Sunday, 30 October 2011


So, after the tirade of the last post, I've not done the shop for her, and text the old gits telling them the info, let them sort it now... I bet they can't... couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery me thinks.

Anyway, I have just been relaxing a little, I have a cup of tea and a pint of orange juice and I've just been playing some "Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance".  I loaded up a game I was playing earlier in the week... and I noticed something... it ran very very slowly...

Earlier in the week, if I sent a fighter sweep out over the ocean, they flew they bombed about and came back to refuel... but after loading the game, it feels like everything is stuck in tar... like its slow mo... even whacking the "Game Speed" up to 10 made no difference.

I dunno what this is about, but I have 16GB of RAM and 8 CPU Cores running at 3 ghz... its gotta be quicker than it feels?


So, I'm busy today, very very busy arranging a wedding... no mean feat and nothing to be taken lightly, yet I keep getting blasts of bull shit from my mother and I've snapped, I'm so unimpressed I'm going to explain my frustration here.

My Mother is a right moaner, she'll moan about a topic basically until it either gets done, or until you snap and tell her to fuck off, I can't tell you how many months I've ignored my mother for to avoid this kind of confrontation, we had a flare up of this shit not three months ago, and I thought she might finally have learned her lesson, but no, today she's kicking off...

Now, what could she be kicking off over that is more important than my sorting out this wedding?... Okay... ready?....

Its making sure my daft old Nan gets her shopping in the 12pm-1pm time slot next week. My nan is useless she'll spend spend spend, but she'd harmless with it, she's too thick to be too vindictive and too self obsessed to truly get under your skin, so if she were to moan "I've not got my shopping", I'd just tell her to calm down... not my mother... oh no, my Nan moans to my mother... my mother starts to call me... as if I'm not up to my eyes in other tasks...

In the lasty 36 hours I have, worked a shift with work, taken delivery of a new washer, arranged and managed the fitting of both the bride and bridesmaids dresses.  Arranged with the best man to get his suit sorted, done a full shop for ourselves, cleaned down stairs, cleaned the bathroom, hoovered the house and spend about three hours laying out the seating plan for the dinner following this wedding... so I'm pretty tired, pretty fucked off and have had no time to myself at all this weekend, to top it off my Mrs is at work so I've hardly seen her either.

Now, step into this my Mother niggling over this shop, now when we were kids my mother would moan at my Dad, she'd moan and cajoal and push him until he snapped and he'd come roaring in at us kids hit us, usually with a slipper, but sometimes with a fist, he'd smash something scream in cohearently and then later on we would have to go appologise to him... My mother easily leads my Dad into this....

So it was no surprise about twenty minutes ago when my phone rings and its my Dad's mobile... my Dad never makes calls... ever.... from the sound of his voice he's laying in bed, beery eyed, either he's not slept well, or he's been up all night (as usual).  But I can tell my Mother has been moaning and moaning and moaning.... "Are you going to do Nan's shop?"  he demands... no asks... not inquires like you should to someone doing you a favour... no demands in a strop.

And it all comes clear, Mother is moaning, she's bored today, she's laying in bed, her current favourite toy a trolly dolly for Quantas is stuck in Singapore cus of this industrial dispute, so my mother is sat at home brooding about what boat she can rock, and she's picked mine, whilst I'm under extreme stress.

So my Dad has been told to "Go away" and been hung up on.

I then decided to sort out five minutes to call my Nan, and I have and I asked her... "Nan, why when you can't get hold of me do you go and moan to my Mum?"... wrongly I've been thinking she's been moaning to start this off... "I've not called anyone since Friday" she says... honestly, I believe her, she's too thick to lie...

Sooooo my mother has gotten this bee in her bonnet about nothing... Has wound my Dad up, like the good old days, for nothing... and has pissed me off for nothing... and interrupted my getting on with these wedding arrangements for nothing....

So to all the mothers out there don't stress your kids....

To all the unthinking fathers who snap when their Mrs has been moaning at them all day... don't snap, think why is she moaning and then think... Hang on, she's talking about other people, who might be busy, I don't know why they're busy, but there must be a reason why they've not got on with something...

And what makes all this work, I've done this shop every weekend for about two years for my Nan, I know what she wants, I know when to call her, I know we'll get the delivery slot... and even if we don't my Nan does not have a hectic social calendar we'd work out a new slot... but my Mother can't accept that, and I'm right fucking fucked right fucking off with it... so here it is laid bare, if I pop around and strange my parents later, you'll all know why.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

China again....

They quash truth and freedom of speech, so why not rumour-mongering?

Monday, 24 October 2011

Idea for better grammar & spelling parsing...

Any of you who have hung about on the internet will have seen Lol catz and other such meme's, one of them is the random pluralization of things... starting from "Internet" to "internets"... which technically is correct, damn it all to hell...

But, now you get stupid things being pluralised.  I don't know where this came from, but I think I've just found out through recreating the piece of typing balls up which formed the crazy... I just bought a hard drive off of ebay (I know, how brave am I)... I sent a message with it to say "Lets make sure its well packaged"... but I has a typo, and I used 's' in stead of 'd'... "Lets make sure its well packages".

This annoys me, firstly because I ballsed up, but I do that all the time so who cares.  But because when I read it back it looks like I'm not a native English speaker, it lowers my IQ by at least a southern US state quota... Dag nab it.

The foul up got be thinking though, the scentence does not scan correctly with an "es" instead of an "ed" we have spelling and grammer checkers built into our browsers now-a-days, why don't they check for this sort of foul up?  Why don't we make one which fixes up the fuck ups?  Or at the very least put a wiggly line under them Micro$oft style.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

I don't get it...

So, I've had my hands on an Apple Mac (for the first time since about 1989), the main reason for this was to see how it stood up in the coding department, they tout OS X as the most advanced operating system in the world... Really its not, its just a very pretty looking version of Unix... Sooo... where's the killer app?

You see, my impression of Mac software has always been that its fantastic looking, but doesn't do an awful lot... and you know what, right out of the box this Mac I'm putting my fangs into smacks of exactly the same thing.. Its dead pretty, its real elegant, but there's not a whole lot I can do with it...

All the programming side of things (XCode) is locked away behind a $99 license... I mean, this is Unix being shipped without a compiler... of any kind....

I've looked around, I can't get any GNU tools on there. I mean I can even get GNU GCC on the aborted alient faetus that is Vista... what the hell are Apple thinking stopping us programming on their kit... this is stuff that I can't believe is happening.

The other end of the stick is that, I always see academic use of Apple kit, I've just watched a presentation from Stamford Uni, where they were using OS X as the base operating system for all their programming examples... so they had all their students pay $99 to Apple... is this something about Apple being in California and Stamford being just around the corner??? I do not get this.

I'm going to keep plugging away at this puppy over the next few days, but for the cost of Apple kit, the cost of the XCode license and the hassle of it being only for their platform, I'd say get a real shitty PC/Lappy from ebay and stick Unbuntu on there for free...

Monday, 17 October 2011

Chinese Apathy... Maw Fong

Well, having spotted this article on the BBC news I had to come to blog about it... its like why are reporters only suddenly bothered about this... take a look:

A two year old toddler is hit by a van, the driver makes off, she's hit again, people walk by and pretty much no-one gives a shit.  This is pretty normal for South East and Eastern Asia in general, if you've ever spent any time watching any of the sickening postings and video's on "Toxic Junction" you'll soon see how people of such countries simply do not give a flying fuck about anyone in the road.

American McGee was on GFW Radio, back in the day, and he was talking about working in Honk Kong, he explained a Chinese (I think) concept of "Maw Fong".  You'll have to excuse me if that's not the right spelling.  But the phrase pretty much relates to the standard bullshit that goes on in China.  The words actually mean "trouble you", so you could say "Maw Fong Mei", to mean "May I trouble you", but Maw Fong is just all the crazy fucked up shit that goes on in China.

A good example, apparently, is that in the Chinese driving test (or at least of Hong Kong) one of the questions is "Should you find yourself going down a street with cars parked, should you a) honk occasionally to let people know you are coming, b) honk often to let people know you are coming, or c) hold down your horn to let out a continual tone?"... And one of these is the right answer!  That is Maw Fong.

The people walking past that poor little girl, that's Maw Fong.  Its all fucked up, and shows just a little of the "don't give a shit attitude".

Why am I so bothered?  Well, a couple of posts back I had a dig at Nottingham Police, and this was because I stood up to sort out a small local problem.  The problem is quiet, but the situation carries on, the nasty bitch I had to deal with still goes out and talks to other people about me like I'm shit, that's Maw Fong.  You try to be nice, you accidentally walk in the street and the planet will kick you in the knackers, run you over and watch you squirm.

I'm just amazed this story got reported, just go look at Toxic Junction, of how much of this crap goes on.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Strain your Resources, Ruin your Software.

One of my daily frustrations around here is the amount of work which relies on such tenuous back history.  A good example, which has I've been reminded of today, is the smart card (chip & pin) system used in one of the main products of my employer.

I wrote the current incarnation of this system, and to be frank, my employer needs to kiss my boots for doing so, because writing it was pretty much done in the worst circumstances, with no design, no idea what was even expected, from an in complete software development kit (SDK) purchased years before; for a member of staff no longer in their employ.

The fact that they have working chip & pin functionality is a miracle.

I mooted this scenario to a friend of mine, he expressed similar concerns at his employ, it seems the common story is that someone higher up decides a piece of kit or tech is needed, and they turn to a randomly picked, or the first available, technie type person and they set them a challenge to get things done.

The trouble with all this of course is that it leads to stress, the person doing is stressed, especially when there is no formal back, no training and no resource in which to carry out the task at hand.  The person asking for results is stressed, as without that back ground the task takes longer than it is perceived to take.  And then at the end of the day, one is stressed, the product is stressed, as testing it might reveal unknown results.
The moral of the story is, if you want to get good software, kit or tech, out the door let it mature.  Get the resources, get trained, get research carried out, and get to know the end product required.

It seems the current economic slump has taken a bad situation and made it far worse, as before managers and higher expected tech results from the veneer thin surface of training or resource they'd give.  But now it seems that tiny resource has been done away with.

Leaving people to produce substandard, strained, flaky software, and worse still they then point blame not at their own miss-management but at the developer working on the product.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Weird Google Search...

I've just spotted something Google related, you know you can type a search query straight into the address bar in Chrome?  And it'll start to prompt you for the page you might be looking for?

Well, I was just looking around, and don't ask me why this came up (I neither have a sister, nor caught her doing anything) but I typed in the phrase "Caught My Sister" and two of the prompted items surprised me, the latter on the list was Wikipedia's entry for Tony Blair, the direct link to his honours no less.

The other was the Wikipedia entry for Steven Fry... How strange that should be a suggested short cut from google for the phrase "Caught my Sister"....

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Review My Review

So, I have a thought... I've not tried this out yet, neither am I tempted to pander to the idiots I believe are doing this... but I'm going to express my opinion here... I am an Amazon Vine reviewer; in case you don't know us Vine Reviewers get a montly list of products offered to us to try to Amazon to drum up some reviews and interest in the items, we get the items free and are asked to read/listen to/use and post a review back about them.  You become a Vine programmer member by invitation only.  I'm not aware what Amazon's criteria are, one day I had an invitation e-mail arrive and I accepted, since then I have tried books, CD's, some head phones and a water jet dental flossing system.

Now, most of my reviews are really about my impression of the item, I like some items and I don't like others.  A couple of the books I've had have been excellent and my reviews reflect that.  But I've noted that some items are pretty rubbish whilst others are middle of the road.  My Scores reflect that.

I feel that the removal of the pressure as to whether I bought the item, and the embarressment that I bought something and its crap, being removed has lead me to give more constructive and insightful reviews.  Some of the items I've had I've not liked, they have negative reviews, and some of the items I've had have has positive reviews...

Yet the number of people who find my reviews helpful is destressingly bizarre.  It seems when I get a product people like they roughtly 50/50 agree with me, pharoh nuff, but when I, and a gaggle of others detest an item; and say so clearly with defined parameters, examples and use cases; our feedback is given negative responses.

The dental flosser seems to be such an article, when I wrote my review for it, it had no other feedback, I was one of the first fice commentators, I posted my one star negative review and went to bed, I got up next morning and there were four more one star negative reviews and a couple of two stars... all seemed right and everyone of those reviews tallied somewhat with my own experience.

Then I noted the rating of my review was marked as a negative review, not useful, and there was a five star review in its place.  This item had no reviews, hence no sales, just vine reviewers... a bunch of vine reviewers found the item bad, one found it good, but their review gets a positive feedback, whilst ours all get negative... "0 out of 1 people found this helpful" on mine... "1 out of 1 people found this helpful" on their strange "This is awesome" style review... I'm not disagreeing that that person found the item useful, and that their review has any less merit than mine or all the others...

But a detailed, insightful, presented review with use cases and my specific points of failure, along with the few redeeming features, is marked as not helpful?  Why?

That's what I want to know, I want feedback on my feedback.

But I also want some transparency on who is giving ths "useful" ratings, should vine reviewers be able to (as it appears in this case) mark other vine reviews as not helpful?  Should only people who have bought an item on Amazon be able to review that item... or if they're not a vine reviewer; or a reviewer whom has not had that item; be able to rate the feedback of others?

These are all questions I have, as a vine reviewer I now have page after page of reviews I've posted, of the feedback on those (24 points worth) only a measily 16 people have said my reviews were helpful.  When I didn't bother with Vine and just reviewed things I got a hold of I had a much more positive number of helpful feedback points... (the points mean nothing by the way).

Might some reviewers be beign biased?

Might some be in collusion with the makers of items for review?

Might some manufacturers be getting staff to find down rating reviews not helpful to promote those with positive reviews...

In the field of PR the Amazon rating system must be a nightmare for some brands.