Re: The software has learned to drive like a taxi driver.....
Hah I was going to comment "just like a human Uber driver!"
282 posts • joined 12 Jun 2012
Hah I was going to comment "just like a human Uber driver!"
Yeah I was affected by that! Capita also cunningly made it near impossible to actually speak to anyone in their call centre, especially about council tax. Nearly all of the options in the menu eventually lead you to a pre-recorded message telling you that what you want to do can be done on the website whereupon it hangs up.
That would be fine if it wasn't a lie, you often can't do what they say you can on on the website! Still good way to cut call costs i guess.
I had an iMac for about three years and faced this issue towards the end of its life. The DVD drive broke and Apple wanted £200 to replace it so I didn't bother and bought a USB one for £30! Then of course the GPU started struggling with the latest games and I couldn't replace it. It was either spend £1200 on the latest one or build a PC for £800 that I can upgrade piece by piece over the years, so back to windows I went.
Hopefully they fixed this by now but I gave up on the 2FA for PayPal as it wouldn't work on their mobile site. Given it works by sending a text you'd think they would ensure it worked properly on a mobile browser! I contacted them to ask if they planned to implement it for their mobile and got a long winded reply that basically said "no idea, maybe".
I quite like windows 10 as well, my PC boots up a lot faster since I upgraded from Windows 7 and it doesn't get in the way like Windows 8 does. The snooping doesn't really bother me that much, only irritation is lack of control over when it installs updates. It always seems to pick a time I really need to start work quickly in order to spend ages churning away!
Yes they do an excellent job of hamstringing their investment by not making any! My old flat in the middle of north london was in a new build block. I was surprised to find I couldn't get cable, and when I checked the blocks either side were in fact covered. Because mine had been built later they apparently couldn't/wouldn't connect it up. I'm not sure they ever actually fill in the gaps in their current network let alone expand it!
I used Android pay for the tube for a while but gave up as it wasn't terribly reliable. When it did work it was convenient - i have three contactless cards in my wallet and it was easier to pull my phone out and tap it. Periodically it would just stop working requiring a reboot of the phone so I have up as this is bit of a faff at the tube gates. Also, if you swap from phone back to the actual card you don't benefit from price capping!
Great point on B4RN, I hadn't heard of that. I bet it would be cheaper and far more effective to just give affected rural communities funding to arrange something themselves rather than throwing money at the lumbering monolith of BT.
I had to show a whole department of users how to save an attachment from their email a few weeks ago. And no I don't even work on the helldesk!
I think it was a flimsy attempt to find the IT angle!
If the car didn't detect (i.e. couldn't see) the stakes lying in the ground in the dark, he probably wouldn't have either so I suspect he would have crashed with or without this autopilot feature turned on!
So it still needs a database to connect to in order to run queries? In that case DBAs will still be just as vital to keep it humming along nicely, and of course handle the query load this tool will generate.
What it really seems to be is a halfway house between writing SQL and using Business Objects, which of course needs a developer to set up the universe first. I think it would have a fairly niche audience in large companies in that case, but might come into its own for smaller companies that can't afford a fully fledged BI team.
To be fair the private sector is almost as bad, or worse in some examples! I think the problem in all cases boils down to unrealistic or overly optimistic planning. I've worked for a system integrator in the past and any project where one or more of the following is true will nearly always be more complicated than it first appears:
1) The system/application is used by more than 20 users or more than one department
2) The system/application is used directly by customers
3) The system/application is required to interface with more than two internal systems/applications
4) The project requires the cooperation of two or more third party companies.
"The business" or "the government" would often be put off embarking on a project if the true cost was revealed up front which enforces overly optimistic estimation, or in fact there may be a naive project manager who simply doesn't know how to properly estimate the project (this is worrying common).
The net result is you often end up with one of the following:
1) Massive cost/time over runs (most common)
2) Project being abandoned with lots of money effectively down the drain. Prepare for another attempt in a couple of years when the scars have healed!
3) Project delivered but with so much functionality de-scoped the original business case may not stand up. "Phase 2" then gets mooted but never happens, or a new project to replace the half baked deliverable begins.
This is a big problem for IT to overcome. I think the main causes are the shortage of 1) technical people who can provide proper estimates and 2) managers who ignore those estimates or massage them to make an acceptable business case!
"I'm fairly sure the company I work for could ditch at least three-quarters of their Windows licences". I definitely agree with you here. Even though I'm relatively favourable towards MS (I'm a SQL Server BI dev) I think this is definitely the way things are going.
Our company switched from Lotus Notes (shudder) to Google Apps for business a while ago and we haven't looked back. The majority of people here now work in Chrome for most of the day, either using the excellent Google app suite or one of our internal applications which are now largely web based and even (shock horror) mostly run in browsers other than IE. The collaboration facilities in Google apps are a dream compared to the horror of SharePoint.
It is only really our IT staff, data analysis/reporting teams (like mine) and graphic designers who need a full fat desktop OS. The designers mostly use Mac OS anyway. I'm stuck with Windows whatever for now as I need to use Visual Studio and SQL Management Studio. Increasingly we are moving to Linux for severs so this probably won't continue for too much longer unless MS pull their finger out!
The two things I do at home which keep me on Windows are gaming and Photoshop. Photoshop I could do on a Mac but gaming isn't really there yet. Although I think Windows 10 is actually pretty decent (privacy issues aside) MS really need to come up with some good reasons to stick with it long term pretty sharpish or else their lunch will get eaten. This is why they have resorted to devious tricks to get you on W10 - the writing is on the wall!
I needed to get a new Visual Studio license recently for a contractor in my team. Our procurement department quoted me £2500 for the exact same license level that I found for $900 on Microsoft's website. This is private sector as well! Of course I wasn't allowed to buy directly, and after several weeks I'm still waiting for the license.
I really don't get this as other companies I've worked in are similar. Are the waste of space "partners" for companies like Microsoft bribing procurement departments en masse? I appreciate there may be support agreements as well, but I've never been that impressed. We had an issue with a SQL Server DB recently and our very helpful partner eventually responded asking us to send them a copy. Yes sure, we'll send you our multi terabyte DB containing loads of customer data no worries!
Tesco mobile have been known for having some of the best customer service scores in the business. Wonder how they'll be doing come 2nd August...
Digital seems to have become a buzzword version of "information technology". If a corporate drone wants to talk about an IT project, it is no longer an IT project but is "Digital enablement" or "Digital transformation".
It depends what you're doing. We do a lot of analysis of web tracking data which can be billions of rows. Our SQL server instance may not be able to handle certain queries very quickly or we may not have sufficient disk space to build the right indexes, etc etc.
Something like MongoDB can potentially be much quicker at querying this type of data and is very easy to scale horizontally. As the previous commenter said, if we're looking at billions of rows then even a thousand rows not being returned isn't much of an issue. There is also the fact that web tracking isn't perfect (incognito mode, Ghostery etc) so the dataset will be incomplete anyway.
For any kind of financial / KPI reporting then ACID compliant RDBMS all the way please.
Blimey, another one for the "excellent reasons for your SQL server not to have unfettered internet access" list!
I look forward to upgrading to this version and giving some of the new features a spin, but knowing my company I won't get the chance until the day before 2008 goes of support - if at all!
I'll probably start using Android Pay instead of my Oyster card for TfL. At present I have three contactless cards and my Oyster in my wallet which can make it a bit fiddly at the ticket barrier. I can just set my main debit card up on android pay and I think it'll be a bit quicker for me to get my phone out of my pocket than take my wallet out and fish about for the right card.
In App payments will be useful too. Again not critical but slightly easier than having to fish out my card each time. Other than that I don't think I see a massive use case for me personally!
Yeah there is almost no competition these days. The only differentiation is network coverage, I tend to use whichever operator has the best signal where I happen to live/work.
I have been inspired to actually pull my finger out and do some reading up. It seems the telemetry can be disabled, which isn't an easy process but is at least possible. In any case it doesn't sound much worse than the data gathered if you use any Android or iOS device without changing defaults. Am I missing something or being thick? It's been a long week so both are possible!
I got Windows 10 almost immediately after it came out as I'm bit of a mug for these things. It is much faster and more responsive than Windows 7 was on my PC so I'll take that for free. I'll admit I haven't bothered to read up on the things people are getting worked up about here but there is nothing I've seen than interferes with my daily use of my PC.
The real question for me is what's next? Windows has been Microsoft's cash cow for years so so what happens for those of us who upgraded to W10? If we are in the "windows as a service" model and updates stay free how does it replace the revenue stream? For example, I paid to upgrade from XP to 7 while keeping the same PC (told you I was a mug). How will they now decide when I stop getting updates for free and I must pay if we are past big Windows version releases?
My company (large household name UK retailer) only completed it's migration away from Windows XP to Windows 7 about a year ago. There is no way they will consider migrating to Windows 10 in the near future. The end of extended support for Windows 7 Enterprise is 14th January 2020. My company, and most large companies, will probably starting thinking about moving to Windows 10 (or 11 who knows?) sometime around 13th January 2020 and will then take another 6 months to plan and complete. Mind you since we moved to Google Apps for business, for about 80% of our users a chromebook would do the job now - were it not for legacy applications that need IE.
Many companies who have migrated to date are probably SMEs, who may not even use Windows enterprise/WSUS and so their users probably got the "do you want to upgrade" prompt and mindlessly clicked yes - upgrade by accident!
I didn't know about the Casio and Citizen watches, they actually seem like good products! Only annoyance is the Citizen only seems to work with iPhone. The Casio would work with my Android but some of them are pretty ugly. Still worth keeping an eye on developments. For me I genuinely believe getting notifications on your wrist is the only case for getting one of these at the moment, and if other companies are able to deliver this sole feature with better battery life and (for Chronos at least) lower cost than an iWatch / Gear watch.....
I actually quite like the look of the Chronos. It is a bluetooth module that clips on the back of your regular watch and can be set to vibrate if you get a call etc. Also, the battery lasts a few days. Not exactly vital but I'm forever missing calls /texts while phone is in my pocket.
That is pretty much the only function of an iWatch I would like, and the Chronos plans to do it for $90 on preorder - much cheaper! I may well make an order if I have some money to burn at any point.
When there used to be a real difference between generations of phones people would prioritise getting a new shiny thing as soon as their contract was up. Now phones have reached the same state as PCs and tablets and are generally "good enough", people don't feel this pressure.
I used to be a right mug (sorry "early adopter") and count down the days until my contract would let me upgrade. A few years ago I swapped to SIM only and just buy a new handset outright when the old one breaks. I bought an S7 recently after my G3 bit the dust and I can honestly say I can't think of many things that would make me replace it apart from it breaking out of warranty!
I think the next big things that will move the market will be 1) a battery that lasts a week on one charge or 2) someone cracking "wearables" and actually making a Google Glass style product that is desirable and useful. Until those happen more flatlining/declining sales!
Yes our database infrastructure rarely struggles on CPU power, it is more RAM (and by extension storage) that holds us up these days.
There is very limited competition in any case. Most of the operators offer a broadly equivalent set of tariffs, especially now Three have jacked their prices up. The only real competition is on network coverage, and joining O2 and Three would probably help someone else compete with EE.
I recently moved from Vodafone, whose coverage is dreadful outside of major citie, to EE, whose coverage is better where I tend to go. I did this based on checking Ofcom's coverage checker in the end and EE were the only real option. If O2 and Three's networks were combined, and invested in as promised, I might have actually had a choice on who I went with!
I think the WSJ sums it up for me! I'm really excited about seeing how the latest generation of VR performs but there is no way in hell I'd buy one yet. When a new (or revitalised in this case) class of tech item comes on the market you are normally bit of a mug if you rush out and buy the first one. First off competitors are launching products later this year (Playstation, HTC) and I think this market will need competition to drive prices down.
Secondly it will take a while to see which the best supported platform is! I'd rather wait a year or too until prices come down and we can see which platform has the killer apps. Or of course, see if it all dies a death!
I just got one as well and I love it, such a massive upgrade over my LG G3. Everything is smooth and fluid, battery lasts for ages and I can't wait to give the camera a proper workout. Touchwiz is less annoying than it was on my old S4, although I did almost immediately give in and install Nova launcher.
My only minor quibble is I find it fiddly to activate the edge panel, typically it will either register the swipe from the side as a touch on the screen in that spot, or it will register a touch on the screen AND open the edge panel. That aside, I think this is easily the best Android phone ever made. If only it had been cheaper :)
Yeah, I think the next "big" news in mobile will be when someone manages to turn a concept like Google glass into something practical and desirable. Until then incremental upgrades ahoy!
Actually quite a sensible move by Apple. I think Smartphones have gotten as big as they practically can for now, and plenty of people want something small, easy to handle and unobtrusive that can still run all the big apps smoothly. The only issue is there are plenty of cheaper Android phones that have similar capabilities but Apple's strong points are:
1) Immediate delivery of iOS updates, although to less technical users this might be meaningless.
2) Ease of use. Android has made great strides here but I think Apple still offer and easier "pick up and go" experience.
3) Apps. Again, Android has caught up but big apps or updates still seem to hit iOS first.
I recently bought a Samsung S7 Edge but did toy with the idea of a 6S plus. While the S7 is great, you do get the confusion added by Samsung's bloatware - multiple calender and messaging apps etc. My previous LG G3 was similar with loads of unwanted guff added and multiple, non removable apps for the same purpose.
Now this cheaper Apple option has emerged it may be harder to decide against it next time I upgrade - I could live with a smaller screen for such a big price difference and a more streamlined experience!
That cartoon made a very good point actually. Sentences are easy to remember but would take a long time to break in a dictionary attack. Many password policies enforce a maximum length limit, and insist on mixtures of upper/lower case, numbers, punctuation etc. Combined with the fact "single sign on" is still a distant dream in many workplaces it is no wonder people find it hard to keep track of all their passwords!
I think the solution in this case is not to work in San Francisco until you have moved up the ladder a bit and increased your earning power.
This is the exact same advice I'd give to anyone starting out on their tech career in the UK.London is also heading this way, with rents and property values spiralling out of control but entry level wages not budging.
Start out in cheaper cities like Leeds or Birmingham, then move to London only if you REALLY want and have the experience to command a better salary. As well as lower costs helping your bank balance, if enough people do this then tech companies in big cities (be it London or SF) may have to start paying a living wage in order to get the entry level talent they need.
For the UK specifically, an even better outcome is for more companies to move technical jobs to provincial cities and spread the wealth around the UK a bit more. If they can't attract the talent they need in London at a reasonable salary any more they may have to look elsewhere in the UK. The concentration in London has become unhealthy and unsustainable for any number of reasons (housing, public services, transport...).
Yeah ability to think on feet while problem solving can be lacking. I think a lot of the universities in India just teach people to cram and lean to parrot back set answers in exams. While I have worked with a number of excellent IT staff who've been through an Indian university, I've unfortunately worked with far more who are seemingly incapable of thinking laterally!
Air B&B is really hit and miss, you can tell they do minimal vetting of owners and listings. I've recently been trying to book somewhere and most of the owners never respond to you. The listings are usually vague with poor quality pictures e.g. a place won't tell you how many beds there are. Unless they spend a bit of that cash improving quality they may struggle in the long term. I voted with my wallet and used a dedicated cottage rental website in the end!
"Sadly this is where almost every multi-player experience I've had has ended up."
Yep! After some bad early experiences in World of Warcraft to this day I won't play multiplayer with people I don't know.
What if the uber driver was actually only a minute away? Do they have to drive round the block for 5 minutes? Or park and clog up the street and ignore you until the timer counts down?
We use Splunk for monitoring performance of our web servers. It uses Hadoop to do lots of trendy sounding big data type things and then can present it in nice animated graphs/dashboards. (I'm a SQL developer so Hadoop et al are a bit beyond me so far).
It is also very handy to to search through terabytes of log files when you need to diagnose an issue.
Finally, a proper answer to iCloud! When I switched from iOS to Android this was the only serious thing I missed, although it has gradually improved since Android 4. Now all I'd have to do is 1) wait for an Android 6 build for my phone (probably via Cyanogenmod) and 2) for all my favourite apps to support the latest API version :-\
This must have been what the very brief "configuring windows" message that flashed up on PC last night was all about. They do seem to have made the update process less intrusive than it used to be, just as well as they force them on you!
I must say Windows 10 has been very smooth for me since upgrading from Windows 7. It boots up in half the time W7 did and no crashes or bugs that have affected me. To be honest though, apart from improved boot up time there are no new features I've actually used :-\. Oh well I'll take a 50% boot time improvement for free!
Large scale NHS IT project? Nothing could possibly go wrong, bound to be a roaring success!
Are they really that bad compared to others? I've been with Vodafone for years but am planning to jump ship after my contract is up. I was eyeing up EE as they keep scoring highly in coverage tests (e.g. rootmetrics) and network is my main issue with Vodafone. However, I keep seeing horror stories about their service!
Amazon are being especially rubbish at supporting a range of devices. Maybe I'll just vote with my feet and stop using them! Roku 3 is so nearly there, it is only missing Amazon which funnily enough is present in the UK. Rumours are Sky paid them a bung to not support their service in the UK as part of the contract to make the Now TV box for them!
This is also pretty hilarious. Isn't it up to Amazon to add Chromecast or Apple TV support to those devices?
I use my mark 1 Chromecast extensively for iPlayer, renting films via Play and netflix and it works like a dream. It has the best user experience of any streaming box I've tried. My Samsung "smart" Bluray is slow, clunky and apps like Netflix keep getting pulled.
However, the irritation with Chromecast is the lack of people making native apps for it. As the article mentions, outside of Google properties, iPlayer, Netflix and Now TV there are just a load of no name apps. I also want ITV player, All 4, Demand 5 and Amazon Instant Video. It is annoying having to stream these from my PC via casting from Chrome.
I can't find a single streaming box that can handle all of the content providers I want to watch. If Google could find a way to let you start streaming video from any source via your mobile/tablet only then Chromecast would be the best thing since sliced bread. I suppose that will wait until all content providers are using HTML 5.
I like how even the "universal minimum" is a range, typical BT weasel words! Why not just say 5mpbs minimum? Obviously higher would better!
Mixed feelings on this topic. BT is an inefficient behemoth, but I'm not convinced breaking it up would help much and might just add a load more complexity and extra costs to be borne by the consumer (see the privatisation of the rail network for an example).
However, maybe the remainder of BT would be a bit more aggressive about chasing up Openreach for repairs if split into truly separate companies. Interested to see how the arguments on both sides shape up.
We use Google Docs at work, and the real time collaboration in Sheets works very nicely. However, I still have to use Excel for any serious number crunching and it would be great if they got that working properly in a future version of Office!
Were it not for Excel I would never use Office anymore, for my limited Word and PPT requirements google docs does the lot.
This looks like fantastic value for £250 (£210 with the money off code!). Would prefer if they just put stock android on it though, I've had 'droids from both Samsung and LG and I think the manufacturers UI skins always get in the way more than they help.