* Posts by RichardB

233 posts • joined 29 Nov 2006

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So your client's under-spent on IT for decades and lives in fear of an audit

RichardB

Re: Wait what?

Repeated underspend --> massive overspend

If you've ever worked in a place that has curiously aligned budgeting channels, you would see this often.

The 'project' gets the budget, so they get to define what they get. So off they go to acquire a bunch of servers, database platforms, bi solutions and whatnot. All the smallest they can get away with, and all earmarked for that one project.

Next project comes along, does the same thing. Then of course there's a 3rd project to 'integrate' the first 2. All with their own little boxed off gear.

Repeat for 50 or a 1000 big projects over the course of a few years and you've suddenly got multiple different versions and editions of the same platforms chewing through electricity. All being patched, repaired, maintained, monitored with the associated costs. And all sitting using 7-10% cpu, of which at least 6% is just alerting, antivirus and endpoint monitoring solutions laid over the top.

Maybe you'll find some of them are so old they are out of support, but you cannot upgrade them because the software vendor is out of business or simply don't support anything newer than the last decade. The hardware by now for some of these project servers is probably dual or quad cores, any rational admin would consolidate onto modern hardware and updated gear - but you can't because it's only the _project_ that gets the budget - IT is a cost center after all...

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Cloudflare goes berserk on next-gen patent troll, vows to utterly destroy it using prior-art bounties

RichardB

$50k?

They are chucking $50k at this in bounties?

So, taking it seriously then..?

What's $50k these days, 2 hours of legal fees?

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Capita's huge role in UK government should go under the spotlight

RichardB

Re: TV Licenses

Nearly as bad as that evil pricing strategy at Burger Joints on the high street, where a rich single man with income to spare pays the same for a burger and fries as a poor single mum with 6 children to feed with on a pittance.

outrage I tell you.

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How would you pronounce 'Cyxtera'?

RichardB

Hum.. What can we run

In a Cyxtera datacenter?

I think we should at least start with PysPark.

But what else should we use?

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Oracle doing due diligence on Accenture. Yep, you read that right

RichardB

Still March, right

Someone published early?

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Amazing new WikiLeaks CIA bombshell: Agents can install software on Apple Macs, iPhones right in front of them

RichardB

Embedded operatives

Some of that sounds ideal for the more active, undercover type spy...

The cleaner at work, the mistress, the 'turned' wife or business partner, the junior functionary with too many bills to pay and no real career prospect...

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KCL external review blames whole IT team for mega-outage, leaves managers unshamed

RichardB

Quite clear who is to blame here:

"Hed of Architecture (IT)" [sic]

To all those saying this report squarely blames IT, I disagree entirely.

Throughout there is a common strand of how 'the users' and 'the business' willfully fail to pay attention to the concerns of IT, a litany of failure to choose to understand basic IT concepts, and chose to form an antagonistic relationship with a 'supplier' of internal IT.

It's all there in black and white, and borne out in the comments here...

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How Google Spanner's easing our distributed SQL database woes

RichardB

Probably a deep and ironic pictocomment on the fact that the vast majority of the spanner users are going to be so far away from needing the scale features that they should just be using M$ SQL Express Edition.

But will use this because it is Cloudy and Webscale.

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Baby supernova spotted, just three hours old and a real cutie

RichardB

Re: Just like others?

"We need to get lucky a few more times."

Yeah... Reading the Reg... commenting on astrophysics. Good chance we need to get lucky.

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Rasputin whips out large intimidating tool, penetrates uni, city, govt databases – new claim

RichardB

Re: Stored Procedures

Yes you can. But then someone may have gone and written a bad proc that allows for 'dynamic' execution... ie creates an executable statement from the inputs.

But then again, if the coders construct their calls to that procedure incorrectly then it makes no difference how well written the procedure is.

Even in places where they go out of their way to hire a DB team to do the 'database coding' the boundaries still typically leave the .net or whatever layer outside the DB team scope, with a bunch of coders who seem to think sql injection means putting data into a database.

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Magic Leap sued for sex discrimination … by woman it hired to stamp out sex discrimination

RichardB

What's wrong

with the backs of women's heads?

Also, why do women need a more flexible shaft?

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Stick glue on a drone. Fly it into a flower. World hunger solved, bee-lieve

RichardB

MMMO

I would have thought this would translate into a pretty decent game, good stats options, lots of different game modes, open world sandbox, could be pretty impressive.

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Uber is watching your smartphone's battery charge

RichardB

Re: Grabbing battery status could be useful for their customers and drivers

It's actually a little more subtle than that if you have ever experienced it.

Having my phone die suddenly while waiting for Uber to find a cab, after I have requested one, then not knowing until several hours later when the bill arrives that a car had indeed been booked and did arrive looking for me, then I am quite happy with the concept that they should know at least if my battery has reached a point that it is unlikely my end of the deal is viable.

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Forget 'shadow IT' – it's 'self-starting IT' now

RichardB

SHadow IT

It's right there, in the name.

Perhaps we could rebrand it Self Harming IT?

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Long-distance Asian internet hookups are now faster then ever

RichardB

Last year I ran a speed test on my home adsl in manila. Same website that I usually use from the UK.

Figured it would be a disaster, so pretended it was a no longer very active provider with a not very good name.

Turned out I have one of the fastest connections that it had ever seen.

The wifi is crap on the supplied box, but the fibre broadband is great :)

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Kids today are so stupid they fall for security scams more often than greybeards

RichardB

Wonder if they are any better at butchering stats?

"Only 17 per cent of those taking the bait were over 55 years old, but 34 percent of folks aged between 36 and 54 fell for scams."

Is this not a trifle bizarre way of putting the stats..?

I wonder how the young folk these days tend to respond to other scams where the mark is targeted from an unexpected vector of 'authority' - whether the security man in the flash jacket, or the brown shirt part time volunteer pc and their clipboard, or the hiring manager with a 0 hour contract. Do older people behave the same way with these other threats?

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Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

RichardB

cheapskate

Get more disks on more channels...

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Snowden WAS the Feds' quarry in Lavabit case, redaction blunder reveals

RichardB

Re: Feral Lieing

Feral Lieing - for a moment I thought you were talking about a Korean news editor

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She's coming... the Chief Data Officer

RichardB

Cx0

So, you mention CFO, CEO, CIO and CDO.

Where does the CTO fit into it all?

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Behold, Microsoft SQL Server on Linux – and a firm screw-you to Oracle

RichardB

Re: Yes and No

It only rarely used to, mostly where people were installing pretty daftly specced affairs on a per project funded basis, rather than scaling appropriately.

These days of course, you can't license enterprise by user, so the point is moot.

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Converged PC and smartphone is the future, says Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth

RichardB

connectivity

what we need is better magical connectivity.

so I don't need to take my phone out of my pocket, or off the charger, but can turn on the wirefree monitor, keyboard and mouse and easily select my phone as the compute source and then login securely, with a notification to the phone.

Same for the tv. Chrome cast almost achieves this for the tv, but the keyboard/mouse/joypad/stick whatnot is absent still, without faffing with bluetooth.

The bigger question though, is why are phones still so storage limited?

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Forget infrasound, now it's ultrasound that's making you ill (allegedly)

RichardB

Inner ears

If anyone out there has suffered even a fairly mild upset in their inner ear, they'll know just how bad your ears can make you feel.

Just because the sound doesn't make the sound detector bit function within operational parameters, it doesn't mean other bits aren't being jiggled around enough to cause some unpleasant feelings.

We already know low frequency sounds can harm or cause transitory effects, we know audible frequencies can cause extreme pain, headaches and so on. What makes anyone imagine that higher frequencies don't? Seems a bit daft to assume that they are harmless.

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Brazil gets a WTF WhatsApp moment

RichardB

Re: My concern is...

So in this instance who would be responsible for the keys? The guys sending and receiving the messages?

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Blocking out the Sun won't fix climate change – but it could buy us time

RichardB

Spray sea water into the atmosphere?

Genius!

Now... if only there was a cheap and easy way to do that.

We could perform some localised heating of water, even just a few degrees should encourage more evaporation. Oh wait! The whole world is heating up... so... surely more water will evaporate... so more clouds.... so more cooling! Awesome.

Not only that but more clouds means more rain, and it always gets colder when it rains right? Then the rain can evaporate again, thereby cooling the ground or tarmac that it evaporates from.

Ooooh and more rain, more wet ground means more plants, and plants love CO2 so they will be thriving and sucking up CO2...We could feed the world!

Sounds almost like a homeostatic system.

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Uncle Sam's IT bods find 2,000 data centers they FORGOT about

RichardB

Keep up...

Skynet has been around since the 60s...

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Einstein's brain to be picked by satellites

RichardB

Maybe I've been out of the country too long

But is "ran 140 parts in a million of a second faster" even English?

I mean, sure the words are...

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Dad who shot 'snooping vid drone' out of the sky is cleared of charges

RichardB

Counter Drone

How about get your own drone.

Equip it with a meter wide rail underneath, with 5m long lightweight fishing line at 10cm intervals, gently weighted with shot. Fly it over the opposing drone. Record the hilarity that follows. Post to youtube.

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WikiLeaks leaks CIA director's private emails – including his nat sec clearance dossier

RichardB

Honeypot

Looks like a nice way to spread some interesting tidbits that make the CIA boss look

a. Human

b. A Good Guy (tm)

Hopefully the rest of it will serve to reinforce the idea that he is

a. a Moron

b. Evil Incarnate (tm)

Otherwise the internets will just become that little bit more boring.

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Radio wave gun zaps drones out of the sky – and it's perfectly legal*

RichardB

For today... just today.

"For today we're very particular about staying on the right side of the law," said senior researcher Dan Stamm.

That inspires... confidence

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America's top courts may have to prove how truly dull they are by law

RichardB

Oscars

Good enough for Oscar, why not anyone else?

After all, unless its a closed court anyone can just rock up and watch, what really is the difference to having it streamed?

Even better is if the streams are passed into an av indexing service, so you can query for phrases, topics, charges, players etc and watch the relevant cases.

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US Treasury: How did ISIS get your trucks? Toyota: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

RichardB

Re: USA.gov takes another swing at foregin vehicle maker

"GM, meanwhile has the ignition key case. 124 deaths attributed + a decade-long cover up. Result: $900bn fine"

$900m you mean?

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RichardB

Re: Stones and Glass Houses

"For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers."

Prescient...

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Pocket mobe butt dialing clogs up 911 emergency calls, says Google

RichardB

Re: Emergency calls not optional

My toddler clocked some time back that daddies phone made cool beeping noises if she touched it here and here just so even when it was locked.

Quite an irritating feature. Wonder how many lives it has saved?

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UK gets the Ashley Madison fear: Data privacy moans on the up

RichardB

It will all be too little too late.

Either we will simply come to accept that our data isn't, or we... actually there is no real or.

It's far to late to try and fix it now, the burden on organisations to properly comply and proactively play good guy with data is just too big... Governance of any real sort is being out competed in the workplace by short term goal seeking and corner cutting. With the majority of data users unable to tell the difference between the major sorts of average, or why that might make a big difference to them, there's sod all hope that they will take the time out to properly protect and care for well structured accurate data about their clients.

Cloud wins out by virtue of it handily bypassing IT and Procurement governance. Fuck all chance of data protection giving us some accountability back. Maybe personal prosecutions against people who approve dipshittery; track them down to their new employment or retirement hell hole and take a vicious civil action against them.

Perhaps by pruning the moron tree we can allow some recovery in the rest of the field... but I'm pretty sure it's a dead end task, the MBAs have won.

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FBI: We unmasked and collared child porn creep on Tor with spy tool

RichardB

Serious question here...

How is it legal for a government agency to deliberately choose to distribute child pornography?

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Happy birthday to you, the ruling was true, no charge for this headline, 'coz the copyright's screwed

RichardB

now... what about those rings...?

All five of them. The gold ones.

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The ONE WEIRD TRICK which could END OBESITY

RichardB

Learned behaviours

So we spent our childhoods being told we had to finish what was on the plate... now we finish whatever is on the plate.

Solution? Put less on the plate - or stop the ludicrous brainwashing in the first place - stop when you feel you might be nearly full?

On the same track, stop saying this garbage about 'its what's inside that counts', 'do what makes you happy', 'be honest in your dealings' and 'you can't take it with you'... that way we might still have some taxpayers in 30 years time.

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Did GCHQ illegally spy on you? Now you can find out – from this page

RichardB
WTF?

The answer is Yes.

Surely by entering your details into a search in their database, you will pretty much defacto enter their database, so the only real option they have is to say, Yes you are in our database.

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You want to DISRUPT my TECH? How about I DISRUPT your FACE?

RichardB

Etymology of Consultant?

The true origins of the word Consultant - when applied to business or IT practice at least - appears as a 3 stage contraction of 'Confidence Trick', 'Insult', and 'Irritant'.

I have yet to meet one that did not stick to their literary origins.

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As we all know, snark always comes before a fall. Mea culpa

RichardB

Anyone get the impression

That Tim Worstall's literary hero must be Hari Seldon?

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US braces for WW3 with Cyber Command 'Vision' of integrated cyberops

RichardB

Why would they mention Skynet?

Why would they want capability to take out the UK Military Satellite network in this day and age?

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When the IT department is 'just another supplier'

RichardB

Re: Fix the real issues

Someone read it then...

:D

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RichardB

Fix the real issues

First up: Stop talking about the Customer when referring to someone, somewhere in the business that wants something. They are team mates. You both have the same goal, to help the company do whatever the company does to be successful. Customer as a term carries altogether too much baggage to be a useful way of describing that relationship. 'The customer is always right', 'The customer gets what they want', 'the customer is king'. No... the customer is desperately looking for help with a problem they don't understand. Think doctor and patient...

Second: Cloud is there simply because it allows salesmen to get down and dirty with their marks; the broadly naive and lets face it borderline IT illiterate (IllITerati?) 'business'. Why? Because it enables the marks to bypass all the governance and procurement chains and processes that have been set up over decades, that turn what should be an easy process into weeks of wrangling, signoffs and general dickwittery. So - streamline that business process. Take a chainsaw to procurement and governance and figure out what it really needs to be. And dont spend a year on it. 2 weeks. Focus people, Focus... this is important - as it is killing your entire business function, and possibly the business itself.

Third: Just because you are a socially inept IT engineer who can only talk to other IT engineers and barmaids, you really cannot get away with it any more. Stop wasting your training budget on IT courses (just DIY it) and get the soft skills sorted properly. Go... mingle. I know they are from marketing, but, try. You might enjoy it.

Fourth: Somehow we have to break down this idea that "Business' and 'IT' are different. We should start by undermining the concept that 'IT' should learn to talk 'Business'... and name and shame those who would say 'I can't do that, I'm not technical' when it's suggested they do something beyond clicking a shortcut. Business needs to learn to talk IT. Just like they need to talk Finance. Just like they need to understand how to use a washing machine or a fridge... yeah check the fucker is plugged in and the door is closed.

Fifth: It's not easy. It's never been easy. It will never be easy. Anyone who says it is, needs a proper kicking. Then ignored.

Sixth: It's really not that difficult; In fact most of it is pretty straight forward. Stop the vanity projects. Stop the big bang enterprise solution to everything that will take a decade to even plan by which time it is no longer relevant. Sort out the business processes that 'IT' use, properly, get finance to help. Get a marketing team in house to IT, some PR reps. Work out how to model it as a profit making part of the business, and always talk about it as such. We in internal IT have almost no propaganda wing, no one specialised in competing against the consultants and conmerchants, no advertising budget, no wining and dining the marketing droids. And honestly, there is no truly good measurement of success for us to game...

Oops... I seem to have had a rant...

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Coder pleads guilty to writing Gozi banking trojan

RichardB
Trollface

Tricky name huh?

Come on Ed...

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Web giants gang up to take on MPEG LA, HEVC Advance with royalty-free streaming codec

RichardB

Re: Ye canna break the laws of physics

Sure, if you assume that every adjoining pixel is a different colour and changes every frame.

But usually when I watch tv there are only minimal changes between frames, other than on those somewhat blurry car chases (and even then the whole point of the 'movie' is to not change too much between scenes to fool the eye into thinking it is movement), and cut scenes (which can easily be staggered over a number of frames with minimal interruption to a viewer).

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French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'

RichardB

Oh yes... just like BPA's

So many things we don't understand... even about something as notionally simple as Vitamin D there is almost a complete lack of knowledge.

BPA's until recently were quite harmless, until we figured out how to measure them better...

My personal experience with this is that mobile phones kept in a left hand shirt pocket lead to me feeling breathless and agitated, with a 'butterflies' sensation that happens to coincide with the FM radio interference that the phone chucks out occasionally.

Also, a good +1 for the folk mentioning the white noises that electronic devices emit - I've always needed to whiz round the bedroom and sometimes surrounding rooms to shut down even mains alarm clocks, phone chargers, standby electricals etc to get rid of the hums.

Also, given that we are all just reasonably complex bags of electro-chemicals, I'm surprised that the idea of induced EMFs dicking about with the internal comms channels isn't more attractive the audience here....

What does it feel like to be wrong? It feels like you are right.

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Boffins raise five-week-old fetal human brain in the lab for experimentation

RichardB

The Island?

Pretty sure they made a film about this a few years ago...

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The wonderful madness of metrics: Different things to different folk

RichardB

detection

Had a vendor sneak in a clause which allowed 20minutes to detect an issue. This first 20m would not count as downtime...

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Will Hay: Britain's bumbling star of the screen and skies

RichardB

Someone doing media studies then?

Ed looking for some extra content, so you thought you'd just submit a media studies first year essay then?

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Boffins silently track train commuters without tripping Android checks

RichardB

Battery Monitor?

Didn't we see a story recently here where some Israeli Boffinry figured out that they could track location using battery consumption stats?

Now we have a story pushing people to invest in sophisticated battery monitoring apps in order to defeat a location tracking exploit?

Hmmm....

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