* Posts by RobLang

70 posts • joined 16 Jun 2020


.NET Foundation admits it 'violated the trust of project maintainers'


Nothing to do with Microsoft

I know commenters will go on about Microsoft but it's nothing to do with them. The dotnet foundation is independent of MS, it's run by the community and paid for by a bunch of corporations that rely on the ecosystem. Sure, MS have an interest but this cock up and nonpology is purely the Foundation's to own, not MS.


Re: Nat's own words here

This has nothing to do with GitHub and Microsoft. The cock up here is purely within the Dot Net Foundation. The actions were taken by board members - all are elected by the community and MS only "vets" the chair.

Outgoing UK Information Commissioner issues warning about the independence of her office


Re: Logic failure

I'd go further to say it's XOR.

If your head's not in the cloud, you're not in the right place


Time to disavow the following notion...

> Skills training is often seen as being for people who don't go to uni, and unis are expected to turn out oven-ready workers

Uni has never done that. Never will. Not designed for it. Never has been. People who think that unis are there to turn out workers are insane.

What unis can do is turn out people who attack problems in a different way. That independence of thought is useful in a team of mixed experience. Also you don't have to go to uni to get that independence of thought; it's just one way.

Clegg on its face: Facebook turns to former UK deputy PM to fend off damaging headlines


Laughed at the headline!

Whenever I read Clegg in the same sentence as "deputy PM", I think of "Deputy Project Manager". Deputy Project Manager the kind of role you give an enthusiastic but ultimately hopeless member of staff to keep them quiet.

Ex-DJI veep: There was no drone at Gatwick during 2018's hysterical shutdown


Consumer drones (and hobby ones too) have control signals are 2.4GHz, same as wifi. Almost impossible to spot in a metropolitan area.

When ERP migrations go bad: Games Workshop says project issues are delaying refresh of 'dated' online store


Re: "The early concepts look amazing"

As expensive as it is, it is very cool. I just wish it could be cool and vaguely-pocket-money-priced. We got the starter set which had 5 Ultramarines and 5 of the plague fellows and have had plenty of fun with that.

I have Adeptus Titanicus and Space Marine (and some other 90s GW) nestling in the loft. Now we need to find a way to play without his little sister hulk-smashing everything!


Re: "The early concepts look amazing"

Thanks for the tip! Will check it out.


"The early concepts look amazing"

Executives will pay for pretty but not for resilience.

My son wanted to get into GW WH40K but we worked out drugs is cheaper.

You can 'go your own way' over GDPR, says UK's new Information Commissioner


Re: proviso

Good point! Let's deal only with Watts. Good ole Watt. We don't care what the voltage or amperage is, just give us the power!

More than half of companies rethinking back-to-office plans amid variant uncertainty and vaccine mandates – survey


How we did it

We're a small company and we had that friendly office thing going on. We solved the missing banter by:

1. Being less strict about content of standup

2. Twice a week for a whole morning we have open mic (was using Discord, moved to Slack huddles) where anyone can drop in.

3. We play games twice a week as a team (Among Us is favourite) and then the whole company plays together (JackBox, Scribbl.io) after a weekly meeting.

4. Slack for everything, lots of gifs and I mean a lot. From CEO to newbie.

There's no pressure to return to the office (I might as my house is too small and I'm only walking distance) but we might on those occasions where we're bashing out a new design or we are celebrating with an afternoon in the pub.

As for returning to waterfall - I won't let them. I learnt how to say no a long time ago.

Faster .NET? Monster post by Microsoft software engineer shows serious improvements


Re: 1.07 MB for a "Hello World"?

That includes the entire .NET framework. In most real world scenarios the framework (React, Vue, Angular) will be cached on the browser via a CDN. Also 1.07MB isn't very large in the world of the web. Javascript for even a medium size site comes in at around 2MB usually.

Git 2.33 released with new optional merge process likely to become the default: It's 'over 9,000' times faster


Find git hard?...

Pick a UI to abstract away the complexity. The vast majority of people don't need the complex features and the simple features can be accessed through a UI, either standalone and built into a IDE. I'm suspicious of monoculture but git really is the best source control I've ever used.

Microsoft emits last preview of .NET 6 and C# 10, but is C# becoming as complex as C++?


I don't think the language is more complex

In fact, there's less boiler plate with each release. You can write bodyless methods and even a program.cs without a class if need be.

I'm happy with what MS are doing with .NET. C# was never an attempt at EEE, it was an attempt to stop supporting C++ MFC (good for its time but too tightly constrained to the OS, making OS upgrades more difficult) and huge VB apps that had grown up in the world. It's all open source now and that's not just marketing, you actually get to have input.

I'm old, have done plenty of memory management and find C#/.NET Core a highly productive language/framework. Much like I did Java. Not needed MAUI and Blazor in anger but they look pretty good solutions to tricky problems.

The thing MS are crap at is naming things. .NET is a rubbish name (anyone remember trying to Google for that in the early 00s?). Calling the old .NET "Framework" and the new one "Core" makes it sounds like there's an upgrade path, there isn't. Then there is .NET Standard etc etc. And then the numbering goes out the window too. Core 1,2,3... errr (need to avoid confusion with .NET Framework)... 5,6? Entity Framework is just as nonsensical. Whoever is in charge of naming needs to sit down and be talked to sternly over a cup of tea.

8 years ago another billionaire ploughed millions into space to harvest solar power and beam it back down to Earth


Re: Yes, yeah.

I'm expecting a future milestone to read "Moon base".

Right to repair shouldn't exist – not because it's wrong but because it's so obviously right


No mention of software pull?

Many of the reasons that e-waste occurs is that software requirements increase over time. Not just in bloating but in expected functionality and bandwidth needs. That's not just repair, that's upgrade. Easy with the silver box under my desk that's like Trigger's broom but more difficult with the smartphone on my desk.

As part of the ZX Spectrum generation, I felt the opening paragraphs lessened the article as a whole. Those stereotypes are wildly incorrect - especially for the PC gamers who spend less and less time on testosterone FPS with each passing year. Just take a look at the PC Game most played figures for 2020, the bumper year. Of course, you did that before you sneered through the first two paragraphs because you're a journo and journos look at information before writing, don't you? You'll know that DOTA2, Among Us and Terraria were the most played because you checked, didn't you?

Scam-baiting YouTube channel Tech Support Scams taken offline by tech support scam


Erased from existence in a blaze of irony...

Is wonderful writing. Hope the fellow gets his channel back.

White hats reported key Kaseya VSA flaw months ago. Ransomware outran the patch


On one hand Kaseya responded well, on the other...

The vulnerabilities would suggest they didn't have any penetration testing beforehand. https://csirt.divd.nl/2021/07/07/Kaseya-Limited-Disclosure/

SQL Injection? In 2021?

Gov.UK vows to chop red tape in the digital sector. What could possibly go wrong?


Evidence that it's empty is...

The report doesn't generate any actual actionable items for me!

I can tell when a document has teeth, it means there's going to be work for me coming down the line that I have to be aware of/plan for.

As you rightly say, it's all waffle and I can't action waffle.

AWS offers you the opportunity to pay cloud bills before they’ve been issued


Re: Interesting...

If your devs use containers then there is a newish service called AWS Lightsail, which is a fixed monthly fee. Not using it, just passing on info.

AWS ECS Anywhere goes live. Is it worth the Amazon fee?


This feels like another step toward meta-cloud. It's another step after "not my computer", it's more like "I don't care where it runs, I have a domain name and a dockerfile". Cloud is gradually moving from commodity to utility.

Arm freezes hiring until Nvidia takeover, cancels everyone's 'wellbeing' allowance


Re: Ah yes, the flexpot.

It might be great company but there are lots of great companies out there that also pay their employees properly.

Graph databases to map AI in massive exercise in meta-understanding


This isn't new. None of this is new.

Bayesian Belief Networks use Bayes conditional probability theory (1763) in graphs to infer knowledge and back in the late 1990s I knew people combining that with feed-forward neural networks to create "hybrid models". Each neural network is trained to do a specific thing and the graph network can be used to build meta relationships between inputs and outputs across the broad variety of networks. Graph databases are great for certain (uncommon and stationary) data problems but I don't feel like this is one of them.

The difficulty then as now is that it depends on the quality of the data and training mechanism: "crap in, crap out" as we used to say. Adding a meta layer over the top isn't going to solve that.

Audacity's new management hits rewind on telemetry plans following community outrage


Standard corporate nonpology

"Sorry you were upset"

"Sorry there was panic"

All sounds like:

"Sorry we got caught"

And not:

"Sorry we got that all wrong"

IBM compiles dataset to teach software how software is made: 14m code samples, half of which actually work


Re: AIs are very context sensitive

Not necessarily. It depends on the encoding of the training set. If you encode such that the neural network learns only the structure of the test then it will do just as you say. However, if you encode the training data such that it learns the grammatical forms of function and process then it should be able to spot good and bad programming without the context of the tasks that IBM set.

GCHQ boss warns China can rewrite 'the global operating system' in its own authoritarian image


Obvious irony aside...

He's right that China is accelerating faster than we are. I live in central Reading (UK home of Oracle, Microsoft etc) and the best OpenReach speed I can get is 22MBps. No FTTP. That's laughable in the East. Infrastructure needs to be powered by government policy and if there isn't an appetite for sorting out the basics then it's fair to assume that the more nuanced ideas of security and privacy won't either.

Deno 1.9 update includes proposal cold-shouldered in February, now hyped as '3x faster' performance bump


Green, green fields

I'm suspicious of anyone who moves on from an established product to build a green-field replacement. When that new green-field gets huge and unwieldy, rather than fixing it, will they move on again? "Deno had big mistakes early on, which is why we're building Oden." ad infinitum.

The JavaScript ecosystem is 'hopelessly fragmented'... so here is another runtime: Deno is now a company


We all prefer greenfield projects. You get to learn from your prior mistakes and not have to deal with boring old legacy. What happens when eventually Rust/Java/C#/Python/Your Favourite get mature wasm compilers with language independent DOM frameworks? You won't be tied to JS or TS back and front end so will Dahl realise that he just prefers type safety after all and Deno is a mountain of compromise that will have grown up out of a greenfield and move on? Make a new acronym of Node and start afresh? I wish him well with Deno, or eventually Edno or Oden...

What happens when cancel culture meets Adolf Hitler pareidolia? Amazon decides it needs a new app icon


I don't think this is cancel culture because...

People weren't threatening to boycott Amazon. People on social media pointed out (mostly laughing) that their logo looks a bit Hitler. Like all publicity Amazon had two choices: keep it, ride the wave and try and make "light of it" (perhaps not possible given the connection) or change it and the story goes away. That's not "cancel culture".

Deno 1.8: Node.js alternative gets 'out of the box GPU accelerated machine learning'


It'll take a while for Deno AI tooling to arrive

What makes Python really handy for offloading maths is that there is loads of tooling already available for crunching, analysing and preprocessing data. Those tools will be possible in Deno but Python has the headstart. I also prefer the Python syntax for maths as the end result looks more like the algorithm, with little furniture. Javascript/Typescript less so but that's preference. I imagine most will be using the native AI to just randomly throw data into a backprop algorithm and claim their software has AI in it.

Excel-lent: Microsoft debuts low-code Power Fx language... but it is not really new


I wonder how it will deal with complexity

It's nice to have a cloud native excel-like for small teams to use together. I can think of a few simpler things I've coded in the past that would have been much better on a system like this.

However, complexity is where the dark arts lie. I fear that people not used to controlling code will keep adding to their apps, build towering monstrosities that will be very hard to maintain, version and control.

Within its limits, I think this will be a boon for those that need it, though.

Robots that take out your garbage? Oh What A Feeling, says Toyota as it opens its very own smart city


Re: In 'Woven City' ...

[1] I don't think everyone needs to be identical for this to work. If an alternative in society that is low effort, low cost and basically the same service then I think the majority will be happy with it. For example: Amazon. I know people to have given up their cars for Uber and when I lived in London, the tube and bus was enough. It didn't feel the need to stamp my individuality over and above the ease of sitting and reading while I was transported on a commute.

[2] We're already in an intensively automated society. At any level of civilisation advancement you need to maintain the building blocks of your society. From the Romans and their aquafers through to the internet today.

Machine-learning model creates creepiest Doctor Who images yet – by scanning the brain of a super fan


Re: Very unlikely

The researcher is bound by process to list the limits of the research as presented, not the limits of the technology as a whole.

As the variety, veracity, value and volume of training data increases, there is no reason why this technique could be used for broader tasks across subjects.

A new take on programming trends: You know what's not a bunch of JS? Devs learning Python and Java ahead of JavaScript


Anyone who compares web today with 25 years ago isn't worth listening to

25 years ago we had Perl/Asp Classic guestbooks, server side rendered web dictionaries and geocities. Yes, it was nice back then but bemoaning how complex the web is a pointless cliche. Yes, it was lovely back in the 80s when BBC2 ran evening telly programs that everyone with a BBC B could follow but the world has moved on.

Also, these stats are fun for El Reg to publish and for us to guffaw at but they're otherwise useless. The truth is that we don't really know what much of the web runs on.O'Reilly are pretending that their stats are worth more than they are for marketing reasons.

React team observes that running everything on the client can be costly, aims to fix it with Server Components


Solution to the problem isn't always more code

I accept that in a microservice world, one team owns the entire stack from DB to browser and having the same tech running all the way through is good for the team if that's the tech they want to choose. Fine with that.

However, the problem here seems to be the efficiency of multiple calls to the server. In an HTTP 1.x world, that's certainly the case but with HTTP 2 coming (eventually) then chatty calls to the server have less overhead. Isn't that the problem they should be solving rather than adding more code?

It feels to me like the browser manufacturers are becoming more opaque like they were in the later 90s and not really co-operating with the developers. I fear that silos are going to lead to more solutions like this.

AWS catches up to Azure and GCP with CloudShell, adds deliberate injection of chaos


This will be handy for us

We use CLI for things not available through the console (there are some features you can't do any other way). If you use MFA for your IAM users then session tokens are a bit of a pain to do with the CLI, so this will be a nice alternative. I've not needed to automatically script infrastructure just yet but I can see this as being a perfect way to do it.

Uber sends its self-driving cars on a road to nowhere, with indefinite stop at automated truck aspirant Aurora


Uber has near-term vision but...

...self driving is still a long way off and companies like Uber don't have the stomach like the other big tech firms do. This sell off makes sense, they can benefit from the tech when it is ready - and society is ready.

'We've heard the feedback...' Microsoft 365 axes per-user productivity monitoring after privacy backlash


"Productivity" score anything but

I'm not sure what they thought they were measuring but it wasn't productivity. Smells like a case of having a lot of data to hand and then wondering how to market it rather than starting with human/work psychology and working back to a product, then collecting the data. Not that I think the latter would be any good either!

Bare-metal Macs-as-a-service come to AWS. Intel for now, M1 silicon in 2021


Will help testing on Safari!

As a web shop, testing on Safari is a PITA for Windows devs. We need to use cloud services to virtualise devices it but this might be a neat alternative.

SpaceX blows away cobwebs at dormant California pad with satellite launch as a Falcon 9 makes touchdown number 7


"Shuttle fans might point to the number of times each orbiter flew"

I'm a "Shuttle fan" but I wouldn't compare it to SpaceX's boosters as the vast majority of what got the Orbiter into orbit wasn't reused. As much as I love the Shuttle, it was an expensive white elephant.

UK coronavirus tier postcode-searching tool yanked offline as desperate Britons hunt for latest lockdown details


It's only gone really wrong when...

Your web server responds with 418. Everything else is fixable.

The engineer lurking behind the curtain: Musical monitors on a meagre IT budget


I've heard of a similar ruse...

With swapping stickers before the PCs were setup on desks.

Five Eyes nations plus Japan, India call for Big Tech to bake backdoors into everything


They don't explain how, they never do

Do they know something about prime number mathematics that the rest of the world doesn't?

Ring glitch results in global ding dong ditch: Doorbell bling flings out random pings but they're not the real thing


I came here for the title

Was it written by Cypress Hill?


Swift tailored for Windows no longer folklore: Apple's programming language available for Microsoft OS


I enjoyed the title and image, made me smile

Thanks El Reg, I enjoyed that title and image. The story doesn't really affect me but I just wanted to pop in and show my appreciation.

Microsoft's OS joins macOS and Linux at the Flutter party, but guess which one performs best? Hint: It's not Windows


I had a play, then hit a wall

I enjoyed learning Flutter and Dart for fun hacky-home projects (it is cool) and then wondered what the commercial drawbacks might be - the first one I always check is developers. Are there any even remotely nearby. The answer was: no. I could find Dart/Flutter agencies who would "build a front end for your backend" but recruitment seemed to be a dead end. If they keep pouring money into it, perhaps it will pick up over time.

Microservices guru says think serverless, not Kubernetes: You don't want to manage 'a towering edifice of stuff'


Once the tooling improves

Of the monoliths I've worked on, I think most of them looked like: static front end that talks to an API which wraps business logic around a database. None of them used features of the OS. They could be hosted just about anywhere (framework permitting). However, having used lambda, I felt that the debug toolchain wasn't there but watching it closely as it could be a good fit for my current role in the future.

Microsoft forks out $3m in back pay settlement to make Feds' hiring discrimination probe go away


I know structural racism when I see. And I'm looking at it right now.

"The agency recognized that Microsoft had already addressed their concerns and did not require any changes to our hiring practices"

13.4% US population in 2020 (US Census) is black, MS demographic is 3.5% (MS 2019 diversity report).

They've already addressed their concerns?

"In the US, we are seeing incremental but slow progress in African American/Black representation"

Too slow.



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