2111 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009
As with a few other cases, this is a bit of a blind spot in the IT services companies. The jump from the basic free version to the paid version doesn't seem to take into account the users for whom the free is "not quite enough". Instead of giving a bit of extra space/slightly better service for a small cost there is this enormous jump into a big package subscription, paid annually. i.e from paying nothing a year,every year to paying a chunk a year every year. It's not just the cost- it's also that it's a subscription paid in full every year. 10 years ( say) of the free Dropbox service is 10x0=0. ten years of the 1TB service is £80 a year 10x£80 is £800.
Avast AV is free. The cheapest paid package is £50, every year. Over ten years that's £500. If it was £50 to buy and say a tenner a year to renew it'd be worth it.
Donkeys years ago you bought your AV programme and then you got regular definition updates for as long as you used it. But the beancounters don't want sales, they want cash streams. Stuff 'em.
Re: Two stories:
USB outlets on mains sockets are getting pretty common -and inexpensive..
Re: Cleaners unplugging equipment for their vacs
"also a big red button"
One night! I'm surprised it wasn't a frequent issue.
Big red button in one side of door to open the door. Big red button in the other room near enough to the door to bring whole enterprise to a full stop. Someone got paid to think of that idea. FFS!
how many of us learned assembly code because the langauges (sic) of the time ran slower than a dead slug stuck in treacle
Yep. Even as an amateur coder in the 80s I needed to use 6502 Assembler to make stuff work reasonably well. And that included rewriting some educational software that had cost real money, but that was written in BBC Basic, to make it more usable.
Re: Accrual revenue recognition versus waiting on invoices
Isn't that part of what killed Carrillion. "We'll earn £4 billion at the end of this four year contract, so let's write that up as a billion this year, and another the next..."
Not fake news
Even here, in El Reg, we get comments that are so defensive of Trump that they fly in the face of reason. It's a worrying sign of the times that people now routinely feel able to defend their chosen views by ad hominem attacks and flagrant misdirection away from the evidence. Not logical debate. Not reason, but pure name calling. Deliberately " Giv(ing) a dog a bad name" tactics. It seemed to start with the "birthers" trying to claim that Obama was a secret Muslim. It's not the slander that's so scary. It's the flight from reason- as in a paranoid belief that anything that even comes close to, say, being Moslem friendly by stocking Halal meat is a conspiracy to turn the USA away from Christianity - as if that was even remotely probable. Or that any suggestion that stopping Americans from buying military grade armaments is the start of the beginning of the end of what Americans call democracy. Next stop putting microchips in everyone's brains. Or that vaccination is "Big Pharma" trying to poison their country to make sales. Or Chemtrails..
If you don't get the boot for the material, surely you should still get the boot because this is an indicator that you are too stupid or risky to be trusted in the job you do.
I don't think it's just America
Creating Information ( read "IT") based projects on the "cheapest and least we can get away with while appearing to be doing something" basis seems endemic. On that background this just seems another example. - though I suspect it's spread to other fields, as in aircraft carriers without aircraft.
Essentially it's about giving the appearance without the substance. Like one of the Hollywood stage sets.
So, for example, get an expensive powerful new Data management system that is expected to run on an old, ageing network and no staff training will be provided.
Re: Laws only stop dogs who follow the law.
In the countryside the dog problem, as I understand it, is that some among us city dwellers seem to think that the countryside is just a big park to let their dogs run loose in. Possibly the same ones that let their dogs cr*p in the local parks too. Note here that I also strongly suspect that there may also be some overlap between such owners and the d*ckheads who let their dogs shit in people's gardens, or who dump their household items in public spaces.
In the countryside they shoot dogs*, so there are likely to be few locally running feral.
*I'm a dog lover. I'd rather they shot the owners instead of blaming the dogs who know no better.
Re: I like Apple things
Yes. The only "live" tile I used was to show my calendar. very useful. And I sized the others according to importance. Biggest tiles for major utilities. Tiny ones for stuff I used from time to time. Medium for the rest. I had big and medium alternating, and the tiny ones grouped. I miss that.
Right from the start, in El Reg there were Winphone antagonists who dissed the phone on the basis that it was from Microsoft. Usually without having actually given it a chance. But generally the people who actually used the phones have liked them. I 'm no Microsoft fan (posts passim as Private Eye might say) But my Lumia was good to use. And the few apps I needed were available at first. It was when they became unsupported that I jumped ship
Re: I like Apple things
I agree. Every word
Re: controversial bro-grammer ?
"The percentages of successful women in engineering versus men does at least correlate with the theory that women are less suited."
No. It correlates with the theory that the men who get appointed to the senior posts are less likely to appoint women. And that women are less likely to be appointed to the senior posts that do the appointing of junior posts. A view supported, in part, by the the fact of people posting here who believe that women are intrinsically unsuited to engineering.
The same holds true for ethnic minority appointments. But here there is objective proof available, because of the oft repeated studies that show how applications with an Anglo-Saxon name are more likely to get interviews than those with "ethnic" ( i.e. non Anglo-Saxon) names on the identical CV.
Re: Reason for firing
If you choose to go public it's your judgement of the value and risks that is under question. If your choice is " (I'll) Publish and be damned" and it's worth it you are a hero and/or a martyr. If it's "Ooh, I didn't see that coming" then your judgement failed you. And poor judgement is an issue in its own right. Whatever the substantive issue is that upsets your employer might be you are still responsible for the decision you make. Including knowing what might be controversial or offensive. And yes, to be fair this guy was let down by a colleague, which should be a cast iron defence.
Re: Reason for firing
No, you reread it. And reread your own comment. There is no logic to your comment. Consequences do not have to be negative or significant. But if you do choose to go public with a comment then you do deserve the consequences. You choose to go public. A positive statement that supports your employer, or is non-controversial is not going to damage your career. The point being that ( and to be fair the person in the article didn't actually intend it it be made public, which is by and by in terms of your comment) if you do choose to make an incautious public statement that is not in the interest of your employer as they see it, it is your lack of foresight about how this could affect your future, rather more than the substance of the comment, that suggests that you shouldn't be in a responsible job. It's about making choices. To go public or not, and accept the consequences if you do.
If you choose to make the point as a matter of principle then you must accept your martyrdom and you have my utmost respect.
Re: Reason for firing
So what consequences do you deserve for publishing that comment?
Criticism. Disagreement. If logical and well grounded that's part of normal discussion. Even downvotes. I can take it. I'm an adult.
Oh, and in case you haven't noticed, this is a comment and discussion forum . It really doesn't matter a monkey's what I (or you) think to anyone outside of these columns. Though judging by the tenor of the comments, it matters a lot to some of the commentards in here.
It would be very surprising if anyone here was adversely affected by a comment they make ( and if they don't make it AC if they're potentially identifiable from their details and display name then they would, yes, deserve the real world consequences).
Re: Reason for firing
Fair comment, and a good point.
Re: Reason for firing
should I hound you for publishing such a stupid comment?
Well, since my comment doesn't stigmatise or offend any particular group ( except maybe the incautious) you would (did) just prove yourself rather stupid to have a go at me on that basis.
Reason for firing
IMHO anyone who publicly publishes anything deserves the consequences. And anyone stupid enough to publish something , for no good reason, that will adversely affect their own career deserves all they get.
i.e. What he thinks probably matters little. What he publishes matters more. That he published matters most.
Re: Why have a print button?
I often print stuff. It's sad about the trees, but if I want to read a document through to see if it really makes sense, and to check for typing errors of the sort that a spell checker won't spot ( most of them) I need to read it off a page, not a screen. This may not be the case for the full time techie, or they may never have to produce such documents. But most ordinary users seem to read documents better from a paper, not a screen copy.
Re: I'm not sure what the point of that article was...
Spreadsheet as database.
Once upon a time I used a fairly basic database programme. It was simple to set up and create tables and queries. Then suddenly relational databases appeared and the flat form ones seemed to vanish. Someone somewhere decided that we all needed these big complex beasts. Sometimes we do. But for a simple SOHO database with a few dozen, or even a couple of hundred items max it's overkill and a massive learning curve to use.
But often a spreadsheet will do the job perfectly instead.
It's not the why, it's who they ask
Asking managers, remote from people who are at the workface what should be in a package and why will create an illusion that only dimly reflects what is needed. Your staff may need to print parts of the data your package produces so that they can wave it in front of a customer in the middle of a barn, or get a signature. They may work best by sitting in a group with pen and paper and scribbling notes on the hard copy. Anything. If the designer doesn't know why they are asking for the print button that just means the designer doesn't know how they do their work.They may not need a print button. But if you don't already know why they think that they need a print button it means that you don't know enough about what they do, whether you're right or wrong.
Re: The OpenGL bits are odd
I dunno, some Microsoft decisions seem really spiteful. The new implementation of the start menu feels that way. Making it difficult to manage or group programmes by function, yet allowing software publishers to put folders full of marketing sh*t in it. and loading it with unremovable links to software (3d crap for example) that most users won't ever use. As if they want to get their own back for being forced to bring it back by making it as clumsily rubbish as possible. Or making it impossible to export outlook.com calendars to Outlook (Office) though you can do it the other way seems like they want to punish users of old fashioned non-subscription Office.
Yes. My rule of thumb when gainfully employed was to have a generic message. Very rarely, for something very specific I'd use a special one. But for most uses all people need is a reassurance that you will be back.
Re: New file system
Designing a modern reliable car is difficult. The fact that Ford/Citroen/... did so within a few years and rolled it out to millions without the wheels falling off very often is very well done.
A former Microsoft boss defends Apple
Err... Now I'm no Microsoft hater. Far from it. But when one of their High Lords thinks Apple is doing OK then it may be time for Apple users to run for the hills.
Re: Click here for one weird trick to train your brain!
That's not fair. The poster is probably an American. They use words in a funny way, can't spell words with -ou- in them and haven't realised that day-month-year is a logical sequence of increasing units. (They also think "football" is about blokes in helmets running about throwing a ball while girls in short skirts jump around and that rounders is a game for adults).
So we have to be kind to them.
No other argument from me, other than to say that, as in Gresham's Law, clickbait is forcing out decent content.
I know the ad agencies get on their high horses about sites missing valuable revenue. but somewhere over the years the ad model has shifted from earning money byplacing ads on web sites to seeing the sites as a vehicle for carrying ads. i.e the content has become secondary in the eyes of the ad producers and placers. Which is why we have so much click-bait crap. It's an attempt to place ads without having to bother about any real content.
I used to allow ads on some sites. I even clicked on some, randomly, from time to time. But they got so bad that I went for full block everything. Yes I know the content relies on ad revenue. But the content also relies on users wanting to use the internet.
In my days as a local authority teacher dealing with kids' records, when we had to move/vacate premises I was obsessive about checking filing cabinets. I checked they were empty after it was time to clear them. I checked them again after everything was meant to be clear, and third time before they were moved. And our stuff wasn't nearly as sensitive as this.
The thing is, if they aren't bothered about the kids' sensitive information how bothered are they about the kids?
Diversity officer isn't about some quota or choosing people for their skin colour. I've never been in HR, wouldn't even go near one of them if there was only one seat left in the staff room. But even I know that a diversity officer's job is going to be to make sure that the company is using fair, open recruitment (and evaluation and disciplinary) procedures, keeps records, pays male and female staff in the same or equivalent job the same rate, makes sure that there is appropriate access for disabled staff and that recruitment is from an open process - not by old boys' club contacts.
Whether that is done out of genuine good intention or to avoid reputational damage when they get found out by failing in these practices (e.g like the BBC gender equality ructions recently) is for others to decide. Either way it's a big job in a big company.
Re: This isn't that unusual in the U.S.
Yes, we're very lucky to be protected by EU laws so that we have control of our own lives..
I can't help thinking that...
Daes ( or equivalent bunch of murderous nutters) will find a way to subvert the £600k software rather easily, rather soon. I dunno, maybe colourise the images, and add a banner that says "we're all nice to our mothers".
Re: Call centres and the concept of purgatory
I don't get it. Why would you want to go via Vladivostok when the Birmingham-Kiev-Manchester route is quicker?
Re: If I had a nickel...
I know. But dammit, I like their machines. My desk top jobbie is brilliant for my needs, and so are the laptops otherwise.
Re: If I had a nickel...
Been there. Not tech support, but pre-purchase support. Twice.
In the Summer I bought a Dell laptop with an SSD.. I did a chat, because I've never had an SSD machine before and the storage is adequate but not exactly generous. I asked if there was space inside the chassis, and a free connection, so that I could put my old HDD in there alongside the SSD. I was told there was. I double checked and he confirmed to me that this was correct. There isn't. I like the machine, but that pissed me off no end. Last month, for my daughter a Dell seemed the best bet for a late 'A'" level into uni laptop. On the web page there was a number to call for pre-sales inquiries. Very specifically for that. When I called the agent refused to answer any questions. he just repeated "I'm here to take your order" and I kept repeating "I'm not calling to place an order yet". I just got nowhere.
I did a complaint in writing to Dell. And got an apology. Nothing more. No offer to make things better in any way.
Re: Contacting EE
Ah. John Brown ( no body). You've just highlighted another room in customer service Hell. That's the one when you can't contact them unless you enter a customer number in the automatic switchboard or the online form ( mostly it's the online form), but that leaves you screwed when you do need to contact them but haven't got a customer number*. For example, because there's been a problem setting up the account that would create a customer number.
*Even with a background in Psychology I still can't understand the mindset that lets someone create that kind of illogical obstacle. Are they incapable of imagining a use case that requires contact without a customer number? (Needing to find out your customer number if it's been mislaid seems an obvious one).
Is there anybody...
Is there anybody who hasn't been through support hell like that?
What I find surprising is that companies will spend millions on marketing, advertising, even having shiny new names and logos designed at enormous expense to polish their image. Then f*ck the customers about when we are actually considering buying the sodding product, or are having a problem with it.
Add to the list of woes above the web page that has a link saying, "contact us" which takes you to a page of "FAQs" but no contact details, but which has a link that says "Question not answered?" that takes you back to the page that has a link saying "contact us".
Re: Wanting without paying
That's another irrelevant technicality. As far as government spending (or not ) is concerned it's about raised tax v "austerity" cuts.
Re: Not Surprised
You are missing the point, though. That comment was related to the cost of his surgical procedure to him . And to a UK citizen that would be zero. We all pay for the common good. The comment was a comparison between the cost to a patient of a procedure in the UK or the USA.(It doesn't say that it was paid for by insurance,though it may well have been).
Re: Not Surprised
lglethal Yes, I was wondering about that. For UK citizens the cost of health treatment is exactly zero unless the patient chooses a private health provider or private treatment within an NHS hospital's private wing . For an American citizen to get treatment they would be using one of these private routes. Rolls Royce(tm) service. And so the cost is as high as the market can bear. So the argument was, in effect, saying "It's not cheaper to hire a Rolls Royce in the UK than it is in the USA". I'd bloody well hope not.
Wanting without paying
Every tax payer wants certain services to exist and wants them paid for by the other tax payers. But they often don't want to pay for the services they don't use themselves, or don't believe in ( foreign aid for example). Then there are the services that responsible and ethical (there are many) or just ideologically driven (but openly supported and elected) politicians want to have paid for. The money for all of these has to be gained through taxes. What is missing is the acceptance that tax is a communal endeavour. We all pay for the greater good. And we elect politicians, ideally, who best correspond to what we consider to reflect our views on how this is shared.
As soon as we start saying we don't want to pay tax we have to decide what we don't want paid for. And accept the consequences. In the UK we want the NHS to meet all our health needs, but by cutting adult social care funding we get bed blocking, older patients that can't be sent home from hospital because there is no one to look after their recovery. We want to reduce youth crime, delinquency and teenage pregnancy , but we cut funding for youth clubs so the kids are roaming the streets bored. We want to reduce our driving costs and object to car or fuel taxes, but then moan that the roads are full of potholes. We don't want a state-owned subsidised railway (apparently) but then moan that the trains are slower, less frequent and more expensive than the equivalents in Europe. (And of course there are those who don't want to, say, look after the vulnerable but then still want to claim they live in a civilised society).
In the USA this attitude appears to be fuelled by a conviction that politicians are taking the money for themselves in some nebulous way that doesn't seem to join the dots to having enough police patrols or looking after the most vulnerable etc. Ironically, of course, the really corrupt societies are those that don't have politicians as such. http://fortune.com/2016/01/27/transparency-corruption-index/ .
I'm sure that keeping their job* is the least of their worries at this point.
*As opposed to various body parts.
Re: "With over 15 million job applications being submitted on LinkedIn every week, "
I've occasionally noticed people I've worked with taking credit for projects that I delivered :)
Don't need LinkedIn for that. Years ago I was working in the SEN dept of a big Secondary school. I did an analysis of progress and results between primary and secondary stages and wrote a report. The next thing I heard was that the Head of Department had claimed it as her work. But then she'd been asked to deliver a talk to the inspectors and the LEA about it. And was in a panic because she couldn't understand it properly. So I had to get her out of trouble by writing a summary of the conclusions, in very short words and not too many numbers.
Could be a clue.
Re: I’ve always wondered...
Actually, that is a good point. I wish I'd have thought of it. Now you ask it, it seems obvious.
Re: "Curvature" proves nuthin!
Oh Hans 1
He's the most entertaining commentard we've had here in ages. Leave him alone.