* Posts by hoola

245 posts • joined 22 Mar 2013

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NASA's Chandra probe suddenly becomes an EX-ray space telescope (for now, anyway)

hoola

James Webb Telescope

The real problem is that all four of the NASA space telescopes are old and will be subject to failures. The next generation of space telescope is the James Webb Space Telescope. This project is grossly over budget, perpetually delayed and currently keeps failing test. Some of this is down to incompetence but a lot is all about waving the flag about how clever NASA are.

The costs of the JWST are just astronomical:

1996 $1 billion, 2007 launch

2018 £9.7 billion 2021 launch

If this does get launched there are just so many things to go wrong it will really be a miracle if everything works.

What is even more scary is that there is another NASA telescope, WFIRST is also over budget and delayed. To be fair, Hubble was also overran with an initial budget of $200 million but ended up at $1.2 billion plus the cost of fixing the mirrors. The thing is that there was always as good change of success. The new platforms are just so complicated and experimental that they risk being obsolete by the time they are commissioned. Improvements in ground-based telescopes and the significantly lower costs are eating into the space telescope's viability every year.

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Day two – and Windows 10 October 2018 Update trips over Intel audio

hoola

It's the future

This is all about "Agile development", an excuse to push out software and updates with a minimum of testing but it is a success because it was quick. Just fix anything major like the logo being in the wrong place, and hope the users find the rest. Then fix all that in a few releases time whilst in the process break another load of functionality. It has been brewing for a few years now and now that it is in the mainstream, all the shortcomings are floating to the top.

If this sort of rubbish was deployed even 10 years ago people would be up in arms but because this is all on-trend and funky, we are just forced to accept it. Unfortunately there is very little anyone can do about it. At some point another equally special "technique" will be invented by some management consultants and so the cycle continues.

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Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

hoola

Up In Arms

So the world is up in arms because a piece of electronic tat stops working. What a sad state of affairs have we got into?

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A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

hoola

Re: Debt = Bad

Correct, debt is mostly bad, the real problem comes from the financial arrangements that are used by these "venture capital" outfits. They exist with the sole purpose of making money for their own directors , some of their clients and possible the directors of the companies the "invest" in.

All these takeovers, or injections of money have several things in common:

Any assets are ruthlessly stripped out of the business and sold

Property is then leased or rented back at rates far in excess of what the business can afford, often from shell companies owned by the same directors of the venture capital company.

Shareholders and the newly appointed directors all take out far more that the business can sustain, either in dividends paid from loans or convoluted share deals.

The result is that the once perfectly viable business has been completely hamstrung with all the financial liabilities it has been saddled with so it then goes under. The one thing you can be completely sure of is that all the money is safely off shore and the real cause of the failure are completely safe and could not give a stuff.

Capitalism is not far off broken, perfectly viable business are getting destroyed because they issue a "profits warning" as it is below expectation. They are still viable, making profits but the "investors" promptly dump stock as everything is done on a time scales of days (or possible minutes). The concept of longer term investment appears to be dead and as with most of society, only instant gratification matters and bugger the consequences.

The list of companies affected by this goes on and on. BHS is another, they ended up having to bp

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Microsoft wants to cart your data away in a box and punt it onto Azure

hoola

And getting it out???

And one assumes that they will quite happily do the reverse if you need to move it somewhere else. Not a chance in hell of that. Everything to do with Azure is about Microsoft getting their hands on as much as possible and then never letting go unless you have very deep pockets.

Cloud does have its place but the way it is being sold as this gold-plated solution to everything is just wrong. If this were a consumer product, some sort of financial service or such like then Trading Standards or another regulatory body should be taking an interest.

SLAs are promised that are meaningless with as they appear to be able to wriggle out of anything being down, even when it is blatantly broken.

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European nations told to sort out 'digital tax' on tech giants by end of year

hoola

Re: Taxing revenue is inherently unfair

Is that fair? Probable yes as Amazon are directly responsible for decimating retailers everywhere as a result of undercutting everyone due to the tax arrangements and all the incentives they get.

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New Horizons eyeballs Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule, its next flyby goal

hoola

Grrr.

We can send a tea chest that far to hook up with something the size of a small island yet we are incapable of doing simple tasks like filling holes in the road, or making batteries that don't leak gloop everywhere.

Ah well.......

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None too chuffed with your A levels? Hey, why not bludgeon the exam boards with GDPR?

hoola

Re: FOI...

FOI does have it's uses however it is routinely abused for commercial reasons. There are certain people who will send out all sorts of complicated requests to every council in the country. Exactly why should a FOI request response to equipment inventories that go down to model numbers and sometimes serial numbers. It is not what the FOI act is for. This is invariably business trying to get contract information. It also wastes a huge amount of time in departments that are already over stretched and under resourced. Sure there will be lazy employees everywhere but local government has suffered so much budget cuts there is bugger all fat left. Most are struggling to provide the statutory minimum. Where there are problems they are invariably with the elected members, not the employees (Northampton).

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Android data slurping measured and monitored

hoola

Re: recaptcha?

The last paragraph is interesting, I was looking for something my son wanted but was now discontinued and only a few places had it. Ignoring all the spam Amazon click-bait link and we found a couple. A few days later the page for one of the suppliers was still open when Chrome loaded and as I moved the mouse of the website's search box, it came up in faint grey with an error containing fb, facebook pixl or similar. At this point I concluded that any searches done on that site were uploading metadata even though I have nothing to do with Facebook. The entire debacle has now got me looking in detail and trying to block even more outbound calls that are not necessary. As others have mentioned, the idiots that build these site just cannot conceive of the fact that users may not even have Facebook or Twitter or some other stupid account. The equally cannot conceive of the fact that what they are doing is probably morally or socially unacceptable. But these will be the same generation that have grown up sharing the minutia of their imibicle lives with the world without the slightest thought for the consequences. And this is of course why all these types of companies want young devs, etc. they simply have no concept of right, wrong, decency and what is acceptable, reflecting the views of those at the very top.

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Facebook insists it has 'no plans' to exploit your personal banking info for ads – just as we have 'no plans' to trust it

hoola

Basic Common Sense

One would hope that the financial regulators would have something to say about this. Any bank that signs up to this "in the interests of the customer" is just plain stupid. I fail to see any benefit for the user but huge benefits for the endless data grab that Facebook is doing. Facebook execs would sell absolutely anything to anyone to make money.

The current vomit-inducing adverts on UK television about how "Facebook is changing" are just laughable. Like any big tech (and by inference US based) company. That have repeatedly shown themselves to be utterly untrustworthy with anything but their own money. They will do absolutely anything to duck and dive privacy and regulation. The only people that look to be taking this on are the Germans and possibly Vestager in the EU.

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Cisco drops a cool $2.3 billion on SaaSy outfit Duo Security

hoola

Re: All that was green now turns blue

That will totally stuff a great product that is economical for both private and corporate use. Something that is cheap and usable bought by Cisco, what could possible go wrong!!!!!

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Cheap NAND nasty: Flooding market with chips threatens prices

hoola

Re: Ab Fab economics

The labour to build it is cheaper, much cheaper, as will the raw materials and all the machinery. Then the running costs will be less due to the regulatory restrictions being reduced .

All those laws to protect the environment are generally significantly more lax in those areas.

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Another German state plans switch back from Linux to Windows

hoola

Re: application compatibility

Wine may run it but if the supplier of the software does not support it running on Wine then you are stuffed. My experience of Wine is that some stuff works, some partially works and a lot simply will not run. Then you have the issue of enterprise support. Opensource might be fine at home in a small business but unless you have commercial support with appropriate SLAs in place then it is going nowhere. Once you start paying for commercial licensing and support then the underlying OS becomes even more important as few are in the support matrix, REHL being the most common.

Add all those costs together and a commercial Linux solution is not going to be so different to a Microsoft solution. At that point you go with what fits and the unfortunate truth is that Windows wins over Linux most times. All the points mentioned in previous posts about replacements for AD are correct, they just don't exist in forms that are currently viable. These used to be Novell with eDirectory that was a serious AD killer, it even ran on Windows. Novell ported to a SLES derivative with Open Enterprise Server but it was still doomed. As with all these things, it probably was the best and the NSS filesystem left anything from Linux or Windows in the dark ages.

If Linux does get corporate adoption in the way Windows has it will be with a single commercial distro. What happens then, is all the ranting is to switch to the "Free" distros? Much of the hatred for Windows appears to be because it is not opensource & free. In the corporate world support and longevity matters.

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Apple is Mac-ing on enterprise: Plans strategic B2B alliance with HPE

hoola

What a load of bull!

The number of times we have "consultants" turning up with a Mac that will not connect to anything is just stupid. They these shiny iToys that then require a wheelbarrow full of additional parts to make them work, which they NEVER bring because it is too much of a pain . Even if they do have the right connector it them refuses to link up correctly. Then discover that it has only one part and cannot plug in the inevitable USB stick to get the presentation up.

Love it or hate it, even a basic consumer laptop will connect to an external monitor or projector. Add all the extra peripherals for Skype & conference calls and they just work.

They also have far too many problems connecting to services that in any organisation, because it is Windows centric, just work. Everything to do with these things at true enterprise scale is a serious pain in the arse, ultimately costing far more than supporting a regular business class PC/laptop. Just selling a few iToys at CEO level does not make it "enterprise ready". Sure they may have a place somewhere but I am buggered if I can see it in mainstream big business.

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UK Home Office sheds 70 staff on delayed 4G upgrade to Emergency Services Network

hoola

All the doers

There must come a point when Management have to reduce their own numbers, All too often it is the people doing the technical or productive work that are chopped leaving the desk jockeys with their feet up. There appears to be this belief (that is self-perpetuating) that the answer to any project that has failed to deliver is more management.

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Labour MP pushing to slip 6-hour limit to kill illegal online content into counter-terror bill

hoola

Re: In theory, and practise

I think that the entire thing is being approached from the wrong direction. Take all the politics and beliefs away and you are left with:

Unacceptable violence

Speech that is inciting hate/extremism/violence

Unacceptable sex

These are the fundamental things that need dealing with and for most of the part the current crop of US based companies shirk any responsibility. There is as much incitement coming out of Christian or other teachings that are deemed acceptable because they are Western in origins as there is from the Muslim aligned faiths. The problem with taking this approach is that it does not align with the political rhetoric that if you are not a friend of the US then you are evil. The freedom of expression that an uncontrolled Internet provides is also is downfall. There is so much junk returned in searches that it is getting more and more difficult to actually find what you want. Even simple searches can return huge quantities of useless results that land you on advert infested pages.

My biggest gripe is the amount of click bait links for items that are discontinued or not available (if they ever where) at a price. The later often is Amazon links that show an item at one price yet if you click on the link it is double that yet because you visited the page, all the metrics mean someone makes some money, just not from selling anything. We appear to have reached the sorry state where there is more money to be made from people visiting a page than actually buying things.

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Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally

hoola

Ah the Phone kit

I decided to swap the head unit in a VW from a Sat Nav with a tiny screen that was not much use to the same size unit I had in a previous Golf. All went well, I got the old one out without breaking any of the stupid little clips, found I had the correct connector and put it all back. A quick test and it all appeared fine until a few days later the phone would not connect.

A bit of research revealed that the cheap unit had Bluetooth built in whereas the replacement had a funky external module. I spoke to an acquaintance in the car radio business and he supplied me with the correct module and the advice, just plug it in to the loom a the back of the radio.

No chance, having taken the whole lot apart I could not see where the big plastic module was supposed to go. There were some references about it being under one of the front seats but there was not space (this was a Touran with drawers under the seats). Anyway, I gave up and took it to the acquaintance at the car radio outfit. I collected it later that day and thought nothing more of it. The vehicle went in for a service and they dealer needed to do something in the dashboard. At this point the Bluetooth module was revealed, wrapped in some card from a cereal packet floating around in the dashboard.

The Bluetooth unit does fit under the seat but needs the carpet removing for the wiring and a piece of moulded foam for it to sit in. The foam is often thrown away by the fitters as "packing" and why bother taking up the carpet if you can hide it in the dashboard.

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Microsoft Azure Europe embraced the other GDPR: Generally Down, Possibly Recovering

hoola

Cloud Panacea

The root of all this is that it is sold as a service an management do not give a stuff. IT is not their problem if it goes down they just quote SLAs et al and phone their account manager. No one really cares in the way they would if it was on prem. There you can scream at technical staff and play the blame game. Once it is in the cloud and something goes wrong, shrug shoulders, complain and a few ineffectual meetings, job done. Repeat every time it happens and continue to pay because it is too difficult now to do anything else.

Yes you can mitigate to a certain extent but the costs become prohibitive, significantly more than well managed on prem solutions. And that is where the second major point comes in, cloud is all recurrent expenditure driven and looks good on the books. This obsession with converting capital into recurrent keeps accountants happy as there are no lumps (just an ever-increasing expense). The ultimate cost to the business is ignored, it is just like everything else in society where the monthly payment is king. It does not matter if it costs four times the cost of owning it. Each payment looks small so everyone is happy,

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Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows 7, 8.1 support forums

hoola

Re: Clueless answers anyway

So not very different from Premier Support then.

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Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

hoola

Re: In America, the driver is ALWAYS responsible

In which case then, ultimately Musk is responsible. It does not matter if he wrote the code, the buck has to stop somewhere. At the moment with all this self driving guff, there is no one responsible. Get some CEOs in the courts with manslaughter or dangerous driving charges and all of a sudden things will change.

That will not happen due to the amount of money behind these grubby tech outfits, and Tesla is a tech outfit. The provide a (albeit expensive) disposable piece of consumer electronics. If they were a car manufacturer they would not be having all these problems because safety usually comes first due to experience and all the regulation.

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Uber robo-ride's deadly crash: Self-driving car had emergency braking switched off by design

hoola

Presecutions

The bottom line is that there simply has to be some prosecutions here. If I had a crash because I could not stop due to the brakes being disabled there would be all sorts of laws being thrown at you.

Because this is seen as tech and all the crap associated with it , they are above the law.

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The great Dell EMC storage slimdown: Giant to trim off product bloat

hoola

No Suprises Here

It is simple and many could foresee this happening. It was always going to end this way and anyone who thought otherwise was in La La land.

Dell are a bunch of double glazing salesmen, revenue at any costs.

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How could the Facebook data slurping scandal get worse? Glad you asked

hoola

And WhatsApp

The change in the T&Cs for WhatsApp is another, typical Facebook cop out. Essentially it is used by loads of people, including minors (not the underground type) to communicate. Recently a pop-up appeared where you just ticked a box to say you were over 16. How in hells name are kids just going to stop using it. They will just tick the box as the shites at Facebook say, well you agreed and then continue to sell the data. I have zero confidence in Facebook to be doing what they claim and keeping the two separate. They should never have been allowed to buy WhatsApp in the first place. If you read the T&Cs then there is every chance that data is being used for profile matching with Facebook accounts.

They are simply the worst bunch of money-grubbing lying scroats there is, along with most of the similar Silicon Valley app-based outfits.

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Waymo van prang, self-driving cars still suck, AI research jobs, and more

hoola

Crux of the matter

And this ultimately is the real problem that no one is prepared to address. Automation the removes jobs with NO REPLACEMENTS is going to cripple society. Everything at the moment is about short-term gain and mega-profits for the few, usually already very rich corporations. Once the bubble has burst and there is no longer a majority to consume, use or whatever, they are stuffed. At that point all the mega rich will be on their yachts, islands or whatever without a care.

What happens when the working population is essentially menial jobs that cannot be automated (and do not contribute to tax) and very wealth corporate types (who also do not pay tax)?

Automation as it stands is going to destroy the so-called civilised world. The divide between the "haves & have not's" is going to get ever larger and recent history has already shown us that those in the new generation of "haves" have not a jot of concern for the outcome of any decision/action they take if it does not directly benefit them.

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Arista: Sales up, profit up, share price down

hoola

Stock Market Shysters

These stock market people are the biggest bunch of shysters ever. Their sole existence is to make profit, usually as quickly as possible and at other people's (company's) expense.

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Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

hoola

Re: Surprise Sighting

After "borrowing" the petrol from the various vehicles parked around G-ERTI to stop it taking off.

I always thought that commercial jets had under-wing pumped fuelling rather than a petrol cap on top. Now that would spoil the story.

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Double double, soil and trouble, fire burn and heat shield bubble: NASA cracks rover, has dirty talk with ESA

hoola

Re: get those rocks back to our home world.

Tintin managed a tail landing reusable rocket so it must be possible. "Explorers on the Moon"

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Google Pixel 2 XL: Like paying Apple-tier prices then saying, hey, please help yourself to my data

hoola

Apple?

And why do we believe that Apple are not collecting just as much data? They may not be selling it on but I would suggest there is a very good chance they knew just as much as Google, Facebook et. al. They simple have not been caught (yet).

All these tech outfits are ultimately the same and should not be trusted.

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eBay has locked me into undeletable Catch-22 trap, complains biz bod

hoola

eBay polices are just insane

A while back I bought some flooring that was collect only. This obviously requires you to know where the seller lives and communicate with them. Phone numbers were blocked in messaging so eventually the address was put in. A short while late both my account and the seller's account had been restricted as we were trying to complete a transaction outside of eBay. After hours of fruitless chat and phone calls the eBay drone agreed that it was stupid but there was nothing they could do about it. After more passing around they took the restrictions off.

I believe that bit of lunacy may have been corrected with the seller address now being visible after purchase.

On another occasion I was trying to buy a bike but was unhappy that the seller would only accept cash, outside of eBay. I abandoned that and reported him with the only result that I ended up being restricted because I attempted to complete a transaction outside of eBay.

WTF?

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Slap visibility beacons on bikes so they can chat to auto autos, says trade body

hoola

Re: Yeah... Right

No, if they are that shit, they simply should not be allowed on the roads. Do this for one set of users & the next thing everyone will have to have a beacon so a small group of American tech companies can make more profit.

You can also guarantee that those beacons will be uploading data as well.

As a cyclist, the problems are two way, far too many road users are selfish, stupid and for drivers, do not look beyond the end of the bonnet. There are also plenty of stupid cyclists who give the rest of us a bad name, and they are not all teenage louts.

Whilst driving on Sunday I approached a mini roundabout to turn right, a stream of lycra clad middle-aged roadies coming the other way just ploughed straight across the roundabout and my path, hurling abuse at me for hooting. The same group had a huge queue of cars behind them because they were riding 3 and 4 abreast. As for the Deliveroo. and courier people, they are just nuts.

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BOOM! Cambridge Analytica explodes following extraordinary TV expose

hoola

Re: Too Late

Because they can be bought. As ever, money speaks, and the more there is around the greater the likelihood of scum using to for their own benefit.

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Uber breaks self-driving car record: First robo-ride to kill a pedestrian

hoola

Re: Clever car?

No that clever, why the hell was an AI car driving at 38 in a 35 zone? That is totally and utterly inexcusable. I don't care that it is "only 3mph over", the whole point of autonomous cars is exactly so that this sort of thing cannot happen. That in itself indicates that the software is of poor quality. Why should we trust any other function if it is incapable of doing something as simple as not exceeding the speed limit. This also brings in the other point people have commented on. The speed limit is the maximum and speed should be adjusted to suit the conditions or situation.

It appears to have failed significantly on this.

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Administrator PwC chops Maplin staff

hoola

Parasite & Vultures

As with all these events, the underlying venture capitalists will have done all sorts of financial engineering to ensure that they are sorted. The auditors appear to be incompetent but get a nice fat fee and the administrators are laughing all the way to the bank. There appear to be so many obscure financial tools now in terms of credit, credit insurance and everything else, all run be the very people that have brought the country to it's knees one have to ask how we have reached this state.

If you dig down enough all these collapse appear to end up as a result of some ratings outfit, bank, investment tool or consultants. All of whom are being paid huge amounts of money.

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Suspected drug dealer who refused to poo for 46 DAYS released... on bail

hoola

Re: Ah well...

Those were the days before the Health and Safety brigade stopped any decent science (chemistry in particular) in school.

What they appear to have now is so watered down it is next to useless. In the late 70's we had two chemistry teachers who practiced what they termed "Bucket Chemistry" that kept our attention. They also made holes in the sports field (although the moles made it more difficult to detect), filled labs with smoke and other exciting things.

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Tintri finally opens wide, bites restructuring bullet

hoola

Another one bites the dust

Just do everyone a favour and give up. The existing customers won't like it but I would bet a substantial amount that many of those are not genuine paying customers.

There sales approach was akin to used to the PPI phone calls.

They will not fold until every last drop of cash has been syphoned out by those at the top/

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Europe plans special tax for Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon

hoola

Not the whole problem

This still does not address the underlying nub of the problem that of the four Amazon is the worst. There is so much avoidance of VAT that UK based retailers are absolutely stuffed. There have a 20% disadvantage from the word go, that then coupled with the fact Amazon pay sod all corporate tax leaves them with nowhere to go. If these taxes are used to fund rate reductions for real businesses then there may be some benefit but that will not be the case.

In a recent BBC item about the Toys R Us failure in the UK, various members of the public all stated that they bought online. If they are buying online from genuine retailers, not commission-grubbing, tax-avoiding monoliths then there would not the be current failures. Unfortunately they are mostly buying from Amazon and eBay from Far-Eastern commercial enterprises that send everything as gifts or minimal value. This allows them the 20% price advantage.

Equally where appear to have the stupid situation where property rents and rates keep increasing, forcing business out. The landlords then appear to still be able to make money on empty premises. The entire situation round retail/online taxes at all stages of the chain is fundamentally broken but no politician will have the balls to do anything about it.

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UK's BT: Ofcom's wholesale superfast broadband price slash will hurt bottom line

hoola

Double Standards

And naturally the regulator is going to reciprocate and force Virgin to allow Openreach access to their ducts? That simply is never going to happen. As it stands Virgin can use shite subcontractors to bury a green duct 6" down. The resulting mess is then the responsibility of the local authority to make good at huge costs to the local Council Tax payers. They also randomly put cabinets all over the place with no thought as to the consequences. Virgin then refuse to even admit that it was their responsibility. (https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2017/09/large-virgin-media-cabinet-frustrates-light-seeking-scottish-pensioners.html) is fantastic, they did eventually move it. The smaller cabinets are just chucked in anywhere blocking pavements, in front of street signs, furniture and flower beds.

They appear to need no permission, do not go back and fix faults in the reinstatement even when it is marked by their own inspectors.

BT & Openreach have to jump through all the hoops other utilities do, have ducts that are deeper and generally more robust.

Openreach may not be perfect but this incessant, one sided purge is not helpful.

3
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Amateur astronomer strikes it lucky with first glimpse of a Supernova

hoola

Re: Nova GSi?

I had a used Chevette in the 80's and it was a gem. If you went down a hill, when you put the power back on at the bottom the road would disappear in a huge cloud of smoke. The rear diff sounded like a coffee grinder and the engine had a great knock. That said it refused to die, you just needed plenty of oil (it was like running a two-stroke at times).

It had one redeeming feature, the boot was absolutely massive (it puts most of today's similar sized cars to shame) and would swallow a tuba. two trumpets and a horn, the trombone of the brass quintet had to go inside with the occupants.

Unfortunately it expired on a road in the middle of bugger-all in Wales and was pushed into a ditch so cars could pass!.

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Elon Musk's Tesla burns $675.3m in largest ever quarterly loss

hoola

Trendy Tech losses are acceptable

If this was anything other than an outfit with roots in Silicon Valley it would be dead and buried. This just highlights the insanity of the situation where perfectly viable manufacturing companies get pushed to the wall with far less debt and liabilities than Telsa.

4
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Insurance companies now telling you what tech to buy with um-missable price signals

hoola

What could possibly go wrong......

Anything like this stinks of back-handers and the associated hospitality. I don't care who the vendors are, it is the same. The fact it just happens to be two large American corporations that believe they should have 100% of the market is a minor detail.

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Bring the people 'beautiful' electric car charging points, calls former transport minister

hoola

Lightening Strikes

Now that would be really efficient as it vapourises all the EVs, hopefully into small enough pieces such that they do. not block the road.

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You publish 20,000 clean patches, but one goes wrong and you're a PC-crippler forever

hoola

So you are quite happy to run unprotected or have some other less good piece of software in its place?

Maybe you should stop using Windows, Intel CPUs, Android, IOS or Windows Mobile....

And so the list goes on.

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Sack the Xerox CEO 'immediately', yell activist investors

hoola

Re: "Activist Investor" is short for...

Spot on, "Active Investor" is just a way of making total scum-bags appear respectable.

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User had no webcam or mic, complained vid conference didn’t work

hoola

Crossed Wires

Many years ago when I was working for the local council I picked up the phone late in the day for the helpdesk as they were short staffed. A heavy West African voice stated he was having a problem closing windows. At this point the council was giving all sorts of manual staff computer access so there were a number of calls with new users.

The call went on along these lines for what seemed at the time to be hours:

"I am having trouble closing windows"

"What are you trying to do?"

"I need to close everything so that I can switch off""

"Ahh, can you find the "Start Button" in the left hand corner"

short pause and heavy breathing - "no, no button there"

"Is there a Windows key" to press"

"No"

"Can just lock it so that it can be sorted out in the morning"

"No, if I could lock it I would have gone home"

Puzzlement on my part, try a different tack

"What can you see?"

"There's no buttons"

Okay, so maybe this is a language problem

"Have you had the problem before, are you a new user"

"It's been a problem ever since you fitted the new double glazing"

Ahh, now we know, scrabble around and try to find out where to put him through to....

Much laughter when the phone call is transferred.

It turned out that the departmental helpdesk number for IT was one digit different to the Housing service helpdesk for residents.

1
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Court throws out BT's plans to reduce pension rates

hoola

A Corporate Malaise

That is correct and when you then add in the disaster of the Labour/Brown decision to allow a corporate contribution holiday because pension finds had huge surpluses it is not hard to see why we are here. Future liabilities were easy to see and calculate but pressure from shareholders and directors to take more in profit (dividends) won the day.

Then add the second raid when pension funds were taxes (that still has not been reversed). The only way this is going to be rectified (given that it is now far too late) is for these huge companies to charge more for the services they provide. That means we will have to pay more and will further disadvantage then against the likes of Amazon and all the other tech based, venture capital funded, tax-avoiding scum.

4
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Destroying the city to save the robocar

hoola

Yet more data collection

Autonomous and driverless cars are nothing to do with what the general population want. This is everything to do with large tech companies (and Governments) to get yet more data from the unsuspecting public. This is just the same as Amazon Echo, Google Home and all to an certain extent Microsoft's half baked system. The more tech people blindly use (often with no actual reason other than it is fashionable or cool) the more they can monitorize you.

VW have been giving away a Bluetooth enabled thingy that plugs into the OBD port (there are loads of unofficial ones available already). This connects to you phone and collects all sorts of useful data but in order to use it you have to have a login to Volkswagen. All the data appears to be uploaded, trip information (yes it connects to Google Maps as well) fuel consumption, speed, braking etc.

Nothing comes for free and at the end of the day we appear to have a generation that happily share everything with anyone with no concept that what they are doing is in anyway stupid.

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Ice cliffs found on Mars and NASA says they’re a tap for astronauts

hoola

Ahh. science & Mankind

Can we not do anything without destroying the environment in the name of science? This then becomes commercial and gets even worse.

Mars (as is the moon and quite a few other places) are littered with crap that we sent up and discarded when it has reached the end of its life, broken or failed before it even got there.

How confident can anyone be that sending Cassini with a plutonium power pack into Saturn's upper gas layer has burnt it to a crisp? It has still left (albeit very small) amount of extra-planetary material behind.

I am all for science but it does make a mess and there appears to be little incentive to clear up afterwards.

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Should SANs be patched to fix the Spectre and Meltdown bugs? Er ... yes and no

hoola

Closed until it is not

This is nothing to do with whether they are closed or not but everything to do with performance. All storage vendors, particularly those mentioned are all competing for the last IOP that can be squeezed out. Anything that impact that is bad and whoever does patch will immediately be at a disadvantage.

Does any of this sound familiar? Yes, it is the exact reason we are in this situation in the first place, performance is of greater importance than security.

At some point some clever person will find a way to exploit this (bearing in mind all these products are now connected in some way to the Internet with phone home etc.) and then BANG!!!!

At that point a smaller vendor will probably go pout of business.

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Intel AMT security locks bypassed on corp laptops – fresh research

hoola

Re: Annnnnnd....

And exactly why is this anything to do with Intel? It may be an Intel product but the issue is a human problem. I would hope that any IT team working with AMT would have changed the default password. If they have not then they are morons.

This is just the same as leaving the default password on a router when every router has the same one.

At a corporate level they cannot randomise the initial password easily due the overhead to then commission it.

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US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

hoola

Re: What's the hit rate?

Having had the pleasure of trying to get into the US from the UK recently and being subject to a "You have been randomly selected for a bag search" everything about CBP working practices is a joke.

They are totally paranoid about drugs being brought in yet at the point of searching you are at the mercy of multiple belligerent jobs-worth type throwing their weight around. I had to watch my stuff being rummaged through and swabbed by an official who had not changed his gloves from the previous search as a minimum and dump stuff onto a filthy working area.

How the hell you are supposed to then get out of that if a swab comes up positive I don't know. As with any US officialdom the wisest option is to just do what the ask (order) and try not to piss them off any more, bearing in mind that the starting point appears to be pissed off with everyone.

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