* Posts by Roland6

1644 posts • joined 23 Apr 2010

Voda UK CEO says one thing about not-spots, Minister of Fun says another

Roland6
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Re: Its about time 2G was dropped from coverage maps / statistics.

All the UK networks (Vodafone, O2, Three, EE) give separate coverage maps for the differing technologies (ie. 2G, 3G and 4G) supported on their networks. As for O2 coverage outside of Cardiff, I assume you did click on the 3G and 4G tabs...

No the problem isn't so much the networks coverage checkers - although these are limited. It is how all this coverage and user data is fed into the official coverage calculations to come up with the single headline figure governments and politicians are so fond of quoting.

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John Lewis stakes £100,000 on building a working tech creche

Roland6
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Re: I like the sofa thing

Recommend a visit to your local Lego store for an example of what can be done with these types of customer interactive systems, kept the children happy for ages...

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Building a better society from the Czechs' version of Meccano

Roland6
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Re; To make a wi-fi enabled laser printer?

Depends upon the size of canvas - can't see a traditional printer being fit for purpose if you are doing a custom print job on a football pitch...

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Microsoft and Oracle are 'not your trusted friends', public sector bods

Roland6
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Re: So give them the boot - use open source

"Thales nShield HSMs ensure that your key is always under your control and never visible to Microsoft"

However, that doesn't mean that the French authorities don't have access...

But not really a problem, just as long as you don't do anything to antagonise them, as they won't release the information to the UK/US authorities because it seems the French get a lot of satisfaction from thumbing their noses at the British authorities...

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Roland6
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Re: Licensing audits

>I have 200 Machines, They all have windows and office on them...that means I need how many licenses?

Well it depends - from the discussions over the past year or so on licensing, I'm sure depending upon which MS/Oracle representative you are talking to, you may get a different answer, particularly as if you have 200 windows machines, you probably are also running a few servers...

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Roland6
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Agree MS license tracking could do with much improvement. Whilst it is a different league a small business customer uses a Microsoft Account, which whilst it does provide a single place for all the activated licenses, it doesn't do away with paper records, because it just lists licenses without providing any real information about which product the key is for and which user/systems have been using particular licenses.

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Roland6
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Re: So, give them the boot - use open source.

Whilst increased usage of open source might be the desired outcome of some, the key outcome of organisations being hit with a highly visible cost that hadn't been budgeted for, will be to encourage them to look more seriously at alternatives. Products that don't need you to track license usage in near real-time and allow for some vagueness in actual numbers will probably gain favour.

So it seems that MS has set it's heart on creating a mountain - similar to the one it created with XP et al., that it will need to climb in circa 2020 if it is to successfully move organisations off Win7 et al. on to whatever their replacement product set then is and not have those customers move to third-party product sets.

So yes MS are giving the open source movement yet another sales opportunity - who said that MS were anti open source?

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Vodafone: So what exactly is 'ludicrous' about the Frontier report?

Roland6
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Re: Hello, Mr Kettle... @Tom 38

The key point is as you note "market prices".

I suggest that any one looking at Vodafone in a similar way might discover what Vodafone's margins are...

I had a FT100 client once who complained about our prices, until we said okay we will go open book on the condition that our margin on the contract is the same as the margin your company publishes in their annual report each year - it did the trick they accepted our prices without any further question because they had just declared a 30% net margin...

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Roland6
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Re: Hello, Mr Kettle...

Isn't it about time someone conducted a similar analysis on Vodafone...

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700,000 beautiful women do the bidding of one Twitter-scamming man

Roland6
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Re: Ahhh Twitter...

Does that mean that once you clear out all the scam accounts Twitter is left with one real user, namely Stephen Fry?

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'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

Roland6
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Re: Interflora

International ordering with delivery by a business local to the intended recipient was something Interflora got right years back (okay the choice isn't great and you are to some extent buying blind and relying on the local florist to interpret your brief, but at least you can do it). It has always irritated me that many international businesses insist that if you are UK based say, then the only site you can order from is your national site and hence shipping is from the UK and not from their operation local to your stated delivery address.

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BT Home Hub SIP backdoor blunder blamed for VoIP fraud

Roland6
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Re: HH3

Warning!

If you've connected your HH3 directly into BT's wall socket, you will need to ensure whatever router you pick to replace it is certified to also operate in the same manner, many don't. If however your HH3 connects via an ethernet cable to a modem which in turn connects to the wall socket, you have much more choice.

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Roland6
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Re: Blame Game

>I wonder why so much focus is put on the part that the router was meant for home use and not SMB.

Yes, particularly given BT supplies the Hub 5 as standard on its business broadband...

EE similarly will supply the same hardware (BrightBox2) to residential and business customers.

From what I've been able to ascertain the boxes run identical firmware... differences arising from the preconfigured login details being used to offer a different line QoS and routing of traffic out of the exchange.

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Roland6
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Re: Really?

The point I was making was that there are advantages - as Terry Barnes indicates, but generally you have to dig to find them because the providers make a poor sales job.

Recently I switched providers and for many the difference in the headline offering at the same price point was for domestic unlimited data and the price included VAT, whereas the business version was capped and VAT was extra. But then the amount of information given out about business broadband is a wealth of information compared to the differences between business and consumer/personal mobile phone tariffs...

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Roland6
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Re: Really?

Yes, I come across lots of small/micro businesses (1~10 people) that use residential broadband, because it was much cheaper (and simpler to order etc.) than business grade, plus as you note the skills to install it are readily available.

In some respects the takeover of the O2/BE residential broadband by Sky a few years back was timely, as Sky had no real interest in the business users, these users had to go elsewhere. It enabled me to migrate several on to business broadband services because in addition to the need to move, their dependency on the broadband had significantly increased.

What I find odd is how many of the providers make very little of their business broadband, failing to understand that at the small end of the market where costs loom large, they need to sell the real benefits of the business broadband package over those of their home packages. Also there seems to have been a fall off of domestic packages that explicitly support home working (ie. packages that give all the domestic stuff, plus explicitly support business usage).

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Roland6
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Re: I would say this is completely BT's fault...

BT's fraud prevention team informed Keith's client that all charges would remain valid since it was not BT’s fault that fraud had occurred on customers' equipment.

Well can't see BT getting away with this one. If this is the BT domestic home hub that BT supplied when the firm of solicitor's contracted for the BT DSL service then the hub will most probably have been supplied under BT's Ts&Cs which I suspect carry words to the effect that the hub is and remains the property of BT...

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EU digital veep: If you like America's radical idea of net neutrality, you're in luck, Europe

Roland6
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Re: Zero rating of services

Mobile data will be virtually unlimited by then in the UK.

A good example of a zero rated service!

The example used in the article, namely: "a mobile network could say music streamed from Spotify doesn't count against a subscriber's monthly download limit" is interesting.

Firstly, for this to be a truly neutral provision of service, the provision needs to apply to all streaming music services, not just Spotify. However, if the network provides me with a range of tariffs and add-on's of which one is "unlimited Spotify" (which may or may not have a price attached, but critically the subscriber has to opt-in) then I suggest it does satisfy the criteria for net neutrality.

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Ten things you always wanted to know about IP Voice

Roland6
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Re: Needs better information on faxing

There is no reason this couldn't be done with a PDF and combi-printer/scanner without having to worry if the line is secure between you and the recipient.

Fax isn't about 'secure lines' but about real-time push delivery of a hard copy facsimile copy of whatever someone wants to send in (potentially) a readable form by the recipient and confirmation of completion of this task that can be waved around in front of managers and if necessary before a court.

For lesser tasks then the fax service is not really necessary. From your implementation examples, I think you've become a little institutionalised in your thinking about how businesses work and the level of IT out-there. Yes there is lots technology can do and will probably do better in the future. However, I've found that being able to accommodate the use of old fashioned fax machines (which these days is typically an all-in-one combi printer/scanner) by clients, has done my business no harm and potentially a lot of good...

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Roland6
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Re: Needs better information on faxing

>I've never understood why companies are clinging to fax.

Simple, I've sent a contractual document to a client that needs their signature before my team step on site. The easiest way for the client to read the document etc. is to print it out and use a pen to sign that copy and put it on to a fax machine, thereby transmitting a legally recognised copy back to me and knowing that I have received that copy...

There are other business use cases (albeit a small group), largely revolving around convenience and ease of use by non-tech people, where having a fax machine that can scan paper containing handwriting can be helpful.

But yes, as technology gets better we can expect traditional fax to disappear, something that the adoption of X.400 messaging (instead of SMTP) all those years back would probably have assisted...

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Brute force box lets researchers, Cops, pop iDevice locks

Roland6
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Just how secure do we want our devices to be?

I ask this question as in the last few days, I've had to deal with several Windows laptop/workstation systems where access has been locked down and the Admin passwords lost/forgotten - Hirens BootCD (in CD form) has seen a lot of use...

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Roland6
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17 hours is still a significant hurdle...

So with a little equipment and patience the pin can be cracked in under 17 hours...

What I find myself asking, who is going to invest this amount of time in cracking a 'hot' device? That could potentially be remotely disabled during this process and hence render the whole escapade worthless.

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FDA draws line between wearable health gizmos and proper medical gear

Roland6
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I'm a little surprised that the FDA aren't being encouraged to draw a line between consumer devices and medically approved devices. I'm sure the iWatch will be able to monitor my pulse, but will it's readings be accurate and reliable?

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Microsoft RE-BORKS Windows 7 patch after reboot loop horror

Roland6
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Re: Wailing and gnashing of some teeth

It hasn't (yet) cause any problems on my Dell Win7/64 machines. But then thanks to El Reg, I did install all the other updates first and then did a separate update run just for this update.

Mind you the update isn't small at 43.8MB...

Wouldn't surprise me if it turns out the cause of the problems are due this update upsetting some unknown rootkit, just like the update to NTFS.SYS a few years back caused some systems to unexpectedly BSOD...

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Roland6
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Re: Not unprecedented.

Given you can get WiFi connected USB hubs these days, I think they left the power port with the capability for occasional other usage, just like the iPhone and iPad...

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Roland6
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Re: @Bronek @DougS

Every laptop will use USB-C for charging by end of next year, so you'll have the same charger for every laptop. Isn't that a good thing?

This is Apple we are talking about: remember the iPad charged at different rates depending upon whether you used an Apple USB cable and adaptor or a third-party cable and adaptor...

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Carriers want 5G to do everything, for anything, anywhere

Roland6
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Re: Lan replacement

Most factory floors, have drop cabling (mains and comm's). However, I suspect the main reason for greater emphasis on WiFi is because people are lazy and try and do things on the cheap!

So come the office desk re-arrangement, a fixed infrastructure generally requires someone to physically move connectors, possibly purchase some new (longer) drop leads etc. But (non-IT pro's) people will raise the question: why incur these costs when (most) PC's now have WiFi adaptors; then complain because things are (unpredictably) a little slow at times.

My rule of thumb, is that the WiFi is mainly to enable flexible working by laptop users, with static workstations being best served by fixed cabling. Obviously, the really challenging problem is providing power and comm's to the island reception desk in an atrium (so no convenient ceiling) that the office designers insist must be positioned in the centre of the pre-existing solid marbled floor (so has no built-in outlets)...

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Roland6
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Re: Autonomous cars?

Google "Volvo Cloud" for an example of what one vendor is thinking of.

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Roland6
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Re: Spectrum

I think 'they' the 5G supporters, can agree - it's the spectrum currently being used by other media services: terrestrial TV, satellite TV, radio, unlicensed spectrum being used for WiFi etc. The catch is can they convince others to let them have that spectrum any time soon?

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Roland6
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Happy

No!

However, if you dig out that ancient 2G Nokia phone you may begin to wonder why you ever replaced it...

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UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?

Roland6
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Re: Where to put it?

>Somewhere close to the equator

Ascension Island?

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'Fry-OS 8' iPhone BLEW UP MY PANTS wails roasted Johnson

Roland6
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Re: we are spoiled

>I don't think most people know just how nasty lithium ion batteries can be regardless of the supplier.

I think many have very short memories and don't remember the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Lithium ion battery 'thermal events' ...

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Why Wi-Fi won't solve mobile telcos' data dilemma

Roland6
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UMA

Technologies such as Unlicensed Mobile Access have so far failed to take off

Whilst this may be correct, there are good reasons for this and most of them are commercial, not technical. In this respect it is slightly amusing that mobile operators will (if you pressurise them sufficiently) send you what is effectively a femocell base station to connect to your broadband router, when if they supported UMA, it would simply require a change of setting on the handset...

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Roland6
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Re: Nothing new.

Agree nothing really new here, many products and solutions already exist under the Metropolitan Area Network heading.

It is one of the things that surprises me about London's "Tech City/roundabout" that they seem to be focused on cabled solutions (provided by BT) to their internet needs rather than MAN style solutions available from others. "Tech City" would be a good test bed and reference for these technologies..

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$250K: That's what Lenovo earned to RAT YOU OUT with Superfish

Roland6
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Re: $250,000

Remember this is what Superfish paid Lenovo to effectively place their 'advertisement' on what I assume to be a defined number of systems. Hence the monies represent what Superfish were prepared to pay for the potential 'leads' and sales affiliate commissions they envisaged gaining from this campaign.

What this tells us is that whilst "advertising space" on new PC's will continue to be attractive, the owners/controllers of this space will need to exercise much more vigilance over this space and more carefully curate those 'advertisements' they do permit.

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Roland6
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Re: The problem is margin

>Side note - even on business laptops, it's amazing how much of the hardware requires actual software programs to control it these days.

Yes, and the worrying thing is the amount of hardware that once was discrete and now can require firmware updates: HDD, DVD/RW drive, Video adaptor, RAID adaptor ...

>I just worked on getting a new HP EliteBook into our "supported hardware" category, and I needed about 5 non-crapware applications installed just to let me control the hardware!

Dell is similar, what I discovered was that the Driver recovery disk was critical (if doing a full clean install) as these installed these poorly documented non-crapware applications and hardware drivers in the right sequence...

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Roland6
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Re: Changes at the Lenovo site

>A couple of days ago the main driver download page on Lenovo's website was largely filled with an advert for a third party utility to scan and download the latest drivers.

Strange they got any sales, as I've always used the IBM/Lenovo pre-installed "System Update" utility to keep my various pre-installed drivers and utilities up-to-date. Visiting the driver download site on those occassions when I wish to short circuit System Update (System Update seems to pull it's driver updates from a repository containing all versions of a driver, hence will sequentially step through and install each one in turn until it runs out of updates.

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Make room, Wi-Fi, Qualcomm wants to run LTE on your 5GHz band

Roland6
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Re: Get off my lawn, err, wifi.

>5GHz LTE _will_ have to compete with 5GHz Wifi. This could get interesting.

Definitely will get interesting, as from an infrastructure perspective, 5GHz LTE will have to better 5GHz WiFi both from a throughput and capacity viewpoint but also from a cost perspective. I suspect that in-building LTE will look very similar to in building WiFi, only the equipment will be badged 'Qualcomm' instead of 'Cisco'.

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Roland6
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Stealth takeover of the spectrum by 4G/LTE ?

This announcement is made against the backdrop of two significant statements of intent by the LTE vendor/operator community:

1. The use of LTE to create fermocell's and replace WiFi.

2. The demand for more spectrum and specifically the spectrum currently being used by terrestrial broadcast TV.

So whilst there is nothing actually stopping the used of the unlicensed 5GHz bands for LTE, I do question what is the long-term game plan here - particularly as unlicensed spectrum doesn't earn any licensing revenue...

Perhaps the regulator, in a far-sighted move, should make the spectrum released from shuffling the TV channels around unlicensed...

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Would you trust 'spyproof' mobes made in Putin's Russia?

Roland6
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Re: Would you trust 'spyproof' mobes made in Putin's Russia?

Also why not? Many security programs that have been happily running on many of our Windows PC's for years, such as Kaspersky, originate from companies and development teams based in Russia...

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US military SATELLITE suddenly BLOWS UP: 'Temperature spike' blamed

Roland6
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And the US government will demand the extradition of a UK teenager for 'hacking' super secret and secure US military computers, when in fact the teenager had accidentally gained accessed to said systems in their quest to search out new Minecraft worlds...

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

Roland6
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Re: Old Fart

> the 32" LCD TV I bought a few years ago still seems a bit overkill

I suspect that many people buy TV's based on their presence in showrooms. In PC World for example, the 32" screen look small and lost against much larger displays. But as you say put them in the context of the typical home and things can look very different.

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Lenovo: We SWEAR we're done with bloatware, adware and scumware

Roland6
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Re: Ingredients

As an academic exercise the purpose of "zeroing" the free space is purely to set it to a consistent known value, so that comparison with other samples become valid.

However, because HDD's are variable in size and free space would be the major usage, it is probably better to exclude it otherwise based on 00000000 the perentage of 1's will tend to zero and with a pattern of 01010101 the percentage will tend to 50:50.

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Roland6
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re: @Fuzz

Drivers can be pushed through Windows Update no need for a different Lenovo tool to be running to do this.

Yeh right, it was the third-party drivers MS insisted on installing from WUP that helped to break the MS imposed auto update from W8 to 8.1 on a set of HP laptops a client had...

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Roland6
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Re: So Lenovo doesn't want to sell in the indeterminate future? @Fenton

I think Lenovo in trying to communicate clearly have put your finger on the problem.

It is only with a new factory image that doesn't exist in the channel today, namely the Windows 10 release, can Lenovo be absolutely sure that customers can confidently purchase a Lenovo consumer grade laptop without concern. I expect this will also apply if you purchase a Windows 10 laptop downgraded to 7/8.

Also I suspect given the inventory issues around the Win8 launch, Lenovo have one eye on the launch of Win10.

Obviously, if you are buying today and want to avoid the 'bloat' then do as I've done for years and buy from the business ranges.

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Britain needs more tech immigrants, quango tells UK.gov

Roland6
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TechUK need a reality check!

"The government's migration quango says the UK needs more immigrants from outside the EU in four key IT areas, namely senior developers, product managers, network security specialists and "data scientists""

Looking at these four areas, it is obvious that all these senior roles require solid prior real-world experience and not just a couple of years post-grad. Looking at the world, there aren't many places outside of the EU and north America where you are likely to get people with these skills who are interested in relocating to the UK and be able to hit the ground running. So I would be interested in knowing just where TechUK think these people will be coming from.

No TechUK need to encourage it's supporters to train and promote internally here in the UK, so as to create the vacancies for recent graduates. This also has the benefit of creating a pool of expertise that can be exported...

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Roland6
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Re: Not sure what to make of it...

"Had to advertise for a developer job for a 12 month contract with possible extension, salary £45k, 36 days leave."

Well given this was for a 1 year contract - it wasn't a salary of £45K you were offering...

So given long-term contract rates, you were really looking for a recent graduate with circa 3 years experience.

So it would be interesting to know the thumbnail profiles of the applicants...

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UK.gov shuns IT support tower model. Now what the hell do we do?

Roland6
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Re: Ah, the traditional model @Pen-y-gors

Nothing wrong with the traditional model, it helped to create the rather lucrative SI market...

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BP: Oil prices crashed, so must our ICT budget

Roland6
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Re: Greed

They still have billions in liabilities for the GoM disaster

Yes the ambulance chasers have been having a feeding frenzy on this one, can't foresee them letting go anytime soon.

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Roland6
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Re: Greed @Doctor Syntax

It also depends on how that profit is being used and what proportion is being given out as dividends - not all companies use their profits wisely...

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EFF fears crims are getting smart to Superfish SSL flaws

Roland6
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Re: @mybackdoor

>but isn't the lesson here not to buy Lenovo and move on?

Err No!!! You obviously don't get what is being said.

Whilst there may be questions about Lenovo's role in the widespread distribution of the Superfish code and the vulnerabilities it introduced both on a individual PC and in creating a large install base of PC's with exactly the same vulnerability and hence make a tempting target for malware writers. The fundamental issue is that there is absolutely nothing preventing a user from downloading some innocuous looking browser add-on and that add-on setting itself up as a Superfish mark 2. Yes Windows will flash a warning to the user about whether they really want to install a new certificate. However, for the vast majority of (non-IT) users they want the add-on, hence they will click 'OK' on the messages with little or no understanding of what exactly they were clicking 'OK' to. In fact I'll suggest that even IT literate users would have problems determining if a browser add-in did or didn't need to install a new certificate.

Going back to Lenovo and Superfish, without a detailed evaluation of the code, I doubt many even so called security experts would of spotted the flaw. Yes some may have spotted the poor password and some other aspects, but I suspect that the majority would of missed the dimension added by having the code installed on thousands of PC's...

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