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Archive of posts filed under the Opinions and Observations category.

The real cost of student debt

I recently graduated from university and began full time employment in the software industry. The discussion over the rise in tuition fees that has taken place in the UK and the general situation of having just finished a degree has got me thinking about attending university and its financial viability. My own opinion is rapidly […]

Are all standards inherently flawed?

In the world of software development when you come to implement something for real, using technologies that are supposed to conform to open standards, it is very often the case that those technologies  are not quite as rigidly standardised as you might have hoped. To put this into a wider context most computer users would […]

University project complete, outlook on current affairs and lessons learnt over the last few years

I’ve finally completed the lion’s share of the work and submission for a large university project today and as one tends to do when they have exam revision to be done I am reflecting [procrastinating] on life in general. This post will start with an abstract and possibly largely irrelevant outlook on the world today, […]

EJBs in the three tier system

This is primarily written as a basic primer for those CMP students on the same course as me that are struggling and or frustrated with Enterprise JavaBeans. I won’t give any course work specific info, but hopefully this may help at least a bit. Firstly I should probably mention I have worked in a real […]

Stuff I’ve done and stuff I’ve learnt…

In the last few months I’ve been working intensively on my current main project. It’s easy to lose perspective on certain things when you’re working so closely to a particular project. So in a quick breather while one of my applications is building for the several hundredth time, I thought I would recap a bit. […]

OAuth for Google Data API – not that easy to implement

Google are fantastic at building APIs, but their authentication mechanisms (while I’m sure are very secure) are not always the easiest thing to implement. I’m working with the Google Data APIs at the moment for my project, for which an app needs access to google accounts, cue OAuth. Anyone who doesn’t agree it is difficult […]

Taking Intelligent Architectures to the Cloud Expo

A week and a half ago I represented my software development organisation, Intelligent Architectures, at the combined Cloud, Linux and Open Source Expo. I was mainly promoting a project that has grown out of my final year university work. It was an interesting experience and a good opportunity for me to talk some people about this […]

Programming… its really not that scary

It was only until recently that, when taking a step back from what I have been working on, I realised how dramatically my attitude towards programming has changed. Four years ago I started out on a journey that transformed my anxieties about programming, something that now forms an integral part of my career choice. At […]

Student protests – why violence doesn’t help anyone

It seems there is a sub-culture that increasingly rears its head whenever protests, whether they be about student fees, the economy or war, are carried out in London. This sub-culture seems largely anarchistic in its behaviour. Whether this is a sub set of the protesters, a separate group or a mixture of the two is difficult to […]

LaTeX woes…

So a quick aside that might be interesting to anyone that uses LaTeX to produce their articles / documents. I do believe it can be a great tool for producing excellently formatted documents and can, in some circumstances, make the whole process more efficient. However its usage in academic environments is largely reliant on being […]

Taking stock…

As the year is progressing rather rapidly towards its inevitable end, I feel now is an appropriate time before the end of year revelry begins to take a look what’s been going on. Needless to say this will be a delightfully personal view… My life I’ve had a somewhat varied lifestyle this year, as is […]

The killer app is not a business model

There is an enormous buzz out there at the moment regarding high-tech startups. There is also a particularly large proportion of these startups that focus on developing a ‘killer’ web or mobile application. The notion of the killer app is simple: Make something as successful in terms of user base as Facebook. There is a […]

Problem with Google’s ‘Instant’ feature

Real quick one: So you’re searching for something in Google, typing away and all of a sudden you see a page flash up which is exactly what you want, but you’ve carried on typing. You instinctively try to hit the back button to go back to that search but @#~! you can’t because it takes […]

Jobs worried by Android’s selling points?

Reported all over the web today, Steve Jobs launched into a fairly extensive argument for iPhone as a mobile platform over Android. Andy Rubin, Android chief, responded succinctly via twitter. Without getting into analysing the gory details of some of the statements made (I think this article at The Register sums up the pertinent points), […]

An example of why we all NEED to tone down our techno-babble

Having just received this email: You are all very welcome to the following seminar if you are interested to multivariate probability models based on copulas for analyzing dependent data such as clustered and longitudinal overdispersed counts. Our method can also be regarded as a generalization of the GEE method that is popular in biostatistics I […]

A couple of youtube videos for you

I’ve uploaded a couple of youtube videos – one a demo of Organisa Lite and one a discussion of software development in general. Software Development as a career Organisa Lite Demo A new version of Organisa Lite is available – v 1.2. New Android apps coming soon!

Android Market – the good, the bad and the ugly

Android Market in many ways is a great feature of the Android platform allowing users to download apps from a vast repository and taking care of the issues that would make it difficult for small-time developers to release their apps in any other way. I also think the Android Licensing system is a good move […]

Android To Do List – Organisa Lite v1.0 is out

Version 1.0 of my first Android App called Organisa Lite has been released onto the Android Market. The app is a to do list / task management tool with facilities to export and share workspaces as well as update the Android calendar with the important dates and notes added. For more information, see

Could the world of software be drifting away from everything else?

The Oracle lawsuit against Google for infringement of various software patents has sparked huge debate about software based litigation and indeed prompted many to question the overall nature of the software industry in relation to the context of the world in which we live. At the crux of all major issues relating to the advancement […]

Oracle claim Google Android infringement of Java Intellectual Property A worrying development that raises concerns about the way in which Oracle might proceed to treat technologies that use Java. Presumably they are objecting to usage of similar programming patterns (or android compatible versions of Java API classes) that exist in the Java language?