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* Posts by J.G.Harston

747 posts • joined 4 Mar 2009

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The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?

J.G.Harston
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This is a bit like saying that being able to drive is a valuable employment skill, so we must start compulsary automotive engineering classes in schools.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Compulsion vs aptitude

"In order to teach coding in schools TPTB need

...

2. Recruit potential teachers with an aptitude for coding (and a salary structure that would make teaching as opposed to industry worth their while).

3. Train those potential teachers to teach the subject and to be able to help their pupils a good deal better than many of my teachers helped me."

And that's where it all falls to pieces. I'm a software engineer, and this summer I decided to apply for Computer Science teacher training. All three of my applications have been turned down, but vacancies are still listed in Clearing.

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

J.G.Harston
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Re: Barking @Yet Another Anonymous Coward

The PARTY decides the second preference, not the voter? It's difficult to think of a less democratic preferential voting system. If I want to vote 1:Green, 2:Purple, 3:Yellow, I damn well ought to be able to, and not have 2:Purple crossed out and replaced with 2:Red.

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Vanmoof Electrified Bike: Crouching cyclist, hidden power

J.G.Harston
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Splutter!

That's *100* times what my bike cost me!

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Jonny Ive: Flattered by rivals' designs? Nah, its 'theft'

J.G.Harston
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There's a point why users interfaces converge

Hey! They control their cars with a steering wheel just like ours! I insist they invent some different sort of control device so their users have to learn a different usage paradigm!

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Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease

J.G.Harston
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"Facebook is the domain where most URLs from search results were binned"

So, just go to Facebook and use their site-specific search.

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Analytics pusher Interana: Why tweak your seeks when you can scan your DRAM?

J.G.Harston
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Brings back memories

I remember writing a file system optimiser years'n'years ago that shuffled files around on a disk so files in a directory were in the disk sectors surrounding the directory they were in to minimise seek from directory entry to file contents. It was noticable what a difference it made. Instead of brrr brrr brrr brrr chug brrrrrrrrrr chug chug brrrrrrrrr chug chug it was br chug br chug chug b' chug chug.

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Re-light my diode: Trio of boffins scoop physics Nobel for BLUE LEDs

J.G.Harston
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Boffin

Green and red monotony? But I had yellow LEDs as well, I made model traffic lights with them. ;)

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Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

J.G.Harston
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Re: Tim's hopes for solar and wind are doomed

I thought it was 72 white raisins.

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J.G.Harston
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"It's a mistake to suppose that the public wants the environment protected or their lives saved and that they will be grateful to any idealist who will fight for such ends. What they want is their own individual comfort. Once it was well known that cigarettes increased the incidence of lung cancer, the obvious remedy was to stop smoking, but the desired remedy was cigarettes that did not encourage cancer. When it became obvious that the internal-combustion engine was polluting the atmosphere dangerously, the obvious remedy was to abandon such engines, but the desired remedy was to develop non-polluting engines".

True 40 years ago, true now.

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Labour outsources digital policy, Tories turn up to finish it

J.G.Harston
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"The policy wonks want a special visa introduced – a “Programmers Passport” – so bosses could hire imported labour much more easily"

THERE ARE UNEMPLOYED NATIVE-BORN UK PROGRAMMERS ALREADY HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Phones 4u demise: 1,700 employees laid off with redundo package

J.G.Harston
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Re: Headlines

Agreed. My only question is: how can *I* get some of this easy money?

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone movie: report

J.G.Harston
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Tommy was in Roseanne?!!????!

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Open source and the NHS: Two huge disorganised entities without central control

J.G.Harston
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Re: I think I missed a point...

NHS number is issued at birth. NI number is issued at age 16. How would under-16s use their NI number to access medical services?

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Blighty's mighty tech skills shortage drives best job growth in years

J.G.Harston
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What interview technique? The recruiter sees on your CV that you have 12 years experience with NumberWang 4.2 but they're advertising so somebody with experience of NumberWang 4.3, so you don't even get to shortlisting stage, let along interview stage.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: I'd like a new job

However, at some point the choice is between taking the job at a shitty wage or starving.

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J.G.Harston
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And will you ever be even /offered/ a job programming in PHP? No, because those jobs are only open to somebody with 5 years' experience who is already working in a job programming in PHP. *THAT'*S why there's a "skills shortage". Employers point blank utterly REFUSE to even countenance taking somebody on who needs half a hour to get familiar with the new working environment and their new colleagues' and company's coding style and practices.

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J.G.Harston
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There's no shortage of IT skills. There's a shortage of recruitment managers who realise that "programming" is not the equivalent of "driving a ford cortina with a 6-gear manual transmission and automatic windscreen wipers", but is the equivalent of "driving".

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BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

J.G.Harston
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Re: The kid I saw on the BBC News this morning...

"but HTML counts as getting a computer to do stuff"

By that argument, marking up a document in MSWord is coding.

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J.G.Harston
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"2014 was the centenary of WWI"

From where I'm sitting, 2014 still *is* the centenary of WWI.

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Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

J.G.Harston
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"Does London not have a property tax?"

Effectively: no. The only property tax in the UK is Council Tax, which is banded up to £320,000 and EVERYTHING above £320,000 pays the same, which in many London boroughs tends to be in the region of £1500 a year (eg https://www.westminster.gov.uk/council-tax-bands-and-rates) Peanuts.

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Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM

J.G.Harston
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Fingers crossed that somebody doesn't unplug the holographic projectors to plug the vacuum cleaner in.

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EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'

J.G.Harston
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Re: Forgotten?

If you broke a window 40 years ago, or went bankrupt 20 years ago, then it's NOT going to be "the first thing Google lists", unless you've been hiding under a rock for all of the intervening time.

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New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

J.G.Harston
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"The council agreed to take me off permanently, but did not do the same for other people living in my house."

What part of "individual registration" do you not understand? You can only change **YOUR** electoral registration details, you now **CANNOT** change your household's details on their behalf.

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J.G.Harston
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"Have you ended up on the open register and been bombarded with spam? Get in touch in confidence and let us know"

I'm on the open register. I have never been bombarded with junk mail because of it. (I presume "junk mail" is what you actually mean as the electoral register does not hold email addresses, just building addresses.)

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J.G.Harston
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"Under the new system ... their choice is remembered, which means that if they accidentally ticked the box and put themselves on the open register, they will be spammed indefinitely until they work out the correct bureaucratic procedure to remove themselves from it once and for all."

Or until next year at the annual renewal and they have the option to tick/untick the box again.

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J.G.Harston
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"Currently, voters are offered the choice to tick a box and put themselves on the open register each time they fill in an electoral registration form"

Not just voters, but non-voters as well. It's a register of *electors*(1), not a register of voters. (You can examine the list of people who have bothered to get off their arse and actually voted in the six months following an election.) There are *NO* changes to *voting* rules.

(1)and potential electors who will become electors in the term of the register.

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Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors

J.G.Harston
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The passwords that really annoy me are on recruitment websites that insist on mindlessly secure password JUST TO APPLY FOR A F****G JOB!!!! The first time I go to the website I use my usual throw-away password, which is rejected, and then have to go through a sequence of trying to get it to accept a password. Some weeks later I follow up another vacancy to the same website and then have to try and remember: was this with a capital letter? a terminal number? a capital letter and two terminal numbers? some crazy punctuation as well? f*** it, if you're going to these lengths to stop people applying for your jobs, you've succeeded.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: @J.G.Harston

My Yorkshire Bank account has an 18-character case insensitive, no forced gobbledegook password, and I can always remember all 18 characters when it asks for a small random subset of them, because I can spell.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Resets?

For ages I was getting thrown off my online debit card payment system for no stated reason, until I realised that it imposed a 12-character limit to the password and never told me that "fredandjimsmith" was not an acceptable password BECAUSE IT WAS TOO STRONG.

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J.G.Harston
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Users are failing to meet imposed complexity requirements because those complexity requirements are wrong. I remember my password as (eg) "fred and jim smith". Not capital-eff are three dee ampersand jay exclamation mark em five em one tee aitch but fred smith, and the system should b*****y well accept "fred and jim smith".

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Uber alles.. NOT: Berlin bans taxi ride app over 'safety' fears

J.G.Harston
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Re: Rent Seekers

As a former taxi license board member, I can tell you what we repeatedly told the taxi trade, the regulation system is NOT there to preserve the taxi business, it is there to protect the travelling public, and if that means destroying somebody's business in order to preserve public safety, so be it.

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J.G.Harston
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"Authorities are finding that existing taxi regulations don't allow them to manage the car-ride booking app"

Meanwhile in civilisation (ie, outside London) where we have our own taxi licensing laws, electronic pre-booking has been able to fit into the taxi licensing regime for years'n'years. It's just a logical extension of telephone booking, and almost all the taxi companies in my town have electronic booking facilities.

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What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this

J.G.Harston
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It loooks like their "life" rules are:

If I am surrounded, stay where I am

else if I'm not being illuminated, make a small random movement

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A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...

J.G.Harston
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A *recent* degree, *and* three years' commercial experience in the last two years.

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Gov.uk's broadband boast: Superfast fibre piped to 1 million Brits

J.G.Harston
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"Culture Secretary Sajid Javid – an apparent Trekkie who has said he'd had almost no exposure to the arts before his appointment ...."

So, he's never watched TV, never listened to the radio, never opened a book, never read a newspaper, never seen a film, never looked in a shop window.. .. .. .. .. Such inability to perceive the world around him, was he born without a brain?

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Is the tech jobs market really on the up-and-up? Tell us about it

J.G.Harston
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Hold on, can you make up your mind who this survey is aimed at? Employees or recruiters? You start by saying "are you thinking of changing your job", then segue into "are you having problems filling your vacancies". You're getting as bad as the Gruniad with this sort of bait'n'switch fraud.

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Multiple user accounts coming to Android phones 'n' slabs

J.G.Harston
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FAIL

Learn how to spell "selves".

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

J.G.Harston
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Re: No real skill here..

To be fair, ICT != Software Engineering in the same way that Driving != Motor Mechanics

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Scottish independence debate: STV player flops under weight of viewers

J.G.Harston
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Given the content, this is exactly what the Parliamentary Channel is for, somebody should have over-rulled STV stopping them from broadcasting it at the same time.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

J.G.Harston
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The big barrier to getting anywhere in space is the current travel technology that uses constant velocity, so takes literally months or years. This is the first step to the required technology of constant acceleration. At 1G you can get from Earth to Mars in six days. Yes, six DAYs. LESS THAN A WEEK.

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Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs

J.G.Harston
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Re: I call semi-bollocks

"I am talking about the business environment. That is completely geared up for doing business -- not for security."

We can't be bothered making sets of keys for the storeroom, so we're just taken the door off.

That sort of business deserves to go bust very quickly.

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J.G.Harston
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Errmm.. old news?

There was stuff about this *years* ago. I saw a demo of an "infected" USB mouse infecting a PC it was plugged into.

Plus.... you have to be a brain-damaged super-moron running their PC as an Admin user for it to do anything at all anyway - and if you're doing that you deserve to have you hard drives disappear into a pile of randomised bits anyway. "Starts a cmd session then types in a string to install malware" - what, than magically reads the user's mind and types in the Admin password to actually do the install?

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ICANN can't hand over Iran's internet, bomb victims told

J.G.Harston
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Coming up next, the international dialling code +98 is taken away from Iran, as well as the right for people in Iran wanting to get post from other countries to have letters with an address ending in "IRAN" to be sent to Iran, followed by the removal of the right of Iran to call itself Iran.

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Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

J.G.Harston
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I already have a display on the wall that tells me how much electricity I'm using. It's called an electricity meter.

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British Lords: Euro 'right to be forgotten' ruling 'unreasonable and unworkable'

J.G.Harston
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Lamp wicks! Buy my lamp wicks!

Sigh. The whole point of computerisation is to remove processing tasks from humans and mechanise them. The government seems hell-bent on de-mechanising things as much as possible.

Maybe this is the government's secret plan to increase employment, de-mechanise as much of the web as possible and force companies to employ humans to do it. Right, where's the job adverts at?

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ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION

J.G.Harston
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Re: Headline wrong?

"what the hell is a pension fund doing putting money into a dodgy high-risk investment like this anyway"

Err... mining? That's one of the stolidest of solid investments.

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J.G.Harston
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"evinced no knowledge of the financial repercussions of his act"

So, as long as I don't know what the results of my actions may be, I can go ahead with them scott free? Further justification for politicians to continue screwing the rest of us.

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UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

J.G.Harston
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Re: ODF is not open source

"ODF is an open standard, not open source. Any word processor / spreadsheet / presentation can implement it"

double plus one there. With a few keypresses I can generate ODF from a document created with Acornsoft View on my BBC.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Short-term vs. Long term

"Remember that UK Governments last no more than 5 years"

That's news to us that lived through the 18-year Conservative government in 1979-1997.

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