* Posts by Ledswinger

4465 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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.

2
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Fire everyone

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

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

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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.

4
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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?

2
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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?

1
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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.

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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?

8
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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.

11
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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.

5
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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.

43
1

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge
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.

5
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge
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......

7
1

Pothole campaigner sprays Surrey street with phallic paintings

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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.

16
0

US bank fended off 513 trojans last year alone

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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?

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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.

1
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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.

6
0

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.

4
0

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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".

0
0

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.

13
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

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.

18
1

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?

.

19
1

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

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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?

18
0

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.

7
0

Ofcom wants to crack down on pisspoor BT Openreach biz lines

Ledswinger
Silver badge

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.

15
1

Microsoft to add a touch of Chrome to Edge

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Copying will not gain Microsoft any respect

100,000 of 118,000 work in the licencing department.

And the other 18,000 are cheap offshore code monkeys.

<owld git mode>

I remember the day when American tech companies employed Americans to design, write and test code, and they boasted about their innovation. Nowadays all American companies boast about is how many jobs they're going to move to some cheap offshore shitty-hole

</owld git mode>

6
0

Iain Duncan Smith's Universal Credit: A timeline

Ledswinger
Silver badge

15.8bn that's over half a HS2*.

Work it out in man years, and it becomes far more distressing. If we assume that there's little or no additional hardware over existing systems, then costs are all manpower. At an assumed average cost of £75k per employee, we're talking about a system that will absorb over 200,000 man years.

9
0

Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Will there be lawsuits?

Will there be lawsuits?

I doubt it. They've provided instructions on how to keep it working, and how to get it working again after the cutoff date. I can't see that much basis for legal action over what looks to me to be a marginal inconvenience affecting a few people. I'm sure that software updates, "no guarantee of service" and restricted user rights are all covered in the licence agreement that everybody acknowledges but never reads.

You can certainly question what it is that they are so keen to change on apparently working devices, and why failure to update should involve blocking access to content. guess is that the update is some DRM'y rubbish, and that's why they've concluded that it is worth causing inconvenience and forcing the update.

12
0

Domino's trials trundling four-wheeled pizza delivery bot

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: "the bot will move at walking speed"

As opposed to cold and not free, like normal?

Of course, they've developed this snazzy 'bot, and not realised that at walking pace, delivery is only going to be feasible for people too lazy to walk a few minutes, or those willing to wait a pretty long time. My local Dominoes is 8 minutes by car or moped, but four and a half miles. So it'll take that bloody stupid 'bot and hour to get to me (and an hour to get back to base).

The investors in Dominoes and these tech guys need their heads examining if they think that $190k deliverybot that can do two orders a night is a good investment.

0
0

Web ads are reading my keystrokes and I can’t even spel propperlie

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Experiment away!

Whenever I send a message from my gmail account to a friend's gmail account I add random phrases (I like "nude dwarf jello wrestling")

If sending and receiving is in HTML, you could append all manner of indiscrete words with a text colour the same as the background. That will work beautifully, and make their targeted adverts very interesting indeed.

Although if the recipient does ever view your emails as plain text then you may have some explaining to do.

5
0

Labour: We want the Snoopers' Charter because of Snowden

Ledswinger
Silver badge

"Indeed. If only the Conservatives were in government."

That would indeed be an nightmare.

Well luckily for you they're not, and we've got a bunch of champagne socialists in the NuLabour mould. I know the Grauniadistas are carping on endlessly about "austerity", but if I were spending one billion quid a week more than I earned, would they class that as an austere existence?

6
2
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Don't make me laugh, I might choke

Starmer said the party will ask the government to conduct an independent review into the new powers and definitions included in the Investigatory Powers Bill.

Bwahahahahahahahahaaaa! It was Labour that kicked off all of this shit with ID cards and the original Snooper's Charter, they want this as much as the big state control freaks of the Conservative Party.

Oi Starmer! I don't trust you, them, or the state in these grand plans for legalised dragnet surveillance (and storage just in case) of me, my family or my neighbours, so could you, and the vast majority of other parliamentary wastrels FOAD?

50
0

Google tries to run from flailing robotics arm

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Genuinely impressed

Not winning the DARPA contract was obviously disappointing as once you get one of those, you've basically got it made.

Only so long as it doesn't work, and DARPA and the Pentagon continue to throw good money after bad, and reward you for failure to deliver a working system. Which does seem to be BAU for defence contractors.

When it comes to military tech, the taxpayer is the gift that keeps on giving. For the US, think of the boondoggle that is the F35, or in the UK the QE class carriers. And (Mr Clark) if you're still out in Germany, presumably you escape those, but have an equitable share in the financial binary black hole system that is A400M and the Eurofighter Typhoon?

7
0

Glasgow boiler firm in hot water for cold calls, cops £180K fine

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Glasgow boiler firm in hot water for cold calls, cops £180K fine

They had £381,791 in the bank at 31st March 2015

And you think for one moment that they'd keep in the company faced with having almost half of it snatched? The whole point of companies with diddly squat equity is to be disposable.

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: A puzzle

There are those who think it's as well that the Police dosn't get the "ticket" money directly, but what do they know.

Do pay attention - local enforcement do get to keep (eg) speeding fines and spend it on more enforcement and road safety actions, subject to certain rules. That's why most speed cameras are painted bright yellow, as a way of mitigating the risk of revenue raising through stealth cameras. Other regulators (eg OFGEM) use their monetary penalty powers to fine energy companies (around £200m in the past five years) and direct that money towards energy efficiency actions. There's other examples you can find without too much effort.

But anyway, am I to take it that you prefer the current arrangement of an ineffectual and underfunded civil regulator, whose operating costs are paid by the law abiding data controllers?

0
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: A puzzle

Does the Information Commissioner have a phone at home or a mobile in his pocket........

Whilst I share your exasperation with the ineffectual process, it is worth noting that the information commissioner himself is "only" paid £140k or thereabouts. Probably more than most of us earn, but nowhere near enough for the head of an organisation to police personal data in every sector of the economy. And his biggest stick is a measly half million quid penalty, so even against rich fucktards like Talk Talk he can't inflict any real pain. And to add insult to injury, the ICO don't get to keep the penalties, they go straight to the treasury (the ICO is funded by the law abiding data controllers through their notification fee). So the ICO can't recycle the penalties into additional enforcement, and thus have no incentive or interest in ensuring the revenues are collected.

Unfortunately, years of desperately poor law making means that to change all of this we need new primary legislation and the repeal of large tracts of dross passed without thought by the chimpanzees of Westminster. I can't see that happening, and we'll have to see how the incoming EU directive works (I'm an outer myself, but fully expect the elderly and gullible to be frightened into voting "stay", and the net result to be to stay, so I'm assuming it will apply).

1
2
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Glasgow boiler firm in hot water for cold calls, cops £180K fine

Or is it, that they were fined, quickly went bust and now have formed a new company in the upstairs bedroom?

That's the one. But the ICO should have spotted this earlier, because levying a £180k fine on a company with a paid up share capital (according to Companies House) of precisely six quid was never going to result in the ICO getting a brass farthing.

But the big number fine gets the headlines, and the ICO can trouser his salary and pretend he's done a good job.

3
0

UK.gov's Major Projects Authority ain't saving us any money, say MPs

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Meg Hillier FFS

Meg Hillier WTF does she know about actual delivery and commercial value?

Well, she read Politics Philosophy and Economics at Oxford, you know. And she was elected librarian of the Oxford Union Society. I'm sure those make her really well qualified to comment on project management, budgetary management, technology and infrastructure.

3
0

Top rocket exec quits after telling the truth about SpaceX price war

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Seems a bit ill advised

Seems a bit ill advised...To talk about your firm's strategy so candidly with outsiders,

If your talk is only existing officially stamped, widely known public domain knowledge, it makes for very boring listening. I often attend industry shindigs, where competitors give presentations on their business that are so dull and devoid of content that I could do far better speaking about their business.

Where Tobey fucked up was that all external speeches should be checked by the PR and/or legal team. Yes, that'll slow things up, and they'll take stuff out, but better safe than sorry. My employers learned this the hard way when a mid-level company representative at a conference was quoted all over the next day's press. That offending quote was in a response to a panel Q&A session, and what this bloke said was absolutely accurate, but quoted out of context it sounded awful, and was national headline material on a slow news day.

2
0

Telling your wife why you were fired is the only punishment

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: If you don't want to be traumatised by people's pictures ...

So why do so many tech support people seem to have this issue?

1) Natural human curiosity sometimes. You know, the sort of enquiring attitude that enables problem solving and development of tech skills.

2) Because if you're going to free up space or wipe drives, it is sensible to do a dip check on what is about to be nuked. Thinking about that backup server, which was better practice - delete whilst whistling and reading the sport pages of the paper, or have a guick gander at why there's a lot of stuff clagging up the drive?

So unless somebody can use genetic modification to breed a "curiously incurious" subspecies of techy, then we live with the fact that if a file, a folder, a box, or a room is there, people will open it to see what it is. This is a behaviour that goes back long enough to be the subject of ancient Greek fables, so I don't see it being fixed anytime soon.

30
3

Former Nokia boss Stephen Elop scores gig as chief innovator for Australia's top telco

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: ROFL

Nokia's share price collapsed by 80% under his tenure.

Don't take at face value the dross on Wikipedia. Whilst correct, it carefully avoids the fact that the decline started in 2008, with the price shedding €20 per share in the two years prior to his arrival.

It is a fact that under Elop the share price fell by around €9 per share (ignoring the €3-4 dead cat bounce on sale of the phones business) but that reflects the damage done prior to his arrival, whilst Nokia management faffed and fought each other rather than bringing an iPhone competitor to market that people actually wanted to buy.

Lots of people round here have said "I'd like to buy a Nokia with Android" and seem to think that (or Sailfish) were credible options. FIrefox, Tizen, Ubuntu show that "new" phone OSs aren't heavily in demand from the market. And the dismal profits for the majority of Android makers show there's no money for the hardware OEMs in that. The only other option would have been to revamp the existing and ancient Symbian - which is what they'd been trying for years with S1, 2, 3, Anna and Belle, and Maemo et al. That hadn't worked, and clearly wasn't going to work.

Elop knew that when you're in a hole you stop digging, a concept alien to those who wish Nokia phones had stayed as a credible independent entity.

2
5
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: ROFL

I hope Elop achieves, for his new employer, exactly what he achieved for Nokia.

What, epic success?

For Nokia Group, Elop delivered handsomely, securing a $7.2bn price for a business that had made itself totally unable to compete in its core market, and that the buyer then had to write down (plus another half a billion of costs) a year later.

The state of Nokia Phones when Elop joined might have been salvable, but I doubt it. The business unit had its chance and blew it in the five year period 2005-2010, and Elop worked in the best interests of his paymasters, Nokia shareholders. Spending another five years trying to sort the business out, and claw market share in the largely profitless Android market would have been hugely risky (eg look at Blackberry bobbing about in the bowl, trying the resist the flush), but Elop instead found somebody willing to pay to take the wreckage away and then executed that strategy perfectly. And Nokia even got to retake the brand and control of most of the IP.

Old school Nokia fans might be blinded by emotion, I'm, not. Elop demonstrated commercial genius, and I take my hat off to him.

1
13

Get lost, Windows 10 and Phone fans: No maps HERE on Microsoft's OS

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: The rumors of Here's departure have been exagerrated

Data collection from the users is one important aspect, and there may be surprising turns there

Why? If Winpho10 has no significant user base, there's mo reason for the car makers to worry about the handful of users. As much as anything their interest is user>car interaction, so integrating with phones is important for volume ecosystems of evil necessity, but ideally they'd want to capture the feedback via the car nav interface

All of which leaves Microsoft out in the cold. Premium German brands are (guardedly) happy to work with Apple, but who's going to be in a queue to work with Microsoft, when their brand is a bit "dull grey suit", they don't have the loyal user engagement of Apple, and they don't have a data-value proposition like Google? Office for Autos doesn't sound like a compelling proposition to me any more than Auto-Outlook or Auto-Server 2016.

"Should have" translates as "Too late now", but Microsoft should have attempted to own the car information space some ten or more years ago. That would have meant buying a grade A map database assets, and a grade A satnav brand. They could have developed Xbox technologies for entertainment for back seat passengers, and used the car as a springboard to relevance in end users lives. They should have bought a car radio OEM (like Clarion) to make this happen, and invested in self driving developments to keep up to date with the potential, along with other telematics development. Instead of defining themselves as The Car Software Company, and using this to get into home integration, they started off trying to be Google with the utterly failed aQuantive acquisition. Then they tried to be Google again by buying Nokia and controlling their own phone development and an ecosystem, and that failed.

So that's why Microsoft are where they are - relevant to office productivity, relevant to sysadmins, but with no relevance to consumers or business partners.

1
0

Whatever happened to Green IT?

Ledswinger
Silver badge

There is nothing 'outlandish' about powering buildings or data centres or whatever with wood chips.

You're 'aving a giraffe, intcher?

Woodchips are a PITA - they are low energy density either requiring lots of storage or making you very supply chain dependent. They are frangible, creating highly flammable dust and even explosion risks. As a pelletised product they require crapola feed systems like blowers and screw feed pumps, all of which are vulnerable to blockage and failure. And they create lots of ash and have poor emissions quality without expensive flue gas treatment. In the middle of nowhere, with plenty of space and a reliable alternative source of energy they can work, for your typical urban or suburban DC it would be pure madness.

The answer for a DC is the usual one employed - mains electricity (with multiple feeds if the local distribution is flakey) and multiple redundancy on oil fired standby power plant.

Wood pellets are fit only for bearded, sandal wearing vegans who don't even have computers.

2
0

Polite, helpful? Stop it at once in the name of security

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: TalkTalk

I'm fairly sure nothing happened to TalkTalk.

You mean "nothing happened to the board of TalkTalk". The company itself estimated the trading impact at £15m and the exceptional costs around £40m. It's interesting to note that ITSec is regarded as an "exceptional" item by the board of TalkTalk, but that mindset is how they got themselves in the crud in the first place. Luckily there's a group of patsies happy to take the losses, and they are called "investors", as a result of which the traded share price for TalkTalk dropped 30% in response to the breach and hasn't recovered those losses yet. In that respect the carelessness of TalkTalk management has cost investors around half a billion quid, a figure that will be realised in cold hard cash over time unless they can restore the share price relative to other stock market investments.

Now, because most of us are only exposed to the stock market via insurers, pension funds and banks we don't see these losses directly but they're still there, and you're still paying for them in the long term. So, "no real consequences"? I'd say vapourising half a billion quid of investor value was a fairly significant consequence, just not inflicted upon those responsible.

I'd like to be a director of TalkTalk. All that money, no accountability.

3
0

British IT outsourcers back Remain in the EU referendum campaign

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I thought the jobs went to India?

more and more convinced that neither side will ever do anything stupid like present any facts for the benefit of us plebs.

That's true. But arguably irrelevant, because the referendum is really about sovereignty. The grinning apes of Westminster seem (to me) inordinately keen to export all the powers they can to Brussels (for even less well behaved apes to abuse). As I see it, stuff the "facts" wheeled out from both sides, but asking myself whether I'd rather be governed from Westminster or from Brussels I reach my personal conclusion fairly readily, that I'd rather be governed closer to home, given there's little to choose between the competence of both sets of politicians.

Which leads me onto a particular puzzle, where perhaps some haggis munching commentards can advise. As a UK "outer" I can understand why the SNP are desperate to achieve home rule and not be governed from another country's capital 300 miles away. But I'm then puzzled by their obsession to remain in the EU and apparent happiness to continue to be subsumed into the EU super-state project, ruled from the capital of another country 500 miles away?

8
2

DARPA to geeks: Weaponize your toasters … for America!

Ledswinger
Silver badge

"DARPA's mission is to create strategic surprise"

Errrr...no, it isn't. DARPA's mission is to burn through about $3bn a year (possibly a lot more on the various skunk projects) trying to develop yet more toys for the peevish children running the Pentagon. And that's because the Pentagon aren't satisfied with spending more on "defence" than the next eight biggest spending nations combined.

I suppose DARPA's 3bn is drop in the ocean of US total defence spending of around half a trillion dollars a year, but even so, it is an intriguing exercise to imagine the good things that the US could achieve if it spent rather more on improving lives rather than forcibly ending them.

17
2

You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Clear Desk

And Dabbsy hopes "the clear-desk policy could be revived for the digital age"?

WTF is he on? There's more than 30,000 unsorted emails in my inbox archive, and I can find 99% of what I want in moments. I live in fear of some tidy minded, cost obsessed twat deciding that email archives are too expensive, and putting some shitty, arbitrary limit on the space I can occupy (saving a few pence a year per employee, when my total costs of employment are, well, quite a lot.

14
1

State should run power firm spam database, says... competition watchdog

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Maybe these people would rather be left the fuck alone!

Probably they would. But DECC and Ofgen are determined to see the energy market as a huge "market failure" requiring their intervention. As one of the most heavily regulated markets anywhere in the world, the UK energy market is a Frankenstein creation of successive public sector bureaucrats, and the problems they are trying to solve are generally down to their previous interference and incompetence. Nobody knows what's good for them quite as well as a civil servant paid to think and spend on their behalf.

Lets say you want to set up an energy supply company, just buying wholesale and selling, not doing networks, not generating. Ofgem's standard electricity supply licence conditions are a 473 page document, and gas supply is nice and concise at 363 pages.

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/licences-codes-and-standards/licences/licence-conditions

And that's before the separate 229 pages of smart meter licence conditions, and before a bazillion pages of network codes and related documents.

The CMA have spent a year navel-gazing (at your expense) and the best they can come up with is a recommendation to spam the British population to death. Have you noticed the irony, the government put charities on notice over their spamming and mail-harassment of potential donors, but in the case of energy customers the fuckwits see just such an outcome as a measure of their success?

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Oh for crying out loud

Why not just fix the opaque electricity prices by having national prices instead of historical regions?

This is because the different regions have different costs to deliver electricity (and gas for that matter). If you want a flat national price then you're saying you want even more cross subsidies than currently exist. Some suppliers do offer flat national pricing, but that means they're choosing to take different profit margins in different regions.

Surely if you can manage getting competitive quotes for heating oil, then using Uswitch (or any other price comparison site) to find one of the many cheap deals shouldn't be too opaque? Tell 'em where you live, how much you use, and they offer you the choice of hundreds of tariffs ranked in price order. Calling it opaque seems a bit grandiose when I look at the complexity of (eg) mobile phone offers.

0
0

David Cameron hints at Budget law change to end mobile not-spots

Ledswinger
Silver badge

150m isn't very much for such a project.

Of course it isn't but if you look at what's going on here it can be explained. It is another case of Vacuous Dave's policy making on the hoof. Inside his empty little head, he thought he'd offer a trinket to the peasants, and better mobile coverage was the best he could come up with. As this isn't part of any funded policy, DCMS had to search round for spare change and unspent budgets, and £150m was the collective total, along with some lint and a partially sucked toffee.

If you look at the idiot decisions to ring fence huge areas of government spending, or various random decisions on health, defence or energy policy, Cameron is always doing this and usually without consulting or informing the minister responsible. As a plutocratic toff living with his head up his arse inside the Westminster bubble, he's so detached from reality that all of his decisions are informed only by the inexperienced sycophants that he's surrounded himself with as "advisers". And sadly he's simply not clever enough to realise how much he doesn't know, and goes round trying to run the country like some third rate mediaeval prince.

So the fact that the money will achieve nothing is not important. The money wouldn't otherwise have been spent well or wisely on things you or I might want. Under Cameron the only alternative use for £150m would have been his obsession with foreign aid, or three days more net contribution to the EU, maybe another few bombing missions on the Middle East or North Africa.

0
0

Forums