* Posts by Black Road Dude

41 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Aug 2011

HMRC: We 'rigorously tested' IR35 tax-check tool... but have almost nothing to show for it

Black Road Dude

Re: Were...

Actually it was a cap gem team. But you can hardly blame the Devs.

Is Microsoft about to git-merge with GitHub? Rumors suggest: Yes

Black Road Dude

Fork off!!!

If this did happen I'd fork all my repos to a new host and delete my account. M$ is a disease we all need to avoid. You can't buy a reputation back. No matter how much you fake it. A lying cheating scumbag company like M$ will never change.

Kill the blockchain! It'll make you fitter in the long run, honest

Black Road Dude

Re: If it's not currency, where's the incentive to mine blocks?

Without an incentive such as mining a blockchain is just a shared ledger a distributed database if you like. There is nothing new or novel about a blockchain on its own. With the mining incentive it solves the byzantine generals problem and defends itself from attack.

I'm sick of hearing people say it's the blockchain that's the real innovation. It's not.

Black Road Dude

Re: Real Gains

Yes you most certainly can short them. There are exchanges that offer this or if your more old school there are about 6 large banks offering futures now.

Internet Society: Cryptocurrency probably not an identity system

Black Road Dude

Different strokes...

I agree bitcoin may not be the correct place for identity as it only allows a small amount of extra data stored in the blockchain.

But as the article states there are different types of identity.

The backbone of Bitcoin is the public private key pair.

Something can be signed by your private key and anyone can check that you really did sign it with your public key.

There are uses cases this could help with in identity such as providing data provided is genuine and yours. Such as a utility bill, passport driving licence etc.

Now if we used something like the storj network (or ideally the maidsafe network although that is not ready) which allows files to be added, and shared on the decentralised network.

For instance if the issuer of a utility bill made its corporate public key known. And signed a transaction containing a file containing your utility bill (perhaps a pdf) and sent it on the blockchain to your known public key.

When you are trying to prove your address or bill amount etc to a different third party they can verify that you are the owner of your public key by sending a code encrypted with your public key that only you could decide and prove. And they could verify that the source of the file was I'm fact the utility company so the data is genuine it's then proven. This could be applied in a very similar way to driving licence, passport, house deeds, pay slips.

Things to consider would be making the files private and sharable if necessary to the entity you are trying to identify yourself to. But this is achievable on the maidsafe network and potentially with some work.on the storj network.

Blockchain nears peak hype: UK politicos to probe crypto-coin

Black Road Dude

Re: Of course, this ‘investigation’ conveniently ignores..

Someone had to compare it to the tulip bubble. And this time it was you! Booooo Hissss Yawn

Black Road Dude

Errrr no.....

"The inquiry comes as Bitcoin hit a three-week high on Tuesday 21 February, reaching $17,900 for one Bitcoin, more than recovering from the low at the start of this month of slightly below $7000"

The price of bitcoin did not go anywhere near $17900 on Tuesday the 21st of Feb maybe $11000.

Fact check?

Docker and storage – solving the problem of data persistence

Black Road Dude

Scalability is key

I think the persistence problem has already been solved.

Containers mean it's simple to scale an application be it the front end or the back end and the database element is no different. If you are using a clustered DB its easy to kill of a node or two and still have a fully replicated version of the db on the other nodes. Whole server instances can be ephemeral as long as your DB cluster is large enough.

The bit that does not fit the container paradigm are standalone dbs as by their very nature cannot be easily destroyed meaning they do become pets again. Examples to use rather than traditional state storage techs such as mysql are mongo, Cassandra, rabbitmq, hadoop, hdfs or kafka if your still needing rdbms try crate.

I'm not saying this works for every use case but I'm yet to find one that it could not help with or make simpler to deploy (even if it means more setup and config on your build/ci boxes to get there)

Also is anyone thinking about testing here. That's the real reason I started using docker in the first place. Being able to spin up an entire application stack including database network and configuration and run tests against that (where the testes images are the exact ones that would be deployed) on every build was a bit of a pipe dream before docker. (For us anyway)

Obviously it's just a tool and people can use it in a million different ways but for us its been an enabler to more tested code, configuration management and continuous delivery.

Quick note: Brexit consequences for IT

Black Road Dude

Re: What a shambles already ..

I was listening to the conversation with the German MP this morning on radio 4.

He did say that yes but went on to say he thought we could be in the EEA and also have some control over immigration which seem to contradict what everyone else is saying.

Also the amount we pay compared to what Norway pays seems to be quite different per head according to this article anyway.


So maybe this guy was just misinformed.

And yes the leave "morons" did think it through just as the remain "morons" did but came to a different conclusion.

Black Road Dude

Re: Point based system == No EEA

I agree that seem to be the case

but NO EEA != Zero Immigration

I agree that some (but I'm sure not all) of the leave voters did it to reduce immigration but it may be that "selling" the idea of immigration to the public would be much easier if you can publish the list of required workers based on market demands and lack of local talent with the points based system. This is what they have seen in Australia as immigration actually increased after the implementation as did public opinion as they can see the exact numbers and the reasoning behind it.

Most of the campaigning was to do with immigration "control" and a points based system could show the government have control while making sure the numbers are what is needed by the economy not some random figure off the top of a politicians head.

Black Road Dude

Zero Immigration?

On the Wages/skills point your argument seems to be suggesting all immigration could stop after brexit.

I cant imagine this ever to be the case.

Either we keep the free movement for the benefit of staying in the single market or somehow we end up in a situation where we have a points based system in which case it may be even more likely that demand is met via immigration as we would essentially be advertising to the world that we need XYZ skills rather than it being a free for all based on things other than the needs of the job market.

Docker taps unikernel brains to emit OS X, Windows public betas

Black Road Dude
IT Angle

Linux on Windows?

As far as I was aware the windows version of docker can only run windows containers?

Is this still true or are we saying we can now run linux containers on windows?


Nope I was wrong.... ignore this....


it means now windows is as useful as linux but isnt free or open source ...... oh well

Lost containers tell no tales. Time to worry

Black Road Dude

Re: Ah, DevOps

So are you advocating code monkey development throwing software over the wall to the "ops" team??

Black Road Dude

Re: dev0ps

That's interesting but your entire argument seems to be hinged on the idea that we gain all the knowledge we need from universities.

That is certainly not the case with myself or any of my colleagues as we learn new things on a daily basis, university at best was proof that you can learn but not that you have learnt all you will need to learn.

I do think University education is a good start but lifelong learning is really the aim here.

Black Road Dude

Re: dev0ps

I'm not sure what everyone thinks devOps is but all the commentards on here seem to constantly slate the concept.

There are many implementations of devOps but the one we have is we are a product team who develop software which is related to our product (retail and PoS in my case) thats the dev part. We also deploy our software and manage the day to day operations. Thats the ops part.

Containers have helped us automate the testing and deployment and because the operations part is within our remit we can also automate much of that but not all. If the operations part of the job was simply thrown over a wall usually to an underpaid and under resourced team we may never see the requirements for automating any of the deployment stuff or any of the operational tasks. If its all within the same team then operational requirements can take as high priority as features and functional issues.

I agree with some of the concerns raised in this article however, active monitoring and management of different environments is important an should not be overlooked as its easy to overlook these tasks.

Met police commissioner: Fraud victims should not be refunded by banks

Black Road Dude

ha ha ha yes!! just yes!!

although not just yes there is more....

I had the exact same experience trying to report a scam phone call from "Microsoft" who needed access to my computer apparently.

(Which is interesting as I have two devices at home one a chromebook, and one a laptop running linux.)

Anyway the action fraud website form didnt even ask for the telephone number they called from. It was a series of about 6 dropdown boxes on the type of fraud attempted.

I pressed submit and was shown a thankyou.

Wow. So as you said its simply a statistics gathering website.

UK.gov says it's letting 1,000 SMEs push digital wares at civil servants

Black Road Dude

Re: has anyone told the departments in question?

I remember trying to convince my old employer (large GOV department) to use free open source tools which was met with scepticism and fear. When the gov party line for some time has been to assess these options first before going off and paying millions for the same thing.

Big, fat fail? Here's how to avoid that: Microservices and you

Black Road Dude

Its about testing and scaling.

Docker which is what this article is really about helps with scalability but does demand you architect your systems differently so they can be multiple independent services.

Docker also means we can automate integration testing which is what makes the whole thing mean anything. The micro service architecture on its own has some value but until people understand the value it can bring to testing its just going to look like SOA all over again.

Router configurations suck (power out of mobile devices, that is)

Black Road Dude

Re: So...

or as many mobiles are now being designed with a main cpu(s) and a low power background process cpu is this whole thing irrelevant?

Mobile: DevOps for IT shops. Minus the upheaval

Black Road Dude

Re: DevOps is bollocks

I think thats the whole point of DevOps. To get devs to be part of ops and not a "throw it over the wall" mentality.

When devs have to think about deployments, updates, failover, load balancing etc etc the software they produce is quite different and much more ops friendly.

The definition of DevOps is a tough one though as there seems to be multiple versions. here is the flow.

1. Before DevOps - Dev and Ops and two separate entities, little if any collaboration (imagine as two circles not overlapping)

2. DevOps version1 - Dev and Ops working more closely and actively trying to improve the process. i.e collaboration. (imagine as two circles with a 20% overlap)

2. DevOps version2 - Dev and Ops in one multifunctional team but with clear distinct defined roles. (imagine as two circles with 80% overlap)

3. DevOps version3 - Dev and Ops are the responsibility of the same team which are essentially developers with more ops responsibility. Or you could call them Ops who also develop. (Image as either 2 circles with 100% overlap or one circle) This means the one team have full control and responsibility over the software. Doing things like using new tools etc can be done much more quickly and apps that are painful to deploy or maintain are changed quickly as its you that are affected by it.

We have some apps that are pre DevOps some apps that are version1 and some that are version3.

Also this is just my take on the whole thing so I may be wrong :)

Europe: Go on. Ask us to probe the £130m 'sweetheart' deal HMRC made with Google

Black Road Dude

Re: Lean the Tax Process

Maybe rather than a tax on revenue we simply tax all money transfer at the rate of 1%. (Possibly would need to be higher?)

That would be sales or payments etc. We could scrap all taxes in that case as my purchase of an item from a corporate at 1% then their purchase cost from the manufacturers at 1% and thw manufacturers purchase of raw materials from suppliers at 1% its likely alot more than we get currently from corporation tax. And payments to staff taxed at the same rate. It would mean moving the money out the country would cost the same again.

Black Road Dude

Re: Tax Law Suck

I agree I'm a standard rate taxpayer and I'm more than happy to pay my part of the bill.

But we also have no choice as loopholes at our level are few and far between.

Maybe you're right its corporate attitude that's the problem where morals and social justice are ignored. Maybe I was too hasty to tar everyone with the same brush.

Black Road Dude

Tax Law Suck

Google is a huge corporate but if you took at any business or individual for that matter and showed them how to 100% legally reduce their tax bill would they not do it?

It may be morally dubious to underpay tax but legally there is no issue. Our tax laws are so full of holes its ridiculous. And the more money companies or individuals make the more they can pay accountants to find loopholes.

I love the remarks in the media about making sure they "pay more tax" but if its from a period when little no tax was legally owed we cant retrospectively change the tax laws to suit current thinking.

We can and I believe they are looking into introducing more tax rules to target the tax loopholes they are currently using. But until the tax rule is a one liner with no wiggle room its just going to be a game of cat and mouse. ( Where the mouse is a multi billion corporate that can have a very well funded team of accountants looking for new flaws and law loopholes and the cat is an under funded department having to deal with thousands of requests daily and also make judgements on small companies and individuals tax cases daily who cannot possibly dedicate the resources to monitor and take to task one huge corporate let alone all of those in the uk. )

No, that Linux Keyrings bug isn't in '66 per cent of Android devices'

Black Road Dude

Re: Hyprocrisy much

Not true ... google have a policy to notify the company then wait a period of time (3 months I think) to give them a chance of fixing it before its revealed. That's standard practice but Google had no warning here.

Microservices are not the same thing as components

Black Road Dude

Re: So if I've got this straight

yes each with its own non public facing internal api. such as the api used to talk to a reational db.

that does not mean you need more external apis.

it also means you can look at making each micro service independently horizontally scalable for performance, resilience HA etc.

Black Road Dude

Re: Oh, for the love of Pete!

they did say that but it turns out it wasn't.

Black Road Dude

Re: EJB 2 anyone ?

EJB 2 ??? You must be some sort of time traveller from the distant past welcome we have beer!

The whole idea of docker and micro services is that it fits into a automated build/unit test/integration testing pipeline and you can spin up your entire environment from database to front end UI/UX with one command (see docker compose). And in fact this should be utilised as part of the end to end automated testing as that is huge leap forward.

Yes it will take some work to break up monolithic "Enterprise" applications that are tightly coupled to "Enterprise" databases that are not easy to spin up or put inside a container and not easy to test. But once your on that road you will see that maybe the old way was the problem and maybe these "Enterprise" DBs are just creating problems for application developers not solving them.

Im not even sure if its legally possible to create a container that contains something like Oracle DB. Every instance would need some kind of licence I assume. In a world where I spin up an instance of the DB populate it run tests against it multiple times in every build these types of DB are essentially ruled out.

And to be fair Im not even sure these types of DB are a good fit for software maybe there is some data warehouse type role these leviathans can play. But is there anything Oracle can do that MySQL, MariaDB, ElasticSearch, Neo4j, MongoDB, Cassandra or any number of other licence free databases cannot. I think no. But other opinions also exist.

But thats not to say there is any conflict with using micro service architecture alongside these "Enterprise" databases or even if you decide to create a container that runs some old tech like EJB2 its all up to you,

Google and pals launch Accelerated Mobile Pages project

Black Road Dude

Pay Per Article vs Ads

This may be a little off topic but a nod was made in this article as to the low amount of revenue generated from having adverts throughout.

I have seen others suggest a advert free subscription version for a small fee which would cut out the middle man. This is a good option and I believe I would happily pay that small fee.


Another option is to get paid or tipped per article this is a costly thing to do with the current payment methods available but as this is a techy site anyway utilising something like ProTip http://protip.is/ would potentially be an low cost option.

Tipping per article would also allow the readers to show which articles are more favoured than others (although im sure this metric is already available internally at el reg) but also give the option of a financial calculation on what type of articles to write to maximize profits and reader happiness.

I would be happy to tip this way although I know there are alot of digital currency haters in these parts.

Icon as getting paid for a decent days work is not too much to ask.

So tablets, if you want to get anything done travelling get a ... yes, a laptop

Black Road Dude
Thumb Down

Apple Crap again....

So really the main problem was you opted for apple kit. The company who in their infinite wisdom decided to lock down the ability to manage your own files. Photos music videos once there on you idevice they are not yours anymore.

Maybe try android next time. The devices are cheaper and you would have been able to put them back on your cameras memory card without all the crap lockdown walled garden protectionist bullshit.

Landlines: The tech that just won't die

Black Road Dude

No line free options?

Are we not getting to a point where we could just buy a gift gaff unlimited sim card and run TV and Internet access from there for home use? That's what I really wanted the answer to be! But it wasn't even mentioned as an option.

FIVE Things (NOT 10: these are REAL) from the WINDOWS 10 event

Black Road Dude

Who needs windows?

So a company had a monopoly on the entire market. A captive market that was really happy with windows and was just looking for a small evolution maybe a pretty skin on the next version, maybe crash less, maybe hog less memory, maybe more secure. And managed even with no real competition to balls things up repeatedly and attempt to push features on the users, push mobile UI's onto desktop PCs even when they had no real mobile market is just unbelievable. You literary could not make it up. Im personally glad as its been sub par software all along in my opinion. And the free yes read that again FREE alternatives are now so much better who needs windows. ??

Dude, you're getting a Dell – with Bitcoin: IT giant slurps cryptocash

Black Road Dude

Re: Interesting move by Dell

No not yet and it would have to be an alt-coin (not sha256 or scrypt) gpu miner unless they are going to get into the ASIC market? Which would be an interesting move for them... but its doubtful.

Euro banks warned off Bitcoin as Canada regulates it

Black Road Dude

Re: A matter of scale

21 million bitcoins 21,000,000.00000000

or 2.1 Quadrillion satoshis 2,100,000,000,000,000

it depends how you look at it. its the same number similar to the difference between pounds and pence.

Black Road Dude

Re: Trust what?

Gold ha we sold that years ago!

PayPal says sorry: Fat fingers froze fundraiser for anti-spy ProtonMail

Black Road Dude

Bitcoin to the rescue!

In this case bitcoin is actually the answer.

FCC MUST protect net neutrality to preserve AMERICA, say Google et al

Black Road Dude

what about Googles own private internet


What's the point of net neutrality when you can do this? What's neutral about googles private network only for Google data?

Whaddaya mean, No refund? But I paid in Bitcoins! Oh I see...

Black Road Dude

10% Volatility a problem?

I agree that a 10% change in the value of Bitcoin seems pretty large. This is mostly due to the fact its a reasonably new currency compared to any fiat version. I think we need to think about exactly what the benefits for the merchant might be in the refund scenario. Obviously this is relative to the cost of the transaction but for the coffee refund scenario a £2 cup of coffee paid for in bitcoin would cost less than a penny in fees where as if it was paid for via a credit/debit card it would cost the merchant (again this depends on the size of the retailer as the larger retailers can get better deals) anywhere in the region of 8p - 17p plus the monthly charges for renting the chip and pin machine and accessing the service. An additional charge would be a business bank account which has a monthly charge. Which is why lots of small retailers who sell relatively low value merchandise cant afford to offer digital payments at all and instead use cash. (which has its own costs such as collection by a security vehicle and again a business bank account.) So it is quite possible that 10-20% of the initial (non-bitcoin) transaction cost would be for the sole purpose of paying the banks for their service.

So if I bought a £2 coffee with bitcoin the merchant would have potentially already gained 10% profits (by avoiding the bank transaction "TAX") so would/should be willing to take the refund risk.

Also the (non-bitcoin) refund its self would have its own transaction fee doubling the already very high cost to the merchant.

Ive seen paypal mentioned but their fees are just as bad if not even worse at 20p + 3.4% per transaction.

This obviously does not cover every scenario as higher value purchases would have significantly lower transaction fees and therefore overall transaction fee percentages.

Google's Nexus 5: Best smartphone bang for your buck. There, we said it

Black Road Dude

Re: Earbleedingly loud music on public transport..

yeah its just you!

XBMC coders acquire TVonics brand

Black Road Dude
Thumb Up

Kick Starter Perhaps?

if they are wanting money to get things going on this why dont they start a funding project on something like kick starter?

Im sure there are many people who would be happy to stump up some dosh in the knowledge that when a device is produced they will get one, whilst also supporting a small business that is trying to do things correctly

( i.e open source and cheaply).

I know I would.

Ubuntu for Android: Penguins peck at Nokia's core problem

Black Road Dude

Way to cram Microsoft into a Linux post

again with the Microsoft advertising??

come on you are really spreading it a bit thin getting MS in this post.

Ubuntu on a Android phone ... lets talk about microsoft again then. its quite sad :(

Acoustic trauma: How wind farms make you sick

Black Road Dude

Wind farms what windfarms???

I have been living near a wind farm in Blyth Northumberland for years and I have never heard any noise given off by them. Its funny the people who seem to be against windfarms because of noise or visual impact are usually people who have never lived near one before and really dont know what they are talking about. Every one I have talked to has never heard anything from them and also likes the look of them. Im not saying the viability of wind is 100% but the sound and look of the things is a non issue. Its just the usual local crowd scared of something new and using any argument they can to keep them away.

Has anyone walked under a power pylon lately now thats an awful buzzing noise i would not want to live under.