259 posts • joined 16 Jul 2010
Another monopoly which has lasted under various pretexts for far, far too long. Detailed knowledge of the London road layout? I'm not a big fan of GPS navigation myself, but even my nose can detect the 19th century aroma right there. C'mon, it is getting beyond ridiculous. Years worth of training? Really? I can't say I've ever been able to detect it in the manner they drive or in how they treat their customers.
Mozilla have completely lost their way
This is as far as it gets from the original days of "let's keep the Internet free from proprietary stuff". In the last few years, everything emanating from Mozilla has been more and more emulation of their "commercial" competitors - and that is, mainly Google. More and more muddling of why Mozilla exists in the first place. After receiving 300 millions a year from Google, they still nag everybody that they need more money. What for? To plaster more billboards throughout California promoting, err, themselves? Does it really take that much money to release one zillion releases per month which show no discernible or useful progress? Or maybe creating rounded tabs to match the ones from Chrome has been a massively costly exercise? I bet leaving Thunderbird, Lightning and some of their other projects aside, while singing "la-la-la" to the users who need them has really costed them a lot of money. And then there is all the muddling of lines between Mozilla Foundation the charity, and Mozilla Corporation the for-profit enterprise. Where exactly does the money, influence and branding rights go to nowadays - to which one of them? Here is an idea Mozilla - if you want to make some money, maybe it is time to get rid of some of that fat at the top - which is dreaming of more and more ways of being evil while telling everybody not to be evil. Oh, well, another idea you've borrowed, we all know from where.
Playing with the fire
Or maybe, just maybe, Snowden was a better sysadmin (well, an idealist sysadmin by the looks of it) than he is a journalist and a political animal. The very fact that he is even attempting to question the ethics and politics of his own hosts raises some serious questions about his understanding of world politics. He is only there because Putin doesn't like the Americans and wants to annoy them. He is deluding himself if he thinks otherwise. I'm not quite sure he will be able to find some other comfy place in the world any time soon if he is sawing that branch out. And he won't be able to do much whistle blowing and world stage heroics from a prison in the US - or even worse, some gulag in Russia. I would have thought he would be wise to leave criticising the Russian mass surveillance programme to others - who don't happen to be honoured guests of the Russian regime right now!
Technical problem my a*$e
"The issue was finally resolved in January when two officers were summoned to the CVC to explain themselves. It then emerged that the fuzz hadn’t dealt with any of the complaints for eight years because they simply didn’t know the password or how to use the portal."
So we are talking about corruption complains - you know, the type which potentially involve politicians and other people in positions of power and influence. Sure, it really takes 8 years to ask for a password! Or, far more likely, they used any excuse not to do their job, while some of said persons exerted "influence" over them and asked them not to do their job.
Something's fishy here
For pete's sake. Are these violin people so important to such a large proportion of your readership that you have to trot out at least an article per week about their latest twitch and itch? What's going on here? Is somebody getting a back hander somewhere? If they want publicity so badly, can't they just pay for one of those annoyingly huge side adverts on El Reg? Or even one of those full page background ones that hijacks your browsing session as soon as you want to click focus away from an element.
Or is there a journo on the team who can't be bothered to look for fresh ideas and just recycles the same topic to infinity and beyond? Someone enlighten us please, or else forget about the whining violins and spare our souls.
Where is the profit?
I'm a bit confused. Neither the article, nor the comments seem to be mentioning anything about profits. If Cyanogen has turned into a full bona fide business - what is the business model? Whom exactly are they going to charge (and what for) to make up those 23+7 million greenbacks? Anybody?
IoT - WTF?
For pete's sake - when we called them embedded devices, at least us in the industry knew what it was all about. Now they came up with a new fangled name which means absolutely nothing to anybody. Reminds me of EE - another completely pointless marketing exercise. If you go about renaming something, at least come up with some clever and/or explanatory new term.
Re: 3 are great...
I'm not so sure. At least in the north west of England, Three has pretty decent coverage almost everywhere - and that includes 3G broadband. I've downloaded entire video episodes using my 3G dongle in around 20 minutes in places. I've even used 3G on Three in the Lake District in the forest. OK - coverage was missing in some spots in Lake District - but it isn't the most populated place there is.
However, down south it seems to be a different story. Every time I visit London, the 3G barely crawls during day time where I stay. However, past 12 midnight, it gets fast enough to watch BBC iPlayer. But all this time I get full signal on my mobile. It looks like their network is quite oversubscribe in London - and probably other places as well.
So their coverage and capacity does vary from place to place - but they are still tremendous value for money.
"Actually I should be zero since the oh so smart people using Gnuliban OS surely would know how to buy a unit WITHOUT a pre-installed OS."
OK - I'll buy this one. Like, for every laptop and desktop model out there, there is a version with Windows and one without, right? Might be different in other countries, but in UK you might be lucky to get a handful of pc models offered without Windows. I'm not going to buy some random hardware combination by some random manufacturer of some random build quality - just so the machine has no pre-installed OS. So yes - I end up paying the MS tax because I am quite specific about what laptops (in general) I want and need.
OK - maybe this doesn't matter to everybody out there - but recently I've been looking to buy a light and small laptop - but with as much practicality as possible. I need my connectivity - I don't want to carry a bucket of adapters around. Of everything that I looked at 11 inch, only two seem to fit the bill: the Lenovo E130 and the Acer Travelmate B113. They have:
1. 3 x USB ports
2. Full size VGA
3. Full size HDMI
5. Full SD card slot
Oh, and I like AMD as the underdog, but in spite of that, I have to go with Intel on a laptop. In terms of performance versus heat versus battery life, they are still lagging too far behind. I keep on checking their offerings every year, and like the progress they have made, but I'm sorry, it is still not good enough. Good prices though.
In the end I went with the Lenovo, as it had double the (theoretical) battery life and it seemed stronger built. I've had my Thinkpad E130 for almost two weeks now. Aside from the usual initial EFI bumbling, Slackware went on it without any major problems. I've added another 4GB of ram and pretty much everything flies. I couldn't be happier. The keyboard is fantastic, but the trackpad should really have been bigger - as they could have moved the keyboard to make some space. The speakers are strong, but unfortunately underneath (WTF?). The whole thing is rock solid. But I can't stand the "ribbed" feel of the trackpad - don't understand why Lenovo keeps on insisting on it.
Haswell sounds marvellous for laptops, but it is taking an absolute age to arrive. They still haven't released the ULV versions of the planned Haswell processors. Oh, and my E130 might have just an Ivy Bridge i3-3227U, but it set me back only £492 - I'm not going to pay £1500 for a laptop - sorry. (I've noticed it has dropped further to about £470 at some e-tailers)
Hmm - sounds suspiciously like the old fashion protection racquet. Join one mafia group to be protected from the others. Pay us money so we protect you from the others suing you and claiming money off you.
Re: Is this a story?
"I think the reason journo types see this kind of thing as scandalous is that it's the first time they've ever actually been subjected to this type of work. "
Very well put. The first thing that crossed my mind when reading the article on BBC this morning was how the 23 year old journo sounded like a spoiled brat who's spent his time in uni smoking he-knows-what and having a good time while being supported by his parents - and now is shocked to find out that people in real world have to do real work for their money. FFS, it's not rocket science. You get paid £8.25 an hour for something that takes 5 minutes to learn. You want more money and more interesting work? Spend your youth (and in some cases, the rest of your life) finding something you have a a natural talent and passion for, Invest tenth of thousands of pounds and a good number of years in your education - and *don't* work as a stock picker. But don't make national news out of the fact that some jobs are more boring than others. Actually, the editors at BBC who promoted this piece of non-news to the front page have a lot more to answer for than the actual "under cover" journo.
Oh, and by the way, living in a big city, full of noise, and pollution, and having to finish stuff in work by deadlines, and having to put up with office politics, and shitty bosses, with screaming kids at home, and worrying about loosing your job and not being able to pay your mortgage, and, and, and ... well - pretty much everything is bad for your mental health. Welcome to adult life - get on with it and stop blaming big bad Amazon.
Does it require admin privileges for initial infection?
See title. I couldn't work out from the article if the .FAS file can still infect a machine even if it is opened by a user with restricted privileges.
Re: How could they find an SD-card reader....
I would have though the same - until the other week, when I was searching for a new laptop - and stumbled over the following bug report for Ubuntu on an Acer B113 - and obviously the card reader using the "tg3" kernel modules has some pretty crappy issues - go figure:
Re: Not just women...
Have an upvote on me! Too many articles on life/work balance take the one-sided view of "family above all - or you will be sorry on your death bed". Well, I'm exaggerating a bit here, but I find that the above attitude ends up being a fairly narrow minded approach which doesn't apply to everybody.
Not everybody is the same. Not everybody has the same priorities in life. Not everybody has the same priorities at different times in their life. Not everybody has the same emotional make up. Not everybody has a happy family waiting for them at home. Not everybody has the same past. There are many reasons why some people might enjoy work more than others. Then there is the reality that some of us spent more of our youth searching for a carrier which fits our natural talents and inclinations, while others walked into the first job they could find or which paid the most.
Or some of us just accept that it is impossible to do everything and do it well in this life, but it is quite possible to just do one or two things in this life and do them well. It is a compromise, but that's how it works. And some of us might have accepted to do just some things (i.e. work) and do them well - maybe because of our particular personal situation. And it doesn't necessarily mean we disapprove of those who might have different priorities.
But on the other hand, why would someone who chooses to enjoy more of their time with their family have the same career expectations as someone who might have chosen to forego those pleasures and put more time into work? No one can have it all.
Re: The Need for Validation
"It's interesting that superwoman still needed "permission" from Sheryl Sandberg's book before becoming more at ease and "leaning back" a bit."
I agree - but only partially. In the sense that there is no need to follow some high flying business brass advice - it would be much more important to figure these things by oneself. On the other hand, I don't really agree that these issues are specific to women only - many of us face them with varying degrees of intensity on both (all?) sides of the gender line.
But the article only seems to scratch the surface of it all. We all behave in the way to we do for some quite complex reasons. We all have our motivations, some conscious, some less so. Trying to attain a deeper understanding of what makes one tick would be far more useful and long enduring, than just picking some quick-to-digest advice from the book of some business celebrity - even when that advice is right or it even works.
But overall, an article that is thought provoking and raises issues pertinent to all of us.
Hmm - a bit confused here. As far as I can tell, aside from Apple products, there don't seem to be many other laptops with Haswell (22nm) processors available to buy. Why would they introduce the next gen (14nm) in the first quarter of 2014 (never mind even earlier than that, as originally planned) - when they haven't started selling properly the current generation? Unless machines with Haswell processors are widely available and I missed on that?
"Put another way, it's the pricing model that's proving attractive, not the technology"
Precisely. And the article is warning that the current pricing model is not sustainable - as the cloud providers are not making a profit. Which means that the prices will have to go up sooner or later. And then, all that attractive pricing model is gone. So, how much point will be then to have stuff in the cloud? I look forward to companies trying to wrestle their data (and infrastructure, in some cases) out of the cloud and back in-house. Should make for interesting articles on El Reg :-)
Re: Slightly fruity comparison
Thanks for that enlightening fact. In case you missed it, my point is that spreading a known quantity of radiation uniformly over the entire planet is very, very different from concentrating it in a 100 miles radius. And that is what the fruity statistic is NOT emphasizing. I could say that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs emitted less harmful radiation than the total sum of radiation emitted by some minor and frequently recurring event spread over the entire Galaxy (and I could also use the time dimension to my advantage - and spread it over 100.000 years as well - just to make sure) - and all of a sudden make those two catastrophic events look harmless and pale in insignificance. But that's just manipulating statistics to one's own advantage. And by the way, I don't see how that type of contortion of numbers to fit one's mindset and agenda is more of a clear-headed scientific reasoning than the scaremongering of the "NIMBY's". Sorry pal - you just have a different axe to grind - but axe it is.
Re: Slightly fruity comparison
That's the problem with b***cks statistics. You pick and choose random numbers as you please - and all of a sound make something look exactly the way you want it to. What the frigging hell does the entire planet eating bananas have to do with radiation from a damaged nuclear power plant? I'm sure that will warm up no end those Japanese people who live in the proximity of it and risk developing various forms of cancers down to their 10th generation. You and your family and loved ones, go and live close to a facility which is farting at the seams contaminated materials every other week - and than we'll see after a while how keen you are on academic-but-irrelevant numbers on a paper. Relevance - that's what is missing. Just jumbling up some numbers together to make up a blingy statistic is not enough - the bigger picture is what matters.
BT rewritting email standards? No hyphens allowed?
I've just had a call from a client trying to setup their BT Vision package, and after much faffing on the phone with BT support, it turns out that BT systems won't allow him to input his existing email address because it has a hyphen in the domain part. Apparently the BT account interface claims hyphen is not a legal/allowed character. We are talking about inputting their existing email address - not about creating a new BT one. BT "kindly" offered to endow him with a free BT email address!
I also found this post, which seems to confirm that BT's systems can't cope with hyphens in email addresses:
And I've also been told of another person who can't login into the wifi on some hotels because they have a hyphen in their email address. They have to use another email without a hyphen. I know BT manage many public paid-for wifi nodes on behalf of hotels etc. - I wonder if that is why this third person can't login into these wifi AP's?
Anybody else stumbled over this?
"In all seriousness let's see what it's like in 2015."
There might not be any in 2015. I wouldn't have imagined it is easy to convince large electronics companies to keep on ploughing significant investment in a platform - unless you manage to attract and maintain enough initial interest. From what I see in the article - that appears to be doubtful.
Biased but some good points in there
Yes - the constant and repeated comparison with the iPhone, as others have remarked above - is somewhat irrelevant, not fair and tedious after a while. However, I think the article has some point with its criticism (at least in between the lines, if not directly) in that:
1. It is a good number of years since the iPhone and Android have been launched. Even if some Reg readers might think that is is only "fair" for the first Firefox mobiles to have such faults - the rest of the market is unlikely to forgive them when they have plenty of other choices of far better quality for either the same or very similar price. I'm not sure they can *afford* to put out such low level of quality directly to consumers - and burn any potential initial interest they might have (which is little, lets be fair - with all the competition out there).
2. I agree with the concept of cheap of cheerful in general. But I would have preferred they stuck to a limited set of functions and done them well to begin with. Trying to do pretty much everything other smartphones do - and failing pretty badly at even simple stuff (contacts searches, general usability, touch sensitivity etc.) - well, I don't think that's the way to the hearts and minds of whatever niche of consumers they were hoping to woe.
3. To those who say this is "just" version 1.0 - there was a time when version 1.0 meant just that - not "beta". I would have been fine with it if half of the expected functionality was missing completely - but for half of the *present* functionality *not* to work properly or at all - that is a completely different matter.
I personally don't like much either iPhones or Androids - for a combination of technical and philosophical reasons - so some healthy and different competition would have been welcomed. But so far, I am not convinced that Mozilla stand much of a chance if that's how they are trying to impress those few consumers not corralled into the competition's (by now) entrenched camps.
Re: 2 in 1
"Suppose for instance the guts of an MBA 11 are placed into the screen section and a detachable keyboard section contains extra battery, extra functions, and the two sum to the same weight as at present. What is lost from the 2 in 1 version compared to the current version? Zero."
I'll tell you exactly what is lost: strength, robustness. Heck - even hinges on normal laptops sometimes give up. Those attach-me-dettach-me latches will give out just past the one year warranty. No thanks - I like my portable machines to be able to cope with being "ported" about.
"During the privately held corporation's first European media day, held in Stockholm, Watts told reporters that recent reform in China had led to a desire for fewer state-owned enterprises. He was keen to stress that “Huawei, of course, is not a state-owned enterprise”."
Yeah - like that stopped NSA and whoever else sticking their fingers, (allegedly) planting backdoors or slurping data from the systems of the likes of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook. None of them are "state owned enterprises" either.
What's the point of all this?
Yeah - Intel developing great technology and fantastic processors. What's the point of it all - when the marketing departments at both Intel and OEM's manage to screw it all up for us. Five years ago I bought an 11.1" laptop with:
1. 5.5 hours battery life
2. Optical (DVDRW) drive integrated
3. Excellent and loud speakers (for a laptop).
4. Solid chasis
5. 1.4 Kg weight
6. 2 full size usb ports, full size SD card slot, full size VGA slot
7. Removable battery
8. Usable (1300x700) resolution
9. Just about fast enough processor (Intel U2500 at 1.2GHz)
10. Full size ethernet integrated
11. Sane price (£499 reduced at the time)
The above is what I call a highly functional, portable and usable configuration at a decent price point. Five years later, I have been searching incessantly for even a slight upgrade to this laptop - without having to drop key aspects of its functionality. Not a chance:
1. I still use optical drives quite a bit. A BDRE drive would be even better. Not a chance below 12" size (even there they are very rare).
2. Most small laptops/ultrabooks skimp on connectivity like hell. MicroSD instead of full SD (if you are lucky to get anything), no integrated ethernet, mini VGA and/or HDMI (if any).
3. I could have just about managed with a netbook - but they had to screw the resolution on them - keep it at 1024x640 - so nobody can do proper work on them!
4. Atom Z2760 might be really good on power consumption (and pretty much the same as my old processor above) - but it is 32bits only (not a huge deal breaker) and doesn't have virtualization extensions. And has not Linux support. Thanks a lot Intel!
5. Removable batteries - well, they went out the window a while ago. But even worse - they bundle skimpy 2-3 hours batteries with small machines nowadays. Screw the darned thin edges - give me a square blunt edge and bundle a decent 10 hours battery in there - for pete's sake!
6. Intel has some pretty good processors - the "Y" from Ivy Bridge - with excellent power consumption and features. But they are so expensive, that you can only find them in £1000 plus machines. The rest - they are still putting out Sandybridge Celeron's in ultra portables to keep prices down. That's ridiculous.
So yes - keep on inventing cool and fantastic technology - and then make machines good for playing with only. Seven years ago we could buy full featured ultraportable sub-netbooks at 11.1" screens with every imaginable feature and port, excellent processors, optical drives and solid construction - nowadays - back to stoneage. 'Cause none of us need to do work any more - we are all kids and watch cats on Youtube all day long. Great.
Re: Insufficient USB power
That still leaves the question if they are capable of providing more than 500mA *per* port to USB 2.0 devices. Just having a decent power supply might not be enough - if they stick to the official USB 2.0 spec - in some cases.
I can't work out so far from reading around if USB 3.0 hubs will offer 0.9A power to all devices connected to them - or only if they are detected as USB 3.0 devices - to keep within the spec?
Insufficient USB power
This has been problem plaguing USB hubs and USB devices far before the Pi arrived. I have a number of computers backing up to portable/bus powered USB hard-disks - and after a few months of use a lot of them start to conk out in the middle of a multi-hour data transfer. The solution for me was a Targus USB 2.0 4 port desktop hub. This particular model (you can find it on Amazon - not sure if allowed to post links to products here) has two out of the 4 ports which provide 1 full Amp of power. This might be outside of the USB spec (500mAh) - but it certainly gets around the problem that some devices (specially bus powered portable hard-drives) need just slightly more power than the spec allows for - specially as they get a bit older and during prolonged data transfer sessions. No more problems for over a 1.5 years now and about 15 usb hard-disks and 4-5 hubs involved.
50 times the earnings? I'll have whatever they are smoking. One would have thought that after everything that has happened in the last decade and a half with the stock market, people have managed to scrounge some sanity back into their heads. Hmm.
I know this is a rather old post - but in case others are looking for Windows 7 machines as well (and from what I see - there are few of us out there) - it looks like more and more OEM's have decided to offer again Windows 7 pre-installed. Look especially for business machines - as OEM's are allowed to pre-install Windows 7 on Windows 8 Business/Pro machines. A quick look online suggest Fujitsu, HP and Lenovo have a good number of machines for sale with Window 7 Pro.
In case it helps
Re: Intune IS for smaller businesses
Well - maybe you should choose more carefully the "experts" you hire.
And from what I've seen so far - it doesn't have to be necessarily Doug, the Linux guy. It could very well be Johnny, the Windows guy - who's been clicking buttons all his "professional" life - and has no clue what FAT stands for, or what is the difference between bits and bytes - and is completely lost when things don't work as the manual says they should work.
And big companies can be just as incompetent as little guys. When you don't give a shit about the quality of your product - and spend all your budget on marketing, and pandering to shareholders, instead of making your stuff work - it doesn't matter how big you are. I've lost track of the number of crappy software, hardware or solutions coming out from all corners of the industry. Hell, we get news of hundreds of millions worth of IT contracts failing almost every day - here and everywhere else in the world.
Re: Intune IS for smaller businesses
Well - why do anything by yourself and have control over your hardware/software/systems - when you can trust someone else to do it for you - and rip you off blind in the process?
That is in case you weren't just being sarcastic.
"Don't get the wrong idea. Intel doesn't like to have a complicated product line."
Are you sure about that? Is that why they are rehashing and rebranding the hell out of their desktop and laptop processor lines - that is impossible to tell which is what nowadays? Two or three generations of Core i3/i5/i7 on sale at the same time - each of which with at least 5-6 models, revive the old Pentium brand, but this time they are not flagship processors, but previous generation Core processors as Pentium B, resell hell-knows-which processors nowadays as Celeron. It just goes on and on - and all of them on sale at the same time - we are not talking about historical products here.
It gets to the point where nobody knows what a processor can do or how fast it is supposed to be without constantly checking benchmarking websites. Absolutely ridiculous, all in the name of market ultra-segmentation - so that people buy more stuff without having any clue what they are really buying.
Re: Where did people get the idea that only Lenovo offer Win7?
"Dell and HP both offer Win7 Pro on even the most basic models in their Small/Medium Business stores."
Maybe they do - but when I was looking somewhere in the spring online for some Win Pro machines which came pre-installed with Windows 7 - Lenovo was pretty much the first manufacturer that started to ship Win 7 again (if they ever stopped). HP just started doing that with their SME machines recently - and last time I checked Dell in the UK they weren't offering yet Win 7 Pro pre-installed for their retail business machines. So is it a matter of Lenovo listening a bit more closely to their customers - instead of just believing the BS coming from upstream suppliers?
As to "grasping at flimsy straws" regarding Win 8. Yeah well, you keep on listening to the violins on the Titanic deck with the head firmly stuck in the sand. I've nothing against those few people who might like Windows 8 - but it seems pretty clear that the market has spoken and those of us who use computers to do useful stuff - not just to toy about - can't find any sane reason to adopt Windows 8 (except for the fact that it is the "future" - whatever the f**k that means without any rational, supporting argument).
Re: The new battlefield...
Brilliant idea! You go through a tunnel - 10 tonne truck grinds the traffic to a near halt. You go under some dense canopy of trees on a cloudy day - car keeps jumping between normal speed and 25mph. I can see that having no safety implications at all!
"A similar sized company to the one I work for did a study on the costs of Linux over a ten year period, and it was four times that of a windows based system."
They were either doing it completely wrong, or you are talking through your backside. The Linux small sites I support cost anywhere between a factor of 4 to a factor of 10 less then an MS setup with same functionality at the server end - taking into account initial setup (hardware, software, labour) and long term support costs. But I've only been keeping an eye on them for 5 years now - so maybe your 10 year "study" is more accurate then?
Re: I had to re-read the front page of this story
"This is a leading tech company and they are just now moving from XP to Win7?"
Because that's how real world businesses work - always buying the flashy new things because they are bored with the old stuff that's still working. No need to worry about return on investment, no need to be concerned with staff retraining costs, new hardware costs, platform testing and integration costs, internal software re-development costs. None of that. Just go quickly to PC World and buy the new shiny toy - even if the older, duller toy still does the job.
Re: How do I think you're wrong?
"Reviews say W8 is more efficient, quicker starter, etc than W7."
You've already gone wrong there. When did people stop trying stuff for themselves - and start believing any biased sales stuff they read?
I agree. There seems to be a trend right now where people will give up any long term advantages in return for saving a few quick pennies by using cloud services. Yes, cloud services do have advantages. But nobody seems to be thinking twice about the advantage of having your *own* hardware and software in house - with full control over it. Cloud providers seem to be banking exactly on this sort of thinking - and right now they are offering dirt cheap or even free services. What will you do when the market matures and they figure they can ratchet up the prices and squeeze your balls? Or vice-versa - when they decide it is not in *their* interest any more to provide a certain service - which you have become reliant on? Or when a provider goes bust and you can't retrieve your data from the cloud? Or when a provider looses your data and then hides behind the cleverly written license you agreed with - which absolves them of any responsibility. And don't kid yourself - you are not going to get high levels of agreed SLA's out of dirt cheap or free services. How easy (and cheap) will it be to migrate those gigabytes of email away from the cloud if you need to - over a messily ADSL connection? Been there, done it - and wasted good heaps of my life on it. How about all that data stored in some online crm system - which is not compatible with the next system you might have to move to because the provider has become to expensive? How about when the provider decides overnight to upgrade the platform/online software to some newer version which drops features you need, or has some shitty interface - and you don't have any say in it. Yahoo email or Hotmail/Outlook.com is one simple example - where many of my users get driven nuts by the either continuously changing interface in one case, or complete and radical change in the other case, without having any say in it. For good or for worse - with your inhouse server and hardware - you can still run software versions from year dot (with the corresponding risks/maintenance involved) - if that's what you really want/need to do and/or are masochistic/cash strapped enough. With cloud stuff - that decision is not yours anymore. Maybe people should take a longer and harder look at the various implications of buying into cloud services - than just listening to the marking blurb or eying out the money they save in the short term.
Re: try Ulteo OVD
"but I have issues with maintaining 6 old PC's that the users insist on making 'secure' by installing 7 flavours of anti-malware ;)"
Isn't that more of an admin/political problem? Those users shouldn't have admin rights in the first place - to be able to install the fake anti-malware. And if you can't muster the political will/clout or to take the admin rights away from them in the current setup - you are most likely going to have the same problem with any other setup you put in place.
Re: Passion is one thing
"You committed bug-ridden code to the project such that others mistakenly assume it to be stable. In future, warn us beforehand when submitting unstable code. Otherwise, do not submit the code until it is in a stable state."
Yeah - sure. That will do the trick. Clearly all those devs had no idea and were never told that code marked "stable" shouldn't be, well, err, unstable. A bit of nice and polite talking to is all that is required. My a*se! Without knowing the full details - people who ask to be told politely what to do many times ignore it completely when they are being told politely. And then they complain when "polite" has run out. They would like to be treated "politely" so they can keep on ignoring you and do what they want.
Sometimes people just do crap until somebody puts some pressure on them. Be it that it's a "nice" (but subtly threatening) meeting with your boss or HR people in your company - which is what LT is referring to as tie-wearing back stabbing. Or in LT's case, being told to f*ck off and do things properly.
On many occasions people know exactly what should be done, but can't be a*sed for one reason or another to do things properly. On one hand harsh verbal manners are not exactly cool - but I think I prefer being put in my place that way (if I deserve it) instead of one of those "nice talking to's" after which you feel all creeped out. Sometimes there is no nice way to get things done - your choice - being shouted at or being subtly threatened.
Marketing "research" BS
"Not only are Google's Chromebooks a success, but they are now the fastest-growing segment of the PC industry, according to market research firm NPD Group."
Oh yeah - I see - let's pay a "marketing research" company put a lovely spin on the Chromebook non-phenomenon. "Not only are Google's Chromebook a success" - really - what the f**k does that actually mean? Absolutely nothing, just BS spin. I can call myself a success, and I can call my goldfish a success - neither of the two statements don't actually mean anything - and can't be proven to be true or false.
Oh - and in real life, I am yet to see one single Chromebook user. Maybe it's just the area I live in. El Reg - could we have a slightly more critical selection of article topics please - or at least a slightly more critical treatment of the subject matter - or are there enough kickbacks involved to ensure lack of realistic impartiality?
Re: Typical, misguided Microsoft
Being at the supplier end of the cloud generally makes sense on a large scale. Are you sure you can provide the required SLA's just for 10 companies - and still make sufficient profit from it? You know, data centre grade hardware, data centre grade support, your own UPS's and generators in case of power failure, large pipes to the Internet with the associated bandwidth costs, data/premises security etc. I can't say that I've tried it myself - but the numbers don't seem to be stacking up favourably.
I guess those of us who didn't trust MS way before more recent events and didn't hitch our wagon to their ransomware are a bit more sheltered from this storm. Yes, I agree, running a Linux server with Samba 3/4 in domain mode, Exim, Dovecot and Horde for email, contacts and calendar, Burp for encrypted backups and Asterisk for telephony is not a mean feat at all. But that's where some of us have risked their future on building up a skills set - while others have bought into the marketing machine from big companies and have essentially become glorified accounts managers for various vendors and suppliers - with next to no skills to their name except for being able to hang the phone on various support lines. Enjoy having your balls squished in the proverbial!
Re: "Build up reserves for the hard times ahead"
"If they don't want your custom, switch to another solution. "
You clearly have a lot of experience in the field. You clearly have gone through many changes from one system to another, from one vendor's products to another - and we are talking about massive products here - such as an Active Directory/email/sharepoint server - which affect almost every aspect of your client's systems. You have clearly held client's hands (for an entire site) through nightmare upgrades and made sure everybody is happy *and* been able to justify such a torturous path from the point of view of staff training costs, hardware costs, software costs, data conversion costs, business disruption costs etc. to the client.
Yes, I am being sarcastic - but if you really care about your clients, about their business efficiency and about helping them make the most of their IT systems - you would know what I mean. Then again - some people only care about the sales and the commission they get - the rest is not their problem.
I am not a fan of MS products and use them as little as possible - but even I wouldn't advise a wholesale change from an MS set of backends to something else of my preference unless there simply is no other choice.
Hmm - I thought we were talking about managed IT services for SME's. You know - printing, file sharing, firewalls, networking, email provision - all that boring stuff that people *still* need to run a business. Why do some people think that webhosting and internal IT systems are somehow the same?
No systemic problem?
" It found bugs in the system that had led to overbilling of 76 contractors, but said there was no systemic problem with the Horizon payment system."
Seventy six people being overbilled seems pretty high to me. People ending up going to jail for this? If the people who have gone to jail over this have been indeed overbilled, the PO and the software company are a bunch of incompetent, arse-covering, inept idiots. You don't wait until a hundred people's lives are ruined before you get your finger out and do something about it. We are not talking about people being overbilled £10 by the electricity company (which is bad enough in itself) - we are talking about people's houses being repossessed and their lives ruined.
And he is talking about just "refunding" those people? Jeez - if the allegations are indeed true, I hope PO do go bust as they deserve it. Talk about complete lack of comprehension of the severity of their negligence.
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