215 posts • joined Monday 2nd June 2008 10:29 GMT
Re: So many digs from
And now I've watched it. And now I mock.
Softball questions, clearly agreed in advanced with no follow up or challenge. What's the point of him just asking pre-prepared questions? If you can't dig deeper into his answers, its just the equivalent of a prepared statement, not an interview.
Very poor performance.
Re: So many digs from
Indeed, but the OP seemed to be suggesting he's more St Julian than a man so narcissistic that he applies to trademark his own name.
Oh and to the AC @ 16:22, I refer you to the last nine words from this quote from his press release: "This is an exciting opportunity to discuss the vision of my guests in a new style of show that examines their philosophies and struggles in a deeper and clearer way than has been done before"
If promising an amazing new way of interviewing that is better than all that has gone before doesn't deserve mocking, I don't know what does.
Re: So many digs from
Stays true to himself??? I get the impression that the majority of his actions are driven by arrogance, ego and a massive need to self promote.
Just because he has done (arguably) good things such as wikileaks, doesn't mean the man himself isn't an utter twerp and vanity projects such as this shouldn't be derided and mocked.
One of my favourite programmes...
... but I think that it'll be hard to reprise, as the storylines deliberately stayed simple as an intellectual battle between Minister and Sir Humphrey, and the lessons that Sir H gave Bernard we simple but very well written.
Politics is far more complex in everyone's mind now - not sure that they will be able to capture the same mood. During my short time in central gov, I used a couple of the tricks Sir H mentions ...
This isn't about handsets for EE...
... I reckon this is about dongles and MiFi gadgets. They'll steal a march on the dongle market and then add in 800Mhz LTE for handsets later. The corproate market is a big one, so I suspect they are betting that having LTE dongles available as part of the corporate package will swing a few contracts their way from Vodafone.
... Three pages of comments and not one commenting on the pic used to illustrate it?
Maaaaaarrrrrriiiiiooon, why don't you, carry on......
I loved that prog when I was young. Tony Robinson as the sherriff of Nottingham - genius
Had a fondle with one today
Chap at work got his delivered to the office this afternoon. Whatever you think of apple, the screen is very very nice.
Am I the only one....
.... who go confused by the various ACs replying to each other at the beginning of the thread? Who was for and who was against - I don't know!
Anyway, my pretty useless 2 pennith - in the 'against' column for computer modelling is the inaccuracies of CFD. No-one ever gets it right without some real world testing (just ask F1 teams - Virgin Racing had the only CFD-only designed car last year and they were rubbish).
The level of certainty that the boffins talk in this report would seem to at odds with the +/-100% accuracy of their results. Between 1C and 5C? I reckon the best they can say is that it will get warmer but we really have no idea by how much and we're not sure of what the effects will be.
Re: That's all nice and everything....
Complications around wayleaves and the regulatory price structure for DNOs are two BIG hurdles for running fibre along the local electricty network in the UK
In most cases, an additional wayleave will need to be negotiated with the landowner as the existing wayleaves are just for electricty. Then, the way the price caps work on the DNOs (the owners and operators of the physical local electricity network means there's little incentive to make extra money from the rental as they'll just have it taken off them elsewhere.
Finally there is the complication of who has access to install it and the various risk and insurance issues to sort - a fatal accident a few years ago as part of a trial hasn't helped either.
Re: Sly poke
No suggestion of how to do it better I note though. If they're doing it wrong, how would you do it better (hint - this is a bit like the Kobayashi Maru)?
When I said good, I meant 'good at their jobs'. There are lots of bits to Ofcom - incompetence in one part != incompetence in all parts
Re: Sly poke
They have tried to get them all in a room and bang their heads together tactic - it just hasn't worked. I've worked with guys in OFCOM and they're a good bunch - they don't deserve the cynical posts suggesting they're not trying their best to sort this out. The legacy problems with the way that spectrum ownership has played out mean that each company has far more incentive to block an auction that doesn't suit them than play nice for the public good. Hence Ed Richards not so veiled threat to ask for legislation if they keep playing silly buggers.
Right commentards - if you can think of a better way to run the auction that will avoid litigation from any of the networks I'm sure that Ofcom would love to hear from you. Somehow, I doubt any of you have any better ideas.
Is Andrew going soft?
Allowing comments on an article again - so soon after the previous one?
Anyway, I liked the exploration in the article of the various questions to answer. I suspect that most people would be happy with a middle ground, where the licence fee covers live broadcasts and a catch up service via iPlayer (programme are available for 2 weeks after broadcast for example - yes I know this would differ depending on the ownership of the programme). The Beeb could choose to have some of their flagship programme available for much longer, or have an archive pick available every month, but then have some 'premium' content available to pay for - a red dwarf series for example.
I suspect if they label things properly (e.g. BBC owned content, 3rd Party Licenced content) so that educates the general punter about what the Beeb do and don't own and why they may be asked to pay for some things and not others, it wouldn't be a bad compromise.
Oh, and I happily pay my licence fee - Radio 4 is worth the cash alone.
C'mon people, have you not heard of the No10 'Grid'?
No10 have a communications grid (instituted by Alistair Campbell) with all the big announcements etc across Gov to co-ordinate messages, themes and attempts to bury bad news. There was probably a gap, Mr Silva hadn't been pulling his positive-press-release-weight and so dreamt something up to feed to a friendly Journo.
Either that, or he's mistakenly using this to make a play for Steve Hilton's job by looking all cool and hip ('fire a minister - there's an app for that').
Re: I can see this going bad.
Similar thing happened to a guy I knew from scuba diving - CSA rode roughshod over a perfectly sensible agreement and screwed things up royally in order to meet get another chalk against their targets.
I did a review of the IT systems just after the first IT disaster - report was ignored as usual :CSAputsheadinsand:
Not all large gov IT systems go wrong...
... just the ones you hear about. For example, did El Reg cover the on-time-and-on-budget successful implementation of the IT to support the new ESA benefit in 2008? Thought not. Nearly 100,000 man days of IT development and it worked fine == no interest in the press.
Instead of moaning, why don't some of you clever clogs go and work in public sector IT and make it work better - if you think you're gods gift to systems development then you'll have no problem keeping it out of the news.
It's the old tactic of reannouncing things to try and get a better headline for a particular story (the anglo-French co-operation agreement). The first official announcement of the nuclear sites I think was when the first draft of the nuclear national policy statement was published back end of 2010?
I thought that the beeb decided to renegotiate what was a six year deal 2 years in to cut costs. When they started to renegotiate they always knew that they would lose some of the broadcast rights. Much as I don't like the decision (closing down BBC3 would have been a far better decision), or sky's rampant sports rights aquisitions, it was the beeb's fault this time, not evil Bernie or sky.
@Colin Millar - Eh?
Not sure I understand your comment Colin - the idea of a framework is that you do the pre-qual work once (financial checks, competence checks etc). It's cheaper for suppliers as they have to go through this phase once, rather than repeating it for each contract they bid for.
Suppliers (and I've been on both sides, supplier and buyer) generally like a well run and sensible framework process.
They're not doing it to spite you...
... someone somewhere has done the calculation and worked out that not enough punters will take up the product to make it worth the investment.
Reading some of the posts on here sometimes, you'd think that BT were deliberately not upgrading to spite people. They're a publically listed company, under a legal duty to maximise returns for shareholders - if they're not doing you're cabinet its because they can make more money elsewhere.
Now, whether BT should be under different regulatory arrangements to change their motivations, that's a different discussion.
I thought gov had lost the legal case and so the public purse was responsible for at least part of the pension deficit?
I thought the idea...
...of the EU arrest warrant was tat it was meant to be as simple as possible, given that we 'trust' all the other EU court systems, they had to do little more than ask for a person to be sent over?
... for some articles the discussion descends into nonsense and others it gets far more techy than the original article and it goes over my head (at my A level physics understanding).
Anyway - more Pris Hilton articles (or something)!
Fixed the title for you...
"Australia should head hunt the civil servant who finally got their secretary of state to realise there is a problem, developed the policy and wrote the words he spoke"
You don't think he actually knows anything about IT do you?
Stop this nonsense at once
Not only a proper techy article, but proper researcher in the field posting in the comments section. Less of this and more Paris Hilton stories please.
Which reminds me, there hasn't been a Paris Hilton story for ages. Get to it hacks!
Commentards always much cleverer than the ' idiots ' in the public sector
Good to see the commentards on El Reg think everyone in the public sector is an idiot and they are gods gift to enterprise IT. Just what is your prescription for saving money while simultaneously retraining the workforce for the world's third largest (might be the second largest, certainly the chinese army employs more people) employer in a different operating system and office package, and rewriting thousands of software apps.
Or maybe it would be better to choose the best software tool for the job, look at whole life cycle costs and make a managed transition where it makes sense. Open standards are a great goal, but it's the work of years to transition to them. Unless you know different, which if you do then you can make a lot of money in consultancy showing the different NHS organisations how.
Didn't see any outage for my gov BB...
... maybe that's why they're still recommended
@gratou : No sympathy
... for you considering how good a country NZ is otherwise. About the only place you can go skiing in the morning and scuba diving in the afternoon!
I'd move there in a heartbeat if:
a) I had any useful skills so I could get a job there (should have become a doctor...)
b) it wasn't so far away from our family in the UK
PS3 multiplayer invites, chat etc are a pain
The only way I'd give up my (original 60Gb) PS3 is having it prised from my cold dead fingers, but I have to say the multiplayer invite & chat procedures are a real pain & seriously disjointed - XBL does it much much better.
Okay El Reg, can we...
.... STOP WITH THE CAPITALS!!!
Need a warranty for iphone 4?
I could be wrong and its different in the US, but in the UK if my iPhone breaks in the first 12 months I'll be getting it repaired under the manufacturer warranty rather than through another companies extended warranty. That may explain the low figures from the iPhone 4 as it hasn't been around long enough to drop out of the manufacturer warranty period.
Of course, user damage is another thing...
Hah xbox rubbish noway games on xbox bettre thn ps3 will pwn u shld u b unwse 2 ply me on MW2 nw lvl70 hv all the wpons 4 serious pwnage...
... sorry, I seemed to be channelling a gametard there for a minute. The thought of losing those online accolades sent me all funny :)
Seriously though, even if I had no financial loss I'd be gutted if I lost my PS3 login as I've got many hours of Modern Warefare and MW2 hours invested in it to get some decent weapons for the multiplayer games.
I'd get one if it had Flash and multi tasking...
... it'd replace the laptop we keep in the living room to do some web surfing / emailling / cbeebies watching (if you have little kids you'd know what joy there is to be had from letting them mess with the cbeebies website while you get to the proper TV!) in front of the telly.
However, a lot of web sites use flash and St Jobs can witter on about how bad it is, but frankly I don't care - I just want canyon defence (for example) to work! I also want proper multi tasking as my iphone annoys me occasionally when I find it can't.
Until both of these are included the laptop stays and will probably be replaced by a cheap netbook at some point. Shame really as my expensive gadget sense is tingling and the credit card wants to be used!
Time to shaft airbus good and proper
There's no way that they should let airbus get away with this. It's time to shaft one of the big suppliers in as painful a way as possible - liquidated damages (I expect they'll be in the contract but I know a man who can can confirm), unofficial ban from future contracts ('of course we will be following EU procurement regs, we will evaluate your bid in the same way, it's just you'll always lose), the whole 9 yards
Thanks to political interference the big manufactures think they can get away with murder. The poor buggers in MoD commercial know what to do for te best but often get shafted from above, leading to BAe et al thinking no matter what the problem, Govt will never invoke all of the nasty clauses in the contracts to the full effect.
Even if it causes a few more costs for this contract, a healthly shafting of a big supplier will provide significant savings in the future. A nice bankrupcy will be useful 'pour encourager les autres'.
As a side note, BAe even have the cheek to place a really big poster proclaiming them a UK firm in Westminster tube station just above the esclators for the Jubilee line - sub text for any MPs going past: 'Remember who we are and the jobs we have in marginal constituencies'.
The council offer something good, and all they get is abuse
Unlike virtually (I did notice one or two) everyone commenting here I actually live around Watford and while Watford council are usually b*stards when they do offer something good (the ability to drop your kids off for an hour or two and let they run around doing fun things with adult supervision) they get a kicking from the uninformed.
The two sites are supervised (and FREE), but if you don't trust them then head over to Cassibury Park which has a newly refurbished playground with lots of fun kit (never had those in my day, wish I was young again etc etc) and you can supervise your kids to your hearts content.
I can understand them banning parents from the site - I bet its a pain in the arse having a few neurotic parents following their kids around getting in the way.
I follow my son around the playground at the moment but that's because he's 17 months old, has no sense of danger and likes climbing! When he's five he can run about by himself and learn his own lessons about falling down. Break out the savlon and elastopasts!
Bah, what about the other problems lots of people are having
Lots of people also posting about the problem my wife has – failing sync with the message ending “…the disk cannot be accessed”. It’s related to Music as when you switch off syncing music it works perfectly.
Another annoying intermittent fault!
" Have you ever tried using the O2 online store? I hear internet commerce is the coming thing..."
I'm not a complete idiot you know. There are two problems with the online store:
1) They were also out of stock
2) Lots of things are going missing from my post at the moment (may be due to the strikes round my way). A selection over the last 4 weeks:
- 2 x credit cards (sent separately at different times)
- 1 x cheque from insurance company
- 1 x card pin notification (not the same as the credit card though)
- 1 x package with car parts (front brake caliper bolts if you're interested)
The likelihood of an iphone arriving unmolested to my house at the mo is pretty low!
More competition = Good
Maybe this will mean O2 will adjust their attitude. Been trying to buy my wife an iPhone for the last 3 weeks and every O2 store (and carphone warehouse) we go to is out of stock - annoyingly the attitude is:
'no we don't have any, don't know when we will have any, won't reserve one, won't call you when they are in or in fact care that you want to join our network and pay us lots of money. We're a monoply supplier so could spit in your eye and you'd still have to beg us to let you have one'
Been with Orange for 9 years - b0ll0cks to O2 now!
Why would anyone take the risk?
In my mind only one AC has got it right so far. The work is RISK.
Put myself in the shoes of a CIO. Unless I am very lucky I’m not going to know just how IT savvy my users are, and to be honest the help desk tickets would suggest they’re a bunch of mostly IT muppets. From my experience in PC support there's also no whay of knowing what everyone in that size of org uses in the way of apps. We know what we have put out there but i bet there will be a bunch of other things - an example from my experience is a marketing department installing software for digital cameras they use to take publicity and product shots (only found out when they called up to ask for help :) )
Risk of moving away from Windows #1 – how are my users going to accept it and is my helldesk going to be swamped over the next few months as they try and work out where the start button it
I frankly wouldn’t care how close to windows it is – unless it looks exactly the same then there would be a risk to me as a hypothetical CIO. I appreciate that moving from XP (likely as the incumbent system) to Win7 would be a bit different, but if users complain about the differences I can blame Microsoft (and who doesn’t enjoy that?). Move to Linux et al and no one to blame but me
Risk of moving away from Windows #2. The majority of the work in my org goes on using MS Office. If moving away from Windows means moving away from MS Office that is a major, major risk. I don’t care how close OSS office packages are, unless there is 100% compatibility then I am in for some major headaches: macros not quite working, mail merges performing differently, documents not opening etc etc. Every single office doc related problem for the 6 months after the move will be blamed by the users (and eventually my Exec Board when they get to hear of it when their secretaries have a problem) on the new software, whether this is correct or not. Am I going to take that risk? Am I bollocks! Again, any inter-generational office format problems can be blamed on Microsoft – job done.
Risk of moving away from Windows #3. It’s likely that I’ll have some custom apps / legacy apps / specialist apps somewhere in the organisation (think accounts dept, legal dep, sales dep). Why should changing my desktop software mess up my lifecycle plans for these? Again, blame goes on me when it goes wrong.
There are more risks but lets look at how much I could save when taking all these risks. I’ll be generous and say I’m spending $150 per desktop on a windows license (probably much less on volume licensing) and I need 20,000 licenses. Lets assume support costs either way are equal. If I assume a 4 year life (about average) then I would save $750k a year. In an IT dept for a 20,000 org there is no way that outweighs the risk.
Sorry chaps, the benefits just do not outweigh the risks. I haven’t even mentioned the hassle of changing all the IT support software (central app deployment etc), retraining for techies, extra difficulties when exchanging files with suppliers and customers (a big problem in government, all UK central govt is using Office 2003 and will do for some time), and so it goes on. Sure, for a few organisations it will make sense, but tell me again why anyone would expect IT depts en masse to move to anything other than the least risky option?
Comments are a waste of money
Why spend good money moderating pointless youtube comments on equally vacuous youtube broadcasts?
Enabling comments and spending public money to moderate them when NO-ONE except the commentards read them is pointless. For shame register!
... another version of Office I can safely ignore as I continue merrily on with Office 2003.
I may upgrade my copy of Visio if they have bothered to better integrate it into the Office family though.
The reason that M&S may have better customer care statistics (but as AC says, they are never published so we don't know) is that it is pretty hard to mess up selling someone a jumper, whereas its pretty easy to get a complaint when you're dealing with something as complex as income related benefits!
Even banks aren't a direct comparison - although their transactions can be complex they can adjust their rules to exclude people who are just too much trouble to deal with or increase the risk in a process by simplifying the steps if they believe that the costs saved would be more than the losses incurred. That kind of trade off doesn't work as well given the scruitney of public resources.
Also think on this - how much extra tax would you be prepared to pay to invest in providing a better level of customer service (cue "blah blah blah, stop wasting money" rant)
Blimey a balanced article on government matters
Good response to the report from El Reg I think. I suspect there will be other commenters along afterwards who don't understand the difficulties involved and compare it wrongly to the private sector. When you have an organisation of 100,000 people who by the nature of the business work with the most frustrating an difficult people in society then you are always going to have problems and employ a few muppets. Couple that with the CSA IT debacle (certainly not the fault of the front line staff - EDS hang your head in shame) and I don't think that they have done too bad considering!
It would be helpful to describe the selection criteria - bit strange to put ESA there in the DWP section and then very little detail (presumably because they know little about it - should have asked me...).
It also means that there are a number of 'databases' like ESA (incidentially a great government IT success, not that it is ever reported) that are not given a privacy rating bringing down the total number of greens (and so skew the proportions) so they can get their 'quarter are illegal' headline.
Hmm, not too impressed with the report
Ignoring the fact that most media (inc the reg incidentially) misrepresented 'quarter of databases are illegal' when the report actually says 'quarter of the databases looked at are illegal' and they selected the databases on the basis of available information and public profile so it is not a representative sample......
Anyway, I thought the report made some good points, but was a little simplistic in places, had the hallmarks of crusades against certain databases (e.g. contactpoint) by certain people (stand up Terri Dowty) and didn't make a convincing case of how things can be made efficient and fraud reduced without some kind of data sharing.
A good example is the CMEC (formally CSA) system - the weight of the criticism seems to be that the organisation was a disaster and will remain so while they try and recover the situation. Having done reviews of the CSA a few years ago I'm not surprised it was a disaster but I can't see any analysis that shows that it should be an Amber when systems that gather similar data and process it in the same way (e.g. DWP ISCS or other legacy income based benefit processing) are not rated.
Another example is DWP CIS - understand that it can be mis-used but it doesn't say what the use by BT is (anonymised data maybe?) and that maybe what needs to happen is not a re-think but better access controls within councils?
Anyway, I don't trust the govt any more than anyone else, but as some who works in the area I'm disappointed with the report.
Changing captains on the titanic...
Ah, the fail train was rolling well around that project
I worked on Tax Credits for some time and there was enough blame to spread around every party. The detail policy was flawed (e.g. follow the PAYE system, overpay and then claw back later), the development wasn't great (EDS have a large part of the blame), there were many muppets working on it but some good people as well (including me :) ) and things kept changing right up until the end.
However, to the AC saying that "...Almost every major government IT contract fails..." is rubbish. You just never hear about the successes. I recently finished working on a successful 100,000 man day multiple IT system implementation for a large government dept - its not in the news because its worked well and delivered on time. Despite its size and it being the biggest implementation this particular dept has done in over 10 years, I bet no one has heard of it!