* Posts by M.D.

47 posts • joined 19 Oct 2012

Privacy warriors haul NSA into court, demand swift end to mass call snooping

Big Brother

Re: @ Wowfood

Look, I know that you are a bit slow and dimwitted, as evidenced by your charmingly frank nickname, so I will explain this to you slowly and using as many small words as possible....

- it takes quite a long time to setup a party to win an election

- the Courts in this country are already 'independent' of political parties. Clearly, under Wowfoods' view; they would be as compromised as anything else.

- these are the nice, easy to underestand replies. I'll respect your dimwittedness and not go into any detail as to how your fatuous reply doesnt answer any of the current issues at hand regarding the outrageous liberties 'security' services take with our freedoms in the name of so-called anti-terrorism.

While I'm here though - I will note that every time I hear some security apologist whinge that Snowden has given the security coup of the decade to Al-Qaeda; I laugh at such Nursery-Rhyme justification of the fact that they have no actual answer to those actions that are patently illegal (let alone being bothered to justify anything under that could be described as 'grey' activities - and lets not even bother with the paltry fig-leaf of 'legality' they have setup).

Now - would you like some hay?

Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED


Re: There's a very simple cure

I always take a calm, diplomatic approach when confronted by shiny-smiled 'queue-helper' types. When they suggest I use the self-serve; I fix them with a manic look and tell 'em it'll be a cold day in Hell before I go near those infernal machines.

They usually go away quite quickly...

Uh-oh Google Glassholes: Sugar daddy Intel strokes HUD goggles upstart


Re: make hopeless geeks look totally ridiculous

I don't know about "colossal cynics"; more like "colossal Conservatives".

Increasingly, El Reg & Readers have encompassed sarcasm over satire.

Personally, I think Google Glass is at least an example of something new. Who knows where it will take us? Ponderous so-called wit (I mean, "Glassholes" for Pete's sake - straight out of the schoolyard that one).

Unimpressed. Very.

...and for the 'don't read then' brigade, given that in '97 El Reg was permanent fixture on my desktop and these days it's something that deserves no more than a headline-skim every other day...QED

That earth-shattering NSA crypto-cracking: Have spooks smashed RC4?


Re: re: Why would we have known about it?

@Ted Treen

Ho-Hum, here we go again. It's all the fault of the Unions. Yup. Union activity destroyed Manufacturing. Ah-huh. Just like that other (even MORE Union dominated Country...) Germany. Yup.

Er...hang on...

Don't tell the D-G! BBC-funded study says Beeb is 'too right wing'


Left, Right, Left, Right: Marching to the establishment..l.

Personally, I'm of the view that the BeeB is simply full of middle-class toadies who (Left & Right) simply ensure their continued access to information by slavishly following the message PR delivered by whoever is in Government....it goes a long way to explaining the perennial view that 'conservatives' think its a Marxist hotbed and 'socialists' think its a Right-Wing think-tank.

The recent reporting on Syria is a case in point (being equally supported/panned by both left & right) as it eerily reflects the "we have proof but we cannot show you coz it's a secret", Iraq-War approach by Labour Gov, expertly re-hashed by this Conservative Gov; laced with a complete disregard of the wider Publics' scathing distaste for the whole affair (as evidenced by the fact that neither BBC TV or Radio covered it's OWN Commissioned survey last week that found over 70% of the public were against military engagement - they did have a small article on the website tho').

Left? Right? A plague on any house that isn't in Power is, I think, the reality

Unreal: Epic’s would-be Doom... er... Quake killer



I understand some of the comments about 'sterility' but, for me, the colour of the Unreal Universe brought an entirely new level of appreciation - I still recall just standing in some of the screen scenes, absorbing the detail/colour and being amazed!

UT though, by 'eck, I became an absolute fanatic at that game, even going as far as getting it to work on Linux (where the graphics were far more 'accurate/pin-point') loved that game so much :)

US gov SMASHES UP TVs and MICE to nuke tiny malware outbreak


April 1st...

Clearly, the EDA needs to get its PR together, they are over 3 months late with this April Fools' gag.

Hang on, you mean it's real?............

UK.gov to drive stake through heart of big IT outsourcing deals


Re: Go Team "Oligopoly" ;-)

Argh, the "5 9's" debate; you are ringing many bells with that one. On one occasion I found myself in a "full & frank" conversation with a large-Departmental CTO. He wanted us to underwrite 99.999 for a piece of software. When I mentioned the software company would only guarantee 99.5 his answer was "I don't care" - we charged a huge premium for the extra few .49 - madness.

Our Tax money at work <grrr>


Go Team "Oligopoly" ;-)


So, it's all the fault of the nasty, wicked oligarchic IT 'cabals' is it? Nothing to do with over a decade of Gov decisions to push the work to outsourcers in the mad belief that it was a cost saving?


Current costs to deliver are sooo expensive then? I suppose that has nothing to do with outrageously complex RFP/ITT processes (which incidentally help mid/senior civil servants increase the size of their fiefdom as they request more & more staff to cope with the Bid Process). The current system requires massively complex business processes to be delivered with almost zero tolerance service downt-time and active failover systems that cost a fortune. Having led dozens of Bids as a paid-up "oligarch" I've lost count of the number of times I've had offers to reduce cost by reducing complexity rebuffed by Civil Servants.


So, a system that currently delivers on 1.5% of Gov IT Budget, after 3 years of pain and the combined "oligarchs" having spent twice as much in responding to requests than the Gov has put in contracts; will deliver a 48.5% uplift in its share of Gov Business in 2 years?

I may stop laughing by Friday....

...doubt it though

Leaked docs: GCHQ spooks secretly haul in more data than NSA


"If you've got nothing to hide..."

I'd like to spend the time explaining the oh so many ways in which your statement is superficial, 1-dimensional and without serious merit of any kind. However, given your evident intellectual limitations, I think instead I will respond with a depth of clarity commensurate with your original statement:

You're an idiot.

(if, on the other hand, your statement aligns to your choice to go AC and therefore underscores a brilliantly subtle satirical irony - why didn't you give us a clue you bounder? :-0 I have to admit my bets on the former)

COLD BALLS OF FLAME light up International Space Station


Old School "Chemics"

Amused to hear on the Vid the phrase "not hither and yon throughout the flame" (around 2:15 into clip).

Fabulous! I didn't realise that NASA employed 17th Century language in its experiments. Clearly, this explains how the "Space Race" has been running in reverse for the last few decades...they need their Boffins to catch up (and get over the fact that steam-punk is not a revolutionary new inter-solar power source perhaps? ;)

IT staff clamouring to pay for their own BYOD kit, says survey


Re: Get over it

LoL! Thanks for making my Point - it's NOT your Network, your the person employed to Support a Network, the people who make the money will do what they need to do. Time to stop whining and start thinking how you can support your Customers (remember them, they make sure you get a cheque regularly)

The customer wants BYOD, start earning your cash by providing them with a service instead of impersonating BOFH and perhaps the Marketing Dept won't end up with 80% of the IT budget...


Get over it

When I had my first GUI based computer at home, I knew the Company green-screen system was doomed. It was more intuitive, I was more productive, I quickly started taking home work because I'd get it done in half the time. The core technical support teams complained about security, support & fitness-for-use. Didn't matter, people could see the most portent benefit - they got things done faster.

Fast-forward about 20 years. In that time I've done 1st/2nd/3rd Line, built Apps & Architected complete IT solutions. I think I'm aware of the so-called 'issues' from both sides. So, here's some thoughts:

Security (1) - stopping people taking work info? Are you nuts? I dare you to tell me that you cannot think of several ways to work around that issue with so-called locked-down kit, start with email & work your way through to Network Drives that happen to be on your home network - of course, if you work in Defence or someing it's different but, the ultra minority case does not prove the overwhelming majority fact: any member of staff who wants to get info out, will.

Security(2): - malware et-al. When was the last time you saw kit without modern AV/Firewall/anti-phishing software on it? More importantly, will you tell me you've never seen malware get through into a Corporate system? Really? Well I have (at 3 separate major global IT giants, to say nothing of their customer networks). Don't kid yourself that yur corporate security systems are anything better than the commercial equivalent - in fact they probably ARE the commercial equivalent. When my 70-odd year old Mum tells ME that she's just had the latest version of Norton installed, I know that security systems are in the public psyche!

Support: apart from the ease at which it's simply stated that anyone going BYOD must have some kind of support in place - or (even more likely) simply state that if they don't have the kit they can't do the job, ergo - why are they still working here? The support issue - what's its outcome? That workers can't work coz their kit is down? Have you seen how long it takes an internal support team to fix a broken laptop? The despair starts when the Automated email response tells your that your non-working kit comes under the "72-hour" fix policy (if yur lucky!!), then when you finally get to a room somewhere (never at your own office) they look at you as if you died in the night & say "oh, it will take a day or two to get to - we will ring you". Bah, I cannot believe that some IT folks have the nerve to state that technical support is an essential element.

Bottom line - BYOD immensely popular with the people who pay your (IT is a support function, remember?) wages.

The reasons generally cited for not going BYOD are specious at best.

It's happening. Get over it. Better still, find a way to support the folks going there - that way you may not be marginalised

<dons flame-retardant coat>

Last time CO2 was this high, the world was underwater? No actually


Re: So, that's all right then!

"Anything over 1metre will flood most coastal cities,including London & New York"

I love (not!) this kind of alarmist generalisation. A 1m rise may flood parts of many places, but surprisingly little. For example, Regents Park (pretty much central in London) sits at 41m and almost all of Manhattan sits at around 15m, except when you get out toward Harlem (where it starts rising rapidly).

...and where does this radical data come from? Well, that will be analysing contour lines on a map- tricky stuff I know but, astonishingly, it allows me to root my view in factual data not assertion.

Generalisations from the FUD of climate-alarmists continually expose their tendency to make huge sweeping conclusions from select data - & then they wonder why we aren't all running around shouting "we're doomed" & are aghast when we DONT blindly agree with them!

Climate-cooling effect 'stronger than volcanoes' is looking solid


Re: So in other words (warning, Heretical thinking within)

"Yet Nature is failing to regulate ever rising CO2 levels."

Really? In what time-frame? I mean, should you look over any significant geological time frame you can clearly see that the Planet has had frequent periods where CO2 levels have been higher AND lower than they are today. Bit of a leap I know but, either that implies 'regulation' or God/SpaceFolks/Elves popped down and waved a magic wand. I guess that if your going to talk about planetary biosphere regulation try to view it beyond a quick dose (i.e. <12k years of 'modern' human existence) of time

AWS says private clouds are vaporware


Private Clouds? Chestnuts-R-Us

I'm surprised Selipsky wasted his breath on this old chestnut. Most of us in the Cloud game stopped having this argument around 2008...

YES it's true that Private Clouds very rarely exhibit the NIST 'essential characteristics'

IT's also True that the NIST definition contains reference to Private Cloud as a service model (though they clearly view it as relevant for Corporations that follow the Business Unit model and are capable of service orientation of their internal products)

It's also a case that, IMO, you can't leverage the scale (eg App Eco-system) in a Private context

Frankly, most so-called Private Clouds are little more than heavily virtualised data-centres,

Trouble is...So what? It doesn't really affect the AWS business model (and hints that Amazon are worried should be treated with the joviality they so clearly deserve!) ... Those who love 'em will use 'em and those that don't, won't.

....that's pretty much where the interested/argumentative left it in 2008. Let sleeping pooches lie, I say ;)

Netbooks projected to become EXTINCT by 2015


Re: I think we should be talking about the death of Ultrabooks...

...except, this is a talk about the death of Netbooks.

Y'know, because facts (i.e. Sales data) outway misty-eyed opinions.

People will not engage in mass no-purchase (an idea so patently absurd it drove me out of 'read-only' apathy!)

Why? gosh, I guess that's because they are already buying alternatives!

Rattling on about how good a Netbook is to use makes no odds against reality and that reality is that Netbooks filled a niche which has since been appropriated by other devices - and high-end Ultrabook ain't one of 'em

..oh yes, and I posted in the '...under a bus" article as well and was downvoted - a wonderful illustration of desire overruling data. One day the tech community will get the fact that the consumer buys what they want and us banging drums about 'gone' geeky element makes no difference - mainly because there are so very few IT Techs as % of the pop....

(and by the way, I typed this the same way I type all my comments on El Reg these last 2 years, on an iPad. I admit tho' I can't hack Debian onto it same way as I did my Ps2)

Review: The ultimate Chromebook challenge


Re: Why not a tablet?

>> "I have a laptop and a tablet."

>So if you're going somewhere, you have to decide if you're going to work or do web/media, or lug both around? If you're web browsing, and decide to type something, do you then have to get your laptop out?


Sometimes I actually find myself having days where I'm not working: for which I have a leisure-focused, consumer geared tech, that for me is a tablet.

I have an idea while NOT working, I may make a note of it - and even email myself the note. What I won't do is try to (a) work constantly and (b) try to type/create anything of substance on a netbook interface. When working, I have both with me and find that no chore ;-)


Re: Why not a tablet?

>>(What make of laptops and servers do you have? I mean, it's so important to mention iPad by name...)

For the same reason I say "Hoover" instead of "vacuum cleaner" of course



Re: Why not a tablet?

I don't see the need for a Netbook and I certainly don't see the need for a keyboard when you are using the device (as the original poster said) for " for web browsing and media consumptions"

So, let's say it again. A laptop for serious content creation and a tablet for media/Internet consumption (including the odd email/El Reg Post/Tweet). I'm writing this on my iPad now and I do 99% of my posts to El Reg on the iPad.

Personally, being a geek, I have 5 servers, a desktop, 3 laptops (two Linux & one MS) and an iPad. My partner has a laptop & a Nexus. My 70-odd year old parents use iPads - which does them for 90% of their needs - and an ageing laptop for occasional letters/printing.

Don't see any requirement for netbooks. They have been overtaken by other (better) tech.

However, for those of you who like being contrarians, I'm sure you will continue to insist that they are a most vital niche.

You can help fix patent laws … now!


Re: Well...

"but see, these improved Laws are really good & honest & fine, coz we asked everyone in a Survey..."

Can I borrow that wrench after you please?

Burger King's tweets fried after hijackers pimp Big Macs


Re: Hack?

Script kids have never known their born. Give me old days of war-diallers & "NC"



Careful..... :)

Re: "Staff working McDonald's tweets expressed sympathy and distanced themselves from the BK attack."

Steady on, you can get prosecuted for that kind of password exposure y'know, ask them Folks at Wikileaks!

Higgs data shows alternate reality will SWALLOW UNIVERSE


Re: You can't bake a universe without breaking Higgs

I want a Unicorn - should save on fuel ....which could save the Planet long enough for a Unicorn to come play with it!


Pass the Teapot (and BTW, you definitely get a Nobel vote from me, your theory is at least as probable as some schmuck claiming that (maybe, he's not TOO sure of his numbers) we will all die ...someday!

<drinks Tea, as his Coffee limit for the day already reached>

The official iPhone actually runs Android - in Brazil


Hang on a minute....

<searches pockets>

No, it's ok. I can't find an iota of sympathy for Apple (thought some had fallen in with the lint in my pockets)


Could you build a data-nomming HPC beast in a day? These kids can



Hmm. Quick article.


Report: Over 1.5 million UK drivers will have hydrogen cars by 2030


Hold Front Page


Bunch of vested interests claim their version of "42" is going to be FABULOUS & Succesful!

In other news:

Cardinals assert "Pope definitely remaining Catholic"


Twitter breach leaks emails, passwords of 250,000 users


Re: Maybe it's just me - but why is this important?

So, your a Twitter user and you receive a link from someone who Follows You/You Follow. You are far more likely to click through to that link than if it (a) was an 'unknown' Tweeter or (b) email spam.

Next one - so, your a dissident in Some Country (let's not name names) and your receive a a DM from a colleague you trust...maybe asking y for contact info on other dissidents.


Remember, Twitter claim to have reduced the number of compromised account ts through prompt action - the more they had the greater the threat

To thoughtlessly disparage the potential for serious impact implies to me you haven't thought this one through - have another go at this one (I know it's Saturday morning and all)

We're not making this up: Apple trademarks the SHOP


Re: NO

A "Flash Molotov"

Hmmmm....... :-D


Re: NO


Thanks. I needed that. After insanity THIS large and pathetic, someone screaming out NO very loudly is the only possible response!

I think large numbers of people should stand in Apple Stores chanting NO, NO, No No... To the tune of the Spam Song from Monty Python.

Google's Glasses: The tech with specs appeal?



I don't care what you say AD, or how much sense you usually make; your wrong about this one.

I wear glasses.

I don't like jewellery.

or wristwatches.

or wearing anything (except, reluctantly) other than my glasses - so I don't.*

I can't wait to get hold of one of these. I really can't. I want to step into my personal vision of the 'future' and if Google is obliging enough to provide it for me, well, TA Very Much!

So, if your only reasoning against 'em is "you don't like wearing stuff" I have a suggestion:

Don't wear a wristwatch, it seems you only do so as a fashion-accessory anyway (after all, I'm sure your phone has the time on it. Somewhere).

*other than clothes. Clearly. After all, I generally try to avoid getting arrested.

Commentards Ahoy! How about a Petabyte of storage?


Pb? And the rest

A caption sketch in a 1980 copy of Personal Computer World:

geek1 "so, they've produced a chip with 10,000 transistors on it"

geek2 "yes, now they just have to figure out how to connect them together!"

Give it 15 years max, and your colleagues will gaze at you with pity as you fondle your 1Pb key fob

WORLD temporarily FREED from BURDEN of TWITTER!


But will the recovery really happen

...or will large parts of the (predominantly Western) World grind to a halt, while millions of businesses stop functioning as their wild-eyed workers feverishly pinch 'refresh' on an endless quest to communicate a few words of rubbish to the rest of the Tribe?

Is this what the Mayans were really warning us about?!

I watched Excel meet 1-2-3, and beat it fair and square

IT Angle

Re: Complacency

@hitmouse So very true. Complacency every time - methinks its something to do with CEO's (once they hit the big time) surrounding themselves with sycophantic 'Boards who keep telling them how wonderful their (completely irrelevant) product/thinking was.

You could add WordStar to this time frame, just about ceding top slot to WordPerfect (Word was generally laughed at).

Yup. WordPerfect, Lotus & Dbase - top of the heap. In some cases worse, in some better but in every case the emerging product became the easier to use - a salutary lesson to people today who think their product will remain top dog because it's better engineered - ask Nokia

BBC: What YOU spent on our lawyers in Secret Climate 28 debacle



wrote Bridcut. "Acceptance of a basic scientific consensus only sharpens the need for hawk-eyed scrutiny of the arguments surrounding both causation and solution."

'Nuff said.

Note to Green-washers: not all of us who question the veracity of information are Blofeldt-like cat-stroking mega-industrialists; hell-bent in ripping profits from your climate-caused dead hands

(well ok, I DO stroke my cat!)

Speaking in Tech: 'ARM makes enterprise chips? Over my dead body!'


Re: Please give me text

That isn't what Alain is saying though is it?

I mean, a Podcast that didn't have the boring top & tail would be welcomed by me but, I recognise that most folks going through the bother of making one actually want to deliver a linear set of messages and get some personal exposure. Throw on top the inevitable fidget-moment (that's been on pretty much every conference call since time began) where we all wait (im)patiently for the dratted Muzak to go away .... And you have the essential difference between a media moment & a White Paper.

For many, the media moment is useful, especially if they want to listen with half an ear while doing other things. For some a written version would be handy as they could avoid the 'noise'. Be nice to have a choice.

Unlikely tho' i suspect there's no budget to get someone to transcribe.

Tech titans sell yesterday's idea wrapped in tomorrow's dream


Re: Save me from the old days please !!!

"There are many clients that let you use your remote FTP server ... Disk or folder" Agree, but not so many consumers use them or would treat them with anything other than fear

"when Google released GMail" ... They implemented a Cloud model (SaaS) - and opened the door to millions of folks to get easy email & storage

"Mainframes in the 60's had the *equivalent*..." (my emphasis) - hmm, but they didn't actually Implement to millions, the 'model' (multi-user) may similar but the implementation is vastly different

The innovation is to take the technologies/capabilities previously in the domain of the 'technorati' & deliver it to the majority. Simple for businesses, easy for consumers & quick to deploy - none of those elements were the case in the glorious past.**

Cloud will act as an enabler for emerging business models that are far more organic than traditional company structures.

(**oh, and they hadn't fixed ringworm either ;-)


Save me from the old days please !!!

Ok now everyone has got their dose of "Those were the Days" mania, let's have some reality shall we...

First off, to *anyone* who tells me that the consumer-level ease of a service like DropBox is "little more than FTP and terminals". Are you mad?! FTP may be ok for us sad tech-types but, did you every have to train an end-user is FTP useage? Were you confident they wouldn't end up deleting entire branches of a company website? Do you enjoy using a clunky text interface? Oh, i could go on and on with this one. The point is, modern Cloud services are easier, faster, more intuitive and more fun to use than ever before, which is why 100's of millions now use them in every business context imaginable.

Second point - so, Cloud is "time-sharing with a sexier name"?! Right, so when you were a SysAdmin for a mainframe using clunky old time-sharing to manage user access you had tens of millions of users? Er, no you didn't - because mainframe systems' time-sharing at the user-level were simply not configured for those levels and could not be managed due to their time-intensive setup (hence the requirement for entire flipping DP teams and the endlessly annoying calls at stupid hours because someone who was insufficient.y trained had cocked up a user - again!). Time sharing in the context of processor sharing on the other hand, is something that has always been here - the point with Cloud is its ability to be used & consumed automatically, easily, confidently & competently at a far lower cost.

Third, I think the author was simply using Apple as an example of a company who wouldn't blow it's entire bottom line if it were to break into a new operating/business model, i would say its disingenuous to let the onversation degrade into an Apple snarl-fest - replace with Google if it makes you feel better

Oh my Gawd people, stop whining about what's gone before - do you really think its comparable to the ease, sophistication & automation of cloud based systems. I dont and i reckon I'm as long in the tooth as the rest of you, given i was working on Mainframes in 1979. Yup, it's been done before but it ain't better, ask anyone holding a 19th century Colt Revolver who's facing off against someone with an M4 Assault Rifle (after all they ARE both guns that fire more than one bullet!!!!!)

On the authors' assertion - he's bang on WRT SAP, Oracle and etc - who should be looking at Cloud and thinking "is this my Novell moment". Incumbent companies have always struggled to wash their wares with the latest paradigm, the truth is the new players will continue to take market share away from them; those who go 'safe' will lose competitive advantage to those who are prepared to absorb new Cloud methods into their business processes - and they won't be thinking about FTP when their doing it!

Greenland ice did not melt in baking +8°C era 120k years ago


Facts, the climate-monger way

"push sea level rise to 23 feet (7 meters) enou to submerge London and Los Angeles"

This is the kind of drivelling nonsense that I refer to in other Posts.

According to City of Los Angeles, it's average elevation is 70 meters (it's a big place), even at the Coast, tidal levels can differ by as much as 9meters right now - meanwhile, London averages a 24 meter elevation.

Sober dialogue it ain't - emotive "see, do something or your selling out the human race" commentary just gets my 'oh bugger off' gene running in overdrive.


Re: Keep up the good work Lewis!

"Surely the point of highlighting dangers is to avoid them..." what, like the Bush/Blair claims of Iraqi "WMD" or the assertion by the IPCC that the Tibetan Glaciers would be gone in 20-odd years...

You know, if the climate change lobby constituted a sober & scientific debate rather than a screaming manifesto where anyone who questions becomes the societal equivalent of a fiend who ties you to a chair then blows cigarette smoke in your face; maybe I'd take it more seriously.

Meanwhile, I await the "worst case" scenario of a 53metre rise in sea level should the entire Antarctic ice field melt; I live 250metres above seal level ;)


@Lord Voldemortgage

Yup, get where your coming from. Problem is the majority of Climate-mongers keep pushing the "we are destroying the Earth" not the (more honest) "we are setting the scene for the breakdown of advanced society and loss of majority chunk of population" (yup, just doesn't have that ring to it ;) & it won't create the same level of panicky "something must be done" knee-jerking that is so popular.

Thumb Up

Keep up the good work Lewis!

Keep looking all the "we're doomed" climate panic-mongers!

Do I deny that climate is being marginally affected by what we humans do? No

Do I deny it's the "end of the World" if we don't do something an it? Of course I do, it's a patently ridiculous assertion. Have you seen some of the extremes the Earth has gone through over the billions of years of its existence?!

Worst case scenario? Humans manage to wipe themselves out some time over the next couple of hundred years. Ah well. That will teach us then. Meanwhile the planet will continue - after all, a couple of hundred million years ago over 90% of all life on the planet was wiped out ... And "Gaia" is looking pretty diverse at the moment.

For those who keep telling me and everyone else to 'do something' - I suggest you pop over to China and the USA have a word with the nice people running those countries, have a nice time! Meanwhile, I will continue to cheer on people like Lewis - well done mate :-D

Satire like Porn? How 3UK are bringing Chinese-style political censorship of web to UK


Re: Satire like Porn? How 3UK are bringing Chinese-style political censorship of web to UK

I for one find it ironically amusing that O2 is blocking political sites as part of its Parental Controls policy; given the continuous sistence by the Government to gain ever more access to our (digital) lives. As well as the likelihood that the O2 policy was almost certainly engendered by populist political posturing by our pathetic politicians (see what I did there? ;)

Yup, they are every bit as corrupting as them darned Pr0n sites (lol).

ICO hits the road to crack 'underlying problem' at data-leak councils


Why the "you have something to hide" Brigade should pay attention

I'm constantly annoyed by the blithe and pedantic attitude of those who say that if 'you' are against Government moves to forcibly collect/access our data, then it must be because 'you' have something to hide.

This article nicely exposes a real reason for fighting for our data privacy.

The IPO examples all seem generally down to incompetence. The fact is that there are also many examples of Government (local & national) employees mis-using access to citizen data for the purposes of bribery, blackmail and fraud.

It's all well and good to talk (as does the Home Office, for example) about giving authorities access to everything citizens do online (as is often reported on El Reg, etc) but, who will watch the watchers?

I have no faith in Governments' ability to secure data - and I speak as someone who has been involved many times in oversight of "secure" government installations. The data is as secure as the people accessing it... 'Nuff said - resist the farcical view that if you don't agree with the latest idiotic Government plan to harvest your information then, you "must have something to hide".

OS/2 a quarter century on: Why IBM lost out and how Microsoft won


OEM, OS/2, MS and Eco(systems) !

Gosh, a shame I missed this article when it was first published, as I'd have plunged into the debate. So, as a postscript <grin> to all this, some points, in the tradition of 'IMHO' :)

I was the Technical Manager of a moderately successful OEMer during most of the 90's & I'll say the ONE THING that really made e difference (it's in the article!) MS created a workable platform/Eco-system. Ok, so MS wasn't the best thing in the World but crikey it made the creation of integrated Pc achievable without a ton of pain.

Its easy to just say this but the continuing cost of managing equipment integration was a major challenge to most OEMers - we are talking about a time where 'peripherals' (i.e. graphics cards, modems) were evolving almost shipment by shipment, the pain in reconfiguring builds and integratiion testing all this stuff was only rivalled by the agony of talking to some company rep in Taiwan about driver for what "appeared" to be exactly the same 20,000 graphics cards that we had purchased 2 weeks earlier. Multiply that by every add-on card ... Microsoft certainly wasn't a panacea but it was the least painful - and believe me, I had a team of guys who did nothing but test other OS. options - nothing was LESS painful.

We even got into bed with IBM for Merlin, where I recall losing an entire Christmas holiday while my team and an IBM team tried to make a build that would work with all our peripherals...it worked. For about a month - then the new devices arriving changed.

Yup, Personally loved Warp4 but then, I had a nice powerful computer on my desk with bags of RAM and was essentially paid to keep tweaking it - fact is we had far too many returns as our customers (remember them?) told us time and again that it was too hard/didn't work with their printer/external Modem/zip/whatever

As for LiNUX for end-consumers during the 90's? don't make me laugh (again, I'm so sad a geek that I even built Debian into a PS/2 once, but what's that got to do with Consumers?! LINUX was too hard back then).

To the purists I point to history - "good enough" will always prevail, especially if it's aligned to "least painful"

Is it all over for UK.gov's G-Cloud 3.0? A footnote in history awaits


Yer 'aving a Larf

Back in the day (that'll be 2010 then), I attended a series of 'workshops' with the CTO/strategy team of a very large Gov Dept. there sat about 20 of us, representing the most significant IT Players n the industry. The topic was focused discussion on Cloud enablement strategy for the Dept.

1) the Dept team had no notion of any deployment above IaaS and only the sketchiest view of what that meant

2) over 3/4 of attendees (allegedly a group of experts) had no knowledge of NIST, when asked what should be the applied definition of Cloud

3) my erstwhile colleague, another 'expert', spent the entire time talking about virtualisation in the DC, which...

4) the Dept team were excited about. Bottom line, this group of forward thinkers were looking at Cloud=virtualisation for this Department, in isolation from all Gov areas. Period. Rationale? I refer you to xyz's Post!

As for G-Cloud. Please, don't get me started - I could write a book, probably entitled "The Blind (IT Company), leading The Stupid (Gov Strategists) over the Cliff (of Political Puffery).

I will say this - the majority of senior folks from IT Companies that engage regularly with their Government customers tend to adopt the self-same conservative approach to everything. E.g. If I'd had a £ for every presentation/conversation I gave to those people where the answer was "hmm, interesting but MY Department Customer could never use Cloud, it would contravene security/control/authority/CESG/whatever AND I personally think Cloud is just a fad anyway" I'd have retired! What's most galling is the knowledge that most of those folks are now touts for whatever Cloud-washed inanity their respective IT Company is now flogging to HMG.

Hmm. A book. ;-)

ICO: Education ministry BROKE the Data Protection Act


Building web pages for crisp packets

If its anything like a typical Gov IT 'Project', here's how it went:

Gov IT person to (incumbent) IT Services Supplier "hey, we want to do this, we'd like you to go away and, free-of-charge, come up with a project to deliver a web survey".

IT Supplier Account Manager(s) "quick, grab anyone around who may have 5 minutes free to knock up a shiny architecture pic & a Power Point - but don't take any time as you can't charge for it and don't bring in additional resources as...we can't pay for it".

10 days later...

Gov IT Person to Suppliers "hmm. Your all rubbish but this option which costs 27p & a packet of crisps looks ok"

IT Supplier Account Manager (thinks) "Brilliant, I can show I'm farming my customer & winning new Biz, only trouble is the Price I agreed will pay for about 4 hours (shared) of a team of 4....hmm, better cut back on the Web Dev, as I don't have one as part of the Account team at the moment".

....10 weeks later...

IT supplier Account Manager "of course we had no budget to do the necessary software life cycle, least of all an integration/test cycle after all - you don't get much more than a hapless junior for 30 minutes for a packet of Salt & Vinegar Walkers these days y'know"

Gov IT Person "Crickey! Ah well, shut it down: that was our last 27p and that pack of crisps was from my own lunch box - we're buggered until the new FY now"

All: "Now, what do we tell the Public?"

Yup. Been there, done that, got the broken mouse (what, you think someone can afford to give out T-shirts?!)


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