* Posts by Sirius Lee

545 posts • joined 14 Dec 2009


Chinese ambassador to UK threatens to withdraw Huawei, £3bn investment if comms giant banned from building 5G

Sirius Lee

Re: From the dept of redundancy dept

That's for the company to say, not a government official. Presumably the ambassador feels empowered to deliver news on behalf of Huawei and equally presumably, there's a reason for that feeling of empowerment.

If there was ever a way to give the UK government the amunition to further curtail sales opportunities this is it.

With a wave of Nokia's wand, behold as your 4G network magically becomes... 5G

Sirius Lee

Interim solution

saying most "do not see this as a necessary solution in the short to medium term"

There's money marketing 5G. Now some western markets are banishing Huawei this might be a short-term fix while longer term full fat hardware upgrade is rolled. It seems likely to be somewhat attractive to the telecoms provoider's accountants because they get a reason to get more out of existing capital investments.

Clearly this route was available all along. Equally clearly, the vendors of shiny new hardware wanted to sell shiny nerw hardware not software update. I see the argument that this maybe like 2.5G. But is 4.5G that bad if it provides a route to an incremental upgrade? If a telco is putting in new hardware it makes sense to use 5G kit. But in mature markets? Ma be not so much.

Heir-to-Concorde demo model to debut in October

Sirius Lee

Your question...

"..so when do you think there’ll be a market for expensive and unproven new hardware?" Fair enough but Tesla, SpaceX? I think the question says more about the limitations of the person asking than will be revealed in any answer. And any answer is un likely to satisfy anyone who will ask such a question unless it identifies bums on seats ready to take (and pay for) a trip next week. Hopefully other participants will ask more expansive questions.

Scalability, reliability and availability: Three things the AWS Summit for EMEA struggled to get right

Sirius Lee

The other perspective

Worked for me from 9am (BST) until 2pm. Watched all the sessions I wanted. The only frustration was that the first presenter ran significantly over and into the next session.

Laughing UK health secretary launches COVID-19 Test and Trace programme with glitchy website and no phone app

Sirius Lee

Re: Good and bad

Shared bibles, touching pew surfaces, loo flush handles? I agree, many more vectors than an aerosol.

China successfully launches its biggest-ever space truck to fire up its space station ambitions

Sirius Lee

And rocket chemistry

In his book 'Ignition!' Dr John Clark provides an informal history of the development of liquid rocket propellants from the perspective of someone who was there (working within the post-war US navy research program). Although published in 1971 it is a very readable book with a foreward by some friend of his and fellow chemist called Isaac Asimov. In the book he describes how US research into propellants was informed by the extensive work undertaken by the Germans before and during WW2. After the war German reasearch and stockpiles of hyrogen peroxide were split between the Brits and the US for further study.

So scientists may have been sequestered but here is an account showing how the German chemical technology was acquired and further developed. Clark describes how in practice the German chemistry, focussed on peroxides, though great for relatively low-power thrusting was not sufficiently powerful for ICBMs and, anyway, it freezes at a relatively high temperature. Instead, being able to work with existing stocks allowed US chemists to discard peroxides quickly and focus on other fuels and oxidizers and ultimately the predominant use of various forms of hyrdazine and nitric acid based oxidizers.

ICANN finally halts $1.1bn sale of .org registry, says it's 'the right thing to do' after months of controversy

Sirius Lee

Surely only temporary relief

Surely this is evidence ICAAN needs to relocate itself to a more forgiving jurisdiction then start again. This episode seems to show the leaders of ICAAN have an agenda. Without leadership change, the team is surely still motivated to find a way to complete deals like this.

House of Commons agrees to allow Zoom app in Parliament, British MPs will still have to dress smartly

Sirius Lee

If some jokers hacked in and started making wierd noises would we notice the difference?

NASA to launch 247 petabytes of data into AWS – but forgot about eye-watering cloudy egress costs before lift-off

Sirius Lee

Maybe auditor have not considered all AWS options

The data has to be stored somewhere and wherever that is there's going to be a code. As for access to the data, on the AWS S3 pricing page (https://aws.amazon.com/s3/pricing/?nc=sn&loc=4) on the 'Data Transfer' tab is this little nugget which may be relevant:

You pay for all bandwidth into and out of Amazon S3, except for the following:

• Data transferred in from the internet.

Data transferred out to an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance, when the instance is in the same AWS Region as the S3 bucket.

• Data transferred out to Amazon CloudFront (CloudFront).

(my emphasis) So providing 'data scientists' are working from an EC2 instance in the same region as the NASA bucket there will be no charge to NASA. Of course there will be a charge to the 'data scientist' to run the EC2 instancein the same region and to add sufficient storage but that's not the concern of NASA. In this scenario the data transfer the costs will be $zero. Of course this assumes NASA staff configure the bucket correctly and only allow access from IP addresses in the same region.

Microsoft's GitHub absorbs NPM into its code-hosting empire: JavaScript library vault used by 12 million devs now under Redmond's roof

Sirius Lee

Re: Nobody wants to pay for a package manager

If I could upvote this comment more than once I would.

Deliveroo UK adds 'Don't interact with the help' option for when ordering a burger

Sirius Lee

How does this help?

What on earth do delivery drivers do when they call at the door? Swap spit? Cough all over customers? If the sweaty hands of the infected delivery person (or the person at the dispensing burger comany) have been all over the packaging and you pick up the packaging (you have to pick it up, right?) then the virus can be transmitted. It doesn't matter that the delivery person is wearing gloves if they've wiped their nose with them or coughed into them as the virus will be all over the gloves and, so, on the packaging.

Huawei claims its Google Play replacement is in 'top 3' app stores after Trump turns off tap to the Chocolate Factory

Sirius Lee

Re: Individual developers not allowed

You are wrong and being misleading here.

A VAT invoice is only required if a EU businesses is going to offset the VAT paid on purchases from other EU businesses against the VAT that business includes in its own sales. The only relevant consequence of buying from a business that is not VAT registered is that the buyer is not able to offset the VAT. If a business is not VAT registered it can only offer a sales invoice that does not include VAT. If you are being advised that it is not correct to buy without a VAT invoice, I recommend you get a new adviser. Or be honest and admit the reason you prefer to buy from a VAT registered company is so you can reclaim the tax.

Since January 2019 no EU business, wherever they are located within the bloc, only need to register for VAT if their annual revenues will exceed €80,000. Businesses below this threshold are likely to be sole traders but not necessarily.

The UK tax authority, HMRC, has always allowed UK registered companies to opt out of the VAT if the revenues of a company was below a similar revenue threshold. HMRC adopted this approach because of concerns about the burden of VAT on very small businesses. The EU Commission finally agreed and, after initially requiring VAT registration for all businesses, has adopted the UK position because the number of new small businesses in EU member states was falling. Plus the totally impractical requirement that small businesses outside the EU (read USA) had to register for VAT if a EU citizen had the silly idea of wanting to buy one of their products. It was never going to happen so small foreign businesses stopped selling in the EU.

Decent, legal, honest and searchable: C'mon, Ofcom. Let us check up on the ad-slingers ourselves

Sirius Lee

The problem with good ideas...

Is they are sometimes promoted by zealots who lose perspective and I wonder if this has happened in the article.

"Who buys, who sells, who reads, what it is, when it was out there"

Who reads? The article's author is advocating a governmental agency should be monitoring, recording, and in the author's ideal view, making searchable what recipients read? So much for privacy and GDPR. Imagine how much of a gold mine that will be for hackers.

As for political advertising: leave it alone. It might be a swamp but in my view better an unregulated swamp than giving some group of mandarins or even worse corporations veto over what our would-be elected representatives want to tell us. If there are crimes committed during a campaign, let the criminal justice system do its work after the event. If your concern is that the criminal justice system cannot or will not do its job, there is a much bigger problem to tackle than adverts you believe are in someway wrong.

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign

Sirius Lee

AI learning from feedback including the user

A feature of intelligent systems is that they learn. While it is easy to imagine a vision system does not get it right all the time (my own organic one gets it wrong sometimes), surely a system like the one in a Tesla is not going to use just one source of information. Unless there is an extremely good match with a number in the environment, a system can make a comparison with, say, map software. If there's a conflict presumably this would be raised with the driver in some way so it could learn which of the two sources of speed information is correct so it can do better next time.

Since a heuristic like this is so trivial to dream up, my guess is that the systems used by Telsa and others are even more sophisticated. As a result, and because this account seems to be limited to a single, older Telsa, it seems like a worthless anecdote without verification from another source.

How do you like them Apples? Cook drops 'record' 30 times* on conf call as iPhone sales up, services up, wearables up

Sirius Lee

Trade war

So much for the devastating effect of the trade war with China. Not a mention of it's deletierious effect by Cook or Hood. It wasn't raised as an issue in the Microsoft Q3 call with analysts either when they announced $129m profit per day up some huge percentage.

Outraged Virgin slaps IP trolls over dirty movie download data demands

Sirius Lee

Re: Why the claim got thrown out...

Well done @Allan George Dyer. After reading a few comments of commentards making legal observations on a possibly dubious write up of the case I was going to do the same thing. Thanks for saving me the effort.

Azure consultant to sue Google for linking his cached pics to cloned site, breach of copyright

Sirius Lee

Re: Not sure, but...

The article explains that in judgment of the original trial the plaintiff was given leave to appeal but only against Google. Whether you think that appealing against only Google is right or not, its what the judge thinks that counts.

Big fat doubt hovers over UK.gov's Making Tax Digital, customs declaration IT projects

Sirius Lee

I think you need to do some more credibility testing especially over the VAT filing. As a small business owner my experience is that submissions for the last three quarters have been seemless. Maybe the single person used as an example is one of those that gripe when any change is made. Do you remember the whining when online businesses had to start paying VAT back at the beginning of 2015? Where are they now?

Why not provide some more and specific details. Perhaps chase up other business owners reporting issues rather than relying on one example. Surely Sage and other volume processors would have some stories if the issue is real. They have no advantage keeping quiet if the problem is with HMRC. The "we've been trying for two weeks" line seems unlikely unless the user has made a mistake or is using software that does not work.

Oh look. Vodafone has extended its ultrafast 5G network to deliver... Wi-Fi?

Sirius Lee


"The 5G GigaCube could bring happiness to people allergic to Ethernet who are prepared to suffer lower performance and higher cost as long as there are no wires involved."

or BT or Virgin Media or Talk Talk or...

Chinese bogeyman gets Huawei with featuring in EE's 5G network launch thanks to bumbling BBC

Sirius Lee

Re: Later on

Good comment. I was going to comment that on the BBC lunchtime news (yesterday now) the reporter was clear that the EE kit being used was sourced from Huawei.

It is unfortunate for EE, the BBC and Huawei that video of the much trumpeted article, which was being broadcast using the 5G network became corrupted after just a few seconds (audio was OK so not a data cap issue).

Oracle robbed just about anyone who wasn't a pasty white male of $400m, says Uncle Sam

Sirius Lee

Pasty white, really?

In an article about equality is it really OK to lampoon white males using the perjorative 'pasty white'? Would you get away with 'coal black' or 'mud brown'? Of course not. Pack it in.

Amazon shareholders revolt on Rekognition, Nvidia opens robotics lab, and hot AI chips on Google Cloud

Sirius Lee

Re: Interesting shareholder attitude

Given you an up vote. Marketing and activism in the social media age is to put some label together with a small handful of like minded people who share some characteristic (in this case being an Amazon shareholder) then make a claim that sounds like all people with the same characteristic have the same point of view. Which is ridiculous. But it gets picked up by mindless blog drones and amplified without any further qualification. Always disappointing.

High Court agrees to hear full legal challenge of Blighty's Snooper's Charter

Sirius Lee

Re: At least in the UK...

Down voted because what you mean is you want them to do what you want them to do. How do you know what anyone else wants. You have no clue what I want.

China examines antitrust probe thrust into Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron: Claims to see 'massive evidence'

Sirius Lee

Re: War or Commerce?

From Nixon and until Trump, the US policy on China has been about engagement. US universities are awash with Chinese students - have you reviewed the doctoral science programs at CalTech? The current Chinese president was educated in the mid-west and got his mercantile experience selling agricultural hardware there.

In that time, thanks largely due to the US accommodating massively lop sided trade with China, the middle kingdom has begun to lift itself out of self-inflicted poverty. Good for them. But not so good for US citizens. Sure, they get cheaper products but have lost or have never invested industries that employ millions. Great for those living in cities and greater metro areas. Not so good for the vast numbers living in actual poverty in rural USA. And US voting patterns bear this out.

There is no easy solution. But just spouting sentiments like let's go easy on the Chinese is not a solution either. It's virtue signalling to like minded people who also live in big cities.

I recommend you read "From third world to first" by Lee Kuan Yew, one of the founders of modern Singapore. Although written nearly 20 years ago its still worth the effort. Ethnically chinese (Fujian province) he recounts many meetings with Chinese leaders over his four decades as prime minister and from these explains why it is that he believes China cannot be trusted to be a good international citizen. Again, this is not some western academic. It is someone who grew up in south east asia and who watched China implode under Mao Zedong then begin to claw its way back. He repeatedly points to the cultural Confusianism of the Chinese and the likely effect of that culture on the way China will develop.

So far, his predictions have been on the money. If they continue to be correct, they don't describe a pretty outcome for the US or the west in general or south east asia in particular.

Windows 10 Pro goes Home as Microsoft fires up downgrade server

Sirius Lee

Why is there such hyperbole about a beta release? If you don't want to put up with bugs, wait until the RTM version is released. Otherwise, stop with your whining.

Michael Dell serves up stump speech to settle sceptical investors

Sirius Lee

You earn £50K but have a mortgage of £400K (debt) on a house. Why is that you are not a basket case? Because the house is an asset that you hope (and lenders believe) will gain in value. Even if it doesn't, the mortgage payments will be similar to or less than the rental you would pay on a similar property. People with money lend you the £400K on the basis that you pay interest on that loan.

Similarly, the $50bn of debt has been used to purchase assets - VMWare for example - that may gain in value (if someone wants to buy them). However, unlike your mortgage which is 8 x your revenues, the Dell debt is far less than their revenues. In the meantime those assets will be expected to earn their keep by generating revenue. And it seems they are if, as claimed, their positive cash flow is able to generate $14bn this year. Dell is probably charged 5% for the privilege of borrowing $50bn but it seem the assets acquired are generating cash at a greater rate.

He probably wants to go public to convert some or all of that debt (which *has* to be repaid and could be called in) into equity from new shareholders (which doesn't have to be repaid and can't be called in). Much better from a manager's point of view but not necessarily so good from a shareholder's perspective. Moreover, that debt will have been borrowed on the basis that it is used for specific purposes. Equity funds can be used more flexibly so long as the company keeps to the business model outlined in the prospectus. Again, much better for the managers.

So the battle is to show prospective investors that their money is safe in Dell. That they will more than get their money back. That they are generating $14bn in profit on $97bn in revenue and that is could be better if they were not paying interest. That there is room to make more acquisitions using shareholder money to make even more profit.

Honor bound: Can Huawei's self-cannibalisation save the phone biz?

Sirius Lee

When the journalists lose the plot

£400 is not cheap. That's £400 not £399 - let's not play that game. A Porche looks cheap when you compare it to a Rolls Royce but not so cheap when you compare it with a Kia Rio. Again, £400 is not cheap and its disingenuous to suggest that spending that much on a phone is a value deal. In no universe is that true just because Samsung and Apple have found people who are willing to pay a huge idiot tax. It's a shame that journalists can be lead to support the notion that £400 is good value just because there are even more hideously expensive phones a person could purchase. The saying "A fool and their money are easily parted" seems apt.

If people want to spend that much money, why not buy a genuinely cheap phone and give the difference to a charity where it will do some good instead of giving it to wealthy shareholders?

Former Google X bloke's startup unveils 'self flying' electric air taxi

Sirius Lee

Re: Waaah!

Seems like a fair point but if you applied that logic to the first computers or mobile phones (who else is going to pay for those satellites and masts but rich people) then you will ever get any innovation.

My biggest concern about the design as shown is those uncovered fan blades. Sure, they are *supposed* to switched off while passengers get in and out but, oops.

Boffins discover chemistry that could have produced building blocks of life in space

Sirius Lee

<authors> ... "have recreated pyrene, a hydrocarbon commonly formed during the combustion processes in car engines, in a lab"

Miracle of miracles. Researchers have created in a lab a molecule that is commonly created by cars. Whoa!

Come on, the story as written is full of logical holes. How about:

"A pressurised mixture of 4-phenanthrenyl - a hydrocarbon with one unpaired electron - another hydrocarbon compound acetylene were injected into a microreactor from a nozzle at supersonic speeds."

According to the title the article is about creating molecules in space where there is no pressure and where there are no reactors.

I am sure these apparent inconsistencies are because details about the research have been have been omitted and maybe it just shows it is possible to edit articles a little too far.

Virgin Media's Brit biz broadband goes TITSUP: Total Inability To Support Upset People

Sirius Lee

Are you really sure of your facts? I am no lover of Virgin Media but I live in London (one of the alleged hot spots) am a VM subscriber and work from home spending most of my day on a remote machine. If there were a problem affecting connectivity, surely I would have experienced it but I did not. Even if I'd fallen asleep at the times it is claimed the the outage occurred, as my connection to the remote machine is on all the time, I would have noticed a problem because it would have disconnected while asleep. But it didn't.

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Sirius Lee

Limited impact on EC2?

All of the Windows servers I am using on AWS EC2 use AMD64 processors. AWS and Azure can swap out Intel hardware for AMD hardware with just a virtual machine restart so this may be a preferred option for them.

AWS went through an exercise over the summer to force reboot some servers. We were told it was for essential maintenance of the host hardware. It affected two of my servers. Perhaps the real reason for this exercise was move us onto AMD processors (I wish now I knew the CPUs used before the reboot).

Total recog: British AI makes universal speech breakthrough

Sirius Lee

Adding languages is great but what is the quality of the translation like?

We go live to the Uber-Waymo court battle... You are not going to believe this. The judge certainly doesn't

Sirius Lee

Re: So I have this idea to pitch to Netflix

Good one!

Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate

Sirius Lee

Re: Threatogram received from Crapita today

"it's clear that the quality of content would plummet without the BBC"

The BBC is the 800lb gorilla the the UK sitting room. Other UK terrestrial TV companies have to find ways to entice advertisers while the BBC is stealing their ideas. Was the BBC the first to have a nightly soap opera? No. Was it the firs to have a dancing competition? No. But the BBC barges in and takes away viewers from commercial TV providers using our money to do so.

Is it any wonder the offerings of commercial TV providers is lack-lustre when they have to find a way to profitability with a state funded (we *are* the state) broadcaster in the sitting room? If they had more revenues they probably would provide a wider range and better quality of content.

Is it any wonder that the free view channels are stuffed with US content providers who do not need to compete with a state funded content provider.

Sure, have a public service broadcaster but have one that fills niches not occupied by commercial companies, such as Sky at Night or University Challenge, rather than steal other's good ideas. May be then we will have a wider choice of excellent content.

Someone told Google to nuke links to mean reviews of disgraced telco True Telecom

Sirius Lee

Andrew O reports a ruling as it affects individual privacy. Companies are not individuals and so do not enjoy the benefits of human right legislation. Therefore, as I understand it, the ECJ ruling has no effect in this case. Other commenters have speculated on the reasons for Google's decision to remove the links.

Nathan Barley blamed for global GDP slump

Sirius Lee

Correlation is not causation

There may be an association between the rise in the number of self-employed and UK productivity being stagnant. But economists ascribe this malaise to UK businesses not investing in productivity boosting tools and technologies. That is, making existing staff more productive.

The productivity issue has been hanging around the UK economy for well over a decade and for this reason alone, attributing it to the rise of the gig economy seems a bit of a stretch. Maybe even a little desperate.

Look, ma! No hands! Waymo to test true self-driving cars in US with Uber-style hailing app

Sirius Lee

Re: The minimum requirements

Yes, let some idiot put on the brakes in the middle of a highway. No possibility of a catastrophe in that scenario then.

Tesla hits Model 3 production speed bumps, slides to loss

Sirius Lee

Re: Layoffs

"Reportedly" from where? More questionable news? Even if accurate, the people overseeing the integration sub-contractor who only noticed the problem recently probably needed to be shown the door even if previous reviews were good. Hiding problems can make you seem good until you can't hide the problems any longer.

Twitter: Why we silenced Rose McGowan after she slammed alleged sex pest Harvey Weinstein

Sirius Lee

Re: Sense of proportion

No wonder you posted anonymously. Twitter may be a toilet but this sort of comment is no better.

As the article points out, and you acknowledge, the offence was including a telephone number in a post (presumably not her own). It's not difficult to imagine who's telephone number she included. It's also not difficult for software to workout if a post contains a telephone number. No human moderators are required to identify a telephone number and send a note of it to a human to check.

How about a little less of the mindless conspiracy theory stuff.

Dear America, best not share that password with your pals. Lots of love, the US Supremes

Sirius Lee

Re: What happens if...

What planet do you live on? Some Utopian world where nothing goes wrong? Or maybe you are one of those people who thinks they do nothing wrong. Of course its not that simple.

Your son or daughter is away at university and loses their credit card on a Friday evening and needs to pay a bill on Saturday morning or be evicted. If you have kids you will realize that kids don't plan. So you have your credit card couriered to them and tell them the PIN so they can withdraw cash to pay the bill. By your reckoning this is obvious breach of rules is punishable.

There are many, many scenarios when sharing details between close members is sometimes necessary.

In the specific case documented in the article it is clearly a crime since the person was stealing intellectual property so it is bewildering why the person was not prosecuted for this crime. This case is no different to a giving your front door key to a neighbor so they can feed to your cat only to find they've cleared out your house. What's the crime here? Giving the key or clearing out the house. The answer is obvious.

It's a sign of the times that the justice system cannot apply appropriate laws. In this case presumably because the prosecutors believed the possibility of a conviction for a computer crime is more likely than proving damages as a result of the theft of data.

Concerns raised about privacy, GDPR as Lords peer over Data Protection Bill

Sirius Lee

Re: Confusing and unworkable

Also for VAT processing records must be retained for 10 years. A tax authority of any EU member state can request transaction details of any sales in that time frame. Those details must include the two non-conflicting pieces of evidence used to justify the rate of VAT applied to each sale. One is the person's billing address. For on-line sales another can be there IP address. These pieces of evidence cannot be deleted if a business is to comply with the EU VAT Directive (2005).

Hitting 3 nanometers to cost chipmaker TSMC at least US$20 billion

Sirius Lee

Re: Well at 3nm it's a case of...

I have some doubts it will survive for more than 5-6 years

5-6 years may be considered sufficient for a CPU in a phone. Planned failure means there are going to be more customers in the future and will make the second hand market less attractive.

1,000 jobs on the line at BAE Systems' Lancashire plants – reports

Sirius Lee

Re: How to solve Brexit.

What the are you folks on about? Does it get you off to conflate concepts? Do you think it advances the cause? It's 'Eurofighter' not 'EUfighter'. Britain, whether it is in the EU or not, will continue to be in Europe. And NATO.

Spain and Germany can choose to build their own fighter aircraft but what's the point? Germany has world leading businesses making cars not jets. Spain needs to find a way to provide millions of youth jobs not a few thousand jobs for skilled workers. France would love to build a jet for it's vision of an EU military force but it also needs to focus on creating jobs. Macron's suggestion of building an EU military force has not been welcomed with rapturous enthusiasm in other capitals especially in Berlin which knows its people would be picking up the bill and, as I mentioned, Germany builds cars.

European Commission refers Ireland to court over failure to collect €13bn in tax from Apple

Sirius Lee

Re: @AC - "state aid" for Apple

2007 is the year the original iPhone was launched. So the deal was signed before Apple became the rich organization it is today and certainly negotiated long before unless the contention is that Ireland's tax authorities are so good they can whip out a complex tax deal overnight.

MoD brainbox repo opens up IP treasure chest for world+dog

Sirius Lee

The US has DARPA - easy to say. DSTL not so much. How about: "Defence and Science Technology and Research Division Laboratory Incorporated" then the initials would be DASTARDLI. OK, too many 'and's but much better in my view and bit more Kingsman than civil service.

A furious think-tank boss, Google, and an academic 'fired' for criticizing ads giant

Sirius Lee

Here the objective truth does not matter

An institution like the one run by AM Slaughter needs money and just because of this surely the leader needs to be be more subtle in their handling of matters like these; be much more aware of what the institution's position looks like from the outside.

Whatever are the objective facts of the case, they don't matter because it has been made too easy to position the institution and Google as an interfering bully. It didn't need to be this way. Google did not need to be so thin-skinned. Slaughter did not need to react in such a pejorative way. For example, the institution could have commissioned another article presenting a different side (assuming there is one). Mr Lynn might have objected and chosen to leave anyway.

It's hard for me to imagine that AM Slaughter will be in position in, say, 12 months from now because it seems to me her actions have put the institution in the position that it's integrity can be brought into doubt. Not that it's integrity *is* in doubt only that it can be construed that way.

One of the challenges of leadership is being willing to sacrifice, or at least refashion, past friendships when those friendships could compromise the leaders ability to represent the best interest of the organization they lead. Unless there is something the constitution of the institution that requires all it's output to be reviewed and is a transparent principle which funders can reasonably expect to be able to rely, it seems to me AM Slaughter has failed in a core responsibility of the role of CEO.

UK infrastructure failing to meet the most basic cybersecurity standards

Sirius Lee

Must be true because...

There's money to had writing a report that concludes: "Everything is just fine.".

Want to kill your IT security team? Put the top hacker in charge

Sirius Lee

Manifesto for the incompetent

I've heard this bollocks so often. So the proposal is not to promote the guy who has invested his time and effort becoming the expert an instead promote the person who spent their time in the bar socializing. No, No, No. That breeds mediocrity.

Of course if someone has no social skills whatever, putting them in a position where they are responsible for others is not going to work. But the idea that promoting the person with social skills IS the right solution contains its own fallacy. Managers are not just responsible for getting a competent performance out of the staff for which they have responsibility but also for allocating those resources. And you want the best IT smarts doing the allocation. The person who spent their time in the bar practising social skills instead of learning the business is not going to be best placed to make those calls.

So you might argue that a social manager will use their social skills to create a committee of their best staff to decide upon that allocation. Done, right? No. Because that manager then has to advocate their managers a position it is likely they are not intellectually capable of representing.

Big IT organisations have tackled this dilemma for decades and the right solution has never been to side step the expert unless that person wants to be side stepped. That is, get the person's buy in that they do not want a management career and instead offer them a fellowship career path.

Please, let's have none of this trite pseudo-management nonsense summarised in a few paragraphs when the real world solutions require years long courses of study - which the socialisers will not complete because they are in the bar 'practising' their social skills.

Trump tramples US Constitution by blocking Twitter critics – lawsuit

Sirius Lee

Another ridiculous lawsuit

The consequences of this lawsuit succeeding could be terrible. The internet and platforms like Twitter are haunted by obsessives with, it seems, nothing better to do than trash talk anyone.

Presumably if blocking users on Twitter applies to the POTUS then is has to apply to everyone. At that point Twitter users are unable to block stalkers. Imagine any vulnerable group: women, kids, old folks, minorities not being able to block the views of those vehemently opposed to them or seeking to exploit them.

So which is worse? Some obsessives vehemently opposed to the current POTUS being blocked or allowing obsessive and potentially dangerous people to stalk and harass members of any vulnerable group. I know I'd opt to let the POTUS block whom ever he (or she) wants and, so, upset a few media savvy luvvies who will, anyway, be able to make themselves heard.

Of course some will say the solution is to only prevent the POTUS from blocking but that option brings with it a whole host of other constitutional problems.

Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

Sirius Lee

Oh, dear. The Linux desktop fantasists are out in force today. In this case the fantasised solution to not applying updates to Windows is to replace it with something that doesn't need forced updates.

There are many organizations in the world that have has years long efforts to displace Windows. El Reg has reported on the city of Munich which after trying to use Linux for years has reverted back to Windows.

If Linux were a silver bullet we would have been using it for years already. Its not. It has many significant problem when used in any context but especially in a desktop context. Linux kernel updates often require that applications are recompiled and Linus Torvalds has explicitly stated that backwards compatibility of the kernel is not ever on the card for Linux.

For a the relatively small number of servers managed by a dedicated group of support specialists this may be acceptable and required re-testing and re-certification of apps an acceptable cost. But for a large fleet of end user computing devices it certainly is not.

Plus it presumes that some group of hackers in Leeds has even the vaguest clue about the range of applications that are used across the NHS. The difficulties of implementing GP systems across the NHS should surely throw up some warning flags.

But, I suppose, the managers who will ultimately sanction the notion of replacing Windows with some relatively untried Linux-based solution are the ones who also permitted the use of un-patched Windows in the first place.



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