* Posts by TheDoc

20 posts • joined 8 Jan 2013

Android clampdown on calls and texts access trashes bunch of apps


Anti spam software gone too

I had an app for easy reporting of spam messages (7726 SpamReporter). Free app, no adverts. Just written to help people combat spam. Somehow that didn't fit in with google's definitions of anti spam, and they removed it. Twats.

'Computer algo' blamed for 450k UK women failing to receive breast screening invite


Is this really the root cause?

OK, so a faulty algo caused a bad problem. But why was there a faulty algo? Generally it's because of lack of testing. Why is there lack of testing? Generally because of lack of QA resources. And why is there a lack of QA resource? Outsourcing to the cheapest bidder because of some ideological ideals. If you do your IT on the cheap, it's not surprising that things go wrong.

The ultimate vendor lock-in: High school opens on Oracle campus


What about UTCs in the UK

In the UK we have exactly the same thing. We have 49 UTCs sponsored by tech companies, like Oracle, Microsoft and Cisco, who give their time and expertise and money, generally because they want to help the next generation of engineers. Is it selfish? Yes, in some ways - the more software engineers there are in the country, the better the employment environment is for those companies. However, they give a fantastic education to young kids. Do the companies encourage learning their favourite languages? Yes, but within limits. Java and C# have a place in the workplace. ABAP would be seen as too proprietary and be rejected. The same is true in every school - kids education is influenced by cheap Macs, or discount MS licenses. This is no different, and has worked well for years. But somehow that won't work in US? It's either nationalistic, or a poorly researched pop at Oracle.

PlayStation 4 probs: Gamers struggle with PSVR headset blackouts


I get the same too - very annoying that Sony aren't even acknowledging the issue.

Bite my shiny metal Ask: Java for OS X crapware storm brewing


Must be some genuine reason

The bundling of the Ask toolbar is very un-Oracle, which shies away from partnership deals with 3th parties in general - especially when it's not worth less than many millions of dollars. So why on earth are they still doing this? I have a few theories; 1) It's some inherited contract that they haven't managed to get out of, 2) Larry Elison has some stake in the company which owns Ask, so doesn't see the need to rock the boat, or 3) It's never made it far enough up the to-do list.

Any other ideas?

Money from apps? It's all about Apple iOS, says survey


Of course $0 revenue apps are on Android

It's no shock at all that zero revenue apps are more popular on Android. If you are going to release an app which is not actually expected to generate money, would you release it on the free Google Play store, or for the £60/year Apple store.

Hey, here's some face-tracking tech from Samsung you probably won't find creepy at all


Looks almost identical to the EyeTribe tracker that is actually in use already for disability apps.

Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list


Re: Get a proofreader.

...and a spell checker. Unless "unvelievably" is now a word?

Oracle working on at least 13 Heartbleed fixes


Re: What should be interesting

Oracle's not the very best company in the world for giving back to the community, but they do have MySQL, InnoDB, Java, OpenOffice, VirtualBox, and more - that's quite a list of widely used free software. All came from acquisitions you say? I suspect so did those products that are using OpenSSL.

Oracle promises 'skin editor' for Fusion apps


The world has moved on from concerns like "it's running in java". It's a 100% html front end, and it's SaaS. Users don't care if it's java on the back end. With SaaS, it could be COBOL on the back end, but as long as it performs well and has good functionality then the users quite rightly don't care.

I agree about the scroll bars in that screenshot though.

UK defamation law reforms take effect from start of 2014


What about small sites?

There are millions of small web sites out there run by one person. What happens when that person goes on holiday? Are they expected to find a way to check e-mail every 2 days to check if there is a takedown notice on comments on their web site? Seems like this law didn't think about the long tail.

From Dept of REALLY? Sueball lobbed at Apple over crap iOS Maps app


Exactly - Apple intentionally introduced a serious regression in to the product. If they had always had Apple Maps, no cause for complaint. But since they took away a working feature and replaced it with something lesser, the consumer is not getting what they had thought they had purchased. Software companies need to be held just as accountable as anyone else for not providing the expected goods.

The Raspberry Pi: Is it REALLY the saviour of British computing?


Do you actually know any kids?

Perhaps it's not the norm, but my nine year old is learning games programming in primary school ICT lessons. They use Scratch, and are building some fairly complex platform games, learning all about computer logic. I agree you don't need a Pi to teach kids computing - it's not about the hardware, it's about the teachers being prepared to teach it, and with simple languages like Scratch, the teachers aren't too daunted.

What holds other kids back is having teachers who don't know how easy it is. Any kid can write a program to make a cat run around the screen in a 1 hour lesson, but the teachers don't realize how easy it is. Train them up, and the kids interest and skills will grow.

Bonking boffins say bacon biters won't breed


Isn't this a good thing?

So bacon acts as a mild contraceptive? Less painful than going for the snip.

NHS tears out its Oracle Spine in favour of open source


So this was one of two successful components, but they decide to rip it out to replace it with a new product on a new technology stack, implemented by a relatively unknown company. And it's going to be live in 2014. Hmm.

It's not a bad idea to try some new guys and new technology - particularly if the price is right, but why not give it a go on one of the failed projects instead of one of the ones that works?

Oracle defends Larry Ellison's whopping package


Oracle has about 120000 employees thanks to various acquisitions. An average salary across all employees on all grades in all countries is a hard thing to come by, but $80,000 average salary + bonus + benefits is probably a reasonable ballpark. If Larry earns $76.9m as reported, that means he earns a thousand times more than the average employee, and he alone takes 0.8% of the company wage bill.

Sounds like a lot. The flip side of it is if he took no pay, you could only give every employee a £400 bonus. Better than a kick in the teeth, but hardly enough to retain someone.

Alternatively, you could give investors an additional 1.6 cents per share on their dividend each year. Given that the last quarterly dividend was 12 cents, that's actually not a bad increase.

How to get a Raspberry Pi to take over your Robot House


Antenna to weak

I tried one of these, and while the example software is actually very good for the price, the hardware is just not up to it. In particular the antenna is nothing more than a short line on the circuit board, and it can't work with battery devices more than a few meters away (unlike mains devices, battery devices do not use the mesh for z-wave). If they release a version with a u.lf connector on it then perhaps that would be a viable solution, but at the moment this is little more than an interesting toy, not a true home automation candidate.

Chocolate Factory chucks out Checkout


No surprise

Google drove merchants away from Google Checkout over the years by having no customer service, by blindly processing any chargebacks without listening to merchants, and by hiking prices. I am shocked that there is anyone left using it. Which is probably why it is getting the chop.

Silly Rabbit! Like Trix, color e-readers are for kids


"If I told you who we were talking with," he told us on the CES ShowStoppers exhibition floor, "next year you would be here, but I wouldn't."

that'll be Apple then

Oracle, Dell, CSC, Xerox, Symantec accused of paying ZERO UK tax

Thumb Up

Just responding to government incentives

One example of the way this works is these companies typically all spend a fortune on R&D here in the UK. The tax man gives a 130% tax breaks on all money spent on R&D, helping to keep the tax bill down very significantly. The Conservatives even removed the upper limit on the amount that can be claimed on that in 2012. That's not tax avoidance by these large IT companies, that's working on the sort of thing that the government is incentivizing them to work on. Quite simply, if you don't want companies to reduce their tax bill, don't offer them schemes to do so. But governments want to change behaviour, and can't then be indignant when companies go along with them on that.


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