* Posts by mark daly

13 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Jul 2007

Gov report: Actually, evil City traders DIDN'T cause the banking crash

mark daly

Way too simplistic

It is true that poor lending by banks to property buyers and businesses was a major cause of the current financial crisis. However, it omits the key fact that the banks would not have managed to generate

the credit to finance the lending bubble if it had not been for all the fancy instruments and derivatives such as CDOs and CDSs that made crap lending appear to be gold plated investments. It was the creation of a shadow banking system hidden in off balance sheet SIVs etc that mad the whole shebang possible and 'evil city traders' definitely did play a key role in creating the monster. Of course, now their chums are desperately trying to rewrite history to omit their role in the whole in the thing.

Stop excluding vulnerable Brits from digital agenda - MPs

mark daly

Ironic that this should appear on the day SSE warned that Britain faces impending power shortages

Lets see how well a digital by default system of government works when the lights go out.

HMRC hops back into bed with Microsoft, finds purse £10m lighter

mark daly

Umm HMRC currently has less than 70,000 employees and are planning to cut another 10,000 before 2015.


Why do they need a license agreement for 90,000 desktops

Do you work in IT at RBS? Or at the next place to get hit ...?

mark daly

Re: Another classic article from Dominic

Sadly for current corporate managements the assumption that one can avoid the consequences of ones actions for ever and ever was also prevalent amongst French aristocrats in 1789, and we know what happened to them. I get the feeling the mob are starting to tire of constantly being presented with the execution of minor functionaries every time ta major corporate ship runs aground. They now want to see some toffs heads stuck on pikes.

mark daly

Re: Problem was unique says head RBS honcho

Excellent points.

It takes years of hard experience in IT to know that in a crisis the best move is often to step away from the keyboard while you think through the issues The next step is to investigate the scope of the problem and perhaps most importantly to preserve the details of the software,the data and the logs at the time the original error occurred. Panicked attempts to apply quick fixes not only often fail but also frequently obscure the cause of the original problem. Management often ignore this uncomfortable truth in their rush for quick solutions. Of course, the problem for RBS and its associates is that they essentially threw away years of hard earned experience which wouild have been invaluable in this crisis when they made 1800 staff redundant. The charge for that folly has now arrived.

'Inexperienced' RBS tech operative's blunder led to banking meltdown

mark daly

Re: RBS to sue CA

Best of luck with that. Unless it is a problem with the software that CA knew about but had failed to document on their Customer Care site then RBS have not got a prayer of winning a court case, particularly if they heavily customise the software. I am pretty sure that the supplier will be able to point to a number of successful implementations of the product and will be able to show that if RBS/NatWest staff had actually read the install instructions together with the associated product manuals and checked for any known issues they would not have had the problem Maybe I am old fashioned but I thought this sort of due diligence was part of an IT technicians job.

Windows 8: We kick the tyres on Redmond's new tablet wheels

mark daly

So how much of my 16 GB tablet will I need to install Windows 8

Ummm. 16 GB.

So it appears that you are going to have to buy a fairly costly tablet just to run this beast.

The interface may have changed but the bloat remains the same

HMRC's real-time PAYE pilot trousers 310 more employers

mark daly

Fantastic. Only another 3 million employers and 25 million employees to go

Lets see how it copes when they all their records start hitting the system once once a month.

Senior officials now in frame for HMRC data fiasco

mark daly

The 'junior official' may not a have been directly accessing a database at all

It is just as likely that he was downloading a file generated by some pre-existing batch process. As child benefit has been around for over 30 years it is quite likely that there was already a job set up to extract this sort of information from the system. While it is easy for IT professionals to think of numerous ways that the data could have been cleansed after the download it is important to remember that the individual in question was probably a lowly qualified administrative officer who was probably following a set of written instructions parrot fashion. His breach of the HMRC procedures was probably not that he was acting outside his remit by downloading the data and sending it out unencrypted but that he used the internal post rather than registered mail as the mechanism. As there were postal strikes around the time that the event occurred he may even have been give verbal instructions by his manager to use a non standard route ( note to all civil servants advise your supervisor in writing every time you depart from set practise so he/she can not deny the fact later). The fact that this young and probably lowly paid individual ( say £13,000 p.a) is being scapegoated by politicians and the senior managers in HMRC for what is really the failure of a poorly designed and implemented IT process just goes to show how low some of the top people in government are prepared to stoop nowdays. To describe the official round of blamestorming and buck passing as pathetic does not really start to give full expression to my contempt for these people.

Darling admits Revenue loss of 25 million personal records

mark daly

Why has the HMRC CIO Steve Lamey not quit ?

Surely Data security is his responsibility as much as Gray's and he has been in his job much longer than the resigning Chairman?

What role did HMRC's IT partner's Capgemini and Fujitsu have in this fiasco ?

Is n't it their responsibility to build systems that are intrinsically secure not just to rely on some civil servant in an office following the correct procedure ?

Lots of unanswered questions.

We can be certain that the cases reaching the attention of the media probably represent only a small proportion of all the potential breaches.

Beavis and Butthead in London jihad

mark daly

The question is surely not the competence of the terrorists

It really matters little if the attackers were professionals or bumblers if the intent was to kill. What is more an issue is how we let it effect our lives and how willing we should be to give up our liberty to politicians who are claiming that they can 'protect' us from such dangers. I suppose I am a little skeptical of requests from government to be 'vigilant' when it seems to mislay the whereabouts of known terrorism suspects on such a regular basis. My alarm bells also start ringing when the main stream media starts putting out misleading statements suggesting that the modus operandi of the attackers was the same as that deployed by Al Qaida in Iraq when there is really precious little evidence to suggest that is the case. I fear that the recent incidents will be used as yet another ploy to allow the current administration to push through its pet security projects such as ID Cards which in reality will do little to protect us from the current terror threat but will make us less free. No matter what we do in life we can not avoid the inevitability of death so maybe it is time we grew up and started to evaluate the risks of life like adults rather than hoping that 'nanny' will protect us from all misfortunes. Maybe then we might learn how to live as a free people.