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

Police incident at Paddington, London: the HSBC on Praed Street has police tape around it and there are multiple officers on scene. The doors to the bank are closed with staff shut inside. A security van is parked outside—a robbery perhaps?

Sorry for low quality image.

This press release from the Department for Education is broadly good, although one of the people quoted in it uses the rather odd phrase “the copyright industry”. I thought they were supposed to be creative industries, but the mask is slipping—they are copyright industries. This is why they won’t ever agree to a renegotiation of the terms of copyright to rebalance it in favour of the public domain. When you have a copyright industry, they only want to see copyright grow. Don’t be under any illusions to the contrary.

The lift replacement delays at Covent Garden station finally make the Tube station as insufferably shit and hellish as Covent Garden itself. Avoid.

(As if one needs any more reasons to avoid Covent Garden.)

I-JSON: what is it?

The IETF are standardising “a restricted profile of JSON designed to maximize interoperability and increase confidence that software can process it successfully with predictable results”—RFC 7493 and they are calling it I-JSON, which is short for “Internet JSON”. The name could only have been improved if they’d followed Apple’s orthographic branding style and called it iJSON.

Tim Bray has a post about it.

The important bits gleaned from both the standard itself and from Bray’s post:

  • It defines standard behaviour for objects where there are numerous key–value pairs with the same key, which is reasonably important for security reasons.
  • For binary data, it says you should use base64, which is sensible.
  • For date-times, it says you should use ISO 8601/RFC 3339 strings, which is also sensible.
  • It says the outermost item in a document ought to be either an object or an array, which is useful for backwards compatibility.

These all seem reasonably sensible (especially the bit about ISO 8601/RFC 3339 date-times), even if the name is a bit silly.

You think corporate mission statements and enumerations of company ‘values’ are moronic now? Now the people who write them include bloody hashtags in amongst their insipid prose.

My local pharmacist recommended me a homeopathic treatment. I may as well just flush a fiver down the loo for all the good it is likely to do. That said, alternative medicine has done harm in this case: the fact that my local pharmacist recommends non-medicine to me means I trust him less than I did before.

The Guardian’s challenge to the government over the publication of Prince Charles’ political letters is soon to reach its conclusion with a decision from the Supreme Court. What a colossal mess Charles has made here. It’s now cost the government £275,000 in legal expenses to prevent the publication of the his letters to the previous government on the dubious logic that since the Prince is a priori politically neutral, publishing the letters might bring such a thought into doubt, and so we must therefore prevent publication because nothing can disagree with our Important Constitutional Principles, even if they are in practice complete bollocks.

The sheer logical absurdity that Prince Charles has forced the government—including the usually reasonable Dominic Grieve in his role as the former Attorney General—into committing to cover up his mess shows that he is not fit for being King. If only we had some kind of system where someone so obviously incompetent could be prevented from taking the job of Head of State by the citizens in a democratic process.

Oh well: it’s not like we can do anything—we have to keep the old geezer around to defend our faith(s) (including the faith of sticking coffee up your bum to cure cancer) otherwise tourists won’t visit London, just like how tourists don’t visit Paris because the French don’t have a monarchy or something.

Sonic-Pi is LOGO for the dubstep generation. It’s really cool and it makes me love computers in a way that parallels how dealing with big enterprise software makes me hate computers.

What I’d really like: a syntax highlighting mode for my editor that leaves folded any Java methods that are simply getters or setters (by using some simple measure of cyclomatic complexity or static analysis) so I can quickly see which bits of (usually other people’s Java code) are actual doing something meaningful and which bits are just pointless filler. You can’t just do it based on methods that are prefixed “get” or “set” because sometimes those are actually doing something.

For Vim, there’s already a getter and setter generator. Until everyone starts using Project Lombok (or maybe just Scala) some way to quickly filter the wheat from the chaff in (legacy!) Java code would be amazing.

Sony’s new wearable smart glasses look completely stupid. Poor design, too expensive, impractical and the display is only in green. Also, a tiny 3MP camera. What on earth is the point? It’s quite astounding for someone to make something that much worse than Google Glass.