310 posts • joined Thursday 12th April 2007 10:40 GMT
Re: A little more serious than it might appear
Indeed. I think my reaction to the disappearance of football would be somewhere between 'meh' and 'wha'evvah'.
But the loss of most of the UK's home broadband connections is a different matter, because conceivably that's what could happen if BT went bust - and it would take time for the remaining telcos to cherry-pick what they wanted. And you can bet the remains of BT would do their damndest to lose the Universal Service Obligation, so tough titty if you live out in the sticks and want a phone line.
All joking apart, there is a risk of this happening - the bulk of the UK's broadband connections could be at risk of going tits-up just because some cretins though it made sense to blow hundreds of millions on the right to show groups of men kicking a ball about.
A little more serious than it might appear
Surprised the Reg hasn't picked up on this - frittering money away like this could have serious ramifications for us all.
Y'see, just like the digital TV failures of a few years ago, BT could collapse if they insist on pissing money up against the wall like this without seeing a decent return on investment. Before you all say that the government won't let that happen because BT's responsible for National Critical Infrastructure, just remember this - the infrastructure in question is confined to the PSTN, several dedicated networks that link various government and private NCI sites and the 999 service. The great unwashed like us can whistle if we think we'd be allowed near any of that.
If it did happen, the government would bail out BT, but only to ensure that the NCI they're responsible for is protected. Streaming media, content-free content, overpriced footy matches and all the rest of it are not classed as NCI and they could vanish overnight. So too could home broadband connections - apart from some essential exceptions, they're not classed as NCI either. We'd be back in an instant to the days of 56K dial-up connections. If you've still got that old Pace Linnet in the attic, you might want to hang on to it.
I used to work for BT, so I do (for once) know what I'm talking about.
What would happen is that Ms Jackson would have been subject to some ribald piss-taking from the tabloids, might even be invited to appear on Have I Got News For You and that would have been the end of it. The idea of slapping a punitive fine on the broadcaster wouldn't even arise.
And if it was discussed on TV, the presenters would be finding it funny, as compared to the reaction on American TV, where everyone looked as if they'd just necked a pint of vinegar when the subject was mentioned.
I'll tell you what the problem is, Mr/Ms Coward
It's the fact that this sort of crap is freely available to any kid that can sign up, whether they've reached the grand old age of thirteen or not, while other human activities are proscribed. YMMV, especially if you're a Yank, but that isn't exactly a balanced view of the world. And the organisation hosting it just shrugs and says 'so what'. As long as the advertising revenue keeps rolling in, they don't give a toss.
By taking a laissez-faire attitude towards brutality and murder, while clamping down hard on nudity and sex, they're projecting a seriously fucked-up set of values - making sex and the human body seem repugnant while desensitising people to violence and cruelty. Puritans with guns are the scum of the earth, irrespective of whether they live in Somalia or Washington DC.
Doctor a video to show Zuckerberg being slowly murdered. Then:
create dummy Facebook account
advertise it far and wide
wait for it to be deleted
until Facebook does something effective about it.
Good ol' USA values
Correct, they wouldn't. They'd probably give a lot of free publicity to the PoW's family.
But any other person - well, this whole spat perfectly sums up American values. Anything involving the brutal, cold-blooded destruction of life is just fine, but anything involving its creation is automatically banned.
Disgusting, warped values of a disgusting, warped society.
Re: Right, that's it!
I'm changing mine to Osama bin Laden.
But if you ask for a rise, it's no surprise...
... they're giving none away.
Seconded. And thirded.
Simple choice, you see
Is between Yorkshire tea or
The truth is indeed there - codified in the 1971 Fifth Quarter Amendment after the High Wycombe All-Comers ended in a draw and the players in Zone 1 had to move to hump-shunting arbitration. Seems it all got a bit messy after the second player to move misread the signals and ran over open catch points.
So now it becomes very easy:
Re: Seems there was a signalling error over in "El Reg matters" ...
I think we can restart at any station that allows bi-directional running off-peak, irrespective of the moon phase as I'm sure you're allowed a step entry on sub-surface lines.
Best check, though. Has anyone got a copy of Stovald to hand? I've left mine at home.
... they just tell the US regulators to do one.
Re: As number 1 said:
Shouldn't that have been number two?
Now that's a neologism that needs to be spread far and wide!
Have a beer for that one :-)
Re: Hands firmly down here
I know what you mean about smaller suppliers (no names, no pack drill) and yeah - when NPfIT themselves were driving it, it generally worked fine.
But there was still the problem where trusts were forced to pick from a small list of PASes which turned out to be either vapourware, needing a lot of work to adapt them for the NHS or just plain cack. If they'd been able to pick whatever they wanted, provided it met the HL7 interoperability standards (an NHS-wide set of tests could have proved that, with payment on acceptance only) then it might not have been such a disaster.
Thankfully, I'm out of it now and don't miss the frustration at all.
Have a beer on me :-)
Hands firmly down here
Well, quite. I've got quite a lot of NPfIT scars on my CV, having started work on it back in 2004.
The most astounding part about the National Programme was the enforced adoption of vapourware and flaky customised American software across the board. That's not a swipe at the US by the way, but the healthcare sector in the UK is very different from that across the pond.
What they should have done was to mandate the use of HL7 as an interoperability standard and allocate the budget to individual NHS trusts to implement it as they saw fit. That would have given them the option to buy new software or develop a dedicated integration facility and amend their existing systems to communicate with it.
That's how the electricity market deregulation worked. A central set of interoperability standards was produced and each 'leccy company put their own solution in. A popular choice involved a dedicated integration hub that sent and received all messages across the national network and handled all the internal distribution, including reformatting messages for communicating with mainframes. What the companies did behind those hubs was up to them.
Some companies bought new software, while others amended their existing systems to handle the new messages. By and large, it worked pretty well. The scale of the cock-ups - and there were a few - pale into insignificance when compared with NPfIT.
So yep, NPfIT failed to make proper use of all that HL7 had to offer. I've often thought that if they had done it properly, they might have encountered less resistance from the clinicians. BUt you know how it goes - in the users vs consultants war, the users lose.
Trolls are going to kill American industry
The big billy goat does indeed need to be unleashed on these chancers, but he'll certainly have his work cut out.
Hypothetical case - let's suppose I've got a good idea for a new technology product. A secure version of Facebook, a new Jesus phone that allows teleportation, an infallible method of tracing spammers and nuking them from orbit, whatever. So off I go and develop a working prototype.
Next, I need to sell it. I look at the global market - a substantial fraction of 7 billion people - and I have to decide where I'm going to set up shop.
So... do I pick a country of about 400 million people that has money to spend but comes with the risk of patent trolls chancing their arms and costing me money? Or do I move to somewhere that frowns on that sort of crap, decide not to sell to the country with the stupid patent laws and accept that I'll be cutting out 17% of the global market?
I can have my stuff made in China, Taiwan, India, wherever. Even if I did live in that country with the stupid patent laws, what's stopping me from upping sticks and moving elsewhere?
83% of 7 billion people is an awful lot of potential sales. Why accept the hassle of being based in the USA and having to put up with these wastes of space?
Admittedly, that does open me up to the risk of being ripped off by a US company. But unless it's a product with a massively high margin, that might be a risk worth taking.
The US government needs to wake up to the fact that it is no longer the technological centre of the universe. Unless this sort of thing is stopped, there's a good chance that America will slip quickly down the world rankings, as it'll just be too much hassle to do business there.
The PR-speak decoder says...
"After evaluating our position in the games market, we've decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimising the company's risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games,"
"After realising that we might make a balls-aching loss on flogging games which will doubtless be knocked off within hours of their release by pirates in China or Eastern Europe, we've decided to chuck out all these horrible geeks. We'll just charge other starry-eyed mugs a hefty fee to take the risk. We cop for the royalties if it works, they cop for the losses if it doesn't. Win-win!"
That was a crafty move.I did indeed miss.it And I note with the platforms on both sides, you're trying to force me into swing.
Now then... a quick look at Stovald suggests I could step over the zone crossing by wrong-roading for one block, but that gives you a chance to advance to the Metropolitan line using Bazalgette's recursion.
OK, I'll risk it:
Re: Four months less one day
Sneaky. I haven't seen a Downstream Re-entry done like that for a long time. Particularly as the tide is out. And the DLR is unguarded, too.
Therefore, I'll play it cautious, with an opposing diagonal:
Don't you mean 'ruin'?
No real news here...
"sending someone down for over three years, near-bankrupting them with fines, and setting such a long probation victim looks less like justice and more like judicial spite."
In other words, a normal, run-of-the-mill American trial and sentence.
There's always been something vindictive and spiteful in the American justice system, and I feel sorry for the poor sods caught up in it. I'm damn glad Theresa May refused to hand Gary MacKinnon over.
IMO, you've more chance of getting a fair trial in The Hague than in any American court these days.
Re: Relationships Eh?
Quick regexp for those with kids:
Re: I reckon the other source had it spot on
"Bunch of experts in the hardware, OS, software, Network, Storage and Backup get on call to discuss, chaired by a trained professional recovery manager."
Well, quite. That's exactly what should happen. Been there myself, admittedly not in financial services.
I've seen it done properly, and it's precisely as you describe.
And I've seen it done appallingly, with calls derailed by people who knew next to nothing about the problem, but still insisted on adding value by not keeping their traps shut.
I guess I'm just too old and cynical these days :-)
I reckon the other source had it spot on
"the bank’s IT procedures will in some way require system administrators to understand a problem before they start flipping switches."
Naturally. However, let's not forget the best-of-breed world-class fault resolution protocol that's been implemented to ensure a right-first-time customer-centric outcome.
That protocol means that a flustercluck of management has to be summoned to an immediate conference call. That takes time - dragging them out of bed, out of the pub, out of the
brothel gentlemen's club and so on.
Next, they have to dial into the conference call. They wait while everyone joins. Then the fun begins:
Manager 1: "Ok what's this about?"
Operator: "The mainframe's shat itself, we need to fail over NOW. Can you give the OK, please?"
Manager 2: "Hang on a minute. What's the problem exactly?"
Operator: "Disk controller's died."
Manager 3: "Well, can't you fix it?"
Operator: "Engineer's on his way, but this is a live system. We need to fail over NOW."
Manager 4: "All right, all right. Let's not get excited. Why can't we just switch it off and switch it on again? That's what you IT Crowd people do, isn't it?"
Manager 1: "I beg your pardon?"
Operator: (after deep breath): "We can't just switch it off and on again. Part of it's broken. Can I fail it over now, please?"
Manager 2: "Well, where's your change request?"
Operator: "I've just called you to report a major failure. I haven't got time to do paperwork!"
Manager 3: "Well, I'm not sure we should agree to this. There are processes we have to follow."
Manager 4: "Indeed. We need to have a properly documented change request, impact assessment from all stakeholders and a timeframe for implementation AND a backout plan. Maybe you should get all that together and we'll reconvene in the morning?"
Operator: "For the last bloody time, the mainframe's dead. This is an emergency!"
Manager 1: "Well, I'm not sure of the urgency, but if it means so much to you..."
Manager 2: "Tell you what. Do the change, write it up IN FULL and we'll review it in the morning. But it's up to you to make sure you get it right, OK"
Operator: "Fine, thanks."
Manager 3: "He's gone. Was anyone taking minutes?"
Manager 4: "No. What a surprise. These techie types just live on a different planet."
Manager 1: "Well, I'm off to bed now. I'll remember this when his next appraisal's due. Broken mainframe indeed. Good night."
Manager 2: "Yeah, night."
Manager 3: "Night."
Manager 4: "Night."
And what about
Space Fire Bird (with the screen embedded in a table) and Missile Command? Fond memoiries of playing that in the Bournemouth Pier arcade. The huge explosion when you lost Missile Command and the words THE END blazing from the screen.... ah those were the days.
Explosion icon, obviously.
Re: And to quote from another forum
I'm not suggesting it'll happen overnight, but the early warning signs are starting to appear. Here's another interesting little snippet:
Granted, the loyalty levels are still pretty high, but they may start to drop quickly if a better toy hits the shelves. Unless the maps are going to be fixed for Christmas - just under eight weeks away - Samsung et al will have something to capitalise on.
I've no axe to grind, BTW - I don't own any iFads and my phone's an ancient brick. But I've lived through enough corporate cock-ups to recognise the way Apple could be headed.
And so it begins... the Chapter 11 door opens in the far distance as...
Apple takes its first tentative steps along The HP Way.
Now the big cheese is no longer there to crack the whip, the management squabbles are getting under way. The restructuring to consolidate the core competencies and develop a unified go-to-market proposition will follow in the next six months or so.
As reorganisation follows reorganisation, the poor sods lower down the food chain will see ever more of their time wasted on meaningless initiatives. The board will make promises to the market about launch dates and features, knowing full well they're talking out of their backsides. Not a problem though, our people are our most valuable asset, and they'll pull the rabbit out of the hat.
Except that they won't. As the pressure is piled on, accompanied by a few more reorganisations and constructive dismissals of anyone who is prepared to argue the toss with Captain Cook, the infighting and lack of direction will percolate lower down the organisation. The people with the real creative drive will eventually get fed up with the crap and will jump ship. I bet Samsung are laying on a ceilidh to celebrate this news.
Once the real innovative minds have gone, and the people with the get-up-and-go have done just that, Apple will be reduced to a company staffed with second-raters, chair warmers and management drones, who will think that a few software tweaks and court battles equate to an innovative and market-leading company. They may get away with that for a fair old while - Apple's brand loyalty is something a lot of companies would kill for.
But then, a rival company will produce a new must-have shiny shiny. By that time, Apple will be too rigid, too blind and too lacking in creative ability to hit back. They will certainl try, but the brand loyalty will melt away like snow in the sunshine and their efforts are increasingly found wanting.
And when they eventually file for Chapter 11, the management will still be asking 'what went wrong? What did we do?' and will blame everything - lost court battles, anti-competitive practices by Nokia / Samsung / Sony / Google / Microsoft / Honest John's Mobile Emporium (iFads jailbroken for cash, just a fiver to you squire), the state of the world economy, the eurozone crisis - anything, in fact, but their own lack of technical ability, lack of creativity, lack of foresight and downright incompetence.
Mushroom cloud, because that's where Apple's heading.
Re: Is it just me...
Dunno. I can't see what you're doing.
Re: Disproportionate use of farce
"UK court could only hawe set a max of 5 years imprisonment for the computer hacking part of it not the 60 years under US law."
Which might be part of the reason the Americans want him banged up up on their side of the pond. We wouldn't dish out enough porridge to satisfy their cravings for revenge.
Possibly, but last time I looked, Gary MacKinnon hadn't been banged up for inciting racial hatred and solicitation to murder. In fact, he hasn't been convicted of any crime here. Or even charged.
Maybe if 'making American military security look incompetent' was on the statute book, it might have been a different matter.
Re: Well, DUH!
"Violating patents is bad, right?"
Only if said patents belong to Americans :-)
Good idea, and it works
"cant see why some of the PCT's dont pool part of their "partying in hot climates for execs" budgets and start their own bespoke software company with all their insider knowledge and expertise"
Bearing in mind the sort of people who work in PCTs, they'd probably end up with a highly efficient reporting system that was a nightmare for GPs to use.
But the idea is perfectly sound. That's how EMIS started - it was designed and written by a GP.
Indeed. That's the real problem. It's nothing to do with Islam per se - it's the nasty little vermin who corrupt the faithful into believing that cold-blooded murder is justified, simply to further their own political ends. Those are the real enemies, not the poor sods who regard killing Westerners as their sacred duty because that's the claptrap their heads have been filled with since birth. The vast majority of ordinary people, irrespective of their colour or religion, don't cause wars or foment hate.
Put it another way - if the West was mainly Islamic and the Muslim world was mainly Christian, we'd be seeing howling mobs burning the American flag while chanting, "Praise the Lord!" It's a product of history, culture and politics, and is nothing to do with what the religious teachings say.
And be'ave yourselves, you el Reg lot.
The poor man is getting very concerned at your disparaging comments:
!I'm getting increasingly annoyed at your calling Menschn a 'web jabber' service. We prefer 'micro forums' or 'chatspace'
So there. Please don't rile the plonker too hard. He'll be on here next.
As for me, I don't think it's jabber at all. Looks more like random line noise.
"Not true at all. Menshn is 100% secure."
I can tell I'm getting old when I remember the number of people I've come across who would see that as a challenge.
Doesn't say much about Mr Bozo's technical competence if he really believes that. Having read the earlier article with my jaw resting on the keyboard, I rather think he does.
So... tweet that far and wide, open the popcorn and sit back.
Everything Everywhere Else
Best collective noun for a long time
A "squabble of lawyers." I think that should be a new el Reg measurement unit.
Have a pint on me for that one!
Re: Am I the only one..
Are you a manager?
.25 of a person
Oh that's easy. They just used Microsoft Project instead of Excel.
Oh, I loved that record. Used to love playing it on the Stylophone.
No title, no future,no f'ing nowt
Let's get together. I'm seriously thinking about retraining as a plumber.
Re: It's a two way problem
True, but... management do indeed think only about cost-benefit, but surely that's an admission of culpability. It is utterly inexcusable for managers not to understand what they're dealing with. If an IT end-to-end service delivery assurance implementation deploymant compliance whatever manager's IT skills start and end at Microsoft Office when they're supposed to be responsible for enterprise-level systems and platforms, then that's a clear indication that they're not fit to do their job, no matter how nice an MBA they've got.
Why should technical people have to quantify what they do in idiotic management speak? When you're in management, you're in charge; and you should make the bloody effort to understand what you're dealing with. Expecting the reverse is slipshod, incompetent and downright lazy.
OK, I know that ain't gonna change overnight, but still...