* Posts by zebm

67 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Aug 2012


HPE seeks $4B in damages from Autonomy boss Mike Lynch and his ex-CFO


Didn't do their due diligence

If HP are successful then Musk should go after people he bought Twitter from. Alternatively the judges should just start sending executives to prison for wasting court time due to them being too feckless to do their due diligence.

SpaceX snaps back at US labor board's complaint, calling it 'unconstitutional'


Didn't they spam everyone?

How do you organise people to sign an open letter without using a spam e-mail? Were they actually fired for misuse of the e-mail system?

Road to Removal: A blueprint for yanking billions of tons of CO2 out of our atmosphere


It is disputable

Temperatures are not at a historic high, Roman times used to be warmer. The climate models are known to be really useless. You do this and things go bad then you can release any captured carbon but what happens to the money?

First Brexit, now X-it: Musk 'considering' pulling platform from EU over probe


Limited number of accounts

What a sneering article. Maybe more opinions than facts?

Musk should require logins from the EU and that less than 10% of the EU population have accounts. Then the unelected commisar has no power over X.

Boris Johnson's mad hydrogen for homes bubble bursts


Sir John Armitt is 77 and won't be held accountable for his recommendations. Why not take green hydrogen and make methane? Presumably the technology isn't there for making it cost effective but then again the same is true of heat pumps.

Europe's tough new rules for Big Tech start today. Is anyone ready?


More discrimination needed

1. Detect whether your site is being accessed from within the EU

2. If so require a login

3. Limit the number of EU users to 85% of the EU population

You are now not a VLOP so problem solved

Uncle Sam accuses SpaceX of not considering asylees and refugees for employment


DOJ itself only hires citizens

Perhaps green card holders, etc. should sue the DOJ?

Whistleblower claims Uncle Sam is sitting on hoard of alien vehicles and tech


In related news...

The House Oversight Committee is investigating claims that funds have been funnelled through Biden LLCs by the Vogons to secure approval for building a bypass through the solar system.

UK becomes Unicorn Kingdom, where AI fairy dust earns King's ransom


But Unicorns are from Scotland

A few years back I walked into the Museum on the Mound in Edinburgh and they asked me what I wanted to see as it was about half an hour before closing. I said Unicorns and got some very funny looks unsurprisingly. They actually had something like three Unicorns as per the clue in the General Knowledge crossword I had done some time before. The clue was a large gold coin issued by the Kings of Scotland. Considering the reputation of the Scots I didn't think the coin was large but, then again, the Scots Kings weren't allowed much tax raising power by their lairds which is why they welcomed the Union of the Crowns to take over from the Welsh who had taken over from the French. Ultimately they got kicked out by the Dutch then the Germans.

Ever wondered what it's like working for Microsoft? Leaked survey shines a light on how those at the code coalface feel


Don't know about MS itself but GitHub is woke

Worked on a project to which GitHub had donated the time of a staff member. I put in the unit test system with the first test being called NoddyTest. There was quite a lot of toing and froing with the GitHub person and one other who was fine with everything. Eventually I got the response "but Enid Blyton".

Coding unit tests is boring. Wouldn't it be cool if an AI could do it for you? That's where Diffblue comes in


This is why I do BDD

Admittedly automatic creation of regression tests is useful but this just looks like it is there to satisfy code coverage metrics

Raspberry Pi Foundation serves up an 8GB slice of mini-computing goodness


Re: Further back than that....

You could always get a cheap chromebook and run Ubuntu on it with Crostini

Use our stuff for free and sell your application? That's Qt. Time to give something back


CopperSpice still seems to be going

Must admit I've never used it and haven't used Qt in years but prefer the idea of using modern C++

SAP co-CEO: I'm leavin' on a jet plane... Davos knows that I'll be back again...Oh babe, I hate to go (back to work)


More virtuous

"She, or SAP, chose not to become the tech exec equivalent of teenage eco-campaigner Greta Thunberg and make a 14-day sea voyage."

Good she isn't a virtue signaller like Greta whose crew had a change over by flying 3 back to Europe and 5 out.

Royal Bank of Scotland IT contractor ban sparks murmurs of legal action


Done both contract and perm over the last 12 years

I went contracting at the start of 2008 as I had moved several hundred miles cross country with work only to be told my job was at risk and then the housing market crashed. The main reason for doing so is that I could take rent out of pre-tax income which then meant to say I could afford my mortgage as well.

In 2010 I tried to contract in Brussels, the agent effectively said "trust me I'm an international tax lawyer" when I was querying about limited company contracting. It turns out that the fine I was up for would be more than 100% of income. Apparently all his colleagues used umbrella companies based out there. Also, as a British national, I had to fill out a Limosa a.k.a. a work permit application.

This year I found out that France also does work permits - there is a minimum income which varies with number and age of dependants - as some remoaning sponger wrote to the newspaper saying that they were being kicked out "because of Brexit" as they had applied to be naturalised and the French replied that they shouldn't be in the country in the first place.

One thing to note is that with a level playing field between public and private sector contracting the exodus that happened in the former will be addressed so you can see why they are doing it.

I'd be happier paying tax if the sponging royal family didn't have all those tax breaks.


Re: Just the start

I went permanent so that I could work in Australia for a few months last year, back to contracting now

Too hot to handle? Raspberry Pi 4 fans left wondering if kit should come with a heatsink


Fake news

I went to the shop in Cambridge on Saturday and walked out with the 4GB model, an official case and a Pimoroni fan. All fits together fine as demonstrated to me in the shop when I queried whether the fan would fit in the case.

Two out of five Silicon Valley techies complain Trump's H-1B crackdown has hit 'em hard


Turned down the opportunity

Took redundancy for Christmas 2000 rather than move to Detroit for what looked like 2/3 of the rate that an American would get.

'BMW, Airbus and Siemens' get the Brexit spending shakes


Siemens are cutting back?

They've just bought LightWork Design in Sheffield to add to their software components business most, if not all, of which is UK based

The Reg visits London Met Police's digital and electronics forensics labs


Are these the stitch up people?

Are they the same part of the Met as stitched up Damian Green by taking 'backups' home?

Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!


Base 60 making a comeback?

At least that's what seems to be suggested. Better to think that base 10 rational numbers become more popular.

WANdisco scores $1m self-driving car deal under back-from-the-dead CEO


A win for Sheffield

Next month's Firefox 48 is looking Rusty – and that's a very good thing


Source to source translators any good?

In the past I've done semi-automated translation from Fortran 77 to C++. Surely C to Rust conversion should be a bit easier to do some translation.

HPE dumps software biz into the bargain bin


Autonomy saga

Will Mike Lynch be buying Autonomy back? Or will he say that HP has destroyed all the value?

Euro researchers more loyal and cheaper than Silicon Valley folk


German hairdressers

I remember reading years ago about German hairdressers starting up British limited companies to pursue their trade in Germany because they wanted limited liability and getting Gmbh designation cost a fortune.

Android tablets too bitter a pill for Dell


I quit tablets years ago

Am writing this on a Acer C720 ChromeBook, considering getting a new Android aware ChromeBook later in the year

UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits


Do we really want more computer scientists?

When the grads turn up in the workplace they typically can't code, better to get someone with a Maths degree who can

US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'


Surely an auction is better?

Getting a H1B could be dependent on the amount of tax that you pay which would make the cheap foreign labour calculation more complicated.

Disclaimer: I turned down the offer of relocating to Detroit for piss-poor pay when my UK R&D site was closed.

At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'


"Project managers report faster and more often."

Well if that's the case they still aren't doing agile. If I want project status I just want to point a web browser at a server that tells me the status and lets me know the last time there was a change that caused a status update.

F-35s failed 'scramble test' because of buggy software


Send in the drones

Is the plane purposely useless to persuade re-equipment with drones?

Job ad promises 'Meaningless Repetitive Work on the .NET Stack'


Re: "You'll need 'numbness to the absence of excellence'"

I always blame Fortran for depressed earnings early on in my career. Recently I gave advice to some ex-colleagues and pointed out that hardly any Fortran jobs were being advertised in the UK.

We bet your firm doesn't stick to half of these 10 top IT admin tips


What about side loading?

I worked for a blue chip where they had an extreme side loading policy - my view was that if I compiled the open source code myself then I wasn't breaching policy but knew better than to ask for confirmation. Others would use standalone laptops with unencrypted hard drives and admin passwords taped to them...

French mobe repair shop chaps trash customer's phone


Wrong headline

Surely people get sacked in France should be the headline. I thought it was technically impossible to get rid of employees in France

US software biz fined $28 million for bribing Chinese buyers with free vacations, gifts


Had the largesse

In 2001 I went to the PTC European Users Conference in Berlin, it was very enjoyable due to the largesse of our hosts. Admittedly there was no point in bribing me as I was a lowly Pro/TOOLKIT user.

NICE catch, Amazon: Bezos buys HPC toolkit from Italy


Wonder what'll happen to the existing companies?

e.g. http://www.rescale.com/, https://www.cpu-24-7.com/

How to build a plane that never needs to land


What about the boys in blue?

What are the economics of replacing the local police helicopter? The Met supposedly costs £850ph - http://www.met.police.uk/foi/pdfs/disclosure_2014/july_2014/2014070000470.pdf - which a crude calculation gives £7.5 million a year. So it's looking like the same order of magnitude for payback over a few years.

Obviously this would be a quieter solution - I fondly remember the Strangeways riots stopping the local flyboys buzzing the house at 3am.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise axing services techies again


The HP merry go round

I worked with ex-HP staff who had subsequently joined the client. No one technical left at HP so when they got a work order from us they would contact their ex-staff at the clients to do the work then charge the client for having done the work. Nice work if you can get it...

Let's get GDS to build a public blockchain, UK.gov's top boffin says


Will discuss on Thursday

Got a job interview on Thursday with Home Office Digital. Was going to propose blockchain for any activity logs as it was. Nice to see great minds think alike.

Not good enough, VW: California nixes toxic mix fix in strict interdict


Did VW actually break the law?

Teachers teaching to the test is apparently encouraged these days. This is what VW did and hence they passed the test. Surely it is the fault of the EPA and CARB that they don't have real world tests.



BP is the merger of British Petroleum and AMOCO (AMerican Oil COmpany), at the time AMOCO had bad press hence the BP name. Obama was always referring to it, incorrectly, as British Petroleum during the DWH spill.

UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim


Surely will increase GDP?

The cost of installation will affect GDP. Then when the burglars see that you are on holiday GDP will again be boosted when you have to buy replacements for what they nicked.

Brit 'naut Tim Peake tucks into space bacon sarnie


Surely ketchup

Brown sauce for a sausage buttie, ketchup for a bacon. These are intergalactic rules, surely?

USA doubles visa fees for migrant IT workers


Definitely wage slaves

I got the offer of relocate to Detroit or redundancy 15 years ago. The deal to go was equivalent to an American with 4 years less experience. If it had been somewhere civilised I might have gone but the home of Robocop just wasn't attractive.

Big Brother is born. And we find out 15 years too late to stop him


This was leaked in 1995

Wallace and Gromit A Close Shave (1995) featured the evil robo-dog Preston. An obviously leak by a time traveller...

Now you can tailor Swift – Apple open-sources the whole shebang


C++ 14 anyone?

From the CppCon presentations, if I remember correctly, Apple is supporting new C++. So who needs Swift?

Uber wants UK gov intervention over TfL’s '5-minute wait' rule


Short termism, surely?

In a few years time we'll be taking self driving cabs so what's a little trouble at the moment?

Trident test-shot startles West Coast Americans


If only they could have launched on Thursday for the benefit of all the ex-pats

A bubble? No way, we're in a bust, says rich VC living in alternate reality


I must be a lot older than the journo

I remember how Andreessen made his money so describing him as a VC is rather amusing.

Biggest problem with virtual reality: It can be a little too real for people


Ever tried a rollercoaster?

I went to http://www.newlondonarchitecture.org/ a few months ago and they had a VR headset with a rollercoaster ride that the kiddies were trying. Eventually I got a go for a about a minute, made me want to throw up. So I suppose that is a feature otherwise I would never have got to play...

HMRC 'reluctant' to crack down on VAT fraudsters – tax ace


Re: (amazon) we don't have the authority to review their tax affairs.

£82,000 is the VAT registration threshold. Obviously a lot of these small foreign traders won't cross that line - perhaps they should decrease the threshold or put in place a proxy system.