236 posts • joined 4 Oct 2007
I thought the risk factors sections of SEC filings were just legal backside covering, so the shareholders can't say they weren't warned.
Virgin on the offensive
Virgin Media periodically send my elderly mother broadband offers addressed to her by her christian name, in very familiar terms that, I expect, at 94, she found offensive, and probably puzzling, as she only vaguely grasped the idea of the Internet. As she died in November, I find them even more offensive and hope they'll stop soon.
So much for CRM, campaign management and targeted marketing.
Missing the point?
The whole point of insurance is is to spread the risk across as wide a population as possible. That's how it worked when insurance was first set up as non-profit societies for mutual protection. Bad drivers are penalised by loss of their no-claims bonus. You seem to be assuming that people who suffer poor health all bring it on themselves.
Standard consultant PR
Gartner has been putting out "x% of Business Intelligence projects fail" press releases since at least 2003 and I'm sure I could find a few before that. Periodically other analysts and consultants jump on the same band wagon, for obvious reasons. It was inevitable that the same apocalyptic claims would appear for Big Data.
What they don't reveal, for equally obvious reasons, is the percentage of those projects that fail, despite the assistance of consultants and system integrators.
Pre-judgements of Nadella aside, Microsoft's boardroom is starting to look almost as interesting as HP's.
Re: Obvious problem, obvious solution
BT Infinity, despite the ads, doesn't strike me as particularly cheap. Which expensive provider with no free router would you recommend?
But where is AWS?
In Amazon's SEC filings there's a note to the Other revenue category, which says all AWS revenue is reported in N. America, there's no AWS in the much smaller International component. Did you take that into account in your estimates?
A little sympathy
What this shows is the difficulty of protecting a product name if you base it on common words. Even with "Candy" trademarked, anyone wanting to ride on their success has plenty of options. They should have called it "Candymonium", or something.
Yodel delivery drivers turning up with stuff you haven't ordered and chucking it into next door's hedge if you're not in.
Re: I wonder
The biggest thing that keeps the Monarchy going in the UK is the idea that we would end up with the sort of people that get elected head of state in the US and other republics. George Bush was a massive boost to the royalist cause here.
These days the title "Sir" or "Lord" confers no power or position in itself, it's merely a recognition by the political class of the wealth, power and eminence that you have already achieved. People may be intimidated by what, if we were feeling generous, we would call Lord Sugar's forceful personality, not by his title.
The rot started when they merged the National Provincial with the Westminster.
Re: What about the big hosters?
Next quarter IDC will have ODM numbers for the first time, and most of those go to cloud hosters. It'll be interesting to see what difference that makes to the size of the market. If a hoster buys components and builds the servers themselves, that won't show up, and I've never seen anything that separates service providers from others. Most of the big hosters at some time brag about how many servers they have, so you might be able to get an idea from that.
So now lying is legitimate?
After I renewed my car insurance policy, somone from Endsleigh phoned me to "check you understand the policy". After a couple of perfunctory questions on that topic, he proceeded to the real reason for the call, to sell me home insurance. The only reason I'm still with them is other insurers are as bad or worse.
The direct marketing industry provides dead end, minimum wage jobs to people who are desperate for work. That's the only good thing I can say about it.
And next ...
When are we going to see "The Best Youtube Album in the World Ever", priced at 17.99 and not paying those oh so creative children anything? Should be good for a series from 1 to 96.
When the LED display on our Samsung fridge freezer stopped working, the only way they could fix it was to replace the entire door. They sent an engineer with a new door three times before they found one without some other damage. To their credit, it was the engineers that spotted the damage, and they did send £25 for the inconvenience.
This isn't related in any way to the intermittent bluetooth dropouts that afflict my Galaxy S3, for which there appears to be no cure.
Home Hub 2
I had an HH2 and had no problems with it for a couple of years, then suddenly the wireless signal disappeared, even with a laptop or phone right next to the hub. Cabled connection was still working and wireless would work for a time if I rebooted the hub. So I phoned BT's help line.
It was a tense conversation as the agent insisted the problem was signal strength, rather than the absence of a signal at all. He wanted me to change the channel to 11, from automatic, but couldn't explain how this would help. He refused to supply a new hub. In the end I agreed to do the channel change and, to my surprise it worked. However, after 2 weeks it was back to losing the signal again and no amount of channel changing would help.
Meanwhile I found out online that losing wireless is a common problem with HomeHubs and is often due to a failure in the power supply. I had the choice of going back to BT and arguing for a new Hub, buying a new power supply for about £8 in the hope that was the problem, or buying a TP-Link router for £35 from Amazon. I went for the latter, it was very easy to set up and has been working well ever since.
Instinct over IQ
Snide comments about chavs are all very well, but Burberry under Ahrendts is a text book case in what a luxury brand can do with imaginative use of new technology. Apple kit is part of their infrastructure that links stores and online, so that's a connection.
If Apple feels its brand image is slipping, Ahrendts looks like a good choice to put it back in its place. The question is whether she can do it without the creative and technical team she has at Burberry.
Is Larry losing interest ... again? He missed the last quarter earnings analyst conference call as well. Last time he lost interest, Ray Lane took control. Maybe this time it's Hurd's turn. I'm sure there's irony there, but i can't see what it is.
Kodak did realise the world was moving on, they invented a lot of the technology behind digital photography. The problem was they had a business that depended on manufacturing, distributing and processing film. They couldn't dismantle the manufacturing and the vast distribution, retail and processing network fast enough, and it wasn't obvious what business they could move into that would allow them to continue to operate at that scale. Whatever Blackberry is, they're not another Kodak.
"Stop sexting" said Tory man Gove
"And text poems that celebrate Love.
It may take more time
To make the lines rhyme
but my friend has an app
that takes care of all that.
All you oiks need to do
Is use it for a week or two
until she can sell it to Yahoo,
and then the earth in her wallet will Move."
Nokia also still owns the Here mapping technology. It'll be interesting to see what they can do with that.
The C word
In the last few years I've had customer service systems-related problems with HMRC, TV Licensing, Royal Mail and E.On. They've all been outsourced to companies beginning with "C". Maybe NAO should take a look at that.
Re: That's nature
And following that link, it was the 9 year-old girl's father who complained, having taken her to the conference to encourage her interest in technology. I think he had a point.
These tech conferences need to decide whether they want to be a professional showcase for the best of the industry, or the tech equivalent of a boy scout camp.
Re: "phablet" - ie. very large smartphone
And we don't need to have fondleslab explained to us every time it's used, so that rather reinforces the original point.
Re: Oh, Ambassador!
Assume temporary compression of the turd and some elasticity of the passage, I think it's feasible.
Even handed as ever
>> The agency's staff have expanded their historic role of registering patents into politicking and lobbying Europe-wide for weaker intellectual property protection.
If this decision is anything to go by, they're actually lobbying for IP protection to go back to its original function of protecting people who had actually invented something, rather than a scam for large companies to hobble competition.
But that's really about patents and this is a trademark. Seems to me there's plenty of reasons why this should fail: 1) When sold the bar is concealed in a wrapper and presumably that is already trademarked, or features a logo that is 2) Nestle sell Kit Kat bars that don't have the four finger format, so it's hardly a unique identifier of the brand.
Come the next election, will we have the option of voting for a government that wouldn't do this in future?
I'm very much afraid we won't.
And now, back to the scheduled programme
It's interesting how the analysts present these figures in their press releases. For example, Comscore's European handset stats are described as a dramatic battle between Samsung, Apple and Nokia for the top three places, whereas if you look at the actual numbers, Apple held share, and all that's been happening is Samsung taking handfuls of share off Nokia, and a bit from HTC and Blackberry.
Re: We're Number Three
It's a long time since I've seen a reference to Dogpile.
I tried the "search" search too. Just before the results in Yahoo it says "Also try: Google search ...."
I wonder if Google is missing Marissa Mayer?
That's not Cool
The aim for manufacturers of most consumer technology is to appear "cool" and appeal to the 18-30 demographic. It's odd, because that student/post-student/mortgage/starting-a-family period isn't one I associate with having much spare cash, but I'm sure they know what they're doing.
Re: My hand's not up.
Bloatware that can't be uninstalled seems to be a mobile phone problem generally, not specific to Windows. On Android at least it's the hardware manufacturers and carriers that install it, it isn't part of the OS. As they all do it and there's no alternative, and their customer service systems are set up to ignore complaints like that, I don't suppose it will ever change.
Yesterday my Galaxy S3 spent several hours downloading an update to AllShareCast Dongle, which I don't need and don't want but can't uninstall without rooting. Meanwhile, something I would like - a fix to the bugs in Bluetooth and the Google app process that keeps crashing - never arrives. A Windows phone is actually starting to look quite attractive.
The DNA splicing bit becomes much clearer when you take into account his pitch to Fortune 100 CEOs ...
“If you want to create a creature that can breathe underwater and fly, would it be more feasible to insert the genes for gills into a seagull, or splice the genes for wings into a herring?”
I don't know. How about grafting a jet engine onto the back of a penguin? Would that work?
Re: What is one day for God?
'God' said Man, 'God, is it true, a hundred thousand million years for you is like nothing in the way our time is reckoned?'
'True' said God.
'And God' said Man, 'God, is it true, a hundred thousand million dollars, too, is like something handy when the waiter's beckoned?'
'True' said God.
'Then, God, slip me a dollar through. One little dollar can't mean anything to you.'
'True', said God. 'Do you mind waiting for a second?'
'G', Christopher Logue's ABC. I can highly recommend the rest of it, if you can find a copy.
A plague on both their houses
I've had HTC and now Samsung, and haven't seen much difference between them. The handsets are ok, but there's a lot of bloat, gimics and unwanted premium services that can't be uninstalled without rooting. There also seems to be no mechanism for fixing bugs in the operating system, other than installing a totally new version, which the manufacturers and carriers between them have turned into a painfully slow process. The whole mobile phone business needs a big kick up the backside, but I can't see where that's going to come from.
Re: A happy ending (for real)
Why wasn't the cop in the dock for soliciting?
Re: They work for you
As my local Tory party would adopt a bag of laundry if it was sent by Central Office with a blue rosette on it, and as a majority of the local population would then dutifully vote for it, there's not much risk of the current incumbent losing his job. In fact about the only way he could possibly lose his job would be if he opposed Dave on something as fundamentally Tory as ridding the world of porn (unless supplied by R. Murdoch or R. Desmond, in which case it's all right).
Re: Windows 7?
>>It doesn't sound like Ford, looking into it people seem to agree "We have no evidence that Ford ever said those words."
He should have said it, though. Unlike some of the things he did say, it doesn't make him sound like a jerk.
Agreed, AWS isn't a good example. If anything it's the opposite, a customer potentially competing with its IT suppliers. What Amazon should have done, of course, is outsourced its IT to a real service provider and concentrated on the day job, selling books.
One hand, other hand
CEOP's 2011-12 annual plan had a budget of £6.38m in Home Office "grant in aid" funding, and in the previous year they also had £2.6m in income from "partnerships" with businesses and charities, which they hoped would continue. They expected the government portion to reduce by 10% by 2014-15.
However, their grant in aid budget for 2013-14 is £6.45m and there's no mention in the plan of future cuts.
The actual amount of money involved should make it difficult for Cameron, May and Miller to claim this is a top priority, but it doesn't look like "slashed by 10%" to me.
Search "CEOP review" for the numbers.
Cloud has another impact, the big service providers either making their own servers (Rackspace joined that club this year) or sourcing them more cheaply from ODMs in the Far East. It's very hard to see much of a break in the clouds for the old server vendors.
Why this obsession with what the kids like? Kids just roll from one trendy gimic to the next. If you've got ground-breaking tech that performs a useful function, why not target it at adults who can actually make use of it?
Re: How to save the high street
Our small town still has a free car park. Stratford-on-Avon Useless District Council tried to introduce parking charges, on the grounds that they'd ruined the centre of Stratford and every other town in the vicinity and it really wasn't fair for one to hold out. But they backed down in the face of huge opposition. As a result, our town centre is thriving. Not the only reason, but it helps.
What is cool?
I'm really puzzled by this perceived need to be "cool". Why would I want a technology service to be cool? I'd be happier if it worked well.
By cool, they seem to mean "popular with teenagers". This is a rolling tide that washes from one thing to the next like the Severn Bore. You can't capture it and pin it down and the more you try, the more it will evade you. As Richard Holway says over on TechMarketView, Yahoo trying to be cool, in that sense, is like Grandad dancing at a family party.
Real cool has nothing to do with age. Keith Richard is cool. Apple, Google, Yahoo, Tumblr, Facebook and Myspace aren't, weren't and never could be.
So here's a suggestion for Ms Mayer and her ilk. Try creating a service that does something people need, that is easy to use and works well, and aim it at a stable base of customers who will stay with you, and might even be prepared to pay something for it.
"a lot less intrusive", is what I thought I put.
I had a Desire S. The handset was well designed and well built, but the software .... Why were Facebook and Twitter system apps that couldn't be deleted without rooting the phone? Why did HTC Locations pop up every time I went anywhere near a map, trying to flog their premium navigation service I didn't want? And this also was a system app. Then every so often the "Use Secure Storage Credentials" setting would decide to uncheck itself, and then you can't switch the phone off without entering the password again.
Similarly, the car mount is well made, if expensive, but it launches Locations automatically and assumes all you want to do is navigate. Actually I mostly want music. But you can't replace it with an alternative car dock app, unless you root the phone.
After a year of fighting all the preinstalled rubbish, I replaced it with a Galaxy S3, which not perfect, but is a lot intrusive. Better marketing won't help HTC, they don't just need to win customers, they need to keep them.
Re: Automatic tills?
Judging by the assistants I see scurrying around the automated checkout area at our local Morrisons, helping people who've got stuck, using them isn't quite as straight forward as you suggest. I do realise, nonetheless, that this is the fault of the stupid customers.
Mine's the one with the items in the wrong bag.
Something that puzzles me
My first job in IT was technical support for a timesharing company selling a financial planning and modelling service (like SaaS, but back in 1978). The software was something like Basic in terms of ease of use, and about half the people I was supporting were what we now call "C-level", mostly finance directors, company secretaries, a few marketing and sales directors. And they were doing it themselves, my job was to help figure out the tricky bits.
Fast forward 5 years and we're trying to sell similar software to the data processing manager to run in-house. Suddenly, we're hearing that directors can't cope with computers and can't manage to use a keyboard, let alone write any kind of program. It wasn't till a lot later I thought, it might not have been the best use of their time, but with a bit of support most of them had no problem with it at all. So what changed?
Must be the worst. "We'll pick you up" actually refers to helping you back on your feet after you see the difference between the price you booked it at online and what you'll actually pay after all the insurance, surcharges and waivers you need so if the car gets scratched you don't have to buy them a new one.
- Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?
- Something for the Weekend, Sir? Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?
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