* Posts by Domeyhead

11 posts • joined 14 Feb 2014

BA CEO blames messaging and networks for grounding


Quite surprised at some of the immature and uninformed comments on a site that should provide more information than the mainstream media. I have worked with several large organisations and in 20 years experienced 4 or 5 serious (datacentre scale) failures. In all cases fast failover technology was available but in all cases it failed to function fully and correctly when needed. In one case the business in question had 3 levels of UPS to protect a datacentre and it was one of these that caused the outage! Only one company in that list actually bothered to rehearse DR events and this is crucial - when did BA actually rehearse a full DR at the datacentre in question. The most fundamental requirement of any DR is to prove it works anytime, as much for the people as for the technology. I wrote the DR specification for one particular system (not BA I hasten to add) . Auditors would call the DR at an unspecified time and then it was down to the staff - and although operations rehearsed recovery regularly (around once per year) they never passed the DR audit in the 4 attempts I was involved in - but they did get a whole lot better (and calmer) at recovering from the inevitable spanners that chance throws into the mix. Let's get something clear here. a CEO may be accountable for the ultimate financial performance of a company - that is his job - but he is clearly NOT responsible for the success or otherwise of a particular DR. Accountability and responsibility are not the same thing. The CIO (or IT director in some places) IS accountable. And the IT Operations Director IS responsible because he/she can actually make decisions that influence the quality of the solution - especially the requirement to homogenise and rehearse under an independent auditor. I suspect the problems here were caused by multiple hardware and software layers having inconsistent commit and rollback points. I've seen this myself - storage using some kind of block level mirror across sites while up above the database commits at a row level and the application above that commits at an a transaction level. All these bits flow along a bus at some point - but it's not the bus that's the problem. It's a lack of DR planning and rehearsal (Ops Director) - it's a lack of communication between delivery and operational teams ( technical team managers - and thinking that a whole load of expensive software and hardware enables you to do without Business Continuity professsionals (CIO). There are plenty of war stories out there - look for what they all have in common - and it isn't the CEO of BA.

Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?


The costs for disposing of nuclear waste are astronomical, exactly as anti nuclear campaigners want them to be, and I am willing to be that the majority of the cost is incurred in over-engineering solutions to ensure and verify that not one single bequerel should ever escape from the spent waste. It has never been established that low levels of radiation (such as you might get from, say living in Cornwall) actually do us any harm at all. If we were to relax even marginally the amount of radiation permitted to escape in any disposal solution the costs would be slashed massively to something we can all live with. Again something anti nuclear camapigners will go ballistic over. We report on national news radiation "leaks" that are sometimes less than you get from the luminous dial of a wristwatch. A bit of proportionality would change this entire landscape and create jobs in the UK. We are mad.

NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years


or "mackintoshes" as the less exhibitionist astronauts may call them.

ALIEN BODY FOUND ON MARS: Curiosity rover snaps extraterrestrial


Question for *proper" boffins (I'm just a dilettante) - if we created a machine that liberated oxygen and nitrogen and pumped them into the Martian air to seed a "new" atmosphere - would the solar winds just carry it away into space again because Mars does not have a magnetic field? Just wondering how easy this planet seeding malarcky actually is.

Speed of light slower than we thought? Probably not


Re: If gravity bends light...

The comment about dark sucking is straying close to the theories of De Selby and his "dark particles" (a prize to the first person to identify the reference)

So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...


Re: @Domeyhead

You have something there Chris. The mid eighties boffin - exemplified by the BBC2 Open University programme lectures. The hair now long and lank, but still side parted of course. Combovers accompanied by huge sideburns or a beard whose colour is strikingly different to the hair..the acrylic tanktop now with a wild and crazy pattern like an oscilloscope or a migraine attack. The flannels replaced with corduroy trousers, and the first appearance of the sock/sandal combo. The benign other worldliness of the elder boffin now replaced with the uncertain delivery and awkward unblinking rabbit in headlights fixated stare to camera while reciting a formula in a flat monotone.

Nerd. Son of Boffin.


There's more to being a boffin that a white coat, oh dear me yes. The musty tweed suit jacket with elbow patches; tanktop, brogues.......spectacles are a necessity, as is the tendency to lose them. And there is something about owning an ancient black car...........

IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels


Re: Origins of MQSeries

I worked at Hursley off and on in the nineties on CICS OS/2 - ahem. but anyway moving on..... When MQ series first came out I remember a colleague in the states (who was regarded as a genius because nobody ever knew what he was on about) getting really excited and saying that it signalled the end of databases because all data would from now on always be in an MQ queue waiting to go to wherever it was needed next until finally they went innocently onto the "MQ queue of death". It was such a wild thought at the time I still don't know if he was on to something.

Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact


Re: Forget about the facts

What's your point, or was that it?

Science is an illusion ...


Re: Well it's actually not

That's technology, not science. Science leads, or enables, or informs or directs technology

No, pesky lawyers, particle colliders WON'T destroy the Earth


Re: Huh?

You can respond how you want but unless your post makes sense and is relevant I don't know why you'd bother telling us. You are saying that the whole weight of scientific thought and opinion is just that, and can be countered by anyone saying "Ah but just supposing they are wrong?" Well you could pretty much say that about anything couldn't you. You could say that it is possible your wife might just go berserk with an axe before you had even bought the dog. You need to bring reason, structure experiment, observation, statistics and deduction to your analogy. All you have brought here is the same imbecilic "Well if you can't prove it won't happen then there is a chance that it will happen" nonsense purveyed by a billion non scientists who all demand some kind of unwarranted moral equivalence.

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