* Posts by The Cube

433 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Jun 2007


Parliament to unleash barrage of criticism on Snoopers' Charter

The Cube

"where are these ideas originating"

These ideas are originating in the unhealthy relationship between the feed trough of government defense and security budgets and the snouts of contractors such as BAE. The revolving door of civil servant to overpaid corporate lackey and back again is just as much in evidence in this sector as in finance and all the others which government laughably pretend to "regulate". The true beauty of this scam though is that the contracts will never come under any public scrutiny because they are a matter of national security. This means the criminals in the Home Office and private contractors will never be investigated, let alone charged or outed to the public.

Coming soon to a theme park near you: Shocking ANTI-PIRACY NAG ADS

The Cube

Re: Academics vs businesspeople

You missed out the option that the government and their corporate donors would prefer you to take;

6) Try to create a business, jobs and economic growth with your idea but don't patent it because you can't afford it. Before you ship your 100th product discover that an established party donor ^h^h^h^h company in the sector has ripped off ^h^h^h^h miraculously simultaneously invented your idea and patented it and is now suing you out of existence for having the temerity to bring a better product to market and disrupt their milking of customers with second rate crap.

'Kids' apps STILL siphoning too much info from mobes' - FTC boss

The Cube

Treat them like the pirates they are

Simple fix, the US government has set the standard with DMCA, these companies are guilty of personal information sharing, let's use the file sharing penalties.

State that each sharing of each person's data is worth $1 and assume that the advermin it is shared with will milk it 100 times. The app developer should be fined $100 per person whose data they have stolen and shared.

Apply the punitive sharing penalty to the store operator Apple or Google, the app developer and the advermin tracking network, collect all the fines and give them to the EFF.

Removing the irrational from application rationalisation

The Cube

Of course decisions are made on incomplete and subjective criteria

Anyone who thinks they have complete and objective data about business or major IT decisions is deluding themselves.

The value of any application to a business is subjective and depends largely on the value of the business process it supports (or bad thing it helps to prevent) which is..... oh yeah, subjective. Businesses continuously have to make decisions based on incomplete data it is a simple fact of life, in most cases you can't have complete data, in others the waiting time and cost of getting complete data is unacceptable.

Yes, this webby widget may (much like a trained or skilled human) assist in gathering some of the information used to make a decision and probably helps by prompting with the questions that tend to get at the real decision points but please let us not pretend that some web forms can magic up a completely deterministic and predictable universe in which there is no uncertainty and everything is concrete fact.

BTW, boring advert sloppily disguised as an "article" hope you got well paid by the marketing agency who placed it with you.

Adobe demands 7,000 years a day from humankind

The Cube

Are you familiar with the Terms of Service Didn't Read project?


You might find that they are trying to address the complaints in this article and have made a rather good start.

Web users: We've got NO IDEA if we're stealing content or not

The Cube

Building the necessary evidence base for online copyright infringement policy

Surely what they meant was that the review was commissioned with the objective of "building the evidence base for an unnecessary online copyright infringement policy" ?

Perhaps the government will tell us next that torrents are able to destroy the British film industry in 45 minutes...

Apple, Spotify, Amazon: All your Cloud are belong to us, says firm

The Cube

Re: mccp - errrrr there's more to a patent than its title.

If you still have that document may I suggest you make yourself known to the defense teams so that they can pay to file with the Patent Orofice and have the patent in question re-assessed and hopefully terminated?

Facebook beats the heat in North Carolina data center

The Cube

The chart is more than a little misleading and the operating range is not special

In the context of this article, without any other labelling the presentation of the ASHRAE guidelines is rather poor. The ASHRAE "guidelines" shown on the chart are the "recommended" range, that is the range you should set your default operating conditions to. Pretty much any server purchased now will conform to at least class A2 which requires operating up to 95F and 80% Relative Humidity, instead of the measly 80F and 60% max Relative Humidity, the "A" range in green on the chart (which is just not relevant).

Class A2 is the standard for any vaguely decent server, the only issue the climate plotted on the chart shows is the upper dew point which is substantially above the 69.8F of Class A2. (IBM rate their mainframes to Class A2, I would not call this adventurous or pushing the envelope).

Any decent cloudy operator however should be buying tin to match their operating environment and not the other way around. Class A3 and A4 equipment is available, Dell even do mainstream retail servers that reach Class A4. Class A3 servers are rated to 104F intake temp, 85% Relative Humidity and 75F dew point which fully covers the operating range shown on that chart without even going custom, and the whole point of ODCA and OCP is supposed to be custom designed tin to meet the spec isn't it?

For those who prefer their units civilised;

legacy "recommended" - 27C, 60% RH 17C Dew Point

Normal Class A2 - 35C, 80% RH, 21C Dew Point

Class A3 - 40C, 85% RH, 24C Dew Point.

Oh, and no, whatever FUD your IT vendor spreads, the world won't end if you let your server intake go over 25C.

Oracle: Get your Red Hat Linux patches from us, it's easier

The Cube

Re: What's wrong with VirtualBox

VB used to be great, I really liked it but in the last year I have had too many Virtual Machines eaten during operations such as merging or reverting to a snapshot that I simply dare not use them any more. As you can probably tell, I am not very happy about this.

OK, you can sometimes get them back by copying the entire image, using the command line repair tools and mounting it as a new VM but frankly, compared to Qemu/KVM or even VMWare (Fusion for me on the laptop) VB is just too much work and too flaky, I don't have the hours to burn undoing the damage it has done.

Oh, and I have no idea why your post got voted down either, it's only MP's rental agreements we are not allowed to ask questions about.

The Cube

Anyone who thinks they are getting anything from Larry Evil for free...

Please Larry, stop buggering computing for everyone, you made databases an unutterable horror with Horrorcle server and endless incompatible versions of the client bloatware, you took Solaris users from behind, you have made Java a gigantic unmaintained security hole, you have turned VirtualBox into a load of bollox, please please please don't Larry Linux as well.

Perhaps what those of us using Linux should do is set up an Oracle "Leave it the feck alone" contract where we pay Larry Evil a few $100 per year per box to leave Linux alone and not ruin that too? Let's face it everything Oracle touches turns into a steaming pile of, well, Oracle, we should treat them the way we treat FTSE100 CEOs, pay them handsomely to sod off and stop screwing up.

Virgin Media vid misery blamed on unnamed peering network

The Cube

Can't remember the last time VoD worked properly on Virgin Mediocre

I gave up trying to watch anything (like the F1) live over Virgin over a year ago. iPlayer in HD? Forget it unless it is 4am and you only want to watch 3 minutes of it. YouTube, best not go up to 720 unless you want to leave it to buffer for 1/2 hour first. This is M25 area, so perhaps I shouldn't be surprised with terminal traffic congestion... About the only traffic that does come through at full speed are broadband speed tests, I am sure that is just a coincidence though...

Mobo monster Vodafone takes £6bn kick down south

The Cube
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Re: Shall we start a book...

Yep, I'll go for;

- Less than 1% tax

- More than £1million donated to the party currently in government to make sure we have to pay the tax they don't want to.

Microsoft Surface Touch keyboards self-destruct – and more

The Cube

Microsoft logo wearing off

Sorry, I am having a problem understanding how that is a bad thing. Microsoft should be congratulated on ensuring minimal embarrassment for people with surface tablets but couldn't they have just made it a sticker so you could rip it off quickly instead of having to spend hours scratching it off?

Apple's anti-Googorola patent lawsuit tossed by US court

The Cube

Re: Argh!

Didn't you know, since the clandestine meetings where it was all decided for us the BBC only has Green journalists, anyone saying anything else is burned at the stake for witchcraft and heresy.

Windows Phone 8 will be 'less than explosive' - HP bigwig

The Cube

So, no Sony batteries in WinPhone 8 then?

(less than explosive)

O2 roaming rates to rise by up to 140%

The Cube


I had forgotten they existed but then Vodafone probably pay them to keep the shops open and maintain the pretense of competition to avoid being chopped up as a monopoly.

Congrats O2, you are this decade's Mercury phone box (Mercury was kept going only due to political pressure to keep up the pretense that Tory telecomms de-regulation had provided any consumer benefit and not just made some already rich people a bit richer).

Sock-wielding movie pirates go to prison

The Cube

The punishment is way too light

"including Avatar and Iron Man 2" - for the crime of inflicting this turgid shite on more hapless viewers they should get much longer sentences.

The studios responsible should also be required to pay compensation to viewers for the irretrievable hours of their lives lost to these crimes against film making.

Wales: Let's ban Gibraltar-crazy Wikipedians for 5 years

The Cube

Small typo in the article

There is no evidence the user has a commercial relationship with Gibraltar. He may simply be a tit.

Think that's what you meant.

Windows 8 wait prompts PC sales droop in EMEA

The Cube

And here's your article title for a couple of months time

"Windows 8 prompts PC sales droop in EMEA"

Sorry, had to be said and yes, my sig says;

Typed by a smug wanker on a Mac

Manchester plods cop £120k fine for USB-stick-inna-wallet data gaffe

The Cube

Advocate criminal charges against anyone who loses a company USB stick

Stop trying to pretend this is equivalent you muppet.

If you want to phrase the question appropriately then we could try;

"Do you advocate criminal charges for repeated and systematic failure to implement or follow processes to control personal data, the release of which is likely to cause a direct threat to the lives, reputations or employment of those concerned?"

Or are you the sort of daily mail reading tosser who thinks that everyone "investigated" by the Plod is guilty of something, they just haven't found the evidence yet?

And for the record, yes, I think that if, say Experian, were this careless with data then the responsible parties should be dismissed for gross misconduct and then face investigation for possible criminal charges. The fact here is that because it was Police the worst that will happen is that the IPCC will make a show of pretending to investigate and then back off like the puppet it is as soon as the Plod union barks. After which the employees responsible can go back to beating up suspects and trawling through our personal data under RIPA without a warrant, oversight or due process.

The Cube

They don't call it the serious crime division for nothing

Want to find the biggest criminal organisation in the UK, look for the uniforms.

When they aren't conspiring over their evidence to IPCC or supplying dodgy coroners to sweep a murder under the carpet they are wandering off with uncontrolled data. Can't imagine why people object to the government and Police collecting data about them.

The one saving grace is that they don't call themselves the "serious and organised crime" division, somebody there clearly realised that "organised" would just get them laughed at.

Bing is the most heavily poisoned search engine, study says

The Cube

Stats fail aside he has a point

Many users still naively believe that "search" is supposed to find relevant pages related to your search term, quaint I know.

Unfortunately, when they search for common terms that marketing worms have used the ironically named "Search Engine Optimisation" on or worse google / bung have sold crapwords for the results are page after page of sponsored utter shite.

Try searching for "Product Name review" and you'll get Google Shopping (or the Bung equivalent), endless content copying scam sites (sorry, useful content aggregators who shouldn't all be bombed with agent orange), page after page of generic ecommerce sites with the product out of stock and zero reviews etc. etc. etc. Of course if you fall for the "Google shopping" most of those links will also be to content aggravators who are just another bloody pile of links to somebody, in some other country, who at some point in the past or future might have the product in stock for $3 plus $100,000,000 shipping.

Search engines ceased to be useful for many things quite some time ago, spotting the difference between the external "link poisoning" and that done by the search engine operator is rather hard.

Huawei: Inside the lair of the not-so-hidden dragon

The Cube

Re: Iran - FFS


FFS you moron, your description is also perfect for the United Kingdom and the United States of America, many other cultures and countries consider our leadership to be crazy Christians, one of us has actually nuked another country, both of us sell weapons to anyone whose goals temporarily align with ours irrespective of human rights or anything else. Our politicians do whatever they need to do to support the perceived security and prosperity of the voters they need to re-elect them in a few years time, any ethical objections find themselves sidelined by other considerations well before the election for the vast majority of politicians. Go ask Ollie North if the good ol US of A has ever dealt with terrorists, or even better, ask if they have sent the NORAID senators who funded the IRA for decades for trial in the UK. (Not USA bashing, BAE and our Govt are just the same, they do what is expedient at the time.)

If you believe the story spouted by western politicians about Iranian weapons then you presumably also saw with your own eyes the massive stockpiles and factories for NBC weapons we found in Iraq which were ready to launch in 45 minutes...

Go back to hiding under the Daily Mail

Gather round, EMC's ol' man Tucci knows Big Data's 'killer app'

The Cube

Don't BA already do this?

I am really not keen on a world where all companies engage in dynamic price manipulation to fork over their customers to the maximum possible extent.

For example, the BA website bait and switch function where you go look for a flight and you see there are loads of seats and the the prices are quite sensible. Somehow though, in the 5 mins between you first looking for the flight and actually trying to buy it the plane is so full you can't use any "BA miles" and a fully restricted economy seat is $15 trillion one-way with no changes or upgrades allowed.

Of course they only do this to you once you are logged in but thanks to the "security" bottom inspectors it's not like you can sign in with another name to get the $200 price again.

Bunch of Utter Bar Stewards.

Of course offering a different price based on paying Google to tell you what post / zip code the victim is in or them using a browser which screams "mark" (Safari?) is entirely ethical. Perhaps then we can call the iPad the "I saw you coming"?

Blame crap mobe apps for swap-by-bonk hacks, say NFC bods

The Cube

More security holes in crap we don't need or want

I have these amazing small metal disks and pieces of paper which many retail outlets accept for payment which are quite secure, you actually have to take them off me physically and if I only give you one you don't get all the others by magic.

For large transactions I can use a plastic thing with an inherently insecure system where I type a four digit "PIN" into some unverified third party device which skims a copy of the card and PIN for some slimy crims to use so that I can have my card cancelled and fill out lots of paperwork about the crime that the Police won't let me report.

For trains I have an Oyster "robbed as you go" which I wave at ticket machines and lose a sum of money between roughly the ticket cost and a lot more dependent on how badly the reader is malfunctioning that day (strange that it never errors in my favor though, eh Boris?)

Why the feck would I want more ways for vermin to steal from me? (just for clarity I mean the regular thieves, not the banks) I don't want to be able to spray money at people with a vague gesture, I do not exist purely to be a consumer. I do not run out of work looking for the first thing to waste my money on, the extra hassle of having to, god forbid, get my wallet out of my pocket does not cause tachycardia as I panic under the weight of an un-wasted £2 at WHShite.

Simple solution to contactless security problems, turn all that crap off, we don't want it, we don't need it. I don't give a toss if VISA or Nokia or Microsoft "own" the NFC payments because I have no use for them. NFC is for the benefit of corporations, not customers and based on the current inability of the financial industry to even spell security the promises of security might as well claim that thieves currently have mobile credit card factories from which they can deploy clones of my card in 45 minutes. Perhaps they could hire Tony Blair to be the spokesperson for NFC then we could all understand?

US will fight ITU members for internet domination

The Cube

Re: Sooner this is done

You have clearly never had the good fortune to deal with the ITU if you think they would be any less bad at this than the US.

The ITU is populated by telecom companies working to prevent any risk of competition or consumer choice with a light sprinkling of government representatives working to make sure no progress at all is made. The organisation is entirely political and about as much value for normal people as a G8 summit.

Facebook shuts down face recognition APIs after all

The Cube

But isn't cloud supposed to be perfect?

Just leave it a couple of years until there are large numbers of real businesses who are dependent on this sort of service through other "cloud" providers who integrate third party services.

Then we'll see some proper enterprise complaining when key services disappear or become useless because evil globo-corp (or worse, Murdoch) has bought them and shut off all the cheap and free access. I'm sure none of the outsourcing will be reversed but there will be lots of angry complaining and Barclays grade denial from CIOs that any of it was their fault...

Hackers, bloggers 'bunged cash to spin for Iran 2.0'

The Cube
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So no different to us then?

I read the article and even with the regurgitated doom-mongering I completely fail to see any material difference between this and the relationship between SIS, GCHQ and BAE in the UK or countless relationships between NSA, CIA and ex Mossad dodgy types or the complete anal penetration of the US Govt by that bastion of evil, Blackwater.

Looks like Iran is becoming more like us, not less like us. Perhaps we can send them Cressida Dick to show their police how to cover up murdering innocent civilians as an outreach mission?

€165bn in e-commerce every year - and not a plastic card in sight

The Cube
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fraud isn't significantly higher among the 230 alternative payment mechanisms

So to put it more honestly; "the utterly crap 'security' offered by the credit card companies has been at least equalled, if not bettered by the other 230 payment operators"

Who should be surprised that the absolute minimum level of "we pass all the costs back to the customers and they are not even allowed to report it to the police, fork them whilst I buy myself another Bentley" security is, in fact, the minimum level? What a shocker!

I, for one, look forward to even more competition from other companies who might actually be able to spell security taking more money away from the negligent fat tossers who run Barclaycrud and their ilk.

Bit9 wants to bin 'broken' antivirus, install whitelisting tech

The Cube

Echoes of Active Directory Group Policy control here

Where MS let you define which executables were "allowed" on target machines.

Tested that for a while, turned it off and went back to regular rebuilds of client machines.

Nokia threatens to elbow Apple's rival nano-SIM off a cliff

The Cube

Please tell me you were missing the correct irony symbol

When you wrote "but this should not be a political decision even if patent politics has become endemic within the industry".

Because, if not, then you have clearly not seen how effectively ETSI and the ITU ensure that none of engineering, common sense, the best outcome for consumers, science or basic tenets of standardisation are allowed to get in the way of the politics those organisations were created to foster and support.

You might consider ETSI to be a sort of politics lighting rod set up to provide a discharge point for the enormous political charges that build up around telco operators and vendors where the in-fighting and back stabbing would make the Italian mafia cross themselves and leave quietly before they got hurt.

EU mobile biz barons agree to slash roaming charges

The Cube
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The wonderful irony of regulation forcing competition

Come on all you American and Tory party free market muppets, come and explain why it is that "the invisible hand of the market" is down your trousers stealing your wallet until the evil gubbernment steps in to regulate and only then do we see competition in the market driving prices down...

The key paragraph being;

"Come July 2014, customers will be able to shop around for the best deal and sign up for a separate mobile contract for roaming, the EC said. They can also expect to retain the same number under both contracts."

Which, when added to the cap on inter-operator charges enforces competition by letting operators who are not part of the price fixed cartel* offer customers their same service and number for less money than their existing operator.

* note that there does not need to be direct collusion or even intent to form a cartel, simple theory tells us that markets with high capital barriers to entry will always end up like this with customers being robbed because there is no benefit to any of the network operators in driving price competition, only a benefit to you consumers and you are a dairy herd to be milked.

Europe to assemble crack cyber-intelligence nerve centre

The Cube

Won't change anything for normal people

I'll bet the local plod still won't let you report a crime if it was in any way electronic, you'll still get the usual BS "report it to your bank sir" even though it is your bank or credit card company who are most likely responsible for the feeble security that allowed the non-crime to happen and will spend months dicking you about before you get a single penny back from them.

Cybercrime laws are there to protect rich companies and governments, not the people they are elected to serve, I won't be holding my breath waiting for this one to be any different.

If there is the slightest sign of this law being halfway decent then the banks and other lobbyists will be all over it like a rash to derail it before they have to learn how to spell "security". Here's a suggestion to make the criminals running the banks and credit card companies pay attention, whatever is stolen from their customers every year due to their feeble security comes off the personal bonus pool for the board of directors. We can apply this to the extortion scam that is "credit reference agencies" too, the total national losses from identity fraud where a "credit reference agency" sold credit check data to support the fraud without the permission of the person whom the data refers to should be paid by the "credit reference agencies". That would get rid of the leeches fast enough.

So, what IS the worst film ever made?

The Cube

You can't leave out Michael Caine's crime

Little Voice

An unspeakable act which should be used by the American Torturers at Guantanemo Bay to make the prisoners talk. "Tell us where the dirty bomb is or we turn the sound back up on Little Voice"

I know Mr Caine is responsible for some great films but nothing he does can ever remove the stain of Little Voice from his history or my memory.

Take your hands off me - I'm a tech VC superstar!

The Cube

Please tell me this is a guest post by Sacha Baron Cohen

And that there is a spoof film coming up where Baron Cohen plays a tosspot from the wrong public school with not quite enough connections who thinks he "gets" "web2.0" and "social"...

TDK BA100 earphones

The Cube

Re: Sorry but no

You've never had a set of balanced armature headphones have you...

The headphones you list are barely better than what comes in the box with most players. I used a set of CX-300 for about a week before moving on to something which did less mangling of the recording I was listening to.

As another has already commented though, at this price you are close to a pair of Shure or Westone IEMs and the TDK will have to be very good to compete with those. I personally found the Shure 425 to be feeble and thin, great for female vocal but utterly useless for rock or anything with bass. The westone 3, if you can get a seal blows away anything I have ever heard from Sennheiser, Klipsch, Shure etc. etc. Oh, and please don't even mention "farty bass by Dre" those horrors should result in a criminal conviction for grievous harm to audio.

Apple iPad 3 packs LAPTOP battery

The Cube

Got that the wrong way around

We could equally well say that what is lagging behind is the power efficiency and power management technology to provide the capabilities. If you look back over the history of battery powered compute devices such as mobile phones and laptops you'll see that most of the gain has come through reduction of energy consumption rather than increase in energy storage.

Vendors smack Thunderbolt punters with massive pricing markup

The Cube

Re: New Math?

Not new math but Marketing Math where incoherent bullshit is presented as fact. In this case it probably is a typo but even with the "correct" number I still wouldn't trust it further than I could throw it. There are liars, damned liars, statiticians, politicians, police, lawyers, RIAA lawyers and marketers.

Cisco vows to give 4,000 Brit kids a proper IT schooling

The Cube

Fine but let's not teach them tech paleontology

No problem with educating the kids in something that matters but please, please, please don't let two dinosaurs indoctrinate them with non-transferrable skills specific to their dying monopolies. What we absolutely don't need is more budding network engineers who have only been taught how to waste money on mountains of Cisco kit you don't need and network admins who think that Windows server is the only choice.

Lords say data roaming costs 'unacceptably high'

The Cube

Vodafone 25MB per day

Yes, this is a big improvement, it means I will use up to 25MB before switching to a local SIM, but let's remember they only did this because Ms Reding threatened them with the brown stick.

The problem for the robber barons at the mobile operators is the 1000x multiplier they are applying to the actual data backhaul cost between the remote network and their own network where they add the pointless crap their customers never wanted anyway and fiddle with all your packets.

The problem for the politicians will be that the mobile operators will threaten to egress the traffic locally in the country the phone is in meaning that the bottom inspectors won't be able to sift through all your data without a warrant any more. It will take several seconds for the excuse of terrorpaedos to come up and everything to go back to the way it was.

G-Cloud guru slaps down Cloud Store critics

The Cube
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Re: Headlines


I really do hope that G-Cloud works.

Having worked in places which fed from the teat of government programmes and seen how my tax gets spent I can vouch for why things cannot continue as they are. I am not just bashing the suppliers here, the fault seems to be fairly equally distributed between incompetent procurement on the part of the government departments who all want a custom everything because, you know, they really are a unique special snowflake and the suppliers who tend to be greedy and inept as an organisation. The rule of thumb was that if a government project needed "secure" then you charge 3 times what you charge commercial customers for exactly the same service. Again, not all supplier greed, the government customers will keep moving the goal posts and obstructing your delivery because they haven't got a clue what they actually need and can't write a service definition or specification.

As for not allowing individual SLAs, whoohoo! a voice of sense and reason is heard for once! Keep it up! I distinctly recall a project where the procuring department insisted that the service must meet a very high availability target to manage risk to life. I had to break the news to them weeks before go live that the contract they had negotiated and signed gave the requested availability excluding rather than including scheduled maintenance windows and that we would expect to see at least one less nine net service availability and maintenance outages of several hours.

Forcing the contract length down is another master stroke, no more low-bid and milk it all back with change request charges and additional fees over the 5 year lock in.

Again, I really hope you succeed with G-Cloud, buying IT services should not be stuck in the Victorian era, I do hope those who benefit from the current waste of public money don't manage to derail or distort the project too much.

Silicon Valley's assault on Mobile's Gated Kingdom

The Cube

I think you are missing some cultural telco issues Andrew

Telcos tend to be bloated bureaucracies full of unproductive staff who have very poor motivation levels due to an inability for anyone to achieve anything or to change the internal culture which stops them achieving. Many got this way by being a de-facto or royal chartered monopoly across large chunks of the globe and the mind set has not changed. Telcos are not a meritocracy where the innovative and productive get promoted, they are spat on and undermined by the herds of bovine wastrels who are still there because they can't get a job anywhere else and don't want to be shown up as useless and unproductive. The senior execs stay long enough to get a golden parachute and the good ones are gone well before it becomes obvious that their "changes" reinforced rather than addressed the underlying chronic issues.

In a telco, the investment case will be based on a 10 to 20 year lifecycle, the culture does not allow anything shorter than this, thus the need for uber standards that take ETSI or GSMA 5 years to bugger up, sorry, refine. You need standards like this if you are going to live with them for 20 years. This problem does not exist in the land of Twitter and Salesforce.

In a telco the management exist in a binary state of either;

a) No investment in new services, particularly non core, use all value added services to drive core network and billing traffic, that is our core business

b) We can't afford to be just a big dumb pipe, we must extend into the value added services, our pipes give us the competitive advantage over everyone else.

Clearly, these two result in an oscillation within the organisation rather than any sustained progress, any employee who could innovate and drive the dinosaur forward will leave in < 1.5 cycles or simply lose the will to live. Again, in an app store world this problem doesn't exist as the lean and agile app store vendor knows what they want to do and if they don't the other 5 just like them do and will out-compete them.

The Cube

More cultural issues

To cap off the cultural problems with telcos;

There is no real competition in the telco world, just like petrol stations, banks and every other mature market they all know that reducing prices only benefits customers, not vendors. The telcos have armies of people who went to school, served with or otherwise know key government personnel and regulators to make sure no nasty surprises come from that direction (thus the true scale of Ms Reding's achievements). The telcos also work very hard to ensure that their pricing cannot be usefully compared to any "competitor" pricing by ensuring the plans are sufficiently different. This leads to a poorly informed customer base which produces the inefficient market they need and keeps the customers as the prey.

Combine this culture of ensuring that all changes are slow and gradual so that the big players going in are still the big players afterwards (this is what industry standards bodies are really for) and the tacit agreement that you can compete on everything but reduced price or margin and you get the modern telco market. The companies who control the networks have such vast sums of money locked up in them that they make real estate investors look high-risk.

What is asked for if the telcos are to survive this at all is for one or more of the players who own the infrastructure to change the entire culture of their organisation and even so, they'll still be too big to innovate at the speed of the small players. They'll try to do what the banks do and be parasitic in the payment stream but Apple has already demonstrated they can be bypassed for this. They'll also try to prevent really disruptive services from using "their" network but this will be a managed retreat from regulators. It will be a bumpy and unpleasant road with many pitfalls (for the customers and shareholders) but I really don't see a Telco making big enough changes to do anything other than slow the inevitable.

Orange to impose overseas data cap to beat bill shock

The Cube

Data doesn't even need to be routed back to the UK ???

Unfortunately you are quite wrong here.

The mobile carriers have to route all the data back to the home network for two important (not to the customer) reasons.

1) So that your government can be sure they can snoop on you without a warrant or your permission, how are they going to do that if all your traffic doesn't go through a facility within their jurisdiction?

2) So that the mobile carrier can dick about with your data and do things like embed you mobile number in the HTTP headers so they can get in the billing stream. If they are not in the billing stream how are they going to keep their dirty little paws in your pocket? If you just "get to the Internet" then you have realised their worst fear and turned them into what they really are, just a dumb commoditised pipe.

The fix to this is easy, I have a wallet full of local PAYG SIM cards for all the countries Vodatheft want to rob me for (i.e. those that Ms Reding didn't fix such as the USA). I put the PAYG with the local number (which all the people there want to call me on anyway) into my "smart" phone and put the VodaSIM into a cheap Nokia dumb phone so people can still call my UK number.

Barack Obama: Bland, predictable and cheesy ... on Spotify

The Cube

"They'd better not be listening to it on a Zune" ??

I think you'll find your bought and paid for politicians have their campaign manager assemble a playlist of legally purchased media on the device of the largest sponsor of their election campaign. If that is Microsoft then I am sure they will apparently use a Zune if it is Google then I am sure it will be a streaming service....

Oracle inhales Taleo for $1.9bn

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Cue mass exodus from Taleo before Larry bankrupts the customers

Yes, I can say "Sun Microsystems" I can also say "You have 12 months to get everything we have off Solaris" as most sysadmins were told. When even banks are terrified of what will happen to the annual cost when Larry the Vampire gets his fangs into them you know the price gouging is bad.

So now we get to watch 200 major companies decide if they are still able to migrate off this platform before the prices go all Oracle and if not decide whether they should just file Chapter 11 now rather than wait for the invoice from Oracle.

Googorola's desire for iPhone royalties will upset Apple cart

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"it would only take 45 patents" ???


If the royalty is 2.5% of the net selling price then, even by Apple's fantastic margins I think you'll find that it requires a lot less than 100% of the selling price to reduce the profit to zero....

Perhaps a semester of business studies is in order?

Cisco recalls suicidal UCS blade servers

The Cube

"no no in the enterprise server racket"

And definitely when your "enterprise" tin comes in as the most expensive way to buy a box for an Intel chip by a huge margin with no real excuse. People who have paid through the nose for a commodity X86 server just to have a Cisco badge on the front won't be happy about components going bang.

I wonder how far down the field notice the warning about disabling the VESDA fire detection in any data centre with UCS installed is hidden???

The Register Comments Guidelines

The Cube

What about the astroturf then?

Whilst I appreciate the issue that some people like Microsoft and others prefer Fruity tin and you don't want fanboy flame wars (that is what ZDnet is for) you cannot be seriously trying to say that there is no astroturf on el Reg?

I have read (and commented on) quite a few articles which look suspiciously like the stuff that my corporate PR agency pay "journalists" to write and then pimp round various outlets. These are very easy to spot once you are familiar with the method, they talk about a technology or a product category without any reasonable balance and in entirely credulous and uncritical terms (thinking of a particular article on retail payment tech here). The article will only obliquely name the sponsor, if at all, but will clearly be trying to create the impression that the sponsor's product or service is meeting a deeply important and necessary need and should be welcomed with open arms.

As for the infestation of "corporate reputation management" slime in the comments, it is well above zero and we all know this, when will el-Reg face up to this obvious reality and provide an astroturf icon for these posters to be clearly labelled with, tis easy, just add to the Vote Up / Vote Down a "Vote Astroturf" option then it takes a reasonable number of people rather than just one basement dwelling fanboy...

NAO: British bobbies wasting £80m BlackBerry stash

The Cube
Thumb Up

John, you've clearly never been involved in procurement..

In any large corporate or government funded org the way procurement works is that the sales gimp for the vendor humps the leg of the budget holder in the target customer until they give in and say "I need to demonstrate how this investment will yield cost savings". The sales gimp then goes round the target org and finds all the expensive inefficiencies they can and makes up completely unrealistic ways in which their magic tech could, in another universe, downhill with a following wind, reduce these inefficiency costs. These costs, by the way, are guessed at by the sales gimp because the corporate / government funded agency is completely unable to explain any of it's costs, it is too busy being an inefficient corporate (or in the case of the Met killing civilians and evading prosecution). The sales gimp then adds up the total guess (erm cost) and this is presented as the "saving".

Fast forward a couple of years and shock, horror! none of the savings have materialised but the sales gimp has his / her commission and the purchasing budget holder has moved on to another job based on the enormous imaginary cost savings they "achieved" in their previous role, having carefully legged it before anyone realised there was nothing behind the curtain.

The fact that the NAO finds any improvement should be cause for celebration for anything that has gone through government procurement, look on the bright side, they could have spent all that money with Capita....