* Posts by David Dawson

437 posts • joined 2 Jul 2008

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Oracle blurts Google's Android secrets in court: You made $22bn using Java, punk

David Dawson

Re: Wait a minute

@Voland

Bare = take clothes off.

Bear = assume a load.

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Smartphone hard, dudes, like it’s the end of the world!

David Dawson

Re: umm...

Yes, it's all gone a bit sanitised.

And weekend output is pretty much gone now.

:-(

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IBM kills Hack A Hair Dryer women-in-tech vid after backlash

David Dawson

Why is important for people of different races not to be

---

This is where the poison of identity politics starts to raise it's ugly head.

Race is a constructed fiction that has no basis in science

What happened to "content of character", to true equality of individuals? To bring race, or gender, or anything else into this is to remove the individual. That was the entire point of the civil rights movement, to ensure that individuals are judged on their own merit, not on a being a part of a perceived group.

So, I'll say again, if there is a blockage to a person achieving something based on their being perceived as part of a group, then that is a blockage to equality of opportunity.

Nothing else matters. Group identity must be irrelevant for equality to be a useful topic to discuss.

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David Dawson

What campaign should be run in it's place?

------

Women into road laying, mining, offshore rig labour ... ?

Men into teaching, nursing, clerical jobs, doctors (check the figures), biology (doesn't this count as stem?)

What is very rarely stated is why it is important for women to achieve parity in particular subjects. The assumption is that parity is a good thing, but is this assumption correct? I'm not sure.

Systemic oppression because of who you are perceived to be as apart of a group isn't nice, but neither is the ugly rise of identity politics that is demanding treatment of an individual based on their self declared identity.

Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of result. If there is inequality of opportunity, then that should be addressed, measuring equality of result is an extremely poor proxy

14
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Infosec bods rate app languages; find Java 'king', put PHP in bin

David Dawson

Re: Android apps

Server vs mobile client.

Sqli is an attack on a server application that uses a database and doesn't properly sanitise inputs given by the user before passing it to the database.

Crypto problems is probably referring to https handling during communication, allowing a cipher downgrade or simply allowing the use of old ciphers. This could affect the server side as well, however most server apps hide behind some sort of front router that does ssl termination. Think nginx or apache. So, this type of flaw will be reported against those products rather than against the language used to implement t app behind them.

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Pope instructs followers to put the iPhone away during dinner

David Dawson

Re: Expert

Well, we don't demand personal experience in many other fields. Doctors don't need to have had illness, social workers don't need to have children etc.

There are many things to criticise the Catholic church for but this guy seems to be a good one overall. He'll have seen, talked to and helped enough families that he's experienced enough to be able to comment. The fact he's chosen not to go that route himself is really neither here nor there.

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BlackBerry makes Android security patch promises

David Dawson

Re: what's it got to do with OEMs?

Android is distributed as generic source to run on a few pieces of reference hardware.

OEMs take that source and apply patches to it, then build their own binary distribution that is installed onto their hardware.

Google don't distribute binaries apart for the nexus line.

The patches come in various types, device drivers for sure, plus a bunch of mods on the UI and apps, some of which are extremely invasive in the code.

It's not really comparable to a PC, which has highly standardised hardware.

It probably could be, but you'd need to standardise the entire mobile hardware space with stable interfaces, have some defined standard boot mechanism and install process. I personally don't see that happening soon.

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RoboVM: Open source? Sorry, it's not working for us

David Dawson

copyright assignment?

It depends who is the copyright.

Many open source projects sponsored by a company require contributors to sign/ agree to a copyright assignment agreement.

The reason they do that is wanted enable license changes like this.

Not sure I this is the case here.

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Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux

David Dawson

Re: Finally hired someone who knows good software

DEAREST PAUL STAN,

GREAT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS ON DOCKER. WE TOO USE DOCKER, I HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN.

I AM CHIEF WUNDERBUND OF DOCKERFILE INC. REGISTERED IN THE GLORIOUS REALM OF TEXAS. WE HAVE JUST RECEIVED $100 MILLIONS AND NEED A TRUSTED PARTNER TO INVEST THIS.

WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO GUIDE US IN THE MUNIFICENT VENTURE?

ALL WE WOULD NEED IS $87.40 IN AN UP FRONT PAYMENT TO GRANT YOU ACCESS TO OUR CONTAINERISED MONEY BIN. THIS IS TO BREAK THE ISOLATION INHERENT IN THESE CONTAINERS.

LOOKING FORWARD TO TALKING MORE AT YOUR LEISURE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

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Robots, schmobots. The Rise of the Machines won't leave humanity on the dole

David Dawson

Needs more caps and misspelling, A-

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Apple, Google should give FBI every last drop of user information, says ex-HP CEO and wannabe US prez Carly Fiorina

David Dawson

Re: insert Benjamin Franklin quote on freedom

@Irony Deficient

Took me a moment, but well done!

Your name is proven inappropriate.

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Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights

David Dawson

Re: no sympathy

Taxes for contractors aren't actually as generous as many believe.

Corp tax is 20% ish, depending on the year. Out of this are taken expenses. For a services contractor, expenses are fairly low, and there is a special VAT scheme that recognises this.

This applies in all cases, unless there's some evasion scheme or other.

To actually get the money from the company to your pocket there's a few methods. You could pay a salary, and pay paye. You then pay paye taxes, between 10 to 40%. Alongside that, there's national insurance, both employee and employer.

Both PAYE and NI are blocked as expenses against the Corp tax liability and act to reduce it.

You'll end up with an effective rate of around 35-45% on all money received by the contractors company if you do this. This is high.

The alternate method, you pay dividend to the owner of the company. This is taxed at 10%. You then declare this income, along with a small salary and pay personal taxes on it.

These are similar in rate to PAYE.

The big tax missing from this system is employer side NI. So you gain around 12%.

You'll end up with an effective tax rate, over everything, of between 25-35%.

This is one of the reasons employers like contractors, the removal of employer NI. They can just pay it directly to the contractor, through a really simple invoicing system.

If you sign up to IR35, expenses are removed and employer side NI are added, and you end up paying more than the average employee, due to the employee never seeing employer side NI or realising it's there (it's added on top of your salary).

Contracting can be a good life, I recommend it. The vast majority of contractors arrange things the way I describe.

Tax is necessary to sustain our civilisation, however I don't like the jump to declare it a 'moral' thing to do.

3
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Happy birthday, Amiga: The 'other' home computer turns 30

David Dawson

Amiga 500

Gave me a window on computing.

It was awesome.

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Attention dunderheads: Taxpayers are NOT giving businesses £93bn

David Dawson

Re: Facilitating Evasion - correction

I fear James Anderson and bitmap animal have got me bang to rights there on the first two paragraphs and I was wrong.

I stand by my third paragraph (that is until someone pulls that to bits as well)

---

Well played!

As a pragmatic libertarian (if there is such a thing), I have a loathing of tax being seen as a 'good thing'. I agree that it's necessary for a high functioning civilization, but is still fundamentally theft applied via the states monopoly on force. So I certainly don't embrace it and shiver whenever the state is invoked to overpower a section of society for the 'common good', whatever the intentions.

The bit that is missed in this discussion (about income tax brackets) is VAT. VAT is applied at every point in the value chain. It is then ultimately charged to consumers, individuals. Since this doesn't take into account relative income, it falls disproportionately harder on lower income individuals. I'm convinced (although I have no proof to hand) that this has a larger effect that income tax.

There are a variety of VAT exemptions designed to mitigate this. From a certain point of view, they could be seen as tax breaks one stuff needed to live, food, childrens clothes etc. I see it as the government not demanding it's pound of flesh in certain circumstances.

Also, it turns those of us that own/ run businesses into unpaid tax collectors operating on behalf of HMRC, on pain of fine/ jail. Do not annoy the VAT man, he is far less forgiving than the other side of HMRC.

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Twitter's Vine creeps into HD-quality vid – but it's not really for YOU, chump

David Dawson

vine, creepier

Well done on writing an article solely to deliver that line.

I salute you!

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Canadian dirtbag jailed for SWAT'ing, doxing women gamers

David Dawson

Re: Had to Read the Article...

apparently, publicly posting personal details such as address and phone number with the intention that they are then harassed by others.

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Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

David Dawson

Subsidies

Repeat after me 'tax breaks do not equal a subsidy'

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BlackBerry boss vows to keep making phones

David Dawson

Try a passport! It's awesome.

3
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How swearing at your coworker via WhatsApp could cost you $68,000

David Dawson

Re: Work in a third world backward nation...

First world = western liberal democracies.

Second world = communist.

Third world = everyone else.

This does not mean what you think it does. Yes UAE is third world, a term so thoroughly debased as to be meaningless.

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Beats loudspeaker silenced by Apple after $3bn buyout, report claims

David Dawson

Streaming tech

I just can't believe Apple would spend $3bn to get their hands on streaming technology. The technology behind media streaming hasn't been innovative for at least 10 years. There's nothing really that they could add that would make a difference beyond what apple already has or is industry standard.

It has to have been more than this, with the most likely thing being the brand and to a lesser extent the hardware.

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Why is that idiot Osbo continuing with austerity when we know it doesn't work?

David Dawson

Tim: Article on the "Economic Cycle"?

Tim, any chance of an article describing what the economic cycle actually is?

It get's bandied around as if it's a fixed thing, but seems to be very ill defined, at least in media usage.

1
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MIT bods' digital economy babblings are tosh. C'mon guys, Economics 101

David Dawson

Re: Displaced workers @David Dawson

Strange understanding of economies here. I don't recognise the world you paint as reality.

Frankly, it's an 'employee' mindset, where you believe the forces of the economy are run for abstract concepts like 'the company', or 'the state'. Not recognising that both of those things are simply convenient labels on groups of people. They are fictional. This is one of the reasons why macroeconomics is essentially guess work, you are attempting to generate a model that describes trillions of human interactions.

The idea that the entirety of the human involvement in the economy could be replaced with an AI is completely fanciful, as it completely misrepresents what that economic activity is for. It doesn't exist for it's own benefit, ultimately there are owners of all companies which are people.

Whether it's pension funds, 'the state', individuals, via other companies. It simply doesn't matter, people own everything. The fact that you feel somewhat powerless when faced with the economy doesn't change this.

So, in any new economy, that wouldn't change unless we give AI ownership rights.

Everything flows from that.

Unless your hyper intelligent AI can displace us as the owners of stuff, the economy will always be run for the benefit of humanity, either in whole or in part.

Before modern economies formed, everyone had to make their own economic activity just to eat. If push comes to shove, that will happen again. AI's may be able to do all jobs, but would they actually do that?

What would really happen is that humans, the drivers and consumers of all economic activity, would be shoved higher up the value chain. Some people won't make it, but the majority of us will. Look around London right now, the population has moved away from mass manufacture into mostly knowledge work. (outside of London, it's more weighted towards light manufacture).

We've had huge automation, really, massive. This should be seen as part of the great industrialisation move. If this didn't happen, we would still, for the most part, be doing subsistence agriculture. That's not a good life.

So, bring on these magical AIs, they will not have the effect you believe they will.

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David Dawson

Re: Displaced workers

@PleebSmash

That seems a very odd position to take. AI is far from being capable of emulating a human, if that's every going to be possible. There are very, very specific things that robots can do, and we use them to good effect in those, but outside that, not possible.

It also misses the point on where and by whom people are employed. Companies are 'legal persons', so they can make contracts, but that doesn't make them real. They are fictional social constructs that we find it convenient to keep around.

People are the only thing, the market is made of individuals acting out their desires. Companies act the way they do as an aggregation of the humans owning them and those working in them.

What this boils down to is that, if there were mass layoffs, then those people will build a new economy for themselves.

The UK economy is not dominated by large employers, far from it. SMEs employ around 60% of all the workforce, up to 10% (according to some estimates) are freelancers and self employed.

All of them together are focused on finding something to do that people will pay them for, creating new value where before there was none.

A robot could be a useful tool in making that more efficient, but replace the people entirely?

Not. A. Chance. What would be the point? You'd destroy the economy, which is made up solely of the people.

Welfare is not the answer, it's a temporary fix. Education on how economies work, and how you can work that to your advantage is.

2
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Bitcoin blackmail gang start hurling DDoSes at Scandinavia

David Dawson
Trollface

Re: Yes but...

surely you aren't saying that charities will perform DDOS extortion attacks?

Or that the next logical step for cyber crims is to employ chuggers?

It's a conspiracy!

0
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Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future

David Dawson

as Mr Bernard Shaw tells us..

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man"

Elon Musk seems to be the archetype of this. Unreasonable at every level, reshaping the world on a grand scale.

We need people like this, I'm not totally sure we'd get along :-)

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Cloud Foundry takes first steps into Azure

David Dawson

:-)

d.

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David Dawson

The article image is for Pivotal CF, which is the commercial derivative of cloud foundry that Pivotal makes. It is not open source.

Cloud foundry has been open source since the start, which is now a bunch of years ago. The work Microsoft have done is on the deployment side of things, the bosh tool. This means that it can be easily (<cough>) deployed to azure using the standard tooling for cloud foundry.

0
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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Cuy Chactado – Deep-fried guinea pig

David Dawson

Re: It's only a small step from here ....

Ah, good old terry. I miss him.

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NASA guy to White House: Be really careful with that HTTPS stuff

David Dawson

Re: No middle road to stop the man in the middle

With a clear text protocol it's then trivial to alter the digest in flight.

To make this work, you need to establish a cryptographic chain of trust to ensure that the server you think is sending you data actually is.

Establishing that trust is the key, and is what ssl certs are used for. You delegate trust to a central authority that acts as a mediator. That they are also used to establish a fully encrypted transport is a separate thing to my mind.

All the financial and operational costs will still be there. The minimal runtime overhead of always on encryption on't be, but it's really small.

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Ex-Goldman Sachs programmer found guilty of code theft … again

David Dawson

Re: *Whose* code?

It's a fair point, however all employment and service contracts for banks have very wide ranging copyright assignment clauses. These are to the point that if you work on something, say some open source, out of working hours then the employer owns it, not the employee.

Algorithms of this type are highly sought after, and are a valuable thing.

He deserved to be punished for this, it was theft.

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Cash register maker used same password – 166816 – non-stop since 1990

David Dawson

Re: Hang your heads in shame!

I'm sure it was some dude called chad...

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Non-American nerds jam immigration pleading for right to live in the US

David Dawson

Re: @AC

Methinks Dan doth protest too much.

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CoreOS bags $12m, touts Tectonic – a DIY Google cloud for big biz

David Dawson

The benefits of containers are really twofold, one is efficiency for ops, the others is standardisation for development.

For ops, containers really can be seen as just the next step in virtualisation. They give lower isolation guarantees than VMs, which in turn give lower guarantees than bare metal. Containers give much of the same benefits as VMs too, potentially denser deployment of software.

This density can be seen in the lower overhead they have as compared to VMs

Memory overhead of just booting a VM on vsphere (ie, before the OS is loaded)

https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-55/topic/com.vmware.vsphere.resmgmt.doc/GUID-B42C72C1-F8D5-40DC-93D1-FB31849B1114.html

Comparison of VMs and containers (PDF)

http://domino.research.ibm.com/library/cyberdig.nsf/papers/0929052195DD819C85257D2300681E7B/$File/rc25482.pdf

Overall, containers have a lower penalty on CPU usage, and a much lower overhead on memory usage, as the guest OS and hypervisor penalties are removed. This comes at the cost of using linux as the host and overall lower isolation. It's a trade off. For the linux as host point, it has a larger surface area to attack as compared to VM hypervisors.

For development, the container acts as a standardised deployment artifact, that is much, much, much (really) smaller than a VM image. It'll effectively be the application binaries, with supporting scripts. The lower levels are stored as seperate portions and downloaded separately.

They are a good tool, and not a replacement for VMs. Instead, it let's use be a bit more nuanced in the way things are done. They certainly will replace VMs in many situations, but by no means all, and probably not the majority, in my opinion.

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Boris Johnson backs trade union campaign to ungag civil servants

David Dawson

Re: Ministers still so

This is correct. Ministers happen to be mostly picked from the commons, but this is not a necessity.

The office of MP and HM minister are separate.

0
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Apache finally signs off Hadoop database... after 7 years of development

David Dawson

Re: Seriously bad reporting...

I read that as

"HBase is a non-relational, distributed database for Hadoop"

"Hadoop is written on blueprint of Google’s MapReduce"

Which is correct, no?

1
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You'll NEVER guess who has bought I Taught Taylor Swift How To Give Head dot-com

David Dawson

well, yuck

0
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RIP SPDY, we hardly knew ye: Google to retire next-gen web protocol

David Dawson

Re: spdy://whatever

It's not a replacement for HTTP per se. It's a transport that sits underneath HTTP. So HTTP 1.1 traffic will still flow, but over a SPDY link rather than vanilla TCP.

In this way, it can understand the HTTP traffic flowing over it and enhance it. For example, getting the multi connnections over a single TCP socket, which HTTP totally messed up with the aborted pipelining feature (all browsers switch that off, because it's broken).

4
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Buggy? Angry? LET IT ALL OUT says Linus Torvalds

David Dawson

No, the one does not follow the other.

Hacking tools are built by clever devs, yes. They are sometimes picked up by script kiddies, sure. Where the vulnerability information they are based on comes from is an open question.

There are established market places for information like this, which wouldn't be the case if it all came from public disclosure reports. It seems likely that a goodly proportion of the data publicly disclosed is actually being rediscovered by legitimate researchers, and is in use already as an attack vector.

Publicly disclosing ASAP in those cases is essential.

Part of the problem is that it's very often unclear when those cases are, hence some in the industry leaning towards general disclosure (as Google and Linus promote), and others leaning towards selective disclosure.

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US kills EU watchdog's probe into EU cops sharing EU citizens' data

David Dawson

Re: No point in kicking a dead dog.

If we're to occupy the high moral ground in relation to terrorism we've first of all got to get there.

--

beautifully put.

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AWS CloudFront wobbles at worst possible time

David Dawson

Re: This confirms my theory

Last I heard they hadn't moved amazon.com onto AWS.

It was more of a re-use of skills, tech and systems to build a new product area rather than somewhere to put amazon.com onto

Might not be the case now

0
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Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned

David Dawson

Re: How long does Ecuador's London embassy lease have left?

This is a complete fallacy. Embassies are NOT part of their sponsoring country.

The treaty of Vienna is the root of most agreements regarding embassies. It talks about access to the embassy by the forces of the host being by agreement of the ambassador. Not territorial exchange, no claims.

This is international treaties, that our government has signed up to.

10
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Are MPs smarter than 5-year-olds? We'll soon find out at coding school – Berners-Lee

David Dawson

Re: Engineers in Parliament

I don't want politicians who can use html, I want politicians who ask awkward questions like "why are we locking all these people up for drug possession when all the evidence is that it doesn't work, and exactly why do we need a nuclear deterrent when if it ever gets used it will because the country has ceased to exist?"

----

You had me until there. Drugs policy isn't quite comparable to a nuclear deterrent. I'd generally agree with you on drugs policy, the evidence isn't there, more research required. We've got a penal system built around rehabilitation, not vengeance, so the policies that puts people into it should be in tune with that.

Nuclear deterrent isn't the same thing. It's stated aim was to prevent another world war, by making war between the great powers too terrible to contemplate. In that, it seems to have succeeded... There was never a war between the first and second worlds (to use the old terms), only small scale proxy conflicts that gave enough of a gap that the main blocks could back out without risking their own destruction.

So, 50 years worth of evidence says that a nuclear deterrent does what it says on the tin.

I'm not sure that scientists are really the right people, as a group, to be in charge of policy. Technocracy seems as poor a choice as anything else. One group, believing they know better. Politics is not science, no matter how much we want it to be. Not defending the current state of affairs, however politics is often making fixed decisions in the absence of good enough information. Science is not, it's the pursuit of that information.

I think that we should go back to the old greek system. Politics as a punishment. Lots are cast, and the losers are the ones that have to serve for a year, and they should be regularly punished for mistakes. Make the job horrible, so that no one wants it. Anyone who wants power is fundamentally untrustworthy.

4
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It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE

David Dawson
Unhappy

Plus net phone and broadband down here for us

In Stalybridge, Tameside.

They're blaming storm damage.

:-(

0
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Report: HP to SPLIT OFF PC, printer biz from enterprise wing

David Dawson

Re: they do PCs and services?

they still do a reasonably good line in awesome ideas. http://www8.hp.com/hpnext/posts/discover-day-two-future-now-machine-hp

Execution, still waiting :-(

If HP drop, there'll be very, very few companies still doing basic materials research beyond the 'make it smaller' that the fabs can do themselves.

2
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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

David Dawson

Never had a blackberry before, but I'm going to get one of these.

8
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Poverty? Pah. That doesn't REALLY exist any more

David Dawson

Re: Ironic.

I'm with Tim on this one, debasing a word to try to manipulate people doesn't help a cause.

Reduction inequality is a laudable goal in an of itself when you're attempting to gain a more equal society for the expected social good that brings; why not discuss that up front?

In 2009 (from memory, might have been '08), poverty in the UK dropped for the first time in a while. The reason? Not because incomes went up, in fact they went down. No, the financial crisis meant that the median income dropped, thus meaning that many people on 13kish a year went from being in poverty, to being out of poverty. No change in financial conditions, food actually became more expensive in the period, yet they were now part of the celebration that poverty was being reduced. I found this quite distasteful.

There is a stated goal of ending child poverty in the UK, according to the relative median income measure. The most straight forward way to do this is to take a significant proportion of those earning above that median and sack them. This will have the desired effect, however it will also tank the economy.

By using a relative, percentage based measure, you will find that it is statistically virtually impossible to eliminate child poverty in a functioning economy.

This is one cost of debasing words, you lose the ability to have rational discussions using them, because the concepts they used to describe are being rewritten by anyone who wants to, in any way they see fit.

12
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Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts

David Dawson

Re: Real coding!

New network protocols required to be adopted. Unless you tunnel it over http, it's not going to be easy these days :-(

1
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HP: We're still running the ARM race with Moonshot servers

David Dawson

Re: New unit of measure?

I think they're maybe missing a trick. The old "should you use many or much".

1 huge is many of not very much as all the processors are a few generations behind, but there's loads and loads of them in not very much space. For some types of app, this could be epic. We're building lots of microservice based apps, this fits perfectly. If you run on an app on a software VM (eg, the V8/ Node VM , Java JVM etc), whether you are on Intel or ARM makes no difference to the code itself, the VM handles all that.

Personally, I want to see what The Machine would be able to do, if it ever comes out, this feels like something of a halfway house to that piece of HP magic.

0
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Next blockbuster you watch could be rendered on Google: Star Trek fx biz Zync gobbled

David Dawson

Transcoding and rendering are unrelated.

This allows people using Maya, blender(?) etc to gain extra compute/ storage power to generate new video. Transcoding that into an mpeg suitable for iPad afterwards, for example, is what you'd go to AWS' elastic transcoder service for.

0
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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

David Dawson

Re: He needs the attention, but still...

Not quite.

The BBC were waiting for the police to arrive at his house, therefore they weren't just aware that there was an investigation in progress, but the date and time of the raid. That information was given to them, by the police, by their own admission.

The reason they gave was they the BBC said "we'll wait to publish if you tell us when the raid is", which they agreed to.

This is wrong, the BBC shouldn't be proposing deals like this, but the police should certainly not accept them.

What is now happening is that they are effectively investigating him completely in public, while he's not in the country. So, they haven't given him notification or questioned him yet, it might come to nothing.

To my mind, that seems somewhat prejudicial. By all means say "wait for the evidence", but this is trial by mob.

In these cases, there are broadly two totally conflicting and opposed points of view; one side says "we need to publicise the name so that others have the courage to come forward", like with Saville and the others over the past few months. On the other side, these allegations will never leave him now, he will forever be branded 'pervert', no matter the result of the investigation or any subsequent court case

A complex ethical question like this deserves a thoughtful answer, not the blunt destructive tool that is trial by media and collusion by the police with journalists.

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