* Posts by skipper

43 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Nov 2010

Sysadmins: Keep YOUR data away from NSA spooks


Couldn't agree more - if you're going for a cloud provider, go local, and go small (within reason). If you're not in a massive company, then the provider will care far more about your business and your specific needs.

Samsung vs Apple: which smartphone do Reg readers prefer?


Re: Support

Support can be vary whatever devices you might have...

I bricked my Samsung phone a while back, took it into Carphone Warehouse, and within a few hours I had my phone back in my hand, working, with everything synced back as it was.

In comparison my wife's Apple 4S's screen shattered, had to pay a £60 excess for a replacement, and then it took several nights fighting with iTunes to get most of data back.

I've never bricked my SG2 again, my wife's Apple screen has cracked again.

ICO tries to justify hefty NHS data breach fines


Harsh punishment, but maybe fair

The fine needs to outweigh the cost of stopping the breach occurring in the first place. Correctly retrieving and archiving patient records from an abandoned hospital would be expensive, other trusts can't be allowed to consider its worth risking not dealing with the problem in the first place.

It’s up to the organisations themselves to ensure that the individuals responsible get a proper punishment, if they fail to do that, then they are further failing in their duty of care to their patients. Some organisations (public and private) are far too weak at dealing with reckless/irresponsible behaviour, and it does impact their efficiency. Public bodies should be able to get away with it just because they're providing a public service.

Gartner has its head in the clouds - and its numbers are WRONG



...a sound description of cloud computing marketing

EE sets October date to power up UK 4G network

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What's the point...?

I rarely get anywhere near the throughput that 3G can offer, even on a full strength signal. With 4G, the lack of service delivery would be even more frustrating - unless Something Somewhere will be prioritising 4G originating data traffic within their network (in which case I'd be even more frustrated as an existing 3G customer).

WTF is... VoLTE


Re: Fallback.

Given that LTE coverage is expected to be very patchy at the start, then CSFB seems to be the only viable route if indeed you'd experience a big pause while your phone failed back to 2G/3G.

That said an additional 2 - 4 seconds on making a call will seem like an age. I find the amount of time it takes my phone (Galaxy S2 on Orange) to initiate a call far too long (my old Blackberry, on Orange, was fairly instant). If this was to get any longer I know I'd be returning my new handset to Something Somewhere very quickly.

But then would this be any different with VoLTE - is it just a case of waiting until the hardware and software can manage it instantaneously?

Apple weekend iPhone 5 sales miss forecasts

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Orange, clueless

Orange customer services have been in decline for many years now. You used to be able to speak to a (UK based) human within seconds and be all sorted shortly after. Now there's hours of menu's etc and the support when you're finally connected can be very trying.

Bonking payment by NFC doubled by Olympics splash


Re: whoop de frigging doo....

Therein lies the problem, Visa can promote as much as they like, but if the vendors don't promote and support it, tis' doomed.

I've used it twice...

First time at Subways where the guy at the till said "Just slap it on there" when I went to pay by card. Quick and painless.

Second time at Tesco's a few days later, where it took the till bod by suprise, and three or four attempts to succeed (had I not done it before I would have given up earlier - and I still double checked my statement to make sure I'd not been charged n times).

Haven't bothered since then (3 -4 months ago), and probably won't until I see others using it with ease.

UK.gov squatting on £1bn IPv4 motherlode


Re: When I worked there

Whilst they could migrate onto a private address space with a handful of public addresses, it probably isn't worth it.

The fact that private companies in the same situation aren't bothering means they don't see it being worth the cost and more importantly, risk to service. By the time they've actually freed up the range it'll probably be worth less than they've spent on the army of contract engineers, PMs, BAs, etc etc, and more likely they'll get half way through, there'll be a change of minister and they'd try to go back.

Everything Everywhere's 4G: Why I'm sitting this one out

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More than that...

Having LTE / 4G access to EE's network probably isn't going to deliver the amazing speeds anyway. I quite often have a high strength 3G signal, but very slow (or no) internet access, presumadly because of congestion in the Orange/T-Mobile network.

Having 4G access to a lacking core network is pretty pointless.

Judge: Apple not liable for dropped, broken iPhone screens


They seem fragile to me...

...my wife managed to smash the rear glass on her 4S within a few weeks of having it.

Yes - glass can be fragile, but to me a phone that can't take the occasional knock and drop is hardly fit for purpose in the real world. You wouldn't make a teapot out of chocolate, so why make a phone so fragile? I've dropped and generally abused my Samsung S2, and bar some scuffing on the rounded corners its so far unscathed (maybe due to luck admittadly).

Given the attention to design Apple reportedly have, I'd expect better.

A load of Tosh: External hard drives the new 'personal clouds'


Fair enough...

The whole concept of 'Cloud' is just marketing BS anyway, generaly being used as a trendy new word for lots of stuff that could be done before, but not called cloud so wasn't current.

Assange granted asylum by Ecuador after US refused to rule out charges


Re: Best outcome.

Wanting him extradited and in front of a Swedish court is right, threatening to enter the embassy wrong.

The (UK) law that enables this was brought about after the shooting of policewoman outside the Libyan Embassy - we should be reserving the use (or threat of use) of that power to similarly dangerous situations.

Black Helicopters

Whilst I couldn't care less whether Assange ends up a free man, imprisoned in Sweden or languishing in Gitmo, you do have to wonder why the UK are bothering to threaten to enter the Embassy, unless they've been strongly encouraged to do so by the Yanks. He's not going anywhere, and can be arrested and extradited as soon as he steps outside the Embassy.

Threatening the Ecuadorians forces them to grant him asylum (rather than being seen to capitulate). If he ends up in Ecuador, how long till the CIA pop around to say howdy?

Shops 'mislead punters' over phone contract prices


Re: Misleading is wrong but...

"This is an actual legally binding contract so it's really up to the punter to read it, and they should."

Whilst true, the fact that phone companies own employee's are stating that no price increases are possible when they know they are, is misleading, dishonest and should render the contract invalid.


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Spent days playing this at Uni - at the time it was the best multiplayer since Saturn BomberMan

Wannabe media barons outed in UK local telly bid list


Channel 6 is on its way

The LondonTV service will be run by an unsubtly called Channel 6. No expectation of going national there then

Lords call for the end of TV transmissions


Re: Lack Of Understanding

But they're not talking about doing it now. We all know that it wouldn't work today, even if the core backbone was fine, many households don't have broadband, or don't have decent enough broadband.

That said, if they used multicast (as to not do so would be lunacy), then the main stumbling block would the required end-point upgrades. Selling off the spectrum to the mobile companies etc could create a huge pot of money with which to fund these with.

Religious wars brewing in ICANN gTLD expansion


Re: Unlike, say, religion?

" Teaching people to love each other is "tearing down what's right"? "

I can't work out if that's ironic or not. Generally religions only preach that if you're all of the same religion, and some don't even manage to do that.

Twitter tool's tweet tweaks leaked to twits



Intel comes out swinging against $1.3bn European fine



Whether or not Intel are truely guilty or not (though they appear to be), the fact that this has dragged on for so long is nuts.

Is 3 years really a reasonable amount of time to allow for a guilty party to appeal?

And for Intel to claim that "There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers" is rediculous. Trying to buy a non-white box PC with an AMD processor has always been infuriatingly difficult, and competition has suffered as a result.

So, that vast IT disaster you may have caused? Come in, sit down


Techys can't tell you the whole story...

In a previous role I used to have to conduct "Post Mortem's" after significant outages and major incidents. Normally I'd spend a hour or so asking everybody what they did when in order to build up a basic timeline, then I'd line up the teas and go trawling through logs to find out what really went on.

The two would never match up.

Even if an engineer's actions were good and correct, they're recollection would be imperfect and there's always a tenancy to want to put yourself in the best light, and when filling in the gaps of memory the tale becomes skewed.

Most problems were caused by honest mistakes made with the best intentions, it was rare for problems to be caused by recklessness or full-on malice. Disgruntled employees who could do such things, can rarely be bothered to put the effort in to either try do things wrong or right.

Join the gov consultation on net porn ... and have your identity revealed


What a brilliant way to ensure those that understand the web don't comment on the consultation

Samsung frees fanboys from iPhone with freeware


Re: Interesting

You don't have to get Samsung to fix their phones, just take it to whoever you got it from.

I managed to brick my SG2 during an upgrade (partly my fault, partly Kies), took it back to Carphone Warehouse, and an hour later they'd fixed it (re-flashed it).

No data lost (had to sync apps and contacts/calendar/email back on, but photos and tunes intact - though I backup the photos with Dropbox anyway).

'Unbreakable' Samsung Galaxy Note II to take on iPhone 5


Re: A word of caution

Seconded - unless you know an app is going to go crazy and hammer the CPU when you're not looking, leave 'em loaded.

You're not alone in wanting to kill all your apps in the belief that'll keep things running longer. From the people I know it seems to be a hangover from supporting Windows in the early days when more processes running meant more chance of your PC/Server grinding to a halt,

That said, you'll probably only get an extra 5 mins out of it

British Waterways charity mapping data handed to Google for free


Re: Just ask

The 'commercial value' of the data in its own right isn't that huge. Once its been manipulated into something that can be usefuly used by the public - that's when it starts to have value.

They should probably be making it available as an open data source for all to exploit in the same manner as Transport for London do.

Google coughs up what it coughs up to govs - and what it suppresses


Re: Western democracies not typically associated with censorship ...

Think that is Google being tactful rather than having any belief that Western countries don't censor

Shoreditch a hub of 'exciting innovation', says science minister

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Re: Tax

"Eight million pounds last year is your idea of sweet f**k all?"

As a proportion of the $1.15 billon it made in the last quarter - yes that is sweet FA.


Apple design chief Jony Ive knighted - but not by the Queen


Re: so few republicans


Is that sarcastic? It’s not as if she ever exercises any of those powers of her own "free" will .

One of the reasons we Brits don't go in for stomach churning flimsy flag or political politician worship is we have a monarchy to fulfil those yearnings.

Google warns against ISPs hard on web filth


Re: How to protect children on-line in 5 easy steps

In reality that is quite difficult for technically challenged hands-off parents (many of which will be Daily Fail readers).

That said, if the only PC the kids could use was in the lounge or kitchen, then their internet usage could be easily overseen. The problem being that many kids are given access to internet connected devices to keep them out of the gaze of their parents.

Telefonica touts new free VoIP app to cut off rival Skype


TU To ME...

...and so on

Soup up your home network

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Re: Where's Billion?

Never tried a Billion so can't comment on them, but Draytek ridiculously expensive? Compared to the featureless crap my previous Belkin and LinkSys routers were, they are very good value for money.

RIM should focus on BBM, find a human CEO


Sort yourselves out

Blackberries are still very good in today's market, at what I consider core features in a (smart)phone - phone, email and mp3 player.

I still wonder if dumping my BB and going for an Android Samsung SG2 was such a great idea. It took me months to find an audio player that was any good (Neutron - great sound, crap interface), and I still haven't found a keyboard/input method that doesn't make writing more than one sentence incredibly frustrating (when I delete a word, that means I didn't want it, don't auto-correct to the same thing again when I retype FFS).

Blackberries are incredibly good at doing a few core things, whereas the general iPhone/Android market does lots of things, generally satisfactorily, apart from selling add-on (cr)app(s).

TalkTalk takes broadband to 80Mbps


Re: I wouldnt go near Talk Talk

To be fair to TalkTalk, I was a customer of their's till very recently, and had no intention of changing. My broadband was always up, and I was always able to download at full speed, no matter what time of day or night.

Then I moved house, and their ineptitude came to the fore, every other provider reckons they can get you up and running in 5 working days, with TalkTalk its 10. Which I could have lived with, but it took two weeks (and 30 - 60 min phone calls every other day) for them to successfully receive the order.

BT managed it in reasonable time, but come weekday evenings, the speed drops to a consistently suprising level.

iPlayer repeat fees threaten BBC earthquake

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Domestic commercialisation

As soon as the BBC starts charging all domestic/UK viewers for some of its programming I'd think that any argument for retaining the TV license would start evaporating. Meaning that it would eventually just become like any other commercial broadcaster. Which it needs to avoid if it wants to be able to differentiate from the others.

Whilst I have no problem with the BBC attempting to charge those UK customers that use iPlayer but don't have a TV license, I'd be suprised if they'd actually get any return for the effort involved.

Orange 3G data network goes titsup


Its been erratic for a day or so...

...though I've been OK whenever I've checked today (in London).

London Olympics shop in Union Jack outrage


Re: Not British

Correction: London pays, the 'VIPs' enjoy.

I've spent years paying extra council tax to fund the games, and I couldn't even get any tickets.

Then I'll have to endure the snarled up traffic when half the roads get reserved, and public transport full non-Londoners who think the best place to stand stationary is on the left-hand of escalators and in front of tube and bus doorways.

Office workers: 'The best way to upgrade a PC is to smash it'

IT Angle

Who's budget is it anyway

I've found in companies I've worked for in the past that user PC's/laptops never got replaced as doing so came out of the business unit (sales, accounts, HR etc) budget for that employee, whereas the cost of maintaining an out of warranty PC came from IT's budget.

Plus if you don't automatically replace machines after X years, once one person might get a new PC, everyone wants one. Which becomes a political, morale destroying minefield.

Tesla Motors sues BBC for defamation


Apple flavoured car

I may be completely mistaken, having last seen the episode in question 3 years ago, but I thought it was fairly clear during the broadcast that the reason they only got 55 odd miles out of the car was because they were enjoying the battery powered wonder in the fashion you should enjoy a performance car. The piece generally complimented the car.

Regardless, surely if you want to by a performance electric car you'd be buying it largely for that novelty fact, I don't thing poor range is really going to worry you that much. If you wanted something more eco-friendly that can do thousands of miles you'd by a small diesel car.

VMware takes on Google Apps with Zimbra 7


Syncing Android calendar and contacts to Zimbra

With the Zimbra appliance free version (you have to register for a free 10 user license) you get ActiveSync syncing. No idea how well this works, I have the appliance but not an Android, but from the forums it seems to work

Tube to get phone coverage by the Olympics

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Why bother?

Providing coverage on platforms shouldn't be too difficult, and relatively easy to support (in comparison to the tunnels). And the intermittent signal you'd get if you were on a tube would be fine for text's and email syncing.

Voice calls on train would be difficult and down-right annoying for fellow passengers. Plus I enjoy the fact that the missus/work/etc can't call me while I'm on the tube...

Anyway, there is no way they'd get coverage set-up in time for the Olympics, they'd be lucky to have finished the planning and profit-escalation phase.

We spent how much?

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If there's no room for overspend, projects still get completed...

Having worked in IT for many years and been involved with many projects (generally as an implementer, engineer or architect, occasionally with a PM hat on as well) I've come to the conclusion that project budgets overruns are generally allowed to happen because everyone secretly knows that the organisation will pay for more time/hardware etc, if its told that its 'essential' to deliver the project, and so acts accordingly.

In reality, when I've worked on projects that could pretty much destroy a company if they go bad, and there is simply no further budget, everyone somehow manages to deliver. It might not be exactly what was envisaged at the start, but it for-fills the brief and often contains some remarkable ingenuity in order to deliver despite obstacles.

Humans perform best when the brown stuff is approaching the fan, allowing projects to slip can often stifle real creativity and genius.

Microsoft tweaks Hotmail interface to read Gmail accounts



...people are lazy and would generally prefer to view all their email via one interface, rather than two (or more). So if you've got email addresses with more than one provider, you'll use the website of the one that allows you to view both.

Whilst the technically able will do whatever is best, the less capable will use whatever they've used for years.