* Posts by Lee Fear

21 publicly visible posts • joined 29 May 2007

UK taxman updates its employment-checking calculator for IR35: Still crap, say contractors

Lee Fear

Contractor calculator did a FOM request for the testing evidence. It came on an A4 piece of paper... (Yes a single A4 page!) They did their own testing on the tool and produced 300 pages of test results almost entirely proving the tool was badly broken.

Lee Fear

This makes me laugh. HMRC keep saying they stand by cests results. However in court it is a different matter. Almost without exception if cest says the contractor is outside of IR35 they try to get cest removed from the evidence! If it says they are inside IR35 they claim it should the the primary evidence... HMRC are a joke and so are the government for allowing this to happen and to back HMRC even when it is proven that they are lying! But then what would you expect from a government that tries to convince people they are an official fact checking service?

HMS Queen Elizabeth is delayed, Ministry of Defence confesses

Lee Fear

Re: The French

Yeah, because the Charles De Gaulle has not had any issues at all... Oh wait...

Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

Lee Fear

Re: No clothes.

The pyramids were built incrementally though...... They did not just suddenly build the great pyramids perfectly first time!

Agile is by far the best way to build anything other than tiny projects. All these comments about it involving too much talk and too many requirement changes just points to how many people are doing it wrong. There should never be too much talk as the meetings should be kept to a bare minimum, Also managing requirement changes is what agile is all about, You can make the project owners aware of the impact of their changes by letting them pick what requirements now get thrown out as a result. The release date stays the same so if a new requirement comes in then a current one gets thrown out. This makes management etc think more before they change things. People are acting as if there are no requirement changes in Waterfall, there are and they cause major issues. Agile is just a way of managing the scope creep better. Most places I have been at have run frAgile which is where the developers are all on board with Agile but the rest of the business can't let go of the control they had with Waterfall.... this is by far the worst way of doing things but seems to be the most common.

Lee Fear

You are doing it wrong...

Anyone claiming that scrum does not work due to too much talk and not enough code is just plain doing it wrong! The talk should be kept to a minimum. Also if the Business analyst keeps throwing crappy requirements at you until he/she hits on the correct requirement then the scrum master needs to have a serious word with them. There is nothing inherently wrong with scrum or agile as a whole it is just that everyone has jumped on the bandwagon without understanding it properly. However anything is better than bloody waterfall..... also I do agree that TDD is bad as there is no way you can know all the potential issues to test before you have written your code. How many times have you written code thinking it will be simple only to find that as you write, it becomes more and more complex?

Microsoft's Automatic Update - the way to browser competition?

Lee Fear

I say break non compliant sites

After all it is quite easy to make a site compliant. I am a web developer and all my sites are XHTML 1.1 validated (apart from the version delivered to IE as it can't handle the xhtml mime type properly for some stupid reason). If companies have sites that are not compliant then it is their own fault for not developing to standards.

Mono delivers Foundation-free open .NET alternative

Lee Fear


Finally an open source version of the best programming language out there.

However I would like to have seen Microsoft make it open source in the first place and then concentrate their efforts on the Development environment instead. People would still buy into microsoft as their dev environments are leagues ahead of the competition.

Electric Mini spied in Munich

Lee Fear

RE:No exhaust?

That is part of the suspension system.

Police drop BT-Phorm probe

Lee Fear

RE:This is outrageous!

Could not agree more!

Brits are Europe's biggest gadget buyers - official

Lee Fear

Second Class

So we buy more stuff than anywhere else other then the US yet the tech companies still treat us a second class! Later releases, more expensive products.................

In fact thinking about it we probably buy half of the gadgets that Japan buy, but as ours are 4 times the price we end up spending more....

BAA 'invented green superjumbo' to OK Heathrow plans

Lee Fear

Re:Re: Why London?

Exactly, There have also been many other airport and genral transport projects suggested, planned and then canned in favour of London Alternatives. It is starting to get silly now! Birmingham New Street is only just getting an upgrade and that is only because it is now so overcrowded that it was having to be shut down at certain periods for safety reasons. It is the busiest station on the network and it was causing the majority of the delays, but the money was being spent on upgrading Londons already widespread transport system instead! All of the large cities in the country need extensive Tube systems but they will not get them, but London needs a new tube line and it is given the go ahead with hardly a question asked.

Lee Fear

Why London?

Perhaps the solution is to increase capacity at other airports around the country. Rather than the governments normal stance of only investing in London. I am pretty sure there are people that live and work in other parts of the UK, but I may be wrong. Perhaps all along I have been living in London without realising it.......

Increasing capacity in other areas would also have the benefit of increasing business in these areas and therefore smoothing out the wealth across the country. But who cares about the rest of the UK, most Londoners will not have heard of those little places called Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol or Glasgow anyway.... (I seriously met a Londoner who didn't know where Birmingham was!)

El Reg tells you what the Highway Code can't

Lee Fear

To all you speed camera supporters

I have no problem with enforcing speed limits but Speed Cameras are not used for this purpose and that is waht annoys people. Where I live there is an small area containing 3 large Secondary schools 1 sixth form college, 1 technical college a couple of junior and infant schools, a sports centre and a park. This means that there are around 6000 kids flooding the area each morning and evening. There have been a quite a few deaths but generally people drive sensibly as it everyone knows that there are a ton of kids around. Now ask yourself if there should be speed cameras on these roads..... most sensible people would say yes, however there are NONE! Well why would there be, it would help stop the deaths but not that many people speed on these roads to make much money from them. Now about half a mile away there is a road on which I can't even remember seeing an accident let alone deaths or serious injuries (hardly any pedestrians walk down it and the road is very straight so not much chance of crashing), However people do exceed the speed limit quite regularly down this road. Should speed cameras be put down this road rather than by the schools? Most sensible people would say no.... however there are speed cameras down this road. Well there would be wouldn't there as there is money to be made although not many people to protect.

The other problem is that this road used to be 40mph, the speed limit was dropped to 30mph and the speed cameras put in. Nothing wrong with this I hear you say. Well it probably would have been fine if they had not merely took the 40mph signs down and failed to put up 30mph signs. Drivers were getting caught for driving at the speed that they thought was correct having not been told that the speed limit had changed!! Purposeful in order to make some cash? I think so......

Another road near me which is also straight with no pedestrians of any number and no bad crashes that I can ever remember has 4 speed cameras on it now and since the cameras were put in there have been a number of crashes caused by drivers slamming on their breaks. One was very bad as a car breaked hard and was hit by the driver travelling behind. This pushed the car onto the other carridgeway into the path of an oncoming car. 2 drivers had to be cut from the wreckage caused part by not paying attention to the road and surroundings and part by the speed cameras causing unecessary breaking! Also not all of these crashes are caused by speeding motorists breaking for the cameras, Many are caused by people traveling at the speed limit, suddenly noticing the cameras and breaking out of panic. I also have a friend at a council who openly says that the cameras are placed to make a profit and the safety is not of concern.

Ubisoft pirates game fix from pirates

Lee Fear

The reason I stopped playing PC games

I stupidly paid good money for Far Cry on the day of release and I hurried home to install it. It installed fine but the farce began when I loaded it up. It would not play as it thought I had some way of copying it. After a trawl through forums I found that it was due to my DVD Rewriter. I wrote to ubisoft Customer (Non) Services and did not get a reply. I trawled the net a bit further and found a no-disc patch which worked a treat. I then wrote back to ubisoft to tell them that the pirates had fixed my problem and thanked them for forcing me to follow the illegal route, I still to this day have not received a reply from them. The farcical thing is that I paid for a legal copy of the game and it did not work yet I could have downloaded the pirated version for free on the release day and had no problems at all! All the DRM does is punish people for Purchasing the game as Pirates seem to have little trouble cracking the games. I wish DRM would be made illegal as it is very anti-consumer. I have not bought a PC game since that day as at least my console games work straight from the box.

Software outfit keeps Vulcan airborne

Lee Fear

The best aircraft ever made

The vulcan truly is an amazing feat of engineering. I have read many stories of civil pilots getting a big surprise as a vulcan shot past them vertically and of vulcans out manouvering mig fighters. That thing could pull off moves that should just not be possible for a plane of it's size. I was at an airshow (fairford i think) and standing near an american f16. The pilot was letting a kid sit in the cockpit just as a B52 (another awesome plane) was powering up for takeoff. He smuggly said to the father of the kid to " watch this beast go up!" it took off rather noisely, some people stopped to watch, many were still wandering around the show. As soon as it was up and away a vulcan appeared at the end of the runway and began to power up. As it roared and groaned into the air, car alarms went off, everyone stood still and I looked around to see the American Pilots jaw on the floor!

If I had the money I would gladly give them enough to keep the vulcan flying for as long as possible (something I think the government or lottery should be doing) to keep a unique part of our herritage for future generations to admire.

Eurofighter at last able to drop bombs, but only 'austerely'

Lee Fear

Please do some research!

Many on here are very quick to attack Typhoon as a useless whit elephant. To say it has been mismanaged is very true and this has lead it to go over budget and with large delays. However it is now operational and is proving to be one of the finest military aircraft ever made! It can out manouver just about anything in the sky and has technology that even the americans would kill for. It has always been a multi-role aircraft but was originally designed with air to air as its primary role. The fact that the MOD have upgraded the weapons systems is a good thing as sending pilots out with a second rate targeting system would be dangerous! Buying american aircraft is not always a good solution as by building the Typhoon here we are keeping hold of the technology and skills required if for some reason in the future we fell out with the US. We are also buying a stealth aircraft to replace the Harrier but this is co-designed by Lockheed and BAe so again we have a hand in the technology. Lets stop attacking the aircraft and just complain about the poor management (in the vain hope that the Government can do better in the future) and lets celebrate the Typhoon for what it is; Currently the best multi-role attack aircraft on the planet!

Microsoft and HP tackle SQL-injection scourge

Lee Fear

Why not just use......

Stored procedures!

They then also bring the benefits of re-useability and Performance increase......

Although saying that I had to use in code sql statements in one app I did due to stupidly assuming that as the host was using mysql5 then i would be able to use SP's. Sadly they had disabled the use of SP's! If I had known this before hand I would not have gone with the host. I now ask more specific questions before I choose a host. However I obviously went to the trouble of fully validating all user inputs on that app.

PS3 sales to surpass Wii's... in four years' time

Lee Fear

RE:Re:Is the Wii a fad, though?

I agree that the wii is clearly not a fad but I disagree that it has not been aimed a gamers. In fact I would say that it is possibly the other way around, wii was made for gamers the 360 and ps3 were made for people that do not know what gameplay is! I have been gaming for over 27 years and I got a wii on release day. I have been rewarded with the greatest game ever made in super mario galaxy. I also own a 360 a psp an an amiga, a spectrum 48k, a neogeo pocket color, an atari lynx and a dreamcast among other consoles so I can hardly be called either a fanboy or a casual gamer. As for PS3 overtaking wii in 4 years time, erm is that not when the next generation will arrive? The only reason it has outsold wii in recent months is because there is plenty of ps3 stock available as no one has been buying them but wii has been selling out 1.8 million per month for the past year!

Virgin Media pins hopes on the broadband donkey

Lee Fear

No Problem

I have to say that I have got VM Phone Broadband and TV (V+) and it is all great. I can't understand the complaint above about the on demand service not working as it has always worked fine for me and the on demand films are an excellent alternative to going to blockbusters (although I would like to see them slightly cheaper). I also have very few problems with my V+ box although I do agree it is slow at flicking through channels, but having said that so was my sky box. I also have the advantage of a great upscaler, HD, and 3 tuners. I only have the 1mb connection but it is great for games and I play Xbox Live all the time.

DVD ripping to be rendered impossible?

Lee Fear

RE:Resistance is Futile

We know this. What we are getting annoyed by is the fact that by persuing this futile attempt to stop the hackers they are making the purchasing of media far less attractive. One example I always use is Far Cry on the PC. I bought it on day of release and took it home all excited. I put it in my pc and it told me that it couldn't play due to my dvd drive being a re-writer! I emailed ubisoft with no answer and trawled through the forums for a way to get it working (it turned out I was one of many with the problem caused by the drm) I finally had to download a no cd crack which enabled me to finally play the game I had payed for!!! The ridiculous thing is that only people that had bought the game were affected as the pirate version(available on day of release) apparently worked fine as did the no cd crack I was using. So the only thing Ubisoft managed to achieve was to pee off the paying customers! I wrote to them about it but again received no reply.....

UK firms contest 'absurd' software patent ruling

Lee Fear

Copyright is good enough

Software should never be patentable at all. Otherwise we my well find ourselves in the ridiculous position that the US finds itself in, where Amazon can patent the vague idea of holding a users details so that they can buy with only a username and password! Not only is this Idea obvious, it has been done before Amazon as far as I am aware. This is like being able to Patent the idea of a bagless vaccuum cleaner regardless of how it actually works. Or Patenting a machine to wash clothes without saying how it actually does the washing.

I heard somewhere that AACS Have patented the Hexadecimal Number that forms the key to their encryption! Now that is dumb!

Microsoft got to where they were with the old copyright laws so as a software developer I can't see what is wrong with them. After all, could anyone imagine programming while having to check you are not infringing on a patent every ten seconds?