* Posts by Bluenose

299 posts • joined 19 May 2010

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BT dismisses MPs' calls to snap off Openreach as 'wrong-headed'

Bluenose

Re: New Zealand has done it.

In Milton Keynes, BT were the incumbent cable supplier to the whole city, the Govt of the day decided that this wasn't fair so forced them to sell their cable to NTL or whoever was the massively indebted cable provider of the day.

Some 20 years later, Milton Keynes does not have Virgin Media cable based broadband because Virgin Media didn't bother to upgrade the original copper cabling as it was too expensive to do so. The only fibre provider is BT and that is limited to the cabinet.

So much for markets and competition.

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Bluenose

Re: Publicly owned business

Some people may wish to read the article at the following site, http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/how-the-uk-lost-the-broadband-race-in-1990-1224784. Makes for interesting reading and shows once again how the party of business is more about the party of making money for its mates.

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Bluenose

Re: Publicly owned business

We could always turn to the head of Marconi, he knew what he was doing. Or perhpaps the head of the recent state run East Coast rail line before it was passed back in to private hands based on some pretty crappy maths from the current Government.

Both state and private industries have a reputation for massive cockups and failures, the media tend to focus more on the former than the latter because it often results in a loss of "tax payer" money whilst ignoring the far greater loss of "pensioners" money.

A QUANGO is not a business and, as others have pointed out, BT prior to privatisation was a profitable business and focussed on improving its technology including upgrading its telephone network and exchanges.

The issue with state industries in invariably the problems caused by politicians sticking their mates in to the leadership roles and having them work to support an unannounced agenda (for the Tories privatisation and for Labour a flawed sense of equality between management and workers). It is this hidden agenda that screws most state sector industry in the same way as companies get screwed by boards who are more interested in their short term easy to achieve bonuses based on share price increases than on the long term return to investors based on growing sales.

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Bluenose

Re: Publicly owned business

But Churchill was convinced we would all be flying around in helicopters as a quick cheap form of travel and so didn't need the train system.

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Bluenose

Re: Roads. Electricity. Internet.

I almost agree with you, though. The only problem is that nationally owned infrastructure is generally mismanaged by a committee. I've no idea why, as it should be able to operate as any other large business.

I'll give you a clue. They're called politicians and they don't give you a chance to get the first project done before they have changed the requirements, pulled the funding and generally had a great time destroying what hasn't been built in the first place.

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UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim

Bluenose

Re: Purpose

The problem is that as always the concept of something new (spot pricing) is being presented as a great advantage to consumers however, I found the following on a web site in New Zealand:

A spot-price contract can bring significant savings but also can expose consumers to financial risks. If you are thinking of signing up, before proceeding, carefully consider all the risks and rewards and whether your financial position gives you the ability to manage the risks.

If you are unsure - seek independent advice.

So yet again consumers are being sold something that is more likely to see them screwed than one that actually gives them real benefits. One only has to think of all those who found that the value of their investments went down significantly when they needed to go up or found themselves with wonderfully cheap interest only mortgages that the linked investment accounts can't pay off.

As the original comment on this said, the people who really need stability and certainty of price so as to be able to adequately budget and pay for their power will find themselves railroaded through mis-selling in to contracts that result in them being cut off and chased by debt collectors.

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North Wales Police outsourcing deal results in massive overspend

Bluenose

Not always down to the outsoucer

The problem with outsourcing and quite often with those who criticise it is that the actual party looking to outsource a)does not know what their IT people do, b)has no idea of the true cost of IT and c)gets rid of the people to manage the outsourcer because hey there is no IT department to be managed anymore.

For example someone asks for a one hour webinar and gets charged £3,000. Or you can actually break the task down in to its constituent parts; someone spends couple of hours finding out what it is that the customer actually wants rather than the vague statement a webinar on Software as a Service; then they write a presentation for a couple of hours to make sure it meets the requirements that were provided and then they prepare for the presentation to make it polished and professional. Suddenly the one hour webinar turns in to a whole day piece of work (and note I left out all the stuff about finding out whether the customer's own infrastructure supports webinars in the first place).

It is the same with light bulbs. What's that I hear you say £60 to change a light bulb that's a rip off. Of course if there is no one to buy the light bulb, no one to find someone to go and change it, no one to order a replacement for the failed one so that we have one in the cupboard for the next one to fail rather than waiting until someone pops to B&Q to buy one (which of course will a 2 hour round trip).

Outsourcing works for companies who know what their IT departments do, the value they provide the true costs of providing that service and the tasks and activities that take place in order to deliver the current in house services. The problem is that such companies are few and far between.

And the problem with having lots of companies doing different bits of work is that someone needs to manage them all and that, in today's public sector, means getting a SMI in to that job.

The UK Govt keeps pushing outsourcing because of an erroneous belief that private is best. this has been a driver for years and explains PFI as much as IT oursourcing. The problem is that outsources inherit the same "inefficient" staff that the Govt claims exist in the public sector which is why outsourcing will be cheaper in their view and they also inherit the same inefficient customer who doesn't know what they need in the first place.

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More UK broadband for bumpkins, but have-nots still ain’t happy

Bluenose

Re: choice

Please define arseend of nowhere. I leave less than 2 miles from a small town with fibre to the cabinet, 5 miles from Milton Keynes with fibre to the cabinet, 11 miles from Leighton Buzzard (fibre and cable services) and about the same from Flitwick (with its Virgin Media super fast service and fibre to the cabinet) and I still get a crappy broadband 'cos our exchange is to small to do make it economic to upgrade.

There are also estates in Milton Keynes where the broadband is pretty crap or non-existent although I think BT did eventually replace all the aluminium wiring that prevented customers from getting broadband

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Bluenose

Re: well-known technology news site covers rural broadband

That's next week's headline and will appear after the Express announces its latest cure for Alzheimers and that Statins have been found to sort out MS.

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Bluenose

Almost right

Where we live the target is apparently 2mbps for the countryside. Our council teamed with Milton Keynes and Bedford Borough to get BT to improve broadband in the larger market towns (Sandy, Biggleswade, etc.) but where a village already received 2mbps then nah no need to do anything.

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Sky bangs on Ofcom's door – demands BT competition probe

Bluenose

Why Splitting OpenReach off from BT won't work

There are strong economic reasons why splitting OpenReach from BT is a bad idea. The fact that BT retains a majority position in both the fixed line telephone and broadband markets means that there is value for them in investing in OpenReach and pushing out new infrastructure to areas where the likes of Sky, TalktTalk and others don't want to play.

For BT, this means that there is money in putting in new cabling, cabinets, etc. via OpenReach as there is a return on their investment since they will pick up pretty much all the customers in the remote and rural areas which whilst not massively profitable to offer additional margin and revenue which is cheap to capture in terms of marketing and also cheap to retain. The situation also means that the Govt can put pressure on BT to deliver services to the more rural and remote areas of the UK by threatening to take away OpenReach.

If OpenReach is taken away then Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk and BT will focus all their investment where they will make money, cities, towns and larger village conurbations and say sod off to all other communities. The current obligations on BT to provide a Universal Service will also need to be removed as it would be unfair to force such conditions on one supplier when they no longer have the benefit and responsibility of the network to support such a Service. OpenReach of course would still have the obligation but will struggle as it would have have limited power to force the service providers to deliver the Universal Service unless the Govt makes it mandatory to a far greater level than is applied by Ofcom on Talktalk and Sky today. OpenReach will probably also find investment to build infrastructure in areas where the telecoms vendors refuse to play in any material way and so will park all their vans in the financially sound areas (won't be able to move in some towns for their vans) and smaller towns and villages will screwed.

The Govt will then shout and scream but as the "MARKET" is the key to ecomomic success, etc. the companies will simply tell them to get stuffed. Of course the Govt could legislate to resolve this as an issue but one can imagine the response they will get from the big pension companies, Rupert and others who will complain that the Govt is overriding competition and trying to create a new nationalised industry.

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Bluenose

Re: Without supporting Sky in any way...

But I note that young James is there as a non-exec and 21st Century Fox owns just under 40% of the shares. Since young James is also a director of 21st Century Fox I think Rupert baby has sufficient indirect control over Sky.

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Britain beats back Argies over Falklands online land grab

Bluenose

Re: Get yer skates on Argentina!

I believe that the Chinese are supposed to be obtaining a number of Chinese FC-1/JF-17 "Thunder" fighters (according to the Express back in February). According to the same source they are allegedly amongst the "most advanced fighter jets in the world" although having read some background on them I think the answer is that they are small medium priced car (with Argentinian number plates) which a few extra Typhoons and improved long range ground based radar would probably find relatively simple to manage.

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Bluenose

Re: Local control

I think the problem is that the Argentinian govt would prefer it if the islands where given a AR country code or that the code was fk.ar. The fact that the islanders have been given a code without the permission of Argentina undermines the Argentinian legal claims as it shows the the islands are not subject to the control of Buenos Aires but are allowed by Britain to exercise their own political and economic will without interference.

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

Bluenose

Yet another waste of a politicians time

Doh, why don't people buy from shops in other countries.................. because 99 times out of 100 the ordinary person in the street has no clue as to the name of the shop they need to go to. If I want to buy electronics I go to Maplin, ebay or Amazon. Why would I go and search around the internet to find the name of a couple of shops in Germany, France or any other country?

Perhaps if politicians had a clue about real people they would realise that people buy from those companies they know and mainly trust. For example how many people buy from John Lewis because of its well established reputation? People don't buy from foreign shops because in the main they have no idea who they are and if you don't know who they are how do you type in their URL?

The other side of the coin of course is that for international trade most of the business will generally flow more and more towards those companies that have international reputations and those will be companies like Amazon, Baidoo and others who use their massive purchasing power to undercut national web suppliers.

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Didn't the Left once want the WORKERS to get all the dosh?

Bluenose

Captialism got rid of Racism!!

What a brilliant article, here is someone explaining how free market economics got rid of racism, shame it is, like football in many respects, a load of balls.

Racism is an attitude that still exists in football and can be found every day just by looking at the industry: from the kids in South America and Africa who are exploited by the Capitalists in order make money from their possible sale (Carlos Tevez was only the start of an industry where players are owned by agents and touted to clubs for money). Then you have the chants and attitudes of Italian fans to black players or the comments by both Spanish and Italian managers about the number of black players. It soon becomes clear that just because a black guy is paid the same as a white one, racialism is still prevalent in the football and industry.

More importantly, I am keen to find these Captilists who magic up the spades to sell to potato farmers. The only capitalists I can find are those who need workers to do the work whilst they provide some money. The problem is that the Capitalist uses their financial power to exploit the workers who are more important to the creation of wealth than those who simply move money around. As many coal miners would point out where it the wealth creation in using children to mine cheap Columbian coal to sell in Britain and other parts of the world?

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Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

Bluenose

Re: Bloody teenager

Whoever down voted you is obviously a West is Wrong/Baddie fan. Of course other spy agencies are doing this and they probably won't think twice about actually killing people to get the information (or did Litvinienko die of natural causes) or giving them some money to buy the information (might be cheaper than hacking in but leaves someone to tell the tale so revert to former point).

Back in the 80s when Terry Waite and co were all locked up in cells in Lebanon, someone kidnapped a couple of Russians. When this was discovered the KGB identified the perpetrators, captured their family members and threatened to shoot them unless the Russians were released. Hey presto prisoners released and no need for years of negotiations.

The Western spy agencies are not white than white and I disagree with a lot of the things they say they need to do, but compared to the intelligence agencies of Russia, China, Pakistan, India and most other countries I would say they are probably the whitest of the white amongst their brethren.

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Bluenose

Re: The Five-Eyes-Of-Sauron are Legalized Criminals...

Sorry you missed some players of your list, what about FSB and the spy agencies of every other country in the world? Do you really believe that only the 5 Eyes have done this? Do you really think that criminals have not also sought to get this information? In many ways your post is symptomatic of this idea that only a small group of countries is doing this. Such short sightedness is incredible when one looks outside of the local national borders at the people dying daily in Ukraine, Tibet, Thailand, Africa as a continent and pretty much every other war torn place on Earth.

In this world knowledge really is power and every country is determined to have that power which means that we are all under threat not from the US or the UK or even Australia but by every country with a functioning intelligence service, so please add India and Pakistan and pretty much every other country in the world to you list.

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Bluenose

Re: Any chance of clarification...

Do you have evidence that the activities to undertake these steps were unauthorised? I am pretty certain that they will have the necessary legal sign off to obtain this type of material. Remember the Security agencies of any country are not directly bound by the laws of the land to the extent that the national governments have given them a specific objective to achieve using techniques and activities necessary to the achievement of the objective.

Someone downloading tv/music or any other copyrighted material for their own use without agreement from the seller or approval from their government is theft.

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Bluenose

Re: Does anyone still think this is only about terrorism? ...Its just too big a dragnet...

You're making the same mistake that everyone makes, blame the 5 Eyes members. What about China,Russia, North Korea, South Korea, Israel, Iran and all the other countries in the world with a semi technical literate intelligence service? The fact that Western democracies refuse to control in any material way their media outlets allows this type of story to come out. Meanwhile journalists in other countries are prohibited from publishing similar stories (to the extent that someone has not been killed before telling them) on risk of death or because the Govt controls what they print.

Billions are threatened by this but not because of the 5 Eyes members but because most intelligence services are doing it and those that aren't well they want to.

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£100 MILLION poured down drain on failed UK.gov IT projects - in just ONE YEAR

Bluenose

Re: Government contracts

Government would have provided the contract and refused to negotiate on any of the terms.

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Bluenose

Re: As a new start up...

Or you could simply apply to join one of the many Govt frameworks that are out there: G-Cloud, Network Services, Digital Services, Technology Services, etc. These are all designed to allow small companies to get their foot on the ladder of Govt. tendered work. Of course you will have to sign up to all the T&Cs but then most small companies never let an onerous contract term stop them from bidding :)

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Bluenose

Re: Basically...

You must see some odd Govt contracts then since I deal with them daily and every contract I look at has clauses in that allow the customer to claim for actual loss if the supplier is late in delivery or does not deliver the services to specification. In fact I recently tried to amend one framework where suppliers does not get paid for any work performed if they are late in delivery by more than a fixed number of days. Govt would not even return the work products that were provided even though they had not paid.

Oh and by the way the reason there are no penalty clauses in UK Govt contracts is because under English Law you cannot seek a penalty in a commercial contract. Only damages to put you back in the position you would have been in had you not entered in to the contract and those clauses in Govt contracts are comparable with the IT industry norm for contracts.

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'Tech' City hasn't got proper broadband and it's like BT doesn't CARE

Bluenose

Re: BT in GB and AT&T in the US

Of course they want to suck every penny out of the infrastructure, it cost them (or in BT's case the British taxpayer) hundreds of millions if not billions of pounds to implement that infrastructure and will now cost billions to upgrade it. The whole purpose of capitalism is to maximise the return from an investment in order to earn a profit and create the capital needed for future investments. Dumping an infrastructure before it has paid for itself or created the capital to replace it is a dumb idea.

In fact it is almost as dumb as a politician demanding that BT provide a service to their constituents. Why should BT have to be told what to do, if it believes it can maximise its profits by providing services elsewhere then that is its right as a private (although shareholder owned) company. If the politician really wants to be able to dictate where business invests its cash and seeks its profits then nationalise the company so that you have the right to make that demand.

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HMRC fails to plan for £10.4bn contract exit... because it's 'too risky'

Bluenose

Re: Fraud Vs Incompetence

Only certain companies can bid because only certain companies can afford to accept the unlimited liabilities, bureaucracy, prevarication and constant change of requirements that goes with bidding for such a contract.

The people from the Internet world are employed and look at what a good job Martha Lane Fox did before she left. The remainder all work for Digital Services and they are doing a great job on the Government portal and various "Catalogue" sites that Govt customer are supposed to buy through these days.

And of course in all the commentary against this article no one has mentioned networks, firewalls, Govt required security lockdowns, the exceptions to those lock downs and all the other stuff that is needed to be in place before you can even start to build the application.

The change in value of Aspire would appear, based on an August 2014 article, a result of the most popular game in the Public Sector, buy A and then introduce change after change, after change, after... ad infinitum.

Finally, I would love to see the Internet world expert explain to the Dept how they can take their solution built on mainframes and written in ancient languages (like Cobol and Fortran) and easily convert them with a few lines of HTML code in to a brand new solution. In reality what they need is someone who stops them changing their mind about the functionality they need, when they need it and why imposing MI5 level encryption rather than the type used by Banks is a bad idea. Those are the people the Public Sector need but they are also the type of people politicians hate because they stop you implementing stupid ideas and policies by telling you how much it is going to cost.

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Then there were 3: Another UK mobile network borged ...

Bluenose

Re: Wrong logic

Considering the limited scope of BT's plans for FTTC, it is more probable that they will only get a few thousand additional small cells and all of them will be in large urban conurbations. Us poor "country" dwellers will have to stick with Vodafone 3G or what ever other company sticks up a mast but doesn't bother extending its LTE to them.

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Cheer up UK mobile grumblers. It's about to get even pricier

Bluenose

Re: Seriously?

But then again you could go and ask the same group about EU legislation and most of them wouldn't be able to tell you what EU legislation was the cause of the issues.

Most people are ignorant about the EU and believe whatever simple arguments are given to them because it is to hard to understand the complexities. More people believe that the EHCR is part of the EU than believe in Father Christmas.

That said I doubt that anyone supports UKIP because of mobile phone charges.

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EU copyright law: Is the Pirate Party's MEP in FAVOUR of it?

Bluenose

Getting access to authors proved difficult?

I must admit I found the statement from the report that getting access to individual authors and other creative types was difficult. The fact that the people who speak on behalf of these people are also businesses with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo is a concern to me. How do we truly know, both the members and the recipients, that the case being put forward by such bodies is unbiased and correctly reflects the views of those whose work should be protected? Does the PRS actually seek input from its members in order to respond to questions from people like this MEP or do they create their own version of the truth as they see it?

Personnaly I think the report as reported here appears to be reasonably well balanced and attacks a few issues that I think need attacking for example the fact that if I buy an e-book I get only a license to use not ownership of the book. This limits my rights, versus those in physical goods space, to sell on something I no longer need or to loan it to someone else. Perhaps I should stick to buying the physical and ignore the electronic world, not least because the actual savings achieved are minimal if I am not a big purchaser of music or books or even DVDs.

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Bluenose

Re: Double edged sword

So everyone should sell at the lowest possible price and then we can all live on $1.50 a day like the people in the rest of the world. Sounds fair enough of course it will put paid to the products that are developed in rich countries as they cannot to recruit people at $1.50 per day for some reason.

There will always be an imbalance between the cost of goods in under developed economies and those in developed economies, not least because of the exchange fluctuations that exist between economies, £1 in the UK is equal to Euro 1.3 today but maybe only Euro 1 tomorrow.

Economic control also drives up the price. The luxury good markets love China and other countries where the use of money is controlled by fixed exchange rates and limitations on peoples ability to travel. They are the countries where luxury goods sell for the full price whereas in the developed economies they sell below that price because people can go elsewhere to find it cheaper.

Nothing will ever be sold for the same price all around the world apart form U2 albums from Apple.

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UK.gov prompt payment promise is POPPYCOCK - NAO

Bluenose

Whose fault is this?

The following is taken from the CCS model contract (framework agreement) which is used as the basis for all current Govt framework agreements including IT and is publicly available on the CCS website:

23.2.1 The Supplier shall ensure that all Sub-Contracts contain a provision:

(a) requiring the Supplier to pay any undisputed sums which are due from the Supplier to the Sub-Contractor within a specified period not exceeding thirty (30) days from the receipt of a valid invoice; and

So the Framework that suppliers sign requires them to include this in their contracts and the clause goes further insisting that the Supplier tell the Govt when they have not met the 30 days limit and gives the Govt the right to publicise this failure and still this is an issue??

The problem here that the NAO really needs to highlight is that Govt Contract Managers do not enforce the contracts they sign and CCS waste time putting clauses in to contracts that they never enforce. Perhaps if Civil Servants did their job things might change.

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HP breaks for Xmas week - aka 'staff hols' - source

Bluenose

Re: Exactly, makes sense

You must be American, in the UK 4 days does not equal 50% of vacation

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The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

Bluenose

The PR department said "may"

And therein lies the issue. It "may" be criminal dependent on the wording in the Terrorism Act 2006 if you regard You Tube or any other media site on which the video has been made available as passive and that therefore the act of transmission is initiated by the person who clicks on the play button for the video. As the police wish to stop people viewing this (and not necessarily for criminal purposes but for the protection of the public in general) then they may "choose" to interpret the law in such a way. As the PR wonk said, it is all down to interpretation.

It is important to remember that the police are not only required to respond to criminal incidents but to act in such a way as to protect the general public from the possibility of crime. By interpreting the law in a particular fashion they may well be able to restrict or prevent people from doing something criminal. For example by planting the suggestion that watching a certain type of video may be illegal they may be able to prevent young knobheads from circulating the link as a joke or windup or even threat ("grass us up and this is what will happen to you") which is according to the Act a crime. One only has to look on line at the idiots who pose with guns or the money from drug deals to see some of the idiots that the police have to contend with or even worse the drunks who piss on war memorials while their mates film them.

I am not friend to the police having seen members of my family suffer from their stupidity and desperate attempts to justify large sums on investigating non-crimes but at the end of the day they are a very thin line responsible for protecting a lot of people and have often given their lives in undertaking that duty and it appears to me that they may, given a more favourable view of their actions be seen as trying to prevent crime by implying that an innocent act could be interpreted as a crime.

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Pentagon hacker McKinnon reinvents himself as SEO guru

Bluenose

So not just the rich and famous

are able to avoid taking responsibility for their action. Or does he count as "famous" now?

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Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers

Bluenose

why would the Irish know?

If the warrant has been served on Microsoft in the US on the basis that Microsoft controls Microsoft Ireland then the obtaining of the data would be an internal activity which would be out of site of the Irish courts. Unless the specific individual knew that a)they were being investigated and b)that the warrant had been issued so at to be able to seek an injunction from an Irish court then the Irish would have not involvement in the decision to hand the data over.

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UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

Bluenose

Re: Of course it won't get rid of MS

'I've no evidence to support this, but I suspect the vast majority of users don't use Macros and other fiddly bits in their day to day ops (we certainly don't) and wouldn't notice the difference.'

Does this mean that OO and other ODF based products are now capable of tracking document changes and presenting it as markup? That was the biggest problem that we had in my old company and why a lot of people didn't use the ODF products, they could not support the monitoring of text changes in documents which in organisations which collaboratively work on them is a bit of bind. Of course the move nowadays is to collaborative document editing in the Cloud which while clever is not always an effective use of people's time.

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French authorities take lead in grilling Google on 'Right to be Forgotten'

Bluenose

Hmm Interesting Position

"Following widespread concern from digital civil liberties groups, who believe that profit-making companies should not be making judgments about what is in the public interest at all...."

I assume that these people obviously also disagree with the newspapers and other media outlets all of whom determine what is in the public interest when deciding their editorial policy. Of course it could be argued that Google is not making such a decision as they only provide the link to another publisher who has already decided that publishing the information is a matter of public interest (well at least at the time they published it) therefore in reality it is the requestor and not Google who is determining whether or not something is in the public interest by asking for the link to be removed on the basis it is no longer in the public interest.

Perhaps people should stop and think this whole thing through a bit better than the judges who still think Androids are called Marvin and act pretty miserable.

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Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places

Bluenose
Alert

On the other hand

Is this how they plan to overcome the costs of deploying fast broadband to the expensive users , by deploying LTE wireless routers in the home and doing away with fixed line communications in their entirety?

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'Unsolicited texts' outrage: Man fined £4k for DPA breach

Bluenose

How to stop PPI calls & SMS

Banks & Govt agree that no claim for PPI made by a third party on behalf of an individual will be dealt with but that the Bank must contact the individual directly (with their information being provided by intermediary to the Bank for free) to determine if compensation is payable.

Thus the individual claim will still be dealt with but the pariah firms who rip people off wouldn't get a penny

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Days since IBM last reported revenue growth: About 810

Bluenose

Not all shareholders.....

Demand their pound of flesh from IBM.

The bigger issue from my perspective as a shareholder is that the board's incentive scheme for the directors is focussed solely on increasing the dividend to shareholders. This means that the directors don't care about whether the company grows in financial terms only whether they can generate sufficient free cash to pay the shareholders and earn themselves huge buckets of dollars.

I think that this focus on returns to shareholders is driven by the directors and has nothing to do with the demands of Wall St. IBM's directors are in this business for one purpose alone, to make as much money as they personally can at the expense of the staff and the company.

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Phone charging log helps to convict murderer

Bluenose

Re: @Russell Hancock

But if the power cut was local, i.e. the fuse blew for the circuit that the socket was on, then he could simply have said I got up and fixed the fuse.

The obligation to prove guilt lies with the prosecution so defence would not have had to provide anything, the prosecution would need to show that the fuse didn't blow or that he got up to fix it during the night when he claimed he was asleep, etc.

And finally, I bet the charging information is on the phone and therefore not something GSHQ or NSA need to force the ISP/phone company to keep. It probably also has a set size so wipes entries to maintain space.

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ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

Bluenose

Re: Get a grip

To the best of my knowledge I have never committed a crime in the UK but I have made a number of political points on the internet. Why does the Govt need to have my ISP retain my metadata other than to monitor my political leanings and writings? Seems to me the Govt is in breach of my right to privacy there.

In addition the retention is not to prevent or deter crime rather it is a blunt instrument which would allow individuals to be identified who may well use UK telecommunication links to post online about their own countries. The retention of their metadata will allow countries such as Iran, Norks and others to identify those users (by hacking ISPs, seeking legal injunctions, etc) and take action against them. Therefore rather than deterring crime it is actually in a position to potentially improve the capability of foreign countries to act against their opponents in the UK in criminal ways. Or even domestic criminals who can look to trace people in the witness protection scheme.

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Bluenose

Nick Clegg = Idiot

Just goes to show how thick Nick Clegg is, no Parliament is bound by the laws passed by a predecessor. Therefore all that happens is next Govt renews legislation in 2015, immediately after election, removing "poisoned pill" and hey presto its in place forever. As Nick and his mates won't be around in 2015 having received insufficient votes to elect an MP, the party in power will get its own way by enforcing three line whip to and threatening to link anyone who refuses to vote with the party line that they will make public dirt that the whip's office has on them.

Better to have the arguments about this legislation now while no party can force through this type of legislation instead of waiting until that is no longer an option.

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Russian law will force citizens' personal data to be stored locally

Bluenose

And Edward Snowden looked down...

on his revelations and realised that in giving the game away for the UK and UK he had set in motion an onslaught of domestic regulation in many countries of the world determined to be able to do the same thing to their own citizens as the US and UK. And Edward thought "what a stupid f********r I have been". Or he would do if he was as bright as he thought he was.

Sometimes you have to accept that something wrong may need be tolerated in order to prevent something worse happening. The reality was once countries woke up to the fact that the US and UK were monitoring data stored in the local data centres and all the traffic coming in and out, they would all want to do it especially those with a poor record in relation to citizen privacy in the first place.

I suppose we can't blame him in for this directly but his revelations will have given ideas to those despots who are not particularly strong in new technology and they will not be out shopping for the hardware and software to do this.

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NHS delivers swift kick to Microsoft's wallet over fee demands

Bluenose

Re: Ransom

Sorry but your post highlights your lack of knowledge about the NHS. Many of the products used within the NHS are niche, designed for a specific purpose and crucial to saving lives. I am not saying that the NHS does not use standard Microsoft products since they do but, Sourceforge and the general FOSS community do not produce applications that can be used to manage the millions of x-ray images that are generated every year, nor do they supply the pharmacetical patient records that are required to ensure people don't get the wrong medication. The cost of replacing these applications with FOSS based products would not only wide out any licence savings in respect of MS products but would also take some considerable time to produce. In the meantime people would die.

People who see the move to FOSS as the cure all for technology woes and Microsoft dominance do so through their own rose tinted glasses. The problem is that when you get down to it any migration of the Microsoft product set is beset by difficulties and additional costs to the organisation going that route.

An example from my own experience can be found in moving to Open Office since that product was unable to deal with tracking changes to the documents I authored which meant undertaking reviews was slow and complex when compared to the simple (if flawed) Microsoft track changes functionality.

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VC who wants to split California REVEALED as Silk Road Bitcoin slurper

Bluenose

How long before.....

someone hacks their systems and nicks all the coins??

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Snowden defends mega spy blab: 'Public affairs have to be known by the public'

Bluenose

Snowden is neither a whistleblower or hero

Snowden revealed what most people believed anyway so he wasn't a whistleblower. A whistleblower discloses what you don't know and cannot guess for example that the tobacco industry knew in the 50s that cigarettes killed people.

As for a hero; well let's think about that he spilled the beans on an employer who he had a contract with (breach of contract is a civil offence) and damaged the national security of both the UK & US (he may claim there has been no damage but he is not really in a position to judge sitting outside of those countries) and that is a criminal offence. On top of this his disclosure is unilateral and one sided in scope which means that Russia, China and Israel amongst many others now have a lot of detail of how the US and UK spy on them but the UK and US have no public visibility of how those countries are spying on us (not I don't say them because the likelihood is that those countries also undertake mass surveillance of both their own citizens and the citizens of other countries).

As for his defence that he went through the official channels at NSA to complain about what he believed where breaches of the law, does no one stop to wonder why the e-mails he claims to have sent have not been produced by the newspapers who supplied this material too? Surely he took a copy of his own e-mail file? But then perhaps the reality is as the NSA says, he never uttered a word to them.

I hate the idea that I am being spied on and I also dispute that you can spot patterns in the general population without having at least one person in whom you are interested but at the same time I dislike people who claim the high moral ground when actually they are simply a spy for the other side whether deliberately or by accident.

Please note this is not an AC post.

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Shift over, TV firms: LTE Broadcast will nuke current mobile telly tech

Bluenose

Who cares?

At the end of the day countries will still need DTT for the simple fact that millions of people cannot get a 4G signal and the 3G they get is pretty crap too and that is just in the UK.

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Auditors blast Blighty cops over binned multi-million pound IT project

Bluenose

What no termination for convenience clause!!

Simply amazed, no clause in the contract that says the police can cancel the contract for convenience and pay a sum for that privilege that is less than the final value of the contract (e.g. covers lost profit but not cost of staff). This is a standard in pretty much every public sector contract I have come across.

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0

Satellite 'net hype ignores realpolitik

Bluenose

"Satellite is good for when you're stuck miles away from civilisation (eg; Amazon Jungle, Sahara Desert)" or when you live in a village in England that is only 2 miles from a town with fibre broadband or in the Highlands of Scotland or even in Wales.

Believe me satellite is slowly becoming an attractive option to those of us who don't live in places where BT need to compete with Virgin because despite all the bull, the reality is that BT are only looking to compete with Virgin and Sky and all the money in the worl (or even half a billion pounds) is not enough to get them to deploy fibre outside of small towns.

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1

Piketty thinks the 1% should cough up 80%. Discuss

Bluenose

Another "stop picking on the rich" article

having read my earlier post I realised it did not communicate what I was trying to get across so withdrew it, Hopefully better second time around.

This article is typical of those who try to draw attention away from the facts; the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer both on an income and wealth basis. It is that widening gap that Picketty is trying to show and actually achieve in his book.

By using the word "benefits" the author is seeking to suggest that only the poor will benefit from state handouts perhaps saying Govt assistance might even the field because when use different language people start to think about tax breaks and financial assistance given to the rich as well as the income supplements and replacements that constitute "benefits". Who remembers all those rich people making huge financial returns because the govt did not tax tree plantations the same as other assets?

Wealth is measured on the basis of its economic utility. The NHS and state pension cannot be converted to cash since removing the NHS would not necessarily result in a fall in taxation and the state pension paid from general taxation has no underlying value only that which can be received at the point in time it is paid (and in most instances is an income replacement benefit).

The rich on the other hand have wealth that can be readily converted to cash. Selling the farm is swapping an asset for cash, as is selling shares. The liquidity means that the rich can move their money in to investments and activities that deliver a better rate of return which means that their wealth will always increase unless they make stupid investments. This is not an option available to people at the bottom who do not have the surplus income to get in to the wealth generation business nor to procure the services of those who will happily reduce the amount of tax an individual pays.

The author of this article is trying to defend the the indefensible, an increasing wealth gap is not good for society (as Czar Nicholas) there needs to be some sort of steady state position whereby there is a gap but it is not seen as unfair or subject to material change over long periods which is the problem today. One only has to look at the US to see even the mega wealthy there are concerned about this growing inequality in both wealth and income. Sensible people see the risks and want to address them. Foolish people write articles that try to hide the truth by distraction in an effort to continue the current trend.

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