Don’t make Apple do what you won’t!

In regards to and I have something to say.

I’m a father of an eight-year-old.

I am an avid Apple fan.

My daughter got an iPad for her fifth birthday.

She loves it to bits.

Here are some ground rules we have for her to follow:

No iPad before 10am or after 6pm.
2 Hours a day iPad use.

The rest of the time she get’s human interaction from myself or her mother when she’s at home or she’s with friends or at school.

Software can’t do what YOU as a parent won’t.

If you can’t handle your kids then maybe you should admit that you’re a bad parent and get help with that instead of trying to ask software companies to build algorithms to make up for your lack of ability.

As to what effects it has? Take a look around you – it’s a negative one. If you allow your children to get all their interaction through a screen you’re damaging their cognitive and social skills. It’s not rocket science – it’s common sense and evidence.

Whenever people ask for studies in this or that it means they’re trying to get a different answer than the simple one.

For heavy investors in Apple and other technology giants, the answer to use their products less and maybe refrain from buying more of their products isn’t palatable.

So, instead of the simple answer which works, we’ll get complex waffle that doesn’t and then some piece of technology that’s shiny but doesn’t actually do very much.

If you have a child who has access to technology, restrict that access and replace it with human interaction. That’s the answer. Simple.

Engineering Small

Stay focused on the engineering reality defined by your capabilities and requirements. Line up the engineering tasks with the business value. A shift in the engineering tasks should be a conscious decision as a result of conversations between the technical and business leaders in order to better deliver on the business value. Technical debt can be discarded when the engineering objectives change. Remember all technology is transient and that pride cometh before a fall.


Given all that has passed and is pressing,
Shown beneath this velvet veil of night;
Shallow do these words now feel from this breath,
Small these thoughts held against your might.

Deep the wellspring of these flighty thoughts,
Ardent arrows of dreams their flight do aid;
If only one should land upon your fiery brow,
This task would stand completed.

This day that dawns a thousand sighs unbounded,
Should leave so barren a bosom as mine;
There across Hercules seas should flash,
Hermes’s wings could barely keep apace.

Glorious in splendour lift up your eyes,
The days of your future stand ready to unfurl;
Beneath what skies none may yet say;
To you alone time listens,

the things we trust to github

One of the issues of using public GitHub is that, well, it’s public. Even with the layers of security, it’s all your information ‘out there’. Somewhere.

However, it is a fact of life that we all use GitHub and many large and small companies choose the hosted GitHub option over hosting an in-house, expensive GitHub Enterprise environment. The problem is that developers and operations folks sometimes push things into GitHub without thinking. How about those keys or passwords you’re meant to use Ansible Vault or StackExchange blackbox for but didn’t?

With this in mind someone on the internet wrote gitrob to try and provide some kind of insight into what you may or may not be storing in your vast, sprawling, micro-services hell of repos. It’s pretty neat and all but we’re a docker house for better or worse and we wanted it packaged neatly for us. To that end we created a docker image for gitrob and how we use it at TES Global.

In essence, using docker, you can run a container as the main backend service while running a scan container on a cron job to keep the information updated. This works well for us, but your milage will vary. You will need Postgres and a GitHub OAuth token in order to get this to work. See the here for more information.

By the way, all we did was dockerize this – much kudos to Michael Henriksen for gitrob!


a good policy

The new immigration policies coming into effect in April 2016 for the United Kingdom make it clear that we demand that those who wish to immigrate to this country are able to contribute and grow with the nation.

The left of course are up in arms over this and so are some sectors such as nursing. Of course people will be affected by this.

Policies aren’t defined to effect the least number of people but to enact sensible constraints under which this nation can grow and become stronger.

If we require more nurses then let us invest in the training of nurses. Of educating young adults about the vocation, not buying the cheapest we can find or going abroad and paying rates that we can ill afford.

Disturbingly, this article cites the RCN as saying:

Research released by the RCN to coincide with its annual congress in Bournemouth, suggests that up to 3,365 nurses, who cost £20.19m to recruit, could be affected. But it says that figure could spiral by 2020, particularly, if workforce pressures lead to increased international recruitment, in which case 29,755 nurses, costing more than £178.5m to recruit, could be affected.

I wonder if I’m the only person who is dumfounded that it cost roughly £7K per nurse in recruitment fees? I’ve recruited large numbers of people before, with much tougher and rarer skillsets than nursing, and I’ve never paid that sort of price for a far small volume of staff.

Someone somewhere is fleecing the NHS and the country.

The article goes on to quite a Home Office spokesperson as saying:

A Home Office spokesman said: “As the prime minister has made clear, the government wants to reduce the demand for migrant labour.

“There are exemptions to this threshold for occupations where the UK has a shortage – but the independent Migration Advisory Committee recommended against adding nurses to the shortage occupation list after taking evidence from groups, including the RCN.

“Employers have had since 2011 to prepare for the possibility their non-EEA workers may not meet the required salary threshold to remain in the UK permanently.”

So it seems that we’ve had four years to plan for this and yet, once again, our public sector seems to have buried it’s head in the sand perhaps? Could they have been baking on a labour government to keep the feed trough open and pour more money into a badly run and poorly organised system? I suspect so.

Yes there will be disruption, which could have been avoided if these public service sectors who knew about it for four years had not ignored the coming change. Instead they chose to ignore it in the hopes it went away. Well, it won’t. It’s coming.

Time for change.

end austerity now

I posit that we must indeed end austerity now. As I’m an engineer and I never bring a problem to the table without options for resolution, let’s have a look at this challenge shall we?

First, let’s work out what that word Austerity means shall we?

Austerity– policies enacted by governments to reduce national debts.

Simple isn’t it.

They are the policies that governments use to reduce national debt.

They are the policies that governments use to reduce national debt.

They are the policies that governments use to reduce national debt.

Now lets see what the national debt is shall we?

The National Debt – the total amount of money that a nation’s government has borrowed.

The total amount of money that a nation’s government has borrowed.

The total amount of money that a nation’s government has borrowed.

The total amount of money that a nation’s government has borrowed.

In taking these two terms we may then say that Austerity is the way in which a national government reduces the amount of borrowing it is forced into making.

Thus the real question becomes:

How do we end the reduction in borrowing.

How do we end the reduction in borrowing? Does that even seem like a sensible question to ask?

Well, my experience is that there are no nonsense questions but merely questions that help to refine ideas, so let’s tackle this question.

If we are to attempt to stop the reduction in borrowing we must first understand why we borrow money. Think of it in personal terms. How much personal debt do you have? How much money have you borrowed for things and activities you really wanted but didn’t have the cash for yourself?

Let’s take a look at some key items of personal debt as researched by The Money Charity 2014 Debt Stats :

  • £54,197 was the average household debt (including mortgages) in November
  • £163 million was the daily amount of interest paid on personal debt in November
  • 7,015 debt problems were dealt with by the CAB each working day over the year to September
  • 1,315 people were made redundant every day between August and October
  • 866,000 people had been unemployed for over a year between August and October
  • £11.0 million of loans are written-off daily by UK Banks and Building Societies (based on Q3 2013 trends)
  • Every 18 min 15 sec a property is repossessed (based on Q3 2013 trends)
  • Every 5 min 3 sec someone is declared insolvent or bankrupt (based on Q3 2013 trends)
  • £1.479 billion was the daily value of all purchases made using plastic cards in October

Those are startling figures and very worrying ones too I think you’ll agree. But we’re talking about the national debt so what’s our national money being spent on? From the very useful website UK Public Spending we can see the following:

2014 UK Spending

That website is really useful and you should spend time there looking at how spending is increasing. All those figures are in BILLIONS of £.

Sensible people will understand that ever increasing debt causes real issues. In your own life think about what problems mounting debt has caused and yes I speak from experience. In your own life think about what measures you took to get your debt under control and reduce it to a manageable level or eradicate it completely and yes once again I speak from experience.

The end goal is the same whether dealing with personal or national debt. Reduce it and if possible eliminate it. A surplus is what we as private individuals and as a nation should be aiming for. The mythical beast of manageable debt is a two faced hag that will get you in the end. It’s really hard and sometimes not possible. Sometimes it takes years. For a nation, it takes decades. The numbers are so much bigger. I hope!

Going back to the question of ending Austerity then, we are trying to stop the reduction in borrowing. Should we in fact be trying to stop this then? The answer, should in my and a lot of peoples considered opinion, is no.

It is a good thing to reduce debt.

It is a good thing to reduce borrowing.

It is a good thing to have surplus cash in the bank.

I hope we can all agree that living in debt whether a private citizen or an entire nation is a very damaging situation to be in. As individuals there is a tendency at times to think, that as we are already in debt there’s no harm in being more in debt. As a nation, socialist policies are in the same vein.

Both are irresponsible and completely without reason.

As a private individual, if we push ourselves further into debt it is only ourselves and our dependants we put at risk. As a nation we risk millions of people’s lives and futures.

It is irresponsible.

The way to reduce debt and borrowing in either case is reduce expenditure. As a personal citizen it means being more rigorous about what we buy and what we think we need. As a government it means looking at where the public spending is largest and reducing that spend as much as possible. That means the government also has to be rigorous about who the money is really targeted at. It means making sure that those that need get the money and not those that just want it because need and want are two very different things.

We all have to reduce our debts. Because debt is bad.

The problem with the general public perception of Austerity is the one sided reporting by the media intent on feeding the frenzy of public reaction in order to sell copy or drive traffic to a website.

The government’s Austerity measures are designed to better manage the available funding and to reduce the amount of extra funding we need from external sources.

Austerity measures are NOT designed to stop you paying your mortgage, getting medical help, being protected in your home, feeding your children, heating your home, going to work or any of the other things you want to do.

But that is exactly the way in which the socialist left want you to look at these measures.

The socialist left want you to feel that the government is attacking your ability to do the things you want to do.

The socialist left want you to feel that the government is trying to prevent your access to public services.

The socialist left want you to feel that it is them and us.

Don’t believe the hype.

Yes. Some people are wealthy. Some were given their wealth by their parents. Some won it. Most however worked bloody hard to get it. But don’t believe that just because they have money they don’t worry about losing it all or that some financial market fluctuation couldn’t see them and their families out on the street. The higher you climb the greater the fall. They worry about how they leave what they have earned to their children without a large part of it being taken by the government. They worry that perhaps they won’t be able to send their children to the best schools to ensure they get the best chances for the future. They worry about being seen to be wealthy because they could be targeted for theft or worse.

Yes. Some people are very poor. Some don’t have the education to enable them to get better paying jobs. They worry about how they can afford to get that education to try and better themselves and their families. They have more visceral concerns about where the next meal is coming from. They worry about paying for the heating. They worry about paying for the electric. They worry what happens when the last fiver is spent and they have to wait for the next benefits payment from the government to buy anything. They worry about how they’re going to get their children better educated so they can have a better life. They worry about how they get their children to believe in being better when surrounded by so much negativity in the media.

Yes. Some people can’t be bothered to be anything more than they are. They’re concerned about affording that new flat screen T.V. and sure, the kids can have chips and low quality fried chicken so they can afford it. They worry they might have to use all the effort at doing nothing to actually do something to get their benefits in the future. They worry about popping down to some type of weekly payments store and getting themselves more debt they can’t hope to repay. They’re worried about these immigrants with their strange customs and languages coming in taking all the jobs they didn’t apply for.

Yes. Some people are handicapped. They’re worried that it’s hard to find a job because employers aren’t educated enough to understand a physical handicap is not an obstacle to mental agility. They worry that public transport doesn’t always make it easy to get around when you have to rely on a wheelchair. They worry that the benefits they get might be reduced making it hard for them to live even though they’re doing all they can to work hard.

Yes. Some people are liars, lazy or just stupid. They’re worried they’ll get found out for not actually being in need. They worry they’ll be found out for stealing money from those that actually need to support to get ahead. They worry that the perhaps they’ll have to do some level of work to get their benefits. They worry that their life of complaining and whining isn’t enough for people to feel pity any more. They worry that they won’t be able to get as big a part of the social fund as possible so they don’t have to work or try as hard elsewhere.

There are many more types. Which are you?

Are you really so simple an entity that the term ‘them‘ or ‘us‘ fits who you are?

Think about it.

The only difference between each of us is the context we live our lives in. Of attitude. Of the desire to be better and have a better quality of life. Whether we understand that quality of life is defined by our effort and not given to us by anyone else.

If you want to end Austerity you have to be part of that solution. Because guess what?


Do you really believe the socialist press when they paint the government as some maniacal evil machine bent on oppressing you? Really? It’s just easier for you believe in the black and white of the cartoon press instead of using your intellect to question and search for challenges and answers yourselves? Really?

The government wants to end the reduction in borrowing by eliminating the need to borrow.

That’s the secret you’re not meant to find out.

You’re an intelligent and capable human being.

Be better than what the socialist left want you to be.


thank you charlotte

I refer in this post to the Channel 4 article reported on the 4th of June 2015.

Thank you Charlotte. Thank you.

Thank you for demonstrating so succinctly the reason why your particular brand of idiocy was booted out of government.

Thank you for demonstrating so succinctly how naive and small minded your brand of rose tinted spectacles really is.

Thank you for demonstrating so succinctly how ridiculous the socialists have truly become.

Thank you.

“The welfare state is everything, it’s our fire service, it’s our NHS, it’s our education, our travel network; it’s everything we have. So, we will all be affected by these cuts and I think, as soon as people realise the extent of it and how it really is going to impact pretty much all of us, I think they’re going to be a lot angrier and a lot more discontent than they are now,” she told reporters.

The welfare state, Charlotte, is a failed state. It is a state that works only in a microcosm of the society and the economic realities of the modern world. When bishop Temple coined the phrase he lived in a very different world to that which we inhabit today, no matter how much you and your socialist loonatics would like it to be different. It is an ideal rooted in the realities of an era now long in our past. Our problems stem from the lack of understanding about the irrelevance of the welfare state by people like you Charlotte.

We don’t live in a world where the welfare systems of the nation are used by those only in real need but also by those who would choose to use it. We don’t live in a world where an unending pot of money is readily available to be doled out to all and sundry in order to make everyone feel better.  We don’t live in a world where bloated services which are struggling to cope with change can be supplied an unending amount of money in order to keep the status quo.

Because that’s what you and your naive friends are really calling for. To keep the status quo. You aren’t asking for change Charlotte, because when change is offered to you it is attacked and refused because you’d all like the safe little cocoon you think you built yourself.

Ms Church added that the way the government has talked to the public about the economy was “unfair and unacceptable”.

Really Charlotte?

The government has taken the sugar coating off the language used in the economy. The only way to make it any simpler is to – well, there isn’t any way to make it simpler Charlotte. What’s unfair and unacceptable is to lie to the people of this country as the last Labour government did about how well the economy would be doing if only we taxed all the rich people to hilt.

Charlotte? Are you listening?


They’re the ONLY people who can afford simply to leave a system which is punishing them for their success. You want to tax big business to the hilt? Do you realise where that actually hurts Charlotte? People who WORK FOR A LIVING Charlotte.

Charlotte? Are you listening?


These companies can simply downsize and move their opportunities elsewhere to one of the many developing countries where they can save costs. Do you really believe you understand the delicate interdependencies that exist in modern society?

Do you get it yet Charlotte?

There isn’t the money in the pot. It’s been spent by a frivolous socialist government that wanted to give as much as possible for free.

Charlotte? Are you listening?


That means growth is followed by contraction and is further complicated by the geopolitics of a whole WORLD also trying to play the same tap dancing routine on quicksand. It means we’re all interconnected Charlotte, right across the globe. It means that you ALWAYS have to budget for the bad and you HAVE to make sure you’ve got the buffer to survive.

Do you get it yet?

Something has to give.

It won’t be the hardworking people who bust our balls to make our own way in the world.

It will be the enormous amounts of waste in our public services. The 40 or 50 day holidays. The overpaid and underworked temps.

It will be the idea that being born entitles you to anything but opportunity. The concept that somehow the government and the nation owes you a living, a house or a car.

It will be the idea that somehow those that have done well for themselves should give a large share of their earnings in order that everyone else can also enjoy the same level of lifestyle for which they have not worked for. The concept that by doing well we’re some how indebted to those that haven’t done the same as us.

Because Charlotte injustice and inequality is being taxed to the hilt to pay for services that fail to deliver regardless of the billions pumped into them. The services that bitch and complain about cuts and then go on strike – because that makes everything better. The people who think that driving a metal tube around a closed loop is somehow worth upwards of £60k a year when we could replace them with machines for a third of the cost.

Because Charlotte, injustice and inequality is having to work 18 hours a day to earn a great house, while someone else is handed a million pound house because they had a dozen children but can’t afford to support them.

Because Charlotte, injustice and inequality is making a contribution to our society and our world but being derided for it because we’ve made better choices than others.

Because Charlotte, injustice and inequality is someone who can afford to drink every night and get the full range of Sky sports channels complaining that they don’t have the same luxuries that others do.

Because Charlotte, injustice and inequality is the whining and the bitching from people who have chosen not to pursue a course of financial wealth about not having the same facilities as those who have. It isn’t just nor is it fair for those who don’t wish to concentrate on financial gain to demand parity with those that do.

Charlotte? Are you listening?


Money makes the world go round Charlotte. Try to wake up to that fact would you?

Money drives our lives, our choices. Generating money for ourselves, for our nation is the prime concern of a lot of people because money gives us the things we want. I would have thought you of all people would have understood that Charlotte.

People like you Charlotte have no idea what paying 60% or 70% tax for people who don’t earn your level of income means. By all means, if you want to pay 60% or 70% tax, then please do so. The exchequer, depleted by the last bunch of socialist children, would welcome it.

You realise that you aren’t the only person who pays all their taxes right Charlotte? Most of us do. We pay quite a lot and looking at the breakdown of where all the taxes go is sickening. Welfare outstrips everything.

You see Charlotte, the problem is that people like you believe that the world exists to make you happy and carefree. The world doesn’t. It doesn’t care. Wake up.

The thing is Charlotte, the world works very differently. The world understands that in order for a species to get better, to be brighter, to achieve more, people need a hand up NOT a handout. The welfare state Charlotte is a handout. What the government is building is a solution for giving those that reach for it a hand up.

There is no moral nor legal requirement for a government to make everyone happy. The government simply has to ensure that opportunity exists for those that wish to take advantage of it. It does not have to ensure that the rewards for those that don’t strive for them match the rewards attained by those that do.

Ms Church said that Britain would see a “broad coalition against the vicious attacks from this vindictive government”, adding: “It hasn’t taken the Conservative government very long to attack unions by planning ballot thresholds, when it only had the support of 24 per cent of the electorate.”

The government is not vindictive Charlotte. Grow up. This isn’t reality T.V. It’s reality.

The government is composed of people who do their best to ensure that the legacy our generation leaves for the next isn’t one of debt, delinquency and apathy.

Your statements are vindictive Charlotte.

Your statements are vicious attacks.

The government do a dirty job leading people who wish to absolve themselves of responsibility – the populace. They do it for a very relatively small amount of money considering the responsibility and repercussions of their duty on themselves and their families.

The government isn’t saying the unions can’t ballot members for action. They’re saying that if you as a union member feel that you should strike, then you have to vote for it. The London bus strike in January had a turnout of only 16% of the people entitled to take part in the ballot.

Charlotte, if you believe in the 24% point you make in the same statement you must agree that 16% is in the same vein?

All the government is saying is that you have to have a QUORUM in order to hold strike action ballots and if a union can’t get that quorum then its a good indication that the members don’t want it. If they can’t be bothered to vote – that speaks volumes.

Just because it’s a union it doesn’t get a free pass through a reality check before affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people trying to get on with their day.

That’s injustice and inequality Charlotte.

You make a point of 24% of the eligible electorate voted for the Conservatives. There’s a reason why ‘first past the post’ was selected by the populace when given a choice. Because it’s meant to reduce the chance of a fragmented government unable to action any policies or make any progress.

You’ll note that 66.1% of the electorate turned up to vote. 36.9% of them voted for the Conservatives. The rest decided to vote for other parties.

Charlotte? Are you listening?

The Conservatives had the biggest block of votes of any single party. There was a greater concentration of votes for that party than any others. That’s the point.

Do you get it yet?

You think that hundreds of thousands of people marching through London causing mayhem and rioting, because you certainly can’t control who turns up to your rally, is going sway the millions of people in this country who will be pissed off that once more a bunch of socialists who don’t really get it are getting in the way of everyone else who does. That once more the minority who want something for nothing is complaining about not getting it. That once again ‘celebrities’ who have little or no visceral contribution to the planet are speaking about things they know nothing of.

Charlotte? Are you listening?

You’re being naive and childish. Throwing your toys out of the pram because your particular brand of crazy lost the election. Because 36.9% of those that did bother to vote decided that the Conservative approach was the best approach.

Charlotte? Are you listening?

  • Because of the 36.9% this country is going to build a buffer against the lean times to come.
  • Because of the 36.9% this country is going to have a safety net for those that are in need instead of a feeding trough being abused by those that don’t.
  • Because of the 36.9% this country is going to once again have a world class education system.
  • Because of the 36.9% this country is going to once again have a world class healthcare culture.
  • Because of the 36.9% this country is going to have a public transport system other nations will model.
  • Because of the 36.9% this country is going to get itself off its arse and start achieving.

Charlotte? Are you listening?

The duty of government is not to provide carefree lives for one group of it’s citizens at the expense of another group of it’s citizens. It’s duty is to provide opportunities and promote abilities within its entire populace to seize those opportunities for advancement and betterment. To drive each of it’s citizens to be better.

Do you get it yet?

The freedoms we enjoy come with the responsibility to work for them. They are not free.