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* Posts by Anonymous Cowherder

88 posts • joined 9 Feb 2010

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Look behind you, 'declining' sub-$5bn iPod. The iWatch has come... to EAT YOU

Anonymous Cowherder

You can have my ipod when you get it from my cold dead fingers

I have a 120GB iPod Classic that was only replaced when it became too small, I replaced it with a 160GB iPod Classic.

I manage it through iTunes which is a bit of a pain and can't use flac but it does mean I have a large part of my digital music collection with me on the move, it plugs into my car nicely and lets me change tracks, playlsts, podcasts via the car's touchscreen.

If I connect my android phone via bluetooth I don't get quite the same functionality. Plus, I'm not a fan of cloud stored music, I have a 5GB 4G data package which I could use for this but would rather use that for other purposes.

It is for us the consumers to decide how we access the content we wish to access, not for consumer device designers to dictate how we do this. Just give me a massive amount of disc space in a portable device and let me worry about backing it up and syncing. The cloud works best for me as a storage space but for day to day use I use local copies.

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Hey, IT department! Sick of vendor shaftings? Why not DO IT, yourself

Anonymous Cowherder

So I'm not the only experiencing this?

I had a meeting with "the business" earlier this week. Several departments were there who had previously gone off and done their own thing but were now being hit by vendor lock-in, price rises, failure to stick to contracts... All the time we had been providing nuts and bolts IT services in house that kept chuggling along around 99% uptime.

The various business departments wanted to bring their IT needs back in house for IT to design, build and support. It was a very enjoyable meeting, means I'm going to be doing a lot more work soon but in this climate I was fist pumping all the way back to my desk.

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RIIIGHT. Sysadmins: Have you ever even MET an overly suave IT guy?

Anonymous Cowherder

Yay for the trading cards

I'm a level 4 which ever "hat" I'm wearing!

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Baldness fix from foreskin follicles

Anonymous Cowherder

I don't want hair back.

I've been balding for the last 20 years, I've been shaving my head for the last 25 and I am happy with the situation. I wouldn't know what to do with hair if I had any.

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Rejoice! Sysadmin day is... TODAY. Now get in here and win free stuff

Anonymous Cowherder

Cookies!

I've been given cookies!

Ones that you can actually eat, not ones that store preferences either!

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The IT crowd: Fiercely loyal geeks or 'inflexible, budget-padding' creeps?

Anonymous Cowherder

As I see it

In the 90/00s we in IT were seen as a cost, an unnecessary budget burden and in many ways we were. We had poor products that didn't scale across very large organisations. Through as series of acquisitions and mergers many IT systems were brought under one roof and we had the whole "Legacy systems" issue and systems not talking to each other. One by one, bright sparks decided to "buy a new IT system" and various IT companies made a lot of money without delivering a system that the people who create revenue for the companies could actually use.

We were then seen as an even more expensive department that was delivering even less products. Along came the raft of outsourcing and the opportunity to listen to the salesmen and slash budgets, the link between business and IT was further broken.

Next we hit the massive growth in consumer IT, suddenly people not only expected corporate IT to work as well as their mini network at home did but also give them the same flexibility as their home network, despite home and corporate being two different beasts.

IT still have poor products to work with and on reduced budgets. Roll out 8000s machines, with different application portfolios, different access rights, hot desking, legacy systems, security, lack of management buy-in, dumb decisions, crazy policies.....

We are still delivering poor products as our goalposts change with each management whim, we want flexibility, security, availability, redundancy and we want it cheap. Now we're into cloud, BYOD and I want my iPad to print to that printer and use it as a full on workstation.

As IT we need to align with our users to deliver services that they need. When we are seen as delivering value we will stop being seen as a cost and barriers to change.

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Websites to 'close' for China's 'Internet maintenance day'

Anonymous Cowherder

I'd like to be able to do this

I recently had a morning without water at home as the water company had to perform maintenance, they put a note through the door a week beforehand and as I was due to be at work on the day in question all was fine. At work however we regularly need to do work that would be done so much quicker if we were able to say "We need to turn everything off network wise for about 30 mins" - If we were able to do this without the panic setting in that a few hundred emails wouldn't be unreplied to for those 30 minutes we would be able to provide a better IT service in the longer term.

We've become a little too accustomed to 99.9999% uptime that when any unplanned outage occurs, even when they are on free services it becomes a catastrophe. When we try to schedule a planned outage it is like we are asking for something totally preposterous.

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HTC woes prompts 'leave now' tweet from former staffer

Anonymous Cowherder

2 year contracts syndrome?

I've had a Desire and currently have the One X, both exceptional phones, my wife has had the same and between us we've had a sum total of zero problems in the last 3 years, (6 years if you count us twice).

For me the issue HTC had was the "too many models", the Desire was the top phone when we got ours but it was followed shortly by the Desire HD,Z and god knows what else, then came the Sensation... All the time our 2 year contracts on the Desire were chugging along and the phones were still working but missing out on some of the later android version goodness the newer phones had. As our contracts ran out the One X appeared, so I waited to renew the contracts until we could get the One X. By this time there was also the One S, followed shortly by the One XL and now just the One. In the meantime Jelly Bean appeared and it too a while to get to our "flagship" phones.

I'm still happy with my One X but it does grate that the world and its wife is fawning over the One and the One X appears to have been relegated to Wildfire status in terms of support. I'm a pretty big HTC fan but I will probably move us both to Samsung once these contracts are up which is a shame as I like Sense and am not too keen on Touchwiz.

HTC may have been better off tying their product release cycle to contract cycles, 24 months have been standard for contract phones for some time. Granted not everyone is on a contract but large numbers of people are, if HTC stuck a balance between contract cycles and android versions they could be sitting pretty. Plus as has already been mentioned blown a bit on marketing they may not be facing some of the issues they now have. They have splurged on Champions league advertising for the One but it would appear too little too late.

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Queen's Speech: 'Problem of matching IP addresses' to be probed

Anonymous Cowherder

Re: No MACS to be seen here. Was: The police are as bad

The mac address is persistent on a device, the multiple IP addresses it or the router it attaches to are assigned are not persistent which is the point I was making to the police. Two xboxes may have at one time connected to the internet via the same IP address, both could later have been nicked, if the police wanted to use the IP address to identify them then it wouldn't work. If they could cross reference this against MAC addresses they might have a chance of identifying it.

There isn't an easy way of identifying a stolen device if the owner hadn't already taken down its serial number, imei number or scrawled "pRoperTy of Doug" in tippex on it. I was asked who they could identify them via IP, I tried to steer them in a way that may help.

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Anonymous Cowherder

Re: The police are as bad

I did mention this, along with NATing, private/public IP addresses.... which is why I was stressing to them that the MAC addresses, wireless & wired were better to use as an identifier than an IP address. An IP address on its own is meaningless.

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Anonymous Cowherder
FAIL

The police are as bad

I was contacted by our local police force to assist with the identification of stolen equipment. One of their senior bods had heard that you could trace machines via IP address and wanted me to let them know how they could match up devices (PS3s, Xboxs and phones) with IPs so they could return them to the owner.

I told them that they each device would have a MAC address that was unique (I didn't go into spoofing) but that the IP would change depending upon which network it was connected to. They could cross reference the MAC address against information ISPs help about which MAC address had been assigned which IP address. The police were adamant that this wasn't the case and that the IP was the only piece of information they needed to identify the device.

I tried to explain that the laptop I was emailing them on was picking up xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx at work but it picked up yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy when I was at home and zzz.zzz.zzz.zzz when I was connected to a different network. I gave them a brief overview of DHCP and DNS and they were still fixated on IPs and IPs alone as the single identifying factor.

I advised them to contact their IT department to corroborate what I had told them and to get back to me if they wanted further clarification. They never got back to me.

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Ubuntu 13.04: No privacy controls as promised, but hey - photo search!

Anonymous Cowherder
Linux

Install cinnamon and upgrade

I've been running ubuntu on my main PCs for years, well since fedora jumped fully in with gnome3. When ubuntu made the leap away from gnome2 I struggled for a bit, dallied with XFCE and mint but as soon as cinnamon was available on 12.04 I've been back. (Had a strange dns issue on mint that I didn't have time to sort out).

Since then I've just needed to sudo apt-get dist-upgrade and away I've gone. There's been issues with networked printing and something else that escapes me now but I've not seen unity for years, haven't needed to.

I do wish they'd stop dicking about with useless stuff, get the platform unbelievably stable, get it to work with most mainstream hardware vendors, make sound and video work seamlessly, decent fast file system and a good portfolio of tools then work on hardening it so that it is the most secure OS.

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Ubuntu? Fedora? Mint? Debian? We'll find you the right Linux to swallow

Anonymous Cowherder

Re: "Comfortable with the terminal"

I've got a windows background but run linux on my main work PC and have had a macbook for about a year. I use the command line on all operating systems, not because I need to but because I can. How do you find the IP address in windows? Run, cmd, ipconfig/all, on a mac I'd use the gui in preferences but could also do it on the cli.

Pointing and clicking is good, the command line is good too, there are times when one is better than the other and I like to think that I use the best tool for a task, much like I try to use the best OS for specific tasks.

Computing is there to help us, not hinder us.

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WORLD temporarily FREED from BURDEN of TWITTER!

Anonymous Cowherder

Football's transfer deadline day

The power of football to kill websites dead.

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Public sector 2 YEARS behind biz on cloud adoption - suppliers

Anonymous Cowherder
Alert

Good!

Another success for the public sector.

If everyone else jumped of the cliff it doesn't mean you should. There are some advantages to "the cloud" or "the effing cloud" but there are also some pretty large downsides. There are some massive downsides to keeping everything in house too but in some areas of the public sector the only way to keep the show on the road is to keep everything in house. For example some of the data and services provided need to be 100% confidential and records kept for x number of years, I'm sure there are private organisations with similar regulations too who have also hit this issue and possibly resolved it in the cloud and good luck to them, I've got an issue with this as well as maintaining the current flexibility of some of our systems.

As someone who works in public sector IT (in case you hadn't guessed) one of my problems is running a public sector environment on a public sector budget but delivering an enterprise environment with the flexibility of "the old days" without any buy in from upstairs or the users. An environment that has grown organically over 30 years into a bespoke living organism with interdependencies that will not die does not lend itself to compartmentalisation and hiving off to a 3rd party who can offer the same level of service as we currently do, cheaper than us and still make a profit.

I'm sure in time distributed computing will begin to make my life easier but at the moment the costs outweigh the benefits, until this changes I'd maintain my Grandpa Simpson stance:

http://www.globalnerdy.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloud.jpg

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BOFH: Can't you just ... NO, I JUST CAN'T

Anonymous Cowherder
Mushroom

Have you got a sec?

Or

"While you're here"

"This has been happening for a week" - Bit I need it fixing now as the deadline is almost up, I could have told you 4 days ago when you had time to fix it but it really is urgent now. I know you are dealing with someone else's "just" request but can you "just" do this one as well?"

I can't possibly remember 2 passwords

I know we are there to support our users, we provide a service, without you our jobs do not exist but part of the time we have to do things that may seem unreasonable to you but there is usually a good reason.

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Fossil reveals spider in mid-strike

Anonymous Cowherder

Re: A scale would be useful . .

I'd say it was about yay big.

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Hunt vows: 'UK will have fastest broadband in Europe by 2015'

Anonymous Cowherder

Re: Fibre has always been weird ...

Are you talking about somewhere north of Manchester?

That is spookily reminiscent of something that has happened to, er, my friend, yes, my friend.....

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Mozilla shoots down Thunderbird, hatches new release model

Anonymous Cowherder
Linux

I like thunderbird

Been using it for over 5 years with multiple IMAP accounts and my old hotmail account, the integrated inbox makes sure I see email I need to and the filtering options means the mail lists I am on and the turgid crap work send me are put in their own nice little folders.

Search could be improved and the plain/html issue already discussed needs refining. I'm happy with lightning, it integrates well with my google calendar, tasks would be nice but I can cope with using wunderlist for those. Maybe if lightning was built into the core application we might get some better usability but I'm not sure what.

I would hate to see it go the way of many other pieces of software and dwindle away, we need a good thunderbird to provide an alternative to outlook and the microsoftification of email, outlook isn't the only fruit.

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Android Firefox: Screaming, awesome, you'll go blind etc

Anonymous Cowherder
Thumb Up

Chrome beta for me

I used dolphin on my old desire but have been Chrome beta all the way on my One X, really good browsing experience with some very nice features.

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Japan still in love with the fax

Anonymous Cowherder
Mushroom

I hate fax machines

Always have done, always will do. They never used to work for me and usually resulted in many, many phone calls along the lines of:

"I' faxed that 2 hours ago, did you get it?"

"No, nothing"

"Ok, I'll send it again"

"No still not got it, oh hang on, its out of paper, I'll put some in (Cue sound of fax machine splurting back in to life) yeah, something's coming through now, oh, it is 7 copies of that document some one in legal needed yesterday but didn't get. Right, yours is coming through now, ha, it is the one you sent 2 hours ago, oh no, its out of paper again now, hang on, I'll have to nip and get some more....."

Later

"Can you resend it again, the one I've got printed out is very faint, yes, printing all those other faxes used up all the toner"

"No, still not got it, hang on, its out of paper..."

The guys who made Office Space got it right about fax machines, I fantasise about destroying them in the same way they do.

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O2, Be Broadband axe Pirate Bay access

Anonymous Cowherder

Other torrent sites area available

This block achieves nothing, if a person was inclined to torrent and are a bit lacking in skillz but had stumbled across piratebay they will see the blocked page, go to google and find other torrent sites.

If the person is a practiced evil downloader they will already be using multiple sources for getting their content and will not see the piratebay's blocked page.

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Galaxy S III pay-monthly tariffs compared

Anonymous Cowherder
Thumb Up

"Alternatively,

give your current provider a call and try and wangle a special bespoke offer. Threats of switching networks have worked for me in the past."

I had a HTC Desire and was due an upgrade from February, I waited for the One X to be available, rang vodafone and they just gave me the phone for free, upped my data limit and kept my price the same.

It would appear that they have worked out that we all do that dance where we pretend to leave only to be put through to retentions where they cave in and keep the customer happy.

About time too.

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Ofcom: Now's your chance to make Local TV for Local People

Anonymous Cowherder
FAIL

I don't want local telly.

It will be rubbish, full of stuff about people I don't give a stuff about doing things I couldn't care less about. For the same reason I don't buy a local paper.

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Kelvin MacKenzie blasts 'footie rights warehouse' BSkyB

Anonymous Cowherder
Flame

Sky have shafted football and are doing so to cricket,

darts, tennis, rugby league and any other sport they get their grubby hands on.

The recent Manchester derby/title decider got a whopping 4 million viewers! Granted this probably doesn't count all those who saw it in the pub but one of the most eagerly anticipated games of recent time is stashed away on a niche channel?

Kids can't see most sports these days unless their parents pay the Murdoch tax, cricket's fan base is being eroded as you can't watch the coverage unless you agree to have sky.

Sky haven't made football worth millions, football was doing ok thank you very much before sky came along pumped the money into the top and let the lower leagues and grass roots of the game wither. Look at Italian football, they feasted on the tv money and when that dried up the game crumbled from the top down as well as the bottom up. Spanish football is enjoying the money now but it won't last forever.

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HTC One S Android smartphone

Anonymous Cowherder
Thumb Up

Re: micro SIM

Yup, I ordered my One X over the phone then whilst waiting for it to be delivered I read about it needing a micro sim so I popped into a vodafone store and asked for one. I was handed a credit card sized piece of plastic and told to ring up vodafone when my fone arrived to activate the sim.

One of the easiest things I've ever done.

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HTC One X Android smartphone

Anonymous Cowherder
Gimp

I've got a SD card in my desire

I put it in on the day I got the phone and it has stayed there, less than half full ever since.

I get my One X tomorrow and do not care there isn't a sd card slot, the largest sd card is nowhere near big enough for my needs, I have about 113GB of music that fits on my ipod classic, just. I like having all of this with me as I like choice and have varied music tastes, there isn't a phone on the market that comes close to this storage. Whenever I've wanted to transfer files I've either used dropbox or the old fashioned method of plugging the cable in and using it as a flash drive. I can't believe some people are keeping critical files on a mobile device and relying on sd cards as a backup, crazy?

As for battery life, I'm currently on my sofa, I've got my desire plugged in as we speak, at work I have another micro-usb cable to charge my phone there and I have a cigarette lighter adapter and 3rd cable in my car. My phone has run out of juice twice in its lifetime since May 2010 and they were both down to me pushing my luck. The reason for less than desirable battery life on these feature rich devices is due to the manufacturers using advances in battery technology to make devices thinner and lighter rather than offering increased battery.

The device we all want is probably 2 generations away, 250GB storage, large screen, 36hr+ heavy use battery life, reasonable size and customisable.

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IT urine bandit fired and charged

Anonymous Cowherder

Re: Eh?

I was going to say the same!

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Vote now for the WORST movie EVER

Anonymous Cowherder
Flame

Zoolander is a great film!

One of the only films that successfully pierces the boil on the arse that the "fashion industry" is!

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Florida man 'fesses to naked Scarlett Johansson outrage

Anonymous Cowherder
Thumb Up

Charges?!?!?!

I'd give this lad a medal not jail time!

I've a lot of time for Scarlet, a lot of time.

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Met Office wants better supercomputer to predict EXTREME weather

Anonymous Cowherder
Go

It's seasonally average for the time of year.

January to May, a bit iffy with the odd nice day, potential for some very bad weather.

May - September, generally ok, will got some thundery storms but on the whole ok.

October - December, On the whole cold, generally poor but some nice days.

So, to summarise, keep an umbrella in your bag and during the summer months don't forgot to slap on the suncream if you are going to be exposed for some time.

This is Britain, we have weather, none of it is too extreme, most of it is cloudy but we get some scorching days.

Can I have the money that the Met office were going to spend on a supercomputer deposited in the joint account as it has just gone overdrawn as Npower have whacked me on the super high tarrif.

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BOFH: The Cloud Committee Calamity

Anonymous Cowherder
Thumb Up

I hate "the cloud"

Thin clients proved popular didn't they? No? Lets rebrand it as "the cloud" and push the same nonsense but with a different veneer on it.

Don't get me wrong, I use my share of cloudy services but the majority of enterprises would suffer if they went "full cloud".

Same as virtualisation, again, I use more than my fair share of this wonderful technology but the bean counters have come up with a "75% of servers to be virtualised by xxxx" without any understanding of what this actually means or the possible impacts.

Keep "helping" these numpties BOFH & PFY, I need to live vicariously through you.

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Has Microsoft finally killed off Windows 8 Start button?

Anonymous Cowherder
Stop

Progress, innit marvellous.

Please put it back!

Just think of the poor lambs on every helpdesk, "Click the start button, oh, win8, not there, ok, just hover the mouse of the hot corner in the bottom left." "Hot corner? Hot corner!" Says Joanne in accounts, "I haven't got a hot corner, I just need to launch another copy of Excel to get the costings..."

This is going to have a pound shilling and pence impact on business.

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Airbrushed Rachel Weisz gets watchdog hot under the collar

Anonymous Cowherder
Holmes

I've seen sex dolls that look more realist than that picture.

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When a DNS outage isn't an outrage

Anonymous Cowherder
Mushroom

ETA!!!!

If there is one thing likely to make me blow my stack it is "How long will it take?"

Usually the answer is "I have no effin idea but one thing I can tell you is that the longer you stand there asking me stupid questions is only increasing the time it will take for me to identify the problem and then resolve it."

If you want me to guarantee that it doesn't come crashing down again in 30 seconds after that it will take a bit longer as I have to check that the issue that is affecting you isn't merely a symptom of a bigger problem. This bit usually takes longer.

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Councils tout £1.2bn for IT whizkid to grab their backend

Anonymous Cowherder
Flame

This'll end well!

Public sector organisation wants to save money so they bring in a company to deliver services as well as make a profit. It is this kind of thinking that gives both the public sector and IT a bad name, for the record, yes, I work in both.

The tender documents will be written by people too far removed from the coalface and signed off on both sides by bean counters with no idea what any of the words mean but are still impressed by claims of "industry leading products"- which translates as "other councils are already struggling with these and you'll be in the same mess in 6 months".

Then it'll start, the customisation, as council A has to fulfil a need that mega-joined-up-software-package called something functional yet dynamic like syngress currently doesn't fulfil so a contracting programmer will write a work package, this picture illustrates what happens next: http://zanematthew.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/project_management_swing.png

The next step is for the people who originally signed off this brave new world to either be replaced or get itchy feet over how much this whole thing is costing and pull the plug on the funding just as the project is nearing the critical phase. The good people working on the project start to get worried as they know which way this is heading, these are the people who have devoted the long hours to ensuring that stuff may actually work as well as it can do. They've faced the slings and arrows from both sides, made "the business" as well as the implementation team realise concessions need to be made on both sides and progress is almost being made towards delivering a usable product.

Then the migration starts, not migrating data from legacy systems to the new one, the migration of the talent. As funding quickly ebbs away the talent sees which way the wind is blowing and sensibly jump ship whilst their reputation is still intact, when "I'm currently delivering a £30 million project for council X and Y" still looks good on a CV as the snafu hasn't been revealed yet. Once the flight of the competents starts the project is officially doomed, no one on the techie side is left with an understanding of the work of the council or a commitment to make sure the product fits, the people who have been working between the techies and the councils to change processes and help the councils implement the new system aren't replaced so no one is left telling either side that the decision they have just made on that relatively tiny aspect of the system actually has far, far reaching consequences.

It is at this point that the project manager leaves, they have already become semi-detached from the project as they have had to shoulder the burden of other people's incompetence and are now in the cross hairs of everybody. They leap before they are pushed. They are not adequately replaced as we are almost at implementation and we need to save every penny, "besides, we're nearly there, we don't need a project manager now, we've only got to get through the implementation. Almost steady state."

And then we have the implementation, or to more accurately name it, the new systems are thrown over the wall to people like Betty, Brenda and Alan to not use properly as that 2 hour training course they went on 4 months ago has been forgotten, besides, due to the customisations and cost cutting that occurred in the final weeks "that bit has changed now." Then the load balancing testing is proven to be flawed as the systems grind to a halt, local staff revert back to doing things "the old way, cos it works, isn't that right Margaret? This new thing is crap."

With no funding for the implementation these "teething troubles" don't get resolved and the brave new world doesn't get realised, departments cherry pick which bits of the the new systems are used leading to a more fractured environment than was present before the project started. £millions are wasted and then the press can write their reports of white elephants and reports of waste and inefficiency at council A.

Meanwhile the people who make the shocking decisions that lead to the failure of the project are promoted, the project manager is assigned all the blame and the whispering campaign about their shortcomings gathers pace as the ass-covering phase starts.

The provider company departs with a truck load of cash and the public sector body is left with a system not fit for purpose, unable to fall back to their legacy systems, half the organisation has reverted to local systems and the rest are in some twilight halfway house.

tl;dr

Not fit for purpose solution underfunded, under-designed by know-nothing imbeciles is implemented badly, under resourced and fails to meet unrealistic demands. Daily Mail enjoys, IT is besmirched, again and service users suffer.

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Woz praises Android, blasts iPhone limitations

Anonymous Cowherder
Gimp

I'm an android fanboy

I've got an android and when my wife was due an upgrade I got her to get an android, we are both happy. I take the micky out iBones and the latte culture...

I am also writing this on linux and commenting on el reg, I'm a geek.

2 months ago my 60+ mother in law wanted to join the smart phone world, she runs her own business, has used windows PCs for donkey's and is a more competent PC user than she gives herself credit for but I strongly recommend her get an iphone and she loves it. I also love the fact that the support overhead for me is minimal, she didn't even know she was supposed to plug it into her PC to do certain things.

I could have recommended she got an android and with a little bit more handholding she may have got it and fully utilised it but that would have taken more of my time. I think she just wanted an iPhone so that she could say "I've got an iPhone" to her less tech-literate friends, if she had got an android the conversation is a bit different, "I've got an android" "What's that?" It's like an iPhone, but different"....

I fully agree with Woz, if you just want simplicity get the iBone, if you want to RTFM and have a potentially richer experience, get an android.

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Ubuntu savaged by rivals infected with fondleslab fever

Anonymous Cowherder
Linux

I've just downloaded mint 12 and installed on a test machine with a view to replacing ubuntu 11.04 on my main work machine.

I'm fine with unity at home and happily run 11.10 in full unity mode (gnome 3 doesn't like my graphics card) but at work I need gnome 2 style bottom panel activity.

Whoever in the community decided we need to lose about a centimetre of screen real estate needs a good long talking to, my monitors on my desktops can more than afford to lose 2 centimetres with both a top and bottom panel and still leave enough space for me to do pretty much anything I want computing wise inbetween. Even if it didn't, losing the bottom panel doesn't free up a revolutionary amount of real estate now does it?

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Ten... Blu-ray disc players

Anonymous Cowherder

I've never watched a blu-ray film

Or HD-DVD or whatever it was called and my tv is capable of showing HD but I've not got a HD source. I'm a geek too and I work in IT but I have no desire or inclination to get involved with this latest tech arms race. I've got better things to do, my BT Vision box pumps the turgid crap that the broadcasters put out on to my telly fine which keeps my wife happy, the dvd player in my HTPC plays dvds fine or I stream the content from my media server.

As for HD, I go and watch my 3rd division football team play each week, I keep getting 3 players mixed up as they look very similar, this is in the flesh and with big numbers on their backs! Don't get me started on "picture quality" maybe I need to start wearing my glasses again, cheaper to watch a dvd with those on than splash out on a blu-ray player.

Plus, blu-ray is an awful name, I'd probably just call it dvd to save having to utter that horrible name.

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Inside WD's flooded Thai factory

Anonymous Cowherder

Speaking to a supplier yesterday, their HDD prices went up early afternoon, £40 on a 1TB drive!

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Web czar: 'Drag your nan online'

Anonymous Cowherder
Meh

Needs more than an hour

I got my 70+ year old Mum online earlier this year, nearly killed the pair of us!

I have worked in IT for over 10 years and been using PCs since the early 90s but I was unprepared for someone who had never sat at a keyboard since typing classes in school. The little things that I not only take for granted but are so ingrained as second nature just do not exist in someone who has never used a computer.

Holding a mouse, double clicking, relating what the input device is doing and causing the things on the screen to change, the concept of the taskbar, not having to tidy things away after yourself and hundreds of other things I have blocked out.

I'm normally pretty good at showing users how to use stuff but at least they have a basic grasp of what is going on, if the person has never used a PC before though, I was struggling to relate.

She is a lot better now than she was and I suppose I too have improved at helping her but this Saturday was almost square one. She said she was "deleting a program and the computer put up this box, I didn't know what it meant so I wrote it down and pressed cancel"

My ears were on alert from the "deleting a program" as she doesn't have admin rights, turns out she meant deleting an email and thunderbird asked whether she wanted to compact the folder to save space? There was a tickbox with "Ask this next time" or somesuch. Now she's a fairly intelligent person but she does not engage brain when at the keyboard, like many people, the PC scares her as she is out of her comfort zone, when I walked her through the error message in simple language she got it, showed her the concept of ticking or unticking boxes to stop things happening again but I don't think she got it.

She can still email her friends in France and Canada, update her meter readings online and look at a few clothing websites but the vast majority of delights the web has to offer are going to remain beyond her.

5
0

GNOME emits 'head up the arse' desktop update

Anonymous Cowherder
Flame

Just give me the bottom panel back! I can't work without it, ever since its introduction with Windows 95, the taskbar or bottom panel is how I navigate between my open applications.

Please, please let me have it back?

9
1

Ballmer: Windows Phone can win third place in mobile!

Anonymous Cowherder
Linux

Aim low and fail to meet it.

The microsoft way!

4
0

Malware burrows deep into computer BIOS to escape AV

Anonymous Cowherder
Flame

"How exactly does this malware get on a non-infected computer in the first place."

Users.

Always the bloody users.

4
0

Ten years after the Twin Towers: What's the Reg angle?

Anonymous Cowherder
Happy

When the tube was bombed on 7th July one major source of news was football message boards, in particular the rivals.net network (which sky has since bought and borked).

Some of the mainstream media sites struggle to cope with the increased traffic during times of crisis but other sites flourish.

During the recent English riots, the web2.0 darlings twitter and facebook were good sources for information, of course your bullshit filters had to be employed but this is also the case with the old media news channels, who can forget Kay Burley's "the whole of the eastern seaboard is under attack"?

I turn to the web for my news fix and only turn to the tv channels when I'm offline or want to see something on a bigger screen. It isn't far off when the internet does best the rolling tv channels, if they already haven't for pure facts.

0
0

Hey Commentards! [This title is optional]

Anonymous Cowherder
Go

Finally!

That title thing really did annoy me!

0
0

Apple after Steve Jobs is still Steve Jobs' Apple

Anonymous Cowherder
Linux

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

As much as I'm a linux & android fanboi, as much as I dislike Apple's approach to computing it is sad to see Steve step down and I hope that the rumours of his decreasing health prove to be untrue.

7
0

iPad maker to replace 1 million staff with robots

Anonymous Cowherder
Flame

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

How long will it be before someone realises that if all "efficiency savings" are actually made then there won't be anyone left in a job to earn the cash to buy their products?

5
0

Oi, Android, get gaming sorted out NOW

Anonymous Cowherder
Unhappy

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

You've read my mind!

I've been a gamer since the 80s and as a non-bearded linux geek I have an android phone and am frustrated at the lack of decent games on the platform.

Jewels is very dull, I don't really want to get 3 stars on each Angry Birds level, I'm happy just to kill all the pigs, chess is ok and reversi is reversi but when I go for a seat in the smallest room in the house I would like something a bit better to do with my hands than refresh twitter (again) or see how much a better life my facebook "friends" are having.

The interface isn't great on modern touchscreen phones for most "classic" games, but surely some developers can allow their staff to be inventive and see what their imagination can let them do?

The delivery method of the android market is a small issue for me, the tradition game marketplaces, shops are crammed with awful, just awful games and I have been able to navigate my way through the dross to get to the wonderfully crafted games since the 80s but the problem on android is that the wonderfully crafted games aren't there.

2
0

Sony hack reveals password security is even worse than feared

Anonymous Cowherder
FAIL

title is req'd & contain letters &/or digits - which is more secure than most site's pword rules

I've got what I consider "secure" passwords for use on certain systems, these use as many of the guidelines I can but sadly these are usually for trivial systems. The number of times I've tried to use a secure password on a system only to get a message back that it doesn't meet their criteria or I can only use letters makes me tear my hair out.

This usually results in an "arrggh" moment and using a password that is pretty high up on every list I have seen of weak passwords just so I can get in the bloody system to do what I want to.

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