* Posts by serendipity

89 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Feb 2010


UK celebrates 25 years of wasteful, 'underperforming' government IT projects


Re: Elephant in the room

That maybe so but we're talking 25 years here, way before IR35 was even thought of. Government projects have been a rich source of disaster tales for decades due to an unholy mix of political hubris, Yes Minister type civil servants, and large consultancies adept at stringing failing projects along to keep the cash flowing in - got to be able to pay for those private school fees and that essential cottage in the country somehow ;))


Re: Elephant in the room

I think it would be more accurate to say;

You pay consultants, they get cash cows!

Particularly (as with all large government projects) if there are several opposing factions squabbling over each decision. That's manna from heaven for the large consultancies - they've had years (no decades) of experience playing factions off against each other, and keeping that gravy train rolling!

It brings a tear to my eye when I think of all the public servants and consultants involved in those disastrous projects happily enjoying their gold plated retirements!

It's official: Microsoft updates Visual Studio Code to run on Raspberry Pi OS


Re: Why one of the most popular IDEs

"Perhaps another case of Microsoft using its monopoly to dominate the market and push out any competition?"

Maybe you've spent too much time customising vim to notice that things have changed a lot in the last 10 years or so. Microsoft monopoly my ar$e! Can you even name one area where big bad MS has a monopoly these days? Perhaps you need to get out more ;)) Now try not to freak out but do you know that Linux kernel you're using will most probably be running some MS contributed code ;)

Honda sends first consumer Level 3 autonomous car into showrooms, but only to 100 lucky Japanese leasers


Safer? Other options?

"Automated vehicles’ potential to save lives and reduce injuries is rooted in one critical and tragic fact: 94% of serious crashes are due to human error."

But simpler and cheaper things could be done as well, such as completely banning fast powerful heavy vehicles. Putting sensors in cars to monitor and restrict speeds to applicable speed limits and road conditions. Monitoring driver behaviour such as adherence to speed limits, rates of acceleration and deceleration etc and penalising aggressive (stupid) drivers either by removing their licences or perhaps limiting them to tiny low power plastic cars (poetic justice! :). And that's nowhere near a comprehensive list as to what could be done with modern tech. But of course that would be wildly unpopular and about as divisive as gun control. So the authorities hope to achieve similar ends surreptitiously via automated cars which we all know are cool and the future right?

Fun fact: If you look at the death rate for per 100m miles for automated cars, it's currently worse than the average for human controlled cars! Okay they're still testing but that testing has mainly been done on quiet roads. I bet initially when they're rolled out, automated car safety numbers will look a lot worse.

And one final point to consider; human drivers aren't as susceptible to being hacked!!

Apple, forced to rate product repair potential in France, gives itself modest marks


How about including an 'openness score' - lack of software updates from the manufacturer often kill perfectly usable phones and tablets. If manufacturers were forced to open up their boot loaders say after five years, I'm sure that the Linux community would develop suitable alternative OSes to repurpose the devices. Apple, as the most closed software and hardware producer on the planet, would currently have to rate themselves (if they were honest) as 0 out o 10 for openness! ;) But to be fair, the whole smartphone / tablet production model seems to designed to sell new stuff (no surprise there!) and confine perfectly useable kit to the e-waste bin!


Re: Extend to cars

I don't agree regarding cambelts most of them last 100k miles. I've looked into buying cars with cam chains (eg Vauxhall Astras, Mazda 6's etc ) and it turns out they often don't run like Swiss watches for 500K! I do agree that manufacturers could make it easier to get at things. But then we the great unwashed happily buy new cars stuffed with fripperies we don't really need - LEDs - how repairable are those, AUTO boxes (they can often be too expensive to repair so the car is scrapped) - AUTO CLOSING TAILGATES - is it so hard just to close them manually and ironically, APPLE infotainment systems!!. So we are all partly to blame.

On a more positive note, my current car is a Volvo V70 mk3. To remove the entire headlamp, you just lift the bonnet, pull out two pins and voila the whole (huge) unit slides out. Mind you I was doing this not to change a bulb but because the headlamp had literally dropped to bits inside and I was told it wasn't repairable. Sod that, I opened it up with a cutting wheel, fixed the broken bracket and then gaffer taped it up - it's just made it through winter absolutely fine with no water ingress :)

European Commission redacts AstraZeneca vaccine contract – but forgets to wipe the bookmarks tab


Re: And the EU still can't understand why the UK left.

Your link doesn't really support your argument. It simply states that the government banned several drugs that were/are intended to be used by the NHS from being exported for a profit. There's nothing stopping companies specifically making drugs for export and exporting those. The article also points out that the EU has banned exports of medical products well. It relates how France refused to allow PPE to be exported to its EU neighbours. And it also notes that the ramping up of export bans were at least part in preparation for the possibility of a no-deal BREXIT. No the real point here, is that the EU was slow to get it's act together and was months behind the UK in securing vaccine supplies. A little trade spat with the UK and AstraZeneca is a good way of diverting attention from their own cock-up.

But that said, now would be a good time IMO, in the interests of future EU relations, for the UK government to offer to help the EU with supplies, particularly as BOJO seems have secured a massive supply of vaccines for the UK.

RIAA DMCAs GitHub into nuking popular YouTube video download tool, says it's used to slurp music


Re: Ummm .... Microsoft?


I guess you didn't do any research before commenting. If you had, you'd most probably have come across the GitHub Transparency Report.

Here's the link to 2017, the year before the MS acquisition;


Looks like there was quite a lot of takedown activity pre-MS!

(And I can't believe five people up-voted your comment - well I can actually!)

GitHub users speak their brains on Microsoft's open-source efforts: ASP.NET shines, but WPF is 'a disaster'


Re: Discourage WPF ports to Linux / Mac

I think you're being too dramatic which suggests to me that you've never had to pick a UI framework for developing a real LOB application that's expected to be delivered to tight timescales, be reliable and last for years. As a developer, you need something rock solid you can depend on and ideally with the added comfort in the knowledge that thousands of businesses have used it successfully over many years to deliver similar applications to yours. It's rare that you get that with open source UI frameworks. They're great and interesting and all that, but I'd think twice before betting the farm on one.

Right, I'll go back to the trenches now ;))


Re: Discourage WPF ports to Linux / Mac

But Avalonia is based on XAML which was introduced as part of WPF. So maybe WPF isn't such a "dead technology" after all!!

ByteDance rebuffs Microsoft's TikTok purchase proposal


Re: Microsoft ensuring security?

Just so future readers know what this thread was about. Here's the original deleted rabid post by the now sheepish Anonymous Coward in all it's ranting dis-jointed glory;

Microsoft ensuring security?

"...ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation.." made me spit spray my soda out my nose.

MS regularly fails in the security front & has to update its entire OS in order to fix the latest batch of patches slapped like so many bandaids over openly bleeding wounds.

MS wouldn't know quality if you beat them with the OED opened to the right page & the definition highlighted in neon yellow.

MS has heard of privacy and rapes ours every time a Win10 machine gets turned on.

MS is damn near the very definition of disinformation: they've spread FUD so long that it's the glue that binds their heads so firmly up their arses.

MS can't be trusted not to shoot itself in the foot with an unloaded & unstrung longbow.


Re: Microsoft ensuring security?

I haven't seen a rabid anti MS rant like this since the early noughties.

I'm deducting rating points because you forgot to use M$ instead of MS, and you didn't mention IE or Netscape - come on, you can do better!! ;))

Sure is wild that Apple, Google app store monopolies are way worse than what Windows got up to, sniffs Microsoft prez


Re: Stores might suck, proprietary protocols are the real killer

So what you're saying is that if you were an automotive engineer you'd be still building Model T Fords because anything beyond that is unnecessary complexity...


Re: @SloppyJesse - Microsoft still at it

Well if you knew anything about development of Windows apps you'd know that MS has been down-playing the Store and offering renewed support for win32 apps and the like - just look at what they're doing with .Net Core these days which offers great flexibility and is cross platform and open source.

So the short answer is; a very long time if present trends continue!


Re: Microsoft still at it

If you think the Store is the only way to install stuff on Windows 10 then I'm sorry but you must be a noob - or a Mac user who's never actually used Win 10 - either way a noob! ;))


Re: No I am not salty about Windows for Phones dying, why are you asking?

And anyone using Windows 10 should know, you don't have to install applications to run them. Hence why portable apps running from USB sticks are a thing. Try doing that on your iOS device!

(I can't believe 19 muppets up-voted the original comment - must be clueless Mac users ;))

Boeing 787s must be turned off and on every 51 days to prevent 'misleading data' being shown to pilots


Re: How long does it take to reboot a 787 ?

In the FAA notice it says the work will take an hour...


The next time some article blithely claims that self driving cars will be much safer for us, just remember this article!

No such thing as a complex system without bugs!

Microsoft throws a bone to those unable to leave the past behind: .NET 5 support on the way for Visual Basic


Re: Yeah you really wan tto be writing a GUI-based application

Yes F# works well with Windows Forms apparently, yes really! ;)

To the uninitiated, Windows Forms is a GUI technology that has been pronounced dead for decades now but developers stubbornly carried on using it because it's great for small LOB apps that don't need a fancy front-end and is easy to use and dead reliable. MS has now changed tack, pronounced the patient still has a pulse and is supporting it in the latest .Net Core, along with that other dead UI tech, WPF - plus ça change!!


Sorry karlkarl, I don't get the point you're making.

My point was that a lot of IT hacks have never understood the difference between VB6/VBA and VB.Net, which is why they often sprout nonsense about VB.Net being legacy code. Yes C# is more popular but they each have there place just as the other .Net languages do such as F# and Iron Python for example.

I think today's middle managers are mostly in their late 20's, 30's and 40's and are too young to really remember the 90's. But having said that, if you look at the .Net Framework for example, MS have been supporting that since 2002 which is a pretty long time by any IT measure. I mean, for today's middle managers that's actually pre-iPhone, oh mon dieu!!


Actually, in Visual Studio, you can still change VB.Net code on the fly like you can in VBA. Not something I do very often but it is there if you need to.


Re: "MS is also pushing to get rid of VBA"

I agree but I so wish MS had replaced VBA with VB.Net (even a dumbed down version). The VBA 'classic' Visual Studio environment is just so painful if you're used to using modern VS.


Re: I do not think that word means what you think it means, MS...

Hi bombastic bob, program language wise, you seem to be stuck somewhere between the mid 90's and the early noughties!! I think you'll find thinks have changed a bit since then. For starters, .Net is a rock solid (but not perfect!) industrial grade framework that supports thousands and thousands of applications.

As regards change, well that's inevitable ask the dinosaurs! But seriously, just imagine being an IOS Obj-C developer, Apple is constantly moving the goal posts and is now phasing out the language in favour of Swift And that's just one example, all companies do it and even open source languages suffer the same problems look at the angst around Python V2 vs V3. That's how life is now, as a developer you have to run to stand still!


Re: We knew this in 2005?

Funny how our mileage differs. I loved VB.Net precisely because it was completely redesigned to be object orientated from the ground up and a much more elegant language than VB6/VBA ever was - remember classic VB started as a procedural language that had object orientation bolted onto it, which was inevitably a bit of a cludge. And the libraries were an inconsistent mess. I've always thought of VB.Net as C# but without the annoying sparse syntax!! ;))


Err a language is not an API (I know Oracle doesn't agree!! ;)) and VB.Net manages just fine without annoying semi-colons and squiggly brackets. And remember I can produce near identical MSIL as you can with your C# code (or my C# code for that matter).



Nope we haven't but languages evolve look at Javascript (yuck!) or Python.

And VB.Net is a world away from the original BASIC - thinks generics, lambda functions, LINQ, classes (obviously), inheritance, delegates, events, anonymous types, extension methods, Reflection, IEnumerable collections, DI support and that's just off the top of my head. Not so BASIC is it! ;))

And actually C# has adopted features from VB. Optional parameters is one feature that comes to mind.


Richard Speed joins a long line of IT commentators who talk utter bollocks about VB.Net because 18 years after it was launched they still don't understand how it is fundamentally different to VB6!! (Nobody who knows anything about VB.Net would put a picture of Visual Studio with VB6 at the top of their article!!)

VB.Net and VB6 share some language syntax it is true but other than that they are totally different. As a fully fledged .Net language, VB.Net is much closer to C# than it is VB6. It would be relatively trivial to convert an application from C# to VB.Net and visa versa but it's much more difficult to convert VB6 apps to VB.Net as the architecture is fundamentally object orientated and a world away from VB6. As for feature parity between C# and VB.Net, personally I don't care. C# is aimed at geek types who think 100 line anonymous methods are great and code comments are bad smells. VB.Net is a nice environment for LOB applications with it's English like syntax and most VB.Net coders don't mind adding a few comments to let you know what the code might be trying to achieve.

So RS, explain please why if I can compile my VB.Net code to virtually identical .Net Byte code as I could if I coded the same thing in C#, why is the VB.Net produced code legacy and the C# code isn't, particularly as the fundamental architecture of the two languages is all but identical?

And while we are at it, I code in both and I don't mind C# but I wouldn't call the syntax 'modern'. The whole industry seems to be burdened with languages that need semi-colons and squiggly brackets to tell the compiler what the developer means - it's so 1970's! And I also find the VS experience with VB.Net just that little bit more productive than with C#, there seem to be fewer of those annoying framework/compiler glitches to deal with.

And as for popularity, VB.Net has shot up the TIOBE index in recent years and in some months has ranked higher than C#! Last time I looked C# was 5th and and VB.Net was only just behind in 6th. Yes okay, I take the TIOBE index with a pinch of salt but at the very least it looks like somebody is still interested in this 'legacy' language that we apparently should of all stopped using years a go! ;))

Defense against the Darknet, or how to accessorize to defeat video surveillance


Re: Little English.

There's a long and rather pathetic history of self-loathing within the English (of which I am one) of which your comment is a fine exemplar. For starters, many 'foreign' names came into English via word of mouth, so it's not surprising they ended up mangled when they entered the language. It's not unique to English either which you'll know if you've ever studied a foreign language.

As for Shamima Begum, I thing the majority of Brits (yeah I'm including the Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish) are critical of her because she has been (and still is) an active member and supporter of ISIS - a terror organisation let's not forget that murdered and enslaved people in despicable ways. Go tell the Yazidi women who were imprisoned as sex slaves that our criticism has no more depth than an inability to pronounce her name.

You're talking bo**ocks, and it makes me wonder just exactly what sort of 'Inglish' you actually are?

MOS-SAD: Israeli govt weighs in on Facebook privacy, promises action



"As a western democracy..."

Really? So the rights of your Arab citizens are fully respected then?

Munich council finds €49.3m for Windows 10 embrace


Re: €49.3m for Windows 10

Oh come off it. Anybody with any experience of previous versions of Windows (or a recent Linux distro even!) can use Windows 10, it ain't exactly difficult to adapt to! If Munich had decided they were moving over to Apple Macs, you would probably all have said diddly sh*t about it - coz Apple is cool innit!

Sorry, I know that it won't sit well with some people but the reality is that MS have done a good job with Win 10 and it's relatively easy and pleasant to use. I also use Linux as well, before you start!

After selling his site for millions, founder hacked it for a second payday


"This says more about the lack of security duediligence by the new owners than the hacking intentions of the former owner."

What is with this always blame the victim mentality when it comes to hacking?

The former owner is a greedy unscrupulous b*stard who deliberately left a hidden back door in his software. Just because the new owners didn't find it straight-away doesn't make it their fault!

Apple Mac fans told: Something smells EFI in your firmware


@Anonymous Coward

If you're one a "select few" then I must be one of a "very select few" who goes back way beyond turbo buttons to when clones were referred to as IBM PC clones! And that's the key here, the old PC BIOS had a design that dated all the way back to the original IBM PC - okay it had been tinkered with over the years but it was basically still a 1980's design. SO I don't get why you're b*tching about UEFI yet don't complain about EFI on Macs. Something had to be done to update the PC BIOS design and an enhanced version of EFI has been a good solution, and in spite of all the moaning and conspiracy theories when it was introduced it is supported by lots of open source OSes.

As regards the "Macs work" argument, it some how implies that PC's don't and it's hard to set up development environments under Windows or Linux. All I can say is if you find it that hard, perhaps you should consider another calling ;)


@anonymous coward - "If you see Mac use as elitist, trendy and too cool for you, you're really telling me you're not able to assess facts objectively, waste time and have an attitude problem. Or, translated, hard to employ in a commercial setting."

Or maybe boltar is a bit more commercially astute than you obviously are and sees the danger of being locked into one (high handed, expensive) supplier for both software and hardware. Does it not worry you that if Apple suddenly shifts direction and drops your preferred macbook size/type you literally have nowhere else to go! Apple: closed software + closed hardware = lock-in!


@anonymous coward : "Until such time as Microsoft stops gaming the hardware world (you didn't think the PC switch from BIOS to UEFI was problematic for Linux by accident, do you?)"

A bit ironic that you're posting on a thread about Mac EFI firmware, and b*tching about UEFI!!

Russian admits being Ebury botnet herder, now jailed for 46 months


No the guy obviously believes in using free open source software! ;))

The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab


"Microsoft's OEMs were pushing out cheap plastic boxes, low-resolution screens and unreliable hard drives..."

Agree with that except the last part about unreliable hard drives. Yeah SSDs are faster and more reliable but they are also more expensive and offer limited capacity compared to HDDs. And generally, I find hard drives incredibly reliable. I can't remember the last time I saw a failure. Yes there will be people on here that have had bad experiences and will never use a hard drive again but for most people most of the time, hard drives are fine and the extra capacity they bring is useful when you need to do real work.


Re: Still no.

Perhaps those managers /execs / board members remember being told when tablets were hot that laptops were dead and they could use a tablet instead. And then they tried to do some real work and got burned!! Hence why laptops and proper convertibles like the Surface Pro are still so popular.

Jailed fraudster admits running same cold-caller con from behind bars


Re: Fool me once

I think you're missed the point. This guy and his associates don't want to learn a lesson, they are just bad evil bast*rds. They'll just carry on scamming people until such time as they're stopped. As regards how did he do it whilst in prison? I know for a fact that there are mobile phones small enough to be smuggled into prison by being stuck up someone's arse, so it's not difficult to imagine how the means to make the calls was obtained. It suggests though that there's people on the outside assisting him - I hope they're nicked as well.

As regards further punishment, it would be sweet if some sort of proceeds of crime order could be made against all those convicted to recover the missing £66m, just as they are about to be released from prison. Then if they don't pay up, they can be banged up again :)

Confidence in £70m customs system has 'collapsed', warns Treasury Committee


Re: Early warning?

No need, anybody with half a brain knows the Spanish have been after Gib for years. But they should be careful, they've got their own 'Gibs' in Morroco, Ceuta and Melilla. And the Canary islands aren't exactly off the coast of Spain are they! And then there's the Basque region as well which would like autonomy. This could be a can of worms they regret opening! And I like the Spanish generally, but on this I don't agree with them.


HaHa, except Gib isn't an island!

'I'm innocent!' says IT contractor on trial after Office 365 bill row spiraled out of control


They should thank the guy ;)

Surely, a perfect opportunity for this Chamber to do a reverse Munich, and jump ship to Linux + LibreOffice!!

Munich may dump Linux for Windows


Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

Hang-on big_D, you can't say positive things like that about Windows!

The only closed source* product you are allowed to be positive about is OSx, that's the law!! ;))

* some (naive) people mistakenly believe it's open source but then fail to wonder why it doesn't run on non Apple hardware - go figure!!

ps haven't seen one of your posts in years. Didn't you used to post on PCPro before they ruined it?

NHS IT bod sends test email to 850k users – and then responses are sent 'reply all'


Re: Not a bad test


I suspect alcohol intake of said "senior associate ICT delivery facilitator" is going to exceed NHS guidelines this evening;

Good day at the office darling? Give me that damn bottle now!!!

French programmers haul Apple into court over developer rules


Re: Why use a web browser for an app?

"is Safari becoming the new IE6"

Err Yes, and wouldn't it be sweet if the EU Competition Department (come back Neelie Kroes!) fined Apple big time and made them display a Browser Choice window (remember that monstrosity!) on all new iFruit devices. Ah but it'll never happen because it's Apple, right?!

Windows Phone dives into irrelevant-like-BlackBerry territory


Re: Microsoft


Are self destructing."

Well you might well be right but then again the haters have been predicting (hoping!) this would happen for twenty years or more.

You say Open Office formats are blossoming. In business I come across Office Open XML formats everywhere, not so much Open Office formats. Personally, I would miss modern versions of MS Office. The alternative seems to be use Open/Libre Office and use a UI from the 90's or use a cut down web based product like Google Docs. I don't find either prospect particularly appealing :(

Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!


Re: Madness

"1) Such devices ran XP badly, they originally had Linux"

Bit of an over simplification that. The early ones with 7" screens and minute SSDs were horrible and weren't even up to running XP and should have been restricted to Linux . The later ones like the Samsung NC10 I had with a single core Atom, 2GB RAM and 160Gb HDD ran XP just fine. I even ran a full version of Visual Studio on it for occasional late night coding in hotel rooms. I never tried the last of the line dual core models but I can't see any reason why they wouldn't have run Windows 7 quite well.

"2) Win 10 costs money to replace XP and offers just spyware"

Can you actually back that claim up re Spyware. I've read several in depth analyses of Windows 10 that compressively debunk that myth - sorry if the facts don't fit your anti-MS stance.

"3 Linux Mint with Mate works fine"

If it does be happy but remember some of us need access to stuff not easily accessible via a Linux Distro - different strokes and all that.

Bookstore sells some data centre capacity, becomes Microsoft, Oracle's nemesis


Re: "Trevor Pott has demonstrated that he is merely a Microsoft shill"

Yeah the MS haters are out in force this holiday season ;))


Re: Trevor, surely Office sells Windows, not the other way round?

"but that it uses a default proprietary file format"

B*llocks it uses an Open standard XML format. That's why there are loads of open source libs out there that can read and write offices docs. I'm using one at present called Epplus to create Excel spreadsheets.

German ex-pat jailed for smearing own pat all over Cork apartment


Re: Jail sentence?

"Yeah, so backward the gays can get married."

Oh Alan, you old homophobe you..