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* Posts by Magister

322 posts • joined 4 Jul 2012

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Spear phish your boss to win more security cash

Magister

Really?

>>Jason Clark, chief security officer at Websense, who recommends fighting back by phishing CEOs and board members<<

Perhaps someone should spear phish the CEO and other board members at Websense and make sure that they knew this behaviour had been recommended by their chief security officer; I wonder how they would react?

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BBC-featured call centre slapped with hefty fine for unwanted calls

Magister

A whiel ago, I went for an interview at a comapny where the IT director quite proudly showed me their auto dialler.

The system was set-up to work on the basis that an agent would come free every 15 seconds; I asked how many calls it dropped because there was no agent availible. He gave me the numbers and when I suggested that this might be a nuisance to a number of people, he indicated that was just tough on them.

This just seemed to be part of their attitude to their customers and staff. It became clear that they were planning on firing a couple of their IT staff but hadn't discussed it with them and were trying to get someone in to make sure that they had someone to keep things running if the IT staff decided to get pissy.

I decided to withdraw my application....

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SAP users slack, slow and backward on security

Magister

Slow And Painful

I am not surprised at the results of this survery; anyone that has had any work in this area should know about some of these issues.

The software gets loaded, the systems setup; and then the consultants start making changes. The instant that anyone then tries to do a patch, it all goes horribly wrong. This is made worse because so many of the consultants do not document their work, so no-one knows what has been done, by whom, when, where or how. As the AC above highlights, it then gets to the stage where the business just won't accept the risk and bans further updates.

For anyone that has had to work with SAP admin, the way that they provide support, updates, downloads etc is not the easiest to work with. Even once you have learned to navigate the support portal, it can take a lot of time to identify what you actually need. SAPnotes are supposed to make the information availbale, but in most cases they just seem to make the situation even more confusing; many times I've had to read my way through a dozen or more, just to try to understand what the proposed solution is meant to be.

I'd also highlight I've also seen that many consultants insist on implementing connections from the client to their own business; and these connections are generally very poorly managed. Consultants sharing connections, IDs, using SAP_ALL and advising clients to work the same way; I'm surprised that there aren't more issues (there may well be, but they just keep schtum about them.)

A number of consultancies have been agressively marketing their hosting facilties, in which they promise to do all the managment (for a fee). But in fact, all they do is run the SAP EarlyWatch reports and then suggest that the client's staff should be doing patching etc. even though the client has got rid of the staff that would have done the work because they outsourced to the consultancy.

But to my mind the worst of all is that so many consultancies promote themselves as experts to their clients, but then offer really poor advice, then blame it on the client when it doesn't work. When you get good consultants (and they are out there) they do a good job. But there are just too many out there that I wouldn't even allow on site, let alone touch the software.

For reference, I have worked on sevral SAP systems and undertaken a number of their certs, including the security & GRC.

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HP sacks English employees to bag Scots gov jobs cash

Magister

Re: Happens everywhere

It was a pharma outfit.

The RDA and local gov tried to get thie rmoney; they were told not to waste their time and money as it would cost more than they would get back.

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Magister

Happens everywhere

I used to work where we could look out and see a large building, paid for by the Regional Development Fund. As well as the building of the new site, the (US owned) company concerned received a nice little wedge to move jobs to the area.

12 months later, they closed the business down, made all the staff unemployed and moved the work to another part of the world where they were getting a similar cash bung.

4 years later, the empty building is still there; the local council receives no rates on it and despite all efforts, can't find anyone to buy it. However, they have to maintain the land outside of the building at a cost of around £20,000 per year.

Our CEO was furious; he had asked for a much smaller amount to extend our factory, but was refused the grant. (He eventually borrowed the money, made the investment and developed our site increasing employment, without any public money.)

2
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Boffins find evidence Atlantic Ocean has started closing

Magister
Joke

Oh no...

Bugger Scottish independence; time to start getting ready for the re-unification of Pangaea!

5
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Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you

Magister

Good article

Up to age 18, I had been putting money away to pay for Uni (not for CS but a bio-med course); I had even visited a couple of places to see which I Iiked. Then Shit Happened big time; and I was working 70 plus hours a week to feed, clothe and house a family of 6. (No regrets; in no universe would I have taken a different route)

Many years later, like many others, I found myself moving into IT because I had an interest and had played with PC hardware as a hobby. My management and project management experience over 20 plus years in a variety of sectors gave me a major boost. However, I was in the position to expand my academic knowledge and I chose to do a part-time Masters through the Open University.

There are those that will denigrate the OU and they often ignore it on the grounds that it is not a "real" university; but the OU does provide some really good courses with a lot of value. I'd also highlight that these are very regularly updated so you get quite a lot more of the more up to date thinking.

You have to be really committed to the studies though; when you've done a full week of 8-10 hour days, it can be hard to switch your mind over to studying. The drop out rate is high because many just can't manage their time or find that it is just too hard. But that just means that when you do get the award, it means that much more. If nothing else, it can provide you with newer ideas.

I'd recommend it to anyone; and you don't have to drive yourself arse deep in debt just to get a piece of paper that most recruiters wouldn't know (or appreciate) from something knocked out on a copy of Photoshop.

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Confidence in US Congress sinks to lowest level ever recorded

Magister
Flame

Oliver Cromwell forcibly dissolved parliament as he became frustrated with their activities. His actual speech was not transcribed, but the following is generally thought to be a reasonably good offering of his speech in the House.

It's a shame that the words would be as valid today as they were 350 years ago. (FYI, one of the first ships to be commissioned in the new USA navy of 1776 was named 'Oliver Cromwell')

--------

"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!"

1
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Desperate Venezuelans wiped clean of bog roll

Magister
Coat

read only after eating, not before

There are many places in the world where the inhabitants have a custom of eating without utensils (in some cases because they cannot afford them).

In all cases, they use only their right hand for this purpose; if you are invited to eat with one of these, do not under any circumstances use your left hand. The left hand is for wiping the bottom and is usually washed afterwards. But no paper, no leaves, no "3 seashells", no stick; just good old fashioned skin.

Joke:

A bear sat in the woods, doing what come naturally. He looks down at a rabbit and asks him "when you shit, does it stick to your fur?" That rabbit thought for a bit bit before saying "No". So the bear picked the rabbit up and wiped his arse with him!

1
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IBM's $1bn layoffs latest: Now axe swings in US, Canada - reports

Magister

Mr Cynical

>>It is feared IBM will shed something along the lines of 6,000 to 8,000 workers, judging by the size of the $1bn payout pot <<

I wonder how much of the ring fenced pot will actually be allocated to pay bonuses to senior managers for successfully carrying out the difficult act of "workforce rebalancing"?

2
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Probe into Autonomy allegations could take years - report

Magister
Facepalm

Money, money, money..

The only people to benefit from this will be the lawyers (on both sides). I'll bet they (or more likely their wives) are already talking to the estate agents (realtors for US), luxury car salesmen and planning their next trip to the land of the obscenely wealthy.

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NSA PRISM deepthroat VANISHES as pole-dance lover cries into keyboard

Magister
Coat

Re: Chances are its all true but.....

Perhaps he hasn't disappeared at all; he's just living in the remains of the RMS Elizabeth at the bottom of Hong Kong harbour.

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Ex-CIA techie Edward Snowden: I am the NSA PRISM deepthroat

Magister

Re: War on Terror or war on us?

>>Go check the numbers for 9/11, it seems to have skipped your blinkered and myopic notice that they were just a bit higher than 35<<

The death figures quoted in the OP were for 2003; the attack on the WTC was in 2001. Perhaps it might have been appropriate to quote figures for several years; but even it had included those, the number of deaths by an act of terrorism are still proportionally lower than almost any other cause.

It's worth noting that the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 resulted in the death of 227,000 people (according to official figures; it might have been higher). That is a shocking number; but what is astonishing is how short an amount of time it took for the human race to make up that loss of life. Based upon the population growth rate of the last decade, it would have taken a little over 26 hours.

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Nicked unencrypted PC with 6,000 bank details lands council fat fine

Magister
Coat

Re: I did not cost the council one penny

>>More importantly....I wonder how I find out if I am affected?<<

I would say Much More Importantly.

I'm betting that if you submit an FOI request, you'll be told that they "cannot supply that information due to the Data Protection Law".

Or am I just being my usual cynical self?

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Reg readers tumesce as they get their tongues round 'podule'

Magister
Windows

Re: Kenny Everett

"Amazing that I can remember a radio show from 25 years ago, but can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday"

Sign of getting old my friend. (And it was more than 30 years ago - that's another 5 years that you've lost!)

Last time that I heard the work "Podule" used before this was for the little self contained toilet / bathroom units that were being built into the rooms of some hotels (one of the ones at Birmingham - Ibis?)

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Culture Sec: You - Google. Where's the off switch for all this filth?

Magister

Re: And again: WHO DECIDES?

>>What is "harmful content on the internet"? <<

Precisely. Who defines what is "harmful content"?

At the moment, there are many people that hold a strong belief that listening to Heavy Rock or Rap music is harmful; will they ban that? How about those that people that are concerned that we are all going to hell unless we read their version of a particular book; do they get to say that every other religious book is harmful?

This was the motivation behind the book burnings orchestrated by the Nazis. Those that fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

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Big Brother? Social networks are far worse, says Estonian president

Magister
Big Brother

Human swarm

There was an excellent programme on called "Human Swarm" (www.channel4.com/programmes/human-swarm) that covered some very useful points on how businesses capture and use data to predict how groups of people will act in a given situation.

A bit like the fictional "Pyschohistory" proposed by I Asimov.

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BSkyB-owned BE slams into traffic pile-up over 'unlimited' broadband lie

Magister
Headmaster

Just a thought

In the past, we have seen some items on the box where programme makers have had to apologise for mistakes made during a previous edition. (Generally news, documentary types)

I wonder if it would make a difference if the offending company had to produce a new item of say 5 - 10 seconds to apologise for their previous misleading advert and have it attached to any new adverts for a period of time as long as the original advert had been run (e.g. if the previous ad campaign was for 3 months, they would have to add the apology to any new ads for a 3 month period)

Almost certainly never happen; but I bet it would make the ad producers think about getting their house in order.

Whacko!

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Vodafone set to splurge £2.5 MEELLION a DAY building 4G network

Magister

£2.5 million sounds like a lot, but over the course of a year, that would be about £900 million. The Vodafone profits for a year are just under £10 billion.

I think that they could afford the investment. Just hope that they actually do manage to deliver the service.

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Doctor Who? 12th incarnation sought after Matt Smith quits

Magister
Joke

Slightly off the wall

How about Simon Callow? (No not Simon Cowell - this guy http://www.simoncallow.com/) Although possibly not quite physically fit enough; he definitely has the acting creds.

If they want a nod to the non-caucasian background, how about Alexander Siddiq; he did really well in a number of different films and he at least has the right accent.

Or why not go the whole hog and offer it to Omid Djalili? Now he really could play the part!

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UN to call for 'pre-emptive' ban on soulless robot bomber assassins

Magister
Mushroom

Hmmm

Am I the only one that read this and immediately thought of the film "Dark Star"?

(Dan O'Bannon trying to talk to a bomb and convince it that it shouldn't explode by discussing existentialism; so it then decides that it is God and ... Let there be light!)

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Microsoft tops list of software piracy nailed in UK by FAST

Magister
Pirate

Re: Of course

"No one ever pirated IOS software or is it just such a small userbase that no one tells on them"

FAST is not a government agency, a member of the legal fraternity or the judiciary. They are a "not-for-profit" organisation that is funded by the big software developers; and they only act on behalf of the people that fund their activities.

AFAIK, Apple don't pay anything to FAST; so I suspect that the good people at that organisation probably don't give a tinker's cuss if anyone pirates iOS.

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62,000 fewer shops: Welcome to the High Street of 2018

Magister

Simple problem, difficult answer

The problem is actually very simple; peopale don't go to some high streets because there is no compelling reason for them to do so. The main area in the town where i live is actually very nice; a lot of independant shops, a good bus service, clean toilets, reasonable parking, the occasional special event and overall a plesant shopping experience.

Compare that to a lot of places; a large number of empty shops, no parking, no buses, toilets closed due to vandals (or cuts), gangs of feral children roaming the streets or drunks & druggies accosting people. No wonder people would rather go elsewhere.

So how to resolve the problem; it needs time, money, encouragement from local people and traders, as well as the political will to make changes. There are no quick fixes.

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SAP launches mostly-free online courseware

Magister

Slow start

I've undertaken a number of official SAP courses; generally pretty good, although I found that they were better if you had already covered some of the material before hand. On each occasion, there were 1 or 2 people that were complete newbies and they were obviously struggling to get to grips with some of the material.

One of the courses was via virtual delivery; the same material as the normal course. I had a slight issue with audio, but that was probably due to my broadband. The costs of those courses was high; (c. $700 / €600 per day). If I were sending staff on a course, I would want to be certain that they were getting the best value from them.

Online courses can be the way forward (especially if they are free) but that can be an issue. I've found that some staff don't actually appreciate free courses and although they start with good intentions, they often don't pursue the course in the same way as a classroom course; and in many cases, they drop out before completion.

It will be interesting to see if they expand the number of courses

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Woolwich beheading sparks call to REVIVE UK Snoopers' Charter

Magister

Re: The guys were already known to the authorities

"Why did it take 20 minutes for armed police to arrive at a scene where someone had just been hacked to death?"

That is a very sensible question; but I bet that you wouldn't like the answer.

With such a low tech incident, I'd bet that there were a lot of people walking / driving by that had not the slightest idea that anything was untoward. It might well have taken at least a minutes (maybe more) before someone actually thought to even contact the emergency services.

It's been identified that the 999 service gets a ton of waste / hoax calls every single hour of every day; they now have to try to work out if the call is genuine or yet another prat playing silly buggers. This will take more time and they might wait for a second call to confirm the first.

Even if they do accept that it is a real call, they might have difficulty in identifying exactly where the incident is taking place. The majority of people are not too good at giving clear locations or directions and the service might require 2 or 3 calls before they can say for certain where the incident is taking place. (This can be made worse if the caller gets through to a control room in a different part of the country and doesn't realise that "the top of the high street" doesn't help place the incident that well)

They then have to alert the police; yes they have a direct line, but it has to go through a specific chain of command, all of which will take a little more time. The emergency services cannot request armed response; that can only be requested by an officer at a certain level (not sure what it is in the Met, probably an inspector).

Assuming that there is an armed unit available and not already dealing with a case elsewhere, they have to get out of the building and into a vehicle. Even if they get kitted up when rolling (which is normal), this also takes several minutes.

They then have to get to the location from where ever they happen to be; anyone that has driven through London traffic will know the issues. Even under blues & twos, if they are more than 4 miles away, it will still take over 10 minutes to drive there.

20 minutes is not a great response time; but I can see why it would take that long.

The boys (and girls) in blue are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination; but they usually do try bloody hard and deserve a bit more support than they generally get.

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'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test

Magister
Pint

Re: "The point is it has now been shown these things deliver a bullet with lethal speed. "

Interestingly, (if you're into that sort of thing) the number of alcohol-related deaths in the UK in 2011 was 8,748, over 4 times the vehicle accident level for that year. (This could of course include a number of things, just as some of the stats for road deaths might also overlap.)

It's possible to make lots of arguments based upon statistics; people generally underestimate the probability of the more common events and over estimate the probability of the less likely events. That's why so many people spend money on the lottery and are not so keen on investing in their pensions.

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Magister

Re: "The point is it has now been shown these things deliver a bullet with lethal speed. "

"knives kill 130,000 a year in the UK"

not even close.

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDUQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.parliament.uk%2Fbriefing-papers%2Fsn04304.pdf&ei=Dh6fUZfjAeOl0AXbqoHYCA&usg=AFQjCNEqiKnJejeqKANW3sNyaGPXSTX7Jw&sig2=Xg2P4UMYyMkMLw1x0HUaTA

The official figures realeasd for 2011 / 2012 show that over 12 months there were 29,513 offences involving knives, 4,490 people admitted to hospital due to assault by a "sharp object" and 200 homicides using a "sharp instrument".

You are still far more at risk of being killed in a motor vehicle accident; no matter what age, gender or ethnic origin.

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FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know

Magister
Happy

Re: Apologies to Izzard

How about Woolfardisworthy?

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolfardisworthy,_Torridge)

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HTC woes prompts 'leave now' tweet from former staffer

Magister

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.

2
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A backdoor into Skype for the Feds? You're joking...

Magister

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?

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Computer use irrelevant to education outcomes, says US study

Magister

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.

4
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Schmidt: Don't like our tiny tax bills? Google this... 'Change the law'

Magister

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Hodge

2
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EU wants the Swiss and pals to cough up IT giants' hidden bank info

Magister

>>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.

6
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Currant Bun erects £2 paywall: Wraps digi-paper around free footie

Magister

Meh

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.

6
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UK biz baffled by Reding's planned data protection law rewrite: ICO

Magister

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.

4
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Brits' phone tracking, web history touted to cops: The TRUTH

Magister

Personal Information

>>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.

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Brit unis get £7.5m of taxpayers' cash for cybersecurity PhDs

Magister
Boffin

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.

0
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Symantec: We 'stubbed our toe' on Backup Exec, but we'll be fine

Magister
Pint

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

0
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Microsoft: All RIGHT, you can have your Start button back

Magister
Happy

Widows 8?

>>Reller conceded that Windows users have been struggling with the Widows 8 Metro touch UI,<<

Widowmaker?

3
0

Oracle, SAP under attack: How cloud upstarts steal their lunch

Magister

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.

3
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Movie review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Magister
WTF?

WTF?

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.

6
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UK.gov's love affair with ID cards: Curse or farce?

Magister

ID

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.

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Is the IT industry short on Cobolers? This could be your lucky day

Magister

Observation

>>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.

FTFY

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Quid-a-day nosh challenge hack in bullet-hard chickpea drama

Magister

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.)

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Magister
Coat

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!

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Google's teeny UK tax bill 'just not right', thunders senior MP

Magister

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.

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Magister
Headmaster

@Downside

"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.

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Securing the Internet of Things - or how light bulbs can spy on you

Magister
Big Brother

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.

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ICO probes Home Office refusal to reveal Snooper's Charter details

Magister
Black Helicopters

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.

FIFY

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Manual override: Raspberry Pi beginners' books

Magister
Thumb Up

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.

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