* Posts by Ledswinger

4085 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Standards body wants standards for IoT. Vendors don't care

Ledswinger
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Re: IOT is a lot of bedroom ideas from unskilled techies

IOT and smart home applicaces has to have some long term support and direction to be anything other than expensive gimmicks

Before that, they need to have some genuine benefit. I'm still struggling to see what the IoT will do for me.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Love that typo...

They do need to start getting sued as a hit to their bottom line will be the only thing they understand.

I would suggest that fines on business are a very limited influence on corporate behaviour. They're routinely "below the line" when considering executive bonuses, and the effective impact is on shareholders. Unless the impact is material, the shareholders don't care, and the evidence of repeated illegal and immoral behaviours in the banking sector shows that even when the fines are material the culture is not changed.

Whilst there's far more limited evidence than for the ineffectiveness of fines, I think there's some good anecdotal evidence that suggests that temporary prohibition of sales is far more effective. I suspect that's because it does invariably affect the executive bonuses, and because it paralyses large swathes of the business, who have to sit around for the duration of a ban on full pay, doing nothing. Whilst it might be your vision of hell, imagine yourself as an outbound call centre boss. Now imagine that your company has had its licence (or technical been , having to walk out of your office, and see that the entire building are doing nothing because the company has been suspended from selling. Now imagine that for as little as two weeks. By the end of that time there's huge internal recriminations about whose fault it all was, bitter feuds about cost allocation, employees have spent two weeks surfing job websites etc, and the whole situation is becoming a bit anarchic. As a director, a nice, simple, easily paid fine is far and away the preferred option.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Fridge on the Net

The fridge on the net? Why

Primarily so that somebody can package up the energy demand of a fleet of fridges, and sell that as a demand side response measure. DECC are in love with the idea of "demand side response" as a fix for the electricity system that they have broken, so they're very keen on all of this sort of stuff, although the simple reality is that the value of DSR at the household level is so low that you'd not be interested in changing your behaviour to take part, so it all relies on automation.

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Self-driving vehicles might be autonomous but insurance pay-outs probably won't be

Ledswinger
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Re: Traffic? Traffic!!

Oh, and how does one re-fuel the vehicle.

You already know.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Road Markings

Why are you here?

QOTW.

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Ledswinger
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it seems to show that most people don't give the furry crack of a rats arse about how much litter they drop

Given the general shortage of rubbish bins on stations (largely due to the activities of assorted terrorist groups over the years), what do you expect people to do, carry their crud around all day? And what's more, when I leave my litter on a train, I am proudly keeping somebody in a job. And rail is no different to airlines, where the peasants disembark from an aircraft whose cabin then looks like the inside of a dustbin lorry, and a small horde of heroes climb into the be-shitted hulk, and rapidly convert it into a nearly presentable cabin. Cleaners of the world, I salute you!

According to the Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick, there's 448,000 people employed in the UK cleaning industry. I'd argue that at least a third of those are employed in dealing with avoidable litter (as opposed to day to day grime and soiling), so that's about 115,000 people kept in a job by people leaving stuff on trains, planes, or round the office.

So, Tony S, I kept 115,000 people in a job today. What did you do for society?

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Nippy, palaver and cockwomble: Greatest words in English?

Ledswinger
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I think the correct word is obstreperous

No, that's a different word, and you perhaps are being blinkered by the narrow scope of dictionaries. Obstropolous is a most marvellous new word that should be added to the OED forthwith.

However, this fine invention does not address the tragic shortage of good quality obscenities in English. The primary colours of obscenity are about seven core words, then extended with modifiers and combinations. The number one position is held by "fuck" a fine obscenity, and a short blunt word with a lovely mouth feel to it, even onomatopoeic when used as an adjective, but you very quickly run out of swear words after that. As any Two Pint Screamer demonstrates after they've had a few on Saturday night:

"Yer fuckin fook-headed fooker, yer spilt me fooking drink, fook yer, yer f-ffucking fookwit fooker!"

So, commentards, could we have some new swear words. Ideally not related to the existing rather small collection.

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Navy engineer gets 11 years for attempted espionage

Ledswinger
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Re: Just curious,

Handing over secrets of your own country to the benefit of a foreign nation (in this case Egypt) is treason.

Actually it's just silly. Who (that doesn't already have them) would want the plans to make themselves a vastly over-budget, still-not-working aircraft carrier? The entire Egyptian defence budget is less than the cost of a single Ford class carrier.

On further reflection, instead of villain or buffoon, maybe he was a true hero working for Uncle Sam. It'd be a huge win to have foreign nations copy the US (and British) strategy of bogging yourselves down building pointless, non-functional military assets that they can't afford.

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Slacker vendors' one-fix-a-year effort leaves 88% of Androids vulnerable

Ledswinger
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Re: Get updates quicker for less money....

Over the time of your contract, it is actually alot cheaper to get a sim-only deal for £12 and buy your phone outright,

Sometimes, yes, but there are exceptions. Search around the reseller and price comparison web sites, and you'll find last year's models on contract at prices that you will often struggle to match SIM free. Of course, that lumps you back in the "what updates?" world, but the cheapest way of getting a half way decent phone for my daughter was to buy a full fat Sammy S5 on contract.

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Ring Chime: Needy wireless doorbell or $30 bling t'ing?

Ledswinger
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Re: Another way

One of my better decisions was throwing away our wireless door bell. Complete POS, because it had a long range but only eight different "channels", so real risk of conflict with neighbours, when the mains power went down the mains sounder would resync to the first pushed door bell, and the battery in the bell push gave no warning of its demise. I flinch in horror at the needless complexity of an IoT or phone connected door bell. A simple bell wire connected unit powered by a couple of D cells is sooooo much better.

But even then half the delivery drivers are now trained to ignore door bells because they so often don't work. The best solution is a damned great brass door knocker. Traditionalists can opt for a dog's head, but I've been on the look out for a big brass tallywhacker, resting on a pair of pods - strangely these don't seem to be widely stocked.

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Windows 10 preview on death row, will be executed on Thursday

Ledswinger
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Re: Windows 10 mobile also on death row

What then, is the unique selling point of Windows phones?

Cheaper than Apple, not as painful for IT departments as the million and one unsupported Android variants a business quickly finds on its asset register.

Note that "popular", "nice to use", "requested by users", "good" aren't part of that proposition. The day of WIndows Phone may yet come, but if it does, it will be exclusively in situations where somebody else decides what phone you should have.

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Ledswinger
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I've used Classic Shell with 8/8.1/8.1u since launch, and it is excellent. But why should I need it for Windows 10? Classic Shell was required because the clowns of Redmond messed up the whole UI. WIndows 10's only promise was a fixed UI, and a side order of silly toys like Cortana.

They delivered the silly toys, they didn't fix the UI, so why would anybody upgrade from either W7, or W8+Classic Shell? And that's why I'm not taking up Microsoft's "free upgrade", because it isn't. It might be free, but it isn't an upgrade, so why take a chance on having to find where they've hidden everything, risk things that work suddenly not working, and have to reinstall Classic Shell?

I hope that business schools around the world are teaching Microsoft's OS strategy as a real time masterclass in how not to do things.

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Playboy drops the butt-naked ladies

Ledswinger
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Re: In Japan it's pretty much

For a time Playboy Japan carefully airbrushed out any sign of pubic hair, because it was on the 'thou shalt not show' list.

Time moves on, and now the airbrush artiste finds their skills unwanted, even with PSP....

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Ledswinger
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"Penthouse" tested the legal waters in England with a full frontal centrefold in 1971/72. "Mayfair" followed suit - and probably "Playboy" wasn't far behind.

I can remember some epic, teenage eyeball scorching images in "Amateur Photographer" from the 1970s. Some advert for flashguns I think, but the image is still joyously imprinted on my retinas. Thank you, AP of the time. Today it's a dull comic full of black and white dullness.

Mind you, those were the days of desperate schoolboys hoping to find a trucker's discarded jazz mag, and failing that having to resort to the corset pages of the mail order catalogues. Nowadays they probably draw the curtains and watch "The Next Step". Hmmphh. Probably, I wouldn't know anything about that myself.

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Amazon Fire HD 8: Mid-spec Nokia Lumi... er, MediaTek slab

Ledswinger
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Devil

Re: "I wonder if that means Mayday was over- or under-used?"

we left some essential DLLs off the installation CD for several thousand units shipping in the runup to Christmas.

Haven't all true techies got a memory like this? I have. Luckily for users everywhere I haven't been a true techie for more than two decades. But working in technology is like the pox - once you've been touched by it, it never leaves you.

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Ledswinger
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Re: re -Siri, Cortana or Google Now

I really cant see this competing with that more versatile fuller featured full HD Huld 2.

Particularly for those able and willing to pay in Clubcard vouchers. OK, you forgo other choices, but through that route I only paid ten quid in cash for mine. And Amazon want HOW MUCH?

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Credit card numbers stolen from charity America's Thrift Stores

Ledswinger
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I quite like the idea of knowing that my donations actually go towards helping people - not to paying for the next years firewall maintenance contract.

Why? If you're entitled by experience and training to read this website, then you (like me) are an overhead to the business we support. A charity might not run for investor benefit, but that apart it is a straightforward corporate entity, needing sales to generate a profit to support its operations, and needing all those horrible things like Finance, IT, HR, Procurement, Marketing, Ops Planning, Legal, Facilities, etc.

The best you can hope for with a charity is that its overheads are efficient by which I mean they get a good bang for their buck. If that requires buying a proper firewall, a proper EPOS, or professionally audited accounts then that's not really a sad state of affairs, is it?

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Smut-slingers' malvertising allowed into Android apps, moan devs

Ledswinger
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Re: easy solution!

OK, so that "easy" solution helps a bit. But you're still exposed through a range of other routes, and given the completely failed model of software updates that Android has, we are stuck with billions of vulnerable phones. Those sufficiently keen might be able to root their phone, stick on Cyanogenmod and consider themselves protected, but that's not an option for the masses.

As far as I can see we're getting to the stage where either (a) Google pull a rabbit out of the hat on security, privacy, and advertising control, or (b) the day of "free" software is over. The probability of (a) is about the same as that of hell freezing over, third party phone OS like Ubuntu, Firefox and Sailfish all appear to have faded away, living on only for tinkerers and phone devs, which really only leaves Redmond's unloved spawn, or Apple.

Personally, I hate Apple. I hate their unjustified margins paid by the technically illiterate. I hate their cludgy "welcome to 2007" interface. I hate the lack of user control. I hate their non-standard everything. I hate them taking a big cut of app and media sales. I hate their smugness. I particularly hate Jonny Ive. But Google seem to be doing everything in their power to force me into Apple's arms. Not that Apple are faultless - but as with computer software, Apple are considerably less blase about security than their main competitor, and when you balance Google's increasingly intrusive spying and ad-forcing, it starts to look like Apple is (sadly for me) the way forward.

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FBI boss: No encryption backdoor law (but give us backdoors anyway)

Ledswinger
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Re: People know

Well, he keeps flogging the Syrian one fiercely. Now with added Russian sado-masochism.

Don't forget the bit-part actors. I particularly enjoyed* Cameron condemning the Ruskies for bombing "the wrong sort of rebel", and "killing women and children" on the same day that the Yanks deliberately bombed an MSF hospital in Afghanistan. Funnily enough, the pudgey faced Etonian forgot to condemn the murder of volunteer medical workers.

* Well, not "enjoyed" as such. Rather, I put aside the tragedy of another US war crime, and reveled in Cameron showing off his finest 's Forrest Gump qualities.

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Meg Whitman: Next Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO is already on the payroll

Ledswinger
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A bit like...

paying your own undertaker.

So sad given the heritage, but let's be honest, nobody will miss HPE.

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Phone-fondling docs, nurses sling patient info around willy-nilly

Ledswinger
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my hospital trust had an enterprise-wide phone system with secure SMS and voicemail

Wow SMS and voicemail. The NHS enters the early 1990s. And that included easy to use, high quality photo messaging, and all client devices were photo-capable and to the same high standard for the troops as well as the bosses?

IME any corporate implementation invariably involves premium smartphones for the big swinging dicks, and the hoi polloi get to use some cheap shit that doesn't work properly "to save money". My employers (a c£7bn turnover UK operation) are not uncommon in this respect and expect the peasants to use Sammy Galaxy Ace 4's, which is a piece of unfit-for-purpose shit in a corporate environment. In fact, I wouldn't even give it to my kids.

I suppose this comes down to priorities. If I was in hospital, I really wouldn't give a tinker's cuss about medical staff using private mobile devices to seek second opinions, or communicate information about my care. If some ne'r do well hacked in and found a picture of my wound, symptoms, or care plan, I'd not give a shit.

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Online VAT fraud: Calls for government crackdown grow louder

Ledswinger
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Re: Ordering 'stuff' from outside the EU

Sorted, if I was kind of the world it would be so much simpler.

Maybe so, but you can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs, and in this case the eggs to be broken include all of the EU laws, conventions and agreements that support cross border trade, all of the bilateral trading agreements reached with various countries, plus you'd need to close loopholes that would exist from or through (eg) Isle of Man, Channel Islands. And you'd need a new and very effective system to monitor and administer all incoming air mail, all trucks, containers, post, courier etc etc.

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US Treasury: How did ISIS get your trucks? Toyota: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Ledswinger
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Re: Hmmm

Big problem is that middle east and gulf have lots of oil, so they have lots of cash to splash on weapons.

There's certainly no shortage of dodgy money, but the reality on the ground is that weaponry is cheap. IS may have captured a lot of US kit (in addiiton to stuff the Yanks supplied to groups that then joined IS), but the bulk of their strength is beaten up pickups, cheap-as-chips AK47s, and suicide bombers.

If the market for oil vanished overnight, and the sovereign wealth funds of oil exporters mysteriously shrivelled, the middle east would still be an uncivilised, smelly, seething, fighting mass.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Stones and Glass Houses

do they have more Landcruisers than Humvees?

According to press reports, IS captured something around 2,300 Humvees when the Iraqi army ran away, so I'm guessing that the answer to your question is no.

You've got to hand it to the US military industrial complex, they came upon a winning business model when they armed, bankrolled and trained the Taliban back in the 1980s. For these people, beardy terrorists (BTs) are the gift that keeps on giving:

1) you can make the arms to be sent to them directly when you thought BTs were on your side,

2) you can make the arms to be used in invading the BT's country when you decide to unseat a government that you don't like,

3) you can make the arms to be given to weak "allies" who then hand them over to the BTs,

4) you can make the arms to then be used destroying all the stuff the BT's have acquired,

5) you can make the arms to join in a ten-way civil war, then after that has been "won" and a puppet government installed...

6) you can (again) make the arms to give to the puppet government's cowardly military,

7 <GOTO STEP 4>

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Ledswinger
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Re: Err...geeee... I dunno??? Get detective Steakout on the case!

Don't forget that Texas plumber's pickup, that found its way to Syria, and had a gun mounted on the back, whilst still carrying the original paintwork. Which begs the question of how the Yanks are allowing secondhand vehicles off of their own roads to end up with the beardos.

Mind you far better to point the finger at Toyota than fess up to their own incompetence.

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French hacks go after new surveillance law … with the help of the ECHR

Ledswinger
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Re: Why dont they just cut the bullshit already

"It's not very cost effective for everyone to build their own slurping contraption, the maintenance efforts are enormous, so lets be pragmatic about it"

The costs don't matter, because from the perspective of politicians, bureaucrats or the Stasi themselves, it's only taxpayers money being spent, and that's free, doesn't have to be earned, and the spending of it involves no accountability whatsoever.

Why be pragmatic (or even rational) when there's no need to? Defence procurement has followed the "kid in a sweetshop" approach for years, the intelligence services have now realised that waffling about major new threats can give them access to the same bottomless pit of cash.

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Microsoft, Tesla, build battery that knows how much (energy) you suck

Ledswinger
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Don't get your hopes up

.....Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana and google's Now, as those programs already have an understanding of user behaviour

And there was me thinking that these programs were just a coder's joke, intended to show the limits of voice recognition and user-grade AI.

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White House 'deeply disappointed' by Europe outlawing Silicon Valley

Ledswinger
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Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

In the past, it came in handy to rescue the Brits from the Germans....

Au contraire, the RN (doing a sterling job) contained the Germans, but didn't rescue us or defeat them. And I say that as somebody proud of the fact that a great uncle served on the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Bombing in 15 minutes!

There is a clear Responsibility to Protect here.

I don't think many of the commentariat understand. Which is a pity, because you're right.

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THIS is MASSIVE! Less-Masslessness neutrino boffins bag Physics Nobel

Ledswinger
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Makes particle physics sound like climate science

"We couldn't find what we were looking for, so obviously what we found had to be the thing we were looking for, and it had clearly transubstantiated as it came into the lab."

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If you wanted Windows 10, it looks like you've already installed it

Ledswinger
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Re: Are Win7 users not upgrading because of Win8/10's tiles?

Oddly ms seem to have mostly given up on phones and tablets, so I don't know why they are still trying.

A couple of reasons. The first is that Microsoft never, ever listen to customers, and never see the world from the customer's perspective. So although there's no real market pull for Windows phones, they think that if they keep on, eventually world + dog will cave in and buy them. I don't agree, but as a customer of Microsoft they're hardly going to credit my opinion.

The second reason is that (notwithstanding the huge writedowns on the failed Nokia phones acquisition), they'd have further writedowns on all of the investments in phone software and IP. That wouldn't land well with investors, nor would the immediate realisation that Microsoft is handcuffed to the desktop. Without a cloud offer, nothing to pitch for in IoT, no mobile presence, nothing in ad-serving and tracking (remember the huge and failed AQuantive acquisition?) where are they going? It'd kill their share price, and the value of the obscenely overpaid executives share options.

And even in desktop and related areas, they've done nothing to add real user value - other than a series of f***ed up UI changes, Microsoft haven't written much new code for years, so all the crap bits of Server, Office and Windows are still there. They wasted their money and time buying Minecraft, in a doomed bid to get down and groovy with the kids. And meanwhile people like AWS own the cloud, Google own ad-serving, Google and Apple divide the phone market between them, and the IoT will be exploited by somebody not called Microsoft.

As an investment case, Microsoft only has value to a patent troll, but for the execs to extract their pound of flesh they need to avoid the world realising that, and that's why they are still trying with phones.

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Only a CNUT would hold back the waves of the sharing economy

Ledswinger
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Re: There's a little more at stake here

EBay style in service ratings systems have already been shown to be an effective way to manage and help filter out charlatans. So while there will be teething problems,

Your confidence in online ratings is most touching, but rather your wife/girlfriend be the "teething problem" than mine.

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Microsoft gobbles Chipzilla's Havok 3D physics unit in cloud gaming play

Ledswinger
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Re: Microsoft's new battle cry?

What about

"Buy Havok and watch as it shrivels to nothing like most of our previous acquisitions"

Not very poetic, I'll grant you, but probably accurate.

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Watch out VW – French prosecutors are pulling on the rubber gloves

Ledswinger
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Re: Remapped ecus?

Having a turbo diesel remapped is reasonably common in the UK..

.....as is not informing the vehicle's insurers that the vehicle has been performance modified.

FTFY

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Ledswinger
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Re: Let he that is without sin...

Maybe, but what chance that the Frogs will conduct a robust, balanced investigation into their own car makers? I'd suggest this French investigation is about doing some damage to VW Group on behalf of the French "national champions".

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15 MILLION T-Mobile US customer records swiped by hackers

Ledswinger
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Re: I call BS on Experian's claims

If Experian doesn't stay ahead of the game, they know it will cost them dearly.

If they know that, why was their security so poor as to let sensitive data like this get hacked?

I say that Experian don't really care. Yes, there's probably a lot of good practice going on there, but when your sole job is handling sensitive data that's not enough. If that's your day job, you need to be bullet proof. Mind you, the turds at a UK mobile retailer (an incompetent division of Dixons Carphone) recently managed to achieve the same outcome without obvious assistance from Experian.

Unfortunately (for the UK at least) the penalties for data protection breaches are minimal, because all of the regulation is designed around the assumption that data protection is only about stopping spam marketing.

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IT supplier? Got a customer who won't pay? Dob them in to the Insolvency Service

Ledswinger
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Re: Extended ripoff

I don#t think you're forced to unless you use the insolvency process.

I'm unclear (thanks, Reg) why anybody would invoke this process. If the bills prior to insolvency process remain at risk, far better to walk away. And refuse to do anything for the administrators unless they pay an amount ex gratia that just happens to clear the outstanding bills.

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Microsoft sabotages own Lumia smartmobe flagship launch

Ledswinger
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Re: No comments an hour after posting.

if I have a regret it is that I should have jumped before

Imagine the similar regrets of Microsoft shareholders, who saw them pay $10bn for Nokia's phone business two years ago, and now have something that is worth diddly squat. And in 2014 alone, the key executives trousered $152m for their "services".

I suppose you do have to pay the going rate to get the best talent, and with the likes of HP and IBM also looking for obscenely over-paid, incompetent squanderers it's a tight C level labour market.

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175,000 whinge to Microsoft about phone tech support scams

Ledswinger
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Re: Education...but by who?

Education is the way to go

No, the way to go is to make payments processors responsible for reimbursing fraud victims. It is the lazy, greedy vermin at (amongst others) Mastercard and VIsa who happily act as a payment conduit for criminals and even keep 2.5% or whatever for themselves.

The only reason this form of crime exists is because these payments processors happily transact illegal business across borders, and then pretend they didn't know it was going on. In the UK I have to show my passport before I can open a savings account, get a numberplate made, or merely consult a lawyer, all "to prevent money laundering and fraud", but it seems that the payments processors evidently are allowed to do business with any two bit crook anywhere in the world.

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MYSTERY PARTICLE BLASTS from Ceres strike NASA probe Dawn

Ledswinger
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Re: Slump?

looks more like a giant sinkhole than an impact crater. I've no idea how that could work...

That's St Albans, not Ceres!

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Solar panel spammer hit by UK’s biggest ever nuisance calls fine

Ledswinger
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Re: Wot, no names?

since Companies House made provision for crooks to hide.

IIRC, directors were allowed to use non-residential addresses only after changes made in response to the criminal misbehaviour of animal rights extremists against the homes of company directors. So it was precisely this sort of vigilantism that means you usually find mailing addresses, nothing to do with "allowing crooks to hide".

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Ledswinger
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Is there some website you can get that info?

Yes, Companies House is the UK registry for all companies in mainland UK, and they hold all the details of shareholders, directors, and statutory accounts of all limited companies.

https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-a-company

Use the beta service that the web page links to, it's actually rather good, despite commentards round here moaning incessantly how poor government IT is. If you use the old and fugly Companies House website, they want a quid or so to download documents, but the beta service works better and sets them all free (Hurrah!). The only notable deficiency of both new and old services is that they don't make it easy to see a corporate family tree.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Ignorance of the rules

If this lot were part of a Government Green Initiative then why the hell weren't they audited to ensure that they DID know the rules and were going to abide by them?

There is a Green Deal Code of Conduct (that forbids cold calling, and mandates DPA compliance), and there is a Green Deal "Oversight & Registration Body" (GDORB) that claims to undertake audit and compliance work. Despite this HELM are still a registered Green Deal provider, for what this is now worth.

DECC spent almost £6m of your money on paying Gemserv Ltd to provide the GDORB service, looks like the taxpayer got shafted again. But when that tool Cameron has just promised £6bn of our money to foreigners to "combat climate change", what's the point in worrying about the waste of a mere £6m?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Fine was not big enough to serve as any sort of deterrent

The directors should be held liable, that would put a stop to it.

It's a privately held company, with the two directors being the sole shareholders. In this case the guilty do cop the fine, because it's 25% of last year's profit after tax.

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Ledswinger
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HELM was part of the Government Green Deal initiative

Don't worry, DECC and DCLG are currently cooking up a replacement scheme, and you can be sure that where there's government creation of a "market" there will soon be bottom feeders.

Which is a pity, because in addition to the unlamented death of Green Deal, the under-consultation cuts to feed in tariffs will be the thing that really put a stake through the heart of HELM's solar PV business.

I suspect the future is grim for PV installers in general, and for HELM staff, but the management of HELM will be back to milk whatever ghastly scheme DECC conjure up to combat climate change.

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Ledswinger
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In cases like these I'd like to know whether the fine is greater or less than the profit made unlawfully.

Latest accounts for HELMS were just lodged with Companies House, and they show that they had sales of £22m, and made profit after tax of £813k in 2014. So in net terms they have still benefited from their illegal behaviour, but a fine of £200k will sting.

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Met at 'huge risk' of botching its Sopra Steria outsourcing contract

Ledswinger
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are the people in Steria British nationals - can Steria guarantee this ?.

No, and no. Steria is a French company, but under the various idiotic free trade agreements that the British government have signed, there's little they can or will do to ensure that the work stays in the UK.

I know that they use offshore people a lot - as it is cheaper.

No, the oiks just get paid less. Lower factor productivity and the need of the vendor to recover the vast amounts of goodwill on their balance sheets (plus backloaded offers, aborted bid costs etc) mean that the savings of offshoring are illusory.

Why are no UK with UK based firms being asked to tender ?

It will have been publicly tendered. But anybody competent and with any sense of ethics wouldn't touch it, because they'll know that the desired savings can't be delivered for the client. Meanwhile, the buyer will listen to the snake oil salesmen explaining how much they can save by an efficient mixed sourcing model, and believe the lies. Why bid for a contract that you won't win? So long as the public sector rewards and encourages poor procurement practice, and fails to brutally punish failing suppliers, they guarantee that they'll always be taken for a ride.

how safe is the data that will be managed by the contract ?.

The outsourcer will promise whatever is required to secure the deal. But as UK newspapers found out some years ago, what a salesmen promises in the UK means nothing when you offer a few crisp notes to poorly paid offshore employees.

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Ledswinger
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Re: 60K per IT bod

Steria India's pay scales are reported on wage comparison web sites, and mid point for a basic "software engineer" is about 500,000 Rs which translates to about £5k. That's a lot cheaper than the implied average gross pay of £45k that the figures quoted mention.

Of course, by outsourcing to Steria, and by Steria funneling the work to illiterate, non-English speaking beggars in India (who'll spend 11 months in the job), the public sector hopes to avoid those inconveniences that they have mandated for UK employers, like NI, mandatory pension enrolment, minimium and in future "living" wage, high energy costs etc etc.

We all know it's going to end in tears (but only for the taxpayer).

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It's the white heat of the tech revolution, again!

Ledswinger
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Re: Government’s role is @Esme

I'm now fairly firmly in the 'the trouble with politics is that no matter whom you vote for, the damned politicians get in' camp.

We both are. You may dislike that useless, blue-blood, effete, Etonian lightweight we have for a PM at the moment, but I assure you that your distaste is as nothing compared to the views of most traditional Conservatives.

But I think the mistake you make is seeing Corbyn as different to either Farage or that Scotch woman. They're all representing people disaffected with the ghastly Yin and Yang of Labour/Liberal/Conservative parties who won't listen to their own constituencies, or the national mood.

But anyway +1 for the soapboxing! Oi! Reg editors! It's about time we had a given supply of upvotes that we could choose how many to award per post.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Changing goal posts

our new mini- (but maxi-priced) carriers aren't big enough to fly F35Cs from them without catapults, which they weren't fitted with because they're not nuclear powered.

The whole design concept for the two new RN aircraft-crappiers was misbegotten. Notwithstanding the cost overuns and problems the Yanks are having with the Ford class carriers, we'd still have been better joining the queue to buy two of those, given that the out-turn costs for our new carriers will undoubtedly be in double digit billions each. That way at least we'd have a decent asset (if we have to have carriers at all), and they'd be a standardised asset between us and the US.

Too late now. The cretins under Gordon Brown signed the country up for the rubbish we're getting purely in a wasted attempt to buy votes in the arse end of Glasgow. Corbyn must admire Brown sooooo much.

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