* Posts by Management Order

24 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Jun 2021

When red flags are just office decoration: Edinburgh Uni's Oracle IT disaster

Management Order

Re: So easy

I think the issue with Universities in particular when it comes to large business change projects is that executive management tends to be made up of current or former academics who dont know how to run multi million pound business that Universities have necessarily become because of government policy. Something like an ERP system is typically seen through the lens of "that's an IT system to implement" not "that's a business change programme for the business to deliver". Outside of the IT function, which probably brings in consultants and contractors for the implementation, the rest of the back office business (eg Finance, HR) think that it can be delivered by existing staff within the capacity of their existing roles. Its doomed from the outset as there is often no business change leadership, budget, or process.

Techie resurrects teletext on a vintage BBC Master

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Prestel resurrected

Over at https://glasstty.com John created a functional copy of Prestel called Telstar, which could also be viewed on a BBC and looked just like Ceefax. You can even host your own frames on the Telstar service via https://glasstty.com/hosting-frames-on-telstar/

Worth a look if you are feeling geeky!

Unit4 ditching on-prem in favor of SaaS come 2025

Management Order

Their angle is to make more money by moving for a licence and support on premises model to a monthly recurring service charge on a cloud model. This boosts EBITDA which investment companies like. It will end up costing customers more. No IT supplier changes what they do to make life cheaper for customers.

OpenAI's DALL·E 3 teams up with ChatGPT to turn brainfarts into art

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Van Go? Van STOP!

Alexa, in common with all north Americans, still does not know how to pronounce Van Gogh, never mind the emotional intensity of the art.

Data breach reveals distressing info: People who order pineapple on pizza

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What about Oreos on your pizza hut pizza?

Mmmm. Tasty or abomination? https://www.reddit.com/media?url=https%3A%2F%2Fi.redd.it%2Fjb2dwnonubob1.jpg

Local governments aren't businesses – so why are they force-fed business software?

Management Order

Re: It was only after the implementation began that they revealed that they couldn't.

The snag with all that is that public sector procurement is just not set up that way. Its still predicated on a full and complete specification and going to market through a tender process. Its pants, but its law.

Management Order

Re: It was only after the implementation began that they revealed that they couldn't.

Quite often the issue with cloud services from the big ERP providers is that they do provide the goods and the services but they are just not fit for purpose. Then the wrangling gets into whether that was required by contract anyway. At its most simple you might specify that there is a payroll module that can process payroll for a large organisation to the satisfaction of UK law and the needs of the business. However, there will be lots of wrinkles in the reality of this in the public sector, eg hourly paid staff who aren't on contract, volunteers who need expenses, etc etc. This is a simple example, but what happens is that the the product does payroll, the service delivers the capability, but it doesn't meet the needs and that is for litigation. However, when you are a (say) a local government organisation or a university (which have similar experiences with ERPs - take a look at Edinburgh, Nottingham and Manchester) you dont have global networks of lawyers at your disposal and you dont have a hundred of thousands in cash to fight the case, even if you do its taxpayers money which taxpayers dont like being spent on anything that doesn't directly benefit them. Oracle or SAP on the other hand, do have the money and lots of specialists in this area. so they nearly always win.

From browser brat to backend boss: Will WASM win the web wars?

Management Order

Doesn't this sound like Java in the 90s?

A virtual machine running byte code that started out as an application platform for the browser? That would be Java in the 90s.

If you want to go back to the 70s, a virtual machine, running byte code, used as an application platform? That would be UCSD Pascal.

Or the 60s, it would be IBM CICS on DOS/VS or MVS. Hell, CICS can even serve web pages nowadays and IBM z/Series will still run code from the 60s.

Aerial cable tangles are still being strung up, but carriers are slowly burying the problem

Management Order

Where would you sleep?

If all the cables were put underground, where is one to sleep after a good night out?


A room-temperature, ambient-pressure superconductor? Take a closer look

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Cold Fusion

I remember when Cold Fusion was a thing. I give this one about as long.

Most Londoners would quit before they give up working from home

Management Order

No one stops you from going into the office if you want to. Speerate issue about whether here is anyone else there, but Teams, Slack etc do have casual chat facilities that can support the kind of off the cuff stuff. One tip I would give is leave a Zoom/Teams call permanently open with you team mates, inc video, then it feels much more like you are in the same office and does trigger those spontaneous questions and shared experiences.

Management Order

Remote working jobs outside of London

I have jobs outside of London that can be fully remote (or a trip to Brighton for the occasional FTF meeting) and I currently struggle to recruit to them. Pay is a less than London because local costs are less but being only 50 miles from London that's an issue as local tech talent can commute to London in an hour or so or have some kind of flexible working in London. If there are tech staff who want to leave their London "get in to the office" job for a "come to the seaside when you fancy it" job, but for slightly lower pay but better pensions (public sector), then look outside of London for your next job, there are lots of them.

Conversational AI tells us what we want to hear – a fib that the Web is reliable and friendly

Management Order

The future of AI?

Hey, ChatGPT, how's Tay doing?

Brit MPs pour cold water on hydrogen as mass replacement for fossil fuels

Management Order

Vans and Lorries

The question I have is how you are going to get vans, lorries and other LGV and HGV vehicles to do long distances on batteries? There either needs to be a significant step up in energy density of batteries or the recharge times need to be in minutes, not units of hours. The attraction of H to me as a van owner is that you could fill up a tank in much the same time as conventional fuel and, presumably, get some distance with it. I tend to drive 4-500 miles a day in my van, so the current range of e-vans is too limited and would require 2-3 recharges to achieve.

University orders investigation into Oracle finance disaster

Management Order

You might think that, but you would be surprised at just how different Universities are from each other in their internal workings. Its a bit like saying Easyjet and Ryanair could just use the same sales, billing and loading system because they are both airlines - but they dont, because they are organised differently.

IBM updates desktop mainframe emulator

Management Order

Couldn't a hobbies/individual just use Hercules and use the spare change to buy a pint instead of paying real money to Big Blue? http://www.hercules-390.org

China discovers unknown mineral on the moon, names it Changesite-(Y)

Management Order

There is not a lot of helium-3 in lunar regolith (which is just the surface layer, and is the only layer that contains any at all) - it's in the tens of parts per billion at best. That means collecting and processing billions of tons of regolith for a few measly tons of helium-3, which isn't all that useful outside some niche extreme cryogenic applications. It's not a worthwhile fusion fuel - it produces less energy per fusion event than standard D-T fusion, and would be quite difficult to ignite and sustain (we don't yet know the Lawson Criterion (difficulty to ignite) for 3He-3He, but we do know it for D-3He and it's 16 times harder to ignite than D-T). The sole "advantage" is that 3He-3He is aneutronic, but the neutronic emission from D-T is actually useful for breeding more fuel.

SpaceX launches first totally private mission to the International Space Station

Management Order

Re: A pool in a space station

Wont the coriolis force do something odd to the pool, like make it curved or sloping or something? You could swim up hill.

Apple Mac sales break records amid ex-86-odus to Arm-compatible M1 silicon

Management Order

Availability of applications. Whilst you can virtualise Windows apps on M1s its not a great experience even using Parallels which does its best to integrate the UI elements.

Robo-Shinkansen rolls slowly – for now – across 5km of Japan

Management Order

Re: A train, any train, not just the Shinkansen

Shinkansen are dedicated fairly straight lines that are mostly isolated from the rest of the network. This last point is key in regards to signalling needs (all in cab) and also safety from the point of view of third parties breaching the line security. You are unlikely to find a truck stuck across a level crossing on a Shinkansen because there are none. That probably means that collision detection needs are probably more achievable requiring less human like interpretation of the scene and the chances of a possible collision or derailment are significantly reduced compared to a standard rail track.

System at the heart of scaled-back £30m Sheffield University project runs on end-of-life Oracle database

Management Order

Re: Other RDBMS are available

Its a support problem. The ERP is probably only validated with Oracle or (maybe) SQLServer. Consequently if you don't use the supported DB you don't have application support.

If anyone can explain why Jupiter's Great Red Spot is spinning faster and shrinking, please speak up

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Proto Molecule is about to launch.

Massive gate to pocket universe appearing soon.

Boffins boast of 'slidetronics' breakthrough enabling binary switch just two atoms thick

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Core dump

This sounds like core memory in two atoms. Could be handy in low power environments or where static memory is needed.

Massive tech-for-British-schoolkids cash pot up for grabs as UK education buyers prep £140m agreement

Management Order

Framework samework

There is no £140m here, it is a framework contract that has an estimated value of £140m based on past send on the type of equipment and services covered by the framework. Frameworks are not contract awards, they are tools to simplify buying. The actual contracts will be where the money is, all the framework has done has made it easier to buy from the suppliers on the framework. If you want to you can still go and buy from anyone else so long as the value of the contract is below approx £170k over 4 years, or you can run your own public sector tender if the value if over £170k.

Given that there is precious little money in UK schools and FE, no one is going to be buying any high end solutions from consultancy companies anytime soon.