* Posts by John Chadwick

122 posts • joined 14 Sep 2007

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Church of England takes on Ofcom

John Chadwick
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Small congregations, and anyway it ain't just the Anglicans.

Many, many religious and charitable organisations use these facilities, so you may think the Anglican's are not deserving, that's up to you. It also isn't about cheap Chinese microphones either, you still have to have a receiver(s) and PA system on the other end, which also come int to the equation. We use mics because we have deaf people (not all age related) in our congregation, and we also include as many people as we can in the service, not just those with loud voices.

So Ofcom, it isn't just the Anglicans, its all Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc. places of worship, plus youth clubs (usually less well off than churches), amateur sports clubs and so on.

As to slavery funds sloshing around in Anglican coffers, don't be silly, that went years ago, very few established churches have deep pockets, even in well attended parishes, a percentage of Christian church money goes to good deeds anyway, so I suspect any restitution has been paid back to the communities affected in the form of Hospitals, Schools and Social Services, there is a finite amount of money available to any organisation, if you pay restitution with one hand, then you take away aid with the other, or hadn't you figured that one out.

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UK.gov dismisses Tory claims UK cyberspace is defenceless

John Chadwick
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Just a point

Constitutionally we do not elect Prime Ministers, we elect MPs who then choose the Prime Minister who traditionally is the leader of the largest political party.

We do not elect Party Leaders, unless we happen to belong to a political party that consults its membership on its choice.

An MP is elected to represent a constituency usually against a party manifesto. The primary function of an MP is to represent his constituants, sadly we seem to have forgotten this.

BTW CESG provide guidance on how to protect government system and a damn fine job they do, sadly they are not wholly listened too.

It wasn't government who went and installed insecure devices in the PSTN network.

WTF do the Tories (or the others) actually think they can really do in this space, oh I know give people the illusion they can do stuff they can't, and that in general the electorate won't care about anyway, even if they get it wrong.

These is a thing called critical national infrastructure that we seem to have ceded to any body who wants to do it for the lowest possible price, that's what needs fixing.

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Parents demand control over text messaging

John Chadwick
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FAIL

Huh?

"who wouldn't want to run through a list of one's children's friends"

Thank god you're not my parent. I hope you were joking.

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National Security Agency beefed Win 7 defenses

John Chadwick
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Sounds like a bit of PR Nonsence to me.

Exactly what could the NSA help them with, one wonders, that any half way decent CLAS consultant couldn't. Was the NSA actually helping them, or were they just testing stuff. An interesting word Help. The Police use the term "Helping with Enquiries" quite a lot over here when they really mean "We'll interrogate the scrote until he coughs to it" I suspect Apple, Sun et al. neded far less "Help" than MS.

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Think you're tech savvy? You won't be when you're old

John Chadwick
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When I'm 64

I've been using computers for well over 30 years now, GUI's since my Xerox Star Workstation, and I don't have an issue with new ways of doing things, or even new technologies, the idea of gesture computing, 3D surfaces, even direct mind control of systems interfaces don't phase me. But I do have a problem with radical new software, that isn't, or new products that don;t give me anything useful that I don't already have. I wonder who I'm talking about. Trouble is most new users don't know what we could do 25 years ago, so think some stuff is new, when it really isn't.

I wonder who I'm thinking of.

JC

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Lily Allen exits Twitter, bins BlackBerry

John Chadwick
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Good for Lilly

I have no choice, my job requires me to have much of this, but I've found Twitter, Qetchup and other social networking sites to be a venue for huge amounts of noise that it's impossible to service.

Besides that none of them are substitutes for real life. Want to talk to a friend, go down the pub and buy them a drink, it's much more satisfying.

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Android to overtake iPhone in 2012 - analyst

John Chadwick
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BMW & Ford

Actually it was the Series 3 that outsold the Mondeo in the UK market. The Mondeo was the archetypal Sales Reps. fleet car, making it as attractive as leprosy to private buyers.

I doubt that Apple will be particularly worried by Android taking a bigger market share, especially when it's not at its expense.

I do find it funny that this kind of subject attracts so much vitriol and one upmanship, bit like buying cars really. Get over it guys, they are mobile phones, and there are more important things in life.

Oh and Z4, Golf, iPhone and Nokia 6310i before you ask, and I also have an SE 630T and an O2 XDA Exec (Blech), but I don't use them any more.

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Tories will let voters 'rewrite' legislation online

John Chadwick
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And exactly who...

has time to read through government legislation and comment constructively on it, that don't already do it.

We'll I'd go for special interest groups, who already distort legislation enough as it is. I can't see how this will really give any more power to the individual voter.

How do you police it to ensure your comments are coming from UK citizens, and that the comments aren't being abused.

Bice idea, but not really thought through, unless the Tories just want a way of saying, "don't blame us, it's what you wanted" . I always thought that we paid our politicians to lead, and take tough moral decisions.

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Bus driver becomes Julius Andreas Gimli Arn MacGyver Chewbacka Highlander Elessar-Jankov

John Chadwick
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Wouldn't ....

Knut Knutssen been more appropriate, if not as long.

PS.

And Galadriel is far hotter, but what you gonna do.

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Intel to EU watchdogs: 'It's AMD's fault'

John Chadwick
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I'm surprised it isn't the consumers fault.

Intel, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle, all to quite a substantial degree owe their success to the consumers of their products, not just to their marketing tactics. Intels practices might have been acceptable whilst there was still competition between TI, Zilog, Motorola and others for the desktop market, but once Wintel took the market, those tactics have become manifestly unfair and monopolistic. Long ago Intels competitors could afford to use the same tactics to win market share, but now, they just can't compete on those terms.

In business we buy stuff that we can defend our decisions on, so the old "You won't get fire for buying ....." still holds true. I actually, when I can take a longer view, I want AMD, SUN, Apple and others in the market because I can see the market stagnating if they aren't there. The big companies have no incentive to innovate, or buy innovation, if there is no competition.

However CEOs and CFOs don't care about these long term goals, only that their costs are lower than their competitors this year. IT is also generally viewed as a cost, not a benefit, so if IT costs go up for everybody, because IT is not competing, then it's not a big problem.

This is a bit simplistic, but as a basic model it's true.

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Sun's Sparc server roadmap revealed

John Chadwick
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Here's something to make you chuckle...

http://www.oracle.com/features/suncustomers.html

Well if that's true why are so many of the existing specialists voting with their feet, if they haven't already been made redundant.

And why can Rock?

PS - f this doesn't make sense then they changed the splash page.

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Microsoft $358m patent violation damages tossed

John Chadwick
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This is looney..

I'd have though the patent on displaying a calendar as a grid belonged to someone like Letts, or Filofax, or whoever first came up with the idea, I've been using calendars for 40 years that display months, even years as grids.

How on earth did Alcatel get granted a patent for that, it's just obvious. If you can do it on paper, then you can do it in a GUI.

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Oracle-Sun merger faces full monopoly probe

John Chadwick
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FAIL

Could be accademic though

If they delay long enough, there might not be enough of Sun left to make a difference, so if Sun fail in the meantime, what price MySQL's survival.

Competitor FUD's already harming Sun's sales position, surly the market overall has to be more competative under a joint Sun Oracle offering, than without Sun at all. Is mySQL really that important on its own, Java yes but, it's not as if it's the only database out there. Handing the processor market to Intel/IBM must surly be a greater threat.

What price P series and AMD, if Sun dies.

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Secret US spontaneous human combustion beam tested

John Chadwick
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Everyone has to start somewhere.

Now, where would we be if we had had that attitude to the hand canon (1300's), would we ever have gotten to the arqubus, let alone a mac-11.

Lets ask the question again in 2700 when we've had as many years to develop the death ray as we have the firearm.

I suspect the rate of fire of an arqubus was quite low, mind you, you didn't need a C130 to carry one.

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BMW offers e-Mini tryouts to UK drivers

John Chadwick
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Wow

And to think my 70mpg Golf wouldn't even have cost me that at 100% finance and three year service contract, and it has 4 seats and an 800 range.

(Do you get the electricity free?)

Have BMW got any takers, and are they real people who actually have to drive a car to make their living.

Perhaps they should have done a deal with Foxton's.

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Street View in a jam over Swiss roll-out

John Chadwick
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Paris Hilton

Can I be the first to say

That I really don't car if my face, car registration numbers or the colour of my living room wall paper is visible on street view. Just how likely is it that anyone would actually caught out. The bigger these databases get the more unlikely it is that you would even be found by someone who knows you.

I really don't understand this pointless obsession with general privacy. Yes I can understand that if you are Paris Hilton you might actually not want your house on street view, or if you had a Picasso in the living room you might not want streetview to pick it up. But how the hell will anybody find you if they don't already have a very good idea where to look.

There is a picture of my car outside my house, but then I don't live there anymore, and don't own the car any more, you might ask the question, how long would the picture be of any significance anyway.

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Solarflare claims integrated 10GBASE-T LOMs first

John Chadwick
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Great News

When are BT rolling it out to my street, then I can get everything 10,000 times faster can't I? Why I'll be able to down load a Movie in less than 1 second.

Disclaimer

This statement ignores network latency and a few other issues to do with the laws of physics. It also ignores the efficiency of contended Ethernet connections. But then so does a lot of broadband advertising, what do I know.

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New NASA rocket fuel 'could be made on Moon, Mars'

John Chadwick
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Boffin

No worries about water on Mars.

You just find a water ice asteroid and crash it into Mars, thus giving you a vast supply of non-native water, thus you don't use a scarce local resource. Actually, you might even be able to put the asteroid into orbit around Mars, if you're worried about the tectonic, or environmental impact of an impact, and the for each ton of water ice you extract from the pole, you lob a couple of tons of asteroidal ice into the atmosphere, it melts in decent and falls as snow somewhere on the planet's surface, and so on.

Now where do we find a water ice asteroid or two.

But really, just how much water on Mars would you use, and how much nano scale aluminium and trace elements like gallium would you need to import to make it in usable quantities, I suspect the latter might be the bigger problem, as by the time you have made a meaningful dent in the water on Mars, you would probably have found enough water ice elsewhere to replace it. Also bare in mind that a lot of it would come back as water vapour, as I assume you are using the Aluminium as catalyst to crack the water into H & O2, and then burning the H and O2 to produce the thrust, with the heat driving the cracking process. The is the issue of pumping exotic oxides of Aluminium into the atmosphere though, which we then breath in, Alzheimer's and all that. Also that you need quite a lot of power to produce the aluminium from bauxite in the first place, assuming you have a handy source on Mars, that's near the Water. To make it economically viable, you would need the sources of materials locally to the production site, as shipping Aluminium and Water to the production site might actually be a tad expensive. It might be Ok for Aluminium if the quantities uses are in parts Per Million, probably better than 1g Al to 1000Kg H2O, can't be pothered to work out exactly.

But if it gets us to Mars and beyond, I thinks it's worth it.

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Oracle's Sun acquisition passes US anti-trust test

John Chadwick
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Legislators and Lawyer don't understand IT

And neither do most CEOs, they all see it as a commodity cost. not a benefit. Diversity is bad, it pushes up costs. I expect most think that if you only have to deal with Microsoft, HP, IBM and Oracle, then so much the better, Diversity, like Democracy stands in the way of profit. MySQL doesn't feature, because, and I'm sorry to have to say this, it wouldn't matter if it vanished tomorrow.

Diversity and competition drive advancement, but increase cost, you need to spend time researching the product you buy in a wide market, in a narrow market it's a no-brainer, who needs consultants when all you have to do is choose between Microsoft and Oracle, you won't get fired either way.

What frightens the regulators is that Oracle might start charging for Java, which will push up costs for every body. Oracle is mostly J2EE based, compared to its biggest competitor which has its own technology. Everybody else has to use one or the other, well if you want to be in more than the windows market, actually you only have one choice.

In fact quite a lot of stuff happening in the market at the moment will restrict you choices in IT and lock you in to one vendor, have a real good think about virtualization, on demand and cloud computing and what they will do to your application environments. As an IT manager in outsourcig the name of the game is to deliver as cheaply as I can. Got an app, well, I'll virtualize it and stick it in a cloud, probably x86 and windows based, and once it's there I'm locked into windows and the virtualization platform, and yet that isn't the best solution for J2EE, is it now, but it is fashionable. (Any one read "The Zap Gun" by Phillip K. Dick, don't you just think IT is like that sometimes, and is getting worse.

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Devon force divulges ANPR towns online

John Chadwick
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Thumb Up

@que

You can buy your own for £1000, buy a couple and add £500 for signage, you'll be quids in.

BTW. The camera partnerships (Police & Local Authorities) no longer benefit from the fines levied, it all goes to the exchequer, and the partnerships get a fixed fee. This is why places like Swindon are dumping them as they are expensive to operate. Also they could only ever keep sufficient to operate or expand the networks, granted that both Police and local Authority accountants can be very creative, allegedly.

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A quarter of Brits packing multiple mobiles

John Chadwick
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So isn't there a market for

Dual SIM phones, I'd welcome it, then I wouldn't have to carry round one phone for work, and one for play.

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What’s the point of desktop virtualization?

John Chadwick
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Data Governance Advantages

The problem with desktop, and Laptop computing from a corporate point of view is security, knowing where your data is, and having access to it. The more sensitive the data, the more you need to know about who is looking at it, extracting it and so on. PCs, even when encrypted are still a major hole, ultimately the are very expensive and difficult to secure, and easy to hack.

Government seems to be keen on the virtual desktop, deliver through a variety of technologies. SUNRay is popular, from a security perspective, because it isn't based on PC technology, it's low energy, and very secure in a way that diskless PCs, and embedded widows clients just aren't.

The green card is also important, 4/8 watt devices, with integrated IP Phones and follow me technology, are cheaper and more energy efficient than PCs, and even the additional power used by the servers still works out better than the number of PCs replaced, better still if located in a well managed eco-friendly data centre, though there still aren't many of those.

You can even have a thin client laptop, but that does rather rely on good mobile comms, battery life is excellent though.

Ultimately though a good thin client deployment to virtualised desktops does ensure that you always know where your data is, and that it's secure. We are moving to thin client virtual developments and deployments because it's easier and cheaper to deploy that kind of environment securely, which for us is important, yes we loose the flexibility of PCs, but we gain in ease of accreditation, segregation of duty, and governance, it's very difficult to loose a laptop full of payroll/medical and so on details, when you don't have one.

But old timers like myself pointed out long ago that client server would give all kinds of issues for secure data. Bring back mainframes and dumb terminals, oh we are ;-)

The future though has to be a mixed economy model, there are things that thin client really can't do very well, the main thing will be to separate the hype from the reality. Using corporate systems, doing a bit of Orifice, light weight development, then thin client's fine. Doing live media editing, or heavy duty design and development work then probably not.

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US Stealth bombers may get nuke-bunker nobbler for 2010

John Chadwick
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Build a bigger bomb....

Dig a deeper bunker

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Archbishop condemns Facebook, email, footballers

John Chadwick
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Oh for heaven's sake

His eminence wasn't saying the Internet bad, the Church uses it, a lot, as well as Social Networking.

What he was saying was that Social Networking isn't a substitute for have real live friends that you meet in person and develop relationships with, and that it's better of have lots of friends you see and physically interact with, rather than use electronic means. It is a hell of a lot harder for people to lie, mislead, misunderstand etc. when you meet in person.

To that end I agree, social networking is a useful means of keeping in touch, more interactive, but it isn't a substitute for real people meeting, even in business, you cannot develop a real relationship electronically because you cannot replicate the physical characteristics, emotions and other non-verbal characteristics of a person to person physical meeting, typing :-) doesn't mean I'm happy, just that I want you to think I am.

Sadly we are all tending to become more insular and welded to our computers, to not make friends with our neighbours when we move, or move on for other reasons.

Think about a the whole thing.

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O2 does Apple-flavour customer service

John Chadwick
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I'm still wiating for O2 to explain why...

To use GPRS data through my iPhone I need to pay £15 a month, where as my Nokia 6310i does it for peanuts on a per K basis. My data use doesn't even use up the allowance for surfing the net, let alone the additional allowance I get for my £15.

(Just in case you wondered my 6310i pairs with my car's SatNav to provide the traffic, which is why O2 want to charge me extra)

I asked them why I needed to pay £15, and their answer was to sent me the list of connection tariffs, and say that I couldn't possible be doing what I said I was, (Swapping the SIM between phones), as it wouldn't work, well it does, and with by old SE 630T as well.

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HMRC can't corral non-EU counterfeits

John Chadwick
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Though one does hope...

That HMRC informed the Columbian authorities that they were fakes, and left it up to them to take further action.

Unless they were prevented by the data protection act that is.

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Microsoft stores to get in Apple's face this autumn

John Chadwick
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Microsoft next door to Apple,,,Hmmmm

A bit like putting TK-Max next door to Harrods or Saks. It'll give all the Apple users a chance to look down their noses at the poor people next door.

Alternately, you could see it as the Neighbourhood bully aping the smart guy, but not quite getting it right, but thinking hey it doesn't matter, if it doesn't work, I can always punch his lights out.

Or, you could think, Monkey See, Monkey do, grow up Microsoft, compete by being different and proud to be different, you aren't Apple and never will be, you've put on too much weight and are beginning to look like a middle aged has been who can't quite come to terms with it. Kind of like a teenage parent who keeps buying new cloths to look like their children. Apple have managed to be middle aged and trendy .

Sadly neither of you know how to treat your customers, but then you're both in good company, with just about any other global company.

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Office 2010 tech preview: Expect the expected

John Chadwick
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Oh gosh! oh golly gee!

I so, so exited, why do I need this?

How will it make my life better?

Come on any body give me a reason!

(That's a good solid business reason, not an accusation that I'm some kind of Luddite)

So far, and I probably use more of Office than most people, I haven't really detected any benefits in a new version of Office since Word went GUI. (Well perhaps since 95). I seriously doubt, that any productivity bonus that 2007 gave me will be made up with time I've wasted looking for all the stuff that moved about.

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Most IT pros not planning on Windows 7 rollout

John Chadwick
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How hard can it be!

There speaks a man who's never rolled out a new desktop to an organisations with a complex desktop infrastructure. I expect it will work fine if all you run is Orifice, but when you have niche applications and business critical applications, you can't just blat a new operating system down to the workstations without doing an impact analysis, asking some fairly basic questions like:

a) Will the workstations run it, memory drivers, etc.

b) Are all my applications compatible with it. (Technically, Support wise)

c) How much training will my users need

d) How much will it cost me to upgrade all my applications to be compatible.

e) Will my third party suppliers support it

f) can my network support the new operating system during and after upgrade.

g) Can I afford to do all the changes I need to do.

And so on and so forth.

I wonder how much the 14000 desktop organisation has to spend, and if they are really doing it to all, or just new desktops.

A cardinal rule of IT is, that if it isn't broken don't fix it. And most companies have a general policy of n,n-1 for any software, so any company that upgraded to Vista, probably won't be that interested in 2007. It costs a lot of money.

So why was it again that I need this?

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Oracle plans cloud strategy

John Chadwick
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Me too

You can hardly blame Larry for positioning Oracle to take advantage of cloud computing. I worry that as a concept this will polarise IT industry power event further. Amazon and Google are already in that market, and have the fiance and muscle to build clouds. IBM, Microsoft and Oracle are probably also able to do this, but ultimately, because we are me too, when it comes to computer systems, we will probably go with Google and Amazon. With government thinking along the lines of a G-Cloud, potentially one contract to one supplier, I can see the industry loosing more IT companies, who cannot afford to build a cloud environment, or run it as cheaply as Google or Amazon. It will also stifle innovation because, certainly from a public perspective, who are you going to trust with your data and applications, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, maybe IBM, but EDS, CSC, Tata, Accenture, I don't think so, even less likely Steria, Logica, and the lower order IT companies, and start-ups won't have a hope in hell. One glimmer of light is the fact that most people who have SAP and Oracle applications inflicted on them, probably wouldn't by a cloud service from them, given the choice.

There's an interesting debate to be had here, but sadly I think the hype might win as CEOs and Politicians see some kind of low cost nirvana where the technical, security and long term economic issues really don't get a look in.

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Tory plan for MS, Google, others to hold NHS records floated

John Chadwick
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And you were worried about the government holding data.

The likes of Google and Microsoft would not be trust worthy holders of any data, at the first request from the DoJ they would hand over UK data to the Murcan government, without qualm.

Then there are the competition and long term economic issues of doing this, government data is currently held by a whole host of IT vendors and government departments which provide jobs in the UK, I can't see this being the case here. It could only be a competition between Google and Microsoft to store your data somewhere in a cloud, without adequate audit or accountability. You may complain about the way in which government handles your data, but you try getting it out of a secure system, it only gets released by human error. Not by bad IT.

I would also love to see what CESG think of this idea, your health data is treated quite highly and aggregation rules make the whole database higher still. There is absolutely no way it would be in this kind of service, in fact if you think about it you could use all arguments against ID cards carrying this information against it being held by Google.

You should also ask yourselves why Google and Microsoft would want to do this, $$$$, not altruism, they think they can make lots of money out of controlling your personal data, and once they have control of it, they have the keys to who accesses it, and they probably won't give you back control, probably couldn't even if you wanted them too, because they will be the only game in town.

So think long and hard about this, this is probably a greater risk to your freedom and privacy than ever ID Cards are.

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BT deposits Wi-Fi in cashpoints

John Chadwick
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Love to see....

BT get this one past an accreditor, oh wait it's commercial, so lets see what attack vectors can our illustrious readers come up with.

But I would guess it wouldn't be that difficult to break down the VPN separation, especially if you happen to be able to break into those switches & routers supplied. Beware students with laptops in the pub, they may not just be cheating in the pub quiz.

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iSuppli: Moore's Law to take a breather

John Chadwick
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Gosh.

I would never have guessed. Still Occam is still out there, oh no wait sorry, there isn't a VisualOccam(TM).

But perhaps the problem is that most software producers don't understand how a computer really works.

There is of course the issue that an awful lot of processes are actually linear by nature, if they weren't Oracle wouldn't have had to invent PL/SQL. It doesn't matter how many core you have, a linear process can only use one of them. For TP however it's great you just set up loads of listener to pick up transactions as they arrive, but then to do that you need to have a reasonable simple administrative interface to set up the listeners and tune the software, or the software has to do it automatically, but then creating and destroying processes takes time.

Oh well.

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So what we do when ID Cards 1.0 finally dies?

John Chadwick
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Who said..

There is always a obvious and simple answer to everything, that's also wrong, ore something like that.

Government seems to work like that a lot of the time, things are done more in reaction to comment in the media to some event, to which politicians feel they need to be seen to be doing something. So they do something, which usually takes no account of the side effects it might have, or the things that they have already done that it contradicts.

ID Cards were/are supposed to be the gold standard for proving your identity. So how do you actually do that, baring in mind that if it's the gold standard, not only will people then try to subvert it, and that if you happen to have your identity stolen, you need a relatively painless process to recover it.

Holding biometric details centrally ensures that when that degree of identification is required, it can be given. Government's own security requirements for such a database mean that it can't be distributed, yes you can hold the biometric on your card, but then it can be subverted, unless there is a master copy to compare against. Using a distributed cloud system is also a no-no, because you can never know where an individuals data actually has been, so that it can be erased once used. Government systems are supposed to always know who has looked at your data, who has done what to it, and when they did it, BIP008 is good for a laugh if you want to see one set of standards.

BTW your NI Number or NINO isn't actually unique any more, so it's always paired with the date of birth. There were plans to use the Identity register as a method of bridging all the government databases using all the possible identifiers from DVLA, DWP, HMRC and NHS, but even here there are existing data protection issues which actually prevent the references being used. Education and Heath records are guarded by zelots who know every single Act athat guards your details. Which is a point that a lot of people miss, the civil service are not a joined up organisation bent of domination of your day to day life, in fact in the main they are very good at protecting you from other departments. In fact the most dangerous databases out there are held by the likes of Experian and Tesco, not HMG, these databases can tell you far more about peoples lives and habits than anything else. Worry not about ID cards, your Nectar card is far more dangerous.

ID Cards will come back, and we really need a sensible debate about what goes on them, what they prove, and what they can be used for, because shouting "No not at any price" and burying your head in the sand won't work. You might land up with a Bank sponsored card run by Experian, and you really won't like that, or perhaps you won't care because it's not the government, until it's too late. It's not the Card that's important, but the governance.

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Home Office kicks ID cards into touch

John Chadwick
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@It's the database stupid

Biometric passports require the NIR no matter what, if you have a biometric passport, you need a biometric database to store the samples on to compare against the passport data, or against an airport scan. This is a treaty commitment, so the tories can do a thing about, not can any other party.

Funnily enough, any incoming government will be able to very easily resurrect ID Cards, as all the infrastructure you need will already be there to support passports, and claim victory because it didn't cost anything like the previous government said.

Don't be surprised if the DVLA start issuing biometric capable driving licence cards with the photograph digitally stored on the card, or the NHS cards start having the same capability, showing your entitlement to prescriptions etc.

You know it'll happen come what may, so start suggesting how to make if safe, cheap and desirable. There are lots of benefits to having an ID scheme. The biggest downside is if the government starts to use them as a method of control, rather than information, better we have an open discussion around governance, than a stealth implementation through the back door.

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The Times kills off blogger anonymity

John Chadwick
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So what exactly was their point.

What benefit did The Times get by killing off his anonymity, the blog has now vanished, so we can't judge for ourselves.

Perhaps this is a cunning plan by Rupert to preserve newspapers as the only source of information.

BTW. Wasn't Heartbeat based on the experiences of a Police Officer, did he get a written warning. Which is a pretty mild slap on the wrists for something unacceptable, so Lancashire Police what was your message. Don't do it if there's anybody looking.

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Western Digital intros own-brand SSDs

John Chadwick
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How much is that SSD in the window

the one with the....

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Buying Solutions plans £600m managed services deal

John Chadwick
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That's a well though through requirement.

One assumes they are looking to turn all of this into a commodity service, but if you think about who can actually do it all, it's even more frightening.

Can wee look forward to a lot of smaller companies and niche players being forced out of business.

This certainly raises the entry costs into the government market, at the expense of smaller companies. In fact it might well force out some very well known names. Design, Build, Operate is where the money is. If you take away most of the operate, expect application build costs to go through the roof.

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Microsofties lose their iPhones

John Chadwick
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Sorry to bring cars into this again.

Ford & GM wouldn't allow you to park a car in their main car park if it wasn't theirs. What kind of sales message would it send if you looked in the car park at Dagenham and it was full of Hondas.

Good one Microsoft, can't let the punters realise that your own staff think your product is crap.

BTW. I have an iPhone, which is just so much better then the XDA it replaced, in some ways, and not in others. I paid my money and made my choice. Still think the 6310i is the best phone I ever had though.

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Johnson shuffle returns ID cards to the table

John Chadwick
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@First Principles

One wonders which set of first principles that would be, IT, Political, Human rights. Recent events seem to indicate the politicians wouldn't know a principle if it hit them in the face. Ultimately politicians have no conception of the complexity of society and just how difficult it is to change course, once under way.

Ultimately cancelling now would not save money, the contracts have all been let, and the passport service needs the systems anyway to meet its current and future needs. ID cards are actually a relatively low cost add on to biometric passports.

Not only that the government is big on shared services as a way of reducing costs, so there are probably an awful lot of initiatives out there that are now costed on the basis that ID cards will exist in some form, or other, certainly the processes behind them. So even if Mr. J does say no to ID cards, the next home secretary can say yes, and be a hero because he can do it for a tenth the price of the original.

So no matter what happens, all you can expect is a stay of execution to make Mr. J look good for his leadership bid, sorry, but there it is.

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German lad hit by 30,000 mph meteorite

John Chadwick
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Um....

Something doesn't quite add up here, 30,000mph, bounced of hand, crater in the road. All goes to prove the unreliability of eye witnesses.

But hell any way you look at it he's very, very lucky, not sure I'd remember it correctly either.

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AT&T squeezes wannabe iPhone upgraders

John Chadwick
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Isn't it a bit much to expect.... @AT&T Non iPhone

A large corporation to do an individual on-line deal specially for you. If you want to do a deal go to an outlet and see what they will offer.

The internet model is about offering a "cheaper" deal across the board at a lower cost to the business, without complex discounting models. The internet shopping model is not flexible, not is it particularly transparent, so if you want flexibility go to an outlet, communicate with your fellow human beings, and you might get a better deal than the internet.

You signed a contract for each phone, if the cheap ones were on a 2 year deal that hasn't expired, then, by DEFAULT it will treat you in the same way as an iPhone customer, because the contracts probably aren't specific to iPhones, it is after all just another F. handset.

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AMD Istanbul - Time for something new already?

John Chadwick
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Coat

It's all in the virtualisation, or not.

The theory is that you replace your two, dual core, dual processor boxes with one dual processor four core box, partitioned to look like your previous servers.

Saves power, space, heat, so the new box pays on energy and hosting costs alone, which far outweigh the costs of a new box.

Discuss.....

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Russia stings Microsoft with monopoly case

John Chadwick
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Not sure I get the analogy here

Comparing Vista & XP with a Ford Fiesta is a bit of an insult to the Fiesta, which has always been reliable, if boring.

But also, when you buy a car, you actually buy it, it is your property, with software you buy a licence to use the software. Not only that, once software is developed, there can be zero production costs, well as near zero as makes no difference. Ford however would have to run multiple production lines involving a lot of very expensive industrial kit, not a web site of CD production facility.

Microsoft could if they wanted too, now sell Windows XP for $10 a pop, and still make a lot of money, in the same way you can buy old games and other software from racks in Maplin, PC World and Circuit City.

By the way, you might remember that GM sold their Astra production line to Deawoo, now called Chevrolet in Europe, and better quality that the real Chevrolet as well, people bought them because they were cheap, had a good warranty and did exactly what people wanted a car to do.

Which brings me neatly back to XP, which though old, does exactly what I want it too, I can see absolutely no benefit in buying Vista, nor for that matter Windows 7, the only thing missing for me is a domestic version of AD, which I really would like, and I'd like it across all the versions, then I might see a reason to upgrade.

Eventually I will have to upgrade, but all the additional processing power seems to be required to run Windows, and not to do stuff I want to do. Microsoft is a de facto monopoly in the personal market, and becoming so, in the server market, as is Intel, with whom they form a virtuous revenue circle which forces us to buy new software and hardware every few years weather we want to or not, a lot like cars, but the difference is with cars I can but a Ford, PSA, GM, Toyota, BMW, Renault/Nissan, etc, etc. With computers I can have Microsoft or Apple on Intel (or its licensees AMD et al.)

Good for Russia, if they force MS to sell XP for a lot lower price than Vista or Windows 7, oh and I'll bet you Vista users upgrade before XP users.

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The return of the diskless PC

John Chadwick
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What's the reliability

So how reliable will the SSD be, assuming Windows will be constantly paging, and the virus scanner scanning, how long will the SSD last before it starts dropping bits?

What grade of Flash will we see in these, at £2,500, hopefully pretty good, but for volume production?

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Data-sniffing trojans burrow into Eastern European ATMs

John Chadwick
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More interesting would be...

How they managed to insert the trojans, rather that the fact they had, I suspect that bank IT departments do not update their Windows ATMs, each time Microsoft releases a security patch, as the regression testing required, and the possible downtime every couple of weeks, might well be unacceptable, as might the cost. I doubt that ATMs are on the normal bank networks, and I would assume they use an encrypted IP connection, so one wonders how the trojan was inserted, corrupt IT staff, or do Eastern European banks do somethink daft, like connect ATMs to the Internet.

I hope ours don't.

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Acer DX900 dual-SIM Windows smartphone

John Chadwick
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A great idea, although....

There used to be a thing you could put in your Nokia 6310i to allow it to use two sims, nowhere near as slick though.

Please can we have it on our iPhones now! In-fact why has it taken this long for someone to actually realise that most of us don't want to carry two mobiles, but want to split work and play.

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Intel says new PCs will cost you nothing

John Chadwick
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Why do I think...

Someone hasn't really thought this through...

So you can patch a PC even when it's switched off, so what else can you do, baring in mind how many computers with this technology in there by default will get sold to less sophisticated users?

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Sun silent on sorry server sales

John Chadwick
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So not that bad really

Considering all the FUD generated by an IBM merger.

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PAC slams government's 'cosy' relationship with IT suppliers

John Chadwick
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This should be fun

Government procurement takes a long time, relatively small contracts can take several years to let, by which time the the business and political landscape has changed, thus the costs and outcomes defined in the contract have changed. Thus, contract managers are faced with three choices, they can either relax the contract conditions and deliver something that fits the current need and is within their budgetary envelope, they can let their IT supplier change control the hell out of them and trouser serious amounts of money for changing the contract, or they can cancel the contract and put it out to tender again.

So lets assume you take one of the first two options, well, your contract and requirements have all been defined for you by external consultants who have charged you an arm and a leg to develope a requirement. All these wise and mature graduates supplied at exorbitant rates by an even more limited number of business consultancies all leave when the contract is let,. so you actually don't know what the author of the requirement really meant when they wrote the requirement and have to rely on an agreed interpretation between yourself and the IT company.

And it gets more complicated that, but I won't bore you with the details. Hindsight is 20/20, I'd love to see the PAC actually come and run a project for real.

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