1084 posts • joined Friday 5th March 2010 16:20 GMT
A true story
I may have told before ...
Back in 2009, my lad was due to chose his GCSE choices. The school held an open evening and 3 local universities all gave a presentation on why kids should aspire to go to university (and thus the choices they should consider).
One chap told us of a student that had graduated in 2007, that had moved to America with her company, and was earning over £40,000 a year. Her company ? Chase Manhattan. Her course ? "Politics and history". Not a doctor. Not an engineer. No cure for cancer from her. No solution to the world energy or hunger crisis from her.
The fact that she was the aspiration this odious smarmy little shit chose to parade in front of 14 year old kids tells me exactly why things are the way they are.
Chickens coming home to roost
so, totally debase science and technology teaching over a period of years. Allow and encourage a celeb-obsessed culture where the height of aspiration is to flash your bits on big brother. Ignore, and belittle scientists and experts in favour of political expediency.
And THEN act surprised we're not keeping up in the read world.
Well, colour me surprised.
Could this be an end
for the business model where the broadcaster gets paid by the advertisers AND the viewers ?
Sagan and Moore
In two minds ...
LinkedIn was nice - I've got a nice profile, and some great recommendations. However I've only connected with colleagues (old and present) and people I studied with, in the same industry. And I can't say I've ever benefited from being on there.
Now, of late, I've started getting loads of invites from "industry experts" which turn out to be recruitment consultants with 1,000s of contacts. Which I'm not interested in. Which means I haven't actually logged in this year.
It's heartening to read
a lot of commentards get the concept of business continuity, and due diligence. I have zero sympathy for any company that suffers as a result of this, and hope the incompetent managers who caused that suffering are ejected at very high velocity. If any publicly funded organisation is affected then there should be sackings. We're constantly being told why the NHS needs such highly paid managers - I would argue it's to avoid shit like this, not walk straight into it.
If you outsource a critical part of your business operations, then you need to plan for the day it isn't there. Simples. And that process should have been part of the initial outsource, not a sticking plaster over a bad deal. If, as part of your outsourcing you discover you can't plan for such a day (say a monopoly supplier) then you really need to ask yourself if you should be outsourcing that process at all.
Having seen a proper due diligence in action, I know that it's not uncommon for big clients to request bank statements, audited accounts, historic headcounts, and a whole load of minutia before they consider spending a single penny with a supplier.
Personally (and I'm not even a business continuity specialists, I just know a few). My first question to 2e2 would have involved escrow for the hosting, so that even if 2e2 went down, their datacentres would have provision to overrun until clients had recovered their data. But then I didn't go to the right public school.
How out of date are their lists ?
Me and MrsJP got married in 2007, yet not only are we STILL getting calls asking for her maiden name, but they are increasing. From loads of different numbers, although if they get as far as speaking, they all seem to be about PPI.
The weirdest thing is despite us both living here together for over 10 years, I don't get *any* calls. At all. Which implies that she somehow signed up for something which snaffled her details and they are now being repeatedly sold on, and on, and on.
Some get quite arsey when we (correctly) tell them there is no one of that name living here. We've had others try and verify the postcode too - who get told in no uncertain terms to sod off.
When they hear my voice, they switch to "Is that Mr <maiden name>". Creeps.
Sounds fair to me ...
although I can forsee a slew of downvotes ...
The art of the bleeding obvious ..
This isn't the 90s, or even the 2000s. The market dynamic has changed - forever. Nobody (and I mean NOBODY) I know is in any kind of hurry for a *new* smartphone. I have my (works) Win7.8 HTC. My lad has a Nokia 5800, and wifey has her HTC Android. The only person I know who does regularly update their phone is the (retired) mother in law. Who's drunk the Apple kool-aid, so will only get the latest iPhone.
So Win8, Win9, Win10 with four "M's" and a silent "Q" are a total and utter irrelevance.
It's the same for desktops. We're all running 4 year old machines, with Win7. Absolutely no need to upgrade.
There's a certain schadenfreude here. Your Microsofts and Apples et al had a field day when the IT landscape was new, unknown, and scary. But it's evolved into a mature market now, and all those old-fogies who were left behind by the tech rush are now your greatest assets, as they are much more familiar with working in a mature market. If you want to sell Windows8, you need to get someone who's successfully sold cheese, or pot noodles on board - they'd have a better idea than someone who's only ever done tech.
It makes stuff all difference where anything is
A US company is under the heel of the PATRIOT act. If they get slapped with a notice, they have to pony up the data (or shut the servers down) wherever they are. Safe harbour can go hang.
This is what MS admitted last year, and why people need to be so careful.
Re: Physical security of server room ?
Now for the flipside ;)
The physical security was mandated by a security audit (before I started). So far so good. However, there were boxes in the server room that developers *did* need access to. So we installed a KVM over IP solution, and developers could access the boxes over the network. Now this was user and password protected, but as a couple of guys pointed out, when you had to have physical access, there was at least the chance an imposter/hacker would be seen (bearing in mind they still had to get past the 3 card locks to get to the floor with the server room). Doing things over the network was *less* secure.
Physical security of server room ?
In my last office job, as a development manager, even I had no access to our server rooms. And that was in a company of over 1,000 employees. IIRC about 8 people had access - it wasn't even the entire Tech Services team. Someone pulling a stunt like this would have been rumbled in hours.
but does anyone else get a warm glow at the thought of Rupert Murdoch being hacked ?
Prior art ?
The city centre PCWorld/Currys has a very similar look, only in dark, muted colours .....
Versions: does anyone remember Lenny Henry ...
years ago, he commented on the difficulty in buying a record ...
"Do you want the 12", the the extended 12", the club mix, the extended club mix, the club house mix, the 12" club house mix featuring Sir Skankalot, the dub house mix ....."
"Just give me the one where they got it right."
Ask your parents. Or their parents.
where it's going
a standard car/phone interface, so people can plug their phone of choice into their car of choice ?
Re: One question
I'm sure I read the reason you couldn't is because MS didn't implement the required part of the BT stack ? Also why you can't transfer files over BT.
I can't speak for others, but a few times I've found it useful to be able to BT a picture or MP3 to someone in the same room without using email, or MMS (which can cost). Also BT to BT is *way* more secure depending what you're sending.
And yet ...
there are at least 5 cats that prowl around my neighbourhood. So why do we still see rats ?
Copy protection ? Really ?
I'm struggling to recall the progam (yes kids, we called them "programs", not "apps") you could get which would copy "copy protected" disks. Had "II" in the name, "CopyIIPC" ? rings a bell.
In those days, copy protection usually involved bypassing the BIOS to get the disk controller to access track 41 ? If I could be bothered, I'd dig out my MS DOS 3.00 programmers guide (which cost about £60). I also had a schematic of the FDC subsystem, with codes.
Ah ... 1987
I found a copy of 1-2-3 that came bundled with one (of two) PCs my department of 60 had to mess around with. Given I was on a student placement, I was allowed to have a play. I pretty soon got our HP7475 plotter working with it, and within a day, had knocked some graphs up.
This piqued on guys interest. His job was to supply MI to various committees. Previously this involved using a teletype (yes !) to enter data to a Sperry 1100 (/60 IIRC) and waiting for a overnight batch job to turn it into binary. He then had to take a "Y" cable, and plug the HP7475 in between the teletype and RS232, and hope it would plot. 50% of the time it would, 50% of the time it would mess up. Another day gone.
He was literally speechless, when I produced a graph he needed in less than 3 minutes. It was a true efficiency booster.
When I left, they had 30 PCs, and more on order. I went to the Lotus exhibition at Earls Court (where I first saw a PS/2) , and kept bumping into people from my department ....
Re: Purely as a matter of intellectual curiosity .....
Mysteriously, the story is detail-lite. The investigation would have started with the complainants and the website, and worked backwards. Presumably, the cops found the one nexus of the trail of deception, and the real world. At that point it's just a question of monitoring the suspects with the power of technology.
Could they not have used BitCoins ?
Re: Proceeds of crime
POCA is being very sparing used, since that story a while back that the CPS spent something like £28 million, and recovered 2.5 pence, 3 drachma and an everton mint. There is a train of thought that says the present form of POCA could be considered to violate the ECHR - jailing people for not paying a debt is frowned upon.
Could this be translated into sales ?
In the same way *some* people are willing to pay a premium for "organic" food, could there be a group of users who would pay more for a product guaranteed to be made ethically ? Possibly by being built in the UK. Or US ?
Yes, I'm aware there's the provenance of the raw materials ...
Darwin in action ?
fewer sperm = fewer mouths to feed = more likely survival for the rest ?
IANAB, but I'm sure that population reduction in the face of adverse environmental factors is one valid strategy.
fascinated to read this, and it goes much deeper.
How can you know the actual CPU you are running on can be trusted ? How do you know there isn't some sneaky opcode which can be used to leverage an attack ?
To all those smug commentards who boasted about having the source code to a system: did you get a schematic of the CPU, and logic arrays ?
Not a joke though ...
Mrs Page has her hair cut by a mobile service. Manages to be *cheaper* than going to a store (and the hairdresser claims fuel back on expenses).
Re: To survive
None of which will happen ...
It's become a vicious spiral ...
fewer customers means less need to stock so much which means less stock which means less chance of any customer finding anything. The recent Page family experience of "going [clothes] shopping" is to find a nice whatever, then realise they don't have our size, go and ask to be told "if it's not on the rack, we have to order it". Or the even more annoying "Have you tried our [miles away] branch ?". As if we *want* to drive all over the place.
If they have to order it, we may have well ordered it online (remember folks DSR gives you 7 days to return) since we don't "go shopping" every week.
For those that like to pick their meat/veg, then we have found that online ordering of sundries leaves us *more* time to visit local farm shops and butchers. Win/win.
50+ posts ..
and no one has mentioned the best way to make something invisible ...
Cloak it in someone elses problem
(credit to Douglas Adams)
Where do you think they got it ?
Our ISO has stated that using any US connected service would put our data under scope of the the Patriot Act, and that as a company we would be liable to the data subject (i.e. could be sued) for any breach arising from that. End result - very cautious use of cloud.
Remember - it's not just about snooping. Patriot Act allows the FBI to shut down any server farm anywhere in the world if it's under a US companies control. So you might come to work one day and find all you data has done a MegaUpload and disappeared.
I'd be keen for my bank to send an SMS (or email) every time my account is accessed. I'd wager a system like this (with an opt out, for those that must) would reduce fraud by a considerable amount.
Re: Whose 'fault' ?
IANAL but from my viewpoint, it's the banks fault. They paid money to somebody who wasn't the rightful recipient. End of story. It makes no difference if the thieves cloned a phone, wore a false moustache, or just said "this is my account" while waving their hand. It's up to the BANK to verify the identity of the recipient. And it's up to the BANK to devise a system that does that.
The logical conclusion of any other way of looking at it (i.e. it's not the banks fault) means that if the banks computers were hacked, or stolen, or if their data centre when "boom", would be that all account holders would suddenly have no balance, and the bank would just say "oops".
Reasonable and sensible
are not mentioned anywhere in the US constitution.
Just life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
Re: Say it with me, Euro-weenies:
What about septics ? Although I believe when they found out about that, they tried calling themselves "Shermans" ...
Re: 2 years ? I'd have moved
I suspect from the tone of their reply MachDiamond is American. Which might explain it ....
Ofcom, not ATVOD
or whoever ?
2 years ? I'd have moved
Given how merkins love guns ...
my lad bought me a book last year "A history of the world according to facebook" which is pretty much that ...
Offshore working hours
Every offshore outfit I've dealt with makes a point that they will work whenever suits you - if you want them 9-5 GMT, they'll be there.
Personally I prefer to leave them do their own 9-5. Usually they are 4 hours behind, so you get the morning to inspect what they've done and have some peace & quiet, then after lunch you can liaise with them, and set them the next set of tasks to continue with after you go.
Now there's another mystery ...
How do CEX survive ? Their 2nd hand stuff is 95% the price of new, generally.
I once bought a SIMM from them, for £10. Paid cash. It was wrongly labelled so I took it back for a refund, which they point blank refused without "taking my details" which I wouldn't supply. even though they admitted it had been a cash transaction (so identity wasn't an issue).
In the end I couldn't work out a way to get the refund without giving over my details ... it was suggested I take them to court, but (a) that would have revealed my identity and (b) it was possible I wouldn't get costs.
US executions ...
The rejected the guillotine because they felt bodily integrity was important. And after the revolution they were desperate to come up with a method of execution which wasn't hanging - hanging being associated with the evil british overlords they had just dumped.
Personally it's harder to think of a more cruel and unusual punishment than the electric chair. But with the gas chamber and lethal injection someone managed it.
The irony is we managed to get hanging to a fine art - possible to get a prisoner from bed to dead in just under 10 seconds.
Re: The poor bastard has already lost
Also bears known to have unclean toilet habits, and Pope has catholic sympathies
A thought provoking argument
and one that should be required reading for anyone who thinks wind and solar power are going to save us.
Kinda reminded me of the part of "Apollo 13" where they have to find the power to fire up the Command Module ...
A lot of wasted effort in all these comments
at the end of the day, telcos need people to make calls to make money. They will not do anything which reduces the number of calls made.
Have DEFRA released their report on how to make turkeys vote for Christmas yet ?
Suddenly I feel good to be British ...
The original letter was priceless enough, but to get such a marvellous reply ...
We need the odd story like this - and I would say it's worth a tiny bit of my tax money to cheer everyone up a bit. Maybe this can be included in Camerons happiness index ?