* Posts by TechnicalVault

7 posts • joined 8 Apr 2019

UK tax dept's IT savings created 'significant risk', technical debt as it faces difficult conversation with Chancellor


Re: Defer (or cost-cut) regular Tech Refresh at your peril!

The problem is the bean counting way does not accurately measure costs and risks. Regardless of whether the risk materialises if you are exposing the business to a risk that will cost £100m at 20% likelihood to save £10m then you are an idiot, especially if you do not recognise that the risk is not really 20% but a rising curve. Often you get lucky, but eventually in the words of Susan Ivanova: "No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow."

Business needs to get better at weeding managers that are gamblers out.

OpenStack at 10 years old: A failure on its own terms, a success in its own niche


Work with someone who knows what they're doing

At my place we are running 2 OpenStack installations and they are quite happy little private clouds. If I had one thing to say about it, it is that we were early adopters but Openstack is a lot more mature than when we first started. There are still a few more features we would like but it has finally reached the point where it can run happily without choking everytime RabbitMQ dies.

You can go it alone and try and put something together directly from Openstack but you are probably better off working with someone who knows where all the bumps in the road are. We have just switched Openstack distributions from Redhat to StackHPC on our primary and so far so good.

Brit tax collector HMRC wants fireside chat with suppliers to discuss ways to spend the annual £900m IT budget


When will they learn?

If you are spending £900m on it and it is pretty much your "means of production", IT is a core competency. You cannot afford to palm it off to some third party as if it is workaday stuff like desktop support or cleaning. It's not like you're going to be using that much off the shelf software because having a monopoly on tax collection is pretty much the definition of a national tax agency. HMRC is a software company, they should embrace that.

Amazon spies on staff, fires them by text for not hitting secretive targets, workers 'feel forced to work through pain, injuries' – report


Easy solution to this, profits tax based on externalities created

If they are burning employees out like this then they need to pay for the damage done, it is the only way to achieve desired corporate behaviour. A nice little tax on net profits (gross is too easy to do Hollywood accounting on) proportional to the number of current employees below SNAP level (prorated by the number of hours they do, no cliff edges) + long term unemployed after working there +disability claims in the 1st 6 months after leaving employment there.

I'm still not that Gary, says US email mixup bloke who hasn't even seen Dartford Crossing


Re: Can I get you to do Morrisons as well?

Actually it's a breach of the data protection act/GDPR for them to knowingly hold incorrect information too.

"(d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay (‘accuracy’);"

Also given that it is your personal data (the mobile number) that they are processing without either consent or in fulfilment of a contract it is illegal for them to process that data too.

Your best bet to get this things resolved is to write an email reminding them they are processing your data illegally to dataprotection@morrisonsplc.co.uk

Tearoff of Nottingham: University to lose chunk of IT dept to outsourcing


The peril of getting your wish granted by a very exact genie

The brutal truth of outsourcing is that you will get exactly what you specified in the contract and nothing more. Everything else carries a fee and unless you have robust discipline and have planned really well (which few organisations do, especially in the first year) you will frequently find yourself dipping into contingency money just to carry on normal operations.

The reason is that same as why when requiring people to keep timesheets you often experience productivity drops; there were all those little extras people were doing. Someone who was staying on that extra half hour suddenly doesn't when watching the clock. Sadly this is a lesson which is mostly taught by experience.

Scare-bnb: Family finds creeper cams hidden in their weekend rental by scanning Wi-Fi


Firstly you've let it out for a commercial purpose and you're in breach of your contract with AirBnB, and that's just some of your civil law problems.

For criminal law south of the Border it's a bit more murky but there are some new laws on Voyeurism, as well as the data protection act which actually comes with some really fierce fines since the passage of GDPR. Up until recently it was hard to even prosecute someone for putting a hiding cam in a public toilet.

If you pull the same stunt north of the border however it's much clearer, the offense is voyeurism. If you film anyone in a state of undress without their knowledge in a place where they would have a reasonable expectation of privacy (it doesn't matter who owns it) you commit an offense. If you think about it, the law being indifferent to ownership makes sense otherwise for example a stepdad could secretly film his stepdaughter in the bathroom without repercussions.


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