* Posts by sandman

605 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009


Apple coughs to iPhone 3G IOS 4 upgrade problems


Seems variable

My 3Gs has been fine - on the other hand two close friends have had theirs turn to bricks during the upgrade and have to do a full reset. There do seem to be some rough edges to the OS.

'External experts' replace Oracle on £13.2m Uni IT project


Re: Shush

Ah, so you have worked with me before ;-)


Bring in the contractors

This situation isn't unique. As someone who has been part of a team of contractors called in to get major Oracle projects completed after one (or in one case two) of the big system integrators had failed I can safely say that it happens in the private sector too.

Oddly we got the systems working more or less on time and to budget. This resulted in happy customers who even went as far as to write nice commendation letters.

Now, I'm not saying that all Oracle contractors are the dogs dangly bits, but there are a number of really good ones out there.

Mac spyware infiltrates popular download sites



Good use of sarcasm - sadly a bit subtle for some commentards.

Apple picks death not compliance for open source iPhone game



No commercial concern really wants you to be independent - ideally you should be locked in, preferably willingly. Apple are startlingly good at this and always have been. They have achieved this through a mixture of producing some pretty good products, top design skills and even better marketing.

Since Apple are not a monopoly - other phones, computers, etc are available, there is nothing forcing anyone to buy their kit so they can be as closed as they like from a regulatory point of view. Y'all may not like it but their shareholders and the majority of their customers (based on no research, just guessing) seem to. Oh, you can be as creative as you like, only they'd rather you did it using their products and selling through them.

Site news: Track this forum



Don't regard it as whinging, regard it as a keen interest in improving a service we all love/loath/treat with contempt (delete where applicable). The Jaffa cakes are the best idea though - hand delivered at 11am on Fridays please.

Ye olde London comes to the iPhone


Wrong way round

Daily Mail readers already interpret everything they see through inbuilt 1950s mental filters. The VR goggles would have to forcibly inject 21st century reality, a much more difficult task which would probably need reinforcing with psychoactive drugs.

Queuing for an iPad? Why?


Re: is it really so bad...

I'm with you on this one. I won't be getting one, but only because I don't have a need for it that I can see yet. I'm old enough to have lived through the MS v Apple War (round 1), the MS v Linux War and now the MS (+Linux?) v Apple War (round 2). Apart from the nutters, who actually cares, the more technology in more forms the better. I'll carry on with my MS PCs, my Linux netbook and my Apple iPod and iPhone without giving a tinkers cuss that apparently I really should be more religious about this sort of thing.

HTML5 'unhinged from reality,' say Javascripters


Quite right too

From a developer's point of view the whole video thing is really quite unimportant, it's just another tag. In the end HTML 5 is (hopefully) just an improved way of displaying various types of content. The major players will fight over which codecs to use and we'll just wack in the video which our employers or clients request - much of which will probably still be in Flash. No big deal.

TwitPic-nicking Mail nicked


Re: I always thought

Usually referred to as the Daily Excess - could be stretched to Daily Abcess I suppose.

IBM hands out malware-stuffed USB at security conference



You missed a Fail!

2012 Olympic mascots cop a shoeing


Critical Criticism

Can I have Stephen Bayley's job? I can disapprove of everything on demand for good money. Here's a quote from his Wikipedia entry: "He is also still so bitter about being dropped by the New Millennium Experience Company, that he is rolled out by the right wing press everytime they want to slag off a public project".

Climate change 'no excuse' for failure to beat malaria


Role of the media

One of the problems with the climate change debate is the role of much of the media. Good science often doesn't give concrete answers, it can create further questions. This is unacceptable to the much media, who want answers and want them NOW! There are two groups who are happy to provide those answers, the hard core believers and the hard core deniers, so guess who gets the press?

Let's face it, "Global Catastophe in 5 years" or "Climate Conspiracy by Evil Scientists" are good headlines. "Some things in some places are going to get worse, but we can't tell when or how yet, but our best informed guess is..." is not a good headline.

You'll see the same impatience with the war in Afghanistan, oil spills, medical discoveries, etc, etc. The demand for definitive answers in impossible time scales doesn't help anyone.

Osborne to 'get Britain working' - except for ID contractors


Wrong character

More like Luke Skywalker and Yoda...

Mobe-wielding drivers getting away with it


Quick rant

My favourite has to be the tosser trolley (4x4s) drivers around here who steer round blind corners with one hand firmly clamped to their ear. It's a little disconcerting to see a Range Rover/Cayenne/Volvo/Audi/Merc bearing down on you on the wrong side of the road while being driven by an oblivious tiny blonde who could do with a bolster cushion to see over the wheel. The blokes aren't any better.

Vote Lib Dem, doom humanity to extinction


Re: Technology as weapons

All us "up voters" aren't necessarily Lib Dems, I just agree with the posters who critisised the tone and factual content of the artcile.

Why Enterprise Analytics - and why now?


Adaptive Models

I work for a company that does precisely that, produces software to embed adaptive models in front line systems. When you add real-time visualisation and the ability to change the rules in the system more or less instantly you have a very powerful tool for controlling your business. Works particularly well in banks, telcos, utilities,etc. Don't knock predictive analytics too much, it can be a useful tool, as long as the results aren't treated as Delphic.

California's 'Zero Energy House' is actually massive fossil hog


Use coal

Taken to a logical conclusion, if I had a coal-fired (preferably really dirty lignite) or oil fired boiler (make it a big hot one to produce steam to run a turbine as well) and therefore generated all my own power I'd be super-green - at least by LA standards. Also my Humvee would be clean and green - it doesn't use leccie either - result!

Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx stalks PC and Mac converts



Yep, it's the apps not the OS that are the drawback. There still isn't a decent equivalent for most of the creative software and many business applications that I need to run. Commercial companies won't invest in Linux versions unless there's a market and the market doesn't exist because there are no Linux versions. Rock, meet hard place.

Gizmodo faces visit from cops over 'found' iPhone


In defence of Apple

Blimey, I never thought I'd defend Apple, but I can't see that they've done anything wrong in this case. OK, the engineer in question may have been ill advised to neck enough beer to forget the phone, but I'm not casting any stones there - I have a missing camera for the same reason. The two sinning parties are the finder and Gizmondo, both seem to have acted amorally if not illegally. Perhaps our engineer might like to move to Redmond, I hear there's a company there crying out for people who can develop decent phones...

Pentagon looks to revive Nazi space-bomber plan


Not really apolitical

Von Braun in fact held a senior SS rank and was a member of the Nazi party. Despite his claims to be apolitical and only joining up because he had to, there is a large body of evidence suggesting he was rather more enthusiastic Nazi then he later admitted. He was a great and visionary engineer, but also a master of reinvention.

Sun sat sends stunning solar snap


More sentient suns

Whipping Star - Frank Herbert

Drinking Midnight Wine - Simon R Green (the Serpent in the Sun)

Nokia launches ash cloud tracker


Lost interest?

It may be a little premature to lose interest, the eruption hasn't finished yet. Given the change in wind direction any ash may soon be heading across the polar region, which may make some other air routes interesting. If the next door volcano decides to join in the fun we could be back to square one pdq.

UK IT job outfit punts 491 private email addys


Re: Happens all the time

I trhink many of us will have suffered from the seemingly random approach. I suspect that they trawl their databases for relevant keywords in stored CVs, so if you have the word Oracle in yours you will be approached for all Oracle(ish) positions, no matter whether or not they fit your area of expertise.

There are some specialist recruiters who are really good - once or twice I've been either the only, or one of a couple, of applicants that have been approached for a position with a precise skill fit.

North Korea mobilizes Red Star Linux rollout


Ha, a Capitalist Running Dog

Please note that the Great Leader has declared that the article uses the word Communism in an ironic manner. While irony is not restricted to Britain it can pass over the heads of hasty readers, some (not all) residents of the Great Satan (USA) and other lackeys of Imperialism. On a final note, long live the Revolution and death to the hegemonists!

How a Tory gov will be the most tech-savvy in history


Won't hang on

OK, let's start on the Twitter idea. I work for a serious IT company - y'know, codes, sells software, multinational, that sort of thing. No one Twitters - not in work and not privately. Looks like we won't be getting any of those jobs then. Come to think of it, I don't know anyone who Twitters, but then my friends aren't media people, politicians or teenagers.

Secondly, there is a constitutional problem with crowd-sourcing Bills. When you elect an MP you elect a delegate, not a representative. In theory you are electing someone whose views/party's views are most closely attuned to your own. They are then a free agent for the elected period. If you want what would in effect be a rolling referendum you will change the constitutional basis of our form of democracy. You would also have the problem that only a few people would actively get involved - and they are likely to be highly motivated, probably in political, social or religious ways that might be a little extreme.

The greater transparency in expenditure sounds like a good thing, although there would be some interesting commercail and legal restraints on a truly open system.

Cartoon Law goes live

Thumb Down

Robert Crumb is doomed

So, possession of the famous (OK and grossly tastless but funny) "Family that lays together stays together" cartoon will be very illegal indeed. Burn your comics now folks...

If internet had existed before we were born would we be here now?



Man - I must have had some bad acid, either that or the author is so far away with the fairies they think they are Titania. Did that article contain meaning, was it an April Fool's joke or a series of loosly connected monoku?

Microsoft clutches open source to its corporate heart


Oh yes they can...

Microsoft (and many other companies - us for example) make a lot of money from Open Source. Take one example. Let's say Company A likes the look of a Microsoft product but is an Open Source house. If MS can breezily say, "No problem, the product you like is entirely interoperable with your ecosystem", there's a much bigger chance of a sale. They or their partner integrators can then charge for integration, services, support and training. Somewhere between 30 and 70% of a software companies profits will often come from the bits that aren't licence sales.

If MS can use Open Source code, methodologies, frameworks or whatever to improve their own products, that impacts the bottom line too.

In the grown up world the better companies use whatever systems can give them a competitive advantage and making them all play nicely together benefits everybody.

Court bars charges against teen who posed semi-nude


Don't criticise too soon...

At least in the US there is a written constitution to reign in the excesses of the judiciary, executive and legislature. Here in Britain the constitution and any law can be changed by any goverment with a sufficient majority, whether or not that parliamentary majority represents a majority of the voters (and it hasn't done for a long time).

Google to flee China on April 10, says report


Missing a trick

Wouldn't April 1st be more appropriate?

Aussie smoko-proofing drug prevents ill effects of cigs


Early Termination

Surely, with the looming pension crisis, it's in the Govt's interest to encourage smoking, drinking and the consumption of really unhealthy food. Most people will pay more in tax than their NHS treatment costs and they'll hopefully die before they can collect their pensions. Oh, and ban seat belts and airbags and encourage the use of motorcycles amongst the middle-aged.

Madoff geeks charged for writing book-cooking code


Arms dealer defence

Excel doesn't cook the books, people do...

Twitterati swarm on malaria campaign


Virtual Reality

I'm not entirely sure what reality this campaign is based in, certainly not the same one as the vast majority of the world's population live in. The (mostly) self-regarding folk who twit and the sheep who follow them won't really advance the cause much. If all those "celebrities" gave money on a proportional scale to Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and co, the disease would probably be on its way out already.

Carly Fiorina downs sinister Democrat hot air balloon


Don't worry

I was a bit older and she did funny things to me too ;-)

Robot mini space shuttle is go for April, says US air force


Orbital bombardment system...

How many iron bars can you pack in it?

Sarah Palin to testify in email hack trial


How droll

I'm sorry, I can't take Sarah Palin seriously and can't quite get my head around the fact that many Americans apparently do. Perhaps it's because she shares a name with an ex-member of Monty Python and her campaign was about as surreal as one of their better shows. The "hacking" event was just the icing on the cake.

Home Secretary swats away calls for Mosquito ban



We used to play Silver Machine at max volume and fire up a pair of 500W photo-floods to clear the club - made quite a startling contrast after the gentle "last desperate snog" song.

TSA worker tried to sabotage terror database, feds say


Firing people

We used to have a much simpler (and traditional) system. Two large people would appear beside you, one clutching the dreaded black bin bag. You were told to move away from your keyboard and put your personal possessions in the bag (carefully scrutinised). You were then escorted to the door having handed in your pass. The first time you see it done it looks pretty brutal, but does make an awful lot of sense in sensitive IT jobs.

Steve Jobs Flash rant put to the test


Good Flash

I rather like Flash (ooh, heresy). We use it a lot for software simulations (Adobe Captivate). It makes my life that bit easier and provides pretty decent cross-platform performance. Admittedly the same job can be done using DHTML tools but then you used to come up against browser compatibility problems, so Flash more or less won out. Just because a tool can be misused doesn't make it evil.

Top exorcist says Satan at work in Vatican


Hosts of demons

Don't forget that a person can be "possessed" by more than one demon at a time - could be tens/hundreds. (Look, I don't believe this load of old crock, but some obviously do). Cases of multiple possession could really cut down the workload, unless a multiple exorcism takes as long as many single ones. Personally I'd load up the crop duster with Holy Water to cut down the hours.

E-book buyers favour iPad over Kindle and co.


More importantly...

How many books could I buy for the same amount of money? It's the content I want to spend my money on, not the technology to read it.

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx changes its spots



I occassionally get asked to advise on UI design and it is remarkably important for user uptake. You can create the best functioning software in the world, but if you want to sell it to more than a very specialised market you better make it look good and work pretty slickly (or at least appear to). Companies like Apple and Microsoft spend millions on UI design and they don't do this for amusement.

If your customer fies up your software for the first time and just doesn't like the colours and design they may never really get past that initial impression. Although I've used Oracle for years I still can't get to like it, partly for those reasons.


Powder blue?

Haven't you changed the default colour to something better yet?

Google says desktop PC is three years from 'irrelevance'


Interesting analogy

"Here’s an analogy – the Roman legions used to send out scouts in different directions," he said. "If a scout didn’t return, the army didn’t head in that direction."

Um, if you were looking for the enemy you would head in that direction really quickly. This infers that Google learnt its tactics from Monty Python's The Holy Grail - "run away, run away"

US 'Anubis' stealth assassin robo-missile nearly ready


How appropriate

Anubis is an incredibly ancient god, and was the original god of the dead before Osiris "took over" the position. After that point, Anubis was changed to be one of the many sons of Osiris and the psychopomp (conductor of souls) of the underworld.


Ofcom wades into UK 'Net Neutrality' row



There isn't a clash of opinions here, the BBC may cut half its static websites, but can foresee delivering most of its broadcast material over the net - not the same thing at all. It will give me a good excuse to get that 27 inch monitor (so I can work on multiple documents of course).

Microsoft claims 90m sales of Windows 7


Corporate Upgrading

There may be a considerable number of companies like ours who are busy trialling it with the firm intention of introducing it later this year. So far it has received a pretty warm reception. Of course, you don't change a corporate OS without making damned sure all your mission critical software runs on it and it plays nicely on your infrastructure.

Some of you may think we could move to a flavour of Linux instead. This is simply not possible, like many corporates we use a lot of software that is Windows specific, partly for historical reasons and partly because there are applications where there is no Linux alternative (or the alternatives aren't suitable). Like many other companies we do use OSS on a large scale, but just not for our desktop OS...

Global warming may be normal at this point in glacial cycle


Clash of ideas?

Sorry, getting coat

iPhone ego clash costs Flash at Virgin America


With you

I'm so with you on the validation question. There is also the minor detail that depending which validator you use you will get different errors. Try validating the code and then validating for accessibility - screaming is good right afterwards. Note that making your site lovely for the visually disabled might not suit those with other disabilities. Web design is not a pure science and involves a lot of compromises. Hell, if it was easy it would be automated.


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