South of the Wall, security surrealism and a job opportunity

I know a lot of you don’t go south of the Wall that often. Probably because it is quite nice up here and you don’t want the hassle of having to dodge marauding ‘Wildlings’ in the border territories. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the traditional sights and sounds from the Shire of Yorkshire, a large and often misunderstood collection of warring fiefdoms anchored around the buzzing metropolis that is Barnsley. Anyway. lets kick off with a traditional Women Auction, see picture below. These are often held at a galas and fetes and involve the women demonstrating their prowess at ‘things’ before the auction begins. They all looked a bit second hand so I didn’t bother putting in a bid.

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They also have confusing signs everywhere, which are, I believe, designed to impress foreign folks with the natural linguistic flair of the Yorkshire native. The only people I have ever seen looking at them look really confused. Most walk past as I believe literacy is at quite a low level.

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Scotland has a diabetes problem and Yorkshire isn’t far behind. I believe a reason for this is they try to make everything out of chocolate and I mean everything. Look a chocolate bicycle. Anyway I shan’t tease you with any more images of the good life south of The Wall.

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You don’t often associate Architects, let alone Security Architects, with surrealism but that is just what we experienced this week. I was offsite with the management team looking at the direction we want to take the architecture in and thought it would be a very good idea to involve the security guys. Tony duly turned up and within no time at all we were in an intense debate about the wisdom SSL in the App tier. It was all going really well until he leapt up, grabbed a pen and drew this…


When he had finished he started shouting that he was better than Jackson Pollock and Joan Miro was a motherf***er. At this point we asked him to put his clothes on and leave. I have no idea where he went.

Fen made me aware of a wonderful opportunity for a lucky member of the team. You may all think that Fen sits there all day looking at pictures of naked fish (yes Fen I know why you moved desk) but he does do other things. One of his jobs, which he refers to as his ‘special sacred duty’ is to ensure we have a constant supply of charged batteries. However, Fen is off for a couple weeks of mink bothering and fish caressing so he will be absent from his duty. This ‘duty’ requires manual dexterity, dedication, safety awareness, a basic understanding of electricity and patience. If anyone wants it please speak to Margarita ‘I’m in charge’ Love.  A picture of the complex apparatus involved is below*


*offer of role is not open to anyone called Mark or known as Haphazard.

Andy Littlejohns has left Compare to take up a role in the Front End Dev team, if you were wondering why he was hanging around a little more than usual today! Please join me in welcoming Andy and wishing him luck in his new role.


You know you look forward to it. Its the Ivan ‘Zero Defects’ feature…..

“..When companies implement Agile, they often implement an Agile methodology such as Scrum without necessarily embarking on the culture change than needs to accompany it. If there are handoffs, approval committees, brand police with “do not pass go” stamps, and legal sharks waiting to veto, you’re still in waterfall….”
Testing as a separate service is an anti-pattern but there are ways to change this if you want to make a change for the better…
and if you do not change there is a big imbalance between the silos

ZD has competition in the form of Richard ‘Beard’ Davidson. Some good entries again this week…

Wired ran their second “Wired Money” event. Ridiculously expensive to attend (why does everything in banking sector cost so much?!) but here is a highlight video:
And interesting articles out of it:
“Fundamentally the card model grew up in the physical world and that’s the problem” “Anyone entering a credit card number while on the bus knows this doesn’t work”
A new religion coming out of Silicon valley. Singularity, pretty odd.

Streaming kills downloads. Is Spotify the saviour of the music business or will it become disinter mediated? If you know the answer to that one you will become a Silicon valley billionaire.

I was at a conference about 7 years when they predicted this would happen. It has. When do you think traditional media will die?

I am not sure I believe any of this and no you can’t bring kittens into the office. Particularly as Dr Evil will put them in his piranha pit and HR will get all upset.

Have a great weekend everybody. Next week’s edition will be a Tour De France special…


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