* Posts by Charles Smith

331 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Apr 2008


22 million Brits suffer broadband outage blues and are paying a premium for it

Charles Smith

Ridiculous outage

Our broadband was out for a whole week in June this year. It's ridiculous that Openreach didn't armour it's FTTC street cabinet to resist a laden 24 ton skip lorry.

Freecycle gives users the gift of a security breach notice

Charles Smith


I've already had a couple of spam/hack emails linked to my freecycle email address. Always use different password for any login.

Twitter will lose 32 million users by end of 2024, Insider Intelligence predicts

Charles Smith

Employment prospects

I keep getting messages from a guy called Winston Smith. He's recently become available and is looking for a job.

IBM sues Micro Focus, claims it copied Big Blue mainframe software

Charles Smith

History strikes back

CICS? Wasn't that the navigation software on Noah's Ark?

EU reaches agreement on satellite comms project: Opens Iris

Charles Smith
Big Brother

Can't see the woods for the trees

As Elon say's; if you want to use SkyNet cut down the trees in your garden. This is just another way to avoid laying fibre to deliver Internet. The problem arises when Russia/China/USA decides to take out the LEO satellite network and triggers a Kessler Syndrome event.

Evernote's fall from grace is complete, with sale to Italian app maker

Charles Smith

Revenge of the Lotus Eaters

Aww, I quite like it. Hopefully it does not go the way of Lotus Agenda. Sorry for the history lesson folks. ;-)

Windows 11 runs on fewer than 1 in 6 PCs

Charles Smith

Windows 11 chose not to accept me.

Microsoft decided that my perfectly good Intel hearted PC was not good enough for their Win 11 product. Apparently to regain their favour I have to buy a new PC.

I've always supported the view that developers should be forced to test their latest release on five year old PCs.

SpaceX: 5G expansion could kill US Starlink broadband

Charles Smith

Re: 56k

OMG I can still hear that dial tone warble of a 56K modem. Please stop.

Charles Smith


5G is essentially an urban network technology with the need for many masts given its limited range and poor penetration of structures. Starlink is more of a rural network needing few if any ground masts, more suited to open landscape. In effect they are complimentary technologies rather than competing.

Start your engines: Windows 11 ready for broad deployment

Charles Smith

Bedroom Door

I've been needing a brick to prop open my bedroom door. Thanks Microshaft.

French court pulls SpaceX's Starlink license

Charles Smith

Bitter orange

I was once on the receiving end of opposition from a bitter orange in a telecommunications project. Very nasty, fortunately I'd developed a good customer relationship and he saw the rotten fruit for what it was. It seems like Elon is suffering a pelting on a larger scale. No doubt the Third Estate living in the Bocage will get used to 700ms.

Equinix cuts $705m check for Chilean, Peruvian datacenters

Charles Smith


Energy for Datacenters? Possibly. Resilient multi-route high capacity data comms?

Germany advises citizens to uninstall Kaspersky antivirus

Charles Smith

Ivan walks in the same tracks as his Grandfather

I used to use Kaspersky on my PCs at home and in my small business. I liked the software and its performance, though at times it was a resource hog. At one point I worked in Moscow in a building across the street from the Kaspersky offices. However when Putin invaded the Crimea and also visited Salisbury I decided that Russia was still the USSR but in fashionable clothing. Despite the protestations of the executives at Kaspersky I was always reminded that an assault rifle loaded with 7.62 rounds can be decisive in formulating company policy.

I de-installed the Kaspersky anti-virus from all machines and replaced it with Sophos. Interestingly when I scanned the file archives with the new AV I found some old virus programs that KAV had missed on my son's gaming PC

Cloudflare, Akamai: Why we're not pulling out of Russia

Charles Smith

Good luck to Akamai

Good luck on getting paid in Russia, you'll need it. Perhaps it will be worth you investing in a wheelbarrow for the roubles.

UK.gov threatens to make adults give credit card details for access to Facebook or TikTok

Charles Smith

Re: One word.

Where do you think the bulk of the Tor capacity comes from? Large servers in secretive locations funded by interested people.

Charles Smith

I don't want to Labour the point.

Remember when David Blunkett (Labour Home Secretary) tried to introduce National Identity Cards? They're baaaack....

HMRC tool for measuring IR35 status is so great, employers are ditching it in their droves

Charles Smith

The pachyderm is dead and getting whiffy

IR35 is a massive home goal. Increasing goverment costs for software development/maintenance whilst driving them more deeply into the clutches of large consultancies. All to satisfy the ego of HMRC. The elephant in the room is ignored despite the rot.

RAF shoots down 'terrorist drone' over US-owned special ops base in Syria

Charles Smith

Re: Mistletoe

Get your coat? No Sir, you should be forcibly ejected into the street for that gem.

Charles Smith


Does the RAF get a refund on missiles that are unused? If not, the expensive missiles are the ones not used to good effect.

Pretend starship captain to take trip in real space capsule

Charles Smith


The Klingons will be waiting for him in a cloaked ship. The capsule will disappear.

Oh the humanity: McDonald's out of milkshakes across Great Britain

Charles Smith

Re: HGV Drivers

I did hear tell that one of the reasons for the shortage of HGV drivers is IR35 knackering the freelance market for drivers.

Charles Smith


Nightmare? No.

Benefit? Improved health through sugar reduction.

Tesla battery fire finally flamed out after four-day conflagration

Charles Smith

Cry Oh Genick

Inject liquid oxygen to shorten the duration of the fire.

'Login infrastructure issue' blamed as sustained Xero outage threatens payrolls

Charles Smith

It's reliable

My small company has used Xero for several years now. It is usually reliable, so we're not going to squeal foul because of one outage. As for the VAT you have a whole month to prepare the VAT returns and submit payment to HMRC. If you leave this to the last moment you are asking for trouble. Anyone met Murphy with his JCB digging next to your data line?

Xero does need to look at its major outage procedures and how customers are kept up to date. Lessons to be learned.

Water conditions in Jupiter's clouds could support 'life', say astroboffins

Charles Smith

Heavy decision

I wonder if this announcement was made with due gravity?

Hubble memory errors persist despite NASA booting long-idle backup payload computer

Charles Smith

Holey smoke

I think there's hole in my puter, Dear Lisa Dear Lisa. There's a hole in my puter .....

UK government resists pressure to hold statutory inquiry into Post Office Horizon scandal

Charles Smith

Health & Safety

The whole process was deleterious to the Health and Safety of the Postmasters as a direct consequence of the negligence of the Post Office executive. Let's see some heavy corporate fines and maybe with a taste of jail time for the key decision makers. All nicely topped up with substantial compensation for those affected.

OVH founder says UPS fixed up day before blaze is early suspect as source of data centre destruction

Charles Smith

Flywheels are not flammable

This is an unpaid advert for an unnamed supplier who produces stored energy flywheel UPS systems. They couldn't have received a better marketing story for free. Did they pay for the matches?

AdGuard names 6,000+ web trackers that use CNAME chicanery: Feel free to feed them into your browser's filter

Charles Smith

Raspberry Pi anyone?

Checking my PiHole lists.

Does Samsung want you to buy new phones? Asking 'cos Galaxies now get four years of security updates

Charles Smith

Disposable goods

Samsung's policy of growth through the sale of short life products is the main reason I don't buy their products.

Ad blocking made Google throw its toys out of the pram – and now even more control is being taken from us

Charles Smith

Encourage the Advertisers

I run an AdBlocker to tidy the dross, but Google does manage to slip some stuff by those controls. In those cases where the content consistently repeats I always (repeatedly) click on the link to bring up the ad on a different browser tab. It's a click and will have cost the advertisers a dollar or two for each click. For the worst offenders I let them know they are wasting money.

The more that people sting the Ads, the sooner Google will change it's tune. Sure it gives an initial boost to Google's wallet, but as the advertisers become to realise it is wasted money...

Chinese ambassador to UK threatens to withdraw Huawei, £3bn investment if comms giant banned from building 5G

Charles Smith

The Tiger

The sleeping tiger yawns and reveals its teeth. I told you it was not a rug.

Skype for Windows 10 and Skype for Desktop duke it out: Only Electron left standing

Charles Smith


This is classic Microsoft. You'll get what we think you need and not what you want. If you don't want Teams you clearly have an issue in understanding the problem. ;)

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC

Charles Smith

The answer

Is 42.

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

Charles Smith

Time to fall/sit on sword?

The CEO of NHSX has little IT development experience:


Writing on the wall for this £150K pa civil servant?

Charles Smith


Ministers are agile in changing horses, but is the NHS App project yet another Agile failure? "Yes we can do this, but it might need a few fast iterations..."

BT and Serco among bidders competing to run Britain's unfortunately named Skynet military satellite system

Charles Smith

Wot no Hawaii?

Surely Hawaii should be part of the consortium?

An Internet of Trouble lies ahead as root certificates begin to expire en masse, warns security researcher

Charles Smith


We'll soon be at the point where some of the developers were born after Year 2000. History repeating?

$5bn+ sueball bounces into Google's court over claims it continues to track netizens in 'private browsing mode'

Charles Smith


So that's why I've been getting advertisements about riding whips and tall boots when I've been searching for Hymns and Sermons.

SpaceX is about to launch its first Starlink internet satellite sporting a sun visor following complaints by astronomers

Charles Smith


Musky should launch a couple of Tesla built Hubble scopes into high earth orbit and lease time out to the star gazers. What's the betting he'd do it for half the cost and in a fraction of the time?

'5G for Five Eyes!' US senator tells Parliamentarians the world would be better without Huawei

Charles Smith

Before you know it

After withdrawing the F35s from their convenient European ground base, we'll see our "friends" asking us to share two large aircraft carriers to provide a platform for their planes.

I think the fear that BT street cabinets will sip the secrets of their lanyards might be a tad far fetched.

Surge in home working highlights Microsoft licensing issue: If you are not on subscription, working remotely is a premium feature

Charles Smith

Velvet Glove negotiation

Phone your Microsoft account manager and point out that if they can't smell the coffee it could be one of two things:

1. They are about to come down with a Covid-19 infection, as the lack of taste or loss of sense of smell are early signs;


2. They really can't smell the coffee! Micro$oft should not be taking advantage of the Pandemic, but rather saying that for the duration there will be no licence constraints.

The good old steel fist in a soft glove discussion, will often work wonders. If it doesn't there are alternatives to Micro$oft products. After the storm there'll be a lot of competition for a reduced customer base. By the way use Google Meet to talk to this person.

BT's Wi-Fi Disc ads banned because there's no evidence the things work

Charles Smith

The ASA needs to...

All we need now is for the ASA to admit that BT's "Superfast" is not a true Fibre connection in advertisements. The term "Fibre" should be eliminated for any adverts for a FrankenFibre product. The ASA has stubbornly dug it heels in on its original wrong decision.

You get fibre, you get fibre, you all get fibre: UK Ministry of Fun promises new rules to make all new homes gigabit capable

Charles Smith

If only...

If only Gordon Brown had spent the Mobile Phone wavelength auction tax windfall on delivering full fibre to the country. £20 Billion?

Post Office burned £100m in UK taxpayer cash on Horizon IT scandal legal fees, MPs told

Charles Smith


How about the Royal Mail executives responsible for this mess spend some time eating porridge at Her Majesty's pleasure?

Day 4 of outage: UK's Manchester police deploy exciting new carbon-based method to record crime

Charles Smith


Enhanced communication and recording methodology utilising 3D Graphene matrix on biodegradable cellulose matting.

IT exec sets up fake biz, uses it to bill his bosses $6m for phantom gear, gets caught by Microsoft Word metadata

Charles Smith

Daft Company

Ho hum, a company defrauded because it didn't operate basic accounting controls. The person approving payment of invoices should be separated from the person who originally approves the purchase. The old Two-plus heads concept.

Royal Bank of Scotland IT contractor ban sparks murmurs of legal action

Charles Smith

Castillian solution

The banks should release the UK Contractors and replace them with Spanish Bank IT Experts.

Openreach's cunning plan to 'turbocharge' the post-Brexit economy: Getting everyone on full-fibre broadband by 2025

Charles Smith

FTTP Obstacle removed

The main obstacle for FTTP across the country has been removed and now works for Salesforce.

IR35 blame game: Barclays to halt off-payroll contractors, goes directly to PAYE

Charles Smith


Please, please don't leave us. We need your skills to support the legacy system. What do you mean, when you say that on top of wages, we have to pay extra for National Insurance, private medical, training, liability insurance, accountant fees, asset depreciation, VAT, and you want 5 weeks paid holiday, sick pay and overtime pay if working over the contracted 35 hours/week? Sorry, yes we did forget car allowance, business class travel/hotels and on-call allowance.

I'm afraid we can't do that... hey where are you going.... don't you want your free coffee?