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* Posts by Charles Smith

207 posts • joined 7 Apr 2008

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Imprisoned Norwegian mass murderer says PlayStation 2 is 'KILLING HIM'

Charles Smith

Give him the latest iPad

The poor chap is misunderstood. They should give him the latest top end iPad and release him. One small condition of release is that it should be on Henderson Island with no boat.

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The UNTOLD SUCCESS of Microsoft: Yes, it's Windows 7

Charles Smith

Even Version Number

I've learned long ago, never buy an even numbered version of Microsoft Windows. Look back over their history.

MS gather a good team of developers to create an odd numbered version which sells well and meets public demand. Those developers are then either promoted out of the way or sidelined by the next brood of young turks/suits who "develop" the next major release (even numbered) which turns out to be a lemon. The survivors are in place to fix their design errors/lessons learned while working on the next (odd numbered) major release.

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HP 'clarifies' firmware/support contract rules

Charles Smith

Never did like 'em

I always found the HP people arrogant and their tin overpriced. Now they want to charge you for fixing their duff firmware. This announcement is further confirmation.

Buy elsewhere.

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CERN outlines plan for new 100km circumference supercollider

Charles Smith

New Toy

No Sern you have only just been given a new toy. Play with that. We are not going to buy you a new one now.

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Dell will AXE up to ONE IN THREE workers in its US & EMEA sales teams

Charles Smith

Not a lovely Dell

The last time I dealt with Dell was when one of their direct sales team tried to bribe me to place a large order through them rather than the distributor with whom I transacted the business. The person involved had a less than perfect grasp of the english language that matched his lack of ethics. The order was for hundreds of desk top PCs.

Since then I've received half hearted attempts from junior Dell Sales staff via email and phone calls to re-establish contact. Once again these people sound as though they are located thousands of miles from me on the other side of the globe. These unfortunate individuals appear to be scraping the bottom of the CRM barrel with little success. They certainly give me no confidence of a reliable sales/supply process.

Dell do not seem to know the difference between "cheap" and "inexpensive"!

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Please, PLEASE, Skype... Don't kill our apps and headsets, plead devs

Charles Smith

Micro$oft internal politics

Once again Micro$oft shafts its users. Probably due to internal politics rather than deliberate.

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Adobe buckles, cuts prices ahead of Australian inquiry

Charles Smith

MP's cojones

A good move by the Oz government. All we need now is for some of the UK MPs to also develop some cojones and to stand up to Adobe et al for the British public.

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Microsoft tries to sell home Office users on subscription pricing

Charles Smith

Google Docs

I've found Google Docs does just fine for me. As a personal user the cost is zero including a reasonable amount of on-line storage. I just don't need the MS Office Bloatware with its hundreds of unwanted bells and whistles.

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Senator threatens FAA with legislation over in-flight fondleslabbing

Charles Smith
Meh

Campaign for e-free flights

I fly on business an awful lot. It is a great time to catch up on sleep or to read the book I've been meaning to read. The last thing I need is to be pestered with emails and calls from people who don't really need an immediate response.

Businesses should be set up to cope with absences of their personnel. I've learned to fly with just a mobile phone (switched off before entering plane) and a Red & Black notebook, this deals with pretty much any situation. If I need a PC at the other end I borrow one and download any necessary file or remotely access my office PC. There's less risk of loss and you don't waste your time tinkering with a Laptop or Tablet. If there's something desperately urgent people can call my mobile phone and talk to me when I've landed.

By all means have mobile phones and internet access on planes but impose a substantial extra fee to deter all but the most essential communication. For example $10 minute or part thereof as a UN tax used to help the digital 3rd world.

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Autonomy to HP: bollocks

Charles Smith

digging deeper

Skype was a stella purchase by one of the cast members.

I'm just reading http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/08/500-hp-apotheker/ it is a bit long, but quite an expose of the Dark Princes on the HP Board. Does the term necrophilia apply to this situation?

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Charles Smith

They've got previous...

EDS, Palm, Compaq, DEC, Tandem, Skype

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Undertaker Project Manager

Charles Smith

Undertaker Project Manager

An amusing typo on LinkedIn job advert from Sagepay.

http://www.linkedin.com/jobs?viewJob=&jobId=4158847

They're looking for a person who knows about: "Undertaker Post Implementation reviews and ensure each lesson learned has an action and action owner" - Is this a case of failure not tolerated?

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Even £9.8m on consultants can't get UK.gov network push underway

Charles Smith

How would the vulture react

... if the Government launched a major technology project without seeking any expert advice?

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Apple removes apology-hiding JavaScript from UK website

Charles Smith

When you are in a hole stop digging

But Apple's PR team seem to have placed an order for a large tunnel boring machine to ensure they go really deep.

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Snake-fondling blonde nude punts Polish coffins

Charles Smith

Elvens Afety

While I realise the young lady needs to protect her modesty, allowing a Burmese Python to totally encircle her neck is a bit risqué. Fortunately though there is a coffin conveniently placed in the room.

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Naughty-step Apple buries court-ordered apology with JavaScript

Charles Smith

Refuse to apologise...

..and get fired! Surely with the maps fiasco Apple would know it is better to apologise properly and let the issue die down. With their demonstrated contempt of the British courts they have guaranteed their reputation will be further damaged. It is about time Tim Cook earned his mega bucks by SMACKING a few heads in his management team to get their attention.

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Adobe bets on cloud collaboration for Acrobat XI

Charles Smith

Expensive

The Adobe Acrobat XI is still price 25% higher (allowing for VAT and exchange rates) in the UK over the equivalent USA price, even for download software. I wonder who are the real pirates here! Not that it affects me, I've switched to Nitro PDF which is a third of the price for full functionality.

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'Programming on Windows 8 just like playing bingo' - Microsoft VP

Charles Smith

Same old, same old...

Ho hum - the now classic adage comes to mind.

"Never buy an even numbered version of the Windows operating system"

The VP speaks pure marketing.

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New broadband minister snubs 'ugly' fibre cabinet gripes

Charles Smith

New Minister

A new Minister in a plush office bounced into making a dumb decision by "Sir Humphrey" on her first day at the big "school".

Just wait for the fuss when these poorly designed and ugly boxes start littering planning conservation areas. In our locality BT installed telegraph poles across the local recreation ground where the kids play football in order to supply one building. They put up notices on the poles describing the "appeals process" as an afterthought (essentially no hope of appeal).

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LinkedIn adds nagging notifications to social-network-for-suits

Charles Smith

It's not what you know but who...

Of course people really in the know about professional networks don't use LinkedIn. They use the other genuinely influential network ...

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Huawei denies spying, calls for global security standards

Charles Smith

I was on the phone...

"I was on the phone chatting to a friend about the war in the South China Seas. He was worried in case the Royal Navy became involved when suddenly the UK's BT 21CN telephone and broadband total failure suddenly interrupted the call..."

An impossible scenario with all the PLA backed HUAWEI equipment at the heart of our telecoms infrastructure?

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BOFH: Our Excel-lent new boss and the diagram plan

Charles Smith

Arrgh!! No! don't do that to me.

"...Perhaps you could use some different-coloured pens...." That phrase sent a cold shiver down my spine. I've heard the exact same phrase used by the Consultant Project Manager on a major project for a large City money broking firm. The project was a horrendous failure. The charm of BOFH is a bit like Dilbert, it is so close to real life! Unfortunately in real life we're not allowed to use Semtex as a motivational tool.

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Skype denies system upgrade enables in-call spying

Charles Smith

Not just USA spooks

Or even the Russian Intelligence getting access to Skype http://oaksys.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/russia-to-get-access-to-skype.html

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Gabe Newell: Windows 8 is a 'catastrophe' for PC biz

Charles Smith

Never buy an even numbered version of Windows...

I've always found it helpful to bypass even numbered releases of Microsoft operating systems. Version 8 is just the same, they produced a good release with Windows 7 then kind of lost their way. History repeats itself.

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McDonalds staff 'rough up' prof with home-made techno-spectacles

Charles Smith

Time for flash mob?

60 cyborg look-alikes descend and order poule-balls avec frites in the branch of a well known fast food chain in Paris.

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Level 3's UPS burnout sends websites down in flames

Charles Smith

Buy power meters?

I can visualize the bean counter or spreadsheet manager.: "Install power monitoring equipment and software to keep track of the energy budget? That sounds expensive... why on earth would we need that? Surely what we have now works just fine."

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'Young people don't want to become like us', say IT pros

Charles Smith

National Service

All these young scallywags need is a six month spell as conscripts to the Army. A spell of cold showers at 6a.m. and parade square bashing under a Drill Sergeant Major will soon buck up their ideas. IT not a good career? Harrumph, they just want life on easy street.

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Half the team at the heart of the RBS disaster WERE in India

Charles Smith

Somewhere in RBS there is a list of names of the people who decided to offshore the daily batch control work to the cheapest operations staff. These people didn't ensure these cheap offshore operators were properly trained and had proper controls in place.

These people should be fired including the senior managers at the top of the chain who insisted on unsafe cost cutting.

The cost to the bank in terms of reputation loss and recovery will be enormous, far exceeding any savings made by going cheap. Has RBS properly evaluated the real cost impact of laying waste to its technology human capital in the UK?

Has its managers changed the support teams from people who care about their work to those who just regard it as a job to earn low wages while working awful hours? That might be okay at the counter of a fast food store but not in a key business team.

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Natwest, RBS: When will bank glitch be fixed? Probably not today

Charles Smith

How to comment bank program code

Hey Boss how can I help it?

Drop */

is almost the same as:

Drop *

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Japanese giant NTT gobbles London data centre biz Gyron

Charles Smith
Mushroom

Ooops

Would that be a data centre located a few hundred metres from the Buncefield fuel terminal? If it is, it makes risk assessment an interesting proposition.

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Eurozone death spiral forces Microsoft to ease UK licensing price hike

Charles Smith

Never thought I'd say this

Thank God for LINUX. Just imagine how bad Micro$oft's greed would be if there was no strong competitor. It is bad enough now.

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How to keep your money safe if the euro implodes

Charles Smith

Bypass the paper system

Just go out and buy some physical gold. It is much more difficult for the Banking establishment to tinker with the value by devaluation or quantitative easing (printing money).

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Quitting your job? Here's how not to do it

Charles Smith

Unintended consequences

I was head hunted to work as an IT Manager for competitors in the City of London financial markets. My resignation was on the whole a good natured thing, but they required me to work my 3 months notice period as "gardening leave" with the twist that had to be on their premises, but not my own office. The rational was that they didn't want me to have access to confidential information during my notice period and didn't want me to do any work for my new employers during gardening leave. The process entailed turning up on the Director's floor each morning, finding a seat somewhere and reading a book all day. It was very boring but a good natured process.

The unintended consequence was the secretaries of the Directors used to ask me to visit their desks to help sort out spreadsheet and word processing problems on documents they were preparing for their bosses. I learned a lot more confidential information about the company and its plans in those three months than I'd ever seen in the previous five years of employment. The City of London is a small place though, so I never breached that unintended confidence.

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WD acquires Hitachi GST for $4.8bn

Charles Smith

Supremely confident

Tsk, Tsk Anonymous Coward #1. I've always found the WD consumer disks to be extremely relia...

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Epic net outage in Africa as FOUR undersea cables chopped

Charles Smith

Al Shabaab Submarine

Maybe those pesky Somali's have obtained a wire cutter attached submarine?

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Flood-hit Thai disk fabs to pour out 140m drives

Charles Smith

Eggs in one basket?

The large manufacturers should not be blaming the floods for the disk shortage. Rather they should be blaming themselves for sourcing their just-in-time suppliers in one location on a flood plain to boot. Management by spreadsheet seems so appealing until things go wrong.

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Duff Mars probe's flaming shards to rain down mid-January

Charles Smith

Oh no, I won't buy a ticket.

I'd best not buy a lottery ticket on the day when the failed craft plunges to the earth's surface. Knowing my luck I'll be holding the jackpot winning ticket in my hand just as a chunk of the satellite takes me out.

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Microsoft issues first upgrade to Office 365

Charles Smith

So they've fixed....

So they've fixed the reliability issues for the 365 service?

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Give Osborne a shovel: UK economy stuck in deep hole

Charles Smith
Flame

Difficult Job

Osborne has a difficult job trying to deal with the absolute economic disaster left by the Gordon Brown Labour government. The man who loosened the reins on the bankers and failed to control their reckless casino banking. Sorry but it was bleedingly obvious that such derivative trading was pure gambling? The same man who sold off the Gold reserves, raided pensions, encouraged PFIs and lost control of Govt spending. If Brown had any common sense he'd have invested the 3G licence auction windfall of £20 Billion on getting the homes in this country optically fibered.

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Natwest net and phone banking goes titsup

Charles Smith

Management Speak

Whenever I read of a spokesman announcing that they are "working hard to..." I dump the statement in the same bin that I would use for "lessons will be learned..."

"Working hard" is a meaningless annoying statement. I'm sure the technicians dealing with the problem have decided to go home, put their feet up and deal with it on Monday - NOT.

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Are we in the middle of a PATENT BUBBLE?

Charles Smith

Prior Art

Its already been invented so it is Prior Art. Wanna see my man cannon mister?

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Acer first PC vendor to confirm price hike

Charles Smith

Lean Management soaked by floods

Ah good ole Justin Thyme strikes again. When Justin catches a cold we all suffer. Didn't Acer learn any lessons from Toyota and the last big Earthquake/Tsunami.

Justin Thyme is a cheap efficient employee until things go worng.

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Microsoft's €5.9bn Skype slurp to get EU rubber stamp

Charles Smith

Backdoor

I wonder if the Kremlin/FSB will get its set of the Skype encryption master keys as part of the deal. Wasn't that something the local Microsoft russian bigwig mention a few months ago?

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Power cut knocks Miliband off-air mid-speech

Charles Smith

I was hanging on every word

He is sooo credible, just like the 16 y/o son of a failed property developer. Ed was fortunate that technology took pity on him.

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Why do these traders get billions to play with, unchecked?

Charles Smith

Old Timer

I moved into the Financial Markets in an IT role in 1985. Even then it was obvious that arbitrage was not investment. The Tobin Tax would have little impact on genuine investment banking which generally involves investing large sums of money infrequently for long term results. The bulk of the high frequency trading and arbitrage is not investment merely speculation/gambling, i.e. only the traders/brokers gain at a cost to the greater public. Taxing on a per transaction basis will help to restore some order.

I moved my savings into physical gold to protect them when I realised that the "wizards" couldn't play with its value. When Gordon Brown decided selling the gold was a sensible idea I knew it was time to act.

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Office 365, Hotmail and SkyDrive hit by outage

Charles Smith
Holmes

Reliable software/Reliable Service

It seems the Office 365 service operation has inherited its design ethos from the original Microsoft software.

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Just when you thought it was safe to enter the data centre

Charles Smith

Is deperimeterisation a word?

If you remove the outer security perimeters for a Data Centre you will have a nasty surprise when rioters decide to visit your site. No, as the normans discovered with their castles, you need multiple layers of physical security as well as detection systems to deal with intruders and malcontent insiders.

I've been setting up physical IT security on IT sites for years now. The first essential, of many, is to design physical security into your building from scratch. The cost of failure can be far greater than the cost of prevention.

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Mobile operators: US quake proves we need more spectrum

Charles Smith

Really a problem?

It might be that lots of people were trying to make cell phone calls at the same time. Surely the solution that is to have smaller cell zones and more cell phone masts? This coupled with more backhaul bandwidth from the masts would deal with the problem.

Ah a snag I see - it might cost the operators some money to fix the weakness in their infrastructure? Far easier to blame the federal government.

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Apple wins (another) Samsung Android injunction in EU

Charles Smith

Could be a pyrrhic victory

If Samsung turn aound and says. "Apple, we will no longer manufacture your parts."

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