* Posts by redpola

43 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Dec 2009

Signal says it'll shut down in UK if Online Safety Bill approved


Someone in government must have a donor in the burner phone business.

I think the UK has the stupidest government it’s ever had in all of history.

It’s like they believe their own anti-experts mantra and that governing is simply making up unenforceable laws and then expecting someone else to enforce them.


UK prepares to go it alone on post-Brexit science plan


Re: ...what the EU wants in a completely separate area

“ Doing so would have just given the remain mob a second chance to screw things up even worse that they have achieved”

Somehow, with a majority brexiter government and a brexiter cabinet, a deal negotiated by brexiters and a situation that brexiters were wholly in control of was screwed up by Remainers? You realise how daft that sounds, right? Are you saying the rabid brexiters we had in absolute control weren’t rabid enough?


Re: Science vs Politicians

https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/muppet/images/0/05/Beaker.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20101015151246 Would be an improvement.


Re: Science vs Morons

Something something exact same benefits.

The Twitpocalypse may have begun, as datacenter migration reportedly founders


4K character posts? It’s like Musk is taking everything that made Twitter successful and removing it piece by piece. We could all post 4K content on tumblr (or Wordpress… or… ) back when… Twitter beat it.

No more free API access, says Twitter: You pay for that data


The three Twitter clients I regularly used have all literally given up. They were shut off, they couldn’t find out any information, and now they are gone. Musk’s strategy to force businesses closed and then expect them to pay him seems a little optimistic.

Musk roundly booed on-stage at Dave Chappelle gig


Re: One of the rare times he escaped his own reality bubble recently

I think you’re right that he’s in a bubble. The problem is now everyone is too scared to criticise his terrible technical decisions. Take the blue tick on Twitter, which added veracity in a web of trust- a very old concept in cyber security circles. Not only was it sound but created a self-policed walled garden for celebrities to switch off the noise. Hit the “ticks only” tab and those verified only saw content from other ticks. That encourages influencers and celebrities to use the platform.

Musk is making bad technical decisions that have real impact on the usability of the platform for its most important users, and those decisions are getting implemented…


Musk is suspending users on Twitter that post the videos. Bloody rightist fragile snowflake!


I’m not a fan of whining takedowns but thunderf00t on YouTube is worth a watch on this subject. He regularly picks apart Musk’s “achievements” with scientific analysis (sadly padded out with sarcasm). Spoiler: there aren’t as many as you’d imagine.

Finally, this article mentions that Musk destroyed the Twitter share price but also doesn’t mention the much more significant impact he’s had on Tesla stock. Who knew that saying over and over that his money was “first into Tesla and will be the last out”, and then taking a bunch out would piss off investors and destroy confidence!

US brings first-of-its-kind criminal charges of Bitcoin-based sanctions-busting


As is common in this type of story, the language used betrays ignorance. Nobody with an understanding of Bitcoin claims it is untraceable- indeed a massive global public database called the blockchain exists, listing literally every Bitcoin transaction ever conducted, and is the fundament of that cryptocurrency. What is true, however, is that accountability is difficult to prove- unless exchanges are brought into the equation, who may be pressed to list as assets to government entities the Bitcoin addresses they use. Through that process of accountability it may be proven that Bitcoin “moved from one country to another” which is the charge here. Simply put, if the accused hadn’t used exchanges, which is perfectly possible, there would be no case since a Bitcoin address has no geographical location. I also suspect that it didn’t help that the accused was practically bragging about evading the law.

Vital UK customs system outage contributes to travel chaos at its borders


What a time to be a smuggler! We took back control of the borders we always had control over and then lost control of them.


Re: @Spaceman9

“ Well - yes we started faster”

Actually, Hungary, an EU member state, began vaccinating one day before the UK did.

South Yorkshire to test fiber broadband through water pipes


“The internet’s down.”

“Never mind. Let’s have a nice cup of tea while we wait for it to come back up. Fill the kettle up won’t you?”


Apple's Mac Studio exposed: A spare storage slot and built-in RAM


Re: The other storage slot ...

Careful! Your rational and objective analysis means you’re now going to be accused of being an apple fanboi by the apple haterzzz.

Seriously though, aren’t we past this crap? Twenty years ago I was working at M$ and bought my first Apple, because I wanted a BSD/Mach based laptop. Back then Apple were the cool guys and everyone loved to hate Microsoft. Now everyone is hating on apple. It’s a cycle of fashion and little to do with engineering.

Microsoft tempts G Suite customers with 60% discount


Re: Google's Foot Gun

We’ve always been second-class citizens. It’s still, after years and years, not possible to leave reviews for google play store apps using a G domains account. Every time an app pops up “Would you like to leave a review?” we are reminded how much Google hates us.

50 lines of Bash to bring a Wordle fan out of their shell


Die, filthy vimmers.


Sweden asks EU to ban Bitcoin mining because while hydroelectric power is cheap, they need it for other stuff


Re: Not Happening

El Salvadoreans. Bitcoin is legal tender and must be accepted as cash.

Apple emergency patches fix zero-click iMessage bug used to inject NSO spyware


Re: Autocratic governments, that's a broad brush nowadays.

“ there are going to autocratic governments much closer to home”

… What?

Activist raided by police after downloading London property firm's 'confidential' meeting minutes from Google Search


A better title for this story would be

“Clueless IT admin misconfigures web server and is charged with wasting police time”

Slacking off? It used to be there was pretty much one place to chat with your fellow developers: IRC


My only issue with matrix is that the client is buggy and the devs just seem weird.

I raised a defect report which meant that essentially the iOS app was unusable (IIRC it actually made portions of messages unreadable/blank with no workaround other than “use a different client”) and this wasn’t prioritised as a showstopper. Not only wasn’t it fixed in the next release but I dunno if it even got fixed, and this was no minor annoyance of a bug- it manifested in almost every conversation.

One would have thought that losing incoming text into a permanent abyss might be something of a problem for a communication program, but no, apparently not.

The dev team also annoy me by bizarrely using TestFlight backwards. They release the iOS app to the App Store and then release the same build on TestFlight, uh, for… testing?

UK govt draws a blank over vaccine certification app – no really, the report is half-empty


Re: OPtion?

The Czech app “tečka” (available in uk App Store and play store) will read and decode a UK-issued vaccine QR (which is based on the EU ehealth EC1 standard). It will however flag it as invalid because, you know, politics. It does display the signing key fingerprint so that could be verified by hand.

Bitcoin is ‘disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization’ says famed investor Charlie Munger


Here’s the actual video of the exchange. It’s worth watching rather than reading the (inaccurate machine-generated) transcript.



Minor point: the transcription was wrong. The quote is “kidnappers and extortionists”.


Won't somebody please think of the children!!! UK to mount fresh assault on end-to-end encryption in Facebook


Govt makes encryption illegal.

The baddies who by definition are not concerned with following laws continue to use encryption.

Hey presto! You’ve just reduced the privacy of everybody who is honest and law-abiding whilst not affecting the bad guy one iota.

History testifies that it’s way more common for terrorists to use plain SMS and burner phones anyway.

Pigeon fanciers in a flap over Brexit quarantine flock-up, seek exemption from EU laws


Re: 2016

April 2016? You mean the UK was involved in its creation back when we had some power?

NHS COVID-19 app update blocked by Apple, Google over location privacy fears


Is it still iOS 13 and above only?

Apple backported their “exposure” API into older versions of iOS. Yet UK government continues to build the app only for the latest iOS.

My attempts to “report a technical issue” reliably result in a link to the “what phones our app supports” web page.

Another page in the book of UK Gov’s total incompetence with tech.

Court orders encrypted email biz Tutanota to build a backdoor in user's mailbox, founder says 'this is absurd'


“ Only this morning a little-known state agency called the Children's Commissioner published a report demanding end-to-end encryption be backdoored to keep children safe.”

Actually, the report recommends strict age checking by messaging service providers and switching off end-to-end encryption for those they seek to protect (children). In essence they want to remove the privacy of children to protect them from paedophiles, which sounds a lot less extreme to me than the register’s rather inaccurate summing up.

Test and Trace chief Dido Harding prompted to self-isolate by NHS COVID-19 app


It’s “SERCO Test and Trace”, not “NHS Test and Trace”.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal


Re: Of course, being centrally controlled

I thought their offerings will be open-source?

Bitcoin's governance bungles stain the blockchain's reputation


Open software

The code is open. You, me, or anyone else could create their own version which does things differently. The rub is that the version that pleases most people is the one which takes precedence. That's just how it should be, isn't it? Whether that version has been prepared by a private company or a solitary spotty 16 year old in a bedroom somewhere makes no difference- the version which takes precedence is the one the most people like the most.

VMware 5.5: Plenty that's new and exciting... but what about the obvious stuff?


Re: An alternative hypervisor

I ran esxi (free- I can't justify the pay version because it's so unaffordable for small installs) for about a year. It was constant pain to administrate. Updates require a physical trip to the server and even finding the newest version of the administration tool was a pain. To this day I don't know what the software is called (vsphere? Vcircle? Vcloud?). Having to have a physical windows machine to run the client on was similar agony.

I switched to proxmox and all these problems are solved. Very happy.

Devs: We'll bury Candy Crush King under HEAPS of candy apps


Whilst I think this action is ace, it doesn't address that the ™ was granted in the first place, which surely is an insanity of epic proportion.

Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it


I think you missed a very important consideration also:

FM - requires very few freely-available and trivial components to receive

DAB - requires highly-developed and non-trivial silicone made by relatively few companies

Now, if I've invested many man-years of development time to research and manufacture chips to decode DAB then the least I can do to get some return on my investment is sponsor a political party who can push through completely dumb legislation which will result in me selling lots of devices.


Re: They'd be better shifting to DAB+

Our government chose DAB as a standard when DAB+ was already available and known to be an improvement. There was no reason for them to choose DAB, which by then was already obsoleted by DAB+ and DRM.

And so the madness continues.

Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you


I've been recruiting software engineers on and off for 15 years. During that time the skill sets coming through and what we've heard from university graduates has changed significantly, and detrimentally to the employability of new graduates.

A good core working knowledge of C is absolutely vital for almost every programming job, and an applicant with C or C++ on their résumé will always float to the top over C sharp, java, ruby, python etc.

Programming in C requires serious rigour; and specifically rigour of thought, not just discipline. If you can program in C then you are already writing better code in other languages than those who learned to program using those languages. Note:- you may not have more experience, but a good C engineer is armed with the rigour to produce good quality code even in a language they recognise they are less experienced in.

When I hear that another university is dropping C or C++, my heart sinks and I worry for their students.

To summarise: great C coders are in short supply, and this situation has got much worse in the last five years. If you want to guarantee you'll be employed and command a great salary (and some of my staff earned more than I did), become great at C coding, It will *always be required* and will make you a better coder. Universities who drop it are doing their student a great disservice.

What Compsci textbooks don't tell you: Real world code sucks


Re: No time to refactor

Absolutely totally agree with this. If you're dicking about with a piece of code anyway, I as a manager trust your skills as a competent engineer to leave that code better than you found it. If we have to test it again anyway then fine. But start changing code that we've tested and is a known quantity and you're entering a world of pain. It's just wasteful, and wouldn't you rather be off doing new shinies than having a manager scowling at you for introducing risk?


Developers always want to refactor code. It's actually a developer's nature to move code about and fiddle with it - it helps to understand it and know your way around it. However, to a QA guy, code that's been tested has been tested. Any changes to that code erodes the money that's been spent on testing that code, which then must be tested again (so you're costing QA twice). Managers are trying to keep devs happy with new and exciting shiny things and also suits happy with new features. Managers also have to perpetually answer questions like "why are you spending time rewriting the thing we've shipped instead of adding new IP and value to the company?".

You could argue that refactoring code saves the company money by creating a new and "better" bedrock for future development. I've never know that to be the case in reality. Feature requests and road maps change so fast that you either generify your product out of existence or your refactor yourself down a dark alley.

Ultimately, apart from "but the developer likes it" there is no justification from any angle to introduce change for change's sake.

Even as a developer, it's a right bastard finding that someone moved your code around and introduced a cut and paste bug.

Gov: DAB must battle on, despite being old and rubbish


DRM+ please. DAB is pants.

HP exec: WebOS tablet will trounce iPad


Pity the poor fool.

What a crock. I began this with a reasoned bullet list of arguments but as I typed them I thought "this is ridiculous- it's just OBVIOUSLY rubbish". So my well- reasoned and intelligent rebuttal is this: Bollocks.

An introduction to static code analysis


C has no memory management?

Give me hands-on memory management over garbage-collection anyday.

Sling Media Slingbox Pro-HD network TV tuner


Stress the £18!

I just bought one of these and am hugely disappointed. The biggest failures are a) no HDMI (what year is this?!), b) No FREEVIEW HD! And c) The viewer app for iPhone is LUDICROUSLY expensive.

Honestly, this device stinks of stifled innovation and design-by-committee. The price of the iPhone app is unforgivable though. Impossible to justify, a matter of seconds to fix. Crap.

I'm probably returning mine to amazon purely on the strength that I never expected to pay more £ to use this device for the intended purpose.

Slingmedia joins my list of "professionally suicidal" companies.


Three In-Car Wi-Fi


Zoom 3G travel modem plus dongle is better option

I have a 3 3G dongle @ £15/mth for 15GB. I bought a Zoom 3G Travel modem which works with the dongle and is battery-operated. That's my cheaper mobile solution.

Pure Sensia widget-running DAB radio


Horrible horrible experience

I saw one of these recently in a local John Lewis. I actually walked over to it because it looked so interesting. After a moment playing with it I walked off with the impression that it was a pile of shit. There must be something seriously wrong with their business of it allows products this bad to actually make it to market in this state. I counted 8 seconds from me activating a text input area to the on screen keyboard showing up. Then another few seconds before it accepted input. The flick-scrolling is a joke. There was plenty of "I want to scroll this content but I'll just hold my finger down and make tiny movements until I've 'grabbed' the content" after which you may as well toss a coin to see if the scroll will actually happen, although you probably don't have any coins left because you wasted them on an unusable radio with pre-alpha firmware.

This reminded me a lot of the nokia n800. Great idea, but a UI that just doesn't give the user what they want. If you have an iPhone you know what works and what doesn't.