* Posts by Noodle

55 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Sep 2009


OpenAI meltdown: How could Microsoft have let this happen after betting so many billions?


Re: Or...

Maybe I'm an old cynic but this is far more plausible than Microsoft dropping the ball like the article suggests. Nadella is not Ballmer, there's no way he didn't anticipate this kind of scenario.

Latest layoffs: Lyft, Stripe more than decimate staff

Thumb Up

Nice to see the word "decimation" being used correctly for once!

No, I will not pay the bill. Why? Because we pay you to fix things, not break them


An insurance company I worked at had a similar experience, tech showed up to service a UPS unit and was supposed to switch power away from UPS unit while keeping everything else on. Instead they managed to turn off all power to the entire server room. On a Friday. Absolute chaos ensued, staff were summoned back from holidays, one particular bit of Fujitsu kit would not come back up and required a tech from HQ in Japan to remote in and coax it back to life. A heroic weekend-long effort by IT team managed to get everything back on line by Monday.

A week or so later the IT team received an invoice from the UPS tech for his work. Suffice to say some colourful language and loud phone calls later the invoice was consigned to the rubbish bin, unpaid.

Ex-WSJ reporter says he was framed in elaborate 'hack-and-smear' operation


We buy it mostly from Norway, Russia (up until this year anyway) and the Netherlands. USA is actually also a significant supplier.

FTC sues Intuit for false advertising, says 'free' TurboTax isn't always free


About damn time, Inuit has been getting away with this rort for years.

Tesla driver charged with vehicular manslaughter after deadly Autopilot crash


"People getting used to the idea that the car will simply sort everything out so there's no need to pay attention."

This is exactly the problem with Teslas. It's (mostly) not a technology problem, it's the way they are marketed. We all know that no-one reads the manual any more and if you give enough people a feature called "autopilot" then some of them are going to interpret that literally, leading to accidents like this one.

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK


Re: Pronouncing...

Quoif surely?

Hey, Walkers. What's the difference between crisps and chips? Answer: You can't get either of them


Re: False "worldwide shortages of lorry drivers leading to worldwide shortages"

Primarily due to a huge increase in the amount of goods being shipped to the US from China, compounded by decades of underinvestment in the ports themselves so they had no spare capacity, and then the reduced availability of all kinds of staff such as port workers and truck drivers due to Covid-19.


That headline

Pity the poor New Zealanders trying to parse that headline when we have:

Chips = Crisps

Hot chips = Chips

Chips = (micro) Chips

AWS announces new region in the Land of the Long White Cloud – New Zealand


Re: This is interesting

Yeah, that's not what it means.

A man spent a year in jail on a murder charge involving disputed AI evidence. Now the case has been dropped


Regarding AI art, the only surprising thing about that story is that it wasn't immediately obvious that would happen. Do these people read the news at all?

I no longer have a burning hatred for Jewish people, says Googler now suddenly no longer at Google


With the limited facts available this sounds like a harsh but ultimately fairly predictable outcome from publicly sharing an opinion about anything remotely controversial in these hyper sensitive times.

Although why people persist in sharing these kinds of opinion and social commentary pieces on LinkedIn, which is supposed to be a network for professionals, is beyond me.

That thing you were utterly sure would never happen? Yeah, well, guess what …


The Devil Makes Work for Idle Hands

.. And also for bored programmers testing things, as we found at the company I worked for in the late 90s. We generated mailing address data that was printed on labels for catalogs and such. One client was very surprised to receive a sample catalog addressed to "Satan, 666 Devil Street" with various other occult references attached.

Fortunately they saw the funny side.

AWS Free Tier, where's your spending limit? 'I thought I deleted everything but I have been charged $200'


Re: downhill

By way of contrast, I worked for a company a few years ago that had a monthly AWS bill of several million $. We were based outside the US but had a dedicated support manager and three technical consultants from AWS on 24/7 call, plus regular support meetings and NDA briefings on product roadmaps etc. On several occasions we ended up in direct contact with product teams to help resolve issues. We did have some issues with AWS but support definitely wasn't one of them.


Obviously there is no "spending cap" because it would be impossible to implement by stopping all possible activities across dozens of services that might incur a charge beyond some nominal spend limit. Even AWS cannot calculate total spend across a whole account fast enough to guarantee some process that might stop all services in time to prevent a limit being exceeded.

In my experience almost all users of AWS accounts for training or experimentation purposes have no issues keeping within the free tier limits. On the rare occasion someone does exceed the limit (and I have done this myself once by accidentally leaving a database cluster running) a message to support has been enough to have the charge reversed.

Basically if you don't do your homework to understand how free tier services work then you're responsible for the charges incurred, but even then you probably won't have to pay them.

Amazon hit with antitrust lawsuit after DC AG says TTFN to price fixing


Re: Dont get it

"Setting a price on a product or service that is significantly higher than recent prices offered on or off Amazon"

In other words, if you offer your goods on your own or someone else's website for less than it appears on Amazon you can find your listing suspended or potentially your account banned.

South Africa's state-owned energy firm to appeal after court rules Oracle does not have to support its software


Based on my own experiences with local Oracle sales and licensing teams this is completely in character, i.e. treating their own customers with complete contempt. We all know how hard it is for large enterprises to ensure they're compliant with licensing agreements, especially the byzantine arrangements favoured by Oracle, Microsoft et al. - the good vendors will understand this and work with customers to reach an amicable solution. The Oracle's of this world take a completely uncompromising approach - pay up or we'll pull the rug out from under you! This happens so much I can't understand why people still choose Oracle as a vendor.

I haven't bought new pants for years, why do I have to keep buying new PCs?


Mum gets it

Quite impressed with the (presumably non-IT literate in those days) mother's saw-based analogy. Spot on!

Splunk junks 'hanging' processes, suggests you don't 'hit' a key: More peaceful words now preferred in docs


Self defeating

The tragedy of efforts like this is that they come from a basically good place. Most people agree that having diverse teams in terms of culture and perspective is beneficial in terms of product design, customer experience and also for a healthy company culture. They understand that to achieve that we need talented people from all backgrounds to feel like they will have an equal opportunity to succeed and enjoy their work.

However banning completely context appropriate and neutral words like "illegal" and "native" doesn't further this agenda at all, the inherent ridiculousness of it undermines real and important work being done to improve diversity and inclusion. Associations like this are why diversity and inclusion efforts are so often met with scepticism and apathy.

YouTube is going to splash adverts all over your videos, and won't pay creators unless there's a big enough audience


Re: Somebody has to pay, somehow

Somebody already does pay. According to the last quarterly press release from Alphabet the revenue from YouTube Ads was over 5 billion dollars for that quarter alone. I don't know what their operating costs are for YouTube, but while I'm sure they're huge I'm also sure its not close to 5 billion dollars a quarter.

What an IDORable Giggle: AI-powered 'female only' app gets in Twitter kerfuffle over breach notification



I think the main lesson here is that Twitter is a mind numbingly awful communication medium at the best of times and should not be used as the main method of contact for a business.

Unexpected risks of using Apple ID: 'Sign in with Apple' will be blocked for Epic Games


Re: Users will lose the ability to log into an Epic Games account via "Sign in with Apple"

If you don't think designing and running a multi-player game infrastructure capable of hosting 10 million concurrent players qualifies them as a technology company then I'm not sure why you're reading this website. By that logic Uber and Tesla aren't technology companies either.

Single-line software bug causes fledgling YAM cryptocurrency to implode just two days after launch


Re: Reminds me of an Animaniacs cartoon

I've seen that happen in a union contract negotiation. The employer sent what it thought was a final draft for the union to sign, the union surreptitiously added a few extra clauses and sent it back signed.

The employer counter-signed, only discovering a few days later that they'd agreed to give everyone extra leave.


Re: Is there any legitimate use of cryptocurrency?

Depends on how you measure it, but the main use of the internet these days is probably Netflix.

Another anti-immigrant rant goes viral in America – and this time it's by a British, er, immigrant tech CEO


Well ok, I guess that explains it.. although it seems insultingly reductive to simplify the many and varied peoples originating from Africa and Europe to "Black" and "White" but I suppose not surprising given the creeping infantilism of culture these days rendering everything into simplistic binary concepts.


I know it's a bit off topic, but what's with the peculiar capitalization of "White" and "Black" in this article? Colours aren't names or proper nouns, so it's a bit odd.

A memo from the distant future... June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn't the new normal after all


Re: New Normal?

"the magic is in the free-flowing unlimited human interaction"

Maybe it's just the offices I've worked in over the years but that's not a description of an office environment that I recognise. Even in the most modern open plan offices, anyone doing anything technical spent most of their time focused on their own screen and relatively little time "interacting" apart from scheduled meetings and the occasional chat around the coffee machine, and everyone was fine with that. In fact the most regular complaint I heard was people wanted a more secluded environment so they could focus better.

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram


Re: Me too

The younger people are the ones making sense here, using the standard system of weight measurement used in almost every country on Earth apart from the UK and USA. As an ex-pat now living in a fully metric country I can tell you the rest of the world looks at the UKs continued use of archaic measurement systems such as "stones" and "pints" in bemusement and as confirmation that it's a country firmly stuck in the past.


Pretty sure 1995 was 25 years ago, not 30.. unless you're ready this in 2025 and it's all good.

Also, the early 2000s farce caused by those idiot market traders was hardly what held Britain back from adopting metric, considering the metric system was officially introduced in 1960s and I went to school in the late 80s where we were taught only in metric. I'd say more pure pig headed stubbornness in the face of change, which is a longstanding British tradition.

845GB of racy dating app records exposed to entire internet via leaky AWS buckets


Re: Can we say blackmail these days?

Blackmail is a specific form of coercion or extortion. There's literally no other word to describe blackmail as unlike "master" and "slave" it's not an analogy, it's definitive name.

The safest place to save your files is somewhere nobody will ever look


Re: Same issue in Outlook

Same here, which my IT team discovered when we decided to implement an MS Exchange to regularly empty users Deleted Items to save storage space (it was the early 2000s). Cue wails of "where are all my "saved" emails?".

Deleted items restored, we decided to simply ask users to empty their Deleted Items in Outlook themselves. A day or so later I happened upon a nice older lady who was painstakingly selecting one Deleted Items email at a time and pressing the Delete key... she had hundreds to go. I gently pointed out the "right-click, Empty Deleted Items" option.

A real head-scratcher: Tech support called in because emails 'aren't showing timestamps'


Sadly not at all apocryphal

In the mid 2000s a boss at my place of work had his PA print every email sent to him and read them out (he never turned on his own computer). He would then dictate a reply to the PA who then typed it up and sent it on his behalf.

Xero needs a hero as business accounting site takes morning off


Re: "Cloud"

If "things might go wrong" is your reason for not using cloud based systems then you can't have been working in the same IT industry as me. Most on-premise software dreams of the kind of uptime most cloud software enjoys. Many companies I've worked at had systems that went down on a weekly basis, or worse.

Oracle sued over claims of shoddy service, licensing designed to force adoption of its kit


Re: The funny thing about buying Oracle ...

This story is about a business who bought a POS product from MICROS (not Oracle), which has since been taken over by Oracle and slowly run into the ground in order to force customers onto their new POS service. I've worked at a different business in the exact same situation, it's typical Oracle tactics.

Bloaty banking app? There's a good chance it was written in Britain


I think their point is that it *doesn't* work (very well)...

"CAST argues that its findings highlight the potential reasons UK banks continually suffer outages and failures, performing much worse than their foreign counterparts. "

Landlines: The tech that just won't die


Haven't had a phone line for years

Landlines are a thing of the past for many here in New Zealand, thanks to ubiquitous 3G and 4G mobile coverage and improving DSL speeds (and soon fibre to the home connections) - certainly for those of us in urban areas. We gave up having a landline about four years ago after we realised we were paying about $30-40 a month for something we never used - we've never missed it. All ISPs here offer a "naked broadband" connection of a line that can only be used for broadband internet. Some offer VOIP style internet phone arrangements instead.

Snowden's secure email provider Lavabit shuts down under gag order


Way to go US Govt

"I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States."

When US companies start advising against doing business with US companies, you know things are going very wrong.

Kim Dotcom's locker may be full, but the cupboard is bare


All based on the usual assumption...

.. that the majority of people storing files on an upload site are doing so for pirated copies of movies and music. Is there any evidence of this? As far as I know Megaupload had a huge number of completely legitimate users storing personal and business files, who are all now being penalised for the alleged illegal behaviour of some other users of the same site. Whether or not Kim Dotcom knew about the alleged piracy is neither here nor there - you wouldn't confiscate the contents of an entire mall if you found one shop selling illegal goods, nor would you prosecute the builder or owner of the mall. There is a market for private online storage that is completely unrelated to piracy.

Kids should be making software, not just using it - Gove


IT != Programming

Lots of talk about programming and software but not much detail on what if anything is going to be covered regarding operating systems, hardware, networking and the like. I am not a sysadmin but I think anyone seriously considering an IT career needs at least a basic grounding in these areas.

Mm, Silverlight, what's that smell? Yes, it's death


Power View

I doubt MS will be killing off Silverlight any time soon - the new "Power View" data visualisation tool in the yet-to-be-released SQL Server 2012 is built on Silverlight and this is a new show piece feature that is bound to be supported for at least a couple of iterations of SQL Server.

Why the FBI’s 'new Internet' is a dumb idea


See also..

The recent case of US drone control systems being infected by a virus:


These systems were not connected to the internet (probably not on a network of any kind), the assumed path of infection being via USB drives being used to transfer updated maps etc. to the control systems.

That wasn't so bad

Paris Hilton

You missed the IT angle?

Good project management is essential to delivering effective IT (and just about everything else). That's the angle. Jeez..

Paris, because she probably missed the IT angle as well.

Hasbro unleashes 'Spastic' Transformer


Eee when I were a lad..

.. Transformers had proper names like "Grimlock", "Cyclonus" and "Shockwave". These modern Transformers are rubbish.. "Spastic"? Megatron must be turning in his grave..

Terminator cos.. well it's all robots innit?

Facebook pages very much public, even when set as private


Missing the point

I have to wonder what people who want "complete privacy" are doing using Facebook in the first place. The only way they are going to achieve that is not use social network websites at all. People need to realise that Facebook is a business and it provides a "free" service by mining the data generated by the relationships and attributes of its millions of users. You don't get something for nothing, so if people are not happy with the way Facebook does things, use a different network or don't use them at all!

Reminds me of a great quote I heard recently: “If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”

Wikileaks publishes encrypted 'insurance' file



"Really? So Australia has no treason laws? Australia is not part of the war in Afghanistan? "

Australia has treason laws - Section 80 of the Criminal Code defines it and I think the relevant section is:

"A person commits an offence, called treason, if the person:


(e) engages in conduct that assists by any means whatever, with intent to assist, an enemy:

(i) at war with the Commonwealth, whether or not the existence of a state of war has been declared; and

(ii) specified by Proclamation made for the purpose of this paragraph to be an enemy at war with the Commonwealth; or

(f) engages in conduct that assists by any means whatever, with intent to assist:

(i) another country; or

(ii) an organisation;

that is engaged in armed hostilities against the Australian Defence Force.

The key phrase there is "with intent to assist" - it would have to be shown that the guys behind Wikileaks deliberately and intentionally published information for the purpose of assisting "the enemy". While you might argue that it was unwise to publish *some* of the information they have uploaded, I don't think it would stand up as treason.

Wales joins supercomputer club


Fair's fair

Most nations and races have some aspect of their culture that from the outside can seem humorous and can become the subject of much jesting and mockery by their neighbours. Wales has it's sheep and England, well, they have their football team.

Bloke threatens BT with giant plywood cheque


C&CCC (APACS) Standards for cheques

I think these are internal industry standards for banks, and other institutions that print cheques, aimed at reducing fraud and speeding up processing, therefore they probably don't apply to your average punter. Are previously noted a cheque can legally be printed or written on anything as far as I can make out.

NZ internet filter goes live - gov forgets to tell public


Laughable really..

Unless I am misreading this, the filter applies only to websites / URLs. So it will have no effect on any other method of obtaining dodgy material, e.g. peer-to-peer networks, so whats stopping anyone of a mind to from just using bittorrent or whatever instead?

Seems like a huge amount of bureaucratic meddling to produce a pretty negligible result in the end, while simultaneously shuffling in a secretive piece of government censorship that is potentially open to abuse in the years to come.

Racist content on US server 'within UK jurisdiction'



Sane ruling in legal verdict! Courts in sensible ruling shocker!

Google gets all Minority Report with Street View



"We thought the idea was to recreate the real world."

Recreate the real world, what the hell have you been smoking? It's just a map, augmented with photographs! Really I'm all for keeping tabs on corporate shenanigans but this paranoid Google-bashing is getting a bit tedious.