* Posts by Adam

24 posts • joined 19 Sep 2008

Yorkshire boozer establishes 'smoking research centre'

Adam
Happy

Title

So, pub finds a way around the smoking ban and business quadruples over the space of a few days.

It is now clearly obvious that the declining pub trade is definitely being caused by cheap supermarket prices and absolutely not by the smoking ban.

I wish these people all the best, I hope they give the council the shaft and pubs all over the country start following suit.

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Prism Firefox extension hits beta

Adam
Unhappy

Still no plugin support?

I've been playing with this for a while, but it doesn't use your existing firefox plugins. There is no point in running some of my favorite sites as web-apps if I can't use adblock to kill their ads.

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IT salaries down and out

Adam

Where are these jobs?

I wish my PHP job paid anywhere close to £36,000

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Asda clamps down on killer teaspoons

Adam
Unhappy

A dangerous question to ask...

I can't help wondering what someone capable of killing you with a teaspoon can do with the ID you are asking them to produce.

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Vodafone shows off HTC's second Android phone

Adam

I like the barcode reader...

Try going into any shop and start scanning barcodes with your phone and see how well that goes.

A friend of mine saw a funny product in a shop just a few weeks ago, took a picture and sent it to me. Immediately afterward she was forcibly removed from the store and had her phone confiscated until the image was removed.

I can't see "I'm doing an online price comparison with all the other shops on the street" going down any better than "I was sending a picture of this hilariously named product to my friend"3

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MPs battle to save great British pub

Adam
Unhappy

title

The pricing of alcohol is completely ridiculous. It went out this weekend and the prices went something like this:

Traditonal pub, playing decent music at reasonable volume:

Fosters: £2.85

Guinness: £3.20(!)

Weatherspoons pub, playing horrible dance music at maximum volume, also full of chavs:

2 pints of fosters and a coke for £4.70.

The places which cater to people who want to go out for a sociable drink are amazingly expensive, and the places for people who want to go out and get wasted and usually follow steyotypical 'antisocial behaviour' practically drink for free. Then the government complains that there is too much antisocial behaviour and introduces some new law or restriction that only restricts the sensible drinker further.

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Microsoft promises IE web-standards love

Adam
Thumb Down

title

If Microsoft REALLY cared about web developers then they would do something about all the people who are STILL using IE6 who make our lives a misery every. single. day!

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BT freezes wages for 100,000

Adam
Unhappy

title

"a pay cut in those circumstances is an insult to staff"

A pay-freeze is not a pay cut. You could argue that not getting a payrise effectively loses you money in relation to inflation but the retail price index, used by many companies to determine paryrise amount and the real rate of inflation is currently at 0.1% so no real loss there either.

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Developers more 'satisfied' with PHP than other codes

Adam

Not suprising really

They took a mainstream programming language used by many people and put it up against a selection of niche scripting languages most of which work best when used in conjunction with PHP.

There is no mention at all of PHPs primary competitors, ASP or ASP.net (which is completely differant to vb.net).

Also to the PHP haters, the language is fine and has been brought up to speed with many other programming languages over the recent years and can do anything any other language can (except namespaces which are coming in the next release - 5.3).

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Satellites crash over Siberia: Iridium bird destroyed

Adam
Alien

Bad driving

The only other physical object within 500 miles and they managed to hit it.

Must be a woman driver!

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Spotify: We kick the tyres

Adam
Heart

Pretty nifty but the interface needs work.

I have been using spotify for a while. It has a fantastic music database and is fast and reliable, but it simply lacks tools for music management that other media players have.

I would like to be able to pool my favorite albums and tracks into a generic music library, create 'views' into the music library so I can browse it however I feel and create dynamic playlists based on my own rules applied to that library. Your limited to dragging and dropping music into static playlists.

Right now, it's a good application for scouting out music - finding the bands/tracks that you heard on the radio or can't quite remember the name for. I then acquire the song in MP3 format and drop them into a proper media player.

If they introduce powerfull tools for music management and drop the price (£120 a year? yeah right!) I would pay for it, until then it will remain something I REALLY want to see do well but is stopping short.

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Linux to spend eternity in shadow of 'little blue E'

Adam

Moving from Win to Linux...

I often consider making the switch, and am a programmer who is fairly familiar with using the unix console. There are four main things I do on my home machine... Web browsing/playing games/watching movies/litening to music.

If I moved to linux, I would spend a lot of time getting everything setup/configured, and then a lot of time re-familiarising myself with a new suite of applications to use, and at the end of the day I won't be doing anything better just differantly.

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Experts trumpet '25 most dangerous' programming errors

Adam
Unhappy

@drunk.smile

You have obviously never written code in real world working conditions.

You have a project that has to go live on Friday, you have 4 days left to work on it and 5 days worth of bugs and amends on your todo list before it can go to the client. The deadline is non-negotiable, if you miss it then the company may be out of pocket thousands of pounds (could easily be over 100k), you will get a bad review, ruin your chances for a bonus and get bumped one position higher on the 'bad programmer/replaceable employee' list.

The managers responsible for the project aren't programmers and don't fully understand your security concerns, their attitude is "just get it done for the deadline". If the project appears to be finished it must be ready to go, your security concerns appear 'petty' and are not critical for release to them.

Do you:

A) Refuse to let it out of Alpha/Beta, pissing off both client and the company you work for.

B) Smooth over what issues you can and release the software as-is, keeping everyone happy. You can fix further issues as they crop up and shift the blame onto the company you work for.

Then what do you do a month later when the cycle repeats itself with your next project?

Tight deadlines and bad management are probably the number one cause of most of these issues. You often have to cut corners to get the code out on time, let alone even think about a security audit because the people managing the project do not understand the technical implications and requirements for the project and agree the budget/timescale without consulting anyone who does.

PS: If you even consider open sourcing a project the company is being paid to develop in-house, you will get laughed straight out of a job.

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UK.gov to push Obama for tougher rules online

Adam

Good idea but...

would be very difficult to implement.

I can see some sort of content certificate similar to SSL working, where you attach the certificate to a domain which applications can then request and filter.

It would only take one press release/dev-blog from google mentioning that sites which have a valid cert (and follow its rating) might get better organic ratings over those who don't to get almost every major website signing up.

Once the websites start signing up, client side apps will start to appear. Someone will write a firefox plugin, which may get written into the next release which will force IE to follow suit or be branded an 'unsafe for kids' browser. It will all just snowball from there.

The problem I can see is user generated content. I have a huge vocabularly of naughty words that I can type here that would probably not go down too well on a PG rated site. This could lead to 'bombing' sites you don't like to get them filtered by client apps or something.

Also having a freely available and fairly accurate content rating for sites is something that the gov just won't be able to keep its paws off of, and they will inevitably apply some bullshit regulations that fuck everything up in the long run.

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Microsoft preps IE 8 for the web-challenged

Adam
Jobs Halo

MS cleaning up their own mess?

What they REALLY need to do is find a way to make all the idiots still using IE6 upgrade their browser. People won't stop writing 'incompatible' HTML while it is required for IE6 which still has ~20% of the browser share.

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µTorrent for Mac is go

Adam
Linux

Who would have thought it...

I figured the people least likely to want Linux ISO's would be the Mac fans.

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MPs lost for Word over creaking Microsoft packages

Adam
Linux

Openoffice?

I hear openoffice can open docx files these days, I'm sure it's the first solution Microsoft brought to the table.

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US teen tops himself live online

Adam
Unhappy

It's the internet

I assume that gives you reasonable grounds to argue that you didn't think it was real.

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Google Analytics — Yes, it is a security risk

Adam
Stop

A delightfull mix of bullshit and backpeddling

Yes, in theory a remotely hosted javascript file can potentially be a security threat, in this specific case that threat is nonexistant.

Google, probably more than any other company in the world, has to be concerned with data security, and I doubt that hijacking urchin.js is as easy as modifying the code and uploading to an FTP server. I expect that any change to production code within google has to go through a rigourous QA procedure where and changes made have to be both justified and tested by people other than the initial programmer before getting anywhere near a live environment. Any changes made would also be logged against the programmer using whatever internal CVS system Google uses - so any attempt to hijack the code could be easily traced back to the original programmer.

Also, unlike most other remote scripts, there is AFAIK a contract between yourself and Google when you subscribe to the service so Google could be liable for any security breach through their software.

If you are going to go to this level of paranoia regarding a site, then the security risk doesn't even start at Analytics let alone end there. A maintenance engineer at the hosting provider with access to the physical machine, a support engineer at the hosting provider with administrative access to the box, your own programmers could writing a backdoor for themselves, anyone working for Obama who has access to the information - all of these are more likely than Google hijacking your Analytics.

There is a line where security and paranoia goes from reasonable precatuion to loopy loopy la la land - and this is well over the line, and still not news-worthy. If you can't trust any 3rd party products, then why are you relying on Verisign for your SSL certificate, Unix for your server, PHP for your programming language - they could all be compormised by a malicious programmer just as much as google to compromise your data security.

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Congratulations, Barack — Now fix your websites

Adam
Thumb Down

Wheres the security problem

So, the GIANT SECURITY RISK to the privacy of every american and/or internet user is that the admin area is on a URL commonly used for admin areas and that the site uses Google Analytics, which doesn't spider pages or give google full administrative access to the site, for usage statistics.

Come back when the username/password are revealed to be admin/admin and I might be a little more interested.

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Reg readers in Firefox 3 lovefest

Adam

ie6

I don't what brand of browser people use, the differance between IE7 and Firefox is negligable to Joe Sixpack who only wants to check their hotmail/ebay/facebook.

I do wish people would upgrade from IE6, its a buggy backwards browser and makes the jobs of web-developers like myself miserable as we have to hack away at perfectly valid HTML/CSS to get it to work in a depreciated browser that AFAIK hasn't had an update in naerly 5 years.

Sadly, if we're asked to accommodate the Mac users in the 1-2% range then it will be a long time before the IE6 mob still in the 20%+ range gets phased out.

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Security vendors cry foul over exploit tests

Adam
Stop

You expect people to do what?

Approx 30% of all net browsers make my live miserable on a daily basis by continuing to use IE6.

If people can't even keep the most basic and regularly attacked internet application up to date, what hope do we have that we can trust them to keep the rest of their machine 'secure' through updates?

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Google takes aim at drunken messaging

Adam

A great idea with room for expansion...

Google should install a breathalyser into their andriod phones next to prevent texting in much the same way.

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Noel Edmonds defies BBC's jackbooted enforcers

Adam
IT Angle

Does anyone ever get caught?

I don't have a TV license. Other than the monthly letters with massive headings telling me I have to pay a £1000 fine (followed in small print with the phrase 'if you are using a tv without a license'), the only encounter I had with an 'officer' was a brief conversation through the intercom where he didn't even know my name and when I told him to sod off he stated in no uncertain terms that he would keep coming back until I let him in.

That was 18 months ago, and the most annoying fact about it was that he interrupted me watching Dr. Who on the iplayer.

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