* Posts by Byz

123 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Mar 2013


Original Acorn Arthur project lead explains RISC OS genesis



I owned a RISCiX system it was great :)

Eventually the disc drives were giving out as there was quite a bit of swapping, but lovely system.

Google's Pixel 6 fingerprint reader is rubbish because of 'enhanced security algorithms'


Re: Hmmm

It could be trying and then caching it.

Only a packet sniffer will give you any idea.

When you use Android Pay it is free to the retailer (unlike Apple pay where there is a small charge), however Google get to see your transactions.

Also Chrome send any printing you do to the mothership before it returns to your printer (I've watched it with a packet sniffer).

'Lots of failed startups came out of Campus': Google axes London hub because startup scene 'doesn't need' another 7 floors of workspace


I used to run mobile app programming meetups there until...

From 2015 to 2017 I used to run meetups to help people learn to build a simple iOS mobile app and learn some basic coding.

I used to get about 60 people turn up and the lady who ran the training spaces really loved me doing the courses and it was one of their most popular events (I even got invited to the Christmas event in 2017 for running them).

When you went down to the cafe you could see most of the people were techies trying to build a business.

The lady who ran the training events then went on maternity leave. A new person was taken on, they decided that teaching people to code was so 2017 and that pilates / mindfulness sessions were the way to go.

I visited again at the end of 2018 and the whole place had changed you could see that their were very few techies left and it was mainly full of people just wanting to hangout with their friends. It had lost the buzz it once had sadly.

It had just become an office space and no longer a campus.

Never went back afterward.

Frippin' heck: Watch out, chin-stroking prog rock fans. King Crimson distributor Burning Shed says it's been hacked


Looks like the system admins...

Were Indisciplined in the implementation of system security.

I think they should Beat it as Robert will be seeing Red and in a Heartbeat will give them a right good Thracking.

All the IT ladies (all the IT ladies), all the IT ladies (all the IT ladies), now put your hands up! Oh, still not many here


I have three children

All my kids a girls and all have a natural talent with IT.

I have tried to interest them in using their abilities to work in the IT sector (wages are better than areas they are studying and working) none of them are interested.

The youngest is a natural programmer and loves gaming. Not interested all have studied arts at further education :(

Server-side Swift's slow support story sours some: Apple lang tailored for mobile CPUs, lacking in Linux world


Re: What's Swift even supposed to do?

Swift can talk to C via Objective-C classes.

Swift 5 has introduced some interesting features including more runtime like Objective-C.

I was using Objective-C as my main preference until Swift 5, Swift 5 is quite neat and there are a lot of great safe multithreading features that cannot easily be done in Objective-C (the new combine framework is very good).

UK government review of IR35 tax reforms? Like a broken pencil, say contractors groups – it'll be utterly pointless


I am a genuine business, yet I'm now getting hassled by my clients!!

I run a limited company and carry out work for multiple clients (usually a couple of days a now and then) and the work is done when I have time available (with a deadline so I am not directed on how I do it) and I supply the equipment. I also pay myself a salary, with NI and Tax deducted (plus I pay employer's NI).

When I go to the HMRC website and fill out the survey for all my work the HMRC says I am outside IR35 for all my work.

Yet now I am getting hassled by a couple of big clients (who pay me the least per day) about IR35 as they only have limited visibility of my entire work portfolio.

One client who I have done no work for since last May emailed me the other day to say they believed I was inside IR35, they constituted less than 2% of company turnover last year so I again went to the HMRC website did a the test for the work I do for them. The HMRC yet again says the the work I do for them is not within IR35 (emailed it bak to the client).

Big companies are just applying a broad brush to this which is crazy.

At this rate if you need a Plummer to fix a water leak or mend a boiler in your home, you will need to run an IR35 payment scheme in order to pay them.

The whole situation is getting crazy when you only do a couple of days work for a client a year (spread over a couple of months) and they say you are in IR35!!!

So my advice to real contractors is to fill out the IR35 test on the HMRC website and send a copy to the client.

IBM tailors Swift relationship after 'review of open source priorities'



If you implements a protocol that is Static binding

If you extend a protocol then you get Dynamic binding



Binding can be done using Protocol Oriented Programming without the need for classes.

With Swift UI and Combine there will be less reliance on Classes going forward, Structures will be used instead.

Classes and objects are not good in multithreaded programming as threads share memory (unlike processes) and instances of Classes are referenced. Structures copy on write so are thread safe.


Just proves that Kitura...

wasn't as good as Vapour 3.

Swift has come on leaps and bounds in the last two years.

Looks like IBM came up with a product and then the competition did a better a better job, this sounds strangely familiar for some reason :o

Helen Fospero makes yet another Brit telly presenter to win IR35 case against taxman


Re: Beyond their grasp

If you put your money into a normal savings account and the interest you earn is greater than £1000 you will pay tax.

If you put the same money into an ISA account and again the interest you earn is greater than £1000 you will not pay any tax (as all interest/earnings on an isa are tax free).

Thus you have legally avoided tax.

Now if you are a director of a company that is listed on the stock exchange you can hide any shares you own in an ISA.

However if you are running a small company like myself I cannot do the same trick.

Thus the big companies get an automatic advantage over small companies.

Ask yourself why don't the government close this loophole, I'm sure it has nothing to do with donations.


Re: Beyond their grasp

Tax avoidance is legal.

Do you have a pension or an Isa?

If so you are a tax avoider.

Apple's tailored SwiftUI makes coding Mac and iOS apps RAD again


Mmmm a bit of spin here

"Instead of building a user interface in code with Apple's UIKit framework"

Most iOS developers do not build UIKit in code (unless they have come across from another platform and don't know any better) they use storyboards (Drag and Drop). SwiftUI looks quite good for custom screens, however for a large App with many scenes it looks like a lot of overhead.

When I started iOS programming most of the work was done in code (30% was navigating between scenes), Storyboards took this pain away, SwiftUI looks like it is giving it back.

Ultimately this look like more an attempt to head of non-Apple ways of building apps such as React Native.

The one good thing is that if you want to build an app in a react style then at least you'll now have some actual debugging tools :)

Virgin Media? More like Virgin Meltdown: Brit broadband ISP falls over amid power drama


No problem here

In the southeast all tv's and internet working fine :)

'Unhackable' Bitfi crypto-currency wallet maker will be shocked to find fingernails exist


Re: First rule of security...

I saw a hardened device in March (sold as very secure), it was still sending packets off to China.

Eventually we harden it so much to stop the packets that it basically was unusable as a device :o


First rule of security...

Nothing is unhackable

Second rule of security

Don't put it on Android !!!

Android has so many known security holes (makes windows look good).

Acquisition Galvanize'd: Code bootcamp Hack Reactor eyed up by hungry tech trainers


Worked for a few code schools :(

They promise jobs but don't invest in making sure they can deliver.

So typically they take the money and the students get usually good training (depends on the trainer), however then there is little support to find jobs afterwards (even worse if they shut down).

I feel sorry for the students who are promised jobs as the trainers end up trying to support the students, but don't have the resources to do so :(

Who will fix our Internal Banking Mess? TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes


Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

Except his name is Paul David Pestor.

Not Peter !!!

Inviting nearby exoplanet revealed as radiation-baked hell


As Kenneth Williams said...

“Frying tonight”

What a Hancock-up: MP's social network app is a privacy disaster


Re: I guess he gets points for trying?

"Perhaps a decent web security consultant might have been a better investment?"

I think an "app" security consultant would be better as apps also store data on the phone and synchronise between devices, which doesn't feature in web security.

I have trained so many web developers over the years in iOS programming and they are blown away about how much more complicated it is dealing with a device that can hold data and process it locally (plus synchronise through a cloud that they have no control over).

Web security is a very centralised view of the world, app development is far more distributed and can catch you out.

He probably had a web security consultant, which might be where he went wrong in the first place.


'Twas the night before Y2K and a grinch stole the IT department's overtime payout


Re: Dismissing Y2K

"Wall up the French end, use the tunnel as a reservoir to ease water shortages in the South East."

Err... the southeast has a set of massive chalk aquifers underneath it (North Downs, South Downs and the Thames valley).

Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11's war on 32-bit


they just need to...

Recompile the app in Xcode 8.

If the app was built well and the app developers didn't use 32 bit third party libraries, it should just need a few tweaks and a recompile and submit to the AppStore.

I've written apps for a few companies originally in iOS 7 that every two years may need two or three days work and a recompile, Xcode builds the app to the version of iOS you specify.

It just requires that you know what you are doing and that is the harder part :)

Ancient fat black holes created by belching Big Bang's dark matter



It's a hypothesis not a theory

Apple: Our stores are your 'town square' and a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'


The interesting bit...

Is the neural engine, first time a hardware neural network has been put into a consumer product.

Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC


First Window NT machine on a network

Back in the mid 1990's I was a contractor at a large security company. I was asked to look at this new Windows NT 3.1 (became 3.5 soon after).

So eventually after installing the OS (many floppy disks later) I had a look at the local network and noticed I could see hundreds of C: drives that were shared (and access them) that you couldn't normally see from windows 3.1, being a good contractor I reported this security issue to the IT security department.

The IT security head assured me they would deal with this issue by the next day.

The next morning an email went out to the whole company (many thousands of people) that stated "Windows NT is not allowed to be installed on any machine in the company".

I learnt a real lesson about IT security departments that day :o

Apple weans itself off Intel with 'more ARM chips' for future Macs


Re: Doesn't seem very feasible

Currently if you build apps via Xcode you can either run them on the simulator or on an iOS device.

If you run it on the simulator it compiles down to intel machine code (you can see when it crashes), if however you run it on a device it compiles down to Arm machine code.

LLVM has allowed this for years and they can easily compile two versions so they don't need to emulate, the hard bit is to swap between them when the code is running. Could see this being done by breaking the code into closures/blocks and making the memory accessible by both versions, but they may have found a different way.

Currently they would easily be able to port all MacOS apps to Arm as it is just a compiler option.

Bug of the month: Cache flow problem crashes Samsung phone apps


Re: Self-modifying code

I once had to look after self modifying code in the 1980s, it was a real lesson as overtime you listed code it was different :)

Making changes to the code that modified was fun as well as bugs tended to eat the whole system (you learn't the value of backups when developing).

I was then tasked with writing a report generator that looked at the system and worked out where the relevant data was and created the report. It is the only time in my career that I've had to use triple indirection (used double many times) and recursion together. I used to come home with stunning headaches and next day spend an hour working out what I'd written the previous day.

After a few weeks I'd got it working and written a user interface for selecting the data you wanted and how to layout the report type if you wanted a new report. All fully documented :)

I left a few months later and then came back a few years later to see that no-one else had ever generated another report type after I left. The reason... you had to understand data structures in the original system to build a report and no one could be bothered to learn. Some programmers tried building static programs to build reports, however when system modified they stopped working :)

Punters want heart-throbs, not brains, when thinking wrist-jobs


Trust me I'm a Doctor...

Did an article about these basic monitors and it showed that all of them were useless if you wanted a true measure of your heart rate. They work by trying to see when the blood moves through your veins.

The only way to get a proper reading is to strap a device to your chest and measure electrical signals to the heart.

In the end they recommended getting a watch, put pressure on your wrist and measure it yourself, looks like apple got the watch part right ;)

Nope, we can't find dark matter either, says LUX team


Where you see dark matter mentioned

Think god of the gaps.

So instead of some asking "why do galaxies rotate like that" and someone replying "God did it", we now say "it's due to Dark Matter".

Just a different name for our ignorance.

Florida man sues Apple for $10bn, claims iPod, iPhone was his idea


The Newton came from...

John Sculley pushed apple to build the Newton because Steve Jobs had spoken about such an idea with him in the early 1980's (read various biographies). Jobs wanted to build an iPad like device for years but the technology didn't exist (to slow, to big...etc).

It also seem to be forgotten that the iPhone was a spin off from the iPad project.

Also as someone who had a Newton it always stuck me as curious at the time that Apple didn't release the software into the public domain for the community to maintain after it was killed off. After the iPhone was released I realised why, very similar interface.

Some of us are old enough to remember early handheld computers in the 1980's (I think Sharp and Tandy might have done one), everyone thought that was the way things were going strange how things turn out.

It's not us, it's you: Boffins ditch supercomputers in lust for new materials


Woo hoo people actually doing experiments!!

As a computer scientist and a physicist I've hated how people assume that they can model everything on a computer.

Unfortunately when things become to complex you have to make assumptions to build a model, this inevitably means something gets missed out e.g. most climate models cannot model clouds very well and many economic models don't take real data.

So the models diverge from reality.

In the last few years I've seen people actually questioning reality when it doesn't fit the model (No your model is wrong!!).

So it is great to see people actually doing experiments because it is to complexed :)

Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat


I'd put good money...

On Einstein not being wrong.

As a physicist I have seen this so many times and Einstein wins every time.

Gravitational waves were discovered before they even ran tests on the detection equipment, they turned on the detector and there they were :o

Also Einstein's work is based on very simple principles all other theories are based on very complicated hypotheses so are more likely to fail.

Special and General Relativity have been tested to very precise levels (10^16) even quantum mechanics is only accurate to (10^8) - Voyager passing Jupiter.

tick list

1) does is break the second law of thermodynamics, if so fail !!!!

2) does it contradict General Relativity, if so fail !!

Hands on with the BBC's Micro:Bit computer. You know, for kids


"Doubly appropriate, given the Micro:Bit’s two ARM Cortex MPUs are descended from the Risc chips of that old Acorn machine."


The model B had a 6502 not a Risc chip.

That first appeared in the Acorn Archimedes.

Ok 6502 was its inspiration but it wasn't a Risc chip.

All-American Apple challenges US gov call for iOS 'backdoor'


Either we have liberty or we don't

The 20th Century is scattered with examples of governments coming to power (by fair means or foul) that have then used the apparatus of power to remove the liberty of their citizens.

The problem of what is the "best interest of the people" is decided by a group of people who have a viewpoint that may not be in my interest or a majority of the population.

What is currently being demanded by governments both here in the UK and US may not be abused by the current governments, however if these attempt are successful they put into statute, laws that can be used by a future government to suppress the rights of their citizens.

You just need to look at history to see that can very easily happen.

Even in my lifetime I have seen British Governments complain that the courts should not undermine their rights to govern (thank goodness the courts have not buckled) however in the 1920's, 30's and currently in Russia there are many examples where the courts just become an extension of the ruling party. If the governments then have laws that allow you to be constantly or occasionally monitored (legally) without being suspected of a crime it becomes easy to find fault to put free thinking and innocent people in prison.

It has happened before it will happen again.

Go read Animal Farm the laws get rewritten.

Jailbreaking pirates popped in world's largest iCloud raid – 225,000 accounts hit


If you go outside...

The walled garden what do you expect?

The walled garden does stop you doing what you like with your device, however as a developer I've never found this a problem. The reason is that even though I can't put stuff on the app store that uses private APIs. I can write the app and just use it privately.

Apple also can't be held responsible for this so the poor individuals are screwed :(

I've seen so many people turn up to courses, with jailbroken iPhones complaining that something, doesn't work on their iPhone and it is usually down to them jailbreaking it or even worse they've gone back to a shop they bought a iPhone from (not Apple) and been given a replacement that was previously jailbroken. If you are just Joe Public leave it alone or buy an Android or Windows phone (will cost you less as well).

If you buy an expensive iPhone don't jailbreak it unless you know what your doing and realise that you open it to being hacked easily.

Often it's down to someone's mate saying you should do this to your iPhone to get free apps that you pay for on the AppStore. Their mate usually knows very little about computers but just enough to be dangerous, plus they are depriving developers of income, which as a developer pisses me off as I have to feed my kids, I can't live on fresh air (I'm sure if they went to work and were told at the end of the week that they weren't getting paid as there boss wanted their work for free they'd be pissed off).

Unfortunately it is a fact of life that if you want a completely open system, someone can easily hack it.

Open systems are open and security is complicated :(

PEAK TECHNOLOGY? Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Apple stocks hit the deck


Re: What goes up... must come down...


It is due to the slowing of the Chinese economy all stocks around the word are suffering, not just the tech ones.

So combined with European countries being in recession there are real concerns that this will hit the global economy.

YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin


Categorisation is human trait

Over the years I have worked on many systems where the client wants to categorise something.

Generally it works for man made objects, however like all things there are exceptions (is an infrared lamp a lamp or a heater? It's technically both people don't like this)

If you look at the planets each on is unique in some way, but we just like putting things in a box.

If you work extensively with logic you begin to realise that categorisation is a cognitive thing rather than real. You can write the same program in procedural, object oriented, functional and protocol oriented paradigms they are all isomorphic with each outer it is just a different way of categorising a problem.

Personally under the dwarf planet definition I would shove Mercury in there as it so close to the Sun that the Sun clears the region (it also almost cleared out Mercury as it used to be bigger, like Pluto).

So it is just a putting it in a box exercise, driven by administration not science. Light used to be just a wave in the 19th century until the photoelectric effect was discovered and Einstein screwed it all up with the photon :)

Boffins say Mars had ocean covering 20 per cent of planet


Plate tectonics on Mars?

My understanding of plate tectonics on earth is that it is driven by the water allowing the plates to lubricate when they slide over each other, it has also been suggested that microbial life is also important for this process.

Venus had no plate tectonics and Mars exhibits pre-plate tectonics which suggests that water wasn't there in the abundance that we find on Earth or for very long.

Given the above, if water wasn't around long enough to get plate tectonics going properly, much as I'd love to find evidence of life on Mars it's probably very unlikely :(

Software firms are over-valued, says Huawei


You can do...

The best requirements gathering, the best design...etc

But if your code is crap then it is all a waste of time, good coders are worth their weight in gold (or even saffron)

Would Apple godhead Steve Jobs have HATED the Watch?


Short memories

I remember when the iPhone was announced everyone said it was too big, the trend was for smaller phones and it was too expensive.

Then the iPad was announced everyone said it was dead in the water as MS couldn't sell the concept and that it was just a big iPhone.

Apple watch ugly (Vogue have already disagreed) no-one needs one (I've been using a pebble for 9 months and it is really useful on a packed London train)...blah blah blah.

Time will tell.

What has made me really me laugh is the IT people being asked their opinion who have said it is not stylish (these guys are very fat, sweaty and have the dress sense of an IT bloke), it is not us in the IT crowd who are going to make or break this produc (I know many IT friends who have windows 8 phones)t, it's the public and from what I've heard already they might do well again.


Re: Would Apple godhead Steve Jobs have HATED the iWatch?

Even if it wasn't next day it would be (if you read his biography)

iOS phone phlaw can UNMASK anonymous users on social media


We'll you read wrong

It is quite clear that the leak is through third party apps like chrome.

Do you actually program iOS apps?

Or is are you just holding your finger in the air and seeing which way you think the wind is blowing?

You can only use a web view via a native app, and then fire off the URL as an action from the webview.

Google is blaming Apple here for an app that it wrote, whereas safari (written by apple) doesn't have this issue (yet uses the same web view). QED Google has written there app to the same standard as usual which is as water tight as sieve !!!


Re: There's no such thing as a secure platform...

Indeed a very good comment.

If you have a Turing complete programming language (and both Objective-C and Swift are Turing Complete) there is always a way to subvert the system. The problems get caught in the testing.


Well you'll have to write a native app first :)

Do you want to sign up for some training courses?

then you have to decide if you want to do it in Objective-C or Swift



Nothing new

'The document also explains that something called the "tel URL scheme is used to launch the Phone app on iOS devices and initiate dialing of the specified phone number."'

This has been there for years all the way back from iOS 2

I have written apps that open maps and then find a route or make phone calls and they have never prompted, however my apps have to go via the App Store so are screened first (obviously this is as good as the screening), also if Apple discover you are doing something not allowed they take down the app.

If you jailbreak your phone and download an app from another source you on your own and where these native apps are likely to be lurking.

Dead letter office: ancient smallpox sample turns up in old US lab


That is a dodged bullet :o

Had that got out it would be a nightmare!

When DNA analysis was done on smallpox it shared more hits with human kind than anything else, Smallpox is our natural predator. We have had 40 years of absence in the most of the world it is uncertain if there is any natural resistance left (maybe some of us who were immunised).

Smallpox has the ability to dismantle our immune system, if it got out in a big city it would be similar to what happened when it landed in the new world :(

I was immunised against smallpox as a baby in the 60's and the vaccination caused terrible eczema (I was covered from head to foot) the vaccination for people susceptible to eczema and asthma is almost as dangerous as catching smallpox itself.

I hope it never gets out as we could not scale up vaccine fast enough. My father who was a medic used to tell of an operation where the patient had smallpox and the theatre staff were unaware. No-one survived exposure even though some were vaccinated as they were exposed to such a high dose of the virus.

The stuff of nightmares :(

New Apple iOS to help fanbois thwart Wi-Fi network spies


Re: iBeacon

Well I've written a couple of apps that use I beacons, so unless you make your phone an iBeacon or carry one around with you you can't be tracked by them.

Next the phone can only pretend to be one beacon at a time so if you have two apps trying to set up the phone as their own iBeacon with different ids then you will get a clash between the apps.

In your scenario you are saying that Apple will monitor which beacons you go by (however you need to know what iBeacon ids your looking for) and send the data back, well in theory yes this could be possible, however in practice most iBeacons run on Batteries which don't last as long as most producers claim and there are not many mains powered iBeacons on the market (though you could build one with a Raspberry Pi as per the Reg article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/29/feature_diy_apple_ibeacons/). so it would be a hell of a lot of maintenance for very little gain.

To be honest you may as well just use GPS and if your that worried it might be worth investigating buying one of these http://zapatopi.net/afdb/ ;)


Re: iBeacon

iBeacons don't track you it is the app on the phone that sees the iBeacons. All iBeacons are is low power bluetooth transmitters that transmit an id and you program your app to see certain ids.

So if the app is tracking you de-install it, you have control.

Whereas with MAC address scanning it is done without your knowledge, thus you have no control.

Apple: We'll tailor Swift to be a fast new programming language


Re: Just what the world needs

I train Objective-C it is currently one of the most used languages due to the app store.

I've had a look at swift and it is similar to Scalar, so it will be straightforward for coders to convert.

It seems to remove all the brackets :)

Concerning Windows Phone and its relevance to the larger business


Re: A couple of problems with this

Bet your not a FTSE 100 CEO then ;)