* Posts by Ralph Online

29 posts • joined 9 Dec 2013

VMware staff in Silicon Valley can leave a pandemic, wildfire-ridden zone – if they're willing to accept less pay

Ralph Online

Re: Simples

Just recruiters..? Meet "Bob" a star programmer who outsourced his own job to China:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/17/sacked-model-modern-employee-outsourcing

Brexit border-line issues: Would you want to still be 'testing' software designed to stop Kent becoming a massive lorry park come 31 December?

Ralph Online

Re: Testing? Are you having a larf?

The Irish have actually done their thinking, their planning, and their execution of their plans to bypass the UK over the last few years. The use of the UK as a "land bridge" to the Continent much reduced.

From March 2019:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/brexit-buster-sister-ship-begins-sailings-to-mainland-europe-1.3842933

From May 2020:

https://theloadstar.com/port-of-cork-wins-new-transatlantic-deepsea-call-on-icl-service/

Vodafone chief speaks out after 5G conspiracy nuts torch phone mast serving Nightingale Hospital in Brum

Ralph Online

Carlo M Cippola

Well worth looking up Basic Laws of Human Stupidity by economist Carlo M Cippola.

He defined a "Stupid Person" as someone who repeatedly behaved in a manner which harmed everyone for no personal gain to themselves. So more based on behaviours rather than any ability to pass an IQ test.

And there are more Stupid People around than you'd imagine (for UK I'd say a first approximation could be 17.4m or maybe 13.9m?)

Don't worry, IT contractors. New UK chancellor says HMRC will be gentle pushing IR35 rules

Ralph Online

Re: "People in this country have had enough of experts"

Rishi Sunak - non-entity??? Sunak's wife is Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Indian billionaire and co-founder of Infosys, N. R. Narayana Murthy.

I think he'll know a thing or two about IT outsourcing and contractors. If he hasn't an agenda already, he'll soon be given one.

Apollo 11 @ 50: The long shadow of the flag

Ralph Online

Re: The most expensive dick swinging contest in history

Newtonian physics... well yeah, but I would guess most of the difficulty is solving second order differential equations. And for this they could have used Analogue Computers instead they went Digital I think because of weight constraints. Bit like giving up on a hammer drill and using a penknife?

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Ralph Online

Boomerang or Killer Drone

Hunting Boomerangs - apparently called kylies can take out a kangaroo or parrot at about 100m according to Wikipedia. So must be capable of taking down a drone with minimal risk of collateral damage? Just need someone trained in throwing them.

Or what about Killer Drones? Surely you just have a bigger, more powerful drone. Equip it with Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence... powered from the Cloud... and just get it to perform a quick hard reset on the intruding drone?

And Robert's your mother's brother.

'Alternative network provider' CityFibre boosts sales 36%

Ralph Online

According to their website: "CityFibre’s networks address 28,000 public sites, 7,800 mobile masts, 280,000 businesses and 4 million homes."

And I'd guess that the takeup from those 4 million homes is maybe 20-25% ?

Manchester pulls £750 public crucifixion offer

Ralph Online
WTF?

If you want to act out being Noah...

Take a trip to Kentucky in the Summer!!!

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/07/us/noahs-ark-kentucky/

Bizarre!

Scotland's Skyscanner sold to Chinese rival Ctrip in £1.4bn deal

Ralph Online

Skyscanner - take-off and rocky ride?

I was introduced to Skyscanner by a work colleague in the early 2000's - so presumably soon after it was launched. Pretty unimpressed at the time.

Then in early 2014 I needed to book a (business) flight to Barcelona - I tried Skyscanner after a couple of work colleagues said that was how they have been arranging flights. Wow.. impressed.. took me though to a ticket agency and I got some decent flights.

However since then, whenever I've tried using Skyscanner I have been disappointed. Is it just my impression or has Skyscanner passed it's peak? And if so.. £1.4bn is a nice little stash for the owners.

Smart meter benefits even crappier than originally thought

Ralph Online

Re: Two reasons

Huius, Huius, Huius, Huic, Huic, Huic, Hunc, Hanc, Hoc.... and that's the lot from me!

China gets mad at Donald Trump, threatens to ruin Apple

Ralph Online

Basic problem....

1) The Yuan has been kept low to encourage exports/discourage imports into China.

2) Chinese Central Bank has essentially kept it's reserves in US$ and in the US. Built up by accepting the $$$$ from the Chinese exporters.

3) If the Yuan was allowed to rise in value then these assets are correspondingly devalued.

4) Therefore it's virtually unthinkable for the Chinese Central Bank to allow the Yuan to rise.

BIG problem....

Today is the 211th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar

Ralph Online

1805: British fleet manned by migrants!

Worth noting that the victories at Trafalgar and then Waterloo ... THANKS in part to people from other countries:

"The crews of the ships that fought at Trafalgar included sailors from America, Ireland, Prussia, Sweden, the West Indies, Africa, and even France and Spain against whom the British were fighting. On Nelson's ship HMS Victory there were 22 nationalities involved in fighting on the British side."

Ditto at Waterloo..

200+ years later we think we can be great standing on our own? Errr no.

Virgin Media boss warns Brexit could hamstring broadband investment

Ralph Online

Re: Costs rising?

I would suspect that VM will be borrowing in £ in the city. [Indeed probably borrowing in the city to provide funds for other parts of LG - shipped though some Luxembourg type arrangement (?), and using interest payments made in the UK to offset/reduce their profits to zero - thereby paying no UK corporation tax.]

But ultimately LG reports its financials in $, so these will be negatively impacted as will any dividends paid to US investors.

Ralph Online

Re: Start investing and laying some fibre, then we'll listen...

All those companies (NTL, Telewest etc..) laid HFC = Hybrid Fibre Coax, so it was only fibre in the aggregation network, then a fibre node to convert to Coax cable to your home. And it was all analogue. Now it's digital.

NOBODY puts Coax in the ground anymore.

Project Lightening is laying modern fibre to the home. I think they are genuinely extending their coverage. Though I think much of it will still behave like HFC (RFoG). I would suspect they want/need better coverage to increase their potential number of customers (Homes Reached To Marketing) and compete with Sky and BT. Not sure how the reported price increases will help them though!

Ralph Online

Re: Pot -> Kettle

Just a minor correction: It's Liberty MEDIA are taking over control of F1. This is a US/media company. Liberty GLOBAL is an international telecoms company - mostly Cable, mostly Europe+South America. The latter was spun out from the former, though both are still controlled through special shares by John Malone.

British unis mull offshore EU campuses in post-Brexit vote panic

Ralph Online
Pint

Ghent has so much to offer....

Start with "Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant"

EU's one-time antitrust hammer Steelie Neelie had 'offshore interests'

Ralph Online

And Steelie would just like to say "Rot op"..

..with her classic gesture:

http://16315-presscdn-0-27.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/kroes_1401941f.jpg

EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords

Ralph Online
Linux

Nicely written - inflammatory and humorous - article, but I am not convinced El Reg has its facts quite straight.

An article on IP Watch (OK, probably batting for the Sony-side of this argument) gives a more complete view. http://www.ip-watch.org/2016/09/15/wifi-providers-can-be-forced-to-require-passwords-on-rightsholder-request-ecj-rules/

To me this says that a rights holder can ask for an injunction on someone operating an open Wifi hotspot to secure their internet connection by means of a password.

So Mr Sony et al, are you going to order all open wifi hotspot operators to secure their internet connections? Really? One-by-one! Nah.. so most of the little guys will carry on BAU. At least I hope so!

As for the bigger hotspot operators - eg BT, Sky/The Cloud, or Virgin Media/Arqiva Wifi are already authenticating users.

VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly

Ralph Online

Re: Colour me surprised

I too had a 2008 Toyota with a D4D with the DPF fitted (a T-180 Avensis). And yes, MPG would peak at 38MPG, usually averaging about 33MPG. Much worse than the older Avensis with same engine, but without the DPF. Unimpressed.

In hindsight I think the problem was a gradual build up of soot in the EGR valve/Exhaust manifold - strip it and clean this and people claim that MPG > 40MPG can be achieved. Should have been a service item?

So were Toyota being incompetent, and/or unethical towards their customers?

VW engineers clearly were competent but highly unethical with their cheat devices.

Virgin signs up record ultrafast broadband subs

Ralph Online

Re: Great news,,,,

There is A WIK consult document on the ACM website from July 2014 that goes through many of the issues with Docsis networks. I can't claim to understand it properly...

Ralph Online

Re: Great news,,,,

And even if Ofcom were to judge VM to have Significant Market Power (SMP) in Fixed Broadband services, I believe it's very difficult to unbundle an HFC-based network.

ACM (the Dutch regulator) is keen to impose some requirement on Ziggo to unbundle, but there seems to be many technical hurdles that nobody is very motivated to overcome.

Facebook paid £4k in tax. HMRC then paid Facebook £27k – for ads

Ralph Online

I've just been reading "The Great Tax Robbery: How Britain Became A Tax Haven For Fat Cats And Big Business" by Richard Brooks. It's a good read, written by an ex-tax inspector doing some investigative journalism.

However it's hard to actually comprehend how all this tax avoidance malachy is actually done - it really does seem to be down to big business and accountants working with HMRC to set favourable, and highly complex tax laws which allow multi-nationals to circumvent paying much (any?) company tax.

Gives multi-national companies an even bigger advantage over small/medium sized businesses.

Shopping for PCs? This is what you'll be offered in 2016

Ralph Online

Couple of minor requests...

What I'd like to see on the next "fleet" of business laptops is:

a) Bluetooth enabled (maybe even properly secured - if that's possible?) so that I use a Bluetooth mouse directly instead of a silly little USB dongle

b) Windows 10 - with Miracast. So somehow you can use Miracast to connect a laptop to those big screen/projectors in meeting room. So no more palaver with HDMI cables, or God forbid those old VGA cables with the bent pins!

Council of Europe gets tough on net neutrality

Ralph Online

Re: Calm down! Pay attention to which organization we're dealing with!!!

Well, OK.. I guess you are entitled to your viewpoint :-) And I hope do you know that big companies like Google/FaceBook actually support Net Neutrality because that way the telco's are not allowed to charge them for carrying traffic originating on their servers. They don't want to pay what you are calling a bribe.

But I'm not arging for/against Net Neutrality here. And I'm certainly in favour of Human Rights.

Just please, please don't waste your time on CoE declarations on Net Neutrality.

Rather pay attention to the Consilium and http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/07/08-roaming-charges/ You'll see - in the EU at least - we're heading towards a "Weak" Net Neutrality. The complications are to do with what's "reasonable traffic management", and what exactly is a "specialised service".

Oh, and BTW this stuff struggling down the EU track is framed as a "Regulation" rather than a "Directive" which means it becomes EU-wide law without having to be passed at the Member State level.

Ralph Online

Calm down! Pay attention to which organization we're dealing with!!!

Please note that he "Council of Europe" has NOTHING to do with the European Union.

The CoE is a body that represents 47 European Countries. It has more to do with Human Rights - and it includes the European Court of Justice. Concerned about freedom of expression - so WTF do such people know about Net Neutrality? As long as someone can access FaceBook or Reddit - with some degree of privacy/anonymity - their job is done!

Net Neutrality, and overall digital/telco regulation, within the EU is for EU bodies to legislate on. And yes, they've been struggling with Net Neutrality legislation for the last 2-3 years. And they are more concerned about Customer protection and balancing European investments, than human rights.

Note: the two executive EU bodies are the Council of Ministers and the Consilium, supported by the bureaucarts in the European Commission, and with the European Court of Justice being the judiciary.

Lies, damn lies and election polls: Why GE2015 pundits fluffed the numbers so badly

Ralph Online

Much of the "science" of market research is built on the election polling industry - all going back to George Gallup as far as I understand.The dismal performance of the pollsters in GE2015 makes me wonder whether market research should now be rebased on weather forecasting - after all the science, or at least the mathematical models they have, seems to be improving!

REVEALED: Titsup flight plan mainframe borks UK air traffic control

Ralph Online
Black Helicopters

ATC running on a mainframe? In this day and age that's ridiculous! Surely it's most appropriate to run these applications "in the Cloud" ;-)

Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

Ralph Online

Q: How do you know whether you should use a screw or a nail?

A: Simple: use a nail, and if the wood splits then you know you should have used a screw.

How UK air traffic control system was caught asleep on the job

Ralph Online

Re: Was expecting something more technical

I doubt that it was anything so, so COTS as those!

From what I can see it's probably a Frequentis VCS 3020X system that was at fault.

One of these systems http://tinyurl.com/oplnucd

And I think relatively widely deployed? Although possibly each system has to be customized?

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