244 posts • joined Wednesday 4th July 2012 15:29 GMT
Quality is key
I liked the HTC design and generally the phones are easy to use. But a couple of years ago, I went through a phase where almost every other HTC handset had to be returned under warranty as it failed in use, usually within a couple of days. (about a dozen handsets?)
The trouble was that the end users then began to talk amongst themselves and several of them started to indicate that they didn't want to be given an HTC handset, even if it was a different model. I'm sure that has been true for a lot of others.
Almost too damned depressed to think about it
Call me Mr. Cynical, but I assume that there is always a back door in any given system. It may have been put there for the best of reasons, but it will be exploited and abused; and usually by people that insist it is for our own benefit.
@ AC 11.11 GMT - if you don't use these systems, you must have something to hide and therefore be a terrorist?
Re: tools for the job - e.g. Rasberry pi
I upvoted you - now I feel slightly dirty!
I do sort of partially agree with the point about using RasPi to develop basic computing skills. However, the real issue is nothing to do with what computer they use, what OS is on it etc.
The biggest problem is that the politicians have been playing political football with education for the last 50 - 60 years. They need to be seen to be doing something (despite the fact that most of them haven't a clue) so they introduce new policies almost as often as they change their socks. However, in most cases, they don't provide real detail for these, just a fuzzy "guideline"; and then various other organisations throw in their two penn'orth (the teaching unions, LEA, etc. etc). Instead of providing clear direction, it seems to be a case of "I don't know what I want, but I'll know it when I see it"; and then the PTB criticise for not achieving a standard that is often subjective for the most part.
Add to that, there seems to be an assumption that teachers can teach anything, even when they themselves know little about the topic. This might be appropriate at the lower levels where they are really only providing a basic level of knowledeg transfer, but once the children start to move up to the more senior levels, they deserve to be taught by people with a passion for the topic as well as a more detailed level of knowledge.
But the biggest single issue has to be the children themselves. There are those that really want to learn (I saw this when I was governor of a junior school) and will soak up knowledge like a sponge. At some point, for some reason they get turned off learning; possibly because it is no longer "cool", they have issues at home, low expectations, poor support, innappropriate teaching methods, no motivation, take your pick.
Learning needs to be seen as something that continues throughout one's lifetime, not just something that happens between a couple of arbitrary dates.
Re: parlimentary grilling
I'm a regular viewer of BBC Parliament; and it's a real eye opener to see these people in action. It has to be said that it can vary; I've seen some MPs show a really good understanding of key issues; but equally, their lack of basic knowledge can be a bit disconcerting at times.
There is also a considerable amount of posturing going on; that's bad enough, but they also rely on parliamentary privelege to make accusations that they would otherwise not be allowed.
It's also worth reading the Wikipedia page for Margaret Hodge MP; some really interesting comments on her past and the way that she operates.
>>UK chancellor George Osborne said ... that it was "incredibly important that companies and individuals pay the tax that is due". <<
However, in most of the cases so far, they probably have paid all that they are required to pay under current legislation; if he wants them to pay more, he has to change the legislation to reduce the number of loopholes that can be exploited. But in reality, he is probably using some of those tax breaks himself, so has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
This is just another MP trying to make it sound as if he is doing something to earn his pay (and expenses; and justify the next payrise) without actually achieving a damn thing.
Haven't read the Currant Bun for nearly 40 years; I thought it was a waste of paper then and nothing I've heard since would encourage me to change my mind. (Nor the Mirror)
Not interested in accessing their web site; not if they paid me £2 a week. If I want that kind of news, I can make it up myself.
We haz all your data
From what I have seen (so not scientific sample) most UK businesses including the really big ones are failing quite dismally as far as the main provisions of the current data protection legislation. Worse, the ICO is toothless and a complete waste of space.
The UK gov simply don't want to comply with any sensible legislation on this because they are already earning money from selling our data and think that they can earn more.
>>The suggestion that we sell the personal information of our customers to third parties is misleading to say the least.<<
There is an issue here about what constitutes "personal information". Most people would agree that things such as bank details, etc are personal details that should be carefully protected. But when we go about our daily lives, there seems to be an assumption that where we go is not "personal information" and is therefore the property of any organisation that choose to collect and collate such data.
However, there is an argument that such information should be more carefully protected. For example, I attend a particular hospital once a month; and the analysis might well suggest that I'm going to the VD clinic. (The place I go to is next door; but doesn't show on the map) If a business such as an insurance firm were to take that info and then use it to suggest that I am a high risk, then that most people would accept that to be a clear violation of my personal information.
Of course if I found out that this was happening, I could then legally sue for reparations; but the onus would be on me to uncover the data breach, prove that they were at fault in court and then show that I had suffered as a result of that. Not always possible or easy.
Re: "Doctoral Course" ?
I'm currently preparing to do a "taught Masters" (to be carried out in my own time after work) - I've undertaken the required courses and now have to do a research project which will culminate in a dissertation and an oral presentation. As part of this, there are a series of assignments that have to be completed along the way to show that:
1. I'm working on the project
2. I have a good idea of what I'm supposed to be doing
3. I'm making progress towards the end result
The tutor assigned is supposed to advise on stuff such as if the thing works from an academic standpoint; but not how valid the research or conclusions are from a factual poit of view.
Not wishing to denigrate the individuals that are taken on to do this reseach, I would question if it will do that much for the security industry (or business as a whole). It might highlight some new security vulnerabilities, but industry (and the country) really needs better trained people working in many areas, rather than just a dozen or so people that can read and write to a high academic standard.
Re: They stubbed toes, I broke my leg with Backup Exec.
Been there, got the t-shirt (and the scars).
The day that I was able to stop using it, I really did feel like the world was a better place. Then 4 years later, I'm working at a company where they are still trying to make it work; they've just bought a brand new fire proof safe to store the obscene number of tapes they need; and they are still not protecting everything yet.
I feel your pain
>>Reller conceded that Windows users have been struggling with the Widows 8 Metro touch UI,<<
Re: "new features are rolled out at the flip a switch [...]"
>>The BIG difference is that, when it goes down (and it does), you will have no control over when it comes back up nor what state it will be in (eh, Azure users ?). <<
Can't say about the others, but I've seen a similar issue with SAP hosted on an external site. It was down for some time and when it did eventually come back up, ran like a three legged dog for several days. Tried to estimate the cost to the business; probably over $50k, unlikely more than $75k (but not certain). We never did get any refund of our fees. But that was for an SME; I've heard of far worse cases.
That doesn't mean that internal is always best; you pays your money, you makes your choice.
Having seen an interview that JJ Abrams gave, it's pretty clear that he has absolutely no idea of what Star Trek is about, let alone how the characters interact. I actually thought he was a bit contemptuous of the Star Trek fans; and he has made the film primarily for other movie goers with only the minutest nod towards the real fans.
My impressions of the previous film was that he had been given a list of characters names and had been told to include them all and to hell with any storyline continuity. Gene Roddenberry did say back in the 80s that he was open to a "refresh", but I'm not sure that he imagined it was going to be quite so radical.
It also seems these days, that any film is about the effects, not the story. Hollywood seems to be obsessed with this which is why so many of the current crop of films are such a pile of pants. You may have the coolest effects, but if there is no real story, the film will simply be no good.
We all tend to carry things that can "ID" us; credit cards, mobile phones, workplace ID etc. So the issue is not quite so much about the ID as such, but how it is used, what data will be collected, what will be done with that data; and more importantly, how the use of that data might be abused without allowing recourse to deal with the abusers or correcting any problems that occur.
It simply comes down to the question, "Do you trust the politicians, civil servants and other collectors of data to do so in a way that will be appropriate?" I don't, because they have shown repeatedly that they are the very last people to be trusted with any of this data.
Unfortunately, I suspect that they will continue to raise this topic over and again until it becomes law; and I can't believe that it would be too long after that before we would see just why it is such a bad idea.
>>You're hired for the skills you now have that they need.<<
You're hired for the skills you now have that they think they need.
Re: I approve and award you hero of soviet union
>>Decent mince costs £2 minimum<<
The cost of the ingredients depends upon the quality and the quantity - I specified neither. But I can tell you that the mince used cost just over £1. (You can draw your own conclusions from that.)
Re: I approve and award you hero of soviet union
>>"poor people are malnourished because they can only afford mac fry king burgers." <<
I must confess that I did watch Jamie Oliver's programmes about trying to improve the quality of food served in schools; and the one particular epsiode that stood out was when a mother said that she could serve her children Cottage Pie because it was "too posh" for them.
As it happens, I cooked a Cottage Pie a couple of weekends ago and produced 6 good sized portions for a smidge over £3 the lot. Yes it had a lot of veg in it, but was very tasty and everyone was full up after.
White coat, apron and starched white chef's hat please!
Re: The Difference?
>>And the Opposition doesnt get to change the law.<<
True. But much of the legislation that Google et al are using was set-up in the last decade when she was part of the government. Didn't hear anything from her then.
"No man in this country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or to his property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel into his stores"
James Avon Clyde (Lord Clyde)
"It [tax] is not a voluntary payment or donation, but an enforced contribution, exacted pursuant to legislative authority" and is "any contribution imposed by government [...] whether under the name of toll, tribute, tallage, gabel, impost, duty, custom, excise, subsidy, aid, supply, or other name".
Blacks Law Dictionary
The companies concerned are simply taking advantage of the existing legal framework to minimise their tax bill. All of the politicians that are up in arms over this are the same people that have been taking advantage of similar legislation to minimise their own tax bills.
Pot < -- > Kettle
The fact is that Patrica Hodge and all of the other MPs have the solution in their own hands; change the tax laws. Until they do that, they have no legal authority to coerce any business to pay more money.
Add to that, they need to get their own houses in order; and until they do that, they have no moral authority to ask anyone to pay one penny more than the law requires.
Re: Who let the data out?
You almost answered your own question. The reality is that they will probably drop a huge penalty on you if you don't allow the data to be collected. (Everybody should be encouraged to watch Charlie Brookers "15 million merits" available on YouTube to see just how bad it could get)
For the utility companies, if they chose to use this data, it could give them some useful information (to them) about a given individual / family behaviour. For example, they might be able to see how frugal or wasteful you are by the way that the lights are turned on and off as people move through the house. This means that they could adjust your tariff based upon this to extract the most money from you; and if you don't allow the data collection, they just slap the most expensive tariff on you by default.
Make no mistake, this is not about making things better for you and I, but for those people that just see us as consumers to be the target of their incessant marketing campaigns.
Re: Suppose two terrorists wanted to talk to each other...
This is about being able to spy on everyone except the politicians, civil service, and mates of these 24/7/365 forever.
Re: Haynes manual - sample code
Yes it does have some links to a number of sites; some of which do have more of the code samples. I just felt that those didn't quite provide quite the same level of explanation as in the book.
However, I suppose that it's like a lot of things; once you get stuck in and start experimenting, you learn more by doing your own thing.
Still think that it's a really good book and well worth buying.
I've got a copy of the Haynes manual and I have to say that I thought it was a really good guide to the Raspberry PI. Like most of the other Haynes manuals, it gives excellent step by step information without making it sound as if they are treating you like an idiot.
If I were being a touch picky, I would suggest that they might have usefully added a little more information about programming the Pi; there is some detail in there along with sample code and it is very helfpul, but I felt that a few more samples from specific example projects to give the user some ideas on how they might use it would have been of real benefit.
Re: Stovepipes kill progress
Currently in a similar situation; and in some respects worse. The problem here is that none of the people making the decisions actually have the relevant technical knowledge to understand the implications of their decisions.
It's basically a game of blame throwing; and people spend more time on producing documentation to prove that they did what they were told, than they do on actually doing their job.
So sad to see; especially when you know that it doesn't need to be like that.
>>almost half of the cloud deals negotiated by value-added resellers will not have an IT team representative present when the technology decision is made<<
And would anyone care to wager how many of those projects without an IT rep will go titsup because the purchaser has no idea of what they have agreed to buy and so subsequently find that it doesn't meet their needs?
There was an interesting programme on over the weekend; the commentator made the point that both the political far left and the far right have a vested interest in grabbing your details and using them to control you.
Although I don't agree with everything Maggie did, she was very much in favour of cutting back on the huge bureacracy of governement to let people get on with their lives.
Sadly, I think those days are far behind us. Perhaps we need a "Nosey Parker" icon?
>>since IT makes up at least 10 per cent of all wages <<
I've never worked for a company where the wages of IT made up that much of the overall wage budget, not even close. I'm pretty sure that the entire IT budget (hardware, software services etc) was never equivalent to more than 5% of the wage budget. (In one case, I was the only IT person for a company with 400 plus staff).
But perhaps that's just the businesses that I've worked for?
The other thing of course is who the ONS are categorising as "IT workers"; if we have 20 staff sat in front of a PC all day entering sales orders, I would say that they are not IT workers.
But the point is well made - as more people gain knowledge, the scarcity value drops and the cost of hiring that skill drops accordingly.
I'm not so sure that the threats are entirely empty; their leadership is a bit unstable to say the least and they could quite easily believe their own rhetoric.
Their military may not have the more sophisticated equipment that is available to the South Koreans, but that is not a guarantee for success. They certainly have more people geared up for war; and based on what little I have seen, they are likely to fight fanatically. It could potentially make the situation in 'Stan look like a tea party.
Just because they haven't made good on their threats should not be a guarantee that they never will. Plus, when people are constantly rushing up to the line then pulling back at the last second, it wouldn't take an awful lot for someone to make a mistake and go further than they planned by accident.
Yes they probably would lose; but again, they really do believe that the Western countries are weak, flabby, lacking in moral fibre etc. (Not saying they are right, but an argument could be made...) They might well believe that they could gain ground, then stop and hold that ground without serious retaliation. Saddam Hussein did that in Kuwait thinking that he could get away with it; and he was no where near as crazy as the North Korean leadership.
I think that you are right that it is ploy to get some more supplies (he's a young man, probably needs a lot more pr0n). But the concern should be if someone does go off half-cocked and starts a bloody conflict by mistake. Then it could get out of hand very quickly; and we would need a lot of very cool heads to prevent it escalating.
I regret to say that it doesn't just happen in the public sector; I've seen similar examples in the private sector where a sliding scale of penalties was negotiated, but despite that, they ended up paying the full amount and then even more on top of that, despite the massive delays and serious cost overruns (and in some cases, complete project failure).
I'm sure that part of it comes down to ego; no-one wants to admit that they have made a mistake or that they haven't been as concientious as they should have been in monitoring the project. They do everything (anything?) to keep the project running and end up throwing good money after bad.
I would also say that I've seen some projects where it was doomed to failure; they just didn't get the buyin from anyone involved right from the start; and when the project started going slightly wrong, instead of dealing with the issue, they just swept it under the carpet, hoping that if they ignored the problem it would go away.
The real problem in this case is that a lot of people have really suffered very badly because of the problems (and AFAIK, some are still ongoing). The hearing is highly unlikely to do anything in practical terms to resolve the issues; and I'm betting that as previously, no-one will learn anything from this awful situation. But of course, as it is public money, the tax payers of Queensland end up footing the bill; and they will be paying for this for a long time.
Re: Not outsourced
>>A techie is just a techie<<
And that dear children, is the root of the problem. An assumption that "all animals are equal" but when it comes to management, "some are more equal than others"
We all know what happens when you assume? (it makes an ass out of u and me)
Perhaps we need to have a piglet icon?
Re: TicketMaster "Ticketfast" Charges
Bought a ticket through these graspers as there is no other source available for the specific event; The have the monopoly on the ticket sales.
Apart from the actual fee for the seat, I was charged a "booking fee" which increased depending on how expensive your seat price was (just under 10%). Then there was delivery charge for the tickets (£5.25 each ticket) which you still have to pay even if they screw up and you have to collect the tickets on the day (which I had to do 4 years ago - I travelled not knowing for definite if I would even get in). On top of that, there is a fee for payment; and that varies according to card, but you still have to pay.
The worst bit is that they skim off off some of the tickets and pass them on to their "sister" site (Getmein). The tickets that they pass over then go up in price by 2 - 5 times face value. If you try to get normal tickets after they have "sold out", they just re-direct you to Getmein where there are plenty available it seems.
Re: makes sense
I have to say that it's not just about game playing. There are more than a few areas where a tablet / slate (of any OS) simply is not the right tool for the job.
I think that we will see a blurring of the lines between the devices, but the PC still has a future, at least until around the time that I am likely to retire (just under 10 years). After that, I suspect that Gartner will be teeling everyone about the potential demise of the tablet or other manually operated devices as it gets replaced by voice activated computing.
Re: blah blah benefit cheats blah blah
>>Approx. 1/10 of our national debt (£1,159 trillion).<<
Should be "Approx. 1/10 of our national debt (£1.159 trillion)."
Spent too much time working with Europeans - getting the full stop and comma mixed up for decimal and thousand separators.
Re: blah blah benefit cheats blah blah
>>they could double the amounts that benefits pays and it would still be a drop in the ocean<<
Projected spending on welfare for the year 2013 is £117 billion. Approx. 1/10 of our national debt (£1,159 trillion).
I suspect that you actually refer to just a small part of the welfare budget. (such as JSA) Certainly, for the recipients, even modest increases could make a huge difference to them.
As for the new system, chances are that it will cost a lot more than any actual savings they eventually make.
Re: Ancient and cursed ring?
I was going to say that I know all about ancient cursed rings
I've been using the cream for ages, but it doesn't seem to have made a difference....
Icon = ring of fire
What will happen is that the "managers" will use the badge to set meaningless targets i.e. speak to x number of customers per hour, promote y products etc. and use the data collected to confirm that the staff are doing this; or then (more likely) use non-conformance as a way to avoid paying bonuses, pay rises etc.
They will also probably use it to track where the staff go (4 toilet breaks yesterday; you're drinking too much) or similar.
The problem is that most of the people that end up using the newer technologies don't really understand how it could be used to amke things better; and then fall back on old ways of working. If it is a bad manual process, using new tech will not suddenly make it any better and this will be no different.
Re: There sure as hell is a need for press regulation
I think that here we have an example of where things are going wrong.
There is / never was any requirement for press intrusion into the life of the individual; nothing was covered up as the school made an announcement to the parents and they would have had the opportunity to remove their children from the school if they felt this necessary on moral / religious grounds. (I don't personally believe that would have been appropriate, but accept that others might feel it necessary)
However, there are also examples of people that court publicity for various reasons; but want to be able to block any news reports of them that are critical. I'm thinking for example of an elected person that tried to have information on specific illegal behaviour covered up.
We need to have a balance between what is really "in the public interest" and prurient intrusion into people's lives, just because it sells a few more adverts. How do we achieve that? Damned if I know, but I suspect that this is not the last we have heard on this topic.
Re: Best choice so far, compared to shivering in the dark.
If this is a legitimate and proven design of reactor they
will should jump at the chance.
Fixed it for you.
(Sorry, I'm just too bloody cynical I know, but I doubt that there is a single current MP with the ability to think further than the week)
I did an advanced driver training course some years ago (really enjoyable). The instructor made a comment that "the average driver's concentration time is about 15 minutes in every hour". To put that in context, if you are in the middle lane of the motorway, have one car to your left, one to your right and one more each to your rear and front, only one of those 4 drivers is actually aware of your existence; but the problem is, which one?
Essentially, the driver goes into "auto pilot" - they know the road as they drive the same way every day at the same time. Many of the normal functions are done without an actual concious decision; be that gear changing, breaking or indication.
Don't believe me? Try remembering the details of the drive in this morning. What was the colour of the last car in front of you? What was the first road sign that you saw? Often, people will complete a lengthy journey and say that they don't remember parts of it (or sometimes all). This is often without the distractions of mobile phone, radio, passengers etc.
OK for some
I got rid of BT; connection was flaky, painfully slow and every time that I complained, the support staff wanted to go through exactly the same troubleshooting routine (reset the router, change the phone, change the router, change the filter, change the connection to the PC, try a different PC etc. etc. etc.) Bear in mind that I was paying for Business class service, over £200 a quarter phone and broadband.
Now using Tesco at a different location. Total bill, phone and broadband is about the same per year as I was paying per quarter. Not quite getting the full speed that I should, so tried their support. Very helpful, but ultimately, they have had to refer it back to Openreach. In turn, they turn up when I am not there, say that they can't test the line, and clear off; so no improvement.
Still, at least I am now getting a constant connection of 1 Mbps rather than the iffy 0.1 that BT used to give me.
"Destination Moon" - considering when it was produced, it got an awful lot right.
"Moon" (with Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey) - an example of just how good an intelligent script can be in the right hands.
Alien Nation" was pretty good - simple story with some solid acting
(I'd also promote "October Sky" - OK technically it's not SF, but it does show how it was possible for younger people to get into rocket science back in the 50s.)
I would argue that although there is an element of IT in this project, it is not an IT Project; it should instead be viewed as a Business Change Project and approached accordingly.
The requirements for the hardware, software etc. are not simple, but by far the biggest issue will be getting the buyin from senior managers and the end users to required changes within their processes; without this, the project is doomed to failure no matter how good the design of the systems. It's not like rolling out a minor upgrade to a piece of software, but rather like a oil tanker changing course.
This is not a new concept, nor is it confined to the public sector.
No doubt there will be those that question the validity of this assesment. But we've seen a massive growth in use of telecoms and that needs the infrastructure to support the growing demand. People insist on creating videos, photos, music files et al. which they than upload to the cloud for the world (in reality, a couple of friends) to share.
An increasing amount of this is now in HD, making the files much larger and taking up yet more space; and it's stored on systems spread around the world that run 24 / 365 just in case someone wants to look at it during a drunken midnight session once a year.
Add to that, the growth in the demand for the services in the developing world and it doesn't seem that unlikely after all.
(Grumpy Old Fart time again)
Looking at the figures
I'm not too surprised that France is that high up. Many of their businesses (large & small) are actively running bulk email campaigns; they don't consider what they are doing is spamming people (although they hate spam just as much as we do).
I had a conversation with a couple of people over there and they were horrified that I consider what they were doing as anything other than normal business practice. Having managed a set of email addresses for them on one of our mail servers, I introduced them to some better practices and their junk mail levels dropped considerably.
Had a similar re-action from those in the Fatherland; although I think a lot is generated because they are actively engaging with the countries in the east that they
once tried to invade are trying to sell to.
I think that the UK is further down the list primarily because we are actually doing slightly better at keeping the b****** out. Not enough to be overly pleased with ourselves, but a little pat on the back would be appropriate.
Normally rather cynical about this sort of thing, but if they are serious and these are new additional jobs (not just replacements for people "retiring") then I would be quite pleased. The national infrastructure needs to be kept up to date and they cannot do that effectively without the live bodies to do the physical work of installation and maintenance.
Just a shame that it has taken so long to get this organised; but better late than never.
Perhaps not a spring chicken, but I think Carrie Fisher still looks pretty damn hot. If they age Leia to match the actress, she will still be able to get a few pulses racing.
Mine's the dirty old mac, with the suspicious stains down the front ....
One last time
Felly hir, ffarwel, hwyl fawr,eich gweld yn fuan, byddwn yn colli eich
Title probably tells you all that you need to know
Basically, the government are relying on "advisors" (I use the term in the loosest possible sense of the word) that think marketing is more important than substance.
"It is a tale
Told by an idiot
Full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing. "
Re: Beth wyt ti'n meddwl?
Byddai angen i chi gael miloedd o siaradwyr Cymraeg ar El Reg i gael miloedd o hyd-pleidleisiau! (neu bobl a allai ddefnyddio google cyfieithu!!)
Mae yn hyfryd
Have to agree with your comments. I bought one of their small mobile phone handsets; really good price and it looked as if it would just what I needed.
But it was very buggy; lots of issues with the touch screen and some of the apps were very flaky, working well one minute and then suddenly falling over. The battery life was good and the call quality wasn't too bad, but after trying to use it for about 5 months, I finally gave up.
Would I buy another one? Not too sure. Having had such a series of issues once, it makes you wary of trusting them for a second bite of the cherry. The only real advantage was that it was cheap enough that I didn't feel too bad about sending it off to a recycling firm.