* Posts by Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

27 posts • joined 11 Jun 2014

Ofcom's new broom Sharon White sweeps into office

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: But...

Don't base your opinion of all civil servants on the people you see as mouthpieces. There are plenty of clued up, smart, savvy people in the civil service. It may seem like an easy target but that shows a general lack of appreciation for what it's really like.

Having worked in both the private and public sectors, it seems that the idiot quotient is similar in both spheres. Nobody has a monopoly on stupid. I can also tell you that working in the public sector is a real job. I have never been so stressed, overworked and under-resourced to deliver a massive work programme as when I was at a large public service organisation. Much worse than my time in the utilities, FMCG, financial services or consulting firms I have worked for.

As a regulator, you need to understand *more than anything* the long term social and economic impacts of the decisions you make. She will need to surround herself with boffins that know all the technical things you've noted. That and some good lawyers.

I'd say the fact that she has gained a degree from Oxford will mean that she is capable of quickly learning what is important and getting her head around it to sufficient levels of detail to know what matters, as long as her boffins are sufficiently capable. I suspect that may be her biggest challenge...

How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Spot on, Mr Dabbs.

Well, I feel sorry for the other people in the queue...

<< my Personal Molester has a good rummage around inside each pocket to ensure that they have been pushed down sufficiently to reveal my arse crack to all and sundry >>

Frankly, I'd rather not have to see the arse crack of about 98.2% of travellers, including Dabbsy's, and Sod's law dictates that I'll never get to see the ~1.8% of tasty totty tushy on my preferred list. This is the true tragedy of Airport security.

Shhhhh! It's a Swiss Sunday shutdown. Kill the lawnmower, punish the kids with CHEESE

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Sunday shutdown...

I once tried to drive from Kloten to Rapperswil-Jona on a Sunday. Even the road was closed. Not for roadworks or an accident, but because it was always closed on a Sunday and it seems a lot of "forest roads" are.

As I drove down said road (Wallisellerstrasse), two policemen leaped out from behind a tree, brandishing day-glo orange table tennis bats (or similar) waving them at me madly. As they were also armed with M-16s (or similar) I felt obliged to take them seriously. When they inquired if I had seen the signs (in German) and I responded that I had not, they seemed genuinely surprised to learn that forest roads weren't shut on a Sunday in my homeland.

Once at Rapperswil-Jona, we also found that the Swiss seem required to undertake an official Hobby at an official designated Hobby Place. Woe betide anyone undertaking their Remote Control Boat Hobby in the Fishing Hobby area...

That aside, I found Switzerland to be a lovely place inhabited by kind, respectful, good-natured people. Would buy again.

Yotaphone 2: The two-faced pocket-stroker with '100 hours' batt life

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Dual screen? Check. Dual core? Check. Dual SIM? Oh, no.

Dual SIM is quite the turd for battery life, probably explains its omission on a battery-life obsessed phone.

Wikipedia won't stop BEGGING for cash - despite sitting on $60m

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Rather begging than pimping

My view is that I'd rather have Wikipedia seek donations (beg for money) than place paid advertisements - once advertisers start funding it, they'll be after editorial control either subtly or not so. While Wikipedia's veracity is sometimes questionable, I'd rather it was because of human error than down to the influence of the filthy lucre.

I just wish they could do it more subtly rather than the big yellow boxes and the 'sky is falling' messages which just turn people off.

You'll go APE for our new Gorilla Glass 4, Corning reckons

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Dutch tears and strained glass

Survives a 1 m fall onto a hard surface 80% of the time. Great.

Sod's law dictates that the first time you drop will be in the other 20% of the time...

Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Is internet service subject to VAT?

Not being a UK- ite, I don't know about VAT but I agree with you about 'is it a big deal?' in my opinion the proposed "Internet tax" itself is not that heinous. Nobody likes another tax, but it seems a legitimate way for a government to raise money.

Where I live (and I expect it's the same most everywhere) there's a portion of my Income tax supposedly dedicated for roading. There's also a road tax built in to my vehicle licensing fee, and into the cost of a metric dollop of fuel. Does it pay for the roads? Maybe. Do I like it? No. But the point is that it's kind of user pays, so we get over it - unlike general taxation where small-minded selfish people with no kids complain about having to fund the education system.

Will the Internet tax pay for interweb infrastructure? Probably not, but at a stretch it might help fund better telco regulation. Does it really hurt? At under 2 quid a month, probably not. Is it sinister? No more so than any other tax. Is it user pays? Yep, so a bit like road tax - if you don't like it, don't use the roads. However, I really doubt that the equivalent of half a cup of a Costa coffee per month is going to force people off the internet in the same way that 55% of my fuel costs are tax doesn't force me off the roads.

Then again, where I live we haven't protested about anything since 1981, but that was a doozy.

Adobe spies on readers: EVERY DRM page turn leaked to base over SSL

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Top Ten Bestsellers.

Yes, but the thing about bestsellers is incidental.

Not that being abnormal is always a bad thing.

Gates and Ballmer NOT ON SPEAKING TERMS – report

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

@ Ledswinger Re: Ballmer's MIcrosoft legacy...

TL;DR version: Steve can't complain because he knew the deal.


1) As shadow CEO, still interfering directly...

2) As "software architect", which gave him unparalleled control...

3) As chairman of the board, and a major shareholder...

I think you are right about the fair crack bit, but when you take a job on (esp. a big job) you need to do your due diligence and find out who you're working for (in this case Board, shareholders, chair etc.) and understand what they are like.

Steve knew exactly who and what he was taking on. If he wasn't prepared to work under those conditions, maybe he shouldn't have taken the role. Or he didn't do his homework.

I would seriously hesitate to take on a role where the incumbent had been promoted to control that role, or carried on with some involvement with the role, because it's understandably hard for the incumbent not to fiddle with the old role. And that always makes you second guess your own performance.

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Ballmer's MIcrosoft legacy...

To be fair he had two good ideas:

1 - buy Nokia

2 - Resign.

If Xbox was his idea too that makes 3.

Oh - and whoever came up with the SA licensing model make some serious dosh for MS. So we could be up to 4 by now, but #2 still takes the cake for me.

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Is it because

Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

So what's the hold up?


That is all.

IT crisis looming: 'What if AWS goes pop, runs out of cash?'

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Sigh....

My concern is less that AWS might fold and take systems offline. I doubt it will go pop, rather it would deflate more slowly and give people an off-ramp.

I'm more concerned that, as the level of competition drops away, both pricing and lock-in techniques will increase. Fewer players means less choice and I'd not be surprised to see a big duopoly happening, especially when the financial barriers to entry become significant.

Reg hands portable Sinclair ZX Spectrum to lucky compo winner

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Nothing personal Martin but...

I hate you now. You stole my pregnant calculator.

How I want to play tir-na-nog again.

At least it sounds like it went to someone who will appreciate it, enjoy!

The Register Monopoly Pubcrawl Mobile Map: VODAFONE VICTOR in LONDON

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Epic work..

I for one welcome our Anorak-wearing data overlords.

My big reveal as macro-economics analyst: It's a load of COBBLERS

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

And speshly for Dave

I suggest for Daves that the TL;DR bit comes at the beginning, like some sort of Gen Y Exec Summary.

Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: The BBC also

That's a lot of errors

CIOs: Want to hit your IT suppliers where it hurts?

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Why would you want to hurt your supplier?

There are different types of commercial relationships.

Some of my suppliers are very simply 'transactional' suppliers who add little value over and above that which another similar supplier could easily do. In this case, my relationship with said supplier is about cost, efficiency and reliability - classic SLA stuff and everyone knows the rules of the game.

Other suppliers are true partners. These suppliers are adding value to my business through their skills, knowledge and capability. True partners will look not just at the project or operational objective, but at the business outcomes and work toward making those come about.

Then there are companies in the middle of the two extremes, and to me these are the ones at risk. They're not efficient and they're not strategic. They're opportunistic - and when you're living from opportunity to opportunity life can be perilous.

I certainly wouldn't want to 'hurt' my strategic partners - rather, I'd expect to tie their commercial success to my own commercial outcomes.

I don't have the need to 'hurt' my transactional suppliers - we can easily move around there, so there's a natural inclination from those guys to keep me happy enough.

Where I do like to ensure that I get best value is from the opportunistic supplier - things I do as one-offs. However, even then I prefer to ensure that I have a viable way of supporting and maintaining those things as needed, so I prefer even my opportunistic suppliers to prove to me that they're around for the long haul. Otherwise, all I am doing is buying a big bag of risk.

ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Oh dear god

that background music...

Snowden latest: NSA targets Gaza, pumps intelligence to Israel

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen
Big Brother

Re: The Soviet Propaganda Department

It's the selectiveness that makes it look like Soviet (oops.. Russian...) propoganda. That, and the massively one-sided "analysis" by Mr. Greenwald. No mention is given to the effects of NOT giving the Israeli's this information but there are plenty of likely scenarios such as:

- (even more) Indiscriminent bombing/shelling of supposed Hamas targets

- a reduced ability for Israel to protect itself from Hamas

- (increased) Israeli paranoia about Hamas == even greater blockades of Gaza

Each of us will make our own judgements as to whether it's worse for the intel to be given or not, my opinion is that a more scared and paranoid Israel would be a much worse thing.

To me the surprise would be if anyone was surprised that this is happening.

I'd also bet the farm that powerful intelligence agencies are supplying Hamas with information but Mr Greenwald doesn't seem too bothered by that. There aren't a lot of innocent parties in this conflict other than the civilians on both sides who are just trying to live their lives.

Kiwi satellite earth station recycled – as radio telescope

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: If they are looking for intelligent life,

and away from Oz :-)

Blighty's Amazon Cloud Lord: It's a battle of men vs boys, and I ain't no boy

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: During the meanwhile ...

1983 ... pfffft.

In the 1920's, my grandfather had a cloud-based abacus system he made from scratch. People only got billed for the time they used it and it prevented costly capital expenditure on their own abacuses. When the slide rule revolution came, he was ready too with a redundant 'dual ruler' system which boosted calculations twofold. Rumour has it that Gordon Moore was inspired by his system, especially when grandfather showed him how he could get to 4 slide rules within a year.

Grandad's system was available 24/7 even during power outages but sadly met its end when targeted by German bombs in WW2, depleting the national computing power significantly.

Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

True, but

What I don't understand is whether or not SQA is intended to replace the older radio telescopes.

If so, then is the reduced funding for the redundant telescopes a big issue?

I see the article is playing the nostalgia card pretty hard and it made me wonder whether or not the scientists + other boffins that work on such things would rather work on the older telescopes or the SQA. Anyone know? Honest question.

LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: Yo-yo

I think perfect if it could be LOHAN gets high then goes down...

NASA aborts third attempt at finally settling man-made CO2 debate

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Re: NASA's 3rd Attempt Fails to settle CO2 debate...how about Methane n Permafrost melt ??

As far as I am aware, methane lasts a relatively short time in the atmosphere - so whereas farm animals continue to make Methane (as do we all), events like permafrost thawing are not continuous and as a one-off will have some short-lived impact on atmospheric Methane levels.

As an observation, it does seem that most people here are zealots one way or the other. As yet I'm not convinced that man's effect on climate change is either proved or disproved but for that reason alone I think that research should continue as this stuff matters - even if what we find out is that it is all natural that's a pretty important thing to know.

Snowden defends mega spy blab: 'Public affairs have to be known by the public'

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Matt, I think you raise some valid points, but you come across as an arse. This detracts from the intellectual validity of your arguments.

One of the things you find if you care to look past labels such as Socialism, or as you prefer, 'Lefties' is that poorer people tend to care more about the people around them than wealthy people do. Wealthier people tend to be more focused on themselves, their family, and their firm than their community. These are generalisations, true, but they drive the behaviours that you describe. People thinking solely about their own situation, you might describe as free thinkers and intelligent, whereas you label those who have a different perspective with a demeaning title such as Sheeple. (Or, it may be that demeaning other people makes you feel temporarily superior, I don't know). People who care only about themselves will often forgo children to "get ahead" in their careers. In my opinion, this shows a lack of the intelligence you claim for them, as unless they are doing it for themselves, they're being cruelly exploited by the truly wealthy with the lure of success.

To assert that poor people are less intelligent or uglier than the wealthy is laughable at best and insulting in reality, and smacks of eugenics. My children went to private schools and I can tell you that there were some remarkably stupid and/or ugly children (and parents) at those schools. I'm a self-made man from an "underclass" background and according to your theory, there's no way my daughter would have been proxime accessit at the most prestigious girl's school in this country. I, as a now relatively well-off man, would also be expected to eschew any notions of wacky leftiness so that I don't become a Sheeple. On the contrary, I am a firm believer that we need to look after one another as a society, and that selfishness, narcissism, and a 'greed is good' mentality is what builds divisions and divisiveness in societies. Thankfully there are still lots of intelligent people having children - even if they don't fit into the social strata you'd expect them to.

I agree with you that people are not born the same. However, people also get different opportunities in life. I started out in your fiscal underclass but was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time more than once, and worked really hard to achieve what I wanted to. Other people I know made bad choices or didn't get a choice, and thereby are less well off financially but are not necessarily less happy. You seem to be stuck in this 'poor people are dumb, and dumb people are lefties' mentality. I challenge you to look harder. Loads of dumb people buy into capitalism, and loads of very dumb people buy into extreme 'right wing' ideology.

I also see a different outcome to what you term a growth in Socialism. What you really describe is a growth in inequality, and historically when inequality gets too great bad things happen to the wealthy.

To your final gripe (about this forum), I think you miss the point entirely. This is definitely a technology issue, and perhaps the most important technology issue of our time. That is why it is right and proper that those with an interest should comment.

Dream job ad appears: Data wrangler for Square Kilometre Array

Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

Backups could take a while

And a lot of tape.


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