* Posts by Charles Smith

248 posts • joined 7 Apr 2008

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One-third of Brit IT projects on track to fail

Charles Smith
Trollface

You need an agile approach....

I see loads of mention of PRINCE, but no mention of Agile. One is loads of documented ass covering while the target drifts away. The other is not so well organised.

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BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

Charles Smith

Re: Smells funny.

Fuel in the basement, generators on the roof? Fuel leak during testing? I was working in a large white riverside building at the north end of London Bridge when precisely that type of event happened. The London Fire Brigade were not impressed when traders refused to leave their diesel soaked trading desks because there were outstanding trades to be closed.

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Charles Smith

Convenient excuse?

"OMG we've really Fff'd this upgrade and the Database is dying...what can we do???"

BOFH: "You see that big red button/ Press it to summon help."

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Charles Smith

I can imagine the phone call...

"Look, I know we fired you just before Christmas, but it wasn't personal."

"Eff Off"

"Please come back, just for the weekend and help us get running again."

"Eff off"

"We'd pay you loads of money if you'd help. Just this once."

"Send me a Christmas card, I might help then. Meanwhile why don't you phone India."

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Ofcom chisels away at BT Openreach's cold, dead hands

Charles Smith

Wrong Direction

BT executives took the crazy decision to attempt to turn a communications company into a broadcast media company. It wasn't what the customers, the British Public, wanted as a service or needs long term. As a consequence investment in new infrastructure was focused on a latency insensitive asymmetric broadcast network. It's not useful for voice communications nor the Internet of Things, just music and video downloads. The money spent on FTTC gives a short term advantage, but is a technology cul de sac. It is in effect, wasted money when BT should providing a fast symmetric low latency network. Along the way it should be bringing its neglected ducting into a good operation state.

Sadly it needs Government (OFCOM) intervention to force BT to do the right thing. Apportioning the cost of maintaining the edifice should be shared amongst the tenants, but that is just a matter of billing.

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Lloyds Banking Group axing hundreds of jobs AGAIN

Charles Smith

All that "Human Capital", i.e. business knowledge leaving their control. Earlier this evening I was thinking of moving my bank accounts to Lloyds from Natwest. I think I don't I want a step into the unknown.

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BT splurges £1.2bn on securing Champions League rights, Sky heads for an early bath

Charles Smith

The only problem with BT is their management actually believe their own marketing and propaganda. For example: Superfast Broadband.

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Tech contractors begin mass UK.gov exodus in wake of HMRC's IR35 income tax clampdown

Charles Smith

I turn down contracts

I turn down contracts where the client wants to treat me like an employee in terms of fixed hours, sitting at their desk and consequently exposing me to IR35 nonsense. If they want me and my skills they have to pay consultancy rates and I work from my own office.

If clients expose a contractor to IR35 they should also be directly contributing to the contractor's pension pot and provide employee insurance.

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BT and Virgin Media claim 'broadband' tax will cost £1.3bn

Charles Smith

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Paying more business rates increases the expenses, but reduces the amount of Corporation tax paid.

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Brexploitation? Adobe gets creative with price hikes

Charles Smith

Halve their income

The great thing about the subscription model is that you can cancel at short notice. If you have users who don't use their product or only lightly use a subscription it may be worth cancelling those subscriptions.

In our case we're going to cancel the subscriptions on old PCs which we rarely use. The net effect we'll pay a lot less to the Adobe coffers. IT Managers should be sure to present an extra bill for internal services to their users showing clearly the impact of the Adobe price increase. In that way the user management can assess whether the Adobe products are value for money.

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HP Ink COO: Sorry not sorry we bricked your otherwise totally fine printer cartridges

Charles Smith

Off the Christmas List

Oki my dear Brother I've removed HP from the pressie list. Must remember the Epson salts in case we overindulge.

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EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords

Charles Smith

No coffee

As an old fogey with failing eyesight, but not on a pension, the UK Government has lifted my driving licence. My passport has expired, so I'm a bit "off the Grid". So if I want to have a coffee in the local Starbucks and browse my droid tablet will I be thrown out onto the pavement (sidewalk)?

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BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Charles Smith

BBC Viewers

They are probably trying to detect those people who pay the BBC tax but don't bother to watch the current mix of dire new BBC programmes and decades old repeats. Expect warning letters if you don't watch your quota.

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Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition

Charles Smith

Simples...

The Gov Petition site should introduce a validation against the Poll Card detail:

Surname match

Poll Card number match

Post Code match

That way valid UK voters will be franchised and spotty nerds in Russia and the Vatican City will be locked out.

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BT blames 'faulty router' for mega outage. Did they try turning it off and on again?

Charles Smith

Right tool?

Why would a woodworker's power tool cause a major Internet failure at BT?

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Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

Charles Smith

Been there, done that ...

As an IT Manager I'd negotiated a big discount on some hardware circa £85K, but almost immediately afterwards a new IT Director came in to the company. The signs were obvious, I was not invited to some meetings etc etc so I cleared my desk of personal stuff, sorted out outstanding admin issues and waited for the call. Sure enough within a week I was out with a redundancy settlement and a don't contact the staff agreement. Three months later I had a grovelling call from the new IT Director "...could I give details of the discount agreement?"

I had the pleasure of telling him that as requested, I'd mailed it to the Finance Department as I left my desk to go to the redundancy meeting. My spies told me the Finance Department denied all knowledge.

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Broadband minister: Our voucher scheme for SMEs is a tremendous success

Charles Smith

I looked at using this

Pretty much all of the quotes were for old style leased lines, costing circa £450/month with a 2 - 5 year contract. The £3000 would be absorbed for "installation" costs leading to a minimum expenditure by the small business of £17,500.

It wasn't FTTP, nor did it sponsor new technology at the exchange.

Hopefully the new CEO at OpenReach will actually understand terms like latency then we might get some proper investment in the UK comms infrastructure.

So the success is the grant money has been spent, but I doubt whether UK Ltd got value for money.

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UK citizens will have to pay government to spy on them

Charles Smith

Add it to the Bill

When we pay the ISP for the Internet connection we are used to seeing VAT added to the bill. The ISPs should be open and honest about this and add a line to each invoice showing the cost of the Spy Tax for each subscriber.

Note: you will of course be paying additional VAT on the Spy Tax.

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Dad who shot 'snooping vid drone' out of the sky is cleared of charges

Charles Smith

Rail Gun

It sounds like an ideal application for a small rail gun with a tungsten dart. Remove the inconsiderate intrusions to our privacy.

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FAA issues lithium battery warning

Charles Smith

Dreamliner + Lithium batteries?

Will the FAA demand the removal of Lithium batteries from the Boeing Dreamliner?

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HP HUMILIATED by Dell's EMC buy

Charles Smith

If HP had bought EMC

If Meg had succeeded in buying EMC we'd be hearing in two year's time that EMC had been greatly overvalued and Joe Tucci had been using false accounting. Meanwhile all of the good ex-EMC bodies would have fled before the blind ghost called Redundancy swept them away.

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Euro Commission wants to pick your brains on telcos and net access

Charles Smith

We commented

No point in ignoring it as it might help shape the future broadband. If you leave it to BT they'll think only in profit terms. The UK Government will try to find the most cheapo way to create a bodged up system. So the UKTUG members have already responded.

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'Major' outage at Plusnet borks Brits' browsing, irate folk finger DNS

Charles Smith

I used to recommend PlusNet

However they are going down hill like a brake failed freight train with BT marketing clones in control.

Nuff said.

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This $199 home air-quality gizmo will tell you to VOC right off

Charles Smith

Zzzzz!

It would be a useful device for monitoring many of the airless Corporate conference room located in the dark corners of office building. You know the type of room - they are the ones which can be booked by IT staff.

At least you'd know why you and your colleagues are losing the will to live during yet another international conference call. CO2 levels running at greater than 1200 ppm.

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Because the server room is certainly no place for pets

Charles Smith

These new fangled VMs

Heh Heh I never did trust thwn new fangled VM machines when I was running them on the old IBM 360 type machines in the 1980s. Sure it is wonderful to have new shiny toys in your play room, provided you can convince the business owners to provide the funds to convert the old systems that are running "just fine" at the moment.

Emulation of hardware/software doesn't always provide a solution. I had to deal with a situation 15 years ago where a section of code written in Wang COBOL was resolutely single threading on IBM mainframes and refusing to run faster regardless of the size/number of processors thrown at the task. It was an absolute bottleneck in terms of transaction processing throughput. Original documentation of the business logic encoded in the section of code had long been lost in multiple company mergers and "rationalisations.

The problem is only going to get worse as program developers move further away from the hardware code protected by increasingly complex layers of middleware software.

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Increased gov spy powers are NOT the way to stay safe against terrorism

Charles Smith

Illuminati

How else would a Prime Minister and Home Secretary get their lucrative consultancy/directorships once forced from power, if they do not introduce the laws demanded by the Illuminati while in power?

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Big Brother in SPAACE: Mars One picks first 100 morons to suffocate, er, settle on Red Planet

Charles Smith

Choices

You are waiting at a conference table in a City office meeting room. Dressed in your best interview suit, you look up as a manager clone walks in and offers you a choice:

You can spend the rest of your life working at this office and walking over London Bridge at 8:05 each morning,

or

You can live on Mars.

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Microsoft turns the power of FINE PRINT onto enterprise licensing

Charles Smith

Chromebook

Have a Chromebook on your desk when negotiating with Microsoft on licences.

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Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

Charles Smith

No clothes.

OMG people have finally realised the emperor is wearing no clothes.

Agile is great for make-overs of existing buildings, but should not be used to create the Pyramids.

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Huawei? Apple and Samsung's worst nightmare, pal

Charles Smith

Consequences

The business practices of off-shoring to China and other asian countries the production from the USA (and other European countries) to reduce prices has unintended consequences. It creates the infrastructure and human capital which allows the Off-shore to overtake the originator countries.

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Hilton, Marriott and co want permission to JAM guests' personal Wi-Fi

Charles Smith

I support the hotels

I think the hotels' proposal should be given approval, subject to the condition they are not allowed to charge for access to their own WiFi networks.

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GCHQ: We can't track crims any more thanks to Snowden

Charles Smith

Dumb Bad Guys

What GCHQ are saying is it is now more difficult to catch dumb criminals/terrorists. The serious guys would have already taken precautions to avoid data leakage.

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

Charles Smith

Thorium

Thorium based nuclear energy is the way to go, get the research going now or do we want to end up licensing such technology from the Chinese?

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Independent inquiry into British air-traffic-control IT nightmare

Charles Smith

Not a laughing matter.

The NATS system suffers from being too JOVIAL. Has anyone developed a system using ALGOL recently?

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Oracle bypasses SAS/SATA controllers in flashy new servers

Charles Smith

Coding solution?

Instead of these tricks, why not learn to write decent SQL?

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Orion BELTS UP: Space shuttle wannabe preps again for test flight

Charles Smith

Don't worry about the rain.

Any good survivalist store can supply waterproof matches. Should be easy to light the blue touchpaper and run.

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Jacking up firearms fees will cost SMEs £3.5 MILLION. Thanks, Plod

Charles Smith

Re: Why do they think gun licencing should be done on the cheap?

The £200 for your gas guzzler is mostly used as general taxation while the act of licensing consumes about £30 of the £200.

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Charles Smith

It's just tax

This has nothing to do with public safety, it is just a stealth tax increase. The Government is spending more than it collects so it borrows the money. They try to counter this by cutting police funding, the police react by putting up the fees of what they regards as politically sensitive.

If the government/police were really concerned about safety, they'd drop the licence fee to zero (to encourage licensing) while insisting on inspected greater physical security for licensed weapons and ammunition.

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HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox

Charles Smith

Boffin's DNA?

I helped to clean the London Flat after a certain boffin had vacated the tenancy. It is obviously very easy to leave human traces behind ;-)

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Microsoft tells resellers to use Office 365 as loss leader

Charles Smith

Does that mean...?

We set the price too high.

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Israeli ex-spies want to help you defend your CAR from cybercrooks

Charles Smith

Zapper

So I can have a Zapper to set a speed limit on the car behind that is tailgating me on the motorway/freeway?

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Imprisoned Norwegian mass murderer says PlayStation 2 is 'KILLING HIM'

Charles Smith

Give him the latest iPad

The poor chap is misunderstood. They should give him the latest top end iPad and release him. One small condition of release is that it should be on Henderson Island with no boat.

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The UNTOLD SUCCESS of Microsoft: Yes, it's Windows 7

Charles Smith

Even Version Number

I've learned long ago, never buy an even numbered version of Microsoft Windows. Look back over their history.

MS gather a good team of developers to create an odd numbered version which sells well and meets public demand. Those developers are then either promoted out of the way or sidelined by the next brood of young turks/suits who "develop" the next major release (even numbered) which turns out to be a lemon. The survivors are in place to fix their design errors/lessons learned while working on the next (odd numbered) major release.

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HP 'clarifies' firmware/support contract rules

Charles Smith

Never did like 'em

I always found the HP people arrogant and their tin overpriced. Now they want to charge you for fixing their duff firmware. This announcement is further confirmation.

Buy elsewhere.

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CERN outlines plan for new 100km circumference supercollider

Charles Smith

New Toy

No Sern you have only just been given a new toy. Play with that. We are not going to buy you a new one now.

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Dell will AXE up to ONE IN THREE workers in its US & EMEA sales teams

Charles Smith

Not a lovely Dell

The last time I dealt with Dell was when one of their direct sales team tried to bribe me to place a large order through them rather than the distributor with whom I transacted the business. The person involved had a less than perfect grasp of the english language that matched his lack of ethics. The order was for hundreds of desk top PCs.

Since then I've received half hearted attempts from junior Dell Sales staff via email and phone calls to re-establish contact. Once again these people sound as though they are located thousands of miles from me on the other side of the globe. These unfortunate individuals appear to be scraping the bottom of the CRM barrel with little success. They certainly give me no confidence of a reliable sales/supply process.

Dell do not seem to know the difference between "cheap" and "inexpensive"!

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Please, PLEASE, Skype... Don't kill our apps and headsets, plead devs

Charles Smith

Micro$oft internal politics

Once again Micro$oft shafts its users. Probably due to internal politics rather than deliberate.

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Adobe buckles, cuts prices ahead of Australian inquiry

Charles Smith

MP's cojones

A good move by the Oz government. All we need now is for some of the UK MPs to also develop some cojones and to stand up to Adobe et al for the British public.

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Microsoft tries to sell home Office users on subscription pricing

Charles Smith

Google Docs

I've found Google Docs does just fine for me. As a personal user the cost is zero including a reasonable amount of on-line storage. I just don't need the MS Office Bloatware with its hundreds of unwanted bells and whistles.

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Senator threatens FAA with legislation over in-flight fondleslabbing

Charles Smith
Meh

Campaign for e-free flights

I fly on business an awful lot. It is a great time to catch up on sleep or to read the book I've been meaning to read. The last thing I need is to be pestered with emails and calls from people who don't really need an immediate response.

Businesses should be set up to cope with absences of their personnel. I've learned to fly with just a mobile phone (switched off before entering plane) and a Red & Black notebook, this deals with pretty much any situation. If I need a PC at the other end I borrow one and download any necessary file or remotely access my office PC. There's less risk of loss and you don't waste your time tinkering with a Laptop or Tablet. If there's something desperately urgent people can call my mobile phone and talk to me when I've landed.

By all means have mobile phones and internet access on planes but impose a substantial extra fee to deter all but the most essential communication. For example $10 minute or part thereof as a UN tax used to help the digital 3rd world.

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