They think long term but they don't predict the future very well. And they don't spend money when they don't need to. They have missed many important developments but have usually been able to play catch up by leveraging their desktop domination. This usually keep them in contention with a dodgy product long enough for them to either get better or starve the competition to death.They thought Netscape was dead and they didn't see Google at all so moved focus away from IE. As always they realised the danger too late. IE had fallen behind so they dragged up something from some backwater development team and threw money at it to make Edge. It wasn't enough. They have given up and gone with something that might keep their name in the game - a rebranded Chrome. Anything so long as the aforementioned average Jane/Joe don't get start thinking that Computers and Microsoft are not the same thing.
1115 posts • joined 14 Jan 2010
Re: Wait a minute
As far as I know it governments had been struggling with the big question - 'which is cheaper, pay Microsoft to keep XP running or update the whole NHS?' for a number of years. Teresa May was Home Secretary and Jeremy Hunt Health Secretary when they decided to make the balance sheet look a little better and not bother with either. They were warned about the risk at the time and many times since.
For some reason they seem to be reticent to talk about it now.
Brexit as I see it.
kids: "are we nearly there yet?"
sat nav: "at the roundabout take the third exit"
dad: "Not much further now"
kids: "You said that an hour ago and it's not very comfortable in the boot of this car"
sat nav: "At the roundabout take the third exit"
dad: It's fine up here in the drivers seat and, let me tell you, the view is magnificent"
kids: "Shouldn't we have taken the third exit?"
dad: "I don't have to do what the sat-nav says if I don't want to"
kids: "It's cramped and we can't see anything. Can we come and sit up on the back seats"
dad: "No. The sat-nav says it's not allowed. Nothing I can do about that."
mum: "I agree with dad"
dad: "Anyway we had to take all the other seats out. It's all the fault of that hitch-hiker we picked up.
mum:"I agree with dad"
kid1: "I don't think this is fair. Can't we fix this?"
dad: "No, there is nothing wrong and if there if there is is not my fault"
kid2: "Listen to the dad, he knows. This is a rubbish car"
kid1: "He obviously lying. The dad has put us in here on purpose"
kid2: "No, dad's great. The car is ruined lets set fire to it"
kid1: "Can mum drive?"
kid2: "No. Dad says she crashed the car last time"
kid1: "Everyone says it was the other drivers fault"
kid2: "Dad said h's the best driver so it must be true"
dad: "Yes kids. safest if I drive".
kid2: "Can we set fire to the car?"
dad: "If you really want me to set fire to the car I will. You know I'll do anything for my kids."
kid1: "but we are in the car on a motorway it's dangerous and we'll be stuck at the side of the road"
kid1: "It's getting hot in here on account of the car being on fire"
kid2: "Cars get hot or cold. It's natural. Don't worry"
kid2: (shivering in the rain, hair gently smouldering, watching the traffic go by and waving goodbye to dad as he gets in a taxi) "we'll who would have thought that would happen? But still this is much better than being stuck in the boot of that car eh?"
Re: what changed?
Presumably this is "our team vs their team" type politics. This thinking is what lets politicians of all persuasions off the hook. However bad they are they just point to someone else and say well 'they would have been worse' and some people believe them.
I think the article itself points out the same play from all the players. The upshot as far as I can tell is that politicians should not be involved in project that are likely to last longer than one parliament, probably none shorter either.
Re: his work there is done
"always baffled me how serial screw-ups go from one highly-paid position to another, leaving devastation in their wake"
Boss: We need to improve services and reduces costs. Can you do it?
Applicant1: It's not possible and there are already too few staff.
Applicant2: It's not possible and there are already too few staff.
Applicant3: It's not possible and there are already too few staff.
Applicant4: Easy. And I can do it and make the board of directors look good too.
Guess which applicants are telling truth? Guess who gets the job?
This is more of the 'I don't care how you do it, just get it done' bluster style of management from people who don't know what they are doing but went to right school so feel they must be better than everyone else. Stupid ideas don't get shot down early because 'politics' so the people at the front end are just left looking like the idiots when really it's idiots above and all the way up.
"Quite apart from anything else it's not the pursuit of profit that makes organisations more efficient: it's the prospect of having whatever profits you might be able to make competed away leading to the death of the organisation that does."
So it's about compete or die? That assumes that the only way a private company can fail is by having it's market stolen by another more efficient provider. A bit of an over simplification I would say, there are many ways for a private company to fail not least financial ones. If a private company could leave vital services unfulfilled then there must be some protection in place to make sure it can't happen. If there is protection the 'or die' part is taken away and whole privatisation model falls apart. If the service cannot be allowed to fail then it cannot be truly privatised.
How did we get a system that's actually less ethical than an industry that was founded on close links to organised crime, payola, dodgy accounting and monumental waste?
I think closer inspection will probably find is exactly as unethical as before but with fewer players. The industry used to support rank after rank of unscrupulous middlemen between the artist and the public each with a hand in the till. Now there is just one big till and one big hand but the result is pretty much the same.
Re: "no comment"
"This article is about Mr Novogratz saying that Uber's 'cut' is too high - Uber is overcharging for it's matchmaking services. If he's right, a free market will create a competitor which will kill Uber. One who is willing to take a lower 'cut' and thus is able to charge lower fares (which will steal all of Uber's customers) or pay the drivers more (how well would Uber do if their drivers all left Uber to work for a higher paying competitor?)."
Once 'entrepreneurs' smell the money they will all want in. There are/will be hundreds of wannabe Ubers trying to take the market by being looking cheaper, safer or nicer than the incumbent although usually they just advertise heavily and litigate, They throw money at it, lots of money. To defend against this intrusion Uber will need money, lots of money. They have to get what they can now or lose out later.
Re: IT Angle?
"It's not that UC is so complex, it's that the current range of benefits and systems are and they don't 'talk' to each other in any kind of sane way, the nasty old legacy systems are tied together using people and paperwork."
I think that backs up what I'm saying doesn't it: The main IT project is not UC. The current hotch-potch of weird and wonderful legacy bollocks is were the project fails and that is independent of UC or whatever crap was tacked on top of trying to redevelop Benefits IT into something coherent.
The big problem is that the minister wants a major project completed during his/her term in office so they can claim credit for the sucess however in doing so they guarantee that they preside over another failure.
Universal Credit is a policy on benefit payments - There is an IT system to support benefit payments.
I really can't see form what the politicians have said why the two are tied so closely together. The Universal Credit policy could be implemented by pushing bits of paper around and a new IT system could be implemented to support any benefits system yet somehow the IT part is the problem ...
... unless the Universal Credit policy is so complex and unwieldy that only a super computer backed implementation can work it out within the lifetime of the claimant. Now that could be the reason for the delay.
Re: What's tiny?
"And in the *20 years* since, Google and Facebook have robbed your privacy, apple have created the ultimate walled garden, huge unix security holes have been found that affect virtually every installation, google have shipped the android malware, and you're not supposed to mention (or do?) anything personal in front of your Samsung TV as it reports back to God-knows-who. Oh and the mobile phone companies knew about voicemail hacking in the year 2000, and managed to completely dodge the bullet when the shit hit the fan ten years later."
TL:DR Everyone is guilty of something therefore no-one is guilty of anything.
Re: "So bad it's good"
"Do we get many truly awful movies these days? Studios are becoming more risk-averse so we're seeing more "so meh it's hmm" titles."
I hear what you are saying but I'd counter with 'Hector and the Search for Happiness." And use a phrase that occurs so often in this thread that it probably needs an acronym. The only film I ever walked out of. TOFIEWOO.
The best selling list makes interesting reading. Not surprisingly a Nokia is reconnected to be the best selling of all time, not the 3310 though it is apparently the 'emerging markets' 1100 with 250 million units sold. In fact of the 12 phone models that have sold more than 100 million only 2 are not Nokias; the Motorola Razr v3 and the Samsung E1100.
I think that shows just how badly Nokia messed up.
"Basically, it's imposing a universal service coverage on all phone companies, but allowing them to delegate the service on to their competitors."
An operator will put up a mast if the number of calls passing through it will cover the cost and the up-keep. In rural areas that is a risk. So one operator puts up a mast in a village. All their competitors share the coverage and so all of them know the economic case. If it turns out to be a good place for a mast the competitors can put up their own masts reducing the value of the first one. If not they can leave it on it's own and let the first operator carry the costs of an under-performing cell.
But ... but ... but ...
... free markets encourage investment to the benefit of us all. The government just need to keep out of the way.
What's that you're saying? Free markets are free to channel investment in short term, high profit, low risk operations if they want to? Who would have guessed they would do that then.
P.S. Where is good for Vodafone coverage? I know It's not somewhere I've ever been.
Yes you are missing something. Three passes on the cost to the customer, They all do. The customer doesn't like this. All customers in that area migrate to O2. All five of them. Three doesn't care, Three doesn't have to invest in the additional infrastructure, doesn't incur additional cost and so is cheaper than O2 for the millions who live in high traffic areas.
The fact is the economics of the mobile phone cell network break down below a certain user density. That means it needs to be done a different way or funded a different way.
Ignorance is bliss?
That's what this articles logic seems to lead to. We were happier when we didn't know what we were missing. Or perhaps 'we were all better off when people knew there place and stuck to it'. No wonder the millionaire Dave 'bring back Victorian values' Cameron endorses it.
The problem here is that at first 'happiness' is used as a label for a definition of the thing the we all want and pursue and then, later, it is found that we don't necessarily want or pursue that thing. So then the conclusion is not that the definition is wrong but that we don't want that thing we all want.
Possibly armed guy in an opaque box
This is the classic nutter in box problem. The box is opaque but thin walled. They can't see him, he can't see them but anyone approaching the box is vulnerable. The door opens outwards even if he isn't armed he could still batter someone attempting to open the door or throw shit or what ever. If he is armed he could shoot out at random at any time there is no protection in the area for police or civilians.
What should they do if he doesn't want to come out? It's either a siege or a shoot out. OR some novel approach like this. I think they did OK: the kicking was a bit OTT but no-one ending up in hospital or the morgue.
iPhone vs ?
Our office moved over to IPhones this year. Some of the toys you can get for it are great but I still miss features that were standard on my Symbian phones years ago. It certainly doesn't hold a call so well in poor reception areas either. As a hand held computer device it is peerless as a mobile communication device, not so much.
Given that at least one of the victims says the images were deleted long ago some these images may have been copied and kept secret for years. It seems likely to me that someone has gathered together a lot of other people 'secret store' of images. Maybe hundreds of password guesses by hundreds of different pervs some of whom struck lucky a few times over a long period of trying.
my guess in that this is less of a single huge hack that represents some huge security breach but a gathering together of the usual drip feed of unwise/unlucky celebs privacy invasion that represents poor password security.
PC sales were based on cost and ease of use. If you could say 'Our PC compatible will calculate your spreadsheet in half the time of theirs' people would buy it. If you said 'Our PC compatible will calculate you spreadsheet more reliably than theirs' or Our PC compatible will calculate you spreadsheet more securely than theirs' they wouldn't. MS networking outsold Netware on familiarity and ease of use (mainly).
The market got what the market thought it wanted and now has to live with it. Even today idiot users routinely disable anti-virus because it 'slows the PC down' and find secure passwords too much hassle.
Re: why does this remind me of IBM
Hmm. yes. The IBM PC was initially dumbed down so it didn't compete with existing IBM divisions that couldn't keep up. IBM were so self obsessed they thought the only competition was with themselves. The suits said 'yes the PC very nice but it will confuse the customer. They won't know which IBM product choose? make it less powerful'. In the end they chose Compaq.
Cloud with chance of...
The first reaction of a lot of IT professionals when reading about internet connected business was "why the hell would you do that? It a security nightmare". Similarly the same reaction when the various different definitions of "the cloud" were mooted. Now everybody appears to be surprised that the cloud is indeed a security nightmare. As far as I'm can see this is just the long tale of computerising business still wagging from the 1950's.
In the old days a business had one set of ledgers that where locked in the safe overnight. Messing with the post brought serious jail time but you still didn't send anything in a letter if you didn't want the anyone else to know. Couriers carried locked cases to which they had no access. You shredded or burned everything when it became obsolete. Everyone knew the rules and knew that not sticking to them made you vulnerable. Eventually these practises will be duplicated electronically as the necessity for each is re-discovered.