* Posts by BrendHart

33 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Aug 2011

Microsoft tries, fails to crush 'gender bias' lawsuit brought by its own women engineers


Re: Flawed assumptions

"The case is based on the assumption that all other things being equal, people tend to prefer members of the same social group."

In a neutral environment where people can choose their social circle I may have conceeded this point. In a forced work environment I do not believe this to be the case.

At work virtually everyone I know - with a few bigotted exceptions - everyone I know will choose to be biased towards the person who is easy to get along with and who makes the teams job easier and therefore their lives easier. Merit is the driving factor for most.

Women who focus on gender issues instead of work, who cause friction in the workplace will be passed over for promotion for good reason.


Flawed assumptions

The entire case is based on the assumption that all men are misogynist and therefore their peers will discriminate against them in these reviews. This is patently absurd.

A peer based system is far more likely to benefit these women because any misogynists will have their opinions balanced out by normal guys who will respect merit. If the female members of staff are competent.

But I am guessing any women who are more concerned with gender politics than doing their jobs well aren't going to stack up well against their peers when judged on merit.

Pair programming – you'll never guess what happens next!


Too much cynicism.

I have done the pair programming thing a few times and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Probably the most successful case was on a change in a highly complex system with an incredibly tight deadline. Two pairs of eyes and two different view points genuinely helped. The fact that we both had indepth knowledge of different parts of the system that were affected save our behinds.

It also depends a lot on team dynamic. When both developers have mutual respect, bring value to the table and can defer to the other without worrying about ego it can be incredibly productive.

CloudFlare CEO blasts Anonymous claims of ISIS terrorist support


Yeah, it is definitely not up to Cloudflare to be censoring web content. That is the domain of law enforcement under strict oversight.

Hackathons: Don't try them if you don't like risks


Having just experienced a Fedex (Hackathon) day I can attest to the fact that companies tend to make most of the mistakes highlighted in the article.

One thing that everybody seems to miss is that Hackathons are a great gauge for the wet skills and team dynamics of your staff. Removing all corporate structures and leveling the playing field by forcing people to advocate ideas and follow them through is an awesome HR tool. You can see which members have a natural knack for leading a team and commanding respect and which individuals have good chemistry and work well together.

I'd say there is more value in that than the actual code and ideas (Which normally get ignored by business anyway.)

Anonymous hack group plans to out anonymous hate group


So which independent organization has vetted that those identities are of KKK members? Some anonymous idiots are releasing a random list of names.

Lotus F1: 38°C? Sand in your Vblocks? Must be building a data center in Bahrain again


Re: Interesting IT, but I still don't get it

If you are interested in technology watch F1. If you are interested in driver/rider skill watch WRC or Moto GP.


Re: Whatever.

Did anyone else read this and immediately start thinking about how interesting it would be to design statistical models of the demographics of the Roman Catholic Church using modern GIS techniques and general census data?

I think I need to get out more.

Western Digital's hard drive encryption is useless. Totally useless


Good enough for government work

I don't think that this encryption is really meant to prevent nation states and career security researchers from accessing the data. For the average private user or small to medium businessman the encryption should be good enough to discourage your average thief from gaining access to moderately sensitive data. They would rather format it and flog it for a few bucks.

If you are storing state secrets or highly sensitive business secrets you really should pay the premium and buy a FIPS certified device.




Here in South Africa, with the tanking economy we are suffering from the exact opposite. Portion sizes are decreasing as prices go up. We have a particularly interesting case with Nestle's Bar One. 20 years ago we had one size, which was 150grams. Since then the chocolate bar has shrunk down to 55 grams without seeing a price drop. About five years ago they reintroduced the 150gram Bar One calling it a "Giant" size. This "Giant" size bar has now shrunk down to 100grams. It's all somewhat absurd.

Vodafone 'fesses up to hack of journalist's phone, denies 'improper behaviour'


Re: What the hell

A good forensic auditor in action is a true sight to behold.

Bloke clicks GitHub 'commit' button in Visual Studio, gets slapped with $6,500 AWS bill


I don't really trust those folks at Github.

I am one of the poor sods who use their Github for Windows client which is indescribably buggy and every second release does something it shouldn't. Each time the software updates itself secretly in the background you just know that you are going to go on an adventure.

They seriously need to do an audit of all their development processes.

Malvertising maniac messes MSN, serves corrupted creative


Yet another reason for installing Adblock.

High-heeled hacker builds pen-test kit into her skyscraper shoes


Looks like she will freeze to death in any decent server room on the planet.

Leaked images claim to show BlackBerry's first Android phone


This looks like something I'd buy

As somebody who uses his phone as a communication device and not just a toy this looks great. I just cannot get used to on screen keyboards that lag and are a pain to use. I do hope this makes BB relevant again.

Adulterers antsy as 'entire' Ashley Madison databases leak online


9/10 users are male. Unless you are a homosexual male those odds don't sound like they are worth $!5 a month. That is the real story here.

Donald Trump dumps on Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg



As a South African developer immigrating to Australia next year I must say all this anti-immigrant sentiment makes me a sad panda.

I do hope to contribute meaningfully to society and provide value to the company that chooses to hire me.

Finally, Mozilla looks at moving away from 'insecure' HTTP. Maybe


One way

Well this is one way to take the internet bacj from those seething, filthy masses.

Analyst dons Tim Cook mask, thinks: Glass went well for Google. Let's do that, too


Google is synonymous with creepy invasion of privacy

I am a firm believer that if a consumer electronics company pitched a concept like glass it would do well. The name Google has become synonymous with privacy invasion and ad sales- if not consciously than subconsciously.

Give me a pair of glasses that has the functionality of Glass but which doesn't exist to serve me adverts and track my every move and I will buy it.

Three expat Brits explain their move to Australia


What is Canberra like for .net developers.

My wife and I have applied for state sponsorship and are waiting to see if we will be accepted. I have done all the research and it looks like there are decent enough opportunities. Is anyone around from there who could give some feedback on the immigrant experience there?

BlackBerry will pay you $$$s to be its friend and dump that iPhone


Re: Suicide

I'm based at the Southern tip of Africa and needed the phone on contract for various reasons. It was literally a case of all network providers having stock of the Q10 one week and the next they all claimed to be out of stock. Definitely smacked of dodgy dealings.

Ultrabooks to finally out-ship notebooks after 20% price slash


Intel seem to be completely out of touch with their market.

Only a tiny percentage of punters care about laptop thickness (Within reason.) and practically everyone cares about price/performance. Therefore slapping a 50% premium on a machine with rubbish specs just because it is 2mm is a fools game.

Curiosity photographs evidence of ancient streams on Mars


Excuse my ignorance.

But in a low gravity, low atmosphere environment wouldn't solid particulate matter exhibit some properties of liquid dynamics (as seen on Earth.) And lead to false positives like this?

Pebbles being blown around the surface would also display the same polishing as it would in water. Channels would form, etc.

Or am I being grossly ignorant?

Acer Aspire Timeline M3 Ultra review



12-13 inch notebooks are awesome.

I have an Asus 1201n with a 12.1 inch screen running at 1366*768 which cost close to nothing and because of its small size I can put a neoprene case on it and take it anywhere.

I wish ultrabooks followed the design philosophy of the 1201n. It cost one third of the cost of an ultrabook, had a decent for the time (Ion chipset for graphics.) Although the dual core Atom can at time be a tiny bit slow.

Give the world an incremental version of that keeping the price low and putting an entry level CULV cpu in it and they will sell by the bucketload.

Toshiba America says no to new netbooks


Now they just need to cut Ultrabook prices by 66%

I love the 12.1 inch (1366*768) screen, dual core Atom and 2gig of RAM and Ion graphics chipset. It was nice and cheap too. I really wish more manufacturers had gone this route and evolved the concept. Cheap netbook++ is the way to go.

IT staffers on ragged edge of burnout and cynicism


us stressed?

It would be interesting to see a similar survey on software developers. This certainly describes me. Every year we seem to get the speech that goes along the lines of : "Whatever was good enough last year isn't going to be good enough this year."

Salaries aren't keeping up with inflation. Bosses are under more pressure to do more with less so they get more antagonistic with staff and every mistake is dragged out and flogged to death while the directors take home bigger and bigger bonuses.

Us stressed?

World heading for massive jobs slump



So for another year I get to hear my jaguar driving bosses tell me how lucky I am to have a job when I get another 1% increase?

Anonymous threatens Mexican drug cartel


A bunch of script kiddies vs. A psychotic drug gang know for vicious public displays of violence?

I don't know whether to respect them for trying to make a stand against these maniacs and somehow improve the situation or write them off as insane.

Demand for Ruby, Hadoop and HTML5 rockets, C devs still best paid


To grads and assorted comments.

To grads out there : Most jobs for gads aren't advertised as most grad jobs are filled by word-of-mouth. Hiring a grad developer is risky because very few grads have the personality profile to sit and write code for 40 hours a week despite earning a degree.

I'm an average experienced developer - I get stuff done reliably although I'm certainly not brilliant. Having said that programmer salaries are woefully low. If you consider the technical and domain knowledge required to code and maintain highly complex critical systems it's a no-brainer. Unfortunately management and beancounters think of us as just your normal semi-skilled labour. It gets a bit depressing when Sue in marketing earns more than you do for browsing Facebook all day, arranging interviews and choosing what font the company email footer should have.

/end of whinging.

Porsche finds top gear with BlackBerry design

Paris Hilton

I happen to think it's rather sexy.

Unfortunately I'm not really one for conspicuous displays of wealth though so I probably won't get it. My Torch does everything I need it to so I'll be hanging onto it for a while.

Argentina: home of Bavarian lager


@Theodore and Jake.

That wouldn't explain why no examples of the wild yeast have been found in Europe.

I blame aliens or God. Something is testing our faith.

Anonymous/LulzSec chick-lit MP kid threat pooh-poohed


She seems OK to me.

I like a bit of honesty in my politicians, and some fiestyness as well. Seems she has both.

Martian water slides caught on camera (maybe)


Nothing short of life on Mars.

Think of the red algae in permanent alpine snow. The stripes of colour are where minerals would be deposited. So the dark streaks are algae that live in those areas. They go dormant in the Winter and when the weather gets warm enough they activate and create the red pigment and live off the tiny amount of water in the soil and the minerals. They then go into stasis when the weather is too harsh.

I'd like my Nobel now please.