298 posts • joined Thursday 12th April 2007 10:40 GMT
... 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...
Re: Never jumped so high in fright before...
'Twas the Alien Quake mod that did for my underkex. Playing alone in my flat, late at night with the lights off and headphones on. Very, very scary.
One night I was playing when I suddenly heard something shouting behind me. Jumped up in terror and looked round to see the ceiling shaking.
Thankfully, it was only the couple upstairs having their usual post-pub domestic.
Because the vast majority of BB customers won't go much further than gaming, Facebook, eBay and Amazon, what really happened was this:
Some very well clued-up stuffed suit in Marketing looked at the numbers and realised that 'Mbps looks bigger! Most of the mugs we sell to think that bigger numbers always mean a better service! None of them will admit they don't understand what they mean. We'll use the biggest one. Size matters!'
That is all.
Oh, that's easy.
"Richards reckons cloud computing has the potential to deliver €700bn (£564bn) of economic benefit in the five biggest European economies and generate five million new jobs in the five largest member states."
Firstly, moving to The Cloud (TM) is a serious move, requiring extensive business process re-engineering. That can only be delivered by engaging world-class best-of-breed consultants from top firms - Capita, Accenture, EDS, etc - which will in turn pump revenue (their daily rates) into the economy.
The new jobs - rifling through other countries' data and fighting expensive legal battles - will be created in the five largest US member states.
All Your Database Are Belong To US
I fear you are correct, Herr von Krakenfart. It doesn't help that she herself is a septic:
Her address is largely content-free, but taking the Sir Humphrey reincarnation a little further, her comment about US legislation could have a slightly more sinister interpretation, depending on where her loyalties really lie.
Cynical and suspicious? Moi?
Re: Once again, how does this square with the PATRIOT Act ?
No, I don't think you missed anything. Ms Richards certainly did, though.
“The legislation in the US is not so different from the legislation we have in the EU,” she says. Well, that depends on whether you're from The Land Of The Free (TM) or one of the 6.5 billion great unwashed from other parts of the globe. Poor lass obviously hasn't heard of Megaupload - or worse still, she has but she believes it's some sort of Pirate Bay extension.
As one of those great unwashed, I wouldn't entrust anything critical to a US-based company. Not because there's anything intrinsically wrong with them, but because the last time I looked, Brussels hadn't have quite the degree of God disease that Washington suffers from.
Re: dot-bomb v2.0
Isn't that the sort of misleading graph that led to dot-bomb v1.0? Extrapolating to infinity on the blithe assumption that the money will just keep rolling in?
A fair point about pushing more ads, but there will surely come a point where users - even teenagers - will get tired of the gaudy crap. When the ratio of revenue to advertising becomes uneconomic, tat peddlers will have to look at other channels.
And that's without handy little utilities like AdBlock doing the rounds. And perhaps folks like me, with some modest technical ability, access to tools like LoadRunner and a dislike of intrusive pay-per-click ads.
Is it really only twelve years since something similar happened to a few websites here and there? Maybe the investors were still at school back then.
Have to hand it to Zuckerberg, though - he's cleaned up by capitalising on people's greed and stupidity. I wouldn't be remotely surprised to learn he expected the Facebook feeding frenzy from the start.
Wish I'd done it.
They're just doing what they've always done
"Over-whelming stupidity married to eye-bulging irresponsibility."
HP / Compaq has a bit of previous in that area. Compaq gobbled up DEC, more-or-less "integrated" (how I hate that word) the two and then asset-stripped the result before flogging off the rump to HP.
I was there at the time and still have the emails archived somewhere. They're a textbook case in how to polish a turd. And the manager who stood up and front of all of us and said, utterly straight-faced that, "it's all about synergy" had phenomenal levels of self-control; you could actually feel the vibe going through the cynical crowd of grunts facing him and he never batted an eyelid. Maybe he was an early adopter of Botox.
Commiserations to the poor buggers facing the axe.
The USA? Who they?
" Is it really safe to let the World Police set the laws? Is that not a conflict of interest?"
No it isn't and yes it is.
What's really interesting about this is that a fairly powerful politician is now at loggerheads with the vested interests of the American cartels. And it's not inconceivable that in this case, Uncle Sam could be the loser.
If, as I hope, the European Parliament reduces ACTA to small squares of paper and banishes it to the smallest room, the MPAA and its cohorts will be faced with a big raspberry from the biggest economic bloc on the planet. The EU is bigger demographically (500 million people as opposed to 313 million Americans) and economically ($17.5 trillion as opposed to $15 trillion), and it's also a major trading partner with the US. Granted, we don't have the huge military machine that soaks up so much American money, but we have learned that high explosives aren't the automatic answer to life's little problems.
What I'm getting at is that America's time as the world bully-boy is drawing to a close. The end won't necessarily be dramatic, unless Washington decides to start a war with someone who does have the capacity to hit back. Rather, it'll be a small drip-feed of little issues that may look like battles won but which will still lead to their losing the war.
Look, for example, at the end of the British empire. Back in 1912, Britain still looked mighty and impregnable, but behind the jingoism and adulation for the Royal Navy lay some serious problems that only surfaced a bit further down the line. Most people might see the end of empire as occurring in 1947 when India became independent, when in fact the first nail was hammered into the Imperial coffin on 12th January 1906, with the election of the last Liberal government. Forty years between the first event and its major public manifestation.
When you look at the bigger picture, things don't look that rosy for Washington. American manufacturing is rapidly disappearing over the pond to China. Innovation - genuine innovation - seems to have all but dried up. The legal spats over patents that feature frequently in El Reg are a case in point - when companies concentrate on fighting each other rather than outdoing each other, you know something's seriously wrong,. Unless you're a patent troll or American lawyer, that is. The gulf between rich and poor is widening. Companies are run not by innovators but by beancounters, who are generally unable to see beyond the next quarter's results and have a strange sense of entitlement which leads them to believe that giving their customers a hard time is a Good Thing. The fact that senior people in the EU are making noises about putting them back in their boxes should be a warning note; but I doubt if they'll be capable of taking heed.
I don't know what the world will look like in 2052, but I'll be very surprised indeed - assuming I'm still around to see it - if America is still a big noise on the world stage.
You've nailed it. I'd go for the former; I think IT pros do lose sight of the fact that they're in a minority.
The cloud does sound seductive to the technically clueless, and even more so to characters who think they're technically switched on because they can write a macro in Excel and animate a PowerPoint slide.
On that basis, Gartner are correctly predicting the latest manifestation of human stupidity.
An excellent question, thank you sir
Some excellent input there. I'm thrilled to be working with you all.
The answer, er, Kane, is that although it comes with a dice, it's not 24-sided - it's infinitely-sided! Our new SphereDice (tm) has ben designed for seamless integration with our value-added services. It's shaped to reflect the nature of the cloud itself, where all sides are the same and however you look at it, you're presented with the same unified holisitic user experience. And it comes preloaded!
A great start there, thank you Cane. Right then, shall we proceed to look at the optimum resource model?