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Comment Re:Why not trade skills as well? (Score 1) 217

Not entirely sure what your point is. The problem with skilled labour (if you want to call programming as such), is that the intersection between skilled enough to be really useful and dumb enough to work for peanuts is pretty damned small, unless I'm getting a 6 figure salary for being really fucking handsome, which I very much doubt. The trend I've noticed over 30 years is that slowly but surely, there are smarter ways of getting some things done, and the "cheap work force" is getting pushed out, and will continue to get pushed out. I'm speaking here as someone who writes software which removes completely the requirement for numerous sorta-skilled programmers, who even 15 years ago might have validated the idea of having a large, cheap labout pool. Given that, Emanuel's idea is complete shit; most people will never be able to compete in the modern tech industry.

Comment Re:Oh Boeing... (Score 1) 403

I lived in Woking, about 11 miles from Heathrow back in the 80's. About 2:00 pm on a Sunday, there would be a VERY loud airplane overhead, look up, and sure enough, it was a Concorde. I saw 002 at the Prestwick airshow about 1972; it flew low over the crowd, and was even louder. It was, however, the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in the air; like a big paper dart. I kinda feel sorry that my sons will never look up and see something insanely impressive like that. Regardless of any other considerations, it was the most fantastic machine ever.

Comment Re:Has the worst happened (Score 2) 155

I very much doubt that anyone's data will be trashed, and the main account balance for RBS/NatWest does *not* live in a database (although many databases will be updated from there). I would think that they are currently trying to manually process a shit-ton of transactions which are usually processed via automatic nightly scheduling. When you have to do this, you want people around who really know the system, and it would appear that due to off-shoring, these people may not work for RBS any more. Hence getting things back in synch is taking an embarrassingly long time. In a sane world, a failure of CA-7 following an upgrade ought to be a piece of piss to remedy and recover from with competent staff, even in a major production system. Someone in the RBS hierarchy is going to have to explain how the discrepancy between this and what actually occurred arose, and if off-shoring was an aggravating factor, then heads should roll.

These are absolutely core business systems; making decisions which turn out to compromise their smooth running is unforgivable. If I banked with any bank in the RBS group, I'd be out of there ASAP if this indicative of how they run their operations.

Comment Problem and fix (Score 5, Informative) 155

Ok, RBS group (which includes NatWest) updates customer accounts via a vast number of batch jobs on a (very big) mainframe overnight. They use CA-7 (a job scheduler, originally written by Uccel) to manage the release, interdependencies and status of these jobs.

It would appear that an update to CA-7 resulted in the actual schedule for these being corrupted or deleted. Therefore they do not know how much any customer actually has in their account, since accounts were not updated with transactions from the previous day.

The problem now appears to be fixed (read: update backed out and control datasets restored), but they still have to run through three days of unprocessed transactions, so people are not getting money paid in during these three days into their accounts as expected, resulting in misery.

This is something which should have been detected and fixed in a competent mainframe site very quickly indeed, so I imagine that the wisdom of outsourcing any "back-office" function of this nature is shortly going to be a matter of very close scrutiny.

Hope this helps.

Comment The fuck? (Score 1) 215

"There are people who perceive that these sensors are triggered by conversations, but that is just patently not true," he said. "They don't turn on unless they hear a gunshot."'"

So they can hear a gunshot when they're not turned on? And that's patently true? Jeez, have you americans invented magic and not told the rest of us? Yes, I'm sure Slashdot readers can think of loads of ways to do just that (pressure sensitive switches, etc., etc.) but I was more askance at the sheer mendacity of the spokesman. The case is only extremely rare if he is lying through his teeth.

Comment So... (Score 1) 240

"The primary reason for this move is to lessen China's reliance on western intellectual property"

What, they might actually invent their own for a change? Unless "lessen" is a synonym for totally abandon (and stop copying). Like that's going to happen anytime, real soon!

Comment Re:Big waves (Score 1) 107

Interesting link but some of the text is reminiscent of Julian and Sandy ( from "Round the Horne", I mean, "The Triple Island light was built to guide mariners through the rocky waters of Brown Passage, on their way to the port of Prince Rupert.", I ask ya!

Comment Re:Bad title. (Score 1) 166

Ok, people lust after '64 blackface Supers and Bassmen. And possibly blackface Deluxes (although I don't quite get than one), but you are comparing oranges with apples. Depends really what you are putting through them. Marshalls, generally, sound great with humbuckers (ie. Les Pauls), Fenders sound great with single coils (ie. Strats and Telecasters, and Gretsch). Which is not surprising, 'cos that's what they were designed for. If you heard someone slinging a Strat through a Marshall back in the old days, bet your life they had a treble booster in between. Or something in that vein. I've owned a few, and curse the day when I was left with a Fender Super Reverb to run a Les Paul through. It loves my Stratocaster though.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes