* Posts by Simon Ward

843 posts • joined 3 Apr 2007


Mini computer flingers go after a slice of the high street retail Pi

Simon Ward

And while you're at it, forget about York too - Leeds would be a far better bet (and likely cheaper, too).

The main reason there are so many empty retail premises in town, and some of them have been empty for several years now[*], are to do with the ludicrous rent/lease costs.

[*] - eg. the old Ryman store on Coppergate

Google's stunning plan to avoid apps slurping Gmail inboxes: Charge devs for security audits

Simon Ward

Re: So paying for a sticker takes the curse off ?

So Google can certainly decide to fuck over either the customer or the developer at their complete discretion, without worrying about audit-related refunds or income streams.

In other words, business as usual.

A second preview of .NET Core 3? Shucks, Microsoft. You spoil us

Simon Ward

Re: Coincidentally ...

"The whole ecosystem revolving around technical recruitment is seriously fucked up."


Apple: Trust us, we've patented parts of Swift, and thus chunks of other programming languages, for your own good

Simon Ward

Re: Just use Python. You need nothing else.

Cue whinges about 'meaningful whitespace' in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ....

(I've only been a Python dev for 16 years and counting - what do I know?)

Just forget what Gartner said about AI in June 'cos CIOs are all over it now apparently

Simon Ward

Re: The Chief Guffmongerer has spoken

How about "smart" shoelaces?

Yep ... - also demo'd at CES.

(apologies for the link to a Wired article, but if you need to take the pulse of the current shitegeist then it's as good a place as any to start)

Simon Ward

Re: The Chief Guffmongerer has spoken

Too late

Simon Ward

Despite what the slave-traders and marketroids tell you, what is currently considered "AI" is complete and utter bollocks - it just proves that anything is possible with enough hardware and money thrown at the problem. If I were feeling charitable, I'd probably characterise the current state of the art as 'overpowered expert systems', that's to say: good at one particular thing, bloody useless at anything else.

I prefer to refer to it as CAG - Computer Aided Guesswork

You can blame laziness as much as greed for Apple's New Year shock

Simon Ward

Re: So what should it do ?

Simple, get this thing, called innovation board, which is apparently stored in the last basement level at Cupertino, with a sign saying "beware the tiger", and move it back to engineering, and bloody use it !

"Beware of the Snow Leopard" would be more appropriate - IMO, that's when Apple peaked. It was downhill from there. I bailed out of the walled garden years ago, and I don't miss it.

Brexit-dodging SCISYS Brits find Galileo joy in Dublin

Simon Ward

Re: Why Dublin?

I suspect that it's probably to do with a more, ahem, 'favourable' tax status ...

Cynic? Moi?

Ticketmaster tells customer it's not at fault for site's Magecart malware pwnage

Simon Ward

Re: TicketScalpers

Our preferred epiphet for them is TicketBastard

Apple breathes new life into MacBook Air with overhauled 2018 model

Simon Ward

Just seen the specs for the 'revamped' Mac Mini.

Yeaaaahhhh .... no.

I'm in the market for a new machine, but that won't be it.

Salesforce dogged by protests, leaked emails, and guerrilla blimps on first day of Dreamforce

Simon Ward

Re: Wait, what? Did I miss something?

"Yep. I stopped listening to them and buying their crap once they went after Napster and started suing their fans."

For me, it was more to do with the fact that "And Justice ...", and everything that came after it, was complete and utter shite. Some things never change, though: Lars was a dick back then and he's still a dick now.

Mine's the one with the Master Of Puppets patch on the back.

Simon Ward

Re: Wait, what? Did I miss something?

"Metalica, at some point in the past, had credibility?"

They did.

At least up until around 1990.

OMG! Battle looms over WTF! trademarks

Simon Ward

To paraphrase an advert for another cleaning product:

"Bang! And the will to live is gone ..."

Android data slurping measured and monitored

Simon Ward

Re: 'The nature of some data may also surprise. App developers receive your age and gender'

Have an upvote for mentioning Blokada ... even I was surprised by the amount of utter shite it was blocking.

UK.gov told data-sharing plans need vendor buy-in

Simon Ward

When I see 'government IT' and 'open standards' in the same sentence, nay, same article, I am reminded of Andy Tanenbaum's famous quote:

“The good thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.”

The words 'monumental clusterfuck' also present themselves for consideration.

(fetches popcorn)

Foreshadow and Intel SGX software attestation: 'The whole trust model collapses'

Simon Ward

Dedicated website: check

Logo: check

Guess it's a legit vulnerability then ...

For all the excitement, Pie may be Android's most minimal makeover yet – thankfully

Simon Ward

"Powered by AI"

That in itself would be enough to make me turn in the opposite direction and walk away very quickly.

Batten down the ports: Linux networking bug SegmentSmack could remotely crash systems

Simon Ward


You got there before me.

Not a real exploit/bug/vulnerability until it has a website and a logo shat forth by the Strategy Boutique to the deafening sound of whalesong.

Dear alt-right morons and other miscreants: Disrupt DEF CON, and the goons will 'ave you

Simon Ward

Remember Rule #2

"Don't be a dick."

Pretty simple, really.

(Rule 1 is, of course, . "Do not act incautiously when confronting little bald wrinkly smiling men!" )

How to (slowly) steal secrets over the network from chip security holes: NetSpectre summoned

Simon Ward

Of course Intel isn't worried ..

After all, until the exploit has a flashy logo and associated website it doesn't really exist - coming up with something 'cooler' sounding than NetSpectre may or may not happen.

That certainly seems to be standard operating procedure in the current shitegeist.

Facebook's React Native web tech not loved by native mobile devs

Simon Ward

Re: Frameworks

"following the flavour of the month may not be the right business choice."

Try telling that to the drooling idiots in the C-suite.

Simon Ward

Don't worry - this is Javascript we're talking about; no doubt there'll be a shiny-happy new framework to replace React once the hipsters decide it isn't cool any more. Probably by next week.

Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

Simon Ward

Meh ...

Even if the fine does get paid, which on the face of it seems pretty bloody unlikely, the ultimate winners here are the bottom-feeding leeches in the law firms, not the consumer.

Was it ever thus ...

Oracle's new Java SE subs: Code and support for $25/processor/month

Simon Ward

Oracle are going to kill the language and it will all be their fault.

I, for one, won't miss it.

Hateful language, even if the JVM itself is a pretty cool piece of tech.

Cloudera, MongoD: Still digitally transforming biz. Still losing money

Simon Ward

"New logo wins"


Microsoft commits: We're buying GitHub for $7.5 beeeeeeellion

Simon Ward

Re: Shite


What little I had on Github was migrated to my Bitbucket account earlier.

I wasn't be the first and sure as hell won't be the last.

Android daddy Andy Rubin's Essential axes handset, is 'actively shopping itself' – report

Simon Ward

Call me a cynic, but I suspect this was the plan all along ...

Military brainboxes ponder 'UK needs you' list of AI boffins

Simon Ward

If only the government gave a rat's ass about scientists rather than perpetual fellation of the banksters and service industries ...

My message to the MoD would be something along the lines of "Good luck with that ..."

It's true – it really is grim up north, thanks to Virgin Media. ISP fined for Carlisle cable chaos

Simon Ward


The hole was miraculously filled in a couple of days later - I suppose that counts.

I have absolutely no use for VM's services otherwise.

Simon Ward

Standard operating procedure for Vermin Media, or rather the goons that they (sub)contract to dig holes for them.

(not at all annoyed because I had a twatting great hole with various bits of cable and ducting sticking out of it outside my house for the thick end of 2 months - ended up taking to Twitterto actually get something done about it)

Intel’s first 10nm CPU is a twin-core i3 destined for a mid-range Lenovo

Simon Ward


This has a whiff of 'we were going for 4 core but nearly all the dies failed QA'

I used to work in the semiconductor industry so I know that this stuff is hard, but this sounds like something rushed out just to keep the banksters and other Wall St. vultures happy.

Whether it succeeds is another matter antirely ..

Hey cool, you went serverless. Now you just have to worry about all those stale functions

Simon Ward

Re: Every cloud (sic) has a silver lining???

I am so glad that I'm out of this development makarkey. It sounds like it is all going down the buzzword pan.


I'm currently planning my exit strategy - I'm fed up with the buzzword bollocks being served up by the recruiters, bean-counters and middle damagement.

You love Systemd – you just don't know it yet, wink Red Hat bods

Simon Ward

Re: 'do multiple things barely adequately and pray to $DEITY that it works'

Nah, s'Agile, innit?

Simon Ward

I'll only be happy with systemd when two things happen: First, the whole thing is dragged behind the bins and shot, and second, Poettering is nailed upside down to a tree by the larger of his testicles and then really hurt - obviously he felt the need to one-up the unholy clusterfuck that was pulseaudio and boy, he succeeded.

I'm one of those weapons-grade curmudgeons that (tries to) adhere to the UNIX philosophy of 'do one thing and do it well', rather than the current trend of 'do multiple things barely adequately and pray to $DEITY that it works'

DeepMind: Get a load of our rat-like AI. 'Ere, look. It solves mazes and stuff

Simon Ward

Just what the world needs ...

Another victory for advanced statisticsAI

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's nothing particularly new or exciting about solving mazes, no matter how much money and marketing you throw at it.

Wake me up when they can demo something that can predict the existence of income tax[*] and rice pudding before it is even switched on.

[*] - unlikely, I know, because, y'know, Google.

Artificial intelligence is good for at least one thing – making hardware important again

Simon Ward

Understand statistics and you have a reliable tool. A tool.

A tool, touted by middle damagement and the oxygen thieves in sales.

A tool, touted by tools.

Google Pay heads for the desktop... and, we fear, an inevitable flop

Simon Ward

Basically, you give Google your bank card so you can spend money online via Google.

There isn't enough "FUCK, NO!" in the world for this.

NetHack to drop support for floppy disks, Amiga, 16-bit DOS and OS/2

Simon Ward

Re: Hattie Jacques and Barbara Windsor in "Carry On Again Nurse"

"Other uses"?! I really don't want to know... :-O

"Nurse dancing" is the canonical one - see here (but you have to be naked to do it)

As for being a '70s flavoured hack and slash', it has a lot more playability (and re-playability) than a lot of the shite that seems to get peddled these days. 'Course, to take full advantage of that glorious ASCII you really need something like this.

Simon Ward



Yes it is.

The Nethack dev team have a well deserved reputation for being ... creative.

Nurses have (or at least had) other uses, too.

Mind, I'd like to think that by the time you're encountering nurses you'd at least have acquired ESP in some form, rendering blindness a minor inconvenience at worst (and it comes in handy when you go up against Medusa). Easiest way to do this is by chowing down on a floating eye corpse. Bon appetit!

Personally, I find hallucinating to be far more bothersome, especially on some of the more ... interesting levels.

Simon Ward

Re: Bastards

It's a rite of passage.

It's your first, first-level death. Trust me, it won't be your last.

I've been playing Nethack since version 3.0 (1989-1990?) and I _still_ haven't managed to ascend a character, and I've lost count of the number of times I've been done in by a grid bug or similar low-level critter.

For added lulz, try one of the variants such as Slash'EM (Nethack on speed ... and insanely difficult at times)

If you really want to do your head in, try the Adventure Mode in Dwarf Fortress.

I accept absolutely no responsibility for lost productivity :-)

Javid's in, Rudd's out: UK Home Sec quits over immigration targets scandal

Simon Ward

Re: So who's Javid?

How well his integrity lasts in the data fetishist's tower of the Home Office remains to be seen.

You're assuming that he had any integrity to begin with ... all the signs are that he won't have a lot to lose.

Simon Ward

Diversity in action ...

As in, the more you look at it, diverse it gets ....

I'll give him 6 months.

Google founder Sergey Brin promises to protect humanity from AI

Simon Ward

"The data-slurpingest, ad-slingiest exec of them all says he’s on your side"


Dry that one out and you could fertilise the Sahara.

Want to make a super-earth? Bring on the frikking lasers

Simon Ward

All well and good, but where do the sharks fit into the picture?

Can't have giant frikkin' lasers without sharks.

BOFH: Guys? Guys? We need blockchain... can you install blockchain?

Simon Ward


"Not really - though if you could IoT pet rock I think you'd be getting somewhere. It's the perfect match of useless information about a useless object."

The best description of the current tech shitegeist that I've read in a long time.

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 ...

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?)

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.

Please no Basic Instinct flashing, HPE legal eagles warn staffers

Simon Ward

"It isn’t official company policy."


Just give it time.


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