* Posts by Semaj

412 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Feb 2010


Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'


Don't Speak for Me

While the petition does go way overboard into silly levels of conspiracy theory, I do agree with the sentiment to a degree.

As a bi man I am very critical of the whole "pride" thing for several reasons:

- Firstly, it's not required these days and in western countries because we HAVE equality. Go promote this stuff in the Arab world, Russia, China, India or Pakistan if you want to actually make a difference to people who are genuinely oppressed, thrown off buildings or worse for their sexuality.

- Secondly, the virtue signalling aspect annoys me both in terms of companies taking part in "pride week" and by (usually straight) SJWs attending pride marches, showing the flag etc. They are hoping to show how "nice" they are to make some cash or to show off to their friends and that makes me feel used.

Had the image been a photograph and the sticker just happened to be on the screen I wouldn't be so bothered. The fact that someone specifically decided that the "young white guy" depicted needed to have a gay pride logo on his screen shows they gave it thought and that's the problem right there - discrimination.

We are no different to you. Stop treating us as such. And stop speaking for us.

No super-kinky web smut please, we're British


Re: First they came....

It's a fair enough sentiment (though a bit early for a Godwin). The thing is - all this rubbish started years ago with Labour (maybe before), was carried on by the coalition and now the Tories have taken it on - so there's no one left to vote for. UKIP fall for the "protecting children" bullshit too and who knows what horrendous rules the greens would come up with. Protests have been held - and ignored so that doesn't work either. What else can be done?

‘Alan Turing law’ to give posthumous pardons to 59,000 men for 'gross indecency'


Re: So in a future distopean world

What is a child?

I had parents - I am their child so I am a child.

I believe that someone is classsed as a child in comparison to someone else if they are aged less than half of the elder's age +7.

I now believe that a child is someone under the age of 16 becase I'm in the UK.

I now believe that a child is someone under the age of 18 because I moved to the USA.

Now I think that a child is someone under the age of 14 because I moved somewhere else.

But now I think someone is a child when they are less than 18 because they are nude and in a photograph.

Changing of definitions happens all ready and it is terrifying. The other edge of pardons like this is retroactive laws. Now THAT is the dangerous road.

And let's remember that it's not just kiddy fiddlers that are targeted by anti sex laws. Yet anyone who falls foul will be labelled as such.

The whole thing is a mess.


This is nothing more than the government pretending they are progressive when they are nothing of the sort. It's very easy to pardon offenses of 50 years ago when no one who made any of the judgements is still alive, it's quite another to look at the laws of today and admit that they are even more insane.

They criminalize young adults over the age of consent who dare to send a nude pictures to their partners. They cause men, accused of rape to have their names smeared accross the media even when not guilty (and the woman can never be named even when it's proved she was a liar). And drawings of perfectly legal acts to perform, or even one to one discussions about them (if done over the Internet) can be illegal.

We in the UK have some of the most authoritarian and regressive anti-sex laws in the western world and no amount of gay marriage or pointless apologies will fix that. The whole lot need scrapping and writing for the modern world, rather than for Mumsnet,The Daily Mail and the NSPCC.

The paperless office? Don’t talk sheet


Print is Dead

Hang on, when people say "print is dead" do they actually mean printing in an office context as well? Because if so then that's just silly.

I always took the phrase to be referring to junk mail and stuff like that. Maybe magazines too (though personally I can't ever see paper newspapers disappearing completely, especially the local ones).

Computer Science grads still finding it hard to get a job


Arrogance and Entitlement

One of the issues that no one mentions is the attitude of many (CS) graduates.

They refuse to work somewhere "boring" i.e. anything corporate or not related to social media because they believe the B.S. that developers should all be in fancy Shoreditch start-ups or games companies.

And I'm speaking from experience both as a CS graduate (hearing from peers) and as an employer.

There are LOADS of junior and graduate jobs in SMEs all over the country. They may not be glamorous but they are there.

Acer: Our sales promos left us nursing operating losses


Re: Dear Acer


The whole thing of customising laptops is dead and it's great shame. The only ones who do it in the UK now are PC Specialist and unfortunately their laptops are all huge or ugly and a bit on the high end of my price range (apart from a few really shit ones, which aren't worth bothering with).

There's a massive gap in the market here that Dell used to fill, I wish someone would step up.


I'm pretty happy with my own Acer laptop (in fact it was the only one that met my pretty strict criteria) but it's definitely not the best quality in the world because it was rather cheap.

I personally think one problem Acer have in particular is that people mix them up with Asus, who I've found to be even worse. (YMMV)

Terror, terror everywhere: Call the filter police, there's a madman (or two) in town


Re: Filtering and removing

Spot on and if they really do want to "tackle extremism", hiding is not the answer. In fact you do the complete opposite:

1 - Tell everyone what the "extremists" think, using undeniable evidence. Put them under the spotlight.

2 - Rip it apart with easy to understand, logical explanations.

3 - Laugh at them.

No one can take an idiot seriously so they have no power. Hiding from them makes them seem charismatic and mysterious.

At last, UK customers are buying PCs again


Mini PCs

Out of interest, are minis such as the NUC included in these figures?

It would be interesting to see if Steam is helping to create a living room indie PC gaming market.

At the very least I expect that the underwhelming show that the new consoles are putting on compared to the sheer variety that is offered for PC must be having an effect on laptop / desktops.

Mobile first? Microsoft decides to kneecap its Android users instead


Re: Tip

A far as I remember you can just leave that option set to "no certificate". I don't have any client certs set up for my accounts. You may want to experiment with manual setup vs just putting your email address in but then you'll probably have to google around for the ports and server addresses.



A useful tip for getting around the poor Android support is that you can add your outlook.com account as a bog standard exchange account (Settings>Accounts>Add Account>Exchange) and tell it to sync the calendar and mail directly. (Note, you may have to fiddle a bit with the security settings to get it working. I only had to set the security type to SSL/TLS but YMMV.)

I personally prefer the stock android mail app but gmail should be able to read from those acocunts as well. The stock calendar app works too. Overall I'm actually happier with this setup because now I don't need the extra outlook.com app floating around when I used it, would have been nice if they hadn't broke the old one for those who liked it though.

Microsoft Edges bets on browser-only Skype


I don't give a shit about Edge or other browser integration but does it mean we might be able to use 3rd party programs such as pigeon again?

Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview



In their typical MS way, yet again they have gotten it so close and then just messed it up with something minor.

Indeed - why impose a limit at all?

My personal gripes are however:

- No way to fully collapse the menu (you can remove all the tiles but the space remains)

- No way to show all items all the time (would be nice to put it where the "recent" stuff show up)

- Weird flow when searching then wanting to back out (esc doesn't seem to do anything)

Sacré bleu! Apple, Nokia, Samsung et al end their three-year sulk over 'home taping' tax


Blank Media

Is this still even a thing?

I'm a bit of a Luddite with all this streaming stuff and even I don't remember the last time I used "blank media" to back anything other than holiday photos up on.

Back to school: Six of the smartest cheap 'n' cheerful laptops


Weird Trackpad Placement

Seriously - what's this trend of migrating the trackpad to the left side of the device? It belongs in the middle otherwise it's awkward (for use with either hand).

French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'


She must have called Saul.

Android in user-chosen lockscreen patterns are grimly predictable SHOCKER


Re: I wasn't aware the lock pattern was for security!

Exactly this. I'm fairly sure that most of the contents aren't encrypted anyway, especially the stuff on the SD card. So what difference does it make?

Big trouble in big China: Crashing economy in Middle Kingdom body slams US tech stocks


Re: whoopeeee

"retirement thingies"

If that is truly your situation then you should really invest some time in talking to a financial adviser. Pensions are very important unless you plan on taking a trip to dignitas when you reach 60 and you have a right to know exactly what you are paying into, how much is in it and if it sucks, to transfer somewhere better. Leaving it until you are too old to fix any problems is insane.

Shadow minister for Fun calls for Openreach separation


Separated or insulated?

In their current form they are bad enough because they are not allowed to deal with consumers directly.

Instead, if you want to complain because (in the hypothetical situation of course) they are so incompetent that they would keep sending engineers to the wrong (new build) estate for a whole year, leaving the occupants without even a phone line; the only course of action is to contact those at director level of BT, who of course are on first name terms with those of OpenReach.

If they are fully split, surely this would just be even worse? Or would they be forced to be accountable to the general public?

Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8


Re: Just one thing left to make it good

You kids and your love for traversing menus, Is it really that hard to open cmd and type "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe"?

HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie


Now the whole casual Friday thing is a whole new level of BS - especially if they are tying charity to it.

1 - Giving to charity is fine (though of course some charities are more worthy than others) so if that's a thing then do either a silly fancy dress day or just a bog standard collection. Don't try to make people pay to wear their own clothes - it's insulting.

2 - If the dress code is there for any supposed improvement to client image or productivity then how are things different on Friday? Is no work done on Friday? Do clients never visit? It makes no sense.

Sounds like you need to find somewhere less stupid :) Good luck.


As a software developer I would never again take a job with a dress code. I feel that it's a very good barometer of management style. Recently (past year or 2) I have told several recruiters where to shove it on that basis alone. We are a scarce resource so companies need to buck up their ideas to remain competitive if they want to attract the best people.

The worst are those places who enforce strict dress code for some (male, non friend of the boss) employees and let the others wear whatever they want. I've worked somewhere like that previously and it's not a good environment.

Also I would really like to meet one of these "customers" who are so terribly fragile that they'd throw a contract in the bin over employees of a prospective service provider being dressed one way or another. They would be very fun to troll but I have a feeling that they do not in fact exist.



White Slime

Try Aldi instead - no shrinkage at all when you cook their meat, no white slime and it's really tasty. Actually often a bit too tasty for me having been raised on processed crap.

Microsoft discontinues Media Center with Windows 10

Thumb Up

Re: Dedicated boxes aside

I ran with OpenElec on a pi for 6 months or so but eventually became frustrated with the lack of power and sporadic plugin support. It handled the basics fine but struggled with some codecs and high resolutions.

Now I have Kodi running on an Intel NUC, which also has Steam and a few other useful bits. It came with Windows 8, which is meh but it's been no trouble getting any peripheral (rf remote, various keyboards and mice and game controllers) hooked up, which was a pain on the pi. It works so well that it's now become our primary gaming platform as well as media consumption device.

My advice - if you want to fuck about or have low requirements and not much cash then go for OpenElec. If you want a bit more umph, with the added bonus of making a (kind of) Steam box, go for a NUC or similar.

Apple to devs: Watch out, don't make the Watch into a, well, a watch


Re: Apple vs Microsoft

Microsoft had a monopoly. Almost all PCs ran Windows and they were judged to have abused that fact to ruin other companies chances by bundling their own browser.

At the moment Apple don't have a monopoly on the smartwatch business. That may change if they do really well. (I personally hope they don't because in my opinion the concept of apps, especially ones on watches is stupid and is damaging to the progress of the whole tech industry)

The thing is I do think that Apple should have been given quite a bollocking on for their anti-competitive behaviour when the iPhone was being planned. Mainly for the way they were pretty much the only company in the MP3 selling market, used that position to lock users into iTunes, which then locked them into using iPods, which in turn they went to great lengths to ensure only worked with iTunes. Then they nicely evolved iPods into iPhones. Now if that's not a clear example of using dominance in 1 market to disrupt others I don't know what is.

Citroën C4 Cactus BlueHDi: A funky urban crossover

Thumb Down

I've seen these driving around. They look weird and I don't like them.

That's my review :P

Surveillance, broadband, zero hours: Tech policy in a UK hung Parliament


Re: What about skills?

Self employed with a kid and an old car, living in the poverty trap that is London... I really feel for you.

Things are better outside the capital so if you can get the cash to move and can find work then do it.

Good luck and a pint cause you probably need it.

Microsoft: Profit DECIMATED because you people aren't buying PCs



Surfaces are doing well? Sorry but I just don't believe it.

I've never seen anyone using one in public and I don't know anyone who knows anyone who has one. And I work in a .net dev company with a bunch of very pro-MS devs.

Maybe MS are just paying their own employees to buy them multiple times :P

Google: Give us cash or we'll poke YouTube ads into your eyeballs

Thumb Down

Who Gets It?

I would POSSIBLY consider this on the condition that the channels that I watch get a much larger cut of the money than Google do. However, given that only pewdiepie makes anything worthwhile even from ads these days, I can't imagine a sub would be different for anyone else than being (blocked) ad supported. Other than Google themselves of course.

Also, has anyone else noticed that it's really hard to find new channels to watch these days since the multiple awful layout changes?

NERDS KICK PUPPY 'bot in brutal attack



Is it me or when it gets kicked does it's body language say "Just you wait till I get my automatic defense system..."

Crackdown on eBay sellers 'failing to display' VAT numbers

Thumb Down

Small Business Boo Hoo

Sorry small business owners but the old saying goes - if you can't beat them, join them.

Make an eBay and an Amazon shop and do most of your business through there. You'll find that if you are actually UK based and offer good customer service people will buy from you even if you charge a little bit more (not taking the piss though). Mainly cause they will get their stuff that week, not some random period of time later when the cargo ship arrives.

Or were you selling Chinese bits and bobs yourselves but adding a massive markup on top by any chance and are now just sad because the game is up? I'm looking at you Maplin.

Teen whiz exposes WhatsApp profile pic privacy blunder bug


That's Nothing

If you think that's bad you should look into the way groups work.

If you add people to a group in WhatsApp and then as group admin you leave, the group is persisted and a RANDOM participant is allocated as the new admin. So if a user does this by accident, bad things can happen. Also any users who've been in the group can see each others profile pictures and phone numbers and the messages that were sent to the group even if the admin kicks them out.

Even the fact that it's phone number rather than user name based really doesn't sit right with me.

Hola HoloLens: Reg man gets face time with Microsoft's holographic headset


These things look pretty cool and all but I just can't see it taking off for mass market consumption.

Most people I know don't even use the 3D function of their 3D tellies because you have to wear "stupid glasses", hell I've never even bothered trying the option on my projector. Mainly I can't see many folks wanting to strap a massive thing to their head and lug around a pound of battery.

As a niche product for porn, theme parks, science or the DIY helper thing it could work nicely but as for mass market I just can't see anyone wanting it.

Uber BLOCKS COPS to stop stings


Re: Car Sharing


So then I wonder what the rules would be if someone used uber but only charged enough to cover half their fuel costs. So basically used it as a communal car sharing app.

The point about if you were traveling to point B anyway is interesting as well because it's common to give non-driving friends or relatives lifts to places then ask for them to pay the fuel in it's entirety.

An example might be if a friend wants to go to an airport, with their partner (who just for the sake of it let's say the driver doesn't know). The couple will each pay half of the driver's petrol so they are getting a cheap ride and the driver isn't out of pocket. The driver though has used his car to take a stranger (the partner) somewhere in exchange for money. So would that be covered by insurance or not?


Car Sharing

One question about all this.

Is car sharing illegal in Australia if the passenger pays some of the petrol money plus a bit more for the effort?

What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps


Re: Oh not again

If you see a cyclist about to run a red light that you are about to cross and you are big enough - cross anyway. Chances are they'll come off much worse if they fall off. Unfortunately dickheads like that are usually just as bad in their Audi as on their bike though so it might just mean another bad driver on the road while they recover or get their bike fixed instead...

Speaking of which - the most common red light running I see from drivers is at junctions where U-turns are forbidden. There's one in particular where I've nearly been ran over twice. All lights like that should have cameras fitted and automatic fines given out accordingly.

Google+ to offer 'infinite' gender identity options


Big Deal

How is this a big deal? On most systems I've worked on, there is an "other" option which would allow people to specify (if they want to). That goes for any dropdown box based field unless it specifically needs to be one of the provided options for business reasons.

Choosing whether or not to provide this functionality should be a no brainer. It's easy to do and if it makes someone who normally has a difficult time happy then why not?

Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU



I always thought having to press the word "Free" was weird anyway. It took me a few seconds to actually figure out that was a button at all and not just a label when I first looked at the store.

But I guess it's offensive to have buttons that look like buttons...

Emoticons blast three security holes in Pidgin :-(


I use it all the time. Though many of the people I want to chat to seem to be moving onto Skype. And anyone under 25 seems to be on KiK. What's with the weird proprietary ones being popular?

You can use Pidgin to talk to Facebook friends though (well, until quite recently anyway, not sure about now). The added bonus being not having to look at stupid Facebook.

REVEALED: Apple fanbois are 'MENTALLY UNSTABLE' - iShop staff


The squeaky wheel gets the grease

The Japanese have a different outlook:

"The nail that sticks out gets hammered down"

EE launches 150Mbps '4G+' in the heart of London


Glass of Dutch wine at the Nail Gun Arms anyone?


Re: So your monthly allowence can now be used in seconds rather than minutes

Don't worry - they'll just mess with their content lock some more so you won't be able to get on YouTube or other notorious sites such as gov.uk from one hour to the next. That should give you at least a couple more hours of of extra "usage".

Programming Office 365: Hands On with Microsoft's new APIs


Another Auth System

Oh great, another hosted authentication system from Microsoft. So far I believe this is their 4th but maybe I've missed one...

To my knowledge they have:

Live Connect, which seems fairly widely used but is secreted away somewhat and not really linked up to their Azure stuff.

Azure ACS, which is now deprecated after being "best practice" for a little while.

Azure Mobile Applications, which always seemed weird as an auth point for me but they bundled scheduled tasks in with those too so who knows?

Of course there's also the good old forms auth stuff and Azure ACS was kind of linked with active directory on Azure too.

Either way - this "ecosystem" is a massive mess for anyone just getting started. Honestly if it were up to me I'd not touch Microsoft auth with a barge pole. They just don't seem to know what they want to do.

One Windows? How does that work... and WTF is a Universal App?


No, it's much worse than that.

You just get a project per platform and the UI for that platform goes in there.

You can handle the sizing stuff in code but its a pain and very much a manual process.

Honestly, if you want something actually cross platform - just build a website.

80 PER CENT of app devs SUCK at securing your data, study finds



Is this about apps (as in phone apps), web applications or just applications in general?

The term "app" is so horribly varied that it's impossible to use it properly these days.

As for the fact that most devs have poor security in web applications - yes that's probably the case for the reasons mentioned about (we've all been on the receiving end of Boss: "do it later"). But for (phone) apps it's even worse, mainly because there are hoops to jump through to allow SSL and on-device encryption, which many new, indie devs simply aren't going bother with.

Microsoft buys Minecraft for $2.5bn. Notch: I'm getting the block outta here


"In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it’s belonged to all of you for a long time"

... but in a real sense, it belongs to Microsoft now, who will fuck it up.

'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux



It looks like they've sorted out some of the issues of Windows 8 but frankly it's going to take more than the implementation of obvious features that should have been in the predecessor (at least) to bring me back to Windows.

I already switched to Mint on my low powered laptop (though the poor thing needs putting out to pasture tbh) and my Desktop install is starting to get a bit more unstable so it's gonna get the Linux treatment too when I can be bothered.

I'm just sick of the MS bullshit. It's going to take something special to bring me back, especially when the alternative doesn't cost anything.

Visual Studio Online goes titsup as Microsoft wrestles with database



We're very heavily invested in all things Azure so this outage caused us big headaches yesterday.

It wouldn't be so bad for TFS online to be down if Visual Studio didn't have to timeout (~3 minutes) on EVERY SINGLE FUCKING CHECKOUT...

But no, the amazing resilient cloud can't be down so no need to do some defensive coding around that.

It's exactly this kind of crap that is turning me off MS dev (and MS in general tbh) more and more. Which is a shame because I normally sing the praises of both Visual studio and TFS, especially when used together.

AWS hell no: Can Microsoft Azure sales beat Amazon's cloud?


Re: Embrace, extend and extinguish

"Been hit by both of these."

"I assume you mean you have been hit by service outages"

No, service outages happen, that's annoying but it happens.

The 2 services I listed were extolled as being best practice for a while before the announcement that they are being deprecated. ACS will stay around but will not be developed so it's going to just get more and more out of date and Federations are being actively canned next year (not sure of the details so existing ones might still work but I doubt if you'll be able to make new shards).