* Posts by Steve Barnett

38 posts • joined 18 Sep 2007

Apple about to make Apple TV WAY LESS SUCKY - report

Steve Barnett

Apple TV and Apple Store

I bit the bullet a couple of years ago and bought 2 apple TVs and they were dire I sold them on and replaced them with a new Samsung TV and a Chromecast both of which work well enough to deliver HD down our super thin pipes; we are on a pretty mediocre bandwidth 3.7Mb/s. I tried to use the Apple Store a few times each time the Movies I'd selected either failed to play or broke during play, no resolution from Apple sadly. So why bother there are loads of better/cheaper options even my Playstation is more reliable.

German minister photo fingerprint 'theft' seemed far too EASY, wail securobods

Steve Barnett

Not this old chestnut again

Every few years someone with nothing new to say drags this horse corpse out and flogs it one more time for some publicity.

Biometrics are useful in their place delivering speed, convenience and decent level of security - you can often guess a password or a PIN but try guessing a finger print; I've never seen a post-it with "this weeks retina" stuck on the notice board. Got it on my iPhone and love it's convenient security for signing stuff, elsewhere I use a pin or a sms code.

Using biometrics Is just part of the authentication mix, now move along nothing to see here.

'80s hacker turned journo, IT crime ace Steve Gold logs off

Steve Barnett

Now there was a frood who really knew where his towel was...

Working for CheckPoint in the 90's and early 00's I was interviewed (racked) by Steve on a number of occassions; nice guy, really knew his stuff. Sorry to hear his gone too soon.

BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE

Steve Barnett

Aluminium Cables

Well out here in Cambridge I was told by Engineer coming to fix my line yet again so I could finally achieve 1.9mb, yes - we'll have FTTC here by Christmas but you have Aluminium cables and that means you'll still struggle to get a decent connection - oh happy day....

RM CEO: We didn't even try to sell PC biz before killing it

Steve Barnett

Re: And another thing...

Good riddance - poorly spec'd machines sold to schools at premium prices, all but a few other vendors locked out. I guess RM stopped any serious innovation because they were going to get paid anyway. If they were such great value why didn't anyone in industry buy them?

While I understand the view that they are a business and as such it's ok for them to screw every last coin while they can - but I damn well don't agree.

UK.gov to be fully BIM-enabled 'by 2016'

Steve Barnett

What else can we learn

I was interested to understand how the prison had saved £800k

Nicked unencrypted PC with 6,000 bank details lands council fat fine

Steve Barnett

Inexcusable failure

HMG Security Policy Framework only requires that government employees comply with the Data Protection Act, which for some unknown reason does not require encryption of sensitive data unless departmental guidelines require it.

But for heaven's sake disc level encryption has been transparent to the user for about 10 years, there must be a dozen companies out there offering tried and tested solutions CESG go through a hell of a lot of work to ensure that products are available and tested to a level that will work at all levels of government.

With the number of High profile instances of this sort of data loss hitting the press time after time after time surely the only thing this shows is the complete lack of competence of the people at the top in both the IT and governance roles.

there's no excuse for it, it's just plain incompetence and I agree with the poster who suggest which is fire the people at the top.

Microsoft, Adobe, wilt during Australian price gouge grilling

Steve Barnett
Black Helicopters

Re: good for the soul..

Consumers, especially governments, want stuff cheap so will use the weaker product if it's bundled free. They will naturally buy into loss-leader discounts not caring that they will get boned at some future date. I saw the CIO of a UK Healthcare Trust literally turn white when he got details of an updated MS Site license price lis a couple of years backt.

Incompatible file formats has been able to maintain the power balance since the early 90's and that's not going to change anytime soon.

Remember It's a war for companies and they will use any and all means at their command to deliver growing returns to their investors.

Like it or not that's capitalism - Capitalism Red in Tooth and Claw.

Plunging BT sales hit every branch of the biz on way down

Steve Barnett

Re: *claps*

Oh I do wish they would stop bleating on about it - The quid pro quo for BT maintaining a monopoly position through Openreach is that they have a duty to supply 'loss making' connections. Remember this is a business built over many many years as a public service using public money sold for a fraction of it's value to the private sector

This week's BBC MELTDOWN: Savile puppet haunts kids' TV

Steve Barnett

Grow up

It's an 11 year old reference to a dead weirdo that no modern 4 year old would understand; but it gives the Telegraph and the like another opportunity to be outraged by the Beeb. Beeb management should grow some nuts,tell them to get knotted and the Telegraph should go back to being a newspaper.

Oh and I should probably get back to finishing the report due this afternoon :0)

Internet shut-down easier, in more countries, than you think

Steve Barnett
Thumb Up

Good report, if a little over simplistic

Twitter is still working in Syria courtesy of some clever tech http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/03/syria_internet_blackout_speak2tweet_google_twitter/ and as someone pointed out 3g wireless into a neighbouring country is an option for many. Also it is less straightforward to close down commercial or non-government dependent service providers; hence the Syrian government seems to have resorted to high explosives actually 'blowing up' Internet exchanges

Clap Google, Amazon in irons to end tax shenanigans - MPs

Steve Barnett

Government to boycott large IT Companies?!

As Danny Alexander appears on the tv/radio saying that he is boycotting Starbucks until they start to pay tax on earnings in the UK do you think he will do the same for the large US based computer services and hardware companies that now completely control UK government IT and perhaps buy identical products and services from British IT companies who pay their taxes here ? That will be a No then.

It's a Straw Dog campaign.

Parliament has no time for 100,000+ signature e-petitions

Steve Barnett
Paris Hilton

Their time is our time

I had to laugh the comment "the committee is complaining that the one day a fortnight it has scheduled for debate is chock-a-block with its own issues"

Curiously I thought they were supposed to debate stuff WE think is important. Whether you agree/disagree/don't give a rats...' with the proposal 100k people have taken the time to say to their MPs through this portal "Oi, we think this should be discussed" Yes that's 100k people, I bet that is more than all the letters written to MPs in a month - and they;re always imploring us to do that as and 'effective way of influencing government'

One could be cynical and say it's all just so much 'Eye-wash'. Oh, and to the person who said "It was a Labour idea and they set out the process" I say 'So, what!' If the current government don;t like it they should stand up and say "It was a failure, and we're canning it"

Someone show some spine!!!

AMD ships 'Interlagos' Opteron 6200 chips

Steve Barnett
Thumb Up

Amazing Processors for Hyper-dense Virtualisation

There is more to system design than playing 'look at my Ghz..."

Especially in virtualisation a huge role is played by L2/L3 cache sizes, true core to workload ratios, Hyper-Threading and removing the contention between components both at board and system level. At the moment AMD are getting it right in this area - you only have to look at the RAM Speed 'step downs' that XEON forces in dense RAM deployments as much as halving the Speed of the RAM in some instances.

I work on Hyper-dense virtualisation platforms and and run a HPC project lab, we have standardised on the Opteron processors from AMD at the moment as in our experience they have the better performance characteristics. Check out http://tinyurl.com/bx5o73 and http://tinyurl.com/4y85uz9

Certainly not religious about it as have done plenty of Xeon based development for post-production and other intense graphics requirements, but for the moment especially for virtualisation multi-core AMD definitely the right choice. Looking forward to getting hands on in the next few weeks.

RSA makes token offer to worried customers

Steve Barnett

Get your crisis teams working around the clock this is the big one

This is the one we've been waiting for. A strategic hit on the keeper-of-the-keys to some of the worlds most valuable data.

With the perpetrators moving so fast after the initial hack to hit the most tactically valuable targets this is 'work' being done on an extremely professional basis.

If they haven;t dome it already my advice would be to anyone using RSA tokens to immediately get a crisis team together and identify your critical data assets - that's the stuff that ruins you if you lose it. and put up another defensive ring around it,

If data is critical to the survival of your business - don;t dick about, don;t rely on not being hit. Even if it means going back to passwords until you can either get the new RSA tokens up and running or you can get something else in.

Also shame on RSA - "Guys, you';re in the business!"

$8.5bn Skype goes titsup again - including website

Steve Barnett


Yes it got us as well and phones and ipad - I went off and had some lunch.

It's still not working so I've switched over to AIM and iChat.

As has been said it's a value for money service :0)

ToryDems stoke ID card 'bonfire'

Steve Barnett

It was tosh from the start

It's nice to have a bit of good news on a Friday.

This stupid bit of Blair/Bush/911/David Blunkett and Alan Johnson are idiots legislation was doomed from the start!

Waste of money. Good riddance. Only sorry to hear that we are still going to have to pay a load of American waste of space consultancy companies to go away!

Anyway, I should be having a happy weekend knowing that ID cards are dead and buried (for the moment).

Should all hard drives be encrypted?

Steve Barnett

It is Mandatory

The UK Government issued internal directives several years ago that require all electronic data held on hard disks or any storage device to be encrypted using high strength disk level encryption.

It's a directive that is widely ignored, they also spent hundreds of millions on the GSI - Government Secured Intranet so that data could be passed around securely yet they still shove un-encrypted untracked CDs around in the internal post (by internal I mean external postal contractors using uncleared casual labour).

Electronic Data is on the whole not treated like a real 'secured' document despite the fact a DVD can hold hundreds of thousands of restricted documents.

It comes down to holding individuals in departments ro account for failures in applying policies, procedures and in giving adequate training.

Steve Barnett

Use Biometrics

It's not as if the technology doesn't exist

Jesus Phone to exhibit holy gift of bilocation

Steve Barnett

Is it that big an issue no - but Java and Skype are

Not really, It's a phone! Even for iPad it's not that big an issue - iPad is aimed at my mum who hates computers but likes to sit on the sofa look at pictures of her GrandChildren on Flickr

The only real irritation is that I would like to listen to 'my' music while I'm playing online poker.

The real irritation is that I want to be able to watch java based content on my iPhone and I would want to be able to use a microphone on iPod/iPod so I can use skype properly.

I use skype on my iPhone all the time and it has been a real lifesaver. Anyone who works around St Pauls/Paternoster Sq in London knows what it's like when you can;t get Cells but can get free Wireless...

Cisco 'forever changes internet' with... a router

Steve Barnett

Ubiquitous 1Gbps - Don't make me laugh

I leave 3 miles from a fibre exchange BT can only get me 468Kbps - which they claim is acceptable for a Business BroadBand connection...

I'm going to move to Google City, Kansas :0)

Cisco profits (nearly) cut in half

Steve Barnett

They are what they are

Big, profitable, incumbent almost everywhere and when this all plays out they will still be the biggest player, they will have the strongest balance sheet.

Only long term threat will be the Chinese and they still have a way to go in figuring out how to deal with Western based customers but they will.

Tech can make Britain Great again

Steve Barnett

Supporting Tech Haha!!

Here's a quiz - name 4 globally successful UK hi-tech companies founded since 1997...

It's just words, as someone who spent years on multiple UK tech projects the UK Gov has no 'plan' to support any sort of ICT R&D and manufacturing, don't believe me?! try attending a few of the start-up funding forums; last one I went to broke down in chaos as the development agency folks went through the sector bias' and requirements - the audience worked out that no one in the room could benefit unless they were a large multinational and then we were informed that the budget was being cut that year anyway because "it had been too successful". Speaking to one of the agency guys in the break he said he was leaving because it was a shambles.

What's needed is positive action/ positive bias;

Try these -

1) In the US each gov' department has 1 or 2% of it's annual budget set aside with targets set to support start ups and micro businesses, not just in IT but across the board.

2) Here's another tax breaks for start ups, 3-5 years no corporation tax.

3) Oh and tax credits for companies buying from UK startups

4) Stop non-UK companies from offshoring income - i.e. setting up a UK marketing agency and then invoicing from overseas. Use the massive leap in corp tax to fund immediate skills training

Enough hot air to float a Zeppelin.

Skype 'coming to iPhone soon'

Steve Barnett
Paris Hilton


Big deal Skype on my iPhone. I also use Fring to speak to people on Skype; true it only works over wifi, but then that's all I need it to do.

Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah set for top two spots in Christmas Day charts

Steve Barnett

I wonder who owns the publishing rights?

Ahh, the Cowell money making machine continues to roll. Cowells company Sony BMG owns the publishing and sheet music rights to Hallelujah, (dreadful old durge), and he has just been granted label rights to the work of all the X-Factor winners for another 5 years. www.femalefirst.co.uk/business/Simon+Cowell-225.html.

Bring back the Generation Game, Blankity Blank, or Stars in their Eyes (No, only joking, really no!)

Should see him nicely through the recession though.

Why the IWF was right to ban a Wikipedia page

Steve Barnett
Paris Hilton

Blind Faith

Maybe they just don't like the band. Prefering some early Clapton. The 1969 Blind Faith Album cover was pretty controversial and would certainly be banned today. Having heard it they would be better off banning the contents :0)

Paris: for obvious reasons...

C&W closes in on Thus acquisition

Steve Barnett

CW deal nothing to do with Demon & @ George

George, of course you are right; I agree with you completely on the Free broadband front, it was extremely significant and has changed the whole dynamic of the consumer market; broadband access becomes part of an data/telephony & entertainment's package.

However, In the long-term Broadband customers just aren;t profitable unless you offer triple play or better. So, Consumer Broadband is a side-show in this deal, in fact I'd go so far as to say it's a cake stall :0)

The proposed acquisition is about CW acquiring a UK wide NextGen network and being able to provide lots of high value connectivity/services to the business community local and international. CW have thousands of customers running on ageing ATM and Frame relay networks that they will need to migrate to IP based NextGen over time, but more importantly they will gain a steal on BT whose 21CN programme is already running a couple of years behind schedule.

Post acquisition CW should sell off the Broadband customer base, just like when they sold the Bulldog customers to PIPEX who sold them to Tiscali (who having realised the error of their ways, tried to sell them to Vodafone).

Like everyone else, I hate being moved from provider to provider for my Broadband while they consolidate, which is why I am with BT I don;t like their service much either (promised 3mb got 1.5mb max') but at least I know where my bill is coming from every month...

Steve Barnett

C&W THUS Merger would be significant market shake up

If successful, the proposed C&W merger with THUS would be the most significant development in the UK IP services market since the arrival of Verizon in the UK, and service provider consolidations in the late '90s.

THUS is a strong and independently sustainable company. For CW it has a lot of potentially profitable mid market IP Serices customers, a UK wide NextGen powered network, and growing reputation for delivering value to customers & shareholders.

CW, is a global brand, has a focus on increasing profit per customer, and access to a global network which makes them increasingly attractive to multinationals transitioning from legacy to all IP NextGen services.

Put them together and you have a real contender.

Shameless but hopefully interesting link to my blog :0)


Google kills Anonymous AdSense account

Steve Barnett

Back from Steve Barnett

Yes I admit I am an idiot, and I apologies unreservedly for mentioning Frank Herbert and L Ron in the same sentence. Frank, may you ride the deep desert always.

As for you my touchy brother, unlike many others I see no problem with Freemasonary, a "society with secrets" not a cult, and while the Pope isn't so keen, I see you as benign.

But please don;t make out you're all saints. Free masonry has been self-serving the business community for over 500 years. I'm a capitalist, I'm good with that...

Q' Are you jealous that the guys with the power and the money are joining the opposition.

Oh, and at least I have the balls to put my name to something you anonymous ar$e.

Steve Barnett
Dead Vulture

Freemasons, Scientologists Sames thing

Look, they just cannot accept or admit Scientology is a group of people who are driven by self interest. At more than basic 'grunt' level it's just another form of Freemasonry, and frankly I don;t see Freemasonry as that much of a problem.

Just shut up about it being about little green men, invisible alien spirits and outer space wars. L Ron was a very good science fiction writer, so was Frank Herbert but you don;t see a bene gesserit sisterhood as a major "religion" for the non-nerdy amongst you see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bene_Gesserit.

It's all Tosh

Police likely to ignore Brown's cannabis changes

Steve Barnett
Paris Hilton

Useless ar&e just looking for easy wins

As a lifelong labour voter I am now at the point I was in 1995 with the tories, I know they're lying because their mouths are moving. Sadly the tory leader is less charismatic, or believable than Blair - so god help us. Bring back Charlie Kennedy you foolish Liberals, we all liked him.

Rant over; Anyway...

Brown thinks he can win back a lot of votes on the re-re-classification of dope issue. He's wrong! The obscene tax on fuel/ cars/ beer/ fags/ pensions, the cock-up on the 10p tax band and on and on.

And, then there are the revelations that our then 'Iron chancellor' was in fact just sitting back and letting the markets and Greenspan run the economy, & don't get me started on the sale of our gold reserves for $245/oz.

He's just a waste of a leather arm chair, I don't se "him" getting a job at E&Y do you.

Ranting again.

I do agree that the illegal supply chain of Cannabis is a problem; solution legalise it. Allow people to grow it in their gardens, raise some taxes and boost my BAT shares by getting them to sell it in a controlled way alongside the fags. Except you cannot smoke anymore because "it's fun" and that's bad.

Gordon Brown - go away - go away now! You muppet!

Paris, because she and Nicole Richie would do a better job of running the country.

Comcast acquires BitTorrent for $53bn

Steve Barnett
Paris Hilton

Top wheeze, but not as good as the Spaghetti harvest failure of 1973.

I was there for a moment, as no lunacy surprises me these days.

Paris, because she's kind to animals.

How the BBC plans to save your ISP

Steve Barnett
Dead Vulture

The boot will eventually be on the other foot

The Consumer Internet (the Web) is all about content. People are screaming about bandwidth because they cannot get down as much content as they want because the ISPs throttle it.

So it's content that people want; but the ISPs have a problem. They're rather like your local gym, they massively oversubscribe knowing(hoping) that only a few % will turn up. It costs ISPs to deliver piped in content and no one expected the networks to fill up as fast as they have; 5 years ago I was happy with 64k ISDN, now i have 3Mb'ish.

The smaller you are and the less infrastructure you own the worse it gets. (Broadband ISPs who don;t own a lot of network will eventually all go bust, or be consolidated if they're lucky, why do you think PIPEX got out)

I also think that eventually you will find the boot on the other foot and as digital delivery becomes more popular you will find the ISPs being charged by the media for the content they deliver. It is something that the media folk have been talking about for years, to the horror of AT&T et al.

You will see this value chain appear: Content provider to content distributor to content delivery network to Broadband provider; Just as we see it today in the normal production distribution chain. Easy for Sky and Virgin Media as they already do it and they own their own network. Less Easy for the likes of PlusNet or Talk Talk.

The answer would be for the BBC to do a deal with a bunch of other channels and then to sell a CDN to BT Broadband who own their own infrastructure and most of everyone elses. QUestion is whether their public servie remit will allow this, personally I don;t see why not as long as their "content" is still free.

BT Talk a lot about being a media company, here's there chance.

Dead bird - represents small Broadband providers P&L

Virgin Media taps Microsoft in lengthy email outage

Steve Barnett

OWA is widely used by ISPs

Including BT Business, it's very good. Though I wonder why they are using the 2003 version when 2007 has been around for years.

I am no big user of MSoft (Mac and Ubantu and MS MacOffice 2008) also I question why you would want to dedicate all that kit and server room space to such a server hungry mail system.

But, at least VM knows who to call when they have a problem. Unlike the weakly supported Linux platforms, MSoft has a lot of competent engineers to call on; I wonder if Cambridge University could send around a few undergraduates to get VMs mail systems up and running.

I strongly doubt many others could put half a dozen engineers on site within a day of a major failure.

VM is a business, not a technological theocracy, and needs must when the devil drives.

Milton Keynes council embraces WiMAX

Steve Barnett

Poor Old MK - Just not future proofed

I grew up in Bletchley & MK from the early 60s till the mid 80s. It had cable TV in 1977, we had Sky and MusicBox with Sooni and GazTop!

Sadly we never got the monorail we were promised, and my folks say the whole place is turning to poo!

Shame really for the UKs 21st century city, the spineless development corporation fell into the pockets of the developers and the rest of it went up in the cheap.

As for Wimax; I hope it works. Not 'cause i care about the technology, I'm fed up of paying for a telephone line I don;t use just so I can get my email.

Biometrics won't fix data loss problems

Steve Barnett

Biometrics work fine, but that isn;t the point!

Biometrics work, they have their place. They;re convenient and work extremely well 'in the right environment' like logging into the computer system at work or opening the door to the secure area. My kids use it for buying donuts at their school.

For those who don;t like the idea of centralised databases (like me) you can use 'match on card' where the encrypted template/s are stored on the card.

A well specified installed and managed system is at least as secure as chip and pin. Print & Pin is my personal favourites.

But, 'everything' can be spoofed/cracked or cloned if the incentives are big enough.

My credentials for these comments are that I worked in IT security for over 16yrs, specifically in the biometrics business for 2 of those and I use bio-authentication every day without a hitch.

Conceptually this bit is important: Verification can only ever be "the person carrying this card, is the person to whom it was issued" Just try and stop determined people from posing as someone else when they apply for a biometric ID card. Biometrics DO NOT stop ID theft. The theft takes place first.

Also, biometrics DO NOT stop terrorism at our borders, everyone of the July bombers was a legit UK resident. All the 9/11 bombers had legit reasons for being in the USA, it wouldn't have stopped them getting on the planes.

It;s a rubbish idea let's not do it. Let's give the money saved to MI5 and local community projects to stop home grown terrorism before it starts.

The Government (this one & the last lot) is very good at wasting our money. They have a terrible record on implementing large scale IT projects, NHS Programme for IT(£20bn, rubbish and late), London Ambulance Service (over budget, late and collapsed), and the pitiful Child Support Agency project (£500m over budget, never finished,caused the agency folded with no one accountable).

The wrong systems, badly spec'd, installed by the inept and run by the poorly trained and apathetic. As I said before bad idea, of limited benefit, will be expensive, and is already late.

Late what do I mean late!? Guess what the project started several years ago, DVLA, Passport Office, Immigration, HMRC and NHS already linked and Biometrics are mandated for Passports (oh yeah that's running late as well).

Mobile phones soon to be allowed on aircraft

Steve Barnett
Dead Vulture

It'll be like bonfire night and 911 all rolled into one

Bus bombs, train bombs, truck bombs, bombs in hotel lobbies

All set off by mobile phones.

Need I say more?!

I think I will walk !

PC superstore suffers breakdown over Linux notebook

Steve Barnett

PCW - Comet - Powerhouse

I went into Comet to buy a Hoover and I had to show the sales guy how it worked.

If you think you're gonna get better service from a PCW because they're "a technology retailer" you're wrong.

The issue was and is the law, and their ignorance of it / refusal to adhere to it.


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