151 posts • joined Friday 3rd December 2010 12:21 GMT
Well if you engage with the public, be prepared for the public to tell you what they think!
@ Smoking Gun
To be honest a lot of money has been wasted by schools who don't have the basics on interactive whiteboards. Some of the pens for these things cost a fortune and get regularly broken and when you have a mixture of different models and makes of whiteboard staff get confused about how to operate them. Then there are some models that cannot be used as regular whiteboards and using the wrong kind of pen on them damages them, its a minefield. At the school I was at I had some success with the argument of saying look, until we can afford to get digital projectors into all the classrooms we want staff to be able to use their laptops to present in lets hold off on splashing out on whiteboards, one interactive whiteboard cost the equivalent of 3 new projectors, and frankly I think they are over rated - at least in the hands of staff who don't know how to make use of them! Projectors are much more easily understood and used.
And another thing...
It's a miracle most schools manage to provide computers for kids on their minute and overstretched budgets tbh. Even if they have someone with their head screwed on in charge of IT spending these poor souls are surrounded by people with cute ideas about technology in schools. Yes there are lots of pretty things out there to buy, one fad after another... well maybe fad is unfair, but most schools cannot afford the basics so spending on fancy bits of kit happens in spurts and this results in no consistency, a mix of makes and models and variations on a theme. A sizeable school needs the same kind of enterprise driven management that a medium sized business does, it needs to manage its budget, standardise on makes/models and invariably they only have a small team (in some cases less) to manage it all, so the key thing is that whatever is on the desks or in the hands of staff or students can be managed effectively. So, whilst I have nothing against Apple, they currently lack the necessary enterprise management tools necessary to effectively manage tablets on-mass in any enterprise. Much as I bemoan Microsoft, there may be some hope of finding tools to manage there tablets. But I'd also like to say that I concur with the sentiments of others expressed about this obsession with Microsoft Word et al in schools. I've even seen curriculum materials written based upon exclusive use of Microsoft products, this is totally wrong! Given the financial constraints of schools and the exorbitant licensing costs I would like to see a move to open source, backed by the government and a move away from focusing on any one maker of software. Students need to know how to work with technology, not to be indoctrination by one vendors products.
Re: Good News
I agree, and when I was in charge that's what we did. Unfortunately as part of a bid the school had put in for prior to my arrival RM had already set up camp. By the time I left there was not a trace of RM left and as a result the schools IT budget was going a lot further.
Re: Good News
Clearly you consider fraud, misrepresentation, copyright theft, mis-selling, unfair business practices, lies, unreliable products, bad service, poor advice and charging exorbitant pricing as the norm.
Re: Tablets in schools? Not for long.
People forget what a war zone a school is for technology, you really need military spec gear to survive in the hands of secondary school students. Amazingly though there are leasing companies out there prepared to lease schools the technology including insurance against any form of damage, intentional or otherwise. Whether they will live to regret that we'll have to wait and see!
RM have been ripping schools off for decades, I'm glad to see them out of this market. I know their methods, big on the sell, small on the delivery. Ingratiate themselves with the department for education, get involved in the bidding process at school level through 'sponsorship' so that schools fall over themselves and don't notice the high costs they are building into the bids for supply of RM branded equipment. They would sell your Grandmother, well more likely buy her and then lease her back to you at an extortionate rate! I know first hand many of their dirty tricks. Fitting fibre patch terminators for a larger number of fibre cores than they actually fit and charging you for the former. Re-branding Microsoft products - then having the cheek to try and charge you for additional licenses for said product which turns out to be bundled free by Microsoft! And some of their solutions having been released 3 times still didn't work, but they still charged you for them! Tech support would giggle, oh yes version 1 didn't, ha ha yeah version 2 didn't really work either... and all the time it was other peoples tech they were rebranding, usually out of the box Microsoft stuff that they managed to make not work. At one school it took 6 RM servers to run 2 ICT labs whereas the rest of the school (representing some 90% of the computers) ran off a couple of non RM servers (running a non RM network solution). Awful company that robbed schools blind charging ridiculous licensing fees for products half of which they didn't even own. Schools will be much better off without them!
I can see him on the...
advert for Safestyle UK double-glazing shouting "You Buy One.... You Get One Free!"
Was never a great visionary, people are kidding themselves if they think he was. He invented nothing. Microsoft was in the right place at the right time and Gates truck the OS deal with IBM that made it. Nothing that has followed since has in anyway been visionary or inspired, rather they have always relied upon using their previously dominant position to buy, bully or steal the ideas out of others. Even when Bill was at Microsoft he showed a real lack of vision when invited to talk about the future of technology, he saw little or nothing of what was coming. If this one trick pony is to survive it needs rid of Gates and his influence. The age when Microsoft could tell customers they had to do it the Microsoft way is over and they need to get over themselves.
Unexpected item in bagging area....
Maybe we should leave unexpected items in bagging areas.....
Sandman I wouldn't worry you will eventually computerize yourself out of a job, we all do eventually!
A watched a TV program where...
A scammer described how he would go into a supermarket and peel the barcode off a cheap bottle of bubbly which I'd laminate into a little tube so he could hook it over one of his fingers. He'd then go round each branch of said supermarket and load up his trolley with expensive champagne and head for the computer checkout. He'd covertly cover the barcode of the actual bottle whilst exposing the laminated barcode on his finger to the scanner as he swiped the bottle over the machine and put them in the bagging area. An assistant would look across to check his age and clear his purchases briefly. He would then head off to his car and add these bottles of champagne to the boot full he already had. Oh and he would deliberately dress flamboyantly because he felt this made him look convincing, after all what criminal would want to draw attention to themselves!
You should be ashamed...
Call yourself techies! I avoid human contact at all costs when shopping and always head for the computerized checkout, unless I have a trolley full (that's frowned on it seems).
But why oh why they use a sh*t OS like Windows on these things I don't know, always makes me chuckle when I see a crashed checkout being rebooted with the Windows logo showing. Linux clearly would be a better choice, and maybe some do use it, I'm not sure. I particularly like the checkouts at B&Q with their more human voice with a hint of a regional accent.
Wondering off topic slightly I do remember after a very long day troubleshooting IT issues getting to a cash machine only to be greeted by a DHCP error at which I let out the words "Oh ffs! You can p*ss off!".
Best money they have ever spent!
Good riddens to the slimey salesman stroke yobbo! He is a disgrace! Just goes to show you that lacking any ability or redeeming qualities is no barrier to becoming extremely rich!
I guess its just about the only way to make Yahoo in Vogue again!
And the worst critics of women... are women!
Good luck to her.
Bunch of Whingers
When I first starting reading and there was mention of access to API's I thought well about time Microsoft got a taste of its own medicine, it has done much worse to competitors itself - for example providing Novell with access to a degraded set of API's to ensure WordPerfect ran poorly on Windows. But when you read the rest of the article Microsoft are behaving like a spoilt child. Google has asked them to use their HTML5 API just as it has other companies, but despite this they re-released the non HTML5 version which naturally was pulled again. Maybe they should pull their finger out and get on with developing an App that uses the HTML5 API and stop complaining. Seems to me Google are being far more cooperative with them than they have historically been with others.
Right now Apple would be better of as a private company, rather than floated on the stock exchange. Being public they will be hounded by the markets to increase profits and cut costs every 3 months, not to mention creating killer products. Is that realistic, I think not! It's been the killer of many an IT giant.
I firmly believe...
I firmly believe there will come a day in the not too distant future where hackers will save us all from unjustified oppression. So lets not jail them all for the rest of their lives.
Just to correct some of the incorrect information posted about legal tender...
Bank of England says:
Are Scottish & Northern Ireland notes "legal tender"?
In short ‘No’ these notes are not "legal tender"; furthermore, Bank of England notes are only legal tender in England and Wales. Legal tender has, however, a very narrow technical meaning in relation to the settlement of debt. If a debtor pays in legal tender the exact amount he/she owes under the terms of a contract (and in accordance with its terms), or pays this amount into court, he/she has good defence in law if he/she is sued for non-payment of the debt.
In ordinary everyday transactions, the term "legal tender" in its purest sense need not govern a note's acceptability in transactions. The acceptability of a Scottish or Northern Ireland note as a means of payment is essentially a matter for agreement between the parties involved. If both parties are in agreement, Scottish and Northern Ireland notes can be used in England and Wales. Holders of genuine Scottish and Northern Ireland notes are provided with a level of protection similar to that provided to holders of Bank of England notes. This is because the issuing banks must back their note issue using a combination of Bank of England notes, UK coin and funds in an interest bearing bank account at the Bank of England.
Yup he's right y'know...
Corporations have a duty to maximize profits. If you want them to pay more tax change the rules, don't expect them to contribute more out of some misplaced moral duty. And I say misplaced because these critics seem to imply that paying more money in tax is putting that money to good use, I very much doubt that. I'm sure money can be put to far better good than taxes.
Google do not have to have any offices or staff in the UK and they would still be able to sell to their customers here, I doubt a single customer would be lost if they closed up their UK offices tomorrow. Yes there is absurdity in the tax system, but Google on the face of it are acting within the rules. Accusing them of doing evil was a real abuse of parliamentary privilege and frankly a bit rich coming from MP's!
Bottom line is if they don't like the tax laws change them, don't moralize to companies. Why would it be less "evil" to give more money in taxes? Surely if you want to do good with money the government are the last people you'd give it to!
I thought the whole thing was an utter farce!
Well Mr Smith, we were going to offer you this great new job until we saw this photograph of you on Facebook!
A big stick. Then use this big stick to intimidate those with smaller sticks (or no stick at all) into giving you their £1's. Way of the world unfortunately! Before you know it you'll be the stick salesman!
The Microsoft Approach...
We could always adopt the Microsoft Approach, wrap him in clear plastic, place a set of terms and conditions inside that you accept if you break the seal (i.e. the packaging) but which you cant read fully unless you break the seal. All rights reserved! :)
Somehow I doubt....
Somehow I still doubt they are in profit, I'm pretty sure they will have spent more pushing it than they have made selling it. Seems to be the Microsoft way at present.
Their entire culture is one of inflicting products on users with an underlying assumption that the user will accept whatever they turn out, and that just isn't the reality of a world where Microsoft are increasingly less relevant.
No Good Moaning Now
The gutter press went too far. Freedom cuts both ways. People are entitled to be free from harassment and persecution by the press. There are newspapers in the UK which have made a living out of ruining peoples lives without just cause. If they had behaved like adults this would not have been necessary, but they haven't and so this was inevitable. Unfortunately it reached the point in the UK where the damage done by the press outweighed the good.
Looking at the pragmatically...
Looking at the pragmatically its sounds like all this will achieve is to turn a perhaps a little naive Grey hat hacker into a bitter Black hat hacker. When he eventually gets out of jail I don't imagine he is going to feel very public spirited and no doubt will take out his grievance upon the world either for personal gain or simply out of anger. That clearly is not an outcome in the public interest.
The US does have legitimate concerns over how close Huawei is to the Chinese government. There have been allegations of involvement with industrial espionage in the past and there is concern that anything built on Huawei technology might be open to spies from China. I don't know if any of this is true, but it is certainly possible. Maybe it is the rest of the world that is naive about China and the US who are taking the threat seriously?
I imagine they are pulling their horns in...
And focusing on their core business (chips!). They used to make lots of things like network switches, but frankly my experience with those was not good. In an uncertain world where many economies are still in recession they have too much to lose, so rather than risk the company by trying to second guess the market they are probably thinking that pulling their horns in and focusing on their chip business will mean they can play the chip end of whatever games succeed in the market place. Less of a gamble. I don't blame them.
Well, let's face it...
The current self inflicted humiliation Microsoft is going through is long overdue and each installment puts a bigger smile on my face! Microsoft have produced many products, some good, some bad, most not so great. But their overall contribution to the industry has been a negative one. Year on year they become more and more irrelevant, and unless this leopard changes its spots, that all for the good of IT.
So long as Americans continue...
So long as Americans continue to keep loaded guns under pillows, in their underwear draw, handbag or concealed on their person accidents are going to happen. So long as guns and ammunition are stored together lethal weapons are going to fall into the wrong hands. So long as military grade weaponry is sold for "duck hunting" or some other bullshit massacres are going to happen. And I speak as someone who is in favor of responsible gun ownership, and irresponsible gun ownership and lax gun controls are they key to Americas gun problem. Cross the border to Canada and gun crime is a rarity, even though there are still plenty of guns.
The Police need less powers not more. Policing these days seems to be a form of sanctioned thuggery. And some the the restraint methods they use are utterly excessive. I saw someone on television being cuffed with his hands behind his backs then they lifted him into the back of the police van by holding just his arms, in other words putting the entire weight onto his shoulder joints bent the wrong way! And more often than not its a public order offense very much left to the interpretation of the individual Police officer or a teeny tiny bit of cannabis. The law is an Ass!
That'll be the end of The Register then! :-)
A couple of points....
I used to be a Network Manager in a school, I would make these two points:
1.) I came across numerous instances where national curriculum materials were specifically written around Microsoft products - I think that is wrong. I also encountered Microsoft centric attitudes throughout the education system. I remember being issued with computer based exams endorsed by the department for education which could only be run on Microsoft Windows.
2.) The idea that schools need for example Microsoft Office because most companies use word and therefore students would not be prepared if they were taught to use, for example, Libre Office is absolutely ridiculous. It's not the business of schools to provide Microsoft training... introducing students to what a word processor is sure, and Libre Office is a logical product to use because its free and its is widely compatible. If we are saying that a student who has used Libre Office at school would not be able to use Microsoft Office in a workplace then I really worry about about their ability to sit at and work at an office desk without a teacher standing in front of them! I mean, be serious!
I think the important thing to realize is that IT is now very much a profession. The number one thing you need is experience, but relevant technical qualifications are also important and will become more so as you progress in whatever route you take through it (certainly if you want to maximize earnings). No IT is not the pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow, not sure it ever really was, there have been brief moments of opportunity over the years where money has been thrown about but on the whole what you will get paid will reflect how good and rare your skills are versus the demand for them - what is in demand this year may not be next year. Change is the one constant in IT, if you cannot handle change then stay well clear of IT. Most IT knowledge has a short shelf-life, to work in IT you need a commitment to lifelong learning and self-development. These days companies will rarely pay for any serious IT training, preferring to bring in consultants or contractors with the qualifications already. At some point in your career in IT you will probably want to be a contractor or consultant, it's how you will pay for all those expensive technical qualifications you've earned. But all this is longer term. Actually getting into IT is going to be very difficult. As Network Administrator I had a regular supply of volunteers ready and willing to work free of charge just to gain experience, even then I had to turn most of them down because showing someone else how to do a job takes you away from your own work and as with most teams in IT these days we were a small team managing a large infrastructure. I think the advice given by some to go for an ITIL qualification is sound, as is taking a non technical approach to getting your foot into the IT department. Frankly a geek who plays with computers in his bedroom and cannot communicate well is of little use in todays IT world, enthusiasm is good of course. There's not much point in shouting about coding/programming skills for a helpdesk job. And on the subject of helpdesks its important to realize there is not necessarily a natural path of progression from helpdesk to a technical career in IT, its a different skill set and only very few will ever make the cross over. A degree is pretty much useless in IT. If you feel uncomfortable about not having a degree on your CV then enrol on an Open University course, once your foot is in the door its entirely up to you if you follow through on that course of study. Initially you will not want to try and specialize too soon, you need to be flexible and simply seize any opportunities, later it will pay to carve out more specialist skills so you can reep better financial rewards, and find interesting work! Unfortunately aside from the latest in vogue technical skills the jobs which pay the most in IT are the ones no one else wants to do because they are so damn boring! Above all Good luck!
In America they have Silicon Valley, we have a Silicon Roundabout in London! Boy do we think big!
I would imagine...
Apple shops are destinations in themselves, whereas a Microsoft shop is somewhere you pop to kill 10 minutes whilst your girlfriend buys new shoes. Hence Xbox games are about the limit.
Also a Microsoft shop is finally somewhere to complain to a human being (allegedly) about all things they get wrong. Not somewhere to pose and stroke gadgets.
Open the bog door please HAL?
I knew it!
I was sure I hadn't ordered that Bangalore Boogie Nights DVD! Damn it!
People often ask, is it Microsoft compatible. Maybe we should be asking if Microsoft is compatible with a real world that is cross-platform. Do they really make any effort to be compatible? Seems to me they MS up standards, not to improve them, simply as a barrier to compatibility. This latest debacle will problem end up in court as with so many others, the problem is court proceedings often take years and as Microsoft know well judgements come to late. If there were a legal equivalent of a red card Microsoft would have had it enough time to be looking at a lifetime ban from any kind of sport. Some will say, yes they play to win.... but they don't even play by the same set of rules as the rest! Still, their empire is crumbling.
Elf, Elf, Hobbit, Dwarf.... damn!
Hobbit, Hobbit, Hobbit, Orc.... Aaaaaa!
If you are going to negotiate a price for licensing intellectual property it would make sense to do that before adopting it and shipping it in your products, otherwise surely you are over a barrel. Personally I hope Google get enough money to give Steve Ballmer a nose bleed!
Let's face it they are full of shit so ideally placed to do this.
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