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* Posts by Jonathan Carlaw

21 posts • joined 30 Nov 2007

CSC axes doctor support software in the UK

Jonathan Carlaw

Re: Time for a new law

You can write a law to that effect, but the main result will be a huge price hike in software - if it's not selling, then the cash to pay for support / development has to come from elsewhere - and that either means much higher prices to purchase in the first place, or hefty on-going support charges.

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Gov's e-petition service cost £80k to develop

Jonathan Carlaw
Facepalm

RE: Reuse old site?

They couldn't use that one because it had the auto "Thanks for your petition, but <Insert PM Name Here> is always right, so we're ignoring you" feature.

The new one has the much improved "Thanks for your petition, but times are hard, so we're ignoring you" feature...

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Trusteer scraps with analysts over 'bank security bypass'

Jonathan Carlaw
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Rapport - also Aaaaargggh!

My bank likewise push this at me every time I log on, and every time I say NO!

I did relent and try it for a week or so many months ago, but my browser (IE, as the bank would only accept IE at the time) slowed to a complete crawl on all sites. Uninstall, and performance returned to it's old levels.

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Sony network ransacked in huge brute-force attack

Jonathan Carlaw

If you dislike Sony that much, perhaps you should reconsider working for or running a Sony Professional retailer / Service Centre?

Or is it that you don't care as long as you keep getting your share of the cash?

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Canon EOS 600D 18Mp DSLR

Jonathan Carlaw

Wireless Flash

So, the most exiting feature was the inclusion of wireless flash.

Which, from the review is triggered by the pop-up flash.

Perhaps the reviewer should look at the Sony range, which has this feature across all models, and has always done so - it was a feature Minolta developed the system for their cameras and Sony continued with when they took over the Alpha mount.

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TalkTalk drags arse in Ofcom ISP survey

Jonathan Carlaw

You get what you pay for

I have been with TT for 5 years now - I switched to them when I moved house.

Customer service is just a joke. Had problems with the broadband initially, phoned many times only to be routed to an Indian call centre who simply said "I'm sorry, the calls breaking up" if I dared to ask a question not on their script!

Then I (somehow) got routed to a UK engineer, who understood the problem, apologised for the call centres, and got it fixed the next day.

However, with the exception of a few days over the 5 years when the phone line has been down, it has worked fine. So for the vase majority of the time, poor customer service has simply not been an issue, and I have saved a fair chunk of cash by using them.

Would I recommend them - No, but I'm not sure who I would recommend, as to get the same package with good (as opposed to mediocre) customer support costs a lot more.

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Super-injunction Twitter user in contempt of court if tweets were true

Jonathan Carlaw

Re: Catch-22

As I understand it, it's not contempt to post something covered by a super-injunction you are unaware of - but to post that Person X has a Super Injunction for yyy implies you believe they have a super injunction in place - and so know you are not permitted to publish anything about it, hence are in contempt.

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Euro court slaps down insurers over gender risks

Jonathan Carlaw
FAIL

Another victory against common sense

Remember, you can't let let a little thing like facts get in the way of being PC...

Insurance companies charge different premiums for motor insurance etc. by analysing statistics of accidents and claims, and matching the driver profile to the relative risk associated with that profile.

Since the stats show women have a lower rate of claims and/or lower cost of claims, their premiums are lower - it's not discrimination!

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Old timer cleared of extreme porn charges

Jonathan Carlaw
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Rubber Necking is not a myth

Agreed, you slow down to a safe speed appropriate to the road conditions.

As anyone who does regular motorway driving will know, as you go past the incident cars are doing ~ 5 mph - and those that are actually watching the road and vehicles in front can see other drivers clearly looking across to have a good gawp!

This is not slowing down for safety then moving on once it is clear you can do so - it is rubber necking, and the bane of those who just want to get on with their journeys.

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Nokia: digital SLRs are doomed

Jonathan Carlaw

Will they even match Compacts?

What has not been mentioned is that as the tech improves in camera phones, so will the tech in compacts.

Look at the capability of the current compacts compared to the range 5 years ago.

Sure, if compacts stayed static, then camera phones might catch up as sensors improve and perhaps new lens technology comes along - but as with all consumer electronics as each year goes by the top end becomes the mid range, the mid range becomes the budget, the budget becomes 'obsolete'.

The computer power on a smartphone is far in excess of the original IBM PC, but strangely we still go and sit down at our desks to use some big, fixed PC rather than just work on our phones...

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Police send Reg hack CRB check database

Jonathan Carlaw

System Design?

While there is a reasonable chance that the ability to email sensitive data without encryption (or indeed to lack the ability to use encryption) was down to poor system design, there are other (equally depressing in many ways) possibilities

1) The system designer included secure email, but was overruled by

a) His boss, who had to try an deliver to the price the salesman had promised

b) The Police contract negotiator (who cut scope to save us money!)

2) The design included secure email, but it was not implemented.

a) Because it could not be delivered on time, so his boss cut scope to make it fit.

b) Because it could not be delivered on time, so the salesman cut scope...

c) Because the delivery schedule just didn't allow time to test it.

Unfortunately IT contracts are often negotiated by people who not only do not have sufficient technical knowledge to understand the details of them, but who consider 'big name' and 'lowest basic cost' to be the most important factors. Typically these people are unlikely to listen to anyone who does understand ideas such as requirements analysis, specification, design, testing, hence the large number of failed IT projects.

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Radio lobby 'hides' 2m analogue receiver sales

Jonathan Carlaw

Sales?

This is not entirely an unfair thing to do - I certainly do not use the radio which is built into my phone, and the presence of a radio was not part of my criteria for getting that phone - I was buying a phone, not an analogue radio.

I am sure many here woudl regard it as very dodgy marketing if MS were to claim 100% of Windows PC uses 'bought' IE,to offer a possible similar claim!

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Fasthosts in day-long email FAIL

Jonathan Carlaw

Intermittent - Yes

I'm another customer of Fasthosts, but just for personal use rather than business or as a reseller.

Like everyone else, my email was down yesterday - but I was certainly able to access webmail a couple of times during the day, so for me, intermittent was an accurate description.

For personal use, I find them fine - the price is reasonable for what I get, and the few times I have had to use support they have been very helpful - but then I don't try contacting them during a major outage as I'd rather they concentrated on fixing it than answering the phone to tell me it's not fixed yet!

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How the Dunning-Kruger effect will stop techies buying houses

Jonathan Carlaw

Recursion!

So, having worked out who should be running the show and written an article about it this means we are clearly self-confident enough to do so.

But this mean by the Dunning-Kruger effect we are clearly the wrong people to do so...

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Tax regime fails to help UK technology sector, says PwC

Jonathan Carlaw

RE: Tax "efficiency"

Perhaps if the Exchequer *Simplified* the tax system instead of constantly adding extra rules, credit systems, etc, then there would be less opportunities for the accountants to avoid paying taxes, and we could get closer to the idea that everyone paid their fair share.

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Small biz slams Harman's equal ops law

Jonathan Carlaw
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Discrimination

So, if you work in a company with 250+ empolyees, the longer term aim is to ensure equal pay for men and women.

So if you have a department with 8 men, then hire 1 man and 1 woman, the woman can demand to be paid the average of the 8 men, but you can hire the man at a lower level...

That seems fair and reasonable.

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How gov scapegoats systems for man-made errors

Jonathan Carlaw

@SIMS is pooh

Re: How hard is is to change...

Well that depends on how complex the system is, and how well it is written (a badly written system can still be easy to change if small enought...)

Given the nature of government IT, my suspicion is that it is large AND bady designed / written (in part due to poor requirements analysis, for which the fault would lie on both government and supplier, IMV) - so probably it IS difficult to change.

'Impossible' is simply a way of saying 'Too Expensive' (IE Goverment won't pay the ammount Capita would want to charge)

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Harry Potter hangs up wand in 2011

Jonathan Carlaw

@Alan Dyer

Oh, there are a LOT of 'sheep' watching HP just because 'everyone' says it is the best thing since sliced bread!

Don't get me wrong, I like the books, but there is a huge dose of 'Right Place, Right Time' and media spin to their success - there are a lot of far better books sitting quietly on shelves, unread, because they are not the book of the moment.

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UK cops' road accident reporting going paperless

Jonathan Carlaw

@Duh

Try reading the article again.

This is for the police to record the info on an accident, when attending the site of an accident.

The data they enter is then collated back at base - hopefuly by simple upload, but I'm sure somewhere they'll print it out and type it in again given the last paragraph on potential savings in back office staff varying from force to force!

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Speed cams ditched in Wiltshire

Jonathan Carlaw
Stop

Speed does NOT KILL

It anoys me every time someone reels out the old 'Speed Kills' line.

In some places the speed limit is 20mph. At others is is 70 mph.

If speed kills (and speed alone) then the speed limit shoudl be universal.

As no-one is suggesting that it is plain that Speed does NOT kill, speed is simply ONE of the factors in an accident.

If you have an empty motorway and good conditions, 100mph in a well maintained, modern car is not inherantly lethal.

If you have a busy motorway in the pouring rain 50mph may be dangerous.

Stop taking the easy target of an absolute speed and instead get actual police officers patrolling the roads and stopping the idiots who drive too fast or too close for the individual road conditions.

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Fasthosts customers blindsided by emergency password reset

Jonathan Carlaw

But they've not changed everything...

I'm also with Fasthosts, and in general been very happy with them (it's just a personal domain, web @ email) - on the few occasions I've delt with support they've been good.

BUT

This password change is crazy.

I changed all my passwords except 1 (my wife's email) when I heard of the hack, so reading this I was expecting to have to reset her email to somethign she'd remember, but no, just logged in via webail using the old (and not very secure!) password with no problems!

Agree with the earlier poster - to fix this you send a warning email and post replacement passwords in advance. Its not that difficult to figure out surely...

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