* Posts by Tony S

582 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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Tory-commissioned call centres 'might have bent data protection laws'

Tony S

Hmmm

"All the scripts supplied by the party for these calls are compliant with data protection and information law."

Got be to honest, I would have questioned the individual on what they thought that sentence actually means.

I regularly get into discussion with telephone sales / marketing / call centre people. Whenever they say that xyz is for "data protection purposes", I ask them which clause of the Data Protection Act 1998 requires that they ask me for that information. I've never yet had a single person that even understands the question; they are trained to ask their question, but have little to no understanding of the actual purpose of the Act, and what it relates to in terms of their particular job function.

In many cases, it's clear that the companies concerned are just ticking boxes, and know that they are required to do *something* for Data Protection; but I have to say I am not convinced that they are always adhering to the complete legal requirements.

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That minutes-long power glitch? It's going to cost British Airways £80m, IAG investors told

Tony S

Uh oh..

Earlier this week, it was revealed that BA plans to outsource call centre management to Capita.

The agreement, which is yet to be finalised, will see 1,000 workers sent to Capita in a transfer of undertaking protection of employment (TUPE).

Capita don't have a great reputation for providing good quality service. So BA are going to transfer more of their staff (who will probably quit as soon as they are able) and so have even less staff capable, able and willing to deal with issues.

I just have this feeling that this is not going to end well for anyone.

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Paxo trashes privacy, social media and fake news at Infosec 2017

Tony S

Re: What is this?

Just as an aside, during the run up to the recent election, the number of volunteers over the age of 70 working on the various activities was about 4-5 times higher than the number under the age of 30.

In addition, although there are many elderly people that are struggling to get by, there are more than a few that are actually contributing more to society generally than their grandchildren.

#justsaying

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Tech can do a lot, Prime Minister, but it can't save the NHS

Tony S

Where's the money

There is a plan to "dispose" of some of the land assets; at the same time, to try and transfer others to the private sector. A large amount of money has been allocated to act as an inducement for the private sector companies that will take on those assets. (I believe in the order of £10 billion, but am prepared to be told otherwise.)

The Naylor report is freely available https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-property-and-estates-naylor-review; it's not excessively long and is worth a read.

A key statement from the report is The general consensus is that the current NHS capital investment is insufficient to fund transformation and maintain the current estate. Basically, it says that the service is underfunded.

2
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UK PM Theresa May's response to terror attacks 'shortsighted'

Tony S

More legislation?

Since 2000, there have been 13 separate pieces of legislation designed in part or whole to deal with terrorism. They haven't really achieved much in terms of keeping people safe, or preventing terrorist attacks.

As has been identified, police numbers have been cut substantially; 20,000 front line staff, including 1,300 firearms officers. They are struggling to deal with what they are being tasked to do, with a lot of overtime, shifting officers between areas, that will almost certainly lead to severe burn out, and further loss of staff.

The politicians need to stop trying to blow smoke up our arses, interfering with the the various security bodies, and let them get on with their jobs.

8
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First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired

Tony S

I worked at a place where we had a major cock up like this. As IT Manager, I took full responsibility.

I insisted that the production environment should be kept separate, and access limited; but I was overruled by the directors.

I said that the consultants should not be given admin access; but I was overruled by the directors.

I demanded extra backup and continuity resources; but I was overruled by the directors. They also cancelled 3 separate planned DR tests in a 2.5 year period.

When inevitably the consultants screwed up, the entire system went titsup. We were able to get it back up and running, but it took 8 days just to determine the problem. As it was not in the data, restore from backup did not fix the issue.

Shit happens; how you deal with it shows the character of the individual.

15
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UK biz: Oh (yawn) GDPR? Was that *next* May? – survey

Tony S

From my own observations, although many businesses might say that they are aware of the detail and are starting to work on it, I suspect that in reality, the person answering the survey has said that to make it sound like they are trying to get on top of it.

0
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British prime minister slams Facebook and pals for votes

Tony S

Re: Dear prime minister...

A key issue that has been brought up time and again. I'd highlight that the police have lost 20,000 staff (mostly front line police) in the last two years.

The Home Secretary (Amber Rudd) was the lead speaker at the recent Police Federation conference (before the events in Manchester). In my opinion, she displayed a certain amount of contempt for them, and at one point was quite rude in her main speech. However, the delegates in return were polite and respectful, although they pressed her quite firmly for answers to questions. For her, the most embarrassing moment was when she tried to tell them what the average salary of a police officer was, and was out by about £17,000! To be blunt, police morale is now at its lowest level since the Police Strike of 1919.

If that wasn't bad enough, after Manchester, they brought some armed forces in to provide additional support; but the army is now at the lowest manning level since the end of the Napoleonic War (1815), and morale there is definitely on the decline.

1
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BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

Tony S

That's all? That's barely a medium infrastructure. Ok, 500 racks is not small, but it is a looooong way off from _very large_.

Totally agree. I worked for an SME that had an annual turnover less than BA's daily turnover. We were managing 8 cabinets in 5 DCs in 2 countries. (not including small wall cabinets for network distribution)

We had built that up from scratch ourselves, and it had been done fairly cost effectively. We tested on a regular basis, but the biggest test was when the local power transformer for the main DC had to be upgraded; and the whole area was disconnected whilst the engineers made the change.

I was in that morning to keep an eye on things, and the CEO was hovering nervously. But everything worked as it should, although it did give me a few things that needed to be discussed afterwards for improvement.

Fast forward 3 years and the parent company had decided that outsourcing the IT services was the way to go, and I was made redundant. In the following 4 years, they had three major outages, 1 of which lasted for over 2 weeks. I'm told that the cost of their losses for the least of those incidents was about €20,000, (loss of business, cost of extra staff to resolve, etc.); which at the time was a little more than 6 months worth of my salary.

I have no problem with people blaming IT when things go wrong, if it is actually the IT at fault. When it's much more down to poor decisions being made for purely financial reasons (i.e. to line someone's pockets) then I tend to get a bit warm under the collar.

24
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Tony S

Cynical Me

Something about this does not add up.

As others have said, the DC would have multiple power supplies, UPS and backup generators to provide continuity in the event of power supply failure. If they don't, then it has to be a major cock-up in the design, or evidence that BA management are being cheap.

Equally, if the design of the systems is appropriate, then there would be a fail over to alternative systems. It simply does not make sense that a company of that size and turnover would not be able to do this. If they cannot, then again, there has been a failure of management to adequately plan for the appropriate scenarios.

The BA spokes person was adamant that outsourcing was not behind the problem; but I suspect that it is highly unlikely that this outage would not be related to that decision in some way. I really hope that the BA shareholders demand a full explanation; and that they make their displeasure known to those people that have been failing to plan appropriately.

40
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Life is... pushing all the right buttons on the wrong remote control

Tony S

Re: A lovely tale...

I had the same epiphany with Sky, about 15 years ago.

I keep getting their marketing droids phoning me up from time to time, to tell me all about the wonderful deals they can offer me; mostly involving programmes and sports that I have little to zero interest in watching.

Some of the money I have saved has gone to the local theatre; and quite honestly, it has been far more enjoyable.

8
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Head of UK.gov's Common Technology Services Iain Patterson steps down

Tony S

"But civil servants are now reported to be renewing hundreds of government contracts with the private sector that were due to expire because they are too busy with Brexit."

I was watching a programme on BBC Parliament yesterday; this point was highlighted several times. The civil servants are still working on the "Great Repeal Bill" and it was indicated that this may need to be followed by another dozen or so pieces of legislation in order to tidy up a number of areas. This will take many years, perhaps even a decade.

In addition, there are numerous treaties and deals that have to be agreed; and it appears that many of the devolved governments are becoming increasingly concerned that they are being kept in the dark about what is happening (or if anything is actually happening at all).

It has also been suggested that the key players in the cabinet are trying to invoke the "royal prerogative" or Henry VIII clause as it is sometimes called, as a way to "fast track" decision making, essentially bypassing parliament, the devolved governments and even some ministers. Not good for democracy and for the future of the country.

Here's a link to the clip; 75 minutes long, and a bit technical in places, but the minister is open, articulate and obviously highly knowledgeable. Well worth watching.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08s0mzk/scottish-parliament-scottish-parliament-europe-committee

5
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RBS is to lay off 92 UK techies and outsource jobs to India – reports

Tony S

We've been here before

Several times in fact.

It didn't end well those previous times; there is no indication that it will do so now.

RBS management don't seem to have learnt their lesson; and it's highly unlikely that they will do so, until the day that they get penalised for making poor decisions. I'm not talking about a slap on the wrist paid for by the company, but rather something that comes out of their pay packets, to reimburse anyone that loses out because of a failed system.

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UK General Election 2017: How EU law will hit British politicians' Facebook fight

Tony S

Confession time

I was asked to act as a "teller" outside of the local polling station for the council elections. It wasn't too bad; a nice day, some interesting people, very light work. All I had to do was ask people for their polling number, write it down, and then direct them to the correct door. (That polling station covered several wards)

Some people were a bit obnoxious; OK, if you don' want to tell me your number, not a problem. I wasn't asking how they voted, and TBH I couldn't care. I just recorded it as a null so that we still had an understanding of the number voting.

Part of the reason for this is to act as a check; the numbers were shared between the parties, and as long as those numbers more or less equated to the turnout, they were happy. If the number of votes cast was much higher than the number of people passing through the door however....

The parties also use the details to check who of their likely supporters has voted or not. They generally check those details and start calling around later in the day. I actually gave some thought to streamlining the process, and considered that a small mobile device with voice recognition software might actually allow the data to be entered more efficiently and accurately, plus it could be really up to date.

On top of that, I can see some interesting possibilities for the data analysis; combining it with electoral register and various other information, and you might be able to see what time people vote, try and see if there are relationships to social factors etc. I was getting quite excited by the possibilities.

Unfortunately, it is far more likely that people would be worried about this data being misused (and with some justification). I suspect that this is what might hold back many other ideas; and again, I can see why sometimes these ideas are great on paper, but dangerous if in the wrong hands.

3
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London app dev wants to 'reinvent the bus'

Tony S

Ummmm

Actually, people have been doing this for a while. I know because I've been working on a project for the last couple of years to introduce a new bus company.

Many places already have a system for proactively managing the service, making use of geo-location; and many of those have made the data available so that end users can have apps to benefit from that data.

A key problem in our case was the data. It was demonstrated on numerous occasions that much of the reference data was inaccurate, and it took almost 6 months before we were finally able get that corrected. In addition, those involved in creating the master data on the routes, timings, schedules, driver shifts etc. were less than diligent in creating that data. Even though this had been proven on a regular basis to be causing problems, they simply ignored the advice, and usually ended up blaming the system, when in fact it was working exactly as it should.

But without question, the most significant reason for failure was down to the managers. They did not have the relevant business or technical knowledge, and refused to accept any advice that was contrary to their own beliefs. As a result, although the service was effective, it's clear that there were many ways in which it could have been significantly improved.

It was obvious that there were opportunities to extend the service; and those responsible for managing the city were keen to see this happen as they could see the potential benefits. But the company managers were unwilling to even consider any form of collaboration with external personnel.

All too often, they refused to use the actual data that was being produced, in favour of manipulated spreadsheets that showed them what they wanted to see, even if it bore no resemblance to reality. And that is what will most likely prevent City Mapper from achieving the full benefits of their work, almost certainly to the detriment of the travelling public.

20
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Need the toilet? Wanna watch a video ad about erectile dysfunction?

Tony S

Yeah, I've seen those notices. Strange icons that instruct people not to stand on the toilets, nor to wee in the sinks. The best one was to highlight urinals are not for number 2s.

In addition, they had some rather ghastly pictures on their H&S notice boards, showing someone that had serious gashed his leg / buttocks open on a broken toilet seat caused by people standing on the seats. It seems that he had to have about a dozen stitches and a couple of tetanus / antibiotic shots.

Apparently the cleaner also got a bit unhappy because on a several occasions, he found that his mop bucket (stored in the corner) had been used by people to relieve themselves, presumably because they couldn't work out that the mop stood in it was for washing floors.

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Facebook decides fake news isn't crazy after all. It's now a real problem

Tony S
Unhappy

I'm a great believer of freedom of speech; and as a rule, I prefer that there be minimal legislation to limit what people are allowed to say. Even if it is done for the best of reasons, once you start to place a curb on an individual's freedom of expression, it is increasingly easy for those restrictions to be misused, to prevent people from saying things just because you don't like them, or because they have opposing views.

However, there have been numerous examples of pictures being manipulated or misrepresented on social media, in a deliberate attempt to appeal to certain elements of society and their beliefs. These then get copied, shared and passed around by people that think those posts are valid, just because they match their own personal bias.

Having tried to (politely) indicate to those people where this is wrong, and then being subject to a tirade of abuse on many occasions because I dared to suggest that they might want to check sources and veracity of what they post, it can be easy to suggest that perhaps some barriers need to be raised.

Of course, it would be better if people were a little more careful of what they believe, and so post on line; but sadly, I think that would be a virtually impossible task.

5
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UK.gov throws hissy fit after Twitter chokes off snoop firm's access

Tony S

It's worth noting that Amber Rudd was one of the MPs that was named in the election fraud matter. It appears that she will be forced to debate the matter. It will be interesting to see how that turns out.

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/04/24/the-home-secretary-just-got-some-really-bad-news-about-tory-election-fraud/

It's also worth noting that at the last election, she only won by 4,796 votes in a 68% turnout; it wouldn't take a great deal to see her lose her seat in June.

17
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Irish Stripe techie denied entry to US – for having wrong stamp in passport

Tony S

@BongoJoe

There were some 5,000 from Eire that chose to join the British Armed Forces during WWII; either with fellow Irishmen in one of the Ulster units, or on their own in other units, very often under an assumed name. Many of them took part in some of the most bitter fighting and earned considerable numbers of honours for their courage and determination.

On their return, these men were formally dismissed from the Irish Army, stripped of pay and pension rights, and banned from any state funded employment for 7 years, with their names placed on a so-called "starvation list" which was widely disseminated to ensure that they and their families would be stigmatised.

Many of them still fear even now, that if their service is uncovered, they will lose pension, housing etc.

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Jimbo announces Team Wikipedia: 'Global News Police'

Tony S

Rewriting "facts"

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

George Orwell

“What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is what can you make people believe you have done.”

Arthur Conan Doyle

10
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IT error at Great Western Railway charging £10k for 63-mile journey ticket

Tony S
Headmaster

City

Officially, the part about having a cathedral to be a city was done away with in the 19th century; the only criterion now is that the town has received a charter from the monarch making it a city.

Hence Taunton is a town; and the only city in Somerset is Wells, because it has had a cathedral for centuries, which gave it city status a long time ago. (Bath hasn't been in Somerset for some time; it's now within BANES).

An interesting point is that Rochester lost their city status because of re-organisation; and it took 4 years before they realised that.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13841482

But to get back to the main point; probably not an "IT Problem" but a "Data problem". I.e., someone put the wrong data in the system, and it output a bogus result.

2
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Brexit factor lacking in Industrial Strategy, say MPs

Tony S

I recently watched part of the of the committee hearing, where members of the Lords were questioning the minister about the industrial strategy; and he didn't really seem to have any solid answers to any of their questions. Just a vague suggestion that there might be opportunities for growth

14
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As you stare at the dead British Airways website, remember the hundreds of tech staff it laid off

Tony S

This comes about because of the common belief by far too many senior managers that "IT is a cost centre" rather than an investment to make money or increase profit.

In their view, it makes perfect sense to trim the costs involved in providing IT services; and when things go wrong, they still don't see it as an issue, even when the financial team tell them how much they lost.

In the end, the performance report is by the balance sheet; and reducing costs will be highlighted on there, whereas "lost sales" won't.

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Redmond's on fire, your 365 is terrified: Microsoft email outage en masse

Tony S

Had a discussion with a company about the wisdom of using O365. They very angrily told me that it was the better choice, would save money, provide more up time etc. etc. Then they showed me the door.

Just had a panicked phone call from one of their managers, asking if I can help them out, as they have been without email for several hours, and they don't know what to do. I politely suggested that it ain't my problem!

Schadenfreude; gives me a warm tingly glow!

14
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Salford and Liverpool City Councils plan IT trading venture

Tony S

This sounds more than a little like the SouthWest One project. That didn't go particularly well. http://www.bestpracticegroup.com/southwest-one-failure/

I wonder what makes Salford / Liverpool think that they will do any better?

0
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Scammers hired hundreds of 'staff' to defraud TalkTalk customers

Tony S

Hundreds of staff were hired by scammers...

Probably more than TalkTalk employ themselves...

0
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Success in the bedroom breeds success in the boardroom – research

Tony S

Success breeds success...

0
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Oh UK. You won't switch mobile providers. And now look at you! £5.8bn you've lost

Tony S

I've changed providers in the past. At the moment, I'm quite happy with Tesco Mobile; decent coverage, prices are OK and good service. I'm told that I could save on the monthly fee, but only by going to a provider that is a byword for poor service and appallingly bad security. Really not a difficult choice; I'll stay where I am for now, thank you.

0
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Lenovo to build and run SAP's cloud in China

Tony S

But SAP's not having its arm twisted here, because Lenovo can't afford to fail in this role. Who, after all, would want anything to do with the organisation that crocked SAP?

IBM have had their fair share of big time cock-ups on SAP implementations. Most of the bigger consultancies have also seen failed projects that caused more than a little embarrassment to the good folks in Walldorf.

2
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Round-filed 'paperless' projects: Barriers remain to Blighty's Digital NHS

Tony S

"Plus the added bonus that, if your pharmacy is out of stock or has already closed by the time you get there, you can't take your prescription somewhere else to be dispensed"

Not sure about your location, but out in the sticks, the pharmacy has the ability to order and receive pretty much most medication the same day, if order placed by 2.00pm.

It also has to be said that *if* they were using the database correctly, they could make a much better job of predicting the types and quantities of medication required (yes, I know that's big if, but one can always live in hope.)

What does worry me, is that it's clear this is being done to allow the database to be marketed to the pharmaceutical companies, so that the government can earn money from it. The problem then is that we may start to see more aggressive action by those businesses to change what drugs are being prescribed or supplied.

1
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Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

Tony S
Black Helicopters

Dangerous precedent

OK, go ahead and call me tinfoil hat crazy.

How long before the government "persuade" the big search engine companies to remove links to things that they don't want us to know about.

It's a very slippery slope; and a dangerous precedent to let them think that they can do this.

45
2

Deloitte goes all gooey for SAP HANA on AWS

Tony S

"Many will be either AWS certified Solution Architects or AWS certified Solution Architect Professionals."

Yes, I'm sure that they will be; and monkeys might fly out of my butt.

Having worked with a number of these "consultants", they are often only 1 or 2 steps ahead of the technical staff at their clients; and as such, will often create as many problems as they fix. But hey, that's OK, because it then creates more opportunities for yet more consultants to come back and fix the problems.

4
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US visitors must hand over Twitter, Facebook handles by law – newbie Rep starts ball rolling

Tony S

Huh?

Before you go, create brand new, fake accounts, posting comments about your undying love for the USA, and everything American.

Then give the border guards those details.

Sounds like Mark Zuckerberg has come up with a way to boost the number of accounts being created.

21
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Non-existent sex robots already burning holes in men’s pockets

Tony S

Re: Washing venues

@ Flocke Kroes

Ref: "Bring it on". Just for you - enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsCB7suQiZM

BTW, he bought the full car wash; his vehicle was covered in mud because he liked to "drive hard"!

0
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If only our British 4G were as good as, um, Albania's... UK.gov's telco tech report

Tony S

(I haven't heard that one for a while - there can't really be any factories still using pre-war machinery).

Want to bet? I know of at least one place where they are still using a punch press that has the manufacturers metal label on the front, stating it was produced in 1931. It's still being used pretty much every day. It just hammers away, then when finished, they remove the dies, clean and sharpen them, then refit ready for the next morning.

2
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Tony S

I've been working overseas, in what is still technically a "developing country". 4G coverage was almost 100%, and they have already begun planning a rollout for 5G.

Then I get home and I can't even get 3G in most places; and probably 50% of the time, I can't even get a data connection full stop.

If we want to be serious about trading with the rest of the world, we really need to invest in our infrastructure. It's bloody embarrassing when a 6 year old kid chasing after tourists begging for ciggies has a better connection to post his social media comments, than a team of people trying to develop high tech engineering solutions.

7
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Beancounter nicks $5m from bosses, blows $1m on fantasy babe Kate Upton's mobe game

Tony S

A while ago, I was working at a place where we were convinced that the head beancounter was funnelling money out of the business. Unfortunately, there were internal political issues that prevented the necessary investigations.

A colleague and I had managed to uncover certain indiscretions; my services were no longer needed after that, and my former colleague is concerned that he will be out after Christmas.

0
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Remember that brightest supernova ever seen? It wasn't one

Tony S

Just going to throw this out there

Apparently, the Hubble telescope was conceived back in the late 1940's. Eventually launched in the 1980's, the total cost was US$ 1.3 billion. (I think that also includes the cost of the optics to correct the mirror polishing mistake.)

The cost of the 2016 US Presidential Election was US$ 6.8 billion.

I'll leave it to the individual readers to make up their own minds as to which was of more value.

21
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UK.gov has outsourced tech policy to Ofcom because it is clueless – SNP techie

Tony S

"Kerr concedes he does not have deep technical knowledge “but in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, so in here I probably have more than most.”

Kerr needs to read a bit more.

In H.G. Wells' book "The Country of the blind", the sighted man is believed by the villagers to be suffering a mental problem caused by the strange organs in his head that seem to be affecting his brain, creating delusions; and they decide to remove his eyes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Country_of_the_Blind

I suspect that a similar scenario might occur at the HoP, where anyone that seems to express any knowledge is immediately treated with complete suspicion and not trusted until they fall into line.

1
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Ransomware scum offer free decryption if you infect two mates

Tony S

Had a rather disturbing conversation with a senior manager. I had outlined the problem (several times), but he refused to authorise the payments for a backup system. (Wouldn't even pay for a couple of external USB drives).

The business was hit by ransomware; I got called in to help. I explained the processes to the IT staff, and they actually managed to recover about 97% of the files.

I then highlighted that the business was extremely lucky to get off so lightly, and used this to identify just how exposed they were, and then provided some advice on suitable options. He thanked me for my input, and showed me the door.

They still have no backups.

7
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UK.gov state of the nation report: Infosec's very important, mmmkay

Tony S

Pretty much everyone that works in any form of security, will advise you that the biggest threats are usually internal. Most research will also identify that this is more often due to a failure of process, or inept workers, than due to malicious activity.

In other words, you have far more to be worried about by idiots screwing up than you have from any external hackers. But obviously, it doesn't go down too well when you tell ministers that they are more of a threat than [insert foreign name of choice], and as the government advisers want to keep on being paid, they'll go with the overseas options.

1
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HPE UK preps the redundancy ride as Chrimbo looms

Tony S

Once upon a time, HP produced new products that were worth buying. By the sound of it, they won't have anyone left to do that; just low paid staff that might answer the phone to provide an indifferent level of support.

It's a shame; it was once a real powerhouse. These days, barely a shadow of that.

8
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Accountant falls for sexy Nigerian email scammer, gives her £150k he cheated out of pal

Tony S

Re: Scam if ever I saw one...

OK, I've installed the app. Go ahead and make snide comments if you wish. (Just to let you know I've scored 3 times in 10 months; so who's laughing now!)

It actually has a bug / undocumented feature. There is a section called "Meet Me", and you get the profile outline and picture of the people that fall into the categories that you indicate you are looking for (height, age etc.)

However, if you go to move to the next lucky lad or lady, the system automatically generates the "Meet Me" request on behalf of the person looking, even if they've decided not to bother because your profile is incomplete. It is a PITA, because you get loads of bogus requests, half of who are not even remotely interested.

1
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Thanks, IoT vendors: your slack attitude will get regulators moving

Tony S

"Mirai botnet attack against Dyn must force everybody's hands – vendors, regulators, and Internet infrastructure operators."

You'd think so, wouldn't you. But in reality, it won't do a damned thing.

The only time that anything will change is when it hits the decision makers in their pockets. Then they will do the absolute minimum necessary to address the identified issues; and no doubt, at a later stage, they will get hacked again. Rinse and repeat.

5
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Hard-up Brits 'should get subsidy for 10Mbps'

Tony S
Facepalm

We have a crumbling infrastructure; roads, rail, air and sea.

We have schools that are dire need of repair

We have hospitals that could use a serious injection of cash

We have a military that is being asked to do even more with even less

and they think a priority should be to subsidise broadband.

5
3

What’s that Sooty? You want a girlfriend?

Tony S

Re: Lets not start on about Captain Pugwash!!!

"Nope, he was called Tom"

I think that you're missing the purpose of the comments as well as the joke!

Should be working, but instead thinking of other potential names; such as:

The head of the Marine Contingent, Major Hardwick (or the more obvious, Major Hardon).

Gunner Blige and his lovely daughter, Sheila (there's a naval joke there as well!)

Fat Willy, the cook.

And of course, the Ship's Cat, "Nine-Tails"!

0
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Tony S

Re: Lets not start on about Captain Pugwash!!!

How about Roger the Cabin Boy?

1
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Portsmouth bomb about to be detonated

Tony S

Re: Blowing up Portsmouth?

My family were all from Pompey. We left in the early 60s.

My mother went back in the late 80s / early 90s (not quite sure when) and apparently was wandering around trying to find a couple of the key landmarks that she remembered. Apparently she came across the infamous Tricorn shopping centre and sat down on the steps and cried, it was so awful. (3rd ugliest building in the UK). She was often heard to say that they should invite someone over to bomb it.

When she heard that they were demolishing it, she made a point of going down to visit her sister; and they took a day trip to see what was left.

3
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The server's down. At 3AM. On Christmas. You're drunk. So you put a disk in the freezer

Tony S

I had advised the site director about backups. He assigned someone to look after the job, but despite this, no tapes were swapped.

As predicted the server failed; and the drives were the cause. No tapes swapped, despite my forceful admonitions, so no restore possible. I arranged for the tapes to go to a specialist recovery place; meanwhile, built a new server ready for the data. Got about 85 - 90% back at a cost of about £1400.

You'd think that they had learned their lesson, but oh no. Still no tapes being swapped. So I ended up running a remote backup process, D-2-D-2-T. That seemed to be the only way to prevent a recurrence. Over the next 5 years, didn't lose a single file.

I left the company and I'm told that the overseas parent company demanded they take control of everything. That included backups and they insisted each site manage their own process. About 2 years later, they had a server disk fail and no-one noticed. When a second drive failed, they lost all of the data, because no-one had swapped tapes!

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Scrapped NHS care.data ballsup cost taxpayer almost £8m

Tony S

In terms of the overall NHS budget, £8 million is probably not a lot, but there are a lot of things that could have been done with that money at any one of a number of places that are really struggling to make ends meet.

The real issue is that the project may have been shelved; but it's clear that they still want to press ahead with the concept under a different name. So that £8 mil, may in fact become £18 mil, or £28 mil or £50 mil in just a few years time, and still never actually deliver anything of any value to the NHS, the care providers or the patients.

Until those making the decisions are help personally accountable for these cockups, nothing will change.

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