862 posts • joined Friday 5th March 2010 16:20 GMT
you are 100% spot on. But you need to understand that we Brits thrive on innuendo. Your weekend project will be to watch a series of "Carry on ..." films, or failing that, a few issues of "Finbar Saunders" from Viz.
re: when did marketing become more important than the product
History is littered with great inventions that failed for their time for non-technical reasons. The shining example being Betamax (readers under 35 will probably have to look that one up).
Whilst Sony were busy getting Betamax to be techincally superious to VHS, the VHS guys were quietly doing deals with Hollywood studios for exclusive VHS releases of movies. When the war of the formats hotted up VHS won hands down.
Thing is, Sony *learned* from this. Which is why they went on a massive spending spree in the 90s, buying up studios and record companies - remember the Prince/George Michael sagas ?
So, yes, sometimes it is about marketing.
Ah, Harriet "mad" Harman
luckily, yesterdays politician.
Re: "Software patents" - WTF ?
OK, fair point. Next question ...
did Apple sue Nokia (assuming it was Nokia that first bought this feature to market) ?
If the answer is "no" then is there not a principle that by not defending the patent, Apple have let it lapse ? ISTR this is the argument people come up with when people *do* sue on patents. "Oh, they have to defend their patent, or it'll be invalidated".
No you haven't
all you have done is deactivated it.
Reminds me of a Yes Minister line
"How do you know it's not true ?"
"It's not been officially denied yet"
"Software petents" - WTF ?
"...a patent that allows folks to isolate data such as phone numbers in emails and then call the number."
A feature that IIRC my Nokia 3210 had 10 years ago - OK, not from emails, but in SMS.
The whole worlds gone mad, I tell you.
Re: You know what would be awsome ?
I can beat that. When I was first suspected, by my optician, he wrote to my GP requesting they refer me to an opthamologist. I waited, and waited. Chased GP who said they had refered. Spoke to hospital who insisted they had send out appointement which wasn't kept, so they closed the file.
3 times this happened.
After 9 months, I actually spoke to the hopsital, and took the appointment verbally. When they said they'd post out the appointment TO MY OLD ADDRESS, all was clear
Obviously I told them to update it. They said it had been done.
Saw consultant. He booked an appointment there and then for 6 months time. I told him the problem, and before my eyes, he called the admin office, and checked the address. It was OK.
6 months - still no letter. Kept appointment. Consultant checked address again. Still OK.
Still missed letter.
Finally, I was sent to another hospital for phased eye-pressure tests. This meant I was asked to carry my file from one department to another. The second I had my hands on it, I solved the mystery. They had my address fine, on the notes. However, in the back, there was a sheet of labels, all printed with my OLD address. Needless to say, I tore it out.
So despite the system being 100% up to date, I would have missed the next 22 appointments - assuming there were no other rogue labels around.
The weirdest thing is, no one will actually admit it happened. When I told my consultant he wa emphatic they never used labels. The admin office said the same. And to be fair, appointment letters are printed with address on. Yet I know what I saw.
Outsourced cold calling
Slightly OT, but don't you love these new automated cold calling systems. They can't even be bothered to hire someone to annoy you now. Last 3 voicemails on my straight-to-voicemail voip number have been automated marketing calls.
Re: You know what would be awsome ?
Or indeed a system which actually knows how appointments work. I suffer from glaucoma, and currently see a consultant every six months. He likes me to have a field test just before. Now how simple would it be to have system which can work out that a field test just before the appointent is best ? Yet somehow, the current "system" loves to send an appointment for the field test, for a week *after* I have seen the consultant. Or the day before. Which then results in multiple phone calls to try and arrange the appointments so the consultant sees me just after the field test.
The scary thing is when I do this, none of the admin staff understand why I wouldn't happily take 2 days off work in a week.
You know what would be awsome ?
A system which actually used all that fucking data they seem to ask for every time ? How about a system which sends an iCal to the email address, so your online calendar can be updated - with the added bonus your phone reminds you the day before, and which is shared back to the sender, so if you cancel, it knows and can (a) reschedule and (b) give that slot to someone else. How about a system which sends an SMS the day before - and which can recieve a reply, if you aren't going to make it.
The saved postage would pay for something like that in weeks.
FB and climate change ...
or 2 subjects that seem to inflame people to downvote me - no matter what I say, but what the hell.
No thank you very much.
The upsetting thing, is now I have become a target for FB. As my email address is hoovered up more and more, as people I know sign up, it appears to have become aware of an FB refusenik. *I* may not be an FB member. But FB can work out from the people I know who *are* enought to be of value to marketing agencies. In fact, that is the hidden value to FB. Not only can it sell valuable data on it's users. Once it has reached a critical mass, it can start to harvest useful data on people who aren't users, proving that the measure of a man is the company he keeps. And unlike flat forums, or usenet, it's not use trying to create a shadow identity with Facebook. Once your name is there, your friends will find you, and helpfully correct any attempt you make to disguise yourself.
All that said, it probably fits that I don't like the X factor, Britains Got Talent, Big Brother, Strictly etc etc ...
I got my lad to work out how many of his 300+ FB "friends" would lend him a fiver. For a brief moment, he actually got my point.
Given that Facebook is free (for now) I would it's fair to say it's certainly value for money.
On a more serious note, I would be curious to know on a commercial level (peoples personal use doesn't really bother me) has Facebook actually delivered any revenue to anyone *other* than Zuckerberg ? Once you factor in the time people spend on FB when they are supposed to be working.
Another automatic update story
(after the Skype one)
What is it with these companies that they assume any big organisation is going to happily let them update their firmware whenever they want. Is this a US thing ?
Surely any organisation of size would have automatic updates disabled, off, forbidden etc, based on the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school of keeping the lights on.
Or is this a symptom of increasing virtualisation ? "Oh well, if the updates bork the company, we'll just roll back" ?
Re: Oh look.
to be fair, the LastPass one is good - if just for generating passwords.
a good reason
to tape over the webcam on any laptop ....
this is the one you needed ....
Re: yet another well intentioned but misguided law in the making
Or just any site which criticises the government.
Or any site which has the *potential* to criticise the government
Or any site which doesn't have a banner telling us how wonderful the government is.
When things like this are discussed, people really need to remember that illegal and legal are simply words that apply to what the government of the day wants them to. It's not the government of today we need to worry about with these powers. It's the government of tomorrow.
that's a fascinating legal minefield ...
because I read of *two* prisoners who were affected. The one you mention, who was held over a weekend, because despite his bail being posted, the Prison Service couldn't verify it.
However, *another* prisoner in a similar situation did get out, because his solicitors did some ringing around, and managed to either stand surety themselves, or convice the PS that it was a genuine hiccup, and the money was there.
So, as I originally said, *every* case will have to be fought individually. How much do you think that will cost NatWest - even if they sucessfully defend every claim. Especially since they can't be guaranteed of recouping any costs - even in the high court.
to buy shares in VPN providers.
you mispelled Capita
and left the "r" out. (Private Eye speak)
It will cost then Dear
that's dear with a capital "D".
Quite aside from the fact that no one in Britain would let them near running a fete stall, let alone their bank account, is the fact that they face a deluge of court cases for *consequential* losses. Not only from their customers, but people who were relying on them to transfer money in a contracted timescale. Each case will need to be decided on it's merits, which means NatWest need to defend each one individually. We've already heard of cases where house sales were affected - what if some of those sales were cancelled, due to the lack of funds transfer ? Everybody so far seems to think in terms of a few quids interest on late payments, or overdrafts. I'm thinking of cases which could run into tens of thousands. Enough incentive for both sides to take to court,
Who cares ?
Well, because it's a building society, it's only shareholders are *you*.
Given that Nationwide appear to have charted their way through the credit crunch with no fuss at all (possibly because they can't play fast and loose with *members* cash, unlike a bank) I would say it matters a great deal.
We moved to Nationwide after HBOS messed us around - can't fault them so far. Pleased we also have our mortgage with them.
Re: About time
Not sure if you are being uber-ironic, or trolling, but you may just have a point. The one point I could see, where MS might just be able to work it, is for Windows Mobile/8. After all, you go to an Apple store, and all you can buy is an iPhone/iPad.
Go to a Microsoft store, and you can choose from a variety of models and makes - as long as they run Windows.
I wonder how CPW et al feel about this ?
I would imagine it's just being sent to a bunch of miscellaneous harvested email addresses. With 16.9million accounts affected, you're bound to hit a few ....
Re: Problematic updates are normal?
I was channel hopping a few weeks ago, and hit UK Gold and an episode of Yes Minister, where a bank CEO wanted a few more storeys on his HQ building and had to go to the Department of Administrative Affairs to discuss it.
As he meets Sir Humphy, the "joke" is that the CEO of the bank hasn't the first clue about banking, and that Sir Humphy is lined up for a nice non-executive directorship with the bank when he retires.
Can you guess when that episode was written:
Closing your bank account ....
may I respectfully suggest a better way to vent your ire, is not to close your bank account, but to simply open another, and reduce the balance in your NatWest account to (say) £1.01. Make sure you are signed up for monthly statements. By post.
I did this 16 years ago when Barclays ****ed me off. Every month I get a statement. Last year they almost twigged that the account may be dormant - I got a warning letter. So I shifted £5.00 in, and then a day later £5.00 out.
Just make sure there's no overdraft availale on the account.
Re: Dealing with offshore (Indian/Pakistani) devs is an art from in itself
When I started managing an offshore team, they were pretty much working on retainer. Mysteriously code never worked first time, things weren't tested, etc etc. It should have been apparent to anyone that we were paying for their incomptence.
First think I insisted on, was that they set up a test server (we were dealing in a web app) their end, that I could test *before* they checked it in. Much squealing over that one (in the end I just said if you can't set a simple server up, how can you be expected to be any good at coding).
Then we started using a workflow system for all communications, rather than ad hoc emails. This let us label a fix/change and track it's progress.
Thirdly, we switched to a T&M model, where *we* suggested the initial timeframe. They were free to discuss it with us - maybe we'd revise upwards if they could show why they needed more time. Otherwise, they got paid for the quoted time - regardless of how long they actually spent. I tweaked the workflow to have 2 timescales - worked time, and due time.
Once we got to that state, things were workable. However, despite the firm showering me with the cv's of their team (was there *anything* they hadn't got an MSCE in ?) I would still have to value one good UK contractor=4 offshore devs. And the firm still needed me to liaise. I dread to think how things would have gone if a BA, or worse still, customer, had to deal with them.
Having dealt with an MS employee based in India, whose English was impeccable, I think it's pretty obvious how things are. IBM had first pick. MS had second. Other big name firms third. And *then* your team got formed. So you're stuck with the developers who weren't good enough for the first 3 cuts.
The other problem people have correctly identified is churn. As soon as a dev gets some experience in your team, they'll up and off. My current employer has a 25 man team in India, who have been with the firm for 5 years now, with no one leaving. However, they are paid a *lot* more than they were 5 years ago. Couple things like that with falling UK wages, and outsourcing really doesn't have the same shine it did 10 years ago. It's a shame no one suggested that could happen 10 years ago - oh hang on, we did. But who listens to techies ?
Re: Well I'm closing my accounts at RBS.
Go for Nationwide:
1) It can't play casino games with your money
2) It doesn't worry about shareholders
3) It hasn't had a penny of government cash
Is it just me who thinks if we had lost fewer building societies, we might not be quite as deep in this mess as we are ?
Could be awesome in 3d ...
Back in 1990, I was able to go to see "La Geode" in Paris ... its a hemispherical IMAX cinema. I was lucky enough to see a 3d film of atoms not only whizzing up to you, but then, thanks to the screen wrapping around you, *past* you. Quite a weird experience to see something appear between you and the person next to you ......
Oh, the irony
Tory MP has slow website.
A little microcosm of why the UK is where it is today
So, a technical glitch is found with a website, requiring analysis and comment by a technical expert, but instead we have a floor-crossing politician being quoted as the answer ?
How many people, on being rushed to A&E would be happy to see Andrew Lansley scubbed up saying "there is no problem" ?
How about next time the reg needs a political analysis, it asks googles server team ?
Just a thought ...
it's all very well gloating over how much RBS/NatWest will have to pay out over this. But we all know where the money is coming from eventually ....
So serious they are opening on Sundays
The problem is (as I have stated before) is they will have to field legions of claims where their snafu has cost people money. There was a story on the BBC of a guy who hadn't recieved his wages, and couldn't afford to pay for a headstone for his stillborn daughter. I wish them the best of luck trying to argue that down in the "court of public opinion"(c)
(c)Harriert Harman 2009.
Are you really that thick ?
suppose a business has been unable to access it's account, and pay a supplier, and as a result they go bankrupt ?
Supposing, thanks to their incompetence, I am unable to pay for my cars service, and therefore can't get to a business meeting ?
As I said, T&Cs can be used to protect you from consequential losses, in reasonable circumstances. A 4 day, unplanned, unannounced outage is not reasonable in my book, not I suspect would the high court find so either.
I am taking your comment at face value. I apologise if you were being ironic.
Re: Why bother ?
Ah the old "why would you *want* to ?" school of hiding your products deficiencies. On that basis, why have any functionality in anything ?
I had a contact in my windows phone I wanted to share with my wife (android phone). So I started going into the contacts menu, and pretty soon discovered there was no "Send to" menu, let alone "Send to using bluetooth".
Seriously. NO ****ING way to send a contact from one phone to another. Not by text. Not by Bluetooth.
I can call that contact. I can email them. But can I send them as a vcard. No. And because my wife is partially sighted, I had to get her phone, and mine, and transfer the number stone-age style.
That alone - quite apart from anything else going on with Windows Phone - should have told people all they need to know.
Wait till the lawsuits start
whilst an hour or two outage would be dismissed by the courts as "reasonable" within the banks T&Cs (which will try to remove any liability from the bank for any loss due to it's actions), I suspect a 4 day outage would be considered unreasonable, and consequential losses *will* be awarded.
Just the thought of the hundreds of claims through the courts, and having to argue each one on merit should keep the lawyers on the toilets for the next decade.
Once the final liablity has been costed, I wonder it IT staff will seem quite so expendable on a risk/return assesment. We need a bewigged icon with the caption "wait till the lawyers get there"
Re: Why bother ?
How about a new doozie I just discovered today:
You can't *remove* the wallpaper from Windows Phone7, once it's been set. You can change it, but not go back to the "no wallpaper" state the phone started with.
Mrs Thatcher was not "happy" to let the Libyans go. She was incandescant with rage. The government of the day took very detailed and exact legal guidance on the matter, and were advised that since the occupants of the embassy had been accepted as diplomats by the UK, then it would require the Libyan government to remove that status, if anything could be done. Any attempt to arrest or bring them to trial would have been frustrated by the courts, as the UK is a signatory of the Vienna convention.
Libya chose not to revoke the diplomatic status, so the UK was left with no alternative to expel them.
I was in the presence of a senior met officer at the time of the shooting. His radio went off, and he excused himself (he was part of the armed response team). Chatting to him sometime after, he said that the Met would never forget, and if the situation ever changed they would seek to get those responsible before a UK court. The fact that (with him since retired) some met officers went out to Libya last year, with the sole purpose of advancing the investigation - 25 years on.
Surely time to remind reg readers of
this absolute classic. And for newer readers to have a laugh ...
"Congratualtions, you have just invented Twitter"
I wonder if this gets downvoted ...
Has the US actually shown any signs of wanting to extradite Assange. You know, like filing papers, or preparing a case.
I think Assanges nightmare, is being extradited to Sweden and ignored by the US ... for the second time in a day I have cause to think of Oscar Wilde's observation about the only thing worse than being talked about.
Re: Can we knight the Shat ?
Thank you, for my interesting fact of the day. I was starting to wonder about honoured Canadians.
Anyway, honour or not, William Shatner is legend ... check out Henry Rollins tales of jamming with the Shat.
Can we knight the Shat ?
IMHO this line is almost Wildean ...
"In any event," he continued, "my apologies for having singled out Ilfracombe as a potential haven for prostitution. With you overseeing, I am sure that will not happen."
No one has mentioned
that under the extradition terms between Sweden and the UK, Assange could not be subsequently extradited to the US without the UKs permission.
Now whether we give it or not would be another matter. But it's not *that* simple.
I'm genuinely curious as to why people imagine the US has some raging hard-on to have Assange sully their legal system anyway. If they really did, why haven't they already applied to extadite him from the UK ? After all, it's not like we'd say no to that either.
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