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* Posts by keithpeter

744 posts • joined 14 Jul 2007

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EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday

keithpeter
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Windows

"...to migrate data from the broken fibre to a new cable that was installed near our switch site in West London"

Do you think they might mean 'to direct the flow of data from the broken fibre optic cable to a new cable". Unless they store data in cables.

Was the cable broken by some chap with a visibility jacket and a pneumatic drill by any chance?

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Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

keithpeter
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Relax rules about what you can rent

"Compulsory standard rental agreement terms that allowed people to make a rental property their home, rather than some kind extended holiday let, might temper the obsession we have with owner-occupation in this country."

Security of tenure, yes.

But at present, in the UK, I *think* there are quite severe limits on what you can convert/use/rent as living space. I *recollect* that our present 'government' said something about relaxing these limits, allowing surplus office blocks/factory units(*)/unusual buildings to be converted into housing. As there are plenty of these standing idle in the area just around the centre of Birmingham I imagine they could be rented basically for the amortised cost of conversion and maintenance plus a reasonable ROI.

Could be fun for younger people and oldies like me who just need about 400 sq. ft. + bathroom/corridor somewhere interesting. Could increase the supply of lower end housing, thus easing pressure on rented/purchased traditional housing. Might lead to genuine 'innovation zones' as a mix of low cost housing and workshop/office space becomes available and small service businesses attracted (genuine 'vibrancy').

Joseph Mitchell was a journalist who moved to New York in the 1930s/40s/50s. When he first moved to NY, he deliberately moved around the neighbourhoods, renting a new appartment each six months or so, because he wanted to explore the city. I'd love to have a vibrant, secure rented sector with sufficient supply to allow that to happen now.

How do we get from where we are now to something like that? What actual policies would need to be implemented and in what order to ensure a transition without huge price spikes and idiotic levels of risk to low income groups?

(*)Subject to checks on certain categories of factory: plating and etching is common round here, very nasty chemicals, might be too expensive to clean up.

The Tramp: low income groups need to have a secure roof over their head if you want your rubbish taken, offices cleaned, children minded, buses driven &c

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Euro banks will rip out EVERYTHING and buy proper backend systems ... LOL, fooled ya

keithpeter
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Re: Financial IT spending

"(possibly written by overpaid primadonnas that rode their Ferraris into the sunset some time ago)"

Your average COBOL programming drone in the 1960s/1970s(?) wasn't driving any posh cars. Perhaps a two tone chocolate/burnt orange Vauxhall Viva with tartan seat covers on a finance agreement.

The documentation would exist (I believe they coded from specs) but would include magic numbers and administration codes based on the version of the manual that was current when the code was written.

I suspect the Posh Italian Car brigade were more on the investment banking side and more recently. Perhaps the APL wizards got a Jaguar.

Not arguing with your general point however.

Tramp Icon: I was doing BASIC on a teletype with a modem (that had a dial on the front) at College then. We got to visit a Data Processing Unit once as part of the course. Seriously large tape machines. Very short mini-skirts.

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EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages

keithpeter
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Shops?

I just pop into the shop. I choose times when the chap who sold me the phone is in. He does the 'magic phone number' bit and things (only a couple) get sorted.

I'm a low revenue customer (sim only) and I am noticing switching to GPRS a lot as well as another commenter here. I'm OK with that however as voice calls, emails and sms messages seem to get through ok.

Icon: Blackberry Bold user

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

keithpeter
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Re: Personally ...

"I can imagine that you might do some scripting with VI but 250 pages of Sci-Fi novel sounds a bit dubious."

I don't write books, but study packs in the 30 to 90 page range can be done in 'mark up' quite easily using a text editor and a previewer now and again to check the typesetting.

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Best shot: Coffee - how do you brew?

keithpeter
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Moka

"That said, a Moka pot is not really much more hassle."

Three 'cup' size (= 1 decent mug + top up when diluted with hot water) on the hotplate while I boil the porridge. 10 minutes quiet in the garden before the commute and work madness. £18 + a change of 'o' ring each year. No faffing with filters. Don't scrub the top part too much, it should stay a light brown.

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Jarvis versus Jarvis: Don't DISRUPT the DISRUPTION GURU!

keithpeter
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Fun

"You've had your fun, mate." -Jarvis

"You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back." -Unamed senior security official quoted by Rusbridger[1] shortly before computers destroyed at Guardian HQ.

No comment needed really...

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/guardian-hard-drives_n_3782382.html

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The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

keithpeter
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@LDS was Re: Stupid

"You wanted a specific example of missing hardware support? I gave it to you. But I guess given the price of that hardware you've never seen one..."

https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=708673

https://www.mail-archive.com/debian-bugs-closed@lists.debian.org/msg444698.html

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ledmon/+bug/1174386

Dell *server*. Would it be those? Looks like fixed upstream.

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keithpeter
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Re: Stupid

"...simply because a huge amount of hardware either cannot be used or can only be used with reduced functionality because Linux drivers do not exist."

Specific examples in mind? Or have I just been amazingly lucky for the last five years or so...

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keithpeter
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Re: Stupid

"Tell me which distro/version and which app you installed on it, and I will verify."

Kernel panics resulting in a black screen with a hex dump and total lock up are very rare in my experience. The last one I had was a 2.6.x series kernel on a Samsung NC10 netbook. I think it was Ubuntu 10.10 or something. There was an issue with power saving being applied to the rt series wifi driver causing a panic. Resolved in a subsequent kernel update - this was during the pre-release testing period.

It is usually hardware driver based. Not fonts!

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keithpeter
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QA

"Doesn't Microsoft catch errors in their code any more? It would be a lot better than coming up with STOP ?"

The 4k or so redundancies at Redmond (as opposed to the 12k or so at Microsoft owned Nokia) apparently fell mainly on testing and QA staff according to a softie blog whose comments those made redundant were using to let off a bit of steam.

Coincidence?

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New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

keithpeter
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Re: When I moved to my borough some 26 years ago...

Likewise Brum council. Letter was quite clear and well laid out, and mail-merged with *my* existing details on already. Not that I'm worth trying to sell anything to.

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Snowden leaks show that terrorists are JUST LIKE US

keithpeter
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50 mile radius

"The Foreign Office provides non-attributable official and personal mobile phones to GCHQ officers while on deployment. Covert mobile phones are equipped with Bluetooth and therefore they must not be switched on or used within a 50-mile radius of GCHQ's Cheltenham HQ, operatives are instructed."

So look out for fairly young looking very inconspicuous chaps and chapesses conspicuously not using mobile phones in Birmingham or in fact most of the West Midlands including the West Coast train line and several small airports?

Or have I misunderstood the 'covert' bit and they are using other phones then?

The tramp: confused as always

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Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

keithpeter
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Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

"And the van to drive your text message on punched cards over to the house of the recipient?"

Nah, card reader -> paper tape -> Paper tape reader on Telex Terminal set to 'Net' -> Message echoed to as many other Telexes as are connected to the same 'Net'.

My successful (apparently!) birth was apparently announced in several time zones using a similar technique but without the punched cards (late 1950s). Mum's best friend was a Telex operator.

PS: the people who are always nagging me to get on Facebook are the cousins over 70. Us young 'uns have reservations.

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£100m DMI omnifail: BBC managers' emails trawled by employment tribunal

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Public money

"In most commercial businesses pissing £100m up the wall for no useful output would actually endanger the future of the business, and probably result in a complete change of both board and IT management."

Or the hiring of gifted accountants who could associate a book value with what deliverables there were at the end of the project.

[I neither agree or disagree with your perception of the quality of the output of the BBC as I do not own a television receiver (see posts further up screen).]

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keithpeter
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Re: At least it's not my money these buffoons are burning

"Got rid of my telly in 2009 and haven't missed it."

I've never owned a broadcast television.

Be aware though that a computer with a broadband connection is classed as 'television receiving apparatus', so I do now pay for a television licence. I did write to my MP about this some years ago. There was some uncertaintly about the exact situation but I decided not to risk possible fine or visits.

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Chromebooks to break out of US schools: Netbook 2.0 comeback not just for children

keithpeter
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Re: Gaining traction

@Simon Palmer: Sir Gâr Graig?

Wouldn't mind picking your brains in September. I'm not the PHB any more (thank deity) just interested.

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keithpeter
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Linux

Re: There do seem to be a lot of Chromebook haters on here...

"Now, I just have to figure out how to crash these other laptops so I can get my own Chromebook. Probably won't have to wait long until someone downloads a patch that bricks them. Oh noes."

Pop Kubuntu on a usb drive and try it live for a day or two on one of your laptops. Might not boot (UEFI/Secure Boot shenanigans), or might just surprise you.

If no good, just donate/ebay the laptops and buy your Chromebook.

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keithpeter
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when we have calmed down a bit

I have access to a laptop trolley in one of the centres I teach in. We use the laptops about one lesson in four to access mymaths and a few other Web sites, including hegartymaths and themathsteacher along with wolframalpha. So basically a Web browser and flash. I'm planning get students to make a few simple spreadsheets next year to help with algebra (sequences are good on a spreadsheet) and some graph work (XY scatter with a suitable formula and they are away, building the formula themselves helps the understanding).

All of that *could* work on a chromebook as well as on a Windows laptop. I gather the new generation have some local storage and can run some apps offline. Just saying. I have no idea how the total costs would stack up.

I know other teachers use them *sometimes* for Office, but the proper IT lessons use the rooms with actual PCs, chairs and monitors. This is adult ed by the way, not a school or college.

I'm also wondering where you can apply for one of these analyst jobs.

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Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner: Capital is top target for computer thieves, say police

keithpeter
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Bad typo in first sentence

'Tables' assume should read 'tablets' unless very handy street gangs with vans

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Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Hmmm

"...anyone sending a message with 10000 recipients ought to have some kind of permission to do so since it's unlikely to be an invite to the pub to some mates..."

No, but it could be a message to 7,500 or so mobile numbers that has to be sent in a hurry at around 5am to try and prevent wasted journeys through very very bad weather. A quick clean up to get rid of the 10 and 12 digit numbers in the database dump (don't ask) and then a queue of messages via a humble dongle. It worked. I didn't do the clever bit (dongle script).

We have much slicker systems hanging off the Intranet these days. Prior blanket permission could work I imagine.

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Amazon smacks back at Hachette in e-book pricing battle: We're doing it for the readers

keithpeter
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Re: What is Hachette contributing?

"Is it really justified for them to get as much money as the author?"

Paper books will be around for a bit yet so paper needs to get smeared with carbon on an industrial scale and the resulting atoms still need to get shifted.

Having written about 25k words for a published non-fictional project I can say that working with an editor has significant value. Editorial services could be provided by any publisher of course.

Do we *really* want one publisher?

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Lawsuit claims SpaceX laid off hundreds without proper notice, pay

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Makes no sense

"Then there is a possibility that SpaceX was exploring a project, the team of specialists failed to deliver on that project so they don't need them anymore."

Isn't that the very definition of a layoff? Or redundancy as we say in UK.

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Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE

keithpeter
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Re: or you could go even more downmarket...

The famously amazing Victorian Gothic Icknield St library in Brum does not have wifi, there is a notice directing readers to the Tesco Cafe in the modern complex that you can walk through to. Reasonable speeds.

Upmarketish: Should anyone find themselves in Birmingham New St Station, look for the Coffee Lounge independent cafe just opposite the entrance. Fast wifi, no landing pages, wpa2 password is written in felt tip by the till, better than 1.5 Mbytes/sec mid morning when the hipsters are not in. I just do Americano, tastes fine, comes in a bucket, not too expensive. They do beans on toast as well as all the panini stuff.

Free connections across Brum centre: Plenty of cafes, chain and independent. Central reference library and the ICC both have free wifi. No encryption but you have to negotiate a landing page and that needs noscript disabled for the initial connection. Speeds around 120 kbytes/sec. Mobile connections (G3 is my limit) are variable across the city centre. Some places are effectively Faraday cages, others its rocking.

Outside centre: Midland Arts Centre (MAC) in Cannon Hill Park has free wifi again no encryption but (more sensible) landing page so you can agree terms &c. Around 800 kbytes/sec to 1 Meg bytes sec mid afternoon weekday. Holds up well at weekend. Nice place to sit outside within range.

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Amazon 'adware' laden Ubuntu passes ICO's data smell test

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Filthy Lucre

"I did try to answer my own question btw - I cant find any info on their revenue from the Amazon hookup. Weird."

Yes, they keep the numbers really quiet generally. Either the revenue from this feature is peanuts and Canonical are to embarrassed to admit that given the hoo-ha, or its huge and people will then ask why Amazon are paying so much for anonymous random desktop search terms like lett*82014*tax*.odt, with the implications that the search terms are not so...

As others have said, I just started using Debian. Quite like Wheezy.

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CIA infosec guru: US govt must buy all zero-days and set them free

keithpeter
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Windows

Legends...

"He said that in the intelligence community building plausible false identities is becoming much harder in the digital age and will only get harder. These days it’s a much better solution to steal someone’s identity and use that, Geer opined."

nanowrimo coming up. Interesting idea that one. LegendOMatic to steal from Le Carre. Ebay for IDs. Have bots manufacturing a social media history for agents.

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What's the point of the Internet of Things?

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Fishtanks are useless

"Anyway, do him a favour and show him how to setup a webcam, then we can all watch his fish :)"

Crowdsourced fish tank watching. You may just have invented the Next Big Thing

Seriously, as was mentioned up the screen, we need the iot:// protocol with some RFCs. Or it won't really work.

Low power computing: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2012/08/how-low-power-can-you-go.html

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China: Microsoft, don't shy away from our probe

keithpeter
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Windows

Realpolitik

I suspect this is a lot of politics plus a little bit of a real issue somewhere. The FBI (?) puts out a warrant for the 'arrest' of Chinese army officers associated with cyberwar. China decides to enforce local commercial regulations.

That isn't to say I disagree with the sentiments being expressed above.

The tramp: noodles with fried onion and soy

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END your Macbook SHAME: Convert it into a Microsoft SURFACE

keithpeter
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Re: Just one question

@ Frankee Llonnygog

"Is it possible to pledge negative amounts on Kickstarter?"

Spread betting on kickstarter options? Bring it on.

Coat icon: I'm off out to pay some bills

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The Register is HIRING technology hacks for the WORLD

keithpeter
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Interview

"I'm somewhat lacking in the skills that let good journalists figure out when to ask whom which questions, not to mention the skills to actually get those questions answered."

@sisk A suggestion: find some interesting people locally who might want a bit of publicity(*) and interview them on audio and edit the result into a podcast.

(*) Charity people, artists, people running workshops &c

The basics

http://www.radiodiaries.org/trh/interviewing/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/journalism/skills/interviewing

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keithpeter
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"In recent times the Register has had its journalists poached by Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Telegraph among others."

Well done (depending on how many went to the 'others').

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Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: So whose email do you use then

"Eat that, NSA/GCHQ goons !"

The chaps and chapesses in Cheltenham probably have.

At work: I loaded Chrome to check the appearance of a Web page I'm writing. The popup thingy informed me that the Google Hangouts application is running and logged in... I'm using a different browser now.

The sky won't fall because of this case (which will no doubt trundle through various levels of the legal system for years) but the long term chill effect (drip-drip-drip in the background if you listen carefully) will accelerate very slightly.

Economic power is shifting southward. And that's that.

The tramp: Being totally unimportant has its virtues sometimes.

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PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users

keithpeter
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Re: Post PC

"My wife did it. Her second book was written on an iPad."

Excellent and I hope it sells well.

I'm *assuming* that the opus was continuous prose? Dawkins wrote The Blind Watchmaker on his BBC B+ (albeit with that large clacky keyboard). Lest we forget journalists phoned in copy typed on a TRS-80 via accoustic coupler over Strowger switched phone lines from various Front Lines a few decades ago. Joyce, Auster and Powell weaved their narratives on typewriters (similar ergonomics to a laptop or tablet/keyboard/stand).

I suspect the future will include workstations and laptops for those of us who need to include significant graphical content with our writing and for those who need to edit and convert multimedia content or corral and brand data. These might well be niche products, one hopes with lifetimes measured in decades.

Icon: Trench coat of course. Shorthand pad in one pocket and Talkman in the other.

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Dr Dre's crew gets Beats-down from Apple: 200 jobs to go – report

keithpeter
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Windows

200 'mostly in' HR?

They must have thousands, high thousands of employees for that number of HR. As the products *were* designed by an outside agency and manufactured in China, what did they all *do*?

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Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Realism

"If faced with a rational argument, spout patriotic poetry. Got it."

Don't over estimate the power of rationality and don't under estimate the appeal to emotion in these matters. This is a yes/no referendum. 13% undecided and a 4% gap on the most recent poll I can find.

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KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer

keithpeter
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Pint

Re: Lies, damned lies and messing with popcon data

@ Flocke Kroes

Might be worth mentioning that default Debian is Gnome. KDE and XFCE4 take an *active choice* at install time, either 'alternative desktops' route during install or installed afterwards. Installing KDE on a Gnome system can lead to fun (phonon/pulse &c).

Might also be worth mentioning that the *default* for popcorn when using the text based installer is 'No' , i.e. Popcorn results not sent.

Interesting non-the-less. Just remember what happened to Sinofsky who trusted telemetry data....

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keithpeter
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Re: Very confusing

Had a ride in a Moscovitch once, tecchy at University bought one while I was doing my phud. Very nice little estate with chunky tires and wicked heating - December in Brum.

Seriously, there is something to be said for 'bog standard this is how it works', especially if you train people.

Mine's the greatcoat and ushanka

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Incoming Rant

"...To search, you just start typing and a search field appears with your text in it. It's pretty much impossible to discover this feature..."

Here we go, here we go, here we go....

I'm all for new flat pastels, but one needs to be able to find applications and files having allowed Nepomuk to index one's gigabytes.

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Indie ISP to Netflix: Give it a rest about 'net neutrality' – and get your checkbook out

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: wireless

Use the electricity supply cables?

I may have totally misunderstood this of course as I have no local knowledge.

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

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/09/17/how-chattanooga-beat-google-fiber-by-half-a-decade/

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

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keithpeter
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Windows

wireless

This geezer is offering wireless connections, so no line rental.

http://www.lariat.net/rates.html

Prices seem fairly steep by UK standards though, even given the lack of line rental. I personally could get by on his cheapest tariff as I don't do streaming. Others might need much more.

How does the 'last mile' work in US? Lower population density = harder I imagine.

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Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Learn the First Rule of Computer Science

@ Someone Else

Are these updates automatically applied as part of the general routine update thingy I used to click on in the days of Tiger?

Or are they clearly marked as *firmware* updates (which I take to be an analogue of a bios update) which is a whole order of other?

If former, I have *some* sympathy.

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Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives

keithpeter
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Pint

Re: Whenever you hear Oracle whine about Android

@Vic

I stand completely corrected, and educated, and thanks very much for the SLES link.

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Whenever you hear Oracle whine about Android

> "Ah", some apologist might say, "the licence allows them to".

I understand and agree with the point you are making, but does the GPL really require Redhat to release their source code to the *public*? I thought the only requirement was to release the source to *those using the binaries*, i.e. Redhat customers. The rest is an act of generosity by a relatively small behemoth (if you see what I mean). You don't see SLES source available to the public and you don't see clones so far as I am aware. I'm not sure it is the same code as OpenSUSE at all.

Oracle Linux's desktop will come with LibreOffice rather than OpenOffice. I take some consolation from the irony.

I imagine the support is 'bundled' to some extent with other products for a total price. They've kept it going so it must pay.

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Experts gathered round corpse of PC market: It's ALIVE! Alive, we tell you

keithpeter
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Headmaster

"...the average organisation had 20 per cent of its employees' devices running XP."

Did the analyst really say that? I'm wondering what kind of average and if they had any cutoff on the size of the organisation. A self-employed person working from their shed would count as 100% XP otherwise. Some averages would ignore that tail of extreme values but some would not.

Did they really mean 20% of *PCs* in a large collection of organisations still run XP?

Icon: the nearest I could find

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You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary

keithpeter
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Windows

Creative Content?

Creative Content is very close to Creative Commons is it not?

Surely not an attempt to confuse?

I see the Web site is not up yet, will need to keep an eye on the logo...

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Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

keithpeter
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Re: Poor Bug Fixing

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2014/07/18/10543324.aspx

Another example of what application developers can do.

2nd Law is of Thermodynamics as others have pointed out.

I'm off out while it is not raining

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keithpeter
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Windows

Re: Poor Bug Fixing

"[$COMPANY | $OPEN_SOURCE_PROJECT] products seem to experience entropy worse than many other - they start off really usable, fast and lightweight, and gradually erode into a big brown dysfunctional mass."

I thought that was a general rule, you know, like the 2nd Law? Perhaps some teams can stave it off a bit longer (*BSD, Slackware) but it gets them all in the end.

There is a school of thought that suggests the 'big....mass' actually contains a lot of information about the problem being modelled by software.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html

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Microsoft's Xbox TV studio OBLITERATED

keithpeter
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Windows

Interesting

http://minimsft.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/18000-microsoft-jobs-gone-eventually.html?showComment=1405655530509#c531974625331793397

If this comment is real and a correct perception of events, the Redmond based managers appear to be getting rid of *remote workers*.

As commenter points out, that is somewhat odd given the 'mobile first, cloud first' mantra.

The Tramp: Softies should all get reasonable jobs with the skills they have. I wonder what the Finns will be doing?

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German NSA probe chief mulls spy-busting typewriters

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: I'm not surprised. (And there's some practical reasons too.)

"Paper-based systems don't stop data theft but the concept of stealing terabytes of data by photocopying/photographing properly secured paper documents is farcical, not so for ephemeral electronic data."

I accept your point about physical access.

However, the spies at present give the impression of grabbing everything they can and then sorting it later. Photographing paper will simply mean being far more selective about what they target. Pre-searching if you like, so that 'metadata', who is meeting whom, who is on what committe, will become key.

The tramp: I just sit on the bench and watch who is coming in and who is going out.

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Nadella: Yes I can put 2 THINGS FIRST. I will say them at the same time – CLOUDOBILE

keithpeter
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Windows

Re: There should only ever be one thing "first" in business...

True, but I suspect Microsoft's collective decision making hasn't decided *which* customer(s) yet. Hence the blunderbus approach.

Ichan's idea of splitting into Enterprise/Consumer orgs looks increasingly sensible (yes I know he just wants the money)

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