* Posts by Ledswinger

7154 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

UK.gov told data-sharing plans need vendor buy-in

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: 9 per cent

Given UK govt track record how can anyone with even half a clue think that?

Anybody who swallows the public sector narrative on terrorism, paedophiles, tax evasion, money laundering, drugs.

As in all surveys, the outcome depends more on who s believed to be asking the question, the context that the question is asked in, and the precise wording. Or put simply, a skilled wordsmith has vast discretion to influence the outcome in any way that they want. And even if they don't subsequent use of the result may strip it from its context and purpose to deliberately misuse it.

So whilst Reform say 9%, according to an online article attributed to Civica (who have a financial interest in a positive outcome) 56% of people trust government with their data. According to the ICO in a 2017 study, 49% trust government to handle data securely.

2
0

Self-driving cars will be safe, we're testing them in a massive AI Sim

Ledswinger
Silver badge

I think you mean either Christmas Island or Bikini Atoll.

But I get your point. What puzzles me is who is daft enough other than Claire Perry to believe that the global CAV testing market will be worth £907bn by 2035? That's about 100 times greater than current global automotive R&D by all makers on all continents, across all aspects of production, materials, homologation, drive train, body shell, controls, sensors and the rest.

This is the outcome of letting Geography graduates do any job other that of librarian - and we've the same problem with the Prime Minister..

18
0

Home Office seeks Brexit tech boss – but doesn't splash the cash

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Unbelievable

Shit-storm obviously follows, but at least not national bankruptcy, and May may manage to escape in an open boat in the confusion.

Well, in that tidy little vignette that you paint, the Conservative party self-immolate and wouldn't be coming back for a long while (I won't miss them, judging by the shambles they've offered us for twenty five years or more), but that means by default the next government would be a Labour government led by Corbyn (or worse, a Corbyn led Labour SNP coalition).

Given that Corbyn's political judgement makes Trump look like an elder statesman, and his rampant enthusiasm for Chaveznomics, how do you conclude that national bankruptcy would be staved off? Are you expecting the Palestinians to club together and bail out Britain when Corbyn's killed the economy?

7
12
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Not Enough if you ask me

I don't think £100k is enough to persuade anyone competent to link their name to that crap.

Who said anything about competence being a requirement? This is the civil service we're talking about, and not just any old bit, but the Home Office, Borders & Immigration directorate. This is Fail Central. The ground zero of botched non-working fuckups. The Mount Doom of IT.

What they'll get is some overly ambitious self promoting lightweight puffball who ticks the boxes on paper. They will either fail to see that the future is already mapped out, or simply won't care. This is a high profile job with a big job title (though I note not a head of or director of), and all the people going for it will see it simply as another stepping stone on the public sector gravy train, leading to a future job with even more money, and the same tolerance of ineptitude.

23
1

Google shaves half a gig off Android Poundland Edition

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Small footprint OS

I suspect that mixing so much virtualisation with direct access to the hardware where required isn't easy.

OTOH, I suspect that Google don't give a shit, and Android is now very, very mature, and the business plan is to milk it dry, doing diddly squat beyond the minimum, and that minimum includes periodic "new releases" with increasingly token improvements, and squashing sufficient security bugs to give the appearance of doing something about security.

This is of course the norm for all software businesses.

2
1

Rejoice! Thousands more kids flock to computing A-level

Ledswinger
Silver badge

You forgot "good looking female" before the word "teenagers".

Are you saying you'd prefer more pictures of ugly old blokes?

I'm sure there's a magazine or website that caters for such interests. Maybe Google "grandad pr0n" and see what turns up (sorry, I'm not brave enough, but the challenge is offered up to selfless heroic commentards).

1
6
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Soon we'll have nothing but living wage graduates on a hell desk.

I'm surprised that wasn't first to go offshore. That's what usually happens - the company contract IT infrastructure to a global technocorp (HP, DXC, EDSDellwhothefuckaretheynownow, IBM, Wipro, TCS et al), and within minutes a fairly competent UK helpdesk find themselves on the scrapheap, and their work is moved to the chimpanzee enclosure of a third world zoo.

7
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Fundamentals of IT

I bet as a structural engineer, you don't have people in the meeting saying "High tensile steel is pretty expensive. Couldn't we use something cheaper - like cardboard?"

Recent tragic events in Genoa suggest otherwise.

And there's a long history of structural engineering failures in civil, mechanical, aeronautical and naval engineering caused by penny pinching.

13
0

Making money mining Coinhive? Yeah, you and nine other people

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Not Ponzi - it's MLM

You're way off. It would only be MLM if it required the top players to recruit distributors who then recruit a next level of distributor and so on. A Ponzi scheme can be and usually is a "flat" structure, although it can involve subsidiary reselling or recommendations.

There's also the key difference that MLM is based on maths that has to have a level who make little or nothing (so largely expectations fraud rather than direct misrepresentation), whereas a Ponzi scheme is simply attracting capital that is then used to pay out fictitious benefits to maintain an illusion of investment returns (so wholly and intentionally misrepresentation).

1
0

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I agree with the Commissioner

I agree with the Commissioner

I don't. My TCO and my environmental impact is far more significantly driven by the durability of the handset, its software support life and whether the battery or failed and worn parts can be changed out at low cost after a couple of years. If the dopey old bat was able to think, she'd see this, and address those factors, instead of worrying about cheap, low environmental impact power adaptors and leads.

2
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Just add wireless charging

Micro USB needs to die a death.

It should never have lived. Did nobody think or say "this is flimsy, inconvenient, lacks durability and a big bit shitty"? Or did all really concerned think that Micro USB was in the slightest bit adequate?

And then to compound that failing, the bastards involved waited for over a decade before releasing USB C. So as a result, although it is a huge improvement, USB C is now the inconvenient bloody nuisance, because it isn't yet anywhere near a universal fitting. Did the French have any hand in this?

0
3
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: EU Standard plug

SCART .....For a standard developed in 1970, it proved to be extremely far-sighted:

It also proved unsurprisingly bulky and inconvenient, with a ludicrous cable thickness, and difficult to attach and detach, presumably because the French designer expected it to be hand-soldered by the terminally clumsy (like me).

When you look at the shortcomings of so many different connector designs, you can only logically conclude that they are almost all designed by people who don't know the intended use, and who apparently have no experience of the problem that their product is supposed to address. Just like like car park designers, road engineers, web designers, and the people who create alarm clock and heating thermostat interfaces.

For all these people, I hope there is a specially reserved circle of hell.

7
4

London fuzz to get 600 more mobile fingerprint scanners

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Worrying

"the software for which was developed in-house"

Very worrying. The Met have a bad reputation for sooooo many things (sufficient certainly to obscure the much good stuff I'm confident that do achieve) that it makes me wonder WTF they were doing getting into software development.

In any event, I presume that ACPO (or whatever name they masquerade under now) have snatched the copyright of the software the public have paid for?

6
0

Samsung Galaxy Watch: A tough and classy activity tracker

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: God that’s ugly!

Most men's watches are 38mm at the most.

For real watches yes. For show off t-watches with ludicrous prices there is no upper limit. If you can buy yourself a company with Swiss heritage, all you need to do is churn out garish junk the size of a saucer, cover it in millions of dials, market it as "deep sea diver", "aviator", "arctic explorer" "special forces genuine issue", "sexual conquistador" or similar (or all these things). Stick on a five figure price tag, get yourself a distributor, and watch as wankers fall over themselves to buy it.

By comparison to such horrible bling, this Samsung is a model of good value, discretion, and functional effectiveness. I'm a Seiko 5 man myself, so for me the Samsung is horrible bling too.

8
2

Samsung Galaxy Note 9: A steep price to pay

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Another price increase .....

What do you Rosbeef expect after voting to jump off the cliffs of Dover as made attractive by Johnson and Mogg et al? Sterling has devalued significantly since the referendum, now you to pay much more for your imports. Welcome to the real world.

I'd agree that Sterling was sheltered by an undeserved Euro-related value that didn't reflect the UK economic performance. In this respect the fall in the exchange rate needs to be welcomed as a necessary balancing mechanism, and if Audis and continental holidays become more expensive, so be it.

But what of La France? Sheltering in the Eurozone, hiding behind the strength of Germany who joined with an undervalued currency. Your appalling unemployment data says it all. How long can the Eurozone stagger on, with it fairyland economics, the huge disparity between northern and southern Europe, the unresolved debts bought by the ECB, and all the while the spectre of Turkey waiting to join and flood you with cheap labour, or not being allowed to join and flooding Europe with migrants?

15
7

Wasted worker wasps wanna know – oi! – who are you looking at?

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Wasps

Use ant powder to kill wasps nests.

the Rentokil wasp's nest destroyer that you can buy from large supermarkets is another good option. If you can see the nest a single generous helping will do the trick, if you can't see it (like the one behind our soffit box) then three applications were needed through the entry point the wasps were using. Unlike ant powder this stuff is a liquid that comes out through a jet nozzle for a range of several feet, and then expands vigorously as a foam that dissipates over an hour or so. Easy to apply safely and quickly followed by the tried and tested approach of running away.

I did notice when taking the nippers to various theme parks that despite the combination of people, junk food, sugary drinks, and extensive woodland, the bigger and more professionally run venues made very effective use of wasp traps to minimise and all but eliminate the nuisance. Whereas some of the smaller theme parks and entertainment sites haven't cottoned on, and are infested with the things. Unfortunately a decent sized wasp trap is large and ugly (particularly when full of dead wasps, so unless you can hide three or so of these around your garden they won't be much use. The small wasp traps sold for domestic use I've found to be absolutely useless.

8
0

UK cyber cops: Infosec pros could help us divert teens from 'dark side'

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Not much hope for the rozzers, it seems

"one in four teenagers have committed some form of cybercrime"

Maybe the team could work out what proportion of publicly quoted statistics are plucked from somebody's arse?

22
0

Space, the final Trump-tier: America to beam up $8bn for Space Force

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I don't understand why they need it

In 2016 45,000 Isis fighters and 3 US soldiers were killed in the conflict.

The US did very well to kill 45,000 IS fighters in 2016, given that the CIA estimated in early 2015 that IS could field 30,000 fighters. The most authoritative data source, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, estimates for 2016 were that "only" 21,500 anti-government combatants were killed, including Kurdish and non-IS militias. SOHR estimate that the number of IS fighters killed by the US was around 8,000 across the entire five years of the conflict.

Personally I see a 15,000 to 1 kill ratio as evidence of a strategic military advantage.

Do you now? Not only are your numbers crap, but you need to stop focusing on a Black Hawk Down style bodycount, and consider the military outcome. The US has reinforced the position of its enemy Assad, it has further stirred up Islamic discontent (as if it hadn't done enough of that elsewhere), it has failed to change the extremist narrative, it has failed to capture and contain the escaping fighters, and (as in all of its other colonial wars) it has failed to bring about a peaceful and lasting resolution. It has strengthened the regional hand of Iran, and reinforced Islamic sectarian divisions. And I might add that much of the weaponry and training of IS was actually provided by the US who were trying to support opponents of Assad. US costs so far in Syria are around $20 billion, judging by reports to Congress. So each IS fighter killed cost the US taxpayer $2.5m. You still call any of that a strategic advantage?

So I think my point stands - with command of the air (or LEO) you can rain death on poorly armed peoples with impunity. But it doesn't represent any advantage if it doesn't solve the conflict. And it is actually a strategic disadvantage if the actions simply spreads the conflict. Look at the facts: Since at least 2001 the US has been playing whack-a-mole, with a total bill credibly estimated at over $5.5 trillion. Every time it lands what it claims is a winning blow and announces the defeat of the enemy, job done, the mole pops up somewhere else. Tell me again, who's winning?

8
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Which is worse ...

Which is worse ...... dumping $8x10⁹ down the toilet or the proposed logos?

I couldn't say, but either are much better value than the probable £100bn outturn cost of HS2. Or the unknown cost of Wankley Point C. Or £20bn+ on "smart meters". Or the £12bn already frittered on solar PV panels in the UK. Or the circa £3bn a year every year spent by the Highways Agency to make things worse.

3
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I'll go with the subhead

I prefer the 1978 "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper" 1978 Sarah Brightman record featuring Hot Gossip.

I must confess I upvoted your post, but you do know there's a "post anonymously" check box?

My excuse is that I was a fifteen your old lad in 1978, and Ms Brightman doing that chicken dance thing in a catsuit, backed by Hot Gossip....well, I thought that was a most marvellous sight.

6
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I don't understand why they need it

From a military perspective high ground gives you a tactical advantage. Space gives you a strategic one.

A lovely little quote, but sadly a wrong one.

Having the highest level of control of LEO of any worldly power and absolute military control of the atmosphere in those regions doesn't seem to have helped that much in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Iran, does it? All those high tech comms, weapons, surveillance, a bottomless pit of money, and approaching two decades after they intervened in Afghanistan, the US are still failing to control a bunch of primitives who crap behind bushes and wear towels on their heads.

Even in Syria the "defeat" of IS announced back in March will seem to be "fake news" to the communities still being slaughtered in their hundreds.

11
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Like hell

the JCS and individual services will "study" the proposal and hamstring it as far as they possibly can, and they certainly can for two years until the moron's out of office.

Your making a big assumption there, that the JCS only need to hold out for a couple of years. The received wisdom all along was that Trump wouldn't win, but he did. Now the assumption is that he'll not get re-elected. All I can say is don't bet to much money on the outcome.

And that's because in two years time you've got the same problem we have in the UK (albeit of differing nuances), and that is the absence of any electable, competent alternative, despite suffering an unpopular government of staggering ineptitude, whose senior leadership are some of the most dislikeable, unconvincing bunglers ever to have held government office.

14
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Which is worse ...

A US marine and a Royal Marine are very different beasts.

In more than the sense you mean. The Royal Marine Commandos are an endangered species, whereas the USMC are not.

If the dull, lifeless civil service bastards of HMT and MoD get their way, they'll shut down the Corps of Royal Marines, saving themselves a bob or two in operating costs to waste on shit (like F35 cost over-runs), they can then prise the Royal Navy's fingers off of HMS Bulwark and Albion that HMT have longed to sell or scrap for a decade or more, they can sell off Lympstone to their property developing mates along with less salubrious barracks, and they can contract out the defence of the Clyde submarine base and Coulport nuclear weapons store to Crapita or Serco.

15
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Interesting

On one side, Russia has been calling their strategic missile forces "Space Force" for ages. In their case this is supposedly(*) just a name. So this move on the USA side is not entirely unexpected.

Are we seeing the Russian's using Reagan's Star Wars strategy against the US?

Looks that way, although it depends on how much the US will throw at it. $8bn isn't even a rounding error on F35 cost overruns, and won't buy anything other than a logo, a few buildings and bases, an entire military command structure, and lots of gold braid, For the strategy to succeed, Russia will need to create a convincing impression that they have, or are developing a space-capable fighter able to menace satellites and the X37. Then watch as the US throw a trillion dollars into creating a real life X Wing, and an orbital base for them.

25
0

Clap, damn you, clap! Samsung's Bixby 2.0 AI reveal is met with apathy

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: @ matjaggard

To be fair it's old people like me that are responsible for the current mess.

Are you taking a share of that responsibility, or referring to other old people?

It's just that I'm thinking that those who make a mess should clear it up as a form of restorative justice.

1
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: "Do not want" is not strong enough.

They just need to get rid of the other alternative functionality and I might consider Samsungs' excellent kit again.

The problem is that hardware makers live on very thin margins. They covet the high margins reported by software makers, and think they can get themselves a piece of that with with crappy, me-too software offerings. They then delude themselves with the idea that their latest flagship raked in a high price because of all the crudware they'd excreted on to it.

It's pretty clear that sometimes a software maker can specify decent hardware, but manufacture is invariably by OEMs. For the houses like Samsung, they need to wake up realise that their software adds no value, costs a lot to produce and maintain and go back to hardware innovation and manufacture.

I struggle to think of a hardware maker that does even competent software, and I likewise can't identify a software maker that can do manufacturing. Even when you get down to software that only hardware makers can create like drivers, or embedded code like SCADA, these really aren't areas where you expect to find quality, are they.

Software and hardware, 'ey be loik beast n'dairy. Yer can do beast, yer can do dairy, but beast n'dairy 'ey don't never mix.

14
0

Talk about left Field: Apple lures back Tesla engineering guru

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Tesla has plenty of problems...

Apple has even less chance of developing a top notch autonomous vehicle than Tesla

That was the point of the article - Apple are not going to develop a car, nor are they doing to make the AI to drive a car. They went there, saw the problems, and realised it was never going to offer a payback.

What Apple want is to control the human interface of future vehicles - entertainment, information, navigation, and the telemetry side of things. They know they need to control the hardware modules that the system runs on, and the car makers then need to be able to link that to what they've built. In theory its a good bet, because hardware makers (including car makers) are universally shit at software.

The difficulty is that development timescale and support lives in automotive are an order of magnitude different to what Apple is used to in its existing products and services. There's the whole certification and safety needs that are "red line" requirements. And there's the fact that Apple don't like having to work with other parties that have significant control over implementation. Agreeing to work with (say) BMW on car systems is all very well - execs can agree this over a well padded lunch - the reality will be a stark difference of corporate cultures that makes progress slow and difficult. In this respect, Field's experience or product design at Tesla is of mixed value - he knows the systems issues, but getting things done at Tesla is worlds apart from working with the rest of the car making industry. And Apple need to work with multiple players - just getting their system into one brand might give the volume they want (say VW Group) but that would be a single buyer - a high risk strategy, and doesn't play to the premium segmentation Apple have always wanted.

As I write that, it seems that in-car systems isn't a good fit at all for Apple - it might defend the walled garden a bit, but the whole concept is B2B sales (that Apple are not good at), varied hardware environments (that Apple don't like), risk averse, cost conscious partners who move at glacial speeds (that Apple will struggle to work with), and to get the volume to make it economic, there can be little segmentation of the end users (which challenges Apple's high cost, high markup, high value customer model). My expectation is they'll get the software platform well advanced, maybe even have demonstration versions custom built into driveable vehicles that can be show to the press. Then they'll find all those challenges remain, and they'll conclude that the benefits to Apple are outweighed by the costs and risks, and they'll either shut it all down, or reposition as a much more modest entertainment and satnav platform with modest integration for vehicle settings, so that what is then nothing more than software and a better touchscreen can be sold as a $2,000 option. That would fit the segmentation model Apple have, fit with their expertise and margin requirements, and minimise the problems of a more encompassing control system.

6
0

You won't believe this but... everyone hates their cable company: Bombshell study lands

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Not going America !

Like the suthor of this article I find it difficult to ascrbe such a price differential as anything other than the exercise of monopoly power.

To an extent yes, but don't forget that you're comparing to full fat US cable. So you'd need to start from (at least) the £69 fastest Sky package, and then (as per the article) look at the add ons like Sky Sport at £20 a month and Sky Cinema at £10 a month. Sky HD is another £5 a month, Sky Sport HD a different £6 a month, and if you want Kids thats another fiver, as are Box Sets. And on the phone, you're not getting any calls - if you select Anytime calls, that's another £12 a month.

So if you want a premium package with all the add ons that compares to the US $186 figure, you'd be looking at £69 plus somewhere between £35-61. If I plump for an indicative figure of £120, that converts to $156. Add in another $10 notionally for the faster broadband that cable offers over Sky's Openreach, and there's still a pricing gap, but it isn't as big as first appears. If I do the same things for Vermin Media, the sums work out much the same - their VIP all inclusive bundle is £129 (out of the introductory offer), so that comes to $165.

5
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Obviously Not American But...

Virgin Media are of course a large US owned cable company (Liberty Global) and Vermin Media is the UK brand. When it works, I'll grant you it works fairly well, but otherwise the US findings ring true - the shittest customer service I've ever encountered, cloth ears to customer demands, horrible, one-sided lock in contracts that guarantee no level of service, rampant and repeated price rises. The off-shore customer service appears to terminate at a call centre in the chimpanzee enclosure of some third world zoo, on-line chat is operational only on the 32nd of each month, and you only get to speak to a UK based employee by phoning and selecting all the options to cancel (150 from a VM line, options 1, 1, 4, 5 - sad that I know this without looking).

Any technical fault may takes repeated visits to get fixed, and physical changes or new installs are high risk, with the work done by the lowest skilled labour VM can find to do each element. There,s no internal communication, no interest in providing a working service. A truly dreadful company that deserves to fail.

19
0

Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Thanks, Labour

It also seems to be a private company which is owned by a chain of other Babcock limited liability partnerships, possibly culminating (the chain is too tangled for me) in a Babcock Corporate Secretaries Limited

Part of Babcock International plc, formerly world renowned engineering firm Babcock & Wilcox. How the mighty are fallen. From being proper, skilled engineering types, to scabby, illiterate "support services" twats ripping off the parents of schoolkids by virtue of poorly conceived and written laws, through partnerships with the morons of local government.

29
0

Hackers can cook you alive using 'microwave oven' sat-comms – claim

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Geeks!

All they think about is hacking a satellite? What's the point, and where's the fun?

If I were a blackhat, I'd have the Highways Agency digital message signs on my hit list along with things like TfL bus stop and tube station message boards, and the ad display at Piccadilly Circus.

HA message board: "Caravanners go home, everybody hates you"

TfL tube: "It's nice and cool in our air conditioned control room"

Bus stop: "Only peasants use buses. Do you have an excuse?"

Scrolling message at Waterloo: "The 18:14 to Farnham is delayed by 25 minutes. During that time the CEO of South West trains will have earned another 250 quid"

For Piccadilly Circus I suppose the thing to do is loop some adult entertainment.

21
0

America's top maker of cop body cameras says facial-recog AI isn't safe

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Wow!

A Taser device is perfectly safe, right until it destabilizies your cardiac conduction system and kills you. When your family objects, you get litigated into homelessness. Welcome to US justice.

You'd rather they used the traditional lead bullet approach to law enforcement? I wouldn't.

I'd accept that tasers are merely "less lethal" rather than "non-lethal", but if being taken down by a cop I'd choose to be tasered rather than pumped full of lead. I can't quickly find a good reference for the lethality of tasers, but subjectively it looks to be in the order of 1 per 1,000 uses. I'll wager that is a whole lot better than firearms, and probably not much worse than pepper spray's unintended lethality.

If anyone can come up with a truly non-lethal device that can incapacitate, I think you'll find the cops would happily use it - if only to avoid the bad publicity and paperwork of killing suspects.

4
3

Wondering what to do with that $2,300 burning a hole in your pocket?

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: "does this read more like an ad-icle"

Get the ones that are physically bigger and cost more.

Pegler lever operated full bore ball valves are your one and only friend for this sort of application.

When encountering these afterwards, nobody in history has ever said "why did they fit this?", but many many many people have said "thank god somebody fitted this!". At trade prices, ten times the cost of a shitty screwdriver operated reduced bore valve, but worth one hundred times the cost.

4
0

Creased Lightning: Profits wobble at Virgin Media while fibre project stays sluggish

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Well if some other ISP was able to get me the 200Mbps that I pay Virgin for (it can go up to 350Mbps)

Each to their own, but I've not felt the "free" speed increases since I reached 60 Mbps, and I'm now also on 200 Mbps. I don't presume to tell you what is right for you, but in my case, other than a multithread speed test the entire household online together can't saturate anything above a 30 Mbps connection, and rarely above 20 Mbps. I'd agree that downloads go faster with more bandwidth (again, so long as multithreaded, and on a high bandwidth server), but when I consider the amount of time I actually spend looking at spinning circles, if that were four times as long, it really wouldn't matter.

This is Virgin Media's poorly kept secret - that they openly promote and sell higher bandwidth contracts than most customers will ever use, and even those who can sometimes use the full bandwidth have very low capacity utilisation even when on line. If mortgages, insurance or energy were sold like this, the relevant regulators would rip the balls off the companies' concerned. Ofcom, on the other hand, apparently exist to encourage this sort of abuse.

5
0
Ledswinger
Silver badge

They're going to wobble even more now that they've ditched UKTV in favour of Horsey TV, Paramount HD, Vice(!) and Nascar

Only if customers take their business elsewhere. I know it swamped their customer service capabilities for a couple of weeks when they lost those channels, but I expect that despite the extensive anger, relatively few will actually leave. A greater cause for customer losses may be when us unlucky punters are stuffed with this year's inflation busting price hike.

6
0

Nearly half of IBM's $1bn Aussie framework deal comes from mainframes

Ledswinger
Silver badge

An honest question

"Grandad, what's a mainframe, and why would anybody want one?"

5
0

Oh, fore putt's sake: Golf org PGA bunkered up by ransomware attack just days before tournament

Ledswinger
Silver badge

The real threat

is not that the PGA won't get their data back - it is that all their members will be "outed".

Golf. It's just wrong. Let's make it illegal, build housing on the golf courses, and be done with it.

11
5

The last phablet? 6.4in Samsung Galaxy Note 9 leaves you $1k lighter, needs 'water cooling'

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Nobody buys Samsung anymore...

...more likely they're just too bloody expensive.

Although having said that, I still see enough of them about.

27
1

Stress, bad workplace cultures are still driving security folk to drink

Ledswinger
Silver badge

which means many many start-ups, particularly in and around London, have free beer, at least in the afternoon.

And which also serves to explain the lack of substantive outputs from London's startups, and the evaporation of VC investments.

2
0

ZX Spectrum Vega+ blows a FUSE: It runs open-source emulator

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Voyna i Mor: Kids today don't even know ......

...much, about anything. Hell, they think that "Love Island" is entertainment. But a worrying question is whether easy access to easy to use IT is a cause of this shallowness, and therefore it is OUR fault.

Here, have a Werthers whilst we contemplate that.

24
0

Intel: Yeah, yeah, 10nm. It's on the todo list. Now, let's talk about AI...

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: PR code

Which is PR code for "we don't have it and we don't know if or when we might have it, so we'd prefer to talk about anything but that."

And it is also an unsavoury echo of Elon Musk's arrogant dismissal of investor & analyst questions.

I very much suspect customers do ask "where's your 10nm silicon?" Presumably Shenoy tells them that's a question for little people.

1
0

It's a phone with a peel, but you'll have to wait a bit more for retro Nokia

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Yup - another upvote for the v3(i) RAZRs. The UI was terrible, but the form factor was IMHO as close to perfection as anyone has come since,

The V3 was lovely (still got a couple decaying in a box somewhere), but IMHO the best mobile ever was the Ericsson T28 and variants. A proper spring loaded flip to answer model that looked oh-so-cool, diminutive in the pocket, but still very useable by my large and clumsy paws, slim, charged from a non-plugging cradle, great reception, halfway decent battery life. Nothing Nokia ever made was a covetable as the T28.

3
0

UK.gov to tech industry: Hands up who can help cut teachers' admin

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: The real solution

"Increase funding."

Why?

There's a very poor correlation between funding per child and measured educational performance, and strong data to support the idea that there's a ceiling on educational performance - you can achieve that at around half the level of UK funding per pupil, and after that all you do is increase costs with minimal additional attainment. I'm sure you'll disagree, but I'll let you take that up with the OECD who've studied this for longer and in more depth than I have, and I'll wager than you have.

6
1
Ledswinger
Silver badge

Underfunding is the biggest problem schools face.

Really, you're sure? Really, really sure? Sure that countries like Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, they all spend more than the UK, do they? No, think again. You're really, REALLY sure that underfunding is the biggest problem UK schools face? C'mon, one last chance to admit you're talking rubbish.

The UK spends notably more than any economy comparable in size, composition and development. And there's other data sources that corroborate that one.

Which suggests that (1) the biggest problem facing schools is how they spend an entirely sufficient budget, and that (2) they're currently churning out people willing to spout rubbish without checking their facts (that's you, by the way).

6
1

For all the excitement, Pie may be Android's most minimal makeover yet – thankfully

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Only option to stay sane...

Ubuntu touch and sailfish seem like good ways to go, but neither support my phone right now, and are not quite viable for day to day use yet, but I really want them to be!

With Apple, users pay for the OS and then also for the apps. With Android people don't pay for the OS, for the handset maker's customisation and installation and generally don't pay for apps, so slurping and advertising are used to make it viable. FOSS has been tried and clearly doesn't work for the mass market. Which means that the question is, what of the two successful business models, or what variant of them would you be choosing? Assuming that Google's poison is too much to stomach, you're looking for a paid, but non-integrated model.

In that case, you're talking about paying (say) £50 up front for the OS, a further £30 to persuade the handset maker to install it and offer a couple of years support, and having apps that are mostly purchased. And you've still got to convince handset makers, developers, and buyers that your business model stacks up, that it will achieve some credible market share, and you're going to be around for the long term, when companies worth billions have curled up and died in this very market. Say you've got ten apps at £5 a piece, that's £130 on software over the price of a Googleslurpphone. In all honesty, what proportion of people would you expect to incur that ADDITIONAL cost for a handset that most will keep for two-three years?

3
2

DXC will be damned if it lets cloud cannibalise the IT outsourcing biz before DXC does

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Translation

What he says: "On location mix, roughly 54 per cent of our employees are in nearshore and low-cost locations. We're planning to increase that mix by 10 to 15 per cent in our traditional business. We're also making progress off-shoring work provided by third-party contractors, while at the same time investing in our digital centres in the US, the UK and other countries."

What he really means: "We'd like continuing access to the juicy revenue streams available in developed markets, we'd like to be protected by the secure rule of law and have access to enforceable contracts through a civilised justice system, and we'd like to be able to use reliable and properly telecomms and utilities. But, my investors, you will be pleased to know that at DXC, we don't want to pay for this. We don't even want to support these economies by employing people in them, if we can avoid doing that. And we want to ensure our taxable profits are as small as possible, and arise wherever tax rates are lowest. At DXC, we intend to milk the loopholes of poorly conceived trade and tax policies, and THAT is our business model. You will have seen that we're a big bit shit at technology - but that doesn't matter, because technology isn't what we do. What we do is labour arbitrage and tax avoidance. I look forward to the day when the only "onshore" employees of DXC, the only people paid Western pay rates, are myself and the directors of DXC, and I look forward to the day when we find a new reservoir of labour willing to work for less than our current Indian wage slaves "

17
0

Make Sammy Great Again: Surprise – Samsung chucks cash at manufacturing

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Flagship just too expensive

...and the affordable stuff is uncompetitive crap.

Just got a snail mail marketing shot from Vermin Media offering me £60 off a Samsung J3. I have the misfortune to endure a J3 as my work phone, and its a cheap, nasty piece of shit that offers very little for its price. I wouldn't voluntarily use a J3 if I were PAID £60 to do so. Admittedly it is somewhat cheaper than (say) a Motorola G6, but vastly inferior in important areas of battery life and size. And vastly inferior to the emerging brand offers (in Western markets, that is) of companies like Xiaomi.

To me, this is why Samsung have lost it - the decent phones cost an arm and a leg, and they make the cheaper stuff intentionally crap to avoid cannibalising sales from the flagships. Sadly that strategy only works if you've got a brand as strong as Apple. Which I suppose echoes tentimes comment at the start of this thread.

3
1

Oracle's JEDI mine trick: IT giant sticks a bomb under Pentagon's $10bn single-vendor cloud plan

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: What's the Problem? There are Other Bigger and Better Playgrounds.

This is nothing more than petulant foot-stamping.

Whilst I'd agree, the outcome here depends on whether Leisure Suit Larry is mates with the loon in the White House. AFAIC they are very good buddies, and if Larry throws a tantrum, he'll get his way.

The US has always been given to partisanship and pork-barrel politics, but its really sad to see it come down to central Asian levels of governance.

5
2

Facial recognition tech to be used on Olympians and staff at Tokyo 2020

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: 99.7% eh. Going to suck

What are the chances the ".3" will be Russian athletes?

Zero, because the Fancy Bears will hack and subvert the systems. I know this for a fact because the FBI and GCHQ have publicly said that's the sort of thing they do.

3
1

Rights groups challenge UK cops over refusal to hand over info on IMSI catchers

Ledswinger
Silver badge

IIRC, because of the authentication of 3G and above, IMSI has to operate as 2G. So if you get a decent 4G signal, you can be sure you're not subject to IMSI monitoring. However, if your phone drops back to 2G in a location where you'd not expect that, that is the time to be suspicious. It may even be possible to set your phone to not connect to a 2G signal, in which case Plod would be stuffed.

I'd guess the serious criminals already know this stuff.

25
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018