* Posts by BigAndos

351 posts • joined 12 Jun 2012


Google Cloud started running its servers for an extra year, still loses billions


Re: Hope GCP survives

Agree, I've only used GCP in anger but colleagues who have used AWS as well say GCP is easier to work with. I'm also worried about the future of GCP. I think its probably unlikely that they would can it completely but we use some fairly niche services and I'm concerned they might start removing the less popular ones!

Thanks, Sir Clive Sinclair, from Reg readers whose careers you created and lives you shaped


Without the spectrum 48k my dad bought when I was about 5 I doubt I'd be in the IT industry with a decent career today. Thank you Sir Clive.

UK promises big data law shake-up... while also keeping the EU happy, of course. What could go wrong?


Probably typical Boris-style bluster and blather. There will be lots of noise about it, a few years of talking and then multinationals will kick up a big fuss if it endangers our "adequacy" status.

Apple to summon staff back to the office in September


I really can't decide where the remote working situation will end up. I love working from home for the extra time it gives me, the money I save and not having to go into London every day. I'm definitely starting to miss the social aspects though and I do worry about how we'll train up new employees or kick off new projects long term. I suspect most companies will end up with a mixture so Apple's policy is probably reasonable. I do wonder how many companies that ditched lots (or even all) of their office space will row back on it after a year or two.

You'd have told them they should have used Apple/Google app model, right? NHSX seeks willing humans to fill health tech and data roles


Yeah seems like a director level position that I would expect to be well into six figures. Where I work senior developers can get fairly close to £90k.

Zoom records another bumper quarter as pandemic rumbles on, but Wall Street types quiz execs on how long it can last


Zoom has successfully made video conferencing easy(ish) and it has proven reliable under massively increased load so I suspect it will be here to stay. Most large companies are looking to permanently increase homeworking for suitable roles. Even if many or most people will not be at home full time, they will need to communicate with people who are at home. E.g. If I'm in the office 3 days i week i will still need to talk to people who might be at home on those 3 days.

So the number of meetings might drop, but I don't think many large companies will get rid of video conferencing tools once the pandemic is over. Looking at the competition,we used cisco webex for years but that was comparatively hard to use with a desktop app that crashed all the time and it would die in a heap if you tried to use video. Then when the pandemic hit it completely died as it obviously couldn't scale! We have google meet, which is much easier to use even than zoom but has pants video quality and limited features. Not tried teams, but zoom is certainly well placed against those two services.

AMD claims high-end Big Navi Radeon GPUs leave Nvidia's ray-tracing cards in the dust


But will you actually be able to buy one? I gave up and cancelled my 3080 preorder after a few weeks. I'm expecting demand for these cards to far outstrip supply as everyone frustrated with NVIDIA will want one! Decided just to get a refurbished 2070S for now and maybe upgrade next year when supply evens out and we know more about the true comparison of these cards

It's that time of the year when Apple convinces you last year's iPhones weren't quite magical enough, so buy this new 5G iPhone 12 instead


12 looks OK but I'll be sticking with my XS until it breaks or 5G is widespread! Does everything I need and Apple stuff does last well. My wife's 2013 ipad is still going strong.

Now Nvidia's monster GeForce RTX 3090 cards snaffled up by bots, scalpers – if only there had been a warning


The GPU market seems to attract the same levels of fanboy-ism that consoles do. I'm in the market for a new GPU to replace my ageing 960 GTX. I'll wait to see what AMD bring out but I'm edging towards a 3080 at the moment. However, I'll be purchasing next year so stock and pricing settle down.

I'll look forward to AMD and Nvidia fanboys having screaming rows about things like CUDA Cores in comments on news articles when neither person clearly has the first idea what they're actually arguing about.

I can see my house from here! Microsoft Flight Simulator has laid strong foundations for the nerdy scene's next generation


I'm going to take basic edition for a spin via gamepass and see if my puny 960 GTX can handle it before I buy it

Containers to capture 15% of all enterprise apps across 75% of business by 2024


Gartner astonish me. They are no better than anyone vaguely technically savvy at predicting the future of IT and yet somehow lots of senior IT leaders still "manage by Gartner" and base a lot of their purchasing decisions on the "magic" quadrant.

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy


I don't totally trust google or apple but I suspect their solution is at least more likely to work than an NHS totally home grown solution. NHS doesn't have the best track record with IT projects.

Zoom vows to spend next 90 days thinking hard about its security and privacy after rough week, meeting ID war-dialing tool emerges


The security issues are very concerning, but hats off to them for coping with a 20 fold increase in users in a few months. Webex has been appalling for the last few weeks and hangouts meet seems to display about 5 pixels from everyone's webcam despite the mighty Google running it. Lets just hope they can improve the security and privacy issues without killing off the performance.

IT services sector faces armageddon as COVID-19 lockdown forces project cancellations – analysts


Re: That's one point of view

Our board are currently reviewing our estate of projects and a lot will be cancelled or deferred to 2021. We use the a few of the big Indian outsourcing firms for project "resources" so I expect us to be scaling back the spend we make with them where contracts allow, quite significantly in the short term.

UK enters almost-lockdown: Brits urged to keep calm and carry on – as long as it doesn't involve leaving the house


Re: Keep calm and capitalise on the circumstances

There is definitely a black market for groceries! I was looking for red lentils and kleenex tissues, both for sale at vastly inflated prices on ebay but out of stock everywhere else! E.g people attempting to flog 500g of lentils for £15 on ebay, usually about £1-£2 in the shops. Luckily stock levels are gradually returning to normal so these opportunists will be out of pocket soon.

IBM fires up the big iron, Facebook hands out masks, Cisco splashes cash, and CDC gets an Azure-powered bot


Cisco might be better off spending some of that money on webex infrastructure. We've found it has gone done or performed badly from 9am to 10am UK time every day like clockwork! I assume every techie in the UK is attempting to join their mandatory morning "stand up" at the same time...

Data surge as more Brits work from home? Not as hard on the network as their nightly Netflix binges, claims BT


Hmmm my BT infinity connection is about half the speed it normally is during the day at the moment! Still getting 20Mbps so definitely usable. I'm more worried about my company's shoddy VPN and ageing citrix infrastructure, we've already had a few issues.

Rockstar dev debate reopens: Hero programmers do exist, do all the work, do chat a lot – and do need love and attention from project leaders


All developers are not equal! Just like any job, some people are good at it and some aren't. I think a real hero developer is not just technically competent and quick at coding, but also good at communicating and happy to spend time mentoring and explaining things.

HPE goes on the warpath, attacks AWS over vendor lock-in


My company is busy migrating from on premise to Google cloud. They keep telling us about how we aren't locked in and how easy it is to move to another vendor. Anyone with any technical knowledge at all can tell us there is de facto lock in however easy they claim to make it.

Sure you can run a docker image on any cloud, but the scripting to build, deploy and manage that image will vary between cloud providers. Plumbing like setting up VPNs / interconnects all take time and money and will have to be redone if you move providers. Potentially you end up paying for and managing multiple interconnects while you do a phased migration. Anything you do with a data service like BigQuery probably has to be thrown anyway and redesigned from scratch if you move to another cloud's services.

Of course if you deployed on premise you still have the same issues, once you have invested time and effort into making one product or service work there is ALWAYS a cost in moving to another one even if old and new both sit in your own data centre. At least with cloud you haven't had to spend out on hardware and licenses up front.

Samsung Galaxy S11 tipped to escalate the phone cam arms race with 108MP sensor


Sounds like another one where marketing wanted a big number to shout about! My phone has a 12MP camera which takes perfectly good photos cheers.

Taxi for Uber: Ride-hailing app giant stripped of licence to operate in London


There are but Uber has the best combination of price/coverage/lack of randomly refusing certain destinations. It also works internationally and really helps get over the language barrier when travelling.

Many minicab firms only pick up within certain areas around their office, apart from Addison Lee who charge an arm and a leg.

Black taxi availability is highly variable outside of the centre especially late at night, and then you run into "not going to xyz/south of the river this time of night mate". Their fares get expensive very quickly, although over short journeys they actually compare well to Uber especially as the drivers aren't just mindlessly following an app and can pick the best route.

Uber are a reprehensible company but they have a fantastic product. I just wish they charged a bit more but invested it into safety and driver welfare.

London has decent 5G availability but speeds lag behind Birmingham and Cardiff – research


I'd be happy with decent 4G

I remember when 4G was shiny and new and no one had it, I was an early adopter and regularly got speed tests of 50-60Mbps. Now everyone has it I'm lucky to get 10 as every cell is so overloaded. Be interesting to see how 5G holds up after a year or two. It'll probably be a congested mess and the operators will be banging on about 6G as the answer! All this is assuming you can get coverage, there are still big gaps in 4G and even 3G coverage even inside major cities.

Median speeds for UK 5G four times faster than 4G, but still way behind US and South Korea


Re: such bollocks is spoken about this subject

Yes agree completely. I live *just* outside the M25 in the countryside. I get the train into work in London every day and there are still black spots with no usable phone signal at all, not even for calls. Weirdly the worst of these black spots are well inside Greater London in built up areas (perhaps the network is just overloaded).

I'm unlikely to ever use my phone for anything more data intensive than streaming an HD video from netflix (maybe 4K at a push but hardly necessary) in the near future. 4G would be more than adequate if the coverage was there.

If they can roll out decent speed 5G with near universal coverage I obviously won't argue against it, I'm just not convinced it will happen. 4G was supposed to save us from bad coverage and hasn't even achieved than in one of the world's major cities, although it is good when it is available!

Will someone think of the taxpayer? UK.gov needs to stop burning billions on shoddy procurement, says Reform


Re: Nice try sisters and brothers, but...

They'd probably outsource writing the policy to Capita...


Re: Growth or Real Cost?

This happens in the private sector too, especially with technology projects. Most organisations make it very hard to get business cases for IT projects approved which leads to artificially low costs being approved, followed by overruns when the project is underway.

You also have the optimism bias with any estimates/costings that assume most things will go well and there are no scope gaps. Of course once you've started spending on a project it is always seen as preferable to "just keep going" and add budget when sometimes a badly specified project should just go back to the drawing board....

If you really can't let go of Windows 7, Microsoft will keep things secure for another three years


Re: "For a fee, of course"

Sadly many workplaces will block users from installing anything like that so you're left with the default Windows interface. I can't even set the desktop background or taskbar colour scheme on my work machine!

Dunkin do-nots: Deep-fried cake maker did not warn its sugar addicts that crooks raided web accounts, says NY AG


Everyone and their dog wants your personal details! Why on earth do dunkin donuts need you to create an account? I assume you get some kind of incentive like a free donut for every 10 you buy or something. What's wrong with just giving you a stamp card like my local coffee shop?

Marketers everywhere are obsessed with "personalisation" and want to hoover up all your data even when it is blatantly unnecessary like this, or just sell it on. The other day I tried to install Nvidia's utility to keep your graphics drivers up to date and even that wanted me to create an account (no thank you).

We asked for your Fitbit horror stories and, oh wow, did you deliver: Readers sync their teeth into 'junk' gizmos


Device good, app garbage

I have a FitBit Versa which I *was* really happy with until recently. The battery lasts four days, auto activity detection works and its waterproof and until July I was a very happy customer. Then it stopped syncing and getting notifications. I contacted fitbit support via chat and after a fruitless hour uninstalling and reinstalling the app, rebooting the fitbit etc they suddenly announced my phone is "no longer supported" so tough luck. Great service.

I put the app on my iPad and gave that a go. For first two weeks I was happy, Fitbit synced perfectly. Then, oh dear, it has stopped syncing again. Every couple of days I have to unpair it in bluetooth and re-pair it to get the app syncing just long enough to get my data over. Then it dies again. If Fitbit don't fix this garbage app I will never buy one again!

Here's to beer, without which we'd never have the audacity to Google an error message at 3am


It still amazes me just how many IT workers are incapable of using Google and doing any research into an issue themselves! 9/10 times someone comes to me asking for technical guidance with an error message and the answer is the top result on google...

And we're back live with the state of the smartphone market in 2019. Any hope? Yeah, nah


Re: Perhaps there is a positive story here as well?

1) and 2) and price gouging definitely! I buy second hand phones now. £900 new is just too much for a "flagship" phone, that if its an android may only get major OS updates for 1 or 2 years. Apple's flagships even higher prices but at least they get supported longer I guess.

News aggregator app Flipboard hacked: All passwords reset after hackers pinch user data


"half a billion installs" probably about 12 by choice, always had to disable it when getting a new phone!

Apple, Samsung feel the pain as smartphone market slumps to lowest shipments in 5 YEARS


I replaced my Pixel with a Moto G6 plus that cost me £170. Only meaningful drawbacks are camera is worse (but still good enough for everyday use) and I've already had the sole major OS update I'll get. Other than that its responsive, plenty of storage and the battery lasts twice as long.


The problem is they rely on annual upgrades to prop up revenues and now there is little innovation people just replace when broken. I don't need new meaningless "features" like animated emojis every year. I think we'll start to see concerns on sustainability hurt the market (and all of retail too). Making phones and shipping them all over the world, then landfilling due to designed-in obsolescence, is very polluting and I think more and more people will worry about this. I'd be looking to make money out of repair and recycle operations if I was a phone maker, and make the damn things easier to fix.

How do you like them Apples? Tim Cook's iPhones sitting in the tree, feeling unloved by the Chinese


iPhones have just gotten too expensive. I thought about going back to iPhone as I'm fed up with Android makers abandoning you after one major OS update (if you're lucky) but just couldn't justify the price. They are a nice bit of kit but just not worth those prices in terms of the utility you get.

The Palm Palm: The Derringer of smartphones


Well this is a solution looking for a problem. I honestly cannot see the point of this thing, especially at £350.

Microsoft to rule the biz chat roost – survey


We use both hangouts (part of google apps for business) and slack for some reason. Slack's only selling points I've seen is the ease of creating new channels and for people to join and leave them. It mainly seems to be used here to send animated gifs and waste time.

Android creator Andy Rubin's firm might think its phone is Essential, but 30% of staff are not


I hate how addicted I am to my phone, tablet etc. On a recent holiday I decided not to pay for data roaming and just unplug. I caved in to free wifi occasionally but actually felt much better for properly switching off, with 90% of my screen time reading books on Kindle. I was also shocked at how many people were even worse than I normally am. We did a beautiful hike on Hong Kong island with stunning scenery and saw group after group people doing said hike while staring at their phones! HK airport even has signs on all the travelators saying "please don't just stare at your phone look where you're going"!

Spoiler alert: Google's would-be iPhone killer Pixel 3 – so many leaks


I bought the original Pixel XL 128GB second hand for £350 back in the spring, cracking phone for the money. It does pay to be a generation behind those that must have the latest shiny shiny!

All aboard the Hype Cycle! What's DataOps? Well, it has no standards or frameworks. Got it?


"without any standards or frameworks"

Most companies I've worked for have been handling data like that for years. Turns out they were all marketing leaders and way ahead of their time!

Canny Brits are nuking the phone bundle


Handsets are just too expensive now to buy a top spec one at full price. I've got a bad history of losing/dropping/breaking phones so no way I'm shelling out £900 on this year's flagships, monthly instalments or otherwise. My most recent phone was the previous Pixel XL for £340 from a second hand shop. Perfectly good and not as bad as losing the £800 I would have spent on a Pixel 2 XL when I inevitably break it.

Unpicking the Pixel puzzle: Why Google is struggling to impress


I was drawn to a Pixel 2 by the promise of fast updates, no bloatware and longer support for Android upgrades. However, I just couldn't stomach the price! I ended up buying a mint condition Pixel XL second hand for £350. Pretty happy with it all in, especially getting Pie right away. However, most phone users probably don't even understand what an OS update is so Google really need to find ways to differentiate especially if they want to charge premium prices.

I think they would be better off going after the mid market in the short term. If they made a £500 mid range phone with average CPU/RAM, removable battery and SD card slot I would be handing over my cash right away.

The volume of data collection is increasingly concerning me however. I've always been a bit (too) relaxed about this in the past but recent stories about how they still track your location even when switched off etc are alarming. I may end up going to iPhone at some stage assuming Apple are any better...

Span hits F#, LinkedIn gets mumbly, and UWP (yes, it's still clinging on) furnished with new toys


Voice messages on Linked in? Oh dear lord does that mean I'm going to get audio ramblings from recruiters now as well as message spam? This might finally make me delete my LinkedIn account!

LG G7 ThinkQ: Ropey AI, but a feast for sore eyes and ears


I had a G3 a few years ago. Got fed up waiting for non existent Android updates, and LG's interface was really laggy. In the end the phone slowed down a lot and despite factory resets I had to give up on it. I think these days you might as well either go Pixel or iPhone to ensure regular software updates, or buy some no name handset from China that's easy to flash with your ROM of choice.

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?


Re: Slight variation

I've noticed an unfortunately increase in people doing this on the train, usually whoever is doing feels the need the shout as the speakerphone picks up all the background noise of the train. I don't understand how people can be so oblivious or uncaring of those around them!

HTC U12+: You said we should wait and review the retail product. Hate to break it to you, but...


What's wrong with buttons? They're simple and they work. Mind you I still put my phone down and reach for a computer/laptop with a proper keyboard if I need to type more than one or two sentences. I think all these phone manufacturers are arbitrarily removing or changing things for the sake of it now just so they have something to put in their marketing spiel.

Google says Pixel 2's narcoleptic display is being fixed in June update


I like my Pixel XL but increasingly glad I've skipped a generation!

Dixons to shutter 92 UK Carphone Warehouse shops after profit warning


Last time I went in I just needed a PAYG sim as I had a gap in service for a few days. They wouldn't sell me one without fairly aggressive questioning on why I needed it (obviously desperate to find an angle to upsell me). I found it a bit rude and frustrating, almost walked out but there was nowhere else handy. They have a lot of shops in prime town centre locations I don't understand why they don't try and diversify them a bit. Now Maplins is gone surely they could add a few selected profitable electronics lines too? That and replace the aggressive and patronising sales droids.

Look how modern we are! UK network Three to kill off 3G-only phones


Will they have to rebrand themselves to "Four" now?

Uber says it's changed and is now ever-so ShinyHappy™


Yeah the ease is the main thing, no ringing round lots of mini cab offices or trying flag down a taxi. We've also found it really useful on holiday, your account "just works" as long as you are in a location that Uber operates in. 100% easier than trying to phone for a cab in a foreign language.

What I really want is an app that lets me search across black cabs and minicabs, I don't mind paying more than Uber if the drivers are treated better and are safer. However, we had Hailo try to do this in London and the black cabbies all started protesting when they tried to bring Minicabs into the app as well. Groan!

Twitter cries for help to solve existential crisis of whether it's Good


I don't like the way users on Twitter become so polarised and dehumanise those they are tweeting at. Seriously some of the abuse you see dished out online people would never dare to say face to face.

This does apply everywhere over the internet but the sheer volume of users mean things quickly blow out of proportion on Twitter and I think it has become a very unhealthy place. I only use it to tweet the train company to ask what is happening during disruption and even then I've had sarky replies from other users for no apparent reason.



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