* Posts by colinb

237 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Oct 2014


Boys outnumber girls 6 to 1 in UK compsci classes



I wonder if anyone who suggests that people go into software development has ever actually worked in software development?

They can't have.

If you are on the sharp end of project delivery i.e. actually coding the thing you will be under silly pressure a lot of the time.

Over promised, under spec'd projects are the norm not the exception.

Deadlines plucked out of some manager's ass is the norm not the exception.

Users who are clueless about what the system should do is the norm not the exception.

There is lots of interesting stuff in Data Science and AI but as most of it is no use whatsoever in a current business context you will then be involved with spaffing lots of cash down the drainpipe in mindless projects sponsored by clueless exec's, there is no job satisfaction in that unless you are a geek and are paid to geek out.

It's complex and frankly unless you love code just don't do it, you might be lucky and end up in some cushy job where there is no pressure but risky, as management can always be tempted by the cheap labor option.

Mike Lynch loses US extradition delay bid: Flight across the Atlantic looks closer than ever


Re: 1,500 pages? Damn that's huge.

What are you taking about? You don't need humans for that

"The Autonomy Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) platform allows you to automate the way you analyze and understand unstructured data, which makes up over 90% of enterprise data. Autonomy’s IDOL Knowledge Management solution provides industry-leading search and analysis of data, with integrated retrieval and interaction capabilities."

Yours for 50p.

UK government tool to monitor its legacy application estate is… LATE


4 box model?

BS Buzzword Bingo is a game all can play

Want to guess where this lot lands in the four box model of competence

Unconsciously Incompetent | Consciously Competent


Consciously Incompetent ...| Unconsciously Competent

After deadly 737 Max crashes, damning whistleblower report reveals sidelined engineers, scarcity of expertise, more



737-800 is not a Max, neither is 737-800A

737-8 is a Max as is 737-7, 737-9 and 737-10, each with increasing length. These are internal codes that you find in the OEM documents and valuer data. These have never changed since day 1.

You have evidence they were used instead of Max in post crash documents vs pre crash documents?

737-8200 is a Max with 200 seats, the Ryanair 'you're cattle and loving it' version.

The majority of users don't care what they fly, unless there is a 3rd crash, then its game over for the Max.

Robotaxis freed to charge across 60km2 of Beijing


Will it be the full experience?

Can't wait, especially when it has the full GPP (Genuine People Personality) software

- Endless chatting, normally about how bad/busy work is, post covid behind a screen with the driver wearing a mask I normally can't hear 60% of what they say so just have to nod aimlessly.

- mindless driving to get onto the next job, racing up behind cars in traffic and then pulling out not indicating. Love the cutting across to the exit lane at the last minute move.

- super heated cars to the drivers comfort, think sauna level

- continuous playing of crap radio stations, Heart FM, Talk radio seem popular. Low enough to annoy but not to actually hear properly.

- no local knowledge so weird long routes via SatNav since it prefers Motorways at all costs.

UK Test and Trace finding consultant habit hard to break: More contracts go to Deloitte and Accenture


Re: When do you shut down the covid-industrial complex?

I have some sympathy with the view all healthcare companies are amoral profit machines as it predicts exactly what they would do but your figures are misleading.

Firstly the report notes that

"Note: deaths may be counted in more than one cause category, for example a death may have an underlying cause of COVID-19 but also have influenza and pneumonia mentioned as a contributory cause of death."

I'll translate: the influenza figures you quoted can include Covid cases. Even a not very bright person should know that Covid can cause fluid buildup in the lungs (i.e. pneumonia).

Second they are not the figures for actual cause of death but the ones that have flu/pneumonia mentioned anywhere on the Death certificate.

The actual figures for underlying causes of Death are


Influenza and pneumonia 392

Covid 858

So not like the Flu, the Flu will be mainly over 70's, Covid has a wider age range affected, also by current figures worldwide 260,000 have died of the flu and 5 million by Covid, so no not like the Flu at all.

Probably not endemic yet as you can see the Flu has a narrow monthly range of ~250-400 deaths whereas Covid deaths were 57 in June and now is 858, far more variable.

So not sure what your 'logic' is but it sounds like you propose letting it go and fill what little ICU is left with Covid cases or maybe just push them onto balconies and let them die like the old days?

Court of Appeal says AI software cannot be listed as patent inventor


Lets put 2 and 2 together

So the documentary Soylent Green has the summary

"The year is 2022. New York City has become overpopulated with 40 million people and pollution has caused the temperature to be risen and all natural resources have been destroyed, leaving 40 million people starving"

Heading in that direction, so far so good.

Now machines have invented a FOOD CONTAINER and a FLASHING LIGHT.

Come on, the light is obviously there to show when the FOOD CONTAINER is full... dun dun daaaaaa ...of people (99%ters, the 1% do the eating)!.

They are coming for us, its just a matter of time.

Perl's Community Affairs Team chair quits as org put on ice by code language's foundation


Perl's CoC caught in CAT flap

Well someone had to...

Everyone cites that 'bugs are 100x more expensive to fix in production' research, but the study might not even exist


It depends

I guess your view on the cost of fixing bugs in production vs development depends on context.

Take 2 examples

An early stage startup with a fully CI/Cd pipeline might well decide that is cheaper to fix production bugs since

a) they are really only trying to flip the company to a VC mug and couldn't care less about the actual software

b) no controls on release push and go all the way to prod, who cares.

c) the bugs may never be found, happy days.

On the other hand in a company with Sox-like controls, financial numbers and multiple people involved it a different story

a) bug impacts the user, might be a blocking bug so causing material cost on a user level, many users affected? x times that impact.

b) bug logged

c) bug repro by dev, might need certain data setup so this can be non trivial in itself.

d) bug fixed

e) build, deploy to system test

g) deploy to UAT

g) UAT has be done by users so needs their time so $

h) if release requires an outage a Change Approval board has to approve the release. Board sits one a week has 3 person manager level quorum for approval. $$$

i) release window approved

j) release happens requires OPs, Dev for smoke test and users for Prod smoke test $$$

k) close out bugs.

I haven't even tried to put a dollar number of that cost.

Bottom here here is find those bugs in dev.

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



The trio argued the GDPR regs “overwhelm people with consent requests and complexity they cannot understand, while unnecessarily restricting the use of data for worthwhile purposes.”

What purposes exactly? nothing in GDPR stops reasonable use but it takes a dim view of companies taking ownership of my data to sell onto to the eternally bewildered marketing people and keeping it forever.

Companies should just be upfront with costs to consumers rather than trying to sell data via back channels, unfortunately the majority of the VC universe is obsessed with customer growth benchmarked against the data vampires of Google and Facebook which requires 'free' everything.

Have this lot not learnt anything from 'Smart'Meters, a complete disaster by any measure which we are all paying for via the bills.

UK government resists pressure to hold statutory inquiry into Post Office Horizon scandal


Re: Statutory inquiry

The legal profession, and any review, needs to take a hard look at how it operates, it seems that the 'presumption of innocence' apparently a core legal principle, did not exist for the PostMasters in these cases.

Once they were accused by the PostOffice, (a large body only existing for the public good, funny), multiple judges failed to question or research their assertions in any detail, in their defense its hard to imagine why a body would persecute people for the hell of it.

On the other hand the barest research anybody would known a bug free system is virtually non existent unless done to military/nasa levels of definition and validation.

39 Post Office convictions quashed after Fujitsu evidence about Horizon IT platform called into question


Re: Cowards and Liars

fair points, just wanted a counterpoint to the article where a reader might think it was software created by a 100% Japanese company and an outsourced system, no, this was a home grown disaster.


Re: Cowards and Liars

Yes, I guess that unlike some countries there is a chance the legal system can right the wrongs but the wrongs were inflicted by that same system.

It just highlights the extreme effort and cost it takes to overturn even obviously flawed trials.

This judgement gives these people their reputation back but ignores the material damage to their lives.

Not awarding costs and making the PO (and unfortunately the taxpayer) pay just seems morally wrong and compounds the hurt.

If charges could be laid and won that would be a fantastic signal to people who push malicious prosecutions without thinking, a slim chance but worth doing anyway.


Cowards and Liars

This is probably the most shocking IT scandal I can remember, the 100's of lives and careers ruined is hard to get your head around.

No mention here that Horizon was an ICL system, they won the contract in 1996 and got bought in 2002. They produced a buggy P.O.S system and Fujitsu doubled down on the incompetence and fraud by maintaining it was bug free.

The Post Office execs pushed the prosecutions and the lawyers did the rest, one particularly nasty aspect was PostMasters who pled guilty having been told charges would be dropped only to then be prosecuted based on pleading guilty.

Its probably too late to successfully prosecute the cowards and liars that led to this but Fujitsu should be completely banned from any future Government contracts.

If you are stupid enough as a private company to use them so be it but no tax payers money should be sent their way.

The legal profession comes out on top, as usual, £46m of legal fees which eats up most of the compensation, that should be refunded 100%.

If ICL had just fixed their buggy crap none of this would have happened.

Boeing will cough up $2.5bn+ to settle US fraud charge over 737 Max safety


Just to be clear on whether this is money in the bank, it isn't.

a) Nobody pays list price for planes.

Ryanair recent order will most likely at least a 50% discount, I'd say probably more than 50% as this is a post disaster vulture purchase, like Ryanair's post 9/11 one. Almost as if they wait for one to come along.

b) Nobody pays all the money up front, first there is a initial purchase payment, probably around 1%, then there is a staged set of Pre Delivery Payments (PDPs), based on construction milestones, around 3, leading up to the actual delivery where the final payment is made.

UK tech supply chain in dark over Brexit preparations months ahead of final heave-ho


Re: Latest from the PM

Agree that comparing the UK to Australia is daft.

Its not about Business, they know nothing of Business especially trade and they don't care about Business.

This is cargo cult'ing at its worst.

As for Australia, NZ is 2.8 of exports, the USA 4%, a paltry amount.

There is only one country relevant to Australia:


China is 40% a huge amount for one country.

You have to add the values of the next 8 Export countries to get even close to that.

Where China goes Australia goes. For good and bad.

The UK has exports to the US of 15%, Germany 9.9%, France 6.7%, Netherlands 6%, Ireland 6%.

Much more evenly balanced but of course just about ready to tell its nearest free trade area thanks but no thanks.

However there will be Portaloo's in Farage Park, maybe they could lay some music on, deckchairs, that kind of thing I can hear it now 'Who do you think you are kidding ~~~~~' wafting over the muddy fields

The perils of building a career on YouTube: Guitar teacher's channel nearly deleted after music publisher complains


Claim is probably right but also nonsense

"If you get to a point where the industry is looking at income it could have received"

What monies are lost from a guitar tab tutorial? from companies that don't produce tab anyway.

More likely to gain fans that will listen to the music on streaming services to play along.

Rick Beato does brillant breakdown of songs on Youtube and gets silly takedowns all the time, the more enlightened publishers recognise the publicity benefits and do not strike the videos down.

Brexit travel permits designed to avoid 7,000-lorry jams come January depend on software that won't be finished till April


There is always Monaco

Well, if you are a billionaire like Jim Ratcliffe the prominent Brexit supporter who has just moved there.

As John Lydon said at their last concert 'Ever get the feeling you've been cheated'

Greatest crossover of all time: Microsoft, Samsung preview Android on Windows via Your Phone app


Greater than the Magnum P.I., Murder She Wrote crossover?

I think not.

Just a simple syncing of the Sammy Android Calendar to 0365 without 20 steps would be a move forward.

UK government shakes magic money tree, finds $500m to buy a stake in struggling satellite firm OneWeb


Re: Just what we need

Ok, I don't have a horse but best of luck with the sale.


Just what we need

A LOCAL GPS for LOCAL people

While we are at it let's bring back British Leyland, that world beating engineering company.

'Azure appears to be full': UK punters complain of capacity issues on Microsoft's cloud


Re: Homework

Hm, remote learning has been possible for a long time, via Radio for example in Australia

Remember seeing Blue Peter do a thing on outback kids learning via Radio back in the 70s.



Re: Looks like i picked the wrong week to quit on prem.

This is for starting VMs so maybe bandwidth but it needs to rehydrate the disks and find a slot on a host to run the VM.

Both are probably requisitioned for higher priorities and i'm sure the algo puts MS internal needs (Teams, O365 etc..) above anyone else including emergency services.

Would love to see that decision tree published.


Looks like i picked the wrong week to quit on prem.

Been like this from at least Friday here. Europe North. Status page is clearly rubbish.

Definitely getting worse and i would finger Teams for this.

In deepest darkest Surrey, an on-prem SAP system running 17-year-old software is about to die....


Each council is unique

There is no reason to use a common ERP system in the UK. None. Take Surrey for example.

It is unique.

Unique air, in fact as it passes over Surrey it's improved for the next borough

Unique Roads, the smell of freshly laid Surrey tarmac in the morning is like nothing else.

Unique Trees, we even have a hill named after a tree.

Unique Paths

Unique Bins

Unique People

Truly Unique and deserves its own stand alone system not some insanity like this https://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/02/oracle_r12_for_6_london_councils/

A short note to say I'm off: Vulture taps claws on Reg keyboard for last time


Good Luck

Sounds like worthy work @ The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Algos in government hands is just the newest wave of kafkaism to be unleashed on public.

"Computer says no, and don't ask us why"

Blood, snot and fear: Why the travelling lone tech reporter should always knock twice


You bet the system had a problem

It let users make a choice!

Now in this case it could well have been the BOFH with some spare time to kill, keying random stuff into fields is very therapeutic.

Just take a look at the carnage on Notepad++'s GitHub: 'Free Uyghur' release sparks spam tsunami by pro-Chinese


Re: *Standing, thunderous, rowdy ovation*

"I know for a fact that the media in China and Russia (and other countries for that) is far more critical than the media in the Western World"

That is clearly untrue, the 'Lock him up' chants to Trump were covered in multiple papers and TV segments. You think this would happen with Xi? Putin?

Forgotten the Snowden revelations all over the Guardian? you know of any leaks on Chinese Surveillance in the Chinese press?

That said outlets like the Guardian have clearly got closer to the government on security matters post Snowden but if they had a juicy blockbuster story, i'd say they would run it.


"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." — Winnie the Pooh

The post is required, and must contain honey.

From Instagram to insta-banned: Facebook wipes NSO Group workers' personal profiles amid WhatsApp hack rap


Re: its not high tech that's needed

"no one DARES to attack US soil"

they must have had short memories. The Trade Towers were already car bombed in 1993. 6 dead, >1000 injured.

Bad enough but the plan was to collapse the north tower into the south, if the bomb was in a different position that might have happened.


its not high tech that's needed

"Because I work for a company called NSO Group, and according to their statements, have found and used vulnerabilities in their WhatsApp architecture, to provide security agencies and governments sophisticated tools to prevent the next 9/11"

Ya well they didn't need "sophisticated tools" to prevent the last 9/11 just not to be silo'd and hate each others agencies.

And oh yeah when getting a direct tip actually follow it up.

"On August 11, 2001, Moussaoui and his roommate, Hussein al-Attas, arrived in Egan, Minnesota and checked into a hotel. Moussaoui began classes at Pan Am Flight School there on August 13, 2001. On Wednesday, August 15, 2001, an employee at Pan Am called the FBI's Minneapolis Field Office because the employee and other Pan Am employees were suspicious of Moussaoui."

Your kids will be glad a UK government-funded robot will be changing your nappy and not them


i'll take the Robots any day

The mother of a friend of mine is going through dementia but has care in her home, initially private now council.

They installed a hoist to help the carers get her out of bed.

Each time he visits it appears to be relegated to a towel rail and looks unused, his mother is basically left in bed full time. The foreign carers don't speak much English so conversations don't happen either.

Relying on humans in your old age? Good luck with that.

Data cops order Ireland to delete 3.2m records after ID card wheeze ruled to be 'unlawful'


ID cards by the back door

This is ID cards pure and simple despite them claiming it wasn't.

The cost of this at 0.6719 Pg (60m) and counting completely overshadows any fraud prevention savings so no reason for it there.

Its still required for claiming the dole so poor people have to have it.

No doubt the minister Regina Doherty will try to push some laws through to shore things up.

She had said the PSC card was "mandatory not compulsory". Ah lawyers, don't you just love them.

Hardly any wonder Politicians are held in such low esteem.

Fantastic Mr Fox? Not when he sh*ts on your lawn, kids' trampoline and your soul



Surely this is a job for LESTER, beefed up with all terrain wheels and tuned for fox detection.

Blasting out some Nigel and the Ripsnorters or equivalent 70s punk at full volume but sped up over the 22KHz range of human hearing.

Foxes can hear up to 65KHz

Boeing's 737 Max woes trigger BEEELLIONS in losses – and that's just for the latest quarter


Re: Ryanair

Nope, Lessor, which buys an equal number of Airbus.

As for IAG that Boeing only was probably to beat Airbus in the next negotiation that comes up. Although they are less negotiation more arm-to-arm combat in this space.


Re: Ryanair

Maybe Boeing has it in the pipeline but my company is buying 200 of the MAXs, there is no marketing change from our side that I am aware of.


Re: Ryanair

I would not read much into it. from the pictures there is no 737 MAX either it is either -7,-8,-9. although the -8 is so popular it is often referred to as 737 MAX

the 'Ryanair' model (it is not exclusive to Ryanair) always had the Variant type of 737-8200 as displayed on its LOPA,

It just looks to me that had a shortage of space to put the label so they took the short code in both cases.

It's so hot, UK needs to start naming heatwaves like we do when it's a bit windy – climate boffins


IT Angle

Had a A/C unit delivered yesterday, an iGenix.

Comes with WIFI connectivity and an App, also links to Alexa.

I've linked the App and its cool to control from my phone, although its actually easier to just use the front panel.

Looking forward to the patch your iGenix now article from el Reg, although it gives no clue how to do that.

It's Prime Minister Boris Johnson: Tech industry speaks its brains on Brexit-monger's victory



Sorry, all i can see when i look at him is Wimpy from Popeye

"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

and i suspect that's how he'll run the country.

How does UK.gov fsck up IT projects? Let us count the ways


What skills do they have?

This is on the right track but there is a lot more that can be done

1 - Specialist Skills, having a English or Economics Degree will be of no use in understanding, scoping and running IT projects as a client, they just won't have a clue. France have the École nationale d'administration which provides training to Civil Servants and something similar is needed here, they need to know what an IT project is from the inside out. I mean which initiative does not include an IT angle these days.

2- Providers should be forced to publish all estimate and actual's in time and money for IT projects both Private and Public above a certain amount, this will highlight failures and help to break up the the large consultancies who are effectively mugging private customers who are unable to check history of work. I've seen this in practice and it involves legal documents with NDA's attached post a failure.

Failures should be made into case studies and circulated, as engineering failures (bridges etc..) are today.

'Cockwomble' is off the menu: Uncle Bulgaria issues edict against using name in vain



well my view of Eastbourne, admittedly an ignorant one based on never visiting it, has risen up a few notches.

"It will take more than willy waving your tiny chippolatas to silence Katie Hopkins"

Yeah ok, but what would? willy waving frankfurters? bratwursts?

Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, where to go? Navigation satellite signals flip from degraded to full TITSUP* over span of four days


Re: Huzzah!

yes i've heard the same rumour, i believe its clock will be set by detecting the boom of the Admiral's canon which he sets off everyday at 8am and 6pm sharp.

Let's go fly a kite indeed. hip hip hooray

Tesla’s Autopilot losing track of devs crashing out of 'leccy car maker


Re: Autonomous driving is months, years, or decades away

true, but more worried about the tech gods and their hubris these days


Re: Autonomous driving is months, years, or decades away

I probably fall into the race away from the lights category but i focus on situational awareness and i believe a slightly more "exciting" drive keeps me focused. 25 accident free years in a car (not on a M/C unfortunately as people really don't see you).

If you drive like you are sitting on your home sofa then you are quiet likely to switch off and miss clues to situations that are developing.

For example on the motorway i can often tell when people are about to pull into my lane by keeping an eye on how fast they are coming up on the car/truck in front of them, they don't need to indicate and often don't but i will already have moved out of their way just in case.

If computers can get to that level of anticipation then that will be a major safety leap forward.


Re: 110 Software Engineers on the wall...

Actually it would be most correct if the other software engineers had killed them, via stoning, stabbing or clubbing apparently.

That's really where the motivation not to lose comes from. Good times.


Re: Autonomous driving is months, years, or decades away

I see putting an autonomous system onto a Italian or Greek road as cruel and unusual punishment.

You are right, its many years away. If a smart 12 year old cannot get a license why would an autonomous car which is far far more stupid.

It's happening, tech contractors: UK.gov is pushing IR35 off-payroll rules to private sector in Finance Bill


has this actually raised any more tax?

"According to the Treasury, the government has raised £550m in Income Tax and National Insurance contributions in the first 12 months since it was introduced."

No doubt this figure is juiced but also this is paid for by higher contractor rates to public bodies which is tax payers money, so basically HMRC have quite likely goosed 550mil from the tax payers, then given it back to them and expect them to be grateful?

They were always going to roll it into the private sector so the consultation was fake, it will have an impact in how flexible business can be and my rates will go up to cover any extras.

Summer's here, where's Windows 10 19H2? For Microsoft, spring ends whenever the heck it says so stop asking


bah, real dev's use Case Sensitive languages

because, your know, we're hard.

IF and WHILE indeed

unless there's a MACRO in your pocket =>

Exodus: Tech top brass bail on £1bn UK courts reform amid concerns project is floundering


Think i've seen this film before

is this

Goverment Fucks up Software Project 272 False Hope


Goverment Fucks up Software Project 270 The Phantom Outsourcer

You know the one where the Director and Deputy Director leave because its a dysfunctional environment

Oblivious 'influencers' work on 3.6-roentgen tans in Chernobyl after realising TV show based on real nuclear TITSUP


Re: Sacrifices Must Be Made

Do you drive? Then you are complicit in mass murder and potential murder.

Every trip is potentially fatal for someone.

WHO estimates 1.35 million deaths worldwide from RTA's in 2016. In ONE year.

Clearly the only way to get that number to zero is to ban driving, for cars, trucks and yes buses since they kill too, and fall down ravines when they get tired. Yes its a small few who cause the problem but sorry only a ban will stop the carnage. Its for the best and of course thinking of the children and the unborn children of the dead and their unborn......

Unless you think the risk is acceptable?