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Archive for October, 2008

Britain’s on going march towards a police state continues apace. Saw this article today about the new Counter Terrorism 2008 bill:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/28/police_photography_guidance/

So in the future even photographing the police could be an offence. It’s not like anti-terrorism law ever gets applied to non-terrorist activity is it?

This bill will also remove the pesky right of of photographers to refuse to handover film or memory cards when asked by the police: http://photorights.org/blog/42-days-and-hand-over-your-flash-card

The police have tried numerous times to force innocent members of the public to incorrectly hand over film or memory cards

With these new powers they could confiscate your film/memory card/camera for anything they can label as “terrorism” (read: anything they don’t like). You couldn’t even take photographic proof of the police’s behaviour because that, too, would be an offence.

Welcome to 1984. Preventing thought crime for your freedom.

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Release hell

Welcome to “release hell”. When enterprise software gets deployed to production everyone runs for cover.

How we’ve got where we are and still have such a farcical release process is beyond me. Friday was day 3 of our 4 days in staging. On Tuesday, in theory, we go-live. If only we hadn’t spent two and a half days trying to get staging working. It takes a team of 15 people 20 hours to get our as-live environment, working just like live. Incredible. Imagine how much money we’re wasting.

What I don’t understand is why in a company of so many smart, over-achievers has nobody fixed this problem already?

Is it business focus? Are we too busy delivering “business value” to fix things that actually cost us a fortune? That seems impossible – the business case for fixing these things is too obvious.

Is this the limit? Have we just hit some kind of complexity wall? It doesn’t seem right to me. Other companies seem able to manage vast, complex systems – the likes of Ebay and Amazon are still in business, but deal with huge systems.

Is it a lack of ownership? No one person or team owns the whole release process. Development manage their part, then work with the IS teams to deploy it. Each side has their own processes they follow to make their lives easier, inadvertently frustrating the other.

Luckily, we’ve created a new team to tackle this. Perhaps it will work. The general consensus is that nothing will change. Just another committee that will discuss the same old problems we’ve had for years, coming up with new grand strategies that fail to actually change anything.

How do you change processes in a large software organisation?

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New blog

Seems the old blog wasn’t getting updated very often. I blame the owner. Over 9 months since the last update. He, on the other hand, blames the software. Typical.

So I’ve decided to move my blog to wordpress.com. It’s certainly a nicer environment to work in than I had before on my own hosted site. We’ll see whether that encourages me to post more often or not!

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