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* Posts by gerryg

427 posts • joined 19 Aug 2009

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Go on, inhale our G-Cloud via 'Digital Marketplace' – UK.gov

gerryg

better value for money...

Does anyone actually know what "better value for money" actually means? Until then a requirement to "comply unless" is vacuous.

Actually, "value for money" is part of the boiler-plate in the topsy-turvy world of the rules of appointing Departmental Accounting Officers; the ones who have to report to HM Treasury on how the money has been spent.

Imagine having an accounting officer who did not have to achieve value for money? But we need to know what they value before we know what is better.

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Tricked by satire? Get all your news from Facebook? You're in luck, dummy

gerryg

no it isn't

<irony>

<funny>this is a joke</funny>

</irony>

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Factory-fresh delivery: Get your OpenSUSE fix daily

gerryg

Re: So....

"For similar reasons, Novell's dalliance with MS a few years ago may have done them no favours"

With whom?

Paying customers looking for interoperability?

Or those ranting from the sidelines who didn't notice it was Novell that stepped up and spent seven years in a lawsuit defending the Linux kernel from an MS and Sun funded attack.

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UK government officially adopts Open Document Format

gerryg

never thought it would happen, hoping it finally has

I want to congratulate them, but I'm several times bitten, now shy.

However, the word "must" in the official guidance is particularly encouraging.

Let's hope...

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Are you broke? Good with electronics? Build a better AC/DC box, get back in black with $1m

gerryg

Re: But Who gets the patent.

For the hard of reading the answer is in the penultimate paragraph:

"All intellectual property for the winning designs will remain with the inventors."

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Fujitsu and Capgemini's giga-quid HMRC lashup given drubbing by govt auditors

gerryg

let's remember some history

2007 the accountants: HMRC's 10-year IT contract balloons to £8.5 billion

2012 the techies If HMRC’s experience is anything to go by, outsourcing can, in the long-term, at least triple an organisation’s IT costs.

Francis Maude failed to do anything about it but luckily a Parliamentary Select Committee has noticed so who knows what might happen next

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Labour vows: We'll pause one-dole-to-rule-them-all for drastic fix-up if elected in 2015

gerryg

Re: so how are you therefore entitled to compensation?

"...is a shocking abuse of process, and one which may well be found to be unlawful, when reviewed against the UKs undertakings to the European Convention on Human Rights..."

You are just grandstanding. Parliament is sovereign and ultimately makes the law. Democracy changes Parliaments.

If something has got out of control then retrospective legislation is used. It's not new, albeit rare. It has been used to undermine aggressive tax avoidance schemes

Come back and condemn that and then I'll listen to you about welfare reform

By the way from the article "The judge also pointed out that retrospective legislation was not prohibited by human rights law, although there is a strong presumption against it"

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Google spaffs $50 MILLION on 'get girls coding' campaign

gerryg

Re: Here's what feminists do when men are encouraged to go into female-dominated fields

see also The XX Factor

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gerryg

Speaking in Tech: Electronic data and the law – how compelling is an email as proof?

gerryg
Boffin

validity of an email

I thought I'd point you to the Law Commission report (pdf) to save a lot of time.

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Netflix FREEZES prices for existing UK users to stop them quitting vid-streaming service

gerryg

well...

...I succumbed in order to watch the final series of Breaking Bad after crashing the box set 1-5: sad, I know.

Got a month free trial (actually wasn't expecting that, felt faintly guilty). Yes they asked for my c/card details. I cancelled after watching BB6 free; it was extraordinarily easy.

Received a polite email regretting me leaving reminding me (in terms) that I had approximately 20 days left and I should feel free to indulge.

Perfect marketing. Netflix will be my supplier of choice should I ever subscribe to a streaming service

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BBC hacks – tweet the crap out of the news, cries tech-dazzled Trust

gerryg

Re: This:

"Plus the world service is still a great service"

Perhaps not universally known BBC WS is/was a window out to the world (funnily enough...) and used to be funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

It is/was remarkably high quality - e.g., IMHO, best election coverage in 2010, thoughtful and without ranty point scoring politicians shouting over each other.

Now it's funded out of the licence fee - I hope but don't hold out much hope that it will stay as good. Already there is increased programme sharing with R4

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Privateers race to capture forgotten NASA space probe using crowdsourced cash

gerryg

history repeating itself

I seem to recall another government project in which all the technology was junked and it was only rescued when those involved came out of retirement and rescued stuff they'd stashed away

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Bendy or barmy: Why your next TV will be curved

gerryg

what is it that people are watching, that needs this level of tech?

I recently watched Waterloo Bridge using my DVD player; the one Vivian Leigh thought was her best film. B&W, monaural sound, probably fairly rubbish picture definition. A truly gripping film. I think it had something to do with the screenplay and the quality of the acting, but I might be wrong.

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Judge strikes down Apple attempt to bar Samsung's 'untrue' patent comments

gerryg

Re: I read this as...

I was reminded of a comment by the late John Mortimer QC to the effect that he preferred having to defend murderers rather than act in divorce. With the former, once the deed had been done there was a sense of finality. With the latter he'd get a ranty phone call at any hour of the night along the lines of "do something, he's only gone and taken the toaster"

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No, Minister. You CAN'T de-Kindle your eBooks!

gerryg

Re: Unconstitutional

@Anonymous Coward - While I'm not sure which point of mine you are riposting, if you dig even deeper still you'll find that all draft legislation is scrutinised for constitutional implications. So yes you're right, all statute law forms part of the constitution, but only in the sense that they're not making it up as they go along.

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gerryg

Re: Unconstitutional

"Is there really legislation that says anything written down in a contract overrides all other laws?"

It's actually the complete opposite: contract law is essentially common law, non-statute. Its structure has been sorted out through legal dispute over time.

Legislation is used to trim the enforceability of a contract

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gerryg

Re: Unconstitutional

I think you'll find you are making it up as you go along - so here's A Very Short Introduction to the British Constitution.

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iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'

gerryg

I've used iFixit - they're amazing

Friend's son's Apple laptop - dead, obviously a power supply problem, couldn't swap battery as short term measure with his sister's Apple laptop as they were not interchangeable (natch).

Apple "genius" - "it needs a new logic board £600" (about 10p less than a new laptop) - iFixit second user dc conditioning thingy - about $29 IIRC and $10 IIRC air freight - arrived three days later. With aid of iFixit guide - about 90 minutes work

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

gerryg

I see your "four yorkshiremen"...

...and raise you a Daily Mash

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Scottish gov may miss IT budget cut target

gerryg

Re: Ray Winstone

er, rub-a-dub...

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Samsung wins right to delay UK appeal in Apple dispute

gerryg

Where are the Time Lords when you need them?

I'm fairly sure patent dispute shenanigans contravene the First Law of Time creating a distortion of history

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British Pregnancy Advice Service fined £200k for Anon hack, data protection breaches

gerryg

Re: Of course the ICO...

"Yes, they should. And, giving a huge wodge of donated cash to a Quango does this... how exactly?"

The ICO a quasi-judicial body and it issues fines for infractions.

BPAS charges for its services and advises on how to get the NHS to fund it.

Donations in 2012 were £9000 and fees for services were £26,380,000 see page 12

Its objective is to get more NHS funding see page 7

Three people were paid between £100,000 and £130,000 see page 20. I'm sure everyone else is on minimum wage and no-one, not even the consultant surgeons, does it for the money.

Perhaps all fines should be abolished as once someone has "been told" they won't do it again?

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gerryg

Re: Of course the ICO...

If we're discussing money, the charity gets tax breaks in order to meet its charitable objectives.

I should imagine given BPS claim Confidentiality means that what a woman says to bpas staff stays private" they have failed to meet their charitable objectives.

So, do nothing? because it's charadee?

The trustees are personally liable for the charity. No-one forced them to become trustees. Let them find out they should have taken the role seriously.

Most tin shakers are out of work actors on a day rate. A government study showed that it takes eighteen months of the average direct debits to recover the cost of recruiting a new donor.

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gerryg

BPAS are "horrified"...

...according to the 1 o'clock news.

Not because they couldn't find their arse with both hands, nor that they didn't have a clue how much information they were actually storing insecurely.

but at the size if the fine.

Let's ask one of the women who had an abortion in circumstances where confidentiality were paramount.

It will be quite easy to find one, apparently.

Let's hope the trustees work out they're personally liable and are supposed to take this stuff seriously

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Linux-friendly Munich: Ja, we'll take open source collab cloud

gerryg

Kolab originated as a security measure by the German security services

10 years ago, precisely to deal with the concerns we are seeing with the NSA, GCHQ and back doors.

It's all part of the KDE ecosystem - though it's available for other desktops (for some reason KDE never seems to get the coverage c.f Sanity now: Gnome 3.12 looking sensible)

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Jolla announces Sailfish OS 1.0, says Android love-fest soon to come

gerryg

so, if I understand your arguement correctly

TOH gives you options that are not available with other devices but because you have to pick the one or two TOHs you need for your day's activities you'd rather not have the options at all?

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Sanity now: Gnome 3.12 looking sensible - at least in beta

gerryg
Trollface

May I just mention KDE...

...Qt5, Frameworks 5 etc...

thought not

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Robots demanding equal API rights? It's just a matter of time

gerryg

The upside...

...eventually your fridge channels Scarlet Johansson

Interesting film, BTW.

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SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future

gerryg

BBC should adopt an airlines business model

What does an airline actually own? The aircraft are leased, the logistics, aircrew and catering are contracted in, etc. An airline seems to own only the brand and the business model.

The BBC seems to have the old Ford's of Dagenham raw materials in at one end, cars out at the other, vertical and horizontal sprawl

Which is fine until flexibility and agility are required. Channel 4 and Netflix signpost a future in which a broadcaster can adopt the airlines business model and it seems that the BBC is behind the curve.

This would strip out swathes of overpaid middle management and strategic co-ordination roles. Or paying the "right price" for talent,

And that's before one considers whether the BBC is trying to do too much, the wrong things or how it should be funded.

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Broker accuses FAST of scaring users off secondhand software

gerryg

you pays yer money you gets yer lack of choice

It's not as if no-one knows the vendor preferring business model deployed by Microsoft, Oracle, etc.

Open source software remains the ultimate client-side business model. Yeah, yeah so "AutoCAD" doesn't work on it but as Steam are demonstrating with games, it would be possible.

And yes, as Munich demonstrated it's not necessarily easy to go cold turkey - but it's possible

So either take the pain or migration or suck it up

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Whitehall and Microsoft negotiate NHS Windows XP hacker survival plan

gerryg

public sector and software decisions

Since whenever we've been told by various government officials and politicians that FOSS isn't necessarily(1) cheaper. For some excellent waffle recall this Parliamentary select committee hearing or this "guidance" but I suspect part of the negotiation here was the threat to dump Microsoft Office there

End result? More Microsoft in the public sector - immediate symptoms cured, long chronic problem remains.

(1) arse covering qualification, fingers crossed behind back

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15,000 London coppers to receive new crime-fighting tool: an iPad

gerryg

look what happened when they got smartphones

Downing Street police porn arrests still they've got previous on

exploiting IT for sexual purposes or more generally

An ipad should given them greater scope for innovation.

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Android users running old OS versions? Not anymore, say latest stats

gerryg

android upgrade debate

"Whether those customers received "upgrades" without buying new phones, however, is debatable."

You pays yer money you takes yer choice - Some phone manufacturers will offer OTA updates but some consumers enjoy getting new handsets via a mobile contract and despite everything the upgrade interval is only slowly getting longer.

Others will be working out how to sideload cynogenmod which just gets easier and others still will just buy a new cheap but good handset which is not necessarily an option with the alternatives.

It might not be green but it's what consumers do (with encouragement) despite exhortations not to.

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Microsoft claims victory over second-hand software broker

gerryg

There must be more to this than we're being told

I thought the EU had decided that you can resell software even if the software company says you can't when Oracle tried to dob-in UsedSoft.

The absence of hard numbers gives this settlement (why not get a verdict... oh, wait, see above) a fishy odour.

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UK picks Open Document Format for all government files

gerryg

It's a "recommendation", don't hold your breath

Moreover, the writ of the Cabinet Office does not run wide especially not as far as local authorities or non-departmental public bodies:

"According to information provided by Cabinet Office representative Linda Humphries in a meeting on Open Standards and Levelling the Playing Field on May 29, 2012, the policy would only apply to central government bodies, not local governments or other government bodies."

Which is inconvenient because the majority of IT spend takes place outside Whitehall as does the interaction with the public,

The problem is not only document format but also embedded code and over use of document formatting

It wouldn't be difficult to ensure public sector wide adoption, simply by re-using a model developed for other purposes (pdf) except, of course, we've been circling this buoy since at least 2002.

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BBC Trust: 'LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING' to this DMI mega-tech FAIL

gerryg

some DMI history

Remember Ashley Highfield speaking in 2007?

The Digital Media Initiative is a behind-the-scenes project that Mr Highfield described as "the most important over the next year to get right", because it underpins the success of the likes of the iPlayer and other digital services.

And that he left BBC to join Microsoft he left BBC for, but not before this agreement was brokered while doing his bit to rubbish the competition.

"In an interview with web design mag .net, Highfield hit back against claims the BBC is too cosy with Microsoft. He said: "We have 17.1 million users of bbc.co.uk in the UK and, as far as our server logs can make out, 5 per cent of those [use Macs] and around 400 to 600 are Linux users."

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Survey: Yoof too COOL for Ferraris, want state-sponsored hybrids

gerryg

Re: Gadgets are king - explanation

Even the Guardian thought that Thatcher quote was apocryphal.

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Microsoft buries Sinofsky Era... then jumps on the coffin lid

gerryg

Re: OEMs lack of innovation

OK, fair enough but while you're going large on Apple perhaps you might want to mention proprietary connectors, arbitrary changes in interconnect, hardware designed to lock out cheaper third party alternatives, lack of interoperability, blah blah

If that's innovation I'll leave the fruits of it to others

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Ian Williamson: The engineer who gave Sinclair his first micro

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Android will ship more than ONE BILLION mobes+slabs in 2014

gerryg

Re: Billion?

If it were not, then there would be approximately 130 tablets/mobs sold for each person on the planet rather than the still faintly astonishing 1 for every 7

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NHS carelessly slings out care.data plans to 26.5 million Brits

gerryg

better information - better treatment, yeah right

GPs supposed to be professional not merely well qualified (professionalism rant, passim) so if they were to actually use the information to come up with a patient-centric diagnosis there would at least be a benefit to weigh up.

My experience on the rare occasions I visit my GP is that it's up to the patient to present properly in order to get a half-decent diagnosis or risk being fobbed off with a diagnosis based on the obvious symptoms.

I'll spare you the details but on that occasion the real problem turned out to be my new bicycle saddle (there's a reason padded is bad - my subsequent diagnosis) rather than my GP's "it's your time of life, so here's a prescription and a print out"

The point being, that Hayek's aphorism that there are three kinds of money, my money our money and your money, which one do I look after most carefully? probably applies to health too,

Give me my records to look after, I'm the only one that cares about me.

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Curiosity rover: While you humans were busy being hungover, this bot hit its 500th Martian day

gerryg

auld lang syne

lest auld acquaintance be forgot

with thanks to xkcd

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Microsoft rallies channel troops: Sell, sell, sell our spanking new 'Cloud OS'

gerryg

Re: history repeating itself, why?

Ah, good to see the old explanations about TCO rearing up. That will be the non-complex problem-free Azure, then?

From the article:

"Last time Microsoft's Azure cloud went down, it was a sub-component that flaked out globally, and the time before that it was a certificate problem – now the service is inaccessible again, along with its status page."

And it's never too much trouble to link to the London School of Economics TCO comparison

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gerryg

history repeating itself, why?

If cloud is the the question it's difficult to understand why Openstack isn't the answer. As the article implies choice of lock-in isn't "not locked-in" and it certainly isn't a contribution to interoperability.

If Openstack isn't yet ready for prime time (isn't it?) helping it get there seems to be a better option than getting sucked into yet another proprietary nightmare.

Unless of course, someone on the client side is suitably incentivised from someone on the supply side?

Any other reasons?

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Hey Linux newbie: If you've never had a taste, try perfect Petra ... mmm, smells like Mint 16

gerryg

The power of open source

Personally you'd have to drag KDE on openSUSE from my cold dead hands, but this shows how ultimately, if an open source project strays too far from the collective objective "stuff happens" With KDE it was Trinity but that turned out to be a minority sport despite all the noise about "4.0"

Try rolling back or re-factoring your favourite proprietary operating system to something you prefer.

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Got a one-of-a-kind N9? Get ready to adopt Meego's baby Sailfish

gerryg
Unhappy

Not been there (yet) but (at least) I got the T-Shirt

I've been waiting since 25th Nov, when I got the you can pay the balance mail, on top of €100 lobbed over in May

The blog has lots of interesting information but I haven't got my phone yet.

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Microsoft researchers build 'smart bra' to stop women's stress eating

gerryg
Trollface

time to reframe Woody Allen...

...in What's new Pussy Cat?

Michael James:Did you find a job?

Victor Skakapopulis: Yeah, I got something at the striptease. I help the girls dress and undress.

MJ: Nice job.

VS: Twenty francs a week.

MJ: Not very much.

VS: It's all I can afford.

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The only way is Office: UK Parliament to migrate to Microsoft cloud

gerryg
Boffin

longevity of Parliamentary records protects us all

Our rights and freedoms derive from Statute law and case law. Statute law is ultimately based on Magna Carta first written in 1215, (the original is still readable and three clauses remain unrepealed). Case law stretches back even earlier than Magna Carta. Statutes used to be written on goatskin parchment using a special ink in acknowledgement of the need for longevity of the record.

It is unlikely we are going to be so lucky with digital recordings of democracy in action (cf the BBC's Domesday project and the subsequent efforts required to preserve it) unless they focus on interoperability, which at a minimum requires unencumbered open standards, probably requires open source software and most certainly is threatened by remote hosting.

BTW: Government <> Parliament so G-Cloud brings its own problems about separation of powers.

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EC trade secrets plans: Infringing kit may be DESTROYED by order

gerryg

How? Why?

"The objective of the proposal is to establish a sufficient and comparable level of redress across the Internal Market in case of trade secret misappropriation (while providing sufficient safeguards to prevent abusive behaviour),"

The is bureaucratic gobbledegook . A good test of whether a statement is meaningless is to invert it and if the result is rubbish the original is rubbish.

Clearly someone, somewhere has decided that Something Must Be Done so they developed a scheme.

People, particularly SMEs use trade secrets as a way of sidestepping the bureaucratic and expensive clusterfuck associated with IP law but unluckily for them it's going to become easier for trolls and the vexatious to give them grief (you're using my trade secret, bitch)

The formula for Coca Cola is a trade secret, they haven't patented it because patenting requires publication. Over the years various attempts to copy don't appear to have troubled them.

However, without evidence of other already criminal activity, such as burglary, I'm really curious to understand how this is going to be "light-touch and effective" (don't forget to invert that one)

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