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* Posts by Ledswinger

7049 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Ah, British summer. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the internet is on the fritz

Ledswinger
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Re: Talking of bright things in the sky

So there you go, the cherry picker is the backhoe for microwave :)

Looking on the bright side, the bloke in the cherry picker's bucket won't be having any further offspring. Presumably that lucky fellow won a Darwin Award whilst remaining alive?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Pick two from the trinity

No idea what came of it, but it turned out that the gas, water and some of the lines companies had only a very vague idea where certain pipes went.

This remains the case (I used to work for this sort of utility). When you ask "Do you know EXACTLY where your pipes are?" you will certainly get a "YES!, YESSIR! YES!" answer, accompanied by some extensive horseshit about a fantasmagorically accurate GIS. If you persist in your questioning enough, or merely dig the sodding road up, you'll find out that the GIS is accurate to a level that might be termed "reasonable guesswork".

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Brits whinging less? About ISPs, networks and TV? It's gotta be a glitch in the Matrix

Ledswinger
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Re: Bigger things to worry about

Bigger things to worry about

Possibly, but there's two big complaints drivers in any industry. The first is mongo customer service fuckups (like the consequences of M&A, or any form of new large scale CRM). The second, and entirely independent of the first is the direction of what customers are paying. If prices are going up, complaints go up. If they go down, complaints subside. I've seen both many times over in different sectors and even different countries. It doesn't have to be prices rises that are the subject of complaints, but price rises set an emotional dynamic that causes people to want to complain.

You might argue that over this same timescale prices haven't come down, but in terms of average pricing, voice and data have indeed been getting cheaper, and moves to sim-only deals mean customers are paying out less, so they perceive this as "cheaper". In broadband, Vermin Media, complaint numbers have broadly doubled over the past three or so years - and that's because their service remains as mediocre as ever, but prices have risen dramatically.

There's lots more detail and complexity, but I work in a non-related large scale customer service sector, and these two things are the main drivers of rising and falling complaints over the past thirty five odd years.

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Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

Ledswinger
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Re: Big fines are just a cost of doing big business

Plus, non-compliance will lead to daily fines of up to 5% or global turnover. This is definitely enough to get Google to comply.

Let's see what Google get fined for non compliance - it won't be 5% of turnover per day. Alphabet's liquid assets are about the same as annual turnover of around $110bn, so they'd be bankrupt in less than a month at that rate. I can't see that any developed world court would support that sort of penalty as reasonable. But if the EU actually tried it, how do you think Trump might respond, and do you think that any battle over tech would have a good outcome for the EU?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Big fines are just a cost of doing big business

... AFAIK, it would be illegal....The law says "apply a fine", so the executive applies a fine. They can't just go around and invent funky, crowd-pleasing new punishments, they really have rules to follow.

Well, you're wrong. So wrong that I conclude you've not had any engagement with competition law, any relevant education on the matter, nor followed the judgements in many cases. The competition authorities most certainly CAN go round inventing all manner of funky punishments, under the title of "remedies". These can be "structural" such as breaking up a monopoly, or they can be "behavioural" in which case it is a measure imposed to persuade a company to change its ways. And short of corporal and capital punishment, very little is ruled out.

If the authorities deem any action to be an appropriate means of changing anti-competitive behaviour, they can impose it, or negotiate it under threat of a more conventional but even less welcome alternative. How come MS had to put in a browser choice screen? That was at the time a funky remedy. Ofgem in the UK have done a similar thing by imposing sales ban under the terms of energy supplier licences as punishment for misdemeanours, and whilst that's rather separate from competition law, it shows that the concept of a retributive temporary ban on commercial activity has been used by the state to change behaviour.

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Ledswinger
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Big fines are just a cost of doing big business

As always, the bureaucrats focus on monetary fines.

A more effective sanction would be to freeze important elements of their commercial activity. For example, work out the penalty, but rather than extract it in cash, impose (for example) a ban on new customer sign up or new product sales to create a similar financial impact. It's much more embarrassing for the offending companies to have sales call centres "frozen", or explaining to prospective customers that they're legally prevented from doing business for a period. Another alternative in this case would be to prohibit commercial data transfers into Google for a given date range, creating a hole in their time series data aggregation (including a ban on "backfilling" the gap in future).

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People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking

Ledswinger
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Re: I don't see where it suggested anyone would love it

It's a Chrome book. By definition that means no real work is done on it, just lightweight web/java app type stuff. No heavy lifting like simulation tools, etc.

In the wide range of businesses I've worked for, the overwhelming use for computers has been "light" office productivity work that a Chromebook would be entirely adequate for. There's a tiny handful of power users who need more grunt, but these people will in any event be seeking a power notebook or a proper workstation.

From a support perspective, I suspect that a decent Chromebook would be more reliable, easier to support, more secure, and more popular with most users. For the few who want/need heavy i7 laptops, or a desktop that'll cause the streetlights to go dim, then let them have them.

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Official: The shape of the smartphone is changing forever

Ledswinger
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Re: "Traditional"

Personally, when I view a very-wide display I find the short dimension limiting and want it to be larger in comparison with the larger. I'd prefer something squarer.

I was going to say "good luck pocketing that" when I realised that my wallet is about 4" by 4". Which opens up a whole plethora of possibilities including single panels, clamshells with a single display and a proper keyboard, or twin panel touchscreen displays.

And finally, for idiots everywhere, a concertina of about five panels.

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TalkTalk shrugs off moaning customers to claim 80,000 more

Ledswinger
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Price always trumps quality. Look at Ryanair, or many other examples of people choosing the cheapest supplier regardless of any other consideration.

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Web regulation could push Silicon Valley startups away from UK, Parliament warned

Ledswinger
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Re: Corporate verbal bollocks

At least it is being talked about by Parliament and not being imposed by a jumped up civil servant.

Bwaahahahahahahaha! The sarcasm is strong in this one!

What, you mean it is being talked about by a self-selected committee of the unelected House of Lords. I'll let you do the analysis as to whether any of them have any relevant educational or technical qualifications, or business experience from which they might meaningfully pontificate. I must say I'm not hopeful, particularly when I observe that one of the grandees is none other than Floella Benjamin off of Play School, and another is the Bishop of Chelmsford, another is Labour appointee with a first class honours degree in French.

If it were down to me I'd have the entire House of Lords picked up by chauffeur driven tumbrils, to be taken to an exciting mystery event guaranteeing a big audience and the chance of a speech from the platform.

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No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Ledswinger
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Re: What was that quote allegedly from Cardinal Richelieu again?

I suspect at least partly because of this 'leccy car fad they're expecting people to provide their own multi-kWh storage that they can raid because they've sold off public infrastructure and haven't planned for the future.

There's a lot of truth in that, but the academic evidence shows that "asset management" of vehicle batteries actually prolongs their life. I'm in the industry, I have a professional interest in these things, and I can assure you I was staggered when the research came out. But that's how it is.

Whether that's enough to make up for the failures of energy policy over a decade, well, that's another question

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Ledswinger
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Re: Meters with displays? I remember them!

The corresponding "smart" meter is bigger still - they say they only have one model, which presumably has to be able to cope with the gas consumption of a large factory rather than just a pensioner's bungalow.

Exclusively designed for residential and SOHO customers. But if you imagine how big a ten year design life battery needs to be (even if it doesn't last) you'll understand. You're looking at around 10 Ah capacity, 3V, sealed unit and a very conservative cell design to support the intended design life and potential use in temperature ranges +45C to -25C.

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Ledswinger
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Re: They have a point.

The gas utility haven't said anything about smart meters yet. It will be interesting where they think they will get the power from for a meter on the outside wall - with no mains supply anywhere near it.

The gas meters have a sealed battery, with an alleged ten year life. By the time the battery is expected to run out the meter will be due for recalibration, so it'll be swapped out for a new unit or a recalibrated unit with a new battery. Of course, that'll be some time around 2028, and since the technological standards of smart meters are effective froze in circa 2007, people will be wondering (even more than now) why the government bothered with such a half witted idea in the first place.

The reason the suppliers are pushing customers to have smart meters is that they're working under threat of heavy fines from Ofgem, so they're very keen to show that they have fitted smart meters, or they have seriously tried (that's why they keep coming back to you).

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AR upstart Magic Leap reveals majorly late tech specs' tech specs

Ledswinger
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Meh, I'm sure it'll come out.

Before or after RCL's Spectrum Vega Plus? And for both, before or after the heat death of the universe?

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Chirp unveils free tier of shouting-at-IoT devices audio net tech

Ledswinger
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And yes, TEMPEST does take acoustics into consideration, so don't even try.

Doesn't matter when the biggest enemy of the state is the MoD itself, and in particular the Quisling wing based near Bristol.

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Salesforce ‘Einstein’ now smart enough for customer service

Ledswinger
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Re: Squawk!

"I'm sorry but without the number I can't access your account".....And that wasn't even a fucking 'bot.

Arguably it was. A meatbot.

That's what happens when companies design close-walled processes that mean call centre agents can only deal within a very restricted range of options, without properly considering the range of potential needs. No amount of AI is going to solve that - in practice all that will ever happen will be that the company sees "AI" as cost cutting exercise, and they will bolt a shoddy voice recognition front end on to the same process and scripts that the company previously gave to human operators.

A big part of the problem here is that in general the vast majority of us choose services on cost, often simply clicking on the lowest priced offer on a price comparison website. For a business, increasing your costs to provide better service pushes you off the first page of the PCW, and you lose business. The evidence is also clear that better service doesn't reduce churn, so you're not compensated by better retention. Many, many people will earnestly say that they will pay more for better customer service, but the number actually willing to do so is tiny - my last employer's CEO got the boot for a failed "differentiation through superior service" strategy.

In this context, AI is merely the same over-hyped, under-delivering garbage, touted by charlatans that it is in most other situations. The only economically viable way to offer better customer service is not automation and AI, it is a two tier model of free "regular" customer service, and charged-for premium customer service - but most customers object bitterly to that, and in several industries regulators wouldn't permit it.

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It's mid-year report time, let's see how secure corporate networks are. Spoiler alert: Not at all

Ledswinger
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Re: Pen testers are not risk assessors

My Rules of Engagement were explicit in what was allowed and what was off-limits.

Sitting on the sidelines, it would seem to me that if you want proper pentesting, there are NO rules. The people who want to access your data certainly won't be abiding by them.

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BT's Patterson keeps his £1.3m wheelbarrow of bonus cash after all

Ledswinger
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name me one privatised industry in the UK that has benefited the people that use it or work for them? BT? Trains? Utilities? Post? (we got ripped off on price on that one) Buses? Steel? See, not one and the NHS is next.

Well, we could renationalise the lot? Sadly I can remember public sector water, energy, trains, telecoms, steel and they were all shit. Customer hating, inefficient make work schemes, every one - and I've worked in several of these sectors.

Buses and post I'll grant you are as crap today as they've always been.

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Ledswinger
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"This shit gives free markets and capitalism a bad name."

Ten quid says this was rubber stamped by proxy votes. If anybody ever wanted to improve secondary market capitalism, the most obvious thing to do would be to ban the company from being able to wield proxy votes. And stop the board being able to make recommendations on things like remuneration, auditors, and appointments.

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Infrastructure wonks: Tear up Britain's copper phone networks by 2025

Ledswinger
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Re: foreign aid is domestic aid

The foreign aid budget (like our EU budget contribution) is such a small amount proportionately, that it doesn't even show up in a pie-chart of government spending,

Are you terminally stupid? Anything and nothing can show up on a pie chart depending upon its scale and the de minimis segment size.

Just because you can't see the intangible benefits of foreign aid (including, but not limited to...

Simple fact is that the UK is the second largest foreign aid donor in the world, despite having an economy that is what, the sixth largest in the world. In return for that we get all this prestige....hold on, I hear nothing about that. Ok, so we get lots of trade....oh, no, that goes to China, the US, Germany. Well, maybe we improve things over there....doesn't look like it, all the proper work on say ebola was delivered by MSF, not sluggish, incompetent national aid programmes from any nation. Maybe we prevent conflicts...oh dear, top beneficiarties of British aid were Pakistan, Syria, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Jordan, South Sudan. So nope, not preventing conflicts one fucking bit.

less than, for example, what the UK government 'wastes' on VAT exemptions

What's that got to do with it? I take it you are advocating reinstating VAT on women's sanitary products, and raising VAT on residential energy from the current 5% to 20%? Idiot.

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Ledswinger
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Re: I think the challenge you respond to

I think the challenge you respond to...Was more about achievability than money. There are not enough specialists to sink the money into, regardless of the cash being available.

Most of the cost and effort of a programme like this isn't delivered by specialists, it is trenching, ducting, traffic control, reinstatement, access points and cable pulls, putting up cabinets and the like . You have a valid point about the fibre optic joining, termination and connections, and any power connections, but even in that case Openreach could get off their arse and train people.

This isn't unique to telecoms - when the government "invested £700m in bio-medical sciences" to create the Crick Institute, £465m was just building construction cost, not even including fit out - so a thin profit for the constructors, a fat profit for some property consultant or developer, but the vast majority into bricks, mortar, rebar, concrete and navvies, and bugger all really invested in science.

There's some easy wins anyway - legislate for common carriage access to all residential-serving networks larger than (say) 3,000 properties served. That'd take about three years to achieve, but at one swoop that allows access to VM, Hyperopotic et al networks on the same terms they offer their own "telecom retail" business, so they don't lose out. That then means no further action other than asset upgrades in well served urban areas, and Openreach can focus on serving areas not currently getting FTTP or cable. So far from being a £30 billion programme, we're down to about £7bn for what is primarily a rural broadband rollout plus selected urban areas that don't have FTTP or cable.

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Ledswinger
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Re: foreign aid is domestic aid

When the UK gives aid to poor countries it is mainly domestic producers who receive the aid.

If you'd care to submit evidence that more than a fraction of the £13bn wasted goes to domestic interests I'll take your point seriously - but even then it is irrelevant, its a huge sum of money squandered for very few beneficial outcomes.

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Ledswinger
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I'd vote for upgrading the domestic water supply network to dispense Gin instead of water.

So you're saying you (and similarly for other objectors) are actually AGREEING with the current spending plans of the shower of piss that pass for a government, and that those plans are either immutable, or offer better value to the country than a national fibre roll out?

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Ledswinger
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Do you trust the average unemployed PFY to install fibre? Dream on.

Most of the costs are in digging and reinstatement that are manual labour. And if you've seen the herberts VM use to "pull" cables, you'll see that's not a skilled job either. The actual skilled labour content of any infrastructure programme is minimal. I've programme managed infrastructure investment of about half a billion quid, and I've worked for a range of businesses that have low skill labour operations. I do know what I'm talking about, and yes, it would be quite feasible to get a significant workforce from the ranks of the unemployed.

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Ledswinger
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NIC really think that it would be affordable to roll out a Fibre network in 7 years?

Well, if we rolled back our wasteful foreign aid programme to an OECD weighted average value that would save us around £7bn every year. If we spent that same as Italy (a comparably sized and comparably wealthy economy) we'd have about £10bn a year to play with. If we cancelled the stupid, stupid idea that is HS2 we'd have £56bn+ to play with. Then there's other waste that we're on the hook for like Heathrow's unneeded runway 3, a small fleet of over priced nuclear power stations, or the whole F35 boondoggle. The money's there - its just it is being wasted on other poorly conceived infrastructure programmes.

I'm sure most would love this but is there the workforce available to facilitate this?

Cancel some of the other daft schemes above, or stop the smart meter roll out. Or address the UK unemployment count of 1.4m by making job offers they can't refuse.

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UK privacy watchdog to fine Facebook 18 mins of profit (£500,000) for Cambridge Analytica

Ledswinger
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Re: Conclusions?

It's worth noting that FB have shouldered the maximum possible fine under the existing legislation (£0.5M)

IIRC the "prompt payment discount" is 20%, so FB will only have to cough £400k.

GDPR may allow higher fines, but lets see what actually transpires - just because they could now fine FB over a billion quid, how likely do you think that is? The regulator will have a process that considers the scale and severity of the breach, then applies aggravating and mitigating factors. Evidence from other UK regulators with "up to 10% of turnover" powers shows that these powers are not used. Which is just as well, because the impact would be far more severe on low margin companies than those with vast profits.

The problem is that financial penalties aren't hitting companies where it hurts - rather than fines that are merely passed on to either customers or investors, regulators need to suspend offending companies from their core business activity either new customer sign ups, sales, loans or (in the case of FB/Google) all data scraping. Doesn't even need to be for very long - a couple of weeks for a first offence REALLY makes a point. Ofgem have issued over quarter of a billion quid in fines to energy companies over recent years without improving anything. But the couple of times they've suspended companies from signing up new customers, I can assure you (from within the industry) that sent shivers of fear through all companies.

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Outage outrage: TSB app offers users a TITSUP* encore

Ledswinger
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Re: Does it really take 3 months to change banks ?

If I ran a shitty business, I'd be curious to see who out of my customers is also a TSB customer. Because I know it would take an atomic bomb for them to switch.

And if you think like I do, the register "banks with TSB=1" would be an indicator to charge them more and ignore their complaints.

Interestingly this isn't too far off how many large companies selectively offer discounts on (say) broadband or insurance renewals. The huge trove of customer data that companies scoop up unbeknown to most people is full of proxy indicators for likelihood to switch. And if you're not likely to switch, they see no need to offer the same incentives as those available to customers seen as less loyal. So if you've not changed energy supplier, or sought quotes for ANYTHING on price comparison websites, then you might find that your broadband supplier won't offer you a discount (or a decent one) at the end of your initial contract, your home insurance renewal will be more expensive than otherwise, and so forth. It also affects the marketing targeted at you - if you're not seen as a "switcher", you're going to be a harder, longer sell which will put off many companies - but on the other hand if you can be "converted" you will be a profitable and sticky customer.

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Former wig-wearing Twitterphobe replaces Hancock as UK.gov's Secretary of Fun

Ledswinger
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Re: Rats ahoy, me hearties!

Most leavers wanted a return to a trading partnership without EU politics and federal ambitions. Most remainers accept that as the second-best option. We were therefore always going to end up in some kind of vassal state; people knew that, it was just a question of extent.

Only because of the staggering and fuck-witted incompetence that infests the palace of Westminster. The EU have a €100bn annual trade surplus with the UK, the negotiating cards should be stacked in our favour. But having a daft, cloth eared old bat as prime minister was never going to work out well.

Everything that really matters has been left to fester, and yet the cretinous retards of government have had time to develop and launch a snappy, 75 point Action Plan to Improve the Lives of LGBT People. That'll help.

I'd like to say the sooner Bagpuss May is removed to the asylum the better - but who's to replace her? Smeagol Gove? Bozo the Clown? Cobynovski? Diane Abbott? Pudgy faced Salmond? There's not a single competent statesman, strategist, tactician or even populist anywhere in Parliament.

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Google offers to leave robocallers hanging on the telephone

Ledswinger
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The magic keys to the kingdom of speech with me? .......... inform me of your number/call in advance, or send me a text (if you're a human) to let me know who you are and why you're contacting me.

That's a security through obscurity approach. If enough people do it, the robot dialler scripts will be preceded by the same robot texters that have been spamming you for years about PPI and the accident that wasn't your fault.

TXT: Reply STOP to 841089 or we will treat this as a GDPR opt-in consent to call you about the government's boiler and solar PV scheme!

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Cancelled in Crawley? At least your train has free Wi-Fi now, right?

Ledswinger
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Re: If only...

That's the logic that has left the British economy in relative decline since 2008 while Portugal is recovering and the Chinese are still doing very nicely, thank you.

There writes somebody whose understanding of economics is sadly lacking...... Portugal even now has double the unemployment rate of the UK, and the Chinese economic miracle has seen aggregate borrowing rise by 320% for a 120% rise in GDP over the last decade and a vast malinvestment in fixed assets that has yet to be unwound. Chinese GDP per capita is one fifth of the UK, Portuguese GDP per capita is just over half of the UK's.

Now, run it by me again what's so marvellous about China and Portugal? At the moment neither can even claim better weather or better football teams, although I'll grant that it's rather unusual that the UK/England are claiming an advantage in respect of either sunshine or football.

To give you credit, yes you used the words "relative decline" - but so what? Economics is always cyclical, so there's always relative movement that signifies little.

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Ledswinger
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Re: If only...

the whole thing needs renationalising and a serious investment programme put in place where the passenger is the customer again,

Bwahahahahahaha! You romantic fool! Under nationalisation the end user was NEVER regarded as a customer. I remember when the GPO provided phone lines, and you often had to share a joint line between neighbours because running two twisted pairs from a street cabinet was too much like hard fucking work. I remember the shitty state of the railways under public ownership, and indeed the grim state of the water and energy industries (jointly heavy polluters and job creation schemes). And that was under government of all political persuasions.

If nationalisation were a remedy for anything, we wouldn't need the private sector at all. Of course you'd have an economy like Venezuela, a justice system like Russia, and you'd be writing out your plea on slate because the personal computer, table and mobile phone would still be science fiction. But...maybe that is what you want?

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Welsh firm fined £60k for pummelling phones with 270k pay-day loan texts

Ledswinger
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Re: Hmm

Top post, AC!

And I concur with every word. MK is very middling, dull, unmemorable.....and that makes for a great place to live. Limited noise, crime, little grime, little congestion, a very pleasant low rise landscape, and good facilities. I say let the urban hipsters fight it out with moped riding ratboys in the overpriced, overcrowded filth of The Smoke, they're welcome to it.

I live in another one of the 1960s new towns, invariably sneered at by people in the region, but its brilliant - easy to get round, well planned, tree planting that puts New England to shame in "the fall", even the downmarket areas are spacious and lacking in urban squalor. Very very rarely does my town appear in the national press, shopping is easy, property prices modest. And its on the edge of one of the most beautiful parts of the country.

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Ledswinger
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Re: No deterrent.

Surely a £60k or similar fine will just be on a contractual risk profile somewhere and factored in as part of their cost of doing business?

No. You're thinking of big corporates (like the entire financial services sector) where fines are seen as a cost of doing business. The auto-dialler and automated text senders are bottom feeding scum - in their business model the company operates as limited liability company precisely to limit the owners liability, and invariably has diddly squat assets or capital. If a fine comes in, shut the relevant legal entity down, move the operations to a new off the shelf company.

Would you pay a corporate penalty of £50k if could avoid it in an apparently legal way? And if that seems wrong, its no different to the wholesale tax avoidance by large US companies, whether that's reselling tat, software and tech, or even operating coffee shops in the UK..

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California lawmakers: We swear on our avocados we'll pass 'strongest net neutrality protections' in America

Ledswinger
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Re: "Oops, we got caught."

Watching legislators legislate is like watching meth-addled chimpanzees trying to fly a spacecraft.

That's unfair. There is at least a remote statistical chance the drug-addled chimps might press the right buttons by chance and bring the ship home. Whereas politicians are almost always working carefully to engineer the wrong outcome. Admittedly there's still a remote^1000000 chance that the gormless and venal actions of politicians may have unintendedly positive outcomes, but that's for parallel universes.

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UK.gov IT projects that are failing: Verify. Border control. 4G for blue-light services. We can go on

Ledswinger
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Re: £5.1 BILLION ?

\It's not as simple as just replacing radio handset with a mobile phone,

Well, not wishing to be confrontational, but it is. All of the capabilities they want are essentially from a premise "my smartphone can do all this, wouldn't it be great if the emergency services had a rugged version of this?"

And the top brass love this idea, because with real time data flows its a chance to interfere ("help") the operational managers in the field. By essentially supervising the poor buggers in real time, criticising and countermanding their decisions.

And in turn, that's why its such a shit idea, from start to finish, for the technical reasons that you list, but because the last thing emergency services need is some smartphone alec "helping". If my house is on fire, I want the crew manager and the firefighters doing what they need to do without "help", oversight, or micromanagement from brigade HQ. The same if I get run over - I want the paramedics doing what they have chosen to dedicate their life too, not waiting on some poor quality video link to an outsourced doctor in Bangalore.

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ZX Spectrum reboot firm boss delays director vote date again

Ledswinger
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Re: Debt collectors

This has another waiting period, and it is only after the defendant fails to pay in the time specified that the complaint can engage a court recognized agent (sheriff or debt collector) to attempt to enforce the debt or recover goods to cover the debt.

A more effective alternative still requires a court order for payment, but rather than enforce that through bailiffs of sheriffs, you apply for a winding up order, requestiing liquidation of the company. I know from experience of working on the corporate equivalent of the Titanic that winding up orders are far more effective than other attempts to realise cash. The reason for this is that if the company is wound up, the directors can't continue to leech off of it, whilst for a bailiff's order there's still the opportunity to pillage.

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Ledswinger
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It's harder to take £10,000 a month out of RCL than it is to take a photo and stick it on a website.

Au contraire, if you're an RCL director I suggest it is MUCH easier to take another £10k out of the company than to do, well....anything.

And if the "anything" includes taking a picture of a working product, it may be easier to farm unicorns than to take a photo and stick it on the webshite.

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British info watchdog slaps Midlands firm with £4,500 fine. Next time, register

Ledswinger
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A novel take on geography

First time I've heard Sheffield classed as the Midlands. Maybe the Reg would like to try describing it thus in a Sheffield pub on a Friday night.

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When Google's robots give your business the death sentence – who you gonna call?

Ledswinger
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Capricious Gods

I've no experience of IBM themselves, I just imagine that if they're charging as much as I suspect they do, I'd damn well want to be able to speak to someone almost anytime I want and get keyboards rattling sharpish.>

Bwahhahhahahahahahahaha! Bwahhaaahhaahahaha!

Somebody get that poor chap a glass of reality, please?

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RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

Ledswinger
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Re: Space Education

"I wonder if that influenced my decision to study Astronomy at Uni?"

And so was lost the greatest marketing talent the world never knew.

On my part, the world's loss was music.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Oops

Not often needed - but sometimes a closer reading of a text makes one undecided.

Errrmm, our pleasingly Asperberger-ish world of the Reg forums isn't that world shatteringly important, surely people can make a simple binary choice?

C'mon, for fuck's sake, YES, or NO.

Round up the dithererers, and cart them off in cattle trucks I say (in my utterly reasonable mode).

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The Notch contagion is spreading slower than phone experts thought

Ledswinger
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Don't get too complacent. My work phone is a Samsung J3 (piece of total cheapskate shit, by the way), and it has USB C connector. Great, you can plug the fucker in any way round! On the other hand, 98% of all USB cables you'll find will be micro B.

So my point is simply that you (and I) can be hold outs, but ultimately we'll get what we're given.

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Ledswinger
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Pint

Re: Notch isn't so bad

Oh, and the screen cracked. Not a great problem as I have AppleCare, but if I didn't it is a whopping £286 each time to have it replaced.

I'm impressed. I run a delightful Xiaomi of broadly similar scale and user performance, whilst admittedly lagging on all matter of detail of synthetic benchmarks, and it was within a spit of being able to buy two complete phones for the price of one iPhone X screen.

I contend that you, Sir, are made of money.

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Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR

Ledswinger
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Re: Tears

Why don't they just send a puppet to challenge it in court

Ajit Pai is undoubtedly already on his way

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So... where's the rest? Xiaomi walks away from IPO with less than hoped

Ledswinger
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Re: Xiaomi the money!!

Though I'd like a Mix 2s. If it had a micro-SD slot.

If you can cope with the larger bezels top and bottom consider the variants targeted at emerging markets, where people are rather more demanding about the basics of performance than they are in the West. I've got a Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X, which I think has now been superseded by the Redmi Note 5 Plus, but the 4X has brilliant battery life, works fast (running Nova Launcher as a personal preference), and has a choice of two SIM cards or one SIM and and an SD card. I'm a light user, so YMMV but with a bit of care I can get a week's use out of the phone between charges. Call quality and reception are better than a mid price Samsung. And if you buy from a UK based grey importer via Ebay with a credit card, you've got multiple levels of financial recourse if the product fails. So far the two we've got in the household fleet have been good, just with a glitch on reconnecting to wifi after an OTA update - using WPS to reconnect fixed that.

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Vodafone pinches mobe network nerd metrics from the mighty EE

Ledswinger
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Vodafone, however, still haven't worked out how to let me order another SIM after the first one never arrived.

Can't say if the package works for you, but coverage-wise you could consider Talkmobile. They're owned and operated by Voda, the customer service is indistinguishably poor (as is the coverage round my neck of the woods), but they're probably running an identical instance of SAP, so your existing Voda SIM shouldn't be an issue?

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

Ledswinger
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Weirdly, EE were getting an absolute panning for consumer contracts whilst simultaneously winning awards for their business contracts.

I'm not sure that's weird - most large customer service businesses have completely separate business units delivering B2B and residential service (with the smallest SMEs usually lumped in with residential). And if your cost base, operational planning, even CRM systems are totally different, its normal to have different performance. On top of which, business customers are much more valuable than residential customers, so you'd aim to offer business better, more expensive service.

The business I work for has exactly such a divide - different board directors, different CRM, different billing engines, different buildings, separate marketing & sales.

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Ledswinger
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I know this shit can get done, on-time and under/at budget.

I'd agree it can be. But I challenge you to do that for a high profile UK government project, because I don't believe that it is possible in that environment, no matter what your personal experience and talents.

A wisdom I've picked up over my career is that senior individuals who don't fir the culture of an organisation are eventually spat out, in some shape of form, regardless of their performance or the need for their skills. And in the UK public sector, coming in hoping to change things, to make things work, to take decisions, to be accountable and hold accountable....well, you're fighting the entrenched culture of the entire Establishment. The only way you could win and deliver change would be with a licence to sack and/or kill that you deployed liberally and extravagantly. A fine example of a successful change strategy would be to start off every single morning by having three hand picked Whitehall mandarins tied to the track at Charing Cross, to be decapitated by the arrival of the 08:35 from Tunbridge Wells. That's the sort of effort you'd need to spark performance change in the civil service.

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Infamous 'Dancing Baby' copyright battle settled just before YouTube tot becomes a teen

Ledswinger
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Re: Not a total loss.

I'd disagree with that because the copyright holder showed everyone that they had better capitulate or face massively expensive litigation which the company has endless money to fund but can do so for longer than those involved may live.

This is a very real strategy, and one routinely employed by big companies. I've seen it deployed by private equity firms and large banks, alongside bribing/pressuring law firms for the other side, by encouraging them to drop litigation in return for juicy contracts.

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The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand

Ledswinger
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Not a desirable product any more.

As an observer from the Windows/Android camp who is simply too mean to pay the Apple prices, I'd observe that the average product quality remains firmly in Apple's favour, as do user satisfaction figures, not to mention the profitability (and thus viability of the maker).

Make enough different models of stuff, eventually you'll turn out a real lemon, but that's the way of the world, whether we're talking computers, phones, cars, aircraft, or just about any manufactured good. I'll wager that Apple will learn from this, whereas Microsoft seem to intentionally repeat their errors.

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