* Posts by Ledswinger

4581 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

How will Ofcom reduce our reliance on BT if it won't break them up?

Ledswinger
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Ofcom says it will open up BT’s ducts, but that was supposed to happen in 2009....And it did happen. It goes by the amusingly ironic name of PIA.

And unsurprisingly it didn't work. A bit worrying if (former) senior officials at the useless Ofcom can't see why this wouldn't work. It is difficult, if not impossible to have genuine, economically viable competition in network infrastructure. For a few trunk/transmission links yes, but for last mile (even last twenty miles) it simply can't be done. That's why 99.9% of us have only one electricity connection, one gas connection, one water connection, one sewerage connection. Even where it has been tried, in cable, the result has been years of losses and large asset writedowns, so that Virginmedia's owners never paid the true cost of the network they now own.

There is an answer, and most people (other than the dimbulbs of government, regulator, and now Her Majesty's Comedy Opposition) can see that: The establishment of Openreach as a separate legal entity to BT, strong and effective regulation (not by the drips of Ofcom), and some degree of legal commitment to USO and a commitment to slowly upgrade to FTTP.

Some will say that the FTTP and USO costs will be too high. How, then, did we afford to get electricity and water to just about anybody who wants it, even in our relatively impoverished past? There's other solutions to digging trenches or erecting poles everywhere. But as set up, BT simply can't be arsed, and Ofcom couldn't even find its own arse.

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Sussex PC sacked after using police databases to snoop on his ex-wife

Ledswinger
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Re: Oh! Look!

I hope people are going to make a point of emailing this story to their various MPs

Why? The Tory MPs are a collection of lickspittles, and the Lefties are a disorganised shower of piss, still rooted in late 19thC socialist philosophy.

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Met Police hands £250m to CSC in IT outsourcing carve-up

Ledswinger
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Re: "CSC has a chequered history"

is it really that good?

Depends. If you see the world in black and white, nope. But if you can imagine a chequer pattern made up of alternate dark brown and mid brown stains, yes.

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Plane food sees pilot grounded by explosive undercarriage

Ledswinger
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Re: Those chicken snacks are nasty

I think he means the dish 'Scouse' which has a bit of beetroot in it.

Actually I was referring to sugar beet, and all the marvellous confections that can be made with sugar. I could have been more precise, but that would have disturbed the carefully crafted comic balance of the original post.

Imagine how rich I'd be, and how successful my employer's business if I put this much care into my day job!

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Ledswinger
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Re: Those chicken snacks are nasty

One of the side-effects of a broad spectrum allergy to half of the plant kingdom....

I think this is a regional genetic abnormality originating in Liverpool, still prevalent there, but now quite widespread in other regions. The sufferers are unable to eat any green vegetables, root vegetables or salad. Luckily all forms of fried edible tubers are readily tolerated, along with products based on the residues of beta vulgaris, and those from processed barley and hops, so long as none of the toxic vitamins or fibre remain.

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Gov must put superfast broadband along HS2 rail line, says Parliament

Ledswinger
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Re: So...

PUtting 4G towers alongside it is also a good idea.

Why? The whole flawed, comically fictitious "business case" for HS2 is based on the stupid, nonsensical assumption that business travellers' time spent on the train is totally wasted by virtue of inability to communicate. If HS2 has good connectivity, then it's whole raison d'etre disappears, in an Escher-esque impossibility loop that could fracture time-space itself.

When was it that the Tory party became wedded to grandiose and wasteful public spending on vanity projects? I suppose around the time it became the Etonian Twats' Champagne Socialist Party.

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IBM UK puts 1,352 Global Tech Services heads 'at risk'

Ledswinger
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Impressive....

...that they appear to have formed a Staff Consultative Committee solely for the purposes of consulting said staff on the sackings. Presumably they'll be able to disband the committee immediately the consultation period ends.

Imagine the agenda:

IBM UK Staff Consultative Committee Inaugural Meeting

Agenda

1. Introduction and apologies

2. Planned sackings

3. NOB (like AOB, except we've decided there is no other business)

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New NASA theory: Moon radiation drops so HULK RIP MOON LIKE SHIRT

Ledswinger
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Headmaster

Re: @Simon Sharwood - "cold volcanic activity to you and I"

Errrm Grammar Nazi Fail, I'm afraid.

If you omit the "you", then the resultant sentence fragment is "cold volcanic activity and I". That might be a good sequel to Withnail, but otherwise I cannot see that can sounding right to many people.

I claim the Grammar Nazi crown: ------------------------------------------------->

Bwaahahhahahahahahahahahaha!

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Loved one just died? Pah, that's nothing

Ledswinger
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It's the inconvenient buffering that irks me

So you're the inspiration, and thus responsible for all those stupid Kevin Bacon "buffer face" adverts?

I'd call you a rude name, but being a polite sort of person that doesn't fit easily with my delicate sensibilities.

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Solution to tech bros' disgust of SF homeless people launched

Ledswinger
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Re: Surgery

I think you have missed Adam's excellent sense of humour, which is a fine way of bursting the bubble of people like Keller. Although the general outrage over Keller's opinions may have got through from the barrage of criticism.

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Ledswinger
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Pint

@ Captain DaFt

Post of the week, Sir!

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Q: How many guns to arm nine coachloads of terrorists?

Ledswinger
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so there will be 38 unarmed terrorists available to carry the ammo.

Not much of a terrorist if they're just carrying the bags of real terrorists. Absent any better explosives, maybe they could try igniting their own farts. Would that qualify them?

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UK carrier Three in network-wide ad-block shock

Ledswinger
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"Relevant" means people who've paid.

Yes. And this is about fighting net neutrality in the advertising space, because most users don't like ads, and therefore there's nobody to defend the concept of neutrality. Of course, if ad supported sites find this a problem, and start blocking Three, then it does become a neutrality issue that the users will care about. But in the meantime, Three hope to "monetise" ad streaming over and above the data allowances that users have paid for and in theory already pay for the (largely unwanted) ads.

Basically, Three want to be paid twice for the same thing, which is nice work if you can get it. If they want to make it fair, then lets see them ignore all ads when calculating data usage for mobile customers.

In the wider scheme, its the same pressure as causing Vodafone to sack its few remaining UK workers, or EE to jump into BT's arms: the City (in EE's case not the City of London) want growth from their telecoms babies. With average users only wanting a dumb pipe and a phone on lease purchase there's not much growth, and pressure on pricing for the commodity service. So the only option is to try and cut costs further, or constrict the pipe and then flog an "upgraded" service to ad slingers (today, users next year?).

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How tech firms can drive growth without making inequality worse

Ledswinger
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Re: Please, what's the difference with what happend with the banking/financial/media sector?

That's why high-tech flourish in appealing places.

Have you ever been to Shoreditch? It's a classic urban shithole, and what's more, if you're after poor people to train, there's Tower Hamlets and Hackney a stone's throw away.

Personally I'd put guards around the M25 to stop any escapees, and invite the Luftwaffe back to do the job properly.

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Ledswinger
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Re: So let's see if I can paraphrase

People quite like working in places where you can walk to work and at least some basic shops without getting a car every five minutes.

An interesting idea, but unless you live somewhere with a fairly large range of potential employers within working distance, you'll have to move when you change jobs in order to continue walking to work. For some that'll be just dandy. For me, I'll stick living where I do, my children having a stable education, and commute for the various jobs that my career gets me into.

I might add that the sort of urban hipster utopia that is described is my vision of hell.

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Cisco licks lips, eyes UK's cyber, analytics and fin-tech startups

Ledswinger
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You forgot, more taxes to dodge.

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Oz town suffers hairy panic attack

Ledswinger
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Re: Black helicopter back in the hangar

Just a simple grab from the vid, no jiggery-pokery.

In a way I'm disappointed. And, if you'd diddled the image with some low rent Photoshoppery, that would have satisfied the first two whining commentards, n'est pas?

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Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

Ledswinger
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Re: Sounds great !

and at the same time redesign the rear end to make it rather less eye-searingly ugly.

The original design inspiration had a different design at the back. You remember, the three wheeler that Goldmember used to escape from Austin Powers.

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Telemarketers hit with £70,000 fine for cold-calling pensioners

Ledswinger
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Re: Proportionate jail time

Jail the directors/principals behind the nuisance calls for five minutes ....

Given that a murderer will expect to serve only about six and a half years, largely on account of government not having built enough jails, how on earth do you think that it would be feasible to start locking people up for this?

Ideally I'd like the guilty to birched, but once you start with that sort of thing you get the sort of "justice" seen in northern Syria. So, we can't beat them, we can't afford to jail them. And that's why the objective of the ICO should not be to piss around as they do at the moment, but to make sure the penalties stick, and that all monies owed to the ICO are clawed back, if necessary by leaving the company directors homeless. Industrialise the process of enforcement and clawback to make sure it gets results, and that there's no easy escapes, include the costs of enforcement in the penalty, and the message will start to leak out into the murky world of auto-dialler and outbound call centre companies.

As a simple start, the law needs to change to make directors personally liable for unpaid civil monetary penalties.

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Ledswinger
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One wonders whether the best approach to stopping such calls involves the use of a few large blokes and a dark alley.

Ain't going to happen. Unfortunately, the ICO are pathetically weak in following through. When they assign a monetary penalty, and some scumbag like Pardo winds up the company concerned, the ICO should formally oppose the striking off, demand payment, and then cause the company to become bankrupt if they don't pay. Whilst this might seem to have the same end effect, by making DSM insolvent, the ICO could then apply to the Insolvency Service to have Pardo disqualified as a director. That would make his life a whole lot more difficult when he tries to establish another shady outfit to do the same thing in a few months time.

Until the ICO actually enforce penalties against those who intentionally break the law, then those people will continue to see that there is no risk in breaking these laws. I would moot that all the penalties that the ICO do actually get paid are from the unintentional law breakers, quite often in the public sector. Call me old fashioned, but taking money out of the health budget, and recycling it to the Treasury via the ICO is a pointless exercise that benefits nobody.

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Voyager 1 now 20 BEEEELLION KMs from the Sun

Ledswinger
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Re: not much interest and not much change

not much interest and not much change

Whilst undoubtedly true, I'm surprised that it took ANY resource to provide the data to the web, in which case why stop publishing it if the probe still transmits it. Haven't NASA heard of automation?

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Europe's Earth-watching satellite streaks aloft

Ledswinger
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Re: Eerm . . .

Did somebody think to tell North Korea about the launch, ...

Why? The Norks' contribution to LEO satellites are a couple of small, non-transmitting hulks, tumbling uselessly. Absent any space capability, Fat Boy Kim will be ignorant of the goings on deep in the less interesting parts of Russia until his flunkies read tomorrow's South Korean newspapers on his behalf.

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Microsoft to axe Win 8 coder certificate exams

Ledswinger
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"principal psychometrician"

Microsoft job titles: Plucked from the Dilbert zone?

Or more rationally, maybe vocabulary is necessarily stilted when your company shoves its head up its corporate arse and has to mumble everything to avoid getting a mouthful of fresh, warm ordure?

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Vodafone puts hundreds of Brits on the 'at risk of layoffs' list

Ledswinger
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Re: "most competitive market place in the history of our industry"

Feel sorry for anyone laid off by them,

All of them? What if some of them are responsible for the irremoveable, unused, unwanted, worthless Vodabloat that they saddle on new handsets? The very stuff that confers no user value, but results in the inability to upgrade the phone OS in a timely manner. If those people are going, then I say "Hurrah! Pack your bags and go!"

However, I suppose the nightmare (and likely) scenario is that the Vodabloat teams are kept, and its the already weak customer support and customer facing systems staff who are for the axe.

Whenever I see a headline about Vodafone, it's always about something that's not good. That Colon Vittororarerarea is a useless tool, maybe they could give him his cards?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Burn them with fire.

Shittest. Company. ever.

Certainly Vodafone have the shittest IVR in the history of this world (and probably a few other worlds even), and a web site that isn't far behind.

Not much hope for a company that can't organise a phone menu, or even enable customer to actually speak to a human, is there?

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Samsung now pushing Marshmallows into the Galaxy S6, Edge

Ledswinger
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Re: Plus one for not using the edge

To me it (Edge) sits in the "Stupid ideas" category of design.

But it looks very smart and very distinctive. I'll wager that most people don't even handle the phone they order as part of the upgrade cycle, of the remainder, about half will handle a "dead" handset in the showroom, and those few who do have the chance to try it out will mostly only do so under the beady eye of a salesman for a a few minutes. They won't find the flaw before they've parted with their money.

This really is marketing innovation at its finest: The edge design does clearly help position the S6 as a premium contender; but in reality it makes the product worse. Now look in contrast at the Moto X Force. There's really useful innovation in screen technology, but at the moment it seems few makers are rushing to copy that.

Which proves, sadly, that the marketing droids and Apple are right: The Darwinian forces of the market favour that which is shiney over that which is good, clever or useful. And that's also why most phones have sealed batteries, and increasingly few have SD card slots.

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Volvo offloads IT biz to HCL, then outsources own IT to.... HCL

Ledswinger
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Re: Hmm.

You have the wrong end of the stick mate. Volvo AB sold its car division to Ford, this article refers to the truck, engine and industrial equipment operations still part of Volvo AB.

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Ofcom must tackle 'monopolistic' provider BT, says shadow digital minister Chi Onwurah

Ledswinger
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Re: Competition is great...

None of that money went to BT. Not a penny.

As such, no. But there's a certain matter of certain billion quids worth of assets that were then gifted to the company, having been paid for by taxpayers and bill payers.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Is the issue Openreach

Openreach's pricing is regulated. They don't get to set their own prices.

Maybe not. But as Openreach is not a separate legal entity, and the bunglers at OFCOM have to rely on management accounts, that's hardly much of a challenge, is it? I've worked extensively in regulated businesses and with (indeed even within) their finance teams. Management accounts have no veracity whatsoever, they tell you purely what management wish to be seen. I've seen at first hand multi-million pound regulatory fraud through management accounts in action.

If you think that Openreach prices are openly and fairly regulated, then that's because you don't know enough about the matter.

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Ledswinger
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Openreach needs to be split from BT as the latter is using the former to subsidise it's TV and sport plans to the detriment of everyone else

We don't know that, even though most of us suspect that. That's why strong regulation of Openreach could be a suitable answer. If BT shareholders want to own a content aggregator and a utility, that's fine by me. But the two businesses need to operate as separate legal entities and at arms length. Any "cheap debt" advantage of a regulated Openreach needs to be firewalled from BT's other businesses. And the regulatory risk of a potentially capricious, interventionist and incompetent regulator (a big shout out to OFEGM in this respect) would be kept away from the non-regulated operations.

Given that BT's only position is that the status quo is the best and only answer tells us only one thing: That the answer is almost anything but.

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Brit spies can legally hack PCs and phones, say Brit spies' overseers

Ledswinger
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Re: So electronic records are tainted evidence

You're going to have to explain how his makes for "tainted" evidence.

Wow. You really need that explaining?

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How to build a plane that never needs to land

Ledswinger
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Re: 2000 hour inspection cycle

The main concern is not the airframe failure in this case but what it might hit and damage on the ground.

A concern for whom? Your and my governments have been busy deliberately raining tonnes of stuff down on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, so I wouldn't have thought that the accidental and vastly remote chance of a 55kg kite landing on anything in such poor and sparsely populated areas will be taxing too many consciences.

Even over the US and UK, you're still talking about substantially less than the laden mass of a hot air balloon basket, all held up by hot air, flimsy material and rope.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Much more useful when batteries improve

Current payload is only 5kg, which isn't much

Assuming that they are telling the whole truth, and that they don't improve it. Qinetiq and Airbus will know down to the last gramme what the minimum useful payload is, and they'll be fully aware that if the craft can't do anything useful then there won't be repeat orders.

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Louisville says yes to Google Fiber. Funny story: AT&T, TWC didn't want that to happen

Ledswinger
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Re: Oh FFS...

but it is amazing what even the prospect of a little competition can do. Now I get twice the speed for basically the same price I had been paying.

Up to a point yes. But consider that they may be simply going all out to ensure that Google's Louisville plans don't meet the investment case that Google want. If Google don't get the number of subscribers the plan needs (or they get the numbers, but not the average revenues due to TWC discounting their plans), then the scheme won't get fully built out, which protects some of TWC's Louisville revenues, and there's a good chance that Google won't repeat the idea elsewhere.

So in the grander scheme of things, TWC could well be far better served by taking a big hit for a few years on their Louisville network. If Google pack up and leave, TWC can return to fleecing customers like the good old days, if Google don't leave, Louisville remains an enduring battleground where TWC have to prove that there's no money to be made by entrants laying new infrastructure.

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'Adobe Creative Cloud update ate my backup!'

Ledswinger
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Re: The Facepalm of the Week Award

Given this latest jewel in the crown of excrement that adorns said company, imagine the shame of working in any capacity at Adobe. I'll wager even the outsourced office cleaners tell their families that they play the piano in a brothel.

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Depressed? Desperate for a ciggie? Blame the Neanderthals

Ledswinger
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Re: Echoes from the past

You're Gérard Depardieu?

We do share something in common. But you'll agree its still a better look than the chap/bird on the left?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Echoes from the past

You cheeky bastard! The one on the right looks like me.

Any more of your lip and I'll club you. But I might take up the "naked but for a tiger skin" look on the next dress down day.

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Computer Science grads still finding it hard to get a job

Ledswinger
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Re: Degrees these days....

I just hope you do not come over quite as arrogant in interviews.

Hardly matters, does it? Charles Manning said it how it is, offered some fantastic advice for anybody in a position to take it. Being on the hiring side of the table is a chore, those of us doing it aren't overly enthusiastic and treat it as a necessary evil, and we're even less enthused the more involvement there is from the wankers of HR.

Try hiring the right person when you don't get to sift the CVs and choose the interview candidates, and when your tosspot HR department insist on a scored "competency" interview with a minimum of two interviewers from the company. Last week I had to interview some Oxford grads. Given a free hand, any CV with an Oxford college on it would have gone straight on the "no thank you" pile, along with the spelling errors, poor presentation, mis-addressed, or impenetrable ones. But oh no, the twats of HR turned down all the people suitable for our company (big, corporate, dubious reputation, not a very good payer, but good work/life balance) and selected somebody who either won't turn up for interview, is only turning up for practice, wants to join us for REALLY BAD reasons, or will join, but leave inside six months for a job in London with bank, consultancy or the like.

Is it any wonder interviewers are miserable bastards? Mind you, I am good at that.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Unfortunately...

As I said, why bother training.

Many graduates aren't attracted to the idea of buying a degree with a sack filled with about £44k of debt. Use that fact, sign up good school leavers as apprentices, and not only will you be exempt from living/minimum wage rules, you'll not even have to pay employers' NI, your business may also qualify for apprenticeship grants, and (subject to aligning with a suitable degree course) they'll get a degree, they'll finish debt free having paid their fees, and have a starting job on their CV.

If you're a Graun reader this will seem indentured labour, and to an extent that's true. But being practical, given the rules that exists, what's the best outcome: Three years of drinking and academia, followed by a lifetime of debt servitude, or three to five years low paid labour plus learning, and then being scot free when you've finished?

Choose well and you'll have a low drop out rate, they'll be committed to the earn and learn aspects. If they bugger off at the end, doesn't matter since they've earned their keep in the meanwhile. And there's a good chance that the ones looking for a debt-free degree may well be more practical and savvy than those drifting along the conveyor belt towards the rotating knives of the Student Loan Company.

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National Pupil Database engorged to 20 million individual kids' records

Ledswinger
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Re: Eye, eye

Why do they need a huge database of pupils

Because it is the foundation of a planned national citizen database, that will include all your internet browsing, your financial records, your emails, phone call records, ANPR hits, your tax records, your air travel history. When will ID cards be back on the agenda? My guess is that it'll be being talked about in policy circles by the end of this parliament, and be back as legislation in the next.

The reason for starting with the kids is first because government desperately want this cradle to grave spying, and because the kids data is borged without them being able to object. Look at the pathetic excuse given by the wankers about "creating innovative tools and services". Aside from mass surveillance as a service, can anybody offer one credible example of any innovative tool or service that has come from offering this to anybody willing to pay?

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Council IT system goes berserk, packs off kids to the wrong schools

Ledswinger
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Re: @Graham Marsden

Acadamies being run for profit...

If profit appalls you, then you'll approve of independent schools, then? Most are run as non-profit making organisations, and reduce the load on the state education system by something of the order of 500,000 UK resident pupils.

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Scariest climate change prediction yet: More time to eat plane food

Ledswinger
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Re: A suggestion for those worried about all that extra time, fuel, CO2, ...

I'm sure that will work out well.

A similar but much more ambitious strategy has worked out very well in Hong Kong. Regarding the Richard Montgomery, if it were the hazard that doom-sayers reckon, it would already have gone boom, or have been cleared away. I'm sure it would make a modest bang, but there's thousands of tonnes of unexploded ordnance under most cities in Europe. And if the worst happened, the Medway towns are shit holes anyway.

Access to London would be easy - just extend Crossrail to Boris Island.

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No, HMG, bulk data surveillance is NOT inevitable

Ledswinger
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Re: The IP Bill will pass

She's supposed to be one of the most powerful figures of the British government next to the Prime Minister and she's acting like a junior civil servant.

Unfortunately the entire parliamentary Conservative party are nothing but a bunch of lickspittles for that shallow, inept toff that we have as a prime minister. Cameron is so dim, that he actually thinks that he can make policies up for every government department on the hoof and without thought, knowledge or even consulting the minister nominally responsible. And every time he does this, just as with his various ill advised pre-election promises, he ends up in a further bind, entirely of his own making. And now he's pushing for the sort of powers the Stasi could only dream of.

I'm one of Maggie's children, but I've never voted for the Tories under Cameron, and even faced with the prospect of Chairman Corbyn, I won't vote Tory on the basis that it is "the least unacceptable alternative". I know that Cameron has promised he'll step down for 2020, but since he's never kept a promise before, I'll be surprised if he keeps that one (and in any event we'll get another Etonian, Bullingdon-boy tosser put forward instead).

I invite all commentards, both left and right wing, to join me in sending condolences to constituency party chairman of the Conservative party, mourning the sad death of the parliamentary Conservative party, suffocated by an overdose of rich, thick twats like David Cameron, George Osborne, and Baron Feldman. What a bunch of cunts.

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Microsoft axes ‘dozens’ more from former Nokia phone biz

Ledswinger
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Re: I still don't know why

All I know is that somewhere someone must be making money from this practice.

Yes, investment banks, accountants, lawyers and management consultants. It has been recognised for years that M&A destroys shareholder value, but for incompetent executives, M&A is a sexy diversion from the boring grind of delivering innovation, good value or great service.

Why bother growing the business that employs you, when you could just fritter your own shareholder's money buying some growth? If you're a UK reader, look at Sainsbury's trying to buy Argos. Sainsbury's can't run their own stores terribly well, have never been very good at supply chain management and stock availability. So heck knows why the idiot directors of Sainsburys think they will be able to run Argos better than its existing management. But the reason for this is that Sainsbury aren't growing. Rather than focus on why that is, and adapt their business model to the new reality, they decide that they will buy the turnover of a dissimilar business, and then try and integrate a general retailer into their grocery stores. It's a stupid, stupid, stupid idea, invented by idiots, with greedy advisors egging the Sainsbury board along.

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Health and Safety to prosecute over squashed Harrison Ford

Ledswinger
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The trouble with the HSE is ... nothing.

The rate of fatal working injuries is now one sixth of the rate in 1974. Personally I think all employees have a right not to be killed or injured in the course of their work. If there's a few silly and self imposed rules about Christmas hats, then that's a price I'm willing to pay for the fact that every year we kill 450 less people at work than we used to.

Most of the people reading this are (like me) lucky that they work in nice safe offices or server rooms, often for companies that take their health and their safety seriously, others aren't so lucky, and need people like the HSE to try and help them.

The Fail might bleat on about "elf & safety gawn mad", but I raise a glass to the HSE, who have been doing a great job with little thanks for years.

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Building automation systems are so bad IBM hacked one for free

Ledswinger
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Re: Sadly unsurprising

And apparently, the industry is still architecting systems under the same assumptions.

Whilst somebody owning your BEMS or similar and turning the thermostat down, or the aircon off is potentially embarrassing, I can't see it being a popular pastime for that purpose. A more pressing concern might be that if the BEMS is connected to the corporate IT network, can p0wnership of some crapola BEMS or IoT junk lead to real network penetration, and loss of data and IP?

My guess is yes, but I wonder how many IT departments actually manage the BEMS - probably relatively few, with most of controlled by an IT-illiterate facilities management team.

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Amazon UK boss is 'most powerful' man in food and drink

Ledswinger
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Re: If their US Pantry

If their US Pantry is anything to go by then I wouldn't be too bothered.

I wouldn't expect Amazon to achieve much in this space. I used to work for an EPOS company, and whilst to the outside world all shops just sell stuff, there's big differences in critical success factors between food, fashion, specialist and general merchandise, and the logistics and supply chain structures are very different. It is also notable that many retailers find that their brand and business model don't work in foreign territories, despite an apparent market and supposedly plenty of due diligence (Tesco in the US, B&Q in China, Marks & Sparks in a whole load of countries).

There's certainly nothing to stop Amazon trying, and by buying Ocado they don't have the problem of the Amazon brand not stretching far enough. But how does an Amazon grocery offer scale up to be worth their while? The grocery home delivery market in the UK looks saturated to me, and there's existing brands and propositions at all price/quality points.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Interesting

In their home market, Germany, Aldi (and Lidl) are not considered to be supermarkets.

The word "super" does seem a bit of hyperbole, I'd agree. But on the other hand, I'm an Aldi loyalist, having got tired of Tesco's excessive choice and high prices. Why do I need forty three varieties of beans? Or a store so large that stuff can go off between picking it up at the back, and getting to the till?

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Are Indians too stupid to be trusted with free Internet?

Ledswinger
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Re: It's not free Internet.

I'm saving this for Quotes of the Year. It's that good.

You'll have to forgive Mage, he was talking about Apple and just posted in the wrong thread.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Some Way, Some How.

Isn't there some way to support free internet for India's poorest, while not turning them into fodder for the Facebook and Google machines?

There's no free lunch, so there are only three options:

1) you get something "free" but you are in fact the product.

2) Or you pay for it.

3) Or some other group are made to pay on your behalf.

In this case, it seems the Indian government have decided that option 1 is wrong (without needing to let the population decide for themselves), option 3 is not apparently on the table, and as the peasants can't afford option 2, they can do without it.

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