* Posts by Charles Smith

307 posts • joined 7 Apr 2008


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?

Contractor association blasts UK.gov guidance on hated IR35 tax law's arrival in private sector

Charles Smith

The new world for Gov't projects

Ah Mr Client you wish to engage my skills on your big new project? Okay, you do realise I’ll be working from my home office. I’ll be working on other client projects at the same time, so if you need optional expedited services, that will be an additional fee.

When necessary I’ll schedule meetings with your representatives to discuss their requirements, of course any change in timescale or requirements will generate a variation docket and will need to be signed off prior to variations work commencing.

When it comes to testing, if you prefer on-site testing, you will need to make test facilities available to our engineers, but our fees already include rental of services to test on our own site.

Industry reps told the UK taxman everything wrong with extending IR35. What happened next will astound you

Charles Smith

If the client is paying £1 Million per day as you suggest, I'll live with the tax.

Charles Smith

The Government will complain

When the Government discovers it can no longer engage freelance IT staff, it will complain that the costs of consultancy companies are too high. A bit like the Treasury fiasco on Hospital Consultants and GP's.

The lesson here is that HMRC is no longer controlled by the Government and MPs.

Terribly Sorry Bank reports 165% drop in profits to a pre-tax loss of £105.4m

Charles Smith

Proper testing?

I wonder how much it would have cost, other than the Boss's bonus, to have undertaken proper testing of the system before release. A safe rollback escape route would have been useful too. Probably less than £330 Million.

UK's ICO slaps £120k fines on Arron Banks' insurance biz and Leave.EU campaign

Charles Smith

A whiff of Sulphur

Here we go, the Establishment striking back against Brexit "terrorists".

Openreach names 81 lucky locations to be plugged into its super-zippy Gfast pipe

Charles Smith

Edwardian Tech

BT announces, in a fit of corporate stubbornness, a further 81 locations are going to be locked into Edwardian copper wire telephony for the long term. Meanwhile SFA is being done for the inconvenient 5% in rural locations and pseudo-rural urban areas.

Washington Post offers invalid cookie consent under EU rules – ICO

Charles Smith

Wouldn't read it anyway

I've tried the Washington Post website. I was given a free subscription. I tried it out thinking it was a newspaper with researched and unbiased reporting. I soon discovered it was mostly highly biased political opinion articles. I wouldn't use it again even if they paid me. So their cookie privacy policy is irrelevent to me.

Euro bureaucrats tie up .eu in red tape to stop Brexit Brits snatching back their web domains

Charles Smith

Excellent Idea

This is such a good idea the United Kingdom should follow suit. Ban EU based companies from representing themselves with co.uk. By this distinction we should be able to make an informed decision whether we want to give business to an Eu based company.

'World's favorite airline' favorite among hackers: British Airways site, app hacked for two weeks

Charles Smith

Good choice Alex

Alex Cruz is to be commended in his great choice in TCS as part of his mission to destroy BA. I'm sure the UK IT techicians made redundant will have a wry smile as they munch their toast this morning.

Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

Charles Smith

Errm do you know where the document were stored..?

So, the development teams had done good work and software testing was on schedule. However to run the new system, we'd need a new fault tolerant "mainframe", so my boss and I hegotiated a good deal on price and delivery date. Shortly after the deal was signed, the Finance Director walks into my office and "sadly" announces that the IT Director (my boss) has left the company with immediate effect, but not too worry because they had a shortlist of propective candidate. A mysterious hand materialised behind his head and started to write on my office whiteboard. "... it won't be you..."

Being a professional I warned my deputy that my life expectancy in my role was limited and started to tidy my paperwork so he wouldn't be left in the lurch. Part of the tidying was to pass the mainframe contract negotiation paperwork to the FD's deputy at his request. About four weeks later the new IT Director had arrived and I was gone two weeks later. The new boy made it very plain I was not wanted and handed over a departure package.

Four months later I had a grovelling call from the IT Director; "Did I know where the contract documentation for the mainframe had gone?" This discount was worth about four times my departure package. My reply: "I gave you the keys to the files cabinet at my departure interview, but you could talk to Finance." I understand, in the absence of documentary proof, the eventual terms from the manufacturer were far less generous.

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

Charles Smith

Imagine if Google responds by saying Android will no lnger be available in the EU countries except on a paid subscription basis. Say 5 Euro/month. That would give competitors such as Amazon and Microsoft a chance.

Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

Charles Smith


When you had halon in a room you were supposed to have a venting/extraction system to clear it after a release. I saw a novel approach to this on a seventh floor equipment room, the room had never been pressure/leak tested. We suggested to the client it was needed. On testing we discovered the halon would have vented down the adjoining lift (elevator) shaft if there'd been a release.

'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

Charles Smith


Bah you young'uns haven't lived. You don't need gigabits, nor even megabits. We used run a financial markets trading system over a 4800 baud satellite link, including the software upgrades.

Charles Smith

Business view

I used to build trading floors, including the provision of networks. If the client specified a fibre network and I had a hybrid fibre/copper network installed, I could guess the reaction. My clients would have sued my company.

Having copper for the "final half-mile" is not a fibre circuit. The ASA has had professionals telling them they are wrong for the past decade or so. Like all bureaucracies, they get stubborn when they know they are in the wrong.

Newsworthy Brit bank TSB is looking for a head of infrastructure

Charles Smith

I could solve their infrastructure problems..

.. get rid of their Agile software development. Those bozo's rarely consider the production transaction level impact of their design/implementation on the infrastructure resources.

Grindr: Yeah, we shared your HIV status info with other companies – but we didn't charge them!

Charles Smith

Hi Grindr, meet GDPR your new all encompassing friend.

Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

Charles Smith


To own a .co.uk or .uk domain you should of course be a person domiciled in the UK or a business registered in the UK. In future this will help us distinguish EU companies masquerading as a UK company. To be honest once we've left the EU, why would anyone in the UK want a .eu domain other than for nostalgia. It's a bit like wanting a .zw domain.

Assange fails to make skipped bail arrest warrant vanish

Charles Smith

If he'd turned up in court

He should have gone to court to argue his case. The judge could have then turned around and said, if you'd come here five years ago I would have said what I'm about to say now. "Bail is cancelled. You are free to go. By the way your Visa has expired, so leave the country."

Well done, UK.gov. You hit superfast broadband target (by handing almost the entire project to BT)

Charles Smith


Aside from Mr Ferguson, is there anyone who actually believes this BT/Govt propaganda?

NAO probing Capita's sickly £700m GP support gig

Charles Smith


Capita help government bodies "save" on pension commitments to Civil Servants. Capita then try to run the service using staff who've been motivated by abandonment, with leadership from process driven management. Along the line Capita extracts a profit for their shareholders on a service priced lower than the original service.

You end up with the lowest cost workforce with no loyalty to the "customer" whose motivation is meeting short term internal Capita targets. To plaster over the cracks in service Capita wheel out Relationship Managers whose task is to reduce client complaint to an acceptable level.

Small wonder that the GP private partnerships are discovering a few service gaps.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has sprung a leak and everyone's all a-tizzy

Charles Smith

In best BBCspeak establishment response : "So, we're working really hard to fix this minor normal problem which may have been due to Brexit, but the real question is ..."

Royal Bank of Scotland culls 1 in 4 branches, blames the interwebz

Charles Smith

Meanwhile here in the Sticks

In the countryside it's rapidly becoming the situation that if you want to go to a bank branch office you have to go to the County Town. Seems like Free Banking = No Banking.

Ex-cop who 'kept private copies of data' fingers Cabinet Office minister in pr0nz at work claims

Charles Smith


There seems to be an awful lot of effort to smear politicians in an attempt to weaken the UK Gov't. I'd say it's conspiracy either by Momentum or the Bilderbergers.

Dark fibre arts: Ofcom is determined to open up BT's network

Charles Smith

Leave BT alone

Ofcom should stop harassing BT about true fibre optic infrastructure. They should allow BT to wallow in its media based legacy copper infrastructure while the competitive real telecommunication companies get on with giving this country a proper fibre network.



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