* Posts by Graham 25

177 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Jun 2009


Ex-White House CIO tells The Reg: TikTok ban may be diplomatic disaster

Graham 25

Someone clarify please ?

I thought years ago China had banned WhatsApp and the ban remains in place today ?

If thats true, then why not just ban all Chiinese owned/operated Apps as I think they started the banning first.

How governments become addicted to suppliers like Fujitsu

Graham 25

Re: Don't forget NPfIT

To clarify, they didnt 'lose the contract'.

Fujitsu terminated the cpntract first, for breach of contract by HMG, for repeated and frequent failures to deliver on government obligations under the contract. HMG were utterly shocked and called Fujitsu in to 'discuss'. Fujitsu said there weas nothing to discuss as HMG had ben warned that they were in breach many many times, and that they (Fujitsu) had had enough.

Two days later HMg announcd they wer eterminating the contract with Fujitsu, blithely ignoring that it had already been terminated and HMG tried to pretend that it was HMG choice and to save face.

I know this as I know several people directly involved in the termination arrangements who were laughing at HMG panicing and flapping around as they had no experience of actually being terminated and were worrying about nothing except their jobs and HMG reputation.

Government and the latest tech don't mix, says UK civil servant of £11B ESN mess

Graham 25

Re: Talent is highly concentrated (and not cheap)

" I do have some sympathy for people working in public sector IT "

You really shouldnt as thats a choice they made, based upon their inabilkity to get a job in a company which will hold them liable for their failures.

Government IT is where failed IT peoiple go to hide and fail without personal consequence but to screw up everyone elses lives.

has there ever been a government IT success anywhere ?.

Graham 25

Re: Airwave might be more expensive than a sim only third party carrier contract

"Why is a public body a ridiculous notion?"

Because its full of people not remotely competent enough to get a job with responsibility in the private sector - and nobody in the public sector is ever held liable for their mistakes. Its full of people who are lazy and incompetent. Look at any service provided by the public sector and every single one of them fails and fails and fails and never learns. A public body is largely unaccountable, incapable of taking action quuickly without a forest of Sir Humphreys wanting paper by the tonne - and thats before politics even rears its ugly head. The whole organisation is stuck in the 19th century.

TETRA never delivered - because it was supposed to offer an upgrade path to data - and never did. the idea of TATRA was interoperability across networks, That never really happened as HMG took so long that the supplier base ceased to exist. If lighting were left to the public sector, large swathes of the country would still have gas lamps. Handsets are ridiculously expensive because they arent a mass production item. After nearly 35 years,, you still cant get TETRA underground in London, despite the demands of Kings Cross Enquiry in 1988

Its not about authority, although I do agree about the ever changing requirements. The problem is the piblic sector is way too slow at everything it does and whats worse, the staff wouldnt go any faster even if given the authority. The staff are basically useless in a modern environment.

Graham 25

Re: Talent is highly concentrated (and not cheap)

At least with the private sector, if they are bad, they lose money and go out of business.

We get the privilege of paying extra for the public sector to put right its f -Ups

So how come there are all these public sector failures with private sector delivery contracts

Answer : becauise its still got the public sector in there stopping or delaying everything with interminable changes and failures on GFE/GFI.

Graham 25

i read somewhere, there are zero qualified, real engineers in Parliament. Nothing from the IMechE, ICE or IET

Not sure if its true though

Graham 25

Re: Airwave might be more expensive than a sim only third party carrier contract

"It really shouldn't be a private company beholden to foreign debt manufacturers."

At the time Airwave started ( prior to that it started out as the Public Sector Radio Communications Project), there was only a single UK TETRA manufacturer - Phillips/Pye which became Simoco in Cambridge. The alternatives were Nokia and Motorola.

The UK government had exactly zero idea on how to design, deliver or maintain anationwide network, so any suggestion that the public sector could do any of that is laughably stupid.

In the end, the HMG procurement process ground on, and Motorola were selected primarity as neither Simoco or Nokia were prepared to put up with the bizarre drivel from HMG procurement on commercial terms or delivery demands.

Simoco went out of business despite some great systems deals with ambulance services and Nokia had enough of HMg and wouldnt sell in the UK to the public sector.

And as we know, TETRA never really delivered and the 3G auctions stripped all the invetment capital out fo the comms market for almost a decade with billions straight to HMG and the UK comms base destroyed when by bought foreign across the board.

I was in a meeting with Motorola and a certain branch of HMG over a large radio project where we had designed a rather specialised system exclusively for certain *Cough Cough* UK services, and of course the UK gov't wanted to pay a fraction of the price that the system cost so were trying to strong arm Motorola into committing private development resource to the project o drop the price - despite the fact that the system wouyld never be permitted to be sold to anyone else.

Literally, to the HMG negotiating teams faces, our team including Motorola laughed at them and told them they were just being stupid (not silly, but actually stupid). The client was shocked and before they could start blustering, the Motorola VP got out one of the new Motorola Startac mobiles which was the latest hot potato in small mobile flip-phones, and plonked it on the table. He told them that the people part of the development effort for that handset was half of the development effort they were asking Motorola to spend, on a system with about 25 handsets and a few replacements a year. The VP told them they can get that contract revenue in the mobile phone shops on Oxfprd Street in December and January so they are being stupid if they think that makes a good business case for anyone. I always recall that meeting as it was the first time I had seen a negotiator walk away from HMG and tell them they werent worth the hassle, and to shove their order.

The project died at the Project Definition phase and was never implemented. As it turned out, Motorola made the absolutely right decision, as the Good Friday Agreement resulted in all sorts of things being cancelled and this one would have been at the top of the list had it proceeded at any price.

There is no UK base on the technology front for Airwave, and the public sector cant do sh*t on anything remotely technical, and when it comes to service delivery, can anyone seriously suggest the morons who deliver HMRC services could do a safety critical network like Airwave ? Public Sector procurement really isnt worth the hassle these days.

HP TV ads claim its printers are 'made to be less hated'

Graham 25

I am still using a 10 year old Samsung printer. It was bought second hand as I tried an HP printer and it was garbage.

My printer has had numerous fuser units, toner cartridges (third party of course) and imaging drums over the years. There are still units being sold on Ebay in an emergency if it really fails.

The wrold needs a decent consumer printer manufacturer as HP is just sh*te.

Forcing Apple to allow third-party app stores isn't enough

Graham 25

Can someone force Sonos to only update Apps viea the App store ?

On at angential note, the danger of sideloaded apps and updates is very well demonstrated by Sonos and its POS software.

Lovely hardware, completely cr*p software which locks you out of your own system until its done an update - updates which are notoriously buggy, lock up frequently leaving an unusable sound system (three weeks currently) and no way to get around the garbage update until they fix it.

At least if the update is garbage, Apple can tell them to fix it or shut it down, but sideloaded updates which fail arent identifiable until after the system is bricked.

God I hate Sonos and wish I had another system which was more reliable.

Europe's right-to-repair law asks hardware makers for fixes for up to 10 years

Graham 25

Time to buy items overseas then

I really like my very slim laptop and phone - if the EU is going to turn these into big clunky monstrosities, with discrete components, no glue and still only repairable by a geek with no friends and an comics obsession, then I'm going to buy mine from a more sane part of the world and f*ck the EU.

Graham 25

"The law must state that essential components(display, biometrics, speaker, camera, battery, charge port, etc.) need to be separate and individually replaceable. This is in addition to all other parts and components being able to be replaced, with the total cost of all parts being unable to exceed launch month price."

Now the crazies are getting really hot under the collar. back to housebrick phones then ?

I love it when the economically illiterate try to make such decisions. the et effect will be a vast increase in prices and nobody will be able to. buy them, and companies will fold. And No, alternatives will not spring up because nobody wants the pay the price of the nirvana driven craziness.

Graham 25

Re: A good start, but ...

These kind of suggestions are all very well and good, but the net effect will be to completely destroy any new product innovation and make everything vastly more expensive.

So you come up with a new mobile technology which could make battery life better - can you guarantee it will be reparable in 10 years if you release it now, and can be sure something better doesnt come along making it obsolete - No, so forget releasing it because you are saddled with supporting that clunky old technology which is killing your company. You are now running your entire company at least one generation behind every otehr competitor, and you will be bankrupt quickly and support goes to zero.

Sure - something needs to be done about short life washing machines or John Deere tractors but dragging it down into high tech consumables, for which the vast majority of people change their devide every couple of years anyway, is like the enemy of good, being perfection.

All that will happen when the crazies tyr to get perfection is a handset will be released, and the support will last only as long as the company exists. It will be shut down, and the next 'generation' of phone will be released by a new company with no ties to the earlier company.

Too many naive, optimistic, economically illiterate people trying to get the perfect solution and like so many EU ideas, it will over-reach, compromise and come up with something of very little practical use.

£2B in UK taxpayer cash later, and still no Emergency Services Network

Graham 25

Why ho TETRA on the whole of the underground ?

Intersting as I was involved in the complete radio replacement programme way back in 1996ish when LuL placed a contract with what was then Racal, under a massive PFI project called Connect. If I recall it was over £2Billion to provide 100% coverage in tunnels and walking areas, and was much vaunted at the time as being a major achievement.


Sounds like its bullsh*t if it doesnt cover everywhere its needed.

US Air Force reveals B-21 Raider stealth bomber that'll fly the unfriendly skies

Graham 25

Re: Eye-watering

"equipment that may never be used for its intended purpose or anything close to it"

It already is serving its intended purpose - ensuring the crazies out there know that if they misbehave badly enough, they now know what hit them even if they never saw it coming or leave.

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison

Graham 25

Re: "His sentencing is scheduled for December 7, 2022"

Sure but the point is that here today now, she is guilty.

She should be in jail pending her appeal just like every other non-rich criminal.

Graham 25

Re: For UK residents

Federal Charges - no early release allowed.

Twitter employees sue over lack of 60-day layoff notice

Graham 25

Re: Idiot dot com'ers..someone not in the Bay Area I'd guess..

"The other 99% get offered a basic contract, take it or leave it."

Thats because their skills, are highly generic, easily replaced by another person and so they are a commodity. If you really have no unique, or discernable skills advantage, its not really a surprise that the employer can replace you with any number of alternative candidates.

Thats not an employers problem - its your for being a drone just like all the other drones.

UK hits Russia with British IT services ban

Graham 25

Re: Russia loses access to UK IT consultancies

You mean all those highly successful, profitable companies ?

Those companies work well when the public sector are not involved. All public sector procurement is a disaster - its not difficult to work out the problem is not the contractor, but is the client.

Contractors who fail hard, go out of business quickly. Clients in the public sector who fail, never suffer the consequences and the public pay all over again.

Graham 25

Re: So?

I have to assume you have never met anyone from the UK Public Sector on any kind of project as they really are utterly useless at everything.

Definitely the scrapings at the bottom of the barrel, arguably the barrel material itself.

Indian court directs chat app Telegram to disclose details of copyright infringers

Graham 25

Back to the old RIM/Blackberry issue

I cant recall exactly what happened but in the early teens, India tried to strong arm RIM into disclosing the encryption keys for BB devices used in India - and I thin k it got nowhere as the market in India wanted BB's but they couldnt force anyone in Canada to comply.

The outcome will be no different because the Indian government, like most governments, is always well behind the public and private sector when it comes to circumventing nonsense government 'orders'.

BT union wants pay dispute talks with telco's largest shareholders

Graham 25

Honestly I needed a good laugh and this was it.

The utter naivete of a union leader, who spends all their time talking to likeminded individuals, thinking they can go direct to major shareholders and get more money. They must come from the Jeremy Corbyn school of economics, or the Vladimir Putin School of building friendships.

It would be great to be a fly on the wall as long as earplugs were provided for the shareholders laughs and the unions cries.

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes found guilty of fraud: Blood-testing machines were vapourware after all

Graham 25

Re: But, she did do one good thing

"As a company producing medical devices, wasn't there some agency required to look at and test this equipment before licencing it for use?"

yes, it was the FDA and theranos hid this from them. they claimed on the paperwork they were using their own devices when in fact they were using modified Siemens devices - modified so as to breach the Siemens licencing by the FDA.

And when anyone asked, she used the 'Trade Secrets' excuse to avoid answering the question.

Graham 25

Re: Not yet noted

Its not suspect as she never actually met any patients herself and never made any promises to them directly.

Graham 25

Re: I'm not defending any of them... but I'm not sure "scam" is right???

A company - which never produced any audited accounts.

A working lab - nope - it failed FDA approvals and was shut down. She even hired lab directors and kept them out of the lab and threatened them with legal action when they threatened to go public. Not mentioned in the trial as the judge would not allow it, was the one internationally credible lab director who said it was a scam, and unreliable so she sacked him, had him hounded by lawyers and private investigators - until the chap committed suicide. the lab was not full of her machine but of modified third party machines which were used outside of their approved capabilities.

A research and a product development division - not - it never delivered a working device. Anyone who threatened to tell all was attacked by lawyers,.

...... and a product - as you say, they delivered nothing working.

She did a runner with the money every year - several corporate jets and massive personal expenses - not the actions of an entrepreneur trying to make a company success but of one bleeding a company dry of investment while refusing to show its books.

Graham 25

Re: But, she did do one good thing

they did plenty of due diligence - unfortunately someone was faking documents, faking contracts and relationships and press announcements and that person was Elizabeth Homes - she personally did all the underhand stuff and didnt even try to get others to do it.

Graham 25

Re: Sentencing will be interesting

The ABC Podcast 'the Dropout' gives a very in-depth view of what she was doing over about 23 episodes of listening

Facebook and Apple are toying with us, and it's scarcely believable

Graham 25

Re: Section 230

More than that, they would cease to exist.

The current Australian kerfuffle show how governments are idiots on anything complex - not realising that if you insist someone does something for nothing then they will avoid doing it at all. I don't use Facebook and never would but I have to laugh at the Aussies being surprised that when they tried to force Facebook to carry news and pay for the privilege, that Facebook walked away and said people can get the news from the original source.

And the government tries the censorship complaint when everything is still there, as available to the public before.

Graham 25

Re: Feel odd

"Big tech avoids a lot of tax and many countries are justifiably angry about that"

Those countries being the ones where the company doesnt pay the tax but pays it in anotehr jurisdiction.

The problem with all this bleating from countries is that if they start that game, other countries will start to target their multinationals to strip taxes out of what they get now and they will find everyone in the world will want a piece of their hime grown companies.

Graham 25

Re: even if in Apple's case it's really just a fruit emblem

"you have about 5 seconds to pick it up before the Mac and the iPad start ringing as well which causing a right din as they all start bleating for attention."

So why didnt you just disable the 'Calls on other devices' feature ?

Get outta Huawei! UK mobile network EE selects Ericsson's flat-packed 5G RAN kit to replace Chinese wares

Graham 25

Re: Shadow boxing

"BT's relationship with the embattled Chinese firm dates back to 2005, when the formerly state-owned telco selected Huawei as a "preferred supplier" for its 21CN fixed-line network."

In those days most of the Huawei kit was actually Marconi kit, made and designed in the UK, Italy and Germany and was low risk. So BT actually bought Marconi kit at prices which were lower than the Marconi cost because Huawei wanted to buy itself into the UK network.

If you suddenly can't print to your HP Printer from your Mac, you're not alone: Code security cert snafu blamed

Graham 25

Re: AirPrint

I have an ancient Samsung printer before HP took over the business, and messed up printing on Apple.

Not quite sure what I'll do when it expires as I have found HP to be utterly useless and sent the last printer back after three days of trying to get it to work.

China slams 'dirty' America's 'clean network' plan, reminds world of PRISM snoop-fest exposed by Ed Snowden

Graham 25

The difference being that China doesnt plan on actually inventing anything, just stealing it from everyone else.

UK govt finds £200,000 under sofa to kick off research into improving mobile connectivity on nation's crap railways

Graham 25

Re: Do it themselves?

3G signals require an RF cable about the size of a drain pipe, along the track. its horrendously expensive.

So no, you couldnt run RF cable along the side of the above ground tracks.

Graham 25

Re: Should have been designed into or alongside GSM-R

GSM-R was/is only made by two suppliers - Siemens and Ericsson. the rest quite rightly concluded it was commercially non-viable and a waste of development time.

To be fair, Railtrack did ask the UK operators to quote for it to be installed on WCML but they all declined as the cost was too high and Railtrack only wanted to pay 'on use' and as the operators could generate more revenues on Oxford Street in a day that the WCML would generate in a year, it was a complete non-starter. I know this as I was there.

The main reason why its a problem is the nice, metal laminated windows on the trains and the lack of available inter-carriage connections. You might stick an aerial on one carriage but you cannot route RF through the carriages on the inside very easily, so you're stuck with putting aerials on the top of the train right next to the second biggest source of RF interference where the power lines run parallel with the train.

And as GSM-R is a safety critical system, theres no way anyone on the safety side is going to allow the two infrastructures to join up.

GSM-R was certainly only built for 3G at best on WCML as the good old whining public didnt want to pay for Railtrack to straighten out the curves and lift the track to ground level to speed up journeys and as a result make it better RF coverage from existing towers.

NHS websites will no longer burn up your mobile data allowance, say Brit telcos

Graham 25

They should spend more time on the COVID ward phones

With an elderly father in a COVID ward for a couple of months, the only communications with him have been via the conveniently placed bedside phone with an 0872 number - effectively a premium rate number.....

Two months later, two £300 bills run up by an elderly mother speaking to her husband of almost 60 years is simply a joke. eeven a local Birmingham number would be fine.

Someones getting rich and its the phone provider in the NHS wards .....

BT: UK.gov ruling on Huawei will cost us half a billion pounds over next 5 years

Graham 25

Indeed, they could save even more if they did away with all those pesky Health & Safety rules as well.

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan

Graham 25

Re: "the backlash is a wee bit overdone"

Its also known for having pretty much every tree in the continent have a barrel of oil of one type or another inside each tree.

Its probably fair to say that there is nowhere else on earth where every tree explodes with oil driven flames when it catches fire.

Cu in Hell: Thousands internetless after copper thieves pinch 500m of cable in Cambridgeshire

Graham 25

Re: A simple (but costly) answer

If it was cheaper, you think Openreach wouldnt do it ?

Fibre itself may be cheaper but its also m ore difficult to install and I would guess that a lot of the cable you think should be replaced is very old, direct buried copper cable - which would need to be replaced by a whole new lot of ductwork before you even think about putting fibre in.

Occams Razor - the reason they aren't putting in fibre, is that its not actually cheaper.

Auditors bemoan time it takes for privatised RAF pilot training to produce combat-ready aviators

Graham 25

Re: "Auditors bemoan time it takes"

They lost a lot of training vehicles when the different types of aircraft requiring training were taken out of service. So no more training aircraft for Harrier, Jaguar, Tornado, Nimrod to name a few so you would expect a reduction is aircraft to train.

ts also worth mentioning that the Contractor cannot go out and buy more actual military aircraft if it wants more - that has to come from HMG.

Personally i would be highly suspicious of the claim of over 200 training aircraft. Thats bigger than the front line command.

Trump continues on the warpath: Now US tariffs cover nearly everything arriving from China

Graham 25

Re: Orange Fool

The way globalisation is set up ?

Nobody sets up globalisation. It is the natural state of play that as economies develop, they cast off the lower value creation to lower cost economies for them to develop, while the mature economies develop higher value add capabilities. There's nobody setting these things - its a natural feature.

Developed economies dont want to make small plastic widgets because they cannot afford to pay a developed economy salary to a worked producing $0.01 items.

Trump has it right on getting China to respect IPR and to stop companies being forced to work with Chinese thieves, sorry, partners.

On everything esle he is 100% wrong.

BT staffers fear new mums could be hit disproportionately by car allowance change

Graham 25

BY stopping funding car use to allow people to make the best choice of how they get to and from work rather than drive ?

I am quite surprised anyone except the typical travelling salesmen would actually get a car these days.

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

Graham 25

"Government needs to be going after Corporations to increase its taxable income not us in the populace."

Tthe population end up paying if a company has increased cost though. All taxes on companies end up being paid by a consumer one way or another.

Grumble Pai: FCC boss told by House Dems to try the novel concept of putting US folks first, big biz second

Graham 25

So if he is a public sector worker, why not sack him for one of his numerous apparent non-responses ?

Can someone with a better understanding of the US Legal system explain why not ?

This just in: What? No, I can't believe it. The 2018 MacBook Air still a huge pain to have repaired

Graham 25

Because the majority of people don't want devices to be easily serviceable with easy to replace parts as those issues are not a factor in their purchase.

They wants small, light, long life and if the compromise is that its a single unmaintainable slab, then people are in general, happy with that.

Still using Skype? Good news! After HOURS of meetings, Microsoft reckons it knows when you're Not Active

Graham 25

Any chance they could sort out the nonsense that is Status when on an iPad.

Friend of mine is still 'Away' but not offline on an iPad after about a year of not using it and uninstalling it.

Apple grounds AirPort once and for all. It has departed. Not gonna fly any more. The baggage is dropped off...

Graham 25

Re: One of their best products.

Unfortunately, there are many out there who recall the 'Time Capsule Tombstone' problem which affected tens of thousands of TC's consigning them to early death when a component burned itself out on the motherboard and left the device a complete brick. The failure could be predicted down to a specific week or so of life.

If anything the TC is Apples best example of nice idea, poorly implemented and hardly 'it just works' =and more like "it works and then packs up in an entirely predictable manner and there was nothing that could be done'"

Law's changed, now cough up: Uncle Sam serves Microsoft fresh warrant for Irish emails

Graham 25

One could still legitimately argue that even though the US says its companies have an obligation to hand over things held overseas, that obligation ends at the border of the US and once the data is overseas the law does not apply.

Its like giving yourself the right to vote in a foreign country because the US says you can. It means squat overseas and the companies can just take the view that they have no right to do anything overseas as the law stated doesnt apply outside of the US.

I look forward to the EU demanding a US company hands over Trumps accounts as they can compel the auditors of Trumps estate in the USA using a similar trick.

User asked why CTRL-ALT-DEL restarted PC instead of opening apps

Graham 25

Voodoo graphics Cards

Re : driven by games ......

I worked for a large British defence contractor in the 90's (yes I am that old) and the company spent years developing its hardware and software for a airport simulator whereby you walked into a small room on a stand and there were four of five huge projected TV screens around you each with a simulation of the view from a airport control tower. You could see ground vehicle movements, aircraft landing and taking off and it was designed to train ATC staff in operating an airport.

All highly impressive for its time. I then saw the same setup in an exhibition a year later and it all looked the same except the large rack of equipment was gone, and under the displays in a cupboard were a few computers each with a pair Voodoo (2?) graphics card in them which had overnight wiped out millions in hardware and software development.

Apparently the company had tried to engage with the Voodoo manufacturer to get the software rewritten but they werent interested, so they gave it to a couple of game-obsessed technicians from the apprentice scheme to rewrote the entire system to use the new graphics cards in a few months. I recall Purchasing trying to negotiate with the Voodoo supplier who were not bothered in the slightest about ISO this and that and UK MOD commercial terms - just 'how many cards do you want mate and we will dispatch them tomorrow', and send us a cheque first.

I have never seen such a good example of the games community taking over and going past the commercial companies in my life.

France gives WhatsApp a month to get slurps in order or face fine

Graham 25

So what if they don't ?

Out of interest, what could France do if a US company, which is hosted in the US and used by millions of French citizens decides to give the French government the finger ?

Its not going to bock WhatsApp as its citizens would throw a wobbly, so what could France actually do except go to court and a US corporation could ignore them as the company is not based or hosted in France ?

Always wondered ....

Euro Patent Office ignores ruling and refuses entry to vindicated judge

Graham 25

The guy should turn up with a couple of friendly policemen in tow and the minute he is refused access, the police should arrest and handcuff anyone who stops the guy.

Start with the security oik and when he says he has been told to do it, go arrest the person who issued the instruction. Cart them off to a holding cell and remind them that if they repeat it, then they will be arrested again.

Proceed ad finitum until the cops run out of handcuffs and the organisation gets the hnt.