* Posts by Jay Zelos

77 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Jun 2007


Google pencils in limited third-party cookie purge for January

Jay Zelos

If you look at Google's own list of sites at risk you'll see Sales Force, Azure portal and many others. A lot of sites that run inside an iframe inside CRM or ERP cloud solutions etc.

Firefox and Edge both use a commercial blacklist of ad trackers, neither last I looked blocked all third party cookies. Last time Safari did this they reverted it within days.

Interesting times ahead.

Metro Bank techies placed at risk of redundancy, severance terms criticised

Jay Zelos

Re: Waterfall methodology

Winston Royce - he actually coined the term as a description of the poor way most companies write software. It was never supposed to be a set of instructions but something to avoid!

Winning Underhand C Contest code silently tricks nuke inspectors

Jay Zelos

....the Peoples Glorious Democratic Republic of Alice and the Glorious Democratic Peoples Republic of Bob...

Really the test should have been set in Python rather than C.

Rackspace's 'fanatical' army drops in on rival clouds

Jay Zelos

I got a quote from them a year or two ago for a remote backup solution. The sales guy basically told me to use the same software folks from Amazon S3 recommend, but with their back end which had the same SLA but with 20% extra cost. Needless to say, we went with AWS. I really couldn't figure out their sales angle...

Elite:Dangerous goes TITSUP

Jay Zelos

I think there is a lot of misinformation in some of these posts. Currently in Elite there are only a few thousand, maybe tens/hundreds of thousand systems. My understanding (which could be wrong) is that others are only created when a pilot gets closer to them. So in a sense by exploring the universe, one becomes god.

The Online only mode is related to the way the market operates, even playing solo other players transactions effect your the prices in your world. Also the news is drawn from a central source.

My problem with the game is that's is just not a lot of fun to play, its easy but a real grind. Its basically Elite First Encounters with prettier graphics and harder controls (unless you own a flight stick). I am waiting to see what they do with it though as the potential is there.

Lazy sysadmins rooted in looming Mozilla cert wipeout

Jay Zelos

Just checked and it look likes Geotrust have another intermediate that goes to a 2048 bit CA, hopefully that's on all devices and they just need to update their help pages.

Jay Zelos

Considering Geotrust are still using the 1024 root CA that's listed on that blog for the EV certs I'm a bit puzzled, especially as they gave notice a year ago they were going to drop it in favour of a new 2048 bit CA.

iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks

Jay Zelos

I would expect micro-USB if anything unless Apple expect this phone to be outdated by 2017.


NHS delivers swift kick to Microsoft's wallet over fee demands

Jay Zelos

A better way for the NHS to save money and reduce licence (and labour) costs would be to stop typing out so many internal letters and notes and to move to electronic document storage which most of their equipment suppliers already offer. (Printing out x-rays that have been emailed from the scanner just to go into a notes pile for example)

Job for IT generalist ...

Jay Zelos

Most of the roles I've seen tend towards one of either, developer, db admin, systems admin or network admin. (systems being servers, no one ever mentions desktops).

At the coalface this is fine, probably a good idea since the skills are so in depth these days. However someone needs to tell all these folk how it all links together and this is where the architect role comes in. It's typically more design and emergency problem solving than operational day to day stuff, great fun, varied and rewarding.

I performed that role for a government agency for a few years with fair bit of project management thrown in as well. The pay was terrible and recognition less than ideal at the very top, but since leaving for the private sector I've found my skill set in huge demand. Typically after I've taken a job as a developer (my primary skill of choice) my other abilities and knowledge get me moved onto urgent projects that are behind and in need of expert assistance. I then get asked to help out with planning and design to stop the same situation arising again. I'm currently in my second stint with my current UK based employer precisely because this employer valued those skills and was willing to chase me down and offer the rewards they deserve. Its a hard sell, but once you're in a company, all your skills will get noticed and promoted as long as you volunteer and get stuck in. It may take some time to find the right placement, but it will happen.

Anatomy of OpenSSL's Heartbleed: Just four bytes trigger horror bug

Jay Zelos


Just wanted to say good work for such an informative and interesting article. As a software developer (mostly) working in a different language it was enough for me to understand and not too much to bore. Well done.

Now I just have to contact all the vendors of my enterprise grade firewalls for patches since they all use OpenSSL code without exception...

Live in the middle of nowhere? CONGRATS. Some of you can pay EE for 4G

Jay Zelos

I used to commute to work (on the odd occasion the train was running) from Norwich to Lowestoft, a 40 minute journey of which 30 consisted of no signal. My original plan was to work on the train, productive time etc. Since the fare was upped to £200 a month and still no WiFi, I decided to give up and car share.

Tesla unveils battery-swapping tech for fast car charging

Jay Zelos
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I imagine they said the same thing about the first petrol filling stations and cars.

This sounds like a real solution to the short range of electric cars, Renault had the same idea a few years ago. The difficulty is in putting it into practise, its going to cost a fortune in the short term until sufficient volumes of cars are using them. I can see the batteries being replaced by the supplier AKA portable camping gas supplies long term, much more practical.

Magpie Apple plunders the competition for cosmetics, as egos run wild

Jay Zelos
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The articial read a bit like an Apple fan having a tantrum. I think its great that the iOS gui has finally been dragged up to the level of BB10 or Android 4, it was looking very tired and dated. And whats wrong with simplicity as a design objective, would you rather have Googles search page littered with widgets or left as it is, clean and functional.

Whilst I'm not going to be handing back my Nexus any time soon, I think I'ves has had the right idea.

'Leccy car biz baron Elon Musk: Thanks for the $500m, taxpayers...

Jay Zelos

Re: Note that difference *loan* (with interest) versus old car maker (2nd or 3rd) bailout.

So back in the 50's, the average American used a mainframe at work and in the 60's went to the moon on vacation?

The technology from these things improves over time and trickles down into our daily lives, that's how cutting edge stuff works. The potential for improvements in batteries alone would be worth investing in.

George Soros pumps £50m into fibre-gobbling ISP Hyperoptic

Jay Zelos
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I asked these guys to come to Norwich a few months ago, but sadly it seems they are London only, maybe now that may change. 1 Gbps with low latancy would mean each room in the house could stream its own HDTV channel.

Ballmer comes not to praise Sinofsky but to bury him

Jay Zelos

"All of the current Windows engineering teams will report into Julie..."

Is that modern management speak or are they going to shoot her?

Apple granted patent for ebook page-turning

Jay Zelos

Why does being on-line make this patent any more valid than if it was offline. If Apple are presumably patenting the method, then there is a very large library (pardon me...) of prior art?

Sinofsky OFFSKI: Is Windows 9 now codenamed 'Defenestrate'?

Jay Zelos

I've not idea about why the guy left, but apparently its common for executive types to leave a short time after a product launch rather than just before, It scares the markets otherwise.

Maybe this had been planned (by him) for a while.

Analyst: There are LOADS of iPhone 5s, Apple is keeping them back

Jay Zelos

I'm fairly familer with mobile retail and the article is pretty much spot on. Apple have simply prioritised their own stores and larger carriers who had contracts in place pre launch. There isn't any particular shortage of 5's, I know of one Apple store with a large surplus just sitting in a store room. To be fair to Apple, it seems like good commercial sense to me, getting punters into the store means you can sell them more stuff as well as make sure they know how to use it to avoid any bad press or returns.

Psst: Heard the one about the National Pupil Database? Thought not

Jay Zelos

I used to work in this area for Norfolk County Council. From memory, we had very strict rules on what could and could not be used and (in theory) water tight contracts with suppliers of educational resources. However, I can recall from my time that education are considered a special case under UK data protection law and are exempt from most of the normal rules. Giving that data to third parties for non-educational use would be somewhat different though and ought to require parental consent.

Apple axed Brit retail boss for doing his job well - TOO well, perhaps

Jay Zelos

The Apple staff in stores are exactly the same folk you find in any other decent high end retailer. I know of a trainee doctor working in one who has no IT knowledge at all. The only difference is in staff numbers and thats not changed noticably in my local store.

This sounds more like a knee jerk reaction to complaints from staff, proabably to avoid any bad press. In the long run Apple should be wary of giving in to staff too much, they are a company not a charity and need to keep an eye on the bottom line.

Big Data bites back: How to handle those unwieldy digits

Jay Zelos
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Really good short article. I've never had to work with unstructured data, just tabular, and this was very insightful for me. More of the same please.

NHS trust: Not buying through NHS IT saved us £7m

Jay Zelos
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I used to work for a large organisation who made a number of purchases from govermnent frameworks and "approved" supliers. I've seen standard packages rebadged and purchased at a 500% markup in defiance of advice from in-house experts. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this turned out to be just as good as the NHS reccommended product for a fraction of the price.

RIM doses PlayBook with 4G super serum

Jay Zelos

Re: 4G?

An Ipad at £130 quid, good luck....

I have a older model and the hardware easily outperforms my iPad (not a 3 obviously). Sadly no amount of performance beats having the actual apps to do stuff with though... I wish RIM would get their act together and pay for some killer apps to be ported across, I don't want a straight choice between iOS or Android alone.

Vauxhall Ampera hybrid e-car

Jay Zelos
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In the east of england, you can join a club for £10 a year and charge for free at any source east charging point. My company have just popped two in, one in Bradwell, Great Yarmouth (outside a fonehouse mobile shop) and another outside our offices in Oulton Broad, Lowestoft. (sealake road). I think the Renault dealerships have them as well.


(The charging points are subsidised by grants.)

Study: The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate

Jay Zelos

I think some of the comments are being a bit harsh on Lewis, he is simply reporting someone else conclusions.

Interestingly, most of the sciencists I've read seem to agree that global warming is happening and that humans are responsable for increasing the rate. What no one seems to know, is what is going to happen next. We are currently in an internacine period of warmth during a major ice age and no one knows when it may end.

Raspberry Pi gets snappy with camera add-on

Jay Zelos
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I got my Pi a few weeks ago. downloaded debian, installed onto an old Sandisk SD card using some SD boot maker tools I found somewhere on a PI related website. Stuck an HTC phone power supply in, wireless mouse, wired keyboard and plugged it into an HDMI monitor. Worked perfectly first time, had a play around the x desktop, used the browser and tools. now just looking at what arm binaries I can use and how to cross compile on windows (if I can).

It's pretty straightfoward to get working, although beyond that the community support isn't there yet. But it half the folk using them providing something back in the way of a tool, assistance to others, forum support etc then there is no reason it shouldn't take off. There is a bit too much negativity in the IT world.

Nokia still has a patent business

Jay Zelos
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Re: Microsoft <-> Nokia payments

I missed that point and it has to be one of the most relevent in the whole Microsoft/Nokia saga.

If Nokia are tied in to paying MS almost the same amount in royalties that they get in platform support payments, the the OS is effectivly zero cost, but no more than that. However android is also zero cost and a lot more popular. Nokia is really swimming against the tide and with a not very popular OS to boot (historically).

Nokia can only be gambling that MS will see windows phone as too essential to fail and promote it to the hilt, something that's not yet happened.

Balsillie bails as RIM reports terrible quarter

Jay Zelos

Re: Don't give up

They have dropped Java support on BBX, Its native C++ or nothing. Daft idea when they have a large existing Java developer and app base and BBX on the PlayBook is suffering from a shortage of apps!

Orange 3G data network goes titsup

Jay Zelos

Re: Also affecting Spain

Talk Mobile is Vodafone.

Reliable, but slow....

Google's Android 'let down' sinks iPad rivals - IDC

Jay Zelos

Re: Playbook prices

It's being sold in the uk for far less. £250 for the 64, £200 for the 32 and £170 for the 16GB models. The carphone warehouse stock them. Bizzarely when I got mine a few weeks ago, they still had the old prices on display. I had to ask to confirm the new pricing was in effect.

I'd agree with the comments about it being cracking bit of hardware. Now they finally have an email client its a lot more usable. There are a few niggles, for example not being able to change the email address on an account (create new, delete old) is a pain when google are chaning from googlemail.com to gmail.com. The app downloader can only download one at a time, dosn't inform you the others are queued and will quit half way through if closed (no warning or background working). And you can't turn off notifications completly, glow, led or both. But in general terms, its great for day to day use and far cheaper then an iPad.

If they can encourage developers* to write a decent colletion of apps it could be a contender...

(*thats why i have one)

Dumb salesmen are hurting us – Nokia CEO

Jay Zelos

retail sales

As someone who works with mobile retailers the biggist problems are poor deals for the consumer, lack of stock at the wholesalers and low commision (~high handset cost). There is no incentive for anyone to buy, for anyone to sell and no way of getting hold of them if they ever took off. Nokia spent a lot of money on advertising a phone they don't seem very keen on selling.

Navy pays 2x purchase price to keep warship docked for 5 years

Jay Zelos

Thats only about 30 years older than the wooden windows and roof on my parents house, no wonder they cost so many millions to treat each winter...

MPs slam government's 'obscene' IT spend

Jay Zelos


I used to work for a bussiness unit supplier schools with IT equipment in Norfolk.

The old PC was disposed of via a recycyling firm who took them away for free. The hard drive was taken out first and disposed of in-house with a secure wipe followed by a hammer.

The new PC was bought from Dell and delivered to site. A technican would go out and imagine on site. For large install we would ship an image disc to Dell to install prior to going out or would deliver to base, image then deliver alongside the technican.

Of course, now my old company has been taken in-house by the county council all this has changed.Central managment software has been replaced with a collection of partly working vb scripts, curent OS builds have reverted to XP/Vista from Win7. Procurement has a 3 month lead time (paperwork) and imaging is now done from a USB attached harddrive, one at a time.

£3500 is £2500 worth of inefficiency added to £1000 worth of equipment.

Study slams brain-training games' mental improvement claims

Jay Zelos

re DS better than paper comments

"Lieury discovered that the groups using the DS actually recorded a 17 per cent decrease in memory tests after seven weeks."

Honestly, if you are going to flame about how the research is crap and the DS is at least as good as paper and pen, at least read the damn article.

The DS may have increased logic and speed but it had a detrimental affect on memory, the paper and pen version had a significant positive effect. Bearing in mind one school in my area is wasting taxpayers money on 100 of the little blighters, I'd say its a pretty important point.

I'm guessing its down to the fact you have to write the answers down rather than clicking a button, not sure how that squares with the control group though.

Stop'n'search gets touchy-feely

Jay Zelos

retrain viglen

"remain vigilant"

For some unknown reason this reminds me of Beneath a Steel Sky, now thats scary.

Norfolk children get £310,000 of free laptops

Jay Zelos

I'll bite...

I think you misread my post, that would be 10 additional teachers for a grand sum of 10 kids, that's 300K, not very cost efficient. Its a simple question of logistics, a teacher can only be in one place and if the kids abodes are fixed... I'll have a word and see if we can publish some detail to explain the whys and wherefores, no promises though, its not my project and I'm not posting in a official capacity.

The WiFi was a East of England project and not an NCC one as such, although I'm personally in favour of a mesh network for the entirety of Norfolk. It could lead to savings in the long term regarding public sector IP telephony etc. I hate to even think about the phone bill for such a rural area, take 431 schools for instance, or god knows how many NHS surgeries.

As for the unitary thing, blame Norwich CC, no one else wanted it, it was a case of offer an alternative or have Norfolk cut in two, which serves no-one (IMO).


Jay Zelos
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Not just laptops

If this is the same scheme I worked on, Its not just laptops, there is a 24/7 support arrangement with a Becta approved supplier, plus the laptop comes with a standard software stack, office, AV, anti-spyware etc plus monitoring software (Securas) as these are designed for education not playing half life.

There is also the not so little amount of money required for the ADSL provision (for those that don't already have it) and the remote access solution, they are forced to use a software vpn that provides filtered Internet access and access to local (school) content only.

At the end of the day, the money is peanuts is it helps the kids to fullfill their potential and yes, some will undoubtably end up on eBay, but when prison places cost 40K a year and top rate tax payers are paying 45% back to UK PLC it sounds like a bargin.

Incidently some of these are going to home schooled kids who can't get into a regular school and others to kids in hospital long term so they can continue their school work. The alternative would be to exclude them from schooling altogether or pay 30K for a teacher per student.

The secret sauce in SanDisk's ExtremeFFS

Jay Zelos
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Thanks for that, was really interesting to see an explanation of how the difference types work in practise (NAND/NOR).


Jacqui Smith prints seized by No2ID in daring dabs grab

Jay Zelos


".........And expect a backdated law to be passed illegalising the collection or ownership of fingerprints soon after..."

I read that as ilegal ownership of fingers.

Its only a matter of time...


Book about D-Notices gets D-Notice slapped on it

Jay Zelos

Bad link

I think the times are playing silly buggers, the link to the article is in arts and enterainments. The one in the article is to a 2006 "McGuinness is a British spy" page.


Gmail uses DomainKeys to lock out eBay phishing attacks

Jay Zelos


An SPF record should provide details of the mail servers permitted to send on behalf of a given domain. It's not a complete solution, but at least provides some assistance to combating spam. SenderID is not exactly the same as it uses a different approach to identify the domain, (PRA). Unfortunately they both use spf1 which causes confusion.

Ofcom flashes cash guarantees at BT for fibre investment

Jay Zelos

BT's 21CN

Don't BT already have a plan to fibre up Britian with 21CN?

As I understand it the backbone is being done first and the main reason is cost savings to BT that they intend to pass on to the end customer, (according to the presentations).

It seem's like Offcom is just waving a flag to say I'm here.

Heavyweight physics prof weighs into climate/energy scrap

Jay Zelos

Elecy Cars

The motors may be 90% efficient compared with the 15-30% of combustion engines, but you have to carry some serious battery power around to get anywhere.

For 360 miles in a 30mpg petrol powered car you need approx 40KG's of fuel. For the same distance in a Honda EV+ electric car you need a 374KG Zinc Air battery pack or 3 times this for Metal Hydride, (what they came with when made).

Even taking account of a smaller engine and no need for exhaust systems, this a significant amount of additional weight and would require additional energy to cart around.

Energy Content

0.21 KWh/kg for Zinc Air Battery

0.07 KWh/kg for Metal Hydride Battery

44.0 KWh/kg for Petrol

I can't believe I went and looked all this up just for a comment!


Davis faces North Korean victory margin in civil liberty vote

Jay Zelos
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What he said :)

If Gordon seriously thinks the public are behind him with 42 days, then why not put forward a Labour candidate on that platform?

Windows XP bests OS X in RIA test on Intel

Jay Zelos
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It's considered a known fact by webbies that Opera will outperform all other browsers for rendering HTML/CSS and processing Javascript. Firefox and Safari (on Mac) will also outperform IE7, although only by a fairly minor margin.

Using things like Sliverlight and Flash isn't really up my street but I would assume it largely depends on who wrote the plug-in rather than the browser or platform.

Either way, poorly written pages and scripts cause far more issues with speed than anything else. (I know of a 400KB HTML table on one websites front page and have seen MB's of Javascript source files being loaded as part of a standard template on another.)

Undercover teachers to track gang members online

Jay Zelos


On the Norfolk schools network "Social Networking" (filtering list) is blocked even for teachers. Students are in school to learn and teachers to teach and I don't see that changing any time soon. If parents wish to permit access to MySpace, Bebo, Facebook etc. at home, then they need to accept the responsibility for monitoring it's use.

I wonder how long before every public worker is tasked with monitoring his or her neighbours behaviour on behalf of the state?

Legal experts wary of MySpace hacking charges

Jay Zelos

Dangerous Law

I see any kind of prosecution as very dangerous. If this women can be held accountable for the girls death, then what about school bulling. Some 13 year old kills themself after a playground spat and 4 other 13 year old girls get jailed for Manslaughter/2nd degree murder. Sounds a little extreme to me. At the end of the day the girl was responsible for ending her own life regardless of the provocation.

Can't decide how to vote? Publicwhip.org will tell you

Jay Zelos

Popular Opinion

"it ignores the massive single issues that cause people to keep a party out of power at all costs."

Europe for example, although you have to wonder if it would be such a big issue if rags like the daily mail didn't exaggerate the issue of sovereignty and costs out of all proportion.

Still, the thought that policies get anyone elected in Britain is silly anyway. There are too many mindless sheep who vote for a party by habit, matching social class, because a parent voted that way or some other idiotic reason.