* Posts by SimonC

32 posts • joined 18 Jan 2010

EyePhones packing Iris-scanning authentication to go mainstream

SimonC

Obtain a selfie of the person, zoom in, hold your phone to their phone, don't even need a printer.

Even better, unlock their phone, take a photo of their lockscreen which has a selfie of them on it, then flip your phone around and show it right back.

Even better, unlock their phone and hold a mirror above it. Facial recognition.

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Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

SimonC

Pointless

If a website puts "Hey, we see you're using an adblocker - we will display tiny unobtrusive ads because they fund our site" 99% of the time I'll hit adblock > disable on this site.

Especially if I'm getting good content, and I believe that it's the sole funding for their venture.

Honestly, I think some of the burden lies in actually asking me nicely, which websites don't seem to do. Some of them disable the content or ramp it up to try and bypass my blocker, but if they had nice ads and asked politely, they'd get me to make that one click.

99% of the time we don't even realise a site has ads. I browsed around on a friend's pc at all my regular sites and was surprised to see how bad some of them were and that some regular ones had banners.

Until then, I'll install adblock plus adblock (or equiv).

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'Nigerian scammer' busted after he infected himself with malware

SimonC

> They were able to monitor the ringleader of this particular operation for “several months”.

> Bettke explained that “we saw who he contacted, his instant messages, the tools he was using, his victims, the amounts of money transferred – how the whole thing worked.”

How is that not illegal? Even if it were the police they'd not have permission to access someone's computer and get their personal information anymore than they can walk into someone's house without a warrant and rummage around just because the door was unlocked.

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HMRC's IR35 tweaks have 90% of UK's IT contractors up in arms

SimonC

Re: Allow permie IT staff some of the perks?

> maybe even it up a bit and allow permie IT staff some of the perks like being able to offset stuff against taxes like travel, cars, equipment, training, lunch. No, thought not.

You mean the free training, travel costs to go off-site, pension, sick pay, redundancy pay, maternity leave, subsidised canteen etc. your company provides aren't enough?

If you'd rather pay for those and offset them so you end up paying 80% of their cost, that's absolutely fine by me. Just be sure to do the training in your own time.

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SimonC

The difference with amazon, google, etc. is that me, a lowly contractor, paid more tax than some of them last year (or was it the year before). That year when they paid 0. Remember that?

The clusterf**k that are these messages shows that many people don't understand how contracting works and get jealous and think they're ripping the country off or something.

Most peeps have a nice job and a family and 2 kids and a permie job and they get a bit annoyed thinking about how joe contractor is ripping everyone off. I say, give him a bit of extra money, then fire him on the spot with no redundancy pension etc. and ask him to find another job whilst continuing to pay his mortgage and feeding his family. Things won't seem so unfair.

Then say just kidding we're taking the extra money back... oh but you don't get your job back, and your redundancy, and your sick pay, etc. We're keeping those. Enjoy your new life as a contractor earning the same as before but jobless and peniless.

Cos that's what they're trying to do with this legislation.

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Fun fact of the day: Network routers are illegal in Japan

SimonC

Japan is wonderful for this. So many things there are technically illegal yet done by the entire population. If they ever want to arrest and detain someone, which they can do for up to around 25 days, without access to a lawyer (or food and water, according to some amnesty international reports, explaining their 99% conviction rate and history of forced confession), they can just decide to invoke a law like this.

Technically it's illegal to cycle on the pavement there, yet everybody does.

Just wait until some activist says something inappropriate. And you thought CCTV here in blighty was bad.

Glory to Arstotzka.

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Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

SimonC
Paris Hilton

A small £5 camera pointing at the driver that records the last 10 minutes in rotation and saves it upon a crash would probably save Tesla -millions- of pounds in lost consumer confidence and investigations.

Paris, cos she knows about filming herself.

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Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

SimonC

Re: What is the correct level of tax and NI

"ultimately get the same access to medicare and a pension at the end of the day."

We don't get paid for sick days, when we take a day off to go to the doctor, if we break a leg or get the flu or long term illness we don't get paid, if we're made redundant we don't get paid, if we're fired or let go for any reason whatsoever at the complete whim of the hiring manager, we don't get paid or any notice, if we want a holiday we don't get paid, if we're having a child we don't get maternity pay, if we screw up we're liable and have to pay a lot of money for insurance policies to mitigate this, if we get called for jury duty we don't get paid, if work has a powercut or they close the building for whatever reason and people are sent home we don't get paid, we don't get matched pension contributions or work bonuses. If a contract ends we can be out of work for months during which time we don't get paid.

We shoulder a huge amount of risk. Ask some bitter person like yourself who has a family of 2 kids if they'd risk losing their job at a moments notice or being unable to feed their family if they get sick while burning through savings and suddenly they'll have very little to say about how 'fair' it all is.

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Google slammed over its 'free' school service

SimonC

Obfuscating their terms of service to profit from you? Someone better update wikipedia's Don't be evil page ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_be_evil

Buchheit, the creator of Gmail, said he "wanted something that, once you put it in there, would be hard to take out", adding that the slogan was "also a bit of a jab at a lot of the other companies, especially our competitors, who at the time, in our opinion, were kind of exploiting the users to some extent."

Exploiting users. Huh. Fancy that.

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AMD promises code fix for power-hungry Radeon RX 480 GPU

SimonC

I'll stick with my voodoo 3

I just wish it did 32bit

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In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning

SimonC

I think it's a great idea. In general we should remove unhealthy food from circulation as much as possible because we're a nation of fatties. I'm educated, I know how to eat sensibly, about intake/bmi/TDEE etc. but when I walk into tesco and see a shelf of family sized discounted crunchy M&Ms by the door you can bet your ass it's a struggle not to buy them and scoff the lot. Many poor people don't have an understanding of calorie intake and proper nutrition so they have it even worse.

Like it or not we're designed to crave the bad stuff and it really shouldn't exist in such abundance at such low prices. Liquid sugar is unnatural as it exploits a mechanism to seek out calorific foods and overloads it. It shouldn't be sold at all.

Take a page from Asian countries that have crazy low obesity rates. They don't promote confectionary and sweet stuff. If you grow up eating/drinking healthy you will not have a taste for the sugary junk when you're older. So we should force it out until as a nation we get accustomed to eating properly.

tldr; no pudding until you've eaten your broccoli

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Microsoft splashes Virtual Reality-slinging 'Scorpio' Xbox

SimonC
Meh

Great in theory but it's either going to be upscaled jank with '4k' meaning games with the graphics fidelity of wolf3d running in 4k or instead it will cost £1000+ and no-one will buy it.

When it comes to VR you should really buy a PC, in the whole console/pc debate the argument has always been I don't want to spend a ton of money on a massive beast of a PC to play games. Well if you want VR, you're going to have to.

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Cork data centre will offer super-speedy US to Europe data times

SimonC

Interested to know how much latency will be improved by, might make gaming with east coast americans more viable.

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The case for ethical ad-blocking

SimonC

Re: When is ad-blocking ethical?

Never say never. I'll turn it off for sites that I deem worthy of trading, usually indie sites that ask politely such as comic artists and people that have written useful tools to download that have a small, useful little banner.

It's when you can tell before you press 'unblock' that 900 swfs are gonna load and animated gifs are gonna strobe up and down the page that I close the site and never return.

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Let’s re-invent small phones! Small screens! And rubber buttons!

SimonC

Excellent writing, had many a chuckle in the office reading this!

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Whatever happened to ... Nest?

SimonC
Thumb Down

Killed off

Like everything google buys, it is abandoned and left to die, or shut-down prematurely. As soon as I saw the acquisition I steered well clear of it. My home automation is much more manually set up but at least I get full control over everything and can update as I see fit.

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Bill Gates denies iPhone crack demand would set precedent

SimonC

Flawed

His ribbon analogy is flawed...

Imagine the banks tied a ribbon around *every* disk drive, and the FBI want them to hand over a pair of scissors that will cut *every* ribbon. They promise only to use it on this one specific ribbon though... Honest guv...

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Girls! Girls! Girls! Intel brags about diversity push, Silicon Valley tells itself it's doing great

SimonC

Boys! Boys! Boys! Intel brags about pushing men out

On Wednesday, the chip giant announced it had surpassed its goal of 40 per cent of new hires not being male, rejecting double the number of qualified men in their previous year.

Seriously though, enforced gender quotas are demeaning, undermine people who are qualified, produce people that cannot be respected or trusted, and so much more.

The fact that professional victim and misandrist Anita Sarkeesian is connected to their diversity push should be all the alarm bells you need. If intel wants to get more women in tech it needs to encourage more qualified women to apply and study tech, but it MUST STILL HOLD THEM TO THE SAME STANDARD AS MEN.

Otherwise it's this great thing we call sexism, where we hire people based on the size of their chest and what goods they have between their legs.

Which oddly, women don't tend to like very much.

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How a power blip briefly broke GitHub's boxes and tripped it offline

SimonC

Re: A bumpy landing

Highly debatable when applied to IT... when you get sued for failing to meet SLAs!

An example being when I worked with AML, if the verification API went down, loads of companies using it would not be permitted to let people sign up to their sites to spend money. If they just saw a £200,000 TV commercial telling them to play slut-roulette and jumped on their tablets to sign up and couldn't, they're probably going to forget and lose enthusiasm to do it later, and the client is going to be furious and demanding £££ compensation.

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How to save Wikipedia: Start paying editors ... or write for machines

SimonC

Horrifically immoral since most of wikipedia is 'adapted' (i.e. pinched) from other people's sites/work and reworded, but turning it into a subscription model would easily solve their problems.

What person wouldn't pay a few quid for access to wikipedia? Assuming it's non-profit and no fat cats are scooping off half the money for themselves a la the Susan G. Komen Foundation (pink ribbon) that only donates 10% or so of its donations.

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Yahoo! Mail! is! still! a! thing!, tries! blocking! Adblock! users!

SimonC

Yahoo mail is the worst

I just wish their search functionality worked. You can literally open an e-mail, and click find all e-mails from this sender, and you'll get one or two results when there should be 20+

The search is just totally dire.

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One-armed bandit steals four hours of engineer's busy day

SimonC

Re: It always goes wrong at the same point...

I've seen this before, people adamant they are pressing the right mouse button, instead they are just pressing the left mouse button with their middle finger.

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Capita hoovers up 1 in every 5 pounds of outsourced UK.gov IT spending

SimonC

No surprise

The government is screwing over regular contractors that don't work for these corporate behemoths with a huge increase in dividend tax, and massive cuts in travel & subsidence.

It's no surprise that this would help these giants out, as regular contractors are their greatest threat.

Thanks government, thanks a lot.

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Neat but narky at times: Pebble Time colour e-paper watch

SimonC

Watch gets a lot of hate, but the pebble is amazing. I can't wait until I get my pebble time steel.

I enjoy receiving notifications on my watch, instead of having to pull my phone out and start mashing buttons to see them. Quick flick of the wrist and I can see if it's something I need to look at in more detail like a text or if it's just a generic facebook thing. Incredibly useful at work where you're frowned upon for being on your phone all the time.

Mostly though I use it for controlling my music. Walking along, cycling, or even sitting at my desk at work, I can skip tracks and adjust volume etc via 1 press of my watch (when the app is open). So amazingly convenient.

As for people complaining about the price, saying it's too expensive, there is no cheaper version, and it's not bad really. Your average fashion piece will set you back 50-100 quid anyway without all the features.

And if the watch doesn't do something you want, stop complaining. Do you go onto amazon and review their cordless drills by saying 'this drill is way too expensive I don't even need a cordless drill, my corded drill can do everything I need, so this is overpriced and a joke'?

So why come on here and do it with the watch! If you don't give a crap about facebook and sms and email notifications, the product ain't for you so why criticize it. Fact of the matter is most people are super-connected to the internet and each other, we spend all day instant messaging, texting, facebooking, e-mailing etc. and it's become an intrinsic part of our lives. The watch enhances this connectivity and for that we praise it and get a lot of use out of it.

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What the 4K: High-def DisplayPort vid meets reversible USB Type C

SimonC

Re: Good cables are better

Most corporate environments forbid external drives. If someone wants your data, the chances are that data is in a hard drive in your main computer. If I were to steal data from someone I'd pop a usb drive in and copy their my docs folder onto it and bugger off. Imagine if I could do that silently though, by slipping a device in and having it automatically do that while the computer is locked...

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Google brings out new programming language

SimonC
Flame

Silly party trick

Not sure where you got that list from, but if you learn javascript properly without assuming all languages with similar syntax work identically, it makes perfect sense.

'' == '0' // string comparison, obviously false

0 == '' // == ignores type and javascript attempts to convert them into the same type to do the comparison, hence true. === should be used and will return false as they are not the same type.

0 == '0' // again, conversion occurs.

The rest of the examples behave consistently with the rules of == and ===.

Javascript is a brilliant language, unfortunately most people don't even know about === which is a fundamental part of the language.

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Blizzard exposes real names on WoW forums

This post has been deleted by a moderator

IT recruiters warn over migration caps

SimonC
FAIL

Funny, it's the opposite of the news

I understand it was recently published that the hardest hit job sector for graduates was the IT sector, and that IT graduates were struggling the most to get IT jobs. I returned to the UK right in the middle of the recession and spent months trying to find any IT job that would take me, and it took over 6 months to find one.

I think the recruiters are utterly, utterly wrong.

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Hackers release jailbreak for iPad and newer iPhones

SimonC
Grenade

Typical

Typical Steve Jobs fanboy, there is no trojan, it's completely legitimate and works fantastically.

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Normal Human Being™ reviews the iPad

SimonC
Happy

Heheheeeeeee

I laugh at the fanboys trying desperately to discredit this article / LW.

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H.264 video codec stays royalty-free for HTML5 testers

SimonC
Grenade

Haha hippies, where's your OSS now?

I love it! Get a job you freetards! I hope HTML 5.0 video has license fees so free browsers go bankrupt. Too long has open source put programmers like me out of jobs!

If you want better quality video, you should damn well pay the people that worked hard and spent time and money developing it!

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Next-gen iPhone rumored for April

SimonC
Unhappy

Sadly

Sadly it doesn't work like that. If your GUI runs on one thread, and you have two explorer windows open, they are both sharing the one thread. If one waits until the CD-drive spins up so it can access it, the other one is frozen and cannot do anything.

It's the reason that Chrome pioneered having each tab in the browser run as a separate process, so one tab loading something like a flash movie would not lock up the others.

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