* Posts by happy but not clappy

59 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Jun 2015


Why won't you copper-ate? Openreach offers capped fibre line rental to wholesalers in bid to shift all that FTTP

happy but not clappy

I'd love it, but bt isn't playing

Bit players are getting in on this (trooli.com down our way, fibre boxes on telepgraph poles everywhere), but BT is really trying to prevent this.

I got fooled by a 2 year lock-in for a discount, so it will cost me £600 to buy out the contract. I'd rather BT offered the upgrade but nope. No upgrade. No plans. Stuck on ADSL, no doubt until they are forced to offer it.

UK dev loses ownership claim on forensic software he said he wrote in spare time and licensed to employer

happy but not clappy

British Law is pretty vicious on this

Most contracts have an IP "duration" clause that basically means there is no such thing in law as "spare time". If you built anything of any interest during the period you were employed, then your employer can claim it is theirs and will almost always win in a British court, even if what you created was of only very limited relationship to your day-job e.g. "runs on a computer and makes money".

Best thing is to ask for an explicit exclusion from those clauses for anything you do in your spare time or risk being sued. For software developers this is a very real likelihood as I understand it.

Consultants bag £375m for their role in developing the UK's faltering COVID-19 Test and Trace system

happy but not clappy

Re: Nothing beats

Actually a week's work for two programmers. True story.

Future airliners will run on hydrogen, vows Airbus as it teases world-plus-dog with concept designs

happy but not clappy

Re: Im going to say the quiet bit out loud...

Amplifying this point.

Lets say we had a bunch of, I dunno, windmills producing electricity no-one can use. Then efficiency is no longer the issue, just make something that can be burned. Could be hydrogen, which can then be combined with CO2 from, say, a massive green-tinted wood-burning station. Or it is possible to do it directly from solar, apparently. Seems more likely than giant battery packs.

The resulting fuel can drive turbines, be they in wings, or in a power station. Rolls Royce might have some spare these days.

Efficiency will suck, but that just means we need more windmills. You can buy a shitload of windmills and infrastructure for £50 billion, or whatever a nuke costs these days.

So, m'lud, I suggest this is all just green posturing by airlines and their political cronies desperate to avoid having to do anything before their gold-plated pensions are due.

Maybe Elon could help before he goes off to Mars?

Butterfly defect stripped from MacBook Pros, Airs by Q2 2020, reckons Apple analyst

happy but not clappy

I liked the butterfly keyboard..

Much more positive and tactile than the loose chiclet keyboard that we have returned to. If only it had actually worked. Mine lasted about a week before being almost useless. Now I want the best of both worlds, something actually reliable but with that positive clicky-clicky thing.

Auf wiedersehen, pet: UK Deutsche Bank contractors plan to leave rather than take 25% pay cut for IR35 – report

happy but not clappy

Re: Deutsche Bank UK contractors & IR35

Well both DB and HSBC are in a world of poo already, so software issues might come as a blessed relief to the endless rounds of shrinkage and headcount reductions. Their entire business model looks like it is broken, held up only by the inertia of their customers.

Also both fired their CEO's in the last year or two, so there is at least a small degree of accountability, though with the usual golden parachutes to soften the blow.

On topic, banks don't do much that is creative, to be honest, with most work being to paper over the cracks. I guess they can probably just stop all the projects and keep trundling along on the same mainframe packages they've relied on for over 50 years.

Brave urges UK's data watchdog to join Ireland in probing claim Google adtech breaches GDPR

happy but not clappy

Re: Without going into the legal nitty-gritty...

Well I have had to go over this a lot in my job, and as I understand it (from my legal friends) GDPR is about control, not restriction. So absolutely, you are right, this is PII. The key test is whether Google is clearly identified as the data processor, what that processing is and for what purpose, and finally whether it is equally frictionless to withdraw permission as to give it.

I would say Google skates very close to the wire in that withdrawing permission is tricky, and not terribly sticky (different browsers will change the default as they won't have the "no track" cookie set and you may not always login). Furthermore, it is ubiquitous (much as facebook's is) so giving permission on one web-site is extended to all the rest.

However, they try just a fraction harder than the traditional ad guys (like Criteo and Adroll), and so stay third on the list of priorities.

Nest tosses £1.5bn pension admin service agreement out there for outsourcers to fight over

happy but not clappy

I can do it for half that sum.

Just saying.

Home Office cops an earful for emergency network feck-ups - £3bn overbudget and 3 years late

happy but not clappy

It'll be spec'd beyond physics, of course.

Like all committee led bollocks, they are looking for the equivalent of a supersonic tank which can swim. Federation gives them the willies, but is essential here. And would cost way less than the 2 shit-ton's of cash quoted. And would be resilient etc etc. What annoys me is there will be a small group of slimy twats egging them on, while collecting huge fees. I'm looking at you Qinetiq, and your spawn.

Super Micro says audit found no trace of Chinese spy chips on its boards

happy but not clappy
Black Helicopters

Not a scam

It's US foreign policy driven from the White House. Look at all the other Chinese manufacturers that have been banned/harassed and generally interfered with over the past few years. Not that the Chinese are being especially targeted, just that the dirty tricks are much more public.

Anyone entering the US market does so with trepidation IME.

Why, you're no better than an 8-bit hustler: IBM punts paper on time-saving DNN-training trick

happy but not clappy

8 levels = 3 bits, no?

Wouldn't 8 bits need 256 levels?

European fibre lobby calls for end to fake fibre broadband ads

happy but not clappy

The ASA are shills, not consumer protection folk

As an experiment I once complained to them about the use of the term "pure" to describe adulterated products.

They had a remarkably similar response to the above. That the ingredient in question, despite only being 5% of the product, was itself pure, so calling it "pure" was quite okay. Complaint rejected. Good night.

So I guess "pure fibre" means, "fibre somewhere or other, maybe, nothing to see here".

Samsung touts bonkers-fast 8 Gbit DRAM for phones, AIs

happy but not clappy


So, 6.4Gb/s is the same as 51.2GB/s = 409.6 Gb/s ?

How does that work?

You have 64 in parallel maybe?

Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything

happy but not clappy

I order ed a book about computer veruses

In the early nineties I ordered the David Ferbrache classic book about computer viruses a little before it was properly published.

Within an hour I got a phone call from someone in "intelligence" asking me questions about hacking and trojans. That was instructive.

BT bets farm on consumers: Announces one network to rule 'em all

happy but not clappy

on-shore call-centres...

...you know that means robots right?

AI Chatbots are now "good enough" to replace all the off-shore ones. So no more hiring here either.

Internet of Twats. Yay!

A380 saved as Emirates orders another 20 planes, plus 16 options

happy but not clappy

450 seat 777 - oh dear

This is already the suckiest plane to be stuck on at the back.

OVH data centres go TITSUP: Power supply blunders blamed

happy but not clappy

Re: "trying to restart generators"

You fired the Prime Minister? Now that's power right there. Not so easy these days.

And so it begins... Cleaning up HMRC's £10.7bn Aspire mess

happy but not clappy

Counting the "digital"s

My browser satys there are 216 uses of the word "digital" in the linked strategy. Huzzah!

How to avoid getting hoodwinked by a DevOps hustler

happy but not clappy

Here's the thing...

To do devops (or indeed any of the good stuff) properly requires a shit-ton of extra money, time and effort to succeed. It is a strategic choice. It is about faster-better.

Yet when said manager hears "devops", they hear "need fewer/cheaper staff". Whoops. bye-bye.

MPs slam 'dismal' cost savings of government procurement body

happy but not clappy

So, the PAC

Can we sack the PAC? MP's is it? Oh well.

Can someone please show them a side-by-side, including the cost of those 700-odd savings professionals?

Central procurement, honestly. Worked so well for the Soviets eh?

Mr Orwell couldn't have been more appropriate, plus a bit of Kafka and maybe a pinch of Philip K Dick. Same everywhere I guess.

UK.gov gears up for IR35 private sector crackdown – say industry folk

happy but not clappy

See nursing and doctors

For how this will turn out.

Yet our politicos serenely avoid the issues.

I imagine all government systems will now work like our hospitals. Both extremely expensive and crap. Due to a massive mismatch of supply and demand, which turns into a structural poverty of supply. FTW.

A bit like RBS and indeed Lloyds, for a more directly IT angle. Continuously and repeatedly ripped off by consultants from top to bottom, demotivated permies getting fired or off-shored, and criminally poor performance.

I certainly won't be contracting again till all this sorts itself out.

This easy one cloud trick is in DANGER. Why?

happy but not clappy

layer 4...

...is your friend.

Microservices et al make this much much easier. They generally do not (should not?) use port 80 (low ports, boo hiss, evil root etc), but that's ok.

Any scaled up microservices setup will also include load-balancing and service liveness/performance monitors, so all that mapping is built in.

InterNetworks can go back to being dumb. Sorry CISCO et al.

check it out: https://github.com/Netflix/vizceral

Oops! 185,000-plus Wi-Fi cameras on the web with insecure admin panels

happy but not clappy

Where's the FTFY squad?

In "Brazil" the movie, we had Robert De Niro in his finest role as a renegade plumber. Now, as in the movie, no doubt it is a death penalty offence to shutdown these intelligence service backdoors.

We need the Harry Tuttles.


Java? Nah, I do JavaScript, man. Wise up, hipster, to the money

happy but not clappy

Re: Robots

And we agree. Yawn.

The problem is indeed with specification. It's what I spend most of my time doing these days, pushing agile uphill and telling the "business" to stop using IT as a scapegoat for their laziness and inadequacy. Yet we still have these "my manguage is bigger than yours" threads (saw the typo, liked it :)).

Still, I think we have hit a tipping point of sorts. Previously we had to build our infra, nowadays, not so much. Then we had to build out systems, we still do that, but not for good reasons, and so on. This is quite new. So, at risk of going meta, I imagine we will go to a functional approach, a meaningful CSP with state, on a relatively universal surface. Languages will be rather script'y. So our junior dreams may come true. Do you think it won't happen?

happy but not clappy

Re: Robots

"Junior" he he. Nice.

Object storage is trivial, yes. I like Spring Data. Maybe a little too magical for my taste, but I'm an old timer. Note your argument though, how little human interaction is needed. Why are you behind a keyboard again?

I give it less than three years before Microsoft and Google start punting robo-programming systems and demonstrating that they are provably more correct, more efficient, more whatever.

We shall see eh?

happy but not clappy


Will program most of it soon.

It boggles my mind that we are still writing CRUD and data mangling back-ends by hand.

I seriously thought about, and part designed, an automatic programming system years ago, but then thought, "nah, might need a job" and quietly shelved it.

Someone may catch on at some point. I would bet good money Googlers know this too.

Meanwhile the Y2K gravy train rolls on, choo choo!

UK Snoopers' Charter gagging order drafted for London Internet Exchange directors

happy but not clappy

Missing opinions

So which members are "for" this amendment? Can we have some journalistic investigation please! Then us techie ne'er do wells can vote with our feet, one way or t'other.

Government to sling extra £4.7bn at R&D in bid to Brexit-proof Britain

happy but not clappy

Buzzword bingo and the boomer mindset

It would be nice if they understood that effective social uplift was the goal, not robots and AI and all that other trickle-down globalised efficiency bollocks.

Unless they replace the politicians of course. I'm all for that. Then they can all do something useful, like building houses or looking after the old and knackered.

Brussels cunning plan to save the EU: No more Cookie Popups

happy but not clappy
Thumb Up

Wait till the GDPR kicks in

It's brilliant. No more re-targetting without explicit opt-in/opt-out. Mmmmm. Feel that goodness.

London Stock Exchange's German mega-merger: It's a go, despite Brexit

happy but not clappy

But HFT maybe a bad thing

Is there scope for an IEX which prevents HFT in Europe? I'm not sure I want to buy/sell shares if some flash twat can see my orders and arbitrage the buy-sell before they are matched. Fair markets and all that.

Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

happy but not clappy

I'm voting out

Just saying. I won't bore you with why, but it is nothing to do with Farage and everything to do with the contents of the book "23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism" and a belief that small is beautiful.

Gov to pull plug on online ID verification portal Gateway in 2018

happy but not clappy

Verify doesn't work

On multiple occasions it has asked simple questions, received the right answer, and then claimed it did not know who I was. So far so expected.

AA battery-sized Arduino

happy but not clappy

This is great...but get his name right...and link

It's Johan Kanflo. Link here: http://johan.kanflo.com/the-aaduino/

How NoSQL graph databases still usurp relational dynasties

happy but not clappy

Yes but no but

This is 50% right, as I have come to understand it. Yes, SQL is crap at expressing these things as it has no explicit looping, and works in sets, not linear chains. There are kludges to fix this of course via stored procedures, and stored tables, and nasty operators (CONNECT anyone?) but it isn't pretty. Impedance mismatch, yes.

It is, however, pretty easy to encode them in relational databases (e.g. two tables, one of nodes, and one of edges). Directions are also easy to express.

So the problem here is one of semantic power, and that is something that is easily added, so I think graph extensions to SQL will appear, and performance will be equivalent if not better, as soon as someone can be bothered to add it to mariaDB. Like all good ideas, it has probably already happened.

Stevie Graham: Why I hack mobile banking apps

happy but not clappy

Bang on

This is exactly how it should work, and why your bank won't go away. Full disclosure: I design a product to do this (coming soon folks!) so I might be a teensy weensy bit biased.

happy but not clappy

Re: Stevie's time has passed

Well the EU are trying to put their foot down here, but you are right. Unless one of the utilities (like Vocalink/Faster Payments) gets broadly accepted, the banks will screw it up.

happy but not clappy

Stevie's time has passed

So Stevie's problem is that if all the banks expose a standard API, there is no reason for his app to exist. Sorry Stevie.

Oh, and I am in this business, and it is looking like the banks will not be dis-intermediated by this as described. It's worse. They'll lose the piles of cash they've made by controlling the channel. And if that happens, then someone else will need to pay. Probably us.

Then people will see that push payments are intrinsically safer, and therefore less risky, and therefore cheaper, than pull payments. Cue Visa and Mastercard's business exiting stage left, followed swiftly by all those payment providers and probably a bunch of banks. Part of me is pleased.

Software dev 101: 'The best time to understand how your system works is when it is dying'

happy but not clappy

"today's best practice"

Wha? Since when?

"today's fashion-statement". There, FTFY.

Fifth time's the charm as SpaceX pops satellite into orbit

happy but not clappy

Re: Its managing public perception

Sure, but if I were him, I would want to check footage before releasing it. Real-time really isn't that hard as my fellow commentards have pointed out. To do otherwise would be oddly un-businesslike, which he is not.

happy but not clappy

Its managing public perception

I believe they do have footage, but it runs on a delay loop, because they only want to show success.

Pictures of detonating rockets is bad for business, and SpaceX's competitors are not nice people.

Thus we get no footage, even some time after the event.

Docker may be the dumbest thing you do today

happy but not clappy

Enterprise apps suck

So docker will, I hope, try to avoid being a bridging technology. We have porky VM's for that.

A modular approach, with lightweight automated ops on a commoditised fine-grained utility platform is obviously the way forward. Give it twenty years and a business disruption cycle and all this will be seen as academic. Some of us are already building this componentry.

Bye bye Oracle and friends. FTW.

Storage upstart E8 claims it has a 10 million IOPS flash dazzler. Hmm

happy but not clappy

Push the controller logic onto the client


The Nano-NAS market is now a femto-flop being eaten by the cloud

happy but not clappy

They are too expensive

There now, that wasn't hard was it?

Software devs' new mantra: Zen dogs dream of small-sized bones

happy but not clappy

Yes this, but...

most of the use-cases for devops to live are only for systems where a bug in live is a low risk. Furthermore live devops to stateful systems is ridiculously immature.

One poster suggested devops to pre-live, and that's good, though unpicking one change from a bunch is difficult.

The key here is what is called "QA", though really they are talking about QC i.e. testing. This is the hurty point now, not the technology, and is why the business are nervous. They want good arse-coverage, and this doesn't give it to them, yet.

Uni of Manchester IT director resigns after chopping 68 people

happy but not clappy

Ooh, disaster smell word...


Any IT program with "Transformation" in the title leads to pain and failure, mainly due to top-down consultant-led fuck-wittery. Extra points for adding "digital" at the front.

Ooh, what is this I see before me: https://www.gov.uk/transformation. I rest my case m'lud.

Splice Machine bags $9m to fund RDBMS on Hadoop and Spark

happy but not clappy

This could become something, but the business model stinks

They've rewritten Apache Derby to use HBASE as a storage layer, and added some MVCC. Nothing wrong with that, although that implies optimistic locking which sucks under pressure, but otherwise it is a big bag of open-source stuff, which they are then trying to sell. I find that offensive.

Hortonworks shares plunge 22% after secondary IPO news

happy but not clappy

Bleeding at the edge

I'm currently reviewing "big data" tech, and it isn't pretty. Most of it (with the honourable exception of Cassandra) just doesn't scale well. And none of them cover the standard use-cases well without significant complexity, though they are trying. Look at the mess that is the Apache ecosystem. How many products?

Any medium size business that throws money at this is probably going to lose large chunks of it, same as they did in the nineties with "data warehouses". Still, this is SNAFU, so not so surprising.

FYI, for extra CV points, add "data lakes". Oh yes. I've got three out back...

Bone-dry British tech SMBs miss out on UK.gov cash shower

happy but not clappy

It's academic, innit

Innovate and all those others desperately seek to glue academia to industry (universities try really hard to justifdy their own existence, and they have copious free time to stuff the boards of these organisations).

Thus partnerships with Universities give you a huge uplift. Add some spurious IP, some eco "woo woo" digital fairy-dust, pick a number that hits the average (about £1M by the looks of things) and you are good to go. So you can see why the mentioned project got loads of cash, it is perfectly adapted.

The London catapult is empty of serious applications for this reason, academia are largely irrelevant in the software space, and the amounts of money offered are paltry. £5K gets you nothing really. £800K gets you a little more, but not much. Consider instead what it costs to develop a new car and you are getting closer.

GCHQ mass spying will 'cost lives in Britain,' warns ex-NSA tech chief

happy but not clappy

Lives are lost...but do they matter to the powers?

Don't forget, we are collateral damage to the powers that be.

What they expect, evidently, is not to prevent attacks (though they would love to have that too and spend a fortune trying), but the ability to find perpetrators and bring them to justice after the fact, and their friends, and anyone else who was nearby at the time, in a form of judicial drone strike of a wedding party.

The fact that this also kills the false-positives is really not something they care about. Thus anyone who has ever downloaded the ancient and largely shite anarchists' cookbook becomes a terrorist, and goes to jail, and so on. It is the very definition of thought crime. Which is kinda scary.

Assessing the UK’s Government Digital Service

happy but not clappy

It's just a little trivial

If you read their stuff, it's just a bit too marketroid. Buzz-word bingo abounds. They support every language going, every devops going, open standards, have a laser focus on the user, use agile, talk about delivering at pace and so on, but there is nothing to illustrate how they do this, or display status of how they are getting on. Lack of transparency/visibility is the kiss of death IMO, and smells of dishonesty.

Good luck to them, but agile is more than dev. Dev is the easy 80%. They need to get this.