* Posts by Magister

322 posts • joined 4 Jul 2012

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Plunging BT sales hit every branch of the biz on way down

Magister

Churn

>>the company said that it had added 122,000 broadband customers during the quarter <<

No indication of the churn rate though, which is actually a more important indication of the way things are going. It's inevitable that they will lose customers due to company movements, closures etc; but they should also be looking in more depth at where and why they lose out.

Is it just people taking advantages of new deals, or is it more a case that people move because of poor service? (as in my case) It costs a lot more to get a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer; this is an old adage, but still very true. I supoose that being very cynical, I shouldn't be surprised that marketing people seem to forget this, but I do still find it astonishing.

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UK way behind pack on broadband speed in Europe

Magister

>>If you join a decent ISP you will get a constant speed 24/7. <<

Unfortunately, most ISPs are still going to be running over the same copper that is managed by BT OpenReach. They can be the best ISP in the world, but if the cable is 50 years old and BT won't replace it, then the odds are you will still get a fairly poor service. 6.3 Mbps? They couldn't provide me with 0.63 Mbps!

As for the cost, I was paying £200 a quarter for a (combined phone / internet) connection at home and they still couldn't give me a service that had any level of stability.

It's still very much about the location; if you are in the right area, you will stand a chance of getting a good service. If you are in an area where they haven't managed the cable work, then you are pretty much stuffed.

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We trust computers to fly jets... why not trust them with our petabytes?

Magister

Indeed..

<< Nothing wrong with software in theory, just in practice its out-sourced to muppets to do for cheapness and speed (yes, right!)>>

You beat me to it.

I really didn't realise just how bad it can be until I started on my latest contract; I have had to deal with out sourced programming work before and was fairly non-plussed by the quality and speed of their work, but these people take it to a whole new level below the basement car park.

When you look at it, the company really have not saved anything; the inefficiencies of the current system are costing them serious amounts of money. Getting the right people in house, even at a realistic wage for the UK would cost a bit more, but the work would be done properly and within the right time frame and this would save a great deal of time and effort (i.e. money!) across the whole business.

But it won't happen - why? Because the senior management only look at the single figure of cost and despite the fact that they are supposed to be taking a strategic view are so myopic that they make Mr. Magoo look like Hawkeye.

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McDonalds burger app gives it to you straight from the horse's mouth

Magister

Re: Please

I used to work for a company that supplied the meat to McDonalds. It's composed of two grades; 75VL & 85VL (VL = "Visually Lean")

This meat was all from the forequarter of the beef animal; flank, clod, shin. These are the cheaper cuts of meat as people prefer the hindquarters, but it is still very good meat (I really like a nice piece of brisket). All of the farms where the animals were raised had to reach really high standards; and they keep an astonishing amount of data on them. They are able to track each of the animals back through their ancestry for many generations; they know what they have been fed and what medical treatment they have received and this information is kept for years.

They take the two grades of meat and then mix them together in what is effectively a giant mincer to produce an homogenised product; so each burger should taste the same. BTW, the flavour comes from the fat, not from the flesh. Personally, I would rather eat the meat before they mash it all up; along with some vegetables and gravy. But that's just my personal preference.

(BTW, I'm not the one that downnvoted you; I do have a sense of humour; warped perhaps, but I don't see why you should be downvoted for making a joke)

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US taxman joins UK politicoes on hunt for Amazon cash

Magister

Hypocitical

The MPs can bitch and posture all they like; but they are the ones that passed the various Acts that define the tax rules; the companies are simply using the rules to their advantage.

Worse, the MPs are among the very first ones to make use of any loopholes in the tax laws.

When they finally do something about the mess that they (or their predecessors) have created, then I might have some interest in their views; until then, they can winge all they like and I still won't care.

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Spy romp Zero Dark Thirty: The tech behind the special effects

Magister

Re: What about the plot?

>>would David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia be the same film if it had no regard for went into the camera?<<

Funny you should mention that particular film; number 2 on my all time list (2001: A Space Odyssey being number 1).

What is impressive is that the original film became quite badly degraded and was digitally remastered a number of years ago. The end result is visually quite superb; but if the film's plot had been rubbish, would anyone have bothered?

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Magister
Meh

What about the plot?

I accept that I may be in the minority, but for me the biggest draw of a film is not the special effects. It will always be far more about the actual story.

SFX can make a difference; but if the storyline is a pile of festering guano, then all the hard work to make it look better will be for nothing.

But I suppose it keeps people busy for a while

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Is this possibly the worst broadband in the world?

Magister

Re: "The cable needed to be replaced, but BT wouldn't do this"

>>Did no one think of ripping the cable up (or tearing it down)<<

Rather a lot of cable to tear down, but the thought had occurred to several people; but being law abiding, and such activity being viewed as criminal damage it was of course seen as inappropriate. (I couldn't possibly comment on what happened when a couple of trees fell over during some poor weather a while ago.)

BT simply patched the missing cable with older cable that they had recovered from somewhere else.

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Magister

I have every sympathy with Drew. There were times when I was getting less than 0.1 Mbps; and note that I was paying BT for "Business Broadband service" so I was paying a lot more than most people.

In my case, the situation was quite simple; I was in an area served by an older exchange and the cable from there to where I lived was over 50 years old. The BT engineers knew (and had highlighted many times to the relevant people) that more than half of the cores were dead.

The cable needed to be replaced, but BT wouldn't do this; they were planning to replace the exchange, only didn't know when they would do that. The original date of 2009 was pushed back to 2010, then 2011 ...... As for fibre; yeah right, maybe one day when pigs fly. Changing to a different supplier won't make the slightest difference if the cable to the local exchange is so poor.

All of the local businesses are having problems because of this. Local phones are noisy as hell and sometimes, conversations of more than a few minutes are just not possible. It's got progressively worse and I spent part of 20011 and the first half of 2012 arguing with BT support, who insisted that there was "nothing wrong" with the connection and would insist on sending engineers out to check the wall socket / internal equipment; only for the engineer to point out each single time that it was the line. This is actually the same problem as for a lot of other areas.

It still hasn't been fixed; but I've moved out of the area. Several of the local businesses are also considering their future in their current location.

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Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

Magister

The cup that cheers, but does not inebriate

Tea. Big mug, splash of milk, two digestive biscuits.

If I can't have tea, then I would much rather have a cup of hot Bovril.

Coffee is a very poor substitute

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NASA: There are 17 BEEELLION Earth-sized worlds in Milky Way

Magister
Alien

Theory is OK

But until we actually get out there and start exploring other star systems to confirm the existence of these planets, most of this information is just guesswork; an expert guess perhaps, but still just a guess.

(whilst typing the above, I somehow mistyped "exploring" as "exploiting" - or perhaps it wasn't such a mistype after all?)

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Sir James Dyson slams gov's 'obsession' with Silicon Roundabout

Magister

I have to partly agree with what JD has said; the government are just too focussed on developing the one area of London rather than take a longer term view for the whole country. But part of the issue comes back to the mandarins of the uncivil service; they take the view that "we don't do manufacturing in the UK" and therefore absolutely bugger all thought goes into any planning for manufacturing or development. (I've seen a number of cases where they actively oppose any such work, unless they personally get something out of it)

As many others have pointed out, Dyson outsourced their manufacturing; they are not the only ones. This is because as everyone knows, it is cheaper. Except that it more often isn't; numerous examples exist that show the savings are less, costs are higher, productivity and quality are a lot lower when the work is outsourced.

But hey, whilst we have policy being made by people that clearly haven't a clue, then we can't expect anything different.

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Brit boffins build projectile-vomiting robot to kill norovirus

Magister
Flame

Don't read whilst eating

I provided a microlab with tech support for a few years; they used to do regular testing for various things on people's hands and clothing. The lab manager told me that the biggest single cause of transmission of bugs comes from people not washing their hands correctly; particularly after using the toilet.

Many of the contaminents could very easily be passed along from what people were touching with their hands for even the briefest of contact; door handles, stair rails, telephone handsets etc. I got her to test a couple of mice and keyboards; they were absolutely covered in nasties; some of the mice she checked had almost the same bacterial counts as the inside of a toilet bowl. Even after we used some cleaning wipes, we found a high level of contamination.

Flames because that is one way of getting rid of the bugs!

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UK.gov stalks jobless online to axe work refuseniks' benefits

Magister

Re: Monster?

from the article

>>The site was set up by recruitment firm Monster, which is being paid $16.7m for its services<<

Related enough for you?

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Magister
Thumb Down

Monster?

I haven't used Monster in quite a while as I thought it was a load of pish the last time that I did. Decided to give it a shot; just entered "IT Manager", my location, and up to 20 miles from there.

Of 23 adverts (first page) 1 was for an IT Support person and the rest were for sales, general management or driving jobs.

Can't see me using them any time soon...

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Do users have enough power?

Magister
Pint

Re: Whatever.

Wish I could upvote your comment a couple of times.

In the past few months, I've seen the problems from the other side and although I don't like to criticise too harshly, I'm really stunned by what I see here in terms of the paucity of IT delivery. Your comments are just a snapshot of some of the problems that users here face on a daily basis and the amount of wasted time and money every year runs into seriously large (telephone number) amounts. Add to that the frustration that I hear from the users and it's easy to understand why some IT departments and personnel are treated with such contempt.

Have a drink on me

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Will we still love the data centre seven years from now?

Magister

As the coach Yogi Berra is supposed to have said "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is."

At my previous place, I undertook a test of using a cloud based offering to see just how it would wokr for the business. The theory is that cloud provision should be easier to scale up / down as required, that it will cost less and be easier to manage.

What we found was that although the scaling up was reasonably easy, scaling down took a lot more work. Almost all administration took more effort and actually a lot more time and there were a number of problems as a result.

It was suggested that dept heads would be able to manage much of the work; in reality, IT staff spent more time fixing their issues and the dept heads simply didn't want to know where they were going wrong. The cost certainly appeared to be cheaper, but once we started double checking, the actual costs were a lot closer than the vendor had portrayed during the sales pitch (understated their charges, over estimated our costs).

But without question the biggest issue was trust. Senior managers were happy that if anything went wrong on site, they could come through and see us working on the problem; sometimes it would only take a few minutes. But when dealing with an outside supplier, you are reliant upon their help desk. Having called 3 times in one hour and still no fix, the CEO insisted on standing by me whilst I phoned again (to the upset of their helpdesk person).

That company are still very reluctant to go any further down the route of cloud provisioning; and I can't blame them. I'm betting a lot of other smaller firms take the same view.

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St Zuck gives half a BEELLION DOLLARS in Facebook stock to charity

Magister
Happy

Re: Arithmetic fail

No problem.

I did have the wrong figures anyway; blame it on my advanced age and general grumpyoldfartness.

He will still (probably) do quite well out of his generosity (if my understanding is correct); not complaining, just highlighting the benefits.

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Magister

Re: Taxation

Interesting; the original post is still there.

I'm not decrying his actions or his motives; just pointing it out that this is a way to benefit from being charitable.

I think that I should refrain from using the alcohol icon (hic); clearly doesn't agree with me!

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Magister

Re: Arithmetic fail

Yeah I put the wrong figures - so sue me. I've with drawn the post, but the principle still stands; He would make a nice little earner from his generosity.

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Magister
Pint

Taxation

My understanding (please correct me if I am wrong) is that he will be able to put on his tax return, in the next year or two that he has given these shares away to charity. However, the IRS don't calculate his splendiferousness based on the price at the time they were given away, but at the time they do the calculations.

So if he gives them away today at $27, but when he declares the gift (in say 2 years time), the IRS will take the price then (for example $35) and then he gets tax relief based upon that figure. So instead of 30 million at $27 = $810 million, he will be allowed to claim 30 million at $35 = $1,050 million as a donation. He gets 240 million extra allowance.

That will buy a few drinks for Christmas!

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ICO hits the road to crack 'underlying problem' at data-leak councils

Magister

Re: Finally going out to find out what's going on. Fines *not* the answer.

More importantly, how much would you need to take on a job where you could go to jail for the actions of one of the other staff? (Such as someone that you don't even know or have even met losing a USB stick)

In the private sector, many companies would sack the member of staff straight away; I'm not sure if that is the case in the public sector, but it seems not (although I would be happy to be proven wrong). I would rather see a financial penalty being appllied to the user responsible for a first offence, then increasing in severity until third offence at which they get the boot.

I think that the ICO are right in what they are trying to do; I hope that they help reduce the apparent flood of lost data. I suspect that it won't make a huge difference (but then I am very cynical!).

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Vodafone India appoints SECRET SNITCHES

Magister
Joke

Uhhh... (Zombie alert)

>>"I'd rather have a live ex-colleague than a dead current-colleague."<<

If the colleague is dead, then it would be a dead former-colleague; unless Vodafone India are a bit more relaxed about employing the differently aware!

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END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH: TalkTalk no longer worst ISP in UK

Magister
Devil

Just a thought

It's all very well collating the data, but do they intend to do anything about it?

(Probably not; after all, that would almsot certainly require a completely new government department.)

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VCDX: The elite certification just 105 people hold

Magister

The beginning of wisdom...

Qualifications are extremely valuable (not just for the extra money that they might earn you). Undertaking a recognised course with an examination should show that you have been tested to prove your skills and that you can demonstrate the ability to look at a situation and offer a sensible solution to a given problem. It should also show that you have the ability to think critically about your own work; and confirm if what you think you know is correct.

Experience is what you gain as you work in a given area; and it can be highly valuable. However, experience does not always mean that someone is working to the most practical or efficient method. All too often, people find a way that works and then they use that same method whatever the situation. It can be very effective; I've seen experts look at an issue and quickly identify the problem. But equally, I've seen people leap into fixing a problem and just make it worse because they thought that they knew what the issue was without actually bothering to check all of the facts (because they "knew better than anyone else").

Personally, I would be happy to listen to anyone based upon both experience and qualification. But I would still reserve judgement until I was happy that what they said was proven to be accurate. I'm probably biased; I have some qualifications and many years experience; but that doesn't mean that I think I'm always right.

There is an old saying; "The beginning of wisdom is the statement 'I do not know'"

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First Mac OS X fake installer pops up, racks up your mobe bill

Magister

Re: The OS is irrelevent

>>the user would be told, "Allowing this app to have this access is rated as having a high level of risk."<<

And then the malware writer changes the text so that it reads "Apple has confirmed that installing this app will have no adverse effect" - and people click on the link because they trust it.

If you have 10 "experts" telling someone "you should not do this" and 1 "expert" saying that it's OK, they will listen to the 1; because he / she is telling them what they want to hear. That's just the way that people are.

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Cassini spots Titan ‘mini-Nile’

Magister
Joke

A "Grand Jeté" - to be followed by a "Grand Guignol" if you don't quite make it!

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It pays to study the habits of your email users

Magister
Pint

Filing

A couple of years ago, I found out that a lot of the staff were deleting emails, but leaving them in the "Deleted Items" folder.

We had set-up a GPO to force Outlook to clear the contents of the deleted items when closing Outlook; it caused a major shit storm when people started complaining. They actually thought that this was sensible way to save emails.

Users; don't you just love them!

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Schmidt 'very proud' of Google's tiny tax bill: 'It's called capitalism'

Magister

MPs = Hypocrites

>>"Tax is something that is a legal obligation that you should pay. <<

This is true; but no-one is under any legal or moral obligation to arrange their tax affairs for the benefit of the taxman or to pay one penny more than the law requires.

The tax laws are an omnishambles; they have become so complex that most people (including MPs) simply cannot be aware of every single possible scenario. In fact, most MPs now emply specialist advisors who tell them how to avoid paying more tax than the law requires. In particular, most of those on the committee are themselves taking advantage of some of the particular arrangements used by these large businesses to reduce their own tax bill.

Pot = kettle?

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Australian State launches IBM probe

Magister
Alert

I worked with SAP systems for five years; I think that the product design is out dated, processes are bureaucratic and not easy to learn; and the implementation process is generally very cumbersome. But if it is correctly configured and managed it does actually work.

Unfortunately, IBM have a record of promising the customer that they will manage and deliver a working system, but then buy in the cheapest people that they can find to work on the project (whilst charging the client an arm and a leg). These contractors often have limited experience or knowledge of SAP or its implementation; the result is inevitable.

As for the costs; I tried to find out what would be involved in that figure of $AU1.2 billion but there don't seem to be any hard figures. If it includes new hardware, a complete redesign, transfer of data, internal staff costs etc, then I would expect it to be around a tenth of that for the size of operation. It could be that they are asking for compensation for all the trouble caused; good luck on that!

SAP will probably stay at arms length from this (as they do with most other failures). The Queensland government has a contract with IBM so they have to sue them. If they try to get at SAP, their lawyers will simply show that the software works elesewhere and it is down to the implementation. IBM will probably try to off load blame onto the contractors, staff, managers; everyone they can (and yes I've been at the receiving end of something like this)

I feel sorry for the residents of Queensland; they are the ones that will end up paying for this cockup.

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London Blitz bomb web map a hit-and-miss affair

Magister

agreed

I grew up in Pompey; there were whole areas where houses had been destroyed, those around them damaged and then all pulled down because they were unsafe. Whole blocks of open space where people had lived. The problem was that for a long time after the war, there was not the money to re-build these houses.

There was an estimate that about 10% of explosive bombs didn't explode on contact with the ground. (There were a very large number of smaller incendiaries which people often forget about.) In some cases, this was because they were rigged with devices to blow up later, often when the UXB squad were trying to make them safe. I was talking to an ex-army captain a few years ago that told me they estimate there are still many hundreds of bombs (possibly even over a thousand) that are still buried somewhere inside the M25 circle.

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Rogue IT employees - give us the down and dirty

Magister

Re: That's "Hoist with" That's "Hoist by" ... (was: Hoist with own petard)

Actually, you are probably correct.

The "Petard" was an early explosive device; after the fuse had been lit, one of the peasants would be instructed to carry it to a position at the base of a castle wall (by a doorway or or other potential weak spot) and then to get the hell away as quickly as possible before it went off. Not always easy; those inside the castle treated attackers with various interesting ways of inflicting pain or death which could make retreat very difficult. The fuses in those days were exceptionally unpredictable and often went off before they were due to.

So the peasant (or what was left of him) would be thrown into the air by the device. However, as the remains of the petard would be heading skyward with him, both could be said to be grammatically correct; although I doubt that the poor peasant would be overly concerned about the niceties of grammar in this case!

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Magister

Hoist with own petard

A story that I am assured is true from the mainframe days (late 70s / early 80s).

Someone was leaving the company under a cloud and decided that he would cause a problem for the other people that were still working there (he was not well liked). He got back into the building and let himself into the server room late on the Friday and removed certain key items that would effectively cause the whole mainframe to shut down and would require many hours of work to re-install.

Unfortunately, at the same time, this caused the lock on the computer room door door to freeze as the swipe entry mechanism was controlled by one of the systems that he had disabled. The guy was stuck in the room until security found him about 6 hours later; he hadn't been able to get the mainframe back up and running. The systems manager was called in and it took another couple of hours to get in and do the repairs.

He got a ride in a police car for that little stunt!

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Parliament: Snoop Charter plan 'too sweeping', 'misleading', 'suspicious'

Magister
Joke

Re: Looks like the civil servants have been rumbled

>>they promise they won't use it for shits and giggles<<

That's OK; until someone giggles and shits!

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Magister
Big Brother

Re: Looks like the civil servants have been rumbled

>>(I've got Blunkett, Straw, Smith and May. Have I missed any) <<

After Blunkett were Charles Clarke and John Reid.

I have to agree with you; it's clear that this is not a party political agenda, but one that is being proposed / promoted by the civil servants / heads of security or military. The question is, what do they get out of it? (In most cases, it is power or money or both.)

I'd say that it has become obvious that the people promoting this dreadful idea are quite simply unfit to hold any public office; and should be removed from their positions at the earliest possibility. They should never be allowed to work in any position where they have even the slightest influence in future.

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Last moon landing was 40 years ago today

Magister
Pint

What happened?

I remember the first moon landing (I sneaked downstairs and sat about a foot away from the TV screen with the volume down). I also tried to watch all of the other missions and I do recall some of the antics of Cernan and Schmitt as they collected data and drove around.

To me aged 16, it seemed inevitable that there would be further exploration; a base on the moon, radio telescopes on the far side (to avoid the "radio" pollution coming from Earth), then a mission to Mars all before the end of the century. It was great time for science, for the evolution of the Human Race.

Sadly, not to be. Politicians took control, money was spent elsewhere, the media decided that we needed more soap operas, not space operas, the urge to investigate the unknown was crushed wherever it appeared.

I salute those that took those first steps; I hope that they were not the last, just the last so far.

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'UK DNA database by stealth' proposed in £100m NHS project

Magister
Big Brother

Re: "genetic anomalies are a key part of evolution by natural selection?"

>>What would really help is a huge database identifying all the thick / ill people, the first thing to do (at the most simplistic level) would be to eradicate these genes from our progeny. <<

A certain leader in the last century (Hr. A. Hitler) had exactly this idea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensborn

Similar plans were proposed at a number of different Eugenics conferences during the early 20th century; what's interesting is that this is now banned under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. I wonder if their database (sorry, "data infrastructure") could also be construed to be a breach of this?

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Parliament to unleash barrage of criticism on Snoopers' Charter

Magister
Big Brother

A well reasoned and written article

I've asked the question before "where are these ideas originating". We see them being put forward, shot down, and then re-appearing under a different name a short while later.

It's not a party political thing; the idea has been promoted by several different Home Secretaries of differing political stripes. Whilst the author identifies one particular civil servant, I suspect that is just a semi public face that is seen by the ministers; the driver is more likely to be hiding away in darker shadows. I've no idea what their motivation is, but it cannot be to anyone's benefit.

I'm pleased that some of the MPs are starting to wake up to how dangerous this idea really is; they will not gain from it any more than the average UK citizen. In fact, they probably have more to lose; can you imagine the effect on an MP that is having a minor dalliance with a party activist? Being blackmailed as a result of information gleaned from this odious idea is just the start of their problems.

From previous projects, it's proven that they cannot be trusted to implement, manage or operate such a programme; and it is likely that we would see major cost overruns at a time when we really cannot afford to waste public money. Anyone that continues to promote this idiotic plan should be prevented from ever holding any public office at all as they are clearly one step away from tanks of sharks with frikkin' laser beams!

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2020AD: Space tourists will be FOUND ON MOON

Magister

Is Delos D Harriman in charge of marketing this?

(FWIW, I really hope that they succeed)

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'Build us a Death Star, President Obama' demand thousands

Magister

Re: All joking aside..

Think about this one: annual expenditure in the USA

NASA = $18 billion

Alcoholic drinks = $160 billion

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Magister
Pint

All joking aside..

There are a lot of people (in the USA and outside of it) that complain about the US space programme; one of the most common complaints is ".. all that money is wasted.." (or similar comments).

The total expenditure on the US space programme since the 1960s works out at about 5 cents per person in the USA per day over that time; are there any sweets (candies) that can still be purchased for that price anymore? (a single strip of gum for example). Most people (in the UK at least) spend more than that every day on using their mobile phone.

Meanwhile, a lot of technology (OK not all, but a lot) has been proven to have applications in many other areas; medicine, engineering, communications, navigation, meterology, amongst others. Many tens of thousands of jobs were created in the public sector, but many hundreds of thousands were created in the private sector (some of them in other countries as well).

Any large scale project of this kind can have a re-vitalising affect on a nation; just think of the feel good factor that came from the Olympics this year.

(A useful discussion can be found here http://www.freakonomics.com/2008/01/11/is-space-exploration-worth-the-cost-a-freakonomics-quorum/)

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Microsoft Windows Server 2012: Why Bother?

Magister

Re: Some Obvious Reasons.....

Security - it doesn't really matter how "secure" a given product is, if the people managing it don't use suitably secure processes. The weakest link is always the person managing the system.

TCO - no it's not just a marketing term. Unfortunately, a lot of technical people have little or no understanding of finance. If you run a business, there is one mantra above all; you have to manage costs if you are to survive.

Functionality - agreed, this is subjective. However, are you aware that you can install Server 2012 as "Server Core" - basically just the shell, no GUI. All admin done using PowerShell cmdlets.

Performance - agreed that the hardware is fundamental. But software can have an impact when providing network access.

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BT to rent cheaper FTTP lines to ISPs - if they stump up £1k a go

Magister

Give us the service...

...and we will pay for it.

I'd be more than happy to pay these sorts of one-off fees. I had to arrange for a leased line install at the beginning of last year and the installation fee for that was more than two grand.

I've been making the point to BT for many years that we need the connectivity now in order for the business to be a global player; and I've been able to demonstrate that we would use the faster connectivity if it were available.

We were getting by, but there is no question that the lack of a modern service offer from BT was starting to adversely impact the business; we had no option but to go to a different supplier this year and already we are starting to see some of the benefits.

I'd bet that there are a lot of other SMEs and even larger firms that could really make use of better connectivity; and once they see the advantages, they would take the same view that the ROI makes the costs of the fees a very small price to pay.

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China plans astro-farms on Mars

Magister
Thumb Up

Aim for the stars..

... you might hit the ceiling.

Sometimes we need these really big projects; partly to test out what is possible but also to stimulate fresh ideas and new ways of thinking about problems.

They get a thumbs up from me

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First pic of Ashton Kutcher as the great Steve 'jOBS'

Magister

Re: Who?

Sweet!

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Help-desk hell

Magister

About 1997

Had a phone call from a lady who's company had bought a new version of our software. Unfortunately, the manager had messed up the install routine; so it wouldn't run. He had given the job to her of calling us up to get the problem resolved

After about 30 seconds of talking, it was clear that the poor lady had not the faintest clue of how to use a computer. I had to explain to her how to use a mouse to move the pointer around the screen; then once she understood that, I asked her to click on the "Start" button. Unfortunately she interpreted this as pressing the power button; she had turned the PC off.

I had already identified the main problem with the software; they hadn't followed instructions and she just needed to delete the empty licence file and then re-licence. But here things got worse; trying to explain over the phone how to navigate through the directory structure was not easy.

It took a further 45 minutes to talk her through finding the file, deleting it, and then I was able to read out a new licence key to her and talk her through entering the code. Total call time just under 1 hour.

After I put the phone down, I had to go outside and stand in the fresh air - I actually had a headache caused by this.

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Littlest pirate’s Winnie-the-Pooh laptop on the way home

Magister

Re: Couple of points

This +100

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Magister

Re: Couple of points

>>So you would deprive your ten year old child of her laptop for several months <<

a 10 year old doesn't "need" a laptop

>>causing no end of stress for the family<<

That is a valid point. I would agree that this might cause someone to consider paying off the heavies; but what if they come back next year for more? At what point would you say enough?

>>rather than pay 300 Euros to make it go away?<<

If you have done nothing wrong, why should you pay? The amount is irrelevant.

>> just to make a point that frankly won't make an iota of difference in the scheme of things<<

I disagree; if he had stood up to them, he would have set a precedent and that would then set the standard by which judges would rule in the future.

I'm sure that these guys might have wanted a quiet life, but they chose to stand up and be counted when it mattered. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolpuddle_Martyrs

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Magister
Headmaster

Couple of points

The 10 year old child was accused of downloading; but she wasn't able to do so and the track was bought the following day. Therefore she didn't "pinch" anything. I'd refuse to pay one penny, let it go to court and then request damages and costs and make sure that the press were given sufficient access to show these people up for exactly what they are.

Chisu is the stage name of Christel Martina Sundberg - a female, not a male. Her work, not his work.

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Adobe demands 7,000 years a day from humankind

Magister

Some years ago..

... I read the EULA for a piece of proprietary software (because I was bored, OK?). They had probably cropped some of the text directly from another licence and hadn't bothered to read what was there.

I had a meeting with them a few weeks later and remembered what I had seen. It turned out that we were possibly using the software illegally and I felt that they should be aware of this.

The key phrase was something like ".. in cases of lighting..." instead of "lightning". So the agreement indicated that we couldn't use the software if the lights were turned on and they took no responsibility for any problems if they occurred.

Everyone had a good laugh at this, but it did get me wondering, what would happen if a supplier did try to use an error in an agreement to their advantage.

Never did find out.

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