* Posts by Why Not?

412 posts • joined 4 Apr 2011


India floats superior ship-management software as a route to regional relevance

Why Not?

Good for them

If they want to develop world beating software and compete on level playing field then lets hope they get somewhere close.

They managed space and many other projects.

Quick thinking and an explanation for everything – key CTO qualities

Why Not?

Re: I've been fired ...

get a £40 tablet for personal surfing - sorted.

The exodus continues: Less than half of contractors expect to stick with their employment set-up after IR35

Why Not?

Reality is not agreeing

"HMRC reckons that only one in 10 contractors in the private sector who should be paying tax under the current rules are doing so correctly. It estimates the reforms will recoup £1.2bn a year by 2023."

Strange the courts & tribunals do not always agree with HMRC. Look forward to them disclosing how much the public sector IR35 has gathered.

UK's Cheshire Police tenders for whole new ERP system after Oracle Fusion went live with 'significant deficiency'

Why Not?

These are basic audit checks surely you do these before going live?

Having access to whole areas of systems is not impossible, its having non logged usage of systems for Admins in my experience.

As mentioned a DBA in smallish shop probably needs access to the whole database server but probably needs to use elevated accounts that are logged when they go off the standard work.

Where are we now? Microsoft 363? 362? We've lost count because Exchange Online isn't playing nicely this morning

Why Not?

The cloud is someone else's badly managed computer?

British Army develops AI shotgun drone with machine vision for indoor use

Why Not?

Re: Timing will be critical

Agree using the rotors would be a challenge, it seems more likely they use a recoilless mechanism.

Surely the cost of a kill is much cheaper than the political cost of a death of our serviceman? That has been the trajectory of weapons for a while. Something most people will support, we just need to make sure its not so easy that the Pentagon etc toss a few drones into civilians for good measure

I'm pretty sure a dead Drone at ~ $1 million loses less votes than a military funeral.

Next drones with Tasers for law enforcement and ones with a safety tent /breathing apparatus for fire rescue.

FYI: If you're running HP Device Manager, anyone on your network can get admin on your server via backdoor

Why Not?

Oh dear

Admin users with default weak passwords where have I heard that before?

Oh yes even senators understand that is bad, come on HP.

Bad boys bad boys, what you gonna do? Los Angeles Police Department found fibbing about facial recognition use

Why Not?

Re: Its coming

Actually when it first started out it was in American and some of the spellings of technical words were missing or questionable so we had to screen the spelling correction just as we do autocorrect on texting nowadays. That was the reality. Now I rarely find the spelling wrong when I feel the need to check.

We are at the point that we need to review recognised images before use them, let us encourage that rather than saying they are currently inaccurate and we will never need to use them!

A working facial recognition system will reduce wrongful arrests and criminals staying at large. You see we want the same thing.

Why Not?

Re: Its coming

OK lets try an experiment put 999 people in a room with Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie (pick your celeb it can be an airhead with a big bum if you prefer) I bet the majority will correctly recognise the celebrity from the others. Facial recognition works between humans, super recognisers can do this with a list of thousands of suspects, in a few years many computers will manage it for a near unlimited list. The Birthday paradox is looking at one point, facial recognition works on thousands of points.

There are rules and we partially understand them presently. What I was trying to show that we thought spelling and grammar checkers were considered too difficult decades ago I remember using early versions of word & wordperfect. Now they are completely normal. Facial recognition is on the way. Deny it all you like, it doesn't care, it will appear without you.

When it works then it will revolutionise policing and uncover misbehaviour on the police side. How nice will it be if the Police only stop people that actual verifiable intelligence suggests need stopping and searching. It will mean crime will be solved quickly & efficiently if we support its evolution.

Why Not?

Its coming

Protest as much as you like facial and other types of computer recognition are coming whether you like it or not.

Now when it drives justice efficiently and without prejudice people will mostly welcome it. They will be the modern equivalent of speed cameras, people argue against them but mainly fail because they do a good job. If we are going to police the modern world with the investment we are prepared to put into the Police we need these tools.

Currently training databases are insufficient but soon they will be good enough to deploy.

As I type this the coputer corracts my spalling and grimmer. 30 years ago that was considered scandalous, it is standard now.

With H-1B workers not exactly rushing to America this year, Uncle Sam plans to spend millions home-growing IT staff

Why Not?

well lets hope both in the US & UK governments start training locally. It makes sense.

Too many staff have privileged work accounts for no good reason, reckon IT bods

Why Not?

Re: Employ people you trust, trust people you employ

DPA , GDPR and SOX are very clear that trust is not a defensible plank of security provision.

You have to prove people have the minimum amount of access to fulfil their role and that access to sensitive data is logged where possible.

I am so glad I no longer have responsibility for granting access because so few companies understand that it is a business problem.

Now if the business finds this restrictive then they need to get on board and define what access they need. Most businesses if asked could not tell you what access they need to their data.

After SOX I started an annual review of roles and had a lot of push back taking rights off users until the CFO realised they were eligible to share a cell with BUBBA if it went wrong. From then on I just supplied the data and finance did the restricting, for those feeling the pain can I recommend this option?

Data and access are a business problem administered by IT. Not an IT problem, we can help fix it if you want.

No one likes a heart-stopping AWS bill shock so now there's a machine learning tool to help detect cost anomalies

Why Not?

I do wonder how many organisations chasing cost savings by moving to the cloud will find themselves seriously reamed over the next decade. Users are very good at ramping up usage accidentally. Anyone who has seen an email storm with thousands of "remove me from the list" replies will understand that, now make that "pay per byte" and watch the CTO & CFO wince.

I feel little sympathy for them.

Inflated figures and customers who were never there. Just another data migration then

Why Not?

Migrations across multiple subsidiaries and systems always result in duplicate customers as few systems are coded to dedupe ACME,ACME LTD, A.C.M.E. , Associated Company Made Easy etc. 50% duplication on the top 1000 customers is fairly common.

If you throw in Cyrillic and other none western alphabets and its a complete mess. As always when you make data entry idiot proof the Universe invents a better idiot.

She was praised by the CEO and promoted. After her brother and mom died, she returned from compassionate leave. IBM laid her off

Why Not?

Re: Logan's Run

Mmmm Jenny Agutter !

Typical '80s IT: Good idea leads to additional duties, without extra training or pay, and a nuked payroll system

Why Not?

Re: Oh good grief....

my first spool to tape was a proper event. Corporate were astounded my system was back online so soon. 6 months later some expert was demanding all sites spooled to disk an claiming credit.

Why Not?

Re: Oh good grief....

ah yes the first thing any experienced chap suggested when it wouldn't read, "be kind rewind..."

Why Not?

Re: whoops - wrong disk

refit original after it passes inspection or fit a replacement valve if worn.

Words matter.

So long, Top Gun... AI software waxes US F-16 pilot's tail 5-0 during virtual dogfight drills

Why Not?

Why would you risk a pilot & multi (tens of) million or even a billion plus aircraft on dogfights?

Surely a fleet of high altitude cheapish (<$15 million) drones with remote humans targeting the weapons would be the obvious solution. In a nice underground bunker with a Starbucks of course!

I sort of assumed they had already got intelligent targeting for their missiles, the drone operator lights it up once and the missile follows the target regardless of the pilots attempts to evade, so maybe this AI is best for the hellfire missiles.

A core mounted gun with a more agile drone could do close up stuff.

We've heard some made-up stories but this is ridiculous: Microsoft Flight Simulator, Bing erect huge skyscraper out of bad data

Why Not?

Re: Is it ...

Yeah I don't think Kylie or he sister Dani are.

But that Jason Donovan looks sus. ;)

You *bang* will never *smash* humiliate me *whack* in front of *clang* the teen computer whizz *crunch* EVER AGAIN

Why Not?

Re: With great power comes great incompatibility

Even if you tell Facilities they don't pass the message on to the company they hire, even if they do there is such a turnover of NMW staff actually doing the work who aren't told that eventually it happens.

What legacy is IBM really shooting for? Cheating its own salespeople out of millions? Here we go again, allegedly

Why Not?

Re: No commission sales

Sensible manufacturing companies see maintenance as the sale, the goods are a commodity all their competitors will offer those at their best price and many will win because they have no support infrastructure. Spares prices are set by the seller so maintenance mark ups are much larger.

Why Not?

Re: Corporate Arrogance

Unfortunately for your point the alleged misbehaviour started way back in the Obama Presidency 2013 - 2015. So the orange one however foul cannot carry the blame for this kind of skullduggery.

You devalue your point when you incorrectly drag your political opinions into it.

Indeed it seems attempts to stop it were put in place in 2018 under Trump. Frankly the Dunce probably has nothing to do with it, just the accountants & manager trying to make their bonuses bigger by ripping off other staff. Similar was happening in the 80s, it was part of the American dream.

IBM and their peers seem to have a history of this sort of mistreatment of their staff and customers, you would think they would have gone bust but they are just too big, for the minute.

We can but hope the next time these big organisations get "rightsized" the Accountants & managers get let go. Fat chance.

Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced techie is indistinguishable from magic

Why Not?

Re: Light sensors!

30 years ago on some of the early video recorders with ir remote control used to malfunction when the sun hit the ir receiver. The solution was to fit a grill to stop the sun swamping the ir sensor.

Something the TV designers had already figured out (they had a grill or a cowl) but I suspect the video designers had never worked on a TV.

Why Not?

We had a radio link and trees in the way, when the trees grew and the link broke, after much head scratching I ended up outside with the MD cutting down the trees.

We replaced the link when we found out the link was failing due to cranes building new high rises breaking the link.

Why Not?

Re: Here comes the sun.

We had similar in one site. A fully fitted office full of ladies booking customer service visits was connected to the same thermostat as the warehouse office which was by the warehouse door in a large metal uninsulated shed.

During the summer the service office was freezing because the guys in the warehouse were trying to get their office below 34 degrees. In the winter the warehouse boys were freezing.

I was in an office between the two so got to hear all the arguments.

Epic Games gets itself epically banned, launches epic Fortnite death match with Apple over App Store's epic 30% cut

Why Not?

Re: Epic is right

Apple will pay you to build your castle?


Smoke on the Tyne: Blaze at BT exchange causes major outages across North East England

Why Not?

Re: Openreach network architecture

It would until the accountants got involved.

Detroit Police make second wrongful facial-recog arrest when another man is misidentified by software

Why Not?

Agree I'm not a face recognition expert but from the linked stories photos The Forehead, Cheekbones, Lips and most definitely the chin are to me visibly different.

The output from the system the "Investigative lead report" has a digital image examiner named who should be trained in recognising such discrepancies and should have withheld the report until they could be certain they were a 99% match. Or at least explaining why the match was made if it was so different.

It may be that the photos are of the arrested person as a younger chap without tattoos but this should be part of the scoring.

I was screwed over by Cisco managers who enforced India's caste hierarchy on me in US HQ, claims engineer

Why Not?

Re: How did they learn he was Dalit?

Name, behaviour and appearance as I understand it.

One of my Sikh colleagues could reliably recognise religion, and mostly area & caste almost by magic. They couldn't /wouldn't explain how. Luckily they didn't treat the any different.

From off-prem to just off: IBM Cloud goes down planet-wide so hard even the status page didn't work

Why Not?

Time for an update

The cloud is just someone else's "poorly managed" computer.

SAP proves, yet again, that Excel is utterly unkillable

Why Not?

When you only have excel everything is a nail!

I have written plenty of vital tools in Excel. It is Business's hammer!

I do now use GDPR & Governance as a lever to kill Excel in the front line. If only most customers knew how much of their personal data was blasted throughout almost every organisation in Excel.

SharePoint for data input and SQL server for handling data with PowerBI as the display. I can then at least try to tell who has seen what.

Other tools are available.!

UK housing association Places for People hands £21m to Salesforce to look after CRM and job scheduling

Why Not?

Re: Housing Association announce £25m IT contracts

Try here


£227M operating profit. on £827M turnover.

So re-investing 10% of their profit or 3% of their turnover on IT to probably save significant costs would hardly be considered a lot in the Private sector, I am assuming this is a multi year deal.

They seem to know what they are doing as they have reserves of £0.5 Billion and £3Billion in total value.

A lot of the not for profits are becoming like real businesses because that way they have more money to help people, its no longer run on a shoestring and make nothing.

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain

Why Not?

This seems the most sensible solution. Surely it helps everyone if Pubs can do this with their fresh stock?

Maersk prepares to lay off the Maidenhead staffers who rescued it from NotPetya super-pwnage

Why Not?

nope the high ups just get to visit the new support centres on expenses.

Some Turkeys know about Xmas.

Ex from Hell gets six years for online stalking and revenge pics rampage at two women

Why Not?

Re: My guess, he's lucky to be alive

Oh their friends tell them repeatedly, the wife has a few of these friends.

Its sad but different strokes for different folks.

Some people just don't have the right morals or standards to deal with modern life, its hard to deal with rejection, but I am glad this scumbag is locked up.

HP polishes the redundancy cannon, prepares to fire 16% of workforce

Why Not?

Blimey someone still works for HP??

I thought they all got redundancy 20 years ago.

IR35 blame game: Barclays to halt off-payroll contractors, goes directly to PAYE

Why Not?

Re: Personal Service Companies

totally sensible so of course we won't do it in the UK.

Its almost like someone wants to get rid of contractors.

#MeToo chatbot, built by AI academics, could lend a non-judgmental ear to sex harassment and assault victims

Why Not?


Soon harassment can be detected like using speed cameras. That can only be for the good.

I suspect though there will be a large cultural element that will need to be understood, what is not offensive in America may be so in China and vice versa.

Deloitte man kept quiet at Autonomy's internal audit committees, says scrutiny chairman

Why Not?

I did wonder what the Auditors did in this case

Most Auditors I have met were very inquisitive and found a few obscure errors that even finance didn't know existed. They positively enjoyed that.

This alleged fraud is carousel like as used for vat fraud and surely the auditors should have been looking for it?

This wasn't hidden in petty cash it was a circle of payments in the millions.

Be still, our drinking hearts: Help Reg name whisky beast conjured by Swedish distillers and AI blendbot

Why Not?

my two pennyworth

Microsoft Sippy - "I can see you are trying to get off your face, do you want help with that?"

Whisky NT


Most Valuable Pisshead

Welsh police use of facial recog tech – it's so 'lawful', rules High Court

Why Not?

Re: How in the name of sweet beJesis is this legal?

This is probably the key "who do you match it against and why".

If you have a database of people who are convicted drunk drivers banned from driving and you match active drivers against it then that is direct crime detection - OK?. Now if you have a database of convicted pickpockets and you use cctv footage at a festival is that ok?

Now change the word from convicted to suspected - still OK? etc.

So we need clear rules who and why you match it against.

We need to define rules of engagement when a match is made. First the match must be manually verified by a competent officer, then an agreed process to approach the possible suspect and verify their identity in a polite and acceptable way.

Now denying it works now is pointless, the evidence is that it will work soon and as it evolves it will become a major part of police work, we just need to manage the genie as it comes out of the bottle.

Why Not?

Re: Keeping pace?

It is invasive to obtain an official copy of a person's fingerprints, you need to coat their hands in ink and press them to a piece of paper (or similar). That is why they need to obtain permission. The police can of course freely take a copy of latent prints (the mark you leave behind) at crime scenes.

The same can be said of DNA evidence.

Taking someone's photograph in public is not invasive and permitted by any photographer.

Just as ANPR can record the presence of a number-plate to record a crime or just presence its the processing of the sequence of ANPR records to trace a car's journey that is different and questionable. We need to limit the processing of the data not the capture.

Allowlist, not whitelist. Blocklist, not blacklist. Goodbye, wtf. Microsoft scans Chromium code, lops off offensive words

Why Not?

Ah we are in the Native American? We need to earn more!

Why Not?

Don't get you panties in a wad!

Always amuses me that Baa Baa Black sheep gets the treatment. The whole point of the rhyme is that the black wool is a premium product. So it is hardly derogatory.

Its the same as calling a spade a spade (or a bowl/shovel a bowl/shovel) being offensive because centuries later someone likens those of recent-ish African extraction (we all came out of Africa according to science and God's chosen people weren't rednecks) to a suit of cards.

Now I had this discussion about the word chairman a few times and pointed out the word man's origin in German does not denote a gender it is the equivalent of Chairperson, ChairWyf or ChairWer (yep that is where we get werewolf from) would however be sexist. One colleague (a devout christian of African heritage) made a very good point that you should consider how its use makes people feel and adjust your language accordingly out of respect.

There are times when you explain and times when you substitute to be polite to your audience. I now use the equally ancient term 'chair' though joke about talking to the furniture. Blackboards can sensibly become chalk boards.

I call a bowl a bowl to ridicule the professionally offended.

I do however defend baa baa black sheep and explain its origin because its improper use is the problem and it is an excellent teaching moment for children.

Allowlist and Blocklist make a sensible step towards this new era of politeness & respect.

Croydon school rolling in toilet roll after Brexit gift deemed unfit for the Queen's Anus Horribilis

Why Not?

Re: HM The Queen?

oooh a little bit of wee escaped!

top post

Take Note: Schneider's teeny-tiny Galaxy VS li-ion UPS set to explode onto data centre scene

Why Not?

Re: Schneider Electric

Actually Galaxy was an MGE / Merlin Gerin brand name. They have a history of pushing battery technology, the NiCad ups and even the water cooled UPS.

APC unfortunately for their investors weren't as inventive.

What's Big and Blue – and makes its veteran staff sue? Yep, it's IBM

Why Not?

Re: What an irony !

Whether they are C level or Grunts.

Being related or going to school with other C levels helps.

Scrapping UK visa cap on nurses, doctors opened Britain's doors to IT workers

Why Not?

here is an outstanding idea.

Up the minimum salary to be paid to £70,000 - these are highly skilled people after all.

Do not allow the employers to deduct expenses from this salary, stop them paying £50k and charging them £30k to stay at the company owned house.

Charge £5,000 for any application regardless of success.

Prohibit those on Visa's from being on customer sites more than 3 days a month.

As most of these applications are from foreign owned & taxed consultancies add a ICT etc tax.

I wonder how many apprenticeships will open up.

We might even see a few less jobs advertised at £16K in the city.



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