* Posts by Charlie Clark

5407 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

The future of Python: Concurrency devoured, Node.js next on menu

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Python 3 split over?

I don't know about you, because you probably never had to touch foreign words or names at all

Seeing as I live in Germany I have to do it a lot…

I understand the difference between bytes and strings just fine but it wasn't until u"" was restored in Python 3.3 that porting from 2 to 3 felt less like shooting yourself in the foot. Keeping the literal around wouldn't have cost anything and would have kept a lot of goodwill and would undoubtedly have brought the ports of many projects forward.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Python 3 split over?

Python3 made just enough breaking changes to annoying programmers, without fixing major design flaws.

While it's arguable that Python 3 did actually fix some (but not all) design flaws, doing so brought some unnecessary incompatibility (unicode) and and a considerable performance cost. However, since Python 3.5 performance is generally on a par with Python 2 and asyncio does offer new opportunities.

Some systems will stick with Python 2 for as long as possible because they just work and the costs associated with migration far outweigh the benefits. But this is true of many systems and why virtualisation is so important.

But for the last few years lots of projects have added Python 3 support and new ones are written exclusively for it. This means that newer programmers rarely face any problems.

There are lessons to be learned from 2/3 and we can only hope that future changes in the language are handled with a greater understanding for the maintenance of existing libraries and applications. I think that the shift to time-based releases under Larry Hastings is evidence of this.

1
2
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: RIP GIL

You only need to remove the GIL for better parallelism (on multiple cores), asyncio does the job for concurrency. Of course, now that multicore environments are becoming ubiquitous, the need to use them effectively is increasing but processor locking has always had advantages.

Larry Hastings gave an excellent talk last year on his attempts and progress on removing the GIL.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I do use language X, but I still find it very silly that they refuse to implement a Y statement

Pretty much true of all programming languages. I write a lot of Python code and find dispatching much preferable to the SWITCH statement.

6
0

Batteries that don't burn at the drop of a Galaxy Note 7? We're listening

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: The inventor of Li-ion batteries already has the replacement ready

Wrong. Adding weight is the kiss of death to batteries if they are going to be used for transport.

Not for motor vehicles, apart from perhaps Formula 1. All the weight that has been saved due to using aluminium in the chassis and engine has been replaced by safety features and creature comforts. Then there are increasingly fat fuckers actually sitting in the car.

Energy density is critical to battery powered cars but this has more to do with how much space is available. For the current crop of vehicles the extra weight has been more than compensated for by incremental improvements in energy density. For the vast majority of journeys range is now more than good enough: charging is the bottle neck.

Haulage might be another thing altogether but the combination of an electric drive train and driverless vehicles could be compelling for a lot of freight journeys.

1
5
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: The inventor of Li-ion batteries already has the replacement ready

Will it still be 5-10 years away from mainstream use in 5-10 years time, like so many bits of magical technology...?Will it still be 5-10 years away from mainstream use in 5-10 years time, like so many bits of magical technology...?

Well, you might think so. But the market for batteries is about to get a whole lot bigger. It's expected that this year on next the installed capacity for cars will overtake the installed capacity for all other devices since Li-Ion batteries were invented.

This is a big deal. While we might think that the electronics market is big, the car industry is huge and batteries are more important to cars than they are, say, to phone makers. The amount spent on battery technology is about to go through the roof (government subsidies will no doubt also be available). This will allow for both gradual improvements and new approaches. FWIW improving fire resistance for Li-Ion is already possible. It adds a bit of weight but this isn't a problem for car batteries.

4
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Lithium batteries are last century's technology

This is especially more pertinent when we are at the cusp of VR/AR technology becoming mainstream.

Oh goody! Do wake me when it happens.

6
0

HBO Game Of Thrones leak: Four 'techies' arrested in India

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: I might watch it sometime

TBH I think the pricing on Google / Amazon at around € 20 for a series is reasonable, presumably less if you have some kind of streaming deal. But you should definitely try before you buy to see whether you like it.

2
0

How are you feeling today? Don't tell us, save for it this handy emotion-detection code

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Coat

Surely something for Simon?

I shudder to imagine what the BOFH will do when the boss suggests using this service…

Mine's the one with the a copy of "Give me a free pint or I'll brick your phone" in the pocket.

3
0

HP Inc vows: We're not walking away from Continuum

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I can connect my S5 to any HDMI device for the big screen but on devices that I support it, I can also just use Miracast, which routes the video directly to the screen.

I use Bluetooth to drive my soundbar from my phone or use Kore to run Kodi. None of these activities are what Continuum is about but they're ubiquitous, which is why they work.

It will be interesting to see if Samsung continues to push DeX with things like the next Samsung Note.

1
0

Google paying Apple BEEELLIONS to stay search top dog on iDevices, say analysts

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Just goes to show ...

Why would Apple want to give up this revenue stream: they're obviously happy with the situation. And it's not as if user choice ever mattered to Apple: want a different browser? Tough.

2
0

Vodafone customers moan about sluggish data abroad

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Not my experience

excellent performance from Vodafone' - I think that's the first time I've ever seen those words put together in that order.

It surprised me too — I'm not fan of them — but maybe it's because it was Vodafone Germany roaming on SFR?

0
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Not my experience

I was recently in France myself. I have a German white label provider (not Vodafone) and performance was very, very patchy but seemed very much like a case of the local provide doing or throttling or even not even allowing data. My girlfriend has German Vodafone and she had a much better data connection.

I guess we'll have to wait and see how the various networks manage this and whether anybody can be bothered monitoring them to make sure customers get reasonable service. I can personally understand a certain degree of traffic management on host networks — they have an incentive to prioritise their own customers over perceived freeloaders — but it should work both ways.

My provider still sends me text messages telling me data will cost even though it has managed to update the price schedule confirming that data abroad will be free as it is at home.

1
0

Commentard Quizwall experiment ends with more quizzing than commenting

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Flame

Can I be the first to express my anger that Norway are building a quiz wall, what we need in the current climate is less walls.

You eco-socialists seem to blame climate change for everything!

4
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Quiz answers

Oh yes, there we have the mainstream media trying to brainwash us again! The correct answer to the last question according to Sergeant Detritus is "lots"!

7
0

Raising minimum wage will raise something else: An army of robots taking away folks' jobs

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

For a good discussion of the effects of minimum wages I can recommend this recent article in the The Economist which covered the subject quite well. Minimum wages are neither a panacea nor a job killer; they can act to correct perceived market failure: if people cannot live from their wages then some kind of subsidy is usually forthcoming. But if they are pushed too high then they will inhibit economic activity.

But with regards to automation minimum wages really are a side issue. Capitalism favours rationalised production lines wherever possible with competition encouraging either lower wages or automation of the lowest-skilled, most repetitive jobs.

2
1

Blighty’s beloved Big Ben bell ends, may break Brexit bargain

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Slow news day?

For The Express at least has given us all a laugh. Nice set of puns (from both sides of the the referendum argument).

3
0

Old Firefox add-ons get 'dead man walking' call

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Are you under the impression that NPAPI on Firefox doesn't have a sandbox?

No, but because it's in the same process, if it crashes it can bring the browser down with it. Also, as any fule noes: sandboxes are not infallible.

Anyway, this really is old news. Mozilla announced years ago it was going to make the switch and also explained why. Wish they'd done more with some of the stupid UI changes they made and it's nice to see that they're finally getting round to supporting WebP.

2
7
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Stop

You might like to come out from under your rock a bit more often. While the Firefox developers have been guilty of chasing unicorns from time to time, the discussion about plugin architecture wasn't one of the rainbows. It's hardly surprising that an architecture designed rather hastily in the 1990s should later to be shown to be insecure. Still it's a testament to developers of the time that it "worked" as a well as it did for as long as it did. But the combination of NPAPI and the power given to the runtimes (essentially black boxes) through it, that made it such a powerful attack vector.

Google did a lot of research on NPAPI before proposing a replacement which was generally welcomed by other developers. And the whole browser developer community has put a lot of effort into developing standards so that fewer plugins are required for things like video conferencing.

9
21

Surfacegate: Microsoft execs 'misled Nadella', claims report

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: I would guess MS is to blame

Could it just be that Intel's documentation was wrong?

Highly unlikely: for years (since the Pentium 4, I think) Intel has had hardware thermal cutouts built into its chips because, as a hardware manufacturer, Intel understands the costs of product recall, both of having to provide replacement equipment and in regaining trust. Intel also regularly provides well-documented reference boards.

23
0

Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: "why Blacks are such fast runners?"

Probably due to eugenics as a side effect of the slave trade.

Congratulations, you seem to have a staggering ignorance of: genetics, Africa, the slave trade and statistics, which is what the point was made about.

2
0

Ancient IETF 'teapot' gag preserved for posterity as a standard

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Up

How else will we ever build an infinite improbability drive?

Kudos to all involved for looking at this and deciding to keep it. Even if it is just about an Easter Egg in the specification, it also says something about not changing stuff just because we can.

4
0

Kalanick stations! Ex-Uber CEO sued for fraud by soured sugar daddy

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Arrogant, venal capitalists lose patience with arrogant venal capitalist.

Pot: meet kettle.

0
0

At last! Vivaldi lets you kill looping GIFs

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: I tried Vivaldi once...

That hasn't been a problem for at least a year: extensions can simply be installed from the webstore. I have Ghostery and Signal running all the time.

16
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

While the Vivaldi team do seem to focus on lots of next door's low-hanging fruit, they do deserve praise for sticking at it and for the investors for showing the faith. It is still missing some stuff we took for granted with Opera but they are keeping up to date with security patches.

The ominous silence over the promised mail client is what worries me most.

10
0

Uber bros kill car leasing program after losing nine grand per vehicle

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Thought to be?

In other words: this isn't the reason you are looking for. Leased car == benefits in kind

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Sales to rental / leasing operations is a keystone of the car makers business not least because losses incurred helped reduce the tax bill. That said, the reason US car sales are down recently is mainly due to a reduction in these kind of sales.

Uber loves to burn money so $ 9000 a car doesn't seem that bad and to pretend that they've only just realised what the full cost is sounds like complete bullshit. I suspect the decision is more related into not looking like an employer after all car deals are extremely common employee perks with attendant tax rules.

0
0

It's August 2017 and your Android gear can be pwned by, oh look, just patch the things

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Stop the world I want to get off

I want a simple secure phone that doesn't sell me down the river, just can't buy them nowadays.

I still see the odd feature phone for sale SIM-free for around € 40.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

If the cost of compliance is too high then you won't get any product.

I'm all for manufacturers doing their bit but I'm also keen on educating consumers enough so they understand the value of suppliers that do provide support beyond the statutory 2 years and perhaps being prepared to pay for it.

0
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Who is writing all this crud?

Fella, we can all bang on about how much better code was then but did you write operating systems for multimedia phones? Fact is that these devices are very sophisticated but also convenient. That some of the bugs are hardware-specific gives an inkling as to the complexity. Yes, there will be poor code in there but a lot of these bugs are turning up simply because of the improved scrutiny with techniques picking up new

Google's Android strategy isn't without its problems but I'm personally very impressed with the way they handle vulnerabilities and provide regular updates. Apple is always much, much quieter about the security stuff, some of which can be sitting around for months before a fix is pushed.

The real problem is the lack of enforcement of consumer protection legislation. This allows vendors to drop support for devices from which they're no longer making money without any kind of comeback. That it doesn't have to be that way is evinced by distros like LineagesOS (formerly CyanogenMod) and companies like OnePlus and WileyFox getting adopting them instead of trying to manage their own forks. My S5 got its weekly build with the patches.

0
0

No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I almost exclusively pay via Apple Pay

Which puts you in a pretty small niche, I think.

Can leave phone on charge and still get messages etc

You mean an I-Phone doesn't do notifications while charging?

1
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Actually, it reminds me of things like 3D TVs: adding stuff because you can in a vain attempt to improve sales.

Despite Andrew's invective I'm sure lots of companies are envious of Apple's success with its toy products: Apple TV and the Apple Watch. Volumes aren't that big but the margins more than make up for that. Apple is obviously serving a market for people like yourself and in doing so it is effectively stifling the competition.

There is certainly a market for this kind of product but there is also a risk of missing other developments.

2
0

Google's macho memo man fired, say reports

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Diversity is good

General diversity is VERY advantageous.

No one's arguing against diversity per se simply per fiat. Your examples are all false equivalents if they are supposed to support the idea of enforcing some kind of diverse employment policy.

4
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Diversity is good

Now if those "neo-left" SJWs would actually want to do something against that, they'd start with things like demanding proper healthcare …

I'm sure they demand lots of things from other people. A lot of this touchy-feely "we care more than you…" bullshit is mainly about salving consciences and usually more than a little hypocritical. Providing real equality of opportunity by improving education for everyone would automatically increase competition for lucrative jobs. And, once our own livelihood is threatened, we tend to become a lot less big-hearted. Much easier to make it somebody else's problem.

9
2
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Start over without a false premise."

Start over with a quote to show which post you are replying to.

Pretty easy really: the false premise is assuming there is no diversity in the team. The premise conveniently elides any definition of diversity and allows the asserting that any socio-cultural diversity (people from different towns and backgrounds, for example) isn't the "right" kind of diversity.

3
2

Foot-long £1 sausage roll arrives

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: but does it taste any good

Rinse and repeat for pork pies. Good sausage meat should taste of a bit more than lard and salt.

5
0

Another Brexit cliff edge: UK.gov warned over data flows to EU

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Stupid people don't know they're stupid

So you claim, but you still haven't provided figures. Downvotes don't invalidate facts.

I did or why do you think the power companies are buying French electricity? Have you seen the projected costs for power from Hinkley Point C? £92.50/MWh which is more than twice the current average and even more than what we pay in Germany!

This is how markets work. Largely down to a surplus of renewables from Germany the French often have over-generation to deal with and currently the UK power companies and, to a lesser extent, British consumers are the beneficiaries.

However, if Britain leaves the single market, it might be much harder and or expensive to buy that power. But what will the alternatives be.

7
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Stupid people don't know they're stupid

Hm.

I'm not speaking for either you or me, just reporting what the polls say.

The opinion polls at the time of Maastricht clearly showed that the British people did not want the government to sign up to the EU

But you previously claimed

that most European citizens want an EEC model

Please try and stick to your argument; we're not in the pub now.

Governments routinely pass legislation that isn't popular at the time: ending capital punishment is one of the many examples but it's a long list. The UK is a parliamentary democracy and the aftermath of last year's referendum is another example of why we don't decide policy by referendum.

6
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Stupid people don't know they're stupid

You are conflating the EEC (a good idea that worked) with the EU (a very bad idea that is failing).

That old canard again. The UK, as a fully sovereign state, participated in the negotiations that led to the treaties of Luxemburg and Maastricht and, hence, the EU. It's not perfect but it's not that bad either.

Unfortunately the arrogant twats who run the EU refuse to recognise that most European citizens want an EEC model

Speak for yourself; I much prefer the EU, despite its problems, to the EEC. Though I suspect most people couldn't tell you the difference and don't really care that much. Particularly the younger people across the continent seem to be pretty fervent Europeans.

The EU is still largely run by the nation states, but they often find it politically expedient to blame "Brussels" for things they may well have approved but are not very popular at home, at the moment.

18
2
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Stupid people don't know they're stupid

French consumers pay 0.15euros/kwh (13p) and UK consumers pay 12p/kwh, base rates.

Cheaper to buy French energy than generate it in the UK. It's not as if people buy a couple of boxes of electricity while they're in the Calais supermarkets.

As for consumer (industry pays a bit less) prices: €0.25 KWh here in Jormany because we subsidise renewables so heavily and still burn dirty coal. Still, with power, as with computing, you pay for what you provision, not what you use.

9
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Stupid people don't know they're stupid

not told we can't burn coal and must import French energy

There's no EU rule over the burning of coal and French energy is imported because it's cheaper and because the UK has failed to ensure it has sufficient generation capacity. Successive governments have failed to come up with a plan for the UK's energy market. OTOH you can consider yourselves beneficiaries of the single market in energy, particularly when Germany has to dump its subsidised over-production cheaply: KWh in the UK is quite a bit cheaper than in Germany.

What will happen after the UK leaves still needs to be worked out but 1970s style blackouts can't be ruled out: that monstrosity in Somerset certainly won't be ready in time.

20
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: "what was their response..."

not being allowed to sign our own trade deals, etc

Yes, because somehow the UK is bound to be able to negotiate better deals with Japan, China, India, etc. on its own than part of a bloc. All trade agreements impose some kind of non-compete clause on member states when it comes to trading with other groups. But being inside a bloc doesn't prohibit trade with other countries, viz. Germany's impressive record with India and China.

The aim of being inside a free trading bloc is that most of a country's trade suffers from neither tariffs or non-tariff barriers. For various reasons, some nakedly political, some economic, the EU has never favoured being solely a free trade area. For example, the currency union was proposed as a way of reducing the costs of exchange rate fluctuation and a way around the fairly ruinous policy of competitive devaluation. Common standards for goods and services are essential requirement for removing non-tariff barriers.

The UK is already providing a poor negotiator with the rest of the EU: turning up late and unprepared. There is absolutely no reason to suggest that it will be any better when it comes to negotiating new trade deals in a few years. And that's even if other countries are seriously interested in them,

19
2
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: "European courts will have no more influence after Brexit"

European courts will have just as much influence

As things currently stand the ECJ might end up with even more as the court charged with ensuring the settlement, which is bound to include stuff which the UK has to enforce but will have no say in.

20
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

the brexit negotiations generally are going to be a complete clusterfuck

A cabinet consensus around a transitional period (ie. the status quo) seems to be forming. Hardly surprising seeing as the clock has been ticking for nearly four months and nothing has thus far been negotiated, except perhaps the cancellation of fishing rights for other countries in British waters. This, along with so many other flag-waving exercises, might well turn out totally shit for the UK. Data transfer is likely to one of the more straight forward aspects: accept EU rules with no influence.

There are two things wrong with this: it will require the remaining 27 member states to agree and this will require sweeteners, which the UK will be expected to pay for somehow. But some kind of compromise is bound to be possible. More immediately whether government holds. The more it looks like there will be some kind of transitional arrangement, the more the hardliners are likely to try and force their own agenda. Cue leadership and general elections during which time even less gets done.

14
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: "have the same influence in the future as in the past"

Most of the continent uses a different metaphor which is significantly more apt in describing the situation

The German one is: Wasch mich aber mach mich nicht naß which translates as wash me but don't get me wet. Better get your towels!

5
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Lets just get this over with then

Don't forget: "Get off my lawn!" and "Bloody foreigners!"

20
2
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Especially if the minister responsible only attends the meetings on a part time basis.

13
1

Watson AI panned, 5¼ years of sales decline ... Does IBM now stand for Inferior Biz Model?

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Not sure comparing job postings is that accurate

It should also be noted that Watson goes a bit beyond the ML stuff that most companies are focussing on for speech and image recognition (this is where the developer service market is). I've always understand Watson to be a play for the far more lucrative support industry aimed at automatically white collar jobs like insurance claims handling. No idea whether they'll really succeed or whether Google will beat them to it, but full marks for identifying the market and continuing invest in the research.

4
1

Android-ocalypse postponed: Jide withdraws Remix OS from consumer frontline

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: It already happened...

@RyokuMas isn't it time you got that chip on your shoulder looked at?

1
0

Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Wading in late

Probably a heretical opinion here, but I find the "new" episodes better than the classic ones, which frankly are quite dated.

Not really fair to compare all of the new ones with all of the old ones. The programme started to change from the first episode and had to invent "regeneration" when William Hartnell decided to quit. Continuing the series with a new actor who looked and acted a lot different than Hartnell was at least as controversial as any of the more recent casting decisions.

The programme was initially about using the Tardis to explain some science to children. Only later did it become part of the science fiction genre it helped create. It was traditionally also produced for immediate consumption, which is why so many of the episodes went missing when the BBC wiped the tapes. Now, it's a medium budget co-production. The budget was a notorious problem throughout the earlier episodes. Don't have the budget for expensive locations? Then you get lots of episodes in shitty sets, quarries and abandoned factories. Filming outside with 16mm and in studios with huge U-Matic cameras was also hugely limiting. The tech was starting to improve by the 1980s but the poor writing and cynicism of the production team really started to show: casting Nicola Byant as an ingenue American student wasn't a bad a idea but having her run around in little more than a bikini all the time was just desperate.

But, nearly all the good ideas (Daleks, Cybermen, etc.) and tropes for the series were established in the original episodes. This includes a tendency for hamming up the acting and treating the companions as sidekicks: Doctor Who took some of its subjects very seriously but itself less so.

I haven't seen much of the newer episodes but those I have seen have high production values, including generally good acting. But I haven't found the stories very engaging. I think the biggest pity is that Christopher Eccleston only got the one series. Without him turbo-charging the restart I don't think it would have got very far.

5
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017