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* Posts by Ledswinger

7249 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Twitter: Don't panic, but we may have leaked your DMs to rando devs

Ledswinger
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Presumably all affected users were outside Europe

Y'know, what with GDPR and all.

Out of curiosity, who does investigation and punishment when a non-EU entity leaks the data of multiple countries' citizens?

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US cities react in fury to FCC's $2bn break for 5G telcos: We'll be picking up the tab, say officials

Ledswinger
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Re: Money, Money, Money

In the UK, such matters are regulated by the Electoral Commission

And so the art of gaining influence in the UK is much more subtle than the US practice of buying yourself a politician. Our telecoms regulator Ofcom is ineffectual, and appears to be captured by the companies it is supposed to regulate, but those companies haven't had to hand over millions of pounds to buy influence. They simply wine and dine a few politicians (which is a cheap form of getting a tiny bit of influence) but much more importantly they play the regulatory game to their advantage.

Ofcom take little account of consumer interests, but will heavily weigh the interests of companies, and so the outcome is almost always skewed towards the telecoms companies.

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HPE UK shunts cloud biz into London hipster shack amid rebrand

Ledswinger
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moving the whole thing to a hipster village in East London

Would that be anywhere that a well timed DDOS attack on the Thames Barrier would pay dividends for the nation?

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Never mind Brexit. UK must fling more £billions at nuke subs, say MPs

Ledswinger
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Re: The Role played by Contractors in Delays and Cost over-runs

@JagPatel3

Some great points that look well informed (and supported by posting history), but you've got to break it down to avoid TL;DR syndrome.

Having many years ago worked in the system, I'd say the contractors are not guilt free, but their behaviour is driven by MoD's fuckwit behaviours. Faced with a customer this stupid, what would you do?

By all means, hold BAES to account when MoD can find their own arse with both hands unassisted, but we could be in for a long wait before the condition is fulfilled.

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I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

Ledswinger
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Re: I don't drink coffee

WTF is the purpose of the tip jar?

Used to be the case that its purpose was to enable unscrupulous chains to pay less than minimum wage by claiming that employees got minimum wage WITH the addition of tips. Can't say if that's still the case. If others know this still continues (for a fact) please name and shame so that I can avoid those establishments.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Try travelling with First Bus and their (cr)app

The tragedy of all these different transport crapps is that not only are they inadequate in more ways than you'd assume were mathematically possible, but the problem of contactless payments was solved many years ago by TfL when the Oyster system became useable with contactless cards and NFC devices. And not just the hardware side, the overall logic of "never pay more for the day than the cheapest option you could have chosen". And it works on buses, tube, trams, DLR, river bus and Thames Clipper. I'm always happy to throw stones at the public sector, but some group of people somewhere in and around TfL deserve to be on the New Year's Honours list for how Oyster has worked out.

All that was then required was for all the numpties running other bus, train, and rapid transit systems up and down the land (both public and private sector) to adopt Oyster. But no, the clowns all had to design their own unique, expensive, shit systems, every one different, random, illogical, unreliable, and often very poor even when used with contactless cards. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Don't tell them your name

I take you aren't called Pike, but you do enjoy an episode of Croft & Perry?

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Deliveroo to bike food to hungry fanbois queuing to buy iPhones

Ledswinger
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Re: And after the food

I wonder if there is a gig economy company that delivers a bucket for them to crap in and takes it away afterwards.

Like those medieval street entrepreneurs who carried a bucket and had a big cape? The prospective shitter would pay the bloke for the use of the bucket, and the service provider would wrap the cloak around his paying guest, before going off slightly richer with a loaded bucket.

This being 2018, the same model works, except that it needs an app to take the order and payment, whilst down-on-their-luck peasants provide the service. I'd try and tie up with Deliveroo and have the same people carrying hot food, along with the slop bucket and cape, so I could pay them less, and they'd be grateful for the extra income. I can't see any downside to me. Obviously I'd have a demand-dependent pricing, and a loading for the customer's desperation.

I reserve the rights to the names ShitZ and Shittr

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Ledswinger
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Re: Idea for a new company :

Doodieroo...We come round, wipe your a** and change your diaper so you can stand in line all day long without having to worry about your fecal needs !

I'll overcut (note 1) your pricing, and offer a "total shit removal" guarantee, or money back. By using a couple of ex-night club bouncers equipped with a van-mounted pressure washer (with sandblast nozzle attachment) and a wire brush I'm not expecting to have many refunds.

Note 1: Normal practice it to undercut a competitor by offering a cheaper service. But this is Apple customers paying a grand and a half for a commodity product. The winning strategy is offering the same thing for a much higher price.

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Oi, you. Equifax. Cough up half a million quid for fumbling 15 million Brits' personal info to hackers

Ledswinger
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So Equifax UK could be fined up to 4% of turnover of the whole group, not just of the UK company. What's more, it can continue (daily fines) indefinitely if the company refuses to fix the problem.

If that's not a deterrent, I don't know what is.

That won't be a deterrent. There's all manner of things companies can be fined stupid, arbitrary, picked-from-a-bureaucrat's-arse percentages of turnover, but all concerned know that is window dressing. Take Ofgem - probably Britain's most aggressive, combative, regulator. E.ON failed to install AMR devices for business customers by a given deadline, and could have been fined up to 10% of turnover. With turnover of £9 billion, that would be a £900m penalty, right? That'll show the dirty German rotters! Dream on. The company were fined TWO QUID by the regulator, plus a £7m payment to OIfgem's Waifs & Orphans fund. Yes, including the £7m slush fund payment, not even 0.08% of turnover.

Now, how much do you think Equifax would have been fined under GDPR?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Max fine

I would be surprised if they would hand out a maximum fine under GDPR for this; but of course, even 0.4% of global turnover would get the attention of the boards of the other credit agencies.

If the ICO had any spine, they'd have done a "counterfactual" exercise to establish what a similar breach would be worth GDPR, and stated that sum in the press release, and then we could all conclude whether GDPR will have any teeth in practice.

Even so, looking at the vast and frequent fines and subsequent behaviours in the financial services sector (of which Equifax are part), I'm sure that the evidence is that substantial fines do not change values and behaviours, they merely close off a particular format of transgression. And since Equifax net income/turnover is 17.4%, I'm unconvinced that a 0.4% of turnover fine would actually scare the board.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Credit adgencies should be regulated

Credit rating agencies already are regulated, both in the US and EU, on account of their incompetence in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis. But that is sector focused on how they do the job of credit ratings.

Data protection remains with the "relevant competent authorities" so in the UK the ICO, and the paltry fine reflects the failure of national politicians to update local laws, partly because GRPR was coming along, partly because the likes of Google and Facebook were very effective in lobbying for trivial penalties to continue.

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Apple hands €14.3bn in back taxes to reluctant Ireland

Ledswinger
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So you wonder who really reaps the benefit of such system, beyond Apple...

The Irish government received taxes of €1.5bn from Apple in the three years prior to 2017, which was 7% of Ireland's total corporation taxes. Add in 6,000 Irish employees and I presume that'll be a whole pile of payroll taxes on top, plus the property or land tax on their facilities. So I'd say Ireland has benefited quite nicely.

The fact that Apple may have done much better is immaterial - Ireland got significant benefits by their strategy, when absent that strategy Ireland would have got nothing. Various comments in this thread are along the lines of "its not fair to other businesses" but SO FUCKING WHAT? Every government does it. The UK tax authorities cut sweetheart deals with Google and others, the Germans molly coddle their car industry, the French still cling to favouring their "national champions", the Dutch have allowed all manner of dodgy tax dealings with anybody who's willing (eg Ikea), Luxembourg allowed McDonalds to run its franchising operation through Luxembourg and pay no corporation tax. They're all at it.

Although that last one is of special interest. The EU Commission have recently concluded that charging McDonalds no tax at all was absolutely fine and dandy. I'm sure its got NOTHING to do with that greaseball EU Commission president being a Luxembogey himself.

So again, why are the EU picking on Ireland? From the examples I've quoted (and there's many more) it clearly isn't about having one set of transparent and universal rules. If Apple announced they were leaving Ireland, every other EU country would be sizing up both legal and illegal schemes to try and make themselves the new base.

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Ledswinger
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Ireland wants hi-tech jobs in Ireland,

Since a well run DC doesn't actually have a large headcount of skilled and highly paid labour I'm not sure the Irish government were thinking like that. I suspect that they were thinking that low taxes were their only tool to attract investment that they otherwise wouldn't see at all, it creates a few short term construction jobs, and after that it is just a tax resident business. As there's few reasons to choose Ireland other than the tax rates, offering tech companies low taxes didn't have any downside for the Irish finance ministry.

Obviously the larger European countries don't see it like that, and whilst they claim to want borderless trade and internal competition, that's only when they benefit. So Germany doing very well selling cars to other EU nations on the back of a significantly under-valued DM/Euro transition rate is fine. Ireland being creative to actually inject some competition and variation into tax rates and the data centre market, that's not fine. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out, and whether the GCEU will punish Ireland, or leave the EC with egg on their face.

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Brits pay £490m extra for mobes they already own – Citizens Advice

Ledswinger
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Re: Let them pay

So next time you're down the pub, or on the tube, and someone pickpockets your wallet, I'm sure you'll loudly declare "Well, bless me for being so stupid as to not look after my own goods and property.

I've seen some shite arguments in my time, but that totally, utterly irrelevant "example" is the worst I can recall seeing. No wonder you posted AC.

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Ledswinger
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Mortgages, broadband, television, utility bills and just about every type of recurring payment has some provision for what happens when you complete your fixed term and not a single one of them puts the price down automatically at the end of it despite you having paid off the cost of your Sky box or router.

In half of those cases there's no customer equipment to take account of, and the majority of the remainder its chickenfeed (like a fifteen quid router). Now consider that the majority of these deals have a big discount on the contract for new customers, and you'd realistically expect the cost to go up.

For PVR there's more at stake, I'll grant you, but the case of mobile phones is totally different. The network operators are going out of their way to disguise the handset hire-purchase element.

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Vodafone sues Ofcom to reclaim 'overpaid' mobe spectrum fees

Ledswinger
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Re: The Irony...

Or, preferably, should be forced, by law, upon the expiration of a contract to only charge what they would charge for a SIM only deal.

But that would require a regulator who acted in consumer interests. Instead we have the inept clowns of Ofcom.

There is a live consultation ending on 9 October here, so make sure you have your say. Note that it isn't just mobile - it includes TV, broadband and other time limited contract telecoms.

All Ofcom are proposing (in a 95 page consultation document) is a single one off notification to customers approaching the end of their contract, or to those who are already out of contract. They've no intention of stopping the MNOs from continuing to charge a handset inclusive price out of contract.

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Ledswinger
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Re: So that means...

That, sir, will never happen.

Except that it already has. If you look at the average SIM only pricing in the UK ("standalone mobile contracts" in Ofcom speak), they've progressively come down year on year eg Table 5 in Ofcom's "Pricing trends for communications services in the UK", May 2018. My personal experience reflects this as well, but that's not evidence.

I'd agree it doesn't feel cheaper for those who still choose to buy handset inclusive contracts, but that's largely because the premium handset costs have been rocketing. And even in the handset inclusive segments the bundle allowances have mostly been rising.

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Oh Smeg! Hacked white goods maker resurfaces after system shutdown

Ledswinger
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Re: Smoke me a Kipper

Does SMEG do chicken soup vending machines?

No, that's Klix. But to judge by the taste, Klix "chicken soup" appears to be a modestly diluted amalgam of reconstituted smegma and salt.

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Scrapping UK visa cap on nurses, doctors opened Britain's doors to IT workers

Ledswinger
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Re: UK IT shortage -Don't be silly...

Spot on, All our IT work is going to India. Didn't you get the memo?

I'd agree that's how it feels, but I must apologise as I've had an attack of rationalism - there's a job here for the Reg journos. If they can stop boozing at the Matrix Printer & Ferret for long enough.

Taking a semi-arbitrary start date of 2002, what were the numbers of UK based IT and Support services jobs then and for 2017? What was the average or median salary? What was UK employment and unemployment figures on those two dates.

How has offshoring affected the UK tech and business process job markets? I think instinctively we'd say it has been persistent and hugely negative (I would on an instinctive basis). But where's the evidence?

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GG n00b lol! Amazon frags support for its own games controllers

Ledswinger
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Presumably no consumer laws were broken

Actually, on second thoughts, I'd confident that to specifically and intentionally disable a capability that the device had when it was sold would comfortably breach consumer protection laws in all civilised countries.

I wonder if Amazon will be held to account?

No, I don't think so either; Amazon are presumably assuming that the las of the most consumer-hating of all US states can be unilaterally applied to all other US states, and indeed the rest of the world.

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What's Big and Blue – and makes its veteran staff sue? Yep, it's IBM

Ledswinger
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Re: Not just IBM

Good luck for your future! I was so glad my job was culled by my previous employer, although it was only after i was out that I realised how corrosive the work environment had become.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Slowly spiralling into oblivion like Unisys

"Hands up who remembers Rodime and can tell me what it does now. (You'll be surprised.)"

He's back in the game of sculpting statues of mute people? I thought he was dead, but it's marvellous what doctors can do these days.

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Ledswinger
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Re: What an irony !

Why arent these senior execs sacked then? How old is Giny Rometty?

II'm not quite sure, but she's looking her age these days

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Ledswinger
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Re: Not Surprised

Customer loyalty requires loyal staff. IBM seems to have forgotten that.

No longer matters. IBM are merely a middle of the road commodity outsourcer attached to a historic brand. So cost cutting and low-ball quotes are all that matter up front, then the outsourcing game is to provide a crap service, ream out the clients if they make ANY changes because they're locked in for several years, and accept that a lot of clients churn out.

Because other outsourcers do the same, there's always people churning out from competitors, who haven't used IBM before, and delude themselves that the experience will be different. Pillaging the customers is more important than providing a good service and building loyalty.

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Ledswinger
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Don't forget "And such transformations can yield substantial and permanent incremental capabilities and increases in productivity."

Curiously enough, despite this remarkable and valuable insight, IBM's shares have systematically underperformed the NASDAQ index for the last three decades since 1977. And more recently, over the last five years IBM shares lost 21% of their value (even before inflation), whereas the NASDAQ gained 109%.

Which would confirm that IBM consultants were talking out of their arses, which will come as no surprise to most round here. Why would anybody commission such a dreadfully run company to tell them how to do anything?

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Now here's an idea: Break up Amazon to get more shareholder cash

Ledswinger
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Re: Stuff market analysts - Bezos can do what he wants

That may need true, but where's the growth coming from in future years? Investors may have done really well so far......

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Ledswinger
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Re: Controversial?

I'm with Mr Clark on this. Amazon as a company grew on the back of its meteoric trading growth in retail. But it makes little or no money in retail, and if it paid AWS market rates it might be a significant loss maker. Bezos will know the truth, and i think he's keen to avoid any ugly truth being exposed. Amazon's share price is not supported by is current profits and prospective growth probably doesn't exist in retail or AWS to support it either. But as a bundle it is much more difficult to prove. As the most significant shareholder Bezos is the loser if the music stops.

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No wonder Oracle exec Kurian legged it – sky darkens as cloudy tech does not make it rain

Ledswinger
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I'm in no position to comment, other than to observe that many companies using SAP often still feel a need for Oracle BI offerings.

Personally I think both Oracle and SAP are toxic, complex, overpriced business straitjackets.

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Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'

Ledswinger
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Re: Dangerous

Presumably, the fax machines being but small fry, Britain simply cannot afford public health care anymore. Is that because all the money they spend on IT?

No, it's because we have a free health service, a population that is both rising fast and ageing, because the medical supply chain have come up with a panoply of (often) very good technologies and therapies that they wish to be paid for, and because successive governments of all persuasions have chosen not to raise taxes to pay for it.

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UK.gov isn't ready for no-deal Brexit – and 'secrecy' means businesses won't be either

Ledswinger
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No shit, Sherlock?

The UK government has left its preparation for a no-deal Brexit too late, while secrecy around negotiations has left businesses unable to prepare, a report has said.

Why do we need a report on this? We can all see it for ourselves, whichever way we voted.

Hands up all in favour of executing every member of Parliament and all of the Westminster civil service when they botch Brexit.

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Salesforce supremo Benioff buys Time magazine for $190m

Ledswinger
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There's always going to be a market for Time magazine while we still have dentists waiting rooms

I like to sneak in my most recent copy of Viz as a gift, hiding it amongst the golfing and caravanning magazines. I'm sure things like this link go down well: Probably NSFW

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Ledswinger
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Re: Evening Standard newspaper ... hired recently ousted Chancellor George Osborne

His headlines after the last general election were phenomenal.

A pity he wasn't so good as a chancellor and politician.

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Boffins ask for £338m to fund quantum research. UK.gov: Here's £80m

Ledswinger
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Re: Quibbling

Having said that, throwing together quantum physicists and nanotech types could make an interesting combination, or possibly new perils.

So long as its a controllable type of new peril, I'm in. How about a nanotech "grey goo" that can be programmed to consume all life within the London SW1 postcode, and then stop at the boundary?

Obviously we'd need to make sure Queen and Phil the Greek weren't at home, as I'm rather fond of them, but as for the rest.....

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Ledswinger
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Re: Quibbling

Taking away the cost of buildings and instead funding research activities seems a much better use of the money.

So we might think, but that's not how the world works according to Westminster.

Look at the costs of the Francis Crick institute. All the "investment" was a for a swanky fancy-architecture building in one of the most expensive cities in the world. A £700m investment, no less. Except that the fat end of £100m went to the land purchase, over half a billion went on design and construction costs. And at the end of it the complaints about the working environment grew loud enough to reach the national press.

If we assume that (outside of fancy London gin palaces) the average cost of a senior research scientist and their support researchers, facilities and research costs are £140k a year, then the alternative to building a cathedral to science in the form of the Crick Institute would have been 5,000 man years of research. I know what I'd choose, but politicians and civil servants don't think like I do.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Obvious solution, round one bazillion

UK scientists get their degrees and skills in the UK, and then move across the pond

Maybe. With a finite budget, somebody has to decide what research areas get funded. The problem is trying to decide what gets funded - no matter how scientifically worthwhile, or fulfilling it might be for those involved, choices still need to be made. And sometimes that includes stopping or reducing funding when earlier work suggests that more funding won't be a sensible action.

Unfortunately it has all the appearances of typical government approaches to funding anything - "picking winners", stop-start funding, poorly co-ordinated programmes, failure to capture commercial benefits, and often a failure to understand and support the things we are good at, whilst funding is being thrown at things where we're late starting, have no exceptional or unusual competence, and other countries (or companies) are much more focused on delivering successful results - like autonomous vehicles.

I can't say whether quantum "stuff" is a worthwhile investment, but I would ask what happened to the miracle that was going to be graphene? Why should quantum be preferred to any other research area?

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Equifax IT staff had to rerun hackers' database queries to work out what was nicked – audit

Ledswinger
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Re: Impressive consequences

That depends on there being somebody monitoring the complaint and deciding it's their job to respond.

Seems a bit 1980, surely? Easy enough to code the monitoring software to block all traffic if there's errors in any parameters. The business would soon squeal when all traffic is blocked, but an embarrassing four-ten hour global interruption in service would have been a lot cheaper than the mess they've got themselves into, which is now forecast to cost $439m.

I note that the words used were "mis-configuration", and perhaps that failure to block all traffic when in doubt 's exactly what happened?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Impressive consequences

Feels like a monitoring tool should notice that it can no longer monitor something and complain.

Also implies a critical dependence upon a single piece of software. If I were designing data security architecture I'd be looking at the consequences of failure of each element of security. That needn't mean multiples of everything and vast duplication, but there's some activities where you certainly would want different defences running concurrently to cover the same risk, and this appears to be one.

Of course, I'm never going to be in that situation, given my total absence of relevant qualifications, and only a personal interest in the matter.

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Ledswinger
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Re: No-one at the Exec level gives a shit

Do the IT basics properly

Absolutely, but don't overlook that good data governance extends well above the cheaper basics of patching software and keeping certificates up to date. You need highly competent (and expensive) people to look at your data governance, you need a well resourced ITSec team who are continually monitoring the external threats, continually poking around in system logs, you need a willingness to undertake expensive pen-testing, and you need people able and willing to force through measures that will be unpopular with the business and senior managers, and possibly very expensive.

Looking at the lack of (reported here) data silos and firewalls, it would seem that ENABLING easy access across the entire data set was part of Equifax' operating model - I assume their management specifically had it set up this way for operatonal convenience, and perhaps lower cost, and any who said "is that really a good idea?" got patted on the head and told to shut up or find themselves another job.

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US Treasury goes after IT shops for funneling cash to North Korea

Ledswinger
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They are, literally, robbing banks. And what is being done about that?

Why should anything be done? For decades the Western banks have been raping and pillaging taxpayers without ANY consequence to the people responsible. In the US, UK, Europe (and indeed Japan, with its two or three lost decades), the multiple trillion dollar losses of banking overreach have been paid by the taxpayer. I'd guess the global unemployment impact at an additional 60 million unemployed for a decade (and that's probably conservative). In the few instances of regulatory sanction, the only people who really suffered were bank shareholders not management. And today we are more in debt than before the crisis, real living standards have been stagnating for the fat end of two decades, the more cognisant are starting to mutter about Global Financial Crisis 2.

Now, run it by me again: Why should we give a flying fuck if the Norks or anybody else steal from banks whose only interest is paying themselves fat and undeserved bonuses, and who are too lazy to secure their systems?

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The internet – not as great as we all thought it was going to be, eh?

Ledswinger
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Good, hopefully they'll all f*ck off ............................ At least here it's still manages to keep high level of civility

You were saying?

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Ledswinger
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Re: I'm sympathetic

Yes, that's likely true -- but the issue with trolls, etc., is easy to handle (just don't go to the sites where they are a problem), so my gut tells me that there must be more to this than just that.

It isn't always that easy. Trolls aren't all shouty, racist, stereotypes. Those are easy to avoid. But on many mainstream, moderated forums, there are a selection of people who appear to have a whole lot of time on their hands, who are opinionated, borderline rude, sad-sacks who can't accept any view that differs from their own, regardless of the experience and qualification of other posters. By remaining within the forum guidelines, and often adopting a passive-aggressive method of communication, they shout down alternative views. Often they'll be obsessed about one or two particular issues, even if they actually know little about them.

To more robust individuals with a good view of how the internet works, these people are simply ill informed gob shites, who can only be dealt with by ignoring them. But for the majority of internet users, these people are intimidating bullies. In the UK we've had publicly funded schemes to get more of the elderly online (fuck knows why), but that introduces a lot of the people who fall into the opinionated bully camp due to time on their hands and deteriorating social skills, and introduces many more who fall into the role of "victim of opinionated bullies" because they don't understand that posting on the internet is shouting to the world, not a front room conversation with like minded friends.

I've seen this with my own elderly parents - with time on their hands they read a lot, they read the comments, they want to join in the debate, they join in, but they can't understand the minority of unpleasant, persistent, hectoring responses they then get to posts that really ought to be innocuous. The only solution I can see (when hell freezes over) is to introduce a universal block button, that enables a user to block a particular poster's responses and sub-threads, as well as blocking that poster from seeing comments (and subsequent sub-threads) that are made by the original poster.

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Florence and the Machines: Data centers brace as hurricane smashes into US coast

Ledswinger
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Re: Forewarned

That seems to imply that upper management neded to be made aware of what was happening out in the wider world.

Yes. In a well run company you don't have a dog and bark yourself, you employ trained professionals at the appropriate locations and seniority. And in this case its your senior ops manglers and DR team who will be tracking storm progress, the forecasts, and planning what to do. They'll be taking the decisions on moving staff out, of precautionary shutdowns, demand management, liaising with other DCs in the group, speaking to the power company and local authorities.

The nominally more senior corporate managers are just that - they run the corporation not its operations; but for IR and common sense reasons they need to be kept informed, but image the mess they'd make if they were doing storm planning and DR.

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Guess who just bought Maplin? Dragons' Den celebrity biz guy Peter Jones

Ledswinger
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Re: and "extensive" customer data.

'Real' Philips are concentrating on health, personal care and lighting products these days I think.

The lighting business is a minority stake now - less than 20% seven months ago, and a publicly declared intention to sell of that.

Looks like the Netherlands have the same industrial policy as the UK.

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Milton Keynes: Come for roundabouts, stay for near-gigabit broadband

Ledswinger
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Happy to be corrected...

I couldn't comment with any authority, but I have the impression from VM forum chatter and investor announcements that the network is pretty much fully 3.1 compatible now. But as the 3.1 modems are twice the price or more of the cheapo Hub 3, they're in no hurry to go ahead.

Customer trials (screenshotted to the forums) have shown they can get 700 Mbps through a Hub 3, so the only immediate point of a D3.1 launch is bragging rights for gigabit, and my guess is they'll wait until there's much wider availability of Openreach FTTP, and for 500 Mbps+ speeds to be offered over Openreach residential FTTP.

Or they could do it much more selectively to wreck the Vodafone FTTP launches, and there's a strong logic in that because of the much discussed but little evidenced VM/Vodafone merger. If Liberty Global can make Vodafone's FTTP launch a commercial failure, then essentially Vodafone management have two choices - back out of broadband or agree to merger on LG terms.

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Ledswinger
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One of the worst companies I ever dealt with and my 100mbps service was barely hitting 13Mb, kept complaining, taking daily screen shots of speed tests done on multiple sites until they finally admitted it and allowed to leave my contract early.

I presume that since you're referring to 100 Mbps that's Vermin Media you're talking of? To give them their due, connection quality seems to have improved greatly over the past year or so, particularly S/N related problems, that I assume is down to better CMTS kit, though it might be my imagination, the Hub 3 latency problems are pretty much all fixed, and as on June this year there's no throttling or traffic management at all on connections of 50 Mbps and faster.

OTOH, their offshore customer service remains world class awful, and I've just been hit with yet another double-CPI price rise

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Ledswinger
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But now, and it's an awful thing to think, I wonder if it's actually faster than I need. Has it come to this?

Yes. VM are pushing their fastest speeds to stay one step ahead of Openreach G.fast (hence the recent speed bump from 300 to 350, because G.fast tops out at 330), and that's mainly a sales and retention thing. They know that customers are less likely to defect to competitors if that means slower contract speeds, regardless of either the actual maximum achieved, or the utilisation. I'm on a 200 Mbps connection, I suspect that in normal use cases our household of four adults rarely tops 30 Mbps even with everybody doing different things on multiple screens concurrently.

I could use faster upstream though.

The problem with upstream is that VM are on DOCSIS 3 and that's non duplex, so upstream capacity is only around 10-20% of the downstream. VM are piffling about with the intention to soon/eventually launch gigabit connections using DOCSIS 3.1. The networks are claimed to be largely ready for D3.1, but it needs a new modem (and after the Hub 3 fiasco they might be being rather more cautious), but in theory you'd then have a 100-150 Mbps upstream speed. VM's parent company have been clear they'll only launch D3.1 when the market is willing to pay for it (meaning they intend to charge the earth for gigabit connections).

At some future date they'll probably implement DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex which could offer gigabit speeds both ways, but as the standard was only agreed last year it'll probably be about 2023-25 before VM have compatible equipment, and again they'd need a new modem.

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Has anyone seen REM lately? No, we mean rare earth minerals

Ledswinger
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Re: Perhaps China was smarter than they were given credit for

Perhaps they knew that appearing to try to 'corner the market' in rare earths would provoke exactly that response.

Maybe, but I'd guess that they've judged it pretty well - ramp the price to the point that the round-eyed pointy nosed foreigners start looking for alternatives, look at the cost of schemes they propose, and that will show the price point the Chinese government can push the REMs to. Which will probably be slightly higher or lower than the price that caused us pointy-nosed types to start asking the question about other sources.

It's a form of price discovery without competition.

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We're doomed: Defra's having a cow over its Brexit IT preparations

Ledswinger
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Trollface

Cue apopleptic spittle from the ginger corner and relief from rest of the country.

Alternatively, there is a very hard Brexit, and you'll find yourself in a cattle truck taking you from Germany back to a suitable Channel port for forcible repatriation.

Of course AFD might suggest more create ways of managing undesirables, but I'm probably invoking Godwin here.

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First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards

Ledswinger
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Amber Rudd

Can't we have stones placed in her pockets, and throw her into the Thames?

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