215 posts • joined Monday 2nd June 2008 10:29 GMT
HMRC system is the worst I've encountered...
... I seem to remember going through 4 levels of menu before speaking to someone, with each level having a one minute (sometimes more) description of how you can do things on their website. The reason I was ringing is because the website said you can't do what I wanted to online and needed to speak to someone.
Re: Google bribes government officials
No they don't you numpty.
If you have any evidence (and not 'just what everyone knows') then hand it over to the police and they'll happily stamp all over it. But you don't. It's just driven by a uninformed cynicism of politics and government.
Having worked in and around central government for a long time I have a very informed cynicism about it. And bribes are not part of the way that large companies influence ministers and civil servants - there are far far more effective ways that don't relate to money but are all about culture, social networks and control & delivery of information.
Dark Ages diet
I seem to remember this is what peasants mostly ate in the middle ages - their food mostly consisted of veggies and crops fertilized with human waste and boiled to within an inch of its life to kill the various nasties (although they didn't know it at the time).
Tell me about this strong Freeview signal in London...
....as although now officially out of the smoke (but still inside the M25) I always had terrible reception compared to analogue in NW London (various places in Harrow and Brent). The awful reception in some places in NW London was the reason I first paid for Sky.
Error on statutory instruments in the article...
Constitutional experts frown on the use of statutory instruments where the substantive points should be in primary legislation - they do not frown on the use of statutory instruments per se.
For example, a 'proper' use of them is a bit like ref data in code - things that need to change regularly are best put into a statutory instrument, like the amount paid for certain benefits, or the date of a recurring event. The idea is that you know these things need to change, and you don't want to go through all the phases of amending an Act and tie up acres of parliamentary time.
Re: Race for 3rd Place - merit vs marketing and corruption
I was responding to Eadons comment that BB phones are superior to WP8, and until the Q10 is released, the Bold is BBs flagship keyboard phone.
It annoys me a lot!
I seem to remember that O2 had real problems with this as they had to install EDGE specially for the iPhone. One of the reasons I stayed away from the iPhone at first was it didn't have 3G (like other posters, I had a Nokia N95 - what a great phone). I was tethering my phone to my laptop working on a client site at the time and not only did the iPhone not support that at first, EDGE would have been too slow to be useful.
However, O2 are still the only network offering visual voicemail, as they installed it as part of the exclusive deal with Apple. Come one Voda - install visual voicemail!
Re: Race for 3rd Place - merit vs marketing and corruption
I'm really growing to hate my work BB Bold - can't imagine WP is worse, especially on one of the Nokia Lumias
Re: Crippled by the DORKY Windows 8 HORROR
Running late with the MS hate today Eadon.....
Not sure I'd consider an MS phone (as I have Android and iOS in the family already), but the Nokia hardware does look increasingly compelling.
Re: So London will be saved!!
I've lived inside the M25 in several NW locations since the start of Freeview, and I've never had a decent Freeview signal - it was the reason I first got a sky subscription.
I still can't get a good signal without a booster (still inside the M25), despite having a large aerial on the roof - in fact, it was such a pain I bought an Octo LNB for my sky dish and ran cables from it to the other TVs in the house to get Freesat (or more accurately, Free Sat From Sky or FSFS)
Re: There is more to smart meters...
Such cynicism..... probably justified.....
As I remember, the reason for the 1/2 hour charging is partly to do with enabling spot price tariffs, partly to do with spot price micro-generation calculations and 1/2 hourly quality reads. If the electricity meter is going to be providing 1/2 hourly supply quality information, then you may as well allow it to provide meter reads every 1/2 hour as well.
The network infra companies were planning to put in infrastructure to better monitor quality anyway - although cheaper than smart meters, they would still have been a sizeable chunk of the overall cost. Installing smart meters negates the need for that.
As I understand, the water industry are thinking about tying their meters into the same system (remote reads reported back via the link the electricity meter has), but that's a long way away yet. However, coupled with better infra monitoring it'll really help identify leaks in the network (but they'll still not fix them, just know where they are!)
There is more to smart meters...
... than switching off washing machines.
The idea is not forced switch off, but eventually you'll be able to choose a cheaper tariff that includes this functionality. if you don't want it, then you don't have to have it. It's a bit like the cheaper energy deals that aluminium smelters and other large industrial users have - reduced prices in return for switching off occasionally when demand looks like it might outstrip supply.
There are other uses for smart meters as well, including much better monitoring of the quality and health of the electricity and gas networks. This is something that the national grid and the local infrastructure operators are wanting and planning anyway, so you combine monitoring from meters with monitoring at sub stations, gas interconnects etc and you can better respond to problems and manage increasing number of people choosing micro-generation.
The technologies being considered are interesting - SMS is one of the options, but the problem you have is that some houses have their meters in basements and other places without a mobile signal and you won't always know that until you get to house to install the meter.
Ethics - I've heard of them.
I'd happily shill for Microsoft if they offered me a free surface pro in exchange. Unfortunately, their astroturfing budget is nowhere as large as you imagine :(
Still, any other company who wants to buy my astroturfing is welcome to send me shiny shiny gadgets.
Microsoft are great! (Where's my free stuff?)
Re: Here's my priority list for paying people:
You should put employees below yourself in memory of the departed Mrs T
Freeview signal is rubbish anyway
I've lived inside the M25 in various north west bits and never had a decent Freeview signal. Can't imagine 4G will make it any worse....
Posting this from Euston...
... and the service is good, but the splash screen is a real pain
Re: Not sure about the conclusion
As I mention above, there has been some very good thinking on reducing the systemic risk using living wills or other devices to allow an orderly winding down of a bank or two, without putting the whole system at risk. That way you can avoid the moral hazard of being too big to fail - unfortunately they don't seem to be taken forward but gov or regulator.
Conclusion is too simplistic
*desperately dredging up long forgotton finance lectures from Uni*
I do like Tim's articles, but I find the conclusion a little too simplistic, as the third dimension to weigh is the risk of collapse of an institution weighed against the incentives this drives through the system - i.e. if my bank can collapse if I'm reckless, but I know the risk to me is small as I'm too big to fail, then I may continue being an idiot.
Probably the subject of another article, but you get into discussions about living wills and depositor guarantees. Some really interesting things have been proposed around this, but unfortunately the better and more radical proposals have been ignored and the status quo continuation of oligopoly and croney capitalism that seems to have infected the city continues.
I agree that financial services seemed have evolved far beyond their proper use in a capitalist system, but the Robin Hood tax is not the method to use to fix it. Other far cleverer than me (not hard) have written about why - quick google should pull up some interesting stuff
Form factor is nice...
.... the price is not.
Can't see too many applications for this at the stated price.
Not really 'normal' consumer friendly if you have to add RAM, storage and an OS , and technical types are likely to choose something less powerful but cheaper for media center applications. Plus the Apple TV and Mac Mini will have hoovered up part of the 'computer connected to a TV' market already.
Luxury! I have to got to telephone exchange to pick up my own packets, one one. I'd have killed for 2Mb.
Coat for the obvious python parody.
I think it is the dishonesty that annoys me the most. If I have to pay higher energy bills then just bloody tell me, so that I can decide whether I want to vote for you in the future. I'd like to defend the civil servants at DECC as a former civil servant myself, but I just can't.
Meanwhile, gas stocks are running very low.....
If only I could take photos like that....
4 acres was really interesting
The 4 acre site was fascinating when I visited, watching an engineer give a demonstration of blowing fibre and fiddling with the passive splitters.
Don't forget kids, fibre cables have a yellow stripe so don't bother nicking them when you're after some copper to sell to the scrappie!
Re: 64 GB should be enough for anyone...
Until the iPhone 5, standardising on the Apple connector for a household worked really well as an approach.
I've various iPods and two iPhones over the last few years (my first iPod in 2005 maybe?), and them having the same connector has meant its never hard to find a charger or connector for music in my house (or my previous car).
However, the change of connector has somewhat killed all that - with more of my work and personal gadgets using micro USB, Apple are losing their stranglehold in my house (hence my previous post).
Apple really have to up their game...
...to stay ahead of the Android pack.
The wife and I both have iPhones (4S and 3GS - her 4S was stolen), and while I'll probably move to whatever the latest iDevice is in the summer (new company phone - can't say better than free phone and free contract) I'll be putting the S4 (and maybe a selection of other Android devices) in front of her in October to see if she wants to leave the Apple walled garden.
Apple are gonna have to up their game to even stay on the list of potential phones to consider to be honest. The iPhone 5 did nothing for me (slightly larger screen than my 4S - meh), and Jelly Bean onwards (admittedly my experience of it comes from a Nexus 7) feels to me a far better OS to use - certainly better than the grid of applications and a halfhearted attempt at notifications in iOS 6.
If the 5S (or whatever its called) only has the same leap over the 5 that the 4S did over the 4, any claims to 'magical', 'revolutionary' or 'amazing' are going to sound pretty hollow.
US definition of local != UK version of local
It may have worked in the US, but their local TV stations cover a much larger population and geography than the proposed UK ones
What is all this rubbish?!?!?!
Will someone please give the author of this article Tim Worstall's phone number and ask him to provide a basic lesson in economics?
Could be any half decent economist really - I only mention Tim as he writes for El Reg. I don't usually criticise El Reg authors, but honestly this is just reactionary ill informed rubbish.
SRO not useful, but a programme director is...
In my experience, the competence of the SRO doesn't matter in the public sector (and is generally some poor DG press-ganged into the role) but the programme director is absolutely crucial.
Its not looking good... and this is coming from someone who is usually defending gov IT development on El Reg.
Re: same old same old
Yes, there are plenty of IT projects that are fine - you don't hear about them because 'IT system delivers on time and on budget' is a dull headline and no one reports it.
ESA was a big successful one I worked on, along with Steve Dover (mentioned in the article.). He was a real kicker of supplier arses - I bet the programme is poorer for him leaving.
iHaters, you can stop reading this comment now....
In the last couple of weeks I've found one of the benefits of the Apple tight control of hardware is the ability to move back and forwards in phone versions, seemingly without penalty.
The wife's 4S got stolen, so I bought a 3GS off ebay for £70 - plugged it in, did a restore and everything *just worked*. I know there are some apps that will not work on a 3GS, but she didn't have any of them.
I suspect moving from a premium android phone to a budget one off ebay (contract expires in a few months, didn't want to spend £££) would have had more issues with app compatibility.
Interestingly she may choose move to android (maybe the latest Samsung Galaxy) later in the year anyway once her contract expires.
Re: For those of us less technical.....
You seem to have confused this comments section with SlashDot, or one of the other tech sites.
Less well informed and articulated comments and more poorly researched cutnpaste rubbish from wikipedia please @The Electron.
Re: Killer App suggestion
Fixed wireless is very likely the reason BT got in on the bidding for the 2.6Ghz band. The wise money is on them using it to supplement their fibre to the cabinet broadband rollout.
Coverage obligation chunk worth more than expected
I thought the price paid for the coverage obligation lot was interesting - O2 only spent a little less on their 2x10Mhz with strings attached than EE did on their 2x5Mhz in 800Mhz sans strings and large chunk at 2.6Ghz.
Given the moaning from the operators about it, it seems they valued having 20Mhz as opposed to 10Mhz much higher than they let on.
Also interested to see what Voda and EE end up doing with their significant chunks in the 2.6Mhz band.
Fun times ahead for the spectrum geeks!
Re: Whatever. Random acts of the cosmos are just that ...
None my friend. I just need the means to take the supplies I need off other people. It's the UK, and hardly anyone has a gun :)
Re: *splutter* How much??
Not sure why you seem to have taken personal offence at my post with your snarky comments about the free market.
I'm sure people will buy them, valuing certain things more highly than me. However, with OSX being (officially) limited to Apple hardware, my choice of a different brand of laptop will have consequences for the operating system I can run. Its Annoying that I can't choose a cheaper but similarly specced lappy and (officially) use OSX on it.
I think it was worth a shot
I think the 'get into bed with MS' strategy was the best alternative at the time. Remember, their products were not great and their technical bureaucracy was incapable of producing but internal fights were easier. The alternatives were to go android and fight toe to row with HTC et al ( not an inviting prospect) or try and carry on with the internally developed new tech which was stuck in the mud.
MS have a reputation for throwing money and resources at things until they get them right, and that must have been attractive to Nokia at the time - first mover advantage and better integration on a platform that MS will just keep throwing money at until it succeeds.
It may not be working yet (and MS may yet fail) but it gave them breathing space (especially from investors ) to get their engineering depts back in a good place and be in a better position to slug it out on android should MS fail.
*splutter* How much??
£1300 for a 13 inch laptop? I like Apple as much as the next Fanboi, but that is taking the piss !
If this is meant as a desktop replacement (as that is what the MacBook Pro range is about as I understand it) I'd expect the prices of the 13 inch range to apply to the 15inch range at least.
Got a text from Vodafone this morning...
... telling me to install 6.1.1 to help fix connection issues. Will keep an eye on it to see how things go
I'd go for a 'sell' right now. Price seems over valued so time to take profit and wait to see what happens.
You could use the cash to buy some Apple shares - after the recent fall Tim C will be looking to pull some short term stunt to wow to gullible analysts and get a spike ahead of the iPhone 6 later in the year.
Or like me, you could stick your cash in a bank account because I'm rubbish at gambling on the markets.
Re: I like my aircraft to have metal, not glorified plastic
When I was young, we had planes made of stone, with no engines and propellers that the passengers had to pedal themselves etc etc
Might be time to try Netflix / Lovefilm again
Tried them both at the beginning of last year on a free trial and the selection available was terrible, so I went back to watching whatever popped up on Sky (£21 a month for just the entertainment package)
However, may have another look soon and see if the Sky subscription is still needed...
BB10 - GET ON WITH IT...
... or you won't have a business left by the time you release it!
How many commentards didn't read the words 'Test Lab'?
I'm not a hardware techie, but it would seem obvious to me that, unless all of the IT shops that you deal with are 100% non-windows, your TEST LAB would need Windows in it at some point.
After all, TESTING would seem to be the point of a TEST LAB., whether or not you agree with the decision to use Windows or not.
Keep up the articles like this - while my professional sphere will never get this techy, its an interesting read all the same.
Words fail me.
One just hopes that Steely Neeily chucks the report in the bin.
Unfortunately, this kind of thing can acquire a life of its own within the EU if one or more commissioners picks it up and pushes it.
Full Disclosure - in my short time as a civil servant I had cause to say 'No' to the EU on a particular issue where powers were to be transferred (nothing to do with IT). It felt very good.
Did chuckle when I read ...
..."There are already early signs that Qualcomm is branding Snapdragon processors, as a kind of Intel Inside'. ", given the page when I viewed it was entirely surrounded by a Snapdragon advert.
Given the amount that Qualcomm advertise their Snapdragon processor on tech websites (I see it a lot on El Reg) I suspect it is a lot more that 'early signs', and more 'definite and absolute strategy'.
Re: Apple did not invent mobile computing, nor even make it real.
I'm no fanboi (having a personal iPhone, a work blackberry and an Android tablet at home), but credit should be given to Apple for pushing things to a new level in mobile computing.
Of course a whole raft of vendors made phones and other pocketable devices before the iPhone (I had a whole number, including the excellent N95), but what they were the first mass market mover, starting a step change in devices that has resulted in even my 65 year old Dad looking at mobile internet on my iPhone (not really specific to iPhone, could be any touchscreen 'smart' phone) and thinking that maybe he could do that. And this is from a guy who only consented to be taught how to send text messages 4 years ago.
The large touch screen phone and simple UI was a great innovation, that seemingly gave others permission to develop their own or release already completed but unreleased products.
Remember, innovation is not invention - the person who gets the credit is the one who makes it a huge success, not the one who invented it (see: Penicillin, vacuum cleaners, theory of evolution (well, partly), calculus etc)
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