1649 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 14:47 GMT
Might as well paint a target on it
Isn't this just asking for trouble? Only the most technologically clueless among us would even think that software's secure, let alone say it out loud, let alone be quoted saying so. What he really meant was that there haven't been any breaches of security _yet_.
Now that the challenge has been issued I would guess that it's only a matter of time before someone has a poke at this database. Whether that first attemp does break it, or whether it takes 50 tries, there can be no doubt that someone, somehow will find a hole. Whether we'll get the same level of publicity from our overlords and masters then, is anybodies guess.
None of the above
So presumably it's still OK to point out that they are ALL lying, cheating, insincere and untrustworthy individuals who would barbeque their own grannies just to sit in "the big chair" . Which makes voting for any of them a bad idea?
At least that's balanced!
Instant project reinstatement
Just wait until the Chinese point anything manned and vaguely rocket-shaped in the general direction of the Moon. The americans will start building spacecraft so fast they could probably just stack 'em nose-to-tail to get there first.
Sincerely hope they get billed
Lifeboats are paid for by OUR DONATIONS and manned (peopled?) by selfless individuals who risk their lives to help.I would like to think the people who are saved would be just the slightest bit grateful for the risks that strangers take on their behalf (though in practice, most aren't).
The last time I looked into it, many years ago, our local cops reckoned it cost £900 / hour for their helicopter to wake up 10,000 people in the middle of the night - and I suspect it costs much more now. It would be nice to know that at least some of their costs (as well as the lifeboat costs) could be passed on to the induhviduals who exploited the unwillingness of these crews to leave them to their fate.
It's what you do when pissed that matters
Not how much you drink.
The basic problem seems to be the anti-social behaviour. Although this might itself be a symptom of the trend that britian has to becoming a far more intolerant society (after all, political correctness is just another phrase for intolerance. I have a suspicion that if all the chavs got drunk, fell over and slept it off - without harming anyone, or anything else the problem would be seen as much less important. As it is, the hysterical press promotes the image of drunks goings around, smashing up town centres, puking everywhere and beating up anyone they find. Now, while this is only the rantings of the gutter press (who are experts on drunk behaviour, themselves), the image sticks. It's the perception that is the problem much more than the actuality. If there were just piles of people propped up in doorways, snoring drunkenly then apart from the tutting or the puritanical busybodies, there'd be no story.
What this piece of statistical outpouring does tell us though, is that using price as a means of controlling consumption is flawed. The rich will still be able to afford to get rat-assed, while the poor can only stand in the pub (or supermarket) doorway and look thirsty. So much for social equality So anyone who claims to be restricting booze "for our own good" can be shown to be talking rubbish.
BTW: a lot of the same arguments can be applied to other drugs apart from C2H5OH, too.
Damages are billed at FULL price
While the original bid may have been costed (at least in-house) using the cheapest possible labour, tools, hardware and skimping on every possible deliverable, that doesn't happen when you're claiming damages. Then every hour is billed at the *maximum* possible rate: no discounts, no buying in bulk, every possible man-hour allocated to the work. (Just like garages have "special" rates for "well guv, it's an insurance job - innit?"). So instead of a third-world programmer on £5 / hour, expect the compo bill to specify senior consultants on £250 / hour - and lots of them!
Must be more to this ...
Although the "employee" wasn't _just_ an employee, he was a director, you'd still expect a bit of due-diligence somewhere in the process.
In a contract this big, even if the MD him/her-self said "yes, we'll have it running in 9 months" you'd want that in writing as part of their proposal. Further, the client would want top see the timetable that would lead up to this (first of many) delivery. Not just the say-so of a senior person who's bidding for the work.
The days of "trust me, I'm a computer salesman" are long gone ..... you'd hope.
I think there must have been at least some sort of naivety on a massive scale for Sky to fall for this line. Either that or they believed what they wanted to, despite what common-sense, or industry experience was telling them. Therefore I doubt if the fault can be completely dropped in the lap of EDS (which is maybe why some of the other claims were refused). I just hope this £700m penalty teaches a few senior people a long-remembered lesson: on both sides.
one slight quibble
As a portable telly it fails - you can't receive TV programmes on it. And how many people do you see walking around with a portable TV, anyway?
Maybe i fyou put a couple of knobs on this thing, you could pass it off as an etch-a-sketch?
Maybe worth a couple of minutes thinking - no more.
From last time, the chances of a winning idea are 2500::1. For a $250k prize, means about $100 per entry. If the prize has to be shared between the winning team (lets say, 5 people) that means it's worth about $20 to the person who thinks up the idea. Assuming the selection process is random (Hey, it's a contest, voted on by strangers who form an instantaneous and superficial like or dislike for an idea: of course it's random).
So, what can you do with $20 of a professional's time? Get a cup of coffee, or go to the loo. Strike out with the woman from sales? Or maybe, just, have time to fill in Cisco's contest entry form. Sadly that doesn't leave any time for thinking about the actual idea.
A better strategy would be to lurk. See which ideas are doing well in the voting and try to barge in to join the team. Possibly by tossing in a few ideas of your own: much more time effective than going through thr drudge of coming up with something original.
Now, I was going to ask for help with my idea here, but the $20 of time I've allotted has just run o <CONNECTION DROPPED>
Apple's "Vista" moment?
When MS launched Vista, the meeja were making a BIG thing of the announcement. The BBC had a reporter in a computer store, getting vox-pops from passers by. One lady was shown the new O/S, told it had taken so many years to develop and cost so many billions of dollars. Her reaction to seeing the wizzy new interface: "is that all?"
Fast forward to the iPad launch, It appears to be a larger version of an iPhone, but without the phone. Is that all?
Sounds like they're doing it wrong
So it's a business that doesn't have to hold any inventory, where the delivery costs are minimal, that has a direct channel through to all it's highly locked-in customers and doesn't have to worry about clients not paying. For an operation like that to NOT make money must be quite hard. Especially when, a lot of the time, they simply act as a middleman between the _real_ talent of the app. developers and the punters - just taking their rather high percentage off the top.
From the standpoint of a casual observer that looks a lot like eBay, though maybe without the same volume of trade - but with a much greater rake. So if eBay can make the odd $billion or 10 from online sales of other people's stuff it seems odd that shiny old Apple can't do the same. Maybe they just aren't very good at it.
I'm sure Haliburton don't have this much trouble
I doubt the Iraqis are any worse off with these dowsing rods than they were before, without them. You never know, they might even work! Iraq is a "grown up" state - hell, we trained their police. Therefore I'm sure they would have no trouble complaining to our govt. if they had a mind to.
Further, if they don't like it so much I wonder whether the British government will pay back the tax they took from this guy's profits?
and that's why we're so crap at exporting stuff
.. we beat up our own companies. Even when they're selling stuff abroad.
Surely it's not our place to tell the Iraqis that what they've bought is rubbish - they are quite capable fo finding that our for themselves - and complaining if necessary. It's not our police's job to spend OUR TAX MONEY protecting them from someone they haven't even decided they have a problem with.
The irony is that without "our side" dropping bombs on them in the first place, they probably wouldn't need to buy bomb detectors anyway.
Anyone got a pair of size 9 hob-nailed landmine detectors?
Whatever you do
you must test the integrity of the backup.
Backups are only useful if you *know* you can restore from them. Until you have proved that, they're just a waste of storage and a bigger waste of time. The nice thing about virtualisation is that it's so easy to snap your metaphorical fingers and bring a new instance into existence to restore onto. That makes verifying your backups very easy (provided you don't make the beginner's mistake of duplicating the IP address of the backed up VM on your network!). If only more people would do this last, final but oh so critical step there'd be a lot less downtime and maybe fewer vacancies, too.
broken windows, much?
Where exactly could this kind of anti-citizen device be used? Deploy it in an open field and all you'll do is liquify a few unsuspecting hikers (or maybe the odd fox hunt). Use it in a built-up area against, say some demonstrators and what will happen then?
Now, it's been awhile since I did any microwave physics, but I do seem to recall that if an aperture is small compared to the wavelength of the radiation, then it effectively acts as a point-source and the microwaves (or in this case, sound waves) are propagated in all directions. If you want to direct your "non leathal" sound waves, you'll need a aperture comparable to the soundwave's wavelength. If this turns out to be a "whooompf" (technical term) then you'd get a low frequency sound and a correspondingly long wavelength. if this device is supposed to be prtable the aperture couldn't be more than a couple of metres, compared with (say) a 30m wavelength for a sub-sonic "ray". That's far too small to direct, so the radiated energy would be sprayed everywhere - including possibly back at the machines operatives.
We've seen the results of urban explosions on TV - courtesy of the IRA. Lots of broken windows and flying glass. I can imagine a similar situation arising from the use of this puppy, too. It won't be so much the sonic effects that injure or kill (in a non-lethal way) the victims of this device, as the shards of flying glass it causes from blowing out the windows of all the nearby offices and houses.
... of extrapolating from a single point
It does sound as if Gartner (quick: who said "The thing I love about science is that you get so much speculation from so little data"?) have taken one year's sales figures and presumed that every subsequent year will follow the same pattern. Conveniently forgetting that all the early adopters are the monied fanbois who are willing to buy anything if it's shiny enough.and has the right logo associations.
When smartphones start to be used by "real people" I think they'll quickly find that the proportion of users who are willing to pay for applications is a small percentage of what the first generation did. Further, I'd guess they are likely to have far fewer applications (paid or free) on their phones, too.
Now we all know this isn't just a survey, it's a GARTNER survey, but I still wouldn't bet my future income on it's accuracy or validity.
two legged pigs?
Hang on a sec. On Selfridges website, it says the farmer selected 50 pigs. Here we have 100 hams up for grabs. I make that 2 hams per pig. Last time I looked, which admittedly was a while back, pigs had 4 legs - so what's happened to the rest of them. Did they just lop a couple of legs off each pig, in the hope that it would be able to balance it's way through life on the remaining 2 - or have they learned to walk upright - or what.
The ham-buying public demand to know!
A better way
People are only willing to die for a cause if they feel their lives on this mortal coil are worthless, hopeless and devoid of joy. If they were happy bunnies, with something to look forward to and a sense of contentment they wouldn't feel the need to kill themselves and those around them.
The solution in this case would be not to bomb them back to the stone age - which takes away any material comforts and aspirations they may foster and makes it even harder to drag themselves back to prosperity. Instead we should be air-dropping white goods, happy-meals, air conditioning, HDTVs (complete with all the "western" channels). Installing sanitation, bowling alleys, reliable water, shopping malls, 24*7 electricity and schools - most of all schools.
That way they'll become just as dumb, fat and happy (to coin a phrase) as the rest of us so when the small number of true fanatics tries to stir up hatred, they'll fail because all the potential candidates will be too busy staying in with their loved ones watching Big Brother. You never know after a generation or two, they might even start buying the same old crap as the rest of us - thus assuring a larger market for our exports.
all except men?
Looking at the list of groups this thing will (apparently) have a negative impact on: old people, children, women ... The only people who won't be "negatively impacted" are men. Presumably if it doesn't have a negative impact on men, the effect must surely be a positive one - how exactly would that come about?
Now, given that males are about 50% of the population, when you remove older ones and younger ones, doesn't that make men from 18-65 a minoirity and therefore worthy of consideration. Or are we simply invisible as an identifiable group?
I wouldn't bother
> I've yet to see Avatar
Every few years there's a film that comes along and resonates with the emotionally stunted and impressionable types. Whether it was Bambi, Watership Down, Harry Potter or whatever doesn't matter, there will always be a ready supply of children of all ages for whom a simple, sentimental and superficial story will turn into something greater.
So far as the effects go, I didn't see the 3D version, but they weren't amazingly better than what we're used to from Jurassic Park, or if you've watched _Sanctuary_ on the telly. Despite what all the studio/media hype says. Not better - just bloody everywhere and much more expensive.
Forget the hype, forget the effects, the story isn't much and has very little depth (and is one that's been presented many times before: mostly by Disney). By the time this hits the TV channels everyone will be wondering what all the fuss was about.
age 35 and still living with mummy?
> I told her when I got home and she cried but I don’t care anymore, I’m 35 and I can do what I want in my room and don’t have to take any “medicine” if I don’t want to
Some people just shouldn't be allowed out on their own - or allowed on the internet without adult supervision.
How would you get paid?
Presumably they need to get the "monetisation" (what we used to call cash-flow, or even "income") started before they have the monkey to pay these recruits. But they can't make any money until these people are recruited.
Still, I suppose IOU is only three characters out of the 140 that would appear on your tweet instead of a cheque.
A funny thing happened recently.
The UK has been in the grip of a cold snap (for any foreigners who follow El Reg). As you'd expect, energy consumption tends to go up in these circumstances. Now, there's a very nice website called www.bmreports.com which tracks, in near real-time, what our energy usage is, and also shows how much generating capacity is online.It also breaks down power generation by category: coal, nuclear, gas, wind, politicians and other forms of hot air.
As luck, or meteorology would have it, cold periods in winter often correspond to high pressure - which have the feature of being largely windless ..... Hopefully there's no need to continue down this thread.
and that's the problem
> we tested everything that could be reasonably expected
I suspect that if they did test every reasonable security loophole they would discover (but probably know already - which is why they don't do it) that their security procedures are so full of holes that anyone they do catch is more by jam than judgment.
Luckily, the number of crazies trying to blow up planes is very, very small, mostly incompetent and not at all well informed about what goes on in airport security (it would take almost no collusion between a planted plastic piggie and a baddie to get pretty much anything smaller than an H-bomb through the checkpoint) so the current "security through obscurity" of withholding information about the technicalities of scanning and profiling is probably optimal. Until a security guard does collude with a bomber, then all hell will break loose.
A new threat
OK, since the world of terrorism is moving towards ever more intimate places to conceal explosive materials, how long will it be before gastric methane is classed as an explosive material. Airport scanners could easily be fashioned from simple combustible gas monitors and the flatulent could be filtered out, denied boarding and frog-marched away for 42 days confinement without charge (cheaper than a holiday?).
We could even make it part of the Advanced Passenger Information questionnaire: have you eaten any of the following foodstuffs within 24 hours of flying?
What's worse is if the baddies start to do work in that area - developing super-beanz or the like, which produce far more gas than common or garden varieties (and quicker, too). Or the nightmare scenario: they diversify away from producing explosive internal gasses, to making "silent but deadly" poison gas (hydrogen sulphide is much more toxic than hydrogen cyanide, but being more smelly is detected earlier, in smaller concentrations) where the closed environment of an airplane cabin would both spread it quickly and prevent any escape from it's effects.
Maybe we should start to take notice of the airline safety demos and familiarise ourselves with exactly how to use the oxygen masks.
Coulda sworn it was the drinkers' fault
> Without doubt it is the supermarkets causing the binge-drinking problems
So, presumably if the price of bread was slashed that would cause outbreaks of uncontrollable sandwich eating. While I'm familiar with the concept of price elasticity, I have a hard time accepting that there is a causal link between low booze prices and excessive drinking. For example, pop across the channel (if the trains are running) and you'll be "confronted" with cheap booze. Go to Spain and you can buy tinnies for 17cents a pop - or a litre of brandy for 6 euros.
Yet in these countries we don't see either the same level of adolescent drunkenness that the tabloids here obsess about, nor the same level of intolerance towards people who've had "one too many" - possibly because they just sleep it off, rather than smashing the place up.
Maybe the problem has nothing to do with the _price_ of booze and everything to do with british yoof's inability to control him/her/it-self and the press' desire to pander to the tiny minority of small-minded moralists who are the only people who buy such newspapers.
And you thought the olympics was about sports ...
Well that told you!
It's interesting to look at the companies who are throwing their dosh at the olympics. The likes of C**a C**a, Mc******ds and a load of tech / car / comms companies. Makes you wonder what (if anything) these organisations have to do with health, athleticism, or fitness.
Maybe they regard their sponsorship deals as a sort of contrition for their products, and aren't particularly pleased when people point out some inconvenient facts that get between them and their "goodness" by association?
So many words
... so little actionable information.
A lot of organisations have tested virtualisation. Most have found some areas where it makes sense (such as providing test and development sandboxes). Many have discovered it's not the be-all and end-all of solving their problems.
Specifically, it does NOT deliver an easy way of increasing your resilience, or scalability. All these virtual environments still sit on the same hardware - with the same systemic points of failure, bottlenecks and performance limitations. So far as addressing "best pracitices" go, to paraphrase Dilbert's observation:
If everyone's doing it, it's no longer best practice
Seems to have missed the motivators
such as job satisfaction, feeling valued and recognised. Though maybe these are just too high up the heirarchy of needs if you're focussed on feeding yourself and not being killed by members of the public.
So far as employment prospects and job growth goes, the world of software is fine until you get to your 40s - or if you don't have the education necessary to achieve the "plush swivel chair and a comfy office".
the fare isn't for the journey
Actually the pricing structure is quite simple. Think of it as renting a place on the train. The longer the journey takes, the more the rent should be. Therefore when the train companies increase their fares they make the journeys take longer so you get the same number of hours for your money.
It's not about getting there any more.
All very well
... but how good is this train at breaking down in tunnels?
Without something to criticise, it'll never be successful in Britain.
No dafter than their other cold war programmes?
The info that's been released about CIA activities in the 50s and 60 (and later) show that they are willing to investigate all sorts of downright ludicrous claims and possibilities. For instance: all the psychics they had trying to do remote viewing, ESP and all that other stuff.
It seems to me that the only thing that differentiates this from the americans' other trips into the world of paranoid fantasy is that this was instigated by an outsider - rather than with the secret services, themselves.
At least now we know what they means by "credible sources": anyone who has conned them into believing things a 6 year-old would be embarrassed to admit thjinking were true!
you want context?
OK, here's some context.
In my lifetime the number of people living on the planet has trebled. It doesn't matter what resource you look at, when the number of consumers increases to 300% of what it was 50 years ago, it will be depleted a lot faster. Same goes for producers: although everybody produces different amounts of greenhouse gases, there's no way that having 4 billion more of 'em won't change the balance.
The other thing to bear in mind is that this growth hasn't stopped, or even slowed. Whether you think that population growth is a factor in climate change or not - just wait until the water shortages start up, that'll make our current problems look like a picnic.
which is why council tax is so high
> the very best quality of service for our residents
Personally, I don't want the very best quality software (or services) I want my council to provide the absolute minimum that meets their requirements and not a single byte (or FTE) more. Top quality implies top prices. If you don't believe me, go shopping in Harrods. It means that top quality software will work under every situation and circumstance - not just the ones that are likely (or possible) in Essex. For example the "best quality of service" would have a contingency for dealing with a herd of Zebra invading the Bluewater shopping mall. Why should my council tax pay for that?
As it is, they're not even capable of providing basic minima - such as road gritting, let alone "top quality" so I suspect that they'er just reading off the marketing blurb, which they seem to have swallowed - hook, line and zebra. No doubt my council tax will go up again next year in order to pay for all these "savings" their top quality services are making.
a conflict of interests
The basic problem is that you (whoever that is, exactly) can't "solve" climate change within the span of a parliament - or presidential term. Politicians think in terms of short-term steps. Ones that will increase their chances of getting re-elected. Occasionally they think in terms of leaving the other lot a poison pill as a present. Neither of these strategies is compatible with a process that will take one or two generations to resolve. (Other examples are: poverty, crime, education, overpopulation).
In addition, you're asking people to pay for the cost of fixing climate change. However the ones who pay aren't the people who are most affected by it - so to yer average voter (innit?) there's a cost but no benefit. Since Y.A.V. doesn't think in abstract terms the persuasiveness of rational arguments are lost. The best you can hope for is to get some luvvies involved and have them make it all trendy (possibly with the carrot of recognition, arts funding or nobel prizes for their efforts) so that the reality-watching masses will take up the cause.
The additional problem with using taxation as a means of restricting consumption is that it isn't very equitable. The rich can carry on polluting, while the poor have to walk. What will happen to our system of near-identical political parties as soon as someone uses this as an angle? You'll have a revolution in the making (though it will be a very british revolution; letters to the Daily Wail and lots of "tutting", maybe even a 15 minute programme on BBC4 at 3 a.m.) Sadly, the only way to level things out is to start banning: but not in a tokenistic way, for show but by looking at the top (say) 10 carbon emitting activities and saying STOP..
normal business cycles
This happens to every business. They go from being an innovator, to being mainstream and then into decline as someone new comes into the picture and eats their lunch. We've seen this with IBM, with car producers and all the other big-name businesses that have been lost or taken over.
We can see that they are in the decline phase: they missed the boat with the internet AND with mobile tech. While they more-or-less played catch up with the net, all they can ever do with Windows mobile is be a "me too" player. As for Bing, well:.... 10 years too late.
From my perspective, the demise of MS is irrelevant (I'm still happy with my virtualised XP instance). I just want to spot the next big thing.
A national ISP?
Something of this size will make it almost impossible for the "normal" ISPs to compete. A bit like trying to run an independent motorway system alongside the one that the state provides.
Still, at least it'll make it easier for the government to control what content we are allowed to access.
a subtle point
The borders agency likes to defend the efficiency of it's operation by quoting figures for the number of people it detains or arrests. However, being arrested is no indication of wrong-doing - it usually just means you haven't bowed and scraped sufficiently to our overlords in peaked caps.
If they were to publicise the number of people who were CONVICTED (i.e. who were proven to be murderers and/or rapists) we would get a truer idea of just how well they were spending our money by repelling undesirables.
not just TV programmes
this comment was first posted in 2003
competition or punishment
These are the only two factors that make "quality" relevant. Can your victims, sorry customers go elsewhere for better service or can the individuals, who are responsible for administering services that are below par, be identified and punished (or brought up to standard)?
Without these ways of handing power back to the people at the receiving end, any talk of quality is meaningless. This is especially true within organisations where one group provides a service to another. While there may well be SLAs in place, unless there is some means of saying "that person, there failed" there's very little point having them. All you end up with is another layer of regulation and oversight which produce reports no-one reads and fewer take action about and more teams coming up with excuses and reasons why their failures are due to circumstances outside their control.
Virtualisation is taking me ...
... to the shop to buy more memory.
Professionally there is some merit in running VMs (after all, IBM has made a mainframe business out of it). Although not as much as the marketing bumf says: most of the benefits can be achieved by consolidating workloads onto a single server, without the overheads, administration and duplication of multiple copies of the same old O/S.
Where it does win is with my old mum. She thinks her XP 'pooter is running native! In fact it's running as a Virtualbox guest on top of Ubuntu 8.04. This, and VNC, does make remote administration and support (a must with m.o.m-s the world over) much easier as I can access the system underneath XP whenever necessary to reboot it etc. All without having to go though the joys of getting a 70 year-old, 150 miles away, to press the right combination of keys, buttons and wotsits in the right order while holding the phone, too.
 actually she doesn't care what it is or what it runs on - just so long as it works.
 not that age is a driver, work provides the same opportunities with 20-60 y-o's as well.