* Posts by hoola

1851 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Mar 2013

Infosys launches aviation cloud it claims can halve lost luggage

hoola Silver badge


Forgive me for being cynical but just how can an "aviation cloud" stop luggage from being lost?

Stuff already has a barcode that is unique. One of my cases had an RFID tag stuck to it on one journey.

Volkswagen stuck in neutral after 'IT disruption'

hoola Silver badge

Re: Rumours...

A lot is with the finance directors and if you go further, corporate reporting.

Capital expenditure is bad because you get peaks and troughs. Subscriptions is what all the pen-pushers and "the markets" want because it is nice an consistent.

This is for both the manufactures and the purchasers.

It has not been driven by just one side.

hoola Silver badge

Re: Rumours...

Like most stuff that is purchased now.

So much of the hardware now only provides the most basic of functionality, the rest is all software that needs to be licensed. More recently with the push for everything to be on a subscription that now means that all the funky stuff stops working when the license expires.

This is more a reflection on how IT is consumed.

hoola Silver badge

Re: Rumours...

And something that happens more often that people admit.

In the previous place I worked we had a similar issue. For some reason a license for a critical piece of stuff was linked to a real person (I think there was some lunacy that it could not be a shared mailbox blah blah). That person left and because it was a 3 year agreement with 2 years to go, it was overlooked.

Now when it expires we don't get the reminder (the email address has gone). The automated PoS sending them cannot know that it has gone. Net result some software stopped working for the 2 weeks of arguing to get it re-licensed.

The vendor refused to relicense because they had someone at our organisation holding an (expired) license. The fact they could not be contacted appear to be an insignificant detail.

The home Wi-Fi upgrade we never asked for is coming. The one we need is not

hoola Silver badge

Re: Interest, expertise and time

If it is 1950s then it will be copper and you are fine.

The issue is from the 1980s when copper was expensive so aluminium was used. At the point it is joined to anything the aluminium oxidises and the connection becomes flaky. This is particularly critical is you have a crimp that is copper to aluminium.

Where I live there is a mix of copper and aluminium to the cabinet at the end of the road. Back in early 2000s i started having endless issues with the broadband. BT were sent out (I was with PlusNet) and a very capable engineer did some tests, disappeared for about an hour then came back with a verdict. We were on an aluminium cable for part of the run from the exchange. The bit to the house from the cabinet was copper. There was one pair of copper lines left, he swapped it at the exchange and cabinet, bingo, all problems gone for good.

Now it is someone else's problem. More recently we had FTTC and that has been rock solid with a Fritz! router.

hoola Silver badge

Mainly because the average user does not care, does not have the expertise and does not need the functionality a very small subset of techies need.

Car industry pleads for delay to post-Brexit tariffs on EVs

hoola Silver badge

Re: Lie

Maybe not just greed but the consumer want the cheapest possible price for everything regardless of actual cost or quality of the product.

That has been a huge driver with the result we have huge mountains of all sorts of "waste", much of which is not actually waste but just been slung out because people have replaced it with a new shiny thing when the old one still worked.

hoola Silver badge

As I understand things the tariff is all about EVs.

The outcome is actually that Chinese EV makers who only make BEV will have no import tariffs so European manufacturers will be subsidising already cheap imports.

I many be wrong and this is a completely different set of tariffs.

hoola Silver badge

Re: I'll be sticking with petrol (or diesel) for my next car.

They are only closing them because we are in a dash for BEV. Most major manufacturers have BEV, not so hydrogen fuel cells although they were viable long before lithium batterers became the default option.

hoola Silver badge

Re: I'll be sticking with petrol (or diesel) for my next car.

But there is still the charging issue.

It is no use have fast charging 10% to 80% in 15 or even 10 minutes because most people still park then whilst they do something else.

ICE refuelling is transient so turnover at the point of dispensing is quick.

This is not the case for electric so you need far more charging points. This now brings new issues.

Until charging times are on parity with refuelling, the ratio of chargers to users needs to be far higher.

hoola Silver badge

Except that it is no use if there is nobody to use the batteries.

Anyone can go through the motions to setup a factory, it is just the outcome is likely to be a failure.

As we have seen, once a reputable manufacturer comes up with a proposal it is supported.

California governor vetoes bill requiring human drivers in robo trucks

hoola Silver badge

Re: Cheaper transportation of goods

Ultimately the costs to society will rise as corporations get richer and the population increasingly becomes unemployed and has no meaningful income.

At the moment nobody is prepared to tackle this because those driving all this automation are going to make huge amounts of money in the short term.

Politicians are incapable of thinking beyond next week or the next bung so we are on a path to the complete breakdown or society,

Europe wants easy default browser selection screens. Mozilla is already sounding the alarm on dirty tricks

hoola Silver badge

And whenever you click on something on help (or anything else) in Windows it opens the browser.

Then there is the lunacy of stuff still trying to open Internet Explorer!!!!

hoola Silver badge

And when there are updates randomly resetting the default applications so things like PDF open in the browse with half the functionality missing.

Beneath Microsoft's Surface event, AI spreads everywhere

hoola Silver badge

Re: Smoke and mirrors

Just like search and so on

All this "AI" predictive search and completion is utter bollocks

You start typing the suggest have absolutely sod all relevance to what you put in. Even with s specific phrase it is suggesting utter shite to complete it.

Just turn all this crap off and save all the memory, cpu and electricity,

Singapore may split liability for phishing losses between banks and victims

hoola Silver badge

Given the amount of logging that is done it really does strike me as nuts how banks just let completely out or band payments go through.

There appears to be very limited checking and the fact that it is just so easy to transfer huge amounts of money with no constraints, delays or checks.

Equally it pisses me off that on most of the online apps you can login on the same device that the MFA is sent to,

Used cars? Try used car accounts: 15,000 up for grabs online at just $2 a pop

hoola Silver badge

Re: Hmmmm

It is easier to obtain and if it already includes other useful data it worth their while.

Sure, anyone can get a VIN but that involves going out and wandering round car parks with a camera. Most are infested with CCTV. This way they don't have to open the front door.

Judge sides with Meta and Google, puts California child privacy law on hold

hoola Silver badge


Sadly I suspect this is more down to money.

Money rules and corporations like this have boat load so as they have repeatedly done over the years, can buy or influence pretty much anything that they perceive may harm them.

The only thing that will do anything to curb these people is regulation at national and international levels.

In reality the only one that possibly has any hope is the EU, the US is never going do anything about the way a very rich corporation runs it's operations.

80% of execs regret calling employees back to the office

hoola Silver badge

Re: It's all about the real estate

Modern buildings are hopeless, invariably designed for huge open spaces that are not usable for anything else. The spaces are just too far from windows.

You're not seeing double – yet another UK copshop is confessing to a data leak

hoola Silver badge

Re: Captain paranoid

But, and this is often ignored, there are huge issues dealing with FOIA requests where organisations will not be robust enough in responding to the serial requesters and vexatious requests.

I would surmise that teh actual request may have come from the same source. There are people out there who do nothing but send out request after request.

I am not excusing the mistakes but having been on the receiving end of some of these:

An inventory of all our network equipment, manufacturer, model, purchase date

The same for all storage and servers

The square meter area occupied for teaching space compared to admin.

The list goes on.

Management and CIOs are scared to say no so people run round sorting all this crap out.

FOIA has it's place however it is just being abused and most of the requests are absolutely nothing to do with the original concepts when it was first setup.

Cumbrian Police accidentally publish all officers' details online

hoola Silver badge

Re: Human Error?

Much like the private sector then.

Have people been sanctioned for the Capita USS loss, Equifax? Not that anyone is aware of. The fines were (or will be) derisory.

It does not matter if it is public or private sector, there a plenty of incompetents in both. One can also argue that it is easier to get away with in the private sector as there is less scrutiny. I have been on both sides of the fence.

hoola Silver badge

In most private companies salary is confidential between the employer and employee. In the UK in the public sector there are job descriptions and associated pay grades so at a high level you do not what different members of staff are paid. What the variation is in the small band within the grade is another matter and personally it was such a small amount I did not get excited by it.

hoola Silver badge

If you mean that it is perfectly acceptable to abuse officers not just when they are on duty but also off duty including their families then it is no wonder we are in the sorry state we are.

hoola Silver badge

Please explain why, just because someone is a public employee this data should be available?

There is no justification in publishing all employee details other than for people who are not in that sector to cause trouble. By the same token then all employees should be listed for every organisation, private, public, charity the lot. The downside of course is that YOUR details would then be publsihed,

It is also rather ironic that you believe this should be publicly available yet you post as "AC", not even handle........

hoola Silver badge

Re: How?

Whist that is correct, the issue now with this sort of "accidental" release is that it cannot be undone.

This is what seriously pisses me off. Every time this happens (and it appears to be approaching daily) it is an "accident". There appear to be no consequences for anyone involved, it is just accepted that "it happened, nothing to worry about, carry on".

If the consequences were significant then people would be rather more careful in what is actually done.

Take the PSNI fiasco, the top man should have been suspended without pay pending investigation and then probably dismissal. The staff further down the chain should also be subject to consequences.

Then we have the breaches that are always a "sophisticated attack". I don't care how sophisticated the attack was, the data has been exposed and nobody appears to give a stuff.

Zoom's new London hub – where 'remote work' meets 'we need you back in the office'

hoola Silver badge

Re: Zoom video meetings ..

How about not auto-updating the Zoom client when you open it to start a meeting but give the option to update at the end.

More and more we are abandoning Zoom because of technical issues.

hoola Silver badge

This is the crux of all this Teams and other messaging stuff.

You cannot search for anything and get a meaningful result.

Instant messaging is to replace those conversations that take place that are informal.

Email is when you need a though out question/answer response.

It really pisses me off when you get questions via Teams that have no right to be in Teams. Use a bloody email, it takes the same amount of time and FFS write in English.

The last one really winds me up, I am not a street-savvy Social Media, Chat, WhatsApp user. I expect to be able to understand what I am reading without going to a translator. Not everyone understands all the ridiculous shorthand collections of letters.

Lock-in to legacy code is a thing. Being locked in by legacy code is another thing entirely

hoola Silver badge

Door Access Readers

At the last place I worked door access was all on some sort of reader and it was based on groups that where managed directly in the controller system. This was managed from security. One day I turned up at the office to find someone outside our external door waving a card trying to get it. The assumption was that his card had failed. I tried mine, nothing. Gradually more people arrived whilst we were speaking to security. The system that managed the doors had a "failure" so nobody could get in, this included security into the room where the PC needed to drive this operated from.

We have really bad remote access at the time to manage systems. We could connect to the WiFi but not our corporate network. Access to the systems was mostly tied down to a limited range of IP addresses.

Eventually someone decided which doors would be easiest to force to access the offending PC. I think it took about 2 hours to gain access and fix it. The problem is that it could not "fail open" from the outside as this would leave all the buildings with unrestricted access.

NASA to test potential 400Mbps laser link for Mars

hoola Silver badge

Re: error correction

I would also have thought there is significantly more risk of a laser if the beam hit something. Unless the outputs are really silly RF is generally on dangerous if you are in the vicinity or the transmitter.

There is nothing mentioned about the power of the laser but it cannot be insignificant.

Light is also impacted by atmospheric conditions such as cloud. Now if the laser was at Cerro Paranal or Mauna Kea that mitigates some of that. I would also have thought that equipment on the space-end of the link would be heavier....

Larry Ellison a major contributor to Blair Institute vaccine database plan

hoola Silver badge

Surely the money would actually have more impact if it delivered the real healthcare, funding the medical staff, equipment, drugs and crucially training rather than expensive software.

Palantir lobbied UK pensions department for its software to tackle fraud

hoola Silver badge

Re: "Reduce fraud in the social security benefits system"

But Benefit Fraud is seen by many people in the UK and the media as a massive issue that is costing "Them" personally huge amounts of money. The simply fact it is benefits and this is associated with "scroungers" in the eyes of those who support a crackdown. That the outcome is only going to benefit a large, unregulated US corporation is a minor detail, "scroungers, miscreants and fraudsters" will have been stopped (allegedly).

We need to be first on the Moon, uh, again, says NASA

hoola Silver badge

Re: Just one question

This is why anti-satellite is mainly about using small things like ball bearings to create a big mess. It is also why anti-satellite is going to be self defeating.

Once the usable orbits are full of the debris from the first space conflict, everyone loses and is in the same boat.

hoola Silver badge

Re: Just one question

And equally the assumption is that if the US (NASA) get's there first that it will be "Theirs".

Soon the most popular 'real' desktop will be the Linux desktop

hoola Silver badge

Re: @StrangerHereMyself - They'll try

Linux LTS is not a distribution, it is the kernel.

I cannot download and install Linux. It is simply not possible as it does not exist as a unique OS (I suppose with enough knowledge one could roll your own).

I can however download a distribution (of which there are many) and install it. Just like Windows & iOS there are different releases within each distribution, all with their subtle differences.

hoola Silver badge

Re: @StrangerHereMyself - They'll try

But it needs a single consistent, working release. Linux does not have that.......

Let's just say that a major retailer persuaded one of the brands to bundle a device with Linux?

Which version?

Ubuntu stands out but then all that would happen is El Reg would be full of people ranting that was wrong, it should be Mint, it should be Fedors, Manjaro.

Then we have the minor issue that the majority of consumers would not be able the install the Applications they want.

The gulf between the average users and expert user is huge.

hoola Silver badge

Re: functionality

And this is where the article is failing. Lumping all the mobile & tablet OS types together rather misses the point on how people use the end devices.

Tablets and mobiles are devices mostly used for consumption not creation.

A full OS is primarily used for creation, that latter is Windows iOS & Linux. What ever people on El Reg think, Linux is never going to be the primary OS of choice because for the average user it is too complicated.

You cannot go to your local retailer or online and buy a laptop with Linux preinstalled. It is as simple as that.

Now look at all the distributions and this is where Linux is it's own worst enemy, You don't install "Linux". You have to find a distribution and then install it, With Windows, iOS & Chrome the devices makes the choice.

Yes the Apps matter and for the average user they are going to take what they are familiar with and what works. For Office that is O365. The average user simply does not want to try various free offerings that may or may not work and frequently have issues with formatting.

As far as education is concerned, establishments want a simple one-stop-shop and only Microsoft of Google offer those. Google made inroads because they gave away the devices.

People commenting on the Register see the Linux/Windows debate from their own perspective as expert users, not the average user. It does not matter how easy we perceive installing Linux is, you need expertise to do it and mess around with dual boot or destroying the default OS and not being able to put it back. The average user is just not going to do it.

Deutsche Bahn stands to lose €400M if it has to do Huawei with Chinese kit

hoola Silver badge

But the noise to go down the rip and replace route is being very heavily pushed from the US. Strangely they stand to benefit from increased sales of equipment under US brand names that are manufactured in the Far East or if not, primarily use components manufactured there.

I certainly have no confidence that the US government does not have security loopholes that permit access. The simple assumption is that Chinese = Bad, US = Good. That could very easily change in the future to be India - Bad, US = Good. Rewrite according to the latest country that is perceived to be a threat to the US.

How to get a computer get stuck in a lift? Ask an 'illegal engineer'

hoola Silver badge

Re: We had a similar incident

Years ago we needed to move a rack from the 9th floor of one office to another building a short distance away.

This all appears straight forward. We roughly new the weight of the rack and equipment and it was well under the limit on the lift.

On the set day we unplugged the 42U rack, wheeled it out of the room and into the lift. The lift now decided it was over specified load however it had dropped slightly and we could not get the rack back out of the lift...........

We now had to start removing equipment from the rack until we could manhandle it over the step. The lift would not reset until all the load had been removed!

The lift was rated at something like 750Kg and we were nowhere near that so who knows what was going on.

Playing instruments, musical talent? Psh, this is the 2020s – Meta has models for that now

hoola Silver badge

I would bet a large cake that the cost of all the people and tech trying to create this is far higher than the cost of of having real performers actually make music.

I exclude the over-hyped mega names for obvious reasons.

What the ordinary musician gets paid is generally an insult to the training, experience and work needed to produce the result.

I say this as someone who trained professionally but ended up working in IT so that I could pay the bills and enjoy making music.

Our AI habit is making us less environmentally friendly, Google admits

hoola Silver badge

And there lies the big stumbling block.....

They will have to pay to make their data centres CO2 neutral (although that is a scam). It needs to be renewable and sustainable.

Planting trees to "offset" carbon emissions is a total con and the areas needed are not viable.

Millions of tonnes of CO2 and other waste is spewed out or recycled (dumped in Africa) so that rich people can post videos of cats, stream endless films and abuse each other on Social Media.

Heck, even El Reg is part of the problem!

Amazon are just as bad if not worse. Making a fuss about building a solar farm on agricultural land whilst not putting the panels on their own sheds springs to mind.

Aspiration to deploy new UK nuclear reactor every year a 'wish', not a plan

hoola Silver badge

Re: Hmm

The "Dash For Gas" was all about cleaning up generation quickly because of acid rain and sulphur. Coal fired plants were all similar ages and were getting to the later stages of their lifespan. Costs to modernise were high and gas was seen as the miracle fuel, cheap, reliable and not constrained by unions. CCGT has always been cheaper to build because the sites were generally small, no cooling towers or perceived emissions so planners just waved them through. That many are now end of life is also an issue.

Coal was pretty much killed in the 80s so we end up where we are.

Post-Brexit tariffs on cross EU-UK electrical vehicle imports still going ahead

hoola Silver badge

Recycling is irrelevant at the moment as there is not enough virgin material to meet demand and there are not batteries being recycled.

hoola Silver badge

Re: Fuck business

And did actually make anything or have any customers to buy the batteries

hoola Silver badge

Re: Fuck business

Maybe ask the question as to how the EU makers are able to avoid the tariffs?

Is it because they are importing the batteries from China into the EU and that conveniently bypasses the tariff?

Chinese balloon that US shot down was 'crammed' with American hardware

hoola Silver badge

Re: Red Spy Balloon Phoning Home

Straight out of Bond.......

hoola Silver badge

Re: Notice how....

American components that were ultimately made in China or Taiwan.....

Bosses face losing 'key' workers after forcing a return to office

hoola Silver badge

This assumption it the thing that really winds me up and was one of the reasons I moved.

Yes, for most people there are savings however for another group there are no savings. If you walked or cycled to work and then got converted to WFH you are no better off and in many ways are worse off.

My previous company decided after Covid when we started WFH that if your were not needed on campus then you would work from home, The published policy for this was that everyone would be better off. I previously cycled to work so was not better off. All the management involved in this policy had long commutes......

I am still WFH, I made the choice, my new employer actively supports both home & office.

hoola Silver badge

Re: Remote colleagues

That all sound super cool but you have now extended your working day. Maybe you take the breaks and things in between but what I often see is that people are putting in far more hours, end up being available when they should not be (this is what happened at my previous employer).

The big winners are the employers, they are getting more time for the same money. The arguments about saved commute time and so on are completely spurious. That was a one-off benefit when WFH first came out. Commuting time is non-productive time, it is not your employers time, it is yours because people chose to live a distance from where they work. This same change also gave many of us that have converted to WFH a big pay rise as the communing costs disappeared.

Clearly WFH has many benefits however the thing that really winds we up is all the resistance about returning to the office is from those at the higher ends of the pay scales. The jobs they do and the home environment they can work are are a far better fit.

Whether people choose to work WFH or the office should be with the employee. The employer needs to facilitate both but WFH needs to have appropriate equipment and conditions. My employer is very clear that we have "working hours" and you are expected to turn off and not be available outside so them. Those hours are flexible so as an example if someone needs to go out to collect kids 3 to 4 every day, you just mark it in your diary and adjust the start/end times as appropriate. This is a global company with employees scattered across many countries and time zones. They are also very clear that you have to have appropriate space and resources to work from home providing office chair, desk docking station and monitors in addition to the laptop.

The other this with these sorts of surveys is what people say and what they actually will do are usually two separate things.

Red Hat strikes a crushing blow against RHEL downstreams

hoola Silver badge

Re: GPL violation

Red Hat is a huge corporation making money selling and supporting their version of Linux.

To me the choice is very simple, it you do not want all the bits that come with an enterprise subscription for RHEL, use a completely free version. The arguments on ElReg are often around how many free versions of Linux there are available.

In this case Red Hat has made a commercial decision that to use RHEL you will need to buy a subscription. For all the good sides of Linux and Open Source it is also one of the risks. As you say, it should be a relatively simple process to move away.

Near Field Communication to get longer, stronger – better at contactless

hoola Silver badge

This has all the attributes of being the solution to a problem that only exists in the mind of "the yoof of today",

Contactless was so that you did not have to put the card into a reader and type a ping (most of the time).

Making the contactless distance greater appears to me to be complete lunacy. There is a very finite limit to how far that "Near" can be before you get interference and mis-reading from surrounding cards and phones.

I am thinking busy places like stations and buses where touch and go is implemented.