* Posts by Ledswinger

3138 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Moto E 2015: The builder's cheapie gets a serious upgrade

Ledswinger
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Re: OnePlus?

It would be interesting to see what OnePlus could produce for the same sort of price.

They'd have no real advantage at the cheap end of the market - on the model One they're competing against high end models with 50% profit margins, and doing something similar for a lot less isn't really a challenge.

But at the low end nobody makes much (if any) money, and the only cost that OnePlus might save is generic brand marketing that's probably 4% if that of the final price.

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MP resigns as security committee chair amid 'cash-for-access' claims

Ledswinger
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Re: The depressive thing about Rifkind

"don't forget the 11% pay rise they're getting after the election "

Some of them won't. But after they've been "let go" by their constituents at the end of a fixed term contract, they'll be allowed to hoover up around £30k of "resettlement grant" and £40k of "winding up allowance".

And the other great thing about being an MP is the free travel and accommodation expenses - if you or I took a five year fixed term contract in London of our own free will, HMRC would take a very dim view of our employers paying for our commuting, our second homes, and for lobbyists to pay for "fact finding" holidays, but where MP's are greedy bastards writing their own chit, it's all OK. Not to mention the obscenely generous parliamentary pension scheme, with its benefits inflated by 25% by that economically illiterate twat, Gordon Brown.

If Rifkind can't get by on this gravy train, he should throw himself into the Thames. Let me know when and where, and I'll come to enjoy the spectacle.

"All in all I can't see what any public sector worker would EVER vote Tory again, I won't be."

You think it'll all work out fine under Labour? The clowns that time after time fuck up the economy, and last time round doubled the national debt, left the public spending £120bn a year in the red, allowed the banks to fuck up the economy by their rampant bad lending, and embroiled us in a decade of wars that we've still got not explanation for? Not that I'd dispute that no sane person would vote Conservative.

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Ledswinger
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Re: The impressive thing about Rifkind

"Having said that, taking money to arrange 'introductions' to government officials surely must be illegal."

Only if you're a civil servant. If you're a politician present or former (eg Brown, Blair, Straw, Rifkind, and the rest of the shower of piss) then apparently it is just fine.

The most alarming thing is that despite the embarrassment over expenses a few short years back, and before that embarrassment over cash for questions revelations, the royalty of both parties have yet again been found to be till dipping. And I saw there was even some fucker of an MP claiming that he'd done the thick end of 2,000 hours paid work outside of Parliament - I'm sure he did that by working eighteen hour days every single Saturday and Sunday, to ensure his constituents were properly represented.

As with bankers, politicians are simply endemically and systematically dishonest and venal, reflecting a general lack of transparency and of stern, fair handed oversight. Where else can you get away claiming expenses without so much as a receipt?

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Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer

Ledswinger
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Re: Excellent article - cheers.

Now for one on GEC-Marconi :(

Donated to the City of London on condition that the site was cleared.

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So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

Ledswinger
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Re: "Superfish wasn't a major contributor to the manufacturer's bottom line"

"This begs the question; why do it then?"

For the same reason that most consumer laptops come loaded with crapware, that the OEM picked up a tiny payment for each piece of unrequested bloat, but which was from their perspective was pure, unadulterated profit. In the commoditised PC market, every little counts.

The hogged sectors on the disk were free (the buyer paid for that), the hogged CPU cycles were free (the buyer just had to wait a bit longer), the hogged RAM was free (again the buyer had to wait longer). We all know that the board of Lenovo won't sit round deciding what this months suite of bloatware includes, so the decision to include Superfish would have been taken by some middle manager (at best), probably in the commercial (as opposed to technical) side of the business - marketing, if you like.

However, Lenovo's misfortune won't change practice elsewhere, and you can expect the other makers to continue to shift their wares laden with unrequested crapware, and sooner of later this sorry tale will repeat. It's a bit like the long and continuing saga of data breaches - every month the wolves have another victim, but the corporate herd mere look on and laugh as their fellow is shredded, and then continue to lumber along, slow and stupidly doing what they always did.

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Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

Ledswinger
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Re: Criminal

"highest end laptops which would obviously be the best targets"

Why? If it's advertising related then volume counts over quality every time. And even ID theft is a game of volume over quality.

For the small number of premium brands who might value rich customers, they'd typically want to keep their brand clean, and association with crappy ad-scammers would be high risk, as well as likely to generate a lot of unproductive leads - Jaguar buyers (for example) will probably buy high end laptops, but that relationship doesn't work the other way round.

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Raspberry Pi, meet face: You're probably NOT Blighty's biggest PC maker!

Ledswinger
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"Most of the first year supply problems were because the Foundation had failed to recognise that huge demand and had carried out no real market research."

On the other hand the RP Foundation actually got something to market that has been a success, whereas most of the gobshytes who "correctly predicted" its success actually brought diddly squat to market themselves.

Now, if any of those armchair generals wish to develop, manufacture, launch and distribute a low cost, low margin product with an ill defined use and target market, and to splash big money on market research, they should feel free, but that's not generally how most good things get done. Good things get done because somebody thinks they know better than the expensive received wisdom of market research.

Market research is generally for not-very-clever junior suits to prove the brilliance of average ideas to senior not-very-clever suits, and you're welcome to it.

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Inside GOV.UK: 'CHAOS' and 'NIGHTMARE' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites

Ledswinger
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Presumably....

...the same people are behind the Graun's recent web disaster, which converted a reasonably useable news web site into a ghastly disorganised mashup of blogs spouting cack, reposting of "news" from fourth rate journalistic sources, confusion over what counted as opinion and what as news, confusion over when material was originally published, etc etc.

And like gov.uk, the readers of the Graun did choose to express their views, and the management have decided to ignore them, preferring to admire their own digital graphics. But then I thought, maybe both government and graun are right? Perhaps substance is last century, and style now triumphs content time after time? Seems to be the direction the Reg is taking, too.

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SCREW YOU, BRITS: We're going through with UK independence ANYWAY – Scotland

Ledswinger
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Re: A snide and disappointing article

So, AC, you object to the "kick them out" comments, but you then complain that the only thing the Unionists bought is time. It seems to me that you hate those south of the border who want Scotland to go, and you hate those south of the border who want you to stay.

You are right there seems to be some racism going on, unfortunately you've provided compelling evidence that it's you and the dark side of Scottish nationalism bringing it to the party.

Out of curiosity, if Scotland has another referendum and votes to go, the polls currently imply it would become a single party socialist state. How do you think that will pan out?

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Ledswinger
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@Badvok

With low oil prices the previous SNP claims are more difficult, but oil was a distraction. Denmark has a prosperous economy with little in the way of mineral resources, as do Finland and Sweden, all of which have similar size populations and higher GDP per capita than Scotland. And those countries include one euro member, one in an ERM type of arrangement, and one free floating currency, so the SNP would not be held back by any threats from the incompetents of Brussels to keep them out of the euro.

Scottish independence would be a wonderful thing, because it would force the Scots to reform their economy and that (in the longer term) would be better for the Scottish people, and because instead of Scotland being governed as a policy afterthought by civil servants in London, they really could have policies decided for the benefit of Scotland. And it would be better for the RoUK, since we wouldn't be either leeching off them (the SNP oil argument), or we wouldn't be bankrolling their unsustainable welfare state (the Barnett formula argument).

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Ledswinger
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"Probably because Cameron and every other politician in Labour and the Lib Dems promised them more devolution"

No, because the Westminster/Brussels cabal used fear tactics against elderly Scottish voters. The youth vote was compellingly in favour of going it alone, and wasn't swayed by the rash promises of more devolution. The elderly had a reciprocal view, having been told that an independent Scotland would go bust and they wouldn't get the BBC, wouldn't get their pension, wouldn't have cheap postage etc etc.

As the older more conservative voters fade away, and as SNP support continues to climb, a new referendum is inevitable, just a question of when.

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Virgin Media to splurge BEELLIONS on UK network infrastructure expansion

Ledswinger
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Re: Wholesale...@Chris 17

"its not the same concept"

Depend how far you want to stretch my analogy. I only wished to make the point that VM are the legal owner of their infrastructure, and you apparently wish to force the disaggregation of their value chain because of your unhappiness with alternative companies' offers via Openreach.

In the parking meter on the drive example, its a very good analogy, because somebody else (the council) wishes to open up better use of your asset (your driveway) for the common benefit (of others suffering from a lack of on street parking), and if you keep the parking charges they can argue that you'll be better off, despite you not necessarily consenting to this socialisation of your property.

BT's position is different because they have a near 100% coverage, their infrastructure was gifted to BT plc by the state for a relatively modest privatisation value, and because in the decades long build out of the telecoms network, the GPO enjoyed all manner of advantages in building a national network that wouldn't be available to private companies.

No sane individual can argue that VM should be forced to sell their capacity on wholesale markets if they don't want to, and the only argument is therefore whether BT should in fact be subject to LLU. I think on balance it should, but that doesn't make any case for VM being subject to the same rules.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Wholesale...

"If VM manage to fibre up the whole area and increase speeds, why can't they then be forced to open that wholesale to Sky etc? It would make it a completely level field for competition."

I can see why some customers would want this, but given that it's VM's asset, paid for with the cash of private investors, why should they have to open up to competitors? You might feel miffed if the local council put a parking meter on your drive, but its the same concept.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Good news or more likely a chimera

"If Virgin have solved this economic problem, that's awesome news."

That's a big "if" you have there, sir! Here at Cynic Towers, it is assumed that this is purely to increase the future value of the business since they're hoping to sell it to Vodafone. So the Cable Cowboy can make this commitment, knowing that he won't have to honour it. If the sale happens with a new and now much higher valuation (to Voda or anybody else), the new owner will be even more debt addled, and won't consider themselves bound by the previous owner's rash promises. A few infill extensions will occur, but the idea of a £3bn roll out? At 50% penetration on the four million homes they hope to pass that's around £1,500 per household - distribute that for those properties that will be more expensive to serve and you can see that it wouldn't be economic for a good chunk of the 4m homes they talk of.

You're quite right about the economic history of cable, and it is interesting to note that the same applied to railways, to the M6 Toll (still blissfully traffic free for the rich or spendthrift), and to Eurotunnel. Infrastructure is only investable at very high customer densities, and where geography and alternative solutions are limited, and that's why we have so few forms of genuinely universal infrastructure, and why bumpkin broadband is only going to happen slowly and with huge subsidies.

In this case we're talking about extending cable to the less optimal urban peasants (if it really made money they'd have done it first), so if this happens as claimed I'll be amazed. Gormless Dave is obviously impressed, but let's be honest, it doesn't take much, does it?

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Is any of this actually a problem?

"Today's goverments don't have the organisation ability, the will or the imagination to create a legacy like 'the New Deal' in America during the 1930's."

What legacy? Respectable analysis shows that the New Deal prolonged the depression by several years, and all the main indicators (GDP, unemployment, personal consumption, private sector investment) were still lower in 1939 than they were in 1929. I think Europe's attempts recently to spend billions it doesn't have without kickstarting any sort of recovery reinforces the failure of mainstream Keynesian philosophy, and Southern Europe is a classic example of vainglorious New Dealism - loads of EU funded infrastructure projects that have delivered nothing, whilst the resepctive economies wallow in pubic and private debt run up during a boom.

You're welcome to your New Deal legacy.

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Bad news, IT bods: UK's tech outsourcing up 15% last year

Ledswinger
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Re: Merry go-round

"They need constant projects to anchor their place in the business."

I have a different take, and that is that in the good old days before people could contact you and knew where you were supposed to be all the time, directors and senior execs would be off playing golf, having extra marital affairs, or relaxing at home, all under the guise of some imprecise work related activity.

Now, with widely accessible electronic calendars, easy working out how long travel takes, HR policies that make it more difficult to treat attractive junior staff as feudal entitlements, and expectations of being communicable and responsive, they have to do these projects to fill their working day, according to Parkinson's Law.

There's also the involvement of undesirable elements like procurement, and of external advisers. Procurement appear to be trying to expand their influence to f*** up the business, following HR's success with such an approach, and are always muttering that they could save the business tuppence by resourcing the contract to another bunch of untrustworthy snake oil salesmen. The external advisers promise the same (over expensive lunches, or on glitzy trips to see the nightlife of Prague.

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UK.gov can't get farmers onto its Verify service – even to claim subsidies

Ledswinger
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From the Whitehall Home for the Hard of Thinking

So government chose the least well connected section of society, with the lowest levels of technology engagement within the actual work they do, and the government department with the worst record of ineptitude on simply handing out money, and then they thought "let's create a digital only exemplar project". I suppose it is an example project, but perhaps not quite in the way the originators hoped.

Does working with government make you stupid, or do they recruit for it?

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Boffin the boffin and his boffinry pals in double dwarf super-prang alert

Ledswinger
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Re: Boffin schmoffin

"Boffin is a standard term of endearment,..."

Except when it's somebody's name. In this case I believe Her Maj should give the man a knighthood, for the simple and obvious reason that "Sir Henri Boffin" has such a fine ring to it.

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Crap mobile coverage costs UK biz £30m a week, reckons survey

Ledswinger
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"USM?"

No, UMA - unlicensed mobile access IIRC. I agree that is a better option than fenticells for most domestic users, but EE no longer support UMA, and most operators' alternatives now are crappy VOIP over wifi apps that don't work at all well.

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Ledswinger
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"Do I live in the arse-end of nowhere? YES. I live in a small town on the A43 about five minutes from the M40."

FTFY

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Ledswinger
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Re: <X> costs biz £<Y>m a week

"My gut feeling is they cant all be right as the sum would be staggering..."

I did a quick count on the claimed cost of a range of problems, and selecting the highest number from a supposedly credible source says that just obesity, air pollution, violent crime, fraud, road accidents, dementia and mental health collectively have a cost (circa £470bn) or around one third of UK GDP. Include "costs" of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse and you can add another £50bn.

So, if we round up all the fat, violent, flatulent, reckless-driving demented fraudsters and drown them, then every household in the land will be better off by £30k a year.

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Slurping air passengers' private details not great for privacy, concede EU data bods

Ledswinger
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"Isn't it amazing how bureaucrats "conveniently forget" certain facts and details when said facts and details don't fit their narrative"

Rather than amazing, I'd describe it as business as usual. I was recently reviewing the hoops the Highways Agency jumped through over the switching off and removal of motorway lighting. Even their "managed down" reports quote a c10% increase in KSI accidents (from a data baseline that is actually 25%), but because this is all in the name of the official government religion of climate change, that 10%-25% increase doesn't count. Now, if somebody were to posit increasing the speed limit (if only to the speeds actually observed), then you'd have people bleating that increasing the speed limit would cause more accidents, and that would be enough to block such a move. Hypothetically, of course.

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Snowden leaks LEGALISED GCHQ's 'illegal' dragnet spying, rules British tribunal

Ledswinger
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Re: @Simon Harris

"Your name is Sir Humphrey Appleby, and I claim my five pounds."

Wrong, he's really Sir Michael Chilcot. I'll take the fiver, please.

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Bankrupt RadioShack to close up to 2,900 stores, share others with Sprint

Ledswinger
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Re: Couldn't get some with a pocket full of 50s in a cat house

RadioShack is still one of the strongest brands on the planet

Which planet? Doesn't seem to be this one:

http://markets.ft.com/research/Markets/Tearsheets/Summary?s=RSHC:PKC

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Ledswinger
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Re: I know I'm no business guru,but...

"..if I hadn't had a profit since 2011, I wouldn't of left it 4 years before closing the unprofitable stores."

Ahh, but you've not put yourself in the seat of the managers and directors of Radio Shack, have you? Firstly, this bankruptcy tells us that the majority of the stores were not viable as part of a large company selling yesterday's products. So they were onto a loser already. But by eeking it out for another four years, they've had another four years of fat executive salaries (and bonuses), whilst the company has stayed afloat most likely by leeching off the shareholder's equity.

If the directors had been fully aligned with shareholder's interests, they'd have closed the lossmaking stores many years back, and either taken a (probably doomed) gamble on a new image and new product range, or settled for a progressive and controlled shut down of the business so that the shareholders could have got some cash back.

The best that might be said of the board is that they perhaps hoped that "something would turn up" to revive the company's fortunes. The worst is that they perhaps knew that the current model would end in bankruptcy and the loss of most employees jobs, but simply kept the plates spinning because they were earning plenty of money. So last year, the CEO trousered $2.4m in cash, and share options (now worthless unless he sold them) of $6.3m. In 2014 the board agreed that to retain this man's stellar talent, he should be paid a "retention bonus" of a further half a million dollars if he stayed until 1 March 2015.

Looks to me like Radio Shack is a beautiful example of agency theory in action.

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Has the world reached PEAK TWIT? Supplies of new Twitter users are drying up

Ledswinger
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Re: Something is wrong

"Hard drives must surely be one of the biggest costs for a company like Twitter, but how do they write off their value?"

Think how you'd do it. You'd capitalise the up front costs of a new DC, or a large expansion of racks including the HDDs, but then the replacement ones you'd treat as a revenue expense because individually they'd be below the de minimus for capitalisation in most companies, because they're only one component of the value creating asset (even at blade server level the HDD is a small value, replaceable part. And because once you're up and running for more than a few months, the HDD replacements will settle down to a steadyish renewal cost (assuming no bad batches of HDD).

But, having said that, HDD's will be a tiny part of the costs of web services. The biggest bill is the capital data centre build (including land, civils, electricals, racks, servers, UPS, accomodation, security etc etc), and the biggest operating cost is the energy bill (servers, facilities, air con to dump the server heat), and possibly (depending on the business model) the data and comms connection charges.

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Revenue !=Profit...

"Openreach made 711million euros profit off of 5.2billion euros revenue in 2013, which is a pretty decent ratio"

It's a bloody marvellous ratio for a de facto monopoly.

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Australia's (current) PM Tony Abbott again calls for metadata trove laws to pass, ASAP

Ledswinger
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"Wait, didn't there used to be a legal process somewhere in there before the 21st century?"

Exactly: So last century.

But I'll give the lying clown full credit for his sense of humour in claiming that this will "confer no new powers". Are Australian parliamentarians sufficiently weak, servile, dishonest and stupid enough to vote for this nonsense?

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Anthem, America's second biggest health insurer, HACKED: Millions hit by breach

Ledswinger
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Re: Obamacare in the sights?

"It's not working by itself, no need to repeal."

Au contraire, it's working a treat at creating even more of a European style welfare & entitlement culture, and a Democrat spending counterbalance to the Republican's military-industrial complex.

So the healthcare and insurers will lobby with hundreds of millions of dollars for their interests, the military industrial likewise, and Wall Street as ever will be corruptly hoovering up the remaining third of the economy. Curiously this leaves the US economy with three pillars of welfare, defence and corruption. You'll notice that this excludes the real economy of employing productive workers to make or grow things, but it's been tried a number of times the world over (for example the Soviet Union), and it works just dandy for the 1%, just not for the masses. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the 1% of that society got richer rather than poorer.

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Ledswinger
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Re: This smells

"There's bound to be some of the richest excuses we have ever heard about this one"

You, sir, are an optimist. They've made all their excuses and apologies already. The CIO and a flunky "responsible" for IT security will eventually be hung out to dry (though the CIO might get lucky and be paid off handsomely, because that's what happens to incompetent executives).

The rest of the board will sit there like the three wise monkeys, wringing their hands. But given the now rather long history of data breaches at major corporations (as far back as 2006 for a major US healthcare body, IIRC) the whole board are accountable. The audit committee for failing to audit the financial risk of data breach, for failing to audit the systems security. The nominations committee for failing to appoint competent officers or directors. The whole board for failure to adequately question, challenge, test, and resource the IT function.

All the directors and officers (1) of Anthem should be dismissed with prejudice, every worthless, lard arsed, over-paid, irresponsible one of them.

(1) For UK readers, in the US "directors" means what we normally refer to as "non-executive directors", and "officers" means what we refer to as "executive directors". I wasn't suggesting that all of Anthem's employees were given the boot.

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UK boffins DOUBLE distance of fiber data: London to New York WITHOUT a repeater

Ledswinger
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"Amazing work!"

I'd agree. But I'd have liked it if the Reg article had actually done more to explain how they've done it, in terms that the IT-savvy layman can understand.

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LEAKED: Samsung's iPHONE 6 KILLER... the Samsung Galaxy S6

Ledswinger
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Re: And the price will be?

Bollocks to 4G. I'll pay exactly the sort of price Samsung would like people to pay (£550 or so) if they add one new feature: One week battery life.

All the rest of the stuff that masquerades as progress, like faster processors, pixel upgrades on cameras, 4k screens, customer skins, smart fridge interfaces, 3D holography..... all that shit I don't give a tinker's cuss about. But what I want is a nice smartphone that can't go more than a few hours from a mains connection.

FFS, is it THAT difficult?

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Germany's BND muscles in on metadata mass surveillance

Ledswinger
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Re: Great so its kinda like we'll scratch your Back if you scratch ours?

"FWIW the proletariat rarely seems to care as long as there is food and drink on the table and "Dschungelcamp" on the telly."

Fair enough. Perhaps I was alone in labouring under the misapprehension that Germans were paranoid about surveillance due to the history.

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Turing notes found warming Bletchley Park's leaky ceilings

Ledswinger
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Re: Best use of top secret files ever

Two options, TRT:

1) Tear along the perforations (you never know, the innovation might catch on)

2) Use two sheets where the holes don't coincide (the "grater" could be a far more efficient means of scraping off clag, saving entire rain forests from being sawn down, pulped, and used for bottom wiping).

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Google gets my data, I get search and email and that. Help help, I'm being REPRESSED!

Ledswinger
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Re: Flaw

"The argument is flawed."

No, your argument is though. Google is not essential. Maybe some people can't comprehend a world pre-Google, but I can assure everybody that the world still turned, important things like "fire" and "water" still worked, famine was neither more nor less common, and people happily went to their graves without knowing or caring about a US advertising placement company with a silly name.

There were adequate search engines before Google, there are adequate alternatives now, and there will be new ones when Google have made themselves obsolete. Google declare their T&Cs, if people don't care enough to read them then that's no different to what most people do when they sign credit card or mobile phone agreements - they choose not to read the small print.

As far as I can see all of this concern arises because most people don't read tech company T&C. But this is called "free will". Is it the responsibility of any supplier to tattoo the contract or T&C on the back of each customer's hand? Or is it something that as responsible adults, customers have to accept that they either read the T&C and act accordingly, or they take the service and endure whatever conditions the supplier chooses?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Yes, but....

"Allowing the likes of Facebook to change the terms of a deal after it has been made is surely a market failure."

Why? The original agreement didn't oblige you to take the service in perpetuity, nor Facebook to provide the service on the same basis in perpetuity. Credit card and insurance companies (as but two examples) routinely change their T&C, and send me a dull leaflet by donkey post. If I want I can read the leaflet (few do), and if I don't like the changes I can take my business elsewhere, and the same applies for tech company notifying users that the T&C have changed.

There's great enthusiasm amongst regulators to identify and "fix" market failures. In reality the situation is usually that the market is working just fine, but the regulators (or their political masters) don't like the market outcome. A classic case is fuel poverty and cold homes. That's the market working just dandy, in that demand is the desire for a good backed by the ability to pay, and price elasticity of demand is where demand decreases in some ratio as price increases. So pensioners living in cold homes is the energy market working as it should, and the problem that needs fixing is a failed welfare state. But its always easier to scream "market failure", blame the wicked capitalists, and come up with some poorly designed cludge to address the symptom.

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Abuse of health data deserves JAIL, thunders ethics body

Ledswinger
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Re: Ethics

"my data would be used for the public good only, and not for private profit."

How would that happen? Some companies can handle big data to generate insights, but there's no evidence that any private sector body does that. Moreover, in terms of new health treatments, those are almost exclusively privately developed on a commercial basis - if only the NHS and selected university researchers have this data, then there may be some early stage discoveries, but nothing new will come to market.

What is actually needed is exactly what you say you are opposed to - private access to this data, but it needs to be accompanied by (1) profit sharing with the owners of the data (in the UK, effectively an additional discount to the NHS, perhaps), (2) proper governance and oversight of access and use (which is data protection, not some limp wristed BMA medical ethics oversight), and (3) severe personal and corporate punishments for mis-use or lack of care in handling the data.

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Ledswinger
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"I want the government to have access to the data they legitimately need to defend me against terrorism. "

And what access would that be? They didn't defend anybody on 9/11, 7/7, at the Boston Marathon, at Glasgow Airport, they didn't stop Charlie Hebdo, they didn't protect Lee Rigby, they didn't stop the famed underpant bomber, they didn't stop shootings in Canada, they didn't stop the Madrid bombings etc etc. In the UK, off duty police officers and military personnel (including junior cadet forces) are advised not to wear uniform off duty because our government have evidently already ceded the streets to extremists.

So how exactly do you think that government will use your or my data to protect everybody from "terrorism"? They seem to think that terrorists send emails saying "Dear Abdul, hope you're well and family are good. Had good time on recent holiday to Syria, Mulla Omar sends his best. Please conduct suicide bomb and gun attack against Downing Street, on Jan 14th 2015, best regards, Abu Hamza."

I'd accept there's people they do want to track. But they already have all the powers they need by simply making the case to a magistrate. Instead they simply want to have access to everything on everybody because they are lazy and incompetent. The best way government can reduce the risk of terrorism here is to stop the endless dabbling in the politics, feuds and wars of Middle East sh*tholes, not by being able to read my email, and creating an archive in perpetuity of my grumble-browsing.

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O2 notifies data cops 'for courtesy' ... AFTER El Reg intervenes in email phish dustup

Ledswinger
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Re: Who says it's a breach

"Maybe O2 just sold the data?"

Or swapped it for some reciprocal access with a third party ("you spam our customers, we'll spam yours"). Or they've used some tosspot third party emailer marketeer, that outfit have lost or sold the data, but haven't 'fessed up to O2.

O2's greatest crime so far is their high handed denial in the face of apparently overwhelming evidence that there is a problem.

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Bankruptcy could see RadioShack close doors for good – report

Ledswinger
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Re: Tandy UK etc went the same way. Maplin beware, you are next!

"Maplin is doing very nicely actually. In the black and making a profit."

Depends which Maplin you mean. Maplin Electronics Ltd has seen profit before tax steadily decrease from £55m a year five years ago to £21m last year. But I'll give you that's still a profit. But what's going on with the rampant expansion into large stores and low footfall locations? And £21m on capital employed of around £273m is adequate rather than impressive is it not?

A more problematic aspect is that Maplin Electronics Group Holdings Ltd (that owns Maplin Electronics Ltd) hasn't made a profit in five years, the losses before tax have ballooned from £40m to a frankly impressive £282m loss. A cynic could conclude that either there's some world class chicanery in the accounting or that Maplin as a business isn't really making money. The demise of Radio Shack doesn't bode well, and neither does the tumbleweed strewn aisles of my local Maplin store,rather prophetically located in the building that one played host to Blockbuster.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Radio Shack's Market Cap of $24M and a reminder of the story of K-mart

"So what are Radio Shack's leaseholds worth?"

Presumably around $535m + 50% so far as Standard General are concerned. But I wonder who will be fighting to take up those leases? Like Europe, the US is desperately over-supplied with retail sites, and possibly SG have made a very bad bet.

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Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

Ledswinger
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Re: Legos going pop in the night

"After a few hours fruitlessly and painfully trying to reach the bed, the toilet or the feeding hatch, the victims always confess."

This is why Jordan use BS1363 fittings (plus the fact that US and European plugs are sh*te).

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Ledswinger
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Re: Do the right thing!

"Make a clean break, Adobe; stop playing with that thing, and just kill it."

Why would they do that, when they make money from it? Having failed to invest in a secure solution thus far, they won't be doing so now, as HTML5 slowly eats their customer base. And the result is the lingering death that we continue to see. I think that will continue for several years yet, unless the exploits become corporate. A few unlucky grumble chasers getting their PC's owned won't persuade the world to move on. If a couple more Target-style data breaches occur that were linked to Flash, or a Sony Pictures style intrusion, then the corporates will start uninstalling Flash. When they're not paying then Adobe will have no revenues, "support" will end, and Flash can be put where it belongs, in a shallow grave.

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Ledswinger
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" If she doesn't already have one, the 14th of February might give you an excuse to buy her a tablet."

My long experience of buying distaff side gifts tells me that an infinitesimal proportion of the female population would welcome a tech gift on that date. As an "out-of-the-blue" gift on a non-special day she'll be surprised and appreciative, but for birthdays and Valentines you may only be earning two weeks of bad tempered glaring and door banging. Stick to romantic meals, surprise weekends away, carefully chosen clothing, chocs and flowers. And just give her the tablet for the sake of it.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Obligatory "Aliens" reference

"That's a little harsh. What about everyone else who lives in San Jose?"

In this case I'd say they were an unfortunate but acceptable degree of collateral damage. Just like NATO and the Taliban both think of Afghan wedding parties.

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Dixons Carphone clings to EE, Three in Phones 4U bullet dodge

Ledswinger
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Re: not just fridges and tellys

"Cant see how Carphone Warehouse would be able to crack into that equipment supply chain though."

They are assuming that there will be an aftermarket in IoT sims. Obviously the equipment makers will be looking to do deals with the networks for the OEM supplied sim, but CPW must be reasoning that the sims will be user-swappable, and that the market will be the same sort of model as that applying to contract phones (the contract handset model, rather than the contract sim-only model, I suspect).

As with other posters, I can't see the value for consumers of most of the IoT, nor that the contract model will match contract mobiles, but CPW's logic will be driven by the myth of large numbers. So their strategists will be saying "by 2025 each of the UK's 23m homes will have an average of four IoT devices that could be mobile network connected. If we can get 7% market share then we will be selling over 6m additional contracts, and over a two year contract life that's 3m per year, which is about three times what we sell at the moment".

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Call Gordon Freeman! Apple to build $2bn 'data command center' – BLACK MESA?

Ledswinger
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Re: Sq/foot?

"it always amazes me that the US folks still use sq/foot."

As does the UK property and retail sectors, who routinely quote property sizes in square feet, and talk about sales per 000 square feet. Even in Ireland, where they went metric with far more gusto, the retail sector still talk in sales per square foot.

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Target carders turn their attention to parking lots

Ledswinger
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Re: Ah Dave again.

"Book2park CEO Anna Infante said it recently had security experts remove a malicious file."

Let's remember that this is a parking company, whose business model is employing minimum wage oiks to wander round car parks doing nothing, other than sticking the occasional penalty notice on some criminal who's overstayed. And the private equity firms and infrastructure investors who buy parking companies, they don't give a sh*t about customers either - it's just a business model that amounts to legalised extortion due to limited opportunities for new entrants.

This isn't a business model that commands respect, or that employs many white collar professionals, and I'd guess that the IT department is one man and his dog (and no matter how skilled and committed he might want to be, he's not going to get the resource to do a proper job).

The ideal solution is to use cash when you park, so that the cretinous companies who run car parks don't have your card details in the first place, but that's a problem with airport parking, where you have to book in advance. And that's why the crims targeted these specific companies, because airport parking customers have to use their cards, which makes the data breach even more damning.

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Bosch boss wants more Bongs

Ledswinger
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Re: "not for profit"

"Is Bosch a charity-charity or an IKEA-charity ?"

It's not a fake charity for the purposes of tax dodging. 8% of the shares are held by (again, IIRC) the descendants of Robert Bosch, and I'll daresay that makes them stinking rich, but overall the structure and purpose of the whole Bosch group and foundation make the Co-op and John Lewis look like wicked capitalist pig dogs:

http://www.bosch-stiftung.de/content/language2/html/3290.asp

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Obama's budget packs HUGE tax breaks for poor widdle tech giants

Ledswinger
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Re: highway fund, hell no

"Pay it straight to the debt"

A pointless sticking-plaster exercise until governments start living within their means and are regularly running a balanced budget. Whilst conceptually simple, there is the unresolved problem that governments and their civil administrations everywhere are formed of the dishonest and the retarded, meaning that running a balanced budget has a probability similar to that of hell freezing over.

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