* Posts by Keith 17

20 publicly visible posts • joined 8 May 2012

Spy Hunter

Keith 17
Black Helicopters

Many an hour at the students union...

.... was spent between three of us trying to get the high score on the Spy Hunter machine, where you got to enter your three letters if you got into the top 20 I think it was. Me (KAS), my mate PNC and the mysterious RAJ (who neither I nor PNC ever met) were the sole occupants of the leader board, and spent the best part of two years trading the number 1 spot.

The fact that we never once saw RAJ - who clearly spent as much time on it as we did - kinda added to the otherwise tenuous "spy" aspect.

A top-20 game lasted well over an hour, and you were absolutely knackered by the end of it. Other guys would come up and ask "how many fking games of that are you playing?" to be met with the reply "just the one mate, hopefully be a while yet though".

As for the snow and ice, yes it was difficult. It was always a relief to get through the other end of that part.

Good times, and I definitely got my money's worth out of that machine.

(and to PNC and RAJ, if by some fluke you happen to read El Reg, cheers! The constant battle for number 1, the frustration when you just fell short, the satisfaction from getting the top score, the picture I had in my mind of RAJ in particular seeing a new high score on the screen - that's what made it such fun)

Black Helicopter because, well, it just seems appropriate for Spy Hunter.

Minister of Fun bends Ofcom's ear on Freeview-4G knockout

Keith 17

Re: TEN THOUSAND bloody quid?

> I guess that is indicative of government. They think it costs £10k to install a freesat box and dish.

To be fair, if I could get away with it that's how much I'd charge them.

Half the team at the heart of the RBS disaster WERE in India

Keith 17

Re: According to this article

> I don't see what the offshore angle is.

In the first instance, it's a "replace experienced staff with cheap inexperienced staff" angle. However the way the way that is done more often than not is by offshoring.

If the cheapest way of doing that it was to outsource it to a local playgroup and let the 3 year olds do it, then we'd be talking about the playgroup angle.

But no-one's thought of doing that yet, they offshore instead. Hence there is an offshoring angle.

RBS collapse details revealed: Arrow points to defective part

Keith 17


and if RBS hired someone with "4-7 years experience"

That's a big "if" there. That's what they were looking for, but it doesn't mean that's what they got.

Natwest, RBS: When will bank glitch be fixed? Probably not today

Keith 17

"ordinary application programming"

that bit right there is where, for me, your credibility went straight down the pan.

the best devs are those that _understand_ what they're trying to do, not those that are just blindly following a spec. business knowledge is a massive part of it.

Keith 17

Re: They've outsourced much more than that!

The comments on documentation are comical, as if a document is the thing you turn to at a time of crisis.

Well said sir, you can tell on this thread that there are some experienced devs.

Documentation is _the_ last thing I would go near at a time like that. In fact, I'd go as far as to keep _all_ my devs well away from documentation at such a time. Why? Because I have no guarantee of the accuracy of any given document. You can't unit test a document, it wasn't compiled, it likely wasn't reviewed, was it even finished? Was it updated when changes came along? I don't know.

Innacurate documentation leads to bum steers, it tells you to look in the wrong place, it describes how things work when it's not the way they work at all. Code, on the other hand, is harder to read but tells no lies. Commented code is more valuable in times of troubleshooting than documentation because it's concise and granular.

I've been a dev for over 25 years and I firmly believe that bad documentation is far worse than no documentation at all.

If the devs in this case were frantically grasping for the documentation, I'd be very worried indeed.

Samsung to probe Galaxy S III blaze claim

Keith 17

Re: Assuming it was charging at the time

according to the owner, it wasn't.

Foxconn daddy: 'Don't buy Galaxy S III, wait for iPhone 5'

Keith 17

Re: Keith 17

Trust me, if I was feeling bitter I wouldn't be laughing so hard I nearly spat my coffee out.

Keith 17

Bitter much?

"Yes, the SGS3 just has a worse camera quality than now 8 months's old 4S [GSM Arena], old Pentile display technology, a bad copy of Siri easily beaten by the 8 month's old original, all wrapped hastily in a ugly and boring plastic body."

Ha ha! You're near as bitter as that Foxconn arsehole. Can never understand how your average product, whether it be phones, tins of cola, or choice of burger bar can cause such raised emotions amongst those that are (most likely) merely consumers with no vested interest in the success of either. Bizarre.

(note to Register: from now on, just make it "Anonymous C", so I can in my head read those letters which form the most appropriate ending)

Clouds gathering on horizon for software devs, say wise men

Keith 17
Thumb Down

Dev time

Most of the devs I know (including me) spend far less time developing and far more trying to navigate a path through miles of red tape, attending numerous (often pointless) meetings, filling in status reports and spreadsheets, multiple copies of timesheets, and poring through (or producing) the vast amounts of project related paperwork (real or virtual) that inhabit most of the available bytes on any server.

"New" things are all well and good, and sometimes do actually save time, but that's only until the business processes catch up with them and envelop them in all this crap.

That's not going to change any time soon - in fact as I get older it seems to get worse - so going by that we'll need more and not less.

Samsung 'to launch Galaxy S III in US', snubs Apple's ban bid

Keith 17

Are Apple shooting themselves in the foot?

I wonder just how many people now want to buy an SIII because "Apple REALLY doesn't want me to have this, so it MUST be REALLY good"?

Apple are providing excellent advertising for Samsung. As I said a while back, they might well be hoisting themselves with their own petard.

Free Windows 8 desktop app development is dead

Keith 17

It's free

so there's little point in complaining as it means they can do what they like with it.

Which of course includes "being stupid".

SpaceX joy as Space Station robo-arm grabs Dragon's tail

Keith 17
Thumb Up


very impressive I must say.

As for landing, a cheaper option is clearly just to send that bloke in the wing-suit up instead. he just needs a bunch of carboard boxes to land, and with very little being bought and sold these days there must be plenty of them to spare.

Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK

Keith 17

Re: Try buying Pipe

Ah, you call it 4 inch pipe, but it's not. It's 110mm pipe now. Much like inch and a half waste is now 44mm waste.

The unit's completely unimportant though, because you and me both would ask for "a full length of sewer pipe mate"

New Apple keyboard patent may spell trouble for Android

Keith 17

Let them go ahead.

There is something of the revolutionary in open source which appeals to the Che Guevara - whilst maybe not in all of us - in a very many of us.

Whilst Android might come from what is effectively a huge advertising agency, it still brings with it that kinda revolutionary feel.

The more the fruit-machine tries to stifle, the more the feeling builds.

Apple will eventually piss off enough people that they'll eventually hoist themselves with their own petard.

Maybe that sounds fanciful, but then Microsoft also looked completely unbeatable at one time, as did big blue before that.

The Patent Office is a complete load of arse and the whole software patents area needs a serious shake-up, but the more ridiculous it gets then the more chance there is of that shake-up happening.

If it all comes at the expense of those companies that (ab)use it to simply stop others developing usable devices, then I'm all for that.

SpaceX sets new blastoff date for Dragon: 19 May

Keith 17

Re: Would you rather a space doo-hickey designed by a government bureaucracy

I'd rather not be there at all to be fair. I doubt they'll be showing the champions league final for a start.

Keith 17

Re: You have got to admire these guys!

or, You've got to pity the guys on the ISS.

I think, were I to be hurtling round space at 37 bazillion miles per hour or whatever, and some unmanned, untried, untested space doo-hickey came thundering up behind with the intention of slowing down at the right time and linking up, I'd be a tad bothered that it might come thundering on through leaving me floating off in another direction from various parts of my anatomy.

Ok, you could maybe offset that a bit by including a few dozen beers and perhaps a kebab or two in the payload. Which is maybe why I'm not an astronaut I suppose.

British 4G mobile data rollout 'will mean NO TELLY for 2m homes'

Keith 17

All the extra channels are crap

Freeview is rubbish, freesat is rubbish, apart from football sky is rubbish. Too many channels competing for the same advertisers so no-one has the cash to actually produce quality original programmes.

Bring on 4G and go back to five channels on analogue, they'll get a decent budget and we might actually get some tv worth watching again.

Problem solved. Thanks for the applause. I'll waive the fee.

NASA spots the light of a ‘super-Earth’

Keith 17

"It could be very similar to Neptune"

So call it a "super-Neptune" then.

Oh, hold on, that wouldn't sound as exciting and wouldn't rustle up as many research-dollars.

US gov boffins achieve speeds faster than light

Keith 17

Light travels faster in a vacuum

I've got a see-through Dyson, and things move around in there very fast indeed.

But I don't know about this "ripple" nonsense. I hoovered up a bit of a flake once, which is very like a ripple, and it didn't appear to be going round any faster than anything else.