* Posts by tin 2

299 posts • joined 3 Apr 2010

Page:

One titsup server kills Brit-hosted Donhost websites for THREE DAYS

tin 2
FAIL

One of our VPS hosted "servers" fell over at the same time, and while the service status page said there was a network issue their ("we are VERY busy at the moment", yet answered immediately) helpline said a similar thing had befallen it - a disk failure and being restored from backup. What puzzles me is their VPS are supposed to be RAID-5. Don't they keep an eye on the disks?

Additionally said VPS is down again tonight.

0
0

HP cranks up bandwidth on BladeSystem sheaths, adds pretty platinum stripe

tin 2
FAIL

I can't STAND the new disks, impossible to get an idea of what's actually happening, for the sake of a spinny gimmick!

1
0

Atomic Weapons Establishment ditches 2e2 in funding row

tin 2
FAIL

and so is shown the problem with "managed services"

"Unfortunately AWE cancelled their contract yesterday. The administrators do not know what replacement arrangements AWE have reached but employees may wish to seek further guidance as to the possibility of their employment transferring to AWE or AWE's new supplier under TUPE,"

WHUT? So effectively 2e2 was just employing the people that worked on AWEs systems, to just work on AWEs systems? When AWE says bye bye, they tell the AWE people there's no AWE to work on anymore and they may be suitable to move across to the next provider? Where's the economy of scale/pooling of skills/etc here? Ah there is none. Just someone else standing in the middle of customer and employees creaming off money for themselves.

0
0

5,000 UK pubs get free Wi-Fi... and they're not even all in London

tin 2

But

Free wifi provided by the cloud == just the same as no wifi at all.

0
0

AWS stops some EC2 servers without warning

tin 2
FAIL

@Tezfair. If you are missing something, then I am missing the exact same thing.

This does not sound like what "cloud" is always described as to me. This appears to be a layer of virtualisation over some server resource that you still buy piecemeal, that results in it failing more often than if you just bought some servers.

The requirement for (and lack of in most cases) software/system that can get over things failing by itself is one of the reasons the little guys are invited to put their stuff in the cloud I thought. The cloud handles the outages by shuffling stuff around as needed. Not so it seems, although admitted I speak without much knowledge or experience.

No sense IMHO. Also explains why mysqueezebox.com has been so flaky in recent weeks even though it's "in the cloud"

1
1

NHS Trust ditches in-house servers, chucks 15TB into the cloud

tin 2
FAIL

NHS is one of the organisations that big and ugly enough to roll their own "cloud" (= shared) services in house, rather than outsourcing to companies that - as rightly pointed out in these comments - need the same equipment and staff to provide the service AND make a healthy looking profit on top.

Why people in charge of NHS stuff - particularly Informatics Merseyside if they look after 9 trusts - don't understand and get the balls required to roll their own, free of any profits required to be made.

After all it sounds like SCC are offering the extremely complicated service of 15tb worth of disk space.

1
0

Just bought an Apple product? Need support NOW? Drop an F-BOMB

tin 2
FAIL

These voice recgonition things are shit

I recently had the displeasure of using Virgin Credit Card's one, that to my surprise could understand perfectly all the complicated stuff I said, aside from the word "yes" when it asked for confirmation that it had understood.. No options to back out of the system either, or even - blindingly obvious I would have thought - provide the option to type numbers instead, or "press 1 to confirm".

BT's genius implementation on 152 is great as well. "I'd like to report a fault on an ISDN line" is not within it's vocabulary, and it repeatedly insists that you must say something it understands. I always end up with it completely misunderstanding me, then apologising to whoever I do get through to, who usually punts me in the right direction.

I had a training course recently where some crazy fool said these things are the future of callcentres. Only if clueless implementation managers fall for the emperors new clothes big sell from Massive Telephone Services Company Limited. People have been doing voice recognition for years and it will just never ever work at anything like an acceptable rate, until we start reaching technology that gets near emulating however the brain does it.

How about actually training and looking after some people that can speak and understand English, and can comprehend and deal quickly with multiple types of user problem, so they can get the customer off the (freefone?) telephone lines ASAP, with them satisfied and hopefully therefore a returning customer who will go out to the world and extol the virtues of the great service they just received?

They'd additionally save the cost of all the voice recognition snake oil system that no doubt piss off a slice of their customer base so badly that they go elsewhere and usually require a new and better one be bought every 2 years or so because they failed to meet expectation.

Or am I missing something?

3
0

Power to the people - if you can find a spare socket

tin 2

What offices do you work in?

Every office I've ever worked in, and a lot of the datacentres too, have 4 gang plugged into 4 gang plugged into 4 gang on and on, regardless of if they were fancy new ones or re-purposed sheds. People hope that the IT equipment plugged in means never reaching anything near 13 amps (actually I'm not sure they even consider it)

0
0

Credit insurance: The hidden data-driven force which killed Comet

tin 2

BUT

If it makes sense for companies to always pay as late as they can, while they make millions of £ a year in good times and *could* afford to re-arrange their business so that they *could* pay in advance if they wanted to - does it not make sense for them to arrange their business and finances such that they become their own credit insurer? Then - apart from they have a big pile of cash they can't do anything with - their credit insurance suddenly starts costing them zero, but more importantly their credit insurer can't suddenly run off into the night screaming.

1
0

Apple 'less innovative' at laptops than Lenovo

tin 2

One thing missing surely

Apples whatever-it-is has OSX and everyone else's has Windows. Surely for a lot of the population (those that aren't hardware geek/snobs) that's the bit they're bothered about?

Say I'm desperate for something that runs OSX, I'm not going to buy a Lenovo because the hardware is either cheaper or more innovative.

4
0

Angry Birds Star Wars game review

tin 2

@stig2k yep - I'm definitely no star wars geek, but I did notice that too - made me smile :)

0
0

Windows 8: An awful lot of change for a single release

tin 2
WTF?

O RLY?

Windows? Pre-emptive multitasking? Do me a favour! Maybe for the process that draws the mouse pointer but that is all.

0
0

Amazon's Virginia cloud data center knocked out – again

tin 2
FAIL

Cloud == resilient, no? If someone's made a "cloud" that is (perhaps optionally) not - resilient, that's not what people are thinking of when someone says "cloud" right?

0
0

Amazon accused of remotely wiping punter's Kindle

tin 2

The difference is IRL someone goes "I did not and here's why, what's your problem?" and conversation ensues. With Amazon (and Paypal IME, and undoubtedly others) one goes "I did not and here's why" and a nonsensical inapplicable canned response comes back. You then repeat several times and give up.

That they control all your stuff unequivocally and you need them to listen, understand and agree with you to get your stuff back is the problem when the customer service is like this.

While it's certainly an inconvenience, I'd agree with a number of comments on here - do the credit card chargeback.

I'm intrigued by the talk of T&Cs on here. Can ANYONE honestly tell me that you've read, fully understood, digested and then genuinely agreed with the entirely of the T&Cs on Kindle or anything else for that matter. If the percentage of people that read/understood/digested/agreed with these "agreements" is near zero, can they really apply? When does the definition of "agree" get properly considered?

0
0

IBM slices UK GTS contractor rates

tin 2

Ohhh yes. What Pete 2 said.

0
0

OCZ chief dashes as flash cash stash bashed

tin 2
FAIL

Gotta totally agree on the Vertex 2 point. Perhaps they guy jumped before the class action? Personally going nowhere near OCZ ever again.

0
0

Viewsonic 22in Android 'tablet' hands-on review

tin 2
Thumb Up

want

cracking idea, i'll take 30 of em immediately - if you put a sim slot in it, and it does have a battery.... hmmm.

0
0

Internet Explorer needs fresh dev infusion for a full recovery

tin 2
Mushroom

Haha, anyone who genuinely is thinking they'll use or develop for IE because the new versions are "better", have been fooled at least twice.

IE, MSs "extensions" - and by association those developers that were sucked in by them - are the reason there are corporates and public organisations up and down the country are absolutely stuck with IE 6 or 7 because they are needed to run their ageing expensive to replace web based systems, while also getting bleated at by their users because the new stuff they're buying (and/or youtube etc) are demanding that something new is installed instead.

An undoubtedly huge number of developers and users got locked in and then abandoned by MS. Why would you risk unblinkingly walking into that again!?

1
0

Want a Windows 8 Start Button? Open source to the rescue!

tin 2

Love it, we have a hack to bring back the 2nd* most rediculous UI design feature ever (squish every function of the computer into one button)

*it was pushed back into 2nd place by the monster tab (ribbon)

2
1

Everything Everywhere flogs 4G hand-me-downs to Three

tin 2
FAIL

3G doesn't work reliably. Coverage is patchy on all networks, and data rates when you supposedly do have a signal are far too often zero. Handover between the technologies fails frequently. The kicker is, use a 2G phone and mobile phones are suddenly a reliable technology again (aside from on Three of course). Why are we at all hopeful that 4G is going to be any better?

0
0

AT&T to mothball 2G network by 2017

tin 2
FAIL

re: Smart move

It's a smart move if 3G works. In my experience it doesn't on an extremely regular basis. Let's hope it works better in AT&T land than any of the UK networks (I've now tried them all!).

That said, we'll get to know because if it's as bad as I think it will be, then pretty much everyone will cancel their service. I'm pretty certain 2G is seriously propping up sales of 3G in this country.

0
0

Airline leaves customer on hold for 15 hours

tin 2
FAIL

@Lee Dowling - totally spot on!

I have no idea why it hasn't clicked with any of these companies that having someone on the end of the phone fully trained, bothered what people are phoning for, and having all the possible systems at their disposal for getting a result is much cheaper than filling call centres full of clueless, powerless morons, and pissing the customers off both waiting for them and dealing with the buffoonery once they get through.

I've had experiences much the same as yours with BT, Sky, O2, Orange (who unbelievably told me they "didn't have the time" to deal with an overcharge!), Talkmobile, Fujifilm (who's callcentre closed while I was holding) and loads more that I probably should be glad I forgot about.

To go on another slant, I have worked closely with callcentre "system admins" on a number of occasions (but never as one). The lack of thought into the design never ceases to amaze. It seems the simplicity of administration of such systems - or should I say the perceived simplicity - fosters the idea that anyone can write a callhandling script. They actually get really complicated really fast - particularly in a multiskill environment. Try telling a caller to one line what caller number they are when there could be a call to a higher priority line any second. That's probably the main reason why most callcentres don't do it. People get told they're called number 2, then suddenly they're caller number 5.

The main problems I keep coming across are (1 - mentioned several times above) what happens when a call centre closes while you're in the queue. The easy answer is that the lines close but the agents don't go home until all the calls are answered. Of course all the agents are on strict fixed hours and are treated like disposable shit, so go home immediately. and (2) Monitoring. Nobody usually has a clue what's going on in the callcentre, wallboards if they're present are usually based on the known, rather than the exception - e.g. some caller being punted off to some unmanned queue somewhere for 16 hours, and reporting tools are pretty much universally a work of fiction, even in the rare cases they are configured correctly. Tiger billing, Cisco webview for examples just punt out a load of stats that really do mean sod all. Management love them though...

0
0

Gobble gabblers: 'Seagate will put up $1 BEEELION for OCZ'

tin 2
FAIL

Will do wonders for Seagate's reputation for reliability!

0
0

EA unplugs Rock Band for iOS

tin 2

I hope everyone who downloaded it demands a refund from Apple. Disgrace.

5
2

Dabs warns staff: Your roles are 'at risk of redundancy'

tin 2
FAIL

Incompetent Dabs?

Indeed. In their great customer database migration of April 2011-ish my account disappeared. I've emailed and rung (0870, 30 min+ wait) several times, because not only can I not order anything, I can't retrieve old invoices. After my emails in April, and their apologies for not sorting it quicker, we emailed back and forth until August with them ignoring most of the requests, at which point I gave up. Seems they don't even need customers like me. BT have cocked up what was a pretty decent place to buy from.

1
0

Metro breakdown! Windows 8 UI is little gain for lots of pain

tin 2

The 'we know best' crowd have been in charge at Microsoft for several years now.

Indeed. Starting with the ribbon and windows 7, although it was creeping in even at XP. Menus? You can't have them, things that look like menus but are buttons - have some of that. Where's the print option? sorry we hid it under the "everything else" button. Start menu where all your programs are there in one view in the order you knew they were yesterday? Not any more. Quicklaunch? no you don't need that either. Programs on the taskbar in the order you opened them? no chance.

These things that have gone missing were all put in because at the time they were a good idea. Why is it then a good idea to remove them and - critically - not put an option back in to restore them? All win 7 (and win 8 by the looks of this article) need is a "GUI works like XP" option surely? Winners all round, those that like new stuff get metro, those that just want to get on with stuff but on a newer (better?) OS get something that works and looks like XP.

Actually what am I talking about? MS have been doing this for years, like mashing every single function of your PC down into one button in the very bottom left of your screen, while leaving the entire rest of the screen estate to a glorified file manager. Oh and disabling ctrl-alt-delete for the purposes it was meant.

7
0

Samsung hauls Apple into court over emoticon patent :-(

tin 2
FAIL

There's no way...

...that the disputes only, or mainly, enrich the lawyers, or the companies with the patents wouldn't bother using the services of the lawyers to defend them. Companies aren't stupid, in the main they know a lose-lose situation when they see one.

0
0

Virtual server farm goes titsup TWICE in a month

tin 2
FAIL

99.99%

SLAs are pretty much always like this. We'll give you a tiny amount of money back, and cap it at a slightly less tiny amount of money, should it go completely pear shaped and the 5 nines run off into the distance screaming. In this case, if you notified Fasthosts that your service was down, you'll get a whole month service credit. Wow. I've seen much bigger services that offer pretty much the same - here, massive company, we'll give you a day's service credit in return for your day of lost trading.

Although I do agree in this instance that expecting events of this nature never happening on such a cheap service is foolish. If your service was business critical you implemented a standby on another provider didn't you?

That said, like "unlimited" broadband, the practice should be stopped. 99.99% guarantees should only be made by those that guarantee it, not with a big asterisk next to it linking to a passage offering something quite different. In this case 99.99% uptime will have been added to Fasthosts webpage because, like unlimited broadband, that's what everyone else was offering, and they were losing customers by not doing so.

0
0

O2 smears 4G trial over capital

tin 2

3g indeed

Definitely would have been nice for them to do SOME work on their 3g network first. In Chester (I believe considered a tiny outback hamlet where one should not expect a signal) 3G sometimes works, but when it does, it appears the mobile phone kit backhauls to o2's internet backbone via 2400 baud modem.

No 3G for the vast majority of the length of the m6, and where I work it appears to flick on and off randomly - dropping most if not all calls at some point during the conversation.

0
0

Another reason to jail-break your iPhone 4: You can get Siri

tin 2

Don't bother

Siri is unfortunately rubbish. It can't understand most of the time, is impossible to cancel once it's decided you said something you didn't say and is about to text random jibberish to your mother, and often just sits there sulking after it misunderstood you. Requiring you to press buttons, that you were supposed to be avoiding by using Siri.

Maybe it's just the way I talk but I haven't even been able to get anywhere near what Tim Cook demoed at the release.

5
3

RIM: 'Faulty switch took out faulty-switch-proof network'

tin 2

Absolutely nothing wrong with....

....HP procurve switches!

They are impressively thought out pieces of kit, speaking as a reasonably long-time Cisco-only engineer recently been forced to make use of them. Of course, they're designed down to a cost to do a specific job but if they're being used for the wrong thing that's not HP's fault.

Regard BB - I am incredulous that "a switch" could cause this. Long time ago I took over a network that you could genuinely turn bits off as you pleased and users would not notice. DR testing could be done whenever and at will. Granted to see something so well designed, elegant and testable is rare, but RIM, especially the bigger they got, could afford to do such a thing. Particularly as their reputation would take a beating should it be down for any considerable time.

I've said before on the reg that infrastructure redundancy protocols seem to throw a paddy more often than the actual hardware fails, so code and protocol should be designed to failover at it's level at least. For everything to need to go through one "thing" even if that thing has several hot-standby devices ready and waiting is asking for trouble. Often as an implementer that is hard to design around but when you control the client and server code it should be a piece of cake.

2
0

BlackBerry BBM, email offline AGAIN

tin 2
FAIL

No resilience, no service status updates. Denial of at least the extent of the problem. On probably one of the biggest "cloud" services out there. And people still falling over themselves to not have their stuff on their own tin in their own rooms?

0
0

Panasonic DMR-HW100 HDD DVR

tin 2
FAIL

EPG Ads

Good on ya for knocking the points off, but could you make it more like 100 points next time? -15 is surely a score to make people sit up and take notice.

3
0

Bank of America website disrupted for 4th day in a row

tin 2
WTF?

Thanks for your patience?!?!?

The words you are looking for, BOA, are "we apologise for the inconvenience". Your customer's patience is not on offer, nor should you be presuming you can take it, and certainly not thanking them for it when you do!!

0
0

PayPal's 'delightful' intrusion into meatspace: You wish

tin 2
FAIL

I use PayPal all the time, several times a week pretty much. Always in the solid knowledge that at some point I will get ripped off. PayPal will facilitate that ripping off, and not assist me in getting the matter sorted.

I am sure that as people can already buy stuff in the high street knowing that they are pretty well protected from getting ripped off. PayPal will not be able to compete.

2
0

Microsoft gives glimpse of Windows Server 8

tin 2
FAIL

"private cloud computing"

That'll be a bunch of privately owned servers connected by a network then?

1
0

Nokia unveils Contractual Obligation Meego Phone

tin 2
FAIL

Typical Nokia

I really like the look of the phone - kind of an iPhone cross iPod nano 2g mashup. For some reason my interest is piqued. I hit up the link in the article. Presumably it has been checked, or even cut-n-pasted from the URL bar of someone actually visiting the page at the time.

"OOPS It looks like the page you're trying to find isn't available"

so I stuck N9 in the search box, and got a nice bold this-is-definitely-what-youre-looking-for type search result at the top of the list. Hit that link and "OOPS It looks like the page you're trying to find isn't available" WHAT? from your OWN search engine?!

VERY VERY typical of Nokia. I saw many of these pages when I was trying to sort out my CWM subscription, which also aptly demonstrated that Nokia employ a bunch of morons in their support function. CWM/Ovi music (pretty much the only bit of Nokia I have interacted with in recent years) displays popup windows full of jibberish and locks up until I pay attention to it, and has old-school fat client software that actually gets buggier and slower with each new release. Their support site is full of these kind of 404s or links for detailed information that plonk you back to the most generic of FAQ index pages.

Bumbling idiots can mash a working website together these days, it's a pretty well established art. If Nokia can't manage it, my confidence they can manage much else is severely dinted.

0
0

Nokia E6 smartphone

tin 2

Rediculous

A business phone where it's difficult to always successfully answer a call?

Score: 0%

2
1

When tuning the server, don't forget the network

tin 2

Maybe it's just the networks I deal with but...

... I have never yet been to a place where the LAN traffic even tickles the network capacity. "Network" (which IME usually equals server and PC) admins nearly always believe the network is slow, when in fact the servers can't get data onto their own wire at anywhere near wire speed for whatever reason. Then of course the vendors pop in and convince the customer they need some new 10gbps stuff. Definitely rule #1 is to actually have a good period of proper granular monitoring to see how full the links are before pointing the finger. Of course, what I deal with may be tin-pot, but I'm getting more and more surprised I've not yet come across an over-taxed network.

1
0

Software bugs block O2 PlayStation phone release

tin 2
FAIL

and that was be O2's testing team?

the same people that passed the C905 to give to customers? In that case the PS phone must be really really really bad!

0
0

iOS 4.2: An 'ace' for iPad, a 'meh' for iPhone

tin 2

Wow, do you want to add "opinion" to the top of this article?

What looks like it's supposed to be a review laden to the gills with sniping. Ask someone fairly neutral to write these things in future please?

2
6

BBC One HD to go live tonight

tin 2

@ChrisC and @CADmonkey

@ChrisC

Absolutely, I've got a relatively small 32" panasonic TV (with adverts) that IMHO has one of the best processing engines for handling the state of the freeview signal coming in, and sit a good distance away from it, yet the picture is still a disaster most of the time. From blocking in anything fast moving, to MPEG artefacts and redy brek outlines around people, to floaty corruption even displayed in otherwise static graphics, the results of a poor compression method and lack of bandwidth - rather than a lack of resolution - are clear.

I used to hold that Sky were pushing the SD bandwidth because the majority of people don't really notice or care, but then they started flogging HD on the quality of the image. Freeview and Virgin appear to have also adopted a similar standard of SD quality. So maybe they all made SD so poor that HD becomes a quantum leap in quality and therefore a desirable product.

@CADmonkey

I think you might have misread my post - I've got HD and indeed have not rejected it, but am making the observation that IF it was as visibly compressed as the SD we get (which it isn't) then it WOULD be rejected. I agree with you about 3D but not about the content (my PVR is full of stuff I would like to watch given the time) but that's going off the subject at hand.

However I'm sure either your CRT is out of focus, or you have poor eyesight - digital, on any domestic platform, viewed via any type of TV is visibly compressed to hell with all the artifiacts that brings. I can see it very easily on an old 14" Philips PAL monitor, which is gutting because off-air PAL used to look genuinely astounding on it.

Personally I find the sharpness of HD TV given the right programme, PS3 and BluRays all quite stunning, but the poor quality SD we get fed with these days pronounces the effect.

0
0
tin 2

Upscaler?

The BBCs upscaler will be processing a decent full quality SD source, while your average TV generally has to try and make something nice out of a nasty digital rendition of what the picture was supposed to look like before it was squeezed over the air. Their good quality upscaled version will then be sent over the bandwidth of a HD channel, which not only is greater due to the resolution of the picture, but also relatively more because people would reject HD if it had the noise and artifacts that are the accepted norm for SD.

Straightforward normal 576 lines PAL actually looks a hell of a lot better than we're now used to thinking SD actually does, so I'm certain even the upscaled material will look much better than as seen on BBC1 SD.

2
0

Tesco touts Samsung Android tablet

tin 2
FAIL

Although if it's also being sold for 1058 clubcard points....

.... then you get one free with every £50-ish quids worth of shopping! Bargain. (I know BTW)

0
0

OFT waves through Sky's Virgin TV slurp

tin 2

How does this business model work?

Create monopoly, charge people whatever you like, eradicate all competition, maintain monopoly, continue to charge people whatever you like.

1
0

Panasonic DMR-BW880 HD DVR

tin 2

Adverts!

Glad the ads are getting high profile at last! Since when does expensive kit legitimately come with more ads? Unfortunately it seems most buyers don't know until it's too late (including me) - so the more publicity the better.

I wrote to them too, they an absolute eternity to reply, and said they won't be doing anything to remove them. They also gave some BS about moving to the new platform in the UK. Who knows why, my old panny telly has a perfectly functioning freeview EPG that looks almost exactly the same, except without the ads.

And yeah, what does happen when GuidePlus throws in the towel like the 4TV EPG just did?

Definitely marked down to 0% - if not lower. Go out and buy absolutely anything that doesn't have a Panasonic label on it.

2
0

Dell in late payment Hall of Shame

tin 2
Thumb Up

Dell = Kwik Save

Aha, so Dell use the Kwik Save model of business. That worked well....

1
0

BT expands fibre rollout

tin 2

LOL

Improved customer service! that bit's just not true.

2
0

Panasonic Viera TX-P46G20 46in plasma TV

tin 2
FAIL

Adverts

Despite there being a shot of it - no mention of and subsequent markdown for the advertising in the freeview EPG (I'm guessing the freesat EPG lacks them). I seethe with fury every time I press the guide button that Panasonic deemed my purchase suitable for displaying their unsolicited, flashing shitty adverts at me and I have no way to opt out. Free sites on the Internet - fair enough, £1300 telly - taking the piss. Notably advertising in the EPG is otherwise the sole domain of cheapo freeview boxes that have had dubious firmware updates quite some time after purchase.

Panasonic's newer advert-laden EPG is also slower, crashier and, ridiculously since 1080p became the norm, has less actual EPG space in it than what they used to have, which looks exactly the same, aside from the ads and Radio Times logo.

I love(d) Panasonic sets - especially as most things content still being blocky horrid compressed mpeg-artifacty SD they have the best processing to make as much of that disappear as possible. I just want to punch the face of whichever clown in Panasonic decided they could use my telly as their own personal billboard every time I forget and press the guide button to check what's on.

Panasonic - if you want to advertise on TV - pay ITV or Sky some money like everyone else has to.

6
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018