* Posts by Ledswinger

3142 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Sq/foot?

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

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

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Target carders turn their attention to parking lots

Ledswinger
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Re: Ah Dave again.

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

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

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

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

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Bosch boss wants more Bongs

Ledswinger
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Re: "not for profit"

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

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

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

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Ledswinger
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"not for profit"

Uber may claim to be "not for profit", but I doubt its founders are working for the fun of it. On the other hand, if my memory serves me correctly, 92% of the Bosch group is owned by the Robert Bosch Foundation, which is a charitable foundation set up to promote and encourage manufacturing and engineering. Whilst true to its German roots, it now takes a more European perspective, which is why Bosch power tools tend to be made either in Germany, or in the nearer realms of Eastern Europe, rather than outsourced to the cheapest OEM in Asia. And Bosch haven't forgotten the UK, with Worcester boilers now under the Bosch umbrella, lawnmowers manufactured in Suffolk, and a range of other activities going on for the Bosch Rexroth automation business.

Personally I'd rather other companies tried to be more like Bosch, rather than Bosch wanting to be more like other companies.

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

Ledswinger
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Re: highway fund, hell no

"Pay it straight to the debt"

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

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Tough at the top: IBM CEO Ginni Rometty troughs $10 MEELLION+

Ledswinger
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"Given IBM's divestiture in all things profitable, why any investment firm or stock speculator would voluntarily invest with IBM now is completely beyond me."

When your central bank is lending to Wall Street at 0%, has socialised all past losses, why wouldn't an investment firm invest in a loss making blue chip? If the losses are small but not business destroying, then you stuff it to the pension funds and retail investors who you're supposedly investing for. If the losses threaten to wipe you out, you go and cry to the government, and they wipe away your tears, and stick the public for your losses.

This has been such a success for the taxpayers on Main Street that the UK's central bank did the same thing, and Europe are just starting on the same route. That Japan ended up in perma-recession after doing this in the early 1990's has eluded the architects of these stupid policies.

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Ledswinger
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Re: That picture

"Tell you what, Ledswinger, lets start appointing CEOs based on looks"

Why not? That's been tried with the white causcasian male contingent by many US corporations, and it turned out that the ugly and the handsome had equal quotients that were utterly incompetent, so we might as well settle for the less painful to look upon (let's enjoy that form of discrimination until it too is banned). Wouldn't you rather we had a few Chippendales in Parliament? Lets face it, they couldn't be any more more inept than the grizzled, ugly old farts in there at the moment? And judging by the Labour party, they are positively discriminating against nice looking women. Is that what you're in favour of?

"Also, Dorian Gray was famed for being eternally youthful. You may not be saying what you're trying to say."

You have a point, but equally you knew what I meant. And it would have been rather long winded to have said "looks like Dorian Gray's sister's portrait, if he'd had one and she'd had one, respectively.

But anyway, I've decided it's Zelda.

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Ledswinger
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That picture

Board executive feast on caviar whilst former employees starve? Where's the news in that?

Of more importance is that picture. Either Ginny is Dorian Gray's sister, or she's an alter ego of Zelda out of Terrahawks.

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Trouble comes in threes: Yet ANOTHER Flash 0-day vuln patch looming

Ledswinger
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Re: Adobe be gone!

FTFY.

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Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

Ledswinger
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Re: Bought it already

" 'bought it already' button.....Now THAT feature would be worth millions."

That would depend on the pricing model. John Wanamaker's famous quote about not knowing which half of his advertising budget was wasted applies here. If Google et al charge per eyeball, then they don't care that you've already bought, and such a button would cost them millions, and that's the last thing they want. If they charged for click through and purchase that would be another thing, but since they can't link "online discovery/enquiry followed by offline purchase" scenarios, I can't see that ever coming to be.

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Google Now now SLURPS data from third party apps so YOU don't have to

Ledswinger
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Re: And I was downvoted to Hell

Downvoted for "paradigm shift". This isn't Harvard Business Review, mate.

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Carmakers DEFLATED by AIRBAG FLAW as US watchdog recalls TWO MEELLION vehicles

Ledswinger
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Re: SPIDER SENSES TINGLING!

"Got a feeling that somehow we, in Blighty, are going to be picking up the tab for this."

As a general rule not. I've had recall work done on two cars outside of the warranty period for safety related defects, all at the maker's expense. One of those cars was even an EU import, and still swept up in the UK recall programme.

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Ledswinger
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Re: How Long?

Airbages etc: " only expected to last 10 years anyway? have things changed, do i miss-remember?"

Originally this was all the makers would commit to, and the handbook says to have checked or replaced at that time. I believe that in the light of experience it is now considered that the pyrotechnic components are safe for fifteen to twenty years, with makers changing their recommendations accordingly. Volvo reportedly have bought back second hand cars specifically to test these components, and it seems that the current view is that these bits should last the normal life of the car. That has been an average of 13.5 years in the UK, with very few vehicles over about sixteen years.

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Tesla bumps up Model S P85D acceleration – with software update

Ledswinger
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Re: OK, I had given up being filthy rich

"Anybody have any suggestions for getting rich quick or grabbing one of these on the sly?"

Say that you've got no money, and apply for sub-prime auto finance:

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/deformations-on-the-auto-dealer-lots-how-the-feds-zirp-is-fueling-the-next-subprime-bust/

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Ledswinger
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Re: Very impressive

"Improving acceleration at that level without touching the hardware? "

But I wonder what Santa Pod launches do for the maximum range? Or for that matter for the battery life & performance. I'd guess there's a shed load of current being sucked through the system to launch a two tonne car to 60 in roughly 3 seconds, and that's going to warm the battery pack up a treat.

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Ledswinger
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I'm delighted

"The announcement puts Tesla on course for full UK coverage by the end of 2015."

For rich people that is. What's more your running costs will be free of road tax, fuel duty, paying at best 5% VAT on electricity, with waivers for company car tax and for congestion charges. If you're a corporate fat cat looking for a £50-80,000 status symbol, this is for you.

The rest of us mere mortals will have to continue to pay to use the roads, and indeed to maintain them for Tesla drivers.

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UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST

Ledswinger
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"'IF' the official did everything correct and they're encrypted then there's no problem is there?"

Lets, think..... YES. FFS YYYEEESSSSSSS THERE IS SOMETHING FUCKING WRONG!

If the individual has followed an approved protocol, they may be in the clear. But for the MoJ, pointing to the post office and saying "they lost it" is no excuse. They had the fucking data, they've lost it. Doesn't matter if they gave it to a tramp, to a motorbike courier, a postman, or a passing tinker, the wankers of the MoJ have pissed confidential data into the ether. I wouldn't trust donkey post for confidential material, why should the clowns at MoJ?

What's wrong with encryption and electronic transmission? The whole idea of taking digital data, burning to optical, and sticking in a post box is imbecilic for any organisational data, but there's a further implication about data security here, and that is that flunkies at the MoJ have the facility to export large volumes of data (which shouldn't be possible) and evidently without any effective audit and control (which is unforgivable).

Head should roll, and they shouyld be at the very least the head of IT for the MoJ, the head of IT security at MoJ, and whoever authorised the sending of this data by post. Of course, that won;t happen, and they'll continue to accrue an over-generous pension despite their incompetence.

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Care.data refuseniks will be DENIED CANCER SCREENING invites

Ledswinger
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Re: Needs to be Scrapped.

"so these 3rd party suppliers of screening programs etc are private companies..."

A bit like most GP practices, then.

It's always a joy to hear the hypocrites of the Labour party spouting off about the virtues of the "public sector" NHS, when first line contact is about 95% through private contractors, who in addition to enjoying the wildly generous "loadsamoney for not much work" GP contract that Blair's administration signed, also normally charge their own premises back to the NHS, and earn fat bonuses for letting actual NHS staff use the surgery for other health service delivery.

Just as well for the Labour party that the vast majority of the UK population have as their religion "NHS", but actually know jack shit about how the system is organised, delivered or funded.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Nothing wrong here

"I do feel we need to bring in more, numpty's, pillocks and twonks."

And scrotes. Plenty of scrotes in anything to do with the public sector and IT.

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Win Sun, lose Sun: How Larry's bet on old-world systems hurt Oracle

Ledswinger
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Re: Is this article an Amazon marketing AD or what?

"Does it not want people to figure out what its true "Cloud" revenue really is or be able to track it like most Cloud providers do?"

Speaking as somebody who has managed teams to analyse and track listed companies by their newsflow and public disclosures, I can assure you that the OP is correct. Most large US tech corporation go out of their way to obfuscate their divisional business performance right up the absolute limits required by SEC segmental reporting requirements.

Anybody who thinks that they can really get useful information from a 10-k usually doesn't understand much about the underlying operations, nor the range of information that you'd need to meaningfully analyse the specific operations. And that is both because the officers and directors wish to be able to hide bad news from shareholders, and because they don't wish to give away information to competitors.

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IBM to cut '118k jobs worldwide' – report claims

Ledswinger
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"Perhaps it is out of the goodness of IBM's managers' hearts,"

More likely they are smart enough to have long ago recognised that your biggest security threat is always your own people. Whilst the vast forces of the NSA, FBI and CIA may claim that the Norks hacked Sony Pictures, the damage would appear to be sufficiently thorough that an aggrieved (current or former) insider seems far more likely.

Getting rid of people is often bad for both sides, but if both sides at least agree that the split was handled as well as it might have been (eg by a bag of cash for employees being shown the door), then they generally don't seek to cause further harm afterwards.

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HMRC fails to plan for £10.4bn contract exit... because it's 'too risky'

Ledswinger
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Re: Fraud Vs Incompetence

"Except for that whole public-sector union thing."

Actually, in the case of the tribal leaders that head each department, it's not a union as such, it's the First Division Association (a title both laughable and arrogant in equal measure). And it's not so much a union as a club for the most useless Oxbridge and public school alumni to scratch each others back. They wouldn't want their most incompetent club members sacked, because, Lord forbid!, that might set a most unpleasant precedent of getting rid of people who were jointly devoid of either fault or use.

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Thailand: 'The nail that sticks up gets hammered down'

Ledswinger
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"Phuket? Oh, the Ph=P, the u=oo and the k=g, and the t=d. Get it?"

Yes, but it smacks of carelessness. Since they are writing a Thai name in the Latin alphabet, why translate Poog-ed into the wrong letters? Unforgivable, unless it was simply done to confuse the foreigners.

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Should Google play carriers at their own game? There's never been a better time

Ledswinger
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Re: why would anyone want to be an operator these days?

"Sunset industry....I've worked for both mobile operators and equipment vendors. I want out"

Why? If you've got skills and experience you should be in demand, even if not in demand by the established oligopolists. I too work in an industry (energy) where old business models are under continuous assault, where new entrants enjoy a tilted playing field, and where former incumbents believe they are under attack. Factor in (currently) falling energy demand, government regulation, and it too looks like a sunset industry. But that's rubbish - its never been such a vibrant and exciting industry - huge technological change, misguided political meddling, unsustainable "eco" policies that will have to change, new competitors, vast investment left right and centre, significant multi-billion pound problems still to be addressed, new energy products coming to market all the time. There's the impending change to electrified transport that'll reshape demand curves, and possibly the widespread introduction of heat pumps which will change demand further, electricity storage, local micro generation, etc etc.

Coming back to your sector, until somebody demonstrates telepathy, the situation is similar. The need for telecoms is going to grow and grow, and even if prices are falling, that means new, more competitive business models are needed, new approaches to technology, new ways of merging fixed line and wireless in ways that benefit both (and customers). There's all the changes that IoT will bring, in both demand for connectivity, and in new uses, there's the need for faster delivery of LTE, every prospect of OFGEM's new boss deciding to do things differently. And in both energy and telecoms, the companies driving change are doing so to make money - and if they're making money, you could be part of that.

If you're thinking that Tesco's shelves are beckoning, take a day out (chuck a sicky if need be), and write down all that's happening in the industry. What are the long term trends and what do they mean in terms of both threat, but more importantly opportunity? Who's eating who's cake? Who's growing? Who's been in the news, and could that mean job opps for you? What skills do you have that are important in this big picture? Who's got problems that YOU could help solve? Who would you LIKE to work for? Can you spot the organisations that maybe haven't yet made a move in the telecoms sector, but have positioned themselves to do so? Are there new entrants with an unstoppable proposition, and how can you climb on board their bandwagon? Where have your former colleagues go on to better things, and can they help you directly, or offer wise counsel on what you need to do?

Your glass really ought to be at least half full.

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Planning to upgrade your Lumia to Windows 10? NOT SO FAST

Ledswinger
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Re: Low end will probably be dropped

"Dropping Windows 10 support for them will help push them out of the ecosystem and raise the baseline."

It might do, but since the growth in emerging markets is where Microsoft need to succeed, I'd have thought that W10 will have to run on cheap hardware, unless they want the locals to buy cheap Nokiasofts only because they have to, but to aspire to own just about any other brand when they have the money.

And that's because although I'm sure WP8 is a competent phone OS, if Microsoft have a reputation for offering developing markets last year's products, then they will earn themselves a reputation for cultural imperialism that won't do them any good.

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Panicked teen hanged himself after receiving ransomware scam email

Ledswinger
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Re: Privacy and policing

"You can have unbreakable encryption, Internet anonymity and the like. But you can't have that with tracking down Internet crooks. Something has to give."

You, sir, have missed the point. Most of us don't object to state surveillance. We object to state surveillance without oversight, and without a judge's warrant.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Sad, and not good enough

"They do have the originating IP, so they could try and track that back."

The IP could have been easily spoofed, but even if not the chances are they'd point to some sucker's domestic PC recruited as part of a botnet, which in turn communicates with a C&C server in another country which may or may not be host to the vermin behind this. I've plenty of sympathy for the DS quoted, because he's technically outgunned, and unsupported by the people who could and should provide him with the resources to track down the perpetrators.

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Ledswinger
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Sad, and not good enough

"Detective Sergeant Peter Wall said it was very difficult to trace those responsible for the "elaborate" scam"

Well maybe his senior colleagues need to bloody well try harder, instead of wringing their hands and saying "oh what a pity".

I'd accept that DS Wall doesn't have the clout to change the world, but its long overdue that the Plods started taking cyber crime seriously - spam, counterfeit & illegal goods, identity theft, extortion and fraud. It's not as if the state hasn't reserved vast and essentially ungoverned power in terms of communications, not to mention vast leverage over ISPs. Ultimately this would need heavy handed government backing when dealing with recalcitrant East European shit holes, but that's something that (just maybe) the lazy arseholes of Westminster could get off their backsides and support.

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Why so tax-shy, big tech firms? – Bank of England governor

Ledswinger
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Re: "the challenge will be for people to develop skills that cannot be displaced by machines"

"Or, the challenge will be for societies to get over this notion that everyone should HAVE to work"

Indeed. You have spotted what the governor has not, which is that "mass creativity" is an unlikely dream. The majority of us don't have vast-yet-latent creative talents, and there are many people, sometimes highly intelligent people, who actually enjoy a simple, productive manual job.

However, I think the idea of freeing people from work also needs examination. Those who are averse to work are (certainly in Europe) already catered for. The majority of the population I suspect would actually want to work, certainly after six months "leisure", and the question needs to be asked "Why would the people want to be saved from labour?"

Short of an Iain M Banks style Culture existence (ie a super-wealthy society) I don't want to be "saved" from work. I suppose the issue here is that the cunts at Davos are already in the super-wealthy, don't-have-to-work world.

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Telefónica to offload O2 to Three daddy Hutchison for £10.25bn

Ledswinger
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Re: Mithers - Better option: 3 InTouch app

"Actually 3 have a new app, "3 InTouch" which runs on your mobile directly and places calls and SMS over your home wi-fi. "

I've used the Orange "signalboost" equivalent, and the O2 effort. The O2 one was shite and didn't work well, the Orange version was fine (but is no longer available for download). ISTR that the Orange system was UMA, whereas the O2 thing was simply some crap wifi VOIP client.

The sad thing is that the Orange system showed what could be done, but UMA doesn't seem to have had any wider takeup amongst MNOs.

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Ledswinger
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Pint

"Really need to put another element into the mix to get properly creative."

See icon.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Possible problems

Mast sharing..."Not too sure how the CMA will view that."

I doubt they'll care. I work for a company in the middle of a CMA market investigation, the CMA focus on "theories of harm" to consumers. It's fairly easy to show that mast and infrastructure shares benefit customers rather than harm them. So long as the MVNO's don't complain about discriminatory network access charges (which would reduce competition and harm consumers) then it's very unlikely that the CMA would take a negative view of asset sharing.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Don't forget Tesco Mobile

"Given Tesco's retreat from the Landline business, maybe it goes away completely?"

Don't think so. I think Tesco Mobile is a nice earner, and they'll keep it going as long as they can keep getting network access. We might assume that the smaller number of MNO's will try and squeeze the MVNOs out by hiking access prices, but if that happens the MNOs will inevitably find themselves on the receiving end of a CMA referral, and that would be a very high risk gamble, because the CMA might propose "remedies" that really crap on the network operators, like splitting the infrastructure side from the retail operation and requiring open access.

Having said that, there's no upper boundary on corporate stupidity.

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Ledswinger
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Re: So the UK once had the most competitive mobile markets..

"Presumably Ledswinger's referring to them half owning what's become of Orange."

Indeed I was, but the original challenge was correct, because Kraut Telekom were busy at the time with what became T-mobile, and didn't really have anything to do with Orange's decline into mediocrity.

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Ledswinger
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Re: So the UK once had the most competitive mobile markets..

" Ideally, we'd get Three technology with O2 customer service, but what's the betting it'll be the other way round?"

History says that the crap outcome is the one to expect. But I think you have to bear in mind that Li Ka-shing is not one of the world's richest men for nothing, and he's a big infrastructure investor. As an example, his group (in the form of Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings) bought the electricity distribution companies serving London and the SE for about £5.5bn, and the same outfit have just splashed £2.5bn on Eversholt, on the of the three large UK rail leasing companies.

In part this interest in infrastructure is because he's playing a long game (which is usually good for customers), and in part because he's looking for safe haven investments in stable markets. That could bode very well for the required LTE/4G investment needs, particularly when competitors like Vodafone have to go grovelling to the capital or equity markets every quarter. Don't forget that the main reason Telefonica will be selling up is because they don't want to have to pony up the network investment costs. Interestingly, one of the two main reasons EDF were selling UK power networks was because they didn't want to pay the network investment needs, and Cheung Kong were happy to buy something with investment needs.

It's also worth have a browse for Li Ka Shing's life story. Real rags to riches stuff that makes me take my hat off to him.

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Ledswinger
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Re: So the UK once had the most competitive mobile markets..

Given that when Hutchison owned Orange they were pretty good (all downhill after French & German equivalents of BT bought it), and that Three are generally better than the other big players, I think O5 (or whatever they'll call it) might actually improve on O2.

Unfortunately the deal fees and acquisition premium will mean price rises, and that's the one area where the CMA ought to intervene, to make sure customers don't pay the bill for boardroom games. Crude items like price capcs wouldn't work, but they could insist that deal fees and goodwill are written off as part of the transaction. Sadly they won't, so it'll be price rises all round.

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Developers, developers, developers! But WILL they support Windows 10?

Ledswinger
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Re: Gauging developer support

"I'll be developing for Windows 10."

Don't let Richard Dawkins hear you. He has strong views on these sorts of belief systems.

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

Ledswinger
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Re: Tepid arse dribble

"What is going on with the reg"

Being fattened up for market, that's what is going on.

The world appears to be full of sad-sack corporates who will buy any old web site so long as the eyeball count survives "due diligence", so having built the loyal core of followers around a quality editorial route, you then chase the click-bait audience who are transported here on the Googlebus.

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Want a cheap Office-er-riffic tablet? Microsoft Windows takes on Android

Ledswinger
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Re: I bought one of these for Christmas@ DrXym

"The answer is my six year old doesn't care about Office 365 but there's nothing to stop someone from using LibreOffice. "

Maybe I have misunderstood your argument. As I read it, O365 was a big part of the value of the deal, and you were getting a near-full fat PC accordingly. I'd agree that the kids don't need full fat Office, and you can opt out to Libre Office for free, but if that's your choice then where's the value in having it free for a year?

Either O365 has value, but you're on the hook for future year's subscriptions, or you're being offered free time-limited bloatware that you assign no value to.

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Ledswinger
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Re: I bought one of these for Christmas

" It is incredible to think that this is an £80 PC in effect."

How much will it be when you've renewed your Office 365 subscription for a couple of years? And with MS about to launch W10, there's a huge unanswered question about whether you'd need and want to pay again for the fixed version of W8.

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Facebook is MORE IMPORTANT to humanity than PORTUGAL

Ledswinger
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Re: Hmm one does wonder

"If the stock goes higher it does not affect profits or earnings per share, but it does increase the P/E ratio which does not look so good."

That's true, but assumes that tech companies PE matters. In reality Google, Amazon, Facebook. Linkedin and others rarely if ever pay dividends, so from an investor perspective it's not about EPS because that doesn't translate to DPS, and the "investment" is not about an economic return from a future dividend stream, just about capital appreciation assuming the over-priced stock can be sold for an even higher price to some other mug. So it's fairly close to a Ponzi scheme.

In this world, a tech director's life is just one long stock ramping exercise, sucking out as much money as they can whilst the party lasts. When the party ends, the directors stock options will be worthless, but what does that matter if they've had a good few millions out of the trough beforehand?

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SFO: 'Insufficient evidence' for conviction over HP-Autonomy deal

Ledswinger
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"Doesn't this really mean that the US agencies have shouldered aside the SFO because they wish to act as judge & jury on any event anywhere in the world which may impact on US interests?"

No, it means that the SFO have had a good look and concluded that there's no material case. My guess is that they probably did find a range of wide-boy sales accounting that all IT firms seem to favour (compared to most other businesses I've worked in), but evidently not the specific allegations of fraud that HP allege. Given HP's dismal incompetence at everything, I'd be very surprised if there accounting was any better than Autonomy's. And let's face it, which of these two companies admitted to running a range of complex shell companies to hide illegal slush fund payments, and got fined $108m last year? That's right, HP.

Having said that, US regulators are renowned as being the most biased referees in the world, so HP will still be hoping that they'll decide that a bit of creative accounting by Autonomy qualifies as large scale fraud, and that will then vindicate HP's useless, useless management.

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Future imperfect: A UK broadband retrospective

Ledswinger
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Re: What is the right answer to how to run National Infrastructure?

Some good thoughts there mate. Looking at the rather spotty record and high director salaries of Network Rail post Railtrack, and I think that the problem is not ownership but regulation. The mess they made of engineering works this Christmas is evidence of the fact that some cultural and operational problems transcend who owns the capital behind the company.

Regarding Openreach, you're bang on that it needs to be separated from the rest of BT. But that's easily accomplished without the inevitable mess from nationalisation, through requiring Openreach to be a separate legal and financial entity. That would in technical terms just be a demerger of Openreach, and initially would be straightforward. Existing shareholders in old BT would now own equal shares in New BT and in Openreach plc. The regulator would have full visibility of the margins and trading arrangements, and cross subsidy would be illegal and very obvious - this is how energy suppliers who still own distribution grids are regulated. This form of demerger has been done before, for example in 1997 when the old British Gas integrated monopoly was split into three separate businesses doing different things: Centrica (energy sales under the British Gas brand), BG Group (upstream exploration and production) and Transco (the gas distribution operation).

What's required is for OFCOM to understand this and get a grip on the issue. On the plus side there's a new girl in charge, so she might just have some get up and go (unlike Tony Blair's placeman that she replaces), on the downside she's a career civil servant and the civil service is not renowned for doing anything well (or at all).

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Ledswinger
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Re: UK Fibre Optic Distribution: It beggars belief@ Tony Green

"because since Thatcher privatised BT its one and only function in life is to return a profit to its shareholders"

More likely because emerging economies don't have to worry about a huge installed base built to old technologies, and have fewer constraints on digging up roads in the way of progress.

"A public utility, on the other hand, would have the primary function of providing service to the people of the country."

Bwahahahahahahaa! Straight from the David Milliband Champagne Socialism Playbook! I take it you're too spotty and young to remember the god-awful service that the GPO offered to its customers? Six or nine month waits for a line to be installed, shared party lines between neighbours because they couldn't be @rsed to put in proper infrastructure, crummy obsolete hardware, legal protections against so much as moving a telephone connection etc etc.

But do keep us amused by telling us what a sterling service we'd have from nationalising the railway operators and combining them as a new entity called "British Railways"?

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Ledswinger
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Re: <interesting> <exciting> oh <sigh!>

"Virgin is available but it appears expensive to me."

If the household is fighting over a miserable 6 Mb/s then I'd suggest you have another look at Virgin, and in particular pricing your full service like for like (so phone rental, phone usage packages, broadband). I've been on cable for over fifteen years and dumping BT for Telewest/VM was one of my best decisions. There's often some good sign up deals, and when your discount runs out you can negotiate an acceptable price with their sales retention team. Obviously avoid anything you don't want in the bundles they push, but IME the broadband and phone work reliably and well, and a particular benefit of Virgin cable (over BT) is that the occasional technical problems are resolved effectively in acceptable timescales.

A quick check suggests that (ignoring introductory discounts of around £6 a month) you'd be paying £39 a month for phone including "unlimited" weekend calls, 50 Mb/s broadband, and the basic TV service. If you just wanted broadband its about £28, and as a standalone that starts to look pricey, but why would you want to have a BT landline and separate cable broadband?

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Ledswinger
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Re: About time councils put their foot down

"a few councils putting this as a requirement for granting planning permission might get the whole FTTP movement kickstarted."

Unfortunately this would have a detrimental effect on customers overall. What happens would happen is what happens with the (supposedly) competitive market for new gas & electricity connections. Big builders sign lucrative contracts with a company who often not only provides the connections free, but actually pays money to the developer and this is the world of IGTs and IDNOs - companies (for example GTC) who then have the new housebuyers by the short and curlies, because nobody will lay duplicate infrastructure. The additional costs to consumers are sometimes hidden, sometimes they are not, but these sorts of developments inflate the cost to consumers for something that doesn't need to be any more expensive than the other 99% of the population. In the case of electricity and gas, you're free to switch supplier, but the supplier doesn't have to offer the same price for IGT and IDNO customers (some socialise the additional costs across all customers, some don't).

And the idea of monopoly non-BT last half mile operators is already here - GTC offer FTTH and claim to reach half a million homes. I can't speak for the cost because I can't find the cost, but I'd be very surprised if they are particularly competitive, and that reflects the IDNO and IGT business models.

It should be part of the local council's job to make this happen (let's face it, they can't even keep road pot hole free), but it could be easily done through amending the building regulations. But this isn't enough, it either needs LLU for all "last mile" connections (GTC, Virginmedia, Kingston, etc) or it needs full and effective regulation of all broadband infrastructure, and either of these last two would be a big ask, given the fact that politicians prattle on about broadband, but understand nothing about it.

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I'll build a Hyperloop railgun tube-way in Texas, Elon Musk vows

Ledswinger
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Re: Pure Genius @Graham dawson

"But why is HS2 so much more expensive than building the original railways in the 19th century, which connected up just about every village and hamlet?"

I suspect in inflation adjusted terms you'd find the costs were not dissimilar for the well engineered mainlines. The main difference is that the original Victorian routes were built speculatively by private capital, and when many proved unprofitable (railway companies being over-invested during the "Railway Mania" of the times) they went bust. In some cases the routes couldn't cover operating costs so they closed, but many others could operate after the original investors had been wiped out, and the new owner took over with much lower capital on their balance sheet.

This still happens. Both the Channel Tunnel, and HS1 (the high speed line from London to the tunnel) never covered their build costs, and the shareholders and creditors had to take a bath (in the case of HS1 the British taxpayer nobly stepped forward to shoulder some of the losses). And so it will be with HS2. Late, over-budget, uneconomic, with somebody destined to take a savage haircut on the cash "invested".

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'We will SNORT UP CRYSTAL DUST and then do a MAJOR software update'

Ledswinger
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Re: I fucking love science me

When you're not reading Viz

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PROOF the undead STALK Verizon users: Admen caught using 'perma-cookie'

Ledswinger
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Re: Hangin's too good for 'em.

"The managers and CEOs, not necessarily the worker bees punching out the code."

Why exempt the drones? They're taking money, they know what they're doing.

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For pervasive 5G and IoT, prepare for wind turbines on cells

Ledswinger
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Re: wind+solar

"Now if they had mentioned a big battery that can span several days..."

OK, so you've strapped on a battery, charging electronics, you've got both wind and solar collectors, and you've oversized these both to fast charge the battery when the power's there, and because you''ll lose 25% of power in the charging/discharge cycles. Not looking either simple, cheap or efficient. Heath Robinson would be proud.

The long life of PV panels is correct (although in dusty locations dirt builds up on the panels, requiring regular cleaning), the durability of unattended wind turbines is more questionable, and the life of the battery depends on the extent of cycling. Since I assume it would be running on battery overnight you could be talking about a three year battery life.

I'd also wonder about the volume of resources used in making such a low power base station. Probably less efficient end to end than a grid connection.

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