In other news
Would somebody care to speculate how on earth TechCrunch (linked at bottom of article) thinks their cookie opt-out is in any way GDPR compliant?
124 posts • joined 10 Mar 2011
If you are an avid reader of Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs column you'll know that it's not council officers who are getting in trouble for poor network hygiene, but the councillors themselves. You can well imagine that the average councillor is not very literate technically, gets given a council device, and has the opportunity to visit the darker parts of the internet they wouldn't dare visit at home lest their husband/wife found out.
First Direct's mobile banking app doesn't work for me unless on Wifi - telling me I haven't got an internet connection when I blatantly have.
Have talked to customer services who have no idea why it's happening, and all they can suggest is reinstalling it - which entails sending out two security codes by mail under separate cover.
Modern banking platform, running a micro-service architecture on a private cloud on commodity hardware, likely in others' high availability data centre in an active-active configuration, and employing industry standard middle-ware that its easy to hire staff to operate OR
The traditional mode o banking IT of shelling out every 10 years for the next generation of IBM mainframe because it can run running creaking code, quite possibly dating from the 60's, and in COBOL; staffing this operation is a significant risk in its own right and change takes literally years (Ask RBS about this).
I reckon TSB is in a much better place long-term than the other major banking groups who are working out who how on earth they're getting off their legacy systems. The appetite for a radical re-platforming is much reduced.
Much talk of building their own challenger banks from scratch (or most likely, with more expensive IBM middleware) and migrating customers slowly. Several of these start-up incubators are in the Old Street area in London - strangely enough just down the road from Monzo :)
I understand that when Lloyds and TSB merged, they merged onto TSB's IT platform. Which Lloyds is now left with ;)
I strongly suspect the reason for ME was the highly specialist kit that is attached to the systems. The ability to write to memory-mapped IO from user-space used to be a convenient shortcut for developers - avoiding the need to write device drivers (or possibly having to write them in order to port to a newer version of Windows). ME was the last version of Windows where this was possible.
Often not mentioned - but one killer application of Mac Minis is as build servers.
If you're building iOS applications and using CI (and many are), you have no choice but to use a Mac as a build machine. Laptops and iMacs don't stack up well in rack cabinets. All those ports are also useful for attaching a load of extra storage.
Multi-layer PCBs have power and ground planes - entire layers that are pretty much entirely metalled with copper. Quite some heat capacity there. This answers the question elsewhere about where the power comes from - directly underneath through a via.
In fact, embedding a device into the middle layers of a PCB is genius - likely to evade optical inspection.
Even though the calls original from abroad, the human on the other end of the line is usually somebody with a British or Scottish accent - quite likely a British citizen. They all know full well that what they are doing is illegal (and if they don't, they'll fairly quickly find out after a few calls). Let's working in a boiler-room illegal too.
The government has already been pursuing a 'one card to rule them all' solution for about a decade. It's called ITSO.
It's been designed by committee and is obsolete before it's even hit prime-time.
It's found some use for concessionary fares on buses, and, in theory will be rolled out across rail franchises - although the franchisees aren't terrible keen.
The DfT has paid TfL quite a bit of money to make the Oyster infrastructure compatible with ITSO. It's worth noting here that Oyster is firstly commercially successful and handles *way* more transactions than ITSO does - or is likely to.
The real killer reason why TfL won't be switching is said to be that the transaction time on an ITSO card it really long - far longer than for Oyster. Not so much touch your card, but hold it there on the reader for quite a long time. If everyone used ITSO on the underground, gate-lines would suddenly have enormous queues behind them and stations would close due to overcrowding.
That their website was totally hosed as well at one point (outright refusing connections), and that they don't have network status page is piss-poor.
Achieving a robust network status page is not hard: static content on a cloud service such as AWS, with a different domain name (just in case somebody forgets to renew the domain name, or an attack of DNS poisoning).
Out of interest, I wonder how much the Police pay (all-up) for a desktop computer? Reports in the media this week suggest that the cost of provisioning one at a local council ran into 5 figures.
Naturally, the cost of the physical goods is only a small part of the TCO.
It's also fairly apparent, the a large part of this budget will have gone on providing the back-end services and applications that will be used on the tablets - which will be amortised over a larger roll-out.
MAP - or retail price maintenance - is thoroughly illegal across the EU on most goods (there are a few exceptions such as magazines and newspapers, and books - but definitely not electronics goods), and the penalties are eye-watering.
I suspect the similarity in pricing on electronics goods is mostly down to the wafer-thin margins.
If you calculate the all-up cost over the length of the - and I did for my last two iPhone purchases - you'll find that the network subsidy is considerably cheaper than buying the phone outright and then finding a SIM only package. Furthermore, the SIM only packages with equivalent data to the iPhone packages aren't terribly cheap either. Seems the networks are far more interested in losing money on subsidies and having locked-in customers than flighty ones on SIM only packages.
The software on these terminals is laughably dated too (as well has having appalling usability). Yet supermarkets are still buying more of the same old crap.
Presumably the other thing that will change with the discontinuation of Windows XP is MS supplied drivers for new hardware - there will come a time when XP just can't run on modern PCs.
You'd be very wrong about this. Large businesses prefer to be, you know, running their business rather than building computers. They are quite happy paying extra for premium hardware and premium support so that downtime due to failures gets sorted out quickly. It's a small part of the total cost of ownership of a computer.
It's worth pointing out that the Dell XPS range was a pro-sumer product aimed at the gaming market . Dell even managed to ship these around the time of Windows Vista's release without working graphics drivers.
One hopes that Dell actually properly integration tests the premium models targeted at medium and large enterprises
The open source movement fails frequently to understand that software has non tangibles, such as design and usability. It's rare that the OS even stops to think that their users might not be particularly like them, or even care. Instead there's a lot of naval gazing.
We note that the company that has probably sold 100 times more UNIX systems than anybody else - and to regular consumers - is really big on things such as UXD and design - and leverages vast amounts of Open Source software licensed under non-GPL licenses. They've had a large part in rendering thoroughly obsolete, the FSF's first software release: GCC.
And a huge omission:
* Image signal processing subsystem.
This last one being a really large lump of IP that differentiates the good phone vendors from the rest.
I can tell you, having had access to the full documentation (under NDA) of a particular SoC used in phones, you still don't get any documentation on the ISP or GPU.
As has been pointed out elsewhere, the roll-out is complex. Not something a mom-and-pop local company is going to able to achieve, and seems to have been the expectation from some quarters.
I also wonder whether any of the other (in most cases, non-existent) competitors were obliged to offer the the fibre wholesale to ISPs or would they have simply got a monopoly for service provision over the fibre? If they were, this might explain the business being attractive.
As it stands, BT at least knows what it's doing, is doing it fairly quickly and provides a wholesale product at a regulated price once done.
They are documented - often in great detail. But the documentation is frequently under NDA, and most of the code is contributed by the SoC vendors.
The Linux Kernel mainline is very, very far from being the mainline for any ARM SoCs anyway, all Linus will achieve is more forking.
The USP of MoS compilations was more accessibility: at one time, many of the tracks would have been vinyl only, and possibly available in very limited quantities.
Now the original artists are quids-in as they're getting remunerated for their plays whereas MoS is getting nothing.
The green lobby is frequently either ignorant or conveniently forgets about base-load.
Nuclear is great for base-load whereas Solar and Wind energy are never going to be suitable.
What nuclear and coal or bio-mass fire thermal plants are not good at is responding quickly to peak demand. So it's going to have to be CCGT for this. And the network is going to need nearly as much capacity from these plants as it has from intermittent renewables.. Plants which will spend much of their life idle.
If we started refusing to do businesses (e.g. CSC's clients) who offshore their back-end IT and customer services jobs things might change.
For starters - here are two:
Barclays: Telephone banking mostly operated out of India (and have proved themselves to be less that useful on several occasions now)
3: Just about all customer support roles are based in India.
There is also a trend for off-shoring in local government - many of which in London get extra money from the central government because they are a deprived area and then outsource their customer facing roles elsewhere.
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