* Posts by AndrueC

4361 posts • joined 6 Aug 2009

Syria and Sudan turn off the internet to suppress ... cheating by kids sitting exams

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: Seriously? To stop cheating?

The vast majority of what's on SO (least-wise anything that hasn't been down voted) is useful information. Of course that doesn't mean you should copy and paste it. Instead you should understand it and either rework it for your purposes or just refer to it when writing your own solution.

If you are using external sources by copy/pasting them then you'd fail my interview regardless of what the source was.

If you choose not to use SO because you think it's all utter garbage then you'd fail for not utilising available resources.

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: Seriously? To stop cheating?

Meh. Real-world jobs provide access to the internet and any other tools the employer thinks will help. I've always thought it somewhat unrealistic to test people on how they'd perform under conditions they are unlikely to encounter in the actual workplace.

It's like those daft (to my mind) programmer interviews where they expect you to solve a problem using pen and paper. Clearly no-one is going to employ a programmer and only provide them with a pen and paper so WTF is the point? Every programmer on the planet has an internet connection and access to Stack Overflow. So test them on their ability to work with SO not on their ability to work without it.

Microsoft: Try to break our first preview of 64-bit Visual Studio – go on, we dare you

AndrueC Silver badge
Unhappy

I like C# but I don't like the way they've implemented the various language framework versions. Nor do I like the way they keep inventing new UI frameworks. Both of these seem to be evidence of how MS developers are poor at designing frameworks. You shouldn't have to keep superseding frameworks if you design your framework properly in the first place.

It's putting additional load on developers and we have more than enough in the first place.

The more the 'ecosystem' evolves the happier I am that I'm now within a few years of retirement. I love programming but I'm beginning to detest VS and the mess that .NET seems to have become. If there's one thing that can push me to finally pack it in it'll be VS. And I don't think that's what the VS product development team are aiming for. It's not like they've even met me :)

AndrueC Silver badge
Unhappy

Far be it from us to wonder how much cruft might be lurking within a product that has its roots in the previous century.

The cruft in VS does not lurk. It leaps up, blows a raspberry in your face, bites your arse then leaves you to pick up the pieces. Maybe it will be more stable in 64-bits but I'm expecting it to be twice as bad. Something has been rotten in their project source for many years now and compiling for 64 bit is not going to make that suddenly go away.

<rant>

As for paying attention to every bug - don't make me laugh. I've had a few fixed but most just result in requests for more information (seriously - 'The Error List keeps stealing focus during a build so I can't do anything else with the IDE'. Apparently they need more information.)

For some issues I've given them a recording and all the log files the bug reporting tool generates and still they ask for more information.

And it doesn't help that their support forum is a pile of poo. It's actually painful to report a bug these days and since most reports just end in a request for more information I've almost stopped bothering.

</rant>

UK gets glowing salute from Bezos-backed General Fusion: Nuclear energy company to build plant in Oxfordshire

AndrueC Silver badge
WTF?

Re: It's a competitive power command and control sector ...... novel energy

Are you a bot or just a random word generator?

Poltergeist attack could leave autonomous vehicles blind to obstacles – or haunt them with new ones

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Doesn't have a ghost of a chance of succeeding.

Wanted: Brexit grand fromage. £120k a year. Perks? Hmmmm…

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

Re: Allo, Allo!

I think you're mixing your TV series there old bean :)

Realizing this is getting out of hand, Coq mulls new name for programming language

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

There's no place in programming for smutty names,

Really, we should all try to be more mature.

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

Re: There are two hard problems in Computer Science

Coq is a French language, why should they conform to American norms.

They don't have to. But it's a bit like free speech. You can say what you want but you have to accept the consequences. They appear to have decided that it's impeding usage. C'est la vie :)

If HAL did digital signage. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that...

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Cue the monkeys going on a shopping spree

That's not a nice thing to call Plymothians. Although thinking back to my years at their Polytechnic you might have a point. I lived in Exeter at the time so a certain antipathy is to be expected. It's nothing that moving the border with Cornwall a few miles further east couldn't fix :)

Lotus Notes refuses to die, again, as HCL debuts Domino 12

AndrueC Silver badge
Facepalm

I prefer VS itself. Well, 'prefer' is such a loaded word.

I'm sick and tired of the crap, bug ridden UI that is VS. But VS at least does everything I need it to. Eventually. It often crashes but when restarted you can usually get it to do what you need.

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

We used to joke that because it was a cross-platform application they wanted to avoid appearing biased by ensuring that their UI didn't meet any recognised standard :)

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

Wow, a blast from the past. That was the platform a previous employer used. Wasn't it Notes that displayed those odd hieroglyphics as you typed your credentials?

Mind you for a while I managed to avoid it. I and a colleague were using OS/2 Warp so we got to enjoy ccMail instead. To be fair the integration with WPS could be quite awesome at times (I still think WPS was the best graphical shell I've ever used) but unfortunately ccMail would occasionally barf and lock the WPS message queue.

That would require us to ask someone to Telnet into our machine and kill the WPS process. It was solved eventually when IBM relented and gave WPS multiple message queues.

Happy days :)

Dealing with the pandemic by drinking and swearing? Boffins say you're not alone

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

I need a f*cking drink.

BT promises firmware update for Mini Whole Home Wi-Fi discs to prevent obsessive Big Tech DNS lookups

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: Ping?

Why not ping to see if a connection is available?

And another reason is that responding to a ping is not mandatory. Any router or the target device can decide not to bother if it can't afford the time. It might also be configured never to respond to pings at all.

A ping failure does not necessarily indicate a connection failure. It might not even indicate a fault. And if it indicates a fault it could be so close to the target as to be irrelevant/unfixable.

'Ring of fire' headed to northern UK – a partial solar eclipse, not the sensation you get after a potent vindaloo

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

Re: I videoed the last one

I remember standing in the car park outside the office late morning to see a partial eclipse I think that must have been March 2006.

I also remember going out in the playground as a child to see something. I remember using an unexposed photograph but I'm a bit puzzled which one that was. I thought I was at Congleton which implies 1972/73 but nothing seems to fit even looking a couple of years later when I was at Exeter doesn't seem like there was anything to see.

Fastly 'fesses up to breaking the internet with an 'an undiscovered software bug' triggered by a customer

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: measure twice cut once

Measure twice...

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: Fastly 'fesses up'

Jeeez all the congrats on here??? WTF????

Ah, Mr Perfect has shown up to tell us How It Should Be Done.

Well done, sir.

Why Python's pip search isn't working: We speak to infrastructure director about ongoing traffic overload

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

I remember the Peripheral Interchange Program. Seems like that was less trouble :)

Man found dead inside model dinosaur after climbing in to retrieve phone

AndrueC Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Poor sod..

Puts me in mind of this pretty horrible case of death by cleaning.

Why I always ensure I have a working telephone with me when working in an enclosed space.

An actress, an internet billionaire, and Tom Cruise walk into a space station ... not necessarily at the same time

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

An Englishman, an Irish man and a Scotsman walked into a bar..

They weren't badly bruised but the building site foreman had to fill out an H&S incident form.

Train operator phlunks phishing test by teasing employees with non-existent COVID bonus

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

They got phished...

...and fell for it.

Unions can bleat all they want as can the staff but that's the bottom line here. Yes, using Covid is a dick move. Unfortunately dick moves are a speciality of phishers.

Nasdaq's 32-bit code can't handle Berkshire Hathaway's monster share price

AndrueC Silver badge
FAIL

Floating point calculations in programs are a horror just waiting to trip you up when you least expect it. It's rather ironic that computers are actually pretty bad(*) at performing floating point calculations. The one thing everyone expects them to do and they are bad at it...

(*)There are of course ways to mitigate the problem but you have to choose to use them. I suspect most programmers don't even know there's a problem. They think that 1/10 is easy to calculate :)

Stale and past its best. Are you talking about Windows or the pizza you're waiting for?

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: Pizza toppings

..on a pizza?

AndrueC Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Pizza toppings

I just don't like pineapple. The taste is okay, it's the nasty soggy-crunchiness of the stuff.

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

AndrueC Silver badge
Stop

The guy is just a founder of a company who sells a piece of crap os and some other software.

If Windows is 'a piece of crap os' what do you call a 'competing' os that has failed to usurp it in its primary market place?

"In the area of desktop and laptop computers, Microsoft Windows is the most commonly installed OS, at approximately between 77% and 87.8% globally. Apple's macOS accounts for approximately 9.6–13%, Google's Chrome OS is up to 6% (in the US) and other Linux distributions are at around 2%"

A 'piece of crap' has nearly 90% of the market, Linux has 8%. The job of an OS is to provide services and it's clear that Windows is providing services to far, far, far more people than Linux. Measure by what it achieves not what your friends in the ivory tower think.

Even in the server market Windows still has a very healthy share and is continuing to give Linux a run for its money despite Linux being (sort of) free and Windows very much not.

It's only really the mobile market where Windows could be said to have failed.

There are many, many things wrong with Windows. It gets up my nose every day (that and Visual Studio) and Linux is technically superior. But calling Windows 'a piece of crap' is silly and demonstrably wrong. Operating systems and software exist to do a job and it's obvious that Windows and its software stack has been doing the job well enough to remain a dominant force.

So what if I pay peanuts for my home broadband? I demand you fix it NOW!

AndrueC Silver badge

Re: Lies! Why do you print these lies!

This is not true, at least on Teams. I think it must have changed places at least three times in the last year. And they still haven't cottoned on to space bar for mute.

My main complaint with Teams is that you can't maximise a desktop that someone is sharing with you. You can't even remove the icons of the participants as far as I know. All of us have the same screen size so it's now more difficult to read the shared screen because it's always significantly scaled down.

Been that way for nearly a year now.

"i don't understand why they will need extra 3 months to build the Full Screen Feature that is already in the current version? Before removing the feature that is commonly used, why not look at the status of the usage or ask the users? Microsoft has a habit of releasing Beta versions that's really not ready.."

Lol.

Helsinki Syndrome: Ubuntu utterly fails to boot on metro

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: Hopefully..

Hang on, my flaming torches need to reboot!

Well press the flaming key then :)

There is no escape: Atlassian to send Jira into places only Excel dares to tread

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Are you sure it doesn't do that already? I mean the UI is obtuse and often fails to render completely so maybe the functionality is already there and they've only just realised.

GCHQ boss warns China can rewrite 'the global operating system' in its own authoritarian image

AndrueC Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Obvious irony aside...

Whooosh.

Which coincidentally is the sound you get when you have 200Mbs. If you only have 200mbs it's more like

w....h....u....u....s....s....h....h....h

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: Obvious irony aside...

the best OpenReach speed I can get is 22MBps. No FTTP. That's laughable in the East.

One person's experience doesn't really prove much. You are well below the UK average connection speed (64Mb/s as of 2020) so all we know is that you're one of the unlucky ones.

Regardless you can have almost any connection speed you can imagine almost anywhere you want it. You just have to be prepared to pay for it. That's been the case for a good couple of decades now. There's almost nowhere BT (or its competitors) can't get a fibre optic cable termination point given enough financial encouragement.

If your use case is important enough to help the UK compete internationally it should be possible to justify that high cost. It sounds like you probably have FTTC available (ADSL can go that fast but not often) so have you checked the BT availability checker? A lot of areas that have FTTC (possibly most) have FTTPoD available.

Incidentally - can you explain exactly what it is you'd like to do that is impossible with 22Mb/s?

Greener Windows? Microsoft previews EcoQoS and Task Manager Eco Mode for would-be power-sipping devs

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: Task Manager Eco Mode

And how about not having to run a sodding word processor in your very profitable but very power thirsty "cloud"?

Playing devil's advocate a bit here but centralising the power consumption could make it easier to address power consumption. It would allow the data centre to use mitigation techniques and technologies that are not practical to roll out across the global power networks.

You could for instance build your data centre somewhere really cold to reduce cooling costs.

Of course whether you could ever reduce consumption enough to offset the costs of network access by clients is another matter. But being 'environmentally friendly' shouldn't mean 'never do anything that harms the environment'. If it did that would be the end of human civilisation. There needs to be an element of compromise. Things should be allowed to harm the environment (but with as much mitigation as is practical) if they have sufficient other benefits to our civilisation.

I leave it up to the reader to decide how much value 'the cloud' brings (or will bring) to human civilisation :)

UK.gov wants mobile makers to declare death dates for their new devices from launch

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

That act has been superseded. Anyway it (and the modern SOGA legislation) do not mean that goods have to last 6 years. It only means that the consumer has up to six years in which to take the matter to court. In effect it is just a 'statute of limitations'.

How not to apply for a new job: Apply for it on a job site

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

The time has come, I say, to apply for many things. A job as a shoemaker? Shipbuilder? Fabricant of sealing wax? Cabbages? Kings?

Mastic Asphalt Spreader?

Neural networks give astronomers huge boost in identifying galaxies: 27 million done, 600 million to come

AndrueC Silver badge

What's this about a muon experiment potentially upending Standard Model of physics? We speak to one of the scientists involved

AndrueC Silver badge
AndrueC Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Penny in the air?

Never have my cods been so walloped.

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children

AndrueC Silver badge
Alert

How many crashes and deaths have we got so far due to lack of enough fuel on planes?

One pilot managed the world's longest glide in a passenger jet but that was down to a different problem. Although maybe that should be two problems. The main cause was poor maintenance leading to a fuel leak the other was making a decision based on inadequate information.

The last bit of piloting was a nice bit of flying though.

a 120km glide. Scary.

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: Bender Rodriguez...

I like children, but I could never eat a whole one.

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Does that mean it was a serious misstake?

Jeff Bezos supports US tax rise after not paying it for two years – and paying tiny amount in 2019

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Re: Political football

Corporations don't pay tax. Only people pay tax.

Taxation is just another business expense and all companies just pass it on to owners, staff and/or customers along with every other business expense.

That's why politicians like it. Most of the public don't understand this concept because their natural tendency is to anthropomorphise businesses. This makes them pleased when they hear that 'big bad business' is paying more tax.

A swarm in May is worth a load of hay, is it? JetBrains Code With Me collaborative programming tool released

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

We've tried VS Live Share but it seems a bit too slow and clunky. Our team tried to use it but we all reverted to just sharing our screens over Teams. Last time I used Live Share it appeared that I could only navigate those files that the host had already opened and I felt like a second-class citizen so retreated back to my own IDE instance.

Maybe the JB version is better but as an inveterate R# user I have my doubts. R# is two steps forward, one step back. Absolutely wonderful and essential right up to the moment when i-t s-u-d-d-e-n-l-y slows down, starts forgetting about things or just flat out chucks out garbage. It's been doing that since we first used it many years ago and there's no sign of them ever fixing it so I'm not going to risk using their IDEs.

Mullet over: Aussie boys' school tells kids 'business in the front, party in the back' hairstyle is 'not acceptable'

AndrueC Silver badge
WTF?

Who gives a shit? Is there any evidence that hair style affects educational attainment?

If you can't log into Azure, Teams or Xbox Live right now: Microsoft cloud services in worldwide outage

AndrueC Silver badge
Joke

Re: CURRENT STATUS: Microsoft rerouted traffic to our resilient DNS capabilities

To be fair, getting replacement Z80s is becoming a problem.

Openreach out and hike prices on legacy fixed-line products: Broadband plumber pulls trigger after Ofcom gives the nod

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

On the pricing front another thing to consider is that the less BT charges the harder it is for alternative providers to get a look in. If you make BT operate at a loss then other CPs will have to do the same thing and their pockets are not as deep.

To understand pricing changes there are two things you have to realise:

1. Openreach cannot arbitrarily change their prices. They are subject to legal regulation by Ofcom. BT are adjusting their prices because Ofcom is allowing them to. There have been cases where BT was forced to raise prices specifically to help their competitors.

2. The marketplace is price driven. This might come as a surprise to some but it absolutely is. Only a small minority want 'the fastest connection I can get'. The vast majority want 'a connection I can afford'. Simply making FTTP available does not guarantee a sale. Nothing like. Very few people currently pay for the best connection available to them. Virgin Media has several times closed down older products and given people a free upgrade because it was the only way to make them move.

In that scenario making legacy products more expensive while holding down pricing on new products (and assisting alternate providers) is not a bad solution.

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

In general, customers who can get FTTP take FTTP. At least, in our customer base.

Well yes but that's because most of your customers are discerning and demanding and already prepared to pay a premium for a better service. Out in the greater world I very much doubt that's true. Most people are buying on price and just aiming for 'good enough'. Those customers won't give AAISP (or other top shelf ISPs like mine - IDNet) more than a passing glance. They will similarly dismiss FTTP until/unless it is actually cheaper than the alternatives.

Ofcom have proven this strategy before (and this is openreach doing what Ofcom allows rather than openreach randomly raising prices). They know full well that this market is price driven. We've known pretty much since the early days of DSL that price is how you move customers. People don't buy on speed. They work out how much they can afford then they pick a service. So the intent here is to price legacy products to extinction.

AndrueC Silver badge
Meh

Not a terrible idea but don't overlook the fact that openreach pricing affects all communication providers indirectly. Raising the price of your legacy connection makes you a more attractive target for altnets because it closes the charging gap and reduces their costs. It becomes easier for them to offer you something better at a price you might accept.

Eg;

Current situation:

£20 for FTTC. £30 for FTTP. Typical consumer doesn't want to pay £10pcm extra just to stop the kids moaning about game downloads.

Then the cost of your legacy product goes up and the cost of providing an alternative goes down..

£25 for FTTC. £25 for FTTP. Suddenly it's a no-brainer and consumers switch in droves. Sadly they are still bugged by their offspring because that's life.

If openreach was forced to charge low prices for legacy products it makes modern products look more expensive. And the market is very clearly price oriented. Anyone looking at the business case for laying providing a service will be well aware of that.

AndrueC Silver badge
Thumb Up

Other Communication Providers exist. Have you contacted any of them to ask if/when they are coming to your area?

Don't overlook the price reduction that openreach announced. That will incentivise those other CPs.

You put Marmite where? Google unveils its latest AI wizardry: A cake made of Maltesers and the pungent black tar

AndrueC Silver badge
Happy

When I was a child I used to like honey and Marmite sandwiches. I don't rule out the possibility of Marmite helping make a nice delicious cake for someone.

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