* Posts by Gerrit Hoekstra

93 posts • joined 9 Jan 2008

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Europe may ask Herr Google: Would you, er, snap off your search engine? Pretty please

Gerrit Hoekstra
Facepalm

Don't use Google Translate, OK?

...or at least ask a grown-up in your household who knows about this dang for'n language spoken on the continent to check your "translation" first, before going to press.

Oh, the irony of it all!

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Tata says USA rejecting HALF of Indians' work visa requests

Gerrit Hoekstra
Facepalm

1 billion Indians want visas for the USA

Of course they a few of them will need to be rejected!

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US to hand out wads of green (cards) in bid to staff tech industry

Gerrit Hoekstra
Stop

H1-B1 = Indentured Labor(sic)

Been there, done that: You have to do any shitty job your "benevolent employers" tell you to do. You can't negotiate your wages, even though you know you are paid way below the norm. You are treated like you are also one of the 1000's of desperate, completely fucking useless immigrant-blaggers from other parts, and that you should only be too thankful to serve them for their pleasure. Your employers threaten to cancel your H1-B1 visa and immediately set the emigration authorities on you if you don't meekly comply.

Back in Blighty with my dignity in tact, to let some non English-speaking, bull-shitting desperado from India believe he just blagged himself and his huge entourage into the land of milk and honey, where the streets paved with gold...

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Kim Dotcom's locker may be full, but the cupboard is bare

Gerrit Hoekstra
Facepalm

Irrelevant Article!

Posted content is encrypted and only accessible by the content poster and friends that the poster may want to share the encryption key with. This is not the same a mass sharing/piracy/other hysteria-inducing misdemeanor. Because it cannot be determined whether the content infringes copyright or not (not all data infringes copyright, you know...), it beggars the question: what exactly was the point of this article?

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Another investor pulls out of Habbo Hotel after grooming claims

Gerrit Hoekstra
Childcatcher

Political capital gained from ditching stake is worth it

Moral outrage = good maket perception

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Online bookie can't scoop £50k losses made by 5-year-old

Gerrit Hoekstra
WTF?

Unlikely excuse!

Oh, c'mon! A five year-old expertly hitting the right buttons in a supposedly random order to lay high value bets on exotics? Unlikely story! If I screwed up as badly as this I would also look at blaming the young, innocent and defenceless. I bet his girlfriend is pretty nonplussed for her little boy getting the blame.

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Fasthosts officially not the best in UK for virtual servers

Gerrit Hoekstra
Coat

These guys got drenched in the 2007 Gloucestershire floods

...because they built their data centre below the waterline. Mwaaahhahahahahaha! Now they are sticking their heads above the parapet with outrageous claims just begging to be disproved. Common sense still does not prevail there, then. Mine's the waterproof and bulletproof coat.

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Heathrow CIO pledges seamless future with £1.5bn collaborative system

Gerrit Hoekstra
Stop

£1.5B is not a substitute for some common sense at Heathrow

Look around you next time when you are Heathrow - most of the problems there are people-generated. Unless this vast amount also includes for brain transplants, that is...

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Met seeks new £200m command-and-control system

Gerrit Hoekstra
Thumb Down

Senseless waste of tax-payers' money

This will once again be an extremely bespoke, closed-standards, closed interfaces, closed source system, that will only benefit the suppliers and be riddled with 'teething problems' for years to come while the suppliers arm-wrestle more money from HM Gov. to fix these problems and we gawk on in amazement at what poor value for money we got. Why will this system not be used as a template to rationalise all the other UK Police Forces' bespoke C&C systems? Now imagine further that each of the other 40-odd Police Forces also would like to spend this sort of money on their bespoke C&C system...

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NHS IT fiasco workers threaten lunch-hour revolt over job cuts

Gerrit Hoekstra
Holmes

How do you find work for 500 slightly-useless people?

A mega-project that requires 500 people in the UK alone was surely going to expend most of its energies dealing with the exponentially-huge cross-chat and not *really* produce anything useful. With their residual skill set of being able to participate in meetings, give them work in call centres!

India awaits!

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Toshiba prices up 13in monster tablet

Gerrit Hoekstra
Facepalm

One kilogram in weight?

That's over 2 pounds in weight in old money. This is hardly a portable, hand-held device any more. Imagine the hand fatigue of having to hold it in one hand while stabbing at it with the other to make it do something useful. What is its case made of - depleted uranium?

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Raspberry Pi supplier coughs to ship date delay glitch

Gerrit Hoekstra
Boffin

Starry-eyed academics vs. the Real World

This is what happens when enthusiastic, starry-eyed academics deal with the real world of manufacturing supply chains, off-shoring, linguistic misunderstandings, transport logistics, worker rights, contract management, exclusivity agreements, marketing, etc, and the inevitable technical cock-up along the way. An advance appreciation of such problems could have been pre-empted, and a bit of real-world sense would suggest that the arrival of the devices should only have been publicized when there was 100% certainty that all delivery stages were fully proven.

I am of course still enthusiatically waiting for my slice of PI and grateful for their endevours, notwithstanding.

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US deploys 1.8 gigapixel helicopter surveillance drones to Afghanistan

Gerrit Hoekstra
Facepalm

Yes, but is the feed encrypted this time?

...'cause with the last drone-thingy, anyone could see the surveillance feed using a modified pocket TV!

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Ministry of Justice dreams of £1bn mega IT framework

Gerrit Hoekstra
Stop

NOOooooo!

All previous attempts at this have failed dismally. Why then try again, this time at even greater cost to the poor tax payer who will, to add insult to injury, divest himself to some incompetent and incomprehensible, bullshitting, offshore conglomerate?

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine pirate caged

Gerrit Hoekstra
Boffin

It was quite an education seeing partially-rendered CGI, actually!

Now my kids and I know how CGI is done. Who knows, we could be looking at new entrants into the CGI industry one of these days who actually have an appreciation of this technology, thanks to this leak?

More importantly, watching the fully rendered version recently on UK TV, we now all know how *not* to make a film, since this it not quite the cinematographic masterpiece, is it?

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BT's gift to Google: A patent war over ads and Android

Gerrit Hoekstra
Trollface

This alleged IP belongs to the UK taxpayer!

This alleged IP is based on all the R&D effort dating from before BT was 'privatised'. So if BT wins this claim (not bloody likely!), it is only right that they apportion the proceeds to the original IP owners: you and me by way of the UK treasury.

Are the UK's economic woes over thanks to a ruling against Google, I wonder?

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Jedi light-sabre beats Taser in Oregon parking-lot fracas

Gerrit Hoekstra
Happy

Top tip for crimms: Smile for the photo!

Remember, the jury will see your photo long before they see your sorry ass in the defendant's seat. And you know what they say about first impressions...

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SCADA vuln imperils critical infrastructure, feds warn

Gerrit Hoekstra
Linux

GNU SCADA offerings not great

Recently had a trawl to eval open source SCADA offerings and had to conclude that the commercial offerings win hands down. Sorry, Mr Penguin!

(Now this gives me an idea for my next open source project: An open source SCADA with no hard-coded password backdoors, SSL encryption all the way, authentication via public-private key pairs. Should be done by Christmas...)

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Vodafone coughs to Galaxy S II GPS glitches

Gerrit Hoekstra
FAIL

Repeat lesson for them 'cuz they didn't learn from their Vodafone360 disaster?

The previous Vodafone360 smartphone offering *also* gave you a broken Samsung phone and - bless those enthusiastic little elves at Vodacom - even tried to make into Yet Another Social Network. They have now quietly pulled the plug on Vodafone360 and are at last allowing punters to export their own data from this site to other social networks.

Stick to selling phones with the manufacturer's default firmware on it that works, me finks.

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'Hands off our books, content miners! Those aren't cheap'

Gerrit Hoekstra
FAIL

Must I buy a bookcase full for that one page relevant to my research?

... or spend days in book shops looking for the right book, while the owners grumble and tut-tut behind my back?

Pretty poor arguments from the Publishers:

* Not making useful information available in searches will actually disadvantage the UK - there is no other way to scan and manage our huge and important industrial knowlege base.

* Content aggregators are perfectly able to provide searched-for content in the correct context - usually in the context of the inputted search criteria!

* Reasearchers are clever enough that they don't need mumsy guidance to the information from the publishers

Publishers need to accept that all information will eventually be aggregated through search engines. If theirs is not there, they will simply be ignored unless they want to been seen as keepers of exotic, ancient and unspoken knowlege, akin to the secrets of the pyramids. They must move on from their (literally!) medieval revenue model and reinvent themselves, much as the music has now reluctantly been forced to do.

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Fake doc cuffed in concrete arse shocker

Gerrit Hoekstra
IT Angle

IT Angle: Code Bloat by unscrupulous vendors, right?

Let me fix this for you:

Miami cops last week slapped the cuffs on a transgressing software vendor accused of performing an O/S enhancement with "cement, mineral oil and flat-tire sealant". The unnamed victim of the code bloat, keen to sport the latest O/S on her PC, approached MS on the recommendation of a friend that "Windows is Good". The unscrupulous vendor charged $700 for the upgrade, which involved sticking extra RAM in the patient's PC and pumping the hard disk full of "toxic substances", according to police.

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Have everything. Own nothing. Learn the difference

Gerrit Hoekstra
Linux

I can sell a Windows license on!

I don't need it any more because the Penguin of Light has shown me the path to true enlightenment. I can now sell it on to some other poor sap. So why can one not sell the license to listen to songs on to a third party when one's musical tastes move on?

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Why your tech CV sucks

Gerrit Hoekstra
Facepalm

Bet you've never seen this in a CV:

A section in the "résumé" of a so-called "technology evangilist" in Silicon Valley looking for work at a company in the USA I worked for, was titled: "THE EARLY DAYS". Here he described how his parents met (Mummy was an air hostie and Daddy on business), how soon after that and how he was conceived, how he was born (breach), and what an absolute joy he was to his parents as a baby.

Not even my Yankee colleagues could stomach this saccharine!

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UK.gov threatens to 'pull plug' on smart meter rollout

Gerrit Hoekstra
Coat

12bn for 3.8mil households = £3158 per household

How does this cost stack up into savings? Thought I'd ask the obvious question before we start filling the troughs with taxpayers' money again on yet another dumb, misguided govt IT project...

Mine's the coat with the HP Reverse Polish Notation calculator in the pocket.

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Union enraged by secret driverless Tube plan

Gerrit Hoekstra
Thumb Up

Next Step: Automate the work of the redundant Signallers

The all-powerful signallers have keps their tube signalling dumbed down at 1960's continuous-band punch-card & clockwork technology to keep themselves in a cushy job where they spend all day doing... uhm.. watching these clever little machines.

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Public sector cloud looms, but who wants it?

Gerrit Hoekstra
Thumb Up

Brilliant money saver!

I recently worked with one govt. org that went as far as trying to build their own dedicated data centres out in the provinces. They also incorrectly thought that they could actually build data centres! This turned into yet another failed multi-multi million-pound tax burden for you and me.

So on to a better solution that from all perspectives can* save money.

(* if done correct)

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UK gov needs better data skills to cut spending

Gerrit Hoekstra
Linux

The Software Licensing Game - Let's stop this sillyness

Reselling the same piece of software over and over again on a new deal with each govt. dept. is sub-optimal use of taxpayers' money. Vendors will never give this gravy train up, however. It leaves us with no option but to only use software that has a zero license charge.

This is particularly relevant on desktop solutions, where huge numbers of non-transferable, per-seat licenses are procured, which are then allowed to attrophy when staff move around or the computer dies, and to then be allocated a new license on the new machine / job. The management effort that goes into looking after all the licenses is non-trivial. Not having to directly deal with licenses and procurement thereof will also kill off a couple hundred govt. jobs too, probably. Bonus savings!

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Apple cofounder Steve Jobs is dead at 56

Gerrit Hoekstra
Coat

There's a Eulogy App for that!

Mine's the one with the (by now) cuts slashed in the back by some emotional turtleneck wearing fanboi.

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Amazon to whup Apple rivals when Kindle Fire hits UK

Gerrit Hoekstra
FAIL

Rip-off Blighty

The US retail price of $199 converts to £129. Yet apparently we in Britain are going to be content with a price-point that is nearly twice that.

In other news: A YouGov survey finds that Britains on the whole are mugs and don't mind being ripped off by consumer electronics vendors, incompetent telcos, lying politicians, corrupt town planners, ham-fisted taxmen, deseased health workers, uneducated teachers and well-overpaid public servants. After all, one mustn't grumble.

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Don't bother with that degree, say IT pros

Gerrit Hoekstra
Megaphone

And that's why I did an engineering degree...

.. so that I could interface the REAL WORLD to the IT WORLD.

If you did engineering then formal methods, funcional analysis and system architecture just naturally falls into your lap.

Oh, oh, oh, oh! And when it comes to best endevours on a typical UK IT project ('cause fuck me you lot can't do IT and that's why you ship it all off to India), I am able to step into the breach and actually solder up an RS232 null modem cable when needed - as happened a few days ago. Bet none of the CS-degree folk even know what I am talking about here!

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Microsoft delivers fatal blow to yet another botnet

Gerrit Hoekstra
Mushroom

Microsoft would not exist without botnets and malware

'nuff said. Think about it...

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Lewd voicemail hack on MP prompts probe

Gerrit Hoekstra
FAIL

Fix it for free or we'll tell everyone who you are...

Message to the incompetent, gravy-train riding telephony provider who installed the system:

Fix it for free or we'll tell the world who you are!

(I'll be buggered if more of my tax monies are about to be spent on repairing yet another half-witted implementation of government technology.)

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Dyson spouts hot air

Gerrit Hoekstra
Facepalm

Soon to be copied by others - and better and cheaper

If you have ever bought a Dyson product, you too will have watched it being rendered useless in no time as that all-important clip / cleat / attachment manifold disintegrates before your very eyes. Inventive that lot sure are, but sure as hell can't do product design.

I always thought it very generous of Dyson to leave a gap in the market for others to build a better-built Dyson.

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iRobot Roomba 780 automated vacuum cleaner

Gerrit Hoekstra
WTF?

Whoopee. 50 extra battery charging cycles.

Imagine what you would say if your mobile telephone maker told you that new software gives you 50 more charging cycles? Wow, you get to extend the life of your device by a whole 2 months! What kind of batteries does this thing use - lemon-and-nail batteries?

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One last production run for TouchPad

Gerrit Hoekstra
Linux

I forsee a Linux Distro for the TouchPad

It's just a matter of time. You know how pervasive those pesky little penguins can be!

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Paper Camera

Gerrit Hoekstra
Childcatcher

Why is that horrible little boy...

...jumping on the poor chicken in the first picture?

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iPhone users richer, brainier, more tasteful than Android-ers

Gerrit Hoekstra
Mushroom

Not true if you consider the latest generation of iPhone owners...

...who looted their iPhones from shops in the recent riots. More like pie-eating, lager-swilling, entitlement-sheeple, innit?

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Piles of unshiftable HP fondle-slabs choke Best Buy

Gerrit Hoekstra
Angel

So, ya wanna compete with the Jobsian Cult?

The Gospel according to St Steve of the Jobsian Cult explicitly teaches its sheeple in the First Commandment that thou shalt not purchase from the unclean, clovenhooved, non-Apple vendors, lest ye be cast into purgatory and end up with something that does not integrate with other Apple devices. And lo, it is also written that only Apple devices shall interface and 'know' each other through non-standard connectors and modified protocols sanctified by the holiest in Cupertino, lest the devices be tainted by the technologies of the heathens and ye be cast into further iniquity.

If HP seriously wants to tempt sheeple from eating from the Jobsian forbidden tree, then it should drop to a £199 price point.

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Apple blocks sale of Samsung's Android fondleslab across EU

Gerrit Hoekstra
Holmes

Maybe it is because it is better than the iPad?

The iPad2 was an insignificant design improvement on the iPad1 - upping clock speed and screen specs is not innovation, it is "waiting for the competition to catch up". So here we are and surprisingly, the Cult takes umbrage.

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Tottenham MP calls for BlackBerry Messenging suspension

Gerrit Hoekstra
FAIL

Idiot

No grasp of reality, no grasp of technology. Must be a politician then.

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Rogue character space tripped Scottish exam results

Gerrit Hoekstra
Facepalm

Excel does not excell at holding data

Converting CSV->Excel and Excel->CSV gives different results for the various version of Excel.

Top Tip: Never use Excel in any step of your data flow.

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World's first turbine powered Batmobile hits roads

Gerrit Hoekstra
Coat

Yes, but can it reverse?

Mine's the coat with the Coward Club membership card in the pocket.

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Blighty's top cop quits over phone-hacking scandal

Gerrit Hoekstra
Flame

Pork Barrel

I worked across the road from New Scotland Yard last year and watched the endless procession of high-spec, tax-payer-funded 4x4's parading into and out of their parking garage (it was also a government organisation I worked for so I had lots of time on my hands!). I estimate that at any time there are £5-million pounds worth of luxury cars in there, that you and I pay for out of our own pocket.

Clearly the officers of the MET do not know when to stop taking the mick, it seems. Perhaps it is time we teach them a lesson on acceptable public behaviour?

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Groupon India publishes 300,000 user passwords

Gerrit Hoekstra
Happy

Offshoring: They "just don't get it"

... and that's a good thing, because it keeps us in the UK in jobs, firefighting their appalling output. Problem solving, diligence, honesty, thoroughness, common sense and defensive programming practices are not included in the daily £5 rate of your average Indian offshore whalla. But in the minds of some (GroupOn CIO's), the math somehow stacks up very nicely.

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Square gets $1bn valuation with $100m investment

Gerrit Hoekstra
Meh

Flashback to the DotCom days?

Is this just a bad acid flashback, or are we seeing the re-emergence of unfeasible, overvalued business models because of hype in a mostly undiscerning environment (USA)? There isn't even a Hollywood movie about Jack Dorsey yet!

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France's official P2P monitoring firm hacked

Gerrit Hoekstra
Terminator

Ha ha ha ha ha! Vive la France...

Another pointless "job-creating" government department bites the dust. Reminds me of France's fruitless attempts of stopping the Internet-driven incursion of English into their language.

You can't tame the Internet, OK Messieur?

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Linux kernel runs inside web browser

Gerrit Hoekstra
Go

Nice! So, what is it useful for then?

The potential uses may not yet be obvious, but I predict that this abstraction will create another little software revolution. Watch this space!

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Newly emerged banking Trojan challenges ZeuS-SpyEye duopoly

Gerrit Hoekstra
Linux

Ha ha, Windows!

'nuff said.

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Adobe warns of attacks exploiting critical Flash flaw

Gerrit Hoekstra
Pirate

The End is neigh, Flash!

Repent and confess to the Gospel of St. HTML5, ye sinners!

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Illinois scrubs death penalty

Gerrit Hoekstra
Go

No more dumping of victims' bodies in adjoining Wisconsin

Chicago gangsters up to now hedged their bets by dumping their victims in Wisconsin: should they eventually be connected with the crime, they would avoid the Illinois death penalty because the body was not found in Illinois. Wisconsin does not have the death penalty (but has other barbaric traits like everyone talking funny through their noses). This resulted in south Wisconsin cops forever having to repatriate bodies dumped on their turf. They can now at last get back to eating cheese and cheering the Greenbay Packers.

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