* Posts by Paul 14

12 posts • joined 8 Nov 2011

AI snatches jobs from DJs and warehouse workers, plus OpenAI and PyTorch sittin' in a tree, AI, AI, AI for you and me

Paul 14

I thought most radio had already been automated for at least 20 years? No need for "AI", RCS Selector has been controlling playlists since the early 90s.

Listen up you bunch of bankers. Here are some pointers for less crap IT

Paul 14

Legacy still all over the place

Barclays claim they've ditched all their legacy but still need 20,000 IT staff for their new world cloudiness?? Sounds like BS to me.

These banks are awash with legacy tech in every nook and cranny; the fact that execs might really believe it's all new, shiny and cloudy is terrifying. Especially when they decide to slash their headcount without any grasp of the real legacy stuff these people are maintaining. Sticking legacy apps with waterfall update cycles in EC2 doesn't make them any less legacy! If you're not doing full software defined infrastructure with CI/CD delivered apps, you're doing legacy.

Personally I reckon it's worth splitting your money across multiple banks and putting at least some in Starling, Monzo etc - I think in terms of banking IT failures the worst is yet to come, and it won't come from the new kids who are doing cloud native and know how to do it resiliently.

HMRC accused of not understanding its own IR35 tax reforms ahead of private sector rollout

Paul 14

Can someone explain, as this has always confused me, what is the point of IR-35, other than to make sure that ordinary people can't take advantage of the same tax arrangements enjoyed by large corporates?

Overhyped 5G is being 'rushed', Britain's top comms boffin reckons

Paul 14

Re: Marketing BS >>> Technological Reality

Some points in response -

1) 5G has been designed as suitable for mm bands, yes, but ultimately like 4G it will be rolled out to all mobile bands. 5G at 800MHz will for example be very nice for rural locations, and could actually remove the need for expensive rural fibre infrastructure.

2) Unlike 4G, 5G incorporates a whole new radio transmit/receive architecture making more of bandwidth at any frequency.

3) 5G is designed to operate in tandem with 4G to increase bandwidth. A likely scenario is a handset outdoors using 4G at lower frequencies to transmit, whilst using both the 4G and 5G at higher frequencies to receive, this providing greater bandwidth to the individual and more capacity overall. This way, moving about, passing trucks etc will simply affect the bandwidth you're getting, not the whole signal.

4) Notwithstanding the above,. the most compelling case for 5G today is indeed to provide capacity in cities where 4G is saturated, not to provide extra features for the marketing department.

5) Further into the future, 5G is likely to displace wi-fi and broadcast signals, as more devices (TVs, Radios, Consoles, IoT, smart speakers etc) are shipped with embedded 5G. It is quite feasible for example that a 5G smart TV could be rigged up to an existing TV antenna and get oodles of mm wave bandwidth.

6) Wi-fi is saturated in cities and home 5G picocells connected to home broadband are a likely evolution. There's also a particular consumer advantage if new connected devices can operate "out of the box" without the need for local wi-fi configuration.

Paul 14

Re: Well then

What do you think happens to the old 2G/3G/4G infrastructure when it's replaced in places like the UK? Seriously, it goes to places like Africa and India.

Smartphones are massive in areas, especially in Africa, without any traditional broadcast or telecoms infrastructure. These people have never had a TV; a smartphone is a revolution for them. No need to develop anything else.

Fed up with cloud giants ripping off its database, MongoDB forks new 'open-source license'

Paul 14

shareback not cashback

An intent to get cloud providers to share back mods and enhancements is positive. However, an intent to strongarm cloud providers or anyone else into coughing up cash is a disingenuous use of OSS. If you want to sell software, keep it closed source proprietary and sell it; OSS should not be used as a gimmick for financial gain, however big and wealthy the targets are. It corrupts the whole concept.

Microsoft's magic hurts: Nadella signals 'tough choices' on the way

Paul 14

Re: WinPho not doing better than before?

"Picking up" but a long way from the radical impact they need to have to get profitable. Trouble is, the market is incredibly competitive, apps are the differentiator between smartphone operating systems and app developers aren't seeing the value in developing a third version of their apps for a platform with under 10% market share. So MS have to discount heavily to shift the product and in the process lose all their margins.

WinPho is becoming the betamax of smartphones.

Over 50? Out of work? Watch out because IT is about to eat itself

Paul 14

Age discrimination in recruitment is now illegal...

Age is defined as a "protected characteristic" like race or gender. So if you have a real case against a prospective employer, pursue it.

The market is really hot for the right skills - but everyone hiring is doing rigorous testing to make sure you have the skills they need. I suspect the skills mismatch, rather than age, is the real reason these guys aren't getting hired.

Are companies more interested in skills than experience? Yes they are. This is technology, things are developing rapidly, you can have oodles of experience but out of date skills very easily.

Are they discriminating purely on age? I really doubt it, but if they are, take 'em to court over it.

Paul 14

Re: There's a reason your friend can't find a job

Management isn't the same as technical leadership or mentoring. Some people do manage to do both, but most of the time a good manager isn't a good technical leader and vice versa.

Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

Paul 14

What a load of BS

IP multicast is a layer 3 protocol; it has zero impact on the usage of radio spectrum. Sorry.

Paul 14

Wireless bandwidth is a limited resource...

Every time someone alludes that IP is a workable approach for wide area wireless broadcast, I find myself thinking it through and reaching the conclusion that it will never quite get there. The supposition that new technology will *always* be able to leverage more data transit out of existing spectrum has to be false. At some point we will reach critical mass and the spectrum will be saturated.

Therefore it makes sense to use a wide area broadcast technology for data-intensive applications where large numbers of mobile end points moving within a reasonable geographical area wish to receive the same data at the same time. Otherwise we're wasting away spectrum sending the same thing over and over simultaneously. IP multicast doesn't solve this because we're not talking about layer 3 networking, we're talking about mobile/cell layer comms protocols which are explicitly designed around single handset-to-cellsite channels.

IP works for TV services because most viewing is done at home, where wired broadband and local area wi-fi make the bandwidth issue less of a problem.

Is DAB/DAB+/DMB the "right" solution? I don't know; it's true that original DAB is a bit crap, but if maybe you ditch the audio codec - and almost all chipsets, and most sets, being manufactured today also include DAB+ and DMB support. DMB is big in Korea for TV, which gives it some momentum. With the right TX network, mobile reception is better optimised than anything else, including the closest rival, DVB-H.

My main problem with the current status quo is not the underlying technology itself, but rather that its controlled by the radio industry and regulated as radio (audio broadcasting) spectrum. If we go back to what the point is, technically, it's -

"...data-intensive applications where large numbers of mobile end points moving within a reasonable geographical area wish to receive the same data at the same time"

- how much radio industry content really fits that criteria? Live sport, news, stock prices, public events - yes. Automated repetitive middle of the road music playlists with DJs reading liner cards and wall to wall ads, no. A commercial radio station would probably be more bandwidth efficient by letting receivers cache the playlist and ads locally and sending the links - if they're even needed to provide a semblance of live radio - over IP.

So if you leave the radio crowd, and the audio codec, out of the picture, DAB/+/DMB actually gives you the basis of a "Broadcast IP" technology which could feed everyone real time sports, news, weather and finance content, either as audio, video, text and pictures or just metadata to feed apps.

Maybe this isn't quite so bonkers after all.

Best Buy UK spent £200m on failed megastores

Paul 14

Their main downfall seems to have been massive assumptions about their brand awareness in the UK - yes, people who've lived in the US or are particularly switched on knew about Best Buy, but most of the population drove past the signage thinking "Best Buy? I've no idea what they sell".


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