* Posts by Ledswinger

4498 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Get 'em out for the... readers: The Sun scraps its online paywall

Ledswinger
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Re: Newspaper websites

The really interesting thing with newspaper actual paper circulation vs their websites is that the websites are more popular because of two factors:

Don't forget international reach. I suspect that the browser stats include a heck of a lot of international traffic from Oz and the US, to judge by both the content that the Graun hosts and some of the comments.

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Ledswinger
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the Independent ........ Looks and loads even worse than the re-styled Grauniad.

That, Sir, is not possible. The Graun has degenerated into a sort of amateur-curated news aggregating blog (although I don't mind, if that's what they want to do with it).

The Indy is a far more painful loss. Remember at launch, it was a fresh voice, a broadsheet with gravitas and indeed an independent voice. Now it's just another shitty tabloid, owned by a Russian oligarch.

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Ledswinger
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disappointing that I still can't read Private Eye (with a subscription) online.

I thought the physical presentation of Eye was part of the core proposition. Like you, I am a man of high literature, although my preference is Viz. That too suffers from the same challenge of the paper copy being the real McCoy, and the screen version not quite making the grade.

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Top cops demand access to the UK's entire web browsing history

Ledswinger
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Re: "though the Home Office tell me ...

Well why do they want it then?

In the hope that it will provide circumstantial evidence that the Clown Prosecution Service can then misrepresent in court against targeted individuals, whether they are guilty of something or not. Worked during Operation Ore, didn't it?

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TalkTalk downplays extent of breach damage, gives extra details

Ledswinger
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If she's "only worried about our customers"...

Then why is she trying to minimise the breach:

Less than 1.2 million customer email addresses, names and phone numbers

That's 2-3% of the adult population of the UK, I'd say that was a significant breach.

As for the 15-20k poor beggars whose date of birth and bank account details have been spewed, that might be small number (of little people) for the Baroness, but it'd be quite a big crowd if they turned up at her office to have a word.

So, state of play on the past few months of data breaches in the UK:

TalkTalk = Incompetent wankers

Carphone Warehouse = Incompetent wankers

British Gas = Incompetent wankers

All other companies = ?

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Chrome OS is not dead, insists Google veep in charge of Chrome OS

Ledswinger
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WSJ in "knows nothing and doesn't do research" shocker!

Lets not forget WSJ is part of the Turdoch empire, famed for its high journalistic standards, for example at the News of the World.

We can't the old buzzard croak? I'm going to crack open a beer in celebration when he does.

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Deutsche Bank to axe 'excessively complex' IT, slash 9,000 jobs

Ledswinger
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Re: Oh yeah...

Remember: work outsourced is work not done. So just save the money and don't do it.

Too late. Deutsche Bank signed an infrastructure deal with HP in February.

HP provide my company's infrastructure, desktop & support. Standard of service is bloody diabolical, and our poor IT is a major competitive advantage for those competitors who have been sold snake oil by outsourcers. Unsurprisingly to everybody (except the C-level halfwits) is the fact that the cost of our baseline services increased, and to keep total IT costs within the allowed cost profile, we've had to slash the IT projects budget. So our HP-delivered cost saving is in net terms delivering less, and to a lower standard than our previous in source arrangements.

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How Microsoft will cram Windows 10 even harder down your PC's throat early next year

Ledswinger
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Re: I hope this works

You have to actively uninstall a number of previous updates and hide them when they re-appear in order to be safe from the malicious downloads.

Do they give up if you install W10, and then use the 30 day window to revert to your previous system? Logically they'd give up at that point.....but then, I suppose that won't apply with a company that only cares about itself.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Linux is working for me.

And it seems to be pot luck whether Adobe Flash content works or not.

Another thing the Clowns of Redmond got wrong. Had W10 completely blocked rubbish like Flash, it would have irritated a few people, but very quickly web sites would have dumped Flash, and it could be consigned more quickly to the rubbish bin of history, where it is slowly (too slowly) heading. In fact, W10 should have been designed to be incompatible with all Adobe software, bar none.

That would have been the biggest single security improvement in Windows history. Instead we get Cortana, and a greater services attack surface, and STILL THE FUCKERS HAVEN'T FIXED THE START MENU.

Out of curiosity, does anybody round here know whether MS monitor blogs, news sites and social media? And if they do, do they simply ignore all the negatives, and then use the (few?) positives to reinforce the bizarre decisions they keep taking?

I can understand that if they did listen to the web, they'd be so depressed they'd get signed off work, so maybe they ignore user views for Health & Safety reasons.

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Open data not a replacement for FOI - Shadow digital minister

Ledswinger
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Re: Sir Humphrey wins again

How could government function if we had any chance of finding out about it's dirty dealings and general inefficiency?

And then they wonder why people are increasingly disaffected by the mainstream political parties, and assorted alternative visions are becoming more popular - be that Corbyn, Farage, Sturgeon.

With the Liberal Democrats annihilated, the Labour party unable to understand whether to follow or fight Corbyn, the last survivors of the traditional parliamentary plutocracy are Cameron's Conservative party. Despite managing a bare 12 seat majority against a disorganised Labour rabble still hamstrung by their prior fiscal ineptitude, Cameron continues with old and new policies that are both stupid and unpopular, that simply gild the lily of discontent, broadening the disconnect between the political classes and the electorate.

I'm not sure what can be done to get through to 1%'ers like Cameron (or for that matter the remnants of New Labour), other than to actively vote for one of the upstart parties. A starter for this will be the EU referendum, where the British establishment, the Yanks, Brussels, and even the Chinese want us to remain part of the EU. By definition none of these centres of power (including Westminster) act for this country or in its best interests, so it'll be a "no" vote from me.

As for others, I wouldn't presume to canvass, other than to observe that at the next general election, a vote for Labour, Liberal Democrat or Conservative is a vote for the Snoopers Charter, and more secretive government by the few for the few. I suspect that if enough people made alternative votes the outcome could be chaotic for some years, if that's what it takes to reform the complacent oppressive thievery of the mainstream political parties, then bring on the chaos.

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Safe Harbor 2.0: Judges to keep NSA spying in check – EU justice boss

Ledswinger
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Re: True Worth

Any agreement with mericun's is not worth the bog roll it is printed on.

That evidently includes their own constitution. I propose the thirty fourth amendment to the sacred document:

Now wash your hands.

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GCHQ starts hunt for tech-savvy apprentices

Ledswinger
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a few years back the starting salary for a grad was something like 22k.

Aldi's graduate scheme pays a starting whack of £42k, and at the end of every day their graduates can go home knowing they've done a fair days work, and not undermined democracy.

But let's be realistic. GCHQ know their offer is pitiful, but what they're hoping to get is some pointy heads, people who are exceptionally clever, exceptionally focused, but so narrow in their outlook that they neither know nor care that GCHQ are paying not much above the "living wage", and indifferent to the societal impact of their work so long as they get to play all day with computers.

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Ledswinger
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and questionable morals when it comes to respecting other peoples privacy.

To be fair, I think you need to differentiate between the junior oiks, most of whom simply believe the official line about "protecting the country", and whose crime is simple naivety, and the more senior people, who know that what is being done is an affront to democracy. That latter category includes whining DCI Andrew Gould, now jointly famous for his lack of success in tackling cybercrime and his thin skin.

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Northrop wins $55bn contract for next-gen bomber – as America says bye-bye to B-52

Ledswinger
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Re: B52s/B2s...

as in the 2001 air attacks that helped drive the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan

Up to a point and temporarily, as it now appears.

I would agree that the air force softened up and supported, but the only reason that the Taliban were temporarily removed from power was actually the grunts on the ground taking and holding territory. About 5,000 allied soldiers didn't come back, and in excess of 20,000 were wounded, which shows the limits of air power even for the richest country on the planet, with the most heavily armed and technologically advanced military on the planet.

Doesn't look like all that high glamour air power was too effective fighting against a bunch of bearded rag heads, mostly armed with improvised explosive devices, carrying a light machine gun designed seventy years ago, and some propelled grenades designed fifty five years ago.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Just remember...

where they were bombing the hell out of commies in Vietnam

Ineffectually, whilst also raining napalm on civilians, and spraying dioxins all over the environment in the bizarre defoliation programme.

for me the B52 is the image of American power,

Errr... the US was kicked out of Vietnam, so that's not really a good image of American power, is it? And arguably the B52 plus B1 and B2 didn't stop the US getting kicked out of Afghanistan or Iraq (ignoring the token forces still there), didn't help deter the Russians in Ukraine, and have been largely ineffectual in defeating IS. On the basis of the evidence, the new bomber is a pointless piece of military bling, a bit like the Ford class carriers and my own country's QE class carriers.

Now, given that the US government spend more than they take in tax, to the tune of $10,000 dollars per second, or thereabouts, how will they afford this new toy?

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

I'm sorry if this comes across as anti-US, it isn't intended to be. Your and my government have virtually indistinguishably stupid foreign and defence policies, and because both of our countries have entrenched political classes they repeat the same expensive mistakes time and again, whilst enthusiastically spending money that our children will have to repay (in addition to any student debt our kids may start their careers soaked in). Spending money on assets that really defend your interests is a good thing. Spending money on exporting death-from-the-sky to distant lands doesn't pass that test in my book.

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Cops use terror powers to lift BBC man's laptop after ISIS interview

Ledswinger
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Re: "Yes, go on kiddies, mod me down"

Ad hominem - the usual response of the those of the left leaning persuation.

As a self appointed representive of the libertarian right, could I join in to even things up by saying that you Boltar, have dug yourself a pit and kept on digging, and there's a plaque at the bottom that says (in its politest form) "Boltar is a Berk". Is that sufficiently ad hominem enough?

Spying on journalists or snatching their data is the work of the Stasi, past and present. Regardless of who journalists are speaking to, I don't want the bumbling flatfeet and Sturmbahnfuhrer May to have their grasping hands on it. These are the people who maintain that the unlawful killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, and that the subsequent parody of an inquest was an acceptable cost of our "freedom". Not in my name, mate.

Moreover, why do the police need to snatch journalistic data? If the police weren't so bloody inept, they'd already know who the putative jihadis were. FFS they've got enough powers to intercept and store our communications, CCTV on every street corner, recording of cell phone tower attachments and ANPR movements, etc etc. If an essentially one man band journalist can find himself a handful of bearded lunatics, why can't the entire resources of state do a better job, without having to seize journalists data, potentially endangering intermediary contacts, the journalist himself, and press reporters trying to cover extremist activity around the world?

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IBM splashing $2bn on Weather Company – reports

Ledswinger
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Namely that correlating data and identifying trends isn't the same as delivering pertinent and meaningful insights to any given user in an open-ended userbase.

So, in English: The weather forecast will still be shit, but great for extrapolating scary climate change forecasts to back up the hair shirt brigade.

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Ex-Microsoft craft ale buffs rattle tankard for desktop brewery

Ledswinger
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Pint

Re: Doesn't look that hassle free

thats exactly why its better to use polypins for storing it

Nooooooooo! You mean you store your beer in a plastic bag?

I could forgive a rigid food grade plastic pressure barrel, but CO2 injectors, plastic baggers, instant beer making machines.....the end times are upon us.

You deserve a Party 7 of Watneys Red Barrel.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Will it fit...

next to the bread maker you no longer use

The bread maker in this household gets plenty of use. In fact its the second we've had, and I've worn out at least five of the mix/bake pans. One of mankind's finer achievements, a good bread making machine.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Doesn't look that hassle free

CO2 cylinders etc

CO2 in cylinders? Pray tell, what part does that play in beer (or even cider) making? Bottle conditioning, that's the way.

The messy way, should you make the sort of error I made a few weeks back. The bang was audible in a double glazed house, even though the bottle was in an outbuilding forty feet away. That distinctive BOOOooommmppphh! tinkle tinkle sound whose cause you intuitively know without having to investigate. Lucky it was a single bottle experiment.

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Ledswinger
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If you buy one, you deserve to drink the stuff

A "craft beer" (by which I presume they mean real ale) in 5-7 days? The basic brewing process can be done in that time, you can clear with filtration or chemicals, but what then? Drink the stuff green?

This is a toy for people to lazy to even use an extract based kit. And a toy for people with more money than sense.

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TalkTalk attack: UK digi minister recommends security badges for websites

Ledswinger
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Re: Brilliant this, isn't it?

And the shareholders are best people to withhold bonus to CEO, through board of directors.

Sadly not. Most shares are owned directly by institutions, and only indirectly by individuals. You might think it wrong, but (if I had one) I would want my fund manager to be spending far more time on portfolio management than attending AGMs, and a tracker fund may have no active human manager. HFT and algorythmic trading often involves machines buying and selling shares without people in the owning company even knowing. The few activist investors tend to identify a weak company, call up a coalition of investors (their mates, natch) and then step in a force changes, but this is the exception rather than the rule, and there's little empirical evidence that activist investors improve things for customers or regular employees, nor much that they improve corporate behaviours.

Even within a company, it is the remuneration committee (made up of non-exec directors) not shareholders who decide on bonus structures and pay. Things need to be REALLY bad before the remuneration committee act, usually so bad that the shareholders are in open revolt. That's rare because most institutions go with the board proxy, hoping the directors behave.

You'd be right if you conclude that this is a flaw in secondary equity markets, but there's not really much way round it.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Brilliant this, isn't it?

Offending firms need to be brutally fined,

And what money will they pay with? Unless they've got a printing press its money paid by customers that would otherwise have gone on to shareholder's (generally your insurers or pension fund). Doesn't affect the management pay. And if fines affected people's behaviour, speeding, mobile use whilst driving, and littering would have ceased years ago.

Severe action is needed, but it needs to have a different form. Making fines severe is one part, but you need to affect performance metrics that affect directors pay. I'm in favour (see above) of sales prohibitions rather than fines, but there's other things that could be done, such as having significant monetary penalties that have to be paid as a refund to customers, rather than to a regulator or the treasury. That still doesn't really compensate those affected, but would at least ensure that the company and investors suffered, but in net terms the customers weren't paying quite as much for their incompetence.

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Ledswinger
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Re: The only way to make slack-ass PLCs take their responsibilities seriously

Is to hit them where it hurts.

That's true, but the problem is that fines don't hit executives. They get treated as "other operating expense" and rarely affect the bonuses that the bosses get. Look at how banks have been hit with billions in penalties and compensation costs, yet they serially mis-sell, and have continued to pay obscene bonuses throughout the financial crises of recent years.

The way to hurt corporate bosses is banning the company from selling anything for a period. That affects growth targets, churn targets, profit targets, customer satisfaction targets, market share targets, operating cost targets. And that affects bonuses, without actually taking money off the company that has ultimately been paid by the customers affected. Such a ban becomes a public badge of shame, and corrodes employee morale. In this case a six week ban on Talk Talk recruiting new customers or selling new products to existing ones would seem about right. Unfortunately MPs and their lickspittle civil service advisers are too dim witted to realise this, and whenever sanctions are called for, they fall back on the hackneyed and proven-not-to-work "fines up to 10% of turnover" or similar. Except in data protection, where fines up to £0.5m are deemed adequate.

For Talk Talk, that's a fine less than 0.03% of turnover. Is anybody surprised they don't take infosec seriously?

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US Senate approves CISA cyber-spy-law, axes privacy safeguards

Ledswinger
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Re: AI Leading Question[s]

Is the UK following the US,

I think they are in close lockstep, with little to choose. In both countries over-powerful and thoroughly entrenched elites are bent on universal surveillance. The recent UK decision that the stasi could legally dragnet MPs data is a temporary setback for the UK elite (who don't expect the laws they pass to apply to them), but to an extent it only mirrors the US situation where the NSA and CIA not only spied on senators and congressmen, but even interfered with the data.

And what are the chances of things working badly rather than effectively?

We already know that, with local government using powers supposedly passed to protect people from the supposedly omnipresent terror threat against people dropping litter or failing to pick up their dog's mess, and the interference with Congressional investigations.

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By 2019, vendors will have sucked out your ID along with your cash 5 billion times

Ledswinger
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Re: Are biometrics safe?

Not sure what to do about the eyes though.

The same sanding machine will work, I would guess.

I can't see competitive markets wanting to play with biometrics. Imagine if Talk Talk had lost the biometric data of their customers. Even payment processors like Visa have kept away from effective but challenging security (hence the survival of the laughable and unwanted "Verified by Visa"), so I can't see them wanting to be responsible for biometric data. And it is people like the payments processors that have most to lose from the irretrievable and permanent nature of a biometric data breach.

The other thing to consider is that currently pathetic data protection laws will change (whether EU driven or outside of the EU), and as part of that penalties will become a lot harsher, and the requirements far more stringent. In that respect the Talk Talk breach is a good thing, that has concentrated minds in a way that (eg) the Carphone Warehouse breach a couple of months back did not. With much more serious penalties (and I suspect the prospect of corporate liability for subsequent losses and restitution), who would want to be sitting on a stash of biometric data? I can see fingerprint scanners disappearing from phones in short order.

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Top watchdog probes IBM over 'transactions in US, UK, Ireland'

Ledswinger
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However, it sounds like it's a technical accounting issue.

Only on a narrow definition. The reason the share price has fallen is the ominous words "revenue recognition". In software and services, it is very easy to adjust your turnover and profit by taking a long term contract or licence sale and choosing when you add the turnover and the profit to your results - either to pump up the latest results, or occasionally to defer to the next quarter or even year.

The real problem with revenue recognition that it lends itself to intentional fraud, usually by bringing forward future revenues and profits. The first time they do it, the directors always intend to sort it out next quarter, sweep it under the carpet, nobody will be any the wiser, nobody lost out. But if as a wide-boy CFO you chose to bring forward 3% of sales into the company's second quarter results to meet investor expectations, then (1) you've not really addressed whatever problem made you miss expectations, (2) next quarter you're already down by the amount you brought forward and you've got to make that up, and (3) your true starting point for the subsequent quarter is now lower than investors expect, but they expect the company to grow from the inflated figures reported.

In practice this means that what often starts out as a convenient interpretation of accounting rules to earn director bonuses then becomes a systematic fraud because in the subsequent quarter when the directors hoped to make good, for the reasons above they again miss expectations and have to bring forward more revenue, and the gap between true underlying results and what is reported starts to separate exponentially. This is primarily what happened at Nortel, Enron, Worldcom, Global Crossing, Satyam and many many others. That short list had reported assets of around $200bn when they filed for bankruptcy. I've worked for a company that collapsed in part due to revenue recognition fraud, the directors were crooks, but when they started making up the numbers they didn't intend to bankrupt the company or go to jail - but they did both.

As far as I know nobody is suggesting IBM will go bust, but with the ghost of Enron looking over their shoulder, investors are rightly spooked by a "revenue recognition" investigation. As it involves the US, UK and Ireland, my guess is that it is less about cheating overall corporate results, and more about "adjusting" the books to reduce the tax bill.

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TalkTalk attack: Small biz customers may also have been targeted

Ledswinger
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Re: It's unclear how TalkTalk Business customers have been caught up in the drama

They need to clarify this so the ICO can give them a bigger kicking.

How? If they can maintain that the whole thing is a single breach, then the maximum fine is half a million. That's a whopping 0.2% of last year's EBITDA, or an even smaller percentage of their annual spend on marketing and customer acquisition.

I think an ICO penalty is inevitable, but TalkTalk are not even going to notice it.

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TalkTalk attack: 'No legal obligation to encrypt customer bank details', says chief

Ledswinger
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Re: MBA "Qualification"

It does seem there is a propensity for MBAs to believe they have sufficient qualification for running a business of any kind

You confuse cause and effect. An MBA is a piece of paper that shows you've completed an accredited training programme. As such it is similar in concept to an IT course, or an NVQ in cleaning.

Your logic comes across as "I've met a few people with MBAs, they were arrogant, ignorant and incompetent, so many/most/all other MBAs will be the same". That doesn't seem very scientific nor likely to be a statistically valid sample, and to assume that the people concerned behaved this way because they have an MBA seems to be a matter of wanting that to be the case universally, because you are unhappy with your experience of a small number of people.

As an MBA is a qualification aimed at middle and senior managers, it is at risk of attracting self important twits, but when I did mine, every course member came from a functional background, with the knowledge and experience to prove it. Sales, finance, IT, operations, logistics etc. And the MBA I was taught was specific that it wouldn't make us experts in anything, rather that it would teach us the limits of our own knowledge, with sufficient education to hold a sensible conversation with those who really did know their stuff in other business areas.

Now, as with any qualification, if somebody's a complete ****, they can still earn a qualification, but at the end of it they'll still be a complete ****. But its very unlikely that the qualification made them a ****. I suspect that if you've experienced poor standards of MBA qualified managers, that is probably more representative of severe organisational culture problems than evidence of a problem with the MBA (or any other qualification).

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Ledswinger
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Re: MBA "Qualification"

Not being an MBA myself I can only assume that there is a module called Complacency 101 that has to be passed in order to graduate.

Having an MBA myself, from one of the world's top business schools, I can assure you that there isn't. An MBA is like any other qualification - it requires a relevant degree of intelligence, application, hard work, and usually some prior qualifications, but it isn't a test of propriety, and as far as I know there's no qualification that stops somebody choosing to act like a fuckwit.

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Ledswinger
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Re: What happened to

Talk Talk is (supposed to be) a professional company

Don't make me laugh, I might choke! TalkTalk are a bunch of piss pot incompetents, whose idea of customer service is a third rate offshore call centre, who have outsourced even their own recruitment, and whose chief executive is one of the most scandalously over-paid people in this country. Failure to encrypt customer data, and then to say "there wasn't a law saying we had to" is disgusting.

I did briefly have some sympathy for Ms Harding, but that's just evaporated. Stupid, inept cow, and her stupid inept fuckwit colleagues deserve to be taken to the cleaners.

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Russian subs prowling near submarine cables: report

Ledswinger
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Re: Lucky for them we can't afford an effective Navy

Don't forget that we can't afford an effective air force, either. So our airborne maritime patrol capabilities are now nil. I seem to recall all these savings were a "peace dividend". How will you be spending yours?

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Ledswinger
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the commies are simply practicing for war.

That's what armies do when there isn't a war for them to join. Or at least it was what they did in the good old days.

Of late, the game has changed and at the slightest threat of distant peace, the US and UK have made sure that they started or joined a new war even before the last was even remotely finished. I daresay that somewhere on Gumtree or Craigslist there's probably a small advert reading "Fading, overstretched global hegemon seeks medium sized unwinnable war in remote location. The ideal war will have no strategic relevance, require skills and equipment that the hegemon cannot offer, and ideally involve several different strata of religious, tribal, and racial conflict, a multiplicity of different armed actors, and the presence of proxy fighters for other nations. For preference the location will have some semblance of law, order and built infrastructure to begin with, in order that there are things to blow up."

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Ledswinger
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Re: A better man than I once described the feelings I have on this subject:

AC a citation for your figures please!

Well, maybe he thinks foreign policy has been a success, what with the removal of Saddam, Gadaffi, bin Laden, and the outbreak of peace, tolerance and democracy from the Sahel through to the Gobi desert?

Or energy policy, with the abundance of reliable, cheap & clean energy

Or industrial/commercial policy delivering real jobs?

Or stable macroeconomic policy based on sensible interest rates?

Or financial regulation that's given us a banking sector who do a fair days work for a fair days pay without fraud or mis-selling anywhere in sight?

Or transport policy that's made getting round (insert almost any major US or UK city here) so quick and easy?

Or homebuilding policy?, Or drugs policy? Or criminal justice policy?

Aaaahhhh. I think I see why he's AC.

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SatNad failure as Lumia income drops over 50% at Microsoft

Ledswinger
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Re: Windows 10

We know that that OS is spyware.

We know that any phone OS is spyware. FTFY.

I was distinctly underwhelmed by the Windows phone my wife brought home the other (new work phone), but let's be clear that there's no volume phone OS that isn't spying on you, so you can hardly hold that against Microsoft.

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9 cuffed over £60 million banking scam targeting UK businesses

Ledswinger
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Town or country, the fuckers will now be out on bail. If successfully prosecuted they'll cop a maximum six year term, of which they'll serve 40% under Home Office guidelines.

Some years ago, I worked for a £250m capitalised company, bankrupted by board level fraud. The turds responsible got four year sentences and were out inside two years. The chief executive who exposed this, and who at the time turned down an RBS-sponsored bribe to keep quiet hasn't worked full time for the subsequent seven years.

The bizarre message that the UK legal system offers is: If you see fraud, keep quiet, say nothing (whistleblower protection laws will not protect you). But if you see the opportunity for fraud, fill your fucking boots.

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TalkTalk hush-hush on compo for up to 4 million customers after mega cyber attack

Ledswinger
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Re: But Seriously

Announce credible steps towards future recurrence

That's what they evidently did after the last two data breaches.

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Ledswinger
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You believe it?!!!!

It's possible. Remember how Clarkson challenged world + dog that just knowing his account number wasn't a security risk, and was then proved wrong?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1574781/Jeremy-Clarkson-eats-his-words-over-ID-theft.html

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Ledswinger
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Re: And they're pushing customers towards "Noddle"

Seeing as I and many other people have pointed out the potential problems with Plusnet security, and have been informed that is safe

Write a letter to the ICO. A proper, paper letter, addressed to Christopher Graham. Copied to Plusnet's company secretary. That should spark some interest.

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Ledswinger
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Re: "Management" 21C style

What do these people do?

I don't know, but apparently it was worth £6.8m last year.

Nice work if you can get it.

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Tardy TalkTalk advertised for a new infosec officer 1 week ago

Ledswinger
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Oooh dear. That post wasn't meant to look like that. To judge by my own botched HTML, I may be qualified to join TalkTalk's infosec team.

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Ledswinger
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<Not so unusual to have a single lowly tech responsible for all duties described in TalkTalk job role. I speak from personal experience currently in a very similar role, also in a company that is national critical infrastructure.</i>

Speaking for my own company, who probably qualify as critical national infrastructure, I'm also unconvinced that infosec has sufficient status and resource. A senior staff grade employee and a graduate for the UK, with the senior staffer reporting to a manager in another country. There's some good stuff been done, our web site passes the "free to web" vulnerability tests, our security staff do try and educate the wider employee base, but its notable that several multiples more effort is put into "customer experience" than into protecting the customer data and thus protecting the company.

One good thing about the TalkTalk debacle is that it has suddenly and dramatically (if temporarily) elevated the priority of infosec. Every fatcat in the land is see Ms Harding looking increasingly stressed and haggard, and hearing as the news seems to go from bad to worse.

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Ledswinger
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Additional responsibilities

12. Capable of wringing their hands convincingly

13. Acting as scapegoat to save the hides of much better paid staff

14. Not raising "difficult issues" that involve spending money on infosec

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Joining the illuminati? Just how bright can a smart bulb really be?

Ledswinger
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Re: No

Still pointless

...and expensive.

At the moment the Internet of Tat seems to offer benefits that range from "none" through the whole gamut of insignificance up to an including "negligible", whilst still costing a ridiculous amount.

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TalkTalk shares drop 10.7% despite research that breaches don't cause drops

Ledswinger
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It's better than that, much much better. TalkTalk Business invite their business customers to outsource their IT to improve network security

http://www.talktalkbusiness.co.uk/news-events/news-ttb-listing/video-news/outsource-for-better-network-security/

There's a video that could be very amusing, but since I've expunged Flash from my computer I'll never know what it says.

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TalkTalk: Hackers may have nicked personal, banking info on 4 million Brits

Ledswinger
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Re: What about ex-customers?

And Dido Harding saying she's a TT customer and has been a victim too just makes me even more angry. I mean, if she had something to lose then shouldn't she have been making sure the defences were rock solid.

Well don't forget that most of the customers are proles, who's only contact with their bank is via a low powered call centre worker, or a teller at the counter. With Ms Harding's multi-million pound package, she'll be with somebody like Coutts, and whoever the bank is, they'll have assigned a "personal wealth manager" to slobber over her and keep a beady eye on her account security. She doesn't have anything to lose.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Date of birth

This is IMHO a criminal act. Jail time beconing?

What do you reckon? AFAIK there's no offence of "criminal stupidity" or "corporate incompetence". They'll report themselves to the ICO, but even if the ICO opens an investigation and then fines them, he can only levy penalties up to half a million quid. Last year Ms Harding's remuneration was a tad short of seven million quid, so she wouldn't notice if the ICO fine was the maximum allowed, and she had to pay it herself. Enjoy that thought when the scammers are pestering you on the phone, or applying for credit in your name.

As chief executive, the buck stops with her, and the board nominations and audit committees for their collective failure to appoint the right IT people, and to keep data safe. But who really thinks these useless fat cats will be held to account?

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Bracken assembles old GDS crew for Co-op

Ledswinger
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All these things are standard in your competitors internet banking interfaces.

The Coop bank was singled out earlier this year by HMT for their precarious core systems and inadequate recovery arrangements, and for this reason alone HMT wanted the whole lot sold to a larger, better organised player (which hasn't happened for a range of reasons). I'd suggest that hanging around whilst they sort out the web interface is a tad unwise, because if the web interface is where the effort goes, the dodgy back office has yet more time to fall over.

And the key concern was that if they had a Natwest style cockup, they simply would not be able to recover, full stop. It took a while for RBS/Natwest, but at least they got there eventually.

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Is China dumping smartphones on world+dog?

Ledswinger
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Re: "moves those emissions to China"

The Church of St Jobs is at least (on the surface anyway) trying to reduce emissions all round.

Window dressing. The whole point of making things in China is that everything is cheaper there for the simple reason that China has lower living standards, lower emission standards, lower pollution controls, lower labour standards, lower human rights standards, no tolerance of dissent or whistleblowing, and a very relaxed approach to forcing people out of their homes to suit industrial or infrastructure needs. Having a few wind turbines connected to your OEM's factory doesn't avoid the vast embodied energy of all the infrastructure, manufacturing and housing facilities, and it doesn't do anything for the embodied energy of the significant raw materials. Or for the transport halfway round the world to sell at high prices into the US or EU markets.

Apple (and anybody else) can claim what they want about reducing emissions in their supply chain, but the only zero emissions smartphone is no smartphone. Even in the EU this still applies: Jaguar Land Rover make a big thing about their low emissions supply chain, but thinking about what they make, and what they make it with, and what and how it is used, is any Land Rover a low emissions vehicle? And would it make any difference if it were an electric Land Rover? Not in my book.

Now, as many will know I'm not signed on to the various globalwarmistpaedoterrorist agendas, so I'm relaxed about buying devices and the emissions that generates. But those who are convinced of the climate change argument really need to go back to hair shirts, crofting, and early death. A few token gestures doesn't decarbonise either an iPhone or a Range Rover. Whilst the British government are so convinced of the need to save me from climate change that they want to exile all of our remaining manufacturing base, eventually they'll find that you can't import everything and export nothing (other than a few token financial services, often supported by a web of offshored support).

So the choice remains: Hair shirts and hope the AGW goes away, or a modified form of BAU and a side order of deal with it if it happens.

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Ledswinger
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"moves those emissions to China"

You're correct that EU and even more so UK policy is simply about offshoring emissions. DECC glibly claim that the UK economy has decoupled emissions from GDP growth, but that's only on the basis of (1) made up GDP numbers, and (2) only considering UK territorial emissions.

Properly adjusted the data looks to indicate that (through spending rebound effects) over forty years, GDP remains as carbon intensive as it ever was. And fiddling around with energy policy won't fix that, because domestic energy use is only a fraction of our combined territorial + imported emissions. All that the idiotic energy policy does is increase the cost to users, whilst in net terms making a paltry reduction in net emissions. The scandalous deal just signed by that intellectual flyweight Cameron for Hinkley Point C only makes the situation worse, because the costs are out of this world, but even before it is operational the existing AGR's will be reaching the end of their already extended lives.

A consequence of this is that the EU ETS could never work, and never will work - it just pushes up costs for EU industry (although France & Germany bend the rules to support their industrial base). And it also means that if carbon emissions haven't been decoupled from growth, you have only two options: Adapt to any climate change, and push for cheap, nuclear or fusion as a longer term goal, or go back to middle ages standards of living.

Unfortunately DECC, and the retards of Westminster are in firm denial on all of this, so we can expect the same failed, flawed, expensive policies to be continued.

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