* Posts by RyszrdG

42 posts • joined 31 Jan 2014

BOFH: 7 jars of Marmite, a laptop and a good time


Marmite - hmmm

Not so long ago my development group office had a small kitchen area to make tea and coffee. It also contained toaster, bread and catering sized jars of Marmite. Marmite, if you are unaware is fortified with folic acid and pretty well all the female staff slathered their toast with Marmite. In retrospect it is no surprise that most of the women ended up on maternity leave within a few months of the Marmite becoming available. Just coincidence perhaps?

NHS COVID-19 app's first weekend: With fundamental testing flaw ironed out, bugs remaining are relatively trivial


Elephants and rooms etc.

Not everyone carries a phone..

Not all phones are 'smart'

Phones must (usually) be switched off on planes and other signal sensitive areas.

Some environments do not allow phones to be taken on site.

Some areas do not have reliable mobile phone signals.

Phones are often turned off and only turned on when needed

etc etc..

How long before NOT carrying an approved phone becomes a punishable offence?

How long before total surveillance becomes the norm?

Perhaps we will all be compelled to carry an embedded transponder that will determine your civil rights.

Are we looking into the abyss?

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere


If you don't ..

You will only have yourself to blame when your are pwned. A different password for each app may seem a faff but there are ways around that. The main upside is that it becomes very easy to track which account has been exposed and to take appropriate actions..

Lynch lied about Autonomy's accounts, rages HPE to the High Court


Caveat Emptor

If in doubt HPE should have walked away or at the very least made the exceptions contractual dependencies. HPE were either complacent or greedy when Autonomy allegedly failed to disclose requested information and should be at least considered partly responsible for the outcome.

The seven deadly sins of the 2010s: No, not pride, sloth, etc. The seven UI 'dark patterns' that trick you into buying stuff


A Prime example

Just try avoiding Amazon Prime on checkout - they probably employ Voldemort!

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once


Unintended consequences

Interesting. This rule is an opportunity for any terrorist organization to create a browser hijack/cyber attack that connects to proscribed terrorist sites and implicates the hapless user as a proto-terrorist. Technically not too difficult and the impact could be significant - perhaps start by targeting MPs and other establishment figures. Could swamp the investigators while real terrorists get on quietly in the background planning the next outrage. O what fun!

IBM: Co-Op Insurance talking direct to coding subcontractor helped collapse of £55m IT revamp project



I have yet to see any mission critical business change programme deliver successfully using only agile. Sounds like the Co-op was up against the wall and grasping at straws to get its programme delivered and bought Wile Cayote's story. No credit to any party concerned.

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget


Lies, dammned lies and government promises

When the government tries to give you something "for nothing" you had better check the small print (or count your fingers). Having chosen the most expensive and risky option the government needed to construct a reason for the public to buy into the idea, hence the risible savings idea. Everyone including the government and suppliers can see that this is nonsense but they don't know how to stop the programme having spent so much of the budget without achieving any meaningful result. Their mindset only allows them to plough on regardless - how many programmes have we seen in this position? It needs balls of steel (sorry Theresa, Rudd et al) to stop this nonsense and given the example of the Brexit show I doubt it could ever happen, short of war.

Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads


Happened to me again yesterday. Presented with a semantic choice where either answer entered you into the free trial. I immediately cancelled but it always leaves you with an uncomfortable feeling that they will take the subscription anyway.

Once again, UK doesn't rule out buying F-35A fighter jets


Apart from the cost ..

Is this the F35 that will need to have its engines serviced in Turkey? You know the country that is currently cozying up to the Russian Federation. Couldn't make it up!

Brit Lords start peer-to-peer wrangling over regulating the internet


Oh no ...

The governments 'useful idiots' at it again - all for £300 a day and a nice cosy place to snooze.

Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, off you go: Snout of UK space forcibly removed from EU satellite trough


Skewed thinking

Since the US dropped Selective Availability the case for a separate EU positioning system is less obvious unless it is seen in the context of establishing EU 'me-too' political credentials against GPS, BDS and GLONASS, The UK could save a shitload of money by remaining with GPS despite sunk costs in Galileo. We hardly need reminding that we are both family and long term strategic partners of the USA - Europeans by geography rather than nature. Out of the EU we will need to strengthen our ties for our own security - financially and militarily. Trade is global but if there is a conflict I know who I would prefer to stand alongside.

Oregon will let engineer refer to himself as an 'engineer'


Real Engineers

Canada is one of only a few countries where being able to call yourself an engineer requires formal acknowledgement and qualifications. It may be a little ridiculous from the perspective of the UK where there is no recognition of the value of engineering and would not know a Chartered Engineer from Adam.

Capgemini: We love our 'flexible, flowing' spade


Bah Humbug

Could have saved themselves a fortune by using Comic Sans and an emoji.

Your boss asks you to run the 'cloud project': Ever-changing wish lists, packs of 'ideas'... and 1 deadline


plus ça change ...

I'm sure that there is a medically definable mental condition that kicks in when normally rational people commission anything to do with IT projects. One of the worst is when they have seen a demo of the UI and believe that turning it into a usable, manageable system is obviously child's play. Literally so in a debate I had with an MD of a major corporate about a project, who reckoned his son could knock up the solution in a week. I suggested that the child genius should join the team and show us all how to do the job. Of course it never happened. Or another major corporate customer who demanded significant functional changes to a corporate system that had completed formal acceptance testing the evening before it went live - I had to tell him to fuck off and raise a CR; I heard no more of it and the go-live was a success but it could easily have been a disaster if I had rolled over - and guess what, I would have been the whipping boy. Further evidence, if any was needed, that managing customers and their often unreal expectations is the most critical part of any project.

Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report


Government and supplier mendacity to the power of n ....

In actual fact there are no savings to the consumer whatsoever. The con trick is that the cost of the programme is distributed over all consumer bills annually in perpetuity whether or not you have a 'smart' meter; it is in fact an annual increase on average of £420 for each consumer giving suppliers a double bubble benefit of off-loading the cost and reducing headcount. We have been right royally screwed - donkeys all!.

'Real' people want govts to spy on them, argues UK Home Secretary


Yea right

The usual arrant nonsense to anyone that understands the technology. Unfortunately those who do understand represent less than 0.01% of the electorate and no matter how much we argue against these assertions and proposed legislation we have no actual leverage or public visibility. Of course anyone who argues the case for encryption is immediately suspect (at least a spy, terrorist or paedophile). To show that strong encryption is a real world necessity it would be necessary to have a practical demonstration of what could happen without it, in a way that can be understood by the electorate. I suspect balls of steel, imagination and sheer chutzpah will be a necessary prerequisite for this approach to be successful though.

UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks


and so ..

The extent of politicians self delusion that this will actually control access to porn and other 'undesirable' web sites is no surprise. Eventually they will realise the futility of this approach and adopt more draconian measures with even greater state control and inquisitiveness. Eventually we will only be able to access the internet using a state approved gateway and license fee. Welcome to the UK - the leading surveillance state of the 21st century and all self imposed.

Multics resurrected: Proto-Unix now runs on Raspberry Pi or x86


Re: Multics Hardware security

What next - the resurrection of SCOMP?

Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border


Lateral thinking required ...

Of course the answer is to bring Ireland into the UK rather than cede NI. Oh shit - didn't we try this some time ago?

US Navy runs into snags with aircraft carrier's electric plane-slingshot



How about the Trump-era scenario whereby the F35B is cancelled or put indefinite hold. Given that that the UKs carriers cannot be retrofitted with catapults they will have no fast jet capability leaving us with the most expensive helicopter carriers in the world.

On second thoughts it really does not matter as we have no carrier support group either so they will be too exposed to sail anyway. Why not admit that it was just a job creation scheme after all. We could have saved a packet by making them out of cardboard.

Energy firm points to hackers after Kiev power outage


Re: "Smart Grid connectivity" doesn't imply Internet connectivity

..of course it could never happen in the UK..

UK.gov was warned of smart meter debacle by Cabinet Office in 2012


Doomed to failure

The projected consumer savings are so low that they could be achieved by installing a few LED bulbs so as a consumer I would say - why bother? Meters are not compulsory and the whole misguided project can be undermined by a general boycott of this completely unnecessary technology.

UK spying law delayed while Lords demand Leveson amendments


The real news is that the UK public have just rolled over and accepted the most intrusive piece of legislation outside of China and North Korea in the false name of security. Voices in the wilderness notwithstanding a dark day for democracy and free will.

You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack



What is 'Smart' about Smart Metering? Zip, nada nothing. If we all called it what it really is - remote monitoring and control, the sooner this nonsense will be exposed for the con trick by the energy companies and government that it really is. The classic boiling frogs experiment - the general public do not care that they are paying for an obsolete technical infrastructure of questionable benefit to the consumer and indeed appear not to care anyway.

UK.gov's Major Projects Authority ain't saving us any money, say MPs


Perfect storm

Too much ambition, too little due diligence, laissez faire governance and a form of Stockholm Syndrome between supplier, customer and oversight invariably creates the perfect storm .. blame, when it happens inevitably assigned to the lowest in the food chain with the real culprits reassigned, promoted or jumping ship. There is no easy solution but I have yet to see any delivery process that is entirely fit for purpose. My experience of government programmes is that concepts that may seem to enshrine a simple political idea rarely scale from proof of concept to national roll-out by which time the politicians have moved on. Like it or not, I can only think of one honourable exception - that of Universal Credit and IDS who at least stayed with the sinking ship despite all the aforementioned delivery issues.

How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest


Permanent fix ...

Install Ubuntu!

Met Police cancels £90m 999 call command-and-control gig


More to this then meets the eye ...

Given that this was advertised as being an implementation of an existing Grumman product (CommandPoint) it would be interesting to know what is the root cause of the non-compliance in performing the contract. That the delivery date is extended by two years one year into the contract suggests a classic failure of mutual due diligence, the triumph of optimism over experience and requirements creep - as usual with fault on both sides.

BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans


I'm amazed that the BBC/Government has not already proposed an internet connection license... oops the cat is out of the bag!

UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim


Re: Purpose

...except that the meters being installed do not allow spot rate charging. Dream on. These meters are entirely for the benefit of the suppliers at your own expense. The government suggests that you will need to monitor the meter and make adjustments to the way that you consume the energy to save perhaps as much as £20 a year. You can save multiples of that just by fitting led bulbs and improving your insulation or even by changing your supplier.

We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror


Move on there - nothing to see

Unless you are a dedicated follower of BDSM it seems that MS have finally achieved the impossible - a release that no-one in their right mind would take on free or otherwise. Me? I'm staying with Linux for rock solid stability and productivity, with Windows 7 on an old laptop for those odd apps that are only available from misguided suppliers who think that that sun still shines out of MS's ass.

Smart Meter biz case still there, insists tragically optimistic UK govt


To wit to woo

I have owned an OWL monitor for the last 5 years. It has worked perfectly, does not compromise my security in any way and has highlighted the real electrical energy burners that we have progressively addressed to reduce our bills. The plain facts are that the benefits of 'smart metering' are entirely for the energy companies so that they do not have to maintain a fleet of meter readers whilst the consumer benefits are negligible and at worst misleading if you do not understand what you are looking at. The deception is making us pay for it.

The technology is already obsolete and will need a refresh quite soon. No need to guess who will have to pay. It needs someone with cojones to stop the programme now and save us all a load of trouble and cost. If you are really interested in saving money then buy your own monitor. If you are not interested it will make no difference to your consumption whether you have a 'smart meter' or not!

NHS IT failures mount as GP data system declared unfit for purpose


Re: Same names or different names?

Methodology, shmethodology - the root cause is always people not method.


Re: Where lies the accountability?

Pretty good and generic root cause analysis for most programmes that I have been asked to recover. It needs real steel cojones to get the sponsors, customers and suppliers to face up to issues at an early enough stage to take timely corrective action. Usually it is far to late to fix or even halt without blood on the floor - usually it becomes a hunt for someone to blame; unfortunately it is usually the most junior that has to fall on his sword rather than the real culprit.

Hated biz smart meter rollout: UK.gov sticks chin out, shuts eyes


Mendacity squared

Whether or not they are any more effective in reducing your own consumtion than say an Owl monitor, my main complaint is that it is the poor bloody consumer directly paying for the suppliers gain. No justice in that!

Another GDS cockup: Rural Payments Agency cans £154m IT system


Having managed many programme recoveries in the UK and around the world it is obvious to me that each generation cannot learn from past experience and will continue to repeat the mistakes of the past. Unfortunately Darwinan principles do not seem to operate in the commissioning and delivery of large projects and programmes despite attempts by the so-called keepers of professional standards. The good news is that for people with a strong stomach and inclination there is a well paid career in cleaning up the mess.

Microsoft fires legal salvo at phone 'tech support' scammers


It has to be done - even though it will spoil the fun of playing dumb with these jerks when they call to fix MS Windows problems on my Linux systems. Record to date about 35 minutes before the scammer realised that he was being had!

UK superfast broadband? Not in my backyard – MP


Lack of ambition

2Mbs is amazingly unambitious and certainly not superfast; only marginally faster downstream speeds than T-1, and It is still taking decades to deploy. Superfast is upwards from 100Mbs but for most rural areas these are science fiction speeds. Fast broadband is now so critically important that it is an essential check-list item in business location and house purchase decisions. The whole thing needs a radical rethink - community satellite links and local wi-fi perhaps. Fortunately this area was fibre cabled 20-odd years ago and has been regularly upgraded to 120Mbs. It really makes a difference to the way you work. Moving out of area is a real challenge though.

New GCHQ spymaster: US tech giants are 'command and control networks for terror'


Oddly inverted logic adapted to suit the occasion - must be wearing the 'special' glasses to think that it makes any kind of sense that global observation makes for better security. It just means that the snoops have become lazy.

UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw


Can anyone remind me why they are being installed? On a cost-benefit basis with the current capability there is no case. A truely smart meter should dynamically negotiate for the lowest supply rate on (say) a 15 minute basis to give the consumer the best price. Also, at the rate of change of the technology the next refresh will need to be at most within five years. Who pays for the upgrade? No need to tell me - the benighted consumer again.

Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT


Not another Windows release - yawn....

Cameron: UK public is fine with domestic spying


Well that's all right then.

Question: What do you get when you keep people in the dark and feed them shit?

Answer: Mushrooms!

Just what the government wants.


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