* Posts by Otto is a bear.

453 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Oct 2012


Musk: Come ride my Big F**king Rocket to Mars

Otto is a bear.

Is it me or

Isn't it a bit ironic, IT article commenting on SpaceX not being good at deadlines, we have a whole industry that has probably never met a single one, merely shifted the target.

When uploading comments to the FCC, you can now include malware

Otto is a bear.


Whilst the file size is a bit surprising, though maybe not, it's really what happens to the files after they are uploaded that's the key. Every single government department I have ever worked with allows you to upload files, and of any type, remember just because the file says it's a PDF, doesn't mean it actually is. In every case uploaded files are triaged to make sure they are what they say they are, quarantine what's suspicious and store the rest, which in some cases might actually be a virus, one man's virus is another man's data. Mind you, if the FCC doesn't do this, then they deserve everything they get, but somehow I suspect they do. Remember a Windows virus is useless on Unix or non-intel system, and content systems don't tend to execute uploaded files as they are data to it.

SPARC will fly: Your cheat sheet for cocktail banter at Oracle's upcoming shindig

Otto is a bear.

Well, another step towards the Monopoly

Having been in IT for over 40 odd years, I've seen lots of great technologies come and, undeservedly go. We are pretty much faced with an Intel only future at one level, and in the cloud a decreasing number of players. The ultimate loss of SPARC, will leave IBM and ARM as competitors to Intel, AMD et al don't really count, and it could be said, neither does IBM.

IT is a bit too much of a "Me Too" (Martin Butler, of Butler Group) industry, unwilling to be different, but then complaining when there's no choice. It comes down, as always, use it or loose it, very few, comparatively, people use non-Intel based servers, certainly not enough to attract the required investment to develop, in any meaningful way. And fewer and fewer willing to accept the risk of doing different. Oh, and your Open Source new best friends, they are beginning to behave more like Oracle, I wonder how long it will be before they all do, those that are left that is.

The bright spot is that monopolistic behaviour allows disruptive technology to develop and be bought by the monopolies, or become new ones.

You need to assemble a crack AI team: Where do you even start?

Otto is a bear.

Just Wait Until

You discover that Robotic Process Automation is a screen scraping Workflow Engine.

Otto is a bear.


That one of the key criteria for team selection isn't real life experience, which explains a lot about customer facing AI systems where learning is restricted to getting to say No more efficiently.

AI isn't that new, we were messing around with it at Scicon in the 80s for retail replenishment, so there's quite a few of us out there with long experience of "Intelligent" systems. We just aren't 20 years old any more. Most recently looking at it for Blue Light demand predictions.

The main difference is the improvement in processing speeds and tools rather than the basic concepts.

Take that, gender pay gap! Atos to offshore hundreds of BBC roles

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Let's save millions by offshoring to pay well off stars even more. I'm not sure that's a message I'd want to propagate, but that's a headline.

HMS Frigatey Mcfrigateface given her official name

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Re: Nice

None, but it does provide a large number of highly skilled, well paid jobs in a relatively low paid part of the UK whose ability to pay taxes and Council Tax helps to pay for those things, ad well as the MOD's toys, and drives a whole host of other local businesses.

A better question might be what councils are doing with the money they get from developers for not building social housing, as it certainly isn't building social housing.

Everything you need to know about the Petya, er, NotPetya nasty trashing PCs worldwide

Otto is a bear.

Bring Back

Heterogeneous computing.

I know Windows is allegedly cheaper to support the OSX or anything else, but I'll lay odds in the affected companies the MAC/Unix Systems are still going, and lets face it for most things now, we only need a browser, so why not mix up the client base and give people the right OS for the job. Only need eMail and Browser, a Chrome Book, Media, Mac, General Power User, Windows, Out and about, Android or iOS.

In the data centre, lets have Windows, Solaris, AiX et al, again. I bet it's cheaper than having your data centre taken out. Remember security is strength in depth and Heterogeneity, you can make a homogeneous system fool proof secure, but not damn fool proof.

HMS Windows XP: Britain's newest warship running Swiss Cheese OS

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Lots of stuff still with XP incarnations

I noticed the other week that a lot of UK rail ticket machines still run Windows XP, along side, Bus Station Departure and Arrival Boards, and ATMs. (All of which had failed in some way and were displaying XP error messages, in the case of the London Midland Ticket Machine, it was stuck in a boot loop)

Thing is, if it does everything you need it too, and it's properly protected, then why change it.

Tesla death smash probe: Neither driver nor autopilot saw the truck

Otto is a bear.

Re: Right, $50 of bars will stop a 4000lb car going 74mph.

Yep, with the emphasis in the word LEVEL, in the US they are called GRADE crossings, and some really are steep. Mind you in Europe we have signs warning Artic (Semi) drivers of the risk of grounding, in fact there are quite a lot near me for canal bridges or hump back bridges, the clue being in the name. Doesn't seem to stop the determined truck driver though judging by the scoring on the roads.

Migrating to Microsoft's cloud: What they won't tell you, what you need to know

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Leaving the Cloud

Has anyone tried to migrate the other way yet, I get the impression that once you are in you are in forever.

Booze stats confirm boring Britain is drying

Otto is a bear.

I Remember

As a child seeing advertisements in the press and TV for the annual Christmas drink drive campaign being: "Don't let Daddy Drink 1 over the 8", and I also remember that at university it was a badge of honour to drink 8 pints of an evening, usually around 5% for Special Bitter. That cost the princely sum of £2, but as low as £1.44 in one local pub. Eeee, them wer't days.

I think 15 pints counted as a binge then, and people used to drive an 3 or 4 pints, again a badge of manhood. (No, I didn't, we also had something called a Bus)

Outsourcers blamed for cocking up programmes at one in three big firms

Otto is a bear.

It's the contract.....

Well maybe, having worked on a few contracts, the things that go wrong are usually down to the relationships, and it's rarely, wholly the fault of the outsourcer.

1. The relationship between users and IT changes, it becomes all about moving money, before outsourcing the money isn't visibly real before, after it is, suddenly as a user you have to think about costs you didn't before.

2. Purchasing Departments are naturally adversarial and are incentivised to save money by arguing bills, thus making change processes more complex.

3. Outsourcers front load investment, and then try and reduce that exposure after the fact, often promising bid teams investment that then fails to materialise leaving the delivery team exposed and disincentive.

4. You never get the best quality from the lowest bid.

5. Outsourcing contracts are hugely complex, after all, a minor government department may have 200 odd systems.

6. Client rarely know everything they have in their estate, and then try to make the outsourcer take the liability for stuff they didn't know about.

7. Why would anyone think putting another 2 layers of management between the user and the systems be efficient and cost effective.

8. Contracts take so long to negotiate that they are out of date before they start.

and so on. Having said that outsourcers don't help themselves.

Calling your redundancy programme Baccarat? Immense Bummer, Management

Otto is a bear.

Take one pace forward

If you want to take statutory minimum, oh no takes, well we'll choose then. Come on, if you want volunteers you need to do better than that. Full rate and a gratuity would be a start.

NetSuite-nourished Oracle: SaaS margins will go up to 80%

Otto is a bear.


80% Margin, I foresee customer pressure on their margins then, I can't see many governments letting them get away with that either, unless non-government margins are even higher.

Stop the press: Journos not happy losing jobs to journo bots, say journos

Otto is a bear.

Re: > and actually increases the need for the very human skills that good journalists embody...

"The funniest bit to me is that the fact because the robots won't feel the need to blow stuff out of prospective, there'll be no more 'fake' news as such."

Not deliberately, but do you want to bet that them more "interest" or volume of information there is on a topic, the more the bots will write on it. And do you want to be that most editors won't automatically add their own bias, and fail to otherwise properly set up the bots for all the usual reasons IT goes wrong when loosed into the wild.

Polls? How very 2016. Now Google Street View AI scanner can predict how people will vote

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Who knew?

People who drive pickups vote Republican. Yee-ha!

BS Detection 101 becomes actual University subject

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Re: Hmm...

Isn't that called an MBA?

GDS chap: UK.gov is better off on public cloud than its own purpose-built network

Otto is a bear.


Do GDS actually know how PSN is provided, do you think.

Trumping free trade: Say 'King of Bankruptcy' Ross does end up in charge of US commerce

Otto is a bear.

Re: Same idiocy regardless of location

It's true, unemployed people do not contribute very much to the market, and the more money that goes to the very rich actually contracts the market. So what you need is more people in the middle ground with good jobs that want to buy stuff, which means you have to have people making and designing stuff in your economy. Low paid workers don't buy much stuff either so having lots of low paid factory workers doesn't do much for your end market.

The other bit that's missing here is VW, BMW and alike work closely with the education system, and actually train people themselves. In the UK and US, it seems to me that companies want schools and colleges to produce graduates who can walk into their plants and coding shops to start work without any training. I have heard senior managers say to many times, that there's no point in training people because they just leave, and training is always chopped as soon as targets are in jeopardy.

When I started, I was given all the training I needed by the companies I worked for when I joined, they were after capability not qualifications. So thank you GEC (The UK one) and Xerox.

UK.gov still drowning in legacy tech because no one's boarding Blighty's £700m data centre Ark

Otto is a bear.

Re: Legacy stuff isn't the problem.

The definition of Legacy is anything one set of people want to replace with something else, regardless of its real value capability and supportability. If you attach the word Legacy to anything, it automatically implies it is outdated, expensive and unsupportable, regardless of the truth. A well known company refers to anything that isn't their software as Legacy, can you guess who.

MacBook killer? New Lenovo offering sexed up with XPoint booster

Otto is a bear.

It's all in the title

The question Macbook Killer?

Well, that's got you reading it, hasn't it. The fact that the vast majority of Mac users wouldn't swap to Windows is immaterial. There's quite a few windows machines out there that should be better than a Mac, and probably would be, if they didn't run Windows. I'd say this is more aimed at Windows users, than Mac users.

BTW. I like most Mac users use Windows as well, and for myself, I prefer Macs. Even if they are ridiculously over priced, but then you don't need to change them every two years.

Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

Otto is a bear.

What I don't get

Is what Vegans think will happen to all those animals we breed for food and dairy, if we stopped doing that. I can't see farmers just leaving the animals to their own devices, and some, if you did, would die a very unpleasant death as they have been bread to over produce milk. What would happen is that vast numbers of healthy animals would be culled and then wasted, because farmers are also businesses, and just having animals to look at doesn't make much money. Our use of animals for meat tends to have very little waste, everything is used for something, and by products are in many, many things we all have to use every day.

UK.gov flings £400m at gold standard, ‘full-fibre' b*&%*%£$%. Yep. Broadband

Otto is a bear.

It's the Network Stupid

In the early days of the telephone network, the telephone companies had area monopolies, and took the view, the more subscribers you had the more money you make, a remote village was not just a source of revenue, it also created network revenue, after all not only can people call out, they can also call in as well, so revenue is generated from both ends, and there are trunk charges. People in the big city like to call their dear old mum in the country, so there is a commercial incentive to build the network. Broadband isn't like that, there is no cross subsidy as such, and there's a lot more competition for your traffic, but only the revenue generated by broadband is from the subscriber, there is much less direct network benefit.

Thus the business case for connecting Much Binding-in-the-Marsh to super fast fibre isn't that good, because the residents will 1000 homes will only pay say £1000 a year and the cost of upgrade is £10,000,000, so there's no return on the investment. This is why B4RN makes sense as the local infrastructure is paid for by the community, and there's a ready made backhaul contract.

Otto is a bear.

Re: What are people doing that needs fibre?

Actually, that's not quite true, you can have 2Mb/Sec, virtual networking allows you to do this, all be it that the underlying cables tend to be rated at 10Mb/100Mb/1000Mb, those can and are divided up by the likes of Virgin, BT and the rest to provide a wider range of products for the business consumer. If you are a contended user then it's up to the line capacity.

No, software-as-a-service won't automatically simplify operations and cut costs

Otto is a bear.

Don't forget

Data Escrow, once they have your data, how do you get it back when you decide to change vendor, or have a dispute. They can shut you off, and close your business down if you don't meet their contract terms, which are based in a tax haven of their choice. So don't for get exit clauses.

What do you mean, they wouldn't do that.

Some very wise tech SMEs I deal with, do not rely on the good will of their 'X'aaS vendors, but use multiple cloud vendors, and keep copies of their data

Otto is a bear.


How else do you expect us to meet our VC ROI and still sell out for a mega profit.

Margaret Hodge's book outlines 'mind boggling' UK public sector waste

Otto is a bear.

They do care

That they don't get caught making a decision and that there is a clearly identifiable chain of blame that they are not in.

My general experience of working on government IT projects is that the Civil Service does care about the waste of money, and do want value for money. They are not however prepared to stick their heads above the parapet and risk taking the blame when things go wrong, so everything has plenty of wiggle room, which leads to cost, cost, cost, and unless as a supplier you are really stupid, profit, profit, profit.

$67M in bitcoin stolen as hacking typhoon lashes Hong Kong's Bitfinex

Otto is a bear.


What no conspiracy theories here, what's to say the PLA, FBI, NCA, CIA, or GCHQ haven't done it to undermine bitcoins,and protect government controlled currencies. Maybe, they have just lifted a bunch of cartel funds from the exchange.

Microsoft grabs employment guns, aims at British sales units

Otto is a bear.

Here's a thought

Why not retrain, and update skills, one assumes these people all have market skills and corporate memory. Unless they are just circulating the duffers again.

FBI won't jail future US president over private email server

Otto is a bear.

Up to the Ballot Box now.

God help you.

I'm glad I don't have to make the choice between Clinton or Trump. Or watch a Republican Senate and Congress try and subvert the democratic process, should Trump lose.

You have to admire a process that takes a year to choose a candidate, a few months before an election, in this day and age, there must be a better way, now that geography is somewhat less important.

5 years, 2,300 data breaches. What'll police do with our Internet Connection Records?

Otto is a bear.

You have to admit...

That the fact that Mrs.May is the least worst option, says a lot, can you imagine what Gove would do. I've heard him described as a Maoist Tory, who like to destroy things to rebuild them in his own image.

Otto is a bear.

It was Today

I listened to the interview on the Today programme on my way to work,it was also repeated on a news bulletin. It was actually about a Sexual Risk Order, which is designed to keep people with predatory behaviours under control. Otherwise, yep it's one hell of a thing to do to someone who has not been convicted of a crime, and should require an extremely high bar before it's applied. Like all of these things, it's bound to be misused, for "Political" and "Tough on Crime" excuses.

So far as Police Data Protection goes, it's not the IT but the people, and the same applies to any organisation, that holds data about us, Private or Public, it is quite common practice in the NHS, DWP, HMRC, Councils and Police to "Look up a mates details" for a mate. Quite often without the mate asking. So beware if you ever date someone from the Police, HMRC, DWP or Council, because they will check you out, or someone else will.

It would be possible to put lots of checks on the systems to stop, or make more difficult, these kinds of behaviours, but then the systems would become unusable, trapped in a mire of bureaucracy.

Misuse is a tiny proportion of access to these systems, and there has to be a balance of risk.

The Microsoft-LinkedIn hookup will be the END of DAYS, I tell you

Otto is a bear.

There is always the hope

That if Microsoft is too rapacious in its machinations that we'll all move to a competing platform, like, um, is there one. Not that it would matter, I doubt most of us at the cutting edge of technology would want to bother embracing a new cutting edge professional social media platform.

I have noticed that whenever I talk to a new supplier they always look me up on LinkedIn, quite apart from the recruiters.

Bloke flogs $40 B&W printer on Craigslist, gets $12,000 legal bill

Otto is a bear.

Re: Countersuit

I should think that covers most politicians in the western world, my experience of local politics in the UK was that most were Solicitors, Accountants or Property Developers, anyone who had a proper job, like me, couldn't spare the time. The closest you would get was the odd spattering of teachers, who could afford the odd early day to attend 4.30pm meetings.

And before anyone starts on teachers, most of the ones I've known over the past 20 years work a minimum of 50 hours a week, and often a lot more. Mrs. Bear is running at around 70 at the moment.

Otto is a bear.

Re: Countersuit

Ah common ground, so's the UK legal system.

CSC grabs pistol, plays employment paintball with P45s

Otto is a bear.


If they need to ensure they have the right skill balance they could always train the people they have. It is actually cheaper and less risky than hiring new people.

Still why should CSC be any different to the rest of the market, anyone over the age of 30 is incapable of learning any new technology. Who needs business knowledge, we need to rise up and meet the digital challenge.

At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

Otto is a bear.

Re: At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

Not sure what those consequences are, in the real world.

In the real world it's perfectly acceptable to piss away $100m and keep your job, just ask any investment bank or multi-national, who are absolute masters at hiding failed projects from anyone who matters. It is only in the UK government where the PAC asks tricky questions.

One of the great things about Agile development is that if you get your contract right, you carry no responsibility whatsoever and are in effect a T&M development with the customer carrying the can for not giving you a realistic development target, and properly planning your sprints.

In the real world, it doesn't matter what method you use, provided that the client has a clear and well articulated requirement and a realistic timescale, but they never do. Making it up as you go along doesn't work for anything for very long.

Adjust your Facebook, Twitter privacy settings, judge tells jurors in Oracle-Google Java trial

Otto is a bear.

The American Way

It strikes me as odd, that lawyers have so much power over jury selection, and so many rights to pry, in the UK we trust our Juries to do the right thing, which they do. Having served on several, I've always found that jurors take their duty very seriously, and on the rare occasions you get a "Find him guilty, I need to get home" member, the rest usually stamp on them. I also noticed that the people most hated by the Jurors are, you guessed it, the Lawyers.

The best one can hope for in Oracle v Google is that the Judge finds them both contemptible and fines them several billion dollars for wasting the court's time, although, I suspect the lawyers will waste even more of their clients money before they reach an amicable agreement, I wonder which one will call Saul.

Otto is a bear.

Re: @Keiran

Which all goes to prove lawyers know nothing, about God, but at least She knows about them.

China's Dalek-like robots fear only one terrifying nemesis: Stairs

Otto is a bear.

Just wait for AnBot 2019

With TruWalk(TM) and AnBot SYNC to play calming and re-educational content.

I walk at about 5kph, and run at about 20kph, which is average for a human, and could probably run for longer than an AnBot. I wonder how it corners at 18 kph.

Blighty's SMB tech ranks bitterly divided on Brexit

Otto is a bear.

Re: Border Control

Agreed, and you have to wonder why US securitypeople complain at the lack of borders allowing terrorists to move freely, um, I hadn't noticed any borders within the US with a large distributed population spread over many, many more jurisdictions than the EU wanting to have border controls between states. Their terrorists don't even have to import weapons illegally, they can buy them from Wal Mart quite legally with the support of the NRA.

I'm also amazed that any business thinks that the bureaucracy surrounding any company of any size will change if we leave the EU. It'll still be politically driven by people who have no idea how business works and can't distinguish between the relative costs of a new measure to a big business over a small business. It will also take years to replace an EU heap of crap with a UK one, and I doubt it will be any better even then, and probably much worse. Most regulation comes about because business cannot be trusted to do the right thing on its own, and needs rules to follow, relax the rules and they will come back, only worse the next time a business forces a scandal.

Government will always make it hard for SMEs because it isn't one.

Gov to take axe to big IT contracts soon, will hand chunks to SMEs

Otto is a bear.

Re: But why would any smaller SME want to...

Or for that matter endure the new minister/government/Agency CEO coming in and putting everything on hold until they are happy with it.

You need very deep pockets to endure the kind of behaviour that Departments are used to meeting out to their suppliers. Woe betide you if you kick up and try to charge for lost time. You may be entitled, but you won't get another contract.

Oracle's old hands are supporting the support n00bs who support you

Otto is a bear.

Behind the curve there....

They need a web scale database, open source is the way forward.

Seriously though, in theory you can port Oracle to Postgres without rewriting all that PL/SQL and changing the whole trigger map.

Flinging £700m at courts' IT won't increase efficiency, says NAO

Otto is a bear.

And naturally

Poor processes implemented by an IT system will still be poor processes, no matter how good the IT system is.

Coming up on 40 years in IT, I still marvel at the idea that people think IT solves anything, it doesn't it just automates processes cockups or no at a rate faster than any human can do it.

Who said "To err is human, but to really foul things up you need a computer" or

"Computers only do what you tell them to do, not what you want them to do"

Gosh, what a huge shock: Ofcom shies away from BT Openreach split, calls for reform

Otto is a bear.


And there was me expecting demands for Openreach to be completely independent. Which would actually result in it being bought by AT&T, DT, FT of Telefonica after a few years. Not that BT won't sell itself off when the right opportunity arises anyway.

With technology moving as fast as it is, and customer demands ever increasing you can bet that no matter who owns OpenReach, the bulk of the investment will go where the return is, and cities are where most everyone lives these days. Investments pay off quickly in cities, not so much outside, I'd bet some small villages still haven't paid back the cost of their first exchange lines.

Oracle: Oregon's attorney general leaked our confidential memos in health portal row

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Six of on half a dozen of the other

This is just symptomatic of the relations between customers and any major IT company, with management and money at the root of it all. Any bets that both sides hired contractors to advise and implement because they didn't want to retain in house skills that might not be fully utilized, and said contractors were mostly more interested in the length of their assignment than delivery quality.

Yep, the lawyers will win from this, and so will the contractors, they've been paid, everyone else will loose.

Airwave drops lawsuit against Home Office over EE contract win

Otto is a bear.

Optional Networks

Well, Motorola don't have one of their own, so they will be reliant on either Vodaphone who have the C&W network which goes past most important public service sites, or Virgin, which also has a large network from its cable activities. There are a couple of other possibilities together with a set of SME alliances.

The problem is that there will still be places Openreach will supply the last mile.

Got Oracle? Got VMware? Going cloud? You could be stung for huge licensing fees

Otto is a bear.

Not really new news.

I've been dealing with these cloud/virtualisation issues for some years now, along side those that you can get caught out with in development. That copy of EE on your laptop is still covered by the licence agreements. Also beware Oracle's Java, don't be surprised if you suddenly find yourself paying support licences because you haven't kept up with the version changes. It may be free, but it's still licenced and has T&Cs you might not like.

Oracle's position on cloud VM licences hasn't changed for at least 5 years while, unless you are using AWS or Azure, or Oracle's own cloud. But here's a few other gotcha's. If you migrate away from Oracle, you have to do it by your licence chunks, so if you have an overarching all in one agreement and try to reduce it, Oracle will recalculate at the undiscounted price, and you could land up paying more.

It is possible to move away from Oracle, the vast majority of Oracle installations I've been involved in do not use anything like all the features in EE let alone the options. You can quite safely consider Postgres and others as a replacement. As far as Weblogic goes JBOSS is a reasonable replacement. Pretty much all our new development is moving to a heterogeneous open source solution space. No one supplier is irreplaceable, or has a stranglehold on our designs.

I wouldn't go to Microsoft either, as where Oracle goes today they will go tomorrow. Oracle is technology in decline, even Microsoft isn't that innovative, and it can't belong before they go into licence gouging to maintain revenue and margin. Beware Azure and its exit fees for a start.

UK carrier Three in network-wide ad-block shock

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Re: UK carrier three

What about bringing back "Hermes", and an old joke.

My mate said he was suffering from Hermes. Surly he meant Herpes. No he was a carrier.