Much of the Covid money was spent with newly minted companies that had no experience in the area of PPE, but did have access to the "VIP lane" of government ministers. While companies who were *actually in the business of making and supplying PPE* were ignored. I refer you to the case of Michelle Mone and PPE Medpro, the best known and most egregious case of this fraud. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/nov/06/michelle-mone-admits-involvement-with-vip-lane-ppe-company
309 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Jan 2011
Have you ever met anyone from the private sector?
They are not all uber-rational financial and technical geniuses, anymore than everyone who works in government is a half-wit. I've seen the insides of enough well-respected titans of the FT100 to know that the "private sector" can be just as dysfunctional and slow on the uptake as any Whitehall department. BTW, neither the internet nor the world-wide web was created by the "private sector".
You don't know always know whether an innovation is actually feasible or a good idea till you try to build it. Sometimes the private sector puts up that cash, sometimes the government does. I can see from the screeds of information provided in the thread that this is one of those ideas that might/might not work, depending on the practicalities. So maybe it's worth taking a small scale punt on it to see if can be made to work as if it could there would be worthwhile benefits. And if it can't, we can put it back into the drawer with all the other stuff that never turned out to be practical.
Re: Interesting that the police
There's always an assumption that the machine reacted quicker than a human driver would have done, but has that actually been validated? After all, self-driving software is a lot more complex than the motion detector that opens a supermarket door. And might a human driver have swerved and been able to mitigate the effect of hitting the pedestrian?
It's very hard to find accurate comparisons on accidents per mile for humans vs autonomous vehicles, and we tend to assume that because so many human drivers can be distracted, inattentive, or just plain terrible, that self-driving vehicles are better. But where's the actual evidence for it?
Re: Dutch should buy some mirrors
>> Making a lot of noise about google picking up that one is searching information about drilling appliances and slapping a few ads, is petty.
That's not all google is doing though. They track as many aspects of user behaviour as they can across as many devices as they can, and then combine that data to build up a profile. It's invasive behaviour, and they are very secretive about what they are doing. GDPR etc don't go far enough. The internet giants need to be subject to the same level of scrutiny that they apply to the population, and fined every time they use data for a purpose that users haven't explicitly agreed to.
You can sell advertising on the internet, and target it pretty well too, without needing the huge data warehouses Google, Meta, Microsoft, Apple, etc have built.
Re: Discipline! Discipline! Discipline!
There's a lot to be said for keeping your baseline infrastructure in-house to contain costs, but using the hyperscalers for... when you need to scale up in a hurry. It's also easier to do new development and run experiments on a hyperscaler because you can provision what you need and then switch it off when you're finished. But it does, as you say, require discipline. And education. Left to their own devices users will provision large and expensive compute instances they don't need, and then leave them running for months.
Re: I'm sorry, I just can't dump Zoom.
>> Sounds like make-work to me. Has anybody actually done a cost analysis? I have.
No you haven't. To have any validity, such an analysis would require collecting a lot of data from different enterprises, and you would need to be able to calculate the value had been generated by work done with and without collaboration tools. It's the kind of analysis that would require.... wait for it.... a team to do. And you'd need to be able to charm all those different enterprises into giving you valuable and commercially sensitive information. Stop saying stuff to make yourself seem clever. It's having the opposite effect at this point.
Re: I'm sorry, I just can't dump Zoom.
I work a lot with distributed teams, we run collaborative workshops, we do pair-programming, we work on architecture design, all sorts of things that require screen sharing, and where it's helpful to comunication to see the person you are talking to. You can't do any of those things on a voice only telephone. If your job can be done using voice only, possibly only talking to one other party, good for you.
Just stop parading your lack of imagination about other people's jobs.
People who don't get it
A lot of people here seem to think that "hate speech is just things the left/the wokeratir/the liberal elite" don't like. It's not. It's speech that can have unpleasant consequences in the real world for real people.
If you are claiming that denigrating refugees as rapists and criminals, or claiming that Muslims are busy forming child grooming gangs, or any of the other evidence free abuse dished out against minorities is fine, you've probably never had a brick chucked at you because someone didn't like the look of you, or been sworn at on a bus for having the temerity to be visibly not white in public. So carry on being a proud free speech warrior, safe in the knowledge that someone else who isn't like you will be the one who bears the brunt of the hate speech you want to defend.
Re: with 49,500 employees, all of whom are applicable
But I would obviously echo the advice to stay as far away from Oracle as possible and stick with a 3rd party or OpenJDK distribution.
Re: They're not here to pay people
If CEOs genuinely cared about shareholder value, they wouldn't pay themselves such massive multiples of average worker salary. If we go back 40/50 years, capitalism was managing pretty well on paying Managing Directorss (as CEOs were then known) far smaller multiples of average worker salary. The boss was still richer than you, he had a nicer house and a much better car, but he didn't have a helicopter, a private jet, a yacht, a chief of staff, and several large homes in different parts of the globe.
What's going on right now is greed, pure and simple. And not just at Microsoft, but in most multinational corporations.
Let them eat cake
It's always hard to predict societal inflection points. But the barely disguised glee in many quarters over the demise of a group of ultra rich guys (and one unfortunate teenager dragged along against his wishes) in the Titan sub suggests that the billionaire class is not well-liked as a whole. Bloody revolution rarely serves anyone well, but the less people have to lose, the more likely it gets.
Re: Well played FCC
Or alternatively, the USA joins most of the rest of the industrialised world in not having data caps on fixed line accounts. Which would definitely be better for consumers.
Most UK broadband accounts these days are unlimited but with a "fair usage policy". This is broadly drafted but is only ever likely to hit consumers who are downloading huge amounts of data during peak hours. I've never been clipped by a fair usage clause despite a household with three users, many devices, much streaming, and my job as a developer and consultant either doing a lot of Zoom or pushing GByte sized images to container repositories. You really have to go nuts to provoke bandwidth limitations due to the fair usage clause.
Re: SQL injection flaw
You've described very well the kind of teams we try to build and foster when coaching organizations in being effective at software development. Agile's main problem these days is the industry that's grown up around it pushing all sorts of convoluted practices. The other big problem is Jira.
Re: SQL injection flaw
That's not a problem with agile. That's a problem with silos. Anyone who understands agile development (by which I don't mean, anyone who has one of the many industry "qualfications" in agile) is trying to break down silos and get people in different teams to f****ing talk to each other.
It didn't take long...
... for the panic to switch from "these things are too smart, they present a danger to humanity", to "these things are so dumb, humanity presents a danger to them, and through them, to the rest of humanity" I fear this second panic is better rooted in reality and is really something to worry about as "AI" gets bolted into places where it doesn't yet belong.
Re: Missing half the population?
Although there are plenty of female trolls out there, it is nearly always men who are ready to bring their trolling into the real world and attack, injure, or kill people. And the misogyny of some of these groups also feeds directly into harassment and worse of women.
Amazing how fast these discussions degenerate into US bad / other countries not as bad or US good / other countries worse name calling. Rather than looking at what is happening.
Yes, the USA has a long history of using the iron fist inside the velvet glove to get what it wants. That doesn't mean that other countries don't also behave badly at times. The current Chinese administration is autocratic, secretive, bullies its own people, and is throwing its weight around in the region.
To dismiss this all as anti-Chinese propaganda put about by the perfidious Americans is no less naive than believing Uncle Sam always has everyone's best interests at heart. Interfering with the aircraft systems while they are in flight *is* serious and quite hostile and shouldn't be downplayed just because so far no-one has got hurt.
I wish people would grow up and stop looking at everything through the lens of whose "side" they think is right. We are facing an existential crisis from climate change, but it looks like the last two monkeys left on the planet will still be squabbling over some pointless shit or other.
Re: Hooray for Avoirdupois and pounds, shillings and pence
"t one time it was made illegal under EU rules to sell a pound of bananas in the UK. and a market trader got prosecuted for it. "
Nope. This is an example of history being rewritten by known liars, like Boris Johnson. You can sell any quantity of bananas you like under EU rules, including a pound. After all, you can still buy milk by the pint in most supermarkets.
What you *can't* do, is use a system other than metric as the measurement on which you base your prices and tariffs. So you can sell a pound of bananas, providing you also label clearly that what the customer is getting is .454 Kg of bananas. And this is to stop monkey business and chicanery with weights, a favoured method for wide boys to cheat customer since time immemorial.
IBM and Micro Focus have long history as the best of frenemies. In the early 90s they co-operated very closely on CICS-OS2 - IBM provided the CICS and MF brought the COBOL compiler and run-time for X86. When Enterprise Server first started being sold as a way to lift and shift from the mainframe to lower-cost platforms Micro Focus ended up in IBM's cross hairs for several years.
I don't know how IBM as an institution could claim to have "only become recently aware" of the situation. I think the poster who said this is a lot to do with Micro Focus partnering with AWS has hit the nail on the head. The last time IBM were this cross with Micro Focus it was because of a close relationship with Microsoft. IBM here has all the hallmarks of the abusive ex...
The business case for the metaverse only really exists if it can offer something better than Zoom or Slack for business use cases. At the moment it can't - even an avatar that can raise an eyebrow isn't as expressive as the actual human face it's been modelled on. It might start to offer advantages in certain domains - maybe architecture where you want to walk a client through a design, but for most business meetings it offers no value, just extra cost and inconvenience.
The technology is going to have to advance an awfully long way to overcome the current disadvantages and there has to be a real question mark over whether the investment is going to be there. Plus the huge extra strain on the internet backbone for all the extra bandwidth that would be needed for photorealistic VR.
Re: Sometimes they're just not interested
"Pre-1970s required either card punching...."
It also required an ability to solve problems and think at different levels of abstraction, just like it does now. The card punching was not generally done by the programmers, but by cheaper clerical staff. Don't confuse the input method with the skills required to do the job. Maybe women are quitting infosec jobs because they tire of being patronised and belittled by their male colleagues.
Admiral Grace was indeed one of the primary movers behind COBOL. Since we are playing "fun games with history", let's ask the question, would a male engineer of that era have had the thought: "We need to make this accessible to people who aren't computer programmers"? This was one of the drivers behind the COBOL language design. It's fair to say no-one would build a language that way now, but we've had decades of learning since those early experiments in high-level languages.
Re: This is how it starts
I can't think of a "leftwing" site that is doxing ordinary people and sending thugs after them. Fascists are always keen to normalise their behaviour as simply "the opposite side of the coin". It isn't. Fascism isn't the opposite side of any coin. It's an authoritarian ideology that elevates one group above all others, and demonizes other groups. In Europe and America that group is usually white supremacists, but in India Mohdi is doing a pretty good job creating a Hindu supremacist movement.
Re: Eternal September
The problem with this particular site is not that they are saying unpleasant things you can ignore if you don't like them. It's that they dox people, and then incite real world thuggery against them. Putting their site on your blocked list won't protect you when one of its readers throws a brick through your window.
Re: This is how it starts
It's worth emphasizing that Kiwifarms have not been blocked for their politics. They have been blocked for doxing individuals and online incitement to do real-world harm to people. Individuals who have been singled out for attention by Kiwifarms have been threatened and abused where they live and where they work.
As the article here says, their are at least 3 suicides that can be linked to harassment from Kiwifarms. In the UK at least the individuals posting on the site would have broken laws related to threatening behaviour and hate speech. This is not a "freedom of speech" issue. It's a freedom from having thugs being told where to find you and being incited to beat you up. Right now they are concentrating on transgender individuals, but it's easy to see that the playbook they have developed and refined successfully could be rolled out to other targets.
For example, immigration lawyers. Or left-wing politicians. Or journalists who won't shut up when they are told to. Freedom of speech becomes meaningless if it is only available to whoever can mobilise the greatest number of thugs.
"In capitalism, growth largely comes with decreased resource consumption over the long term due to competition causing increased efficiency."
Often asserted, but rarely demonstrated in real life. If this was true, BT would be able to pay its workers handsomely as well as paying good dividends. However, what we are seeing here is what is euphemistically known as "sweating the assets". That is, squeeze as much as you can from workers to give the impression you are somehow magically doing more with less.
" You have to pay extra to cover the inflation than to someone on basic tax rate."
If you accept the premise that someone who is already being paid about £2 million a year needs the cost of inflation covered. Anyone on that kind of wage already has all the bottom layers of Maslow's hierarchy more than adequately covered, and the extra cash isn't really going to help them with self-actualisation.
It's hard for most normal people to imagine the level of self-entitlement, greed, and general psychopathy that enables already very well remunerated management to give themselves pay rises of 25% and upwards while saying to the workforce, "Get back to work and accept a pittance".
BT is dependent on a large skilled, unionized workforce. I really hope their management and board get a severe bloody nose in this fight.
The Original Sharepoint
I was involved with some Sharepoint stuff very early in its evolution - about 2001 I think. And what not many people know is that Microsoft at that time had two completely different products, both badged as Sharepoint. From memory (it's over 20 years ago so don't @ me for not getting the details exactly right), one was built around a database, and the other was built around NTFS with extra metadata. They had completely different models and APIs, but they were both "Sharepoint".
Re: Straightforward solution
"Any web site that cannot work without cookies is fundamentally broken."
Am I right in thinking you've never developed any website that needs to maintain session information? Which these days tends to be *most of them*. However, most of the time you shouldn't need to serve the user more than one cookie for that (although it starts to get more complicated when the friendly page you serve your user is pulling content from several different places).
Re: That vinyl sound
That simply isn't true. Even the modern Rode microphone I use for Zoom calls etc is analogue (XLR output), and I connect it to a DAC so I can plug it into the computer.
And as for "before we were born", nobody could build anything digital that ran fast enough to capture high fidelity audio that long ago.
Is it legal? I think the answer is "that really depends". Are Cytrox doing anything illegal by packaging and selling the exploit? That depends on the jurisdiction, but chances are it isn't illegal in North Macedonia where they are based. Are the users of this software doing something illegal? Definitely if they do it in the EU, UK, or North America, but most of the customers appeared to be governments who are probably doing it to their own citizens in their own countries.
Is it ethical? No.
Not up to the job
This is just the latest indicator that the current crop of government ministers are simply not up to the job. Their understanding of the potential consequences of any action is outweighed by their determination to find any benefit, however illusory, from Brexit. Or in other cases, simply to take vengeance on anyone who exposes their incompetence (take a bow Channel 4 news).
Deviating from GDPR will have no benefit for consumers, and only benefit those businesses large enough to be able to exploit the extra surveillance of the British population it will enable. Other businesses will suffer as EU data can no longer be processed here, enabling the IT sector to share in the Brexit damage so far inflicted most heavily on farming and fisheries.
Getting downvotes from people who have calculated that the cost of storing a repo of a few meg in size costs pennies a year. And ignored the cost of keeping it backed up, serving it up over the internet, having redundant availability zones etc. Those pennies start to mount up pretty fast if you are running a real service rather than a hypothetical one.
It sounds to me like the "prototype" was built using what a lot of us would recognise as lean and agile principles. They added features requested by users, they delivered working software regularly, they built things that were wanted rather investing heavily in a speculative architecture "because it will need to do X in the future". That's what agile should look like, not something imposed on you by an "agile coach" with a ton of certifications.
Speaking as a 59 year old who sometimes helps enterprises with their "digital transformation" projects, I can honestly say it's flexibility of mindset that's needed, and that I haven't seen much evidence of that being the sole dominion of any particular age group. Honestly, the more mixed your workforce is in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, culture, etc, the more it's likely to be able to generate fresh ideas and execute them successfully. You need the bold fearlessness of youth seasoned with the experience of having seen innovation that works and innovation that doesn't.