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* Posts by Neil Spellings

42 posts • joined 17 May 2007

Custom ringback tones: Coming to your next contract mobe?

Neil Spellings

Only fools...

I've only ever heard one of these once and it's a colleague who has the Only Fools and Horses theme tune play when you call him. Always wondered how he did it!

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'Office Facebook' firm Tibbr wants you to PAY for mobe-meetings app

Neil Spellings

Competition

I'd say something like Podio (now owned by Citrix) is far more Facebook-like than Yammer.

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How many VMs can you stuff in that box? How to get into the VDI biz

Neil Spellings
WTF?

Vendor c*ck wangling fest

Since when did ElReg become a platform for vendors to pimp their offerings and dis the competition?

I'm all for product reviews, but only if performed by independent experts, not sales monkeys from said vendors! (apologies to said sales monkeys...keep up the spin!)

Getting tired of this "mine is bigger than yours" BS on a supposed news site.

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Silicon Roundabout £50m THING to spew 200 startups A YEAR

Neil Spellings
Go

Re: Sigh

Or Croydon even...

http://thecroydoncitizen.com/croydon-tech-city-2/

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Red Hat stalks VMware in field sport ambush

Neil Spellings
Thumb Up

Good investment

It's actually a good investment as there are three big tech conferences in Barcelona this month: VMWorld this week, Citrix Synergy next week, and ITExpo the week after.

Nice move RedHat!

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The Great Border Agency IT Crash: Just who was responsible?

Neil Spellings
FAIL

Olympics

Guess who's handling all the IT integration services for the Oympics....

http://uk.atos.net/en-uk/olympic_games/london2012/default.htm

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MPs: Border Agency's own staff don't trust airport-scanner tech

Neil Spellings
Coat

Re: Garbage

I knew a guy who used to quote statistics about how urban legends start under the guise of "true facts"

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London Mayor Boris grilled on Virgin's Underground penetration

Neil Spellings

I think it'll be useful

Not sure I agree with the "most of the time in a tunnel will make it useless" stance.

When services are running OK (yea, I know..) you actualy spend a fair bit of time in stations waiting for people to alight etc. Certainly enough time to refresh my emails, RSS and twitter feeds, and for those apps that do provide service running info to update their data.

Yea, if you're expecting to have a great interactive browsing session, or listen to Spotify, you'll be dissapointed, but the service isn't aimed at that.

As a Virgin Media customer, I'm quite pleased this'll be included in my "bundle" and will certainly improve my Smartphone experience whilst in and around London.

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Microsoft accused of leaking RDP attack code

Neil Spellings
Mushroom

Internet facing doesnt matter

Whist there are plenty of internet-facing Windows servers out there (ever request a Windows VPS from one of the myriad of VPS hosting companies out there and you'll end up with a Windows server on the internet using RDP as the primary access method) the risk is much bigger than this.

If someone was to comprimise any internal or DMZ hosts (whatever the OS), this vulnerability leaves all your valuable Windows hosts (Exchange, SQL etc) open to also be pwned using the published RDP vulnerability without having to be internet facing.

When you consider your entire internal network as potentially hostile (as one should) then having such a vulnerability that can be remotely executed against a commonly-enable port/service is BAD NEWS.

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Boffins out earbuds that sound right when inserted wrong

Neil Spellings
Holmes

Is there a right and wrong stereo?

Despite always checking that I have my L and R earbuds in the correct ears, does it really matter?

The only time it be apparent you had them in backwards would be watching movies where on-screen action is synced to the correct audio channel.

For the majority of music listening shirley either way round would work no?

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Kids should be making software, not just using it - Gove

Neil Spellings

Word and Excel

Yea, pointless learning these as it's not like the majority of white collar workers use them for their daily jobs. Oh wait..
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Satnav mishap misery cure promised at confab

Neil Spellings
FAIL

Map update rip-off

Having up-to-date maps available won't mean everyone uses them.

I asked our Honda dealer for an update DVD for the 2 year old built-in Navman GPS in my CRV but they wanted £349 for it. I did point out to them I could buy a completely new GPS system for less than that but they just did the "dealer shrugg" and I walked out empty handed.

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Forecasting logon storms with desktop virtualisation

Neil Spellings

VDI

VDI rarely if ever saves money in the enterprise (SME's are a different matter, but this is in the Enterprise IT section)

I've you've been sold a VDI solution on some cost-saving premise, I'd cancel your PO immediately.

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Neil Spellings
Thumb Up

Profiles

Fully with you on the profiles (although the articles focus was on storage and networking); it's an important aspect that shouldn't be overlooked when doing desktop virtualisation.

Different profile solutions (roaming, hybrid, streaming, mandatory etc) can also have a big impact on the VM storage I/O generated, and doing crazy things like redirecting AppData folders onto the network can kill many an application dead in its tracks performance-wise.

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The BBC Micro turns 30

Neil Spellings
Thumb Up

BBC B got me into IT

It was my secondary school having a room-full of BBC B's that got me hooked on computers (and changed my eventual career path)

Not being able to afford a BBC at home, I opted for a C64, but learn both varients of BASIC.

My parents would leave me in the home computers isle in the supermarket whilst they did the weekly shopping, and return an hour later to see what I'd written. "Look mum I've written a database". So frustrating not being able to save it to tape and having to start over the next Saturday!

Having written my GCSE and then A'Level computer studies projects in BASIC on the Archimedes I eventually pursuaded my parents to combine several birthday and xmas presents to buy an A3000 for home.

After a short stint working for Acorn themselves in the 90's, it's nice to see the tech live on in the form of ARM that lies at the heart of practically every smartphone on the planet.

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Demon Currys iPad showered kids with HARD-CORE smut

Neil Spellings
WTF?

Took a whole minute

She obvsiously didn't mind copping an eyefull if she was looking at it for a whole minute...surely once glance should of been sufficient to confirm the kind of content.

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Why your tech CV sucks

Neil Spellings

Not true - people from some countries in the European Union (such as Romania) are not entitled to work in the UK without a visa.

Attention to detail, as the chap stated :)

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We need to talk about desktop virt

Neil Spellings
Mushroom

Storage and network

Lots of comments but few people actually discussing the question being asked (a reminder: “How is desktop virtualisation likely to impact my existing network and storage infrastructure)

For larger enterprises, VDI is often the straw that breaks the camels back when it comes to storage infrastructure. Desktop workloads are vastly different to server workloads (e.g. logon storms) and many companies who have utilised existing storage that has quite happily being hosting their virtual servers find it now can no longer cope. This either requires expensive storage upgrades, or addition of some of the new IOPS "sink" technologies like Whiptail or Atlantis ILIO (still both expensive)

Another option is to utilise local storage and leave your expensive SAN/NAS for your virualised servers. Kaviza VDI-in-a-box (now Citrix VDI in a box) is a good candidate for this, as it uses commodity hardware, and just scales out using local storage as you need to add capacity.

Network-wise, the increased demand for storage bandwidth (if you aren't using local) may force you to investigate 10Gig ethernet. VDI is also 100% network dependant, so having reliable WAN and Internet links is paramount. There's no "offline working" scenario with hosted desktops, so multiple-resilient links are a must if you have business criticial offices connecting to centralised VDI infrastrucutre. And they don't come cheap.

Also, if you're delivered a "rich user experience" including videos on your VDI infrastrucutre over the WAN, then you might want to consider WAN acceleration and caching devices such as Riverbed or Citrix branch repeater.

How much you need to invest/upgrade will depend on the size of the organisation and the product sets you choose. It's a minefield, and can easily blow up in your face (hence the icon), so be careful out there.

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Neil Spellings
WTF?

Whilst I agree that your server should be Gigabit networked, theres no reason why having 100mbit down to the end user device should impact performance. VDI protocols like RDP and ICA/HDX work all the way down to GPRS bandwidths, so 100mbit is more than ample for a virtual desktop.

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Elite coder readies £15 programming gadget for schools

Neil Spellings
Go

Perhaps it could run BBC BASIC?

Given it's based on an ARM CPU, the now-open source RISC OS could potentially be a suitable target OS, and that includes the original BBC BASIC

https://www.riscosopen.org/

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WTF is... cloud gaming?

Neil Spellings
Coat

XBox in the cloud

Microsoft have a great protocol technology called RemoteFX they are currently licensing to TV, STB and monitor manufacturers. I think this will be used to offer a cloud-based XBOX Live service.

If MS give you the ability to play XBOX games "in the cloud" the age of the console under your TV is dead - all your TV needs is the RemoteFX decoder chip, an ethernet port and way to connect the controller (Bluetooth/Wireless?)

Games developers will be released from the physical constraints of the console hardware - their games can scale up, and down as needed and consume as much, or as little, CPU and/or memory as "the cloud" can provide.

Uses won't need to fork out for expensive consoles that are obsolete in a few years, break down, get hacked, develop red rings etc. All you'll need is the TV and a fast broadband link.

It's gonna happen, trust me.

/Mine's the one with the wireless controller in the pocket.

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Google responds to Czech ban

Neil Spellings
Thumb Down

Streeview bikes

If Streetview is "about buildings and streets" why do they have bikes with cameras capturing all the locations that the cars can't reach?

I was at Lands' End in Cornwall last week and up popped the Google bike with camera cycling up and down the footpaths .

The temptation to push him off the cliff just to see if the image of me standing victorious at the cliff top would make it into the Streetview when searching for "bottom of Atlantic near Lands end" :-)

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ARM flexes muscles with fivefold performance boost

Neil Spellings

@Nigel11

Note quite mATX buy check out http://beagleboard.org/

They provide small motherboards with networking, USB etc based on the ARM PCU.

Alternatively, buy yourself an old Acorn or Iyonix system to play with.

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Dell crafts mother of all graphics cards

Neil Spellings
Thumb Up

Perfect for RemoteFX

This type of expansion will become increasingly common once Microsoft release RemoteFX for VDI deployments which will allow this bank of GPUs to be shared amongst hundreds of Virtual Desktops.

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Using group policy: GPOs good, scripts much better

Neil Spellings

Other tools available

Both AppSense and RES PowerFuse enhance the functionality provided by AD GPOs. Neither are cheap mind you.

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Windows 7 SP1 'beta' leaks, hits torrents

Neil Spellings
FAIL

Versioning

Can't believe people base still base their judgements on "how much has changed" based on a single build version string. Very short sited commentards!

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Atlantis spacewalkers snapped through shuttle windows

Neil Spellings

Velcro also popular on the ISS

See this photo:

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/456834main_iss023e047254_hires.jpg

Also used to hold Laptops to the ceiling/floor

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MS botches Office 2010 prices, hikes Professional by £30

Neil Spellings
WTF?

Where have you all been?

Has everyone on this site been living in a cave the last few years and really had no clue on how much the full Office suite really costs?

And as to those who are saying "who the hell will buy Office?" I think you'll find the answer is "majority of large corporates and most of the public sector"

You don't think Microsoft makes a large percentage of it's overall revenue by giving away Office for next to now't now surely?

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Orchestration and the server environment

Neil Spellings
Thumb Up

Citrix provisioning server

I've used Citrix Provisioning Server (part of the XenDesktop suite) to boot servers from a single central image. This gives great agility when provisioning, and re-provisioning servers to particular roles.

It allows the hardware to be seen more as a resource, rather than dedicated "web server" or "file server". It takes IT deps a while to get their heads around this concept that a piece of tin can change its role as fast as it takes to reboot, but once they realise the agility this gives them - especially with rapid upgrades, easy rollback etc they generally quickly come on site.

This provisioning technology of course works best when you've virtualised your servers as it removes the hardware dependacy in the images but can be applied to "legacy tin" to achieve similar benefits.

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UK taxpayers hit by wave of tax refund scam mail

Neil Spellings

@Dave93

I found the contact email address with ONE click. On the very front page of the www.hmrc.gov.uk site:

Online security

Online protection advice, including reporting phishing scams

Click through and you will see:

If you have received an email from HMRC that you consider to be fraudulent, please forward it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk. HMRC cannot reply to every email, but action is taken on each report received.

Simples...as our Meercat friend would say!

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Amazon eyes wander as Royal Mail strike looms

Neil Spellings

HDN

All my Amazon stuff arrives via "Home Delivery Network" which appears to be a network of home-workers who act as couriers in their local area. My stuff gets dropped off by someone in a old Volvo...but at least it arrives unlike the farce that is Royal Mail.

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HP strikes back on charges for 'free' Windows 7 upgrade

Neil Spellings
FAIL

Neil's response

Hi, I'm the "Neil" quoted in the article.

The "tagline" on the online adverts read:

"Purchase any eligible Windows Vista® Home Premium, Vista Business or Vista Ultimate PC and get a free upgrade to Windows 7"

Note the word "free".

There is a line in the terms and conditions that read:

"Each vendor will charge shipping and handling fees. These charges vary by vendor."

Still, I consider HP's charge of £27 for shipping and handling obscene when I'm capable of downloading the same thing for free.

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Campaign Monitor reels from hack and spam attack

Neil Spellings
Thumb Up

SPAM delays

More email marketing campaigns delayed...am I the only one not crying into their keyboard?

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Apple won't let Commodore onto its baby

Neil Spellings
Jobs Horns

ICA client

How does Citrix get around this condition with their ICA client for the iPhone? That involves running other code elsewhere "outside of iTunes"

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Gordon Ramsay breaches f**king broadcasting code

Neil Spellings
Coat

Double standards

I find it bizarre that everyone is berating Gordon for not being able to express himself without the excessive use of expletives, whilst filling their posts with an incredulous amount said expletives themselves.

Why does everyone need to feel the need to stoop to the same level to prove thier point?

Mine's the one with "chef" on the pocket..

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Dixon of Threadneedle Street plan threatens confusion

Neil Spellings
Unhappy

Police not interested in online fraud

I run several online eCommerce sites, and regularly get obviously fraudulent orders placed with stolen credit cards. Despite have the "perps" contact details via the delivery address, the police just arent interested in me reporting these incidents having tried several times.

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Evesham Technology confirmed dead

Neil Spellings

Car..

Anyoneone know where this abandoned car is? I'll happily "uplift" it :-)

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Blazing Vaios: Sony's hot-tops hit the UK, too

Neil Spellings
Paris Hilton

Sony quality

The "Select" button on my Sony Vaio laptop wore out after only 6 months of use. (Fixed under warranty.)

I was also p*ssed that I couldnt enable the CPU Virtualisation extensions that the chipset supports but Sony disable in the BIOS so I could run HyperV under Windows 2008.

Paris 'cus I've not used her icon before..

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Google to build 80,000 foot radio tower?

Neil Spellings
Thumb Down

Business model

So these guys are sending up $2500 worth of equipment every day and just hoping that someone will retrieve it for a $100 bounty?

How sustainable is that? Also, what percentage of fallen balloons are recovered? Their "green" credentials wont be that great if there are hundreds of lost transmitters, all with batteries presumably, decaying away across the countryside.

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Call to curb 'frustrating' tax admin

Neil Spellings

@Andrew

Yes, not all businesses that deal with HMRC are registered companies. There are also sole traders, partnerships etc - all of which have to pay tax, and VAT if their turnover is high enough.

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Legal loophole allows Manhunt 2 to be sold in UK

Neil Spellings
Black Helicopters

GTA..

"I remember when they tried to ban Grand Theft Auto thinking that people will start highkjacking cars"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/gloucestershire/7056843.stm

"...drive-by shootings",

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7055814.stm

"...running people over"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/7006712.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/7037325.stm

"hiring prostitutes then killing them to get your money back."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6166635.stm

At least with the traffic nowerdays there are no town centres that you can scream round at high speed...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/6991597.stm

oh..

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Fraudsters feast on credit card scam

Neil Spellings

What has the secure symbol got to do with fraud?

I'm confused how having "the padlock" symbol (ie you credit card details are transmitted over SSL) would help in this situation.

When you have fraudsters that have setup a fake website selling non-existant goods to harvest credit card details, whether your card details are encypted or not when they are winging their way to the fraudsters is surely irrelevant?

The only thing you'll gain is the knowledge that they won't be intercepted by any other fraudsters out to defraud the original fraudsters!

Cheers,

Neil

www.purleyhosting.com

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