"And how exactly would the customers applications be tested to ensure that the patches work before they nuke the entire organisation ?"
All the customer's applications will have to be bought from Microsoft to ensure compatibility.
301 posts • joined 24 Feb 2010
"And how exactly would the customers applications be tested to ensure that the patches work before they nuke the entire organisation ?"
All the customer's applications will have to be bought from Microsoft to ensure compatibility.
"Sadly, I can't think of why I would want to buy a product from Maplin, over say, Amazon."
How about the disgraceful way that Amazon treats the staff in its distribution centres?
I think it would be helpful to review the other half of wearables - data and what I can do with it. For example, if I want to use the device for running, cycling or hill walking can I download the data as CSV/GPX/TCX or get it into Relive, Smashrun, Strava, etc., and is the resolution hobbled (like with Nike)? A pretty device that locks me into a useless walled-garden of analysis and presentation is pretty useless (to me).
I was working in a land far, far away when my out-of-warranty MBA died. I went to the local Apple shop and they fixed the Mac and replaced the PSU just in case it was the culprit. It cost me nothing and I was back working within the hour. That can hardly be described as "they toss a product at you and they're done". Try doing that with any other make of PC.
I've done my fair share of complaining about Apple, and reserve the right to continue to do so, but overall, for me, they're OK.
You could go to Besźel or Ul Qoma and learn to unsee the street ads.
My mum doesn't know what Window, Finder and Return mean when I give phone support, so I'm looking forward to the call when I help her set up her subnets. She'll want to know how often they need washing.
Wouldn't it be better to have a recognized standard for IoT security, support and supportabilty with a CE/Kite mark? Sure, it would mean that cheap products with no support wouldn't be available, but the upside is that cheap products with no support wouldn't be available.
Google leveraged its platform dominance in Android to promote its own services and apps, at the expense of f***ing battery life in my experience.
My watch must have been massively over-specced because it's still working to spec. after 50-odd years of almost constant use.
When I had a line problem BT sent the bloke out with the sniffer who found the break and drew a rectangle for the digging contractors. A week later, after nothing had happened, I complained. The next day another bloke with a sniffer came out and found the same break and drew another rectangle, which overlapped the first one, so it sort of looked like a shadow of it. Next day the diggers arrived and it took them ages to dig a the 8-sided shape which was the aggregate of the two overlapping rectangles. I kept making them tea, just so I could go out and watch the progress.
If a company signs a contract that allows the cloud provider to change the rules/terms without agreement on both sides and suitable consideration then they are bloody fools.
OK - cloud service are not my area of expertise, so downvote at your leisure but....
If a company is buying goods or services which are critical to the operation then surely it reads the contract and makes sure its fit for purpose at all levels; price, spec, maintenance, support, edge cases, etc. I bet Google didn't do anything that wasn't in the contract.
As an example - we once had to get dual, diverse data lines from BT. They were safety related and it was important that they didn't come together anywhere other than at each end and therefore be as immune as reasonably possible to the man-with-a-digger single point failure.
We gave BT a spec. and we got a proposal and contract from BT. Engineering read it, the lawyers read it, the safety consultant read and we all agreed that it was OK. Then, to make sure, we had a meeting with BT to be absolutely sure they understood what this meant. They hadn't. They did after we explained it and they upped the price a bit - but we were happy.
I'm guessing that one of the problems with some cloud services is that the contract is pretty one-sided and not for negotiation, but in that case - if it doesn't meet *all* the requirements - you walk away and present the boss with a cost/benefit comparison of cloud vs self hosting, don't you?
@Yank - I think you're right. Technical development is tough enough for companies that specialize in it. Most big companies who do it overspend on big infrastructure or platform developments. Imagine trying to manage it in an organization which doesn't understand the basic process, is owned by politicians who, by and large, have no technical education and is run by civil servants who have no technical education and whose career development is based on keeping your head down, not making mistakes and supporting (covering for) a boss (minister) who might have absolutely no qualifications or experience of the department s/he is responsible for. Indeed, the minister might never have had a proper job in their life.
Given the role of tech and IT in every day life I'd expect a government to have a whole department that specializes in it, with real, permanent career opps for tech pros who could develop the capabilities and relationships required to work in an environment where not just the management, but the whole philosophy of the organization can change every 5 years. They've tried to do it with DE&S (the defence procurement agency) - which sort of works but, in my experience is still hampered by politics and they are driven by cost, not value.
Thanks, Doc. I didn't realize that the act had individual responsibility - that's a good thing. I don't think that there's jail time, though.
In my experience with company ERP systems, the one bit of them (sometimes the only bit) that you can usually guarantee works is the fiscal bit of the finance module. The rest of the ERP - inventory management, order processing, customer/supplier data, CRM, etc. - is usually somewhere on the spectrum of "not used" thru "we manage most of it in Excel" to "sort of working but you need Ellen to tweak it at month end".
The main reason for this is that no one is going to go to jail if Tesco gets 100 pallettes of baked beans instead of 10, but people can go to jail for getting the fiscal bit wrong, so they get it right, they spec it right, they test it right and they hand-crank the first few cycles in parallel, just to make sure, because no one likes using hairy soap.
Maybe if data leaks were treated like H&S, where corporate and individual criminal responsibility is assigned and poor performance can result in losing your house and going to jail, then we'd see companies take it seriously.
The downside might be that it could become expensive to process personal data - but I wouldn't necessarily see that as a problem.
A thicket of project managers.
@Wolfetone - me too, but now I don't think I'll bother. Why do they have to fuck everything up.
Graham - the analogy with the hotel is interesting, and made me think.
If Google were like the hotel then it wouldn't know anything about it's customers other than name, length of stay and whether they'd stayed before - and in that case I'd agree with your analogy. Google would be a channel, just like the hotel, the Royal Mail and the local bus.
If the hotel were like Facebook then it would know lots about the customer - voting and sexual preferences, shopping likes, friend, acquaintances, and would have a history of messages, friends, etc., etc., and it *would* have cameras in every room, and also on the streets around the hotel, and in the local buses and taxis. It would know where you'd been, who you'd talked to, what you've just bought and where you're going tomorrow. If it wanted, the hotel could guess to a high level of certainty whether its customers were up to nefarious deeds or not before they even set foot in the room
OK - so that's egging the cake a bit, but Google/Facebook/etc. are not passive channels in the way that a hotel, Royal Mail and the local bus service are. They can, and do, read, analyse, synthesize and profit from the information which users post on their platforms. In my opinion (others are available) it is this agency which differentiates them from the notice board in the window of the local newsagent and with agency comes responsibility.
BTW - I'm disinterested in whether we should have an x-hour takedown law. My interest in the debate is simply that I don't believe Google et al should be above the law. I agree that bad law would be a bad thing, but the argument that it would be too difficult for the Googles to police needs to be tested a little more than simply believing it - and they haven't walked away from other countries who have implemented takedown limits.
The problem isn't that it's difficult - it's that Google (and others, but take that as read from here on) don't want to do it, because it will reduce clicks and dwell time.
If the HSE come calling to talk to me about why those people fell off the roof I can't say "sorry, mate, I'm too busy to do risk assessments and buy PPE - do you know how hard it is to do that stuff when I've got to do the monthly management powerpoint". Why should Google be able to do the equivalent? If their business model and practices aren't compatible with the laws of the country then either they change, or fuck off.
When Germany changed the law, backed up with fines of up to €50M for not taking content down in 24 hours, Facebook managed to do the "impossible" with about 1200 mods and some trauma counsellors.
Christoph - it's not impossible. In fact, you've solved it for them: just go and employ about 100'000 mods plus a bit of infrastructure. That sounds very possible for an organization like Google whose turnover is about 90% of the value of NHS annual funding but has less than a tenth of the headcount. If it makes a dent in Google's meagre profits then they might have to change their business model by, say, charging people to post and charging them for hosting. That might also have the benefit of reducing some of the dross and the number of reviewers required.
It's not impossible - it's difficult, expensive and, perhaps, a tad inconvenient, but it's not impossible.
No other industry gets the right to say "We'll choose which laws we obey based on how much it's going to cost us to implement them." Why should Google, FB, etc.?
Andy - this isn't how it works in any other industries. In all the companies I've worked for, none has the attitude that they'll just let illegal stuff happen and wait until the feds show up with a warrant before they stop. They all have legal, H&S and HR depts plus specialist consultants when necessary who manage to keep them on the right side of the law. The Reg. like any other publisher, wouldn't publish anything it considered libellous and wait for the court case and I assume its journos are well trained or experienced enough to recognize dubious content and get advice before hitting the button. This might result in a "when in doubt, don't publish" attitude, but a quick glance at the UK press doesn't leave one with the impression of a heavily self-censored fourth estate.
The defence that Google, FB and the rest put up is that there's so much content that they couldn't possibly be proactive and therefore it's too hard and they can't do it. No other industry gets away with that approach and neither should Google, FB, etc. If their business model allows people to do illegal stuff unchecked then they should treated as accessories and prosecuted in the criminal courts. If the law were changed to make the platform owners criminally responsible for their content then I bet they'd find a way to fix it very, very quickly.
The risk of mortality, whether you drink or not, is 1.
@Mage: "PDF is now only of use for people preparing & proofing documents for paper publishing"
All my clients use paper, and lots of it, for contracts, specs, NDAs, minutes, invoices, as-builts, verification matrices, certificates, training packs, manuals, expositions, etc., and I can't see any of that changing in the next ten years. Even the ones who have integrated paperless systems (e.g. DOORS) end up converting to Word then pdf for reviewing and issuing docs. The Italians like to sign and date every page of a paper copy of everything. The Germans still use Fax, FFS, and won't take an email copy of anything vaguely contractual. Most European organizations have invested in a fancy company stamp and want some nice white paper to use it on. The Swiss won't even take a pdf scan of an invoice and want an original snail-mailed to them with a wet signature and then they'll bounce it because they want the original expense receipts as well.
PDF works OK for me and the most of the people who pay me. It's secure enough - but it doesn't have to be Fort Knox because there's a paper copy in a filing cabinet to resolve disputes.
Your friendly independent garage might be able to disable the seatbelt alarm for you, assuming they've got approved diagnostics kit. Or you could buy a Chinese knock-off of VAG-Com/VCDS and try it yourself at home. It's option-tastic and very tempting to fiddle. Could be risky, but not as dangerous as using a 1.3A cable to charge at 2.1A, though!
By serializing the parts and making their phones incompatible with cheap third party spares they've made the genuine parts so fucking expensive that they are worth stealing.
Ok - let me show my ignorance again, cos I'm really puzzled now. I've got three non-Apple-approved lightning cables. All three work fine as phone chargers, from both wall warts and Mac. What they don't do is work as data cables and when I connect them to the Mac the phone goes ding ding ding. So if the purpose of chipping is to prevent the phone drawing current from a non-approved connector then it's not working.
If the whole purpose of chipping the cable is to work out if the cable can take the current then all the phone has to do is check the cable. If it gets a response to say it's a valid Lightning cable then the phone can go and draw the full 2.1A. If it doesn't get a response then it can draw 1.3A. Unless, of course, it's just a ruse to rip me off for propietary cable.
@arthoss - I could almost give you that argument except for the fact that Apple does the same for a simple Lightning connector. Apple doesn't build authentication into a data cable to protect me - it does it to protect its business model. Same with the fingerprint sensor.
Funny, but when the car companies tried the same thing in Europe - i.e. wanted to force car owners to use genuine Ford/BMW/etc parts installed by genuine Ford/BMW/etc dealers on the basis of safety those same consumers with their inconvenient laws told them to sod off.
The only reason that Apple did what they did is because they could. I don't use the fingerprint sensor, so I don't give a toss if it's secure or not - so why should I get ripped off for a "genuine Apple part" which is probably made in the same factory by the same woman who makes the cheap one. My phone, my choice and if it's a bad choice then my tough shit. But it's a choice I'd rather have.
If in the good old days when they tried the same thing Ford/BMW/etc had had the ability to brick a car because its owner put Halfords brake pads on it then they would have done - and all in the interests of safety and nothing to do with the fact that a set of pattern brake pads is much cheaper than OEM ones..
It's a tough one, though, isn't it? There's a bit of a difference between finding out that a the kit has a port open and discovering that the CPU at the centre of the kit is vulnerable because of fundamental architecture design. Creating and pricing a contract between developer, vendor and customer to cover that range of installed performance would be tough. You can use words like "forseeable" and "fit for purpose" but someone has to be paid to carry the risk - either in up front costs or lease/support fees.
Air gapping looks (to me - but it's not my field) like the best tech option, but at the cost of losing the diagnostic and analysis benefits that connectivity probably brings.
@ubermunchkin - you're right. I much prefer the current system which gives anyone the right to identify themselves as me by simply presenting a gas bill with my name and address on it.
I listened to it last night for the first time in years. I'd forgotten about Phil Lynott.
I think that part of the problem is that the "market", whatever that is, demands killer innovation every year or so. As a result companies tinker around the edges and dress up evolution and stabilization as innovation. I imagine that Apple has a list of stuff that needs doing and "fix street address format in Contacts" has been in there for years, but scores very low in the "how do we sell this off as next season's killer innovation." column, and hence never gets done.
I'm clearly not a typical user; I want functionality, compatibility and stability, OR real innovation. I'll jump into the next garden when something comes along that makes a step change in how a phone or PC helps me get on with my life, but I'm not going to get excited because a phone camera does 50MP instead of 20MP or because some perfectly good function keys are replaced with a touch-bar.
When the iPhone came out I was an early user (3GS) and have been ever since. But unless Apple really (REALLY) innovates then I want my next iPhone or Mac to be like my current one but maybe a bit better (bit more rugged, longer battery life, more.... erm, struggling here.....). Taking away connectors or making it too big to fit in any of my pockets is neither innovation nor incremental improvement - it's just a bunch of engineers being driven by marketing and finance to do something that can be given a page of its own in next September's Powerpoint presentation.
Charlie - I wasn't clear. The problem (for me) is that I can't set it to ignore the formatting and have the number like I like it. Why can't I just type in 01234 567 890 or 010 56 52 58 and the app accepts the spaces for what they are instead of deleting them. That's how I like my phone numbers and I don't need someone in California telling me where I can and cannot put spaces.
paulf - or, you could change the radio shows from music to podcasts then play them with the podcast player. Go to <Info><Options><Media Kind>
If you want to save the radio shows then remember to mark them as saved or convert them back otherwise podcasts will delete them.
Note that you can also use this method to turn podcasts into music so you can use the "play next" functionality in iTunes. It's a bit of a pain because iTunes and synched devices will download the podcast again - but Podcasts are so fucked up that it doesn't make much difference unless you're paying for bandwidth by the bit.
paulf - I haven't used the iTunes music player directly for a while now because it doesn't shuffle albums - for which I'm tempted to whinge at Apple, but it appears that I'm the only person in the world who wants to do this because my current and last cars won't either.
Anyway - on the phone I use an app called Smart Shuffle to do this (not affiliated). It can be a bit temperamental but it usually remembers where it's got to in playlists and tracks when the music player craps out. Like I said, it's mainly for shuffling albums, but it might work for you.
Now - if you want to talk about track order in smart playlists when synched to the iphone I'll have to go and put my ranting trousers on.....
Charlie - from my perspective (others are available) Apple innovation just means headphone sockets, USB connections, memory card slots and a host of useful features disappearing with nothing new that I need or want. I won't update my 5 year old MBA because the new Macs have got no connectivity other than USB C and I won't buy a phone later than an SE until I retire and only need a big-button phone. I understand innovation, but the only concept Apple seems to have is to make stuff smaller and thinner at the expense of useful connectivity, fragility and battery power. I can't think of a single useful HW or SW "improvement" they've made since my mid-13 Macbook air and my iPhone SE that I'd pay money for.
I fancy a new Macbook, but they can fuck off if it means that I've got to throw away and replace 4 PSUs and a bag full of network and video adpaters and replace them with new ones.
Here are a few things that have been problems for about ten years, which I don't think would be difficult to fix by a company which focused on quality instead of features.
Mac- contacts - the street address is pre-formated so you can't cut and paste in or out and it only has one line for street address, so those places whose address is xxx house, xxx trading estate, xxx road, xxx bourough before the city name are a pain to put in and get out and use with mailing lists.
Mac contacts auto formats phone numbers to US format.
iPhone - set a custom ringtone and watch it revert to the default one every few months.
Podcasts in iTunes and on iPhone: designed by cunts who clearly hate people who listen to podcasts.
Just a few off the top of my head. All bug-reported, all ignored.
And a (real) paperclip for next option; "if in doubt, short it out".
If it only stops to pick up passengers it's going to get pretty crowded in there
@tim. Knackered electrolytics won't be a problem in the brave new world of the manufacturers because they want us to buy cars the way we buy phones. Mobility as a service means that I buy miles by the month or year and either get a car to go with them or use a local pool of cars. It will be better for everybody - honest.
I went to a lecture recently by the bloke who makes hydrogen cars in Wales. He wants to run this model - lease the car and everything, including fuel and servicing, is included. He pointed out that car manufacturers only get a small fraction of the driver's total spend during the lifetime of the car - the initial cost of the car. The rest of the money we spend - insurance, fuel, servicing, spares, second hand sale, etc. - all go to someone else, and the manufacturers want it. By going to a lease model or a service model they think they can get more of it. So if they get their future then buying a car will be a simple as choosing a phone and tariff from Vodafone, O2, EE, etc. or signing up for an UBER-type autonomous vehicle scheme based an annual mileage. It will be better for everybody - honest.
@JohnFen - I agree with you that being legal and right might be different things. The difficulty comes down to who decides. In theory the law is straightforward - you either comply or not and if you don't you're sanctioned. I know it's not that simple in practice, but at least the law is written down and I can check it before I do stuff to make sure I don't end up using hairy soap.
Defining what's "right" is a whole different ball game. You and I might think that FB has done some bad things which affect privacy, rights and could even impact democracy and the future prosperity of the country and for that FB should be punished (I do think this, by the way). However, I probably wouldn't have to make much effort to find a bunch of people who couldn't care less about what FB has done and would be outraged at the thought of losing access to the service and benefits they get from using it.
Who's right? Who gets to decide to block FB at the Great Wall of Outrage? And once they've done with FB what happens when they move on to a law-abiding activity that I enjoy but others find objectionable.
When I had a proper job we used to get annual ethics training about accepting gifts, etc. We played games, had facilitated discussions and were lectured at, before sitting an exam. But for most of us non-psychopaths it was easy; if what you're doing isn't something you'd be happy to tell your folks about while sitting round the table over Sunday dinner then it's probably not ethical. You know when you're doing bad stuff.
"How can we expect multinationals to fear the law if the highest bodies are totally incapable of imposing any sort of respect, let alone fear"
I know I'm beginning to sound like a two-bob watch, but which laws have Facebook broken?
Regarding respect: as far as I can tell Facebook hasn't broken any laws, so Zuck's position is that he's dragged across the Atlantic to face a grilling from people who are pissed off at what he's done, even though he hasn't broken any of the laws that these same people made. How can you respect a bunch of people who whinge at what you do but won't (or can't) change the law to get the behaviours they seem to want?
If governments want to deal with Facebook they can, easily, by passing laws. If this had happened in China or Russia or Saudi then Zuck would have been on the first flight over with a completely redesigned product in his hipster backpack pausing only to take an immersion course in advanced grovelling. (I know it's banned in China)
Dragging people in front of committees to explain why they didn't comply with with a set of standards which governments think should apply but haven't got the bollocks or democratic mandate to pass into law is a rank waste of time.
This Governments vs Facebook thing is a bit like a fight in pub. There are two types in my experience:
A: two blokes face up to each other, there's a bit of pushing and a lot of talking. Bugger all happens and both blokes leave the pub knowing they won.
B: two blokes face up to each other, one talks a lot, the other one says bugger all. Then the quiet one lands two decent punches out of the blue and the noisy one goes down like a sack of spuds. Both blokes leave the pub knowing who won.
We're witnessing situation A. We need B.
I remember the unbounded joy of getting my Palm Pilot to talk my Siemens phone using infra red and then downloading mail using Eudora. I was in a meeting with the High Paid Help a little while after and got a ticking off from one of the directors for playing with my Pilot. I told him I was taking notes and checking emails (both true). He didn't believe the bit about emails so I showed him (he had to shuffle round the table cos of the IR link) and he was amazed. A few weeks after this all the directors turned up with Blackberries, and I like to think that it all started with my Palm Pilot and Eudora
Shadow - they can't get them under GDPR because it doesn't become law until 25th May.
What's the legal basis for blocking Facebook?
Stoneshop: luckily we live in a country where a few MPs can't shut a company down just because they don't like what it does. If Facebook has broken the law then the relevant authorities need to get involved and take them to court, prove it and then they'll be sanctioned. The purpose of the select committees is to collect evidence and report back to parliament so that it can change legislation if it sees the need.
A committee can summons someone, hold them in contempt of parliament if they ignore it and, theoretically, parliament can imprison them. But it's not a crime and I don't think they'd be able to make imprisonment stick because of human rights legislation.
Interestingly, the people with the most power to change Facebook - its users - clearly don't give a toss about any of this. If they did they'd be closing their accounts in droves and then we'd see some pretty rapid change from Zuck.
Lee D. Live radio is buffered at the transmit end, not the receive end.
It's not delay I'm talking about - it's the fact that vast tracts of the country don't have enough data coverage to do a Google search, never mind live streaming. The train journey from Ipswich to Liverpool Street has 10-15 mins of no data coverage - and no signal at all at Shenfield (Vodafone). You can't buffer that. I was in North Norfolk two weeks ago and spent hours with no data.
Lee D.: how do you buffer live radio?
Quality is less an issue for me than battery drain. DAB battery radios last a few days at most. My Ferguson transistor radio lasts weeks on a PP3 and the Cossor radio in the bathroom lasts for years (at 10 mins a day) on a zinc pp9 - and I mean years.
The delay is only a problem a the cricket. You can't listen to the commentary on a DAB radio because it's too far behind. When the last LW valve goes life is going to get a lot worse.
The thing that's not fixable is that I can take my battery radio away for a two week backpacking trip and I'll get something on either FM, AM or LW wherever I go in the UK. Even if the Highlands get enough data coverage to stream radio reliably my phone battery will be dead after 24 hours, so it will be bloody useless. The transistor radio will work for weeks on a couple of AAs.
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