* Posts by Doctor Tarr

42 posts • joined 15 Oct 2010

SpaceX demonstrates that it too can shower the Earth with debris

Doctor Tarr

Re: Raising the odds?

“ "While holding" and "a winning lottery ticket" complicate the issue greatly as they're open to multiple interpretations, but if we reduce the lottery component to "having won" and assume we mean the jackpot, the probability of a jackpot in the UK……”

Being pedantic, the odds are much greater. You’d have had to have won the lottery and not yet handed the ticket in and be holding it outside, unless the space rock was large enough. Also, does buying online and having a virtual ticket count? Do you keep a lottery ticket after winning?

Anyway, I’m boring myself now.

British intelligence recycles old argument for thwarting strong encryption: Think of the children!

Doctor Tarr

They saw it coming

Ayn Rand, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell & Yevgeni Zamyatin we salute you.

First-ever James Webb Space Telescope image revealed

Doctor Tarr

Re: An honest, possibly dumb question

Not really. You could do some short term good i suppose, but would the money be spent on that or weapons instead.

In a world with trillion dollar companies this is a drop in the ocean (or a grain of sand on a finger).

Heineken says there’s no free beer, warns of phishing scam

Doctor Tarr

At least Lovejoy's on the case. We'll be OK.

Amazon investors nuke proposed ethics overhaul and say yes to $212m CEO pay

Doctor Tarr

@john sager

Your argument is factually correct about businesses but the result could/would lead to a monopoly where a company gets enough investment to take losses and destroy the competition. Once the monopoly is established the screw is turned on the public.

The market for Fletchers doesn't exist but that's very different to Amazon killing the independent retailers.

Vital UK customs system outage contributes to travel chaos at its borders

Doctor Tarr

Re: Brexit

I was thinking the same but more as a clusterfuck that keeps on fucking.

Happy birthday Windows 3.1, aka 'the one that Visual Basic kept crashing on'

Doctor Tarr

Good Memories…

…. No doubt with rose tinted glasses.

I started my first IT job at this time. Had to do many 3.1 and 3.11 installs and fixes as IT support. All user documents were stored on a netware server* so a simple reinstall was the best option. You just had to set the desktop theme to the one the user had before, and they were happy - even if it was the migraine inducing Hot Dog.

There wasn’t much you couldn’t fix without pkzip, laplink and a serial cable (if you needed to get data off the ‘dead’ machine)

*these were never referred to as servers. They were called the Winchester in respect of the dual 1GB drives they contained.

China signs up 400 million new 5G subscribers in a year, more than doubling user population

Doctor Tarr


It would be interesting to know how many of those have a suitable handset and get a reliable signal. Outside the store.

+++there are areas in the City of London with 4G dead spots, never mind the less populated areas of th country. Let’s get these fixed first.

140 million Chinese punters adopt Digital Yuan and spend up big

Doctor Tarr

Re: Poor understanding of “money” here

True dat. And there is no such thing as ‘money’, it’s just some one else’s debt. And when a bank lends you money, sorry creates an obligation on you, they create 90% of it from nothing.

BT shelves efforts to find investor to share FTTP build, says Openreach can run project alone

Doctor Tarr
Thumb Up

Re: Why?

A thumbs up from me. There were some exceptionally talented and inventive people there. I’m lucky to have one working for me.

BT wasted the talent and opportunity.

Shatner breaks the age barrier, goes where no nonagenarian has gone before with Blue Origin rocket trip

Doctor Tarr


Awesome. Quite surreal though. Now I need to know who he snogged and who he fought.

Not too bright, are you? Your laptop, I mean... Not you

Doctor Tarr

Re: Floppy solution

Takes me back to school where we’d programme the BBC micros to sound alarms in the middle of our lessons or the next one.

A few of us would do a lot of pranks like this but I did get sent out ICT classes way too frequently :)

You can quote us on that: Workday scoops up job pricing specialist Zimit in focus on services

Doctor Tarr

Just awful

Is there any enterprise system that sucks more than Workday?

Report details how Airbus pilots saved the day when all three flight computers failed on landing

Doctor Tarr


On Err;


Kudos to the pilots though!

Branson (in a) pickle: FAA grounds Virgin Galactic flights after billionaire's space trip veered off course

Doctor Tarr

What, wait for the facts before making a judgement? That's not how the Internet works.

Even when the facts are available the differing sides will call foul if they don't support their argument.

UK government names suppliers on £3.5bn contact centre, shared services, and outsourcing framework

Doctor Tarr

Re: blasted as a "catastrophic waste of public money" by MPs

Unfortunately else.... You're right. There should be a law that prevents any company (inc senior board members) who donates to a political party or employs a sitting MP from winning Government contracts like these. MPs should be banned from taking roles in companies with these contracts for 5 years after leaving office (they are already well compensated if they lose their jobs once every 5 years). However, the turkeys won't vote for Christmas and too few of the voting public ever know about this or would care if they did.

Woman sues McDonald's for $14 after cheeseburger ad did exactly what it's designed to

Doctor Tarr

Micro Suing

I quite like the idea of micro suing.

If I've had a few too many beers i'll sue the pub for the cost of the last couple (I'd take vouchers). The fact that i can't remember buying the last beers would be the evidence that I was unduly influenced.

Doctor Tarr

Re: For those who believe in such things...

My son used to be frightened by Pennywise. Until I told him that Ronald's killed way more people.

Amazon delays return to office work until 2022 at the earliest

Doctor Tarr

Return to Office

I've started to go back into the office and glad for it. We always had flexibility so were not full time in the office but a few days a week with my team have been great for collaboration.

I imagine that if your role is task based then WFH is fine but when you're driving change in a business you really need to be with people.

Ex-health secretary said 'vast majority' were 'onside' with GP data grab. Consumer champion Which? reckons 20 million don't even know what it is

Doctor Tarr


FTFY "Data is only shared where there is a clear benefit to the Conservative party donors"

Landmark EU ruling: Legality of UK's Investigatory Powers Act challenged

Doctor Tarr

Re: But I thought we "took back control"

Government Thinking.....

Nobody without anything to hide uses a VPN.

VPN = Guilty

If you are hiding behind a VPN then you must be carrying out a nefarious act.

Doctor Tarr

Second House

@Warm Brew

My position is exactly the same. We now need to ensure that we have a very strong second house to prevent this type of ill thought and opportunist legislation being pushed through government (won't hold my breath).

How about it's just the brexiters who have to hand over all their emails, as they see no need for actual human rights.

Google GPS grab felt like a feature, was actually a bug

Doctor Tarr

Re: lying c***s

Either way I suspect that they are not engineers.

Doctor Tarr

Re: Only criminals use cash

More and more countries are imposing maximum limits to any cash purchases, e.g. the French limit is €1,000. It won't be long until the UK follows suit.

Who wants cash....the people.

Who doesn't want cash.....the government, the banks, the acquirers, the security services, PSPs, etc..

Google's become an obsessive stalker and you can't get a restraining order

Doctor Tarr

Re: Opinion: Your choice


I understand where you're coming from but you do have a choice. In fact you listed 3. You just don't like any of them. The 4th is to not use a smartphone.

Unfortunately if you want the benefits of a smartphone you have to make the best of the available choices.

It would be great for a company to release an entirely new phone platform (hardware & software) which you paid a subscription for but didn't store or share any of your data. I won't hold my breath.

Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Doctor Tarr

Which would be bad because?

The authorities can already request mast data for your phone and payment data and cctv and anpr and.....

You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack

Doctor Tarr

Re: Need more than one network...

Well Telefonica are running the communication services (DCC) in the central and South East areas for the next 15 (+5) years.

When the first meters were installed they all had the same time set for sending data so swamped the local mast. They also all had the same retry period. Doh.

This is a pretty simple but fundamental consideration that was overlooked or not implemented. What else have they missed.

Doctor Tarr

Almost Compulsory

Once the rollout starts in earnest they will be pretty much compulsory. Unless you can prove with an 'engineer' visit that you can't get an adequate signal then you'll have to pay a surcharge.

Obviously it won't be framed like this but if you're not on a smart meter you won't get the 'discount'. You might also be charged for a third party to read the meter.

The only benefit to consumers would be to allow instant switching or the ability to 'top up' with energy from any supplier (allowing brokers to get bulk discounts for consumers). Granted it's complex but, as there is no advantage to the big 6 in doing this it will never happen.

Does the £17bn saving include the £12bn that this is costing? It's bullshit anyway 'cos the costs will be much higher and the savings minimal.

Lloyds Banking Group puts 640 techies and backroom bods on chopping block

Doctor Tarr


Stopping outsourcing (or taxing it against losses to the UK) would have been a far better fight than leaving the EU.

Microsoft and LinkedIn: What the CEOs are planning

Doctor Tarr


So how long before MS start 'managing' posts to filter out positive news and industry updates on their competitors. 'All for your benefit'

LinkedIn will die a slow death.

Microsoft's Windows Phone folly costs it another billion dollars

Doctor Tarr


As an ex prion employee it's such a shame they (psion & Nokia) didn't invest enough in symbian and bailed out on the cusp of the smartphone explosion.

It was all there but didn't have the investment or vision from the board. Psion sold their part of symbian for something like £26m in the end. Total peanuts in the smartphone market. This 'windfall' was distributed to shareholders and not put into development of the Teklogix business (who made the best industrial handheld terminals at the time).

Instead psion went into its shell when win ce got strong and the ipaq came into the market.

TalkTalk may tell investors to tighten belts after cyber incident

Doctor Tarr


It's one thing for a company to have an issue affecting so many customers (putting aside TTs previous) it's another to try and bullshit your way out of it.

Harding's response is the same guff we get from politions; deflect blame, play the victim and fuck the customer / public as long as the are OK.

I've never been a TT customer and after this would probably avoid them for good.

No VAT on Bitcoin, rules ECJ, but capital gains still apply

Doctor Tarr


What happens if I have mined the coins (not practical for me with Bitcoin but it is for other alt coins)? When I sell them VAT should be due because the creation is not a financial transaction (although I hope it isn't). As a business I would be able claim VAT back on the equipment and power used to create them.

Also, whilst VAT is not applicable on the principal amount, e.g. 1BTC (about £178), if I was charged a transaction fee on top then this may be subject to VAT. This 'transaction fee' may not be obvious because I could sell my 1BTC @ £180, for example.

Doctor Tarr

On the up

They will skyrocket now! Everyone, buy in quick........

(not that i have a vested interest or anything /ahem)

How to get ahead in IT: Swap the geek speak for the spreadsheet

Doctor Tarr

Interesting Read

I’ve been through this process almost to the letter and have found it rewarding and challenging but also stressful and frustrating at the same time.

I started my IT ‘career’ (more a string of jobs with some progression) in support before moving into roles as a developer, business analyst and project manager. All of this was over a period of around seventeen years and often I would be doing all of these at the same time.

Whichever company I worked for I always had to understand the business and its goals. Many people can just turn up to work and turn the handle for 7.5 hours, but I’ve found this leads to high levels of frustration. Even if you don’t agree with the direction and decisions a business is taking having the knowledge can only benefit you and if it means you are better suited elsewhere then it’s time to get out.

I decided I wanted to move from a BA/PM role into product development but how could I achieve this when ‘stuck’ in a techie role? The first thing I realised is that it wasn’t going to be given to me and there are some big barriers to break down especially between IT and Commercial. I needed to be known by the existing product managers so simply started to discuss the business with them and what they were working on. I also used my knowledge of our platform (using newspeak now) to suggest new ideas and services that could be offered. This led to the product managers and business development teams asking for my help on proposals, which were mostly technical. It’s very rewarding to win new business based on a proposal that was 80% yours, and there is no better way to get C level (sorry, newspeak again) attention.

However, I had to fight for eighteen months, constantly putting myself forward, which felt very uncomfortable, and working on many proposals outside of my ‘day’ job before I finally got the opportunity to move into a more commercial role. It can be a very frustrating time when all this effort might come to nothing. I thought hard work and successful bids would get me what I wanted but there are many people who will take that success as their own even if their input was minimal.

Dropping the technical jargon and sadly replacing it with management bullshit comes with the territory. I don’t mind discussing markets, profitability, margins, cost of business, P&L, ATL & BTL marketing etc… but a part of me dies when I have to discuss, consumer empathy, audience loyalty, the brand narrative, etc….

I’ve now been in a product management and business development role for three years. There are still some really frustrating times but in my product area I control the strategy. This is very liberating but I’m also responsible for the profitability and will be shown the door if we don’t hit forecast, which brings its own stresses.

I’d advise anyone in an IT role to read some non-technical business books. Rather than learn some obscure programming language read about project management, product management or marketing. This will provide a better understanding of business in general and make you more valuable to the organisation.

All cool kids' phones run ALTERNATIVE alternative custom Android ROM

Doctor Tarr

Re: footnotes

True, but we are pedants.

Paul Allen: Windows 8 'promising' yet 'puzzling'

Doctor Tarr

Re: If Paul Allen is puzzled ....

I'm seeing more people switch from ios onto android and running windows on macs.

Being techie I have the joy of 24hr support for family and friends, which I guess a lot of us do. I've moved a lot onto mint now and the calls dry up.

Apple iOS 6 review

Doctor Tarr

iOS Updates

It’s great that Apple provide these updates quickly and for free but if I was happily using Google Maps on my iphone (I don’t own one by the way) and I upgraded to iOS6 would the Google app get removed? What about all my saved settings? Can you get Google Maps separately? Is this the same for all apps in an upgrade where Apple chose to provide their own version?

What’s the behaviour like on Andriod; I’ve never felt the need to upgrade mine?

It seems a bit off to me that you may have paid for an app that you can no longer use because the handset manufacturer decided they wanted you to use their version.

The iPhone 4S in depth: More than just a vestigial 'S'

Doctor Tarr

Not sure how Apple timed the camera speed. Just tested my SGS2 which performed twice as fast as the figures stated by Apple. This was on max resolution and set to the (max) superfine image quality. Autofocus was also enabled but flash was off.

As with all this marketing trash, and this goes for other companies too, they provide no real information on the comparison. For all we know the 4S was taking pics at 640x800 with autofocus off.

Anyway, if you want any sort of quality photo you need a proper dedicated camera.

Computer sim explains why hippies became extinct

Doctor Tarr

They ran the model until they got the results Al Gore wanted.

Would putting all the climate scientists in a room solve global warming...

Doctor Tarr

Title must contain blah.................

You're called Jake and you access to loads of boats. Must be a pirate then!

Larry Ellison to buy EMC?

Doctor Tarr

Title must contain blah.................

Why buy NetApp when they already have 3PAR and are growing the solution?


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