* Posts by Ledswinger

5098 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Norway might insist on zero-emission vehicles by 2025

Ledswinger
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Re: Political deals...but if they do

The UK's clueless energy regulator OFGEM has already announced plans to subsidise an undersea interconnector to the UK from Norway to provide power to the UK (since OFGEM and the UK government have totally screwed up every aspect of energy policy in their fetish over renewables).

But the undersea connector will only provide power if Norway has an excess, and should they electrify transport, their exportable surplus will vanish.

Luckily for investors in that undersea cable, OFGEM will undoubtedly guarantee the risk, using that inexhaustible commodity, UK energy bill payer's wallets. So just like UK solar power (subsidised), UK wind power (subsidised), thermal generation (subsidised), UK grid (subsidised), UK energy efficiency (subsidised), UK nuclear power (subsidised), OFGEM's idiotic "interconnector" schemes will piss good money after bad. And that's a high level list - throw in the c£5bn on subsidy for "renewable" heat, micro-generation, anerorobic digestion, and it will be readily apparent that the market sets no prices here - everything is designed and operated by OFGEM and DECC in some bizarre parallel world of state control.

Indeed, under National Grid's "Demand Turn Up" scheme, UK bill payers will be paying some industrial customers to USE MORE ELECTRICITY in future, because the carelessly planned "renewable" inputs can produce more power than is needed in some scenarios, but the subsidy design was equally clueless, and the subsidy to wind gets paid whether the power is needed or not.

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Outsourcery: We've had offers for our assets (and, er, shareholders might get nothing)

Ledswinger
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Making sure their own pension pot gets larger whilst the sale goes through, it's "we're alright Jack but the investors wont get anything"

I've been through an AIM-listed tech meltdown, and I can authoritatively confirm your view is correct. As the bucking bronco lurches about, any director lucky enough to hang on will get signed up for a six figure "retention bonus" to see the sale through. Or seven figures if they're really lucky. Meanwhile the proles are axed with indecent haste.

Why would this be so? Well usually because the senior lenders (normally the banks, although in this case it looks like the knob ends of Toadafone) want to protect their interests, if necessary, and sometimes intentionally at the expense of the equity shareholders. And to flog the beleaguered company to the next mark, it helps if the handful of people who know where the bodies are buried are working for the seller, in order to keep the shallow graves secret.

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Trouble originating between chair and keyboard caused most UK breaches

Ledswinger
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Re: And this will KEEP happening...

I think the GDPR will change the priority, the stick is now pretty large.

Have vast and repeated fines + compensation costs stamped out bad practices in financial services?

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Windows 10 market share jumps two per cent

Ledswinger
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Re: Microsoft aren't helping matters

How do we think Michael Dell and the other OEMs feel about Microsoft right now?

Dell have been vacillating near the exit door on retail PC assembly for a while now, and focusing more on server and enterprise services. So I think Michael is probably fairly indifferent to whatever happens for the desktop and for home users.

For people like Asus, they have exposure to tablets, mobile, and to the Android and Apple device markets, and it is the saturation of all those markets that create a problem. But at least tablets and phones generally have a two year life expectancy.

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TalkTalk scam-scammers still scam-scamming

Ledswinger
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Why haven't the ICO come down like a ton of bricks on TT?

The investigation is continuing. Whilst a financial penalty seems probable, the highest the ICO can impose is half a million quid. That's small beer for big companies, and TalkTalk will have already provisioned for that. I would guess that lobbying by large, evil data processors (primarily Google, Facebook et al rather than people like TT) ensured that the UK's weak and corrupt politicians set the maximum penalties at a level that might worry an SME, but could be paid out of the coffee budget by those large corporations.

As for prosecutions, what do you think?

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Ledswinger
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Re: I think you should have a warning here.

never giving unexpected callers access to your computer

But this is a confidence trick, and warnings are only so much help.

Due to TalkTalk's serial blunders, the malicious caller has sufficient detail to gain the full confidence of many victims, and there is an apparent reason for the call. Due to TalkTalk's miserable business practices, customers expect to talk about their contracts or connections with foreign nationals via ratty VOIP connections. And due to Microsoft's blunders, home users are too-readily able to give remote access to the confidence trickster.

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HPE is still swinging the layoffs axe: 500 more services folk get chop

Ledswinger
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i.e. the role isn't actually redundant at all?

But locational consolidation is entirely permissible. If they offered you the role in Scotland, would you move your life up there, just to be cannon fodder when they need to sack more people in a year's time, given that regular sackings is their business model?

UK employment protection is surprisingly weak when it comes down to the rub, but were it beefed up we'd probably end up like France rather than Germany. Would you take the risk of going to tribunal? Hardly a positive thing to put on your CV, I'd have thought, no matter what the rights and wrongs. It would be stressful, no guarantee of success, you'd have to pay the claim and hearing fees (of £1,200 if going for unfair dismissal) and the average settlement for a successful claim is about £12k. It appears at first glance that about 75% of claims result in some form of settlement, but equally 25% get nothing (failed at appeal, withdrawn, struck out on technical grounds etc). As a general rule the award will also be judged on what is merited, which means if they had offered you £6k, and the tribunal judged you should have got £12k, you get £12k, not £18k.

So having been in the tumbril a few times myself, I'd advise you to take whatever you get offered, and move on. Notwithstanding the poor reputation of HP round these parts, it's a fabulously blue chip name on your CV, and you've probably got very good transferrable skills and experience. Stay positive, use the opportunity to think what you'd like to be doing with your career - easier said than done when you're aggrieved, but like I say I've been there, I speak from experience. If you try and fight an employer that wants rid of you, that'll absorb a lot of your energy that you should be using to push yourself on to better things, you'll be at risk of depression if you're wallowing in the unfairness of it all, and any bitterness towards HP will come out at interview, which will harm your employability.

For a small number of people going to tribunal and claiming against a former employer is the right thing to do. For most of us, going down that route means investing our effort in the past, not in our own future.

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Ledswinger
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Re: How is HPE still a thing?

I worked with some amazing people at HP

This is central to this tragedy. Many of my former in-house colleagues were TUPEd across to the ghastly job-destroying dinosaur that HP is. And they were excellent, and continued to do their best within the allowable restrictions that HP imposed on them. But they've been whittled down time and again, ground down by HPE's shit-headed processes and even-shitter-headed management, and the latest slap in the face is that most of them are being further TUPE'd across to Manpower, and I'll wager they'll soon (if not already) be on zero hours contracts.

There is no fate so vile that I would not wish it upon the managements of HP, HPE, CSC and Manpower. Ghastly, third rate outfits. Any company stupid enough to outsource staffing or operations to those companies deserves the results.

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'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'

Ledswinger
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Re: Fit for purpose

Anyone knows of a Win7 'look-alike' personalization on Win10?

Try Classic Shell. It even made Win 8 pleasantly useable.

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EU wants open science publication by 2020

Ledswinger
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Re: Principally, yes...

Elsevier is simply a leech

A leech that makes about £2bn a year from publishing scientific journals, with an operating margin of 37%. And that's after their corporate expenses - gross margin is about double that, showing how little it costs them to make so much, on account of the fact that they don't contribute to the research that they profit from.

As the article says, expect much lobbying, along with whining that free publication will cause the Earth to stop turning, contribute to climate change etc etc.

I think its clear that the day of commercial scientific journal is coming to a well deserved (and belated) close. So long, Elsevier, go find another market to exploit.

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The Schmidt's hit by the fan: Alphabet investor sues Google bigwigs over EU antitrust ruckus

Ledswinger
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so what's his complaint now?

He should sue himself. I daresay that's readily possible under the dysfunctional US legal system. And as he strutted back and forth in the courtroom, pontificating for both plaintiff and defendant, presumably he'd be thinking about stringing the case out to inflate his fees on both accounts.

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Ledswinger
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Re: That's silly

Ad funded is not the same as free.

That's true. But since businesses have finite and usually pre-set advertising budgets, the marginal cost of advertising to you and I is very close to zero. And therefore, if you get something from Google, you're not paying anything extra for it in cash. In terms of privacy, yes you're "paying extra", but there's no additional financial cost added to the products you buy, since the budgets would have been set and frittered anyhow, were Google not present.

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Three UK cloudy firms promise CMA they'll be 'fairer' to customers

Ledswinger
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Re: Nice sideshow

The CMA are a combination of bureaucrats and jobbing academics and management consultants. Sometimes they get things right, but there's often limited insight. And the bureaucratic framework totally blocks any proactive investigation even if they wanted to.

Personally I'd make the CMA a subsidiary agency of the NAO, and give it some licence to go and investigate things it thought needed a kicking, in addition to the current arrangements where they can only accept referrals from establishment bodies.

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Feinstein-Burr's bonkers backdoor crypto law is dead in the water

Ledswinger
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dead in the water

Don't you believe it. The Establishment want these powers. The Bureaucrats want them to have those powers. The same bad ideas will be back in another form soon. Just like the Snoopers Charter in the UK.

But next time the War on Freedom (tm) will be advanced by words quietly added to the back of a bill about something so dull and innocuous that nobody will read it or notice.

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The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware

Ledswinger
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Re: Hopefully

And it will be a MBA/business degree course on company failures...

Maybe. But MS are making good progress forcing corporates towards W10 and O365. Not showing up in the numbers yet, because large enterprise roll outs take forever in testing, planning and rollout. But faced with W7 becoming unsupported by 2020, (in fact "mainstream support" ended about eighteen months ago), business will find its hand forced.

Like it or not, Microsoft own the enterprise desktop, and they are going to force businesses to take W10 in the next four years. With too much vested in Microsoft, business doesn't have anywhere to go and will have to take W10/O365, and pay the Redmond tithe. Google don't (IMHO) have anything credible in the enterprise space (unless you're very easily pleased). Apple are nowhere. And Linux amounts to "do it yourself" that won't appeal to people who envy the days of "nobody ever got sacked for buying IBM".

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Ledswinger
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Re: Shame

I agree with another poster.

I might as well. Whatabout everybody else? Have YOU at any point agreed with another unspecified poster? Don't forget to let us know.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Shame

Even though most people evidently prefer Android and IOS, it is always bad news for consumers when fewer competitors remain.

I wouldn't be too concerned. Back in 2007 half of all smartphones were made by some Finnish company nobody now remembers. Or remember when Alta Vista was the leading search engine? Or AOL was the largest ISP on the planet?

The dominance of Google will not last forever. Apple may do a bit better because they lead on brand rather than technology, but even that's not proven. This is the unfortunate thing about being top dog: You can maintain your position for a while, but you can't improve it. And eventually somebody takes your crown.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Look at the bright side

"In 5 years archaeologists will puzzle over this variant technology"

FTFY. In technology, time extends exponentially when you look backwards. Two years takes us to the birth of Jesus. four years to the dinosaurs, six years and you're back to the big bang.

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HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

Ledswinger
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Re: Wrong retirement

I worked in HR ....

No you didn't. You may have been employed in HR, but that's different.

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Ledswinger
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Re: The Real Ale Defence

Real beer from the PNW...IPA's, Stouts, Ales etc

You mean fairly straightforward copies of our Old World stuff that we've done properly for more time than you've been a country? I'm sure it's very nice, but I'm equally sure there's proper local craft brewing that Blighty doesn't do - interesting things with Tatnung hops, for example?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Private sector

I'm sure these cock-ups happen in both sectors from time to time.

They certainly happen anywhere that you allow the parasitic organism "HR" to take root and grow. If you've got more than a payroll team, then be worried. And that payroll team only needs to be about 1 FTE per 1,000 employees.

I wonder if you can buy HRicide in convenient spray canisters? My employers could do with a bulk delivery. But to be honest, looking at the presence, calibre and contribution of most HR "professionals", it is possible that simply sprinkling salt on them would be sufficient.

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Labour asks for more concessions on the UK's Snoopers' Charter

Ledswinger
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Labour's "discomfort" over the Snoopers' Charter

That seems a bit rich, given that the whole snooper's charter has its roots back in Jack Straw's day as Home Secretary.

When it comes to Westminster, there's nothing to choose between any of them, just a bunch of lazy, over-paid, vain, incompetent, self obsessed, illiberal fuckwits.

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Bank in the UK? Plans afoot to make YOU liable for bank fraud

Ledswinger
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Re: Happy to be held accountable once...

After spending 10 minutes trying to parse Bangalorian into English I gave up, close the account and moved to Nationwide.

Late last year Nationwide outsourced a load of their IT operations to CrapGemini, and signed an automation deal with TCS, so you'd better move again. Meanwhile the CEO of Nationwide paid himself £3.3m last year, an amount that has doubled in five years.

It would seem to me that the management of Nationwide are the same talent free snout-in-the-trough types as run the rest of the financial services sector.

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HPE spins out enterprise services business into CSC

Ledswinger
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The truth is that EDS were holed below the waterline by these same measures pre-acquisition, and HP found out they'd been sold a pup. Odd to see history repeating itself.

And now they've sold the pup to CSC, who misguidedly think that if they lay off another few tens of thousands of workers it'll all come good.

Now, Carly, what's the strategy for sorting out that Autonomy acquisition........

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Ledswinger
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Re: Obvious from the start

Certainly - it can be confusing, especially as Enterprise Group can provide services.

Cheers, mate.

So, in a typical HP deal they'd have signed up a company like mine for hardware, infrastructure and ITO, and now all three of those elements are from separate companies (plus the telco partner involved in most corporate deals). Smooth.

Be interesting to see what happens as these bundled contracts come up for renewal....

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Ledswinger
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Re: Obvious from the start

It's not a sale of the whole of HPE, just the Enterprise Services bit. The rest of HPE; Enterprise Group, Software and Financial Services, will continue as HPE.

OK. Can you explain the difference between "Enterprise Services" and "Enterprise Group"? Having read the article, and visited HPE's (dreadful) website I'm, none the wiser.

Cue more massive redundancies, sorry "synergies".

$1.5bn of "synergies". That's about 18,000 jobs if they're US or European employees.

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Business dept sinks £14m into canned shared services plan

Ledswinger
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Re: After a while you give up trying to understand

My favourite is spending 94million on money saving efforts but only saving 90 million!

The caveat was "in two and a half years". In my experience, there's very few complex business projects that would expect to get a cash return in much less time. In the ten years since commencement, NAO expect costs of £159m versus savings of £484m. Which would imply that from now they have ongoing operating costs of about £8.6m a year, but are saving about £50m a year, and fairly quickly the project should be saving more than it has cost in total.

Seems to me what NAO are actually criticising is the over-egging of benefits in the first case, the lack of joined-up working and refusal of subsidiary agencies to participate, and the usual poor planning and delivery of any government change programme.

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Watchdog snaps: Privatise the Land Registry? What a terrible idea!

Ledswinger
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Re: Why should we not trust the Tories?

Have they ever been investigated over shenanagins about election irregularities?

Whilst (as a dyed in the wool Conservative) I'd agree the current Tories are crock of shit, I would suggest that any Labour sympathisers should check their facts on electoral fraud, and particularly postal voting fraud. By the numbers, Labour are winning about five to one.

The problem is quite simple, and doesn't have any left or right wing dimension at all: Career politicians are corrupt, full stop.

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Ledswinger
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Re: The *real* reason is to make it exempt from FOI requests ...

The *real* reason is to make it exempt from FOI requests ...

That, sir, is bollocks. This is just the same as privatising Royal Mail and giving away the post code address file to your mates, against all sensible advice.

Now, I've worked for privatised businesses for a good chunk of my career, and it can work wonders for both service quality and efficiency. But giving away either the Land Registry or PAF is simply criminal.

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Blighty's Virgin Queen threatened with foreign abduction

Ledswinger
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Re: One of those auctions ...

But surely the seller will be paying income tax on this

Consider the scenario that the asset might be held by the beneficial owner's dad through an offshore trust, to avoid the taxes the rest of us pay?

Not implying that I'm referring to the useless dogf*cker Cameron, and obviously not wishing to imply that the Nulabour quisling is either useless, not f*cks dogs. You can make your own mind up about all of those concepts.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Why do we need 3 of them?

Point of order! You'd not get much for £10m, you'd really need about £30m for a new medical wing on any reasonably sized hospital. Although having said that I'd not pay tuppence for the thing, so the actual scaling of our comparative unit is moot.

What I don't get is the desperate need to "save it for the nation". Is there something wrong with foreigners owning art that was created in England? If we're taking that approach, other might too. And that would spell trouble for the British Museum......

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Three UK: Our MMS prices are up. Get around us with WhatsApp or Skype

Ledswinger
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I've never sent an MMS in my life!

Many people have and don't know it. The idiotic decision by the retards at Samsung to send emojis as MMS is a particularly fine example of forcing MMS traffic, along with automatic conversion of long SMS into MMS.

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China caught astroturfing social networks

Ledswinger
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Re: Every big company does this.

Actually the only online comments you can trust are nihilistic commentards.

Thank you, I am honoured.

<Bows politely>

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Hack probing poodle sacrifice cuffed for public crap

Ledswinger
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Re: Smokey bear says:

and he adds:

Use the woods, man. Not some geezer's front yard.

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

Ledswinger
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Mine's still hanging together - just.

Same here. DVLA can fuck with their poxy half baked plastic ID cards. I think I'm going to have to use some tape on the folds to stop it becoming big confetti. Anybody thinking about doing this may want to choose Scotch Crystal Clear Tape which is specifically sold for long life document repairs.

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Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise salute EU flag, blast Brexiteers

Ledswinger
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Re: The resources the government

I see it rather more prosaically. The economic arguments are null and void on both sides, doesn't actually matter too much either way.

So its a simple choice of whether we wish to be run by the vermin of Brussels or the vermin of Westminster. Personally I'll settle for the vermin of Westminster, and if the vote goes that way, hopefully the Conservative party will then grow some vestigial spine and kick out the clueless toffs living at numbers 10 and 11.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise hiring temps to cover for redundancies - sources

Ledswinger
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Re: Well deserved

this little thing called "customer satisfaction" is quite hard to value, so it tends to be ignored.

Doesn't really apply in ITO and BPO. Once a company has TUPE'd out its in house capability, it is very difficult to recreate it. The vendors like HPE know this, and the only real risk is that the customer might not renew their contract and take the business to a competitor. Trouble is all the ITO and BPO providers are using the same model so you'll get the same poor service, padded invoice, and one way SLA.

So why worry about customer satisfaction? At the moment the customer decided to outsource the function, they threw away the luxury of having any control over either service quality or cost.

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EU mulls €3bn fine for Google

Ledswinger
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Re: itunes

having a monopoly is not illegal. Using a monopoly to stifle competition is.

Actually, you don't need a monopoly to exploit market power, nor even a cartel (itself usually a virtual monopoly). Maybe the Commission might like to look into the UK mobile market then, where the incumbent (vertically integrated) players all own substantial but captive challenger brands pretending to be MVNOs. And in some cases there's a compelling appearance of stifling competiton through predatory pricing through selected resellers, even though the same deal on the captive MVNO's own website is precisely twice the price the reseller offers.

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HSBC swinging axe on UK IT department, 840 heads to roll

Ledswinger
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Re: And of course

Oh colour me surprised, thought not

Or should that be "colour you brown" mate? It's good to see the verminous management of HSBC decide that (after their vitriolic little paddy about domicile) they want the advantages of a London headquarters, all the protection of the English courts, all the joys of London banking bonuses, the implicit taxpayer backing should they ever screw the pooch on any of their casino banking bets. But when it comes to low end and even mid range white collar jobs in the UK, HSBC's scumbag board just can't wait to issue the P45s.

Those on the receiving end can perhaps pause and think gratefully that their noble (if involuntary) sacrifice means that a few more bankers can go and quaff a six or seven figure bonus at whatever champagne and oyster bar the idle, value destroying f***ers infest these days.

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UK needs comp sci grads, so why isn't it hiring them?

Ledswinger
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From my experience as a Comp Sci Student and having given the subject quite some thought in the past....:

Perhaps the solution is for college based degrees in Comp Sci to end, and have only degree level apprenticeships? The employers provide hands on experience in a real work environment, and steer the academic input, the colleges provide that academic rigour and content (stopping the employers simply using apprentices as cheap labour). And the students get a degree debt free, and graduate with real employment experience. As the students are essentially chosen by the employers, this might also eliminate many of the dossers who commentards appear to believe are a good chunk of Comp Sci students at the moment.

Clearly the employers WILL be using the apprentices as cheap labour, and that's part of the Faustian pact, but if prospective apprentices don't like that idea, there's always the prospect of accruing £40k of debt and a full time Comp Sci degree from the University of Derby.

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A cracked window on the International Space Station? That's not good

Ledswinger
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A box of glitter would probably be more effective.

You've got a point there. But rather than a box of glitter from Claire's Accessories, what about alternative missiles. Condoms, or ladies's sanitary products would be amusing, but perhaps too bulky. But what about frozen peas, or a few boxes of dry catfood?

Imagine Obama's face: "The Norks have knocked out our satellites with WHAT?

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Ledswinger
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If anyone wants to make a real space weapon then they can just launch a bag of nails in the opposite direction...

Not very targeted. And you'd need a bloody big bag of nails to have any chance of hitting anything.

Mind you, lets put ourselves in the position of evil fatboy Kim Jong Un. No mates, no real satellites, and desperate to garner some publicity. Nothing to lose by polluting LEO space, and a modest amount to gain. So would somebody care to do some fagpacket maths on how many nails Porky Kim will need to scatter to stand a modest chance of destroying say 4 satellites within six months? One or two lost satellites the owners could hush up, but after there's been four taken out, it becomes a bit more difficult to deny there's a problem.

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Ledswinger
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Trollface

Re: Transparent ALUMINUM?

Aluminium. If you please.

'Tis a sad problem caused by the revolting colonials, is it not?

But not to worry, as they'll soon all be speaking Spanish, and the problem of Merkins mangling the Queen's English will simply fade away.

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Aussie wedges spam javelin in ring spanner

Ledswinger
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How impressive?

What size spanner did he manage to get it trapped in? I'm only going to be impressed if it was eye wateringly small, or something at the other end of the spectrum, like the spanner I use on the car water pump.

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EU commish: We smacked down O2/Three but we didn't take it 'lightly'

Ledswinger
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There were a greater number of mobile network operators in the market.

Is four some magic number that protects consumers then?

There is a lack of competition in the mobile market, but that's because you have an oligopoly of (depending on your view) three to five vertically integrated incumbents. Their retail offer is not seeking to rock the boat and deliver better deals for customers. Of course, what about MVNOs? Pity that three of the biggest MVNOs are wholly owned captives of the vertically integrated incumbents and if nothing's changed one of the other largest MVNOs is half owned by an incumbent.

You could of course set up your own MVNO. But you'll have to go cap in hand to one of the MNO, hope they'll cut you a fair deal (Ha! Good luck with that!), and that they then won't use their captive MVNO to rip the rug from under you by predatory pricing - often offered cheap only through third party distributors, so that it crops up on Uswitch, but the incumbent can say "not us, guvn'r".

If that's what you call competition, you're welcome to it.

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Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

Ledswinger
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Re: Hurrah!

the House of Lords, our last bastion of defense (sic)

I don't think you've been paying attention. The House of Lords has been uniquely ineffective as an upper chamber since, well, anytime in the past two centuries. When it was full of sleepy old codgers in ermine, who never interfered, it was fine. A tourist attraction and nod our history.

Of late, it has become a place of shitty patronage for smug, halfwit prime ministers to offer lifetime membership of one of the world's most exclusive clubs. At the moment, thanks to that grinning war criminal Blair, the place is stuffed with a majority of Labour peers - numpties like both Kinnocks, talent like Joan Bakewell, Peter Mandelson. The Tory peers are of no better calibre, but at least there's not as many.

So we have an entirely unelected chamber that has now taken it upon itself to interfere in the lawmaking of the elected government. Now, I might be considered a Tory, but I hold Cameron and his chumocracy in deeper distain than any Graun reader, so I'm not in favour of the current government. But if you think these people are doing ANYTHING in your interests, you really haven't thought it all through.

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Russia faces Ukraine and Georgia in Eurovision deathmatch

Ledswinger
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Discrimination!

What's wrong with 9 and 11 then, you Eurof***ers?

Presumably some advanced mathematical modelling established that including those numbers in the allowable points would somehow stop all the crappy little countries doing their usual tribal voting?

But then again, why should we care? Eurovision met its Waterloo in 1974, and it's all been downhill since then. This year would appear to be its Kursk.

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

Ledswinger
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Re: Snake Oil @ The Indomitable Gall

Germany rode out the big recession pretty damned well compared to the rest of the continent, so I don't know why we're all still modelling the French approach rather than the German one.

Germany rode out the great recession so well because (as a result of the Euro project's flaws), they joined the Euro with an undervalued entry currency. That kept their manufacturing exports relatively cheap and highly competitive. The corollary of the deutschmark being undervalued was that in Southern Europe (and to an extent France) they joined with over valued currencies (largely for vanity reasons), and that made their exports uncompetitive, and is a major contributor to their moribund economies and appalling youth unemployment rates. And the catastrophe in Southern Europe helped avoid the Euro skyrocketing on FX markets, and that locked in the German export advantage when dealing with non Euro markets.

This had precisely diddly squat to do with the layout of their rail networks, and everything to do with the fact that nobody in their right mind would pay the (UK) £25k starting list price for a weird and frangible Citroen C5 when that's the same starting list price for a BMW 3 series.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Snake Oil

"...for example a line between Scotland and Norway..."

That's a bit harsh on Norway. Couldn't we just use a cannon and fire them westward into the Atlantic?

Fantastic idea. Aim for Rockall with the beggars. It'd be like throwing tomatoes at a wall.

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Google, Honeywell put away Nest patent knives

Ledswinger
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Re: Honeywell

Nest: Hipster clueless startup

Actually, a company looking to solve the problem that the existing domestic HVAC control gear companies were oblivious too: That their products were either utterly rudimentary, or had more capabilities that were well hidden by the user interface from hell.

Yes, you could do what I did over twenty years ago, and buy a non-smart programmeable thermostat. The exact same design is still churned out today, and it works just fine - but it takes a whole lot of effort to set up, and when the household routine changes you have to go back to the sluggish, counter-intuitive user interface and reset everything.

I've not got a Nest, and I'm not going to have any web-connected smart 'stat anyday soon. But to dismiss Nest as clueless hipsters rather ignores the fact that people are buying them, liking them, and recommending them, because it works, and works rather well.

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