* Posts by Ledswinger

4089 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Met at 'huge risk' of botching its Sopra Steria outsourcing contract

Ledswinger
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are the people in Steria British nationals - can Steria guarantee this ?.

No, and no. Steria is a French company, but under the various idiotic free trade agreements that the British government have signed, there's little they can or will do to ensure that the work stays in the UK.

I know that they use offshore people a lot - as it is cheaper.

No, the oiks just get paid less. Lower factor productivity and the need of the vendor to recover the vast amounts of goodwill on their balance sheets (plus backloaded offers, aborted bid costs etc) mean that the savings of offshoring are illusory.

Why are no UK with UK based firms being asked to tender ?

It will have been publicly tendered. But anybody competent and with any sense of ethics wouldn't touch it, because they'll know that the desired savings can't be delivered for the client. Meanwhile, the buyer will listen to the snake oil salesmen explaining how much they can save by an efficient mixed sourcing model, and believe the lies. Why bid for a contract that you won't win? So long as the public sector rewards and encourages poor procurement practice, and fails to brutally punish failing suppliers, they guarantee that they'll always be taken for a ride.

how safe is the data that will be managed by the contract ?.

The outsourcer will promise whatever is required to secure the deal. But as UK newspapers found out some years ago, what a salesmen promises in the UK means nothing when you offer a few crisp notes to poorly paid offshore employees.

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Ledswinger
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Re: 60K per IT bod

Steria India's pay scales are reported on wage comparison web sites, and mid point for a basic "software engineer" is about 500,000 Rs which translates to about £5k. That's a lot cheaper than the implied average gross pay of £45k that the figures quoted mention.

Of course, by outsourcing to Steria, and by Steria funneling the work to illiterate, non-English speaking beggars in India (who'll spend 11 months in the job), the public sector hopes to avoid those inconveniences that they have mandated for UK employers, like NI, mandatory pension enrolment, minimium and in future "living" wage, high energy costs etc etc.

We all know it's going to end in tears (but only for the taxpayer).

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It's the white heat of the tech revolution, again!

Ledswinger
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Re: Government’s role is @Esme

I'm now fairly firmly in the 'the trouble with politics is that no matter whom you vote for, the damned politicians get in' camp.

We both are. You may dislike that useless, blue-blood, effete, Etonian lightweight we have for a PM at the moment, but I assure you that your distaste is as nothing compared to the views of most traditional Conservatives.

But I think the mistake you make is seeing Corbyn as different to either Farage or that Scotch woman. They're all representing people disaffected with the ghastly Yin and Yang of Labour/Liberal/Conservative parties who won't listen to their own constituencies, or the national mood.

But anyway +1 for the soapboxing! Oi! Reg editors! It's about time we had a given supply of upvotes that we could choose how many to award per post.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Changing goal posts

our new mini- (but maxi-priced) carriers aren't big enough to fly F35Cs from them without catapults, which they weren't fitted with because they're not nuclear powered.

The whole design concept for the two new RN aircraft-crappiers was misbegotten. Notwithstanding the cost overuns and problems the Yanks are having with the Ford class carriers, we'd still have been better joining the queue to buy two of those, given that the out-turn costs for our new carriers will undoubtedly be in double digit billions each. That way at least we'd have a decent asset (if we have to have carriers at all), and they'd be a standardised asset between us and the US.

Too late now. The cretins under Gordon Brown signed the country up for the rubbish we're getting purely in a wasted attempt to buy votes in the arse end of Glasgow. Corbyn must admire Brown sooooo much.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Government’s role is to provide the opportunity for massive advances in technology [..]

Government's work is already cut out for it,

So you and I think. The unfortunate thing is that the leader of Her Majesty's Opposition* has now got five years of normalising the idea that the state can and should spend even more of my money on doing things that evidence proves it can't even regulate. People of my generation** remember the appalling indifferent service of nationalised industries (still available today from BT), remember that the crooks and incompetents of the Labour party had to be bailed out by the IMF because they bankrupted the country, remember the indulgence of lazy, bolshy unions producing third rate cars only when they could be bothered, remember sitting in the dark because the state owned electricity sector was on strike.

But by the next election more two generations of voters will have joined the electorate who don't know any of that. They'll just have seen that nice Mr Corbyn repeatedly telling them that there is a free, well cooked lunch on offer, paid for by other people. If he gets in, we'll be reduced to the economic and political status, of, well.......France.

* In more than one sense.

** Owld and grizzled. And particularly grizzly.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Changing goal posts

The Harrier jet was a success story.

If success is creating a remarkable (and fabulously noisy) aircraft, then yes. But as a practical proposition VTOL and even STOL airframes are complicated, technically challenging, have very high costs in fuel, design weight and capability, and high accident rates. For those rare occasions you need a moderately fast jet to take off from a container ship carrying a tiny weapons load and limited fuel, the Harrier was the answer. For everything else VTOL is always inferior to the runway launched. The vast cost and many problems of the F35B show this. And that's why the USN opted (as should the bunglers of Westminster) for the F35C.

I love the Harrier, I've worked for MoD, I was born on and brought up on RAF stations, but let's be clear that just because you can do something doesn't make it a good idea.

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Massive global cooling process discovered as Paris climate deal looms

Ledswinger
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Re: VOCs

White Gloss that doesn't turn yellow after a week.

IME it's the high VOC stuff that turns yellow, the water based low VOC stuff is much whiter and stays that way. Against which the low VOC paint is only more marginally glossy than a "silk", and apparently for the best finish you need a good alkyd primer, even over old oil based gloss.

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Has the UK Uber crackdown begun? TfL opens consultation on private car biz

Ledswinger
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Surely the sat nav has long since done away with the need for The Knowledge,

I'd rather risk a gob5hite cabby with The Knowledge at higher cost, than some untrained bloke totally reliant on gimcrack software and cheap IT hardware. But that's in The Smoke, where you generally get a proper vehicle designed for the purpose. Where I actually live, all the local taxis are umpteenth hand cr@pheaps, with shared driving by foreigners with a poor command of both English language and road law, and wholly reliant on satnavs. If you don't know the post code of your destination you may never get there.

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Vodafone left the lonely singleton as Liberty deal kiboshed

Ledswinger
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Coat

Re: Vodafone

Liberty Global said "Buy everything everywhere or nothing".

Which caused the most dreadful misunderstanding, and the consequent collapse of the deal. I'll too will get my coat.

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Audi, Seat, Skoda admit they've been fiddling car pollution tests as well

Ledswinger
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I doubt the trucks have this sort of issue.

Some decades ago I worked for a large truck maker. I can assure you that meeting the regulatory standards of the time did involve that "special" sort of creativity, albeit then of a less technical nature than environment aware ECU remapping or similar.

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Ledswinger
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Never mind the fines, think of the SAVINGS

€7bn in provisions looks quite modest, when you consider the savings across the VW Group, as all those subsidiaries were able to access the group Centre of Competence in Fraud & Dishonesty. German companies love the idea of centralisation (so long as its in Germany) and deduplication, and here we see the full benefits of the system.

If each VW group company had been forced to have innovated their own unique designs, the costs of establishing eight different methods of cheating would have been astronomical.

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Has SeaMeWe-3 been cut again?

Ledswinger
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Re: Botch job?

Just finding the cable far enough out at sea for the operation to go undetected can't be easy.

For traditional "drop a trawl in the right place, tow and hope" approaches that's true. For state actors, backed by the limitless of pocket of you and I, plus free access to all manner of military grade hardware, I'd suggest that that isn't much of a problem at all.

I would conclude that given the relatively modest number of really important cables, the various state intelligence agencies already have a much better idea of exactly where those cables are than those who laid them.

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'We can handle politicos, OUR ISSUE IS JUDGES', shout GCHQ docs

Ledswinger
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Re: You Can't Rely on Politicians

Labour might be unelectable for a few good years so it might be longer

Regardless of their electoral appeal, or even manifesto promises, what makes you think for one tiny moment that the Labour party will address this? They've always been even more enthusiastic for the big state, snooper's charters, surveillance, identity cards and all the other things that GCHQ maintain they need.

And if you go back a few short years, it was the last Labour government that initiated the very concept of "interception modernisation".

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Dear do-gooders, you can't get rid of child labour just by banning it

Ledswinger
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Re: so

Where are all the sensible micro-economists actually advising GovtsG of this?

There are none. Politicians and their evil half twins, the civil service bureaucrats love to impose their structures and ideas, and the job of their "advisers" is to support whatever misbegotten schemes and rules the elite want to push through. In the UK, look at HS2, as a perfect example, but elsewhere it can be well meaning laws and rules as the intended output, because those passing them aren't really concerned with the underlying issue, but want (eg) to claim compliance with some UN treaty that intends to forbid child labour: "Look, we did something to protect the poor".

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'Steve Jobs filmmakers opportunistic? Apple, you've got a factory of children making phones'

Ledswinger
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Re: Looking at the money I am inclined to agree

Consider it a form of recycling, and it seems better.

But Cook is worth billions on the back of Jobs' obsessive innovation, and brings nothing to the Apple party other than the lipless smile of a procurement guy, so I'm struggling to see his point.

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US eco watchdog's shock warning: Fresh engine pollution cheatware tests coming

Ledswinger
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Re: Laws broken ??

How on earth are the makers going to be able to sell a car which can't be sold in five years' time?

This just pushes them more to electric vehicles. Which do still pollute, but they make it somebody else's problem, somewhere else, and if hippy simpletons believe that "zero emissions" crap, so everybody can be happy.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Suggestion for the 'greater good' approach...

defrauding the public and the regulator

A tiny subset of the public that care about the NOx their car emits, I would suggest. I don't drive a VW diesel, but if I did, I wouldn't give a hoot about what came out of the exhaust. I accept some people are, but nobody I know lies sleepless at night fretting over their emissions.

But I suspect this is the end of diesel cars. The marginally better economy and much greater torque is now offset by much greater cost and complexity. Diesels always needed a heavier, stiffer block, then they needed turbochargers, intercoolers, high pressure injectors, then we had particulate filters, now they'll need urea dispensers (or detuning). Add in the pain of real world testing (so the good old days of makers removing the wing mirrors on test cars, taping the intakes, dumping the spare wheel, etc, etc) and the diesel game looks to be up.

It's a pity - in terms of tractability and real world performance a good turbo diesel is delight to drive, and for years the hippytwats have been insisting that CO2 is the great satan, but now apparently things have to change, over fairly trivial NOx emissions. Bloody Germans.

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NOxious Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal: Chief falls on sword

Ledswinger
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Re: Not all need to be recalled.

There's something wrong with it, if it blows a cloud of soot. Get it fixed.

The soot is caused by a combination of driving style and injector effectiveness. As the injectors wear, the fuel dispersion gets worse, leading to incomplete combustion and more soot (although there's an element of soot even with new injectors), but unless you have a gentle right foot this soot doesn't accumulate in the exhaust. When it accumulates, that's when hard acceleration and faster exhaust gas flow ejects the soot in a plume.

Injectors are very expensive to replace at £200-400 per injector, so there's no reason to change it if you're happy with the performance, and if you normally drive with a gentle right foot, you'll have an exhaust pre-loaded so that you can lay smoke like a destroyer when passing cyclists. What's not to like?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Industry spokesperson

That might work over the on the right side of the pond. Do the cars ever get re-tested?

It's a widely known issue that European "official" economy figures bear no relation to the real world figures or those measured by consumer groups in testing, and it's been widely noticed that the "official" improvements in emissions hasn't been reflected in measured urban air quality. The various consumer's associations across Europe have certainly raised the issue of economy, and the green groups have complained about the air quality.

The European Commission (Europe's not very elected "cabinet") have been strangely ineffective in reacting to this, probably due to lobbying by the German government. For years the Germans have resisted tighter emissions control for fear it will harm their large and powerful car industry (which makes large, powerful, polluting cars).

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Ledswinger
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This will probably cost them $50B or more in the end, $100B isn't far fetched.

I was thinking along similar lines. And those sort of numbers wipe out the equity shareholders interest and possibly the debt holders.

Nice one VW. Major Ivan Hirst saved you from the ashes, and then you flush yourselves down the toilet like this!

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EE is UK's biggest loser on customer broadband gripes – AGAIN

Ledswinger
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Re: @ AndrueC

but not sure how much it will save you

IME not much when you've allowed for the supposed multi-product discount. And the very modest resultant saving made me conclude that I couldn't be bothered to put up with the equally modest inconveniences of third party VOIP, even if the VM offer is (underneath everything) a type of VOIP.

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Wanted alive: $1m for an iOS 9 bug to hijack, er, jailbreak iThings

Ledswinger
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you uncover an exploit and criminals are going to pay you a million dollars for it. And your confidence in receiving the money is how high?

I think the crims in question are the Five Spies network. They'll pay, so long as Zerodium have qualified as a framework supplier, filled in the NDA, carried out a health & safety assessment, completed a carbon emissions report etc etc.

But even if they were selling to less official criminals, I'd still expect those people to pay, because crims never trust anyone, and so long as no bullets are exchanged that means escrow accounts, proof of merchandise, and trusted intermediaries. If Zerodium have anything about them, of course they'll be selling the same exploits to Five Spies, China, Russia, and an assortment of piss-pot third world dictatorships. Then they'll sell the same stuff to hacker groups. And once they've done those, then they offer it to Apple.

In this respect, the intellectual property of code exploits enjoys a separate life to the software upon which it lives, although the business model is the same - develop the IP once, sell repeatedly.

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Transport for London’s new crash map immediately crashes

Ledswinger
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Where's the base datum?

Why ask the rest of us? You could follow the link to the map, and move the slider from 2014 gradually back to 2005 and following the borough level colour coding you'll have your answer. It's fairly clear cut, the answer, as well.

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BT boss: If Ofcom backs us, we promise to speed up UK broadband

Ledswinger
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Re: Blackmail

openreach may be "independent of" and "walled off from" BT wholesale and BT retail,

That's what BT claim, but actually there isn't even a separate legal entity for Openreach. Any competent regulator would have made them move the assets, staff and operations of Openreach into a separate company, with its own statutory accounts.

At the moment OFCOM have to rely on management accounts, which simply means the regulator only sees what BT choose to tell them. Admittedly of no net consequence whilst OFCOM remain a useless shower of ineffectual piss, but in some hypothetical world where OFCOM were competent and consumer focused, they'd struggle to find out what's really happening from management accounts.

Note that the reason BT don't want to split Openreach out is not merely that it is a cash cow with little competition, but Openreach has a huge fixed asset base. By securing BT group's £10bn of debt on monopolistic assets with a supposedly regulated return, the costs of debt are far lower than if BT group told investors that the debt was being deployed on a crummy TV aggregator, or the crap BT Global Services operation.

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Ledswinger
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the Openreach arm should be entirely hived off from BT (at FMV) into an independent trust for the common good for proper equal access.

Be careful what you ask for. When Railtrack was bankrupted by the Blair government, and the state owned Network Rail took over, little really changed. Whether state owned or not, a monopoly is a monopoly, and the only acceptable solution is a hard nosed regulator with the skills and resources to ensure that what is needed is delivered.

I'd suggest that if you're getting anywhere north of 20 Mb/s, then managing this new entity "for the common good for proper equal access" would mean that your bills go up to pay for rural broadband for the real hillbillies, but you'd see no improvement at all because your service would be good enough until everybody's on at least 20 Mb/s.

I agree hiving off Openreach is essential - the "don't break us up or the puppy gets it" has been a byline for incumbent monopolists since people first started asking why these organisations should enjoy statutory monopoly, but the sensible answer to controlling the monopoly power of Openreach is to allow it to be regulated by a team from OFWAT, who have many years experience of regulating monopolies with large investment programmes and clear targets (and as we all know, OFCOM are clearly unfit for purpose).

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Ledswinger
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Useful

BT said today that it had a new "view my engineer" service, which would allow customers to track the whereabouts of Openreach bods

"Thank you for your enquiry. Your Openreach engineer is here"

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iOS's infected app-list continues to grow, says Lookout

Ledswinger
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Re: BBC reporting

that isn't mentioned anywhere in BBC's reporting

Far be it from me to suggest that they're a bunch of technical illiterates who are high on the Jobsian fumes. Those unlucky enough to subscribe to Which? will know the pattern.

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China launches 'pollution-free' rocket

Ledswinger
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Re: FTFY

China has already landed a rover on the Moon,

What, the Roadkill Rabbit, or whatever, that promptly keeled over? I understand the pain and loss of the Chinese proletariat - I've had Chinese made stuff that only lasted that long.

Although I suppose they're still doing better than Beagle 2.

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Ledswinger
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@lawndart & Dantium

Thank you. Again, I prostrate myself before you higher beings.

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Ledswinger
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you get better efficiency by not burning cleanly,

Bowing down before the rocket scientists, could I humbly ask why efficiency improves? I follow the logic about keeping combustion temps down, but surely the less efficient the burn, the more fuel & structure weight you're having to lift. Is it really more efficient to lift fuel and then hose a proportion of it out the back end unburnt?

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Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview

Ledswinger
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Not curious

It is still curious though, first that Microsoft could release Windows 10 with a major bug in this critical and sensitive feature, and second that even the fixed version apparently still has a limit.

I beg to differ, I'd say that was Microsoft meeting the low expectations of the world. Notwithstanding the fact that the start menu has been a HUGE intellectual and coding conundrum at Redmond for three years now, nobody really expected them to get it right, did they? We had to go through three versions of Windows 8 before they admitted defeat of a sort, and then they still flunked up with W10, which they filled with ordure like Cortana, and messed up user privacy, and STILL they haven't yet given users back the start menu that they've been asking for since 2011.

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Hutchison will float O2 … as soon as the Three merger is done

Ledswinger
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I presumed that the merger would create a single brand; O3.

Bringing together the concept of O3 and their many notspots, there's a better brand name: nOzone

It's even got the w@nky illiterate capitalisation that tells investors "this is a tech sector company", in the same way that random punctuation does. Maybe they could double down and call it nO:Zone

That's have the secondary capital markets gushing to throw money at Cheung Kong.

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MoJ admits to splashing out on 2.3 MILLION Oracle licences

Ledswinger
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Why would Oracle offer a discount, UK publilc sector business is <1% of revenues

Because software licencing has gross margins approaching 100%.

The whole point of software licencing is to sell something that you've previously made and sold before. Faced with a customer who is going to take tens or hundreds of millions of pounds of gross margin away, that costs the supplier nothing to deliver, they'd have to be mad to allow them to walk away, because that converts £xm into £0m. Far better to take £x/2 m.

Strategically Oracle might want to hold out if they think it sets a precedent, but I would guess that commercial customers have a pain threshold that they'll migrate at, and their will be discounts on offer for those willing to call Oracle's bluff. In this case though, we've got civil servants spending the free money that they extract from taxpayers, and they simply don;'t care if they spaff your and my money up the wall - we can't take our tax affairs to another UK government.

And worth noting that Oracle UK made all those sales to government, and yet paid no corporation tax in previous years (and I'd guess nothing has changed). If government were not run by clueless @rseholes, then they'd start a project to run Oracle out of the UK altogether.

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SPACED OUT: NASA's manned Orion podule pushed back to 2023

Ledswinger
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Re: I feel for NASA

I don't have any real faith in the 'reality show colonization' of Mars but I would like to see !someone! on Mars before I die

Build cheap but untested technologies, and man them with criminals.

Letting convicts have Australia (rather than transporting the law abiding there) now looks to have been a mistake from the point of view of the resident Brits, but in this case I don't think Mars is looking the sort of place you could see as a great destination.

In fact, once the rockets have stopped going "bang" or whizzing off course spreading crim DNA across the galaxy we could make Mars a penal colony, and send everybody sentenced to more than six months.

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Oracle: Over here, look over here! At the cloud! No, not at our glum licensing numbers

Ledswinger
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Re: Mark Hurd?

You sure? That pair look like the perps who look surly as they get cuffed at the end of Batman move. The evil, designer-leather clad villainess, and the wicked corporate suit.

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'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'

Ledswinger
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They can both...

...fuck right off then. I'm sick of being force fed a diet of flashy, jiggly, obtrusive crapverts for products I don't want. If that onanist Bezos thinks I'm going to tolerate that to access any news content, then he's got another think coming, and likewise Scroogle. Cat videos aren't funny enough to tolerate garbage.

Admittedly the Washington Post isn't aimed at the right side of the pond, but I'm sure Turdoch and his mates are thinking the same thing. The key point here is that newspapers don't own the news anymore, but clearly don't want to recognise that fact.

Oi! Bezos! Shove your newspaper where your Fire tablet had to be shoved!

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It's not broadband if it's not 10 Mbps, says Ovum

Ledswinger
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Re: Lies, damned lies, and statistics....

How much would it cost per broadband line to put OpenReach under a universal service obligation to deliver 10Mbps to anyone, anywhere in the UK?

In cash terms, probably not much - a few tens of billions, which is going to be about a third the price of HS2, or about twice the cost of Crossrail or Heathrow R3. The money is readily available for projects like those, or the circa £30bn probable outturn at Hinkley Point C, so one must reason that the money for universal broadband could be found if the will were there.

Given that about half of the cost would be digging holes and filling them in again, our army of circa 1.2m unemployed could be put to good use and costs reduced a tiny bit, but the overall problem is that the actual economic returns on most infrastructure are very low, in fact lower than the cost of capital. Which means that there might be better uses for the money, even if HS2, XR, and H R3 are not among them either.

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Ledswinger
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Re: As I understand it

Broadband isn't specifically related to speed, it's the method of transmission used

Technically that may be true, but the marketing peeps have sold the idea that broadband=high speed internet to the great unwashed.

A more pressing problem than the terminology is the maths of this survey. Average speeds tell you little, since if 99% of the domestic customers got 9.8 Mb/s the country would show a lot worse in such rankings, but relatively few people would be complaining compared to the current situation. I'm on 100 Mbps cable, and in all honesty the difference in normal domestic use and the 10 Mb/s is only observable when downloading gigabytes of data. 4k streaming might make 10 Mb/s inadequate, but I'll worry about that when there's 4k content worth watching, when it's been filmed by somebody who understands what 4k can really do, and when all the viewing devices are compatible. By the time that occurs my eyesight will be so decrepit that I won't be too fussed about the fine grain details.

The leaderboard should be set not by the highest average speed, but by the country with the lowest proportion of customers unable to access sub-par high speed internet, based on actual achieved speeds. We'd still have the issue of arbitrary thresholds, but if the UK wanted to leap close to the top of this survey, on the current method they could simply bribe Virgin Media to put all customers on a 150 Mb/s package, which would probably shift the national average sufficient to lift the average a goodly measure. In fact, if we're just chasing surveys, lets stop bribing BT to connect redneck country dwellers with crummy slow ADSL, because it'd be cheaper for VM to offer paper speed increases in urban areas.

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HP going public on more job cuts, say expectant analysts

Ledswinger
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Wow

Go Meg, sack more workers!

http://dilbert.com/strip/1994-01-06

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Attempted bank robber demands cash transfer ... to his own account

Ledswinger
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Re: A bit of a holiday?

Not to get too graphic either but at our advanced years a bit of sex might be nice too.

What, you mean he's so desperate that the prospect of two years "picking the soap up" appeals? Surely there's easier means of getting his oats?

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Disney's light-bulb moment: build TCP into LEDs for IoT comms

Ledswinger
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" PoE can provide >30w over cat5, slightly more over cat6 - so I think this is a great idea"

Don't forget the voltage drop on longer cable runs, and the fact that LEDs are typically quite a reactive load. Even if you've got a couple of zones, you'd need to think about the capabilities of the PSU that's producing the power to go over the ethernet. Much easier to simply use a proper LED driver and real wires.....

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How did jihadists hack into top UK ministerial emails if no security breach took place?

Ledswinger
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Probably been said before

But that picture looks like the People's Front of Judea, which might be defeating its intended propaganda purpose. Although I suppose those susceptible to propaganda will be incapable of seeing it that way.

IS is a US-created mess, but clearly beyond the capability of the Yanks and their British poodle to sort out. I say let the Iranians and the Russians go sort it out, in the old fashioned way.

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Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership election

Ledswinger
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Re: Congratulations!

Any party that wants to stand up for ordinary people must be completely round the bend.

What on earth makes you think that Corbyn and his cronies will "stand up for ordinary people"? What ordinary people want is jobs, security, a decent standard of living. The Labour party, particularly the left leaning versions, have done nothing but bring misery to the working man, through systematically and repeatedly fucking up the British economy. They've achieved that four times in my life time.

Corbyn's idiot policies guarantee that if he gets into power he'll deliberately repeat the same mistakes as his Labour forefathers, and you can be assured that it won't be the rich who pay for the "workers' paradise" this bearded cretin wants to create. It'll be the ordinary working people of this country, who will have to pay higher taxes, if they're lucky enough to have a job, and when they get to retirement find out that Corbyn's wasted all the money, and there's nothing left to keep them in their old age.

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WinPhone community descends into CANNIBALISM and WOE

Ledswinger
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Re: I too work for a corporate dinosaur

you work for HP don't you

No, but we use them for our IT, and our god-awful customer service, and sense of entitlement are perfectly matched by theirs. It's a match forged in the very fires of hell, and the only thing that keeps our customer facing systems up to date (1) is the fact that we have kept CRM development in house.

Note 1: Not "up to date with customer needs", just "up to date with legal compliance in a heavily regulated sector".

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Ledswinger
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I too work for a corporate dinosaur

Just like Microsoft we see clever things being innovated and then delivered by other companies, wonder for a couple of years what this might mean, and then fail with a lacklustre me-too offer. We ignore the message of the market, and revamp the product in the direction our directors think it should be taken, and unsurprisingly still nobody will buy it. Our core business remains profitable, but under attack, and we've not invested anything that we could avoid in it. Our bean counters and directors have no stomach for commercial risk, or for backing internal visionaries, having achieved their positions during the gravy years when we could make money just by being us.

It's sooooo dispiriting. HR have a star hand in these sorts of corporate demise, by valuing, recruiting and promoting group-thinkers whose talents are defined by the dominant but declining core business. The mavericks, the inspirers, the doers, they're all unwanted in these wholly avoidable slow motion car crashes. And Finance seem to believe the pointy haired boss maxim of "theoretically, if I cut costs far enough we'll be profitable without selling anything". All new business ideas are harshly judged against the scale of the core business - at my workplace, directors won't consider anything that won't almost immediately generate £10m a year profits. There's a rash focus on acquisitions - the "buy something, buy anything!" model that both Microsoft and HP have followed, leading to overpayment, performance and integration problems and huge writedowns.

Obviously not going to name my own employers, but outside of the tech sector we're busily following this Standardised Model of Corporate Doom (SMoCD).

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Plods waste millions keeping their arses covered and ears open

Ledswinger
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Re: The shadow of government big IT looms...

The idea that this should free up the small research units and institutes from requiring their own costly admin staff for dealing with the day-to-day running. If successful, it was to be rolled out to the other science councils, too.

The logic of combining the support services of the research councils was entirely valid, and other organisations have made improvements in both cost and quality of service by using a shared services approach. For those interested, there is an excellent National Audit Office report on this fiasco that can be found with a quick web search. Key findings were (paraphrasing the findings) that the Research Councils were a bunch of parochial numpties who wouldn't work together, that the costs were underestimated (very little scope change), and the savings overestimated and in particular predicated on unproven procurement savings. The procurement of the project via Fujitsu was a shambles (eg they won the contract despite coming second in the competition), and made the mistake of using an IT company to implement what was basically a business process project.

If the research councils hadn't been such arseholes, the project would have cost about one quarter of the final cost (FFS, the organisations already had systems and processes in place, how can you spend £130m on a back office transaction processing system?). The Research Council bunglers managed to fritter almost £4m just setting up the holding company for the shared service operation. Despite a supposed turnkey contract of about £18m they managed £13m of unbudgeted design and build costs and a further £13m of overspend with Fujitsu, they then spent £11m on "project management".... and so it went on. The most alarming thing is that over and above the (relatively) minimal hardware costs and redundancy costs, all of the costs were staff time. The gross overrun alone (of £50m) is somewhere around 800-1,000 man years of billed effort.

Shared services, done right, is a good, cost effective option. But once the concept crosses the event horizon of the public sector, the costs stretch out towards infinity, schedules extend forever without snapping, and money just falls into the dark, super dense singularity that is "public services".

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Ledswinger
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Re: Cost cutting solution

Why can't we supply them with all the excess,used or last years pantomime outfits...

To judge by the dreadful, ill-fitting, chavvy uniforms that my local force wear, this may already be happening.

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Partially blind albino porn pirate nabbed for £300k bedroom streaming site

Ledswinger
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Benefit fraud is another issue and he deserves time for that.

Arguably the extent of benefit fraud (£1.6bn) shows that porridge is no deterrent. On the other hand, if the authorities sent somebody round to kick people's front doors in, smash their possessions, give 'em a few modest bruises, and shit on their beds, I suspect the level of fraud would go down.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Meanwhile...

Yo! LC! You're sounding a bit reactionary there, and that's my lawn.

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Court battle date set for £300m BT Cornwall termination dispute

Ledswinger
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This is going to be good to watch. Not sure it is going to be good PR for BT to send out, if we fail to meet the contract terms well will take you to court if you legally end it.

Outsourcer SLA's are always long, weasly documents intended to confer rights on the outsource provider over the dim-witted customer. A quick web search on the terms "cable wireless IBM dispute" will show the lengths outsourcers will go to to avoid being held to account, even when the are blatantly in breach of the original agreement.

The most remarkable thing is that no matter how many times people get stung in under-performing or over-priced outsource deals, the world clearly never learns that smartly dressed, smooth talking snake-oil salesmen are not to be trusted.

If these people can't run their own business at an acceptable cost, why did they ever think that bunglers like BT would be either able or willing to do son on their behalf?

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