* Posts by BurnedOut

14 posts • joined 2 Feb 2021

NHS Digital's demise bad for 55 million patients' privacy – ex-chairman

BurnedOut

Re: Sad but true

Although it's entirely healthy to debate the extent to which medical information should be sharable, this particular argument is problematic: "I like to travel a lot, which means I need travel insurance. Now picture this, you go to your doctor with a medical concern, s/he writes about that concern in your personal file and sends you off for tests. Meanwhile that information is immediately shared to a third party, that party then sells it to insurance companies. Next thing, you can't get travel insurance anymore without paying a hefty premium." Bearing in mind that all insurers would normally ask about pre-existing conditions and current investigations, to conceal such details at the time of applying for insurance would potentially be fraudulent.

114 billion transistors, one big meh. Apple's M1 Ultra wake-up call

BurnedOut

Re: I was there

True, although I dread to think what number of Lateral Flow test kits will have been ordered and exported to be sold in countries where they are not available free of charge!

BurnedOut

Re: I was there

Well done for pointing this out. However, I don't feel it is fair on Wetherspoons customers to suggest that they are the main ones to propagate the idea that all of the money has been spent on ineffective IT.

Brocade wrongly sacked award-winning salesman who depended on company insurance for cancer treatment

BurnedOut

Re: A timely reminder

I don't know whether it's the result of some sort of insidious propaganda over the many years since the NHS was formed, but there seems to be a widespread belief that all medical insurance is a matter of profiteering and that by definition it cannot therefore provide as good a service as a publicly owned provider. In fact, in many cases health insurers make no profit (try looking at how the Israeli system with its 4 health providers works - they are not-for-profit entities). BUPA is another example - it has no shareholders and any profits are reinvested.

There's also the small matter of whether competition and profit result in a poorer result for the customer/patient. The state-owned British Leyland didn't make a profit, but it's vehicles weren't notably cheaper or better than those sold by more successful and profitable manufacturers. Would we get better food and pay less for it if the givernment nationalised the supermarkets?

BurnedOut

Re: Make the company pay

Perhaps you didn't read the part of the article that quoted the tribunal as having stated: "As a result of the dismissal, the claimant lost his access to private medical insurance. This has affected the treatment he receives. He has longer waiting times for diagnosis and treatment and less continuity of care than previously. This has caused him increased pain and worry and has had a significant impact on his quality of life and overall health."

BurnedOut

Re: A timely reminder

It's probably difficult to establish exactly how many NHS staff are "manglers", but the NHS is the largest employer in Europe and its own statistics report a headcount of more than 1.3 million (about 1.2 million full time equivalent), which I think excludes GP practices (which are separate businesses contracted by the NHS). Of the 1.3 million, it appears that just over half are professionally qualified clinical staff, so one way or another there are around 600,000 employees who are not clinically qualified.

I don't see why you would think that the UK would ever end up with a healthcare system like the USA, when there are so many better systems throughout the world (e.g. most European countries, Australie, NZ, and it's interesting to look at Israel).

Autonomy founder's anti-extradition case is like saying Moon made of cheese, US govt tells UK court

BurnedOut

Re: Buyers’ remorse

There's a separate civil action by HPE against Lynch in the UK - much reported on here - which has dragged on for ages! This article though is about the matter of Lynch potentially facing criminal charges in the USA, hence the question about extradition. He is not facing criminal charges in the UK because the the Serious Fraud Office considered this and eventually stated "In respect of some aspects of the allegations, the SFO has concluded that, on the information available to it, there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction." - the US authorities have taken a different view.

I assume that there are legal reasons why another high-profile UK citizen is currently being sued in the USA, rather than in the UK, in connection with a different accusation, but at present that person does not face criminal charges so extradition is not a consideration.

BurnedOut

Re: Buyers’ remorse

Amazingly, or I suppose not, Apotheker is still on the boards of several companies.

BurnedOut

Re: Buyers’ remorse

I think you mean "haggle" (bargaining to arrive at agreed price), not "barter" which means the exchange of goods or services without the use of money - very much NOT the case here!

Meg Whitman – former HP and eBay CEO – nominated as US ambassador to Kenya

BurnedOut

Without defending Meg Whitman against some of what is being said here, it is worth noting that she took over as CEO of HP at a time when the company was in crisis, after Leo Apotheker had been ejected following the disastrous period in which he pushed through the Autonomy acquisition ($8.8bn writedown). Apotheker has been appointed following the departure of Mark Hurd who was responsible for a number of acquisitions, including EDS ($8bn writedown) and Palm.

I think it would be fair to say that Whitman was liked more by the workforce at HP than either of those two predecessors. Hurd was detested by many, and, it could be argued, did more to damage the company than any of the other CEOs; Apotheker seemed initially popular, but opinions changed quickly when the results of his decisions were seen. Carly Fiorina's 5-year stint before Hurd had not been seen as a success but at least her HP/Compaq merger resulted in a combination of two companies with some similarities in culture and product lines (which led to a need for rationalization, some of which was done quite quickly and effectively - anyone remember HP Netservers?).

When it came to Meg Whitman's dismemberment of HP, most felt that the knife was run through in the right places, and as the article points out, if one looks at stock price HP Inc has not done badly with its focus on PCs/laptops and printing. The "spin-merge" of HP Enterprise Services (basically what had been EDS) with CSC, to form DXC, also appeared to be a rational as a way for HPE to make an exit from the outsourcing business. Finally, the selling of a lot of software product lines (most of which had been previous acquisitions, including Autonomy and Mercury Interactive) made some sense although HPE continues to buy other software where it is thought to align with the company's strategy (e.g. Zerto, recently).

Sun sets: Oracle to close Scotland's Linlithgow datacentre

BurnedOut

Re: Why not continue to use it as a cloud node?

Depending on your style of retirement saving, and income expectations, watch out for the Scottish income tax bands and rates - £43,662 p.a. takes you into the Scottish higher rate of 41% (and if earning, that means marginal tax of 53% with the addition of 12% NI, soon to increase).

The Register just found 300-odd Itanium CPUs on eBay

BurnedOut

It was never quite what was expected

As we know, there was a very long wait between early indications that HP and Intel were working on the new architecture, in the first half of the nineties, and the availability of any systems running HP-UX on the new hardware (around 2001). Then when they did arrive it was an anti-climax - applications needed recompilation for optimum performance (although installing new executables for ISV software like Oracle was not much work) and I don't recall any stories of night-to-day performance gains, because PA-RISC development had not stood still.

I have a recollection that not only was the early announcement a shock to those working with PA-RISC systems (which had only been shipping since 1986 and had in many cases provided great performance compared to their predecessor systems), but also the impression was gained that the new processor would be able to run both existing PA-RISC and x86 code. I don't know what the situation was with Windows-based applications (there were some deployments of Windows on HP's Itanium based servers in the early 2000s), but for HP-UX the "Aries" emulation feature (which turned out to be the way to run HP-UX PA-RISC code if not recompiled for Itanium) did not seem to get much use for production applications.

This was in disappointing contrast to the previous PA-RISC launch in the late 1980s when a lot of HP3000/MPE applications ran much faster under emulation on PA-RISC that they had done on the old 16-bit predecessor systems, and HP9000/HP-UX on PA-RISC had shown significant price/performance advantages compared to other systems of the time like VAX/VMS. Of course HP3000 was another story - it was already a fading business in the later 1990s and there was no production port of MPE to Itanium, so it had to stay on PA-RISC for its remaining years.

'It's dead, Jim': Torvalds marks Intel Itanium processors as orphaned in Linux kernel

BurnedOut

Re: That was fast

Those were tough racks and tough servers. I was once involved with the commissioning of an HP9000/827 mounted in its HP 1.6m rack, which had been allowed to fall over on its side in the car park during unloading. After it had been stood up again, and moved to the computer room, it looked wonky, with considerable denting to the side panels, but everything worked fine.

BurnedOut

Re: Itanic industrial mistake

I think you do remember correctly regarding MPE and Itanium, but I cannot remember where I once read about the limited work that was done on the possibility. As it is, there's no doubt that because MPE was never released on Itanium, it had no role in the lifecycle of Itanium in the 21st century. In fact MPE ran so well on PA-RISC that as far as I know it was not released on any servers more powerful than the N-class (or RP7400?) in the early 2000s, and therefore not on the PA-RISC versions of SuperDome.

It's ironic that HP went on to release OpenVMS on Itanium, after the Compaq merger (Compaq I think had initiated that port) and continued selling that combination, bearing in mind that VMS had been a major competitor for MPE.

Although VMS is therefore relevant to the lingering on of Itanium, another significant factor is perhaps the fact that no port of HP-UX to x86 or x86-64 has ever been released.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022