* Posts by John Square

77 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Jul 2009



John Square

Ni9ce reference in the subhead...

The Beat, indeed.

Osborne bids nation fill his Budget portal

John Square

Growth requires two things

Stability and low taxes.

We have sufficient stability, so low tax is all that's left to do. George, if you can sort that, that'd be fab thanks.

Microsoft's Office ribbon hits Mac fans

John Square


That's very interesting, sir.

I'm going to have a real squint at that, as we are just about to go from 2003, and have some very *ahem* talented users.

Sony soars, sinks, soars on Apple buyout rumor

John Square


Some of the reasons it is haemorraging cash is that it's poorly run, can't select the areas it wants to succeed in and doesn't have it's distribution sorted. These are things that Apple can do well.

Also- EMI would come with the distribution rights for the Beach Boys, Band and Beatles. Are those three acts not worth the ticket of admission alone? I know a lady who was head archivist at EMI, and it was her job to look after the master tapes for EMI. There's stuff in those vaults that is worth millions and millions, but EMI can't focus to get it out and promoted in bricks and mortar stores. I cannot believe that iTunes couldn't get that stuff out and paid for.

As for whether musicians would want to deal with Apple: Apple is part of that wave of companies (Google being another) that is the new Rocknroll. Tech is much more energising*, emancipatory and exciting for misic's traditional market of teenagers. The hours and hours of practice on a guitar isn't as appealing nowadays as fiddling with the internet.

Also- I don't notice musicians avoiding iTunes, iPod adverts or endorsements. Apple is cool (or at least rich) enough for muso's to get along well with it. And as your average major label is both poor and fudd-duddy (by comparison) I doubt anyone would have a problem with an iContract, and preferential treatment in iTunes.

*Yep, I'm Old. Music is all about the haircuts nowadays and it's all just noise, not like in my day etc, etc.

John Square

If I was Jobs...

I'd buy EMI. The capital investors who own it are desperate to jettison it, and it makes sense from an apple perspective- own the label the distribution and the devices at the end.

He'd not need to eat into much of his cashpile to do it.

Then? Movie studios.

Gordon Brown joins World Wide Web Foundation

John Square

Monday's headline...

"Internet goes bankrupt"

Seriously, Brown *causes* crashes- that's traditionally a bad thing where IT is involved

Revealed: Government blows thousands on iPhone apps

John Square


I know iPhones have gotten cheaper, but- honestly- I think they should/could still be reasonably counted as a luxury item... and thus probably not a great channel to engage with the unemployed.

That's who Nokias are for, right? [/joke]

Budget to cost over a million jobs: Official

John Square


... I know where the figures came from, as I read the story. I was referring to the bias in the presentation of the figures. I thought that my comment made that clear.

Either way, it's good news all round: State to shrink, wealth producing part of economy to grow.

Only question I have is: why only 1.2 million jobs?

John Square

Guido said it better...

Aside from the above discussion of equally valid headlines ("budget to create 1.3m jobs" etc, plus caveats as pointed out above), Fawkes at order-order.com notes the following:

[quote]What is obvious to everyone is that the bloated public sector payroll is going to fall and a recovering private sector is expected to take up the slack. Larry (editor of Guardian) has managed to set the news agenda today only by ignoring the whole story. The loss making Guardian is of course the house-paper of the public sector, with pages full of advertisements for non-jobs.

The Guardian’s advertising revenues will be hit incredibly hard, to the tune of hundreds of millions pounds, by the public sector hiring freeze and the coming shift of public sector job advertising from their printed pages onto jobs.gov.uk.

A cynic might wonder if that perhaps helps to explain the paper’s editorial stance…[/quote]

Shame on ElReg for not at least examining the source and it's motives....

The long and the short-term of it: Apple's future

John Square

Yeah, but...

The value of Apple's stock is not detrmined by a single decision; it's a reflection of an aggregate set of deals each with a set of differing motivations. You could argue that a load of short-term dealers are buying now in the hope to capitalise of hype built by the year of the iPad and iPhone 4, and the establishment of iOS. They'll cash in over the next four months or so, as perhaps they don't believe that consumer electronics is a long term profitable sector to be in (You wanna swap your mircosoft shares for my Sony ones?). So I don't disagree with your points (bar one, see below) but I'd argue that the picture is a bit more subtle than you make out here, and perhaps that undermines your point about markets taking a great view of the longer term prospects of a company.

The big disagreement I have with you is that it was Mandy Rice-Davis, not Christine Keeler, who said "well, he would say that, wouldn't he?"

Phoenix Mars Lander officially dead

John Square

...and the other hand says..

Fuk Jet is a pretty funny name.

Supporting the teleworkers: Redux

John Square

It's not that hard, provided....

... You've started out with homeworking as a deliverable for your whole infrastructure delivery programme.

We've got a heavily virtualised machine room, pusing out a Citrix published desktop to everyone in-house, with a Citrix access gateway for those off working from home.

User feedback is that they can't believe how easy it is to log on at home, and how straightforward home working is. As a result, we don't get that many calls from home-workers requiring support.

The only downside is when they say the system is faster at home than it is in the office.

Admittedly, if you aren't going to completely renew your infrastructure any time soon, knowing what worked for us may not be that helpful for you... ;)

Labour manifesto: More ID cards, less NHS IT

John Square

er- get with the times

"There is such a thing as society, it's just not the same thing as the state." David Cameron, May 12 2008

How a Tory gov will be the most tech-savvy in history

John Square

Hang on...

There's some good stuff in this article- yes, the chap got the meaning of open source wrong, but using tech to involve the public more (open consultations on bills) and greater transparency in expenditure are both good things.

Loads of people have spoken about how twitter can connect the high up with those of us who toil in the trenches, and there's evidence that it is, at the moment, doing just that.

If you want a clearer view on what the tory proposals for tech are, though, I'd refer you to the e-manifesto posted up a few weeks ago


Steve Jobs and governator tout transplant reform

John Square

You would have thought...

Apple wouldn't be as much a fan of non-user replacable parts, after Jobs had gone through a liver transplant.

Mine you, having seen the ballsache that is replacing an iPhone screen, I can't imagine having a new liver fitted is as much grief.

Dell Vostro V13

John Square


Why would you buy this when you can get the acer 3810TZ for less?

Warner Music gives up on free streaming services

John Square

There's more to this than is being reported.

If you have a look at the transcript of the earnings call, there's a few subtleties that haven't been widely discussed.

First off Bronfman *is* in favour of licensing Warner's catalogue, just at a device or ISP level, so Warner's slice of the pie is coming from them, and not the consumer. Think Nokia's Comes With Music, rather than Spotify, or of Spotify premium provided as part of your ISP service (like it is with some mobile phones).

So he's not dinosaurish necessarily: he's still happy to license, he just wants better terms than Spotify can agree to (cos they ain't making money)

As for me- I'm going to pay for broadband anyway. I may pay more, or switch providers, if ISP's start actually competing for my business in the way that mobile phone copmpanies do. Give me a new laptop and some value added services and I'll come to you, especially if its a similar cost to what I currently pay for just 6mb BB.

More analysis at Bob Lefsetz' excellent blog: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/

I can thoroughly recommend it, and I think a large proportion of the posters here woul dlike it too.

(No, I'm not Bob)

Wales auditor arrested over indecent images allegations

John Square

Must have...

...been pretty outre stuff for the plod to be involved.

Or not, thinking about it. Under the currrent government, a cached Page 3 image fropm the Sun website would probably do it...

Steve Jobs dubs Google's 'don't be evil' motto 'bulls**t'

John Square

I think...

... that the interesting thing here is that Steve looks like he thinks of Google as more of a threat than Microsoft.

10 years ago, a move to use Windows Live Search on an Apple device would have been unheard of. Now (even if the rumour is untrue), it's seen as a possibility worth the dead-tree press' time to comment on it.

Oh, and for all of the people who want neither Apple nor Google near their devices or personal info (and I count myself amongst them): is this a result of the level of tech packed into a phone/MP3 Player/search engine backend? In order for us to be able to afford this Star Trek-style wizardry it needs to be subsidized by other forms of income, as well as the ticket price.

All of a sudden, Linux is looking more interesting- or, Microsoft isn't looking so awful. A company who makes money from the ticket price and comes with no incidentals or major privacy concerns... Is that going to be the new USP for a chunk of the market?

Could that be the hot tech direction for the 2010's?

Hacker brings multitouch to Google's Nexus One

John Square

I suppose...

...that HTC paid apple to do so.

I do wonder whether Google's open sourcing of the OS is to avoid paying the tithe on the first version of the phone that looks like a serious attempt to take on the iPhone?

I imagine that open sourcing it makes it easier to deliver the multitouch update in a manner that non-techs feel comfortable with, as opposed to the root and flash approach that the early android-adopters (androiders?) are used to.

UK.gov moves to block Hamas kids site

John Square

All that is wrong with this country...

Is summed up in that quote:

"It's nasty stuff. It incites hatred of Israel and Jews - the government should remove it."

Big government, censorship, a claimed moral high-ground.

Brrr.... this lot creep me out.

Google tries to quietly trample on Apple's toes

John Square


... your original article wasn't bad, and as you say, it was mainly the things that no-one expected to happen that confounded your analysis. A bit like predicting Man U winning the FA cup, only to have them knocked out by a lower league team in the third round. The unforseeable makes fools of us all (no matter how obvious in hindsight the unforseen event was).

Either way, I think you're closer to the mark with Google's Nexus not being much of a success. It's a better cellphone than many people currently own, but it lacks the cachet of the iPhone. I think loads of people bought an iPhone without any clear understanding of why they were doing so.

Maybe it was launched when loads of folks were about to treat themselves to a new iPod, or maybe the marketing was that good, but either way it had something that none of the technically better, more established players had. Sex appeal? X Factor? Fuck it, maybe it was just a capacitive screen.

Whatever "it" was, I just don't think that the Nexus has it. Don't get me wrong, I'd like one but I'm androided anyway. I reckon Joe Public will probably think it's a bit of a dead end device, and why buy one when they could have an iPhone. After all, a search engine selling phones? It's like the Sun newspaper flogging nuclear reactors.

So, yeah- the nexus is nice, but without a "one more thing..." factor that truly knocks spots off Apple, it's just another "Me too", and why go for a copy (albeit a good one) when you can have the real thing for the same cost and know it's got a long life ahead of it.

Top cop's 'stop stopping snappers' memo: Too little too late?

John Square

It's the old...

... "infinite number of monkeys" thing.

Nothing to worry about.

Soot warming 'maybe bigger than greenhouse gases' - NASA

John Square

Ta, JimC!

"Mind you that's not an exuse to do nothing"- but how do we know what's right? If all of the potential "doing something about it" options were free, or had zero negative impacts, then cool, let's do them all. But they aren't, and (apparently) time is limited, so where to start?

I think that this is why the environment issue is such a bastard. Obviously, no-one wants to destroy the earth, or whatever, but there's clearly competing and mutually exclusive goals here. Jeremy Clarkson wants it to be paved with exciting roads. Janet Street-Porter wants it to be full of walkers. I want it to be full of pubs. Cool ideas, all of them, but apt to get a bit messy, particularly if I drive home from the pubs along the footpaths used by the walkers.

So if the goals are mutually exclusive, who gets to call the shots? The Rich? Shall we start telling those poor people to stop with the cooking fires in Africa, and go with solar ovens? Or the poor, who want to reverse a few hundred years of spectacular progress in the West, and want to get us to use the solar ovens instead (good luck with that in the UK)?

My suggestion: let the market sort it out. Two/three hundred years ago, we were dependant upon whale oil to the extent we ran out of whales. Which are a renewable resource. When that crunch came, we switched to oil oil, and all worked out OK (At least as far as we can prove so far). And let's not forget how primitive our tech was when we made that switch to crude from whale.

So we should be able to come up with some pretty nifty solutions in the days of the iPod and stuff.

But not if we keep arguing about cuts.

So, scientists, get out there and start solving fusion or something. But enough fucking around with hockey sticks and trees. I don't care how bad the numbers look now, I want a bloody solution.

John Square

Where are we with...

Climate Change nowadays? No seriously, I've lost track. It seems we don't know:

A) If the climate is changing

B) How it's changing

C) What is causing any change (if change is happening at all)

D) What measures will help

From apurely practical point of view, I think that kind of means it's back to the drawing board and start again, no?

Instead of that eminently sensible option, we are throwing astronomically large piles of money (that we haven't got), at things we don't understand, to achieve ends we don't agree on, all the while whilst making loads of policy decisions that we have no idea whether they'll do what we think they might do.

Well, that's just great.

Coat, as I'm going to the pub. Call me when you got your stuff sorted, and maybe then I'll sign up to doing something.

Quarter of France Telecom staff 'psychologically vulnerable'

John Square

But what is...

... the baseline? Are 25% of the french population psychologically vulnerable?

Also by "psychologically vulnerable", do they mean "mad"?

If so, your average FT worker may be saner than your average UK.gov worker, and we should look to FT for some pointers as to how to improve things over here....

Critics aim to sink Titanic ice cubes

John Square

Name for the 9/11 version....

... "Twin (towers) and Tonic", shurely?

Axeman Chancellor toes the line on ID cards

John Square


.... I have a sneaky feeling that rights are going to be protected by the Tories if they get in.

My justification is twofold.

1)There ain't going to be any money for this shit

2) For god's sake- they are Tories. If ever there was a bunch of politicians who don't want people knowing where they are, what they are doing etc. it's them.

Do you seriously think that databases of electronic communications, bulletproof ID cards ("My name? Bob Smith, officer, now if you'll let me wander on with my young male friend..."), veting and standards lists are all contrary not only in principle, but also in practice to them.

Multiple young mistresses (Alan Clark), kinky sex (Stephen Milligan), dodgy money (Neil Hamilton), lying to the court (Jonathan Aitken, Jeffrey Archer)- they get up to all kinds of stuff that they don't want to get out.

Oh, hang on, I just noticed sommat...

Gov retreats on vetting database but ain't climbing down

John Square

But that's just what I don't understand...

... it's so obviously a flawed system. However you shake it, this system will only spot those who haven't been caught yet. As soon as a "first time (caught) offender" turns up on some awful charge in court with an eCRB/Vetting certificate/whatever, the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

That much is obvious even to an idiot like me. So why has Balls been so determined to push this through? It so clearly inconveniences a great majority of people all for so little impact.

Is he trying to make up for being less well proportioned in certain areas than other people? Because that is *honestly* the only reason I can see for sticking with it- but it can;t all be about a powerplay, and a maladjusted ego can it?

Oh... I see what I did there.

TechCruncher sues former pad partner

John Square

Arrington's funny...

... but he did well to get the JooTechPad from vapourware to prototype.

Having said that: there's a reason that Jobs, Gates, Michael Dell et al. have been at the top of their tree for years: making good, popular stuff (and making it pay) is tricky. Even now when you outsource the hard-to-understand build process, the task of getting something to market isn't as easy as "Think of idea, schmooze VC dollars, speak to manufacturer, hype, watch cash roll in".

It's a good story though: New Media numpty, after looking at uninspiring tech for years, thinks "hey! how hard can it be?", knocks together some concepts, sells the thing to the sky and back and then gets shafted by the first OEM he hooks up with.

One thing though: a cynic might claim that Arrington saw the revised MRSP, and wondered if all the grief was going to be worth it. I'd wager he'll do better out of the buzz around the story of how he was robbed by them nasty foreigners than he would out of the pad itself.

China executes securities trader over $9.52m fraud

John Square

Daily mash headline...

...a few weeks ago:


That was in relation to the melamine in milk scandal.

Serious bit:

I've lived in China, and I've seen the folks paraded through the street on their way out to the execution site. It's utterly chilling. However- irrespective of how I personally feel about the death penalty*- it fits the local culture and mentality. It's explicable in a way that the US death penalty isn't.

Not excusing it, just saying, y'know

*not a fan

Last patch train of the decade rolls in from Redmond

John Square

That's exactly what happened!

Back in ye olde days, accountants ran the calendars and they decided on a one-off, write down of the first decade (I think they classed it as a depreciation) so as to regularise the flow of TV nostalgia shows for generations to come, and to free Ms. Bee from the yoke of pedantic tyranny.

Darling promises IT cuts, years of pain

John Square

It's enough to make you weep.

I'm not sure I can add any more. I'd like it if the cuts went further though. As it is, it feels a little like someone who owes the bank millions in mortgage arrears is declaring all their problms over because they've found a fiver in an old pair of jeans.

One thing: punitive taxes on potentially productive parts of the economy is a fucking dumb idea.

Be that patents or bankers*.

I must admit, though, Darling at least looks like he's trying. Brown doesn't appear to even be in the same universe as the rest of us.

*even though my normal position is that no-one should earn that much money except me, and possibly my wife.

'We must all stop washing to save the planet'

John Square

CO2 and "more harmful ones"

Yeah, I always wondered about the other (more harmful) greenhouse gases, and then I noticed that folks were talking about CO2 equivalence in the figures quoted on the telly.

So, in other words, they take account of methane and other gases by "converting them into" CO2 for propaganda/marketing/information (delete as applicable) purposes.

There is a bit of me half expecting an article from Orlowski on this- I'd like to see the explanation of the methodology and the conversion rates before I give the figures quoted much credence.

Imagine if someone was cooking the science/maths there: You may be able to lop a big percentage off the green claims in one go? 50% reduction mandated by Copenhagen? Easy! We'll just do the maths properly instead!

NHS IT spree faces cutbacks

John Square

I'm not disagreeing with you...

One cannot prove that Accenture, ITSoft BTM or whoever aren't at least partly to blame when these things go titsup, but I'm always shovel the most of the responsibility towards the client.

I'm thinking a big cause for failures of these great big public sector projects is because the original idea is crap.

I cannot believe that the projects always fail because the supplier is crap and the management worse (although that certainly seems to be an issue here).

Could it be that politico's have what they think is a brilliant idea, and only once untold millions have been spent getting it going does it turn out that the concept is fatally flawed. Either that or the benefits are so massively over shadowed by the costs that they never should have been given the green light in the first place

I cannot believe that the NPfIT's single patient data base will be signifcantly better than each PCT managing their own patient records. If I break a leg in Wales does the A&E really need to see my complete medical history (that lives in Berkshire)?

John Square

Tip for Mr Darling...

Just bin anything with an IT angle from your budget. It's pretty much all poorly scoped, specced, contracted with imbecilic deliver partners and none of the potential benefits (where those benefits were thought about) are likely to appear in anything like the short term.

To not do so would be daft for two reasons. Firstly, we need to make cuts anyway, and secondly the gov are promising all kinds of horrifically expensive things to anyone deluded enough to go to the polling booth and tick "Labour" on election day, so you may as well trim absolutely anything that isn't 100% essential just in case that bill comes due.

Hopefully common sense will prevail and Labour get voted out, but if not we may have some money that we can then use for food and heat, rather than having to sit around in caves eating mud for the next twenty years.

At least Darling looks like he's trying.

Gov confirms plans for Sky box in charge of your house

John Square

Maybe that's the deal?

"Even restricting the flow of gas into a property may result in reduced pressure at the appliance, inefficient combustion and an increase of toxic combustion products, ie, Carbon Monoxide."

Vote Labour or we gas your family?

It's a strategy, isn't it? If you vote for us, you get a free laptop, broadband and money (have they announced that one yet?) if not, it's lights out for you and everyone you hold near and dear.

Granted, it's not subtle, but surely it's justified if they are going to hold onto some of those tricky marginal seats occupied by such scary people as Ed Balls.

Icon for the obvious.

John Square

Oh good...

I was so bored of having to make all those tedious "energy management" decisions myself. I'll happily entrust this complex and difficult task to a group of people including the Government (who've led us into bankruptcy), the energy companies (who have managed to get one in three bills wrong-in their favour), and the green lobby (Read Orlowski for full details of their most recent triumphs).

Are we really going to have another six months of this before an election?

However, whilst we wait for the election, shall we pass the time by suggesting some campaign slogans?

"Labour: It's not fascism when we do it"

Govt promises unemployed free laptops, net access, websites

John Square
Thumb Up

Yeah- why not?

In no particular order:

>Business start up grants of £25,000 to anyone with a loft space, plus a free Mac. Call it sommat like "Energising grass roots British design studios"

>A herd of Camels for anyone with a garden and kids: "Empowering the next generation of camel jockeys"

>Swiss Rolls, Danish Pastries and French fancies for everyone, all the time: "Promoting European cultural synergies through the use of cake"

>Lawnmowers for carpets to be delivered by parachute airdrop across the country: "To conserve energy by reducing foot-related drag on lounge circumnavigation experiences"

That's four and it took no effort whatsoever. Crikey, any idiot can launch these policies!

Vetting database is mighty maths mess

John Square

They had this idea...

"all young people will undertake some service to their community, and where community service will become a normal part of growing up in Britain"

In Germany in the 1930's, didn't they?

(Also- I lived in Reading for a decade, and I think community service for young people was a normal part of growing up then. The Youth Courts forced them to do it, admittedly....)

Climate change hackers leave breadcrumb trail

John Square

Spot on.

Half my family are involved in academia, either as doctorate candidates, lecturers or at a management level. My wider family includes a couple of PhD's and a research scientist.

From extensive conversations with all of them, I concur entirely with your view.

The money is in the easily applied "sciences": Ed Psych has masses of competition for PhD places, and plenty of money for research, especially if it's the kind of thing that applies to misbehaving middle class kids.

You want to study the breeding habits of lugworms? Sorry boss... no cash for that... Unless, of course... Is there an environmental aspect to the work?

Windows 7 saves Dixons

John Square

The problem...

... is that Dixons' senior management spend too much time looking at revenue, and seem to work towards very short term goals.

Former colleagues of mine (I've never worked for Dixons, but know people who have) describe how every case for inward investment would be met with "£35k? We'd have to sell an extra 70 TV's at £500 quid a pop!", thus making the twin mistakes of

1) not looking at the profit generated by the sales (they'd have to sell many more telly's than 70 to have £35k of profit), and

2) ignoring any savings/profits/etc by the investment proposed.

And, of course the further sins of terrible customer services and extortionate pricing for everyday items such as memory cards and Blank DVD's.

They really need to learn that it's not 1985 and that people impulse buy more tech stuff nowadays, so customers are in your store week in, week out, rather than just occasionally to replace a device that's died.

Fanbois Apple buyers howl over crocked iMacs

John Square

All this fuss....

...surely "it's no big deal".

Having said that, I think that the real story will be Apple's response. After all, every company drops one every now and then: the measure of how good a company it is is the quality of the response. £50 of iTunes vouchers would probably be a good starting point.

Freeview HD - your questions answered

John Square


"Go up to the average man in the street and ask him 'do you give two shits about High Definition TV?'"

I've been asked that 45 times in the last couple of days. Damn, there's a lot of Reg readers in the Thames Valley

iPhone conquers half the (smartphone) world

John Square
Paris Hilton

Android requests figures....

... I wonder if there's an overrepresentation of Android in this graph: Admob supported apps seem much more common on the Android platform than on the iPhone. Certainly the apps I use most frequently on my Magic are all Admobbed, whereas the iPhone my other half uses seems not to have anywhere near as many.

SO is this just a measure of presence in the software ecosystem of Admob, multiplied by the utility of the application than a platform's marketshare?

As a sidebar- Android is rather good, though, so I'm not knocking it. I think exposure is the way to go to build share: all of the iPhone users I know who are coming up to contract renewal are looking to shift to the X10 as their next handset, and the iPhone is starting to look a bit primitive in the design stakes by comparison. It still looks classy, yes, but a bit primitive.

Paris, 'cos primitive\classy\etc.

Credit crunch? It won't be over by Christmas

John Square

Cost of credit....

... has a strong correlation to risk.

The past 18 months of financial fuckaboutery has culled some of the risk from the markets, so the cost of credit is declining.

One thing is for sure: More legislation isn't going to help matters. Financial markets are still just markets, and (as a clever bugger said) when buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

Is data overload killing off human initiative?

John Square

17 quid for a four chapter book?

Forget that.

Arkansas cop tasers 10-year-old girl

John Square
IT Angle


If it's OK for a cop to use a taser on an 11 year old child, tech support can wield them against users?

Can we take a quick vote, and I'll see if I can catch eBuyer before the next day delivery deadline expires...

(I know it's Bootnotes, but I found an IT angle)

Windows 7's dirty secrets revealed

John Square

@Ed Courtenay

"the worst software I've come across tends to be in-house applications that were thrown together by some office junior while on work placement five years ago, that inexplicably become vital to the operation of the company (although not critical enough to employ anyone to code it properly)."

Very good point, sir. It's true that MS have probably cocked up by trying so hard to maintain backward compatibility over the years, but a chunk of the blame must be laid at the corporate IT world, who allow bag o'shite apps to slowly become mission critical, when originally they were coded to be stop-gap measures. With all of the Freeform DYnamics stuff on the reg in the last couple of weeks about IT Governance fresh in my mind, you've highlighted a problem there that doesn't get talked about often enough: IT departments should have the balls to tell the business to take a running jump when the business comes knocking to demand a technical fix to a failure of management.

What's that? Your MS Access-based app runs poorly, and you absolutely cannot do without it? Stop using it, and go find a proper app that runs on a modern OS and migrate now. Don't postpone another six months, or to the start of the next financial year, 'cos the situation will just be worse then.

"If this application breaks because of a new operating system, guess who gets the blame? The office junior? No, Microsoft." It should be the director of the department responsible.

<As you deserve one.