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One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

Monty Worm What is developing? (251 comments)

I mean, today I altered a recipe in IfThisThenThat to change the behaviour of my Philips Hue lights slightly. Am I now a IoT developer?

Okay, I'm already a developer, but I work for a telco building our internal platform, but how low a bar is being a developer for this journalist?

2 days ago

How Identifiable Are You On the Web?

Monty Worm Re:I'm a special snowflake apparently. (160 comments)

Me also. But I'm suspecting that having en-NZ in my http headers bumps my uniqueness up quite a lot.

Just tried switching that off. I'm still unique, but that brings my uniqueness on the "one in x browsers have this" down from ~15M to well inside 100k

about a month and a half ago

Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Monty Worm Yes, but: (203 comments)

This is useful, but

I've backed a project that's currently been running late. Like 18 months late. Updates are random, and while follow-ups are promised, they don't happen in timing promised ( https://www.kickstarter.com/pr... )

Big question is how do we deal with a zombie (dead, but not admitting it) project? According to the previous project, all backers seem to be entitled to refunds, but there's no mention in this post as to even how to flag this for KS staff.

about 4 months ago

College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

Monty Worm Yes, but No. NO. **NO!** (270 comments)

I took an elective course in beginners COBOL back in the day (1992). It was an elective, but it was picked blind, before the course had started. I quickly realised that I didn't want to work in this language, and that C was much more interesting.

These days, I write perl. Which is closer to C than it is to Cobol. Cobol, if anything, is closer to banging your head against a brick wall - it feels *so good* when you stop.

about 4 months ago

Million Jars of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico Landfill

Monty Worm Re:Why put in landfill and not recycle? (440 comments)

Or you could *not* bulldoze them and bury all the jars whole.

Okay, maybe this is more in the "confuse future archaeologists" category....

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Development Requirements Change But Deadlines Do Not?

Monty Worm The bigger the company, the bigger the problem. (221 comments)

I work for a large multinational (well, for a subsidiary. Parent company is massive. Global subsidiary is quite large. We're a regional offshoot).

We get a fair amount of our deadlines set by head office, with a "We've put out a press release saying it'll be out on this date". You can't say no, it won't work. This sort of thing isn't restricted to big companies. In smaller companies I've had bosses tell me (and this pre-dates Agile as IT design tool) that I have to have the code finished before the end of the week, as they've got an advert in Saturday's paper.

Like in Mythbusters, failure is always an option.

about a year and a half ago

To Hack Back Or Not To Hack Back?

Monty Worm Seriously? (183 comments)

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth ? We'll all end up blind and toothless

If your attacker was spoofing your IP, you've just attacked an innocent party.

Punishment without trial, and vigilante justice is not the way forward.

about a year and a half ago

A New Benefit For Logged-In Readers: Meet Slashdot's ROT13 Initiative

Monty Worm Was that a shark? (261 comments)

As April Fool plots go, this is one of the stupidest, asking your users to jump through hoops to read your content (and when you lose that, you lose advert revenue as well).

To add insult to injury, you haven't unscrambled them again, and it's April 2 here (and well inside it, too)

Does anyone want to buy a 4 digit Slashdot user ID? I don't want to be associated with this once great website any more.

about 2 years ago

In the 2012 U.S. presidential election:

Monty Worm Missing option: Secret Ballot? (707 comments)

Looking into it, the US varies (as do other places), but many offer at least the illusion of a secret ballot.

So we need an option for the party of Mind your own Business...

I'm just saying

more than 2 years ago

Beer Is Cheaper In the US Than Anywhere Else In the World

Monty Worm For a given definition of a pint (633 comments)

According to Google at least, a pint = 568ml.

Perhaps the reason that they're so cheap is that the US is serving short measure?

more than 2 years ago

Does Grammar Matter Anymore?

Monty Worm Yes. Well, mostly. Often. Sometimes. (878 comments)

Person-to-person: not so much.

If you're writing for a professional purpose, having good grammar shows attention to detail. If you can't show you have paid attention to detail on this small thing, I'll assume you didn't pay attention on the things that mattered.

If you're writing fiction, if I notice patterns in the writing (like poor grammar), I'll start paying attention to them instead of the narrative flow. This is a bad thing.

If you're writing to a person, consider what impression you want them to have on you. Good grammar / complicated words may not be necessary. Or they might be very necessary. See http://www.girlswithslingshots.com/comic/gws-849/ .

more than 2 years ago

Anonymous, People's Liberation Front Build Anonymous Data-Sharing Site

Monty Worm Re:.tk, seriously? (137 comments)

(disclaimer: I am a former employee of Dot.TK)

The reason most domains get removed from the .tk name space is that they breach the terms and conditions that users supposedly agreed to when signing up. This includes (but probably isn't limited to): Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sexual content, piracy, and other illegal activities.

And in an attempt to reply to as many of the points raised in other replies as possible:

  • Most of the hijacked domains were (in the time I was there) taken down after requests by their mainstream counterparts. From what I understand, this is essentially required to hold a trademark to defend it, or delayed legal attempts to regain it may treat it as abandoned.
  • It's a full Registry/ *and* Registrar. If users only want URL forwarding, they can have it. If they want to add A, CNAME, and MX records (IP6 wasn't supported yet when I left, but that was a while back) that's another option. Your own Name Servers? Not a problem.

Knowing the company, it'll probably remain for a few days, while the traffic builds up. Then it'll be taken down. At which stage, Anonymous will either start a massive hack attack on Dot.tk, or they'll simply create another domain name elsewhere, creating an electronic variant of whack-a-mole (close domain, another opens up)

more than 2 years ago

My most recent tax bill was ...

Monty Worm PAYE FTW! (394 comments)

Tax bill ? I laugh at you, and your antiquated concept of tax bills. Ha.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Good Metrics For a Small IT Team?

Monty Worm Step back and think for a while (315 comments)

Metrics, like statistics, can be manipulated to appear to show many different things.

Surely there's some way you can dream up a metric that says you're all overworked and need to hire more people?

Just a thought

more than 3 years ago

Is Twitter Rendered Obsolete By Google+?

Monty Worm Seriously? (456 comments)

In comparison to Google +, Twitter is open.

I use Twitter both as what it was designed for, and as a central point for dispatching to other services.
If I post to my blog (mostly, but not entirely photos taken from my phone) it posts into twitter. In turn, posts from my twitter feed are reposted into Facebook. I dislike that conversations growing from postings remain trapped in whichever site they happen to be in, but no one seems to care. I do like that people who have never met (due to being in different parts of the world, and in different social circles inside) can effectively have discussions inside shared facebook comments/links etc.

I told Google+ about my twitter account, and it did nothing about it.

I'm far from convinced Google+ will last, far from making twitter obsolete.

more than 3 years ago

Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic

Monty Worm I have *some* skeptcism... (807 comments)

I have several problems with Climate Change science as it's seen in the popular press and addressed by politicians.

  • Carbon dioxide is *not* Carbon. Carbon includes coal, graphite, diamond. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. There are others, methane for example, that some studies think has more effect than CO2
  • Carbon-offsets are bullshit. Worried about CO2? Use less, don't try to buy a penance from someone else (who is no doubt making a profit)
  • Cutting down on oil dependency is a good idea, even without climate considerations - there simply isn't an unlimited supply.
  • By definition, we're still in an ice age (ie permanent year round ice exists). I'm not trying to claim it isn't shrinking, or that we aren't accelerating that shrinkage, but this is a long term process that we shouldn't take all the credit for.
  • Habitats are shrinking. Species are going extinct. But to be honest, we don't even know all we have yet. And having watched the local transport people clear and bulldoze areas beside train tracks, I feel that even micro-habitats might help. Looking untidy doesn't mean it doesn't help.
  • Evidence exists that at times in the recent (ie 500-1000 years) past that the climate *was* several degrees hotter.

Be totally honest here - slight (5-10 celcius) changes won't result in the end of humanity - civilisation maybe - but humans are more adaptive than that.

The reason I don't speak out on it more as that the idiots are doing at least partially the right things, albeit for the wrong reasons.

more than 4 years ago

What Questions Should a Prospective Employee Ask?

Monty Worm No employer == my current and past employers! (569 comments)

no employer on earth will offer you more than you asked for.

Actually, the last two jobs I've been offered more than I asked. For the record, I'm a LAMP (Perl) developer - although in this case the M is an O, and sometimes the A has morphed into Cron or Postfix.

First one I had been without a job for 1 1/4 years, and just wanted to work. I gave a low figure, and was offered 25% more than that. Second job was not quite as bad, but I optimistically asked for a 10% rise as a result of moving - and got 10% *on top of what I asked for*

Seriously, if you're being hired via a recruiter, ask their advice, before the interview stages . Because they're getting paid a cut of your salary, they'll generally recommend something that's feasible, while being as large as the feel you can get away with.

A good recruiter is your friend. Bad recruiters a: should be shot, and b: are everywhere.

more than 5 years ago

Under my immediate control are X USB drives; X=

Monty Worm Re:Darn this newfangled technology! (412 comments)

20MB application? Wuss Microsoft office 4 came on 30 floppies. For that matter, I've installed Linux (Slackware 3.0 ) from a machine that had a CD onto one that didn't using three floppies (and several hours) Dammit, leave the lawn alone!

more than 5 years ago

Checked out from the library right now, I've got ...

Monty Worm Young whippersnappers! (369 comments)

Library? I remember that, back when I was a kid. Do they still have those?

Seriously, I stopped going to *public* libraries when I started work full time, in favour of Book Stores.
If I hadn't moved countries during the Dot-Com bubble bursting I'd probably have a room in my house housing my own, private library.
All done in in the best possible taste, naturally.

more than 5 years ago

Why Do We Name Servers the Way We Do?

Monty Worm Pacific atolls (1397 comments)

The company I work for provides services based around the TLD of a small pacific island nation. So naturally we have machines named for the individual atolls of their groups.

This is alternately good and bad - some are short - in one case only one syllable (vao), but some or more (one is called utuaoteolopuka). Thing is there seems to be a nearly endless supply of names, some of which seem very similar to each other.

I know the boss has a reason for doing this, but that won't make me like it any more.

more than 5 years ago


Monty Worm hasn't submitted any stories.




Monty Worm Monty Worm writes  |  more than 12 years ago Many people, especially those with more common names, are used to the idea that there's someone out there with the same name as them.

I'm not. For a long time[1] I was the only person called Dominic I'd ever met. Don't get me wrong, I'd heard of others in books, seen them on TV - I wasn't in ignorance of their (hypothetical) existence. My surname (Thoreau) is even worse. In my home town, *everyone* with my surname is a relative [2] - pick a name, phone it, and ask for who you want. You'll get through to the person you require - 2 or 3 calls total.

Then today I followed a link on Dave Winer's Scripting News [3] site - something about google [4] as an internet mapping tool. I followed the link to the site. After some playing around, I jumped off to google to search on my own name [5]. For once a new link arrived - a review of a book from Amazon, by a Dominic Thoreau in Zagreb, Croatia.

Still not sure about this - I feel it's all very dubious.....

[1] In practice this only ended this year
[2] To the best of my knowledge, there are't any Thoreau's elsewhere in NZ.
[3] www.scripting.com - lots of stuff that is far too interesting and I don't have time to deal with properly - see my abortive blogs scattered around the internet
[4] You *know* this : Google, www.google.com , the best and most relevant search engine on the web
[5] Egotistical I know - but google ranks by some nice criteria, and what you end up with is interesting - more of what other's think is important, than any random order... [6]
[6] And if you actually ran this, yes, those systematic entomology papers are me....


Cheap hardware rant

Monty Worm Monty Worm writes  |  more than 12 years ago Okay, so I went out and bought this new PC. I built it myself from parts, so it was about 25% below standard retail. Nevertheless, I'd like to register the following complaints.

  • Why doesn't Linux support the embedded NIC on my motherboard?
  • Why does the PC reboot spontaneously occasionally, mostly after running a perl script that opened a lot of socket connections (say 300 or so) to the internet for downloading stuff?
  • Why does my (GBP£2.00) mouse malfunction to the point of non-usability if it's in direct sunlight?
  • Exactly how does SUSE Linux Pro need 7 CDs anyway?
  • Why won't CmdrTaco let me see the exact number of my Karma anymore?
  • Why do people moderate my posts down as over-rated just for someone else to moderate them back up again?



Monty Worm Monty Worm writes  |  more than 12 years ago (note: this is science because I like the piccie - it seems to fit)

The results from Mensa came and went. Qualified, joined, went to (2 so far) meetings. I cannot possibly reccommend it enough. If you think you can, shoot for it. Don't even bother thinking about it.

Interestingly enough there were two celebrity premiers in town last night - Star Wars (all the big stars except Euan and Natalie) and We will Rock You - the Ben Elton musical using Queen music. Naturally I was skulking around the edges of the Queen thing - although this was because I was going to play games with Mensa.


Tests, life, the whole enchilada

Monty Worm Monty Worm writes  |  more than 12 years ago Well the Mensa test seemed to be OK - should get results soon. Money is tight - but then when hasn't it been.

I'm supposed to be going on Adrian's stag night tomorrow - not sure if I can be bothered yet...


The Test date, HSX

Monty Worm Monty Worm writes  |  more than 12 years ago The important test is next week (26th February).
Mensa baby. Smart types. Yummy.

And while I'm thinking about it, go and play with the Hollywood Stock Exchange at www.hsx.com. I've got a Music Portfolio of HSX$50Mill, HSX$9Mill in movies - not bad for a HSX$2 initial stake.....



Monty Worm Monty Worm writes  |  more than 12 years ago

I've been permanently employed by Elonex.

Given, a salary of 11,500GBP (basic) isn't that hot, but it's an improvement on where I had been...


Maybe, just maybe.

Monty Worm Monty Worm writes  |  about 13 years ago There was a comment today from Rupesh - something about another in-house interview coming up.

Details for this are really sketchy - looks slightly more interesting than the last one though. I'm fairly sure the real problem at the moment is that no one there actually understands my core job....

The whole place is farce really - today we sent Leonard, one of the floor supervisors, on a 30 minute quest for paint brushes (which we'd then use to paint security paint that one of our clients need). Much better than the edge of a cable-tie we use currently, but watching the beauraucracy try to cope with a new idea was just fascinating....


Argh not again.

Monty Worm Monty Worm writes  |  about 13 years ago Oh well, I suppose I should get used to this really....

I've just talked my self out of yet another job. I'm not convinced I really wanted it though, although I suppose I shouldn't be so picky.

I mean, how bad can being a telephone support person be? (feel free not to answer that....)


Statement of purpose.

Monty Worm Monty Worm writes  |  about 13 years ago Hmm... I might use this as a replacement on my other weblog (see http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~dthoreau/ while it's still there), which has long-since demised once I left NZ.

Brief summary: I was once a perl developer in Auckland, New Zealand. Now I work as a computer assembler in London, England. Despite this, I'd like to code again. Job offers or more infomation needed? email me: montyworm@yahoo.com.

For the record, the coding work before was in Oracle SQL and Oracle's embedded perl variant. CGIs, crons and stuff. Unix (SunOS). Linux workstations. Text file processing. All the standard I'm a corporate programmer stuff.

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