Labour’s new front bench

Earlier today, Ed Miliband and Alan Johnson announced the latter’s resignation as Shadow Chancellor. Ed Balls has been moved from his Home Office position to replace him. The commentariat seem divided in their opinion with Labour’s friends welcoming an expert who’ll give Osbourne, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats an exceedingly hard time, and their enemies who are trying to re-start the feuds that emanated throughout the lifetime  of the last Labour government.

I am excited that Labour’s finest economist is on the front bench and in a position to nail the tory lies

  1. the current crisis is a crisis of debt and not of unemployment
  2. the last crisis was a crisis of public finance, not banking solvency
  3. the Tory cuts are designed balance the books not to shrink the state
  4. we are all in this together

Those who hope that Balls will restart past feuds are wrong, he will not destroy the current state of unity of the Labour Party; and while he may have ambitions to run for Leader again, the big and obvious difference is that he has just lost a Leadership election. Things would need to change a lot for him to win one and he should know it.

Also the Labour Party, finally having been asked last summer, and having had a better general election than the leadership, has a renewed confidence to hold the leadership to account.

I am going to enjoy watching Balls take Osbourne apart. I hope he wipes that smug smile off his face. Watch the video below if you need to be reminded.


Why did Facebook eclipse Yahoo?

Yahoo had a web site, e-mail and photo sharing. It didn’t have micro-blogging, nor was it able to leverage the market- and mind-share of Facebook’s initial applications publishers.

It was self-obssessed and under takeover threat, but it had great brand value, and most people would accept that it is run be people that will take customer privacy more seriously; their business model treats their users as customers, not commodity (eyeballs).

Yahoo is not a secret garden either, which should make it more attractive, you can use it to share with non-yahooers. Is it just that the deal, “Your privacy in exchange for e-mail and micro-blogging”, is worth it? Admittedly, it’s initial growth was driven by teenager adoption, but why take up with Facebook and not Yahoo?

Yahoo was almost there. Interesting how close you can be and miss! …

It just works on Linux

While at Sun, while developing the CEC Messaging Platform, one of my colleagues put part of the platform on Linux, because “It just works on Linux”. I was reminded of this today while repairing one of my desktop computers, which had suffered an HDD failure. The system runs Windows XP and after the hardware repair, Windows was hanging every time the Drive was referenced. This was despite mounting the disk on the e:\ mount point.

I rang Dell who support the UK today from Germany and was advised to create a Linux Live CD and see if that could mount the file system.

It could.

Also it browsed the networks, found the file server, mounted a folder and I am now busy copying the files to a remote disk.

The Dell and Alienware people who have helped me over the last two months have been both helpful and knowledgeable. There was some reticence from the Alienware people since my system is pre-merger and they classify it as “legacy”. They  diagnosed the original disk failure and guided my through replacing the disk and rebuilding the OS. They stated that fixing windows explorer was a software problem and beyond them, so they passed me over to Dell software support. Again great advice and it looks like I have recovered the data.  Now to see what happens if I format the disk.

Thanks to Linux, Dell and Alienware.

NB. Both these services were chargeable, so having to pay for two incidents was a bit poor, but I got to talk to people who know what they’re doing. Alienware gave me reason to believe that it was going to be OK, and Dell reminded me that Linux just works. …