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* Posts by Ledswinger

2706 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Cheapo telcos fined for their cheapo security: Financial records on 305,000 people spilled

Ledswinger
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Re: It is a pity that there's no "watchdog" for web services.

" At the least, the 3rd party service should have been fined. "

No. The duty of care was on the companies collecting the data. The 3rd party provider should face redress for (at most) breach of contract. And that assumes that the telcos wrote the security requirements into the contract. If they didn't bother to check the contracted security arrangements, it may be rather bold to assume that they did indeed write them into the contract.

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UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines

Ledswinger
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Re: Economics 101

"But the companies have to make money somehow if they are to stay in business - so now they sell access to your phone number to anyone who will pay."

If you think that selling spam-call lists to dodgy companies is a big earner, then you know nothing about the economics of cold calling (even though any intelligent person can estimate these for themselves), and I'd presume nothing about either the technology or economics of a telco.

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Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes

Ledswinger
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A very poor legacy

"His legacy? BAe Systems, the successor to those early firms: an £18bn global colossus employing 88,000 people....."

Not much of a legacy for a commercial and technical pioneer. BAe hasn't designed any aircraft in their entirety since the Hawker Siddeley initiated the 146 and the Hawk in the 1960s using slide rules and paper. And BAe has never even got involved with any aircraft development at commercial risk, choosing to run away from civil air transport, and wait for the clowns of the MoD to pass them vast sums of money for follies like Nimrod AEW3, MRA4, or to continue to make Cold War relics like the Typhoon, and then do daft things like strap bombs to jet fighters, because neither the useless, useless MoD, not BAe's management had bothered to think that we might need strike aircraft as the antiquated Tornadoes came to the end of their useful lives.

If anybody wants to get a real feeling for Britain's aviation heritage, then instead of looking to BAe, they should take a trip to the Shuttleworth Collection (which I assure you is a fantastic day out, far more engaging than the impressive but sterile RAF museums).

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Moscow, Beijing poised to sign deal on joint cyber security ops

Ledswinger
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Re: Botnet

"By collaborating they are effectively giving the go ahead to create the largest governement(s) botnet ever created."

What bigger than the WIndows or Android assets of the US government?

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Nokia France leak: Windows Phone DUMPED in Microsoft Lumia revamp

Ledswinger
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Re: @ AC - Rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic

"As these phones do more and more the more locked in to the ecosystem users will become and they won't bother switching as a result."

For business users, ever fearful of a need to train employees, you're right. Private users are much less fearful of swapping, and buy what suits them at the time. The kidz swapping from BB to Lumias without even stopping to consider Android shows how quickly consumer sentiment can shift Personally I can't stand the WP interface and all that "tiles" sh1te, so I won't buy a Lumia now, but that's aversion to Microsoft's "like it or lump it" interface not any loyalty to Android. If the UI on WinPho were made less garish, in-your-face, WIndows8-like, then I'd happily consider a Lumia next time round. Likewise Apple. I don't like the price, but I'd be happy to tolerate the UI. In principle it's Apple's decision on pricing that mean another Android is a probable purchase, not any USP of Android.

And Google and Android makers are actively tilting the playing field in favour of other phone OS by the fragmented update and weak post-production support, by pre-installed non-deletable apps, and by the dubious privacy of anything associated with Google. I'd happily consider Sailfish, Tizen, Firefox, or Ubuntu phones if they work well enough and can offer the few basic apps I'd use.

For home users, far from being locked in, I'm seeing less lock in, and more opportunity for OS-makers to get it right, although that's an opportunity where Google, Microsoft, Apple and the rest seem to be falling over themselves to seize defeat from the jaws of victory. In large part that's because in different ways these three businesses are committed to creating products and foisting them on the market without really listening to the market.

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RUMPY PUMPY: Bone says humans BONED Neanderthals 50,000 years B.C.

Ledswinger
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Re: "Worst one-night stand EVER"

"A one night stand that founded a people that went to the motherfucking moon. I'd say it was pretty successful."

But for that drunken bit of hokey pokey we'd be on Mars now.

More seriously, I wonder if there were negative behavioural traits that are legacies of our "minority ancestor"?

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Guns don't scare people, hackers do: Americans fear identity theft more than shooting sprees

Ledswinger
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Re: The media strikes again!

"Maybe this isn't so with the news on the other side of the pond,"

Oh, it is. And we have the same sort of gap between reality and perception of crime and risks.

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Lufthansa tosses IT biz to Big Blue, inks outsource deal with IBM

Ledswinger
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Re: Another bunch of mugs swallow the vendor's Koolaid

though I doubt the margin numbers are right upfront (I suspect outsourcers make most of their money in the later years of contracts when IT costs have gone down but clients are too tied in to move. A year one saving of anything big would be a bit scary).

Agreed that the normal BPO/ITO model is based on backloading the returns to the outsourcer, but the way this translates is that the vendor usually promises year 1 savings, and takes a loss in years one and two of the contract. It's a rotten business model, but it works a treat because corporate managers fall for it time after time.

Their IT staff are mostly German and impossible to directly get rid of, whereas IBM are planning to move the work elsewhere.

This is usually a big part of the deal, with the salesmen promising vast, risk free savings from outsourcing and offshoring. The redundancy payments are I guess the big cost Lufthansa quote for the setup costs. Unfortunately, when you take into account the lower productivity of most cheap labour, high turnover in key outsource destinations, and the big fat vendor margin, those savings evaporate.

They are really planning to get rid of a bunch of projects as you hypothesise they'll need to do, but German law won't allow them to get rid of the people,

This is a common fallacy outside Germany, that you can't get rid of people. But its not true. A German company I worked for recently got rid of around 10,000 German employees, and the UK based company I worked for before that rationalised its German business from 3,000+ down to 1,600. It does cost a bit more, and it takes a bit longer than in the UK, but German companies can certainly get rid of people if they want to. The German psyche that says that companies should look after employees is rather stronger protection than German law these days.

IBM have enough reusable systems and processes that they can genuinely do things sufficiently more efficiently to make the desired profit (which seems unlikely at the scale Lufthansa must operate).

That's a favourite from the management consultants who write gushing papers about the benefits of outsourcing. But it makes a typical consultant error, in that it assumes that cost savings for the vendor (from re-use of existing systems or code) translate to savings for the buyer. IT departments of all people should understand that the whole point of code, IP and processes is to reduce the cost for the owner, whilst still charging the user as much as they can afford to pay.

In my experience of looking at such matters, the outsourcers allude to such efficiencies and "best practice" all through the pitch, but don't actually have any such systems or code up their sleeve. The business model works best when the customer has broken or inefficient processes, because the game is a margin one. When you make 40% GM, why on earth would you want to make things run at lower cost for your customer by offering them a brilliant, lean system that reduces cost by (say) 35%, and thus reduces vendor profits by a similar figure? In reality the outourcers want to take on whatever shitty processes the customer has, and then charge the customer through the nose to make a few basic changes that don't materially reduce the operating costs.

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Ledswinger
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Another bunch of mugs swallow the vendor's Koolaid

A pity that Lufthansa didn't do a bit more research before believing that an outsourcer is going to do the job better or cheaper than they will themselves. WIth around 115,000 employees I don't buy the argument that Lufthansa lack the scale.

A more pressing concern is that IBM made (4Q13) made gross margins of 40% on technology outsourcing. Let's assume Lufthansa have been made promises about a 20% cost saving (that's the magic number most outsourcers seem to fixate on). If Lufthansa are going to save that money, and IBM are to avoid diluting GTS division results, then IBM need to be able to operate what will be fairly heavily dedicated IT infrastructure for an operating cost fully 60% lower than Lufthansa are currently incurring. Can't see that myself.

Mind you, my employer's board swallowed similar promises, and it did result in IT costs going down. But only because all routine IT costs went up after we outsourced (along with a reciprocal decline in service standards), and desperate IT managers reacted by slashing operationally-needed projects and new systems from the IT investment budget, and called the resultant net effect a "saving". That's not the view of the operating units, but who asked them?

Oh, and another word of advice for the directors of Lufthansa: You know that long, long, detailed SLA you signed, that commits the vendor to deliver all the promises they made? You might as well wipe your German backsides on that. Outsourcers have large, heavily resourced teams who work all day, every day on writing these agreements, and have big bonuses tied to a successful outcome (which includes the vendor not having to pay up when said vendor messes up). You, on the other hand, had a small and under-pressure team of procurement generalists who write agreements like these once every few years at most, accompanied by a team of IT people already under the cosh for being "too expensive", and most of whom actually had an operational role.

Maybe I'm being unfair. But it seems that either Lufthansa's people didn't do their research properly in the matter of IBM versus Cable & Wireless, or alternatively they chose to believe the salesmen's assurance that the leopard had changed its spots. And salesmen, they always tell the truth.

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Computer misuse: Brits could face LIFE IN PRISON for serious hacking offences

Ledswinger
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Re: Mightier than the sword

"why don't we disband the british armed services and merely make it a crime for foreigners to invade the UK"

That's already been done, under the guise of various successive "strategic defence reviews" that have left us with no credible land, air, or sea capabilities. And whilst it is easy to argue that projecting force overseas has rarely ended well, we're now at a position where our armed services couldn't defend the UK, and we rely on the assertion that nobody (other than migrants in Calais) wishes to invade us.

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MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less

Ledswinger
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Re: joke maybe, but you have a point@ illiad

"if your equipment isnt clean enough to function properly, its no good to anyone..."

That was my point. How will an undergraduate wank into a sock that's as rigid as a carbon nanotube, and as flat as graphene? And in that case grease probably isn't going to do as good a job as a quick cycle in a cheap washing machine.

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Ledswinger
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Re: It definitely makes sense

"pygmys or people suffering of dwarfism "

Why pick on them? That Warwick Wossname seems like a decent chap, I don't want him sending to Mars. And pygmies, can't say I've met many, but I've no particular reason to think they deserve to be sent i a tin can to Mars.

But if we're looking for short people that we'd like to send off into space, what about Bono? And Tom Cruise. Prince. Woody Allen......

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Ledswinger
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Re: Some logic to the discussion...

"The point is that, regardless of gender, we will end up with the best crew."

Is this the mission they don't come back from, or is that a different one? I'm just thinking that if it's a one way trip then we don't want to send the best people, and we should be looking for "second tier" applicants. And if it's the one way trip, this is going to be reality TV, so you want some eye candy, and people who will entertain.

Or alternatively send a hand picked crew of Ched Evans, Oscar Pistorius, White Dee, and Shrien Dewani. That'd tick the boxes for any diversity survey, whilst being a collection of people many of the rest of us wouldn't miss.

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Ledswinger
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Re: joke maybe, but you have a point

"Real men only need; Something that cleans when things get too dirty."

You're not a true man if you recognise the concept of "too dirty". If for whatever reason, the dirt interferes with the functional properties of something, you're allowed to clean it, but in isolation, dirt of itself is no reason to clean. Take a sock, that (for whatever dubious reason) has got rather revolting and gone hard, the reason for cleaning is only to remove the hardness that makes it difficult to put to any particular use.

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Steelie Neelie orders Germany to sort out its mobe charges – or EU will go FULL LEGAL

Ledswinger
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Re: 5th time warning or else

" Whereas the UK has 3 universities in the world top-five, Germany’s highest is a miserable 49th."

Some very selective stats there, my son. I'm a reactionary UKIP supporter, and I attended one of the top UK universities, but even I will (on the basis of experience) accept that Germany has an amazingly good education system, amongst the highest levels of productivity in the world, and better standards of living than the UK, and probably in most terms the US. Your selective comparisons that favour the UK and Mercania also ignore the fact that Germany has far more stable and balanced public finances than either country, with the US and UK addled with debt. The UK's lead in graduate numbers is based on offering degrees in hairdressing, media studies and similar shite.

Consider this: Who buys a British car for its engineering?

I'd really like things to be different, but they aren't.

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Ledswinger
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Re: 5th time warning or else

"she will write a very, very, very angry letter to say that the 6th warning is imminent."

Given that the German economy is by far and away the largest and healthiest in Europe, and that Germany's net contribution to the EU budget is 3x that of the parasites of France, I'd suggest that Steelie Neelie's gunpowder is very wet indeed.

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Ledswinger
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Re: 5 Warnings?

"And "we" want to leave the EU and be left at the mercy of our own government's Quango's to "manage" pricing."

In case you hadn't noticed, it's Germany that might end up in the dock, not the UK, where the rules appear to have been zealously implemented. You might also stop to consider that the majority of EU competition and regulation approaches have been heavily influenced by the UK's pioneering approach to competition in utility markets.

But hey, if you want to go back to "big state" policies that ultimately amount to state-provided services, then feel free to move to Venezuela, or Cuba. Some of us are old enough to remember the shockingly poor, expensive "services" that government provided when it directly controlled the vast majority of UK water, electricity, gas, telecommunications, road haulage, bus services, railways, air transport, airports, ferries, docks (not to mention the state's "scorched earth" policy in manufacturing industry).

And perhaps you should reflect whether Brussels is really pro-competition and free enterprise, or is merely a shadow state looking to micro-manage all economic activity (a bit like France, with it's mangled and unproductive economy).

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Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech

Ledswinger
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Re: Yeah yeah

"Trust is dead, and I hope you spend long hours during your retirement reflecting on your part in its demise."

That would be nice, but Sir Iain will spend his retirement reflecting on the fact that like many senior civil servants who did the wrong thing by persuading themselves that black was white, doing the wrong thing, he's got a knighthood and you probably haven't, and he's got a very generous, index linked, tax-payer guaranteed, minimal contribution pension of vast proportions (and again, you probably haven't).

The dog f*ckers who have made an epic mess of energy policy, with a raised risk of blackouts in future years, and a need to nearly double prices from current levels will likewise be heading into retirement with similar wealth and status, and every other bungling government department is led by similar people.

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NSA approves Samsung Knox for use by TOP SECRET g-men

Ledswinger
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Re: The Mind Boggles

"No, you're thinking of the other group of xenophobic old white dudes...."

What, like 'bama boy?

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Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers

Ledswinger
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"And I really find it funny that someone who declines to use their real name is making a fuss about using 'real names'."

OK, I'll but the idea that using a comedy title doesn't matter.

How about the idea that the "house of lords" is a simply a posh, taxpayer funded club for placemen of whatever revolting prime minister nominated them for a peerage? And that as a wholly unelected bunch of tossers, many openly affiliated to the political party that sponsored them, they shouldn't be involved in any shape or form in law-making?

Personally I'd fire all the "new" lords, reinstate the old hereditary peers (for reasons that will become obvious below), strip their right to do anything meaningful with legislation whilst keeping them in the palace of Westminster, and then I'd sell membership (along with a non-hereditary title) as the world's most expensive club. As they'd have no power, I'd happily take the money of every c*nt of an Australian publishing tycoon, Russian criminal oligarch, African dictator, Chinese noveau-riche billionaire, Indian chewing-gum magnate, and the rest. I reckon that you could easily sell 200 seats at something like £100m a year each (there's around 2,000 billionaires globally, they're not going to miss small change like £100m a year). The resulting £20bn income would go a good way to reducing the government's borrowing, and the lords would be no less of a waste of space than they are at the moment.

What's not to like?

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Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know

Ledswinger
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Re: War. What is it good for?

" I'd also like to think that looking your enemy in the eye makes you reflect on the horror of conflict. If not in the heat of battle, at least afterwards."

Yes, that's called PTSD.

Given that the horror of war has not resulted in any loss of enthusiasm amongst those starting wars, and given that those fighting the wars are never the people who make the decisions to go to war, I'd suggest trying to keep our soldiers out of harms way is a good thing. Even if it's a dodgy war we've started on made up evidence, or one that we've stupidly contributed too.

Of course, if you want to go back to man-to-man knife fights as a noble quest, then you feel free to get yourself a sword, travel to some fly-blown god-forsaken dump and take on an IED with your trusty blade.

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Ledswinger
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Re: That had me worried@ Irongut

"This is the company that fixed a broken cockpit window with duct tape."

This is a tech site, I thought all readers would know that duct tape fixes anything.

Well, maybe Didcot B is now somewhat beyond the salvation offered by gaffer tape, but that's probably because the owners didn't use enough of it in the first place.

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It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE

Ledswinger
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Re: Manchester is not northen

"And did you eventually grow up ?"

We both know the answer to that!

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Ledswinger
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Re: Manchester is not northen

"And I say that as a poncey southerner who braved life on the windswept peaks of Carrbrook for many years."

I'll back that, having moved from the pleasant and civilised south to the uncouth north for my growing up years. By God! It was like being a missionary amongst savages! Or a legionary atop Hadrian's wall. There was I sole speaker of the Queen's English for a hundred miles, and all around the Yorkshire vermin were spitting in the gutter and bah't tatting before setting off to Ilkley Moor with whippets in tow and cloth cap upon head. It was only as we passed Watford Gap on the way south that mum would let me turn the Brownings to safety and come out of the Cortina's rear turret.

Looking on the bright side, thanks to Blair, most of the BBC and their middle class Guardian reading liberals have been exiled to the Manchester Gulag. Before the native Mancs know it they'll have been gentrified and become the people they currently loathe in the less grim suburbs. And then the Glaswegians will have undisputed title of the expression "northerners".

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Ledswinger
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Re: Article crap. Try this instead.

Skipton, best place to live?

I can remember childhoods in Yorkshire not many miles away, playing on ten foot snowdrifts in winter, wallowing in the miserable isolation and backwardness. So apart from the weather, the locals, and the fact that it's the official Middle Of *ucking Nowhere (MOFN) perhaps it is a good place to live if you're a bored London journo scraping up some contracted copy for the Huff post.

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Ledswinger
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Re: North?

" and origin of the Black Pudding"

Luckily the recipe is now widely known, so if Bury slips back to the stone age we'll still be able to fry it good and crisp. And if feeling charitable to send some back to Bury in Red Cross parcels if we haven't eaten it ourselves.

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Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots

Ledswinger
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Re: Thanks for all the fish!

"Why that show and no others?"

Because for many of us, it was our first taste of scifi, and we grew up with it. Cardboard sets, comedy monsters and all, but of late appreciatively growing into Ecceleston and then Tennant's contributions.

Sadly the current palava is caused by the fact that having updated the programme to acceptable graphics, good camera work and good acting, the BBC have thrown it all away by turning the whole thing into a shitty soap opera. The rot started under Matt Smith, who was always too effete for the role, but the storylines had caught a does of something nasty at the same tine. And now, well, it's Holby Fucking City in Time and Space (HoFuCTAS).

So, HoFuCTAS? I'll tell you who, the knob ends of the BBC. And the c*nts at BBC Worldwide don't help, always badgering to have UK-focused content dumbed down for the international market.

I can remember when the Beeb did not just good stuff, but brilliant, world class stuff. Now they've thrown away all the orgasmically beautifully filmed nature programmes, they shat on their previously fabulous costume dramas (1), and worst of all they've messed with Dr Who. Bastards, every last one of them, navel gazing from the inside, because they're up their own arse.

(1) Not my bag, but I know a good thing when I get an hour or two to myself on Sunday evening.

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That's no – actually it is: DEATH STAR MOON 'could be full of life-friendly water'

Ledswinger
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Re: It's...

"I was born in a water moon. Some people, especially its inhabitants, called it a planet, but as it was only a little over two hundred kilometres in diameter ‘moon’ seems the more accurate term. The moon was made entirely of water, by which I mean it was a globe that not only had no land, but no rock either, a sphere with no solid core at all, just liquid water, all the way down to the very centre of the globe...."

If you know, you know. And if you don't you need to find the book and read it.

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HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

Ledswinger
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Re: @Lamont Cranston

"if you're shown the Bake Off and don't enjoy it, you're promptly deported to somewhere far less British"

What, like how we used to transport people who didn't share Britain's law abiding values? Look where that got us: Bloody crims' descendants are living it up in Oz, whilst we sit in our poxy little houses in our overcrowded, damp and grey country. And in the meanwhile some arseholes in Westminster have made things worse by hitching our cart to the plodding three legged donkey that is the EU, so we get freedom of trade for European criminals, and to share in the wasteful, backward, statist, and bureaucratic values that are central to the heart of every true European.

I do agree that it is quintessentially British to make a programme in which uninteresting people bake a cake, and then uninteresting but slightly dislikeable people criticise them, but it is equally quintessentially for only the oldest, most bewildered and most be-cardiganed to actually watch such cheap schedule filling crap. People still pay to watch or buy Dad's Army from almost fifty years ago, but I can't see people fifty years hence marvelling at the talent and wit of the Great British Bake Off.

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Ledswinger
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Re: I can handle a couple more subscriptions.

"Canada here. I'd like to pay the License Fee and have full access to all BBC programming. "

No! No! You really want all of the gems the Beeb foists on us, and you want to pay?

Strictly Come Dancing? The Voice? Antiques *ucking Roadshow. Songs of *ucking Praise? East Enders? Holby City? The Great British Bake Off? The effete and increasingly soapy Doctor Who? The Graham Norton Show. Watchdog. Even the BBC news is now a dumbed down, non-investigative, timid government mouthpiece. And it comes with a shed-load of government encouraged climate change doom.

Any time they look like they're backing a winner (eg the BBC Wales scifi/drama stuff) they throw it away so they can stick with Songs of Praise and Antiques Roadshow. Previous glories of period drama were thrown away, and all sets, actors and writers dumped at sea, so that Holby City could continue to be made and spewed forth. And as for comedy, there's precious little of merit going back to the 1970's.

Canada, you're welcome to this pile of state produced ordure, but I say you'd get better value cracking open a beer, and streaming yourself some grumble.

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Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet

Ledswinger
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Re: I wish they could

"In order to do that we will have to stop buying oil and gas from them first."

I have a simpler solution: Instead of telling the rest of the world how to run the web, the Arabs could just turn off all digital telecommunicatons, and do without the internet.

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

Ledswinger
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Re: Utopian drivel

"Unless they're going to issue everyone of voting age with a basic internet connection "

A more pressing concern is that not voting is a valid choice. I didn't have any acceptable choices for MP at the last general election, so I didn't cast a vote for any of the candidates. If Martha is too stupid to see how important the right to not vote is, then she's evidently fully qualified to be a member of the house of lords. Presumably serial stupidist Lord Vaz will be joining her soon, as he's demonstrated the necessary hypocrisy and dim-ness.

The interesting aspect of this is that under the previous hereditary system the Lords were great - a chamber of sleeping old codgers who allowed us to sell the idea of being governed by a class system to tourists, but who never interfered with the bungling stupidity of the lower chamber, other than a few irrelevant speeches about the need to hunt foxes, badgers and peasants. Following the "reforms" by that village idiot Blair, we can now see that we don't need two chambers, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify the House of Patronage.

I say shut the doors and gas 'em.

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Vodafone does it in two places at once: Carrier aggregation to boost 4G

Ledswinger
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Re: "Research justifies the sexy bits, so we'll ignore the bread & butter stuff"

"I live in one of the flattest parts of the UK but ALL mobile providers services are totally shit."

It applies everywhere, as far as I can see. Personally I blame OFCOM. They've created a licensing system that (along with capital requirements) means that there's huge barriers to entry in the infrastructure part of the value chain.

It isn't beyond the wit of man to mandate "common carriage" arrangements where the market can't provide coverage in low population densities (even the French have managed it). But sadly what is not beyond the wit of man is clearly beyond the wit of OFCOM.

And a question for those who know about such things, is 4G going to be the same pathetic shambles as 3G? All this talk of ludicrous speeds is surely going to depend in the real world on mast capacity and backhaul, and those appear to be the bits the MNOs have thus far refused to invest in beyond the barest minimum, leading to all this 2G fall back and half data rate nonsense (along with the absolute notspots with no coverage of any kind).

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Ledswinger
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"Research justifies the sexy bits, so we'll ignore the bread & butter stuff"

"Vodafone research shows that customers value a consistent, high-speed 4G service in-building as well as outside "

If Vodafone's research is any good it should also show that most customers don't give a shit about 4G services targeted at a few urban hipsters with the latest handsets, but would give their left bollock (or their partner's left bollock) for decent near universal H+ 3G.

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Coughing for 4G, getting 2G... Networks' penny-pinching SECRETS REVEALED

Ledswinger
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Re: Cross Country Trains, Virgin, too.

"Those decade-old rolling stock from Italy (the ones with slidey does and smelly loos) have some kind of miracle signal attenuation."

I suspect it's the design, which has far smaller windows than older inter-city and suburban carriages. The huge area of metal presumably acts as a leaky Faraday cage.

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'Theoretical' Nobel economics explain WHY the tech industry's such a damned mess

Ledswinger
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"Integrated States"

Nope, still descriptive (and the abbreviation might get a bit difficult as to who's fighting whom in the Middle East).

I demand a simple proper name. Mercania would do.

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Ledswinger
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"Sometimes I can't tell whether something in a headline is about "US" the country, or "US" the emphasised collective of El Reg readership."

Bloody Yanks eh? If they'd give their country a proper name, rather than a vague and arguably inaccurate description we wouldn't have this problem.

Suggestions on a postcard please.

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Virgin Media DOUBLE-PUNCHED by BSkyB AND BT over ad fibs

Ledswinger
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Re: @ukgnome - You should be a cynic

That's still a fairly restricted number, and of known servers. If you use other speed testing services eg

http://www.broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk

then I certainly get different and far slower speeds.

My day to day usage feels more like the broadbandspeedchecker 50 Mb indication than the speedtest.net 100 Mb claim.

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Ledswinger
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Re: how do you return the letters?

"how do you return the letters? when there's no return address? :("

You know that red cylinder with a letter sized slot in it? Stick it in there.

Then the people who posted it through your letter box can decide how they want to deal with it. If they get enough returns they'll start insisting on a returns address (and charging the originator) but it's their problem.

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Ledswinger
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Re: "We're no good, but we're the least shitiest."

"Why do Virgin Media bother with these misleading ads, when all they need to do is say the following:

We're not BT, and you won't need their line."

Because, my dear AC, on pure like for like plays there's always someone a fair bit cheaper than Virginmedia when you look beyond the introductory offers, even when you allow for BT's line rental cash cow. And because Virginmedia offer rubbish routers that aren't really fit for purpose. And because under the Cable Cowboy they've run a series of price hikes to piss customers off.

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Son of Hudl: Tesco flogs new Atom-powered 8.3-inch Android tablet

Ledswinger
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Re: How much is this costing Intel?

"Intel's $1.5B hit comes from paying for the design ...."

I'll happily defer to your and Charlie Clark's views on the cost of alternative SoCs. But you're wrong that they aren't selling below cost, because R&D is a cost that needs to be recovered through sales like many other overheads.

To assert that Intel are not selling below cost you'd have to be looking at gross margin, and perhaps believing that the accounting term "cost of sales" refers to economic costs. "Cost of sales" refers only to the marginal cost of those sales. From an economic or investor perspective the true cost of sales would be the average, which has to include all the other operating costs of the business.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Hove actually?

So according to Google Maps that'll be:

Faarrrkkin Brig-tun

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Ledswinger
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Re: How much is this costing Intel?

" I wonder just how much Intel is bankrolling this (and presumably similar devices via similar channels in other countries) "

Well, in the last six reported months Intel made a loss of $1.5bn on less than $700m of revenues for their mobile and communications segment. So whatever the sale price of the processor was, the actual cost to Intel was three times that, and that's just to break even. Looking at other groupings (say Servers & Data Centres), Intel want to make an operating margin around 50% of sales. Which would suggest that Intel are currently selling (on average) mobile products for one sixth of the price they'd need to stay in the game long term. Obviously depends how much is integrated on the chip, but If we say the processor is the meaty bit, and the going rate for a third party chip is around $35, but Intel sell for perhaps $7, but would ideally like $50 (above market through hoped-for premium and further SoC integration, then it looks like the order of the implied cash subsidy to each Hudl2 (against a third party product) would be around $28, with Intel taking a $40+ loss between what they accept now and what they'd like to be paid.

That of course is built on the flimsiest of foundations....

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Ledswinger
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"All You Need is Hove."

You'll be giving our Merkin friends some bad ideas about how Hove is pronounced locally. Then again, could things get any worse, given the mangled enunciation that Google Maps routinely offers?

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NSA Sentry Eagle placed spies in private companies

Ledswinger
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Re: Indicative?@ Apdsmith

"You wonder the extent to which this is indicative of a mindset - was it as simple as Snowden, being "on the inside", wasn't really a party to the rules and could do as he wished?"

I hadn't thought of it like that, but it's a damned good challenge. It is generally true that any organisation is a shadow of its leader, top to bottom, and for better or worse. It would therefore follow that Snowden perhaps thought that way because that was how the whole NSA think, but I don't think so. Both from what he's said, and from his actions post-leak, he knew the ramifications would not include acclaim, recognition and reward, but rather vilification, harassment of him, family and friends, and a choice of exile or life imprisonment by a bitter, vengeful, and repressive bureaucracy.

The man has paid a very heavy personal price for doing the right thing, and I think if he'd believed that the rules did not apply to him, he'd have assumed that things would never point at him, or that it would all turn out rosy. I'd suggest the unlucky Bradley/Chelsea Manning thought that way, based on what he'd seen, but I think Snowden not.

The complete lack of support on Capitol Hill shows how the vermin of the political classes won't ever do the right thing, so I suppose that makes Snowden the man who stood up for what he believed in, of a free America. And he's now being hunted down like a dog for being the original American patriot.

Note to Hollywood: When you make the film, remember that all the baddies in this will not be your elected politicians, nor your senior security officials (many now as decorated as any African dictator), but should be weak minded dweebs either under the malign influence of the British, or simply mysterious English-accented sinistros.

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Ledswinger
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"The NSA is tasked both with protecting US network infrastructure and also penetrating and gathering intelligence from networks."

Which doesn't really explain why (as I read this article) the NSA were active in commercial espionage on foreign owned companies. That has little to do with security or protective intelligence, and everything to do with the sort of intellectual property theft for economic gain that the Yanks have spent the past decade accusing the Chinks over.

The unfortunate thing is that Snowden or not, this would eventually have leaked out, and what it shows is the poor judgement of the security establishment, who seem determined to make the US a pariah in the free world. And all of this security pantomime is justified largely by the "threat" posed by a handful of stone age bigots and extremists on the other side of the world. And the absolute height of that threat was an attack over ten years ago that killed roughly the same number of people who die on America's roads each month, year in year out.

Makes you wonder which country the NSA are actually working for.

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Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

Ledswinger
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Re: File under...

"What were they thinking?"

They were picking a winner, that's what they were thinking. Sadly whenever public servants pick winners, it is usually a surefire guarantee of long, expensive and protracted failure.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Dead ducks

"I am not aware of badgers being classed as a delicacy, so I propose that DAB be referred to as DeAd Badger tech?"

What about that bloke who used to collect and eat roadkill, including badgers? He seemed to like like them, and I've not come across anybody saying that they aren't a delicacy, so that's 100% of all badger eaters who rate them as a delicacy.

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Greedy datagrabs, crap security will KILL the Internet of Thingies

Ledswinger
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Re: Sorry, no.

"But to assume that it will all be permanently stuck at a "proof of concept" level coded by know-nothing numpties who've never had to sell a product to an end user - seems unnecessarily harsh."

You're obviously not familiar with the dismal mess that is the firmware and applications of most "smart" TV's.

Years (if not decades) after suitable protocols and hardware were cheaply available, and years after privacy became a consumer concern, these devices offer weak and slow functionality, often have the most criminally inept user interfaces, struggle with quick easy interconnectivity, have maker-loaded spyware reporting back to base, and are very quickly discarded from the maker's "supported software & devices" list. And that's top-brand TVs. Can you imagine what the software on a mid to low end smart fridge would be like?

Hardware markers don't get software. They don't understand the need to support it, they don't have experience in creating software, and their mentality in all things is build to the lowest cost, bundle it out the factory gate and forget it.

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Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author

Ledswinger
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"there's a quote from a senior Symbian kernel engineer (who I won't name) who spelled out what the issues actually were with Nokia"

I'd accept that the problems were diagnosed, and were individually treatable with time. But culturally and organisationally Nokia couldn't address them in any time frame, and even with radical action to make the organisation change, the business didn't have time as shown by the demise of Blackberry under the rule of Balsillie and Lazaridis. In 2006 both companies completely commanded their focus segments of the phone world. Both needed to address shortcomings in their phone operating systems, and both failed to anticipate the quality competitor offerings, failed to listen to customers, and failed to innovate effectively or quickly enough.

The interesting thing is that all of those criticisms apply to Microsoft in its core PC OS business. The only thing keeping MS going is the lack of a credible mass market alternative (Apple too expensive, Linux too fragmented, complex, and insufficiently compatible with a range of important programs).

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