* Posts by Ledswinger

4411 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

German Chancellor fires hydrogen plasma with the push of a button

Ledswinger
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Re: That's Bundeskanzlerin Frau Doktor Angela Merkel to you

Germany - where politicians are sane enough to be allowed to press buttons.

But a bit pointless because the German public will be easily stirred up by the Greens, and it can join fission reactors on the "we're scared, take it away now" list.

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They're alive! Galileo sats 9 and 10 sending valid signals

Ledswinger
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Re: Some folks might criticize cost, but ...

One of the reasons for developing multi-megaton hydrogen bombs was the poor accuracy of ICBMs - if the bang is big enough, targeting doesn't have to be that neat.

I find the same tactic useful when breaking wind after a night of beer and pickled eggs.

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PCS: We'll ballot Hewlett Packard Enterprise members over job cuts

Ledswinger
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Re: Cunning plan?

Makes economic sense to shut offices with only a few 100 people and move to the larger sites that have 1000's of people. Saves on building costs, rates, electricity/heating, food facilities etc, the list goes on.

As somebody with some expertise in this field, I can assure you that once you move beyond SME sizes, incremental economies of scale are minimal unless you've been incompetent and got a large and under-used building at the receiving site.

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Layoffs! Lawsuits! Losses! ... Yahoo! is! in! an! L! of! a! mess!

Ledswinger
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Re: Buzzword Bingo

it's time to pick over the carcass while there is something for the vultures to eat.

They'll need to not be too choosy. But all in all, Yahoo is a heroic story of the Triumph Of The Agents (as in agency theory, not The Matrix).

By the time the sad and tatty SS Yahoo dips below the waves for the last time (2017?), they will have been in business for twenty one years, and never paid a cent in dividend, they'll have burned through (at a guess) $60bn of revenue, and at the end of it all there will be nothing to show for it, other than some very rich ex-directors.

Done right, that could have been the mother of all parties.

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IBM buys two digital ad agencies in a week

Ledswinger
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If you buy it for an undisclosed sum....

...can you write it down for an undisclosed sum, when it turns out you bought a business you don't understand for far too much money?

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Alphabetti spaghetti: What Wall Street isn't telling you about Google

Ledswinger
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How long can a monopoly survive unregulated?

I offer no answers to that question, just that simple question. Absent some remarkable new form of profitable growth, the only way they can now please investors is by milking the monopoly through higher pricing. My view is that won't end well for all parties, although generous lobbying and political donations will help fend off the day of reckoning.

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Uni of Manchester IT director resigns after chopping 68 people

Ledswinger
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Gotta laugh!

The spokesman added that the university is "not aware" of any cuts to the IT transformation budget

It's remarkable how much you can be unaware of if you really try hard enough.

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Ofcom's head is dead against Three and O2's merger

Ledswinger
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All very well talking tough

But what will Ms White do if the EU rubber stamp the deal, perhaps with a few tiny caveats? OFCOM have been toothless for years, so my hopes aren't very high.

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Rooting your Android phone? Google’s rumbled you again

Ledswinger
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Is this a threat or a feature?

A feature. But in all honesty, other than a few devs, the majority of people rooting phones do so (I suggest) to escape the clutches of Google. The idea of rooting, installing Cyanogenmod, and then choosing Google as a payments service seems to be totally implausible, so the whole basis of the article seems to be mild outrage at a "problem" that affects nobody.

Still, we read it, and those of us not blocking ads paid our dues for the Reg......

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UK taxpayers should foot £2bn or more to adopt Snoopers' Charter, says Inquiry

Ledswinger
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If it's heaped on ISPs it's hidden, HMG doesn't have to justify the amount & they'll claim the fact it was 8x over estimate as the ISPs' incompetence.

Don't forget the government have form on this. Look at the energy sector. Because the welfare state is (despite its vast cost) shambolic and ineffective, energy suppliers have to pony up the "Warn Homes Discount". That's a third of a billion quid added to your energy bills each year. Then there's the Energy Company Obligation, to insulate selected properties that adds another £0.7bn to energy bills. Then you've got the Feed it tarrifs and renewables obligations, that force energy suppliers to over-pay billions each year for electricity from PV and wind power, currently around £5bn and rising fast. All of which together then create the very problem of high energy costs and fuel poverty that government complain about. By 2020, all of these state-mandated interferences will be an additional cost of at least £9bn a year (NAO, 2020 prices), and that's before the ridiculous bribes for nuclear are factored in. In overall terms, by 2020, more than a third of the costs of your domestic energy bill will be the assorted interferences by government in the energy market. And the liars, idiots and thieves of government have the audacity to claim that they are working to keep your energy bills down.

But as a scheme for (1) spending other people's money without being in the slightest bit accountable, it's great for the wasters of Westminster. And (2) as a means of blaming other people for a problem created by government, it is equally marvellous.

So, coming back to the Snoopers Charter, government are addicted to spending other people's money. They've run out of tax income, and even though in a few weeks they''ll be conducting a further huge raid on pension savers, that still won't be enough for Cameron's tax 'n' spend plans, so the additional costs of the Snoopers Charter will have to be loaded upon ISPs. And don't forget, that by loading the costs through your ISP, the thieves of government actually make 20% of the total costs, because YOU will be charged VAT on the Snoopers Charter costs added to your bill.

There are no polite words to express the depths of my contempt and loathing for Cameron, his lickspittle parliamentary party, his Eton & Oxbridge chumocracy, and his big state champagne socialism.

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Ledswinger
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Re: ICR

The ICR is a list of all the domains you've connected to, but not individual URLs.

And you believe them, for one fleeting picosecond? There's not a snowflake's chance in hell that this will be limited to domains. If you're generous, it'll be mission creep that extends it to URLs, but personally, I don't even believe that they'll start at that level, that's just the fig leaf for gullible.

The interesting progression will be Sturmbahnfuhrer May's response when evidence of visiting a URL is deemed irrelevant in court because the Clown Prosecution Service can't prove what the content of the URL was at the time it was accessed. Do you think she will prove stupid enough and extreme enough to demand ISPs keep a changelog of the entire interent? I think she will.

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Most of the world still dependent on cash

Ledswinger
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Re: There's a good and a bad side to this

Getting rid of everything above 100 Euros/Dollars would turn one suitcase of money into 5 or 10, making this kind of illegitimate transfer much more cubersome.

Yes, but insufficiently to deter money launderers and dirty money transactions. You can fit $1m in $100 bills into a standard briefcase. If that had to be in $20, then it'd only be $200k, but if instead you used a medium sized suitcase, you can fit in 74,000 notes, so $1.4m in $20 bills.

My guess is that those trafficking in million dollar settlements wouldn't struggle if each briefcase had to be replaced by said medium sized suitcase. And a single drag bag full of $20 bills must be about $5m.

How many dodgy transactions exceed $5m, do you think?

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Brit airline pilots warn of drone menace

Ledswinger
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We need a general sign.

Nope. We need good practical penalties that the hard of thinking (or hard of consideration) could understand. Like the confiscation of inappropriately flown drones, and said drone being broken up before the pieces are publicly stuffed up the errant operator's arse. You'd have to insert about four drones up bottoms before the message got through, but I reckon that'd cut the number of mis-flown drones by an order of magnitude, in a way that neither fines nor imprisonment would.

We could do the same for drivers on mobile phones (except me, this last Friday, because rules ALWAYS apply to other people).

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Why a detachable cabin probably won’t save your life in a plane crash

Ledswinger
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Re: Looks as though it requires a high-wing aircraft configuration.

How many large jets do you see like that these days?

The inventor's Ukrainian, and you have to remember it's still 1961 over there......

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Ginni Rometty to pocket $4.5m bonus for IBM leadership

Ledswinger
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Re: IBM

Your fourth paragraph is just perfect

Small and perfectly formed, as I tell the ladies! But that's because I see this time and again, inside my (non-tech) company and in others. A particular tragedy of many of these entirely avoidable cases of slow lingering deaths through corporate obesity is the hand played by the company's HR department, who fail to serve up management able to challenge, correct, (or even work round) the ineptitude of the current board.

HR departments the world over harp on about "leadership" when they don't have a clue what they're talking about. They establish "talent" schemes that act as a gateway to the promotion escalator and training, and they filter out the non-conformists. And the result is that even though a good brand will always attract a very high calibre workforce, HR actually weed out those with energy, innovation, those who might grow the business, and preferentially promote group thinkers, people whose skills fit old business models, people who don't rock the boat. For most of the corporate dinosaurs, the best thing they could do now would be to sack their HR director, and all of "HR professionals", put the work of redundancies and disciplinary with the legal team, and just retain HR administrators to do the paperwork. Next step would be to scrap the "talent" programme", meaning they need to trust their business and line managers, and let them decide who to promote.

And pigs might fly.....

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Ledswinger
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Re: IBM

How much longer after that it continues to stagger forward without slaughtering the entire GDF division and selling it to Tata I do not know.

And therein lies the problem. GDF was one of IBM's growth ideas after they tried and failed to own a big share of "productivity" software. Of course, just as the productivity adventure was crushed under IBM's relentless bureaucracy, so the benefits of outsourcing and offshoring turned out to be a mirage for both clients and IBM's investors. Cue panic at Armonk. Everybody runs round like headless chickens looking for the next bandwagon to pile onto. And then two (separate) words spring to mind: Security! Cloud!

In the security space, I'm unconvinced there's any credible proposition from IBM. And in cloud they're arriving at the party five years late, and the technology has bypassed them, and the pricing reached commodity levels.

Ultimately, IBM is like HP, General Motors or the old Motorola: A self serving, heavily siloed, lard arsed bureaucracy that is slowly withering for lack of entrepreneurship. Within all four companies they did enough R&D and product development to have saved themselves. But the cancer of bureaucracy is virtually impossible to remove once it gets hold, risk is forbidden, consensus trumps adventure, and the board play at corporate finance and M&A because that's easier than real work. And so we see a slow drift to irrelevance.

I work in business strategy, and all the time I see a battle between the forces of light (good ideas, passion, risk taking, entrepreneurship) and those of the dark side (inertia, complacency, risk aversion, sloth, bureaucracy). This battle goes on every day in any large business, but at IBM, the dark side has won. It could yet be turned round, but it won't, because the management are entrenched and overly comfortable. They will mostly do very well out of the slow decline - why take a risk, or take on more hard work? And because of the way Wall Street works, even if the entire board were (quite reasonably) sacked without notice and without compensation, unfortunately their replacements would be exactly the same sort of C-suite leeches, with the same selfish values, the same lack of closeness to customers and markets, the same cluelessness, and the same contempt for shareholder value.

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Israeli drones and jet signals slurped by UK and US SIGINT teams

Ledswinger
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Devil

Wouldn't US slurping of Israeli intel...

..create the mother of all feedback loops?

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Zuck's bucks are now the world's 6th-largest cash pile

Ledswinger
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FB will never make money

I don't think that was absolute, merely an observation about the returns on investment for shareholders. With a current market cap of c$300bn, and earnings for FY2016 that might get as far as $24bn, its looking more like a utility but with more risk. And as free cash flow is only circa $6bn a year, that's not much of a hypothetical dividend, is it - ignoring the fact that they don't pay any dividend.

The vast wealth of Zuck is (like the other FANG founders) is based on high capitalisations of their owned stocks, when the real economic value of those stocks is a fraction of the price the market is currently paying. And the reason the market pays those? QE, bank bail outs, and the flood of fearful or dirty money out of emerging markets. There's no long term case for the FANG stock prices.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise axing services techies again

Ledswinger
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Re: I would propose a law stating that...

After massive sacks, bonuses can't be paid to executives for the following five years.

That's the sort of protectionist legislation that's left the French economy as the sick man of Europe. I think companies should be at liberty to dump staff whenever they want, subject to two caveats:

1) Where jobs are moved offshore, duties should be imposed equivalent to the avoided UK employment taxes. At c13% employers NI, say 12% employee NI, and an average rate of 7% for income tax, so that'd be about 32% of the UK salary. That'd make UK based companies think twice before hollowing out the UK economy.

2) Statutory redundancy pay to be significantly higher, and with few get out clauses for employers. If companies need or want to get rid of people, let them do it. But as somebody who has been lucky enough to be paid off handsomely twice by virtue of generous employers, I'd like to see that cushion far more widely offered. And the thieves of government could also raise the tax free element by about double.

I suspect that there's more than a few of HP's discarded workforce who are actually delighted to have gone, if they've had decent exit terms.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Going to get hard for the marketing team

When they try to convince a prospect that HPE can do on-site support they're going to start hearing "Oh yeah ? With who ?"

Sadly not. The ITO (and BPO) markets are driven by knowledge asymmetry between client and vendor. The decision makers at the client don't have a clue what costs the vendor has, and suck up the promises of vast savings AND superior service. By the time they find out otherwise they've signed a long term, and very one sided SLA and its too late.

Even if the client asks the right questions, they'll get the sort "of acknowledge-bridge-convert" response of a greasy politician being quizzed by Eddie Mair, so they they don't actually definitively answer the original question, but leave an impression that they have. This very morning I spent a pleasant hour with one of the leading UK academics on the subject of BPO, at which we agreed that BPO rarely delivers, because the SLA's don't do what the client expects, and because of the information imbalance between the negotiators.

Directors the world over still fall for the idea that a job they don't want to manage will somehow be performed better by somebody else, for less money. Presumably these people still believe in unicorns.

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Home Office lost its workers' completed security vetting forms

Ledswinger
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Re: Too Many Errors

To highlight how utterly odious the Home Sec actually is.

Why particularly this one? Because politicians don't get out enough, whenever they arrive at the HO, they believe the rubbish they're inculcated with, about bazillions of bloodcurdling terror threats, and how the world will end unless they cave in to the spooks and the flatfeet. And as a result there's nothing to choose between them once they get their feet under the desk.

I don't think May had a good reputation to start with, but remember Jack Straw? He had a very good reputation for a politician before he became home secretary (i'm no Labour supporter, please note), and then he kicked off RIPA, which was Snoopers Charter 1.0.

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Two-thirds of Android users vulnerable to web history sniff ransomware

Ledswinger
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Building their own coffin

Google's failure to sort out Android security is well known. I can see the practical and commercial reasons for doing nothing for handsets that have been remaindered, and at the moment this malware is in the badlands outside the Play store. But you can see where this is heading.

Unfortunately for Google, their failure to fully secure up even the current version, never mind the billions of older devices means that sooner or later something really nasty is going to make it into the Play store, and all hell will be let loose across millions of phones - be it ransomware, some form of APT or botnet, keylogging/bank spying, or whatever. And when that happens, Apple's cash registers will melt, as a significant proportion of people decide that whilst they don't mind Google spying on them, they simply won't tolerate its slipshod security, and indifference to older handsets.

Personally I don't own any Apple products, and I don't like their obscene profits and limited user control. But I can see the day coming when Android is less a phone OS, and more of a malware deployment system.

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Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

Ledswinger
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Trollface

Re: Why are they ending it now?

The emissions laws don't come into force until 2020, and the replacement car is due out in 2018 - so why are they ending production now at the start of 2016?

Here's a clue:

... by today's standards it is also monumentally uncomfortable, slow and unwieldy. It's out-of-date, basically.

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Back to the Future's DeLorean is coming back to the future

Ledswinger
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Re: A couple points ...

Wanders off wondering why (British Govt subsidies perchance?)

$120m in 1978. Say £74m in 1978 prices, so about £330m at 2015 values. Which means the British taxpayer paid a subsidy in today's money of £36k per car completed.

Put another way, 2,500 people were employed for two years, so that's £132k per head in current values, and £66k per employee per year, for jobs that (again in current money) would be about £21k average salary.

Good to see that HM Government has always been consistent in the value for money it offers taxpayers.

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ICO says TalkTalk customers need to get themselves a lawyer

Ledswinger
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Re: WalkWalk

I'm still waiting for a call back with contact details for a UK-based manager that I can talk to - since asking for it in November, though ......

No problem, they are over eight weeks and complaint is not resolved, you can refer your complaint to the Communications Ombudsman, whether W*nkW*nk like it or not:

http://www.ombudsman-services.org/who-can-we-help-communications.html

Simply by taking the complaint up for investigation, W*nkW*nk will be charged a case fee of around £400. They'll probably find in your favour - you won't get much by way of compensation, but you'll have your complaint resolved, and you are not exposed to any risk of paying their costs regardless of the outcome, so hit them where it hurts.

The same organisation (as the Energy Ombudsman) and broadly similar rules applies to energy suppliers, so any unhappy energy customers should do the same. You can complain before the eight weeks, but to do that you have to have what's called a "deadlock letter", where the company admit that you and they cannot agree - getting one of those out of an under-performing company is like getting blood out of a stone.

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Lincolnshire council shuts down all IT after alleged 0-day breach

Ledswinger
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Re: Dissapointed

Holds in the evidence better until you can get to the bathroom.

Why soil the bathroom? Unleash the trousered waste in the garden, and tell anybody who complains that you're part of the crew digging an escape tunnel.

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Ban internet anonymity – says US Homeland Security official

Ledswinger
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Re: Feck Off

We'll have the TSA with their rubber gloves at boarding gates for US bound flights soon.

We most certainly will:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3367396/US-guards-guns-patrol-British-airports-time-controversial-new-plans-discussed-London-Washington.html

Excuse the source, just the first news link to this story that Google chucked up.

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Outage outrage: Banks need clear targets for improving IT systems

Ledswinger
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If one judges by the serial mis-selling scandals, and the need to bail out a large proportion of the banking industry a few scant years ago, the banks could start off by getting some genuine financial expertise into their boardrooms, instead of rent-a-director clowns focused solely on trousering vast bonuses.

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Brit censors endure 10-hour Paint Drying movie epic

Ledswinger
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Re: Too easy

Just to make sure they really verified the whole film.

You don't think that they considered that the main risk? It's not like Charlie Lyne kept his plans secret, and the risk was always that if the fast-forwarded through it they'd miss something hugely embarrassing.

Although equally, if they had a digital copy, they should have been able to get a frame on frame analysis to pick up any differences, check those out, then fast forward through at 50x, and the laugh would be on Lyne and his clown-funding chums.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Brilliant

Can't wait to watch it.

Speak for yourself. I shall hold out for the 3D version because it will be so much more immersive as an experience.

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Five reasons why the Google tax deal is imploding

Ledswinger
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Re: So are they breaking the law or not?

I thought Google's dealings were, while naughty, not technically illegal.

That depends on how you define and treat transfer pricing. Under most international agreements and UK domestic law, transfer pricing to transfer profits across borders is illegal. And that's the problem, HMRC are quite happy to harass SMEs and individual contractors, but they've been curiously uncurious when it comes to investigating Google's trading arrangements, or Starbucks' bean purchasing. Anybody foolish enough to believe Google et al when they maintain that their arrangements are legal and they make little or no profit in the UK needs to ask themselves why these companies report multi-billion dollar UK profits to their shareholders.

If our government were not such a bunch of retards, and HMRC had some talent, they'd have nailed the big corporate tax dodgers, just like the French appear to be doing.

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Uber driver 'pulls handgun' on passenger

Ledswinger
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Re: should have shot him

Blood is hard to clean out of the seats.

The case for red leather is looking better. But better use a softpoint round, because you don't want to put a hole in the upholstery as you deal justice to your passengers.

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Dixons Carphone to shut down 134 shops

Ledswinger
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Re: oh well

one less 'Blot on the High Street' in a good many parts of the country

Which only leaves Greggs, Birthdays, Clinton Cards, Sports Direct, Cash Converters, O2, EE, Vodafone, KFC, Burger King, Game, Ernest Jones, JD Wetherspoon............

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China has a chip to fry with y'all: Wants its own chip smarts and fabs

Ledswinger
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Re: Interesting times

The big difference seems to be that Chinese industry is much more aligned with state policy, which makes sense in their system.

Isn't working out so well for Chinese heavy industry and infrastructure, is it? State bureaucrats picking winners is a recipe for failure, and has been wherever it has been tried, and we're just entering the unravelling phase of China's infrastructure growth plans, where they find that there's no happy ending when you have manufacturing capacity at least double the reliable world demand for coal, cement, steel, shipbuilding, or construction work, all funded by debt they will never repay.

Semiconductors sound a lovely growth idea, but sadly they aren't manpower intensive, nor will they demand the sort of skills of (for example) the 100,000 workers laid off by Longmay Group (a large Chinese coal mining conglomerate) late last year. So seeking to build some national champions in semi fabrication isn't that clever - capital intensive, high risk, low job count, all in a cyclical industry with high fixed costs. It'll play out like the other commodity industries that the party has allowed to build up.

Just as the Soviet Union was bankrupted by economic sclerosis and excessive state directed spending (largely on the military), China is at risk of doing the same, except that the state spending is on state-directed "capitalism".

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Police Scotland will have direct access to disabled parking badge database

Ledswinger
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Re: Also Parent and Child bays

Just looking around, I'd honestly say there are far more parents with kids shopping at these places than disabled folks so it seems an odd imbalance.

Which is part of the problem. Because there's (at many but not all car parks) acres of very poorly utilised disabled parking, it encourages people to conclude that there's neither the need, nor any inconvenience caused by misuse.

Round my way, there's entire floors of unused disabled bays on multi-storey car parks. A little bit of common sense and adjustment might actually bring need and provision closer together, and actually discourage misuse, rather than idiot planners and policy makers dictating what provision should exist.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Why badges?

They should confiscate the vehicles instead and put them into the crusher for repeat offenders.

Seems to me the plods have got the wrong end of the stick. We've all seen people using blue badges when (to all appearances) there's nothing wrong with them at all. Not unreasonable of the police to check that the users are bona fide. BUT...round my way they do little or nothing about misuse of disabled bays by people with no blue badge at all, and that looks to be a far more common occurrence.

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Retailers urged to create 'CCTV-like' symbol to inform customers of mobile tracking

Ledswinger
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Re: "... retailer’s smart phone app. "

SSssshhhhhhh! There's people round here paid money to create those sort of apps - do you want to do some fellow commentard out of a job?

But, in partial answer, Reg readers are hardly the target demographic for these things, are we?

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Kentucky to build 3,400-mile state-owned broadband network – and a fight is brewing

Ledswinger
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Re: Dug their own grave

The cable companies generally have a local monopoly, granted by the local government. They have been very lax about upgrading their services in many areas

That is a failure of regulation, not of capitalism. The company does either what generates a commercial return, or what it is mandated to to do by the regulator to protect its licence. Obviously the marginal cost of rural broadband means it isn't economic, but that's where the state regulator should step in and clearly hasn't.

In the scenario described, the residents of Kentucky are paying for government to regulate the telecom monopolists, but government are failing to achieve what the population want. Up pops another bit of the same state government saying "we could build a network ourselves!". If the state government isn't capable of regulation (which is primarily simple: giving monopolists strategic direction with the force of law to compel them to follow it), then which simple minded people honestly believe that the same government will be able to deliver this mythical state backbone?

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Folk shun UK.gov's 'expensive' subsidised satellite broadband

Ledswinger
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Re: Cross-subsidy

It can only work for broadband if other telcos have to contribute to the USO too.

Well done Sherlock! You articulate a problem by assuming the the cross subsidy would be only for one company, and then present the solution. It wasn't rocket science, now was it?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Cross-subsidy

For example one customer is 12 miles away from the exchange in the highlands

But it is curious that we can afford a national infrastructure for electricity and "damp string" telecoms without the cross subsidies being deemed unduly onerous....

Just playing devils advocate, btw.

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Ledswinger
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Re: £££££££££££

Currently on 1.9Mbps VDSL.

Wow. Can you apply for a reduction in your rates?

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Google and HMRC face Parliamentary grilling over £130m tax deal

Ledswinger
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Re: HMRC and Tax

Why is it the larger the Company earn the less they pay in Tax whereas for people the larger they earn the more they pay in Tax ?

Maybe because big companies can afford to pay expensive tax consultants like Deloitte, who appear to now employ Dave Hartnett? So in addition to giving my money away whilst employed as a the most wined and dined civil servant in Britain, he has retired on a fattest-of-fat-cats civil service gold plated pension, and now he gets (I suspect) some fairly generous compensation for helping more big companies "manage their tax liabilities", even as the rest of us have to pay for his index linked pension. What a cunt.

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'No safe level' booze guidelines? Nonsense, thunder stats profs

Ledswinger
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Re: Governemt "expert committees"

The real mistake was abandoning APT before they had perfected it (it was nearly there).

The Eyeties bought some of the technology and perfected it, and that's what a Virgin Pendolino is. However, the real problem was (for both trains) betting the farm on a technology to avoid straightening out the bends in about four significant locations, when the real barrier to high speed was mainly the signalling (which was known even in the days of the APT).

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BT dismisses MPs' calls to snap off Openreach as 'wrong-headed'

Ledswinger
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I have never understood why successive governments have been allowed to continue selling off our national assets.

Largely because they can't manage these industries themselves, but also because they need the money because they spend more than they raise in taxes. And the current lot are just the same - David Cameron is at heart a champagne socialist, who despite please to the contrary is committed to high levels of public spending, well ahead of the taxes paid.

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Ledswinger
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Re: New Zealand has done it.

Hell, they have even done it with National Rail. Why not BT Openreach?

Well, maybe because Network Rail have proved no better than Railtrack? So we have long delays in rail development schemes (despite the vast public subsidies), Network Rail has five directors earning £800-900k a year, we have project planning that is utterly incompetent, a regulator described as "unfit for purpose" by the Public Accounts Committee:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/20/network-rail-investment-plan-has-staggering-costs-report-finds

Looks to me like state ownership marginally changes the appointment process for fat cats, without making much difference to their obscene pay packets, nor their performance.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Publicly owned business

Utilities should be publicly owned, run as a business with the government as a silent owner.

I'm not sure where you think the governance of an organisation comes from if the government are somehow a "silent owner". In practice it would be run by the management based on what they think best. Do you really think that if the management of a company are accountable essentially to themselves, that will lead to an efficient and effective, customer focused organisation?

I'd have thought there were more than enough utterly ineffective, unaccountable quangos with obscenely over-paid management to give you an answer. Like, in this case, OFCOM.

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Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Privatisation

The gift that keeps on giving.

There speaks a boy not old enough to remember how expensive voice calls were under state ownership, how it took six months to even get a line installed, and how the state owned operator thought it acceptable to offer only "party lines".

But don't let any inconvenient facts stand in the way of religious belief: Vote for Jezza and we will soon have a Venzuelan style workers' paradise here in the UK.

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Someone please rid me of this turbulent Windows 10 Store

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: What went wrong?

It is probably too late for anyone to take MS seriously any more.

Corporate IT buyers are starting to like Windows phones. And luckily for Microsoft, corporate users rarely have a say, other than a few PHBs who can be individually bought off with an iPhone.

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Samsung sued over 'lackadaisical' Android security updates

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Move along, nothing to see

Data security is a top priority and we work hard every day to ensure that the devices we sell and the information contained on those devices are is safeguarded

Meaning:

Data security is a top priority and we work hard every day to ensure that the devices we sell on that day and the information contained on those devices are is safeguarded for the whole day. But after that you're on your own.

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Thousands fled TalkTalk after gigantic hack, confirm researchers

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: They are rubbish

My mother in law died 14 months ago and we cancelled her talk-talk phone then. We are still getting bills

Take your complaint to the Communications Ombudsman. They aren't usually quick, but they usually deliver. Not only will they force TwatTwat to sort it out, and probably pay you some desultory compensation, but simply by Ombusdman Services taking the case on, TwatTwat will be charged a circa £400 case fee.

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