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UK storm causes Tech City balls up

28 Oct 2013

Sneak has lost his beach ball. It's pretty big, pretty colourful. It was last seen sitting atop a building in the heart of Tech City, just above the Old Street/Silicon Roundabout. If you've seen it it would be great if you could let him know of its whereabouts.

Sneak had left it there just for the weekend and thought it had been tied down pretty securely. Apparently not - the wind would seem to have taken it for a ride, and Sneak is concerned not only about the potential of causing traffic chaos, but also the fact that it's pretty expensive.

It's ball-shaped, about 10 metres tall/wide and brightly-coloured. It represents the vibrancy of the tech community in East London. Sneak presumes it is spreading its colourful joy to all of the bright, young and fresh startups throughout Shoreditch. This makes Sneak happy, but nonetheless the ball is really expensive. So if you have it, please return it. 

Sneak would be very let down if he couldn't find it.

Update: Sneak had nothing to do with this.

Sarky and anonymous White House Twitter user fired

25 Oct 2013

Image of a horrible online troll at a computer

The great thing about the internet is you can act anonymously without any fear of being found out, meaning you can moan and whine about your colleagues online all day long without...oh hang on, what's this?

Oh dear, it seems a senior White House official who was engaging in some undercover insulting of his colleagues and public figures has been found out and fired. This is of cause for concern.

It seems that an official by the name of Jofi Joseph, 40, was fired from his job on the National Security Council nuclear non-proliferation team. Using the Twitter handle @NatSecWonk he was said to make all manner of nasty comments.

These included insulting the attractiveness of wives of politicians and the political achievements, or lack of, of many major bigwigs in Washington, such as Hilary Clinton.

"So when will someone do us the favor of getting rid of Sarah Palin and the rest of her white trash family?" he wrote last October, the BBC reported. "What utter useless garbage."

There's a lesson here for Sneak, but he's not sure what it is. One thing he did take on board though was the fact Joseph reportedly apologised for his "inappropriate and mean-spirited comments".

Sneak certainly doesn't condone this - stick to your guns man and go out in a tirade of insults, one-liners and score-settlings. Oh dear, some people in suits have just turned up and they don't look pleased. Right, before they haul Sneak away, Ballmer you're first...

IT Crowd turns it off and on, then off again one last time

27 Sep 2013


Tonight is the last episode of one of Sneak's favourite TV sitcoms - The IT Crowd. It may not be technically accurate to any degree - and has done even less for gender stereotypes than LinkedIn's adverts for female coders - but it is undeniably hilarious.

Sneak isn't really sure if the show has ever been about IT. The closest we ever got to a true IT-based joke was the classic "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" But it is more than that. IT is just a backdrop, a mere setting for a tale of two men whose lack of social skills is a hilarious burden on their lives and their boss who has no clue how a computer worked or even what ‘IT' stands for.

They use technology to try and make things better - the clip below shows a very handy Siri-like personal assistant, well before Apple took it to the mainstream, advising Moss (Richard Ayode) how to discuss football with the postman - "Did you see that ludicrous display last night?"

Another classic - which certainly opened (and then immediately closed) most viewers' eyes - is Roy (Chris O'Dowd) attempting to make IT sexy again (again?) with a raunchy photoshoot of the office's nerdiest dwellers.

At its best, the show is eye-wateringly funny, and that is how Sneak shall remember it, assuming that tonight's final, one-hour special wraps things up nicely. From the trailer below, things look promising.


iPhone users in hot (and cold) water after iOS 7 "waterproof" prank

24 Sep 2013

Sneak had to smirk today after reading the news that a whole load of iPhone owners had been duped into believing that Apple's iOS 7 mobile operating system made their phones waterproof.

The ad, posted in a very convincing Apple style said: "Update to iOS 7 and become waterproof.

"In an emergency, a smart switch will shut off the phone's power supply and corresponding components to prevent any damage to your iPhone's delicate circuitry."

Having seen it go viral on Facebook, most readers would have shrugged it off, but some Apple fans with grape-sized brains decided to put the claims to the test. You can guess what happened next. "OK whoever said iOS 7 was waterproof go **** yourself", said one particularly unimpressed lad. Another foolhardy gentleman went one step further: "wtf #ios7 isnt waterproof!! now my phones at the bottom of the river."

iOS7 ad claiming the iPhone to be water proof landed some users in trouble

Sneak does have some sympathy for these poor souls, having dropped his own smartphones into various watery places including the toilet, the bath, the sink and Apple's own factories (what with all the leaks). Sneak has heard of going in depth with a new device, but this is ridiculous. 

BBC anchorman stays classy during iPad and paper mix up

19 Sep 2013


A BBC newsreader has won Sneak's affections by grasping a ream of copier paper and truly making it look like he believed it was an Apple iPad.

iPads are the modern day newsreader's prop. A comfort blanket of technological proportions. They can include scripts, photos and games of Angry Birds – any of which may prove useful to a newsreading anchorman.

Simon McCoy of the BBC proved yesterday that it is possible to hold a ream of paper with the same gravitas that you would a tablet computer during a segment about binge drinking – an article that had caught Sneak's bleary attention.

You can see it below. He is carrying an item the size of a swimming float and, Sneak has assumed, is presumably wondering what all the fuss is about tablet computers.

Fortunately a spokeswoman for BBC News said it was just a mistake and added that McCoy simply "went with" his error.

"This morning as Simon McCoy was preparing to introduce this story, instead of picking up his tablet to hold as he went to air, he mistakenly picked up a ream of paper that was sitting next to it," she said. "In the rush of live news, he didn't have an opportunity to swap the items, so simply went with it."

Sneak has access to both a ream of paper and an iPad. He estimates that the iPad is smaller than a ream of paper and weighs a lot less. He hasn't done the precise calculations, but does wonder whether the mere talk of binge drinkers is intoxicating enough to cause confusion.

In the meantime Sneak has some words of advice that he has heard many times before. That is, if in doubt, get an eye test.

John McAfee: The reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated

10 Sep 2013


Sneak was alarmed to read that his favourite travel blogger and security expert John McAfee is no longer of this earth.

Thank the antivirus heavens then that reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Sneak knows this because he has seen the proof and read the evidence. He is looking at a picture of McAfee – and two canine friends – now, and you can take it from us, this is no Weekend at Bernie's style jape.

McAfee, who has carved out a niche as an on-the-run virus expert to watch, has tweeted the proof himself.

"I felt fine when I went to bed last night. I had such great plans. ‘RIP John McAfee'," he said.

"For those wondering if im dead the answer is... 'The Media is killing me, but somehow im still tweeting" #NotDeadYet," he posted.

The more keen-eyed among us might notice the expression on the darker dog's face. Let's assume it's all in good fun.

While he was "dead" McAfee was the subject of an online report that claimed he had died after a cocaine binge in a casino.

Sneak was stunned to hear this – since it does not sound true to form for his security hero – and almost updated a McAfee subscription in celebration after hearing he was indeed alive and well.

McAfee has added another update. Having completed his daily check he is happy to assure us that, thankfully, all is still in working order.

Yahoo unveils new logo, going from fairly jaunty to reasonably quirky

05 Sep 2013

Yahoo's new logo for 2013

For the first time in 18 years Yahoo has changed its logo. Sneak is a big fan of design; his favourite movie is Helvetica, so when Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer took to her Tumblr blog to talk us through the changes, Sneak was naturally excited.

The old logo was certainly jaunty to say the very least. A serif font, which seemed to lollop up and down like a faithful golden retriever fetching a stick, it certainly worked back in the 1990s. But times have changed.

Yahoo Logo

Mayer describes a weekend away with a small design team, putting together the new icon, which sounds like quite a lot of fun. "We spent the majority of Saturday and Sunday designing the logo from start to finish, and we had a ton of fun weighing every minute detail," she wrote. "We knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo – whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud."

Yahoo 2013 logo design blueprints

Much like Samsung's groundbreaking ‘designed for humans' slogan, Mayer and her team wanted a logo that represented nature. The team also made sure that the letters all had different stroke sizes, in addition to little "scallops" at the tip of each line to supplement the now-defunct serifs.

The biggest non-font change was the addition of a slightly 3D effect, with the letters getting a chiselled look with slightly different shades of purple to show depth – much like the depth of Yahoo's diaspora of products, Sneak presumes. And, of course, the exclamation mark is tilted by exactly nine degrees, much more daring than eight but thankfully safer than 10, which would have been far too quirky.

Marissa Mayer was especially happy with the firm's intern Max Ma, who created this video to show the design process.

 Sneak is now off to design a new logo for V3. Suggestions?

IT Sneak has begun a re-brand of V3

Lego computer programmer figure isn’t just another brick in the wall

29 Aug 2013

Lego's computer programmer mini figure is a modern day hero

Sneak fully expected a Lego model of a generic computer programmer, with his "strength" rating labeled at just one star, to be an insulting mess. But in fact, Sneak rather enjoys the childish yet clever biography given to our plastic friend.

First of all, the description acknowledges the fundamental flaws behind arguing about the superiority of desktop operating systems, which Sneak appreciates. "Other computer whizzes can argue all they like about what kind of computer or operating system is the best one – the computer programmer knows that the only way to be a real expert is to master all of them," the description of the computer programmer figure on the Lego website explains.

What's more, this forward-thinking product shows the need for graduates with a variety of skills in every area of technology. "He knows everything there is to know about computers and how to use them, from the biggest old-time mainframes to the tiniest next-generation nanotech prototypes, and he's always glad to share his expertise with anyone who needs his help – which is just about everyone eventually!"

Lego's computer programmer mini figure isn't the strongest but he does have speed

He may not be strong or particularly creative, but this figure is certainly a speedy worker

The Danish firm even understands the risks of bring your own device (BYOD) policies and a complete lack of computer knowledge among employees. "He can debug a server in ten seconds flat, track down and wipe out even the toughest viruses, recover data from completely melted hard drives, and yes, he will help you set up your email signature."

But Sneak takes issue with his choice of free-time activities: social stimulation in the form of a robotic pet does not seem sufficient. "In his spare time, he programs his own video games, catches up on the latest posts in his favorite web forums and hangs out with his pet robo-cat. When you're a skilled computer programmer, the future is always today!"

Nonetheless, Sneak would like to nominate this cheeky, bow tie wearing chappy as the representative of all IT professionals worldwide. Just don't ask why Sneak was examining different Lego toys.

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