* Posts by jimmy-o

20 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Aug 2016

Verizon to 'sunset' Blue Jeans vidconf platform


Streaming is a commodity.

WebRTC is an open standard supported by every modern browser. Which means that anyone can spin up their own P2P chat service in a few hours, with the only costs being a dirt cheap ICE + relay + node.js server.

I'd say that that would have a lot to do with the collapse of streaming services, once investors and customers realised this.

Heroku to delete inactive accounts, shut down free tier


Re: Alternatives?

Pythonanywhere is heartily recommended by one of my customers as a Python-specific PaaS; I am planning on trying out render.com myself.


Paying customer for many years, but am going to phase out Heroku

Heroku was the first mover, but there are arguably better alternatives out there these days, such as Pythonanywhere or Render. Since I will now be stopped from using the free tier for backup services, prototyping, and staging, I’m going to start migrating my projects elsewhere.

GitHub's AI code assistant Copilot takes flight. And that'll be $10 a month, please


Clean code is its own documentation

I’m of the belief that comments should be used sparingly, ie for documenting public APIs, or for explaining workarounds for third-party bugs. Code should be written so that its behaviour is self-evident; otherwise comments need to be maintained and updated as well as code. So that rules me out (I’m assuming that the service only writes code based on comments).

Website fined by German court for leaking visitor's IP address via Google Fonts


Re: I am hardly surprised

I just finished reading Surveillance Capitalism; which I imagine was on some internal EU reading list, and was partly responsible for triggering the EU's crackdown on personal data collection. I'm minimising the contact with Google/FB in all my software - that book convinced me that the problem is way worse than I could have imagined initially.

One-character bug gives away $90m in COMP tokens – recipients can keep 10% or consider themselves doxxed


80 million dollars could have bought a lot of testing, but no amount of testing is going to hit every edge case. I think adding an escrow step before letting the funds clear is probably a good idea, for any time an algorithm is automatically handing out loads of cash. Plus some run-time sanity checks, to make sure that final values are within the right orders of magnitude.

Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service


Already a commodity

Online collaboration is a commodity now, thanks to WebRTC support in the browser, and drop-in libraries for file sharing and chat. It's easy to add or find niche-specific features that large services do not provide. Look at how quickly covid pushed Zoom into everyone's app list.

I think that the second Teams starts sucking enough to provide impetus to look past the default installed option, companies will look elsewhere. Vendor lock-in and a lack of API integration options are going to make this a sub-standard offering.

Canonical: Flutter now 'the default choice for future desktop and mobile apps'


I'll pass

I evaluated Flutter for a mobile project and passed in favour of React Native (still not perfect, but more suitable for my purposes than 2 native apps would be).

Go to GitHub and gaze in horror at Flutter's 5000+ open issues before you commit to this platform. It seems to be a case of big brands pushing something which is not mature and has not got its quality issues under control, just so they can have their own brand in a space.

For cross-platform desktop apps, I'll keep using Qt, as I have done for about the last 20 years.

It's 2020 so not only is your mouse config tool a Node.JS Electron app, it's also pwnable by an evil webpage


It sounds like a case of "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail": going for the bad solution that they know, rather than doing a quick search online to see if there are any better options out there. Or it was a stack decision forced onto the developers by management.

For example, Qt Quick is an excellent, mature framework designed for doing secure cross-platform JavaScript desktop apps. Maybe Electron can do it properly too, without the local server, for all I know.

No wonder Bezos wants to move industry into orbit: In space, no one can hear you* scream


What to do with all of last-year's iPhone 50s?

It's $3 per kilo in electricity prices to get a kilo into orbit - that's very expensive garbage disposal. Or will the earth become an ever-growing pile of junk?

Creating a circular economy sounds like a more viable focus.


If at first you don't succeed, Fold? Nope. Samsung redesigns bendy screen for fresh launch in September



At the old Nokia, engineers could take prototypes out in public to use as our personal phones as soon as they were announced. That smoothed off a lot of rough edges in the final product.

Maybe Samsung's engineers were also testing the phones, but they had internalised some preconceptions about how to treat them (ie, "be gentle - I know how flakey this hinge is", "don't peel off the protective thing, which we know all about because we developed it").

Microsoft debuts Bosque – a new programming language with no loops, inspired by TypeScript


In other news, have you heard of this new craze of “fidget spinners”?

Haven’t we all been using functional/reactive programming anyway for at least the last 5 years?

Freelance devs: Oh, you wanted the app to be secure? The job spec didn't mention that


Developers on a system like this don't have to, and shouldn't, be developing a cryptographic algorithm at the level of the actual arithmetic. They should use a proven library or framework. Many problems come when a developer is trying to be cute and tries to "roll their own" security. No developer should be developing a cryptographic algorithm for a production system unless they are an expert and it's being peer reviewed.

Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020


Re: They didn't take out Nokia

*Symbian, the framework* was an engineering marvel for running low-powered devices in the early 2000s. However, during the latter part of that decade, the huge Symbian company, S60, and the conflicts of interest between it and Nokia, prevented any true OS innovations from within Nokia from seeing the light of day.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads


Mac as iOS devkit?

When will an iPad run XCode? My Mac is used for nothing more than a development kit for iOS, a *nix terminal, and a Python editor, so XCode is the only thing keeping me on Mac.

And THIS is how you do it, Apple: Huawei shames Cupertino with under-glass sensor


Re: an under-glass fingerprint sensor.

Yup, there's one out already. It looks pretty good, too:


Although I still prefer Face ID, because I have sweaty/dirty hands more often than I wear mirrored sunglasses.

Slap visibility beacons on bikes so they can chat to auto autos, says trade body



What they need are visual fiducials to interact with the laser scanners and cameras. Something with retororeflective properties. Maybe something just like the reflectors that are already all over bikes and bikewear?

Face, face, face! Apple, TrueDepth and a nose-driven iPhone X game


Re: Really....

For me, the X ticks all 3, so yes, it does justify the price. Plus it works when you have sweaty/dirty fingertips. Personally, I couldn't go back to fingerprint readers now.

Microsoft to rip up P2P Skype, killing native Mac, Linux apps


Skype already dumped P2P years ago?

I thought Skype had already dumped P2P years ago, because it doesn't work for mobile: