* Posts by Day

56 posts • joined 1 Sep 2010


Mind the airgap: Why nothing focuses the mind like a bit of tech antiquing


Re: At a loss

What if there are other people in his household?

FUSE for macOS: Why a popular open source library became closed source and commercially licensed


Re: @AC - I understand where the dev is coming from but ....

"Not at all. Huge chunks of GPL code are lifted vertabim from sources licensed under BSD and other agreements."

Citation needed.

Female-free speaker list causes PHP show to collapse when diversity-oriented devs jump ship



"The field of coding has only been around for about 40 years or so."

Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow


Re: No thanks to any dynamic language

"proper intellisense support".

That is not a programming language consideration.

Google's macho memo man fired, say reports


"they have just announced that no republican can hold a job at Google."

Excuse me? What do you mean?


Re: The guy's a bigot

The problem he has is encapsulated in the quote, but it's not the issue you think it is. Just in that one paragraph, there are a number of statements that are WHOLLY without foundation in the manifesto:

1. Google's "left bias"

2. Google's "monoculture"

3. "Encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies"

His ten pages are full of this sort of argument. Over and over, he states that he BELIEVES that something is true and then continues as if it IS true. This is the sort of thing that first year undergraduates do; one of the things they have to learn during their studies is the ability to recognise this sort of flaw in their own arguments.

Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'


Re: WHAT are you talking about?

I am not going go waste a lot of time on you, as I presume your question is disingenuous. But, on the off chance that you are serious, my objection to point for is the fact that in the author's mind, the two things (increasing women's representation in tech and increasing the number of women who are homeless) are comparable. I don't believe that you believe that. I think that you posted without reading what I said or reading the manifesto.


Re: Article by a former "Google Distinguished Engineer"

That REALLY is not an explanation why it is a "weak response". The author of the piece you quoted states that he doesn't want to talk about what makes a good SW engineer and then goes on to contradict Zunger's definition of what makes a good SW engineer.

Have you read the original manifesto? Even if you agree with what the person is saying, the manifesto is really a terrible way of expressing that. There is really no way you can defend it, because it is a truly appalling piece of writing.


WHAT are you talking about?

I defy anyone to read that memo and conclude that it makes any sense at all. Here are some examples of rubbish that he mentions without citing any evidence whatsoever:

1. "Competitiveness and self reliance can be valuable traits and we shouldn’t necessarily disadvantage those that have them, like what’s been done in education"

2. "The male gender role is currently inflexible Feminism has made great progress in freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very much tied to the male gender role. If we, as a society, allow men to be more “feminine,” then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles."

3. "I’ve heard several calls for increased empathy on diversity issues. While I strongly support trying to understand how and why people think the way they do, relying on affective empathy—feeling another’s pain—causes us to focus on anecdotes, favor individuals similar to us, and harbor other irrational and dangerous biases. Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts."

4. "Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts."

All of these are direct quotes from the document as reproduced here: Gizmodo article. I have chosen these quotes pretty much at random by scrolling up and down the document. I could have chosen many, many more examples. It is incredible how poorly argued the manifesto is. The fact that the author was apparently not embarrassed by it is pretty shocking, in my opinion.


Frankly, the manifesto-writer should be censured (note that is a 'u', not a 'o') for writing absolute nonsense. It reads like something a pre-undergraduate student would try to argue. For one thing, this is absolutely preposterous:


We can make software engineering more people-oriented with pair programming and more collaboration. Unfortunately, there may be limits to how people-oriented certain roles and Google can be and we shouldn’t deceive ourselves or students into thinking otherwise (some of our programs to get female students into coding might be doing this).


This person has clearly never actually given any thought to this subject matter.


Re: Article by a former "Google Distinguished Engineer"

It is a considered response. He explains in great detail his thinking about the memo. And remember, he is an ex-Google employee, so his thinking has some relevance here.


Re: Article by a former "Google Distinguished Engineer"

Well there is some relevance, because he used to work at Google. And the points he makes are interesting, even if chose not to engage with them.


Article by a former "Google Distinguished Engineer"

In truth, I'm not sure about his title - someone else mentioned it. In any case, this is actually a considered response, in my opinion: "So, about this Googler’s manifesto"

Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in


WHY does it seem "like pandering to political correctness/feminism"? Why don't you see it as just a simple choice that reflects the times that we are living in?

China gives America its underwater drone back – with a warning


Re: Lying so-and-so's

"What? Get with the program! Yes, China may be unilaterally annexing a huge chunk of the South China Sea but TRUMP is the problem!"

Both of those things can be true.

OnePlus X: Dinky little Android smartie with one or two minuses


NFC on Moto G?

Are you sure about this? I have read a few reviews of the Moto G and I don't think it does have NFC.

What took you so long, Twitter? Micro blogging site takes on the trolls


They are a business and they operate all over the world. Their strategy HAS to be to ensure that people feel safe expressing their views on Twitter.

If you stand in my house insulting me and/or my family, it's not "censorship" if I throw you out. If you stand on the street and shout abuse at me and/or my family, it's not "censorship" if I ignore you or cross the road to get away from you. If you do that enough, it's not "censorship" if you get arrested and tried for disturbing the peace (or whatever).


Re: Good luck with that...

Their stock is not tanking because they are cracking down on trolls etc. Their stock is tanking because they cannot make money while maggots like #gamergate and their fellow-travellers infest the site. No major company in the twentieth century will risk any sort of association with GG's approach to "debate". Like it or not, Twitter has become known for (putting it politely) tolerating unsavoury people and they are only just realising that this can have a major effect on the business.

Brimming with VM goodness: Qnap TS-453mini 4-bay NAS


Re: Not quite the same

The number of people who can do what you propose is vanishingly small. The fact that I can do it and you can do it does not mean that there is no market for this item. Of course it's more expensive than a bespoke solution. But if you can't do this stuff, you get a lot for the difference in price. If you can do this stuff, but prefer to buy one of these NASes it still might be worth it, depending on how your value your time. Not everyone has the same amount of time to spare for projects like this. But I guess you know this anyway - for reasons best known to yourself, you want to pretend that your way of doing things is right for everyone.

Company in shambles, marriages ruined. My work here is done, says Ashley Madison CEO


Re: Methinks El Reg doth protest too much

If you think this "really doesn't have that much of an IT angle", you're deluded.

1. Security issues;

2. Internet "dating";

3. Fraud;

4. Crowdsourcing fake female profiles;

5. Failing to delete the profiles after payment;

This was a business that could only have existed on the internet and it has gone bust in the most public way. It has made headlines in the mainstream press worldwide. The founders of this business appear to be "ideas guys". In the midst of a perceived change in Internet innovation, (from people who are good coders or good designers who are trying to create new/better products ==> people whose business plan is to sell ideas and then rush to IPO), this is a big story. The headline is not misleading, so you didn't have to read it, much less comment on it.

The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined


Re: Made My Day

It may be that your kids have not identified a "need" that really speaks to them. All of the examples given address something that might motivate a person: Looking out for Granddad; Ensuring fairness in netball; Saving your teacher from food-poisoning; Checking air quality for asthmatics. Given these problems, the kids were motivated to find a solution. My guess is that they believed that they could find a solution because of all of the inspiring and "modular" examples that are available via a quick Google search.


I think the point of the article is that the right tool for the job is the one that the person who is doing the job finds. Generally, the right tool will be the one that has the clearest tutorial for a task that is closest to the issue at hand.

Fancy a mile-high earjob? We've had five!


Plantronics Backbeat Pros £130 at Amazon at the moment.

I think your price for the Backbeat Pros is wrong. I have these headphones and I do like them. A friend let me try his QC25s and the Bose headphones seemed to me to be far better at noise cancellation, but I really wanted bluetooth and I like the very simple controls. I think I bought mine for £140 and the price difference with the QC25s was also part of my decision.

Safe as houses: CCTV for the masses


Re: Surveillance cameras

You can order it through Amazon - it seems to be another German company that they are getting it from: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Somikon-Wireless-Monitoring-Camera-USB-Programmable/dp/B007ND9134

Beaten blokes hate the women who frag them in online games


Re: Depends...on when people noticed the debate...

1. I am surprised that you did not include links to prove this: "The journalist gave positive coverage to the game on numerous occasions.". Can you provide links now?

3. Gamergate started on 4chan. The hashtag came later. Gamergate started in response to Eron Gjoni's long account of his break-up with ZQ.

4. You're right. Stephen Totilo writes about that here: http://kotaku.com/in-recent-days-ive-been-asked-several-times-about-a-pos-1624707346


Re: Depends...on when people noticed the debate...

This is drivel, as you well know.

a. ZQ did not stoke any fires. She was harassed and is still being harassed by people like you who have ZERO compunction about making nonsense up to attack one of your targets;

b. Gamergate was named after it started. It was started by some people at 4chan, who were too dumb to understand that their conversations on the issue could be mined;

c. The stuff about Kotaku investigating itself is drivel of course. This is how grown ups work. Here is the editor's account: http://kotaku.com/in-recent-days-ive-been-asked-several-times-about-a-pos-1624707346 . It is worth noting how some people in the comments, having read the article, immediately state something that is untrue;

d. This is Grayson's only article about ZQ on Kotaku: http://tmi.kotaku.com/the-indie-game-reality-tv-show-that-went-to-hell-1555599284 . In Jan 2014, he wrote this on Rock Paper Shotgun: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/01/08/admission-quest-valve-greenlights-50-more-games/

e. There is no "anti-GG side". There are gamergate people and other similar vile subgroups and then there is everybody else;

f. Nathan Grayson was NOT hounded in the way that ZQ has been hounded. You know this, why tell lies about it?

g. It's not "two sides playing games against each other". It's about second-rate people attempting to intimidate women in the games industry.

h. It is pointless trying to argue, because you will just make up stuff if the facts don't fit your interpretation.


Re: Depends...on when people noticed the debate...

Gamergate didn't start off about corruption. It started when a man called Eron Gjoni posted a long account of his break-up with Zoe Quinn, which he hoped would result in her being harassed. To put it mildly, this was successful (in Gjoni's terms). One of his allegations was that ZQ cheated on him with a journalist and this journalist wrote a positive review of her game, Depression Quest.

1. The journalist never wrote a review of the game;

2. The journalist's editor looked into it and was satisfied that nothing untoward had happened;

3. If it was about corruption, the journalist (Nathan Grayson) would have been hounded, but he was not - gamergaters' vitriol was directed at ZQ and other women involved in the games industry;

4. I've got no idea whether ZQ and NG ever did have a relationship - Eron Gjoni does not seem very rational and it is none of my business anyway.

Amstrad founder Lord Sugar quits 'anti-enterprise' Labour party


Re: Ha....

I support Labour. I'm not incredibly rich and I'm not a "workshy benefits scrounger". I have a well-paid job and I have a good pension. I am mortgage free. I will probably be better off under a Conservative government, but I am not comfortable with hundreds of thousands of people needing food banks in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is certainly true that some people who find themselves in absolute poverty are feckless and/or lazy. But I fear that the society we are building means that the children of feckless and lazy people will struggle to escape their background. I have no problem with feckless and lazy people suffering, but I don't believe that children are born feckless and lazy. Obviously the last government is not responsible for all the ills of our society, but I can't support the Conservatives because I don't feel that their priorities are the same as mine.

Acer Chromebook 13: The best Googletop on the market?


Re: It's just not worth it

The Aspire E51 has a 15inch screen and weighs 2.4kg. It's not really comparable is it?

Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city


This has been tackled before

Try Duff Brewery's solution?

Love XKCD? Love science? You'll love a book about science from Randall Munroe


Re: The author of this book is an internet cartoonist,

The Kindle edition is out on 4th September 2014 according to Amazon.


You REALLY misunderstood that strip, didn't you?

No Apple fanbois here: Man United BANS iPads from Old Trafford


Re: Ban Tablets but

"Still let the suicide bomber with a bomb wrapped around their body will still be allowed."

I'm pretty sure that a ban on suicide bombers can be taken as read. They also don't ban automatic weapons and nuclear bombs but I'm sure they would rather you did not take them into the stadium.

YES: Scotland declares independence ... from the dot co dot uk empire


Re: "If Scotland get independance, I'll be the first one to move there."

Students of history will know that the Darien scheme actually involved a place in Panama. How is this "in general terms [...] painfully similar" to spending oil money to attract business? I can't say anything at all about the independence movement, because I know nothing about it. However, your analogy is preposterous.

WORLD CUP SHOCK: England declared winner in 2-1 defeat to Italy


Re: So england won

"Muting the TV and putting the radio on" does not always work because the audio is often not in synch with the pictures. If the game is on the BBC you can do it, however.

This works on my Virgin Media thingy:

1. Press the red button;

2. Press OK

3. Press 1 for sound options

4. Press left or right arrow to change from BBC TV commentary to BBC radio commentary to no commentary.

Sadly this doesn't seem to work on ITV

Microsoft C# chief Hejlsberg: Our open-source Apache pick will clear the FUD


Re: Sheds a single tear

Page 2.

You'll never believe it: Apple stock is going for CHEAP


Re: I see this as a baaaaaad sign.

"Stock split" does not mean what you appear to think it means. The company has not been devalued at all. After the split the company was worth exactly the same as it was worth before the split. There were 7 times as many shares, and each share was worth 1/7th as much as before.

Drone 'hacked' to take out triathlete


Re: Why bother with...

You have to see that it's an odd joke, surely? There are all sorts of sports that I'm not interested in but I'd never think that people who enjoy taking part in them should be hurt in order to increase the entertainment value. It takes all kinds, I suppose.


Re: Why bother with...

You don't like an activity so you think that land-mines should be used to injure people who take part in that activity? That's a bit odd isn't it?

Torvalds rails at Linux developer: 'I'm f*cking tired of your code'


Re: So...

What do you mean he is no longer on the project? Sievers is still maintaining systemd surely? He made a change to systemd that hijacked a command-line parameter that was intended for the kernel. When other people described this as a bug, he refused to fix it because he said that it was not a bug. That is what is causing all the problems I think.

Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow


Re: I thought I'd seen it all...

There are other sorts of professional. Some types of pro would keep their PC on or beside their desk.

Drawers full of different chargers? The IEC has a one-plug-to-rule-them-all


What's the advantage of Lightning over MicroUSB for charging? (Helping Apple to make more profits is not an advantage).


Re: Yet another failure?

"as useless as using micro usb". The new micro usb standard for phones is not useless. It doesn't suit apple, because they want to charge extra for stuff so they don't like the idea of commodity anything. But for most smartphone users, it's an obvious step.

"Explosive gift ideas" story seems NSFW to me


"Explosive gift ideas" story seems NSFW to me

Call me a prude but I'm glad I didn't open that at work.


Review: Beagleboard Beaglebone Black


Re: Cost.

> au contraire - The Raspberry Pi is most likely a re-branded Japanese product.

Why on earth would you comment when you know literally nothing about the topic? What persuaded you to do that?

Chromebook app launcher touted to Chrome browser users


I would never use software that acted even a little bit like malware. Why do you use Chrome?

Microsoft's ARM blunder: 7 reasons why Windows RT was DOA


Re: Give it time

"So, a higher priced tablet which seems to sell mostly to developers makes a lot of sense. Windows RT will fly when developers catch on. The restriction on desktop apps was a great idea as it forces many of us to code for Metro.

All I can say is, give it time. It will happen. I think once we get out heads around how to develop both desktop and Windows Store apps, it will make a huge difference."

I think that this is a very serious misunderstanding of the tablet market. Nobody (apart from developers who bought into Windows 8) cares about how easy it is to develop for. How many developers are going to persevere through the problems, given the small market share? Look at what you posted: problems with the Windows Store API; problems with third-party libraries; problems with text rendering; problems with coding for desktop and metro. How many successful iOS/Android developers are going to bother? How many new entrants to the market are going to go with Windows 8 rather than one of the two market leaders?

Microsoft 'yanked optical drive from Xbox 720'



They don't need an industry expert. Digital game distribution *is* the future. Think about all the people who play games in the world today. How many of them do you think have ever bought a game in physical form?

id Software's Rage


Limbo, Bastion, Portal. All of these seem pretty original to me. There are lots of original ideas in games.

Seven lessons from the HP Touchpad fire sale



I have an eee pad transformer, so I can choose whether to use it as a netbook or a tablet.

Apps: I had an iPhone before and the app store there is far simpler to use than downloading apps to use on my (Windows) PC. I think you might mean that the diversity of programs available for a laptop is greater and I would agree with you; the laptop is a more versatile device. However, it is far easier to get apps onto a tablet or phone than onto a PC. The Mac app store seems to be more like the tablet/phone experience, although I haven't used it much. In terms of ease-of-use (in my experience), I'd put them: 1. Apple app store; 2. Android app store; 3. (and MILES behind the other two) Downloading Windows/Mac software.

Battery life: I think you're misinformed here. Your laptop gets 5-6 hours? I would be appalled if my transformer got less than eight and of course it weighs less because its battery is not so big. I don't know what laptop you have but I'd guess that it weighs at least as much as the Transformer in its netbook form. As a netbook I'd expect no less than fourteen hours out of it.

Ergonomics: I suspect that what you're saying is for *your* requirements. But I would guess that your laptop weighs twice as much as my tablet, so if you often have to use the device standing up, the laptop is hopeless. I suspect that most people use tablets for web-browsing, watching videos and playing games. I mostly use mine on the couch. For many people, the keyboard is irrelevant.

Connectivity: I've never needed to print from my tablet. If I wanted to print I'd use my desktop machine, which is connected to my printer. My tablet is wifi only but I use an Android phone, my contract allows me unlimited data so I use the phone as a portable hotspot if necessary. It doesn't cost me anything to do that.

Portability: "bigger and heavier, but not by much": I would guess that your laptop weighs twice as much as my tablet.

Storage capacity: Your laptop will certainly have more storage than my tablet.

Price: My eee pad transformer cost £430 (remember I can also use it as a netbook). It is now available for under £420. The tablet alone was £345 when I last looked on Amazon.

As far as I can tell, for your requirements, a laptop is better. There are lots of people who don't want to do what you want to do. For some of those people the tablet is a better device. You have to consider other people's requirements.



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