* Posts by Anonymous Cowherd 3

23 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Aug 2009

Google to axe 4,000 Motorola Mobility staff

Anonymous Cowherd 3

Re: Offices for Sale

I'd say you were right. Motorola have given Nokia a run for their money, though possibly not in the way you were expecting.

Wii workouts unlikely to improve fitness

Anonymous Cowherd 3

What an inane piece of research

Overall exercise levels are a function of the individual's choice (and, in the case of children, parental encouragement).

An equivalent to this research would be to conclude that it's not worth kids taking up karate (with a small footnote explaining that the ones who do don't spend so much time playing football).

I haven't used a Wii in years and have no idea if it's any good as an exercise tool, but as is often the case I come away from this research none the wiser on the question asked but with yet another data point confirming that if you ask a stupid question then your years of research will lead to a stupid answer.

Groupon IPO seeks $11.4bn valuation

Anonymous Cowherd 3

A fool and his money are...

a) soon parted

b) good news for worthless social media startups

c) going to ride the gravy train because Groupon are the Next Big Thing (TM) and viable business models are for losers

Mark all answers which apply

Google, boffins crack Rubik's Cube mystery

Anonymous Cowherd 3

Not very inspiring

Essentially they appear to have solved the problem by checking every combination to see if it takes more than 20 moves.

The brute processing power is undoubtedly impressive, but it doesn't give us any transferrable knowledge so it's not really that interesting.

Turkish groom accidentally sprays wedding guests with bullets

Anonymous Cowherd 3

Noone has asked the obvious question yet

How big is his inheritance?

The basics of app management

Anonymous Cowherd 3

Performance and scalability

Are the same thing in this context, aren't they?

Zuckerberg: I'm 'quite sure' I own Facebook

Anonymous Cowherd 3

Yes and no

If this contract were produced shortly after Facebook became high profile I'd agree with you that it's authenticity looks solid.

Because the guy has waited 4 years to make the claim, there is certainly explorable doubt about his motives in producing it now and his reasons for sitting on it beforehand.

Zuckerberg's apparent record of dodgy behaviour certainly makes the lawsuit seem plausibly true, but it's far from the case that 'every indication is that the contract is authentic'.

Will be fun to watch.

Anonymous Cowherd 3

David, I think you are misreading

My understanding of the claim is that Zuckerberg solicited and received a $1000 investment in a nascent social networking venture called 'The Face Book' which, in the contract presented and apparently signed, looks remarkably similar in concept to an early Facebook.

The plaintiff, our New york fuel salesman (which is probably the most amusing part of the whole thing) claims that he therefore owns a part of Facebook (and a big part, too).

Zuckerberg can either claim that the contract is a fake, which seems a plausible argument given the length of time it's taken to present it, but it's odd that Zuckerberg seems so unsure himself what his defence is.

The other possible claim is that 'The Face Book' was an entirely different project to Facebook and that the guy's $1000 was lost in a project that went down the tubes.

If he does choose the latter defence he's on extremely shaky ground so I think everyone is assuming that 'this contract is fake' is the defence he'll choose, and that his delay in choosing it makes an initially open and shut case of 'just another weirdo coming out of the woodwork' look a lot less clear cut.

IT delays cost HMRC £33m

Anonymous Cowherd 3

Re: Backhanders

Ross, backhanders aren't necessarily the issue per se.

The key reason these projects always fail is because the civil service have a vested interest in their failure. HMRC have no competition, and so no amount of inefficiency will drive it under. That being the case efficiency drives have no benefits for the senior civil servants who run things and for whom the only direct result of effective cost saving is a smaller empire and fewer minions.

Because of this, and because the people in charge have no interest in successful project completion, the rules of any public sector IT project change with such blurring regularity that any participants who didn't understand the game beforehand soon realise that by accepting a constantly changing scope they'll get open-ended work at an hourly billing rate with no need to deploy their best resources.

In return for that the quid pro quo is that when everything goes wrong the consultancy firms will take the lion's share of the blame in the unlikely event that anyone ever actually notices that the project isn't going to plan. No story I've ever seen asks questions about the procurement process or the actual workings of the civil service and, if anything, their empires grow as a result of the project.

I don't rule out the possibility of backhanders, but they certainly aren't necessary to explain why public sector IT projects so consistently fail or why the same companies that screw them up are routinely re-employed.

All gov jobs to go online

Anonymous Cowherd 3

This is much less egregious

than forcing people to read the Guardian in order to see what jobs are available.

If that isn't a social filter I don't know what is.

A combination of jobs online, job centres and local papers seems much more sensible.

Zuckerberg advises UK.gov on using Facebook

Anonymous Cowherd 3

I don't know anything about this Zuckerberg guy

But ideas are cheap. The original idea for Facebook came about at the same time as loads of similar social networking ventures which have fallen by the wayside through random chance or poor implementation.

The original idea is a very small part in the overall success of Facebook. Whether you believe that success is more down to good implementation or blind good fortune any lawsuit claiming the idea was stolen is unlikely to yield much cash.

Will Google have its chips?

Anonymous Cowherd 3

'Far more than almost any other commercial company'


Besides the US government (which doesn't really count as a single entity), I'd be very surprised if any organisation has anything even approaching Google's server suite.

Googlenet dwarfs all but two of world's ISPs

Anonymous Cowherd 3

In a world of imperfect and slow but eventually decisive anti-monopoly legislation

I think I'd be more worried if i were a Google investor about the number of businesses they are jumping into with cross-subsidy from their profit making division than I am as a Google consumer about their world domination plans.

I may be naive, but Google's effort to take over the internet scare me as much as Microsoft's do... ie. not very much.

Google got big by giving people what they want. If they stop doing that, someone else will get big at their expense.


Fasthosts martyrs relive email FAIL (again and again)

Anonymous Cowherd 3

Re: How is this company still in business?

It's a variation on the principle of natural selection.

Fasthosts have screwed up so many times, on so many important issues, across so many years that the only people still left as customers aren't really hosting anything important.

They shout and scream when things are down but don't move because if it were really business critical they'd already have shifted the hosting or gone out of business.

If I were hosting stuff that wasn't very important, I wouldn't spend more than they charge either.

Amazon EC2 urges customers to name their price

Anonymous Cowherd 3

re: The people who wrote them have obviously never developed on the EC2 platform.

That's very true. I work on the sales rather than the management side of technology so I'm used to exciting sounding but ill-thought out services being offered with flaws so substantial as to render them useless.

Assuming you're right about the detail on this one, and it sounds like you probably are, this could be a massive boon for Amazon and the people with large but not time critical data processing loads.

Interesting times.

Anonymous Cowherd 3

Would this really work in practice?

I may be naive but It's hard to believe anyone really has applications that can be shunted offline at a moment's notice without anyone minding.

Unless I'm completely misunderstanding how things work, that seems to be the deal here.

It also seems like it would work horribly from a storage perspective. What happens to your data when your instances get moved offline as the spot price goes up?

Darling promises IT cuts, years of pain

Anonymous Cowherd 3

It's lucky there's an election coming around

Labour have done their bit by coming in to completely ruin the economy.

Now it's time for the Conservatives to come in and fix it so that Ed Balls can bring New New Labour back in 2025 and piss the country's hard earned wealth up the wall again.

Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy

Anonymous Cowherd 3

Surely the ideal response to this

Is for paparazzi to hound him over every little detail of his life until he complains about lack of privacy and then publically laugh at him.

What could be more apt?

Google: We avoid hiring too many smart people...

Anonymous Cowherd 3


This sounds like the normal hubris of any wildly successful company.

Picking talent is like picking winners in the stock market. You can never accurately guess who is going to invent what and change the world. The most reliable rule of thumb is that the ones who will are unlikely to go and work for a company which has already established itself and where all of the fortunes have been made.

Google picking up enough of the best talent to be unbalancing to the wider market is as unlikely as Microsoft recruiting the founders of Google in the mid-90s.

Dell pitches x86 in Oracle's Sun court

Anonymous Cowherd 3

I work for a largish server client of Dell's

Yearly orders in the high thousands.

And the laptop buying experience sounds remarkably familiar.

Just in time is great for cutting costs, but when production or distribution links fail the failure sets timelines back quite badly no matter how important or otherwise the client is.

IBM, Microsoft, HP named nimblest negotiators

Anonymous Cowherd 3

Is it really a surprise

that the 'ablest' negotiators are the ones who have the most leverage?

For smaller organisations or those in a more competitive landscape flexibility is a requirement to win business and so sticking to pre-defined positions come what may is unrealistic (unless you want to go out of business when noone buys from you).

I'm not sure any lessons can really be learnt from the fact that Microsoft are the least flexiblity negotiators because that stance will lose them very little business and so makes perfect sense in their case.

There’s no escaping the cloud

Anonymous Cowherd 3

Is this really a big change?

My gut feeling is that the kind of organisations that share sensitive information with dodgy and/or inexperienced cloud players who are likely to have these sorts of hiccups would be about as likely to have inadequate internal safeguards of their own if they stored the data you shared with them onsite.

I suspect, therefore, that Cloud has added an extra layer of complexity to an existing corporate security question rather than creating a completely new question.

With that in mind I suspect that whatever corporate controls are in place to deal with data sharing and risk need only a small tweak to deal with the new technology.