that we find intelligent life in space/because there's bugger all down here on earth"

IBM Watson GPU cloud cluster Brexits from London to Frankfurt – because GDPR

Andy 73

Re: Genuinely...

Fascinated by the down votes on that first post. How many years have we been banging on about the infrastructure and processes needed to do stuff in the cloud?

Saying that we should be ready and able to do this by now, even for large systems, should not be controversial.

Andy 73

Re: Genuinely...

"Perhaps it's a lack of imagination on your part if you can't envision a scenario where complex long-running operations on petabytes of data might be tricky to move."

Been there, done that - nine petabytes of data moved. Sure, it wasn't a standard deployment cycle, but it was a thing we were prepared and able to do.

But note that the article specifically said "Customers do not need to move their data".

I can (and do) imagine far worse problems!

Andy 73


...if moving from one server to another is difficult for you in this day and age, you might need to think about your software practises.

Internet Archive opens National Emergency Library with unlimited lending of 1.4m books for stuck-at-home netizens amid virus pandemic

Andy 73

Current copyright terms ignored... the world keeps turning

It won't happen, but just imagine we take a dispassionate look at the amount of 'damage' done by making these books available, compared to the number of authors actually significantly affected by the decision.

It's timely that Tom Scott has done an excellent piece on copyright on YouTube, arguing for shorter terms for copyright so that society as a whole might benefit without materially affecting more than a handful of creators (the very, very rare exceptions who still benefit materially from their work over fifty years after they publish).

Unfortunately, a balanced call for moderation in these matters is drowned out by corporates who benefit from endless extension, and freeloaders who want to pretend that any copyright at all is unfair on consumers. Still, it's a nice experiment...

That upgrade from Java 8 to 11 you've been putting off? UK fintech types at Revolut 'quite happy' after a year in production

Andy 73

Re: "Software gets new features"

Rather misunderstanding the longevity and consistency of Java, there.

This is a language and VM that has been around for nearly twenty four years, with remarkably little breakage. Libraries and the core VM have been compatible for the majority of that time, with breaking changes only occurring when the current 'state of the art' has advanced so much that the old way of doing it can no longer be supported.

It speaks volumes that they were willing to upgrade everything - if breakage was a serious concern, it would have been easy to keeps parts of the system wrapped in containers running older VMs.

If you're writing code in Python, JavaScript, Java and PHP, relax. The hot trendy languages are still miles behind, this survey says

Andy 73


Burned into my memory

Brexit Britain changes its mind, says non, nein, no to Europe's unified patent court – potentially sealing its fate

Andy 73

Brexit Filter

I'm a little confused. After years of critical reporting of the mess going on at the EPO, and the lengthy delays over UPC, suddenly El Reg has decided it's the best idea evah, and killing it is an ideological choice?

Surprise! Plans for a Brexit version of the EU's Galileo have been delayed

Andy 73

Re: Shame we aren’t in Galileo?

Comrade, you're not allowed to criticise the EU. This is the comments section for people who want to savour the schadenfreude of Brexit not being a time of unicorns and cake.

Please report to the centre for reconditioning, and in the mean time remember to state that the UK is incapable of delivering anything, or achieving anything without help from people bigger and smarter than us.

Drones must be constantly connected to the internet to give Feds real-time location data – new US govt proposal

Andy 73


Not only would FAA regulation require your car to stop driving if you got too close to Buckingham Palace, Heathrow or any other sensitive site (including the hundreds of grass airstrips throughout the countryside) in the UK, but it would also be a legal requirement that any existing car must be retrofitted with the tech, or removed from the roads.

In addition, you wouldn't be able to race your cars (not permitted) or drive them off roads, or build go-karts.

And, before you drove anywhere, you'd have to file a request to drive with the DVLA.

And, all of your journeys would be publicly available for people to examine.

Review of IR35 is in: Quelle surprise, UK.gov will forge ahead with controversial tax reforms in the private sector

Andy 73


Not only tin-eared, but apparently divorced from reality.

Don't worry, IT contractors. New UK chancellor says HMRC will be gentle pushing IR35 rules

Andy 73

..for the first year...

Don't worry about the punishment beatings, they're going to be gentle for the first year.

Yes, that's apparently a reassuring phrase that should settle the matter. Back in your hole, contractor scum!

I hope the government learns it can't just take instruction from the large firms when it comes to economic policy.

UK contractors planning 'mass exodus' ahead of IR35 tax clampdown – survey

Andy 73

Re: Anonymous Contractor

These articles are like a dog whistle for people with chips on their shoulders about someone else's income.

Oi! You got a loicence for that Java, mate? More devs turn to OpenJDK to swerve Oracle fee

Andy 73

Re: Oracle drives non-java uptake

Very true, but then you get efforts like Flutter and slowly the libs get replaced as well. Again, if Spring provide top level support, then the reasons to stick with Java are eroded.

It's hard to overstate the value of the Java libs - you can get Java to do just about anything thanks to the vast, well supported and consistent APIs they provide. But... nothing is forever and there is always an incentive to build a 'free(er)' version if there is someone attempting to gate-keep.

Andy 73

Oracle drives non-java uptake

Of course, money from an existing resource is 'free', so it doesn't matter if that resource is decimated in the process. No incentive for Oracle not to squeeze the pips for juice.

In the mean time, we start with languages that compile to JVM, but aren't Java. Then we get a VM that isn't Java and the whole world moves away from Oracle. Kotlin, Dart and all the others are the bridge away from Java, and if something like Spring suddenly starts to support those other languages, devs will be happy to move.

EU tells UK: Cut the BS, sign here, and you can have access to Galileo sat's secure service

Andy 73

Wow, strong filter there...

A whole article about what the author believes in. Disappointing, but I guess it plays to the peanut gallery.

Sir John Redwood backs IR35 campaign, notes review would have to start 'immediately' before new off-payroll working rules kick in

Andy 73

What a surprise. This sort of comment crops up whenever IR35 or contractor rates are mentioned.

If, as a permanent employee you are earning half that of the contractor next to you, you should ask why that is the case. No-one is forcing your company to engage that person, and no-one is forcing you to stay as a permanent employee.

Don't underestimate the 'disguised cost' you place on your company - all those benefits, employee rights and cost of an inflexible workforce add up.

Given HMRC's antagonism towards contractors over the last few years, I've taken the path to permanent employment. I'm paid less, pay less tax and offer much less flexibility to my employer - but I don't have to jump through hoops to prove I have a right to exist and I have more stability in my life. No need to complain about the guy sitting next to me - if they earn more than me, perhaps it's because they're worth it to the boss.

Metasploit for drones? Best of luck with that, muses veteran tinkerer

Andy 73

"difficult to harness the drone community for free/open-source work"

Yes it's "difficult to harness the drone community for free/open-source work" - because the drone community is sick to death of idiots giving them a bad name.

"Will you help me crash and steal drones" is not going to get you a good response, not even if you are doing it for free/open-source.

Alright! Ma time to meet that shag quota! Alibaba chairman steps down at 55 with $38.6bn fortune

Andy 73

Re: So he's stepping down

He can't have my garden, unless he comes and weeds it first.

A carbon-nanotube RISC-V CPU blinks into life. Boffins hold their breath awaiting first sign of life... 'Hello world!'

Andy 73

But how fast does it clock?

See title....

Home Office told to stop telling EU visa porkies

Andy 73

Misleading headline is misleading

The political bias in this piece is hardly justified by the story that prompted it. The ad was not sufficiently informative - that's rather different from 'telling lies'.

As for the 'hostile environment' comment - about as current as referring to Thatcher as 'the milk snatcher'.

Contractor association blasts UK.gov guidance on hated IR35 tax law's arrival in private sector

Andy 73

Re: Impossibly complicated

As a contractor, I can pretty much guarantee I have paid more tax than any permanently employed person of similar grade that I have sat next to at any time in the last twenty years. I offer utility to companies that need (a) workers at short notice or to bridge a change in work load, (b) workers to bring in knowledge about external systems and practises that the company itself does not have, (c) workers that can be let go with little or no notice if a project has to be stopped (d) workers that self-train where there is a company culture of expensive external accreditation and so on and so forth.

And as a consequence, I pay more tax than the permanent employees who take full advantage of sick days and holidays, training and wellbeing days, maternity/paternity leave, company pensions, health plans, car pools, car parking, mentorship and counselling, fitness clubs, company retreats and the financial stability that long term permanent employment offers.

On the whole, this is a fair deal, and I try to deliver the value the client needs, to integrate with their team and help implement change and improvement in practices. Only very occasionally do I meet sanctimonious, angry, self harming idiots who think that companies are special social clubs run for their sole benefit, and who get mightily offended that someone might be seen as more valuable to the company than they personally deem reasonable.

You can pretty much guarantee that one of those moral guardians will crop up on each of these news items, clearly misunderstanding how taxation and employment work.

*Spits out coffee* £4m for a database of drone fliers, UK.gov? Defra did game shooters for £300k

Andy 73

..one more thing

Actually, there is one more observation.

The CAA are likely to achieve the rare distinction of the registration fee costing more than some of the drones they wish owners to register.

Andy 73

Pay attention, CAA

I very rarely feel it's appropriate to discuss past achievements, but... I led the team that wrote one of the first online banking services in the UK, developed services for an online global retailer that handle a million unique users each and every day and devised databases for tracking terrabyte datasets for a medical research organisation.

The price quoted is (excuse the technical term) a complete piss-take. Nothing more to add.

Silent Merc, holy e-car... Mflllwhmmmp! What is that terrible sound?

Andy 73

Lotus: Been there, done that

This was demonstrated by Lotus ten years ago (using a Prius) - a dynamic accoustic system that both warned pedestrians and gave drivers better feedback about what the car was actually doing.

The Harman system they developed could choose engine sounds - either something Star Trekky, or a more traditional sports car sound - so your Nissan Leaf could sound like it had a V12 engine.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Andy 73

Note to self:

Remember not to fly the drone near Gatwick on April 6th,

Treaty of Roam: No-deal Brexit mobile bill shock

Andy 73

Re: So predictable !

@DavCrav "This doesn't exist anywhere else on the planet. No such systems have been shown to work. Even in theory it would be impossible to stop mass smuggling, never mind in practice."

You do understand that there is already a border between RoI and NI, that they run different taxation regimes and that 'mass smuggling' is prevented on a daily basis across that border? You just don't see it because most of the police and customs operations are run away from the border itself.

Frankly, the understanding of these issues is laughable. But of course, everyone has political skin in the game and the basic facts get lost to the whichever view the reader thinks most fits their beliefs. It's lovely that 'IT experts' think that their desktop skills give them special insight into how an international border works.

Andy 73

Re: So predictable !

@DavCrav And in your subsequent paragraph you demonstrate the same.

The WTO do not require a hard border, they require that customs are maintained across a border. That does not have to be through a physical stop at the point of crossing. Both the EU and the UK have said that they would be OK with checks occurring away from the border and through technological means, and the WTO is understood to accept such arrangements.

The glorious Brexit uncertainty: The only dead cert on data rules for tech biz in 2019

Andy 73

Re: Not so worried by Brexit..

No, I just pointed out that the two places where innovation is occurring are not the EU or the UK, and that 'we' are doing everything we can to ensure that remains the case.

Note there is a subtle difference between security of data and the crusade some are going on in the EU to make handling of people's data as onerous as possible.

Andy 73

Not so worried by Brexit..

..as the fact that some seem to think that adding a byzantine layer of legal requirements to providing online services (all in the name of stopping the big boys, who are now officially the enemy) adds yet more friction to small companies trying to deliver innovative new products.

China (and America) must be laughing like drains.



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