* Posts by Warm Braw

2798 posts • joined 6 Sep 2013

UK health secretary Matt Hancock follows delay to GP data grab with campaign called 'Data saves lives'

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Re: "Data makes money for our Chums"

Not to mention the fact that we already have the data relating to many of the most common preventable causes of illness and a lot of those can be addressed through changes to behaviour rather than new forms of treatment.

And we already have a problem that the most urgent areas of health research are being ignored: there's little investment going into vital areas like new antibiotics because you get a greater financial return from expensive niche treatments.

Sharing health data isn't going to fix either of those more pressing problems - and will likely simply shift the focus further away from them.

Post-lunch snooze plans dashed as the UK tests its Emergency Alerts... again

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Re: Or just opt out completely.

Enjoy the peace while you can. It's only a matter of time until opting out of government messaging is denounced as cancel culture...

India seeks ban on e-commerce sites discounting own-brand goods

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India grapples with the market power of big e-commerce players

I'm pleased someone is. I was looking for a USB LTE Modem the other day and I checked the major online retailers in UK, DE and ES. The vast majority of the products being sold (in so far as any information was provided) did not support the majority of frequency bands used for LTE in any of those countries: in other words, not fit for purpose. And that's before we get to the items that are constantly in "flash" sales, or whose reviews are obviously fake.

Bit of a shame it's so transparently protectionist rather than enlightened consumer empowerment, but if that's what it takes...

Now that China has all but banned cryptocurrencies, GPU prices are falling like Bitcoin

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Re: Mining...

though I do wonder if the hardware and electricity investments outweigh the eventual gains

That's kind of the point - to make it increasingly uneconomic to mine more. Arguably that point has already passed for most practical purposes, which is why we're seeing more reports like this.

"Nerdy fraud" makes it sound quite tame. I'm not convinced that harnessing human greed to the needless consumption of natural resources is ever going to work out well.

Do you want speed or security as expected? Spectre CPU defenses can cripple performance on Linux in tests

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There are a lot of them lurking in embedded systems.

The trouble is that the complexity of modern software and the scale of its user base means there is a requirement for performance that only probabilistic optimisations can deliver.

A lot of CPUs give you at least some control over which performance features are enabled - probably a lot easier/cheaper to make that more granular than come up with an entirely new niche product that would have very limited use cases.

Do you want to become a vulture? Now's your chance to join The Register's news desk

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Their writing must be clear, accurate, fair, and submitted on time

Not expecting many calls from Fleet Street, then...

VMs were a fad fit for the Great Recession. Containers’ time has finally come

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If you had to start from scratch...

... imagine how many valves and relays - or even gearwheels - it would take to replicate our current processing capacity. Which is why we move forward from where we are, even if it sometimes involves retracing our steps a little.

Virtual machines actually solved two problems: one was allowing "fractional" workloads to be amalgamated, the other was allowing heterogeneous systems to be consolidated. There will likely be less demand for the latter as on the one hand Linux becomes even more ubiquitous and on the other the x86 hardware architecture is no longer the common denominator for deployments and source-level compatibility will be seen as key.

However, I'd expect to see more VM-like techniques being used to harden and simplify containerisation and even to facilitate the mobility of workloads between different hardware architectures as they likely become more diverse and having multiple compiled versions of containers becomes a pain.

It's the old story of computer evolution: the same principles reappear in different packaging.

Mayflower, the AI ship sent to sail from the UK to the US with no humans, made it three days before breaking down

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Re: "With no one onboard to fix it"

To be fair, given the consequences of the original "Mayflower" you can understand the desire to leave the people off this one.

Wanted: Brexit grand fromage. £120k a year. Perks? Hmmmm…

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A big cheese

Well, thanks to Liz Truss, at least there will be a welcome in Japan, though crossing the Channel is likely to be out.

Spyware, trade-secret theft, and $30m in damages: How two online support partners spectacularly fell out

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Exactly how sophisticated does this stuff need to be?

Perhaps LivePerson have technology I haven't encountered, but in my experience, all these automated systems basically return a response saying:

The answer to your question may be found buried in our website, or, if not, you'll have to trawl the internet for a customer services number that we no longer publish in case you actually ring it.

If that's your attitude to customer service, why would you waste money on systems that utterly fail to disguise it?

What job title would YOU want carved on your gravestone? 'Beloved father, Slayer of Dragons, Register of Domains'

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Let's unhook the stirrups

If that is the future direction of physical conduction audio technology I'm going to be reading a lot more books.

Gov.UK taskforce publishes post-Brexit wish-list: 'TIGRR' pounces on GDPR, metric measures

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Re: The UK political sphere has been so overtaken by Brexit

Why on earth would anyone want to go back

Because if we go back to the mid 1950s - just after "we" won the war and while we still could just about claim to have a bit of empire left - we can be great again.

I'm surprised they didn't suggest bringing back food rationing. People would be queuing up to queue up.

Ex-Brave staffer launches GDPR sueball in Germany over tech giants' real-time bidding for ad inventory

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Re: Previous approach

Advertisers somewhere will know if contextual performs as well as personalised

I imagine many of them will claim to know. The trouble is that the entire industry is based on peddling dubious claims and I'm not sure many of its practitioners would recognise an actual fact even if it was accompanied by an asterisk and a disclaimer in very small text.

Microsoft loves Linux so much that packages.microsoft.com has fallen and can't get up

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Re: "Space issues."

Sounds like their storage has reached the final frontier....

Calendly’s new logo perceived as either bog-standard or kind of crappy

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Perhaps you tear your appointment off a conveniently perforated roll?

UK spends £36m on 18 little 'bullet-proof' boats to protect Royal Navy assets

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They can also be used in all weather

At last! A boat you can use in the wet...

What Microsoft's Windows 11 will probably look like

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Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request

Probably trapped in some interminable update.

Papa don't breach: UK data watchdog fines that other pizza place £10,000 over unsolicited marketing blitz

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Our intention was to reach only those potentially interested in our offers

I guess the golden rule of marketing is "first delude yourself"...

Tech contractor loses IR35 tribunal appeal: 'Right' to substitute didn't mean he could, say judges

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Re: Yet another push for us to all go work at Tesco

I think you might struggle to get a day rate in the region of £450 from a "normal" job with Tesco - on minimum wage you'd get less than that in a week.

Like it or not, people with "normal" jobs have been subsidising contractors' tax breaks from their considerably smaller incomes. Yes, there are bigger loopholes - and bigger subsidies - for the megawealthy, but that doesn't make it somehow OK.

Tax should be equitable and transparent, not based on who can create the most convincing legal fiction.

Realizing this is getting out of hand, Coq mulls new name for programming language

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It's certainly calling to me in Dutch...

Want to keep working in shorts and flipflops way after this is all over? It could be time to rethink your career moves

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I am still a believer that there is value in face to face working

Are you measuring that value using the same units as you use to calculate the cost of being without a development resource for months?

Warm Braw Silver badge

So that you're looking them in the eye...

I was just talking to someone who had been holding interviews last week for a tech position and was complaining the social skills of the candidates were practically non-existent. Not only were they constantly looking away from the camera (assuming their whole face was even visible), they barely offered any kind of greeting or engagement beyond answering the questions.

Now, whilst it's not an intuitive skill to project a personality over Zoom, I can't help feeling that social isolation is making things worse. The hardest part of any job is working with your enforced colleagues; take away the moderating influence of shared space and that gets harder still.

While there's still both a necessity and a willingness to make concessions to an emergency, it will be interesting to see the extent to which this persists.

Mark it in your diaries: 14 October 2025 is the end of Windows 10

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Re: Too much to hope...

signficantly better for developers

I think it depends very much on who you're developing for. If it's for a general desktop audience, you've still pretty much got to target Windows 7 for the legacy minority. If not, it's likely to be web-based. There will be cases for Windows 10-specific applications, but, beyond games, I'm struggling to think of many.

The AN0M fake secure chat app may have been too clever for its own good

Warm Braw Silver badge

I would in principle agree with you, but this isn't the first time that crims have put too much faith in a supposedly secure communications system.

The reality is that all those wires and data centres are under someone's legal jurisdiction and are potentially under the control of law enforcement whether post hoc or ante hoc.

Always a risky strategy trusting your liberty to "honour amongst thieves"...

Whatever you've been doing during lockdown, you better stop it right now

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Dead rat under the floor tiles

Might explain the reference to 'flies in the face'...

EE and Three mobe mast surveyors might 'upload some virus' to London Tube control centre, TfL told judge

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Re: Open door policy?

You'd kind of hope that if this building really did contain some nationally (or just London?) important infrastructure, that the security surrounding that sensitive bit of floorspace would reflect its importance

As I recall, when TfL chose to relocate to the Palestra building it was felt that the availability of lights-out hosting facilities made it unnecessary to provide a computer room. I did hear a tale that this resulted in the equipment operating London's traffic lights becoming homeless as it required access and attention. One plan at the time was, I gather, to acquire nondescript private premises to accommodate it. I'm assuming that wasn't the full extent of the security measures.

Although if it were, you wouldn't want a surveyor stumbling on it by accident...

Microsoft flips request to port Visual Studio Tools for Office to .NET Core from 'Sure, we'll take a look' to 'No'

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Why not use JavaScript?

Apart from the fact that it's the road to perdition, it's a bit of a difficult message to sell convincingly if you're simultaneously persuading people to move away from JavaScript and use Blazor for their web apps instead.

Custom HMCTS video platform bought as part of £280m digitisation project used less than Zoom, say judges

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Re: Justice must be seen to be done

Civil proceedings are usually closed as the only interested parties are the litigants themselves. After a cautious start, the technology seems to have been adopted enthusiastically. Particularly as it means as the cases can proceed and the lawyers get paid.

Criminal law is a different matter and the already-long waiting list for trials has become even lengthier. Additional Nightingale Courts have been provided to partly compensate for the lack of space in most traditional courts for social distancing, but the provision for public access has been somewhat perfunctory although it is in theory permitted. In some cases video conferencing has been used to allow lawyers, defendants and juries to be in physically separate spaces in the same building whilst still allowing the proceedings to be observed.

Indian government to Twitter: Stop offshoring and outsourcing – or risk losing legal protections

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Re: Pack up and go home.

I wonder if India and Florida realise how much they have in common?

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful

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Re: Duplicates

Philips codes for example are used on my Marantz CD player

Philips owned Marantz at one point, but in any case the RC-5 protocol used by Philips only allowed for 32 different categories of controller (TV, DVD, CD, etc). NEC's protocol includes a manufacturer ID to get round this.

And, incidentally, Arcam is now ultimately owned by Samsung.

I think the XP people call it "technical debt".

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: Just get a Harmony remote

I was a mostly-satisfied customer for many years, though it can take some time to set up optimally.

Now that most stuff works with CEC - at least up to a point - I found that increasingly the TV remote was good enough and doesn't need any programming. Though that may change if TV manufacturers continue to sell off the buttons to brands (not sure I need a dedicated "Rakuten TV" button, tbh) rather than assigning them to useful functions.

The big puzzle is why remote controls still use infrared. I'd have thought app-based bluetooth remote control was the way forward. Though I suppose the hardware is rather more expensive if you have to provide a standalone control in the box.

FYI: Today's computer chips are so advanced, they are more 'mercurial' than precise – and here's the proof

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Re: Error detection

The approach adopted by Tandem Computers was to duplicate everything - including memory and persistent storage -- as you can get bus glitches, cache glitches and all sorts of other transient faults in "shared" components which you would not otherwise be able to detect simply from core coupling. But even that doesn't necessarily protect against systematic errors where every instance of (say) the processor makes the same mistake repeatably.

It's a difficult problem: and don't forget that many peripherals will also have processors in them, it's not just the main CPU you have to look out for.

Hybrid working? Buckle in, there's no turning back as survey takers insist: You can't make us go back

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why are we spending £100++ billion on a new train set to 'relieve congestion'

I suspect that infrastructure investment will quickly wither once Great British Rail is in place. However, HS2 isn't really in the commuter market - it's inter-city travel. If cities are going to continue to exist, they'll have to re-invent themselves on the back of leisure and culture, for which travel would be essential. It's clearly not a given that this will happen, however.

I can't help feeling that the Elizabeth Line is going to look like a rather expensive white elephant, though, when/if it finally opens.

The common factor in all your failed job applications: Your CV

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Re: CV's top tips

The (apparently irresoluble) problem is that a CV that passes the "guard droids" is unlikely to be the one that impresses the hiring manager. But even if you could submit two, there's usually little basis on which a candidate might reasonably tailor them.

You might want to see a sparse CV. You might know what you are looking for. The guard droid, however, is looking to tick boxes and most job advertisements don't actually indicate which boxes need ticking. You might not care that someone worked for Tesco at 16, but another employer will require a full employment history: the applicant can't be expected to intuit your personal preference. You might want it brief, but it's unusual these days if an IT job applicant hasn't had a significant number of previous employers - just listing them in a readable font can take up a lot of space.

Recruitment has become a numbers game. Recruiters get a lot of CVs - that's why they outsource the filtering - but the flip side of that is that candidates have to apply for a lot of jobs to stand a reasonable chance of getting past the first hurdle. They're not going to "target the job" because they don't care about "the" job, they care about "a" job and the sad truth is they're going to have to use a scattergun approach to getting one.

Hiring is almost completely broken and the more "professionals" that get involved the more broken it becomes. There needs to be much more honesty and openness about the reality of the job on offer: it's almost certainly mundane and tedious and likely needs less skill than the hiring manager thinks his status warrants. Candidates need to be more honest about simply wanting a salary and not caring who they're working for (within reason). The whole process needs to be less delusional.

Firefox 89: Can this redesign stem browser's decline?

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Re: Stop fiddling with my browser!

There are now just two menu buttons

I'm afraid I also regret the inexorable advance of the "fat-finger" tablet-style interface that removes those "less-frequent" actions to obscure nested menu options where - because they're less frequent - you will never find them again. I'm not short so short of screen estate that I need to trade it for increased mouse clicks - and don't see why I should have to do so simply to make life easier for touch-screen users.

Royal Yacht Britannia's successor to cost about 1 North of England NHS IT consultancy framework

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Re: Indyvote 2

Ark B?

Docker introduces developer environments in containers

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I hate working on that project

Sounds like you're more in need of an aversion control system.

Microsoft releases command-line package manager for Windows (there are snags)

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Just about every developer has wanted a native package manager in Windows


Can't say it's ever occurred to me that I might want or need to have a third party act as a gatekeeper for the software I might want to install.

It also doesn't appear that winget handles the installation process - that's just your regular .exe/.msi/.msix installer.

There might arguably be some value if it solved the problem of every package installing its own updater, but since you're getting the same installer package by this route as you would by any other, I'm struggling to see the advantage.

Google employee helped UK government switch from disastrous COVID-19 strategy, according to Dominic Cummings

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Re: Cummings' testimony

He was particular scathing about Hancock's public announcement of the 100k tests goal, saying it was getting in the way of building the "proper" testing regime that would scale to the millions of tests required.

I foresee Hancock appearing subsequently and saying he deliberately announced the 100k target to ensure there was pressure to deliver *something* at a time when it was needed rather than waiting for the "moonshot" to get off the ground: Cummings basically admitted that the all-singing, all-dancing test and trace system arrived too late to be of any practical use.

I think the real tragedy of Cummings testimony is that it's clear noone was really in charge and the various bits of government, when they weren't floundering, were competing rather than co-operating. And that problem lies at the door of the man who can "make a case for anything" but make a decision about nothing.

Microsoft: Behold, at some later date, the next generation of Windows

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Re: next generation?

I’ve been self-hosting it

It sounds like it's not so much breeding as replicating in his body. Maybe those vaccine stories need more careful examination.

Finance Bill amendments to curb umbrella company malpractice fail to get traction in UK Parliament

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Re: Contractors do not have to use unscrupulous umbrella companies

If you're a well-paid IT contractor, you may have a valid argument (though not a good one - limited liability is supposed to be a privilege and you shouldn't be offering it on the basis that a substantial proportion of those taking advantage of it will be "shady").

In the case of a lot of low-paid, zero-hours contractors they really don't have much choice: they're told who they'll be employed by and if they don't particularly want to work for Probably Legal Consolidated Tax Avoidance Company (516234b) Ltd, their only other option is not to work for anyone.

The Fuchsia is now. Google's operating system lands on real-world consumer devices, starting with 2018's Nest Hub

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Google started the development of Fuchsia in 2016

Surely that makes it overdue for abandonment, given Google's usual timescale.

Given that the roadmap page linked in the article is currently producing a 404 error, it could even have happened while the article was being subbed...

Hard cheese: Stilton snap shared via EncroChat leads to drug dealer's downfall

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Conspiring to supply cocaine, heroin, MDMA, and ketamine

Finally an explanation of how people are able to afford to buy cheese from M&S.

Man found dead inside model dinosaur after climbing in to retrieve phone

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Santa Coloma de Gramenet

El Prat might have been a more appropriate location.

Apple is happy to diss the desktop – it knows who's got the most to lose

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Macbooks, which admittedly is going a bit far

That bit I might agree with, though they look nice in their natural habitat, on acrylic stands, surrounded by acolytes in T-shirts.

The problem with the rest of the argument (even if el Reg is making it tongue-in-cheek) is that there isn't much material difference between a mobile operating system and a desktop operating system, they have largely the same underpinnings. It's not really the OS that Apple is throwing under the bus, but the unfettered ability to install software. Or, in essence, the whole concept of "ownership".

The logical conclusion of the Apple argument is that computers are too complicated for ordinary people to understand and that Apple must therefore retain a proprietorial control over them for their owners'users' own good. And, just incidentally, extracting a continuous revenue stream for their trouble. The trouble with that argument is that it goes far beyond mere operating systems - for "Apple" and "computer" read "everyone" and "everything".

Google to venture where Apple soared and Microsoft crashed – physical retail

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personalised Carrier Strike Group jacket

Rather a snug fit, I thought. He'll need a new one for his next visit if the butler continues to deliver the organic food parcels. Maybe he'll be determined to fit into it by his wedding.

Help wanted, work from anywhere ... except if you're located in Colorado

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Re: I want to know the salary range

I'm always amused by job adverts that list the skills and experience required and then say "salary according to skills and experience".

Recruitment is an expensive process and it wastes everyone's time if it's not clear what's on offer from the start. If potential employers are treating it like a game, it should be a warning sign to prospective staff.

It took 'over 80 different developers' to review and fix 'mess' made by students who sneaked bad code into Linux

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Re: How to deal with Lennert Poettering

Linux users who hate systemd (i.e. 99% of us)

As a member of the remaining 1%, I'm clearly unrepresentative but I could list a number of more fundamental faults that I might choose to fix, could I be bothered, before turning my attention to systemd.

However, I'd be sorry to see it go, given the immense amount of entertainment we've been gifted by the endless vitriol of the "99%" about a piece of software they don't pay for, are not obliged to use and are free to change as they see fit.

Unfortunately, the rest of our small minority probably can't raise enough money to get Microsoft to rewrite systemd in Powershell and submit it as a patch, but it would be worth it for the amusement value alone.

How much would you pay me to develop a COVID tracking app that actually works? Ah, thought so: nothing

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There may be a government job waiting

Are they trying to frighten him off?

Singapore orders social media to correct Indian politician’s allegation of local COVID-19 variant

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Re: Not sure

there are many equally wild eyed zealots of all types spread across the antisocial media

There always have been such people throughout human history. What changes periodically is the extent to which those who wish cynically to exploit them for their own gain are given a platform from which to do so.


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