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Comment Why would I help Google with 'open source'? (Score 2) 91

Google which dominates the search/ad market can do this by itself, without my help.

Also, looking at the analysis here: Open source is simply part of its strategy for distributing software that will help it sell more advertising

This is part of a general trend that I call 'open season', basically big companies persuading naive people to do their work for nothing, under the banner 'open source'.

Comment Open Consumer Side Interface/Other Dangers (Score 1) 99

I'm one of the people that made [immediately ignored, of course] submissions to the smart meter survey in the UK. In it, I suggested that they supply a 'customer side' data feed, probably the most 'obvious' would be RJ45 and ethernet, USB + Wifi probably fine as well. That would permit some useful modeling/analysis etc. to take place for the benefit of the consumer, rather than Telefonica [et al.] snarfing up the data and using it to gamble on energy futures/sell it to other people.

There are a set of other 'dangers' too, predatory on-demand pricing, immediate sanction for non payment, privacy breaches and police monitoring. Conclusion smart meters are not for 'us', they are for 'them'.

Comment What does it DO? Is there budget? (Score 1) 158

You've described existing infrastructure, but the important thing for the business is applications. That's the thing they need, every day. I worked in an infrastructure group in a UK investment bank, the only time they notice what you do, is when it snarls up or fails.

For example, there was a recent thread discussing whether Access has an open-source equivalent, IMO it doesn't really. So, if they use a lot of Access that will constrain upgrade path UNLESS they're prepared to take some risks and spend to take it out of the equation. But, mainly, the list of what's delivered to the business via the servers and on the desktop is the thing. No-one cares about infrastructure [except us, boo-hoo] as long as the price is right [including manpower] and it works.

It sounds, to me, like this is Windows desktops and Linux servers [and therefore Samba, LAMP etc. for example] this is not a bad way to live and many companies do so. That would mean that the client upgrades and server upgrades would be reasonably orthogonal, but I don't know all the details, either. To be honest, I'd be inclined to ask this on Server Fault, but unless there were more details, it's likely to be closed as being 'open ended'. Good luck!

Comment Re:Question (Score 1) 138

It's really scary to see people asking this, apparently seriously, we've drifted so far from simplicity and standards back into a very specific world with lots more potential lock-in. This is the case for 'apps' too, they provide direct connection between the company and consumer, apart from snarfing up any data that they possibly can. Of course, I'm old, I do do apps and a lot of javascript, but I'm a big fan of open standards and KISS.

Comment I would laugh at this but... (Score 3, Insightful) 279

I don't have a iPhone and hardly ever change my phone anyway. This is pure consumer fetish behaviour. However, these accelerated product cycles put a lot of toxic stuff into landfill, waste a lot of energy and don't provide any extra utility. Listen carefully for the sound of 'maximising shareholder value' by supplying a great deal of negative ecological externality.

Comment Re:Microsoft Excel (Score 1) 889

Yes agree. I do a fair amount of work with small non-profits in the UK and this is the main thing that they use. Nearest thing for one table [forgetting Ruby on Rails] is with for example, but it doesn't deal with anything more complex.

My feeling is that Access applications should be re-coded as web, give them more reach and a saner architecture, but non-specialists can use [and make a mess with] Access. Maybe we need a migration toolchain, convert to MariaDb and generate web forms? That would still leave some manual work though.

Comment It's a phone (Score 1) 198

It's a phone, not an entertainment delivery system. Oh, wait...

Devices are now mainly something to make money for suppliers, sell you stuff and track you, not to make phone calls. Except for brief use-based excursions, mine stays in the kitchen drawer.

Comment Re:Teaching programming has no place in schools (Score 3, Informative) 112

Agree. I volunteer 'teach' in the UK. The main article is true, not the teacher's fault, the government moved the focus from ICT [learning Word, learning Excel] to computing very quickly. This is a great idea because we're back to 'creation' as in the days of BASIC games rather than consumption.

But it's a human enterprise and YMMV, the teachers and the pupils will vary in ability and motivation. I live in one of the poorer parts of London and any kids that 'want' this may have a good future. They can't all be football or hip-hop stars. Secondly there's an initiative called Computing at School http://www.computingatschool.o... that promotes computational thinking. Even if you don't program, some of the problem solving techniques are universally applicable.

So one can find a lot to moan about, but there's a lot of promise/fun in this. I wrote my first program in about 1966 [FORTRAN on a mainframe] and I still enjoy it, in the UK that makes me [what they call] a 'sad' person.

Comment Re:What a waste of money (Score 1) 54

Another me too. My borough Newham 'nearly' changed to Linux about 10 years ago. We need politicians and civil servants with a bit of courage and imagination. Of course, one or two of the first implementations will go wrong, but not 'wrong' like £6 billion odd that the Blair government wasted on the failed NHS project. I suspect that Corbyn will probably 'get' FOSS.

It's 'interesting' that this is marked 'withdrawn':

Comment I now buy very little from Amazon (Score 1) 396

I'm in the UK, have worked for a company that was taken over by Amazon. It was pretty horrendous, metrics, continuous tension and shouting. I wouldn't work there again, and, I won't be asked, anyway.

In addition, because of their tax avoidance and now this, I'm buying less and less from and looking for an alternative to EC2. I'm aware that this will cost UK jobs, but I feel that I don't want to see any company like this in the future of the UK. Shame, because it's an inventive company and doesn't need all this shouting and screaming.

Comment Boris the mophead, done good. (Score 1) 258

I'm a Londoner, not a big fan of Boris, the product of extreme privilege.

However the air is polluted in London [point a], many parts are medieval, twisty and narrow [point b], many journeys are a couple of miles [point c] and it's pretty flat in the centre [point d]. It's not flat in Hampstead, Muswell Hill or many places at the edges. So, as they say, two wheels good. People are getting killed by tipper trucks and we need this to encourage people onto cycles.

Comment Re:Internet Of Titans/things (IOT vs IOt) (Score 1) 123

Yes, agree. The other 'thing' is simplicity, if a sensor is remote, you need crash-proofiness [I made that a fuzzy set, nothing is 100% crash-proof]. That has never been a 'feature' of any version of Windows, complex with the 'wrong sort of complexity'.

Currently I use Arduinos and compatibles for remote sensors and Pi2 for things I can get my hands on [near at hand time lapse, the garden, the house]. Yes, I could go to tailor made, but I don't need scale currently, so off the shelf is fine. I am looking at Risc OS for the Pis at the moment, on the same basis of reduced complexity.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly