81 posts • joined 3 Mar 2008
My long message has not been published? Can the mod please contact me to explain why, I can always go post it on a blog if preferred?
NOT JUST GP - Your Health Data is not Safe and not Anonymous, this data will be updated
I worked for many years on various projects in the NHS with numerous different NHS organisations managing huge amounts of data in systems, in integrating data and in providing research data.
Putting aside the complete amateurs who are often left in charge of NHS data and who will dump a whole SQL database rather than figure out what data the requester is entitled to, there are bigger issues.
The NHS already has exemptions from the Data Protection Act, I attended an annual meeting of doctors who were users of a clinical management system. The presenter was asking for patient data and questions were raised about confidentiality, these were dismissed by the presenter who said
"part of our exemption is where there is a benefit to the patient, well we can argue that all research is beneficial."
This cavalier attitude is rife within the NHS, there are constant power struggles in the NHS between Doctors who think they are Gods (they save lives don't you know), managers and the executives. It is so political that you can lose your job if you go up against the wrong person or fail to immediately comply.
I saw so called "studies" carried out, these were funded by drug companies trying to make data say that their drugs should be used for a larger cohort of patients. In these "studies" they would pick a group of 50 patients that met their criteria, each patient was asked to participate in the study and even paid £60 for filling out a questionnaire 3 times during the study, of course the patient was told that it would all "benefit" the future treatment of patients (bollocks). The doctors were paid £600 per patient for overseeing the "study" and putting their name to it. A nice little earner!
So let's look at the data, it is going to be updated, that means that there is a key field that links the so called anonymous data to the live patient record, the simple fact that this key exists in both datasets means that data can be "reconnected"
However, the biggest threat is this data being combined with other data in the public domain, this includes voter records, director records, credit reference agency records, census records, Land Registry records to mention just a few and added to these all the voluntary information that we "give up" for free on social media, websites or in local papers.
Add to the all the companies that breach data protection and the hackers who steal information and then publish it on forums.
We already have credit reference agencies covertly getting access to the NHS spine, I have seen reports of this and what is more troubling is that they seem to be getting "event" data, that means they are getting say an update every time the patient attends any NHS facility and the coding can even tell them why, be being found drunk in A&E or for a cancer treatment.
They are not supposed to have this data and nobody knows how they are getting it, but they are getting it and the NHS is just too big to figure out how. The NHSnet has over 100,000 nodes, there are trusted organisations working inside and outside the NHSnet who have access to it. Some are multi billion pound organisations and others are small little companies.
I know of Doctors who have run reports of all Doctors and exported that data to their own business that they run on the side. This is a prime example of he can so he will.
So let’s start with some innocent information provided anonymously in the NHS data, a partial postcode
They also have the patient date of birth, but let’s just say they just have the year of birth 1961
Innocent enough but if you are into "profiling" you combine this with other data that tells you the subject of this data (the patient) is living with a lady who does not use his name, she is originally from Liverpool but now living in Southport who supports Everton, likes "Strictly" , listens to Barry Manilow, enjoys Italian food and holidays in Seville in Spain.
That they bought their house on 9th Mar 1998 for £233k and are actually selling it right now for £685k (it is sold STC) and they had been trying to sell it since July 2014. The pictures in the property listing tells you a measure of their wealth, that they like to play music (Piano and Guitar) and she likes to decorate rooms in red!
Whilst the original subject of this enquiry tries to keep off social networks his efforts are only as good as those around him and their security is lax.
The information "brokers" will use this information is a number of ways; some will combine it with other so called anonymous data used for "retargeting" you in marketing campaigns, but others might use it to deny you or your kin to services such as insurance. If that data includes HIV information you may be prohibited from travelling to certain countries. There are many opportunities that you may never hear about because of your data; employment agencies may exclude you or you could end up on a do not employ list or troublemakers list.
I was able to reconcile this data in just a few minutes and I am not even trying very hard. I got the full home address and loads of information I did not include because you never know what kind of nuts read this, but the information is out there. Each piece of information allows someone to "connect" with you and that connection might make you trust them.
It amazes me how gullible the people who have commented here are.
INFORMATION IS POWER
The potential uses are infinite because as as they CAN access the data, they will find new opportunities to sell access to this data.
When people discovered that cookies got deleted and people used different browsers they started using dom storage and flash settings to "track" users and profile you by where you go on the web. Some just display ads, others a lot more. The more information they have the more they can do with it.
At the VERY LEAST The NHS data should be OPT-IN ONLY, once it is out there it is too late, data is never deleted, just excluded from certain queries.
No confirm of Opt out
BTW I opted out of this data sharing, I checked with my GP and I was still opted in, unlike other organisations there is not even a letter or email generated to confirm that you have opted out.
Sounds like they are way more well behaved than everyone else.
What a boring article, nobody give a shiiite about queues and chinese nonsense, write about the iPhone6 not all the rest.
I am guessing that the time zone meant the Editor of The Register was asleep and this awful article slipped through.
Tail wagging the Dog
F'ing stupid, 5gb required for an update at the expense of personal data.
MS is no better,
When will these stupid software companies learn to give their developers the crapiest kit so that they write lean code.
What we know is that a new OS will mean older devices run slower and force people who already got shafted by Apple prices get shafted again.
Sadly Google is not much better at writing software.
The last update of Firefox announced itself as a "security update" but was a major change in UI that pissed me off, but this does not worry me.
I never use tiles, I hate them, it is just clutter.
If Mozilla mess up there will be a fork and that will be that, or there will be a plugin to fix it.
I do wish Mozilla would stop copying Chrome, I hate Chrome, it is another example of Goggle's inability to design any decent UI for their software.
The last update would have killed Firefox for me except for a Plugin Called Colorful Tabs which put back the tabs as I like them. I has to piss about putting my icons on the menu bar but they are tiny.
I have no problem with Mozilla trying to earn a few pennies, most of us will disable the feature but idiots will leave it on and that is just who advertisers want.
I already have Better Privacy, adbock, FlashBlock and Ghostery, I expect there to be an option to disable this crap OR ELSE!
You just don't get it.
I used to think the way you do until the day I got it.
Really what you are saying is you do not know how to use these new facilities.
I will not be friending you or wasting my time telling you how you can exploit social media as I am busy and I always make sure I have a receptive audience.
If you want to email me I will give you an old fashioned thing called a telephone number and I can help you "get it".
The other part of your article deals mostly with the abuse and it is your settings that enable this.
The Real Truth about NHS data
I have worked in the NHS for over 10 years and specifically in managing data from numerous Trusts.
Currently the so called beneficiaries of this data is the drug companies so they can improve health, that is total bullshit. They already have access to data but under the supervision of a Doctor via study groups and sponsored research. They pay quite a high price for this, for example one study pays £60 per patient to the patient and £600 per patient to the Doctor. They want unlimited access to this data so they can export it to 3rd world countries for analysis. Some of the research carried out helps Doctors in the NHS, but this moves the value of that to a commercial company and takes it away from the Doctor. Remember the Doctor wants to make patients better, the drug companies want to sell you a pill you have to take every week, for life.
What amazes me from working in the NHS is the complete and utter lack of a consistent access control system for data. Some Trusts have "school leavers" looking after their data and will quite happily dump a complete SQL database because they do not know how to selectively extract data.
Others are incompetent with the HL7 interfaces, they say "well give you everything and you sort out what you need".
Meanwhile GP's are already not respecting your wishes if you want to opt out of the spine (your data being shared across the NHS).
The spine itself has already been infiltrated by Data companies who are selling selective parts of this data such as the address of patients to debt collection companies.
The data is not anonymous, because when you combine this data with data from other databases including Companies House directors, the electoral register and all the other databases.
For this reason I do not put my name on the Electoral Register.
The most sinister aspect of this is that you CAN'T OPT OUT, I already opted out of the spine with my GP but my data is being provided to the spine and being sold off to 3rd parties NOW. How do I know this?
I split from my Ex and took on some credit card debt which was sold off to a debt collection company. It took a while for me to get a new flat so I was staying with friends. I was temporarily at two different addresses, but I did not give those addresses to any organisation except two parts of the NHS, one was the transplant register, within a week I received a threatening letter from the debt collection agency, so that address had got onto Equifax.
Then a month later whilst at a completely different address that I provided to my local hospital who asked me to confirm my address. I gave them the address but I modified it by adding "first floor" even though it was a detached house. Sure enough the debt collection company wrote to me at the new address and included the "first floor" in their address.
Whilst I was at these two addresses I was completely "off radar" even my bank did not have my address. So the idea of GP's managing your preferences is a joke, they can't even manage it now.
Quite how the data is getting out of the NHS at the moment is unknown to me but I suspect it is a company that is plugged into both by providing some sort of outsourced IT service. Of course they will never admit it and right now they are probably only using the address updates but have you noticed how every time you use the NHS they are manic about getting you to confirm your address is correct?
Once you let this data out of the NHS access control will go out the window, the big data management companies will abuse your data (just look at what their American parent companies already do).
Some of these data companies already manage "public" databases things like the tenant deposit register to name just one, there are too many to mention.
Various different companies have access to public data, some buy the electoral register for under £5 per thousand records, they then bolt on information they gather and scrape from other sources including Google. This is why you are so stupid to provide your data either to companies or even sites like linkedin and Facebook. All that data can and is scraped daily.
The data protection act has a key element called PURPOSE, you provide your data to an organisation for a purpose and they are not allowed to use it for a different purpose without your express permission. The public sector organisations are exempt from this and the private data companies want access to this this exemption via the back door and you are not even being given consent.
Many companies are putting your data on credit registers without even telling you, they do not just look you up but they share your payment history. This includes energy companies, broadband suppliers and mobile phone companies.
So how can this data be abused, well putting aside the fact that some faceless organisation has access to your data without your permission? Simple, by profiling. When you know a patient has been putting on weight you can put relevant ads up to them, this already happens, it is called re-targeting, you can do it across most internet platforms (it is how ads chase you).
Consider Google, they collect your web search history and the only way to opt out is to register with them and specify that, they will still collect that data, they will just not use it to affect your search results. They have a spy on your desktop, first with Google Chrome, but also with the various toolbars in other browsers and also in the search box of the browser itself. Now this all sounds like innocent marketing right, sure, except that when Google sent their streetview cars around they used a pernicious bot to identify your router, grab all the information about it and even break through it to trawl your PC data. We recently found out that Google management were warned about this by their engineers and still proceeded. When asked to delete the data they said "we can't delete all of it but we have done what we can" what this means is that they deleted the data but not the index of it. Once they index data it is part of the index and that cannot be deleted ever. Just read the book "in the plex" to understand why. Hell they even index your emails.
So now Google knows your habits, it can identify you by the unique footprint of your router, SSID, your mobile, your PC name and when these change it can update your "profile", this is not a profile you have access to, but the Government does, there is a publicly admitted part of this
and the not so public admitted
Plus off course what we were told by Edward Snowden
Google is not the only one, Facebook will use your likes, the groups you belong to, your connections with friends, fair enough you might say, but they use your private messaging that is stepping over the line. Worse still 3rd party companies use software to trawl Facebook data and build their own profiles.
What it shows is that if you do not restrict and regulate big companies they will go as far as you let them.
Another example is insurance companies, with this NHS data they will be able to start to build a profile, it will start with increased policy costs and lead to refusal to even offer a policy. That is just one abuse of data, the whole idea of insurance is that you spread the risk across the masses.
What we have here is the beginnings of the creation of a "sub-class" for some it will be your financial status for other your health status and it is the combining of data that is the biggest risk. That will allow them to create new "sub-classes" or "prospects". Your medical data may be used to determine your lifestyle choices, how much alcohol you consume, have you ever taken drugs, are you depressed, are you a single parent, are your promiscuous, have you had an abortion, etc etc; your whole reputation is being sold, not just to one party but to all takers. They will combine that data with other databases, identify you, probably try to get you to confirm that identity with a questionaire or survey, or just use it as a "potential match". The continual updates from the NHS means they can chase you and you can't get away.
The only way to avoid this invasion of privacy is to take out services in false names and using false previous addresses, they know this and that is why they want access to data you can't change, your health data.
Information is power so collecting it by any means possible gives a lot of power and we know that power corrupts.
At the most basic the caredata system should be opt-in not opt-out so people have to choose to share their data, but I think the whole thing should be scrapped.
Any TECH company CEO needs two things
Look it is quite simple
Any TECH company CEO needs two things; VISION and an understanding of the customer.
Bill Gates clearly had both but Steve Ballmer, not so much.
But some jitblat from Ford will not have a clue, they wull ruin it and share price would fall through the floor.
Enough is Enough
So there may be a sign warning of CCTV usage but what CHOICE do I have to avoid it when I HAVE to pay for petrol or visit hospital?
I think it is time for a letter to get the Information Commissioner involved in this, please tweet the following
@ICOnews Christopher Graham please investigate and shut down massive breach of privacy by Lord Sugar owned Amscreen http://bit.ly/AMSCREEN please RT
and encourage your friends to retweet, also encourage your friends on Facebook to view this page.
Please call the ICO and ask them to quickly mount an investigation their number is Tel: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745
We can only prevent this by acting together, thank to the Register for bring this to my attention.
Please email the complaint below to email@example.com
Information Commissioner's Office
I am writing to complain about the excessive use of my personal data, by the AMSCREEN platform that has already been installed in over 6000 UK locations including at Doctors Surgeries. You can find out more here http://bitly.com/AMSCREEN please watch the video.
This data is taken without my permission and I can't avoid its use without breaking the law (e.g. refusing to pay for petrol) or avoiding going to my GP. Where these systems are installed in shopping Malls I cannot wear a hood as these are banned and I should not have to.
The data collected includes physical locations and is provided to third parties in real time thus preventing any meaningful objection by myself regarding the use of my data.
The storage of this data means that it can at a later date be used to completely obliterate any modicum of privacy, for example it could track my route, identify my doctor and so on.
I do not see a way that this system could be made to comply with EU & UK Privacy rights and so I am asking you to rapidly investigate and shut this company down as its whole modus operandi is a breach of data protection.
I worked in the NHS when the NPFIT (Connecting for Health) was implemented.
The implementation failed for a number of reasons, but mostly because they did not get "buy-in" from any staff, in fact I think it was NHS IT staff at a Trust level that made the biggest impact on its failure; partly by refusing to co-operate and partly by incompetence. They either refused to provide critical access control information or would play dumb. Many IT staff told me that they would do all they could to wreck it.
The whole system was badly conceived, never mind what software exists and can be interfaced with HL7, let's spend billions rewriting everything from scratch. Never mind 20 years of research data held in those legacy systems, many of which worked perfectly well.
Consider how Wales did their National Programme for IT, they did a needs analysis, left what was working in place and replaced what was necessary.
Then you had systems being implemented without critical functions like clinics, so hospitals could not run clinics to see new patients, a complete joke, the leads time for clinics was quoted as a future update (3 years away).
As for the LSP's well I was encouraged to bribe one very senior manager and when I declined, we were cut out of that whole area.
Now there is evidence that credit check companies have got access to the spine data, is that a form of hacking, I think so.
A message for Microsoft
Microsoft was starting from SO far behind that it had to do something mega to win market share.
We all know that Apple shafts you good and proper where the sun don't shine, Samsung is charging way over the odds, i.e. I would rather pay less for Apple's last model than pay for a Galaxy III.
So rather than wasting 3bn on Dell what Microsoft needs to do is subsidise the Win8 phones so that they can be sold for a song, people will realise that they are actually quite a decent phone and start raving about them, then the price can slowly increase.
Of course there are laws about this sort of thing so it comes down to offering a better contract, e.g. a Nokia 820 for FREE with umlimited text, 1gb Data and 500 mins talk time for £10 a month for 36 months. But also to include 0845, free texts to shortcodes and free calls to voicemail. So yes the contract is longer which means they keep the customer for longer and they differentiate themselves by including those annoying extras.
Another example would be the same as above but £15 a month for unlimited talk time or £20 a month to include EU and cheap countries by routing over Voip.
Like any competitve situation, they have to offer something compelling, it would really shake up the market which has become a bit too complacent.
As soon as I saw
"the writing is on the wall for desktop computing. "
I knew that the rest of the article would not be worth reading and I was right.
Mobile devices are additional devices and very very rarely replacement devices.
Just try it, remove power cables from your desktops and see how long you can manage.
Such comments are easy to make but they come from people who are just stupid
This is clever, right now Dell shares are hot on the anticipation of a deal, shares can be sold while the price is up and bought back later at a discount when it falls through. Meanwhile the company has capitalization.
In my experience when a company wants to take itself private it is for one of two reasons; some bad news that would erode their share price or an anticipated sale of some or all of the company.
Only MD and his investors know the true story, meanwhile it is in play and there is money to be made or lost.
What Dell has shown is that it is one of the best at just in time manufacturing, which has helped it protect margins.
One thing is for sure, Microsoft has no interest in buying Dell, that would kill it's relationship with other OEM's, a shareholding on the other hand gives it influence.
Apple is NOT going to buy it, Apple works in Niches, yes selling overpriced kit to technophobic idiots is still a niche even if it leads to some killer products.
In this case it looks like Jane Perez is the one in the wrong to me, she did not provide a constructive review, but a nasty unfounded attack.
The legal case has only been overturned because of a technicality "as said order does not prescribe the time during which such injunction shall be effective"
but also because "the respondents have an adequate remedy at law" which means that he can sue her properly rather than just have the review removed
In my opinion Jane Perez is the Troll here, she did not pay a penny, held onto his tools, was offered to pay what she thought was fair and still paid nothing.
Since then there have been a plethora of trolls who have tried to leave negative reviews even though they have never had any dealings with Dietz Development.
I think this brings a more important issue to the news, the fact that Yelp encourages this kind of trolling and is slow to respond. For example under the review they offer buttons saying "useful", "funny", "cool" well what about an UNFAIR button.
The guy did the work for an old school friend, she traded on that friendship, hence no deposit was taken. Whatever the state of the job, he spent money on materials and not all of his work has been replaced by other contractors.
I think this will run and run.
"As for the VA DPOR they did investigate Dietz Development, after a complaint was filed by Ms. Perez, and found no basis to Ms. Perez's complaint and dismissed the investigation and complaint. A complaint and/or an investigation can be requested by anyone against anyone for any reason."
"This client is a high school classmate of mine(1994), she asked me to do some cosmetic repairs to her newly purchased home in VA. I let her know that what she was asking to have done did not require a license in VA. I am a licensed contractor in MD and DC. I did the entire job for her without one payment, based on our high school relationship/friendship. I was never paid one penny from her, although she kept telling me, "I just moved, I don't have any checks" etc, etc. I took her to court, only after asking her for months to pay me the balance or what she felt was a fair dollar amount for the work I did. She said no, and said she would win, as she knows contract law and would use it to make me lose. I took her to court representing myself, but didn't file the paperwork on time due to my oversight and trying to avoid loosing more money to this client by hiring an attorney. The case was dismissed. She did not win any case. It was dismissed for my lack of turning in the paperwork. I never was allowed by her to remove my materials nor tools/equipment, a value of over $2,000.00. The police investigated her claim of theft but found no grounds for her claim nor did they believe her statements. No charges were filed, no police action, no court action. If theft was made, it was her stealing services and money from me. A very sad way to treat a former classmate who did $13k worth of work for free and was never paid a penny for his time nor material.
Please note she (Jane Perez), around the same time as she used my company and our services and then didn't pay, also seemed to be involved with similar such cases with a dry cleaner and a moving company. See her reviews. Now, this must be showing her true colors and intentions, or really really amazing coincidence and bad luck on her part. "
Google had a terrible time in China and eventually had to pull out, perhaps they are just trying to learn from previous mistakes, Since when does a democratic government have a right to dictate the movement or business interests of its citizens?
Oh yes Cuba, well that worked didn't it!!
Actually it empowered Castro because he was able to blame the embargo for his own inept management of his country, a deliberate strategy on his part.
If the spec requires no new hardware for existing users then something around USB3 such as USB3Plus but if as before it needs new kit then USB10g or USB10gb immediately suggests a speed demon, riding on the back of 3g and 4g and it sets a naming convention for the future, e.g. USB500gb and USB2tb (ever the optimist)!
Has Microsoft wasted $1.2bn and paid for hot air
Call me old fashioned but the first consideration in any acquisition is ROI, it would take the annual gross revenue of 6,666,666 users (assuming ZERO costs) to get an ROI, but nobody has ever heard of Yammer because its market penetration is nominal.
When I see a PUBLIC website that has a PRIVATE pagerank and Alexa rank, I always think they are hiding something, if nothing else these guide a true view of the popularity of the site. Compete.com shows their uniques at 63,669 down from a high of 102k per month last November. This makes it look like a site on the way OUT.
Yes they have a few corporate names like DHL and Cap Gemini listed as clients but how much are they paying per month and can this be replicated?
So that would suggest that Microsoft feels it could sell corporate microblogging to its own customers, fair enough but that raises another question, why not license the open source status.net and create their own platform, perhaps head hunt some people from Yammer to get a head start.
When you think that Microsoft’s core business is SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT and it can’t manage to write something as simple as this, then you have to question the management decision making.
If I were a Microsoft shareholder I would be pressuring Microsoft on the real ROI and reducing my position on their shares.
Better that way around
So the issue seems to be that the Ipad3 stays hooked on the Wireless when they leave the house.
It would be worse if it stayed on the 3G after arriving at the office or home, eeek has someone tested that?
Check those mobile bills!
Re: Pot and kettle
A poor decision for users by Apple
This is called “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” if Apple carries on like this it could actually help Android as the balance of value tips towards Google.
Apple should leave it to users to decide what they want, oh no I forgot they are an IT Dictator.
The question is whether they will allow a third party to create an App that uses Google Maps, if not they will breach EU competition law.
Google not exactly worried
Somehow I don't think that Google is worried, just how many people do you know outside China who use Baidu?
Baudu only exists because of the unfair conditions placed on Google when it tried to compete fairly in the Chinese market?
Baudi has benefited from taking on Google employees.
In the end it has nothing to offer markets outside Chino Asian markets.
Those of us who have been around for more than a while will remember the early "look and feel" suits that Apple and Lotus tried to use as a beating stick in the early 80's. Apple with its trash can trying to prevent Windows having a Recyling bin.
In the end their greed got the better of them and they lost, of course that fact that they "borrowed" the concept from Xerox may have been a factor but there are similarities.
Google has deep pockets and can afford to hire the best lawyers, they will press on as Microsoft did and they will win.
What next, will Apple try to patent the way I wipe my arse!
Linked In breach of Can Spam act DAILY
IMO Link-in breaches the Can Spam and Data Protection act every day. Let me explain.
John Smith joins up and they load up his outlook file and write to all his email contacts, that would be fine if it happened once and if there was an opt-out link, there isn't. Linked In then continue to spam the colleague again and again, each of those messages does NOT contain and opt-out link.
The problem gets worse when someone else you know joins linked in, because the whole damn series of unsolicited emails start again. At the end of the message it says something like "The only way to get access to Mary Allen's professional network on LinkedIn is through the following link:
https://www.linkedin.com/e/-asdfjkv;lkasddv;k a;sk ;sv vsk ;' /" "
When actually what I want is a way to opt out of ALL linkedin messages.
I went to their site and there is no "Opt out" of all messages" which Facebook and any Aweber based service offers you.
Believe it or not not everyone wants to join their dumb network which IMO just helps people steal your identity.
There is no page on their telling users that they can opt out and to get them to stop requires trawling though thousands of words in their terms and conditions for a support link and then after three or four message back and forth they finally offer to add your email address to a do not mail list.
Yoru article said " We’re excited to announce today that we plan to roll out changes to the advertising platform across LinkedIn which will surface actions from your network, like recommendations and company follows. The focus is to deliver ads that are more useful and relevant to you,"
Well of course THEY are excited, they found a way to monetise their web asset, BUT only with a blatant disregard AGAIN for the privacy of their users. You cannot subscribe people to a service under one set of terms and them make a unilateral change without first gaining explicit permission.
It just shows that values (or lack of them) of who you are dealing with at Linked In, well now what I do is forward the message header and message of every message they send to http://www.spamcop.net/ .
I suggest to vote with your feet, delete your data (you know you probably can't trust them to do so if you just close your account) and then close your account a day later.
If you continue to get the spam then report each incidence to the ICO, EU and FTC.
not in user's interest
Apple has always been a niche player, it makes things easy and charges you the earth for doing so, it used proprietary kit and software to maintain it ridiculous prices.
Having features in the phone but disabling them was not in the user's interest it was done to make more profit.
This ruling is not in user's interest and it is not an Apple invented technology.
It reminds me of one of the early Apple legal cases in the 1980's that they lost.
They tried to prevent Microsoft using icons and windows, claiming the it was an Apple innovation. Of course it was not, it was invented at Xerox Parc.
Apple is simply using the courts to try and prevent fair competition.
I smell bacon
Whenever you get a study like this you have to first look at who ultimately funded it, chances are that on this one it was a rep of the mobiel phone industry.
Then you have to look at the way the questions were asked or what they looked for.
I have no idea about the validy of this or any other study all I know is that if I use my mobile for more than two minutes I start to smell bacon!
So many people get carried away with Facebook and think up stupid numbers as you have done.
Page views are meaningless, I can drive 50,000 people to a facebook page as easily as I can respond to this post.
When will you people realise that what matters is PROFIT and multiples thereof, that is the value of a company or the potential therein.
Facebook simple has a different way of trageting (by demographic) but Google gets you at the point of Interest when you are searching for something.
People go on facebook to socialise, yes you can direct them away or use tabs as part of a viral strategy but the conversions vary.
So yes Facebook is valuable, but right now it is still living on borrowed money, it took Google several years to monetise and without venture capital it would have failed, (it built all is own servers and as such was the biggest manufacturer of servers).
Facebook can only hype up the potential price for so long, some think the sweet spot has passed.
Look the value is simple, as an advertiser I can target a middle aged mum living in Surrey or a university kid in Seattle.
With Google all I can target is commercial intent based on a keyword along with Broad, phrase and exact match.
Google is getting better but Facebook has huge potential.
Again Market Cap
Market Cap is not the factor, Market Share IS, everyone uses Google products and services every day and every day they find new ways to exploit that Android is one of those ways. The vast majority of computer users use Microsoft and/or Intel products (including Apple users). Market Cap is just a bullshit factor for ignorant city types.
Market Cap is not everything
Market Cap is great but market share is what matters, Apple is still operating in Niches as it always has since the days of DTP. OK I'll grant you that the technophobic is a big niche but it is still not a patch on Windows. The other factor missed in the article is GOOGLE, Apple is facing serious competition in all its markets and is beginning to feel it. The difference is that ist competitors won't lock people in, force them to use iTunes and bleed them dry. Apple was on the brink of going bust, it was Microsoft that saved it, they must have wished they hadn't.
Grey importing should be legal
"That sort of parallel or grey importing ought to be entirely legal over here: it's one of the cornerstones of the entire European Union project that there must be free movement of goods. There are a couple of restrictions (medical devices and drugs are still nationally approved in large part) but other than those very specific areas, anything that it is legal to sell in the EU can be sold anywhere in the EU."
You are right, it IS the cornerstone of EU trade, it is called the Treaty of Rome.
back in 1981, we imported the original IBM PC, we were a raging success for a new company in a new market with just two or three importers and just two PC apps (Visicalc and Easywriter). We were two years ahead of IBM and they tolerated us until 1983 when they planned to launch in the UK.
In came the IBM manager (one Nigel Henzell Thomas) who made all kinds of threats of legal action, our company secretary was a lawyer and dismissed his threat quoting the treaty of Rome. IBM backed off, then they came back offering us a dealership, we took this up for our end user business but continued to grey import for our distrubution business. IBM went after them (not realising it was the same company) and we saw them off too.
Over the next few years things got very interesting, for example we would import the base IBM PC but add our own componets, in the early days this just meant our own memory and floppy drives, then our own hard disks (again before the XT was released).
Pretty soon we sold these components to other IBM authorised dealers, IBM responded by excluding our components from their warranty, but they found it difficult to police as we were able to source their own components in the US through our agreements with IBM and others in the US.
IBM spent many years trying to control it's channel, I seem to remember it ran into trouble when there were imports from South Africa because we could buy UK manufactured (Greenock) IBM PC's there for up to 70% less. This was tricky because we had to still maintain our IBM quotas and as long as we did that IBM did not seem to mind. Of course when our accounts were published they got p'd off because they measured their share of our turnover from the quota, we had to pretend that we had some big contracts for Compaq, Sirius/Victor etc.
As I understand it a manufacturer can control you if you have a legal agreement with them, so they typically control their channel by tracing back serial numbers and threatening the company they have a contract with.
This should be against the law, basic economics is that an unrestricted market is good for business, so if we don't want governments doing it why should we tolerate corporations?
For me, these days the worse offenders are Adobe who sell the very same downloadable version of their software for a huge markup. Companies like Adobe and Microsoft quote all kinds of Bullsh about localisation, but the truth is they are plain greedy. They deserve some bright individual screwing up their market.
As for cars, on the surface the EU says go buy your car wherever, but just try insuring a car manufactured in the US for the Japanese market, you pay eye watering premiums. It does not matter where the car is manufactured the insurance company screws you if it is being driven in a different country to where it was first registered.
The EU is as "bent" and vulnerable to lobbying as the US, they spend a fortune interfering in markets rather than encouraging free trade and the worst thing is we pay for them.
A trademark has absolutely NOTHING to do with selling grey kit and the EU needs to clarify this so that there is free movement of goods. Not only is it unfair but it screws up trade, competition depends on the free flow of goods worldwide. If someone wants to buy a Dell PC in the US with a US keyboard, no problem. If I buy Adobe for half price in the US, all the EU should be concerned with is my payment of VAT and any import duty. Currently we have US companies, charging UK customers for VAT for software bought from US offices on US based servers because they detected an IP address. This is all the EU cares about, the gravy.
If Apple wants to supply the UK with a product with two free apps included to differentiate their UK product, that is fine, but it should NOT be able to block the sale of its grey imported product.
Apple is one of the WORST companies for screwing consumers, from forcing users to use Itunes to disabling Bluetooth and Wifi in the Ipod Touch, invalidating the warranty for an effective software install (unlocking), I hate them. The sooner the EU takes a strong look at Apple the better.
The irony is that Apple would have gone bust if Microsoft did not make a donation to appease the EU.
The more I think about it, the more I think we should abandon the EU.
Hope the government take action
The Wikileaks have been amusing but really they are just fodder for the nosey, how would you like it if your emails were published? In the end they are just the opinions of a bunch of diplomats at a given moment in time or the people they meet. I have no problem with Wikileaks publishing this stuff because it highlights the errors in security. I DO have a problem with the willful download and installation of the DDOS tool. I think that the logs of victims of the DDOS attacks and ISP's should be used to prosecute the offenders.
ISP’s should be able to spot a user spitting out UDP traffic and should simply suspend their service.
The computer misuse act allows for 2 years in prison for downloading and 10 years in prison for using such a tool, we should now be tracking down and prosecuting offenders.
So called freedom campaigners do not realise that such action will actually work against them, it will force the internet to demand a fully traceable connection in due course.
Even if you were totally supportive of Wikileaks, attacking people like Visa and Mastercard does not damage them, it damages their clients, that is you and me or our employers. Trade is the foundation of our society, in this time of austerity the lack of orders may be enough to force some people out of business as users who could not complete their purchase look elsewhere.
I really hope the government does something, in the first place gather the evidence in the form of access logs from all UK ISP’s along with IP lease information. Even if they decide not to send these people to prison, we can ban them from having an internet account for 5 years and from working in the computer industry. Harsh, yes, but you would not allow a person with a criminal record for robbing a bank to be responsible for financial transactions.
Let's keep it simple
1. People start private companies or corporations
2. Private Companies have shares
3. The original owners of the private company can issue as many shares as they like, every new issue of shares dilutes the value of the original shares.
4. The owners of the shares have certain rights
5. The issued shares are called the share capital
6. The issued shares increase the risk to the owner’s liability until they are "paid up"
7. One day they seek external finance so they issue some shares and sell them to a private investor (sometimes called a venture capitalist).
8. The investor hopes one day to get a a return on his investment
9. The investors shares have a value which may be £1 per share even though he may have paid a lot more or a lot less.
10. This process can be repeated again and again, each new issue devalues all shares
11. One day the company decides it wants to go public and hires a city firm to manage an "initial public offering" of share to be traded on the stock exchange. The shares offered may be any percentage of the company.
12. The money raised goes to the owners and investors who sold a percentage of their holding to the market.
13. Thereafter, every quarter the company issues results forecasting future results (profits)
In between, all the investment banks, hedge funds and other investors employ analysts to guess the impact of daily events to each and every public company
14. Sometimes the companies want more money from the market so they either release more shares or they create new ones which dilute those out there (which may upset investors),
15. At other times they may buy back their own publicly traded shares.
One day they may be bought in a "take over", the very thought of this sends the publicly quoted share price of the company being bought UP.
16. So if they are bought their price goes up.
17. and so it goes on.
If you are a really good business owner, you manage your growth, reinvest your own profits, make good acquisitions and never go public. Going public means you have to cowtow to what the market wants or expects, it means if your competition fail your price is marked down. Ideally you don't sell up until you have built up enough hype, conquered your market and are ready to get out. Growing a company to worldwide status usually requires an IPO.
Now if Mark was an owner of the original shares and has been at stage 7 above he could have been paid billions by a venture capitalist for a stake.
Facebook sells ads, has income from games and is working on the monetisation of the site. It is no different from Google, before they bought YouTube, now you get ads.
Mark is paid on the potential of the company to make money in the future, it is the same risk or gamble we all take when we buy any asset, from a gadget that we hope will not depreciate before we have got bored with it to a house we might hope to sell one day to old granny putting money in a post office savings account.
The hype is measured by the number of users, so rather than bitching vote with your feet if you feel so bad. Goodness knows he has done enough for people to realise he will abuse their personal data. Now that might be a reason to hate him but not because his is rich.
Personally I think all facebook users are sad twats who publish their life online and waste most spare moments reading the sad activities or looking at the naff photos of their "pretend friends".
You lot are all just jealous, why can't you aspire and admire? I don't care if he invented toilet rolls or tampax, the fact is a lot of people use facebook, that is a great achievement. Facebook employs a lot of people and a lot of people are employed who create apps, games etc to work with facebook.
Just because you are pathetic a pathetic nobody, don't blame him, blame your parents or better still the person who is ultimately responsible for your lack of achievement, LOOK IN THE MIRROR!
How much time a day or per week do you spend on ideas? Too busy watching TV or football or bitching down the pub.
When you have created such a success, then you can judge, until then, learn some respect!
The epic FAIL is for you bunch of FAILURES.
The data IS being used and we are being failed by IC
The information commissioner is failing UK citizens, even poor eastern european countries have BANNED this.
The data IS being used, sites used to identify my location by ISP who happens to be in Sheffield, now the same sites are able to identify my exact location. The wifi router details have been linked to my Browser, PC, ISP, various IP addresses and kit in my home lan.
I did not give permission for this ever so personal data to be collected or used in this fashion.
It is wrong, it is phorm by covert means and just because it is a powerful organisation the IC does sweet FA.
Google should thank Apple
Google really should thank Apple. If all of the bugs in Android have formerly appears in Apple it should be much easier to develop a programme to get rid of all the bugs Apple has had. Does anyone know if Windows 7 Mobile is based on the same code!!???
Ideological Agenda: "Know Thy Place"
and I did not believe that there was an Ideological Agenda. Sacking 500,000 public sector workers, the removal of employee rights, putting up university fees to up to £9k, it seems very clear that pushing down the working classes while removing their aspiration to achieve is the underlying policy.
This is all ammunition for the opposition to promise to undo at the next election.
The fact is regardless of your length of service if your employer wants you out, you are out.
Ooops Tiny Crown2210
Hilarious, now come on, stand up if you have never made an IT mistake, yeah right.
Not only does google cache it but Tiny URL have shortened it.
I liked the brailian girl Daniela, she sounds HOT!
Amazing insight into the crap that people leave on websites, I would l love to see a comedian or radio station call some of these people up and pretend to be Crown.
"Yes Mrs X we know our "breatheasy" paint appeared on BBC Watchdog, it is unfortunate that you have painted it in every room in your house. Unfortunately the fumes have no smell so we suggest you go stay at a hotel on us, yes we will pay for everything and repaint your house too"
Apple shares down on this announcement
Well these results are impressive figures in such dire times, Micro$oft must be kicking themselves (again) for bailing Apple out in 1997.
However, shares are down this morning. Maninly due to poor Ipad sales but also there is a feeling that the share price is over valued.
I predict a problem for Apple; all those iPhone users will experience the frustration of dropped calls and signal loss, this will create a general discontent with the brand. It is one thing to sell bucketloads of unreliable products to a devoted audience (Apple fanatics), but as they break into the general market people will have higher expectations.
For mobiles, buyers remorse is usually resolved by getting rid of the phone at contract end and so when these duff iPhone4s get sold on there will be another 14 million pissed off consumers. These will be sold on much sooner because they will not have to wait for contract end and so the spread of discontent with the Apple brand will continue.
If I were Apple I would offer a trade in on the iPhone5 next June, but they won't.
It's always safer
It's always safer to use your hand! We have all seen the you tube videos of what happens when people use strange things like vacuum cleaners.
I know Apple has a sensor for water damage but it may need a new one for users returning their unit with sticky stuff in the orifices!
See behind the news
Clearly Larry wants VMware.
With zero debt I don't think EMC is ready to sell although one might argue that their biggest threat (Microsoft) is gaining ground as this may be as good as it gets.
Larry may well argue that to beat Microsoft VMware needs someone like Oracle behind it.
Some will say VMware is market leader but they used to say that about Novell!
What this signals to me is a 90 day window for VMware to be sold otherwise other players in the Virtual Server market should expect an approach.
Not so fast
I do a lot of data recovery work and I would always advocate magnetic media if you want to have a chance of data recovery in the event of a failure. The MTBF of hard drives are better and even if everything is dead there is a decent chance of recovering the data from the platters in a clean room.
The best use of this type of storage is for caching and buffering.
Signal to mark as SELL
This is a clear signal to those who hold shares to SELL SELL SELL. Any analyst worth his or her salt would not suggest to their investors to Keep or Buy Apple shares.
The problem Apple has is it can't scale up, the Apple fans have always put up with the terrible reliability of Apple products but as they move into mainstream users this is less and less acceptable.
Couple that with restrictive practices like locking down the OS, disabling functionality like bluetooth and it won't take long for users to migrate to an alternate platform.
Mobile phones are products that are regularly changed, especially when the monthly rate is as obscene as it is with Apple.
We now have Google Android maturing and Microsoft finanally waking up to the mobile market. Apple has alientated mega player Adobe by disabling Flash and has released a product with a signal problem that makes the iPhone4 a phone to be avoided (even Apple fans are waiting till the iPhone5 next june).
So considering all of the above what is the outlook, greater competition in a period of austerity will result in lost market share. So if you have any shares my advice is SELL them!
Wait and see
OK Apple made a mistake and of all things a design mistake. So what should influence you in your purchase of a new Smartphone? Well with my xray specs that allow me to see the future I can see that the iPhone 5 will not have this problem. It will either have insulation on the inside or follow a different design. So the answer is simple, if you are a die hard Apple fan, make your current iPhone last another year or if you don't have one go get an old one off eBay. If you are not a dies hard Apple fan go get a HTC phone.
This is GREAT news
This is great news, for years Microsoft have offered large commercial organisations better terms than the NHS despite the NHS having the largest user base in Europe.
Most Trusts are still using old versions of MSOffice, some on Office97 many on Office 2000 and most on Office XP.
So now is the ideal time to switch to OpenOffice which is very similar in function; It can read MSOffice files and will require minimal training.
OpenOffice is FREE and trusts can choose to develop support inhouse or buy OpenOffice from organisations like Sun with support included.
As for the Servers, again there is a valid argument to moving to Open Source LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) solutions. There is a plethora of Open Source solutions that can be built on LAMP and with the weight of the NHS behind it, this community model will enable Trusts to drive down costs.
Microsoft has had a chance to put forward realistic pricing, but it has been greedy (betting that NHS purchasing managers would not risk dropping M$), well they have and good on them.
Now we need a directive to tell Trusts to use MSOffice and other Opensource software by default and show a business case for the continued use of Microsoft and other commercial products. This should also be applied to other Public Sector Organisations.
They would say that
They would say that because they make so much money exploiting foreign workers. Every one they let in adds to our social security bill. The current requirement to advertise the jobs in the job centre for 2 weeks is inadequate, it should be two months. WHY? Unemployed people only go to the Job Centre every two weeks, so they would miss jobs. Even if you went every day the touch screen systems do not allow you to search by the Job code based on the SIC code you enter when you sign up. To do that you need an appointment with a Job Councellor and those taken up just with signing people on.
The Jobs should be advertised for two months both in the Job Centre AND online.
The foreign worker option should be the option of last resort. There is no skills shortage, go to any job site and search and you will be met with 20 pages of people with suitable skills. The issue is that they want to employ people on the cheap.
I met a chap from India on a course recently, he was paid 10k in his first year here and was grateful for the opportunity. He admitted he had no special skills he had recently finished his education when he was recruited. In year two he was paid 18k and in year three he was paid £30k. He was OK with it until he found what his employer was charging for the work he did, in Year three it was £250k.
He told me he would never rock the boat because he sent most of the money he earned home to his family in India. Not only is he being exploited but the impact on a worker here cannot be ignored.
It is simple economics, first we have the cost of social security of the person he replaces, this may be thousands a month including Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Child Tax credits, Working Tax credits and if his wife is on a low income JSA and/or income support. These benefits also create additional entitlement costs. After a while the British employee will be entitled to training subsidies and all manner of programmes to get him into work all at the cost to the state.
Meanwhile the Indian sends his money back to India and so distorts the beneficial impact of anyone in work. The British worker would spend his money in the UK and improve our economy.
The only beneficiary is the Employer and many IT Recruiters have moved into this lucrative area to exploit this. So Yes, they would say "some skills cannot be sourced here", Rubbish! The skills are here and every investment in training UK staff improves our economy further.
A waste of time and money
I passionately support the rights of people like Gary, but I don't think this helps his campaign. It is a waste of time and I hope only the money of his mum and not those that have donated to support him.
Sadly all it does is show that people don't give a shit about disabled people, anyone who has worked with people with Aspergers will know that they have "special interests" and that they lack the understanding of social rules.
Shame on the US Government for holding out so long, when really they should have thanked Gary for exposing how pathetic their Sys Admins were.
Better to find out from the prodding of a harmless autistic man than a Russian, Chinese or Iranian (I forget who our enemies are these days) secret service agent.
This is no different to when people highlight the bugs in Windows.
The fact that Gary kept leaving messages with his name saying "You still have not fixed this" shows that he was not acting with malice, again anyone who knows AS would know that they are generally too naive for such intentions.
I Changed my view
I was dead against this programme when it first came out, I have experienced first hand the mistakes made, however, my opinion has changed.
There is no doubt that CfH could have done a better job at involving Trust IT staff and Clinicians but at the same time some of these staff have deliberately tried to make it fail. The fact is that many Trusts employ complete donkeys who have no proper IT knowledge and are worried about being "discovered".
Speaking as a patient I had a chance to use Choose and Book, I was able to be told the lead times by my GP (60 days for initial consult with my local hospital VS 7 days for the next county and surgery within 14 days). I took the hospital with the better lead time and was pleased with that decision.
Comparing two of my patient experiences for an MRI in the same hospital was interesting, for the first one I was kept waiting for 1h 40m then it took an hour to carry out. For the second I was seen within a minute of arriving and out within 20m. I asked what had changed and they said the computer system which was part of the CfH programme.
I had a similar experience for a hearing test, see very quickly and whole dept improved, again I asked and they blamed the system. This is in a hospital that was poorly rated and had no money. The fact is without CfH the Trust would not have the money to fund new IT systems.
I still think CfH have a lot of work to do and I would change some aspects of how the programme is delivered and how the software is developed (think SCRUM with Trust Clinicians) but overall I think it would be wrong to scrap it.
If the programme is scrapped different NHS trusts will do their own thing, those that can afford it buy incompatible and incapable systems (after a year of writing a tender), costs will increase and service to patients and clinicians will suffer.
The software suppliers will be quids in as they will be able to make the Trusts pay more.
I am not surprised, so many friends I know have lost their jobs to outsourced Indians, but I am not bitter because they too are being exploited. I met an Indian chap on a course recently, very bright chap. He told me that he has been working here for BT for 3 years, He was grateful for the opportunity until he found out how much his services are being billed for (250k).
He had no unique skill, he was just cheaper and it seems that enough to get a Visa and work permit these days.
Of course companies need people who are Indian because so many outsourced projects are screwed up when outsourced offshore, let's face it, it is hard enough getting a spec agreed between clients and developers speaking the same language!
Obviously they should have said someone who speaks both languages fluently.
They will still screw up the project.
The fact is people will employ who they want and have their own prejudices.
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