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Submission + - Europe's highest court just rejected the US's 'safe harbor' agreement (

craigtp writes: The European Court of Justice has just ruled that the transatlantic Safe Harbour agreement, which lets American companies use a single standard for consumer privacy and data storage in both the US and Europe, is invalid.

The ruling came after Edward Snowden's NSA leaks showed that European data stored by US companies was not safe from surveillance that would be illegal in Europe.

This ruling could have profound effects on all US based companies, not just tech companies, that rely upon the "safe harbor" agreement to allow them to store their European customers' data in the US.

Under this new ruling, they could effectively be forced to store European customers' data in Europe and then have to follow 20 or more different sets of national data privacy regulations.

Submission + - JetBrains reconsiders their subscription licensing changes. (

craigtp writes: On 3rd September, JetBrains, makers of IDE's and other productivity software announced big changes the way they sell and license their software.

Such changes were not well accepted by certain members of their user base. Within a few days, JetBrains announced that they were listening to the user feedback and that they would reconsider their changes.

Today, they've finally announced their revised licensing changes, and whilst the subscription model remains, some important concessions have been made.

Submission + - Wuala encrypted cloud-storage service shuts down (

craigtp writes: Wuala, one of the more trusted cloud-storage services that employed encryption for your files, is shutting down. Users of the service will have until 15th November 2015 to move all of their files off the service before all of their data is deleted.

Comment Re:In short? (Score 5, Insightful) 318

Tell that to:

Basecamp (formerly 37signals) (who even wrote a book about how great remote working can be)

along with a myriad of other companies who work either entirely remotely, or have very liberal policies around remote working.

Most, if not all of whom, can be considered to be quite successful within their field.

Submission + - The Joel Test for your codebase (

craigtp writes: In August 2000, Joel Spolsky wrote The Joel Test, a checklist to judge the quality of a software team. This is just as valid today.

The team is vitally important, but so is the code you spend 8+ hours a day working on. Here’s an equivalent of the Joel Test to measure how easy your code-base is to work on.

(Google cache link in case of Slashdotting)

Comment Re:Not-so-accurate source (Score 1) 487

Spot on.

I've often said this to my programming colleagues, but Dates, Times and calculations between them really are one of the hardest "problems" in solve in programming/computing.

Dates & Times are so incredibly deceptive as on the surface they appear simple yet when you really look into it they're incredibly hard to get "right", what with time differences, daylight savings times (where we arbitrarily move the clock around for the hell of it). DST's are the worst.

Imagine if things like DST were applied to our numbers. It's like having our normal Base10 numbering system, but once or twice a year, we suddenly decide that the digit 6 actually represents 7 of something (or alternatively, represents 5 of something). Now all those calculations that assert that 6 + 6 = 12 are wrong, as 6 + 6 actually equals 13!

Comment Re:Corrections (Score 1) 73

What you don't know, though, is the shop is a front for his more surreptitious and covert activities. Apparently, his superiors in MI6 were a little uneasy with him specifically running a shop selling spy equipment as his "cover", but he successfully convinced them that its the best disguise. You know, hiding in plain sight and all that!

Comment Re:Elephant in the room (Score 4, Interesting) 182

Facebook is indeed profitable.

But merely a fad. Just as much as AOL chat rooms, Friendster and MySpace, and possibly even YouTube and Twitter.

There's nothing demanding that users continue to user Facebook, nothing binds their behavior, and worst of all, user interest can easily evaporate overnight.

Oh but there is something demanding that users continue to use Facebook: The Network Effect.

And within Facebook's network effect, Critical mass has long since been surpassed and Metcalfe's Law has grown to such a large proportion that, for current users of Facebook, leaving Facebook is akin to simply switching off the internet altogether.

Comment Re:Heil (Score 1) 462

Agreed, it's definitely not because of an inherent character flaw of the German people.

If Stanley Milgram's experiment has taught us one thing, it's that as human beings and irrespective of our race, colour, creed and country of birth, we are all fallible and potentially open to coercion to do the bidding (or at least silently allow it to happen - something that Martin Niemöller expressed so beautifully in his "First they came.." statement) of "evil" men.

Comment Re:Two Groups (Score 1) 177

Indeed. I think we're broadly in agreement here. The great thing about certain sections of Microsoft is that a lot of the managers in those areas are precisely those developers with the "developer mindset".

For example, Scott Guthrie - who I previously mentioned - was the lead developer on ASP.NET itself (the old "webforms" not the newer MVC incarnation) but is now a vice-president of the Developer Division.

Having people in a managerial capacity with some level of authority and decision making ability who are also developers with the developer mindset is very often a very good thing.

Comment Re:Two Groups (Score 4, Interesting) 177

It's not just developers and managers as groups. Remember, that these days Microsoft is a huge organisation and is full of many different divisions. There's Windows, Office, XBox, Windows Phone etc. amongst many others.

The guys that are responsible for this move are the "Web Dev Div", who are a sub-group within the "Developer Division".

It contains many people, including guys like Scott Guthrie, Scott Hanselman, Phil Haack (who recently left to join GitHub) etc., who have always done things that don't seem very Microsoft-like, like releasing ASP.NET MVC as an open-source product - albeit one that didn't accept outside contributions - back in 2009 along with such moves as bundling things like the open source jQuery library with Visual Studio and openly committing improvements back to the core project without trying the usual embrace, extend, extinguish tactics.

Within certain parts of Microsoft, they can, have done, and are continuing to do some very interesting, worthwhile and generally community-friendly (and not-so-evil) work.

Retirement means that when someone says "Have a nice day", you actually have a shot at it.