* Posts by Cowboy Bob

55 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Dec 2009


GitHub is just like all of us: The week has just started but it needed 4 whole hours of downtime

Cowboy Bob


This was the last straw for me. Spent today migrating my repos over to GitLab. I don't have that many - 4 public and around 20 private - but it's obvious to any regular Git user that GitHub has been getting progressively worse from a reliability perspective for a while now

25 years of PHP: The personal web tools that ended up everywhere

Cowboy Bob

Re: Too easy?

Well written PHP is a massive rarity. I still see people not only using sanitised rather than parameterised queries for DB access, but then going on to try and justify it. To be honest those people should be taken somewhere secret and put down.

What do we want? A proper review of IR35! When do we want it? Last year! Bunch of IT contractors protest outside UK Parliament

Cowboy Bob

You do realise that, even when running a PSC, you cannot claim travel costs to your regular place of work? Your regular place of work will be your client not your home office if you spend the majority of your time there.

It's a Bing thing: Microsoft drops plans to shove unloved search engine down throats of unsuspecting enterprises

Cowboy Bob

Re: Questions II?

DuckDuckGo is a wrapper around Bing - it uses Bing APIs for searching

Just Docker room talk: Container upstart's enterprise wing sold to Mirantis, CEO out, Swarm support faces ax

Cowboy Bob

Re: The title is no longer required.

WTF are you on about? You do know how Kubernetes and Docker works right? And that no data goes through Google's systems when you use them?

Margin mugs: A bank paid how much for a 2m Ethernet cable? WTF!

Cowboy Bob

Re: Wee Bang Theory

"It would be nice to see some kids getting good starter jobs sometime soon. A few of you must still be in a position to train up a youngster. Even, especially, if you don't need to."

In the software services company I work for our current internal apprentice "graduates" in a couple of weeks, and the next one starts soon after. Not to mention the multiple people we hired from bootcamps last year.

And I'm soon to embark on delivering an internal course that offers cross-training for non-IT related staff into a more tech driven career so they have a career path too.

I'm sure we're not the only company to offer stuff like this. Maybe the "big boys" don't, but who would want to work for them anyway, the youngsters are dodging several bullets

As HMRC's quarterly deadline for online VAT filing looms, biz dogged by 'technical difficulties'

Cowboy Bob

Heavyweight notorious for aggressive licensing practices hooks its cloud up to Oracle's

Cowboy Bob


"Oracle had total cloud revenues at $1.6bn."

So by my calculations of Oracle licensing, I reckon that comes out at about 5 users...

Two weeks after Microsoft warned of Windows RDP worms, a million internet-facing boxes still vulnerable

Cowboy Bob

Re: Basic security

Yep, heard that many times. My favourite was when I needed to setup an outbound FTP connection from a server to pick up some files only to find out that the FTP port was blocked. The net-admin told me the FTP port was blocked by the firewall egress rules so people couldn't steal data if they got on the machine.

Ignoring the general stupidity of that statement, port 80 was open for HTTP, so I asked him what would happen if I started up an FTP server listening on port 80 instead. His smile gradually faded as his brain processed what I just told him

Guess who's working on a health data-slurping digital tool? Bzzt! Nope, it's the UK Department for Work and Pensions

Cowboy Bob

Yep, the criteria to become an assessor must be to either have superhuman levels of stupidity or to have a heart forged out of stone by beelzebub himself. I’ve got a friend with late stage muscular dystrophy and he was genuinely asked if he expected his condition to improve. Not sure what angle they were going for, but it’s not like he’s suddenly and miraculously going to rise from his wheelchair or something

Manchester man fined £1,440 after neighbours couldn't open windows for stench of dog toffee

Cowboy Bob

Re: Whatcha doin?

Upvote for the BHS reference (no, not the stores once ownedpillaged by Phillip Green)

Top AI conference NIPS won't change its name amid growing protest over 'bad taste' acronym

Cowboy Bob

"Alas, as a Scotsman I was hoping it would be about a measure of whisky."

One of my favourite local(ish) watering holes is called The Nip And Growler. And yes, it's run by two women.

ABBYY woes: Doc-reading software firm leaves thousands of scans blowing in wind

Cowboy Bob


On AWS it is trivial to configure private subnets and public subnets within your VPC leaving only the public subnets with access to the Internet gateway and the private subnets unroutable to from the outside world. In other words, standard networking isolation. If anyone installs a DB of any kind in a public subnet, they should be hauled over hot coals, slowly, before being thrown to a pack of rabid hyenas.

'Plane Hacker' Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!

Cowboy Bob

Re: Insurance Black Boxes


I think I saw that video on YouTube. ;)

This one happened near where I live, luckily no-one was hurt - incident happens around 1:10


Apple WWDC: There's no way iOS and macOS will fully merge as one

Cowboy Bob

Re: Bringing iOS and macOS closer

Yet macOS pro apps have been turned into travesties of their former selves.

I can't speak for the Final Cut as I don't use it, but I can tell you straight up that Logic Pro X is hands down the best version of Logic ever. So many more features than any other DAW out there for a fraction of the cost

Fella gets 2.5 years in the clink for coughing up cell numbers in $50m junk text message scam

Cowboy Bob

The Real WTF...

...is getting charged to *receive* texts. What the hell is that all about?

Let's kick the tyres on Google's Android P... It's not an overheating wreck, but UX is tappy

Cowboy Bob

Terrible To Develop For

OK, I'm not an Android dev by trade but have recently found myself having to get my hands dirty on the app side of things. Christ Google, when the hell were you smoking? It's AppCompat this, OS level check that, overrides of overrides. It's a mess. Kotlin's OK with it's pseudo functional constructs, but Dagger 2, oh my God, that's a clusterfuck right there. This is my first Android project, and I prey to whoever/whatever may be looking down on me that it's my last

DIY device tinkerer iFixit weighs in on 15-month jail term for PC recycler

Cowboy Bob

Re: Just stop buying their shit

The sale of goods act gives you an implicit 6 year warranty already on electronic goods here in the UK. Manufacturers can say what they like, but statutory rights always trump anything in any EULA

The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

Cowboy Bob

Half Man Half Biscuit

So no-one else recognised the reference? I am disappoint...

Bloke sues Microsoft: Give me $600m – or my copy of Windows 7 back

Cowboy Bob

Re: Ducks

"You have to install the latest version at some point, there is no option to install N-1."

Really? So I must be imagining all the older versions of MacOS that I see in the purchased section of the AppStore then

Shazam! Apple chucks £300m at Brit what's-that-song app – report

Cowboy Bob

Re: The financial world is crazy...

1) How on Earth do you make Money identifying Songs for People? More to the Point how do you make 40million doing that???

I saw a presentation on this a while back and one of the most profitable things they do is sell the location data of the lookups back to the record companies as it tells them where their marketing is working and where they may need to focus more effort

AI taught to beat Sudoku puzzles. Now how about a time machine to 2005?

Cowboy Bob

Re: Product of the AI hype

Re: Algorithm X (Dancing Links). I've already done it a few years ago :-)


OMG, dad, you're so embarrassing! Are you P2P file sharing again?

Cowboy Bob

Re: re: pay for the good/services

"Most freetards would like to pay too. But not the artificially inflated price set by corporate greed."

Interestingly, I changed my model a couple of years ago on my Bandcamp page to be free with the option of paying for it if you want. I now get far more paying downloads than I did before I had the mandatory charge.

Hard-pressed Juicero boss defends $400 IoT juicer after squeezing $120m from investors

Cowboy Bob

Re: Juicing is bad

Yep, I'm diabetic and fruit juice or raw fruit can be equally just as bad for me as a can of coke. Preparation method is irrelevant.

Mysterious algorithms, black-box AI recruiters are binning our résumés

Cowboy Bob

Re: My advice - watch the defaults!

I hold an MSc in Compter Science. Yet I have no A levels at all (I went to university when I was 22 so was a "mature" student and they weren't required). It's perfectly possible. And yes, I've had agencies/HR tell me they can't add me to their system because it won't allow them to tick MSc without ticking A levels.

Want to kick butts? Go cold turkey

Cowboy Bob

Re: The secret to giving up the toe rags...

I've been vaping for over 2 years now, and my Dr has officially put me down as a non-smoker. I had my post-40 check up fairly recently and she reckons my organ functions are pretty much at the stage of someone who's never smoked. I'm apparently still more at risk of the big C due to having once smoked, but that risk comes down by the day.

Brit uni rattles tin for ultra-low latency audio board

Cowboy Bob

Re: Ultra Low Latency

I do, I play guitar direct into one of these that then round trips through the amp sims in Logic Pro and then back out of the interface.


Never noticed any latency. It is a problem that's already been solved.

Anonymous hack group plans to out anonymous hate group

Cowboy Bob

Re: Free Speech?

"Who gets to decide where the division between free speech and forbidden speech lies..."

Warning, American like typing detected. Here's a hint, not everyone in the world thinks your constitution is as just and fair as you like to think.

The KKK would not be allowed to spread their hate speech over here in Europe, it would be illegal, and rightly so

El Reg keeps pushing Apple's buttons – its new Magic Keyboard

Cowboy Bob

No Hash Key

Alt-3 - Hash has always been here on all Apple keyboards for as long as I can remember

Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview

Cowboy Bob

Re: 2 words for you MS...

3 words - "one to many"

Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England

Cowboy Bob

Re: Middle way is of course, as always, the right way.

I always ask the landlord if it's OK to use my PV inside their pub. If not, I go outside. If yes, then I vape away. Their pub, their rules, and we all need to respect that, vapers and non-vapers alike. So if you don't like people vaping in a pub where the landlord expressly allows it, you need to find a new pub.

BTW, I personally wouldn't ever vape in a restaurant or inside any other space where there's no-one to ask if it's OK

You say you want a musical revolution. Actually, have three

Cowboy Bob

Re: I hate rap and hip-hop

Depends on the rap genre as to whether talent is required. There's pop-rap (which the article is talking about that has virtually no redeeming features), all the way through to the talented but lower selling artists who are effectively putting poetry to beats, people such as Dälek - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXgM9T4mFbQ

Facebook preps for class action lawsuit as angry EU mob lawyer up

Cowboy Bob

Re: "Facebook’s opt-out system for advertising...

A EULA can never trump real legislation though. What if it said "By using this system we reserve the right to take your first born into slavery"? Do you think they'd legally be allowed to do it?

So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

Cowboy Bob

Re: Cue the ClassAction lawsuits in 3... 2... 1...

Coffee is served at around 100C in my house as that's the temperature it leaves the kettle after it's finished boiling. Unless in the US water miraculously boils at lower temperatures I suspect it's the same over there too. Whole thing is a sad indictment of both the US education and legal systems.

Apple preps to DUMP crappy, sluggish iPhoto FOR GOOD

Cowboy Bob

Re: I've had a look at this

Your advice is incorrect. Just because something stops being made doesn't mean it instantly stops working. Waveburner has not been included with Logic since version 8, but I'm happily still using it alongside Logic Pro X.

Same with Aperture, you want to keep using it, then keep using it. It's hardly a big deal really is it?

French Google fund to pay for 1 million print run of Charlie Hebdo next week

Cowboy Bob

Re: Do you know what i have noticed?



Probably just that the section of the press written for intellectually challenged knuckle draggers like yourself aren't reporting it.

Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

Cowboy Bob

Yes, Give Them Their Own Carriage

That way on my daily commute, those sad sacks that insist on working when they're not at work won't constantly elbow me in the ribs when typing, saving them from the occasional dig in the ribs back when doing their worst chicken dance impressions.

Alternatively, just drag them behind and put them out of their misery

BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled

Cowboy Bob

Explanation On The Job Boards

I've recently been on the hunt for a new job and noticed that there were a lot of positions for a "Global Media Company in West London". I applied for one of the short 2 month contract ones and ended up interviewing for Auntie. The long and the short of it was that there was a big project to update the mobile news platform that was in trouble and they needed a boat load of help to get it done by the deadline (about now). They even asked if I'd be prepared to work 7 days a week. Coincidence?

US public hate Snowden - but sexpot spy Anna Chapman LOVES him

Cowboy Bob

Did You See The Question?

"Based on what you've heard, do think Snowden's leak of top-secret information about government surveillance programs to the media was the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do?"

Note the "Based on what you've heard" bit. They're not trying to see what the population thinks. They're trying to see if their propaganda is working.

Who should play the next Doctor? Nominations needed!

Cowboy Bob

A Bit Left Field

Jim Burke - AKA Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer

Steampunk musician extraordinaire, the character's already there as is the costume

<--- 'Cos he smokes a pipe

Microsoft caves to Google, pulls YouTube app from WinPhone Store

Cowboy Bob

Re: I can hardly believe

So there's no YouTube API eh?


Third party developers blamed for Windows security woes

Cowboy Bob

What's needed

Given that this is getting more and more common (as the report states) what's needed is some kind of centralised system whereby patches for all your 3rd party software can be distributed automatically. Something like yum, or yast, or the OSX App Store (better late than never) - something that *every other damn OS on the planet* has already.

Google plugins force-feed open codec to IE and Safari

Cowboy Bob

This Is A UK Site

There are no royalties payable on H.264 here so I don't get the tone of the article. Surely we should just be laughing at the septics and their ridiculous patent system, carry on using H.264 for free as we have done all along, and ignore Google and its strong arm tactics.

Windows malware dwarfs other viral threats

Cowboy Bob


"All the other internet-connected devices are of way less interest to the "bad guys"."

Not true at all. The most valuable targets would be the servers full of credit card information.

Microsoft defends death of free video in IE 9

Cowboy Bob

This Is A .co.uk Site

And H.264 is a free and open standard over here. Please tell your US reporters to stop writing this irrelevant rubbish on here. I really, really don't care what is happening in the US software industry or its descent into patent litigation hell. If I wanted to read this crap, I'd read Slashdot.

Cowboy Bob


"Time Warner, Comcast, AT&T, etc. control web video availability already."

No they don't. They don't even exist over here. As Slashdot posters are so fond of commenting in reverse - This is a UK site, why don't you take your whinging over to Slashdot where some people might care what you're talking about.

Steve Jobs: mystery patent pool to attack Ogg Theora

Cowboy Bob
Thumb Down


My thoughts precisely. I can implement an H.264 codec right now because the standard is online and I won't have to pay a penny to anyone. Why? Because software patents do not apply here. Why do we care if the Americans have to pay for this license or that patent agreement? The fact is that in 99% of countries in the world H.264 IS an open and free standard.

To the Americans - we don't care about your domestic problems. We don't care if your software industry implodes into one giant patent lawsuit. We just do not care.

Sony's PS3 firmware update shows how retailers can be exposed

Cowboy Bob
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The Law

No need for speculation, the law is very simple and clear as is demonstrated in the article. The Sale Of Goods Act trumps any EULA or any contract that you may or may not sign with whatever small print may be buried in it. I know, I've been there and done that and got the refund. The general rule of thumb for an electronic device is that it must be working with all its *original* features for about 6 years (not always that long, but nearly always - its estimated on "expected" lifetime) or you are entitled to your money back. The word "original" is important. You can add new features, but you can't take away features that were present at the point of sale. It's as simple as that. Ignore what any shop assistants/managers say, they will always try to wriggle their way out of it. Especially ignore what the manufacturer says as it is not them who you will be dealing with. You don't even need a receipt - the manufacturer can verify which retailer a given serial number was sold from.

On top of that, the EU directive on consumer protection allows the retailer the same rights as the consumer upwards in the chain. Sony WILL pay out when the retailers come calling or they will find themselves in a court case that they will definitely lose.

Thank $deity for a decent set of consumer protection laws this side of the pond.

Google Checkout checks out

Cowboy Bob

No Contact Details, Really?

I'm no Google apologist, but to those saying they can't get through to Google, it took all of 10 seconds to find this - http://www.google.co.uk/contact/

OK, it's a generic switchboard number, but I'll lay money on them putting you through to the right department. 99% of companies do. If I have trouble with any support lines I always try the main switchboard and most of the time it leads to greater success.

Apple unleashes four dozen free Snow Leopard fixes

Cowboy Bob
Thumb Up


...this will fix the annoying "System Overload. The audio engine was not able to process all required data in time." messages I've been getting in Snow Leopard/Logic 9.1 when running projects that were perfectly OK in Leopard/Logic 9.0