* Posts by CharlieM

9 posts • joined 19 Jan 2012

Compsci grads get the fattest pay cheques six months after uni – report

CharlieM

How many are actually employed?

I haven't looked into this recently. But it used to be that Computer Science graduates had one of the lowest employment rates 6 months of after graduation. Presumably because they had higher expectations than a lot of other graduates.

I wonder if the debt mountain students now graduate with has made them focus more on the starting salary?

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Facebook, Google, etc: Yeah, yeah, we'll work on the nasty stuff about bombs – but we ain't doing no backdoors

CharlieM
Black Helicopters

Things like this should make you worry

This constant push to ban the public using encryption is worrying. They truly don't understand that no matter what you think Whatsapp & Co should be doing with crypto keys, there's nothing to stop the only people they claim to want to be spying on using crypto. It's not like the threat of a couple of extra years in prison is going to stop them.

Any Computer Science graduate (and plenty of others too) could knock up a way of encrypting messages pasted into Whatsapp, Facebook or any other chat app in an afternoon. Sure it won't have Emojis but it will be just as unbreakable as what Whatsapp & Co are doing at the moment.

So either:

a, our politicians really are too stupid to listen and comprehend.

b, there's another agenda at play which requires mass surveillance.

None of the above is exactly encouraging!

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Don't fall for the AI hype: Here are the ingredients you need to build an actual useful thing

CharlieM

If you want to skip the hype

If you want to skip the hype and actually see what AI looks like. Watch this Google Talk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4alGiomYP4

It's not supposed to require a PHD apparently, although after watching it I think it certainly helps!

It's interesting, although clearly little more than the Hello World of Machine Learning. So its pretty clear that most "enterprise" developers are unlikely to be dropping low level ML models into their next project. That's probably why Googles starting to also offer some "AI" as a Service APIs. So you can treat it as a magic black box, and pay Google to do the thinking for you.

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CharlieM

Re: Before / After

On the plus side, I can now go to the Google Photos app and search for photos of dogs and see just the photos of dogs. Without me ever having to tag each dog photo. That feels like a step forward to me!

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More Brits' IDs stolen than ever before

CharlieM

Stop Blaming the "Victims"

What needs to happen is the people whose Identity is used need to automatically receive compensation from the Businesses whose ID verification processes are ineffective. These companies clearly aren't suffering enough losses through this at the moment otherwise, they would have fixed their processes.

There should be automatic compensation for every letter received and every minute someone who's identity has been "stolen" spends interacting with the company responsible for getting these issues fixed.

I am sure that would focus them to fix their broken processes. Plus it would give the PPI firms something new to claim for!

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Java? Nah, I do JavaScript, man. Wise up, hipster, to the money

CharlieM

Java?

It depends what you mean by Java? You have the language, the runtime platform, the ecosystem and the then there's the EE world.

Java EE is dead and not before time. Sure there's still good money to be made helping "Enterprise" customers too big and too slow to change course. The whole idea that one standard (designed by committee) can provide the ideal architecture for a vast array of different things enterprise apps require should have seemed laughable from the start.

The Java the language is also looking a bit long in the tooth. It's still perfectly usable. It's just a bit verbose to work with compared to the alternatives. Java 8 was a small step in the right direction but feels like too little too late. MS has been much better at evolving C# than Sun & Oracle have been with doing with Java. In the last decade, it feels like Java has survived despite its creators rather than because of them.

The runtime is pretty solid as is the eco system. So with languages such as Scala and now Kotlin its easy to take advantage of all the good parts of the Java world without having to stay stuck with the bad. Which I guess is testimony to the quality of the original design.

The company I work for has switched to using Kotlin for its main product from Java. Its 100% interoperable so we are just upgrading it a package at a time (there are decent auto conversion tools as well). Writing new code in Kotlin has been a breath of fresh air.

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Reactive? Serverless? Put to bed? What's next for Java. Speak up, Oracle

CharlieM

Hasn't Java EE been long dead?

From where I am sitting Java EE has been dead for a long time. The principle of a monolithic spec has lost out to just bringing along the frameworks you need. Maven has made managing that practical. A spec written by committee can't keep up with the vast ecosystem of frameworks and libraries. Which rightly or wrongly, rise and fall in the time it takes them to agree a single draft of the spec.

The big question now is the Java language dead as well? Oracle has been far too slow to evolve it. Compared to Scala and Kotlin, Java looks archaic. Its the productivity that is killing it. Everything is just far more keystrokes than in Scala or Kotlin. Java 8 was a step in the right direction. Unfortunately that productivity horse seems to have long since bolted.

The JVM and the vast ecosystem of libraries are worth hanging on to. So I am sure the Java platform will still live on. Oracle just needs to recognise that. After all its the platform that it cares about, not what you write the source in.

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10gen bags another $42m for MongoDB roadmap

CharlieM
Stop

They would be crazy to sell now

As a developer who has started using MongoDB recently. I can't tell you how great a product they have. Its a perfect mix of NoSQL architecture with many of the features of a regular SQL DB. I have treid several other NoSQL DBs and this is by far the easiest to work with. Not only that it scales so well and is so fast.

Sure Oracle is better for situations were multi record transactions are essential but a lot of the time they aren't needed, particularly on the web. They also don't scale well.

10Gen also seems to be doing everything right to build a viable business around the product. If they were to sell now they ought to make sure they get a really good price. This company really has a chance to be the next Oracle.

Selling now would be like taking the first billion offered for Facebook. They should bide there time and ride it all the way to a later IPO.

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SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?

CharlieM

Copyright Wasn't Designed for the Digital Age

I know that sounds weak but there is one big difference, people seem to miss when this subject comes up.

In the Digital World distribution & consumption requires copying. With the law as it is every time you copy something the copyright holder gets the option to stick there hand out and ask for more money or tell you to stop.

If you want to sell an old CD you no longer use that's fine. But try selling an MP3 you bought from Amazon (even if you delete the original).

Personally I think some massive reworking of the copyright laws are require. Perhaps moving away from the concept of making individual copies evokes copyright and more towards copying between users. So copy it all you like but you can't sell it, without loosing access to the original. That's how most people think copy right works, they have bought the legal right to us something.

Also the copyright length needs shortening. It needs to be 15 years or so. There's no reason Cliff Richards and the like should expect to get paid for work he did 50 years ago. Virtually no other profession expects this outside of the "Creative Industries". Could you imagine an Architect wanting a yearly payment for every year the building he designed is still standing and I am sure they consider them selves "Creatives".

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