* Posts by andy 103

602 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Aug 2009


'Return to Office' declared dead

andy 103

Different world

Every few decades there are fundamental noticeable differences in the world, compared to a similar timespan previously.

To me, 2020 onwards has been the start of something new. But something that was discussed *for decades*. Back in the late 1990s / early 2000s there was a view that - since everyone was going to to be online - why couldn't we just WFH? Of course it doesn't apply to every job, but even back then there were theoretically a fair number of jobs where it would have been possible.

A lot of excuses were used over the subsequent years as to why it "wasn't possible" for employees to work remotely. But the main reason put simply was trust. Employers didn't trust employees to do a full day of work unless they could be monitored and supervised. A lot of middle managers realised they wouldn't be needed under this arrangement. The first Covid pandemic gave a lot of them a simple choice: let your workers WFH, or don't have any staff to do anything. They realised which one was more economically viable quite quickly.

The idea of commuting to an office, wearing a suit, commuting back... to do work you could do from anywhere is just archaic. There is literally no need for many people to do that anymore. We're not going back to it either no matter who thinks it's a good or bad idea. The market for work and staff is no longer whatever employers think is appropriate. You want the best employees? You're going to have to be more flexible and offer WFH.

Black Friday? More like Blackout Friday for HSBC's online and mobile banking

andy 103

Re: Death spiral

Decades of various tech that has been glued together


What they all need to do is hit the pause button for a few years, rehire their own IT professionals

aren't compatible though. One of my friends made a good - and extremely worrying - point recently. That a lot of critical infrastructure such as banking, airline reservation systems etc, are actually run on decades old technology. Which as you say is glued together to make it work with newer tech.

There could easily be a time where nobody fully understands how any of it works and "the system" collapses. The problem of rehiring the IT professionals who were involved decades ago is exactly that. It was decades ago and they are no longer in employment or in many instances, have since died.

It really is worrying. Neo-banks like Monzo ultimately will need to interface with older systems so they aren't the solution either.

andy 103

HSBC - when they laughed in my face when I applied for a mortgage, so I went next-door to a mortgage shop and got..

Why didn't you just go there in the first place then?

andy 103

Re: Not everyone is just like you.

gave the UK third world inflation

Tell me you're clueless without telling me you're clueless.

The UK has had nothing like "third world inflation". Some such countries experienced 3 and in rare cases, 4 digit inflation!

Turkey isn't a third world country and had, what, 8 times our inflation rate recently? Germany, Italy and Spain have been in the 8+% territory not too long ago. They certainly aren't third world countries.

andy 103


I've banked with HSBC for over 25 years. Of course that includes a good portion of time which was pre Internet banking.

Most recently - and for reasons they've never explained - I was locked out of my banking app despite having it set up with Face ID login which had worked for years. The app came up with a message asking me to set it up as a new user. It then wouldn't authenticate me using other details, which I know were correct. Phoned the telephone banking number. Worryingly they couldn't identify me. The resolution? You have to go into a branch to resolve this and there is literally no other way. But... HSBC closed my local branch years ago. So a car journey and some panic it was.

Now, when I actually got into the branch, super helpful and everything resolved in around 15 mins not including waiting around the same time.

I have other neo-bank accounts from the likes of Monzo which do not have any kind of branch. It did make me wonder what you'd do in a scenario like this with a bank that has no branches. But then perhaps that is part of the problem. If they don't have branches then they can't use the "come into a branch to sort our own mess out" excuse.

It seems to me like their systems are a mismash of preferring people to do everything online in the first instance. But when that inevitably doesn't work they tell you to either speak to somebody that can't help on a phone, or come into a branch that doesn't exist.

Nvidia intros the 'SuperNIC' – it's like a SmartNIC, DPU or IPU, but more super

andy 103

Or just hardware

Most people:

GPU = graphics = games

NIC = networking = Internet / LAN connectivity


GPU = specialised algorithms = let's call it AI.

NIC = specialised algorithms = let's call it AI.

If you're using a GPU or NIC to do something other than render graphics or connect to a network, it no longer serves its traditional purpose. At which point you could give it any name.

Best to just call these "specialised hardware components". Or hardware.

Tenfold electric vehicles on 2030 roads could be a shock to the system

andy 103

Never going to happen in the UK

There could be ten times the number of electric cars on the road by 2030

Don't make me laugh.

We haven't even reached the 1 million figure in the UK yet. Precisely because people generally speaking have the common sense to know getting one (even if they could afford one) is a shit idea.

We can't produce the electricity required for the UK even *without* more people having electric vehicles. Add in things like: fires caused by batteries, a lack of charging infrastructure, where to charge the car depending on things such as whether your house has a driveaway etc etc. Then there's the cost.

I recently saw a documentary where a journalist who was a massive proponent of electric vehicles got one, then less than 12 months later gave it back on the basis it was an awful experience. The reality of charging a car for 30-40 times how long it takes to fill up with a bit of fuel just isn't common sense.

Ironically it doesn't really matter about the environment. Producing electricity - and all of the infrastructure changes necessary - for this "revolution" isn't environmentally friendly.

Yes we ought to think about an alternative to petrol/diesel. But electric vehicles in their current form are so far off the mark.

It is 20 years since the last commercial flight of Concorde

andy 103

Re: Treasures from a 1991 flight

@Tim99 great stuff. We also have the aforementioned grey vinyl folder!

andy 103

Treasures from a 1991 flight

My grandparents did a 1 way trip on it from London to Canada in 1991. Returned on a jumbo jet.

They passed away over the last few years and when clearing out their house I found a number of things they'd kept from the flight. Including - stationary (A5 paper, envelopes) with Concorde embossed logos, a branded note pad, the menus from the in flight service, luggage tags (actually just cardboard but nonetheless with the BA World Traveller / Concorde logo) and 2 small models of the plane.

The best thing I found though was a signed certificate from the pilot, which I believe was given to every passenger. Hand signed with a pen, not printed!

I find it mind blowing that 30+ years ago they could make a trip in 3 hours which nowadays is impossible to do in such a time. Especially for... people who were born at a time when nobody flew at all. Mind boggling really.

I've kept it all as it holds a lot of sentimental value to me.

Martin Goetz, recipient of the first software patent, logs off at 93

andy 103

$2 million. The struggle was worth it.

Goetz said: "In August 1970, ADR settled its antitrust suit with IBM with an out-of-court settlement of $2 million. The struggle was worth it.

That's really all you need to know.

The vast majority of "pioneers" did whatever they're famed for, for the same reason. Take the money out of the equation and see how much they give a fuck.

Millions of smart meters will brick it when 2G and 3G turns off

andy 103

Re: Farce

"If the government wants us all to have smart meters and to have the control / influence over how much energy people use, then it's going to have to act seriously to bring that about. "

That is looking at it from the wrong angle. This only takes care of the reporting aspect of how much energy people are using, and potentially using that data to do something useful. It would open up much bigger questions such as

1. How do we actually produce the energy people need in the first place? Is it possible the number of people in the UK and the energy provision mechanisms we currently have aren't well aligned? You can't get rid of the people(!) so you need to tackle that from the angle of how to produce energy ideally without reliance on other countries as we've recently been made very aware. Nobody is close to addressing this one so good luck.

2. Why do people need to use so much energy? Are their homes insulated and constructed to a standard whereby they are able to use energy efficiently? Can they do anything about this if the answer is "no"? At what cost to them? Again nobody is close to resolving that one.

3. "The future is electric vehicles". I'll just leave this bullshit here without saying anything else.

There are far bigger problems to tackle when it comes to energy usage than just how it gets reported.

andy 103

cost savings to households from knowing the amount of energy they are consuming

"The benefits in terms of cost savings to households from knowing the amount of energy they are consuming"

Sorry, how does that work?

If I know how much energy I'm using, it doesn't change how much energy I'm using.

I understand the idea that if you tell people they're racking up a large bill in realtime it might prompt them to try and reduce their energy consumption. Has it done that? I doubt it. Not on any meaningful scale.

Some of the energy prices we've seen recently in the UK however... well, that's another way of tackling it, isn't it? Let them freeze to death and they'll no longer have to care about it.

In-memory database Redis wants to dabble in disk

andy 103

Re: to make Redis "more like your classic database,"

"There are probably good reasons why Andy 103 is using Redis and MySQL but he hasn't given us those reasons in his post.

From what he told us he doesn't need any part of the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) standard set of database features so why he's using a database is a valid question."

I said in the OP that we use Redis alongside MySQL. For very different things.

We use Redis for storing serialized key/value data which is generally only needed on a temporary basis. If we're persisting data or need to query it more broadly we use MySQL, and of course we need the ACID properties that come with that.

They aren't used interchangeably and that was very much the point of my original comment. Redis is good when you don't need the overhead of something like MySQL. The point being that because it lacks some "database-like features" that actually makes it good at least for certain use-cases.

andy 103

to make Redis "more like your classic database,"

No no no! Don't do this.

One of the great things about Redis is that it doesn't have the overhead of SQL databases.

I use Redis alongside MySQL to build web applications. Redis is brilliant when you need to store temporary or arbitrary data, serverside, without the overhead of something like MySQL. For us we create Redis keys for users in our applications and then write serialized data into that key. Getting data in and out of that structure is trivial not to mention fast. It's generally always data that doesn't need to be persisted although I believe you can also write to disk if necessary anyhow. I don't want to write an SQL-style query to either read or write data like that. I definitely don't want or need transactions or any of the "safety" features afforded by MySQL for the type of data I'm describing.

Redis is good in its current form and has many, many different use cases. There isn't a right or wrong way to use it except for the fact it's absolutely not a replacement for something like MySQL. Different tools for different jobs.

MariaDB ditches products and staff in restructure, bags $26.5M loan to cushion fall

andy 103


Ridiculous comment which doesn't separate those 4-5 things from what they actually are.

L - Linux. Definitely isn't dead. W - Windows, same.

A - Apache. The predominant web server.

M - MySQL / MariaDB. The former absolutely isn't dead and this story doesn't mean that the second one will die. Many popular open source web applications such as Wordpress or Magento support it and the number of sites running these alone is in the millions. Not to mention many other sites and apps that rely on it.

P - PHP. Might not be everyone's cup of tea but still very common. Often said to be "dead" by people who use alternatives and find their shitty applications being rebuilt in PHP by somebody on more money later on.

If you mean the approach taken 15+ years ago where all 4 were treated as some bundle to build an application then yes that's dying out (although still not totally dead). But in their own right each of these are ubiquitous and the usage numbers for all have only increased over time.

Lost your luggage? That's nothing – we just lost your whole flight!

andy 103

LIMIT 1 before running an SQL statement

Depends on what DBMS you're using. For me it's generally MySQL. I have a rule that if I ever run something in production and expect it to delete a single row I start by typing LIMIT 1; then move my cursor backwards to type in the DELETE query.

That way if I accidentally hit Enter the worst thing that'll happen is it'll delete 1 row of data.

It gets more tricky if you don't have a "guaranteed" number. But for simple 1 row deletes this has saved me on more than one occasion. You can also use this with things such as UPDATE queries.

Never underestimate your muscle memory that just presses Enter, in any environment ;)

Comms watchdog to probe errors that left Brits unable to make emergency calls

andy 103

Ensure uninterrupted access?

"Our rules require BT and other providers to take all the necessary measures to ensure uninterrupted access to emergency organizations as part of anti call services offered. They also require providers to take all necessary measures to ensure the fullest possible availability of calls and internet in the event of catastrophic network breakdown or in cases of force majeure."

This is the typical kind of bullshit spouted by people who have zero understanding of how anything works on a technical level. People who think because something is "regulated" that means everything will be ok.

There seems to come a point very quickly where systems can (will, and do) fall over. Whether their application is something serious like emergency services or banking doesn't make them exempt from this premise.

Whether it comes down to incompetence, mistakes or mis-management - and let's be honest if it involves BT that's entirely possible - is a separate matter. But I cannot stand this naivety that critical infrastructure is somehow 100% fault tolerant. It isn't, and no amount of policies, regulations or highly paid consultants are going to change that. Ever.

It's quite scary how much masking tape and spreadsheets keep infrastructure running in the first place. Add in some human error and nothing is guaranteed.

M2 Ultra chip lands in 'cheese grater' Mac Pro to displace Apple's last Intel holdout

andy 103

Other things that start at $6,999

- Common sense

- Life experiences. You can have a fair few good ones.

- Holidays. Plural.

- Dining out in nice places. Very plural.

- Upgrading the environment you live in. YMMV depending on what you do.

- Investing in your future / pension provision. I know that's boring...but...

Things you probably don't need to spend $6,999 on? A fucking computer, in 2023. You could spec up a Dell XPS for half that price, and no, your "creativity" wouldn't be severely limited by that machine.

UK tech industry pushing up salaries – but UI devs out of luck

andy 103

Re: How are these going rates?

Because the UK sneers at technical skills and pays us dirt, sadly.

And then wonders why as a country we don't have a productive economy.

True. But there's actually a much bigger reason. In the UK - at the time of writing - you're pretty much in either one of these two categories (especially when it comes to property).

1. You have rich parents, who helped you get on the property ladder. You had/have some form of inheritance.

2. You don't.

If you're in the former category there's very little incentive to earn more. Because you're always going to be better off than people in the second category.

If you're in the second category you have little incentive to earn more because you're probably never going to be able to retire.

The concept of having a career and reasonable pension provision of the prior to 1990s / early 2000s just doesn't exist anymore. This creates a system where essentially nobody gives a fuck about money as such and that's why "we don't have a productive economy". Because you're either fine financially, or never will be. People - especially under 30's - have wised-up to the fact that working their arses off isn't necessarily going to change any of this. Exacerbated by the fact some teenagers make millions from being social media "influencers".

andy 103

Re: still not really a difference from 2007

you need to think less like an engineer and more like an executive...because you're not there to produce the latest shiny, you're there to help optimise the business.

100% agreed. You need to think in terms of money and how you can add value.

There are tons of highly skilled software engineers - many of whom are probably Reg readers - who seem to fail to make big money. But it's because they can only articulate things in tech terms, which the people paying for services frankly know little about.

Why are they interested in hiring you? To reduce their costs, or help increase their revenue. There aren't any other reasons.

The case about finding a slow query is a great example. If it's an online business you might charge £1k to find and optimise that. They might save 10 times that in what would otherwise be lost orders from people abandoning their site because of how unresponsive it was. You need to explain it in the latter terms and stop going on about some bullshit in MySQL (or whatever they use) that they know nothing about. It's as simple as "you're losing money, and I can help stop this... for a handsome fee... which is still significantly lower than what you'd lose otherwise".

Microsoft enables booting physical PCs directly into cloud PCs

andy 103

The problem with anything requiring a network

Is that sometimes it doesn't work well.

A good case in point is that in our household we still regularly use DVD's to watch films. Why? Here are just a few examples:

- When we moved in we had a few days without Internet. Plus a child that really enjoys watching a film.

- Streaming services are sometimes down

- Internet connections are sometimes flaky

- Both the 2nd and 3rd together with buffering / latency

- We don't care about "recommendations". We can find something to watch from our library of DVDs without anyone else intervening

- We've already paid for everything required ONCE and ONCE only.

That very short trip over a HDMI cable from the DVD player to the TV seems quite simple...and is very reliable. In much the same way... booting an OS from a local disk just seems quite sensible.

MariaDB CEO: People who want things free also want to have very nice vacations

andy 103

Re: People who want things to be free . . .

What does it mean for all of the other software developers who want to make a living in a market where competing products are given away for free? It means those people go hungry.

But they're choosing to do that.

They don't have to give away their work for free.

This is the kind of bullshit proponents of "Free" anything fail to understand.

Python still has the strongest grip on developers

andy 103

Re: One programmer is happy with PHP

*but still mildly amusing*


Joke icon…although not sure

andy 103

Re: One programmer is happy with PHP

Yeah that's right Steve Button. I'm the only person who likes PHP which is how things like Facebook, Twitter, Magento, Wordpress etc came into existence.

Now, I'm not saying I like any of those necessarily. But they seem to have had more success than anything you'll ever have made. They all heavily relied - and in 2 cases still rely - on PHP. Or more specifically programmers who liked PHP enough to have bothered making them in PHP.

Not that I had anything to do with making those of course. So

There are others, and you're not aware of them...

andy 103

PHP (8)

You can criticise PHP all you want but I fail to see how Python is a better choice for web applications. Although I'd be interested in hearing a rational debate to the contrary. PHP can also be used for back end processes not just limited to running in a browser. We use it effectively for both.

PHP 8 brought a lot of improvements including type safety which it was much criticised (rightly so) for not having back in the day.

Everyone knocks it but then can't seem to suggest an alternative for rapidly building a half decent web application. "It's the programmer, not the language" to re-phrase a Top Gun quote!

As for frontend I don't see any advantages of these trendy frameworks because at the end of the day rendering HTML is all that's necessary and there are a multitude of ways to do that. Yes you can do some nifty UI features with JavaScript but that's not restricted to using a framework either.

IBM's motto is 'Think' – its CEO reckons AI can do that as well as some workers

andy 103

AI is bullshit

sometimes described as "process workers" – folks whose work often requires them to undertake defined activities rather than exercise more abstract thinking.

Here's the thing. Those people who "undertake defined activities" are actually - far more often than some fucktards on a board would realise - also performing "abstract thinking" or maybe even just "thinking".

The only reason anyone wants to dumb down such roles is to suggest these people are worth very little especially when it comes to renumeration.

As a case in point we could have AI cleaners to make sure offices or even homes were spotless. But what happens if, say, a tap is broken? Can this AI cleaner identify that, report it to the right person, see that it gets fixed and then resume their activity? Can they fuck. This is just 1 teeny-tiny example as well. Apply that more broadly and you'll quickly understand why humans are quite underrated.

The fact that even a single human is being described a "process worker" and somehow doesn't (need to) think is a fucking disgrace.

Perhaps meeting with Pope Francis did help iPhone sales

andy 103


Said it before and I'll say it again.

We've got to a point with consumer tech where what you had 2, 3, 4 years ago from a technological perspective is perfectly adequate. I have a new iPhone 14 but it's not as though it's light years ahead of the iPhone XR I had 4 years ago in terms of its capabilities. Not in any meaningful way for sure.

Pretty much the only reason I've upgraded iPhones is because of the batteries not holding their charge, and the frankly dubious options for replacing them.

Consider a company that could provide

1. A high lifespan, very long lasting battery for their devices (whatever they may be)

2. The ability to easily (end consumer can do it themselves) swap out the battery with a replacement, if necessary.

Same goes for electric cars. The majority of the car is absolutely fine. It's _the battery_ that's going to be the hassle.

To me the next line of highly succesful tech will be whoever gets power sorted in some way which isn't currently being addressed. I don't know what that may involve but I'm guessing if it became an issue consumers didn't need to care about whoever tackles that will do very nicely indeed.

MariaDB cuts jobs, repeats 'going concern' warning to stock market

andy 103


When MySQL was sold to Sun, Michael Widenius walked away with something like the equivalent of £15 million.

It's interesting how MariaDB is effectively facing financial problems yet the millionaire responsible for its existence doesn't want to help.

He no longer sits on the board for MariaDB? No shit.

If you can't piece together this information to work out how little he cares about any of this (besides the money, naturally) then I really don't know what to tell you.

Lenovo Thinkpad X13s: The stealth Arm-powered laptop

andy 103

Re: Now hand it to the FOSS desk....

@Liam Proven - Does "[Author here]" appear automatically when you reply, or are you actually putting that in yourself?

Because, that red badge above, is usually a giveaway.

andy 103

long-term Windows users are used to this and will barely notice

"it needed to download umpteen dozens of updates, followed by a restart, followed by another dozen updates, another restart, and repeat until it's going-home time. We returned to it the following day, and there were some new updates."

Yeah, this is the thing I don't miss since switching to a Mac in 2015.

I'd really like to have a Windows laptop but this way it handles updates and annoying UI error messages are enough to make me never go back. Unless they fix that, it's an absolute deal breaker for me.

In the 7 years I've used a Mac I've never seen a single error message. Installing software and updates has been seamless.

The hardware doesn't particularly excite me. But it's interesting - and somewhat amusing - that 7 years on this kind of bullshit still hasn't been addressed in Windows.

Watch Reg vultures wrap their heads around Silicon Valley Bank collapse

andy 103

Make it harder, please

The vast majority of "start ups" that I see - especially in the tech sector - have 2 things in common:

1. They're full of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm which nobody other than themselves seem to have about whatever they're doing.

2. They fail quite quickly. Usually in 12 months.

They tend to blame (2) on things like being unable to secure funding.

Really the problem is (1). Whatever they were trying to do is something few people give a f**k about. It was a non-starter, but they don't want to admit it.

Personally I want it to be harder, MUCH harder, to get any sort of funding especially if you're ideas are awful. I don't know how that would be policed or who would decide, but my goodness, we need that.

If some bank that offered money to these idiots has gone under, then good. Good.

The Great Graph Database Debate: Relational can't do everything

andy 103

Re: Use-case


For (1) I don't think you even need a database at all. You can just use the filesystem and construct filenames as if you were using something like dynamodb and call it a day.

Except all of the code used to read/write data is written in SQL and needs features of SQL such as joining tables of related data.

If you were going to go down this avenue you'd pretty much be doing something completely different. You definitely couldn't swap out a relational database to use files and then expect everything else to just work. It's not even a comparison.

andy 103


Consider these 2 (very common in the real world) use-cases:

1. People using relational databases with all the complexity of MySQL, Postgres, MariaDB etc.... for tiny little web applications like Wordpress or Magento.

2. Companies harvesting a metric fuckton of your data to do nothing except track / advertise shit to you. These tend to go more with the graph database option over relational.

The thing I'm struggling with though is for all the complexity afforded by these database platforms, the actual tangible output and use-case of the systems, is... boring.

If we look at some other apps and services the choice of database is quite moot when you actually consider how worthwhile the end application tends to be. It would be a bit like over-engineering a house to the point where it could withstand a war zone, whilst ignoring the fact nobody actually wants to live there.

TL/DR: it doesn't really matter which you pick because your application for that database is incredibly simple. The database platform used isn't the issue.

Japan's next-gen H3 satellite launch vehicle fails on debut

andy 103


I always find it sad when things like this happen because of how much went into getting it up there in the first place.

Feel the same when a pilot ejects from a jet and it gets destroyed. Of course life always should come first and in a case where something's unsalvageable there isn't really a second option.

But I feel for the people who put their hearts and souls into getting something built and were excited to see it launch.

Bosses failing to offer hybrid work lose out in recruitment

andy 103

Re: Landlords

They really really want to protect their investments.

Well yeah, if you're in the business of property you'd probably want some return on it. They only got into that business due to massive demand after all.

andy 103

Remote flexiblity is not a perk of any job

A perk of a job is something like

- above bare minimum pension contributions

- same for holiday allowance

- ability to take unpaid career breaks for extended periods then return to the same position. To travel, spend time with family, or whatever you like.

Where you do that job has no relationship to the types of things above. They are simply not correlated at all.

Yes, there are some jobs which cannot be done remotely. But there are more that can, at least to some extent.

It really is this simple. Any employer, in 2023, that is only offering the ability to work from an office quite rightly needs to go under. To the point where it's unthinkable for anybody to pretend forcing people to come into an office is in any way appropriate or something employees should/will tolerate. But moreover, giving human beings flexibility and caring about them, is not a fucking "perk" of any job.

"visibility of workers is not the same as outcomes". This. Absolutely this.

UK tax authority nudges net 'influencers': You may owe us for those OnlyFans feet pics

andy 103

Re: Tax could be a lot simpler

Just charge 0.1% on every payment into a UK bank account

How does this work given we have tax bands such as 20% and 50%? Are you suggesting somebody who gets paid £100k or more should be charged 0.1% of that in income tax? Because that might leave a deficit that not even Rishi Sunak could fiddle the maths for.

andy 103

Usability of GOV UK in respect to tax returns

From what I can gather - on one page of the GOV UK website it says for my circumstances if I earn over £1000 in interest on savings (not including ISAs or Premium Bonds) I'd have to pay tax on it.

Yet when I go through their online questionnaire, it concludes that I don't.

I know this is a separate matter (tax on interest on savings) to the subject of the article. But it beggars belief that HMRC are trying to suggest people are doing the wrong thing, when they are indeed giving out conflicting information on their own bloody website.

andy 103

Re: Customer?

they don't even provide you a service apart from hosting a website

which ironically is paid for using tax payers money.

andy 103

Content creators vs. influencers - the real difference

A content creator is somebody who - as the name suggests - creates "content" in whatever form a particular platform is based on. So for Instagram it might be photos and/or short videos, for TikTok it's entirely videos etc. There are even content creators for the likes of LinkedIn which are generally written articles covering a particular subject. The goal of this content is always to promote a particular product/service/thing but to do so in a way that gives a human element to it. So if it's a particular item of, say, gym gear it comes across as an honest*** review from a real person, as opposed to the company trying to sell it. It essentially humanises what was previously something being sold from Big Faceless Corporation(TM). But they like this because it generates sales. The content creator likes it because they get commission. Win-win.

An influencer, on the other hand, is a level up from a content creator. In their case they have amassed a following to the extent where whatever they're trying to promote effectively sells itself based on who they are...or rather perceived to be. However - the principle thing they are trying to sell is themselves - to gain more of a following and therefore rapidly increase the size of that vicious circle. They like this because Big Faceless Corporation(TM) will give them stuff for free, on the basis a lot of other people will be influenced to pay for it. Win-win for the influencer and company. Not so much for Joe Citizen.

Both are there to make money (for themselves). This is income and therefore should be taxed appropriately.

*** For a given definiton of "honest". On some platforms like Instagram you have to make clear if you're advertising something. But it's not like anyone cares because it involves reading.

Most Londoners would quit before they give up working from home

andy 103

Re: I don't want my home to be an office though

I built a shed in the garden that is my "home office" to keep that separation.

Yeah, see that's something else I really don't want.

I agree that it keeps it "out" of the house but it's still ultimately on my property and therefore part of my home. That was the point of my post - I don't want that. My home and work are separate things in my view.

andy 103

I'm done with people again

I don't think your issue had anything to do with remote vs office working in the first place.

andy 103

I don't want my home to be an office though

I'm lucky in that when everyone was told they had to return to offices we were given the option of "do whatever suits you".

For my workplace of about 80 people, some people work exclusively from home, others are hybrid, and a few are almost always in. Everyone is different and there's no one size fits all approach. Having flexibility is nice.

My main reasons for coming in:

1. I have a very pleasant 30-40 min drive either way. I really enjoy driving to the point where the cost (1 litre turbo, very efficient modern car) isn't a consideration for me. I enjoy this so I'm happy to pay to do it. It's pleasurable, not a ball ache.

2. Psychologically driving "away" from work at the end of the day is nice. Same if I'm going on holiday. Fifth gear down the motorway and leave that behind for a week or so.

3. But the main reason - My home is my home. I don't want work to be part of where I live. It's my family's space and having complete separation of work/life suits us all very well. It's nice to have the option to work from home on some days. But I'll be damned if I'm converting any of my living space to an office just so I can do that permanently.

The last point seems a real clincher though. For my partner and I, we'd need to create 2 separate spaces and simply don't have - or want to convert - any of our living space for that purpose.

We live in the North of England too so it's nothing to do with "expensive" (as per London) property or small living spaces. It's just that you know, my home is my home, not my employers space.

UK PM splits govt department in 4, creates dedicated 'Science and Tech' bit

andy 103

Couldn't make it up

...make sure the UK is the most innovative economy in the world

I'd like some of whatever he's smoking please.

"drive the innovation that will deliver improved public services, create new and better-paid jobs and grow the economy."


You couldn't make this shit up.

GitHub claims source code search engine is a game changer

andy 103

The opposite to how all other search engines work then?

If I Google something, generally speaking I know what I'm searching for.

"cheap flights to Majorca August"

Uses natural language to describe something that I need more specific results for.

How the hell does a code search engine work?

If I'm looking for code I generally wouldn't have a clue what that code was... which is why I'd be trying to look it up! If I was using something like Stack Overflow I could describe it in natural language but that's a step before getting to the code itself.

Given that I don't know what the end result (the code) is, how the fuck is this useful or even usable?

Labyrinth of 371 legacy systems hindered hospital's IT meltdown recovery

andy 103

Re: IT is a cost to be minimised

the idea that making cuts in IT will actually result in any sort of cost savings

It makes me laugh whenever organisations - or even the Government themselves - come out with this crap. Because it's usually one breath after they've been going on about how we need to invest in technology and have a workforce of people who are savvy in IT for exactly the reason of: improved efficiency!

I think what does result in cost saving is taking people who have no understanding of IT out of the equation. They seem to get paid handsomely for achieving very little. Much like I suspect a good number of people did at this hospital to produce a "plan" which meant what ended up happening could never possibly happen...

Unfortunately if you don't have the knowledge and experience to understand how IT actually benefits people in a tangible way the result is an expensive clusterfuck. Which happens time after time after time in organisations which are otherwise well funded and full of so called experts.

andy 103

Tip of the iceberg figures

"The trust incurred £1.4 million ($1.7 million) in out-of-plan spending on technology services to respond to the incident."

Notwithstanding the £??? of planned spending beforehand to ostensibly make sure this type of thing "could never" possibly happen.

I dread to think how much in total was spent on this completely avoidable fuck up. On any view, it's likely to be a lot more than £1.4 million.

Software devs targeted as British tax authority makes fraud allegations

andy 103

Cameron and Carr

For a general understanding of how messed up the taxation system in the UK is consider this quote from David Cameron about Jimmy Carr when the latter was found of being a tax dodger:

"People work hard, they pay their taxes ... He is taking the money [and] is putting all of that into some very dodgy tax avoiding schemes."

"There is nothing wrong with people planning their tax affairs to invest in their pension and plan for their retirement - that sort of tax management is fine. But some of these schemes we have seen are quite frankly morally wrong."

"It is not fair on hardworking people who do the right thing and pay their taxes to see these sorts of scams taking place."

The entire taxation system is so full of loopholes that we end up with somebody who was at one point Prime Minister using the phrase "that sort of tax management". What sort? A sort that's legal, or one that bends the rules? Or one that's illegal yet many people have managed to work around that? What about the "hardworking people" trying to do "the right thing" who are making legitimate mistakes over taxation issues because the entire system is as clear as fucking mud?

Big corporations - despite how people criticise them over their tax affairs - are, generally speaking, operating within the law. To use a Cameron-ism "that sort of tax management is fine".

In other words feel free to operate on the margins of what's legally and morally acceptable. If somebody doesn't like it you'll get a fine. If not, then hey-ho, jobs a good 'un. You won't know until a letter arrives that tells you which end of that spectrum you were in, and you have no particular way of determining whether you'll get such a letter at all.

andy 103

Re: HMRC : alway defining new ways

while letting the likes of Amazon, Google etc off with paying less in taxes

This is a huge misconception. HMRC has nothing to do with this. Those companies generally speaking do all of their tax planning legally. It would be stupid of them not to given they are businesses.

Yes it's incredibly immoral and the Government could arguably do more to make the system robust. But then you'd probably see some other downsides including companies not wanting to operate in the UK if it was heavily against their favour to do so. That has knock on effects on jobs, welfare payments, social mobility, etc.

It's a real tightrope and difficult area. The notion of "tax big companies more and that'll make everything better" is ludicrously shortsighted. I see it both ways.