* Posts by Simon Ward

797 posts • joined 3 Apr 2007

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Is there alien life out there? Let's turn to AI, problem solver du jour

Simon Ward

Re: The probability is 0 until it is 1

"Because until we know it's known, it's a known unknown, as Mr Cheney might have said."

He might have, had Rumsfeld not beaten him to it ...

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Wanna work for El Reg? Developers needed for headline-writing AI bots

Simon Ward

Ah, it's that time of year ...

Although it has to be said that this is infinitely more believable than England being on top in a Test match ...

(cynic? Moi?)

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SUSE bakes a Raspberry Pi-powered GNU/Linux Enterprise Server

Simon Ward

Re: Since the BBC Acorn days...

"Should we start stockpiling Pis yet?"

No, just get a BeagleBone or similar - fully open-source, too.

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Please no Basic Instinct flashing, HPE legal eagles warn staffers

Simon Ward

"It isn’t official company policy."

Yet.

Just give it time.

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Corking story: Idiotic smart wine bottle idea falls over, passes out

Simon Ward

Should have done it with beer instead ...

... after all, that's what all the bearded, millennial Nathan Barley clones are drinking.

IoT craft beer is the future, I tells ya ... stick a blockchain in there somewhere and watch the money roll in.

"The spit bucket of idiotic tech" ... yep, I'm definitely gonna use that although the idea is so utterly full of shit that "septic tank" may have been more appropriate, unless I'm missing a wine-tasting reference there.

(or maybe I'm biased. I'm very fond of my beer - wine, on the other hand, is just grape juice gone bad and you can keep it)

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Oh bucket! Unpack the suitcases. TRAPPIST-1 planets too wet to support life

Simon Ward

Re: Too wet to support life?

Sounds like a bit of a wet weekend in Wales (I guess this phrase is from before they allowed the pubs to open on a Sunday).

Nope - it applied equally well afterwards, too (I spent 8 years studying there, so ....)

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Simon Ward

Perfect objective for a UK colonisation effort ...

After all, if we can't complain about it being too wet then we can certainly complain about it being too cold, and it'll still be light years (ha!) ahead of a typical British summer.

I can even think of a few people I'd like to send there, too.

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The Java release train is moving faster, but will developers be derailed?

Simon Ward

Re: Ugh, another Java bashing thread

The JVM is a fantastic piece of tech - I'm a big fan of it myself, being a heavy user of both Clojure and Jython. The ability to just deploy my stuff on a machine with a JVM with a minimum of faff was a fairly major win. Long may that continue ...

The Java language itself, though? Millennial COBOL - should have been dragged out behind the bins and shot some time around version 5. Although I'm not a massive user of either, I'd say that C# and Scala do Java better than Java does, although C# does appear to suffer from some fairly serious bloat itself.

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Defra to MPs: There's no way Brexit IT can be as crap as rural payments

Simon Ward

Re: Call Sherlock...

Sherlock? More like Seagoon ....

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Simon Ward

Defra to MPs: There's no way Brexit IT can be as crap as rural payments

MPs: hold my beer ...

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Netflix could pwn 2020s IT security – they need only reach out and take

Simon Ward

Thank you. This:

"Serverless, meanwhile, is also no big threat to containers. It is a stupid name for the technology in question, which is really something between a batch script and a TSR that you run on a cloud."

is the best description of 'serverless' I've come across thus far and I full intend to use it the next time I'm interviewed by buzzword-spewing imbeciles from middle damagement.

Containers? chroot on steriods with a network layer slapped on top.

What's old is new again - both of these things existed, albeit in a slightly different form, when I was at university in the 90s.

Bill Hicks was right - if you're in marketing, just do the world a favour and kill yourself.

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Sci-tech wants skilled worker cap on PhD and shortage jobs scrapped

Simon Ward

PhD in computational physics, 16 years of commercial dev experience - unemployed since the end of December.

Go figure ... the PHBs aren't willing to pay for experience; they see the PhD and think 'overqualified'

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Google Flutter hits beta: Another go at cross-platform mobile dev

Simon Ward

Give it a year ...

... then it'll be dragged behind the bike sheds and shot.

Cynic? Moi?

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Ah, uni days! Drugs, sex, parties... sci-tech startups? Not so much

Simon Ward

ITYM 'sell-outs'. Standard operating procedure at the minute appears to be:

- Create company

- Hype your internet-enabled nose-hair trimmer (or whatever) to idiotic levels - bonus points if it falls into the 'solution looking for a problem' category.

- Get bought out by $BIGCORP

- Cash out and run

- Rinse and repeat.

You can fucking keep it.

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Ethics? Yeah, that's great, but do they scale?

Simon Ward

Ethics?

It's a county just north of London, innit?

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Inviting nearby exoplanet revealed as radiation-baked hell

Simon Ward

Re: Need I finish the book?

Everyone dies in the end ... or am I getting confused with Iain M. Banks? (RIP)

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RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics

Simon Ward

Re: Edinburgh Woolen Mill

Why should they give a shit? They'll get paid either way.

(which is more than can be said for the poor sods on the shop floor, irrespective of what you may think of them)

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Simon Ward

Re: Time to say...

Whilst I loved getting the Maplin catalogue back in the day, once I got to university I discovered it was a mere pamphlet compared to the 7 or 8 doorstop-sized volumes that RS used to produce.

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A print button? Mmkay. Let's explore WHY you need me to add that

Simon Ward

I stopped reading after 'DevOps'

Buzzword-laden marketing bullshit for stuff that a lot of us have been doing for years, albeit without excessive interference from damagement.

Plus, whoever came up with the term 'User Experience' should be strung up by the larger of their testicles from a tree in Rutland. I don't want an 'experience', I just want to get shit done.

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Data scientist wanted: Must have Python, spontaneity not required

Simon Ward

Here's the bit that they don't mention - unless you happen to match the definition of 'big data' dreamed up by the fuckwit in charge of hiring, you don't stand a cat in hell's chance of getting a 'fuck you very much' email, much less a callback with someone possessing a modicum of Clue. Don't want to suffer living in London? Forget about it ...

Not that I'm bitter, or anything

(two degrees[1], 16 years of experience developing in Python - everything from HPC to automation frameworks and I'm lucky if I get a 'fuck you very much' email, much less a callback)

[1] - including a PhD in computational physics, so it's not like I'm innumerate or anything

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Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer, teach it tricks

Simon Ward

Approximately 300x more neurons than a typical middle manager, then ...

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Indiegogo to ailing ZX Spectrum reboot firm: End of May... or we call the debt collector

Simon Ward

"We have not been issued an ultimatum"

Oh I dunno, it sorta-kinda sounds like you have ...

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Uber quits GitHub for in-house code after 2016 data breach

Simon Ward

Re: Pay less the CEO...

Pretty sure that GitHub does indeed support 2FA.

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Here's why online social networks are bad for humanity, the nerds who helped build them tut-tut

Simon Ward
Flame

Easy to preach when you're sat on top of a fuck-ton of cash, isn't it?

Hypocritical cunts, the lot of 'em.

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Capita contract probed after thousands of clinical letters stuffed in a drawer somewhere

Simon Ward

Re: How? Why!!!

I suspect that brown envelopes stuffed with cash have a lot to do with it.

I'm not cynical at all. Dearie me, no.

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No Windows 10, no Office 2019, says Microsoft

Simon Ward
Joke

vim as an IDE? That's crazy talk ...

Everyone knows that if you want to do something like that then you use emacs instead

:-p

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Wave Tata, Capita: You've lost mega-contract to rival outsourcer

Simon Ward

Pru CEO John Foley today talked up a shiny new "10-year partnership" with TCS to "enhance my bonus, severance package and golden parachute when I inevitably piss off elsewhere for 'to spend more time with my family'"

There - fixed it for 'em.

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Next; tech; meltdown..? Mandatory; semicolons; in; JavaScript; mulled;

Simon Ward

Re: Tabs v spaces

"Gets really nasty to work out why the code doesn't work as expected if a mix are used - code may be at different block levels even when it shows as being at the same level."

Not if you use a decent editor, it doesn't (I prefer emacs - your own tastes will vary)

But then what do I know? I've only been a Python dev for 15 years ...

(I'm not saying that it's a particularly _good_ idea, but the people who use it as a stick to beat Python with clearly haven't used it for any length of time. Or have a crap text editor.)

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Oh good. Transport for London gives Capita £80m for WAN, LAN and Wi-Fi

Simon Ward

Re: "To ink" is not a verb.

Merriam-Webster and co beg to differ:

Definition of ink

transitive verb

1 : to put ink on ink a pen; also : to draw or write on in ink

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Silverlight extinguished while Angular wins fans among developers

Simon Ward

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

And as any fule kno, 58.7% of statistics are made up on the spot.

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How DeepMind's AlphaGo Zero learned all by itself to trash world champ AI AlphaGo

Simon Ward

FFS, it isn't AI ...

It's an expert system - one that happens to play Go rather well but is bloody useless at pretty much anything else.

There is nothing particularly 'new' about expert systems - they've been around for donkey's years.

Come back when it can deduce the existence of income tax and rice pudding before calling it an AI.

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The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

Simon Ward

"Sort of useful so long as you don't try to do too much with it"

IoT in a nutshell, surely?

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New coding language Fetlang's syntax designed to read like 'poorly written erotica'

Simon Ward
Gimp

I can hardly wait for the emails from slave-traders punting roles which require 5+ years experience in this language ....

(Cynic? Moi?)

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DeepMind now has an ethics unit – which may have helped when it ate 1.6m NHS patient details

Simon Ward

Ethics?

Oh yeah, it's that county just north-east of London ....

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AI in Medicine? It's back to the future, Dr Watson

Simon Ward

"Why IBM's cancer projects sounds like Expert Systems Mk.2"

I suspect that, once you cut through all the hype and bullshit, that's exactly what it will be.

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GNOME Foundation backs 'freedom-oriented' smartphone

Simon Ward

Good luck with that ...

Nice idea, but ...

They may want to ask Mozilla and Canonical how they got on with their respective phone plans.

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我的天啊! China gives Weibo users a week to use their real names

Simon Ward

Re: Mao or less...

Eh ... I'll stick with 'Haywood Jablomi'

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Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

Simon Ward

Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

This is one of the better charts I've seen ...

Opinions will vary wildly depending on who you ask, but I'd start with either the 'Witches' or 'Watch' stories and then return to the early stuff (TCoM, LF) when you've got a few under your belt.

If you only read *one*, make it 'Mort' - not only is it hilariously funny, but I think it's when PTerry really hit his stride. "Pyramids" is still one of my personal favourites, though.

EDIT: Don't be put off by the Tiffany Aching books being branded as 'young adult', either - they're very good novels in their own right.

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Simon Ward

A man is not dead while his name is still spoken ...

There was a sad inevitability to this, although it's good to see that PTerry's final wishes are being respected.

I guess a firkin great steamroller is rather more .... theatrical than a hard-disk shredder (plus, in the latter case I imagine there wouldn't be much left to exhibit)

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Virgin Media customers complain of outages across UK

Simon Ward

Now I feel so much better about telling the Vermin Media salesdrone that, whilst I'd love for all of my neighbours to take up their offer and thus (potentially) reduce contention on my own (FTTC, but non-Virgin) connection, I myself wouldn't touch it with a shitty stick.

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Oh, boy! Uber investors behind CEO sueball say Travis Kalanick won't let the company grow up

Simon Ward

“Uber is the most important and promising company of our generation”

O RLY?

The Farce is strong with this one ... that's a Reality Distortion Field of almost Jobsian proportions.

Personally, I see Uber and the rest of their Silly Valley cohorts as pimples on the arse of society that are desperately in need of lancing.

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UK.gov cloud fave Amazon comes under fire for tax bill

Simon Ward
Flame

This would be the same Margaret Hodge who is, herself, an old hand at tax avoidance?

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Apple chief on Chinese VPN app ban: We always toe the line with other nations' laws

Simon Ward

"We always toe the line with other nations' laws"

Except where taxes are concerned, obviously ...

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Browser trust test: Would you let Chrome block ads? Or Firefox share and encrypt files?

Simon Ward

No and no.

Respectively.

Hell, I'm not even sure if I can trust the average browser to display web pages any more ...

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Look out Silicon Valley, here comes Brit bruiser Amber Rudd to lay down the (cyber) law

Simon Ward

Yep, I can hear them quaking in their boots ... or maybe that's just tinnitus.

'Murrica, you can bloody well keep her ...

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Virgin Media mulls ditching 1 in 3 UK facilities, starts £20m spend audit

Simon Ward

"frankly, this investment is impacting the size of my bonus/bailout package"

Fixed it for him.

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The Reg chats to Ordnance Survey's chief data wrangler

Simon Ward

"Geovation"

Geovation?! Do me a frickin' favour ...

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London suffers from 'sub-standard' connectivity - report

Simon Ward

Fibre, yes.

Gigabit fibre? Nope - UFO is/was only being trialled in some locations on the northern side of the city, and the pimps pushing the soon-to-be-built hipster flats in Stonebow House are pushing it pretty hard (but then it is literally across the road from the main exchange)

Whilst you may be able to spit across York city centre, the 'City of York' area is rather bigger than you might think.

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Simon Ward

Re: Logical the likes of York will be better

In York you can probably fibre up a street in a day

You can, but it'll take the contractors about 6 weeks to clear up the fucking mess they made (eg. a twatting great big hole outside my house with bits of fibre cable and ducting sticking out of it)

Don't ask how I know this.

(Vermin Media have been cabling up the village, although I have zero interest in their services)

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Ex-NASA bod on Gwyneth Paltrow site's 'healing' stickers: 'Wow. What a load of BS'

Simon Ward

Really ... there are no words.

My eyes rolled so hard I had to ask one of my cow-orkers to slap me on the back of the head so I could see straight again.

Fools and their money, etc.

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