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* Posts by Steve Button

189 posts • joined 21 Jun 2007

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Vanmoof Electrified Bike: Crouching cyclist, hidden power

Steve Button

Re: Sadly lacking two fairly essential features

@Steve Davies 3, you seem to have wandered away from The Daily Mail (or Cambridge News?) comments section, and stumbled onto The Register. Away with yer.

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Steve Button

Re: HTFU ^ -1

I'd suggest switching the tyres on your MTB for road tyres, if you can find some that will fit. That will make the most difference IMHO, for very little cost.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s

This post has been deleted by a moderator

You want a medal for writing a script? Sure: here it is!

Steve Button

Re: anyone who writes Perl ...

Absolutely. I've heard this so many times about Perl, and it drives me mad. Yes, you CAN write obfuscated Perl but it doesn't mean you should. You can also write beautiful Perl. I wish the obfuscated perl competition had never happened, I think it's pretty much killed off a good language.

Having said that, I'm starting to think Ruby or Python are tidier by default.

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VIDEO SELFIE DRONE: 'AirDog' UAV follows you everywhere you go

Steve Button

"cannot see or avoid any obstacles in its flight path".

Bit shit then really.

Nice idea, but until they sort that one out I certainly won't be buying one.

I won't anyway, as I don't have a spare £1,500 to spaff. But if I did, it would be make some great footage following me down the slopes. Could be handy for insurance purposes at well... this is exactly how I broke my leg. ;-)

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

Steve Button

Re: Good article

I always thought Daniel Craig. I'm sure if I ever bump into the real Dabbsy, one of us will be disappointed. Well, at least one of us.

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Good god, where will the new storage experts come from?

Steve Button

You sound like a Lord of the Manor from the 1920s

"Yes, yes. We MUST own the road from the Manor into the village. "

It simply doesn't make sense to OWN the infrastructure, unless you are a truly massive organisation. Like Google or Amazon or Microsoft.

Your comparison with property ownership don't stack up. A House will probably be worth 4 times what was paid for it initially, by the time the mortgage has been paid. How much are your servers worth from 25 years ago, or even 5 years ago? A car would be a better comparison. Even better, the road infrastructure!

You also seem to think that we'll de-skill by moving to the cloud, but it's definitely the other way round. We'll need heavy automation and scripting, for provisioning and deployments. Yes, we'll be managing MANY more hosts per sysadmin... but also doing lots more stuff, so we'll need more people not fewer.

Hybrid cloud does make sense though, or at the very least being able to switch between providers if you don't want to host your own.

Oh, and if you can't afford the cloud bills you are screwed anyway. You would not be able to afford the electricity or the people to run the service, and the cost of the actual hardware is just a tiny part of the cost of running a whole service.

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Automating repetitive tasks: If it moves, script it

Steve Button

Re: Automate...

"...Yourself out of a job"

Wrong wrong wrong. With that attitude you are destined to become less and less valuable and skilled as time goes on. You can stick with your manual boring repetitive processes ... but eventually you'll be replaced by a script.

Surely you want to be the one writing that script? It makes your job more interesting and productive and allows you to get more stuff done.

That's the way the wind is blowing, and if you can't smell that then you are already dead (I can't mix in any more metaphors).

If you aren't already doing DevOps, you are already dead (or mortally wounded) and you just don't know it yet. This is the same principal.

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100% driverless Wonka-wagon toy cars? Oh Google, you're having a laugh

Steve Button

Re: Nice idea

"In theory railways ought to an ideal candidate for automation..." but the unions have decided that's not such a good idea.

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Steve Button

compelling arguments.

I think the thing you are missing here is the number of people killed on our roads each year, but more importantly the cost of insurance. Many young people simply can't afford to run a car, and so taking one of these when needed would be pretty compelling.

I think it'll happen sooner than YOU think, but perhaps not as soon as Google would like.

And yes, London traffic is going to be a pretty tough nut to crack, but there's a hell of a lot more of the country where the roads are less congested. Perhaps not like being a zombie driving around in California.

I predict that in ten years from today these things will be pretty common* across the UK. In twenty years there will be more autonomous vehicles than ones with drivers. Anyone want to bet a pint against that? (if you can afford a pint in 2024)

* about as common as seeing, say, a Volvo on the roads today. They aren't anywhere near the majority, but still nothing out of the ordinary.

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Yee-haw! Rackspace shares soar on – gasp – healthy results

Steve Button

soaring?

hardly soaring. a couple of months ago up to 38 and now down to 27 bucks. Yesterday was a tiny blip, unless you are a day trader.

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Powershell terminal sucks. Is there a better choice?

Steve Button

Re: Cygwin

> Cygwin?

Did you actually read any of the original question at all? It's not very long, go back and read it and when you're done come back, I'll still be here.

Back so soon? OK, Cygwin is great for doing bashy things in Windows and I use it a lot. But if I want to shut down a bunch of VM's or take snapshots or interact with Active Directory I wouldn't dream of doing it in bash. I might do it in Perl if I fancied a challenge.

All of these problems with the PowerShell DOS box I've experienced myself, and a decent GUI would go a long way. Now, if you could get the Powershell DOS box to behave like the Cygwin DOS box (that's all it is really?) then that would be useful.

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Steve Button

Re: jpsoft

> why not just use bash ?

How about because you can't pass objects in bash, just a bunch of text. You can do a lot more in Powershell, but bash still has it's place too.

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Cost-cutting Barclays bank swings axe on 5,600 IT and ops bods

Steve Button

This Automation thing?

Are they saying they have already DONE the automation, and they are now able to cope with fewer staff because of the great work they have already done? A bit mercenary perhaps, but sounds like good business.

On the other hand, are they going to be tackling all this automation with the staff they have left after the cuts have been made?

Be interesting to see how that one works out.

I predict a spread eagle.

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London Tube has new stop at Azure Station

Steve Button

Incredible timing from Microsoft PR.

With the tube strike and all.

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Exoplanets' chemicals may give false-positives for life, boffins say

Steve Button

Don't underestimate the power of human curiosity.

Once we do discover an exoplanet rich in oxygen and methane, I feel pretty sure it will pique the curiosity of some organization or country enough that they will devote the budget to make a massive array of space telescopes. Once we focus our attention on that area, we might also be able to spot other signs of life, by developing new techniques.

Call me a techno optimist, but it seems inevitable to me.

And it will change many things on this planet, when we do make that discovery.

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A real pot-boiler kicks off Reg man's quid-a-day nosh challenge

Steve Button

What's the point?

Lester,

I'm sure you'll say it's about raising awareness, and all that. Which is a good thing. Perhaps. As long as it changes someone's behaviour somewhere, and they aren't just more aware and then do nothing about it.

But for just one week, you can probably live off your own stored body fat (none meant, and I'm sure none taken) - as long as you have water to drink. So, you can happily live off nothing per day and just drink from your spring. But you'll probably have a stinker of a caffeine headache.

What about homeless people who probably don't have access to free drinking water (as they don't have a spring on their land)? And that's just in a rich Western European country.

What about people who don't even have any access to clean drinking water?

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DeSENSORtised: Why the 'Internet of Things' will FAIL without IPv6

Steve Button

No shit, Sherlock.

I think most Reg readers have figured this one out already.

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Sony Xperia Z2: 4K vid, great audio, waterproof ... Oh, and you can make a phone call

Steve Button

What about those headphones?

I think this is a first for a mainstream moby, to have noise cancelling headphones built in. It would have been nice to have a little more detail on how well they actually perform as I'd have thought this would be a major selling point.

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Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED

Steve Button

Canadian Mounted Police - Ahhhh Due South.

Used to love that show.

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Chrome makes new password grab in version 34

Steve Button

@Lars - fine, then switch it off. Personally I choose convenience over a (slight) risk in security. That's my choice and you can have yours. What's the problem?

What I really don't like is the site - even somewhere like the Open University - forcing me to type the bloody password every time, when I would rather not bother.

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Newsnight goes sour on Tech City miracle

Steve Button

Andrew, you come across as slightly awkward and geeky.

I like you even more.

Had always thought you where American for some reason (because it used to say from San Fransisco?) or Polish American.

Dobra robota and indeed Na zdrowie. ;-)

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Red Hat: We've got a corker for Docker Linux locker app hawkers

Steve Button

chroot?

So, is this a chroot'ed environment, or something else?

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Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

Steve Button

Re: Interest

Paul,

I also learned to program on a VIC-20 in BASIC (at age 11) and it's served me well ever since. (not BASIC, but the skills and interest I picked up).

Problem is with Twitter, Facebook, Minecraft, youtube, Snapchat, and hundreds of TV channels to distract (not to mention xbox) our kids don't really get the benefit of being BORED. For me it was boredom that led to my inquisitiveness, but I'm not sure that if I was born 30 years later I might be the same as kids growing up today.

Too much shiny shiny.

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Treasure hunters dig up LOST RELIC of dead Steve Jobs

Steve Button

Tasteless headline

even by your standards.

Yeah, I know it doesn't actually say that, but that's how it's meant to read.

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California OLDSTER in WILD golf course SKATEBOARDING spree

Steve Button

Can't see it catching on. (Snow Crash?)

I think the main problem is an old person has tried to devise something that younguns will find cool. Thing is you look a complete tit, so no one will boy one. And it's bloody expensive.

Now, if they invent a skateboard like the one in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, that might be another story.

I'm really surprised at all the anti snowboarding feeling here in The Reg. Firstly, it's just as dangerous and if anything it's usually the skiers that I see being carried down the mountain in the bloodwagon or the 'copter. Personally I like both, but I thought there would be more developer types on here and they are anecdotally more into snowboarding. Is this what's called Heuristically driven bias? Actually pretty much ALL the devs I know are into snowboarding.

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In what-took-them-so-long news: Spotify touts free Android, iOS music app

Steve Button

might as well cancel my subscriptions then.

costs too much for me and family and I mostly listen to it on shuffle anyway.

Sweet.

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I KNOW how to SAVE Microsoft. Give Windows 8 away for FREE – analyst

Steve Button

Obvious?

Yes, make it free or a token amount.

They would still make a huge amount of money from Office.

Isn't this completely blindingly obvious?

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SuperStride Me: Reg hack spends week working at 'treadmill desk'

Steve Button

RE: Seriously? Just go out for a run at lunchtime

Wrong! If you sit all day, it has a major detriment to your health ... even if you regularly exercise as well.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19910888

I admit I have not read the study that's mentioned, just the BBC article.

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The right time to drink coffee

Steve Button

Only DECAF for me.

... apart from when I don't.

I've been swinging between decaf for a few months and a couple of full caffeine flat whites for a few months... for the last few years. I actually feel much more awake, and can stay awake longer when I DON'T drink caffeine. This is presumably because I don't sleep as well (when i do drink caffeine)

I do love caffeine though, and I love that buzz. Stinking headache when I give it up, and boy do I feel mega tired and grumpy for a couple of days.

Overall, I think I'm better off without it. I sleep when I need to. I think if you don't sleep well, it can really fuck your health up long term. I'm in a very small minority though in the IT industry.

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Google Earth SHOCK: ZERO point ZERO ZERO SIX of world forests disappear each year

Steve Button

What's happening North of Leeds?

Seems there's loads disappearing up there, to the West of the A1(M).

You can also see how Thetford Forest has loads disappearing and loads being re-planted.

Interesting. (locally)

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Google's Nexus 5: Best smartphone bang for your buck. There, we said it

This post has been deleted by a moderator

ROBOT PODS to INVADE Milton Keynes in frenzied automatic MAYHEM

Steve Button

Not quite right.

We will be hopping into a car that will drive us to the cinema where we will tell it ‘park yourself and come back and get me at 10.15pm.’

Surely you'll be telling it to pick you up "when the film finishes" and it will work out what time to arrive. And if the film runs late, it would take that into account. And of course "it" isn't going to sit there parked for 2 hours waiting for your film to finish, but will scoot around the city moving other people around. You could get any of 100 cars that happen to be close at the time.

But saying that, 12 mph? And using dedicated lanes? Well, it's a start I suppose.

I wonder how long it will take for young (chavs / hoodlums / plebs / oiks) to discover the game of "block the car" by standing in its way for a couple of minutes.

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The Raspberry Pi: Is it REALLY the saviour of British computing?

Steve Button

About the cost.

I agree with pretty much most of what you've been saying, apart from the cost part. An rPi is bloody cheap. You don't *need* a case or an HDMI display, at least not to start with. The kid can probably hook it up to the 2nd TV if needed. Of course you'll need to grab an SD card. A keyboard and mouse can probably be picked up for cheap, or you can borrow the ones from the main PC and put them back again when finished without too much worry,

Even if a family already have a crappy PC just for Facebook, if that's their only PC they aren't likely to let little Jonny install Linux onto it and start messing around "doing programming" on it. With the Pi, they can break it and re-install as they like.

In reality you are probably right, and I've been struggling with the same things myself. Do I start with Scratch or Python? How do you explain modulus to an 8 year old? (which you hit pretty quick if you follow the Codeacademy tutorials).

It's not like the old days where you could just switch on the Vic-20, and within seconds you'd be at a BASIC prompt. No need for any parents help, just play around with it. Sigh.

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Price rises and power cuts by 2016? Thank the EU's energy policy

Steve Button

leading to an increase in fossil fuel consumption with wood being burned

Does wood count as a fossil fuel?

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Double-click? Oh how conventional of you, darling!

Steve Button

The French don't NEED indicators.

... except when they are in the fast* lane of the autoroute, they NEVER use them. When they do use them, it's not to indicate their intention, it's just to indicate they are in the fast lane.

So, in their case a button or a switch will suffice perfectly well. They don't use it very often, but when they do it usually stays on for 10 minutes anyway.

So, really it's a UI problem for different locales. N'est pas?

* Yes, yes. I know it's not the fast lane. They are all fucking fast over there. 130 speed limit and all that.

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How to get a Raspberry Pi to take over your Robot House

Steve Button

Re: Reg ongoing feature?

"usable home automation"

... give it 10 or 20 years, and we might have robots walking around who can take your washing out of the basket, put into the washing machine, hang out on the line, bring back in, iron it... useful stuff like that. Oh, and it'll cost £40,000 a shot. So, unless you are a footballer then forget it for another 10 years.

Right now, you can turn on a light or if you are really adventurous... open the curtains. Or you could just get up and turn on the light, or open the curtains.

Currently it's a solution looking for a problem that doesn't exist, and until these things are general purpose enough to be useful they will remain in the domain of the enthusiast / hacker.

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David Attenborough warns that humans have stopped evolving

Steve Button

Stopped? Reversed you mean.

Surely, if you had, for example, really poor eyesight anything over a few hundred years ago, then your chances of surviving long enough to bring up children would have been greatly reduced. In modern times, you stand pretty much the same chance as everyone else which allows you to pass on these new defects.

Over time these would reverse evolution, but by the time it's had a chance for making any significant impact (many generations) we'll almost certainly have technological fixes for these things. Be it genetic manipulation, or nano technology or something completely different.

My point is, it's not stopped, it's reversed. I thought this was obvious to most people (who read the Reg).

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Don't tell the D-G! BBC-funded study says Beeb is 'too right wing'

Steve Button

Godwin's Law?

A similar study carried out in the 30s in Germany may have concluded that most people weren't Right Wing enough (compared to the average of the political parties at the time).

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Wait, don't ditch that IT career just yet: UK vacancies hit 5-year high

Steve Button

Re: Lies, damned lies and recruitment agencies.

The only reason I mention it, is because many people I speak to would LOVE to live/work in Cornwall, but it always comes down to the simple fact... No jobs in IT.

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Steve Button

Re: Lies, damned lies and recruitment agencies.

Only ONE computer in the whole of Cornwall? That's simply ridiculous.

You mean they've fixed it now? Or did you not actually mean "one *working* computer" and you are still talking about the broken one in the basement of Truro library?

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Steve Button
FAIL

Re: job ads <> vacancies

Well you have been dealing with the wrong agencies then. A large proportion of them are really clueless unfortunately, but there are some good ones too. Actually, it's more the Agent not the Agency. Once you find a good one, it's worth investing a little time to convince them to represent you.

It's about building relationships, and these guys speak to dozens of different techies with different skill sets every day of the week.

I don't think having millions of CVs on your database is a good selling point, and most clients just want you to provide a candidate who is right for the job, and who actually cares about the job. This is NOT a "fact" and it's not a "key sales argument". Sorry, you are wrong about that.

I can't see how you can "discard agencies as a viable source of recruits". That's where most of the work can be found, so you are immediately limiting your horizons.

I regularly get emails from agents saying "I came across your CV, and we're looking for a junior Windows ..." takes me about 1/2 second to press K to move up to the next email and make a mental note to downvote that particular company. Having said that, if it's someone massive like Hays then it could have been coming from anyone and next week they might have That Dream Job I've Always Been Looking For.

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Steve Button
Happy

Re: Lots of IT jobs in London...

Well, CV fishing is real, but that's not the point of the article. I find it unlikely that the increase in job ads is down to agencies doing more fishing. They were probably doing more fishing, when there were fewer real jobs around. There is a solution, which is to be wise to the fact that it exists.

Don't give references until you've had an interview.

Don't tell the agencies the name of your boss when they phone up and ask "Ahhh, you work for Fred don't you?"

But I'm sure agents will find creative and original ways of getting hold of the right people, there's serious money involved and gaining new clients and a hard uphill struggle. I've worked at a desk where someone phoned up all the numbers in the office sequentially, pretending to be students doing a survey from UCL and gradually gaining more information about the structure of the organisation.

Read all of Dominic's articles, there's some real honest gems that you won't find in many other places.

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Space-walker nearly OPENED HELMET to avoid DROWNING

Steve Button

sublimation?

I don't mean to be pedantic (I do actually), but isn't sublimation going the other way? From ice to gas?

I'm sure someone will correct me.

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'BLING BLING, BLING BLING' 'Hello, yes, my iPhone is made of GOLD'

Steve Button

Fished in!

I can't believe you, El Reg, have fallen for this one along with everyone else. Shame on you. It's a smoke screen for the real announcement, which is... Idon'tgiveashit.

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Tech war latest: Today's leather tools 'invented by NEANDERTHALS'

Steve Button

Neanderthals have opinions too!

and you can't still hear them in Youtube comments.

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Chromecast: We get our SWEATY PAWS on Google's tiny telly pipe

Steve Button

Well I want one, but am I a small and unusual?

I have a dumb TV upstairs with no PS3 or xBox nearby, and this will be perfect for watching netflix. For that alone it's worth around £25. I can't see there are so many people in my situation though?

Also, I'm around 4 1/2 foot tall with large furry feet. Does that make me small and unusual? (yes, I'm a Hobbit)

Actually, I meant I represent a small percentage of the people who would want this product and I might have an unusual use case... but that didn't fit well into the Title box.

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Oracle's Sun rises over ZFS and Pillar

Steve Button

Is this just a press release?

Doesn't seem to be much in the way of journalism here Chris. Anything to substantiate these claims of better performance?

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'The Apprentice' is a load of old codswallop, says biz prof

Steve Button

That must be "Professor YouDontSay"

isn't he the one that works for the University of OReally?

In the department of The Bleedin' Obvious.

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Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you

Steve Button
WTF?

Re: Can somebody clarify...

It's along the same lines as "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

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