Discussing software, the web, politics, sexuality and the unending supply of human stupidity.

TfL Charter Refund online form doesn’t have a free text field to explain the nature of one’s delay. Designed by idiots, apparently.

Conservatives are "planning out crime"

I got a local election leaflet from the Conservatives over the weekend. It has this really amusing bit of dodgy copy-writing:

Working with the police to plan out crime, making [place name] the lowest crime ward in [borough].

Generally, if you’ve been conspiring with the police to plan out crimes, it’s best to not brag about it in an election leaflet. That’s a sentence that could definitely have been better phrased.

I have yet to get any leaflets or literature from any other parties.

Reminder for those who need it: threatening to rape someone because they didn’t like a comic book you like is not okay.

The never-ending parade of utterly awful shit like this is why I want to have less and less with anyone or anything labelled “geek”.

Children who suffer bullying are affected throughout their adult life. I’m just remembering the countless times victims of bullying were just flat out ignored by teachers when I was at school. I’d love to say that it has all changed and everything is fine now, but I know a fair few teenagers who are still suffering the ill effects of their recent schooling.

Why Every Straight Man Needs A Gay Best Friend. And by “friend”, the author means “romantic comedy-based stereotype”. Still, it is nice that we can be accessories for straight men as well as women now. Such liberation. Maybe at some point we might collectively amount to being the progenitor in the cultural story rather than the camp wisecracking sidekick.

The opposite of “onboarding” is “walking the plank”. Silicon Valley douchebags, take note and Amazon Prime yourself a cutlass and blindfold.

Why people should be worried about NHS Care.Data: because it turns out Boris Bike data may be deanonymisable fairly trivially. If you can deanonymise data of people riding around London on a bike, just wait until some drunk contractor accidentally leaves your medical records on an unencrypted USB stick on a train.

David Cameron: “Jesus invented the Big Society 2,000 years ago. I just want to see more of it.”

Oh, do fuck off Dave, you insufferably pious, smug little prick.

It’s 2014 and I’m still using line-oriented text formats and sed to do ‘Big Data’. And I’m stilling having to tell the database the difference between an zero-length string and a NULLed int or double.

In spite of fifty years of computer science and software engineering research, I’m still having to do completely moronic shit to get data from one place to another.

Why can’t we have properly self-describing data in a tightly-compressed binary file with a clear and simple way to turn that back into a simple text format so I can read it? Hell, I’d settle with something like JSON (with an attached schema) gzipped.

A web service I use now has a Chrome app, but I can’t use the Chrome app in Firefox. The fact that this sentence even makes sense means the whole web app thing is fucked to hell already.