32 posts • joined 18 Nov 2009
Burn them…burn them all!!!
But, if you look at the details that have been leaked (but seldom reported), the chopping is not what it seems! The process is to reduce expenditure through quango reduction. What is to be reduced is the expenditure on property, taxes, overheads and support contracts including IT for seperate organisations. Generally, the cost reduction will be in no longer running separate organisations but in absorbing staff and organisational role into other new or expanded organisations – some announced others not.
Anyway, where are all the quangos that really do need chopping – those that people really want chopped such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission – politically too far for the Coalition?
Been there before.
I remember the last one about 10 years ago. A friend who was living in rural Cambridgeshire rang saying that the sky to the North was aglow. Living in London I couldn’t even see the waxing moon, let alone any strange sky glow, so I drove Northwards reaching a very rurally bit of Hertfordshire, on a rise looking Northward. The sky was aglow with a white light as if a string of floodlights lay just below the horizon, and within the glow there was what appeared to be dancing crimson fireflys!
For the following few days there were power brownouts, lots of complaints of poor network communications and periodic comms drop outs. The most interesting aspect was the wide range of UFO stories, large number of conspiracy theorists with mind control and secret experiments, and the fact that most people didn’t know or care what was happening.
Its all in the eye of the beholder!
Downloaded all but the HTML format, which appears to be so sought after that it would take all day to download, and what do I find – reports indicating a slow and inexorable increase, over 5 years, in the activities of a war against a guerrilla army in a hostile environment with a corrupt local populace.
The more interesting point of reference is what has been cherry picked by the various newspapers that have had the information for over 3 weeks. The New York Times, and now the US press, is focused mostly on the imagined betrayal of the Islamic countries of that region (who seem to be hedging their bets), revealing the growing xenophobic isolationism (and Islamaphobia) of the US public. The Guardian, and UK press, is focusing on the civilian casualties – think of the children. The German press on the poor organisation and failing technology (and why were their troops put into such a dangerous place?)!
Rather a boring read – but looking for snippets of interest – no TR-3b’s yet!
Round and round we go again!
In 97, just before the New Labour government came to power, my ex (a senior social worker) and I attended a labour focus group for the future of the NHS. Of course we all had the perception of what had been, over the last 18 years of Conservative government, and had difficulty seeing change. One wag noted that the problem was that Conservatives de-centralised where as Labour centralised, but whichever structure was formed the cost kept going up, efficiency went down, and patients were left unheard! The Labour bod (Lord Hunt I believe) stated that New Labour would go half way and create PCT’s, the patient involvement aspect being through patient forums – it went the way expected though. So, with a new ConDem government we are seeing de-centralisation to an extreme and the patient element being through internet reviews – I bet the cost will still go up and efficiency will still go down and patients will still be left unheard!
What you didn't know !?!
The sms sends all data relating to your handset to their security database, tying your handset to you (whilst also tying your handset to their ad system).
I thought that this was already done, it is for all Nokia Symbian handsets, obviously something forgotten by Nokia for the N900 (forgotten in the Maemo code?). As for future Nokia Meego handsets – it will be, as usual, an integral part of the Nokia Meego handset security (and ad) system, unless Nokia decide to change their security policy.
An alternative headline
ConDem Budget to create additional 1.2 Million jobs over the next 5 years!
The budget will create a shift in the workforce from public sector and government contracted private sector to new independent private sector jobs. It is a process that is time dependent (5 years) and relies on a projected slow but sustained post recession economic growth.
As per usual a lack of knowledge amongst the general public of time scales and local and world economics are being used to confuse the issues. I might add that there is no double dip on the way, just post bust economic oscillations including corrections which should stabilise in the next 5 to 10 years before another boom.
The problem is that this story has been picked up from the Guardian which has cherry picked leaked stats for its own lefty readership.
Ah the Bell problem!
The screen has always been a problem for PB's. A few years ago I bought some 17inchs (going cheap at about £250 each) for family use. First thing to go at 12 months was the keyboard - loose keys, the next was the screen - lots of lovely verticle lines. At the end of 2 years most were unusable - but the price point and return was good.
Hmmm...and dare I admit that I'm sitting here in my conservatory (off today and the sun is shining), using the last one to type this - with an old monitor and keyboard attched.
Knowledge is now in the eye of the beholder!
About 18 years ago I was tasked with recruiting some trainee IT staff. I was given support from a guy who was close to retiring. What we found was that many applicants only had the most limited literacy skills. The Guy I was working with noted that when he started recruitment in the 1960's the literacy and numeracy attainment of potential recruits was even lower. The difference was that a rigorously assessed qualification - 'O' and 'A' level, enabled the applicant to know the level of literacy required and the recruiter to know exactly what they were getting, and sift applications accordingly. However, over the age of 25, the applicants experience became more important - those who had achieved in work had usually developed the relevant literacy skills. Today I think the real problem is that individuals have no understanding of their personal capabilities. 'GCSE' , 'A' levels and degrees are no longer good guides, to recruiters or to applicants, as to employer expectations.
Hard - too hard for some?
Generally a very hard but balanced budget. Interest groups will only focus on their own points of interest, seeing hard done by, and protesting against.
The development of tax breaks and reduction of benefits to force job creation should be interesting. Will potential employers take the additional profit or create more jobs? Will those who are defined as long term unemployed seek work or has their culture become too ingrained?
Cultural changes for our boom now bust society – let the rioting begin!
Not much chance in additional government IT contracts – small scale only.
Hmmm…except for the rise in VAT it probably wont effect me in the short term – have to plan for the longer term though. Now, if i was close to retirement – when's that going up to 66?
Pity we had to endure Ms Harperson throwing a hissy fit post speech, pushing her own interests with little relation to the budget as given. Labour need to get there act together.
Wheels within wheels
The problem here (and I’m sure there will be others) is a structure has been created based upon a flawed policy. Systems have been built around this structure. Remove the structure and the systems collapse.
I’m pleased to see the systems are being restricted which should enable the structure to be dismantled or changed – but how long will it take and how much will it cost is the real question!
If the present government remains in office for a long time, I suspect that this will be one of those odd useless government departments new employees find still functioning for no apparent reason other than to give jobs to failed civil servants.
WTF - it takes time!
Come on El Reg - the ConDems have only been in office a few days. Have they announced which ministers will be involved with IT yet? A more important question is do they have, as yet, any policy on this aspect of IT? Just wait and see what happens - all we do know is that much of Labours policy towards IT will be, over the next 12 MONTHS, adjusted or scraped!
This is going to get interesting…start laying bets – who will blink first – Cameron or Clegg, and what tricks will the Labour party be playing in the background? Election about October I think!
As for IT within the public sector, Short term contracts only. However, there should be a quite a few new ones becoming available as the old Labour quangos and interests are shut down in favour of new ones relating to both Conservative AND Lib Dem wants.
How many apps!
I suspect that Apple is having second thoughts about the direction of the app store. With the development of iPhone app creation systems and the soon to be released iPhone 4 with the new OS 4, they decided to put a stop, or at least reduce, the number of simple (and often function limited) cookie cutter apps and copies, created by these systems, which are overloading the store.
Adobe, Monotouch and Unity3d appear to be the main culprits, all either using only the simplest of iPhone API’s or cutting out the IPhone OS entirely (and Apple development environment). The problem for Apple is taking a TOS agreement, creating a rigid new rule on app development languages and applying it, when there are many companies and individuals who are now developing apps using these simplified systems. It may benefit the end user but will cause much pain to many ‘developers’.
Government Contracts – watch out!
Always the same on change of Government. Anyone who holds a Government contract must be prepared to accommodate major changes through policy shift due to change in political leadership.
From what I hear (and I did check) this will mainly hit those short term development, and support contracts associated with Labour quangoes. But, the Conservatives should create their own equivalents so new contracts will become available. The larger contracts may be restructured or cancelled. The important point to remember is timescales
Hmmm..I hope those who have IT contracts in place made sure they were watertight before signing.
Now - wheres that contract gone?
But, this has been happening for years!
I remember when I left uni I wanted an easy job with lots of spare time (much as my life had been the preceding 5 years), but with the money to enjoy my spare time. What I discovered was work is hell when compared to university life, the only redeeming factor was the financial gain. This gain became essential as I progressed in life. I always remember a couple of friends who, after graduating, went and lived in a squat doing odd jobs to extend their benefits. When they reached their mid 30’s they looked around and panicked – both retrained one becoming a social worker the other a nurse.
These days, with more people going to uni, the mentality to enjoy life with limited work but maximum income is more of a social norm. The problem for them now is that, with a glut of this mentality and limited jobs, the potential employer can sift recruits to find those who have a traditional work ethic.
Ministry of Truth?
Well, there you have it – the ONS or Ministry of Truth speaks.
British economy is showing some signs of recovery – retail sales fall by 1.8% – weather blamed.
BCC - there is no significant sign that the economic recovery is gathering momentum - risk of a double-dip recession.
Experian - Business insolvencies – down from 9 in 10,000 to 7 in 10,000 – 2007 levels – surely some mistake El Reg?
The problem here is that the economy is being kept alive through government injections etc. When government support is withdrawn, as is expected over the next 2 years, we will have a massive increase in Taxes and probable economic stagnation possibly leading to another recession (the 1930’s depression was a double dip, the second coming 4 years after the first). Over the last 6 months the banks and largest companies have been adjusting business policy to accommodate projected withdrawal of government support and the related increase in costs. This is having a knock-on effect for smaller businesses and profitability. Personally, I wont take any stats as being useful until after the end of the financial year and forthcoming election!
Experians insolvency stats are of some interest – holding on until after the end of the financial year, hoping things will get better? Many small businesses have cut back and adjusted business plans, those that didn’t went under. Will there be more cuts and adjustments during this year – I think so!
Piccy of your local friendly Tax Man - always there to help!
Taxes or Recession?
Taxes, inflation, increasing cost of services and petrol etc, weak GBP, banks unwilliness to create positive agreements (unless they get the benefit), etc.
We are just in the early stages of ‘recovery’ at the moment, and eventually we will get to what was the pre boom norm of 6 or 7 years ago – a natural point of economic stability. Those companies which were formed, over the last 5 years, with a boom business plan will have great difficulties unless they restructure.
I can’t see many of the newer start-ups taking on additional staff in the short term. Better to use contractors who should be undercutting rivals at the moment – I remember I did during the last recession and, after setting up my own business, taking on the cheapest competent contractors I could find (checked them out myself rather than useing agencies – usually level headed grads and hobbyists) - cheap and desperate!
QT for MeeToo?
Downloaded and running SDK – a QT variant - eventually got a ‘Hello World’ working – grrr – far worse than my experiments with Meamo.
The question I ask is – do I invest time in developing the necessary skills to develop apps for this platform? What is going to happen with Symbian?
With other Mob OS’s such as Apple and Android, I know that they are going to be around for a few years yet, Symbian is an unknown, and Meego may be just another dead end as is meamo.
Developers need a clear path, offered from the manufacturers, as to which platforms they are going to use, rather than just making an educated guess and potentialy being left behind. Personally, I think that Meego will take over from both Meamo and Symbian, probably in 2 to 3 years time – but i may be wrong, and than all the time invested in development will be lost profit - Who knows - confusion reigns?
I Dream a Dream
I dream a dream...of being a techy guy (or girl), of earning £35K min pa (is that net or gross?), with my MS cert (can I get an Apple one) and experience of playing WoW on my brothers lappy!
Its the dream being sold to the unwary.
Also the sister training company Access2Trade - which trains plumbers and electricians, has gone under.
I have looked into this and its Anglo Capital Limited, the financing company behind the training companies, thats had its financial agreement withdrawn by Barclays. Various banks seem to be drawing in on agreements, made during the boom years, before the end of this financial year. Those companies who rely on loan and overdraft agreements during slack periods are suffering. One trick ponys such as private training companies are in dire strights. Personaly, I have had a few shocks over the last couple of months due to simmiler restructuring of agreements! B@stards!
Wonder what other shocks will hit during the next 12 months - even though we are out of recession now - lol.
Apple games machine?
We need a bigger pic of the stats El Reg!!!
Games, entertainment, news and books, lifestyle, utilities, music, etc.
So, we can say from these cherry picked google style stats that games, entertainment, and news and books are the main focus of the testers! As expected, the iSlate seems to offer increased capacity over the iPhone, where the iPhone falls down on hardware.
Its a giant iPhone!
Awaiting Wednesday and the release - should lead to blog and media overload for the next week - with orgasmic fanboys and rabid detractors!
Feature price plans?
So, what of those Nokia phone users who paid extra for the 'Comes with Navigation' features now free to all and sundrey?
Personaly, I will be downloading this - always useful when out and about and as its free I wont complain - now whys it sending me right when the sign says next truning on the left?
At present the MSM and under 35's are sill looking at the boom years as the norm. I left university during the early 90's recession, had 6 jobs in 4 years, leaving each one through redundancy, started contracting before setting up my own business to fill a gap I saw in the market due to IT companies collapsing. Only in the early 2000's did the major IT companies begin to expand - so I sold up rather than go bankrupt.
This recession wont be any different. Another 10 years of instability with companies going under, start-ups struggling to survive, and no stability in the IT sector. By the end this will be the new norm.
Its all in the translation!
If you listen to the entire interview, and his statements in context, he gives an approxamate time scale of a few days to weeks! Its also uncertain as to whether hes actually speaking of the iSlate or a new iPhone! The main thrust of his statement is the webcam, in the new apple device, and how that could be used.
If he is speaking of an iSlate than he reveals that it has a webcam and 3G connectivity. It also implys that it functions as if it were a giant iPhone rather than a keyboardless airbook. If a new iPhone than it has a front faceing camera.
Nokia’s going down, unless it changes!
The real problem is that they seem to be developing their idea of what phones should be whilst developing sales from emerging markets. At the same time potential customers in emerging markets are looking at the new offerings from rival phone manufacturers and liking what they see.
The next stage for Nokia’s rivals is to increase profit from those same emerging markets and the Finnish giant will either be bought out, or die. I feel the recent litigation is the start of its death throes.
The amazing thing is that at the moment they have the financial and corporate infrastructure to create a world beating smartphone or tablet, but they are just throwing it all away through a rigid idea of how things should be!, whats their latest idea - e-mail to rival RIM?
Rumours upon rumours
A 5 megapixel camera sounds about right. Fruity Hi-tech is about 2 to 3 years behind real Hi-tech. So, we can take it that the iPhone4 will have the specs of say a high end Nokia of 2 to 3 years ago. The questions are: what will the memory capacity be, will it have a totally updated firmware, will it have an extra shiny box?, and will it be more useful as a phone???The only certain thing is that the fan boys will be blinded to its inadequacies
As for the iSlate, no need to bring that into the equation. The extra cameras could be for additional projected sales as the big fruit splatters itself over more than just the US customer base.
Nuclear Rockets - Keep Up!
Russia has restarted development of this tech saying the US system is no longer reliable for long term space exploration planning.
El Reg is a tech tabloid read in many countries and does have a large US readership!
But I agree, the real problem for Google in confronting the iPhone, in the US, is the head start Apples created. I suspect that about the time a Google phone is released a new spec iPhone will appear on the market. The question is which market sector will Google’s offspring target or will it go head to head with Apple’s iPhone 4? The other problem is the US centric business model employed by Google. It’s a global economy now and success comes from breaking the global hegemony of Nokia, something Apple's iPhone is starting to do in Europe.
As for my Nokia N97 smartphone, I still have a year on the contract, the lens is scratched by its cover, I’m awaiting the fourth firmware update in 6 months, and from the noises coming out of Nokia they still don’t get it!
Has Jobby another Newton on his hands!
I suspect a mock-up, or one of the many Chinese Slates (that are quite common due to the difficulties associated with Chinese character sets).
The physical layout is poor precluding easy grip at the sides, poor screen to touch ratio and, amongst other things, lacks the purity of design over function that fruit flavoured products adhere to. The firmware seems stable but the user interface again lacks that Apple look.
If an iSlate is ever released we will have the FanBoys beating at the doors of Apple stores to be an early adopter, i don’t think this will do it.
And, where’s El Reg’s report on the official study indicating that Apple FanBoys are quite mad!
All happened before!
I remember the early 90’s recession. After that was supposedly over there were damaged companies going under for the following 10 years, IT pros having to change specialisation and job on a year by year basis, and the need to travel around the country to find good jobs. I suspect that this one will have damaged companies going under for the next 10 years, IT pros continually having to find new specialities, and travelling around Europe to find good jobs.
Oh dear NO
Can it run Modern Warfare 2? -NO
Been following this announcement
It’s an operating system for netbooks to allow the netbook to function as a dumb terminal with Google as a server (mainframe)!
Google are looking ahead to future Netbook , Slate (Tablet), and Smartphone integration into new user gadgets for web browsing and working within the cloud – Google are offering themselves as the Cloud with their OS, through OEM on netbooks, as the route in.
Murdoch get weaving
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