* Posts by spiny norman

272 posts • joined 4 Oct 2007

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What can't sell Galaxy S6s and keeps going down on you? Samsung and its profits

spiny norman

Re: They make crap phones that's why

I replaced an awful old Galaxy S3 with an HTC One M9. I'm very happy with it. The camera actually isn't great, but that isn't what I have a phone for. If you're into selfies, which I'm not, or video calls, the front camera is really good.

I also have a Galaxy Tab S. I had to install a 3rd party launcher on it to hide the awful flipboard screen, but otherwise it's been fine. You can't really generalise about manufacturers, some models are good and some aren't.

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BT hands £129m back to UK.gov after beating rural broadband targets

spiny norman

Bring back the GPO

The whole telecoms infrastructure in this country seems to be a complete mess. I do get moderately fast broadband in the deep wilds of rural Warwickshire, but there's no sign of anything I'd call super fast. The mobile signal comes and goes with the wind, but I rarely find it's much better when travelling. The other day I almost fainted with surprise when the connection showed 4G, but I was right next to Heathrow.

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Accenture still a little peckish as it snaps up digi biz Chaotic Moon

spiny norman

Hyperbole is the new Understatement

"Accenture acquires Chaotic Moon studios, radically changing the course of human history and business forever."

"The only thing more awesome than Chaotic Moon is dinosaurs. After developing virtually supernatural dinosaur technology that we can't discuss, Accenture bought us."

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Ecobee3: If you're crazy enough to want a smart thermostat – but not too crazy – this is for you

spiny norman

Little boxes made of ticky tacky

Not everyone lives in modern, fully insulated homes. It is difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature with single-glazed sash windows and single-skin brick/timber/wattle walls. I imagine Nest or EcoBee would help keep a more even temperature, but I'm as sceptical as others that it would save much money.

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Well YES, Silicon Valley VCs do think you're a CRETIN

spiny norman

Lost and gone forever

I do try to keep up with technology, but you lost me at "bitcoin".

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HMRC ditches Microsoft for Google, sends data offshore

spiny norman

Re: Great idea...

Don't bet against it, so long as it's cheap.

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Quiet, please – HP waves baton for 'composable' IT

spiny norman

Different work?

I suppose it's too much to expect an IT exec to understand the analogy he's using.

I'm just about to release I tune I've written called "You Did It My Way". It may sound superficially like the song Sinatra recorded, but it's faster, louder and in a different key. I shall call Martin Fink as an expert witness when the lawsuit comes to court.

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What's Meg Whitman fussing over: The fate of HP ... or the font on a DISRUPTIVE new logo?

spiny norman

Cheap shots

In the entire history of corporate logo changes, has there ever been one that couldn't be ridiculed to some extent? I can't think of one. One the positive side, a new logo is a rich source of slightly cheap humour for just about everyone who wasn't involved in creating it.

I'm no expert on branding, but, looked at seriously, this does seem to have some problems. One is that the green rectangle, by itself, isn't uniquely recognisable as HP. Many corporate logos incorporate a symbol along with the company name, but the symbol is usually capable of standing by itself.

The other is using the name Hewlett Packard. We've been led to believe the new company will be called HP Enterprise; has that changed?

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Google: Go ahead, XP stalwarts, keep on using Chrome safely all YEAR

spiny norman

It's the little things

My wife has severe visual impairment, which she has struggled to adapt to, and one of the things that has kept her going is the Internet Backgammon and other games on Windows XP. I thought I could upgrade her PC to Win 7, as those games are still there, but, guess what, they "improved" the user interface, introducing 3D textures that just make everything harder for her to see. So she's back on XP, while I work out what to do.

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'It's not layoffs, it's operationalising our strategy'

spiny norman

Re: Operationalising our strategy

For some odd reason, the people who make public comments like this always assume the problem is below them or around them. If they do own mirrors, they don't use them, or not for that anyway.

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Lib Dems wheel out Digital Rights Bill pledge as election sweetener

spiny norman

Re: Logic

There's policies, and then there's pre-election pledges. Some people seem to think the LibDems made the tuition fees issue such a strong commitment in their election campaign that it should have been a line they would not cross. Whether it would have been worth bringing the coalition down over is another matter, but some people clearly think it would.

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Europe drags, as Accenture posts steady growth

spiny norman

Currency???

All US$ reporting vendors are having trouble in Europe, due to the strengthening dollar vs the Euro. Take out the currency factor, 2% decline turns to 9% growth.

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Complaints against ISPs and mobe firms are up by a fifth — reports

spiny norman

What comes around

And Plusnet is owned by ....

BT

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UK call centre linked to ‘millions’ of nuisance robo-calls raided by ICO

spiny norman

Re: "four to six million recorded telephone calls a day"???

On the basis some company like this phones my landline and my mobile, sometimes several times a week, I'm not that surprised.

If the ICO could also raid the company that thinks I should claim for injuries in an accident, when I wasn't even in the car at the time, I would be very happy. Actually, they could also raid the insurance company that sold the data. Even better, I can tell them which one that is.

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Cut a few BILLION off projected IT spend, m'kay? – Gartner mages

spiny norman

Re: In other words...

I'm a bit puzzled too. Most forecasts I've seen assume constant exchange rates for future periods. Unless what they actually changed is the 2014 base, in which case the 2015 growth would change too.

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World's largest ship swallows 900 MEGATINS of baked beans

spiny norman

Re: If, while travelling at top speed....

Isn't the height of the wall less important than the thickness? When you say solid, I can imagine the wall would have to be pretty thick before the brontesaurus would even notice the collision, assuming it was head on.

As Leslie Phillips used to say in The Navy Lark, "Left hand down a bit!"

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spiny norman

Problem of scale

In the BBC article, the engine pictured is supposed to be 17.2m high and the bloke in overalls and a hard hat standing next to it is 1.85m tall. So the engine is as tall as 9.3 blokes in overalls stacked one on top of the other. But when I attempt to replicate this scientifically in Powerpoint, I can only fit just over 8 men into the stack. It's this sort of disregard for accuracy that undermines the credibility of the whole measurement system.

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Android users are massive wan … er … smut consumers

spiny norman

Presumably those "desktop" connections in Sweden were all laptops.

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Bullish Vodafone barges back into UK consumer broadband market

spiny norman

Once well respected Demon

Tell me about it. In the Thus era, Demon messed up the direct debit and didn't collect my monthly payment for a year. Maybe I should have noticed, but the first I knew was when they sent a very nasty debt collection agency after me. By the time they apologised and offered token compensation I'd signed up with BT.

Thing I don't understand about Vodafone's mobile signal is, in my home office I can get a reasonable signal, but the direction I have to point the phone to get it changes every day. What do they do, drive the mast around on the back of a truck, or swing the antenna round from day to day, so everyone gets their fair share of lousy signal?

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eBay bans CD sales of metal band Burzum, citing offensive material

spiny norman

Brown Sugar

There's plenty of people who think "Brown Sugar" is racist and mysogynistic. We're lucky we can still buy "Sticky Fingers".

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IDC busts out new converged systems charts, crowns Oracle as Platform King

spiny norman

For comparison?

You can't really compare a market share ranking with a magic quadrant.

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Hewlett-Packard paid £1.7bn by UK.gov in 2 years – report

spiny norman

This is how transparent government works

The data is published and it is freely available online. But, every central government department, every NHS trust, every local authority, publishes their individual data in a separate spreadsheet every month. In order to get a picture over one year for even one organisation, you have to download and consolidate 12 csv files, hoping the format doesn't change from one month to the next. To get a complete picture even for central government is a mind-boggling exercise. You then have to find a way of isolating IT spend from all the other types, bearing in mind the classifications aren't obvious or consistent.

Thus the government can claim complete openness on spending, while making the data almost completely unusable.

Result!

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Traffic lights, fridges and how they've all got it in for us

spiny norman

It's bad enough already ....

I bought a Samsung fridge freezer. It has an LED panel on the front, which tells you the temperature in the fridge and the freezer, and an alarm if you leave the door open. Three weeks after it arrived, the temperature display stopped working, so we phoned the shop and the shop phoned the company Samsung outsource their service to. A week later two guys turn up with a new door - yes, they have to replace the whole door - but when they get it out of the box, it's damaged. So, back in the box, and off they go.

Another week goes by, another two guys turn up with another door, but, guess what, that's damaged too.

Two weeks go by and the service rep phones to say they've finally found a door that they've checked isn't damaged. So another two guys arrive, fit the door and off they go.

Fortunately the LED panel has worked ever since.

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Facebook goes TITSUP across WORLD! Who will look at your cousin's baby NOW?

spiny norman

Re: What about people using FB to log into other apps?

There must be something to learn from that ....

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UK govt preps World War 2 energy rationing to keep the lights on

spiny norman

Clearly they never played Sim City.

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Toot-toot. Intel pulls up in the connected car of the FU-TURE-TURE

spiny norman

What's the point?

Most of these technology vendors' visions of the future are seriously lacking in any useful vision. The use cases appear to be dreamed up either by engineers who have developed some technology they have absolutely no idea what to do with, helped by marketing people who think the only thing anyone wants to do is go shopping.

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Mozilla axes HATED Firefox-ad-tab plan ... but will try again

spiny norman

Re: FF at home has gone nearly unuusable

@MJI how do I get back and forwards back to the left?

The Restore Classic Shell add-on has an option to make the back button moveable, which actually converts it to left and right buttons, which you can then move to the far left.

The options in RCS aren't very intuitive. I found the best way was to check each box in turn and see what changed.

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A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally

spiny norman

Could be useful

My son's luggage got lost on a flight from JFK to Birmingham via Paris. Flybe, who operated the CDG-BHX flight, were less than helpful. After several days a Delta customer services rep from the US got involved and asked WTF they were playing at. A couple of hours later, the case magically reappeared. We suspect it was in the airport all the time, they just couldn't be bothered to look.

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Puff on a hybrid – next thing you know, you're hooked on a public cloud

spiny norman

Utility

I've never been convinced by the Utility analogy. With electricity, gas or water, a resource is piped into your premises, and then you run the process yourself. For example, using water and electricity in your own washing machine to wash your clothes.

With cloud, it's you sending the resource (data) to the cloud service provider, the processing is done on their premises and the results come back to you.

So (and I do realise this doesn't meet the needs of cloud vendors and analysts at all), a better analogy would be a laundry.

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EE...K: Why can't I uninstall carrier's sticky 'Free Games' app?

spiny norman

Re: @Destroy all monsters

>> And it's for that reason I try my best to boycott Nestlé products.

We've been trying too, for about 15 years. One benefit, dropping the disgusting Branston Pickle from the family shopping list and found no reason to reinstate it when Nestlé sold it to someone else.

If they could just offload KitKat and Yorkie to someone who makes real chocolate, I'd be happy.

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spiny norman

it is illegal to advertise or promote baby milk

Hence the switch to advertising "follow-on milk".

"A new statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) released on 17th July (2013), states that follow-up formula is not necessary, is unsuitable as a replacement for breastmilk after 6 months and is covered by World Health Assembly marketing requirements."

"The baby feeding industry invented follow-up formulas for marketing purposes and falsely argues that these are not covered by the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly resolutions."

"A number of studies strongly suggest a direct correlation between marketing strategies for follow-up formulae, and perception and subsequent use of these products as breastmilk substitutes. In many instances, the packaging, branding and labelling of follow-up formula closely resembles that of infant formula. This leads to confusion as to the purpose of the product, i.e. a perception that follow-up formula is a breastmilk substitute."

“Even though follow-up formula is not necessary, and is unsuitable when used as a breastmilk replacement, it is marketed in a way that may cause confusion and have a negative impact on breastfeeding.... while follow-up formula may not be explicitly promoted as a breastmilk substitute....packaging, branding and labelling may induce mothers to use follow-up formula in the first six months of life and/or to stop breastfeeding after this period.

"If follow-up formula is marketed or otherwise represented to be suitable, with or without modification, for use as a partial or total replacement for breastmilk, it is covered by the Code. In addition, where follow-up formula is otherwise represented in a manner which results in such product being perceived or used as a partial or total replacement for breastmilk, such product also falls within the scope of the Code."

The whole industry is evil, not just Nestle.

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spiny norman

Hunting round the shop

So would the app be as confused as we are?

"That's the nappy aisle FFS, why's he looking at dog food?"

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David Cameron defends BT's taxpayer-funded broadband 'monopoly': It's a 'success story'

spiny norman

Accepting Orders

According to the Infinity superfast broadband checker, our local exchange has been "Accepting Orders" for about a year. I hope they're not waiting for orders before doing the work. I'd want to see at least a date before I'd even think about it.

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WTF is … the multiverse?

spiny norman

Re: Not "outside" our Universe

>> In some, Man never came to be because something kept that from happening. In other, closer variations, nuclear war happened after WWII.

That sounds ok when you confine the examples to major events, but that must also include universes in which I just put 25 pieces of pasta on my lunch plate instead of 24. This starts to make eternal recurrence look quite reasonable.

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spiny norman

You've done my brain in

I really don't understand any of this, but then I probably don't need to. What would interest me is whether philosophy is keeping up with the science in providing any kind of rationisation of why we're here and what the point of us is.

I haven't had any religious belief for 40 years, but the Earth at the centre of the universe as the plaything of a community of gods, or the disappointing creation of a single deity, at least makes some sense, whereas the Earth as a piece of hardened mucus flying out from some 13 billion year old sneeze, isn't a concept I find very motivating.

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

spiny norman

If it's a public competition for the reverse, it will be kittens.

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VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger's DARKEST FEARS revealed

spiny norman

I thought the risk factors sections of SEC filings were just legal backside covering, so the shareholders can't say they weren't warned.

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NHS England DIDN'T tell households about GP medical data grab plan

spiny norman

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.

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spiny norman

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.

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Some first-wave big data projects 'written down' says Deloitte

spiny norman

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.

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Satya Nadella is 'a sheep, a follower' says ex-Microsoft exec

spiny norman

Pre-judgements of Nadella aside, Microsoft's boardroom is starting to look almost as interesting as HP's.

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BT scratches its head over MYSTERY Home Hub disconnections

spiny norman

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?

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Amazon mints a BILLION BUCKS from its cannibal cloud

spiny norman

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?

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'I don't understand why they feel like they own the word CANDY'

spiny norman

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.

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Amazon patents caches for physical goods

spiny norman

Next stage

Yodel delivery drivers turning up with stuff you haven't ordered and chucking it into next door's hedge if you're not in.

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You're fired: Lord Sugar offloads faded PC builder Viglen to XMA

spiny norman

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.

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RBS MELTDOWN LATEST: 'We'll be the bank we should be ... next YEAR maybe'

spiny norman

Rot

The rot started when they merged the National Provincial with the Westminster.

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Never been a better time NOT to be selling servers

spiny norman

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.

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Gov mulls making it easier for ICO to squash marketing pests

spiny norman

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.

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MPAA, RIAA: Kids need to learn 3 Rs – reading, writing and NO RIPPING

spiny norman

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.

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