* Posts by Jeremy Pavier

4 posts • joined 5 Apr 2007

Accused Pentagon hacker prosecution could backfire

Jeremy Pavier

Transport him

"McKinnon (AKA Solo) admits he infiltrated computer systems without permission."

I don't even feel sorry for him. If he decided to climb through an open window at my house and then stumble around damaging my property "accidentally" while looking for something that clearly didn't belong to him, I would expect legal redress.

I don't really see why he should expect anything other than retribution from the US. It doesn't matter if their security is/was crap. He made an effort to force his way in. He didn't fall in there accidentally. Their failure to lock the door sufficiently is not an implicit invitation for him to jimmy it. His motivation is also irrelevant.

As far as extradition is concerned, I'd be interested to know if the UK government would be happy to waive jurisdiction if Russian hackers were discovered rifling through our military systems. I think not.

But worst of all, he's a gormless tool who clearly hadn't been paying attention to world events and the change in the political climate in the UK and the US, where to merely disagree with policy is now enough to have yourself branded a terrorist. What did he think was going to happen?

Don't forget the ‘C’ in Objective-C

Jeremy Pavier

Ye Guilde of Code Crafters and Software Journeymenne

I think what gladdens my heart most is the bunker mentality that forms around the false dichotomies that people construct in their heads over this sort of debate. I love the idea that exponents of so-called advanced technologies can't see beyond the particular and grasp a general point. That's going to keep people like me in work for many years to come, and long may the pension contributions continue rolling in.

"... there is little excuse for writing inefficient code when witing efficient code would have been just as easy. Only ignorance." Exactly.

But ignorance seems to be one software skill that is never in short supply: "Managers ask to optimize programming TIME not run speed, that's the real world." QED. Obviously a developer with little or no experience in 'the real world'. Certainly a developer who only partially understands the delivery of functionality, and has no grasp of the concept of delivering and selling a software product.

Oh, here's another one: "I have NEVER been asked, in my entire career to improve the performance of any code I've written. I have rarely been asked to improve the performance of anyone elses code." Is it axiomatic to assume that because they have never experienced these requests, they are never made? It may be just that they are never made to this person. Perhaps because they are not deemed capable in this area. If we were to accept this assertion, it would cause us to reject any form of refactoring or defect repair because everything is always written correctly the first and only time the code is ever touched. Blimey, I take my hat off to you matey, if you are that good!

Working in an industry where the very suggestion that a bit more knowledge could be beneficial can be greeted with such vitriol and ad hominem attacks just underlines the conclusion I have spent years coming to. The technologies may seem new and interesting, but there's a whole bunch of medievalists out there trying to construct a priestly shell of exclusive ignorance and magical thinking around a craft they don't really understand. But as long as they mutter the right incantations, reinforce the dogma and flame the heretics, the mediocre and unskilled should find themselves a cosy niche in which keep warm for a while. One day the Software Guild may be where we send all of our idiot children instead of the Church.

Patientline ups charges

Jeremy Pavier

When I am old and sick ...

.. they'll have to put up with my use of a mobile phone in their damned hospitals. There's no real reason to ban mobile use in hospitals other than to create a captive market for these grossly extortionate "services".

When I get the inevitable range of age-related diseases and conditions that require me to spend time in their rat-infested, filthy sinks of disease and infection, they'll have to pry my Nokia from my cold, dead hand.

UK Gov deploys lie detectors on benefits claims

Jeremy Pavier

Sociopaths charter

Even if this works (i.e. doesn't throw up an unmanageable number of dubious false positives), surely this approach is based on the assumption that benefit fraud is primarily carried out by people who exhibit vocal stress symptoms when lying. If you are one of those sociopaths who feels no compunction about raiding the public purse fraudulently, it's going to have no impact whatsoever. Similarly, if you are the sort of person who just gets nervous when interacting with authority figures or in interview situations generally, you are going to be summarily harassed.

Remember how the CSA found it easiest to attack absent fathers who were already contributing to the upkeep of their children, just not at the levels commensurate with the CSA's mysterious random number generation verdicts? This smacks of the same lazy-arsed thinking. Quite apart from the fact that this software sounds like something that might have more utility as a pub game (even more rigorous polygraph "evidence" is not admissible in court to my knowledge), this is only likely to snare some quite low-level offenders. The real problem cases will carry on unperturbed, I imagine, safe in the knowledge that as long as they don't care, they won't get red flagged.


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