linkedin_44x36

The “INFLUENCER” in social media.

I’ve often been invited to link to the current ‘INFLUENCER-DU-JOUR’ from Social Media sites. And ofttimes is a Successful entrepreneur, or angel investor, someone who has hit it big. And in many cases the success is a one off, and the personality at the center, is now an established ‘Expert’ in all things, even outside of their granted success niche.

I have encountered such people, and with rare exception, the success, their victory, has been more a ‘in the right place, at the right time’ event. Call it one time lucky. Mind you some have been very lucky, and struck big. And either by ego, or genuine desire, seek to do it again, or to help others ‘make it’. More often it’s the former, reveling in Ego, lies at the root. I won’t begrudge their Win, I just won’t listen to them any more than I would the next stranger on the street. I read once, that one of the great brokers before the great crash in the 1930′s, claimed he had received ‘Stock Tips’ from his shoeshine boy, at which point, he got out of the market, and saved his own shirt.

I feel that here, too many shoe shine boys.

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IT’s not always a boy’s game, by choice.

I’ve been having a few twitter conversations about Internet startups, IT development and the ‘Boys Club’ it always appears to be. I’ve been working at a Internet Company, more than a startup, less than a powerhouse. And what was once called TeamworkPM.net is now called Teamwork.COM with the recent purchase of that very domain name.

Several Ladies have commented, one in Australia and another in California, particularly on the photos we had up for the ‘re-branding’ event.

However this is NOT the whole story, we have tried to hire NON-WHITE-NON-MALE personnel, We have held ‘Open Houses’, posted all over Cork (Home base) out of 10 (very disappointing) no persons of color, and only one woman. No one really qualified, as even the universities aren’t teaching what students need to get into the computing environment. We weren’t even trying just for ‘programmers’ none of the people bothered to even find out what we did on the Internet.

We have had interns (1 Male 1 female) in, and while useful, they were more interested in finishing school than working for us. Last year Teamwork.com set out to hire 10 people, more than doubling the staff, and we managed only 4, not all developers, from Lithuania, the Netherlands, Australia
and Bulgaria. All male, all white. And it’s not our choice, it’s all that we are presented with that are educated and/or interested in working with us.

In Catholic Ireland, the Nuns still teach that Math and Science (and technology) are for the ‘boys’ and tell the girls to choose something else. Only since things like Coder Dojo’s have girls been learning coding and web development. And even there, the female component constitutes only a minority.

Until such time as females are educated, and qualified to develop code, or web working. The all-white-all-male club will be more the norm than than in the general populations. And you can’t enforce a gender balance on startups and lean companies, it would crush them. Only educations will change this imbalance. So please stop complaining about us, and others, and start sending your daughters, wives and girlfriends to school.

So if you are qualified and motivated send a CV or drop an email at Teamwork.COM

efiber_speed

Eircom eFibre Lies

Again Eircom can’t tell the truth even if that had to the ‘So Called’ up to 70 Mbps download speeds are currently only 26 Mbps about 1/3 what they are claiming, but what the hell it’s better than the ADSL they had, claiming 8 Mbps and delievering 4 Mbps.

Elysium

The Elysium Space station.

The movie Elysum while pretty, has again demonstrated the same kind of rubbish engineering that Jurassic Park demonstrated.

There has been much awe and marvel at the open topped nature of the habitat ring on the Space Station, but while they concede that there might be some ‘leakage’ of the atmosphere they really DON’T understand how any real engineer who would built a station with the POSSIBILITY of leakage would be a fool. ANY fault that might slow the rotation of the Stanford Torus would cause the loss of the life support systems. The fully enclosed, even by something as insubstantial as aluminized film, would prevent the loss of atmosphere. While disregarding the solar radiation granted by the thick atmosphere of the Earth, shielding would need to be in place, or fry it’s inhabitants.

Continuing, who in their right minds would engineer a space station with the single point of failure, that during a ‘reboot’ of the software (computer) it would shut off all the lights on the station. What are you using a PC to control ALL the systems EVERYTHING is dependant on, from a single reboot? You must be joking, while I can see how the ‘dramatic’ nature might be a useful ‘Deus ex machina‘ moment, it just beggars disbelief and undermines the potential respect of the Movie.

Proxie Traffic by Country

My Proxie server has been found.

I’ve had a proxie server running in my domain for some few years, it was an experiment. But now it has been ‘discovered’ and is now under heavy use. And while it’s interesting, and I don’t mind, I’ve found that the two heavy users country’s involved Iran and the U.S.

Proxie Traffic by Country

Proxie Traffic by Country

UPDATE:

I’ve been ask to take down the proxie…

Hosting Ireland

Dear Branedy

We have noticed you are using a Proxy service on your account at http://tanagra.branedy.net. This is against our acceptable usage policy especially being publicly accessible. We have therefore disabled access via .htaccess

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this.

Hosting Ireland Team

Hosting Ireland,
info@hostingireland.ie
Phone: 1890 987 000
International: +353 51 84 34 64
Fax: +353 51 84 34 66

raspberry-pi-camera-module-1 Sony_PRS-T1_2

My new Sony PRS-T1 eBook reader

As I was using my old Android pad mostly as a ebook reader, when it became obsolete, OS wise (about the day after I bought it) I went looking for a cheap/inexpensive ebook reader. I only real requirement was to be more or less open, and I had a handful of EPUB formatted ebooks already. The Nook’s were looking promising and then I stumbled upon this;

Sony_PRS-T1_2

The Sony PRS-T1 on sale, a bargain, and it does even more than I was expecting on the low end of the market. And it’s still android, should I decide to root it, but it’s works very well. Reads all my books, and manuals, browse the net (in grayscale) and I have it syncing up with my Mint Laptop using Calibre, and I’ve been piling in all the free ebooks I can find, great!

Ericsson_liveView

The rise of the Smart Watch

With all of the talk about the iWatch from Apple, and every other vendor plus Dog announcing a smart watch. I thought I’d jump in and examine an apparently Failed smart watch. The Sony Ericsson LIVE VIEW

Ericsson_liveView

Now this device was generally panned by the media, partly because it was breaking new ground, and partly is was clunky, or so said.

Now I, like others would not have invested in such technology, partly as I’m not that active with my phone (Android) but also because it wasn’t rated highly. However Amazon was selling them for 25£ and that isn’t even an impulse buy by current standards. So I ordered one, and I now have had it less than a day, and this is my impression. But I really will try to comment on the whole Smart Watch issues.

The NM800 is an earlier version Sony Smart Watch technology, so first efforts not withstanding this is quite a nice device. The screen, while small is still readable, and at a very wide angle due to a lensing effect on the crown. It whole device is plastic and very light, but bulky enough to make you want to wear it on your wrist, I’m using it on the included clip, for three reasons, the included strap is poor, second, I have a nice watch. You can use a standard pin strap on the plastic watch fitting, thirdly and this is important, you can’t charge it on the wrist bracket, but you can on the clip.

In use the Liveview linked up easily with my phone, an HTC Desire X, after downloading the Sony App from the Google Play store. but it took a bit of fiddling, and downloading of additional (free) plugins from the Play store to add more complete functionality. But now, SMS, Gmail, phone calls all get forwarded to the device. I can read SMS, and email on it, though I have yet to get Facebook to work. In reality, there is nothing wrong with this device.

Now for the issues, the device at maximum range has a disconnect, reconnect problems, but I have yet to upgrade the firmware, which supposedly fixes this problem. The real issues, and this is the crux of Smart Phones is purpose. Of what Purpose do you need a Smart Phone.

Due to the use of Bluetooth for communications, 30 Meters is the furthest you and can be parted from your phone, in fact 10 meters is a more likely range. This might then be useful to check your ‘status’ without taking the phone from your pocket, or in a meeting, jogging or driving. However in normal practice the need for a bigger screen, and control surfaces found on the ‘full’ phone will be required to complete many actions and then would require you to pull out the phone anyway.

The next issue, as with Smart Phones, is power, and while I have not discharged the battery for the first time, the projected battery life for this device is 8 hours, about the same as an average phone. Which, by the way, decreases the battery life of the phone, requiring Bluetooth to be active on the phone all the time.

So the conclusion, if there is one, is this; they work but have limited usefulness and are cute as hell, and a cool geek gadget.

NSA

Hiding in plain sight

In this age of ‘Big Data’ the masters are the ones who hide in plain sight. If you generate billions of media bits that must be parsed by the powers that be, the devil really is in the details.

During a stint in a fraud unit I learned that the trick wasn’t to read all the monitored data, but to build patterns of ‘normal’ for everyone monitored. If the patterned changed then something had changed, and an investigator was assigned.

Another article I keep remembering is an interview with with a ‘Ninja Assissan’ who was quoted as;

” I never sleep in the same bed two nights in a row (he had 5 bedrooms), and he never ate the same thing for breakfast (though he always ate what he wanted)

Hence the pattern he would generate would always be random, and therefore a consistent repeated event would be considered abnormal and a ‘red flag’ that something wasn’t normal.

So to hide, and maintain privacy would be to either overwhelm the bit watchers, or develop such a random lifestyle as to make normal pattern matching methods useless.

anyone want to be a Ninja Assissan?

UPDATE: Pattern Reconition

UPDATE 2: Global consumer data broker plans to reveal your data

If you Can’t dazzle them with data, baffle them with Bull Shit!!!

UPDATE 3: Just so you know: US government is hoovering data from Apple, Microsoft and Google servers

HTC_Desire_X

The Nokia N900 To HTC Desire X

Well The end of my Nokia N900 did not come with a bang, but a bonus, a Christmas bonus gift card from my current employer. And and even though the N900 was still pulling it’s weight, it wasn’t current technology. The choosen replacement is not a top-of-the-line, it was priced to matched the value of the gift card and the mininum hardware specs I applied to make it useful. Hence the HTC Desire X, a relative new dual core Snapdragon S4 with version 4.0.4 Android.

HTC_Desire_X

And it is in White, Another irony as my laptop went from Apple MacBook white to Clevo Black, now my phone from Black to White.

So far I’m happy with the choice, but I’ve only had it a few days, and while I think it’s already a better phone than the N900, it will never replace the the N900 as a computer.

Oh, and one other thing, it doesn’t look like an iPhone.

UPDATE: I just got the Android 4.1.1 upgrade, Thanks HTC

Language of computing

I was reminded this Christmas Holiday season that computers do not ‘know‘ any human language, only binary, and that it takes humans to provide the translation from the machine to something human readable. And while most computer programing languages are ‘English’ like, they need not have to be in the English Language. It’s just what’s what happened first, and could be changed into another language at anytime.

This came to me in an inspired way, by listening to Carols, where non-native speakers were singing in latin, and other non-english speakers were singing in English, or German, or French. That you can sing in a language, and not know how to speak in it.

I suspect that is the same method that most non-english speakers program computers in ‘english like’ programing languages. By layering another translation over the programming, or like in singing, which uses another part of the brain, different from the part that provides language skills, another part of the brain is used to converse with computers. Thus making the point that people who program, do think with altered brains.

microsoft-surface-rt-014

Prediction: Surface RT slab Fails

This one is the first prediction I’ll make for the new year. The Surface RT slab will fail in 2013. (as in period) Windows 8 on Surface Intel processors will be unstable, but the ARM RT will vanish entirely.

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UPDATE: Told You!!! Samsung to stop sale of Windows RT tablets

UPDATE 2: Somebody agrees? Microsoft’s Partners Refusing Windows RT OS

Screenshot-1

The end is near, for my Nokia N900

No, the USB connector is not loose, in fact everything is working fine. Well maybe the battery runs down and the tiny magnet on the prop went missing (fixed), It was the dissapearance of the Nokia catalog from the apt repository that has signaled the closing of the timeline of this product. Not of my choosing as the selections of Android, IOS, and others is just getting interesting. Some new and amazing mobile phone are on the verge of release there is almost no time to read about one then another announces something better.

In any case the Nokia N900, is very long in the tooth, being 3 years old this month. Still, I can sill do things with it that are not duplicated on any other phone, when was the last time you were controlling your (IR) Television, of opening an X-Term? Those days are long gone, and maybe not to be missed either, except by some of us geeks.

Now to choose…..

If it moves, it breaks!

Having been in IT for the better part of 30 years, I still sometimes forget, so when the New 500GB disk in my new laptop threw an error, I thought it was my fault. It wasn’t, it was, what is often refered to as ‘Infant Mortality’ a physical failure of the disk. The ‘Smart Disk’ technology on the drive controller built into the diskdrive identified the drive as ‘Failing’ and the Mint OS marked the drive read-only.

This allowed me to backup most of the the stuff I’d put on the drive to an external drive, but then it was useless. The drive has been sent back to PC Specialists for a replacement. The only good thing about this was the ease of repair of my new Clevo Laptop The disk removal took less than 5 minutes, two screws to open and remove the disk.

I am now using the laptop, booted from a new Mint installation on a 16GB SanDisk Cruser thumb drive. There isn’t much space left, and I get an occasional I/O pause with this setup, but try this with Windows, or a Mac and see how far you get.

But remember: ‘If it moves, it breaks!‘ backup often and more often!

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My new Clevo W240EUQ Laptop from PC Specialists

This is the Laptop I have moved to. No longer a Mac user, never more than a PC user and never a Windows fan. I’m now entirely into my custom built Clevo W244EUQ laptop, built to my configuration by PC Specialist in the UK. Having done a lot of research and agonizing over prices and parts, my system was constructed and sent to me in, call it 10 days including shipping and weekends. And yes I’m writing this post from it. and I’m doing it from Mint 13 with the Cinnamon interface. Everything works, with the single exception that the SD card reader is not picked up. It also has one ‘hot’ pixel which only shows up during boot time, and I can live with that. I was amused and gratified that the laptop was NOT an exact match to the photos on the PC Specialist site, but I don’t think it was their fault as the Clevo site have many different configurations of this model laptop. On the positive, the laptop is better looking, and has a better keyboard than shown in the Clevo or PC Specialist photos. Mine photos are included below, though the first one isn’t perfect, because the top cover is so black that the auto focus couldn’t lock in.

The Specs are not stunning, about the same as a MacBook Pro. A Intel i5-3210M processor, 8 GB of ram, a 500GB 7200rpm disk with 16MB cache, 14″ screen 1366/768 HDMI, 1000 base ethernet, A/G/N Wifi, 2 USB 3 and 1 USB 2 port and a (currently) non-working SD Cardreader.

UPDATE:

      Benchmarks
-------------------------------------
CPU Blowfish	    4.070
-------------------------------------
CPU CryptoHash   343.235
------------------------------------
CPU Fibonacci	   1.819
------------------------------------
CPU N-Queens	   5.411
------------------------------------
FPU FFT		   0.972
------------------------------------
FPU Raytracing	  3.688
-----------------------------------