* Posts by Robert Grant

1091 posts • joined 22 Aug 2006

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Watchkeeper drones cost taxpayers £1bn

Robert Grant

Re: long-term reserve

It's still an available capability, just on a 1 year to move readiness rating :-)

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'Break up Google and Facebook if you ever want innovation again'

Robert Grant

Re: but lack of innovation is not one of them.

Let's not be silly.

If the Stazi wanted to keep tabs on your secret meeting, they would surveil you. If Facebook wanted to...oh wait, they don't. They just store what you give them.

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Seek 'passion' and tech skills will follow, say recruiting security chiefs

Robert Grant

"Good grief", said Charlie Brown.

"I'm not asking for people to take chances, rather give people opportunities"

Yet another orthogonality presented as a mutually exclusive alternative. You ARE taking chances by giving someone a job to someone who seems enthusiastic in an interview. You might say "You should take a chance to give people opportunities", as that at least isn't disingenuous.

Whether or not you want to take a chance on security in order to give someone an opportunity is another matter. I vote we let enthusiastic people become brain surgeons. The skills (and various liquids) will flow from that!

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When it comes to ML, reports of JavaScript's death are exaggerated

Robert Grant

No.

This article is silly, on a couple of main counts:

1) saying "Javascript is still useful for non-ML stuff you might want to do" is not an argument for using Javascript with ML.

2) There's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy here. "Why is Python massive?" asks Purves. "It's because there's a massive Python library. It will be hard to dislodge the ecosystem." - wrong. A self-fulfilling prophecy would be if people were using Python because it's known to be massive, which is undoubtedly true, but not what's claimed here.

3) Why do you want to push Javascript here? Why not any other of a number of languages for whom the exact same vague arguments apply?

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Nathan Barley blamed for global GDP slump

Robert Grant

Re: Freelancer is a good tax avoidance scheme

P.s. to all the silent downvoters: what have I said that's incorrect? And why is tax avoidance such a bad thing that you want to downvote a calmly written description of it? I thought a perk was tax avoidance.

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Robert Grant

Re: Freelancer is a good tax avoidance scheme

Let me not guess: you're guessing, and the straw man you guessed is nice and easy to argue with.

How about not attacking the imaginary person you've made up and just respond reasonably.

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Robert Grant

Freelancer is a good tax avoidance scheme

You get to pay no NI, and you can pay yourself a low-tax wage and up to 40k in dividends at 7.5%. And corporation tax is super low for you. That's why we have so many contractors these days. It hasn't added up to much additional productivity because people's skill hasn't gone up; you just pay loads more.

(Having said that, you don't get the crushing pension burden down the road, but then with the removal of defined benefit schemes that's not a problem anyway.)

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OnePlus 5 x T + five short months = Some p*ssed off fanboys

Robert Grant

Yeah, I'm currently wrangling with myself... are features found in pricier rivals worth the extra money? Ah well!

Of course not. And the OnePlus phones (or at least the mine, a 3T) have great features like incredibly fast charge and dual SIM. Perfect for chucking a work SIM in and routing all the data through.

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NetBSD, OpenBSD improve kernel security, randomly

Robert Grant

Re: it is a good start ...

Early? Wasn't this the thing OpenBSD had in 2003, or was that something else?

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Malware hidden in vid app is so nasty, victims should wipe their Macs

Robert Grant

Re: A complete wipe?

That does not sound like the Unix-way to me.

Don't make decisions based on learned conclusions (e.g. "Unix is better because you can script things!") Learn how stuff works, and conclusions will take care of themselves.

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Programming bootcamp compiles $375,000 check after triggering New York AG's error handlers

Robert Grant

Boot camps are a ripoff waste of time

1) Content is all free and online.

2) Goto (1)

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Consistency is key to Oracle and Microsoft's hybrid cloud clout

Robert Grant

Re: Oracle Cloud in the same league with Azure?

You're seriously wrong. Oracle's cloud includes SaaS/PaaS/IaaS, including SaaS applications for Cloud@Customer, and is on track to be $10 billion in sales within 6 quarters. Oracle's cloud is growing MUCH faster than Amazon's (72% versus 40%) and Oracle IaaS is the newest and most innovate IaaS on the market, and the only enterprise-capable IaaS for the foreseeable future.

This is nonsense. Growth percentages without accompanying absolute figures are for salespeople and mugs. AWS dwarfs Oracle's cloud and it's still growing at 40% vs 72%? That is massive.

Oracle will upsell its cloud to its poor, beleaguered customers for a while, but AWS and Azure are far bigger and play across far more spaces. Azure in particular for hybrid is obviously the leader, for the reasons outlined in the article.

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Fast Forward Labs CEO: 'If every idea on the roadmap is a good idea, that scares me a bit'

Robert Grant

What the heck?

Sorry, but this reads like a GCSE English essay level advertorial for this company. How many businesses look like this and don't get a friendly article written about them? What's special about this one?

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2019: The year that Microsoft quits Surface hardware

Robert Grant

I wish I got employed to say things like that. Make money! Don't NOT make money!

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Oath-my-God: THREE! BILLION! Yahoo! accounts! hacked! in! 2013! – not! 'just!' 1bn!

Robert Grant

Re: Destroying value

One of her predecessors invested in Alibaba, which came to fruition to the tune of $1B, which she frittered away. While Yahoo was already on the ropes when she joined, she was not a good CEO - turning around a business when you have a billion dollars at your disposal is definitely not hard mode.

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Oracle CEO Mark Hurd reads 'mean tweets' about his 2025 vision

Robert Grant

Agree - Cisco and T-Systems are doing a JV cloud solution in Europe at top level EU certification for this very reason.

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SQL Server 2017: What's new, what's missing on Linux, and what's next?

Robert Grant

Re: Good news when your name is not Larry Ellison

Completely agree. Other than at the very top end where all bets are off (e.g. banking, 1000s of simultaneous writes a second), Oracle seems overly fiddly and expensive to set up and run, especially when RAC is in the mix, and RAC is often upsold when it's really not needed.

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Welcome to the future: Bluetooth jackets you can only wash 10 times. Gee, thanks, Google

Robert Grant

Re: you should never wash a pair of jeans

Levi’s CEO explains why you should never wash a pair of jeans.

"Because I sell jeans, and want you to buy new ones rather than maintain ones you already own."

Next up, BMW's CEO on why you should never use the clutch when you change gear.

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Facebook U-turn: React, other libraries freed from unloved patent license

Robert Grant

Re: Not really an U-turn, still an attack on the Open Source Definition

I agree - this is probably a face-saving thing. Perhaps the silly PATENTS file was his idea in the first place or something and he doesn't want to say it was universally a bad idea.

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Shock: Brit capital strips Uber of its taxi licence

Robert Grant

"Since it first came onto our streets Uber has broken the law, exploited its drivers and refused to take responsibility for the safety of passengers. And that's OUR job!"

Fixed it for you :-)

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New HMRC IT boss to 'recuse' herself over Microsoft decisions

Robert Grant

Re: This is getting stupid

It needs a ground-zero nuke dropped

All nukes are ground-zero nukes when they detonate.

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Apple: Our stores are your 'town square' and a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'

Robert Grant

Re: easily beaten by phones costing £150?

Given how similar the OSes are, it's just fanboyism to "care" about iOS or Android. They look very, very similar, and have all the same apps.

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Robert Grant

Re: These "new" iPhones

Recommend OnePlus. Under half the price of an iPhone X, with dual SIM, 6GB of RAM, 80% charge in half an hour (of a battery that lasts all day anyway), 126GB storage.

The question Apple has to answer (and the tech press would ask it if they were journalists) is: what is the iPhone X doing that's worth the other £650?

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Linus Torvalds' lifestyle tips for hackers: Be like me, work in a bathrobe, no showers before noon

Robert Grant

Re: Last time I tried to work in a bathrobe...

I'm enjoying not drinking coffee til about 10:30 in the morning, after natural highs have tailed off and I want an actual boost.

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

Robert Grant

Re: Trivial ?

"Languages such as Python" don't enforce types at all (by default; I know about Python 3's type hints), so attempting to enforce values is a little meaningless.

Python is strongly typed, and enforces those types. Google the difference between strong/weak and static/dynamic typing - it's a good education in programming basics that code boot camps don't always cover. Happy learning! :-)

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User thanked IT department for fast new server, but it had never left its box

Robert Grant

Re: Read-ahead praise

Those people sound right behind!

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Please virtualize my reality before asking me to goggle at a fake one

Robert Grant

Re: DIY!

Architects are mostly useless idiots. They will show you a lovely rendered version of your plans then charge you loads for any alterations. In fact they just spend 10 minutes tweaking their Sketchup model. Do an image search for "sketchup house models" to see what I mean.

And anyone can program - tweaking colours in HTML is easy!

Oh, wait. Programmers also do realtime systems and architects also design things like Falling Water. Do that on SketchUp.

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The great phone squeeze wheeze: Getting squidgy with HTC's U11

Robert Grant

Re: "range"?

The only way you can understand that sentence to mean that you can get that phone subsidised on a contract from O2 and EE is ignoring the word "range" and replacing it with another, like "subsidise".

Yeah, or just "stock". It's an annoying practice of replacing existing words with silly verbised (yeah) nouns. I call it MBAing.

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Robert Grant

Re: "range"?

Those examples are English. What he quoted isn't.

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Samsung Galaxy S8+: Seriously. What were they thinking?

Robert Grant

Re: How much?!? Just get a OnePlus 3T

"Doesn't make it right or wrong" - anyone know who said it was wrong?

Speaking of wrong - re your general point: if I paid £1m for a pencil, it'd be normal to call me crazy, regardless of what perceived value I received from the purchase. This is a tech site - we know what stuff is actually worth, and what's silly.

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Robert Grant

Re: How much?!? Just get a OnePlus 3T

Very happy OnePlus 3T customer here. Spending £800 on a phone is just lunacy.

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Google to give 6 months' warning for 2018 Chrome adblockalypse – report

Robert Grant

Sounds like Youtube

"auto-playing sound-on video ads and – everybody's least favourite – the "prestitial" ads which annoyingly count down from 20 or 300 or 10 (or whatever amount of time you don't have to waste) before displaying content"

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At the feet of the Great Monad, or, How the functional programming craze plays out

Robert Grant

Not bad

But it's no Kingdom of the Nouns.

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Agile consultant behind UK's disastrous Common Platform Programme steps down

Robert Grant

Re: Agile fine until it hits the real world?

Yeah agree - powerless (and probably 95% absent) product owner makes a huge difference.

To all the waterfallists: you'd be surprised how similar Agile and Waterfall are in achieving results, if both are done properly. The main difference is Agile will deliver what you need now, whereas Waterfall will deliver what you thought you needed two years ago, and now have to lawyer up to argue about what features have or haven't been delivered.

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Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

Robert Grant

Re: Encryption is not made "illegal"

Get the Clacks towers up and running, people.

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Don't waste your energy on Docker, it says here – wait, that can't be right...

Robert Grant

Headline grabber

Surely a better comparison would be between docker and a full fat VM, and then docker on a VM. You'd imagine that paying the virtualisation energy price would only be done once.

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Just how screwed is IT at the Home Office?

Robert Grant

Can anyone explain IR35?

HMRC wants to raise more funds by taxing contractors who work for government 20% off the top, forcing them to charge 20% (at least) more, which is paid for by...funds from HMRC?

....what?

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'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Robert Grant

Don't get me wrong, this patent is stupid, but that isn't the same.

However I would be interested to see if it could be challenged based on the fact the GUI concept was not unique (as per your example) and the starting of different OSes isn't unique (e.g. LILO did this in 1996).

So what's left? Perhaps the assignment of storage to OS? When was Lilosetup created?

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Good job, everyone. We're making AI just as tediously racist and sexist as ourselves

Robert Grant

Re: What would you expect

This is the least competent comment I have ever seen. It's not the algorithm. It may be the input data.

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Europe will fine Twitter, Facebook, Google etc unless they rip up T&Cs

Robert Grant

Re: Good luck

Why is America not just the home of some very smart people, but also the home of some of the dumbest bravado-drunk brazen know-nothings on the planet? "The equivalent of economic armageddon?" We already had that, thanks to the US underregulating their financial industry. Suing Twitter probably won't have quite as many repercussions, Captain Overstatement.

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Oracle gives FCC a great big sloppy kiss: You're doing a great job axing net neutrality, privacy

Robert Grant

Here's what we need to do next

Find an Oracle database, and convince management the lower total cost of ownership is with Postgresql. Good luck!

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Tech contractors begin mass UK.gov exodus in wake of HMRC's IR35 income tax clampdown

Robert Grant
Black Helicopters

Moar tinfoil please

1) Government makes it illegal to not supply employees (or even people that look a bit like employees) with a pension (DONE)

2) Government drives contractors back to permanent employment by making freelancing pointless (DONE)

3) Government removes state pension for the richest 95% ?

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'Treat your developers like creative workers – or watch them leave'

Robert Grant

Whimsical and practical? Try 5 minutes' work and incredibly complex

Some of the projects being shown off were whimsical, like a button that sends Slack notifications when takeout food gets delivered. Others were more practical, like optimized video delivery infrastructure.

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WebAssembly: Finally something everyone agrees on – websites running C/C++ code

Robert Grant

The App Killer?

I know it's not that simple, but it'd be nice to have more websites and fewer stupid walled-garden apps.

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Four reasons Pixel turns flagship Android mobe makers into roadkill

Robert Grant

One day tech writers will stop using "price point" when they mean "price" - i.e. over 99% of the time.

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Lean in and pivot: Even Steve Jobs didn't work alone, startup boy

Robert Grant

Re: Exactly

Yeah, he also needed MS to inject cash before Apple folded, but Woz was the guy.

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Double KO! Capcom's Street Fighter V installs hidden rootkit on PCs

Robert Grant

Re: to uninstall...

I thought that did a combo breaker?

(Oh sorry, that's the other other one.)

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It's Friday – and that means one thing: Yup, Microsoft's TypeScript 2.0 is out

Robert Grant

Strong vs static

Your wording mixes up strong and static typing. Languages fall along two axes: strongly or weakly typed, and dynamically or statically typed. Static vs dynamic is whether or not the type of a variable is known at compile time. Strong or weak is whether or not types can be used interchangeably without throwing an error but the language may do something you don't expect.

For example, Javascript is weakly typed. I can say "1" + 1 and I get "11" - it boxes the numeric 1 into a string. This is a source of runtime errors, say if I thought the first string was actually a number as well and wanted to get the number 2 out.

Strong typing is just another way of testing your code. It can be very, very powerful (and often is), but it's not always applicable. Dynamic vs static typing is a more complex issue, as they both have very strong cases for them.

I like the brevity of dynamic typing and the extra enforced correctness of strong typing.

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Microsoft takes shot at Amazon as it wraps up UK cloud data centres

Robert Grant

Re: MOD

Not sure Google business stuff is any better - a mate is at a multinational and they've just started using Hangouts instead of Skype and apparently it's terrible. Skype interfacing with real phones turns out to be important.

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Firefox 48 beta brings 'largest change ever' thanks to 'Electrolysis'

Robert Grant

I've heard of this feature!

Isn't it the one IE8 had?

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