* Posts by BigAndos

367 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jun 2012


Go ahead, let the unknowable security risks of Windows Copilot onto your PC fleet


I’m done with MS

I’ve had it with windows 11 on my home machines now. They are pushing Edge so aggressively, and the other day it started automatically launching on windows startup obviously to try and trick me into using it instead of Chrome. Not only that’, but edge had automatically harvested all of my bookmarks, history and saved passwords from chrome without asking me. Including from my old work account! With this copilot feature too I think it’s time to give in and go Linux.

Snowflake's Instacart protestations hint at challenges for poster child of the data cloud


I’ve used snowflake in my last two jobs. There are a lot of things I love about the product, but cost management has always been a black art (perhaps deliberately). It is very difficult to allocate a cost to a specific workload unless you have a dedicated virtual warehouse per workload but this can quickly become inefficient if you have a lot of activity.

Snowflake’s built in cost management tools are pretty poor and most customers end up having to build their own from my observation. Something they need to improve on.

Perhaps AI is going to take away coding jobs – of those who trust this tech too much


Useful but heavy pinch of salt required

I’ve found chat GPT is a useful tool for answering very specific questions. For example I’m rubbish and regex and it definitely helped me learn a few things. Having said that if I ask it more complex questions it often gives answers that just don’t work (~30%), and you need to have a very clear idea of what you want your code to do and how you want it to be structured before you get sensible answers to your questions.

I’ve tried GitHub copilot too - about half of the time it’s suggestions are really useful and half the time absolutely no use at all

BT is ditching workers faster than your internet connection with 55,000 for chop by 2030


I’ve been a BT customer for over 10 years (no I’m not sure why either). Unbelievably their customer service has improved a bit in that time* and it’s much easier now to speak to someone with a vague clue about what’s going on. Plus they call you back and check on things. With this announcement I’ll assume that is at an end and I’ll just be dealing with a pi55poor chat gpt implementation. Guess my BT tenure is at an end…

*(aside from the time we moved house and they connected us by giving us our new neighbour’s line cutting them off for two weeks).

Amid the gloom of widespread layoffs, Fujitsu is hiring and acquiring


Good on them for taking on so many graduates. There is (obviously) a huge demand for skilled people but too few companies are willing to invest in training junior people and it is getting harder for young people to get a foot in the door - especially in the UK. In my company (for example) the average age of technical staff is probably around 45-50 so things are going to get pretty difficult when people start retiring en masse in a few years.

Bosses failing to offer hybrid work lose out in recruitment


I think hybrid is best. I've done fully office based, hybrid of work and home and fully remote over the last 10 years. For me, I need interaction with people face to face now and again or I get a bit depressed and disconnected. I also find certain activities like forming a new team or planning a new project much easier with you all in a room. However, when I need to concentrate then being at home is way better plus commuting sucks so for me a mix with majority of time at home is ideal. The idea of forcing people to be in the office full time just speaks to a nasty, old fashioned management mindset that views employees as a resource to be exploited and doesn't give them any trust.

Most Londoners would quit before they give up working from home


I've been WFH full time for three years now and mostly I'm still very productive although I say that as someone with 20 years experience in my field. Some things are more painful though. What I really miss is the social cohesion you get from sitting together as a team occasionally. Also, training up new people is quite painful remotely - for some reason I find a day of zoom calls way more draining than sitting next to someone and pairing all day.

I've decided to move role to a company that asks for two days a week in the office (but isn't strict about it) and I'm looking forward to the variety and improvement to my social life (as long as my new team aren't <censored>s lol). I will definitely never go back to full time in the office though, commuting full time is exhausting and expensive.

BT keeps the faith in 'like fury' fiber broadband buildout as revenues dip


Re: Moving to FTTH

I just checked my local exchange and it said “great news we’re building in your exchange right now!” I put in my address for a “personalised view” and it said full fibre available “between now and Dec 2026”. Nice and precise date!

World of Warcraft Classic lead dev resigns to protest 'stack ranking'


Stack ranking and “up or out” are terrible systems. They both ignore the fact that sometimes people enjoy doing technical work at a certain level and don’t want the extra bull poop that comes with a promotion to management. They also ignore that actually every team needs people who quietly get on with the job as well as people who lead/push for change etc.

Hundreds of Spotify staff stream out the door in latest layoffs


Spotify is a really odd company. They have attracted lots of investment and have millions of users. I am a user as the service is super convenient and very reasonably priced. They came in a "disruptor" and they have certainly disrupted the music industry and inspired a lot of competitors. However, they have never made a full year profit and they've made it much harder for smaller artists to make money due to the pittance of streaming royalties. So they've turned the industry on its head, but they also can't make a profit. Unless they have a secret plan to one day triple subscription charges I really don't understand their long term business goals. There's some really strange economics going on with internet companies these days.

Nice smart device – how long does it get software updates?


Re: TVs and cars

The software on my sony tv is garbage - laggy, buggy and periodically gets stuck in a crash loop requiring a factory reset. I ended up buying a cheap amazon stick to plug in which works way better.

Too much tech on cars is annoying. I was looking at new cars and many of them now have a touchscreen interface with no physical control buttons for things like the A/C. Why would I want to faff with a touchscreen if I'm trying to change the temperature while on the the move? With a physical button I can easily learn exactly where it is and change it instantly without needed to look. I ended up buying an older car to stave off having to deal with this rubbish for a few more years.

Salesforce: There's no more Slack left to cut


I wonder how often these acquisitions actually pay back? A lot of them seem to be done mainly so it looks good on the CEO's CV (and of course any personal profits they can squeeze out of the transaction)

Forget the climate: Steep prices the biggest reason EV sales aren't higher


My main complaint with EV's at the moment is that the second hand market in the UK is nuts. I have never bought a new car, I prefer to buy "nearly new" or just out of warranty to save money. We simply can't afford to pay out for lease payments on a brand new car and I earn a decentish salary. Because the supply of new cars is constrained ("supply chain", profiteering etc) it can often be more expensive to buy second hand than new because there are too many impatient people who want their shiny new toy NOW NOW NOW. Until the second hand market calms down EVs will remain out of reach of the vast majority in the UK.

The other issue is the lack of public charging infrastructure. There is ONE charging point within a 7 mile radius of my town and it is only a slow charger meaning it will take hours to get to 80% charge from near empty. This still needs a lot more focus, we need to be pushing for frequently visited locations (town car parks, supermarkets, motorway services etc) to have an *appropriate number* of rapid chargers which get maintained regularly - i.e. not just one slow charger that breaks down all the time.

Windows 11 still not winning the OS popularity contest


I'd rather use linux but I use Windows 10 for my daily work as my company doesn't give me a choice. It works fine with a few niggles. I don't see what the use case is to upgrade to windows 11 at all. The only noticeable change appears to be that they moved the start menu to the middle of the screen, presumably so marketing had something to trumpet as new when in fact it just looks irritating.

I'll grudgingly upgrade my home PC as and when there is an advantage to doing so (e.g. better GPU drivers or something). Then again, proton is getting pretty close to running all the games I want it to so maybe I'll ditch windows altogether.

Multi-tasker Musk expects to reduce time at Twitter, seek another leader


If he keeps going like he is every single staff member will be reducing their time spent at twitter by 100%

Elon Musk issues ultimatum to Twitter staff: Go hardcore or go home


Two main things strike me as ridiculous about this:

1. Twitter's fundamental problem right now (apart from the mad king) is that it doesn't make money. I'm not sure this is a software engineering problem - "write enough lines of code and we'll be raking it in everyone!!!". It is more a problem with the business model and the debt that said mad king saddled them with when he bought it out. I really don't understand how beasting all their technical staff is going to turn them profitable.

2. Every single project I've ever worked on that has gone down the death march route and got people working at all hours has failed and been late and/or over budget and/or stopped completely anyway. Working long hours for a week or two before a big deadline is fine, but if you expect that all day, every day all you achieve is burning out your staff and a poor quality result.

Google Cloud started running its servers for an extra year, still loses billions


Re: Hope GCP survives

Agree, I've only used GCP in anger but colleagues who have used AWS as well say GCP is easier to work with. I'm also worried about the future of GCP. I think its probably unlikely that they would can it completely but we use some fairly niche services and I'm concerned they might start removing the less popular ones!

Thanks, Sir Clive Sinclair, from Reg readers whose careers you created and lives you shaped


Without the spectrum 48k my dad bought when I was about 5 I doubt I'd be in the IT industry with a decent career today. Thank you Sir Clive.

UK promises big data law shake-up... while also keeping the EU happy, of course. What could go wrong?


Probably typical Boris-style bluster and blather. There will be lots of noise about it, a few years of talking and then multinationals will kick up a big fuss if it endangers our "adequacy" status.

Apple to summon staff back to the office in September


I really can't decide where the remote working situation will end up. I love working from home for the extra time it gives me, the money I save and not having to go into London every day. I'm definitely starting to miss the social aspects though and I do worry about how we'll train up new employees or kick off new projects long term. I suspect most companies will end up with a mixture so Apple's policy is probably reasonable. I do wonder how many companies that ditched lots (or even all) of their office space will row back on it after a year or two.

You'd have told them they should have used Apple/Google app model, right? NHSX seeks willing humans to fill health tech and data roles


Yeah seems like a director level position that I would expect to be well into six figures. Where I work senior developers can get fairly close to £90k.

Zoom records another bumper quarter as pandemic rumbles on, but Wall Street types quiz execs on how long it can last


Zoom has successfully made video conferencing easy(ish) and it has proven reliable under massively increased load so I suspect it will be here to stay. Most large companies are looking to permanently increase homeworking for suitable roles. Even if many or most people will not be at home full time, they will need to communicate with people who are at home. E.g. If I'm in the office 3 days i week i will still need to talk to people who might be at home on those 3 days.

So the number of meetings might drop, but I don't think many large companies will get rid of video conferencing tools once the pandemic is over. Looking at the competition,we used cisco webex for years but that was comparatively hard to use with a desktop app that crashed all the time and it would die in a heap if you tried to use video. Then when the pandemic hit it completely died as it obviously couldn't scale! We have google meet, which is much easier to use even than zoom but has pants video quality and limited features. Not tried teams, but zoom is certainly well placed against those two services.

AMD claims high-end Big Navi Radeon GPUs leave Nvidia's ray-tracing cards in the dust


But will you actually be able to buy one? I gave up and cancelled my 3080 preorder after a few weeks. I'm expecting demand for these cards to far outstrip supply as everyone frustrated with NVIDIA will want one! Decided just to get a refurbished 2070S for now and maybe upgrade next year when supply evens out and we know more about the true comparison of these cards

It's that time of the year when Apple convinces you last year's iPhones weren't quite magical enough, so buy this new 5G iPhone 12 instead


12 looks OK but I'll be sticking with my XS until it breaks or 5G is widespread! Does everything I need and Apple stuff does last well. My wife's 2013 ipad is still going strong.

Now Nvidia's monster GeForce RTX 3090 cards snaffled up by bots, scalpers – if only there had been a warning


The GPU market seems to attract the same levels of fanboy-ism that consoles do. I'm in the market for a new GPU to replace my ageing 960 GTX. I'll wait to see what AMD bring out but I'm edging towards a 3080 at the moment. However, I'll be purchasing next year so stock and pricing settle down.

I'll look forward to AMD and Nvidia fanboys having screaming rows about things like CUDA Cores in comments on news articles when neither person clearly has the first idea what they're actually arguing about.

I can see my house from here! Microsoft Flight Simulator has laid strong foundations for the nerdy scene's next generation


I'm going to take basic edition for a spin via gamepass and see if my puny 960 GTX can handle it before I buy it

Containers to capture 15% of all enterprise apps across 75% of business by 2024


Gartner astonish me. They are no better than anyone vaguely technically savvy at predicting the future of IT and yet somehow lots of senior IT leaders still "manage by Gartner" and base a lot of their purchasing decisions on the "magic" quadrant.

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy


I don't totally trust google or apple but I suspect their solution is at least more likely to work than an NHS totally home grown solution. NHS doesn't have the best track record with IT projects.

Zoom vows to spend next 90 days thinking hard about its security and privacy after rough week, meeting ID war-dialing tool emerges


The security issues are very concerning, but hats off to them for coping with a 20 fold increase in users in a few months. Webex has been appalling for the last few weeks and hangouts meet seems to display about 5 pixels from everyone's webcam despite the mighty Google running it. Lets just hope they can improve the security and privacy issues without killing off the performance.

IT services sector faces armageddon as COVID-19 lockdown forces project cancellations – analysts


Re: That's one point of view

Our board are currently reviewing our estate of projects and a lot will be cancelled or deferred to 2021. We use the a few of the big Indian outsourcing firms for project "resources" so I expect us to be scaling back the spend we make with them where contracts allow, quite significantly in the short term.

UK enters almost-lockdown: Brits urged to keep calm and carry on – as long as it doesn't involve leaving the house


Re: Keep calm and capitalise on the circumstances

There is definitely a black market for groceries! I was looking for red lentils and kleenex tissues, both for sale at vastly inflated prices on ebay but out of stock everywhere else! E.g people attempting to flog 500g of lentils for £15 on ebay, usually about £1-£2 in the shops. Luckily stock levels are gradually returning to normal so these opportunists will be out of pocket soon.

IBM fires up the big iron, Facebook hands out masks, Cisco splashes cash, and CDC gets an Azure-powered bot


Cisco might be better off spending some of that money on webex infrastructure. We've found it has gone done or performed badly from 9am to 10am UK time every day like clockwork! I assume every techie in the UK is attempting to join their mandatory morning "stand up" at the same time...

Data surge as more Brits work from home? Not as hard on the network as their nightly Netflix binges, claims BT


Hmmm my BT infinity connection is about half the speed it normally is during the day at the moment! Still getting 20Mbps so definitely usable. I'm more worried about my company's shoddy VPN and ageing citrix infrastructure, we've already had a few issues.

Rockstar dev debate reopens: Hero programmers do exist, do all the work, do chat a lot – and do need love and attention from project leaders


All developers are not equal! Just like any job, some people are good at it and some aren't. I think a real hero developer is not just technically competent and quick at coding, but also good at communicating and happy to spend time mentoring and explaining things.

HPE goes on the warpath, attacks AWS over vendor lock-in


My company is busy migrating from on premise to Google cloud. They keep telling us about how we aren't locked in and how easy it is to move to another vendor. Anyone with any technical knowledge at all can tell us there is de facto lock in however easy they claim to make it.

Sure you can run a docker image on any cloud, but the scripting to build, deploy and manage that image will vary between cloud providers. Plumbing like setting up VPNs / interconnects all take time and money and will have to be redone if you move providers. Potentially you end up paying for and managing multiple interconnects while you do a phased migration. Anything you do with a data service like BigQuery probably has to be thrown anyway and redesigned from scratch if you move to another cloud's services.

Of course if you deployed on premise you still have the same issues, once you have invested time and effort into making one product or service work there is ALWAYS a cost in moving to another one even if old and new both sit in your own data centre. At least with cloud you haven't had to spend out on hardware and licenses up front.

Samsung Galaxy S11 tipped to escalate the phone cam arms race with 108MP sensor


Sounds like another one where marketing wanted a big number to shout about! My phone has a 12MP camera which takes perfectly good photos cheers.

Taxi for Uber: Ride-hailing app giant stripped of licence to operate in London


There are but Uber has the best combination of price/coverage/lack of randomly refusing certain destinations. It also works internationally and really helps get over the language barrier when travelling.

Many minicab firms only pick up within certain areas around their office, apart from Addison Lee who charge an arm and a leg.

Black taxi availability is highly variable outside of the centre especially late at night, and then you run into "not going to xyz/south of the river this time of night mate". Their fares get expensive very quickly, although over short journeys they actually compare well to Uber especially as the drivers aren't just mindlessly following an app and can pick the best route.

Uber are a reprehensible company but they have a fantastic product. I just wish they charged a bit more but invested it into safety and driver welfare.

London has decent 5G availability but speeds lag behind Birmingham and Cardiff – research


I'd be happy with decent 4G

I remember when 4G was shiny and new and no one had it, I was an early adopter and regularly got speed tests of 50-60Mbps. Now everyone has it I'm lucky to get 10 as every cell is so overloaded. Be interesting to see how 5G holds up after a year or two. It'll probably be a congested mess and the operators will be banging on about 6G as the answer! All this is assuming you can get coverage, there are still big gaps in 4G and even 3G coverage even inside major cities.

Median speeds for UK 5G four times faster than 4G, but still way behind US and South Korea


Re: such bollocks is spoken about this subject

Yes agree completely. I live *just* outside the M25 in the countryside. I get the train into work in London every day and there are still black spots with no usable phone signal at all, not even for calls. Weirdly the worst of these black spots are well inside Greater London in built up areas (perhaps the network is just overloaded).

I'm unlikely to ever use my phone for anything more data intensive than streaming an HD video from netflix (maybe 4K at a push but hardly necessary) in the near future. 4G would be more than adequate if the coverage was there.

If they can roll out decent speed 5G with near universal coverage I obviously won't argue against it, I'm just not convinced it will happen. 4G was supposed to save us from bad coverage and hasn't even achieved than in one of the world's major cities, although it is good when it is available!

Will someone think of the taxpayer? UK.gov needs to stop burning billions on shoddy procurement, says Reform


Re: Nice try sisters and brothers, but...

They'd probably outsource writing the policy to Capita...


Re: Growth or Real Cost?

This happens in the private sector too, especially with technology projects. Most organisations make it very hard to get business cases for IT projects approved which leads to artificially low costs being approved, followed by overruns when the project is underway.

You also have the optimism bias with any estimates/costings that assume most things will go well and there are no scope gaps. Of course once you've started spending on a project it is always seen as preferable to "just keep going" and add budget when sometimes a badly specified project should just go back to the drawing board....

If you really can't let go of Windows 7, Microsoft will keep things secure for another three years


Re: "For a fee, of course"

Sadly many workplaces will block users from installing anything like that so you're left with the default Windows interface. I can't even set the desktop background or taskbar colour scheme on my work machine!

Dunkin do-nots: Deep-fried cake maker did not warn its sugar addicts that crooks raided web accounts, says NY AG


Everyone and their dog wants your personal details! Why on earth do dunkin donuts need you to create an account? I assume you get some kind of incentive like a free donut for every 10 you buy or something. What's wrong with just giving you a stamp card like my local coffee shop?

Marketers everywhere are obsessed with "personalisation" and want to hoover up all your data even when it is blatantly unnecessary like this, or just sell it on. The other day I tried to install Nvidia's utility to keep your graphics drivers up to date and even that wanted me to create an account (no thank you).

We asked for your Fitbit horror stories and, oh wow, did you deliver: Readers sync their teeth into 'junk' gizmos


Device good, app garbage

I have a FitBit Versa which I *was* really happy with until recently. The battery lasts four days, auto activity detection works and its waterproof and until July I was a very happy customer. Then it stopped syncing and getting notifications. I contacted fitbit support via chat and after a fruitless hour uninstalling and reinstalling the app, rebooting the fitbit etc they suddenly announced my phone is "no longer supported" so tough luck. Great service.

I put the app on my iPad and gave that a go. For first two weeks I was happy, Fitbit synced perfectly. Then, oh dear, it has stopped syncing again. Every couple of days I have to unpair it in bluetooth and re-pair it to get the app syncing just long enough to get my data over. Then it dies again. If Fitbit don't fix this garbage app I will never buy one again!

Here's to beer, without which we'd never have the audacity to Google an error message at 3am


It still amazes me just how many IT workers are incapable of using Google and doing any research into an issue themselves! 9/10 times someone comes to me asking for technical guidance with an error message and the answer is the top result on google...

And we're back live with the state of the smartphone market in 2019. Any hope? Yeah, nah


Re: Perhaps there is a positive story here as well?

1) and 2) and price gouging definitely! I buy second hand phones now. £900 new is just too much for a "flagship" phone, that if its an android may only get major OS updates for 1 or 2 years. Apple's flagships even higher prices but at least they get supported longer I guess.

News aggregator app Flipboard hacked: All passwords reset after hackers pinch user data


"half a billion installs" probably about 12 by choice, always had to disable it when getting a new phone!

Apple, Samsung feel the pain as smartphone market slumps to lowest shipments in 5 YEARS


I replaced my Pixel with a Moto G6 plus that cost me £170. Only meaningful drawbacks are camera is worse (but still good enough for everyday use) and I've already had the sole major OS update I'll get. Other than that its responsive, plenty of storage and the battery lasts twice as long.


The problem is they rely on annual upgrades to prop up revenues and now there is little innovation people just replace when broken. I don't need new meaningless "features" like animated emojis every year. I think we'll start to see concerns on sustainability hurt the market (and all of retail too). Making phones and shipping them all over the world, then landfilling due to designed-in obsolescence, is very polluting and I think more and more people will worry about this. I'd be looking to make money out of repair and recycle operations if I was a phone maker, and make the damn things easier to fix.

How do you like them Apples? Tim Cook's iPhones sitting in the tree, feeling unloved by the Chinese


iPhones have just gotten too expensive. I thought about going back to iPhone as I'm fed up with Android makers abandoning you after one major OS update (if you're lucky) but just couldn't justify the price. They are a nice bit of kit but just not worth those prices in terms of the utility you get.