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publié le 24 novembre 2017 Beauté › Miniatures

It was easily mocked as infantile. Yet Bracken's thinking was pragmatic. As a new unit reporting to the Cabinet Office, GDS couldn’t hope to match private sector IT sector salaries. Contractors, or “interims”, could stay up to four years and received as much as £700 per day, but permanent staff would be on much lower rates. Hence the need for fun as a motivational tool.Inside Aviation House, however, the reality was very different to the whimsical and informal picture GDS presented to the world. Three years after the Cabinet Office had approved Martha Lane-Fox’s blueprint for creating a new Whitehall IT unit, tangible progress was hard to find. The euphoria had given way to stress and high turnover. “People were doubling up on leaving drinks because there were so many,” one government source familiar with GDS told us.Morale had fallen so low that Cabinet Office management hired external management consultancy The Art of Work to find out why, and make recommendations. The consultants ran focus groups and conducted 1:1 interviews with over 170 civil servants. The final document, titled “Re-Designing GDS: People Proposition”, proposed nothing short of a “reboot” for the department. GDS needed to be “redesigned” with new management structures and processes.

The consultants' report concluded that “high turnover makes it difficult to settle team/losing good people”. It also confirmed that GDS is perceived as arrogant in the rest of Whitehall:“People needed to be reminded of professional behaviours; arrogance was the most used word to describe those inappropriate behaviours; also ‘smug elitists’”, civil servants told the interviewers, in confidence.'There are a high proportion of contractors, even for an agile organisation, which is not cost effective.' Consultants highlighted a “culture of thinking we are always right”. GDS staff thought that the hype GDS generated for itself contributed to poor relations with the rest of Whitehall.

“I want comms to have humility so I’m not expected to be infallible or a member of a cult,” one protested to interviewers.The HR experts also highlighted diversity issues, with a predominantly “mono culture” that was “male, white, geeky”, in the staff's own words. The most scathing findings are reserved for the top management, who GDS' own staff say created a “chumocracy”. This would have consequences for morale, contributing to a high turnover of staff.Staff described “shadowy cabals” of management, according to the report. This led to low morale and, ultimately, high staff turnover. The Cabinet Office convinced the Treasury and Francis Maude that it had recruited crack “digital experts”. In reality, GDS lacked experience, strong track records in delivering ambitious projects, and – as “digital” experts often do – lacked basic technology skills.Pics Acer CEO Jason Chen this week tore through the company's international product launch presentation – on the 68th floor of New York's 4 World Trade Center – like a rock star on speed from start to finish. He even donned sunglasses at one point and there seemed every chance that he might not take them off.

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Acer is back in black. Chen turned the company around within his first year since taking the helm, and he doesn't do false modesty. Nor is he interested in scientific vanity projects, unproven tech or unfamiliar markets. Chen is interested only in stuff that he feels sure he can sell.His influence was clear from the lack of surprises in the launch line-up. New notebooks, check. New tablets, check. The promise of new kit for gamers, check. More projectors, improved home NAS boxes, the inevitable wearable tech (not quite ready, natch')... check, check, check.The products do look different, though, as a result of user experience boffins getting more involved in the industrial design, but more on that later. The company has even grown bored waiting for a lucrative Internet of Things (IoT) market to evolve and so has written its own open cloud platform for IoT developers.More surprising was the vehemence of Acer's commitment to Windows 10 on all platforms – even for its tiny smartphone portfolio, which is all set for a bigger push in North America this year. Not only does the company plan to put Windows 10 on its machines before anyone else, Chen said if you buy a Windows 8.1 notebook now, he'll give you a free upgrade to 10 later.

This is despite Acer having produced the top-selling Chromebook of last year, effectively tripling its Chromebook business. But Chen was adamant: if necessary, he said, “we will be the last man standing in the PC industry.The keynote over, the world's tech press and influential bloggers were finally let loose upon Acer's refreshed product lines for 2015. The Reg was there and this is what we found...Acer's refreshed line of mainstream notebooks come in a bewildering variety of models. Business users might want to start with the Aspire V15, a stylishly corporate-looking MacBookalike. It comes with the appropriate bells and whistles of a bigger budget: 5th gen Intel Core, NVIDIA GeForce 940M graphics, 16GB RAM, 2TB hard disk and backlit keyboard. There is also a 1TB SSD hybrid option.The Aspire V15 will start at €699 / $599, arriving in Europe in July, followed by North America in August.

Acer Aspire V15: Absolutely nothing at all like a MacBook Pro – to the right the tasteful, not flashy, subtle, glinting textured effect is achieved with nano-imprint lithography While it shouldn't really matter, the outer finish of its aluminium case is striking. The effect is the result of nano-imprint lithography and is part of Acer's latest drive to texturise the cases of its portable and handheld products. More examples of texturising can be seen in the latest Aspire E Series and ES notebooks.The El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse's Live Below the Line challenge got off to a provocative start today, as Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team member Paul Lord Shax Shackleton sent over a snap of what we certainly weren't getting our laughing gear round this morning.Yes indeed, we're very much not obliged to Shax on any level whatsoever for sharing his hearty sausage sarnie repast with us as we begin five days on just £1 per day for food.For the record, the Cat5 cable seen in the photo is where Paul would connect his laptop were he actually inclined to do some real work, rather than photographing his breakfast and quaffing enormous quantities of tea.

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Mind you, there's no shortage of tea here at SPB HQ, with budget teabags forming a vital part of the week's supplies. Here's how the rest of a single person's rations stacks up:As you can see, we're sticking to the tried-and-trusted bulk approach, with 1kg of chickpeas, 1kg of rice, a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs and around 5kg of potatoes, courtesy of a budget sack of spuds. Agreeably, the budget stretched to a few cloves of garlic and an onion, plus a few cents for some herbs and a smidge of olive oil for frying.So, here's breakfast for the next five days, at the end of which we'll have two spare eggs each for a special Friday treat:The news from the rest of the Nosh Posse is that there is no news from 2014 veteran Toby Sibley, who signed up again at the last minute with his wife Ros Griffin. They started the challenge yesterday due to a romantic wedding anniversary jaunt to Paris next Friday. Hopefully, they're not starving to death on 780 calories per day, and as soon as we have word, we'll let you know.

Fellow 2014 Live Below the Line vets Neil Barnes and Anita Wegner seem to have things under control, having enjoyed a hearty breakfast of homemade muesli with milk and a slice of toast and jam.Neil reports he'll be having another jam sarnie for lunch, with Anita tucking into carrot, tomato, and beansprout salad. Dinner tonight is spaghetti with tomato sauce, taken from his own tenner a week cookbook (ePub version here). Profits from the sale of both versions go to our chosen charity Malaria No More UK.For the remaining four days, Neil and Anita's dinners will be fried Camembert with salad, spicy potatoes, bacon and lentils, and cheese and onion pasty with salad.This diverse spread is evidence of Neil's scientific approach to planning, and here's an extract from his comprehensive spreadsheet showing just how he does his sums (click on the image for more):On the other side of The Pond, meanwhile, ex-pat Richard Jacob has been equally meticulous, not least because he has two daughters who've been volunteered to participate in the challenge.

After much head-scratching (details here), Richard finally hit the shops and assembled his family's supplies. Here's young Zinta contemplating the stockpile:Apparently, the young lady is quite pleased with the raisin element of the stash, which will be used in oat bars and porridge. In common with Neil, Richard prepared a spreadsheet to help with planning:What doesn't appear therein is the Jacob homage to Gwyneth Paltrow, who recently failed to to survive for seven days on $29 for food as part of the #FoodBankNYCChallenge.Paltrow blew part of her budget on some cut-price limes, and not to be outdone, Richard has managed to squeeze a few of the citrus fruits from his $1.50 per day per head:He said: Limes are $0.37 each. I hope that we can make a couple of caipirinhas with a shot of super cheap cachaça or white rum or similar, a lime and a spoon full of sugar on the Friday night.If you believe that extracting a bit of alcohol from a quid a day is pushing it, then look on in wonder as Chris Wilkinson back on this side of the Atlantic prepares to quaff no less than two bottles of homebrew wine (one apple, one elderberry), which he says cost just 15p each, as follows:The mention of shadow IT can produce beads of sweat on the brow of any knowledgeable IT staff member. For those who do not know, the term covers any company systems and services that are not procured by the IT department.

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