* Posts by SharkNose

60 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009


From 'Queen of the Skies' to Queen of the Scrapheap: British Airways chops 747 fleet as folk stay at home


Sadly missed

I'll miss the 747. Sitting upstairs in one is a far nicer experience than anything you get on an A380 or 787. And the refurbished airframes that were updated a few years ago were certainly no worse than many of BAs 777s.

Most memorable flight for me was flying into Joburg about 15 years ago in what was already a very very tired airframe. Sitting in the front exit row of premium economy where the carpet was soaking wet because the plumbing to the washroom was leaking! And then, a go around from short finals to land at Joburg because the flaps refused to extend to the full degree required for landing, followed by 30 minutes of flying around the countryside with the crew trying various mild positive and negative G manoeuvres to persuade the flaps to lower, which eventually worked. And a typically apologetic BA Captain telling us the flaps weren't working due to the age of the aircraft!


Re: Second Life?

Not all of BA's 747s are 30 years old. The last batch were delivered some time in the early or mid 2000s I seem to recall...

ITAM Forum opens: 'People just want to talk to other managers about how to defend against software audits'


Re: "learn to defend themselves against audits"

It's not really that simple. You buy a license to use some kind of enterprise software, there is a good chance that you agree to be audited to demonstrate your compliance with that license. If you don't agree to allow that, you aren't in compliance with the license and should stop using it. Fine if it's just me not liking the license clause for Office or something similar, a little harder when you are a large enterprise that depends on a particular piece of software and cannot quickly or easily replace it.

Sure they can't barge their way in, but they can send you a cease and desist letter telling you to either comply or stop using the software. And ultimately they have legal recourse then to get you to prove you have stopped using the software and have removed it from your business.

The bigger issue is that way that many large companies make the licensing deliberately vague so it's hard to know if you are using it in a compliant manner or not. I think that is what this new forum is trying to help with.

Co-op Bank online and mobile banking goes TITSUP*


Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

There are two factors to consider. Amongst the European and US banks as comparators, the UK had 24x7 payments capability 11 years ago, whereas most European and US banks are only now adding such capabilities. So the expectation of availability was not the same in all cases.

But certainly UK banks are no worse, and in my experience, are actually a lot better, than most of the European and US competition. You can look across US, Europe, and especially Australia and see many instances of outages.

Cringe as you read Horrible Histories: UK Banking Sector, sigh as MPs finger cloudy Big 3 as future risk


Re: somewhat unfair

Spot on. I work with most of the large UK banks and also the payment system operators behind things like BACS and Faster Payments.

The focus on resilience and uptime is remarkable.

The Faster Payments scheme went something like 10 years with no downtime, running on a 24x7 basis. Visa also had a incredible uptime stat until their outage for a couple of hours a year or so back (after which the "experts" at the Treasury Select commitee put them through the ringer as if they were a bunch of naughty kids).

Let's not also forget that even with TSB, the whole thing was essentially forced through government incompetence in the first place, forcing Lloyds to bail out HBOS, almost taking Lloyds under, and creating a state owned monopoly that under EU rules was required to hive off what became TSB.

Those in government should look a lot closer to home if they want to see badly run, unreliable IT infrastructure and projects...

No, BMW, petrol-engined cars don't 'give back to the environment'


Re: Seeing as it's a BMW,...

Audi's are by far the most efficient cars in this regard, they also make efficient use of the space in the outside lane by ensuring no more than 1mm is wasted between their front bumper and the car in front...

Oracle asks for more time to finish Java 9


Dialogue boxes? Seriously, who writes UIs using Java any more?

BT considers scrapping 'gold-plated' pensions in bid to plug £14bn deficit


Re: Much like my pension, which I'll likely never get.

Except of course, the pension funds tend to be the major shshareholders anyway so trying to pull the funds back from the shareholders would be robbing Peter to pay Paul...

BA CEO blames messaging and networks for grounding


BA used to be a massive user of IBM MQ. I'd be astonished if that isn't still in the picture for intersystem messaging. I've used it extensively for pushing 20 years and found it to be incredibly resilient when configured correctly.

The BA problem sounds more like a lack of robust tested procedures to be able to reconcile disparate systems following an outtage.

Self-employed bear the brunt of Spring Budget with additional National Insurance contributions


Lots of people have to earn less than the average wage. Even socialists haven't found a way around that yet, but enjoy criticizing anyone who works hard and earns good money. Anything I earn over £100K has an effective 60% tax rate on it. My partner earns nothing, yet a working couple both earning £50K each will be far better off than us...

Ditching your call centre for an app? Be careful not to get SAP-slapped


MySap, Mishap more like..n

Seriously who buys this utter sh1te. The worst software (or at least as bad as the Oracle equivalent product suite) I have ever seen. I can only assume their web developers are using Front Page Express, seriously some of the worst and least intuitive UIs I have ever come across

90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP


None of this surprises me. We have customers using old versions of an application we used to sell which ran in what used to be called Tandem NonStop hardware. Those same customers often keep those machines going by buying spares through eBay and the like. We are talking large high street businesses running relatively mission critical functions that have the ability to impact retail commerce throughout the UK if they stop working.

'Tesco Bank's major vulnerability is its ownership by Tesco,' claims ex-employee


Re: Speculation and Rumour

Card scheme (e.g. VISA, Mastercard) rules mandate online authorisation of contactless transactions I believe. So your contactless transaction in the US for example, made with a Tesco Bank issued debit card, will get referred back to the issuer for online authorisation. It should be they who decide if the contactless limit of £30 is applied, not the terminal at the merchant in the US.


Re: Securing the systems?

Arguably it's a much wider problem than just Tesco. If it was card not present fraud as I suspect, then it's really showing how insecure it is to use your card online. Many merchants / acquirers / issuers are not enforcing validation of anything beyond the card PAN and CVV, you don't even need the name of the cardholder in many cases to use the card fraudulently online. EMV has sorted out much of the card present fraud by making card skimming very hard/impossible, and even the 'Merkins have seen the light and moved to EMV. But that has made card not present the chink in the armour, with the only suggested means of defence being the awful secure 3D (e.g. Verified by VISA, etc) which merchants dislike due to the amount of checkout abandonment. The Tesco Bank situation just appears to be about someone getting en-masse access to their complete list of debit card PAN and CVV data, but the actual exploitation of that data could just as easily affect any card issuer.


Fail to see how this would be relevant to the Tesco Bank fraud. Likelihood is that somehow the Tesco Bank card database (for their debit cards, as it was only current account affected) was compromised, and all of the Card PAN and CVV data taken, then used to effect card not present fraud.

Analysts apply Occam's razor to Tesco Bank breach


Re: Hey, At Least Tesco Refunded The Money

Actually not.

If the transactions were card based ones, especially card not present which seems most likely, there are strict rules established by the card schemes (VISA, MasterCard) which govern liability and chargeback.

Despite what the media are saying, it's possible that the £2.5M supposedly lost by Tesco Bank will actually get eaten by the merchants or their acquirers, not by Tesco Bank. This is why there is a push to move the EMV standards globally for card transactions to shift the liability away from the merchant. Using 3DSecure for Card Not Present transactions also shifts the liability, so it will be interesting to see what kind of transactions were actually used in the Tesco Bank breach.


Re: Tills in TESCO went down days before the hit!

Tesco != Tesco Bank.

Different systems, IT, etc...

Radar missile decoys will draw enemy missiles away from RAF jets


Re: Security by melting?

Pretty sure that the Soviets were able to glean useful data from the wreckage of the U2 they shot down with an SA-2, and that was from 70,000ft! Impact with the ground may not do the job!

Then again, all these new countermeasures are really just a receiver which is used to then program a transmitter. I'm sure any serious enemies have the knowledge to build similar already, if they don't have the same thing in service.

VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly


Colour me surprised

This surprises me not a bit.

Several years ago I owned a Toyota, specifically an Auris D4D SR180 model. It had a 2.2L Turbo Diesel engine, using what Toyota claimed was "Clean Air Technology", and supposedly had the lowest NOX emissions of any available diesel. I think this was all true, as the fuel economy sucked massively.

It had about 170-180BHP, comparable to the more sporty VW Golf TDi models of the day. But the MPG of the Toyota was *way* below what the Golf produced. With reasonably restrained driving, I used to see 28-35Mpg from the Toyota. The comparable Golf I owned gave at least 10Mpg more. On the forums at the time there was a well liked tweak to improve MPG, which involved removing the EGR valve. Of course, the purpose of the EGR valve was to recirculate exhaust gases back into the engine, which removed excess oxygen leading to much lower NOX.

In other words...it seems to have long been the case that to make diesels "clean" in terms of NOX emissions, you can choose MPG or power, but not both. I think Toyota got so fed up at people moaning about poor MPG from their genuinely clean diesels that they gave up and have gone with hybrid technology instead.

BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it



Maybe Netflix will start using detector vans as well rather than stupid ideas like username/password, because obviously it's such a great idea that the Beeb has...


And if I use an ethernet cable or 3G/4G to stream iPlayer content and disable my WiFi network, how will they detect that?

Police Scotland will have direct access to disabled parking badge database


Parent and child spaces are an excellent idea

I frequently accompany my 74 yr old mother (I am 38) so that we can park in the parent and child spaces.

Parent and infant spaces on the other hand, I can see the need for, maybe...

Former Sugar babe of Viglen fame set for Chrimbo exit


Re: Operational Knowlege

To be fair then he shouldn't show off on a TV show larging it that he's billy big bollocks when it comes to technology and then make himself look a complete prat!


Internet Service Protocol...

I hope he's off to get a "broadcom license" so he can start his own "internet service protocol"

Like a version? JDK 9 will point out its own flaws the very first time


Re: So four levels of version?

And of course Java releases from 1.2 onwards are collectively "Java 2", just to add to the confusion...

Ireland moves to scrap 1 and 2 cent coins


Does anyone still use cash in Finland? My experience is that everything is bought using cards, shops are quite happy with sub €1 transactions paid on card. Finnish colleagues in Helsinki a couple of years ago couldn't remember paying with cash for some years...

Hyundai i30 Turbo: Softly, softly, catchee Audi


Good effort, but...

Only Hyundai I've yet seen that looks like I would be tempted to consider one. But..the BHP/MPG does not seem to work out well enough for me.

I have a five year old BMW 3-Series coupe, with a 3.0 petrol engine, normally aspirated, producing a very understressed 220-230BHP, yet it will return 36-38MPG when driven like a hooligan on the motorway, and between 40-46MPG when a little more restraint is used. Of course the BMW was a £30K+ car when new, but I bought it when it was three years old for only £14K. Emissions of 160gms so very similar tax to the Hyundai.I don't know the performance figures off by heart but they are certainly a lot brisker than the Hyundai, with a top speed of at least double the national limit I'd guess.

The Ford Focus ST looks a much better buy for only slightly more cash. Yes it has slightly max power looks isn't that par for the course with hot hatches?

Bill Hicks: 25 years on from the cult comedian's big break


[about the Gulf War] It was a very stressful time for me, the war. I'll tell you why - I was in the unenviable position of being for the war, but against the troops. And ah... Not the most popular stance I've ever taken on an issue.

Subaru Outback Lineartronic: The thinking person’s 4x4


Re: I have

Aren't they based in Ingolstadt in, ermm....Bavaria?

Amstrad founder Lord Sugar quits 'anti-enterprise' Labour party


I've heard SAS has applied for a broadcom license so he can start an internet service protocol...

Unisys looks to ‘streamline’ as losses increase, sales fall


ALGOL, it's the future, I've seen it...

IBM jobs axe: 'The cuts have STARTED and are spreading' sigh staff


Re: "that Forbes made up?"

"Got to stop you there. He said 26% of employees would be getting severance packages. Given the biz has 431,212 employees, according to its filed paperwork, the rest is basic math."

Did he specifically say 26% of employees globally? No-one knows exactly how many employees IBM has in the US for example (last public statement a couple of years ago was around the 100K mark but probably less than that now). 26% of that is maybe 20 to 25K employees, maybe even less.

Some interpolation was done on the basis of the $580M charge that IBM said it would take for this restructuring. It seemed that the media got to a figure of 10K employees based on that figure, but reading the various posts on the IBM alliance forum it seems that many employees are only getting half of the settlement that would usually be offered, which I assume means IBM can afford to layoff more staff for that $580M. There is also an ongoing theme of staff being given poor ratings and put on performance improvement plans, which many assume is a way of getting staff out of the door on the cheap. So maybe 26% of the *US* workforce is a possibility.

Bank of England: What's all this then, CHAPS? Review to get a grip on IT cockup


The messaging infrastructure is SWIFT based but the core settlement processing is not...last I heard it ran on a pair of former Tandem NonStop boxes, very reliably on the whole it has to be said.

Radar gremlins GROUND FLIGHTS across southern Blighty


Come back IBM 9020D, all is forgiven...

Reg man bested in geek-to-geek combat - in World War 3 nerve centre


Neathishead was certainly never target number one or the most secret place in Britain during the cold war! Even in terms of the RAF I'm sure Strike Command / Air Ops HQ at High Wycombe would have been a higher priority, not to mention the Burlington/Turnstile/Chanticleer bunker in Corsham...

Oi, Microsoft, where's my effin' toolbar gone?


I particularly loved how easy Word made it to change a page in the middle of a document to landscape orientation when the rest of the document was in portrait...guaranteed to be 10 minutes of teeth gnashing leading to inevitable urges to throw laptop out of nearest window.

That said...Pages and Libre/Open Office have nothing to be smug about, they are both equally as crap as Word in many other ways. Tried to change background colour of a page in Pages, but it seems you can't do that...whilst OpenOffice seems to have be written with a key design goal of ensuring the user has to spend a good 10 minutes hunting around menus and ultimately Google to find out how to do something that is immediately apparent in Word...

Oracle extends Linux support to 10 years


Re: Re: Oracle vs. Red Hat?

You know that raw clock speed is absolutely not the point of a mainframe, right? A good analogy is a Porsche compared with a freight train...i.e. not really comparable! For all the criticism of mainframes, for many workloads they are untouchable, with some very clever features like sysplex that commodity x86 hardware struggles to provide...you get what you pay for, etc

Apple lures Dixons boss Browett to run global retail biz


Dixons well known for the superior in-store experience...

So can we expect clueless halfwits trying to flog us Apple kit in future? No retailer should ever try to mirror the Dixons/PC World experience...

US spy drone hijacked with GPS spoof hack, report says


Or just a big sting operation?

No possibility that the US intelligence / military engineered a lot of this? Plant a deliberately simplified or otherwise messed up drone over Iranian airspace, "allow" them to take it over and capture it, maybe the ultimate Trojan horse? Then publically make lots of grumbling noises whilst privately sitting back and laughing their asses off, either having confirmed the type of EW capabilities the Iranians have or maybe even planting some kind of worm etc...also maybe throwing the Iranians well of the trail on how the latest stealth drones operate?

Also, how does one really jam GPS? It's presumably something that is a highly directional / LOS signal (SHF?), so I can use a directional antenna I assume because I know roughly where the signal will come from? And presumably I know the rough signal strength to be expected so I can discriminate against anything that is out of that expected range?

Apple cofounder Steve Jobs is dead at 56


Not that big of a deal...

Nah, seriously, the industry needs more single minded visionaries like him, has left big shoes for Tim Cook to fill...RIP

500 jobs threatened as Virgin Media shutters Liverpool call centre


Admittedly been a couple of years since I used VM, but when I did, the Liverpool call centre seemed have the only people that were capable of doing anything more than following scripts, for example actually pro-actively looking at reported problems that weren't published on the service status pages.

Sky Broadband seems to have the same problem, I only ever get a decent response from call centre people with Scottish accents...

Adobe releases lengthy list of Apple Lion woes


Two platforms?

>I get the feeling OSX's days are numbered. Two platforms, I'm sure is a world of hurt.

Really? I thought iOS was derived from OS/X anyway. Surely it's just a matter of convergence, and that seems to be a big theme of Lion anyway, making it look and feel more like iOS...

Glasgow cammer not thrown in slammer



>To project on the screen, along with the movie (obviously in light visible to the human eye), something else in infra-red visible only to camcorders?

Wouldn't I just need to attach some kind of filter to my camera to make this plan a non-starter?

MoD plans 'name and shame' crackdown on crap projects


As usual...

Almost got away with a complete Lewis Page article without the usual mandatory slagging off the Eurofighter, but no, there it is as I read further down.

Mac OS X Lion debuts in July as $29.99 upgrade


Re The beginning of the end?

Ok, so when you go down the "dark and mysterious Linux path", will you not have to download the CD / DVD images to install said "dark and mysterious linux"? In my general experience with Linux, ever since I acquired broadband internet that has been the general means of obtaining installation and update media.

Presumably, if the download package is burnable to a DVD as someone suggested, I can quickly imagine a fairly lucrative black market opening up to provide copies to those who are unencumbered with modestly fast broadband.

Still don't think 4Gb is a ridiculous download though, we only have a medium speed Sky ADSL connection and I managed to download the entire 8 CDs to install CentOS in a few hours.

Also, I imagine a DVD is relatively useless to those people with a Macbook Air...seems a waste of time to go buy an external DVD drive just for this...

Dropbox 'insecure and misleading' – crypto researcher



Try FTPOnTheGo...brilliant little app that lets you download and store files on your iOS device. That said, apart from myself, I've never talked to anyone who complained about not being able to store files on their iPhone or iPad, most people are happy to install apps that use, store, and manager whatever data they need, rather than having to worry about files and directories like it's a PC...

Comet owner boosted by closure rumours


Better than they were?

Much as it pains me to say it, 'coz I hated PC World, since our local PC World and Currys merged and refurbished, they are a *lot* better than in the old days. Best Buy started out well and have a good stock selection but after only 6 months our local BB store never has any checkouts manned and you have to queue at the returns desk to pay; on three consecutive occasions I have waited for 10-15 minutes to pay whilst off-duty staff (in uniform) have had staff discounts or something similar applied.

Not so sure about some local specialists being better than the big boys. Parents bought a digital TV HDD recorder from Currys, first one failed and was replaced, after 18 months of hastle with second one (no failures just difficult/clunky to use), took it back to Currys and complained, were told to choose any recorder they liked as a replacement. Parent's friends bought something similar from local specialist, after three weeks hard disk failed, returned it and were told it wouldn't be exchanged and would be sent off to manufacturer for repair, still waiting after another five weeks for it to come back.

Comet sucks royally though, can't say they'll be missed. Every time I've ever tried to buy anything it's never in stock.

Verizon iPad 2s suffer 3G blindness



Just use it on WiFi, not that big of a deal...

Libya fighting shows just how idiotic the Defence Review was


Usual BS again

Astonishing...I saw this article's tagline, guessed it would be by Lewis and thought, now what anti RAF drivel will this contain. Mr Page you didn't disappoint, more opinion masquerading as fact as ever, and even more fun, give the crabs a kicking!!

Now when will the government realise that all this country needs to defend itself is a bunch of minesweepers, maybe manned by ex-navy opinionated hacks who simply recycle the same stuff all the time.

Firefox bloke blasts Microsoft IE 9 hardware acceleration claims


Re You can tell what you want Mozilla...

Wow!! Awesome. I will look forward to using IE9 on my Mac and Linux machines as it's apparently so great...



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