* Posts by Ledswinger

3574 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Boffins clock MONSTER BLACK HOLES inside quasar-hosting galaxy near Earth

Ledswinger
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I wish...

..I were clever enough to contribute to this thread, but sadly it not to be :(

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Jeep Cherokee 2.2: Capable, comfortable ... but just not very Jeep

Ledswinger
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Re: Hmmm

Far better visual appearance than almost anything from Japan, for example.

I'd agree that too many Japanese cars look bland or odd (with quite a few exceptions), but the Koreans aren't even going to let the Japanese own the "Weird & ugly" niche, to judge by the Ssangyong Rodius. In fact, even the Europeans have had a crack, in the shape of the Porsche Cayenne.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Hmmm

I see what you mean.

But there will be important, hidden differences that the Jeep/Fiat brands offer: beneath the skin of the Cherokee the traditional values will run deep. So presumably buyers should anticipate abominable reliability, dealers that are somewhere south of abominable, and resale values that sink faster than a depth charge.

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Germany to fork out BEELLLIONS for farmers' broadband

Ledswinger
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Re: 50 Meg Everywhere, eh?

They got a multi party democracy 25 years ago, the likes of which Bavaria can only dream about.

You make Bavaria sound like Scotland, but with decent roads.

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Ledswinger
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Re: 50 Meg Everywhere, eh?

I am less than confident that the promise will be kept.

But if we shared that view, we British would struggle with our self-deprecation. Far better to believe Germany to be a paragon of everything organised and clever, talk ourselves down, and take comfort from our treasured national collection of war jokes.

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BACS Bank Holiday BALLS UP borks 275,000 payments

Ledswinger
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Re: The bank could close for a month and I'd be OK.

you're an OAP, which means you were working, and earning, at a time where reasonably paid employment was available for pretty much all,

Loyal Commenter, you don't half spout some s#it. As a proportion of economically active adults, UK unemployment hasn't been below 5% for three decades, and has averaged around 8% for most of that time.

I'm not sure what makes you think that the past three or four decades were some magical period of easy jobs and high living standards, because they certainly were not.

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Ledswinger
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... and it's nearly beer o'clock so...

In the good old days this was beer o'clock. Sadly the tradition of drunken slumber over a keyboard all Friday afternoon is now all but gone (although I'm not sure if that's true in journalism).

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Honor 7 – heir apparent to the mid-range Android crown

Ledswinger
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Re: good article but

If fact I didn't bother until I went out of the plug range for a week (traumatic!).

I'm firmly in the camp that says "no removeable battery, no sale", but that's not because I want to swap a flat battery for a charged one, simply that I've seen enough li-ion batteries lose capacity or fail outright over a year or so. I'd rather be able to spend £15 on a new battery than be without the phone for weeks wrangling with a supplier over whether the warranty covers the problem. I'm sure that under UK consumer law I'd ultimately win the argument, but sometimes it's not really worth the inconvenience to stand on your rights.

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Fugitive UK hacker turned ISIS recruiter killed in Syria

Ledswinger
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Re: Glorifying killing

Yeah, I'm in bits!!!!

No, no, no! He's in bits, and you're in one piece, enjoying a coffee in front of your computer.

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Malware menaces poison ads as Google, Yahoo! look away

Ledswinger
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So, if you refuse to pay for things that bring you joy, what DO you pay for?...

To be fair, I'm paying at the moment by not blocking adverts too aggressively, and in smaller part by my written contributions (as you are). If the Reg weren't making money they'd go bust, and there'd just be a "For Sale" sign up on the domain. But its difficult to have sympathy with those content owners who unfortunately have happily embraced the dark side of the force, preferring to take the money and ask no questions.

What do I pay for? Anything that I value and need to pay for. But not always financially, and sometimes the price paid is low. You will follow that, as will all commentards, but we're the minority. In the case of Windows 10, punters are lapping it up because either they mistake a £0 price for free, or because they set no value on their own privacy. Microsoft, on the other hand, must have a very good idea of the worth of a user's privacy - and based on prior OS pricing it must be a present value of around £70.

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Ledswinger
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I'd pay as well,

That's as maybe but there's two problems here.

First there need to be enough people who will actually pay - the evidence is that many won't. And with the Reg, half the value is from the joy of being an unpaid member of the Commentariat. If they think I'm paying for the privilege of writing and reading stuff like this, they've got another think coming.

Second, you need the content owner to stick by their side of the bargain, and offer you completely advert and spyware free content. I'm not sure I can claim any evidence here, but I'll wager that very quickly you'll be seeing "content from our trusted partners, tailored to your interests", and then you're in the bind of both paying for the content, and having the malvertising hosed even more specifically at you. I very much doubt that the content behind Murdoch's paywalls is advert free.

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Legal eagles accuse Labour of data law breach over party purge

Ledswinger
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Re: ROCs?

Well they'll be progressively replaced by CfDs for new installations (which I suspect you know). There's plans in the consultation to control future CfD costs because the whole subsidy boondoggle is out of control, and will have added a cumulative £40bn to consumer's energy bills by 2021 (not including probably another £10-20bn of networks costs related to the renewables).

But it's up on the DECC website, have a gander

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Ledswinger
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didn't Labour lose a lot of supporters to the Greens as they moved further to the right?

By whose definition? Millipede was branded Red Ed for his big state and interventionist plans and whilst nothing like as traditional old wolde commie as Corbyn, he was well to the left of NuLabour.

Mind you, anybody who defected to the Greens will be dead by 11.00am tomorrow, having choked to death on their muesli as they read the Graun's being-scribed-as-I-write coverage of the Feed in Tariff cuts proposed by DECC today. Personally I'm rather looking forward to reading the apoplectic response of the tree huggers and financially vested interests.

Does George Monbiot have any hair that he can pull out?

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Angry Birds maker Rovio takes aim at staff, axes a third of them

Ledswinger
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Re: Greed to put it simply ....

Sadly most of these game companies are very much a one trick pony, it has happened time and time again where companies like Rovio come from nowhere, get heavily invested in, go to shit then go bust.

Remind me again, how much did Twerpsoft pay for Minecraft?

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French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'

Ledswinger
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Re: Despite dispute over the very existence of the syndrome

that's not how phobias work.

No, I know - one of the offspring has vespuphobia (1), and it's not good. Personally it's large spiders that strike terror into me, the sort of terrifying, SAS-scaring man-eaters that appear from under the sofa on an October night, and make me shriek and shout for the wife to come and save me. Although I'm going to experiment with the Tennis Racket of Death and see if it works on them.

(1) I made it up, but it could be right

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Ledswinger
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Re: Despite dispute over the very existence of the syndrome

I don't have a real sensitivity to wasps either, doesn't stop my heart rate doubling, or more, in the second or so after seeing one.

Get yourself one of those electric tennis racket thingies from Poundland. Great fun, especially in low light when the sparks show up better. You'll go looking for wasps....

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Ledswinger
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Re: inverse square law and all that

but that doesn't mean she is not entitled to treatment, if there is any.

These sort of beliefs seem to be very deep seated. At the expense of coming across as unsympathetic, there's a clinic in Switzerland that could help?

Or aversion therapy, by building a one seater microwave next to a mobile mast within the precision approach radar beam of a major airport?

But the Frenchies have banned the obvious solution, of a tin foil burqa, which would have served as a personal Faraday cage.

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NHS site defaced with screed protesting Syrian conflict

Ledswinger
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Aren't we getting on for 4.5 years of massacres in Syria?

I think so. But don't forget that the destablisation and massacring started in 2003 in neighbouring Iraq, and only reached Syria after the Yanks had poured petrol on the flames of sectarian conflict they'd enabled. So that's more like 12 years.

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Ledswinger
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Re: I'm not sure what is worse...

ENT at local hospital waiting area had years worth of caravan reviews

That's why it is important to bring in publications you've read, to educate the other patients and raise the literary standards. I like to slip a copy of Viz amongst the Reader's Digests, golf magazines, and decades old Women's Own. Or a lad's mag would undoubtedly be appreciated by somebody, so long as the cover isn't too racy.

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Spanking Spam King: Sanford Wallace faces jail for Facebook flood

Ledswinger
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Re: "Since then, he has been in and out of court"

and yet stupid enough to never, ever stop even when it is clear that the feds have him on autodial

Who says he's stupid? If he's making sufficient money, and manages to avoid a decent chunk of it being seized, then the risk of (and actual) time spent in chokey is all part of the equation. If you held the law in contempt, I'd wager that you'd have a target level of gains that would justify a certain amount of time behind bars.

If he manages to squirrel away $1m from his vast spam campaign, then that's $330k a year over his three year stretch. I suspect he could well have a much higher average "salary" than most of us.

The people who are stupid are perhaps the feds. If they had a watertight case backed by evidence then they wouldn't need to plea bargain down to such a limp wristed sentence. We all know the moment he's out he'll be at it again, because prison clearly isn't a deterrent:

"Sanford Grobsworth Wallis, you are an habitual criminal, who accepts arrest as an occupational hazard, and presumably accepts imprisonment in the same casual manner".

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Prof Hawking cracks riddle of black holes – which may be portals to other universes

Ledswinger
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Re: Have you ever lost anything you wanted back

Biros find their way through wormholes in space to a planet ....

No they don't. They find their way into my wife's car, judging by the vast amount that I regularly find there and throw away. Any commentards desirous of a large and regularly renewed stash of unfeasibly cheap, partly chewed biros should apply to Ledswinger Towers, bringing their own skip.

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Wileyfox smartphones: SD card, no bloatware, Cyanogen, big battery – yes to all!

Ledswinger
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Re: Well...

And it's British!

For a specific definition of Britishness, yes. But all the components will be standard parts bin stuff made in the far east, and I'll wager that assembly is under contract in the same neck of the woods.

£200 sounds good against the list prices of the current top-of line phones, but those prices are reserved for idiots and those who can't work out when a contract deal is a rip off. If you shop around for last year's top model (say a SGS5) you'd be paying £250-£290 for the phone either on or off contract. Personally I'd go the extra £90, than take my chances on this. YMMV.

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Ex-HP top aide in the clink for racking up $1m on company credit cards

Ledswinger
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Re: No surprise

I've seen many women embezzling from the company

My experience has been that the majority of crooks and fraudsters are men. Presumably this woman was striking out in the interests of "diversity", in which case the Graun should be celebrating her modest achievement.

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Should all Europeans be able to watch Estonian football? Consultation launched

Ledswinger
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Re: @Ledswinger

Imagine you went into a shop to buy an item and they said "Sorry, you live in XYZ area, you can't buy from us at this cheaper price, you have to go to our shop nearest to you and pay a more expensive price". Would you say "Ok, that's fine"?

It's how it often works between countries with DVDs, CDs, and software. It's how it works with premium goods (with the EU's blessing). It often happens with tech goods. There's an argument that it does happen with things like cars, despite some limp wristed attempts by the EU to stop the makers doing this. And arguably the public sector routinely offers similar services at different prices depending on where you live (or dissimilar services at the same price).

Overall, it happens, that's a commercial choice by the maker or rights owner, and I am quite happy with that, compared to the alternative of the EU trying to intervene and micro manage the pricing and segmentation structures of commercial businesses. If you don't like it, vote for Corbyn, he'll put an end to this sort of thing.

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Ledswinger
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Basically they are selling a monopoly position within a defined geographical area

Why is that a problem? We're not talking about life saving drugs or water, just American drama, televised sport, or access of foreign residents to particular countries' national broadcasters. If you don't like the price, don't pay it.

If you take a view about what price content rights-holders must sell for, then you clearly know the market better than they do, why not go the whole hog, and tell them what sport they must cover, and indeed what drama should be made. The same argument might apply to the way that the poor, weak minded fools who support major league clubs are reamed out for season tickets, memberships, and merchandise (that changes with curiously high frequency). Are you proposing to regulate those prices?

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Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G: The Android smartie that can take its drink

Ledswinger
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Re: but I have a soft spot for Sony

My original Xperia Z would be on Lollipop by now, if I hadn't left it in a taxi in Bangkok,

It probably is on Lollipop now.....

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Carders fleece $4.2 million from Victoria's MyKi transport agency

Ledswinger
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Re: The Law of Unintended Consequences

And you cant claim that back.

That's the price of being a tin-foil hatter or privacy extremist (not knocking either, just sayin'). If cost and the activation journey is an issue rather than privacy, just use a contactless bank card to pay on buses, tube etc. Works as well as Oyster, isn't pre-pay, doesn't need activation. And from a tech point of view I was well impressed the other day, when a ticket check on the DLR was able to immediately verify my bank card as being valid for travel whilst we were moving under the Thames.

Admittedly using your contactless card means you're trusting both public and private sectors with your journey data, but they've already got your movements in far more detail if you're carrying a mobile phone (other than a burner, and even then it could be cross referenced to CCTV).

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Ledswinger
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Re: The Law of Unintended Consequences

"London we have already seen the withdrawal of the ability to pay by cash."

No you haven't. You just have to pay the cash onto an Oyster card ahead of each journey via machine at the station. It's no more hassle than the old inconvenience of using the ticket office or machines, there's barely any more data trail than paying cash. The minimum top up of a fiver is almost the same as a single zone 1 cash fare, but actually buys you two zone one journeys. Since you don't have to register an Oyster card there's no privacy issue (or none that doesn't already exists through CCTV), and the truly paranoid can periodically return their Oyster card and recycle the £3 deposit onto a fresh card to reduce the build up of journey data.

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Shadow minister for Fun calls for Openreach separation

Ledswinger
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UK FTTP is 0.8 per cent.

Sounds credible. But that's not "only 0.8% of the population able to access high speed broadband", because almost half the population have access to cable.

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That thing we do in the UK? Should be ILLEGAL in the US, moans ex-State monopoly BT

Ledswinger
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become the telecoms equivalent of Network Rail sounds like a grand plan to me

Evidently you don't remember what an execrable mess the railways were under state ownership. And not just in their last few years, but throughout the dismal history of British Railways, and under governments of all political persuasions.

But vote for Jezza Corbyn next time round, and you'll have your wish, as the UK is magically transformed into a workers' paradise.

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Brit hydro fuel cell maker: our tech charges iPhone 6 for a week

Ledswinger
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Only £270 per kWh, if my maths is about right. That even makes Hinkley Point C look cheap.

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Ashley Madison wide open to UK privacy lawsuits, claim lawyers

Ledswinger
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Re: What?

1) 95% of their userbase are men;

Wow. Either the blokes will not be getting their money's worth, or the women are very busy, and probably having to operate a shift and rota system.

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HP is getting so good now at negative growth, it should patent it

Ledswinger
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Re: Title

Now where is MattBryant when you need him?

Signing on at his local Jobcentre Plus?

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Vodafonica’s Cornerstone missing its UK coverage target, says report

Ledswinger
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Re: O2 & WifI Calling

WiFi Calling is coming soon to O2.

What, a bit of a makeover of the utterly crap Tugo service that allows you to make outbound calls unreliably over wifi, and with latencies that would shame Voyager? I used to have the Orange SIgnalboost app, which nominally allowed inbound and outbound calls over UMA and wifi. That wasn't much less crap than Tugo, so my hopes aren't high.

Mobile operators seem to understand nothing of user's requirements. Or they simply don't care.

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One in eight mobile calls in India drops out __ ___ middle of your chat

Ledswinger
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Re: 1 in 8 ?

Maybe OFCOM should invite the UK Telco's in for a chat and cup of tea?

That's OFCOM's problem: Its heaviest sanction is to withhold the jammy dodgers at the next meeting. Faced with spending a few tens of millions to fix problems that only affect customers, the telcos just laugh and bring their own biscuits next time.

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US Air Force: 'Loose tweets destroy fleets'

Ledswinger
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Re: How many is too many?

That and threat landscapes shift all the time, suddenly an excess can become insufficient.

Do they now? Like the surprise Islamic extremist threat that magically appeared on 9 September? Because it wasn't obvious that arming, grooming and encouraging a bunch of twig-beard nutters to fight the Russians through the 1980s might backfire?

Or the possibility that Russia might retrench to a centralised, nationalist and militarist agenda after their economy imploded in 1998?

All of the threats our military might have to be justified against date back multiple decades. The only sudden shift aspects are either idiot Western politicians either cutting their own defence forces too quickly too fast (Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron), or idiot western politicians pouring fuel on existing foreign conflagrations (Reagan, Bushx2, Obama, Blair, Cameron).

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Ledswinger
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They also represent the armed forces of a country with 40x our land mass, 5x our population and 6x our GDP.

Choose your preferred metric! If we assume that it's population, then I have to ask why with only 5x the population, the US needs 70x as many combat aircraft as the UK? Even on the suspect land mass metric, they've either got twice as many as they need, or we've got half the number we need.

From a naval point of view, the CIA World Factbook identifies the US coastline as only 1.6x that of the UK, so I have to ask if you're arguing that the UK needs 14 aircraft carriers, and nearly 400 frigates?

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Ledswinger
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theres more F-16 fighters in that photo than the RAF has working Tornadoes and Typhoons combined

You could make a similar comment about our navy, on course to be a one ship and one submarine outfit by 2025, or our soon to be five-tank army.

But much as I disapprove of Feckless Dave's stealth disarmament strategy, imagine how much safer we'll be because he won't be able to participate in other people's hobby wars. We don't need the military to defend our borders because they are now intentionally porous (you did vote for that, didn't you?), and as a nation we've got nothing worth invading or stealing. And a side benefit is that the clueless clowns of Defence Procurement won't be able to indulge themselves in multi-billion pound cost overruns when there's nothing to procure. And the Chinks and Ruskies will be in right old pickle if they put all the usual effort into try and hack'n'spy and steal defence secrets, but there are none to steal.

What's not to like?

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You CAN'T jail online pirates for 10 years, legal eagles tell UK govt

Ledswinger
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Re: I'm sorry

That is since you're so fond of making comparisons based around absolute worst case scenarios.

You've been reading too much of the Grauniad. It is a simple reality that serious and violent offenders ARE being let off due lack of prison capacity, and the vast majority of those who get sent down will be let out after serving 40-50% of what most people seem to agree is a lukewarm tariff in the first place. If your mother gets murdered, the criminal responsible will get "life" if he's UNLUCKY. But "life" in some bizarre civil service definition is fifteen years, so he'll be out in less than seven years.

We certainly don't want a free for all in the area of non-violent crime, but the simple reality is that a law to make it feasible to send on-line pirates down for longer if pure window dressing, given that we can't put the serious offenders away for any decent length of time. Maybe you'd be happy with your mother's hypothetical murderer moving in next door to you, having "paid his debt to society", but personally I'm a "lock the fuckers up and throw the key away" sort of person.

When the idiots of Westminster have actually sort out the existing criminal justice concerns, THEN I'm happy for them to turn their attention to protecting the financial interests of the likes of Sony Pictures and Ben Dover, in the meanwhile there's bigger fish to fry.

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Who should be responsible for IT security?

Ledswinger
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Re: CISO on its own?

Recipe for disaster.

Looking at the long and embarrassing list of IT and data security failures, I have to respond that the "all tech under one director" approach has been tried and found sadly and repeatedly lacking. The contention between spending the cash on shiney or on belt & braces exists everywhere across a business, but it usually is (and should be) the board of directors taking those decisions collectively on an informed basis. The dull choice of infrastructure hardware needn't tax the board, there's a CIO for that. But choices that can affect the continuity of the business, or incur multi-million costs and penalties, that's something for the board to agree.

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Ledswinger
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CISO on its own?

The idea of elevating CISO to a board level appointment is a lovely idea, but I can't see it being successful - more likely the CISO becomes a sort of alter ego of the CIO. What might be a more credible option is a chief risk and security officer, with responsibilities including the business risk management & insurance, business continuity/emergency & pandemic planning, data protection and information security, audit, fraud prevention and business standards plus old fashioned premises security.

The purpose of the wider scope is that all those things need doing in a large enterprise, they need doing well, and they almost always need a higher priority than they get. Split out the elements individually, and any C-badge is simply a pretence - the CEO and the CFO won't see this person as an equal. But there's a much better chance that a chief risk officer might have that clout, particularly if they are seen as protecting the longer term interests of the business rather than just saying "no". In my own business we've not rolled in the CISO, but we've had great success by having a chief business resilience officer encompassing most of the other activities mentioned above.

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Amazon UK conditions 'exhausting', claims union

Ledswinger
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but with that at least there is the prospect of crossing the Alps to freedom.

If the workers will organise themselves into an escape committee they could tunnel out of the Rugeley distribution centre, and make a break for freedom across Cannock Chase, trying to avoid recapture or encounters with the local doggers. When they get to Stafford they could keep their hoodies pulled down over their faces to avoid identification, pretend to be Polish workmen if challenged, and catch a London Midland rattler back to Wolverhampton, before signing on at the Jobcentre Plus on Queen Street.

It'd be a like an exciting combination of "Sound of Music", "Great Escape" and "Von Ryan's Express", although I'm not sure about a title yet. "Where Seagulls Dare", has too nautical a ring, "Parcel Van Down", "Captain Corelli's Missed Delivery", maybe.

I claim movie and merchandise rights in advance of the actual escape.

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Ledswinger
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I avoid buying from Amazon nowadays.

Well, bring together their unsavoury work practices with their "tax is for little people" thinking, their predatory pricing, and their suspect business practices with regard to resellers, Amazon are really coming across as a responsible corporate citizen, aren't they?

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Mozilla testing very private browsing mode

Ledswinger
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Re: I'm in

No more irrelevant ads targeted at mind-blowingly annoying yoofs?

You wish. Look at the incompetence of either Google or Amazon. Amazon in particular have a VERY good idea of what I buy, but still push adverts for stuff I bought months ago, and won't need again for years. Google have a pretty good idea of what I have probably bought, but make things worse by assuming that anything somebody in the house has searched on might be something I might want to buy. You can imagine what turns up after the wife has been Googling to verify a phrase or activity from the Profanisaurus.

This is an arms race between the public and the web marketers, and technologically the marketers CAN win, I suspect, simply because the web intermediaries want them to, and because the paid for development of spamming and placement will have far greater resource than largely freeware privacy tools. But in "brand" terms they are guaranteed to lose if they continue the escalation, because they will so thoroughly alienate customers. Sony's rootkit mess up shows how technical extravagance leads to shame and failure, and that is the ghost of Christmas future for the web marketing industry.

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Ledswinger
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Re: So...

When you open Mozilla's new privacy mode, will it shut down Windows 10?

In all seriousness, I'm hoping for a simple to use third party privacy tool for W10 that will stop Microsoft deciding what I can and can't run (including the privacy tool, natch), block all feedback and data leakage to their servers, and kill off all the other privacy destroying aspects of W10.

I acknowledge that I may have a long wait, but if that's the case maybe maybe I just need to abandon Microsoft altogether. Steam is available on Linux, after all....

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Don't fight the cistern: Voda takes the plunge with plumbers’ parking app

Ledswinger
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Re: So with this plumbed into the car's cistern

he missed the chance to call the system Vodafone so the company would have had to call itself something else.

A search on Companies House reveals that CustomerHatingDogfuckers plc has not been registered yet, should they decide to choose a more appropriate moniker.

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Ledswinger
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A parking app?

So that's what Vodafone are doing, instead of fixing their miserable, frustrating, unhelpful, time-squandering customer dis-service. What a useless company.

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Home Office seeks advice on Police Radio omnishambles

Ledswinger
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Re: Quite Agree,,,

and it doesnt matter which department they are from.

...because they're all equally useless. Be it strikers, rioters, or illegal immigrants, who ya gonna call? Not the gendarmerie.

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'I don't recognise Amazon as a bullying workplace' says Bezos

Ledswinger
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Re: Hmm

I hope he is sincere and tries to sort out this problem

Kudos to you mate, for your naieve optimism. In any organisation I've ever worked in, you can have isolated pockets that differ from the norm, but that allowed, an organisation's culture is always the shadow of its leader. The number of deeply unfavourable and similarly toned reports about Amazon seem to be more widespread than can be accounted as isolated pockets, and that implies that unfavourable attitudes, values and behaviours have pervaded the entire business, and by implication they have spread top-down.

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Ledswinger
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That said, Bezos specifically says that if this *is* the case for someone, they should report this to him, so it can be investigated.

Most whistle blower programs are simply way of getting troublemakers to self identify, IME.

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