* Posts by J.G.Harston

778 posts • joined 4 Mar 2009

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Deprivation Britain: 1930s all over again? Codswallop!

J.G.Harston
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Re: The reality

"Excluding the debts they have been refered to me for a typical single client presents with the following: Income: Job seekers allowance £72.40pw"

Surely as a typical single person on JSA they'd also get housing benefit and council tax benefit? A typical single-person on-the-dole income is around £130-£140 a week (it was when I was on the dole in the 1990s).

And I notice he doesn't appear to have any housing costs. How does he manage to wrangle that?

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J.G.Harston
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I agree with a lot of this. Even though my income over the last 15 years or so has rarely topped the £11,000 you quote. to be poor 1930s style I'd have to rip out my central heating, my double glazing, my insulated roof, my carpets, my fridge, my cooker, my bath, my indoor toilet, most of my furniture, most of my books, have another three people move in with me, have no free-at-provision healthcare, certainly not have any computer equipment. Because of the infrastructure built up over the last 60 years due to society pooling together I can afford to live frugrally in a level of comfort that that frugrality would not have given in the 1930s.

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This week it rained in San Francisco and the power immediately blew out. Your tech utopia

J.G.Harston
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Re: German food

20 Kelvin per hour? Is that super-slow cooking?

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J.G.Harston
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busses is the plural of buss. What's a buss?

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

J.G.Harston
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Ok, it's more than four hours since I saw the old layout, so I can't remember what the hell it looked like, so I can't make any comparisons, but let's go into tester mode. here are some positive critisisms:

* get rid of the huge popup menu. whenever I move towards my browser's menu bar and have to traverse your menu bar half the screen disappears. did nobody ever teach you about unneccessary movements? a line of exactly the same height as the menu bar popping up would be ok, but not that huge thing.

* on the front page get rid of that huge picture and headline for the lead story. that ends up being the *entire* *visible* *content*. there was nothing wrong with the top three/four(*) stories across the top inch of the content panel. scroll down until "unwashed BBC 3" is just off the bottom of the screen. that's what the home page layout should look like, with "internet of sheep" being three picture+headline within a box enclosing the three of them

* get rid of the "unwashed BBC3" sub-box two-column thingy. it's just washing two "boxes" of space. make it just another one-box headline

* a few horizontal lines to break the stuff up, just before the next section that starts with three pictures - in fact, those three pictures+headlines is the layout of what should be in the "internet of sheep" box

* a vertical line between the lefthand content panel and the righthand related topics/etc panel. As each panel is often a different length it looks odd having the content with a random blank space next to it. look at how the forum is laid out, the content had a box outline so there's a visual break between it and the empty space under the righthand panel

* the picture leading an article is really too huge something like lefthand 2/3 headline, righthand 2/3 picture quarter the size of the current picture

* dammit, get rid of the popup menu! yes mentioned a second time because it's pissed me off so much mousing over it to attempt to get to my tab bar to refer to other pages while typing this.

so: ok as a beta test, don't release it into the wild, fix it up before making it live.

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J.G.Harston
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Arrgggh!!!

Almost as bad as the Guardian's new website where half the content is dangling off the side of the screen and there's no horizontal scroll bars.

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Boffins weigh in to perfect kilogram quest with LEGO kit

J.G.Harston
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Great for schools

I remember doing school physics experiments to measure /g/ and /c/. We also worked out the Plank wavelength of a cat....

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Uber? Worth $40 BEEELLION? Hey, actually, hold on ...

J.G.Harston
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Re: problem...

"If you interfere with government revenue streams ( which taxy licensing is...)"

I used to be a local government licensing board member. Taxi licensing isn't a revenue stream, the fees barely covers the costs of the licensing system. Uber is nothing new, it's just a version of telephone booking. As long as the vehicles pass their MOT-plus and are licensed, and the drivers pass their CRB-plus and are licensed, I don't care how a taxi is booked. In my area local taxi companies have had online and SMS booking facilities for yonks.

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A nation of CODERS? Yes, says UK.gov, and have some cash to do it

J.G.Harston
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Re: Just maybe.... (Ageism)

"With software/technology generally the general process is that people move over into management as they get older."

That's typical of all industries. Move people out of something they enjoy, have the skills and aptitude for, and move them into something they have absolutely no ability in or wish to do.

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Oi, UK.gov. WHERE'S THE DETAIL on your Google Tax?

J.G.Harston
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A couple of decades ago I bought a book from a Japanese publisher, based in Japan and reporting its profits to the Japanese government. So, because I am a UK resident, the profit from that purchase should be reported to gov.uk?

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UK.gov mulls three-point turn on three-point turn thanks to satnav. Weeeeeeee. THUD

J.G.Harston
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Being serious...

what would actual be useful for drivers is mandatory instruction on motorway driving. Just passed your test? Right, let's tear up the M1 on your tod.

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The gender imbalance in IT is real, ongoing and ridiculous

J.G.Harston
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Anecdote

I'm male and 45 and have been coding since I was about 10 or 12. My school had a one-year Computer Studies course as an option in 1985ish, and I remember that there were equal numbers of girls and boys. This course covered computing, not office it skills, programming, database structures, basic underlying concepts.

Digging out an old backup of the VAX password file for my university course in 1987-90 I notice 22 females and 38 males.

I had a software testing job a couple of years ago, and my boss the senior tester of a team of four was female with two other female testers - but the entire programming team of about 20 was male - almost all of them younger than me.

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MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'

J.G.Harston
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Re: Yeah

Oi! Quakers took no part in slaughtering native American populations, that was the Puritans who left England because they were prevented from enforcing their bigoted beliefs on other people, so went off to the colonies where they had the "freedom" to impose their beliefs on other people, even going as far as *KILLING* Quakers who stood up against them. Do a websearch for "Mary Dyer".

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J.G.Harston
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Cameron: "Internet companies must report these (terrorist) communications"

So, where the f**** are the hundreds of thousands of job vacancies for the people to do all this monitoring? Yet again, Cameron promising the world, but actually talking complete shit.

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New job in 2015? The Reg guide to getting out and moving on

J.G.Harston
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If somebody spells "CV" with an apostrophe or with six letters, their application goes straight into the bin.

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You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES

J.G.Harston
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All your data belong us now

"No hosting contract to last more than two years"

I hope that hosting contract includes migrating the data to the next hosting system.

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George.Best walks into a sex.bar, spots a bearded dwarf sysadmin and thinks: Warcraft.cool

J.G.Harston
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Pint

Distracted,,,,

several thousand *.beer entries.

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We're not, er, 'cut-throat' capitalists – VC formerly known as ISIS

J.G.Harston
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Phrasing!

Preying?

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Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?

J.G.Harston
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Even more reason not to trust stuff to "the cloud" but keep it locally on a physical storage medium that you can physically hold in your hand.

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Google bags OBSCENELY LARGE Times Square ad space for New Year's

J.G.Harston
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Missing noun

For New Year's what?

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

J.G.Harston
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Re: Engineers in Parliament

I'm a "coder" to use TBL's phrase, and have stood for Parliament twice. Both times the electorate decided they didn't want my engineering background in Parliament.

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Sarong it's right: Coining it in Thailand without a visa

J.G.Harston
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Low rent, not cheap rent. "Cheap" describes something you buy. You don't buy rent, you buy accommodation, you pay rent.

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Microsoft exams? Tough, you say? Pffft. 5-YEAR-OLD KID passes MCP test

J.G.Harston
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So what...

I was able to type and could use a soldering iron when I was six (40+ years ago!), which is all that this is the modern equivalent of.

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UK PM Cameron says Internet must not 'be an ungoverned space'

J.G.Harston
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Most "bad stuff" is hosted overseas

So, if the government of Kablobistan doesn't track down somebody's server and unplug it, Cameron will invade Kablobistan and track down the server and unplug it?

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Why did men evolve map-reading skills? They were PAID BY BONK - study

J.G.Harston
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Happy

"mating is the payoff for travel"

Where's me passport?

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Remember that internet sales tax? Wasn't that a great idea? It's dead

J.G.Harston
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"lawmakers are also looking to push through a bill that would make permanent a tax ban on internet access"

Whatever happened to legislation cannot bind future legislation?

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MOULDY DICK: France aims to snatch EXPLODING WHALE crown from U.S.

J.G.Harston
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Re: I've seen this cartoon

And it was on C4 this evening! Coincidence?

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My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

J.G.Harston
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Re: Planning conundrum

But... selling a property with existing tenants makes it a more valuable proposition. The new buyer has an instant revenue stream and doesn't have to waste time and money getting tenants in.

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IT JOB OUTSOURCING: Will it ever END?

J.G.Harston
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Re: Perhaps sooner for IT.

In my last long-term full-time job I was putting 25% of my income into my pension, in the face of everybody else putting 6% in theirs. I could only presume they were only planning to live for one year when retired for every 16 years they'd worked.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Perhaps sooner for IT.

"It's going to be very difficult to earn enough in a 45 year career to pay for a pension"

Especially when people are only prepared to get off their arses and actually pay you to work for only 15 of those 45 years.

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CBS goes OTT, releases EVERY EPISODE of Star Trek EVER MADE

J.G.Harston
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5000 episodes of Star Trek?

Break out the sandwiches!

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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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Jony 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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