* Posts by Ledswinger

4291 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Web backup biz Monster Cloud monstered after monster price hike

Ledswinger
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Re: Another dot com manager @ Pascal M

You have to be a dot com idiot to go tout unlimited anything for a fixed, yearly price and expect to generate profit.

Isn't the same true of their customers? Without doing any maths, anybody capable of rational thought can work out that there's a loss from offering unlimited backup (or is that just "storage") for less than a quid a week.

If something's free (or as near free in this context as makes no difference), you take it only on the basis that either you'll shortly get reamed out when they finally need to make some money, or you expect the "backup" to be as secure and professional as anything else people give away. Or both. Even Google are charging $120 a year for up to 1TB, and that's just storage rather than a formal backup service, so I can guess that Monster Cloud would be losing quite a lot per account per year, and £50 a year unlimited, they would not be financially sustainable. So where do their customers for backup think their data will be when the power company have cut the electricity, the rack host has evicted Monster Cloud, and the creditors have sold the disks to a recycler? Do the whining customers think that contractual rights and consumer law will help them if a provider goes bust?

I'm sorry, but public or private customer, I've no sympathy. Poor, unprofessional tactics by Monster Cloud, but if it looks and sounds too good to be true, that's ALWAYS because it is too good to be true.

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Facebook's big trouble in its little world domination plan: China

Ledswinger
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I'll back Zuck over Gates on this

if you're dying of diarrhea....then internet access is fairly low down on your list of priorities.

Whilst correct, that ignores the fact that most gastro-intestinal infections are easily preventable with relatively low tech solutions, but a critical barrier is knowledge.

Keeping sewage out of local water supplies is an essentially manual labour task (if you know that you need to do that). Basic water treatment if you have no control over your drinking water quality is essentially low tech, with advice from (eg) Wateraid readily accessible online (again you need to know to look for it). Or if you've got safe drinking water, then there's the issue of knowledge on basic personal hygiene.

The Victorians worked much of this out and solved it with no modern technology. If you give these populations better access to the rest of the world's knowledge, they can find out how to solve many of their own problems, and both their own governments and international agencies can direct knowledge and advice at them.

Zuck's "free internet for the poor" can be challenged on many levels, and I'm no fan of Facebook. But rather than shoot it down for its flaws, why not see it for its opportunities? And lets see the naysayers come up with better, credible, funded plans to give these people access to the remarkable communication tool that the internet is, and to the huge amounts of knowledge and good advice that are linked to it and could improve their lives.

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Surprise! Tech giants dominate global tax-dodging list of shame

Ledswinger
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Re: Is the register socialist?

How do you pay soldiers, police, firemen, road workers, and so on?

Debt. Do pay attention!

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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Ledswinger
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Re: How many Oxfam emloyees use iPhones ?

How many Oxfam emloyees use iPhones ?

I don't know. But I would draw attention to the fact that their CEO's total pay was only around £150k, better than I'm on, but for the CEO of a c£400m a year business that's very modest. Whilst I'm not wholly aligned with Oxfam's agenda, I'll take my hat off to the fact they don't appear to be lining their own pockets. With support costs of 8% of income they're a little bit on the high side (I'd have thought 5-6% was good), but it's not outlandish. Fundraising was another 8%, the balance was on a mix of humanitarian and development, with a modest 5% on campaigning and advocacy.

And that balance on campaigning and advocacy is where the money comes from for this report. Looks to me like Oxfam are actually rather well governed, and spend their money wisely. Whether they merit £190m of government money is another separate question...

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Ledswinger
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Maybe they have high hopes of getting some of that extra tax money should the government ever get its hands on it.

Probably true. Last year, according to their own annual report 48% of Oxfam revenues were from government. When you look at where they get their public sector money from you understand why they are blathering about the US tax position: They got £46m from the British government, £12m from the Swedish government, £76m from assorted UN and EU quangos, but only £6m from US public sector bodies.

Given the relative size of the economies concerned, the US is an obvious target. Although to give some context, the US Agency for International Development has a $35bn budget, not sure why the colonials would feel the need to give any additional funding to a British charity. And indeed, if our rebellious cousins did get a windfall from US corporations repatriating cash, it would hardly make a dent in the c$600bn government budget deficit forecast for 2016.

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Vaizey: Legal right to internet access, sure. But I'm NOT gonna die on the 10Mbps hill

Ledswinger
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Re: Whut??

Well, he's a politician, and like the overwhelming majority of that breed...

Vaizey is special. I work in a sector where he was a junior minster, and the universal opinion of many colleagues far brighter than me was that the boy is an oxygen thief

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BT hauled into Old Bailey after engineer's 7-metre fall broke both his ankles

Ledswinger
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Re: More than reported here? @boltar

I did wonder how long it would be before some hanky flapping ponce....

Perhaps you should review my posting history. I think I probably qualify as a libertarian right wing quasi borderline extremist. But unlike you, I have considerable respect for all strata of society. I'm only here to write this because somebody working unsocial hours for a low wage, in a high vis jacket installed and maintains the armco on the central reservation of motorways. And that's the thing that I know about. There's undoubtedly other protective actions I haven't event thought about.

We're a big company. More than E100bn turnover, we held a two minute silence across Europe for the poor beggar that died on our account. Our CEO attended the funeral. You might say what good is all that, the point is that we do care. Morale took a huge hit. All involved were left thinking "what could I have done to stop that?". There's a huge investigation to try and learn every possible lesson.

But you, mate, apparently don't care. As long as your shiney is delivered cheaply, you won't care about the poor beggars many times less fortunate than you who have to produce it. The people who keep this world running cleaning toilets; maintaining armco in the night; preparing food; cleaning sewers, and so forth. Judging you on your expressed opinions, you, boltar, aren't fit to lick dogshit of the soles of everyday people. I thank them, and I want them to be able to do their job safely.

THAT apparently is the difference between you and me. You CUNT.

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Ledswinger
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Re: More than reported here?

And that sums up the child like mentality of people today who also want to treat everyone else like children.

Not really. It sums up the mentality of people who think that this is a modern, civilised society where employees have every right to be able to go to work and come home in one piece. Your Darwinian approach to safety at work suggests you're commenting from the year 1870.

Perhaps you should go back to reading the Daily Mail, they like a good "elf and safety gawn mad" story?

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Ledswinger
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Re: More than reported here?

I miss the good old days when personal culpability was the rage and if you acted the idiot and got hurt it was your fault.

You miss the good old days pre-HSE, when we killed about 400 people a year in workplace accidents? That's in my lifetime, I don't miss it.

My employers recently had a workplace fatality. Without going into detail because it will undoubtedly go to court, the deceased was a subcontractor who did things that led directly to their death. But (in my view, and my company's) it isn't acceptable these days to allow people to hurt themselves. If they are determined enough then it is very difficult to stop them - but there should be every detail of training, equipment, due process, planning, supervision in place to avoid accidents (and for that matter to protect employees mental wellbeing). If it is a papercut you might say "meh", but if it is a serious injury or fatality, then there is always more that could have been done - but its now too late.

There's family, friends, colleagues grieving for a young man, probably with minimal educational attainment who was killed whilst simply trying to do a not very well paid job. Is it really OK to say "he brought it upon himself"?

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French thrash Brits, Germans and Portuguese in IT innovation

Ledswinger
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You really want to fly in a plane running software developed by French DevOps programmers?

Don't worry, Striking French air traffic controllers will ensure you never get airborne, thus keeping you safe.

Although it does make you wonder who wrote the software that brought down that A400M, and what approach they were using?

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Breaking down more IT technobabble: 'Unified' comms... say what now?

Ledswinger
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And why communications need to be "unified" rather than having (e.g.) separate phones, E-mail clients, and IM clients.

I think "UC" refers to customer facing more than the provision of back office technologies (although what the vendors are selling for back office sound very similar to what they tout for front office).

The problem with customer facing comms is that (increasingly) they expect you to have proper multi-channel management, such that a contact that starts as email in response to (eg) a print copy bill can be continued via voice, chat and social media applications, including access to outbound and inbound hard copy communications.

So that's a fully integrated back office technology stack, staff available to cover all of those channels, each member of staff able to see the previous contact and billing history, summaries of previous interactions, any outbound marketing (email, digitised print, possibly even untargeted media), any inbound letters or forms, and history of any self-service interaction. And all tied together with the CRM database and associated applications.

To say that is complex is an understatement, but that's what UC means to me. For large customer facing businesses, this (risky, complex, expensive, resource hungry) development is becoming an expectation - the best customer service providers can do this, and if (eg) you have a bank who can and do this, you start asking why your gas, electricity, water, TV, phone companies can't do the same. You can of course stick your head in the sand and say "not in my company", but then you need a very clearly differentiated proposition that probably offers lower cost in return for having to deal with the company on its own terms. And being cheapest in your industry is rarely a sustainable business strategy.

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Shareholder rage freezes Salesforce boss Marc Benioff's package

Ledswinger
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Re: Bless...

Why can't they use normal words like 'ridiculously excessive amount'?

Dunno. A more pressing concern is why they're handing it to a fat balding, unshaven scruff with a mullet. Rather reminiscent of this ------------------------------------------------------------->

If somebody were offering me $33m to do not much I'd dress up smartly and hope I looked the part.

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US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

Ledswinger
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Sometimes, I wonder why I even still come here.

To read and comment on articles that can be summed up as "Man caught wanking on the bus", it would appear?

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'Fart detector' wins Chinese Physics prize

Ledswinger
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Why would you blame the dog? If the guff is a ripe, heavy malingerer, combining a basso profundo foundation of sulphur, midtones of brassica, and a fruity finish then I'd be wanting to take credit for my skill.

Likewise there's a simple workman-like pride to be had in one of those dry, acrid guffs. Clearly not the sort of meisterwork referred to above, and usually having very short half lives, but we have to be realistic and accept that not every painting is a Picasso.

Obviously if the effluvium has a meat-free base, a palate centred around butyric acid, and sour throat-irritating top notes, then you know that people will be assuming that the Fartist has some health problems. That's generally not the sort of flump that you'd want to put your name to.

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Daily! Mail! eyes! up! Yahoo!'s news! arm!

Ledswinger
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Re: The Mail is making a reasonably healthy profit

Most of the UK "broadsheet" online editions seem to attract a large number of overseas commentards - especially from the USA.

What, like the Reg?

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British booter bandit walks free after pleading guilty to malware sales

Ledswinger
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Re: Way too soft a sentence@ raving angry loon

Ah yes, the oft expected "too soft" post. Someone else who doesn't think a magistrate or judge knows what they're doing.

Why do you presume that you know what the OP thinks? The main problem with "soft" sentences is Home Office sentencing guidelines that severely restrict the freedom of judges or magistrates, and is driven primarily by a lack of prison places. That's why a standard "life" imprisonment sentence is fourteen years full tariff and the criminal fuckers get out after six and a half.

In this case, are we to presume that you think the vast disruption this tosspot caused is adequately punished by a few hours picking up litter? And that the sentence will in any way deter other prospective offenders?

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Read America's insane draft crypto-borking law that no one's willing to admit they wrote

Ledswinger
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You believe that people actually think there is ANY intelligence in the US Senate, or the other place as well.

I certainly do believe there is a lot of intelligence in both houses. Unfortunately that intelligence is almost exclusively deployed in serving the political and financial elite, at the expense of Main Street. That's why Wall Street got bailed out, is now making mega bucks again, the rich are getting richer, but the ordinary people of the US see a flat-lining economy. Your job just got offshored? Too bad, but look at the bonus the execs get. Your privacy just got cancelled, never mind, the TLAs are happy with more power and bigger budgets.

And so it goes on. Whilst the population vote for the donkey & elephant circus, they vote for the establishment, for the mega rich. Only when you start voting in non-establishment parties who don't represent the elite will this change.

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GCHQ is having problems meeting Osborne's 2020 recruitment target

Ledswinger
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Re: Mossad do it right

Only assuming you want a Mossad. Personally I'd rather GCHQ stuck to being a sleepy civil service bureaucracy.

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Three to chop off £3bn of its network in bid to woo EU over O2 merger

Ledswinger
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Re: That pledge on prices...

Yup there will always be other deals, it's just a question of timing.

What leads you to this conclusion? The big four/three have vast market share, and several of the largest MVNOs (Talkmobile, Life. Giffgaff, are wholly owned subsidaries of the big players (a blatant attempt to keep market share by making the MVNO market harder to get into?).

If there's just three big players plus their captive MVNOs, then any new entrant will be crushed instantly unless they're so niche that they don't present a threat. Do you not find it strange that in the energy market, where the bunglers of the Competition & Markets Authority maintain there is insufficient competition there are six large companies, two medium to large companies (over 1m customers) and about thirty five other active non-captive suppliers?

Yet in mobile telecoms you think we'll see real competition between three companies? We've already seen the MNO's trying to squeeze out third party retailers. The demise of Phones4U may not be mourned, but the MNOs hate the resellers for creating competition and pushing discounts - what will happen if they have even more control?

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SEC chair blasts Silicon Valley for its hokey valuations

Ledswinger
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Re: Here here

Finally, someone with authority that thinks these companies aren't worth nearly what people say.

Count me unimpressed. Mrs Rip Van Winkel may have just woken up and noticed, but there's companies (like Yahoo) that will eventually disappear after more than two decades without ever paying a dividend, and yet they sit on astronomical valuations with no substance. For the lucky ones who have or will sell out and make a profit, there's many more buying into Yahoo in what has to be a straightforward Ponzi scheme.

In addition to not justifying their valuations, Ms White needs to look at all companies who seem to think that the secondary equity market is just a source of free capital that doesn't have to be paid for. Amazon, Googlebet, Ebay, and many others hold this belief, where the shareholders only return is selling to the next mug for a higher price. These same companies are often sitting on mountains of cash, often held offshore, and its often these same people undertaking extreme tax avoidance measures everywhere they operate.

About time the SEC got tough on these companies, but I shan't be holding my breath.

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Gartner: RIP double-digit smartphone growth. 2016 has killed you

Ledswinger
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0.6% growth isn't "flat".

Technically yes. For most of the rest of us in the real world it's near enough as makes no difference.

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EE most 'reliable' mobile provider for cities – Ofcom

Ledswinger
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I agree, one that works would be good. In my case it persistently over-estimates the strength of voice, 3G and 4G data signals. In theory I can use 3G and 4G indoors and have good voice coverage. but the reality is that I never get a useable high speed data connection, and voice signal quality is at best middling.

And Ofcom could crowdsource the improvement of the map if they let users feedback to them actual user results. Sadly the feedback tool asks if the map is good or bad, but it doesn't ask WHERE (and they specifically ask not to include any identifying or location information).

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Big Blue bloodbath: More IBM staff slashed in Europe, US

Ledswinger
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Re: IBM will be fine

They reinvent themselves at need.

That's how HP would present their recent history and glorious future. But the reality is that corporations have a life cycle, and to be successful you do need to reinvent yourself, but you can't pick the winners. That means you need to try lots of things, be agile in spotting what's growing and what's not, know how to manage cash cow businesses whilst growing other smaller operations. GE have over the decades done this very well. Most IT companies haven't remaining one trick ponies, and either fail to come up with new ideas on a timely basis (eg Nokia), come up with great ideas decades before their time and then see others exploit them when they become feasible (Microsoft and tablets), try and pick winners that will quickly scale to the size of an existing dominant core business (IBM, HP, and a million other companies).

There's two related dimensions that appear to be common to these bumbling dinosaurs. The first is the sort of painfully centralised and restrictive decision making that squashes innovation and entrepreneurship. Motorola mobile, Nokia mobile, General Motors all failed mainly for this reason, that good ideas were either squashed, or happened far too slowly. Arguably this is what is killing Microsoft.

The second is where the business centralises its support processes like procurement, HR, finance, IT, etc into a cost-obsessed provider that the commercial units have to use, often mixing third party outsource into a devil's brew. This monopoly provider starts setting out policies that suit it, and ostensibly are about "efficiency". Funnily enough you never hear these internal providers talk about "agility", "flexibility", or "customers". And when you're dealing with a monolithic services provider, the business has to spend too much energy fighting internal battles, it can't recruit people fast enough, or at the right salary, it can't get quotes quickly enough to complete urgent tenders, it is obliged to use cheap suppliers who the operating managers know are not trustworthy, delivering anything through IT takes forever and costs a fortune, etc etc. And as this force-feeding of support services goes on, it sucks the life out of the business. The entrepreneurs move on to less bureaucratic companies, or fail because their energy is sapped in internal battles.

Bringing this back to IBM, I'll wager they (like my own employer) suffer from both of these problems. They aren't going to reinvent their culture (something far harder than it sounds). In the short term they'll do what every other US corp does - share buybacks to boost the price and bolster the executive options, they'll buy other companies and then watch as they squash the life out of it in a few scant years.

The promises of cloud and big data are very ephemeral, and over stated. Where's the value in all of this data other than advertising re-sellers? Take a look at mobile telcos. They have (supposedly) the ultimate goldmine - mobile browsing and content history, even potentially purchasing data, address, credit and payment data on their customers, the plans they signed up for, their loyalty, and their location on a near continuous and real time data. If that is all so valuable, why aren't mobile telcos THE data play? The answer is because not all data has value, and where it does have value that may be depressingly tiny. Cloud services are just a way of outsourcing a few web servers, and a way of warehousing all that low value data, but bit barns are a commodity business.

IBM might want to reinvent itself, but if it does it will truly be the exception rather than the rule.

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Ledswinger
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Re: @ Lurker Project Solitaire

IBM has been spending $$$$ hiring some senior talent but they aren't enough and its easier and cheaper to add to the staff with recent college grads.

So what you're saying is that old dogs can't learn new tricks, and that (for the first time ever?) colleges are turning out newly minted graduates with the latest skills that business needs?

I call bullshit on that idea. You make some valid points (in particular that you can't just retrain anybody successfully, and that job titles mean little), but this looks like simple cost cutting to boost the share price.

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Courts cry over cunning call-center criminals crafting convincing cons

Ledswinger
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Re: Just ask them...

For something identifying YOU. Follow up with a request for date of birth.

Errrr....did you not spot those various data breaches at health insurers, retailers, telcos, and, well, everybody else?

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Bloke coughs to leaking US military aircraft blueprints to China

Ledswinger
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Re: After only three years?

After only three years, they ran the spies to ground?

Never mind that, look at the penalty - max five years in chokey. What a fucking laugh. And what about a life sentence for the fuckwit that hire a Chinese national such that they had access to military secrets?

On the plus side, at least it isn't just the UK that has comedy short prison sentences, although I'm surprised to find the Yanks contending for the title of "Least punitive sentencing of the year".

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Glum, depressed ... and addicted to Facebook, Twitter? There's a link, say medical eggheads

Ledswinger
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Re: Clinical

but at least most of them can write proper sentences and you know what they mean

..and as a counterweight to that group, we have Amanfrommars.

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Top! tip! for! Yahoo! – 'Fire! your! board! of! directors!'

Ledswinger
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Re: Fire everyone

"This thing is cooked. Stick a fork in it."

You'd eat that? Isn't that coprophagy?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Core business?

Yahoo's core business is "losing money." Throwing nine new directors at it is as likely to make a difference as changing the bridge crew of Titanic after it hit the iceberg.

Starboard aren't stupid, they're gamblers. Yahoo's market cap is over $30bn. If they can make just 3% difference by a revised strategy there's a billion dollar gain to share amongst the deal principals. If that's the nine horsemen, net of $100m expenses, we're talking $100m each for a few months work.

Doesn't really matter about the operating losses, or the employees. This is how the obscenely rich get obscenely richer. Welcome to the world of corporate finance.

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Dodgy software will bork America's F-35 fighters until at least 2019

Ledswinger
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Re: Ledswinger A boondoggle through and through and now ejection seats are also a problem?

The removal of Qaddafi left the Libyans with the opportunity to act like a civilised and educated people, and to come together and build a better nation. Instead,.....

Errr....Looking at the bloodstained history of Britain within its own borders, I think you're being a tad judgemental here. As a proportion of population, the English Civil War was one of the most brutal in recorded history. Factor in that "we" has channeled weapons to the insurgents in Libya, wouldn't you agree that the descent into anarchy was both predictable and our fault?

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Ledswinger
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Re: @Matt Bryant

Wow. I thought you'd gone for good.

Welcome back (or whatever), and if you agree to be polite, I'll agree to be polite?

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Ledswinger
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Re: A boondoggle @ boltar

And the Tornado was nowhere to be seen in the Falklands.

That's true, but are you suggesting that it was a good idea developing an aircraft with a thirty plus year service life against the need that one day you'll need to take off from a merchant ship with limited weapons and fuel? Had HMT not insisted on penny pinching "through deck cruisers" we'd have had proper fast jet capability on full size carriers, and the Argentinians would probably have concluded that we did have long range force projection and not bothered. Even had they continued, with catapult launched aircraft we'd have stood a better chance of having aircraft with the endurance to undertake continuous CAPs that would have reduced the significant ship losses we incurred to the antiques of the opposing air force.

A further comment on the Harrier is that its versatility is greatly over-reckoned, because the point loading of the undercarriage meant that it needed reinforced landing areas - you couldn't operate from any old road or car park, and anything surrounded by unmade ground was unusable because of the FOD risks.

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Ledswinger
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Re: @bri

I don't think anyone could have predicted the current state of technology and security challenges.

Maybe that's because you weren't around at the time? I worked on operational support systems for Tornadoes at the end of the Cold War. Recall that by 1993 we'd already had the battle of Mogadishu, Gulf War 1, and the Soviets had been kicked out of Afghanistan by irregular forces. It was readily apparent that (a) the Soviet Union was going away and not coming back any time soon, that (b) the Middle East and Southern Central Asia were politically and militarily unstable points of conflict.

So, absent the global supervillain of the USSR, there was never a need for even the F22, never mind the F35. Even Typhoon's raison d'etre (detente: air cover to get Tornado tactical nukes airborne) had gone, and the sensible answer for Europe would have been to scrap the expensive Typhoon project. Any residual air defence need could have been met by committing to buying a few Grypen or F18s.

Given that it was forseeable thirty years ago that today's air combat need was international force projection, and interdiction against third rate powers or irregular forces, all of the big money sink projects should have been canned. I can see that assault choppers would still be a cheap and reasonable acquisition, and there might have been a case for a new role-dedicated strike aircraft to replace the A10s and Tornado GR1 of the day. With twenty years development, that could have been in service by 2002, and been cheaper and more effective than the Typhoon FGR4 will ever be, although an F18 or Gripen would probably do the job adequately, particularly given the (equally forseeable) development of UAV capabilities.

But, we are where we are. What is a logical plan now? For starters, the Anglophone world should stop looking for, joining or starting wars wherever they are to be had. This removes the urgency for doing anything. All new Typhoon development should be halted other than safety and reliability stuff. The F35 programme should cancel the B variant (and let the UK government sort out their own S/VTOL needs), and simplify all of the systems that are not working, even if that compromises the original specification. The Pentagon have bet the ship on F35, give it to them because there's too much money already sunk, and no alternative plan. But then stop throwing money at military research and development projects. Railguns, death lasers, EMPs,..... the world doesn't need them. The $4bn budgeted just for scoping the B2 replacement, there's more good money going after bad, with an expected purchase (not even programme) cost of at least $20bn.

I suppose most of this money is being spent by the Yanks, and it is their choice. But is the threat of a few smelly beardoes on the other side of the world really a justification for spending over half a trillion dollars a year, particularly when the "investment" to date has actually made that situation far, far worse?

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Ledswinger
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Re: A boondoggle through and through and now ejection seats are also a problem?

Harrier could not have done the Libya tasks, for example.

"The Libya tasks". Now that must be euphemism of the year, since we're talking about tasks that paved the way for that benighted country to join the list of failed states run by feuding militias and extremists. Is that really the task that we want to build aircraft for?

Looking at the ever growing list of places the Yanks (and we Brits) have helped ensure are failed states through our airpower, it is possible to conclude that this is the main operational role our governments have. But the answer to that is something like the A10 and some Apaches, not a mach 2 swing wing jack of all trades, a hand designed VTOL one trick pony, or the F35 monetary black hole.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Ditch it already

Just twist a few Arms at BAE and get an updated Harrier back into production.

Why? The balance of weapons load/range/ToT were poor, agility low other than a few specific uses (like VIFFing), airframe loss rate was astronomical, and you'd need a complete new airfame to carry modern avionics, not to mention a modern engine. By fast jet standards it was heavy, slow, under-powered, and has all the stealth characteristics of a London double deck bus.

An ingenious piece of engineering without doubt, but even as the Sea Harrier it only existed because the Treasury wouldn't pony up for proper aircraft carriers. Sadly we're back in exactly the same situation again - except now in world where even irregular bad guys may be able to get sea skimming missiles, and you can't put your carrier within 70 miles of a potentially hostile coastline (and at least three times that if they have any formal military able to deploy even antiquated Eastern Bloc weapons), so that limited range on a S/VTOL carrier aircraft makes the whole concept pointless.

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Ledswinger
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Re: A boondoggle through and through and now ejection seats are also a problem?

This thing is turning out to be a bigger mess than first imagined.

By whom? Any amateur student of aviation history would have told the project scopers at the outset that multi-role aircraft invariably cost vastly more than originally forecast, encounter numerous technical problems that challenge their effectiveness in different roles, the more complex capabilities (eg S/VTOL) can be summarised as a problem looking for a problem, and by the time they get delivered in any working form, it is often the case that the original need has receded into history.

But in this case, not only did the Pentagon make the ill fated and ill advised decision to try and build a single airframe for three very different roles, but they chose to intentionally make it the most complicated ("advanced") aircraft in the world. They didn't even do basic research (like how to manage the heat on carrier decks), and they ignored the fact that there's no credible enemy for whom this is an appropriate defensive tool. They also ignored the fact that the downfall of the USSR was effectively because it was bankrupted by arms spending. And that's before we consider look at the ever advancing capabilities of UAVs, cruise munitions and the like.

Now, there's only two conclusions at this point: Either the Pentagon are really, really, really stupid. Or they did know all of this, and they entered into the project knowing that it would be a country-bankrupting disaster, but simply not caring, because the US taxpayer would have to bail them out and buy them their toys, even though they also knew those toys wouldn't work properly, and there was no military threat to justify them.

The British Ministry of Defence is equally incompetent, but its spending is more constrained. Seems to me that US is involved in the worlds most expensive arms race, unfortunately it is the only participant.

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Your broadband speeds are up by 6Mbps, boasts UK watchdog Ofcom

Ledswinger
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Unhappy

Mmmmm! 150 Mb/s, it's lovely. Rarely goes down, quick to return on the few occasions it does disappear. You should try it. It even heats my house through the warm glow of my own gloating

Bumpkintards will rejoice in the fact that minutes after posting this I was hit with a three hour outage from VM. Followers of Richard Dawkins will see only chance at play here. Personally I see this as the vengeful god of dialup exacting divine retribution.

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Ledswinger
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Trollface

You want something to boast about, Beardy? Get your cables lain where it counts and THEN you can start sqwaking.

Well, for me VM's cables are laid where they count. All along the road and into my house, and all the neighbours are on Openreach FTTC.

Mmmmm! 150 Mb/s, it's lovely. Rarely goes down, quick to return on the few occasions it does disappear. You should try it. It even heats my house through the warm glow of my own gloating. Can I send you a few leftover bits in an envelope? Or maybe download you a few grumble pics, print 'em and post 'em......

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Pothole campaigner sprays Surrey street with phallic paintings

Ledswinger
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You want to come up north and look at the potholes we have, you can bath your dog in some of them.

You 'ain't no proper northerner if yer bath yer fooking dog. Yers a fooking p**f.

Sorry, that's my tourettes combining with my inner voices.

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US bank fended off 513 trojans last year alone

Ledswinger
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Re: Detections - that they know of..

they better recheck their servers for all the Advanced Persistent Threats(APT),

Not really. Half the APTs will be courtesy of US/Israeli, maybe even UK spooks, and Symantec aren't going to blow the whistle on them. And the other half are from hostile state actors who could make Symantec's life very difficult if they so choose.

Symantec probably have a very good idea what's lurking on their servers; whether they build defences against that, and whether they then incorporate that in the code and services they sell, who knows?

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Ledswinger
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To me that sounds like a nasty yeast infection of the nether regions.

I was thinking that it sounded like the screen name of a star of films for grown-ups. But it has got us both talking, so it is probably a grand name for a PR flunkey.

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Met plod commissioner: Fraud victims should not be refunded by banks

Ledswinger
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Re: Might I suggest...

He really is quality

Indeed. £300k a year and a chauffeured Range Rover to carry his lardy bottom around in. You have to pay for quality, you know.

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Govt: Citizens, we know you want 10Mbps. This is the last broadband scheme for that

Ledswinger
Silver badge

I have a little sympathy for BT

I don't.

The article quotes BT's CEO as saying that it'd cost £2bn to do the job properly. BT's excess profits are by my guess around £1.6bn a year, so there's the spare cash in about fourteen months, if Ofcom would stop BT from paying high risk returns for a low risk business. And BT's sporting rights "investments" have been not far shy of £2bn, so they've even got this sort of money sitting in around as cold hard cash.

And when it comes to the clowns of government spouting about "proportionate" and "value for money", I'll raise you the £4bn writeoff on Nimrod MRA4. Or the likely £8bn outturn for two aircraft carriers without aircraft. Or the £3bn overspend on Astute class submarines. Or the planned £50-90bn to be frittered on the utterly unneeded HS2. Or the £16bn lifetime cost of Universal Credit. Or the £11bn+ wasted on "foreign aid" every year. Or indeed government enthusiasm to commit us to pay through our energy bills for follies like £19bn on smart meters, or £24bn+ on nuclear trinketry at Hinkley Point, and something of the order of £60bn on a fleet of windmills and solar panels.

I can say with confidence that the big wigs at BT will have FTTP for their country pads. And any minister willing to ask will have the taxpayer bankroll them for the same. The reason that £2bn is "too much" is because the 1%'ers are already being served just fine, and the rest of us don't count.

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UK.gov kicks long awaited digi strategy into long grass, blames EU referendum

Ledswinger
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I doubt it. A more probable explanation is that both politicians and civil servants will seize any excuse to put off anything that might be either embarrassing, or involve a modicum of hard work. Look at what happnened when they asked Sir John Chilcot to write a report on the rationale for the Iraq War. Ten million quid later, and seven years later, and we've still seen nothing.

The moral of both the article and Chilcot is "never send a civil servant to do a man's job; Or a woman's, or even an indolent, spotty teenager's".

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Wait! Where did you get that USB? Super-stealthy trojan only drives stick

Ledswinger
Silver badge

I would say the first poster has it right, format before any use....

That only works if you can be sure that the firmware of the USB device is trustworthy, and anybody who has the slightest interest in ITSec knows that you can't rely on that. As soon as the thing has been plugged in to a system that allows the USB device and OS (or even machine firmware) to interact, it could be too late.

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Ledswinger
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Anyone that doesn't do that to USB sticks before they are used on secure systems should be taken out the back and dealt with.

If you can use USB sticks they aren't secure systems, full stop. Blaming users is a poor excuse.

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Police create mega crime database to rule them all. Is your numberplate in it? Could be

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Peasants! It's all your fault

members of the public have a responsibility to follow some basic rules to protect ourselves – choosing the more secure products....downloading software updates, particularly on our smartphones....

Right, so it is my fault that Android has more holes than a colander? And my fault if a carrier branded handset doesn't get updated because either the OEM, or the carrier can't be bothered to incorporate Google's latest half baked efforts to address vulnerabilities?

.

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BT: We're killing the dabs brand. Oh and can customers re-register to buy on our site?

Ledswinger
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Re: Hell No

I have noticed of late that Dabs is very very light on stock.

The corporate bean counters of BT plc will have done that. Because they don't understand physical retailing, they look at the WIP figures and blanch at the costs of capital tied up there. Then they tell the corporate appointees running The Business Soon Not To Be Known As Dabs to reduce their stock levels. As all the BT suits come from a culture that still reeks of public sector monopoly-entitlement, it never even occurs to them that maybe they know less than nothing about how to sell hardware.

It has all been downhill for the last five years (at least) with four years of losses, despite a big systems investment in 2012, and turnover in 2014 (last accounts) of £135m compared to £193m in 2010. With crapola stock levels and the rather unpopular BT brand I think it will continue to be slow death. The curious thing is why BT ever bought Dabs in the first place - what sort of fit was there ever with Openreach, BT Global Services, or the big "content" play?

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Canuck named as next UK privacy watchdog

Ledswinger
Silver badge

I wonder if Theresa May was part of the select committee

The select committee are merely a rubber stamp, the government have selected Denham as the article says, as preferred candidate. So it stands to reason that she will be offering an approach to data protection that the government like.

So my guess is that she'll be big on targeting unintentional breaches by non-powerful public sector players, there will be lots of noise taking on incompetent corporates (like TalkTalk) but still the flea-bite fines, and the usual ineffective moves against fly-by-night nuisance callers. In may respects more of the same, but with the candidate selected to make sure that they don't p155 on Therea May's chips.

So:

1) For Denham, it will be a three year paid holiday in the UK,

2) For government, they get to tick a couple of "diversity" boxes, and they can continue to pillage and burn all forms of civil rights and hard won freedoms,

3) For you....well, YOU don't count, your views don't count, WE just want you to pay for this pantomime.

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Ofcom wants to crack down on pisspoor BT Openreach biz lines

Ledswinger
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Another part of me is wondering where the finance for the next generation of BT's network is supposed to come from.

Why? As an obscenely profitable quasi-monopoly, maybe the fatcats at BT could pay for it themselves. Return on capital employed for the group is about 20%, which is ludicrously high for a (largely) regulated monopolist, particularly when bank base rates are 0.5%. WTF are BT doing that involves real commercial risk that justifies a ***consistent*** 20% return? The answer is nothing, they're just exploiting the weakness and incompetence of Ofcom.

Taking Centrica plc as a benchmark commercial operation, their ROCE averages about 10%, but swing wildly between profit and loss. For a regulated sector which produces the sort of low risk consistency of BT, look at Severn Trent plc, and you'll see they are held to account by OFWAT and generate about 7.5% ROCE. That's why Openreach needs to be ring fenced and legally separated from BT plc, but (as we all expected) the useless, useless clowns at Ofcom flunked this yet again only last month. Had Ofcom not blown this, we could have seen them regulated to a realistic return and at say 8% that would have released £1.6bn a year to invest in the network. You might argue that £1.6bn doesn't go far, but you'd need to consider that's more than 10% of BT's net book value of tangible assets, you get that extra spend each year, and it compares to what, about a total BT capex of £2.6bn last year?

Obviously shareholders wouldn't be happy with a huge cut in the dividend, but since they've been paid a high risk return on a low risk asset for years, I'd lose no tears for them. And it would help discourage BT paying obscene amounts for sporting rights and other stuff. If that's such a good investment, let them go borrow the money themselves.

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