Tag: mike magee


Barm cake with black pudding - courtesy Wikimedia CommonsLetter to the Editor

Dear Mike

I do dip into TechEye from time to time and particularly enjoy reading Nick Farrell’s stories, although he really does seem to have it in for Apple. As an Apple fanboy, I do find that slightly irritating.

Still, he has an engaging sense of fun, although I have noticed today that all four of his stories refer to a word called “barmicide” – a word, I must admit, that I haven’t come across before.

I think Nick worked for you at the INQUIRER before, but never worked for The Rogister. Can you ask him what it means?

Yours sincerely

Arnold Polybius


Dear Arnold

Thank you for your letter. I must admit that I hadn’t encountered the word “barmicide” before today. It is actually spelt “barmecide”.

Luckily, I have a copy of F. Howard Collins’ Authors’ and Printers’ Dictionary, published by the Oxford University Press (OUP) – 13th impression, 1950.

As always, this indispensable book came to my rescue. I quote: “Barmecide, one who offers imaginary things, not -acide”.

I have ticked off Nick for his spelling. Thanks for reading TechEye.


Mike Magee

Wikipedia editors sued for defamation

Four Wackypedia editors have been sued for defamation by a Canadian businessman over changes they made to his page.

The case, filed in Ventura County’s Superior Court on June 11, said the four editors conspired to tarnish the name of entrepreneur, musician, and philanthropist Yank Barry.

Named were Richard Fife, Nate Gertler, Ethan Urbanik, and John Nagle.

The case focuses on VitaPro foods which Barry founded in the late 1980s. The company creates textured vegetable protein aimed at cutting down on worldwide meat consumption.

All was going well until the mid-1990s, Barry and former Texas Department of Criminal Justice head James Collins were convicted of a kickback scheme involving VitaPro and Texas prisons.

A jury convicted Collins of taking at least $20,000 from VitaPro Foods in exchange for pushing through a five-year, $33.7 million contract to distribute a soy-based granular substance to Texas inmates to cut food costs.

At the time Associated Press said that Barry was convicted of the same charges—bribery, money laundering and conspiracy—for allegedly paying the bribes.

However Collins and Barry were acquitted in 2005.

The Wikipedia editors made 31 different entries made on Barry’s Wikipedia page which could be libellous, Barry claimed.

To make matters worse the talk section for Barry’s Wikipedia page, one editor “Ganbarreh” states that Fife “made a clear statement about his agenda to maintain defamatory material on the subject’s page in order to cause financial harm and threaten the subjects’ livelihood”.

Fife admits that it wasn’t his “finest wikipedia moment” and that his edit was intended to “prepare for large amounts of edits biased towards the positive to the article”.

Barry said that he tried to resolve many of the issues with his page diplomatically but was ultimately forced to take legal action.

He told PR NewsChannel  that his page was so ridiculously false and made me sound like a terrible person and people believed it causing deals to fall through.

At least Wackpedia editors did not do what they did to the Everywhere Girl and Mike Magee and attempt to make them disappear completely. 

The world celebrates 50 years of BASIC

It is now more than 50 years since John Kemeny and a student programmer both typed RUN and started their Basic programs at the same time. They had created what became known as Dartmouth Basic – or Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

Computers were not really available at the time, Kemeny and Dartmouth maths professor Thomas Kurtz had already formed the view that “knowledge about computers and computing must become an essential part of a liberal education”.

At the time programs were delivered on stacks of punch cards that computer operators loaded one after another in a system known as “batch processing”.

Basic was developed from codes such as Darsimco (Dartmouth Simplified Code) and DOPE (Dartmouth Oversimplified Programming Experiment) and John Backus’s Fortran (Formula Translator). However, Basic made it much easier to enter programs in the days before computers even had screens.

Basic took off after the invention of the microprocessor in 1971 and the price of computers fell. Basic became the standard language for home users and hobbyist programmers. There wasn’t much packaged software, so people expected to write some of their own. Computer magazines published program listings for people to type in, then save to cassette tape.

In 1982, the boom in home computing led to the UK’s first attempt to teach everybody to code: the BBC’s Computer Literacy Project. This was based on BBC Basic – written by Richard Russell – running on Acorn BBC microcomputers. The editor, Mike Magee, still has an Acorn Atom in his yard.

It was Basic that most computer geeks started on. Bill Gates wrote a version of Basic for the MITS Altair microcomputer and dropped out of Harvard to found Microsoft with his programming partner, Paul Allen.

Microsoft Basic hasn’t changed much over the years, but in the 1990s, Microsoft created Visual Basic, which could handle graphical user interfaces. This became popular for developing business and even commercial software. But Vole kept changing the rules between versions which caused a certain amount of frustration for Mike Magee.

Programmers that were more serious moved to other languages, such as Pascal and C but Basic did help a generation of people understand the basic principles of algorithms and the various ways to store and access data. 

Intel improves Thunderbolt

Bag maker Chipzilla took time out from its gruelling fashion show season to provide its Thunderbolt 2 with networking capability.

Thunderbolt Networking can connect computers with a standard Thunderbolt cable. So far about the only thing the technology could do is connect peripherals to computers and then mostly on Apple gear.

Thunderbolt Networking emulates an Ethernet connection to deliver 10GbE throughput between linked computers.

Writing in his bog, Intel’s Dan “fucking Mike Magee, fucking Mike Magee” Snyder said support for the technology is already built into Apple’s OS X Mavericks operating system and a PC driver for connecting PCs to PCs and PCs to Macs “will soon be available”.

Intel claims Thunderbolt Networking will be important for media professionals using Mac and PC workstations, “adding a new level of workflow flexibility” as well as providing lightning-fast backup and upgrade capabilities across computers.

So far Thunderbolt 2-enabled products include the 2013 Apple Mac Pro, Z Workstation systems from HP, AJA’s CION camera, and external storage drives from LaCie, Western Digital, and Promise Technologies, as well as products from AkiTio, ATTO, Cubix, G-Technology (HGST), HighPoint, Magma, mLogic, Maxx Digital, OWC, and Sonnet, Intel said.

However, it is not clear what the cost of moving to such technology for networking would be. The cost of connectors for peripherals is much more expensive than Ethernet. 

Wikipedia might become illegal in Finland

Finnish coppers have warned the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia that its home page might be illegal.

The outfit which made Mike Magee and the Everywhere Girl “disappear” received a note from the National Police Board of Finland over the site’s home page which contains an advertisement for funding.

Finnish coppers are a little concerned about the fact that under fund raising law (rahankeräyslaki) it is illegal to plead with an audience to raise funds without a special permission issued by Inspector Knacker of the Helsinki yard.

The law in the former home of Nokia is that organisations seeking donations must be working in the public interest. Wikipedia has a long history of helping editors with failing egos bolster themselves up by deleting people who are more important than them, but Inspector Knacker might not agree that this is enough to allow them to raise donations.

Wackypedia’s advert at the top of its homepage fulfils its definition of a fund raising campaign. And there is no permission applied for the campaign, and it is criminal to arrange a fund raising campaign without permission.

Inspector Knacker wants to know what purpose the request for donation message is published, the justification for the message to not be an illegal fundraising message and how much dosh people have donated until now.

Suomi Tommi Kovala, chair of Wikimedia, told YLE public broadcaster that the letter from the police was a surprise, since Wikipedia’s fund raising events never go through Finnish associations and all donations go directly to the US-based Wikimedia Foundation.

It is somewhat debatable if the Finnish coppers can do anything as the outfit is a nonprofit foundation (Wikimedia Foundation) located in the USA and the Finnish volunteers have only translated the fundraising message.

However, it is possible that they could declare it as an illegal fund raising fraud and ban it from the country.

This is not the first time the Police Board has gone for an outfit for fund raising. In 2012, a crowdfunded textbook Kickstarter project was delayed because of a similar request. In the end, the fund raiser decided to return all the money raised.



Analysts mull Haswell impact

Analysts have been mulling over the impact that Intel’s launch of Haswell will have on the industry.

According to Computerworld, they seem to think that the new chip will kill off big tablets and lead to a recovery of the portable PC market. TechEye’s Mike Magee has his own take on Haswell, here.

The Haswell chip can make a six hour battery last nine hours, Intel claims.

The fourth generation Core may be the first chip from Intel that can extend PC battery life by 50 percent.

Nathan Brookwood, a chip industry analyst at insight64 said that Haswell was a redesign of its PC chip and was created from the ground up with low power use in mind.

He said that one of the design techniques used for reducing energy consumption involved the addition of graphics hardware to run processes in parallel. By doing so, the chip can operate at lower clock speeds.

This means that Haswell will double the graphics performance on laptops.

Brookwood said that the 22-nanometer chip can turn transistors on and off as it dynamically adjusts power usage. Faster interconnects to speed data flows, reducing the amount of time the chip spends processing data.

Shane Rau, an analyst at IDC, doesn’t believe that Haswell alone can help the PC. But the chip combined with other things soon to arrive will provide a boost to the PC market.

By next year PC makers will be producing the fourth generation of ultrabooks, and the building blocks for a strong product have been coming into place, he said.

Rau thinks that touch capability will become more ubiquitous in laptops, and the devices will be increasingly lighter, thinner, and more durable and affordable than today’s PCs.

Rob Enderle, an analyst at Enderle Group, said Haswell coupled with Windows 8.1 could mark the beginning of the end for large, 10-in. to 12-in. tablets.

Enderle said that Haswell will have a lot of folks asking why they need a tablet. 

HP's Whitman claims company is on the mend

The CEO of Hewlett Packard opened the company’s global partner event in Las Vegas today.  She said that the four year plan she pitched last year is already bringing results and by 2014 the company will completely re-invent itself.  The event was covered by Mike Magee, who is in Las Vegas for the event, and reports more HP news on our sister title, ChannelEye.

ChannelEye launches, injects zest into the supply chain

Prakasha Publishing Ltd has launched a title designed to inform, educate and entertain the influential supply chain in the United Kingdom.

ChannelEye, (channeleye.co.uk) is edited by industry veteran Mike Magee. The editorial team that launched another channel title this time last year, will upset the apple cart and provide hard hitting news, interviews and pithy comment that reflect the concerns of distributors, resellers and the rest of the community.

 “It’s high time that stuffy, old fashioned channel magazines whether online or in print are consigned to the dustbin of history,” Magee said.  “The supply chain continues to be essential to deliver vendors’ offerings to end users.  We will break the mould and deliver essential information to the key players in the market.”

 “This is a fantastic development for IDG” suggests Jonny Busse, head of the IDG Tech Network. “Commercially representing this website will now allow IDGUK a strong presence in this important marketplace with ChannelEye offering a clean and unique style coupled with hard hitting content”

In addition to news, ChannelEye will cover wider matters including reviews, interviews with key players, moves in the industry, product information, gossip, and sparky, solid information. Avoiding re-cycled press releases, ChannelEye will avoid business jargon that only marketers understand, and will deliver gritty and realistic depictions of stuff that matters to the channel.

About Prakasha Publishing Ltd.  Prakasha, headed by CEO Mike Magee, already publishes well respected technology title TechEye.  Founder of both the Register and the Inquirer, Magee was listed as the 35th most influential person in UK technology by the Daily Telegraph.  He can be contacted at mike.magee@channeleye.co.uk  He brings on board a team of journalists that has close contacts in the channel and the wider IT community.