1561 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 11:28 GMT
Spot on. It's nothing to do with offshore staff per se. It's to do with replacing long-term staff with proven experience, by cheaper staff with no experience. Staff who quite possibly lied on their CV to get a job, or paid someone else to sit their exam.
It could be worse. I wonder if they're offshoring the control rooms for nuke power stations yet?
Re: Investment in the backbone?
Fired is inadequate.
When an engineer wilfully neglects to design to the accepted standards of his profession and people are killed by the collapse of the resulting structure, he's likely to find himself facing manslaughter charges.
The manager responsible for this almighty F***-up ought to be personally liable for the losses. All of them. Bankrupcy is the least that should happen to him. Jail would be better.
Many Roman bridges and even buildings are still standing after two millennia of use including one of total neglect. This probably has something to do with the Roman approach to quality control. The architect was required to stand under the arches as the scaffolding was removed.
Re: iSeries? @Spartacus
More accurately the equivalent of having your car serviced by a work experience sociology student who's there only because his benefit will be cut if he isn't, rather than an engineer of twenty years' experience who loves cars (who isn't there because the garage "let him go" to save a few pennies in the short term).
And I've just realized that there may be an explanation for the biggest wrong number in physics, that discrepancy of the order of 10^113 (give or take a few) between the observed energy density of the vacuum and the values predicted by all Theories of Everything to date.
The universe is the most successful Ponzi scheme of all time, but no-one has rumbled it yet.
Oh dear ... I predict the End of Everything starts about n
Also Google "Administratium", which doubtless has a Quantum Bogodynamic explanation awaiting discovery
as in Northern Crock?
The broken bank.
Google "Quantum Bogodynamics"
there's also a joke paper from CERN out there about Quantum Indeterminacy applied to banking. One observation is that it's impossible to know the precise ownership and value of anything at the same time. The value is certain at the time an entity is sold, but the ownership is highly indeterminate. On the other hand if it's been in the family for generations the ownership is near-certain, but no-one has much idea what it's worth.
Re: @Graham Marsden
Santander make it very easy to put your money in. They are total bastards when it comes to getting it out again. Santander is a Spanish bank. Is that the sound of a penny dropping? Good luck!
Re: Single sourced
I've always wondered why nature gave us redundant kidneys, very considerable distributed redundancy in our livers and brains, but only the one heart.
If TS ever really hits TF, paper cash will become worthless. You'd need gold for large sums, silver for smaller ones, and I'd hazard a guess that fifty quid in pound coins would be worth more than fifty quid in tenners because small change would still be needed.
Re: Closing accounts
Have you ever been asked by HMRC for an actual nil-interest certificate on an account with a negligible balance? If they did ask me, I'd say that the account had a negligible balance and that I'd happily surrender all money in the account to HMG if they could only accomplish what I could not -- persuade the bank to close the accursed thing.
I've never been asked for a certificate at all. I ask for or print, and keep, the ones representing significant sums of interest just in case, but I reckon even HMRC has better things to do with its time than ask for proof that I really did have all the tax I owe deducted from 55p or 5p or 0p of interest.
Re: One tactic
I know, but the HSBC - Midland merger was over 20 years ago. Also prior to that HSBC had no UK retail banking operation, so I doubt there was a merger/ transfer of IT systems at the customer end, just a takeover of the management end.
I have a credit card account which I cannot close (translation: the bank does not know how to close) because some ****up means they owe me 22p. I've on various occasions asked them to donate the 22p to charity, to send me a cheque, to just lose it in their error account .... They always say they've fixed it. Three months later I get another statement telling me that they still owe me 22p. I no longer have a card, so I can't go out and buy something and then get the balance to zero second time around.
The problem was latent for a number of years after I thought I'd closed the account, and only surfaced when a UK bank bought all the customers of my onetime credit card company which was closing down its UK operations. I guess that once an reverse-indebtedness of 22p was transferred from one database to another, there was/is no programmed mechanism for sorting it out.
I guess that on the bright side, my 22p means that the bank has contributed getting on for fifty times that amount to the Royal Mail, which needs all the help it can get! (Wonder what happens when I pop my clogs ... will they still be sending statements to "Executor of your truly, deceased" in the year 2200? Or perhaps inflation will finally cure the problem when the pound eventually becomes the smallest unit of UK currency?
Re: "how many of those customers are sufficiently pissed off to move?"
Ever since I had savings, I always took the attitude that I should never keep them with any institution from which I had borrowed money or even with which I had a credit agreement. If you look at the T&Cs, they reserve the right to help themselves to your savings ("offset") if you're deemed to be in breach of your borrowing agreement. Who knows what definition of "in breach" is programmed into their computers? I wonder if even the banks do?
I felt this particularly strongly while I had a mortgage. If things had ever gone tits-up outside my control, the bank could not have siezed my savings without first getting a court order (which in practice would have meant bankrupcy proceedings).
You're probably right about moving your account being pointless. A bunch of tenners cached somewhere in your home is probably a better idea.
Re: One tactic
So that's HSBC or Barclays, then?
Re: Single sourced
Good advice, if you have savings.
Trouble is that two overdrafts cost more than one overdraft, and there's an awful lot of people living one unexpected bill away from bankrupcy.
Also if one bank suffered a CAUFU (which this was not), the effects would be systemic and (possibly) the whole UK banking system would be forced to a stop. Indeed, the whold global banking system might be forced to a stop.
Too big to fail
It's another manifestation of the too-big-to-fail problem. Indeed if a majority of RBS's customers jump ship, then we've just gone from the big five to the big four and are just four more f**k-ups away from the big Zero. Gulp.
The answer might be for RBS to set up a new wholly-owned subsidiary with brand new state-of-the-art IT systems. Keep the fact that it is wholly-owned as quiet as possible. Milk exising customers for all they are worth (what's new?) while hoping that they jump ship to the new bank, along with disgruntled customers of their competitors.
Retailers and consumer-product manufacturers are forever doing this. Think Pepsico just makes Cola - probably not, but can you name all their brands?
I read that as an expired cat!
Have you ever seen the damage that mice will do to the wiring under the floor of the server room?
"You know all those staff you insisted we let go last year ...."
Re: Pro tip
It's fairly OK even if you are. Just make sure you're clear to overdraw the one that your salary *doesn't* go into (or, better, that it's a savings account, if you have any savings).
Re: Just one more reason
No suitcase of money. A well-stuffed wallet will suffice while people still think it's just a glitch. Only gold will be accepted after it becomes clear that TS really has hit TF. And be very careful who you let know that you've got gold, because of the knives and the guns.
Pray it never happens.
Re: Wait till the lawsuits start
A relative once had to pay a day's interest on the price of a house because the payments transfer system caused his completion to fail. The bank wriggled out of its liability citing T&Cs. The glitch was only a few tens of minutes, late in the banking day. Mercifully the person whose house he was buying did let him move in, even though he hadn't yet paid for it.
But I doubt that the bank could escape liability for *several* days' failure and interest. If they try, the lawyers sure as hell *will* be involved. Wonder if it affects hundred-M completions as well as hundred-k completions?
Re: Out-sourcing is bad
Oh, as little as nine months? These things usually manage to run on auto-pilot for a bit longer than that. Long enough for the seagull-managers to trouser their bonuses and find their next jobs!
Re: Out-sourcing is bad
Good documentation frequently requires the benefit of hindsight. A person with experience of a system will often quickly work out what's gone wrong with it after the problem arises. His knowledge is implicit, not explicit, and couldn't have gone in the documentation.
Outsourcing, bad. Check. All other forms of de-skilling, likewise. Monkey see, monkey do, doesn't work for what the monkey's never seen before.
Re: Lack of comprehension from our Jules
Some time ago I suggested that the UK ought to obtain an undertaking from Sweden that Assange will not be deported from Sweden to any third country without first being offfered free passage back to the UK. I was told by another poster that we do not need such an undertaking, because it's already built in to the EU arrest warrant system. (Can anyone confirm?)
Draw your own conclusions.
The Microsoft Shills were all busy raving about how wonderful Vista was before you could buy it. May have helped con a few neophiles out of a few bucks, but couldn't save it.
In retrospect MS were very smart pretending that Windows 7 wasn't Vista SP1. They dumped a name that was irreversibly associated with crap, and got to charge the neophiles for another "new" OS. That's a trick they missed with XP, which we tend to forget was as borked as Vista until SP1 (and maybe SP2)
However, all of these pale into insignificance compare to trying to convince the world that the desktop is a tablet. That's a one way trip to corporate oblivion, if they don't pull back from the brink before they can Windows 7.
Re: MS have a few problems here..
I've been very critical on Win 8 on the desktop, but on a tablet it may actually work. All MS have to do is realize that the tablet and the desktop are different environments and offer an appropriate UI for each. If Win 8 included an XP-like UI and you could flip to the other one if you really wanted to use Metro on the desktop, I'd stop complaining. (XP UI = Win 7 minus Aero if they want, but not completely flattened, and retaining support for multiple windows, start menu, multiple screens, etc).
Re: "OEMs, please pay attention. This is how you build a PC.”
The mark 1 stylus flop was a specialized piece of hardware, expensive, easy to lose and hard to replace. These days it can be any generic not very pointy object.
On my (not very smart) mobile I usually enter texts using a biro with the cap on, because my fingers are a bit on the blunt side. The phone packs a stylus, but it's less ergonomic than a biro. Useful if there's no biro to hand, though.
So they can't fall down their own hole - yes, that's one answer. I've never yet seen an equilateral triangular manhole cover (a shape which is even more proof against falling down its own hole). This answer may therefore be only part of the whole truth.
Minimizing the stress concentration at the corners (because there aren't any corners) is another possible.
"I doubt your premise" is also a possible answer. I see plenty of rectangular covers in the pavements I walk. Does it depend on the definition of "manhole"?
I'll get the job for showing that I can think things through, or not get the job for demonstrating that I'm a smart-ass. It's a crap-shoot. Except that in the latter case, I probably wouldn't want the job anyway.
Re: Zen-like puzzles...
I love questions like these. They involve thinking, rather than regurgitation. I'm bad at the latter. I tend to carry only an index in my head, and know where to look up the fine details as and when I need them. (these days, it's often Google! )
If they are part of an interview process, I guess it all depends on the motivation and attitude of the people doing the interviewing. If they are sadists looking for their brand of fun, the whole process is pointless. If they are genuinely looking for someone who can think outside of his narrow specialism, then this is probably the best way to go about it.
Re: Thread Hijack
See my previous post about 10.0.5esr. http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all.html if you value stable more than new features.
10.0.5esr is better
You'd do better to ditch 3.6 and switch to the long-term-support Firefox based on 10. (Currently at 10.0.5) http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all.html
I'm quite happily using the latest 13.0.1 but it's well worth knowing that there is an official version that's getting only bugfixes, if you're supporting an organisation or allergic to new features being dropped on you. (I am allergic that way, but so far Firefox hasn't done anything bad enough to annoy me back to 10).
Adobe quality software
"Adobe quality software" has replaced "Microsoft quality software" in my lexicon. This is because for about two years now, the latest Adobe Acrobats have been incapable of printing some Adobe pdf files generated by Adobe's own software to a Postscript printer (possibly even an Adobe Postscript printer). The same pdf files printed to the same printer using Foxit or Evince work just fine. The same files printed using ancient versions of Acrobat reader also work fine.
Capable of writing software that works and works well? You decide.
Re: Windows 7/Vista? XP FTW!
Read the linked help document, and Real player is implicated in some way - the first things to try are turning it off and un-installing it.
I'm no fan of Microsoft but I'd put them a fairly long way down the suspects list on this one.
Note that they cracked a 978-bit code. That suggests they matched the target to the available hardware. For any sensible cryptographic algorithm, the amount of CPU needed to crack it rises *exponentially* with the number of bits. 978 might be indicating that 1024 isn't enough bits to be safe against a government agency (don't know enough about the maths of this algorithm).
If in doubt add some more bits. The only trouble is that the time to encrypt and decrypt rises when you do that (but far less so than the time to crack! )
Re: That's some PC they use
Some might call it a workstation. But there's no exact definition of what is and isn't a PC (Personal computer). I'd say that if it's a system that can sit on or under a desk without making too much noise or heat for an office environment, then it's a PC. Maybe also require that it contains an Intel-x86-compatible CPU and/or can run MS windows if you want it to, if you want to rule out a Sparcstation or a Mac.
Out of interest, what do you call those souped-up gamer systems with overclocked water-cooled CPUs and humumgous GPUs? (Apart from insane, of course).
Re: BAU for MS then?
Out of interest - why do you dismiss Macbooks (i.e. non-tablet portable Macs)?
Head nowhere near hurting
It's less than a light-day out. Great engineering, but ...
The nearest star is about four light-YEARS away.
Our galaxy is amout 120,000 light-years across and contains around 400 BILLION stars.
The observable universe is tens of billions of light-years across and contains more GALAXIES than our galaxy contains stars.
Head hurting yet?
Re: Great ad copy!
Same slogan, different images ...
A roadkilled rodent
A failed souffle
A mediaeval map of the world
Emperor's new clothes?
My guess is that someone very high-up is making these bad decisions and everyone under him is too scared to voice dissent, or too effectively silenced.
They can pull back from the brink as long as we can choose to buy Windows 7. (Just as continued availability of XP saved them from Vista, although that was only bugridden not completely brain-dead). If they withdraw 7 so it's "8 or nothing", it'll be the beginning of the end of Microsoft.
Shouldn't be hard to get 25% cheaper than an iPad. Look at the prices you can buy low-end Chinese Android-hack Tablets for. It'll be Microsoft versus Google fighting for the section of the market that's rejected Apple for being too dear and Chinese no-support tablets for being too cheap.
Microsoft will be locking their tablets, so you won't be able to run any software not Microsoft-sanctioned. Google will presumably leave theirs open, both to non-Google app stores and to non-Google o/ses being installed on jail-broken Google tablets. I'd like to think that makes it no contest, but of course the average drooler doesn't give a monkey's about open-ness.
Re: .fail fail?
I presume they'll be selling subdomains. If 18,500 businesses pay $10 for their name.fail to prevent anyone else using it to disparage their products, then the TLD will be turning a profit.
Wonder how much the'll ask for epic.fail?
"Using encryption/TOR etc will become a criminal act pretty soon I reckon."
At which point the real crims with a clue will switch to steganography. Send a completely innocent-looking photograph with an encrypted payload steganographically concealed in the noise. Perfectly encrypted data is indistinguishable from noise.
And don't send it. Just post it in a public place. As public and as popular as possible.
Don't know whether to laugh or cry.
What you've just said is that any UK employee of an overseas business accessing that business's intranet via a VPN is obviously a criminal.
Not sure if you intended irony or not.
Re: Will nobody think of the cheeeeeeeeeeeeeldren?
On the other hand, there ARE records of your phone usage (and everyone else's). There may be no records of your internet usage. So they're going from one extreme to the other. I'm reasonably cool with the concept of my internet usage being logged (I know that this visit to the Reg is logged). Those records should not be available for the authorities to trawl through without a warrant.
As for the practicalities ... VPN to overseas ISP in secrecy-friendly jurisdiction, anyone? Switzerland might be a good choice for a non-criminal who believes in privacy.
Re: A personal view
I once had the thoroughly disconcerting experience of being held at gunpoint by armed and jumpy cops. I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time: exiting a USA DoE facility with a research reactor on site, a few seconds after they'd had an alert that someone else had just shot at his ex-girlfriend. I matched the suspect's height, race, etc. and was driving the same model car.
It was very scary. The fact that the cops were armed quite definitely did not make me feel safer.
Yes, I can see the other side of the coin. There was an armed crazy on the loose, and unarmed police would have been far more reluctant to get close to him. But I'm still of the view that life is a lot better where the crazies rarely manage to get firearms in the first place, and the armed police are a separate division who are called up only when needed.
Like in Switzerland? (Also the model of gun is tighly regulated there).
Re: Sheevaplug etc
????Plug devices don't have graphics hardware, or any means to add such, so that's an apples to oranges comparison. You might better try comparing it to a Rasberry Pi plus accessories (Power supply, box, USB hub, USB disk).
2.5" disks are silient enough for most people, and one can substitute an SSD if you're in the minority.
Never did understand why they doomed the ????Plug things by failing to include any graphics support at all. Just plain old 2D 1280x1024 would have sufficed. We don't all want to run games or watch movies.
Re: My phone has a faster processor
You've got to be trolling. Surely even Windows users know that Ghz comparison is only meaningful between chips with the same architecture (and then only if you're running something that's CPU-limited rather than disk-limited or net-limited).
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