* Posts by JMiles

60 posts • joined 9 Jul 2009

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Small biz breaks out pen, paper after Brit tax collectors' Digital Form Service goes down

JMiles

Stop referring to 'tax payers' as 'customers'!?!

Tax payers don't buy anything from you.

You don't sell them anything.

It's a LEGAL obligation for tax payers to hand you money and/or fill out your turd forms online and offline.

Tax payers can't 'shop elsewhere': You have an absolute monopoly on the service you provide.

So.... please can someone tell HMarse stop with the 'customer' rubbish.

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Take that, gender pay gap! Atos to offshore hundreds of BBC roles

JMiles

In the end, the tax payer is paying for the profits of some commercial entity and the jobs of people elsewhere in the world.

I must be in the minority who believe that taking tax payers money to give it to a commercial operator who was only chosen because they could offer the lowest price by sending jobs abroad is wrong.

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Three: No fixed date yet for 4G services abroad

JMiles

*yawn*

Three 'feel at home' was misleading at the very least. They had always capped the speed abroad to worse-than-2G speeds. Finally the EU action has it seems kicked them into behaving https://jmcomms.com/2017/06/18/sort-it-out-three-using-data-abroad-feels-nothing-like-at-home/

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Hortonworks reshuffles C-suite, gets third COO in 12 months

JMiles

Big Data is not like a Big Mac

Lots of companies have experimented with Big Data solutions because they were told it is the 'next revolution' (just like data mining before it...).

However, there are 2 truths that few could deny:

1. The number of customers who have try 'big data' needs is quite small - small enough that I don't think there's room for the kind of growth that Hortonwork's early investors were betting on.

2. The techies who have to sell this stuff haven't figured how how to apply their big data capabilities to solving enough concrete business problems (all the clients I worked with who wanted this stuff already had a good idea of what they needed it for).

So extremely niche market, over-funded startup and a bunch of geeks who struggle to actually demonstrate use cases. That's why they had to IPO... their investors needed to unload their shares to the Big Stupid.

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Ofcom creates watchdog specifically to make sure Openreach is behaving

JMiles

we're watching you...

...but we have no clue what we're looking for

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Why Uber threw top engineer Levandowski under self-driving bus

JMiles

$680m in his pocket and he's not able to look up which countries have no extradition treaty and hop on a chartered jet?

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Comodo database glitch causes billing problems

JMiles

Very clear they put some code into production that quietly fooked up database records and it took them a week and a half to realise.

Yes it happens, but only because something was missed during testing.

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IBM CEO Ginni flouts £75 travel crackdown, rides Big Blue chopper

JMiles

Seriously, the old guard of tech need to quit hiring old-guard CEOs who have little clue on leadership and innovation. The only corporate knob they know to turn is on how to cut costs and come up with new marketing spin.

William Hewlett, Dave Packard, Guglielmo Marconi, Charles Ranlett Flint - more I haven't mentioned - are all collectively turning in their graves!

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Microsoft's .NET-mare for developers: ASP.NET Core 2.0 won't work on Windows-only .NET

JMiles

Microsoft moves fast and with little notice for a big organisation. Just try to recall Silverlight, Windows Phone, Windows Mobile, Internet Explorer (I was thankful when they finally ditched it and started pushing Edge) - the list goes on!

If you want slow and steady then pick Java. If you want fast and furious pick MS. No one should be surprised by Microsoft taking pragmatic decisions very quickly when they need to.

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Pennsylvania sues IBM for fraud over $170m IT upgrade shambles

JMiles

3 year bidding cycle?

Customer deserves to get shafted. No sympathy for them - and it's clear they're not even clued up to know what they were buying or how it was going to work. It doesn't matter what IBM told them - the customer just isn't qualified to make an assessment of whether it was genuine or fraudulent

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

JMiles

Wait until next year..

They won't get the expected tax take from this measure and will determine that the 'only' explanation is that those who aren't paying the right taxes moved into the private sector. Therefore, expect Her Majesty's Arse to announce that the rules will be expanding to the whole economy, not just the public sector.

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Recruitment giant PageGroup hacked, Capgemini dev server blamed for info leak

JMiles

So do PageGroup still regard CrapGemini as a global leader? And is this the first time the 'well they had ISO certificates so we figured they knew what they were doing' defence has been used in public?

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Apple fans using Chrome on alert for Mac malware

JMiles

Long gone are the days that Mac users were more secure because they'd represent a more technically astute user-base and because the base was small enough for malware authors not to bother targeting them...aka The Good Ole' Days.

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Software bug costs Citigroup $7m after legit transactions mistaken for test data for 15 years

JMiles

Re: Interesting footnote

Who you calling an EBCDIC!

(Just kidding of course). Having seen something very similar happen at a large 3 letter NGO based in the land of gold and chocolate... I can see how this sort of stuff happens when code gets outsourced, then offshored and little bits of knowledge get lost along the way and then one day. BAM.

Twice in my career I've found such errors when inspecting code trying to debug it and finding serious errors in financial calculations. Both times the project management were in shock and took remedial action but hushed it up from going higher up the chain out of embarrassment.

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Shared services centres supposed to save £128m saved £0... and cost £4m

JMiles

Shared Services?

More like shared accountability which, if you are generous enough to share your responsibility means that no one is really responsible at all!

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Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise salute EU flag, blast Brexiteers

JMiles

HPE?

Ha, given the headlines they've been making its quite clear they have absolutely NO commitment to jobs in the UK. They should get back to keeping their bean counters busy with beatshoring.

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Neo4j CEO: We're at 'a huge inflection point for graph databases'

JMiles

Re: What goes around, comes around

Typically the relations from a vertex to an edge is stored as a physical location to the on-disk record so theory is you avoid having to create an index and then perform an index lookup.

In my previous post I mentioned using Postgres ctids - this id in Postgres is a physical location to the record on-disk (its what an index lookup might return). The caveat with ctids is that when a record is updated then the ctid will change so you'd have to update any references to the old ctid updated.

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JMiles

Relational databases are king. Except when your schema changes frequently (common in applications these days) - don't let RDBMS DBAs fool you by telling you ALTER TABLE can support these use cases; in most databases it can't.

As for Gremlin on top of SQL - it's possible but the whole point of Graph databases is to avoid JOINs when traversing a relationship. This can be done in things like Postgres where you can have an array column containing a list of ctids and its performance should be comparable to Graph databases using this approach but write operations will be slower (since you need to keep ctids up-to-date on UPDATE operations).

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Microsoft's 200 million 'Windows 10' 'devices' include Lumias, Xboxes

JMiles

Maybe...

Microsoft want to get everyone on the same and latest OS to reduce the number of platforms they need to issue security fixes for.

Imagine you don't upgrade for a while and then some security weakness gets discovered in your version of the OS and you become an unwitting participant in a botnet. I suppose the damage caused elsewhere would come out of your pocket since you were the one who decided not to update to get the latest codebase?

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Silicon Valley high rollers toss $36m at 'data centre OS' Mesosphere

JMiles

OSv...

OSv by cloudius systems Is another newcomer trying to be a cloud OS. Takes a different approach to mesosphere. Is Open Source. Worth checking out.

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Microsoft's 'loss leader' Office 365 pricing strategy? NO THANKS

JMiles

Theresa Connor, who works on US competitive strategy for productivity at Microsoft, said the "minute you engage in a price conversation it's very difficult to compete".

So... one mega corp (Microsoft) can't compete with another mega corp (Google) on price. Begs the question, are Google just more efficient at creating business applications? Or maybe its because Google don't rely on Google Apps to subsidise the rest of their empire.

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RBS faces BIGGEST ever fine for THAT huge IT meltdown – leak

JMiles

Hmm

"RBS Group has also pledged to spend £750m on its computer systems, both front and backend, and says it already spends £2bn a year as part of its IT budget."

They do spend well, but not particularly wisely. Like most large companies they will spend years dreaming up requirements, then go buy up various blocks of enterprise software that they think may do the job and then expect lowly-paid techies to implement a solution in a few short months.

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Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER

JMiles

Just as bitcasa does the opposite

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Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012

JMiles

ARPU

£49.8m revenue and 24m UK users. So average revenue per user of £2 per year. It must surely cost them a big chunk just to keep the lights on in the data centres so what kind of profit is everyone expecting them to make?

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IBM can't give away its chip business: report

JMiles

Apple?

Tim Cook is often in the market for chip related things. Not sure he's interested in having an aging fab though but a US-based fab that Apple owned and ran for chip development and proofing? Could be a possibility, maybe even as a joint-venture with IBM.

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Infected Chinese inventory scanners ships off logistics intel

JMiles

Language?

"Infected scanners once connected to one firm's wireless network attacked its corporate network via the SMB protocol, morphing to infect using the RADMIN protocol more than nine servers after it was initially blocked by a firewall."

The worst sentence construction award goes to this 'journalist'. I know The Reg are a bit laid back when it comes to their (ab)use of the Engish language but a school kid would get sent to the head for this effort here.

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REVEALED: How YOU PAY extra for iPHONES - even if you DON'T HAVE ONE

JMiles

How the tides have turned. 10 years ago it was the operators who got to push around even the largest mobile makers (at the time it was Nokia).

Truth is, operators have tried to be sneaky too - pushing Android devices to consumers who were clearly after Apple ones. Now operators are less likely to do that.

In the end, it is the operator who decides how many iDevices they want from Apple. If they under-estimate they'll lose out to competitors and if they over-estimate they'll be left on the hook for commitment they can't meet. This type of model is not unusual in other industries (e.g. try getting a multi-gig data connection to some remote location without an up-front commitment)

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HP CEO Whitman: We've built the PC that GOD wants

JMiles

Futility

"Whitman, a former Republican candidate for the governorship of California"...

Well the woman is certainly well versed in futile pursuits. The taliban have as much chance of getting a seat at Westminster as any Republican has of becoming governor of California.

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Judge smites IBM's anti-Amazon cloud campaign

JMiles

So IBM will now have to pay for...

1. Mindlessly slashing costs in the mistaken belief that customers ONLY care about price. Amazon won on a HIGHER priced because their solution was judged to be better.

2. The mistaken belief that 'technical' work should be totally outsourced to far away places with no focus on driving their brightest onto interesting things that push technology forward (no, those interesting 'R&D' roles are reserved for phd types who are busy banging out patents). Once Amazon was done using its smart engineers to build a book store it put them to work to innovate cloud hosting and they've done a remarkable job. IBM could never match this, they resource people in the belief that technical resources are just like cheap manual labour - undifferentiated and easily replaceable.

Unfortunately, in places like IBM where the bean counters are entrenched - they're often the last ones to go after all the useful people have been fired / rebalanced / off-shored.

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Violin Memory falls through basement in first day of trading

JMiles

Niche hardware maker in a world where...

every specialised element is rapidly becoming commoditised and a significant base of potential customers are cost focussed (Facebook wants it high-density, fast and CHEAP - Google puts as much as it can in whiteboxes, etc.).

I wouldn't short the stock but it isn't likely to be going up until one day it might get acquired.

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Couchbase relaxes NoSQL derrière into mobile seats

JMiles

Not sure what the fuss is here, there have been/are mobile nosql solutions around - db4o being one of the early ones I remember.

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Torched £30 server switch costs phone firm millions in lost sales

JMiles
Angel

Re: Are companies really responsible...

Well someone has to handle it, those chips and pins won't find their way to charges on a credit card on their own.

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Microsoft cans three 'pinnacle' certifications, sparking user fury

JMiles

Vendor certifications...

Never spend your own money on them, never think they're worth more than the cost of the ink and paper used to produce the certificate.

If you want to learn something real take an OU course or if you want something free then take one of the many online courses offered by MIT and others. If you need a qualification to further your career then you've got the wrong employer - of almost everyone I've worked with, few have been hired on the basis of a vendor qualification.

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Microsoft cedes board seat to activist investor

JMiles

Mark this moment...

For THIS is the moment that Microsoft as an IT heavy-weight ends. Many did not like Microsoft under Bill Gates for all their anti-trust issues, and even more criticised Ballmer's failings but when the financial whiz kids get onto the board... well the phrase 'there goes the neighbourhood' comes to mind.

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NSA: NOBODY could stop Snowden – he was A SYSADMIN

JMiles
Devil

Re: An unvetted temporary contractor sysadmin?

Well the NSA must have been aware of Microsofts usual incompetence so expected 'sharepoint' to do anything but. Guess Microsoft didn't drop the ball for once.

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Google goes back to the future with SQL F1 database

JMiles

And with Google behind F1 the 'cool kids' will either go back to SQL databases or will start rolling their own SQL-interpreters on top of their favourite NoSQL systems. I like the NoSQL approach for many use-cases but I have grown tired of inexperienced developers trying to use it for everything and proclaiming how great their achievements are when their problem never warranted a 'BigData' solution or a 'NoSQL' solution.

What amazes me is that Google is now in the position that IBM once held: whatever it does technologically, a large part of the IT industry will follow.

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What Surface RT flop? Nokia said to be readying WinRT slab for September

JMiles

I thought Elop was a man who could spot a burning platform when he saw one. Guess I was wrong.

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IBM committed 'ethical transgressions' to win botched project

JMiles

Simplify?

this project's failure “may be the most spectacular example of all the unsuccessful attempts to impose a uniform solution on a highly complicated and individualised agency.”

Does anyone else notice how organisations large and small almost proudly state how complex and unique they are? Maybe they could think about standardising and simplifying their processes and rules - then they could think about using off-the-shelf solutions with lower implementation risks!

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Iran fingered for attacks on US power firms

JMiles

Partitioned networks

I did some time at a bank in Switzerland where there were two separate networks with PCs connected to each. Regular work PCs were connected to the internet and had email, etc. The 'other' network was connected to internal servers (used for banking) and had USB slots physically disconnected - oh and the PCs on that other network required a smart card to login.

I know this sort of setup is expensive and most businesses won't be able to do it but financial, energy businesses should have the resources to put this in place and they should do it.

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Uni profs: Kids today could do with a bit of 'mind-crippling' COBOL

JMiles

Language good for another 10 years, great. That means some sucker student may just about have it mastered before it becomes extinct. No thanks.

If its mission-critical that must mean its worth a lot of money to keep running. If its worth a lot to keep it then it should be worth enough to deserve the investment required to modernise it - in C++, Java, .NET whatever. Oh, no one knows how the existing code works? Well, that's not a problem that's gonna change and your odds of understanding this code will be better WHILE there are developers left who understand the code.

So, quit being cheap, moaning about lack of skills and just migrate/upgrade.

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Microsoft exec selling his Surface tablet

JMiles
Coat

He got one...

...then realised it is Windows only in name and can't run is usual apps...

...just like most other customers who've been snared by this clever marketing trick.

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VPS.net cloud hoster has a hiccup

JMiles
WTF?

Ok, if you're one of these customers the situation is surely bad right now. But to all those slating the 'cloud' - are you going to say that your on-premise equipment never had a hiccup?

No tech is going to give you 100% uptime and there will be times when end users will be dis-satisfied by the response of the IT personnel trying to resolve a problem. The advantage that cloud brings is that reliability and response should be a grade better than doing it yourself.

From experience I've seen all manner of in-house tech failures and I've read about plenty of cloud outages. I still feel cloud outages have affected me less than in-house ones. Lets get some perspective.

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Full Tilt Poker boss arrested over $430m 'Ponzi scheme'

JMiles
FAIL

The house always wins?

Not in this case it seems!

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Korean telly factory power cut costs Samsung $30,000+ per second

JMiles

Meanwhile, workers also reported seeing a ghostly figure of a man in a turtleneck. Company insiders denied that the outage was in fact the work of Steve Jobs' spirit.

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AOL investor: $1bn Microsoft patent deal not good enough

JMiles
Facepalm

If you don't like it, sell

Obviously one has to wonder about the smarts of owning 5% of AOL at the moment. Aside from that, if you're in and don't like the way they run their business then sell your holdings and put your money some place where you'll be happier. While I'm by no means a fan of AOL, activist shareholders are like back-seat drivers.

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Acer founder: 'Tablets, ultrabooks just a fad'

JMiles
Meh

Well duh

They can't get the price below $1000 to compete with the MacBook Air so the next best plan of attack is to discredit the whole concept.

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Vintage Psion prototype: Yours for £85,000

JMiles

Ahh the Series 5

I think it had one of the best keyboards on a mobile device, ever. Even now, that clamshell design is unbeatable.

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O2 won't touch BlackBerry fondleslab for now

JMiles

i'm on mine now

and I prefer it to my iPad but the fact the built-in mail client requires a BB phone sure does knock the end-to-end experience for those without...

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How can UK.gov spend £35m on a website?

JMiles
WTF?

Shameless advertising

"Free & Open Source Software won't matter when a Consultancy or Outsourcing company loads up a contract with tasks requiring many person weeks of expensive billable time."

True, but a lot of consulting time is also spent not on techies but also on project managers, programme managers, business analysts, enterprise architects and a whole manner of surrounding areas. These guys are often there to solve business problems, not technical ones.

"If there isn't a FOSS advantage, there's still clearly a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) advantage."

Says who? What do you base this on? As I said earlier, a lot of consulting time goes into doing tasks which would be done regardless of whether an off-the-shelf product was used - .e.g. a business analyst will still have to figure out business needs.

"One of the main purposes of these sites (apart from serving static information pages) is to provide a portal for file download."

Is that in the report or is it an assumption?

"Commercial open source software packages such as CogniDox allow you to do this in a completely secure and flexible manner. It costs thousands of pounds, not millions, and it delivers those features out of the box. And it has competitors such as Alfresco and Nuxeo that can also do the same."

And there comes the plug. I don't know about CogniDox but tools like Alresco and Nuxeo are not the types of software that any organisation will just go and install and the costs of implementation will reflect that.

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UK.gov issues death warrant for ID cards

JMiles
WTF?

Self-funding by charges to the public?

"The £800m operating cost of the scheme over ten years will also be saved, though Labour claimed this would be self-funding by charges to the public."

What's the difference between funded by taxpayers and funded by charges to the public?

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