* Posts by Andy 73

306 posts • joined 9 Jul 2009

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No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

Andy 73

Politics..

@david 12 - You're on a loosing battle here, the Remain representation in the Forums is quite loud.

It's unfortunate that some people want to define Brexit as 'cutting all ties with the EU', and treat A50 like a declaration of war. Despite absolving themselves of any responsibility, they're setting the tone as much as any others. As it is, we're changing the terms under which we trade, share, work and play with the member nations of Europe. Apart from a few extremists, you'd be hard to find anyone who wants to 'pull up the drawbridge'. I've heard more from the Guardian about 'not welcoming foreigners' than I have from the Daily Mail lately.

But hey, apparently the world is completely black and white, and it's all the fault of those evil Brexiters. No collective responsibility at all.

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Brit drone biz Sensat notches up 29km remote-control flight

Andy 73

More please

To see real innovation in this space, we need to work on enabling BVLOS flights as simply as possible. It's good to see that a single flight has been possible, but rather points out how slow progress is in this area that we've been technically able to carry out such missions for quite some time now.

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How much is the drone biz worth to the UK? How's £42bn by 2030 sound? – PWC

Andy 73

Re: Yes but...

Sigh..

You won't find anyone in the industry who doesn't agree with the safety aspect. There are enough discussions about the risks involved with flying a commercial grade machine, that every pilot will be well aware of the consequences.

However, we've now been waiting for at least a year for clarification about what exactly the regulations will involve, and issues like beyond line of sight and autonomous flight are still completely unresolved. The confusion is that regulation is slow to emerge and the current interim regulations have no answer when it comes to running a scaleable business.

As I said, the current regulations are fine if you want to run a (safe) single operator business, but that is not what clients want (unless you're a wedding photographer).

Please don't confuse hobbyist fliers with commercial operators.

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Andy 73

Yes but...

You know you're in trouble when you're relying on licensing to make it possible to make money in a business. Either you're capable of offering a service that adds value, or you're not. If the value is *only* established by artificially restricting entrance to the market, then you don't have a business.

It seems to me the biggest issues facing the drone industry are that

(1) all of the major platforms are built outside this country and are 'closed source', so we have limited capacity to develop custom applications without first re-inventing the wheel.

(2) we're still waiting on regulations that *enable* businesses. We can't fly beyond line of sight, or autonomously without an expensively trained operator.

(3) operations in built up areas are heavily restricted

The points above mean that the only business currently possible is 'pay by the hour camera operator' - which is not attractive to most business clients. Construction companies want to either just 'use a drone' or 'pay for a national service' - not have to find a local 'man with a van' who may or may not be able to provide data that their departments can use. The same applies for most other suggested use cases; they need to be either cost effective to run in-house, or available as a consistent service nationwide.

In short, we're still trying to develop the technology and discover the business models that will work - yet the confused regulation and uncertain environment severely restrict experimentation.

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US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR

Andy 73

Re: *** GDPR has nothing to do with ads ***

Thanks for the downvotes, folks.

What did I say? Oh yes, there is a good case for data security and transparency. Seems we all agree on that one.

I then went on to say that there might be some politics involved from people who want to stop those nasty American companies... and two hours later we have the Register news article on the legal challenges to Facebook, Instagram, Google et. al.

Yeah, sucks to be right. ;) If you genuinely believe that every last campaigner for "personal privacy" has your best interests at heart and isn't politically motivated, I have a bridge to sell you. Just tick this checkbox here ----> [ ]

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Andy 73

Here we go

This is what happens when politics and technocratic 'solutions' are combined.

"All these free services keep showing me unwanted ads! The horror!"

[stops ads]

"All these free services have stopped!"

There is of course a good case to be made for ensuring data security, and transparency in collection. Less so the calls for Statist intervention and the overthrow of all those nasty American companies.

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Ongoing game of Galileo chicken goes up a notch as the UK talks refunds

Andy 73

Re: Let's not question the EU

> Other polls indicate that the elderly (the ones who mostly voted leave but are not going to have to live with the consequences) are slowly dying off and the younger voters (who more voted to stay and are the people who are actually going to have to live with the consequences for decades) are increasing in proportion.

Ah, the Jeremy Corbyn 'youthquake' delusion. It's pretty widely acknowledged that the young idealists that vote with their hearts grow old, bitter and cynical and vote from life experience. Hang on to your hat, because this might blow your mind - the elderly are an endlessly replenished resource. :)

As for consequences, the consequence of the Referendum is that we are going to have to change our relationship with the EU. After all the legal challenges, the general election and attempts at forming 'pro-EU' parties, it's vanishingly unlikely we're going to 'un-Leave'. So, to avoid far more damaging consequences of a bungled negotiation leaving us with neither independence nor influence, we have to step up to the mark and assert our value. However 'nebulous' you might think the idea of ending membership of the EU is, we've got to make it work. Some of that will involve actually acting like grown ups and fighting for continued joint projects with other nations.

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Andy 73

Re: Let's not question the EU

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I didn't vote for Brexit. I was (and still am) quite ambivalent towards both of the extremes of the Referendum.

This is exactly the issue I have with some unrelenting Remainers though, that allow the referendum to define at least half of the country as 'thick, xenophobic sociopaths'. It does a huge disservice to the people who didn't vote your way, and going forward will do more damage by allowing the EU to justify some quite questionable negotiating. This form of self-flagellation does not undo the Referendum, nor does it build bridges going forward.

It also lets the current government off the hook by laying the blame at 'the wrong choice' rather than an utterly disastrous implementation.

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Andy 73

Let's not question the EU

As ever with El Reg, it seems that questioning the EU is not on the agenda.

Here's what the Hungarian Foreign Minister has to say on Galileo:

> Q: Would you like to see the UK staying in the Galileo programme?

> Yes, of course. We understand the UK covers 12 per cent of the costs of the budget of the Galileo programme and I really do think that the security risks that are ahead of the European Union demand a very strong cooperation between the UK and the European Union. I think that giving up the cooperation with the UK on the field of intelligence or any other security aspects would be very irresponsible on the part of the European Union.

The Remain crowd do our whole country a disservice by characterising Brexit as 'pulling up the drawbridge' on international co-operation. For sure, it changes the relationship, but that's not the same as ending it. It seems that some Remainers actually want that to happen, which is a ridiculous act of self-harm. (Pauses to wait for the inevitable comments) At this stage, it's up to all parties to make the best of the situation - regardless of our individual positions on Brexit, we can't afford to make things worse for the sake of "I told you so".

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How Google's Smart Compose for Gmail works – and did it fake its robo-caller demo?

Andy 73

That last one....

...about the frogs.

Casual reading suggests they've found a proxy for temperature measurement. That is not a good way to detect 'climate change'. Nor is changes in the local frog population (and by definition it will be *local*).

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Android devs prepare to hit pause on ads amid Google GDPR chaos

Andy 73

Hmmm..

As an app developer with Admob Ads, I store no personally identifiable information about the people using my app. Google's APIs take Google-stored information and pass it on to other Google services to provide personalised apps. Many of those APIs take pains to ensure that I as a middle-man cannot see or modify that data. Does GDPR therefore apply to me?

Frankly I'm unimpressed by this legislation that has (deliberately?) introduced a vast range of grey areas that are being enthusiastically exploited by rent-an-experts, consultant services and others. From photography forums (are photographs GDPR compliant?) to cake shops (are we responsible for people using our hashtag?) the 'protection of the people' introduces more confusion than solution.

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It's Galileo Groundhog Day! You can keep asking the same question, but it won't change the answer

Andy 73

Re: Aerospace Valley

@Dr_N Ah, the last defence of the person caught out passing off knee jerk prejudice as insight: "I didn't mean it, I'm just here to laugh at it all." Sure, funny joke. Ha. Ha.

As someone who didn't vote for Brexit, my observation is that there appears to be a small group of deeply embedded Remainers who are still fighting the Referendum of two years ago, still desperately trying to prove they were right. For them (and, it appears, you) there are indeed sides. One must mock the others mercilessly. With exclamation marks.

For the rest of the country, there seems to be a desire to get on with it and make the most of the cards we've been given. Yes, the government are making a meal of it, yes some of the decisions to rip up decades old institutions are hard to make. Yes, the rest of the process is long and boring and doesn't deliver instant ice-cream and sprinkles.

However, we've got to make those decisions, and we should be looking for the best opportunities - there are some significant benefits we can realise if we do what was voted for. Taking back control of trade agreements, tariffs, regional subsidies, CAP and CFP can make a serious material difference to the 'man on the street' if we so choose.

Unless of course we listen to the hecklers who delight in discomfort and the possibility of failure, just so that they can feel smug and justified. These are the people who offer no solutions, other than some perverse desire to hobble the country just so they can feel vindicated. I'm sure you'd love it to be funny just so you don't have to contribute anything useful yourself.

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Andy 73

Re: Aerospace Valley

@Dr_N Nothing 'Brexiteer' about it. I've worked with a whole bunch of people, a small, persistent subset of which seem to believe that they're working 'here' (for some value of here) out of a spirit of generosity. They will tell anyone who listens just how bad here is, how little they enjoy it, and how much better somewhere else is (insert favourite nation, hemisphere, beach, pub of choice). They make people who work with them miserable, and yet years later I'll find out they're still 'here', dragging that little cloud of misery behind them.

So I have relatively low tolerance for people who spout that sort of nonsense. Put up (and make the place better whilst you're at it) or p**** off. :D

You'll note I didn't tell anyone to 'Go back to where they came from', and there was no sarcasm or malice intended. Your post however was dripping with righteous indignity and (quite inaccurate) prejudices. Sometimes in the Brexit vs. Remain debate, I wonder which side is actually the intolerant one.

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Andy 73

Re: Aerospace Valley

I imagine you could make that move now if you want to. Why are you still here?

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Andy 73

Re: The UK go it alone?

I think that's called authority by anonymity - we hold our own politicians in contempt because we know them, yet the faceless bureaucrats in Europe are believed to be impeccable models of efficiency.

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Robo-callers, robo-cops, robo-runners, robo-car crashes, and more

Andy 73

Atlas

Boston Dynamic's machine appears to roam the desolate country looking for small obstacles to jump over.

Lesser AIs would walk round them.

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Southend Airport tests drone detection system

Andy 73

Re: Trafalgar Square

I fly from London Glasgow.. to avoid the crowds.

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Another quarter, another record-breaking Tesla loss: Let's take a question from YouTube, eh, Mr Musk?

Andy 73

It's like a slow motion....

...car crash.

Not sure if he'll swerve at the last minute, but don't those deadlines make a whooshing sound as they go past?

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Blighty: If EU won't let us play at Galileo, we're going home and taking encryption tech with us

Andy 73

Hypocrites

The EU engages in brinkmanship over the Galileo project:

"We deserve it, Brexit is a bad idea, this proves it!"

The UK engages in brinkmanship over the Galileo project:

"Our MPs are idiots, how dare they, Brexit is a bad idea, this proves it!"

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Andy 73

Re: Fucking Brexit

Doesn't matter if they hate us. If we control the encryption to their satnavs, they won't be able to find us.

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I spy with my little eye ... a quantum drum with TRILLIONS of atoms

Andy 73

What we need now...

... is a really strong cup of tea.

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RIP: Sinclair ZX Spectrum designer Rick Dickinson reaches STOP

Andy 73

Wonderfully creative

At a time when people were still working out how to make consumer electronics, Dickinson was pulling together materials and techniques in inventive and unexpected ways. His designs were iconic and helped Sinclair flourish. Jony Ive probably owes him a debt!

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I got 99 secure devices but a Nintendo Switch ain't one: If you're using Nvidia's Tegra boot ROM I feel bad for you, son

Andy 73

Re: "free games"

When you buy stuff, you don't magically have universal 'property rights' to do with it what you will - and certainly don't have moral rights. People claiming that this is a 'win' against the cruel corporations really need to gain a little perspective. Your only right in that respect is to chose not to buy something if it does not suit your needs.

On the other hand, it sounds like a smart little hack. The Switch is a lovely bit of hardware and being able to run arbitrary code on it is neat. It's just a shame that the zealots will go from there to distributing games for free because apparently they believe that too is their 'right'.

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Brexit has shafted the UK's space sector, lord warns science minister

Andy 73

Hmmm..

This follows on from representatives from the Automotive industry telling government that if they "don't act quickly" (tm) industry jobs would be at risk... and representatives from the Agricultural industry telling the government that if they "don't act quickly.." you get the idea.

That's not to dismiss their concerns, but to point out that yes, Brexit is going to lead to uncertainties, changes and potentially a few opportunities. This is not news, not industry specific and raising it this way does not make this group in any way more special than all of the others facing disruption.

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UK consumer help bloke Martin Lewis is suing Facebook over fake ads

Andy 73

Much needed lawsuit

If Facebook's revenue is from advertising, and the adverts I am shown are representative (endless Bitcoin and investment scams), then something is very broken and yes, they should be held responsible.

These adverts are sufficiently formulaic that there is no reason whatsoever for Facebook to be incapable of removing them automatically. Given the heavy handed way they police the 'non commercial' parts of their estate, it is a clear case of selling their morals to anyone with cash.

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The true victims of Brexit are poor RuneScape players

Andy 73

Re: "Jagex did not say exactly how Brexit will up its costs"

@NickRyan - Do you need help with that tinfoil hat?

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Andy 73

Re: Lots of Independent readers in today :)

It's a service. People pay to play. Unless they are charging foreign players in GBP, a drop in exchange rate means that a $X USD subscription brings in more GBP than it did before.

The wage bill in the UK has been pretty much stagnant for the last couple of years - and I know full well where they're based.

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Andy 73

Lots of Independent readers in today :)

If you read the Guardian or Independent, food prices have gone through the roof, the exchange rate has plummeted and the world is about to end...

For a service like Jagex, an exchange rate drop is usually strongly advantageous - the majority of their customers likely being outside of the UK.

Of course it's entirely possible they are running a global business in a way that is badly hit by local fluctuations in costs/currency. Given how old the game is, they should have sorted that out a long time ago.

As for food prices, after a couple of years' historic low, the CPI has returned to the previous decade's norm (old link, but: http://uk.businessinsider.com/brexit-uk-inflation-in-october-2017 ) Though Jagex do offer to feed their developers (part of the kindly "please work round the clock for no financial advantage" style of games studio), I doubt food costs have actually affected their bottom line.

But I guess if you want to hike the price of a game that costs about the same as a Netflix subscription, you have to blame *something*.

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An easy-breezy attitude to sharing personal data is the only thing keeping the app economy alive

Andy 73

Re: Better alternative

@Dodgy_Geezer But is hasn't changed the majority of people's behaviour, has it - they're still buying coca-cola - just the one with plastic sugar in it. Imposing regulation on Facebook will not make people jump ship to 'Not-Facebook' because there isn't a 'Not-Facebook' option out there (and genuinely, if you use Facebook to keep in contact with family, friends, clients and customers, just switching it off is not an option that stacks up).

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Andy 73

Re: Better alternative

@israel_hands If you really believe Facebook will present the GDPR options in a way that doesn't guide the user to a 'successful outcome', I have a bridge to sell you.

Even if faced with a stark "Agree to let us slurp your data or you don't get access" warning, most Facebook users will happily tick the box and go on their merry way. To the average person on the street, this is abstract, undefined stuff - "I don't read the ads anyway, so it doesn't apply to me".

Anyone thinking GDPR and similar legislation is going to pull the plug from Facebook is in for a surprise.

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Andy 73

Better alternative

I remain unconvinced by the idea that regulation will save us. It's like the idea that a sugar tax will make us stop buying sugary drinks - if only nanny were more strict with me I wouldn't be such a terrible person.

As for the people who smugly declare they don't do social media - hiding in a cave doesn't make you somehow more relevant just because the non-cave dwellers are unhappy with their lot. The answer to much of this will only come when 'we' (the techies) come up with a better solution that is relevant and valuable to the masses. That doesn't involve insisting everyone else should live in a cave.

What that 'better' looks like is the stuff of crystal ball gazing, but in part should be unlocked by democratising payment systems and federating identity - so that the great unwashed masses can move seamlessly between pools of content, entertainment and retail without having to rely on a handful of gatekeepers that 'permit' them access.

Google already knows that 'pay per view' or 'pay per play' could increase content provider's incomes by at least an order of magnitude whilst only asking for pennies from app users or content browsers. However, they are actively ignoring such possibilities as it would unlock value that other platforms could easily grow from. Patreon and other services show exactly where we could go, but also break the data stranglehold that the big four have on users.

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Samsung Electronics teases record Q1 profit

Andy 73

Trouble in RAM land? Good.

This may be a ray of hope for people who want to build a PC without re-mortgaging the house. RAM prices have risen to ridiculous levels over the last year and an adjustment is long overdue.

If the share slump anticipates a market correction in RAM prices, I'll be very happy.

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Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

Andy 73

Re: No surprise

Predictable? Maybe. The act of an organisation you'd want to be beholden to? Maybe not.

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Happy as Larry: Why Oracle won the Google Java Android case

Andy 73

Re: Haha

QT - The point here is that Java wasn't just chosen as a convenient hardware abstraction layer (though yes, it is that). It was chosen as an extensive ecosystem, with decent tooling, vast amounts of documentation and many libraries that can be pulled in to do... well, pretty much anything. The problem Symbian had, and QT still has is that, outside of the core development community, there is nothing comparable to the amount of support and development activity that there is with Java.

What feels kludged, fragile and bloated to you feels consistent, predictable and unremarkable to most Java devs - it just works. Like any language, the quality of the output depends on the consideration that goes into its development and the understanding of the platform. Sure you can create your own hell, pulling in the entire universe, but dependency management on Java is incredibly robust and the ecosystems that have built up around it are simply not matched in other platforms. I've got ancient projects that still build and run consistently on an O/S that has since had five major revisions (and a whole bunch of point releases).

And application memory and CPU requirements have never had the impact devs believe it should on platform penetration. What is important is that the users can get their hands on thousands of apps that do whatever is cool right now - and guess what? They can. That's why people buy Android phones not Windows Phones or Blackberry Phones and so on.

None of this is to say Java is better than *insert language here* from a technical standpoint. The thing is, it's not those technical details that drove the adoption of Android.

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Andy 73

Re: As usual Andrew hates Google

The subtlety here is surely not that someone might copy your operating system, but that if you put out a platform on which others build their livelihoods, you now have a legal stranglehold over them.

How would you feel if tomorrow Microsoft updated windows so that only Microsoft products ran on top of it? You can't do a blind thing about it as anyone re-implementing the APIs they choose to remove can be sued. They could quite legitimately remove APIs needed by Chrome, Firefox and Opera and announce that 'for your own good' you can only use Edge. Remember the legal wars that were fought to prevent exactly that scenario happening? And now, via a different legal route, we've given that ability back to them.

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Andy 73

Re: Haha

I have programmed in C++ and C and Javascript, and Pascal and x86 and Scala and.. it's a long list. I'm old. The tooling for C/C++ at the time was poor, with second rate refactoring, unit testing, code coverage, and even simple things like autocompletion. Build tools were inconsistent and setting up 'an environment' a dice game unless you happen to live in happy Visual Studio land (welcome to the Hotel California). In comparison, the same set of Java tools ran consistently on your machine, regardless of whether it was a Windows, OSX or Linux box.

Do tell me how you sandbox a C++ executable? Or perform static analysis on it without symbol tables you hope are consistent with the binary. Or ensure that your arbitrary third party library (hint: there are thousands of those freely available for Java and hence Android) is safe to run on any of the thousands of phones out there?

And if you think that all Android is is a 'sound and visual API', you've really missed the point by a country mile.

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Andy 73

And did it affect the market value of the original?

You might suggest it vastly improved the market value of the original, and Oracle did the square root of **** all about it. Oh look, someone has demonstrated the right way to use Java on mobile (*cough* Java ME, I'm looking at you). What shall we do? I know... ignore it.

If Java is a vital financial resource for Oracle, their stewardship of the language suggests they shouldn't be left in charge of the change box at a cake stall.

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Andy 73

Haha

Yes, because we see thousands of C++ and HTML based apps don't we - clearly that's the better technology... *sigh*

OK, sarcasm over. When Android was just starting, you had next to no consistency of hardware between vendors, and manufacturers actively attempting to create walled gardens by building in 'special' (and incompatible) features into both their hardware and the O/S running on top. HTML at the time was purely a presentation layer, with pitiful performance and a complete inability to deal with many UI concepts (multi-touch, 3D rendering, real time processes etc). HTML is still a stupid place to start if you want an immersive UI and to retain your sanity. That's why the cool kids are using Unity.

A VM that abstracted both the hardware features and the user interface was *exactly* what was needed to avoid going the Nokia route. The moment devs could be tricked (or willingly leap) into using device specific APIs, the 'universal' nature of the platform would be lost - and it needed to be universal to match the monolithic and well managed walled garden that Apple had created.

The usual moronic nonsense about Java performance simply didn't apply. It was *good enough* (and still is - VM technology is very smart these days) and provided a development environment that was accessible, consistent, neatly sandboxed and supported by tools that were an order of magnitude better than the command line torture inflicted on C++ devs.

"Android is just..." - it's not 'just' anything - it's the largest mobile platform globally, despite many attempts to offer alternatives. Many. Attempts. Some using C++ and HTML...

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Facebook's inflection point: Now everyone knows this greedy mass surveillance operation for what it is

Andy 73

People may be outraged...

...but still can't get over the hump of actually having to pay for stuff.

It only seems to happen where companies do it by stealth.. Netflix is YouTube with a subscription fee. If they wanted to they could start poaching the top Play channels and actually pay people proper money for content - even offering an order of magnitude more than Google currently pay still only means handing over a fraction of a cent per view.

But hey, free is even better.

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BOOM! Cambridge Analytica explodes following extraordinary TV expose

Andy 73

Just leave this here...

From Guido Fawkes: "Cambridge Analytica’s poundshop Bond villain and bullsh*tter extraordinaire Alexander Nix says...."

Because some people would very much like Facebook to fail, they're rather too willing to believe the hype that Cambridge Analytica have spread about themselves. In both cases, these are marketing companies who desperately want everyone to believe they are more important than is in fact the case.

If you want a good measure of how important Facebook is, consider their rival MySpace.... miss them much? That's not to say Facebook doesn't occupy far too much of our time, or have more influence than it deserves - but as and when it gets replaced by the next thing, it won't leave much of a hole in our lives.

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Sheer luck helped prevent mid-air drone glider prang in Blighty

Andy 73

Re: Hmmm...

The problem is that the more 'extreme' you make the rules, the more you tempt people to just ignore them.

Passing bad legislation because you 'have' to can have quite unfortunate side effects.

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Andy 73

Hmmm...

Understood that this should be given respect, as a collision is potentially fatal.

However, to link this with tightening drone rules is disingenuous, as the existing rules were clearly already being broken by the drone operator. Most consumer drones will not support flight above 121 meters without confirmed user intervention, so the operator appears to have been knowingly and deliberately flouting the existing rules.

Unfortunately, some commentators will abuse this incident in order to push an enforcement agenda that does not solve the issues at hand.

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Murdoch to Zuckerberg: Cough up cash, nerd

Andy 73

Not just journalism

> There is undeniably a shift occurring as the public finally comes to terms with the fact that there is inherent value in professional newsgathering.

Change 'professional newsgathering' to 'decent content' and it's not just journalists who *should* benefit from being generously encouraged to share their content. How long will YouTube hold on to the better quality creators when Amazon, Netflix and others are showing that people will pay for reliable entertainment?

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NHS: Thanks for the free work, Linux nerds, now face our trademark cops

Andy 73

Shameful

See title.

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Worst-case Brexit could kill 92,000 science, tech jobs across UK – report

Andy 73

Re: So one remainiac commissions a report from load of other remainiacs...

From the same guys who predicted a recession and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs immediately should the Referendum have gone to Leave? How often do you have to check a broken watch before it tells the right time?

Wouldn't their time more usefully be used to suggest constructive negotiating points to minimise job losses - or even create new jobs? It turns out that prior to the referendum they were so busy predicting gloom that it didn't occur to any of them that the scenarios they were examining could have positive results - such as record low unemployment and the highest order books for thirty years?

If they missed those immediate outcomes of the Referendum, what opportunities are they missing in the negotiations?

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So you're 'agile', huh? I do not think it means what you think it means

Andy 73

Re: Agile

> To me this is perhaps the biggest flaw with Agile, it only works when you have really good people.

I've yet to discover a methodology that protects you against dumb shmucks. Sure, the dumb can come out in different ways, but it will always come out.

Waterfall tends to mean that you only find out somewhere around the end of the project, rather than near the beginning. Of course, with Agile, the temptation when dumb starts dribbling out is to 'bend the process' rather than fix the problem. Yes, I've joined a daily stand up which had 120 people in it. We were each restricted to three words so it wouldn't take up too much time.

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Andy 73

Re: Agile

I've seen agile work, and in those situations it has delivered truly remarkable results - projects delivered faster, to spec with minimal staff and a team that overcame technical and personal issues along the way.

In those cases, the project manager has been the key. Not only have they managed the huge information flow that comes with a team running at full chat, but they have acted as the customer for continuous testing and validation (it's rare indeed that a customer actually looks at software until two weeks after they were meant to go into production with it).

Agile isn't complex. It isn't rocket science. But people baulk at some of the implications of what it asks of a team and decide to skip the 'difficult bits', as though only doing the easy work is going to get the whole job done. As often as not, the difficult bits are the social and managerial stuff that goes around producing code, and in a project under pressure to deliver, they're the first to go.

Paying lip service to parts that you don't see the value of means they'll never have any value - yet Agile does all it can to reduce the requirements down to *the bits that matter*. So if you've killed one of those parts, you've already broken the process.

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Andy 73

Re: wagile

@yoganmahew I'll take that as tongue in cheek :)

It is worth questioning some of the value of agile if your client wants one thoroughly tested release per year and the nature of the testing is not open to change. That doesn't mean you can't adopt it internally, but some of the reassurance of continuously tested increments are lost. That means ultimately your product still suffers from some of the biggest issues with waterfall, regardless of how agile you are.

That impedance mismatch can lead to developers and project managers coming away from a project thinking agile is a failure because it failed to deliver in hostile conditions. I've worked with people who claimed to be working in a 'post agile' way, because they'd tried and failed to get agile to work for them. It took them over two years to deliver a six month product change, but they'd never under any circumstances 'go back to agile'.

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Andy 73

Re: wagile

"their slow test acceptance process"

The argument is to move their test acceptance process into your continuous deployment process. Easier said than done, but what you're describing is the usual impedance mismatch that comes from a product being used in a situation that itself is not agile.

Sometimes that's a technical problem (how do you test against a client's third party tools), but just as much is a cultural problem (they're just not ready to re-build their test processes). Of course, without solving those problems, 50% of the benefit of agile is immediately lost - which is a cost to them, albeit a hidden one.

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Thou shalt use our drone app, UK.gov to tell quadcopter pilots

Andy 73

Virtually any drone (all drones?) available to consumers and big enough to get near an airliner obey the geofenced no-fly zones around airports, and the height restrictions elsewhere. You cannot 'accidentally' get near an aircraft, it has to be a deliberate act.

So how exactly do you think registration is going to stop people who deliberately seek to disable safety features on their drones?

As for the 'think of the children' bits, again, registration has no effect, but the noise of a drone certainly does make people aware of its presence. If you're really that concerned, we should also ban camera phones, cameras and anyone who can paint recognisable images.

A little bit of sense and context is needed here before we reach for the shotguns.

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