403 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009
Without trying to sound funny, every person in every single department in every single business I have ever worked for comes out with the line that "only I need a better PC and everybody else can make do" yet I have yet to meet the person who is willing to pay even the amount between the baseline model offered and what they want out of their budget.
. . .
Ok, imagine that your running the budget. The company is in several years worth of turnovers worth of debt which is just about being paid down because of the recession. To get to the current day the company took a 7 year holiday from buying any new equipment. This office has equipment from 2002-2007 that is basically XP with office 2003 on a P3 or P4 varying in clock speeds from 1.5-3GHz. You have after a titanic political struggle managed to secure a budget for replacement hardware; £1000 per month.
A) Spend the entire budget on one user on a really nice computer that you'd like to have. At a rate of one per month, you'll replace 50 PC's in 4 years. How long did you expect those 2002 vintage PC's to last...?
B) Get refurb HP DC7800's with win7 MAR and second hand office 2007 VLK from discount licensing at a combined cost of ~£170 inc VAT per PC. That lets you do 5 a month, with space in the budget for replacing mice etc meaning that you'll have replaced every computer in 10 months with something without about triple the performance of the existing knackered hardware which then gives you a chance to put a better replacement program to run on a longer term.
Unsurprisingly my home equipment is considerably better than the office equipment virtue of my home setup in aggregate total having had several months worth of my work budget for the entire office spent on it, where as my office setup has about a fifth of a months spending on it.
Bigger budgets? Good luck, the money is in many cases simply not there.
Re: Title: Self-encrypting?
Because for most of us, the danger is a break in and having the lot stolen by somebody who then posts data from it under our care, therefore causing major business reputation problems.
The SAS breaking in and stealing my servers for GCHQ is not exactly a major concern. In fact, it's not mentioned on our contingency planning for some reason. Even if we were subject to the authorities demanding all of our data then once we had a court order then we'd have to comply with said court order or be locked up so encryption would seem to not offer any protection.
What, you mean you don't lock down your network to prevent use of unauthorised applications?
My (Watchguard) Firewall comes with application access control, ticking the boxes for it is not exactly a major task and Software Restriction Polices can be used by anybody who can find the group policy management console free of charge.
Re: What? No pitot covers?
Presumably the issue is either that people are too lazy to get out the requisite ladders etc to put in covers which they then have to take out on takeoff a couple of hours later, or just as likely that the airlines don't want to pay somebody to do it.
Re: Not what Manchin wants to hear
So to sum up, like any victim of robbery you know you have been robbed, but you don't know by whom or how to recover your lost property?
Yep, then the NSA wouldn't even need to compromise the NHS network to get intimately private medical material about people, they could just demand it all from the service provider.
Re: Very long term
No. Format shifting is not a good idea.
Imagine that the 1215 Magna Carta was created in word. What are the chances that after being shifted to a new format every ten years the result would be readable in exactly the original form without losing content or positioning after 80 format changes?
A static format is the only sensible way to go.
Re: This all boils down to:
It is often said that 80% of users only use 20% of features. As anybody who has ever done support knows, it's more like 80% of users only know 5% of features exist. I caught a user adding up cells in Excel with a calculator and adding them in manually recently. That is the stark reality of the level of ignorance that exists in the userbase.
For this 80%, If I could then I would cheerfully give the users LibreOffice on the basis that it meets all of their needs and then only give people Microsoft Office if they needed it. Microsoft know full well many other organisations would cheerfully do the same, and will do anything to avoid this happening, since Office is one of Microsoft's big money makers.
Microsoft is not going to keep office in a dominant position by having the best software around, even if they did have it. A combination of "zero purchase price" and "good enough" would severely degrade offices profitability.
Or more likely the FBI invited one of the admins to cooperate in handing drugs money over in exchange for a reduced sentance, and if he posts "yep, the FBI has the cash" then he gets jailed.
Re: What's the point?
> "Name ONE THING you can do with 10Gbit that you can't do with 1Gbit. One thing that doesn't involve torrents, or dreamland technology like a personal holodeck served via the cloud."
Run a large site (when large is >1000 users) without ever having network problems related to bandwidth.
For home users, your absolutely right; it's pointless.
Re: What the hell did they expect?
We don't need to wipe the win8 install and install Win7; the vendors do that for us! Look in one of the junk mail catalogues that you get sent; nobody is pushing Win8.
I would very much like to know how many of those Win8 licenses are pre downgraded to Win7.
Re: Few CIOs or VP ITs can code
Scotty was considered a miracle worker because he multiplied his repair estimates by a factor of 4.
Re: Few CIOs or VP ITs can code
Even if he did sit around for 30 weeks pissing about, at least the project came in on time and on budget!
Ok, the production values are through the roof and they have lots of well done maps etc but if you take the time spent playing an indie game and an AAA release and divide the cost of the game by the number of hours spent enjoying them both then the results can easily come out with the AAA game taking second place to indie titles.
Star Citizen has been planning something like this for when the beta goes live called Operation Pitchfork.
Ie; see exactly how much damage can be done to an NPC empire when virtually every human goes for it simultaneously.
Re: SPF natwest.com
To be honest, given the number of spam emails sent out in banks names you would think they would be a bit more supportive of SPF and other such anti spam methods.
Note that he says that "the HP server failed in the UK" when the assertation was that had they have had a competent and experianced IT support team in the UK they wouldn't have the issue.
Is it just because i'm a hardened cynic that I notice Sir Humprhy-esque evasion in answers like this and assume that he means that the lack of experianced staff (and BCM/DR tests) was the issue that caused this problem...?
Re: That's Denian productivity down the pan then!
I must admit that one of my first thoughts after "that's nice" was to wonder exactly how much was going to get done on Debian this year. It's a nice way of saying thanks, and one person can only play so many games after all! ;)
And on a more pragmatic basis, the ability to actually play the games is likely to encourage the debian devs to ensure that they actually work on Debian.
Re: The staff at the Treasury et-al should grow a pair..
Our local ASDA has slowly been replacing their checkout people with self service lanes supervised by a single person over the years.
One has to suspect that closing down half a dozen human operated checkouts has reduced the number of staff proportionally, and presumably this has meant they are employing less people so I think it is fair to say that the minimum wage has destroyed jobs. IT in general is also a huge job killer, I think that most people reading this have probably automated jobs out of existence, I have done; by automating data capture the associated data entry jobs no longer need humans.
As the cost of the staff goes up, the benefits of automation goes up with it and when implemented automation means that there are the fewer people needed to do the job. Already, many companies have realised productivity gains (and employment reductions) of around 100% compared to the systems used a decade or so ago. This is not going to have a pretty social impact in the long term and is probably something that should be addressed by politics. It won't get addressed until there is mass unemployment among graduates who happen to be party members of one of the major political parties.
I say that because we already have mass unemployment on a scale I suspect was last seen in the industrial revolution.
On the main subject, I don't see the problem. The market is only so big and if a multinational won't pay tax in the UK then honestly I don't think it's any great loss if they don't come to the UK. A UK company can do the business and honestly I think that we are better off without businesses not paying tax because businesses evading tax means that the companies not evading tax are at a competitive disadvantage.
Re: Is this the first time that ...
No. Otherwise they would have learnt that a large project will indeed be split up into it's constituent components, however I rather suspect that in a couple of years we will see news stories reporting that all of those smaller chunks are awarded to the same supplier.
Re: @Ben Norris
To be honest, I think that there is something seriously wrong with teaching when you can get a degree in teaching and then become a teacher pretty much immediately.
When I was at school, such teachers were totally useless because they knew no more about the subject than I did, save their lesson prep and could only parrot what a book said by rote without understanding it- any advanced/non basic questions tended to be reflected by setting the question as homework. That sort of teacher is IMO useless. They certainly didn't teach me much.
The other sort of teacher we had was like my physics teacher who was once in the aerospace industry and who claimed to have worked on a small subcomponent of concord which was entirely believable given how thoroughly he knew and understood his subject.
If you have somebody who has passed a "teaching degree" teaching programming or any other subject that can't be adequately taught by rote then I should be surprised if we end up with any competently educated children, let alone competent programmers educated as a result of such an initiative.
Coal is going to be the biggest polluter, it always has been in Britain. Despite what some people smugly pronounce, we've had problems every bit as bad as China and the solutions look to be about the same.
I am wondering about cars though, since the UK had environmental regulations on cars before they have had a chance to cause really major pollution. In China when you say that the petrol is a lower grade, do you mean that it's lower octane fuel boosted to more usual levels with large amounts of lead, or high sulfur content?
I'm also wondering if you have any idea if western vehicles in huge concentrations just emit to high an amount of pollution, or if indigenous vehicles to China are built to less demanding standards (no catalytic converter's etc)
Re: Doesn't it depend what you mean *by* "net neutrality" ?
I think most people support the principle of being able to use the internet, what many of us object to is the extreme wing of net neutrality wanting to ban traffic management such as being able to prioritise packets such as VOIP because that's not neutral(?!?!)
Or alternately, "the NHS" (which is btw not one organisation, the NHS is best through of as a billing structure as every county and a lot of hospitals has it's own NHS trust/organisation with it's own CEO making it's own decisions) has a wide range of suppliers for various bits of equipment. Like pacemakers, AED's and all sorts of things that occasionally needs interaction with a PC for diagnostics or the like.
Unfortunately, some of those companies have had the temerity to dare to go out of business without the NHS's permission since their extremely reliable equipment which lasts a lifetime (sometimes all to literally) relies on the software which came with it, which is no longer produced or updated.
The approaches to problem detection advocated by some kids based on "I just install it at home and see what doesn't work" is excessively dangerous when dealing with things that absolutely have to work or somebody dies. "The installer ran..." is not good enough. You have to document ever facet of the program as working correctly. Do you have any idea how expensive that is for high hundreds to low thousands of programs?
This added to the fact that the cost of replacing some equipment needing the PC interface is actually roughly equivalent to the salary costs of the staff using the equipment over the course of their entire career may go some way to explaining why there are still XP/9x boxes around.
Re: class comment
minus the contributions from class 1 & 2 national insurance contributions (from registering as self employed) and then having to pay VAT after the first 2 months at that rate.
All of a sudden, the total diminishes by an alarming amount! (still far better than you can get by working for somebody else and producing that app, mind)
Re: A lot of bored/dissapointed people out there.
What I don't understand, is why people say "yeah, that was on the reading list at uni" and then say "I don't understand who would read it" apparently without making any connection between the two.
I have a sneaking suspicion that far more uni students read it than neo nazi's.
Re: Just discussed this topic at lunch today
The problem is that the user are rarely professional enough to check that their systems are legally compliant with the company's legal requirements. Because you know, some regulators react with companies flouting the rules by striking individuals off of the "authorised to practice" list at best and just shutting the company down as non compliant at worst. And that's just one set of regulators and excluding things like "we just lost the credit card machines because we are now no longer compliant with PCI DSS".
What needs to happen is that a company should get hit with import taxes equal to the difference between what they pay their workers and the national minimum wage to discourage undermining manufacturing jobs in our own country, otherwise the minimum wage is just a suicide pact for the companies that don't offshore.
Re: The real issue with the Dodd-Frank Method
Presumably if they are that close to each other then the "good" mine would be having to pay the "bad" mine "protection money" for their continued operation in which case we start to get into moral gray areas about if they should be buying from "good" businesses that are financing "bad" business and therefore slave labour through extortion schemes.
I would imagine that the few cases are likely to be fairly small, and ultimately if it puts people operating slave labour out of business then it might be a worthwhile price to pay anyway. As you say though, it's hardly likely to be a concern in the grand scheme anyway and one would assume that issues such as this have been considered, although it would be interesting to see what the offical line is!
Re: @ Peter2
We can't reliably do monthly payments due to chaotic cashflow so leases are out.
Project work is more or less the only thing we can do, as long as it requires zero spending. We have had major successes in quite a few areas such as eliminating people entering data into 3 different systems, reduced that to 1 along with the staff required. Also, due to most of the work having moved to the internet from the yellow pages IT is also marketing.
Our replacement cycle is now "when it stops working", although the 98 and 2k boxes did get "lost" during an office move 2 years back.
It could also have read "struggling businesses that can barely afford to keep the lights on avoid paying out many thousands to buy new Win7/8 boxes for absolutely no business benefit". (because the XP boxes were all bought between 2000-2007, happy days with lots of cash!)
For some, probably quite a lot of smaller SME's, upgrading from XP to Win7 is not priority 1. Priority 1 is keeping the electricity on, and the Business Continuity Plan may include gems like back of the envelope plans to relocate the core network elseware (no, not offsite DR centres, lost the budget for such luxuries years ago, somewhere else in the building on a different meter) in case an old rack full of very unvirtualised servers drawing considerably more power than an fanheater 24x7 finally gets the plug pulled for late payment of the electricity bill. (Economy measure, no aircon; we leave all the doors open. The servers generate enough heat to act as central heating...)
Payment is always late to everybody, because payment is late to us from everybody. We aren't bust, cash forecasts show we will run out from red ink to black in about 18 months. Trying to hold onto all of the staff in the early years of the recession was retrospectively a mistake. When headcount was ruthlessly trimmed down to fit the available work things started to get a bit better, and ultimately we got back to making money.
In the meantime until we have paid all of the debt off, we wonder how we can trim costs down yet further while anxiously checking the RAID arrays on the 8 year old servers to see if another drive is throwing up SMART warnings. If you spread the cost of new servers over 5 years it'd pay to replace the ageing 2003R2 servers given the amount of new parts we buy, but it's a lump sum and we absolutely cannot afford a lump sum and we can sort of afford smaller sums, even if it does cause accounts to lament the "we've hit the black" date slowly moving fractionally backwards.
It doesn't matter though, we'll make it. But when 18 months hits, we are *NOT!!!* doing a mass migration off of XP.
We are doing a mass replacement of the core network hardware. Those 2003R2 servers are toast and the sodding network switches are going to die a slow and horrible death for the number of glitches and hangs requiring a reboot we have had to live with. I look forward to replacing the Watchguard Firebox (x750e). It's the single most reliable piece of equipment we have despite the sheer level of abuse it has withstood both electronically and physically, holding the gate against untold horrors. The POS printers that have been slowly squealing out their death throes for the last couple of years are next in line and we might get around to doing the XP boxes by 2017 because if an endpoint snuffs it we can get a replacement in a few hours. If we lose something in the core network? Less said the better.
I know that there are a LOT of SME's in either the same or a similar boat who are extremely Scrooge like. Nobody loves XP that much, there's just no sodding point replacing something that works when you have your back to the wall.
Re: Bit of rounding going on?
It would be interesting to know exactly how many of the 8.1 installations are pre downgraded to win7.
Just saying because none of my suppliers are actually bothering to offer me win8 boxes. Even the Misco catalogue displaying a hundred odd machines only has win8 on like 5 of them with the rest being win7.
Re: "The average member of the public"
And there is enough businesses still trading to keep desktops in use pretty much forever, because we don't need laptops on every desk.
At the moment I think a lot of desktop buying is effectively hidden because if we are buying the odd replacement PC it's a refurb.
Re: one small problem : "both halves of the debate"
> Earth's weather is solar driven, period.
That's the biggest load of bull anyone in this entire thread has written.
Admiral Fitzroy, best known for Captaining HMS Beagle, where he invited a bloke called Charles Darwin along for company and less well known for founding what later became the Met Office (which is why the Met Office head office happens to be on Fitzroy Road) was convinced up until his dying day that solar activity had an effect on the weather and there is plenty of scientific research which supports this view.
Was he right? No idea. It's quite possible though so possibly not the best idea to declare that it's impossible.
Re: one small problem : "both halves of the debate"
Contrary to popular myth theories (such as the Earth is flat <snip> weren't disproven, they were abandoned because more evidence supported the competing theory.
No. Just no. The theory that the earth is flat has been decisively disproven. First by first sailing around the planet without falling off the edge and secondly by putting satellites in space that fly around the earth, which has been proven beyond any doubt to be more or less spherical if you ignore the slight flat bits at the poles and the slight bulge at the equator. No belief in this is required, you just have to do something like sail around the planet, look at a photo of earth from space or do your own experiments such as el regs own PARIS project (Paper Aeroplane Released Into Space) which reached a sufficiently high altitude to show the earth is curved.
Science is not, and should not be a religion. Personally, I don't believe in "science". I believe in the scientific process. Science does not demand belief, it demands your eyes. The scientific process is quite simply a formalised method of someone wondering "what happens if you do x" and recording the results so that somebody else can repeat them to confirm they got it right.
A theory is looking at a set of results and then coming up with a possible explanation, which can then be proven or disproved by rational analysis and observation, to the point that something can then be proven by doing something like sailing around the planet or launching a paper aeroplane with a camera into space, thus proving that the planet does not have edges that you can fall off.
Re: Fuck the ratings
If the doctor died I don't think anybody would be too badly concerned. As a First Aider i'm fairly convinced that a doctor couldn't do much about anything enroute that anybody else couldn't do under direction via radio link apart from keeping meticulous notes about how other people die that might advance human knowledge. I mean, your hardly going to have a doctor doing surgery...
Chief engineer might be moderately more serious, but at the end of the day your hardly reliant on Scotty saving the day when the captain demands more power from the warp drives.
Why bother returning your remains? What are people going to do with them if they did have them back, burn them and then spread the ash somewhere? Might as well just leave them on Mar, they might make a museum exhibit one day.
And if somebody who wanted to make a one way trip to Mars is irresponsible, why? What are they neglecting their responsibilities to?
Re: Fuck the ratings
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success. - Ernest Shackleton.
He got 5k applications. (He also supposedly filed them in 3 cabinets, "Mad", "Hopeless" and "Possible")
Same advert for a one way trip to Mars? Everybody dies some day, and there are plenty of people who'd give it a go just for the adventure, let along the honour recognition and eternal place in history as being the first expedition to Mars. Some people do get really fed up just working 9-5 Monday to Friday you know!
Re: What law & what locality?
It would be perfectly legal and possible to instruct ISP's in the EU to fail to resolve DNS for websites breaking EU Law.
That is ultimately a non issue though, they are saying that Pinterest can't have Pinterest as a trademark in the EU because Premium Interest have it. Pinterest don't even need to license the trademark, all they need to do is trade as "Pin Interest" in the EU and everybody is happy because that doesn't infringe Premium interests trademark.
Re: Not quite
Or the shuttleworth collection, if your in England.
They have a collection of original and reproduction aircraft plus a "late production model" of a Sopwith Triplane, so called because it was so faithful to the Sopwith original that Sir Tommy Sopwith decreed after inspecting it that it was a continuation of the original production line rather than a reproduction.
The Libyans are using off the shelf drones already in their civil war.
The second from last video covers the scout UAV.
Re: Snapchat was how I found out I'm still innocent.
Narcissism has been removed from the DSM because it's now to difficult to diagnose because the majority of the population could be diagnosed as narcissists.
I'm not joking, google it.
If you can seize property such as cars, boats and domain names then I can't see how.
It does look like the condition that he discontinue his attacks on the US have been quietly dropped by Russia.
Which is fair enough, since obviously the only reason for accepting his Asylum request from Russia's POV was to allow Mr Snowdon to continue to give the USA a good kicking in the media.
Re: OS of your choice
Of course he was serious, NT4 would obviously work because it's got TAPI and all!
(and now we spot who actually know what TAPI does...) :p
As long as your considering the ME262 based purely on looks without considering that it was rushed into service before it was ready. This showed because it needed a new set of engines every couple of flights and replacement airframes and also required replacement pilots who were killed when the engines failed almost as frequently.
ME262's that are flying today have modern engines installed, because nobody wants to commit suicide by flying with the originals installed. The Rolls Royce engines on the Meteor though? Funnily enough those can actually still be used.
Re: The Mossie
There is another point though; Strategy. The British strategy for WW2 was basically the same as WW1 and the Napoleonic Wars. Blockade the enemy and starve them of strategic materials from abroad.
Germany was constantly on the brink of running out of petrol, as they only had a small supply of synthetic fuel and what they could buy from other people. Invading Russia was meant to resolve this by capturing the Russian oil fields; they got the fields but the plants were totally wrecked by the soviets when withdrawing and the Germans didn't get one drop of oil out by the end of the war.
From the German point of view, building a vast army of cheap tanks would have been stupid because they would have ran out of fuel faster than they eventually did anyway. Note that several of German projects in 1944 when fuel shortages started to bite were rocket powered.
The Timber Terror/Wooden Wonder was definitely the best bomber of the war. Scarily, by not carrying several tons of armour and defensive guns the Mosquito could actually deliver the same bomb load to Berlin as a B17, while taking off a few hours later and being back first.
I think the head of the Luftwaffe, Herman Goring gives the Mosquito best reference.
"It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy. The British, who can afford aluminium better than we can, knock together a beautiful wooden aircraft that every piano factory over there is building, and they give it a speed which they have now increased yet again. What do you make of that? There is nothing the British do not have. They have the geniuses and we have the nincompoops. After the war is over I'm going to buy a British radio set - then at least I'll own something that has always worked."
Re: Not sure about this
Obviously EU law only applies within the EU.
Market forces need trimming in occasionally for the good of the customer, or else the companies each make their own chargers and sell them for 20 times the cost with no competition, and then change the charger with the next model to force the end user to buy another charger. This is wasteful of resources (most people have either binned vast quantities of chargers or have a good collection) and expensive.
First Direct gets a dishonourable mention from me for sending "secure emails" which are a plain html file that the end user is meant to open and then put their username/pass into before getting redirected to another website. Shake my head with amazement every time, have those people not heard of phishing scams?
I remain unconvinced that conditioning end users to open html files attached to unexpected emails and then entering their username+password is actually secure. Who the hell comes up with this stuff?!?
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