Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Council Wastes Oodles On Google

Thanks to a whistleblower who's been in touch with Thanet's premier blog here at the cliff top mansion, I can reveal that three of the island's families are now pointlessly paying council tax purely for the pleasure of keeping Mr Google in business. Not only that, but Mr Google will also get to see all the council's emails!

According to my Deep Throat, our beloved Cecil Squarians are forking out £6 per mailbox to Google to scan each and every email for viruses. With 750 mailboxes on their system, that's a whopping £4,500, or the annual council tax for three average properties.

'Quite right!' I hear you ejaculate. 'We don't want nasties in the council's IT system!' Ah, but the irony is that they could apparently get this service for free from Kent County Council by swapping over a bit of software. But no, they've decided to hand over the dough to the US info-mining monster, which made $1.5bn in the last three months. Next time you send the duffers an email, do bear in mind that some nerd in California could be reading it!

Perhaps the council's IT guru, Councillor/Doctor Simon Moores, could explain why he's giving Google enough money to roll out hundreds of wheelie bins, a sixth of a titty show (in Margate, natch), re-open a quarter of a public convenience, or pay his leader's expenses for three months? I think we should be told!

25 comments:

Peter Checksfield said...

The Titty Show is getting a lot of knockers!

Anonymous said...

The filth and the tory

Anonymous said...

hope you like the titty bit i scouped for you ! Nothing in local press about it? Perhaps they thought with the rubbish fiasco they didnt dare? They are hiring bin collection lorries to cope i see - hope they insured them correctly otherwise that will be another expense if anyone has a collision with one! (better not tempt fate?)

Anonymous said...

Another £30k for Margate eh? Meanwhile Broadstairs argues over a £5k bill to close the road during Folk Week.

Westgate Old Lady said...

And that Paul Conyers-Silverthorn has the cheek to suggest Sandy hasn't got a well thought out tourism strategy! The Big Event, Folk Week, Ramsgate Rocks and now The Margate Burlesque. What more does he want?!!

ascu75 aka Don said...

TDC whole IT scheme needs joined up thinking but it could be worse having tried to use a computer whilst in hospital as part of my OT I gave up cos it was so bad it was useless

DrM. said...

Sorry to dsappoint you ECR but it's all about saving a large amount of dosh through replacing a more expensive and poorly performing IT solution with a cheaper and cleverer one now available from Google GMS.

The Kent Public Network Solution has, I'm informed, a number of limitations in regard to the way it handles and deletes infected email and so in order to meet best practise standards and objective cost savings, TDC has followed the Google route in line with a number of other authorities.

I'm satisfied with the reasons behind the change and the results that go with it but If you are concerned about the costs, implementation etc, please ask your own councillor to raise a formal question and I would be happy to issue a formal response.

DrM. said...

PS.. I forget the two really important parts...!

Firstly, like your Blog, I'm told it's presently a free trial from Goggle so there's no cost!

Secondly, email is scanned for viruses and malware automatically and I'd be more concerned about prominent UK IT infrastructure companies, part owned or partnering with the People's Republic of China, passing our State secrets back to Beijing than Google reading our email!

Westgate Old Lady said...

How very informative 'doctor' M. Whoever you are, you sound like a nice, reasonable man to me. We could do with men like you on the council.

Stop Manston Expansion Group said...

Doc, I'm sure Ken Wills over at China Gateway Plc and Peoples Republic of China overseas investment arm Chinamex will be delighted to hear you say such things.

Would one like assistance removing one's foot from one's mouth?

DrM. said...

Unfortunately, the foot in mouth bit comes right from the top of a rather concerned Government.

This isn't a China Gateway issue instead, it's one that surrounds companies such as BT and Huwei and the now almost constant background of cyber espionage activities originating in China and the subject of an IDC lecture I gave in Milan a year ago.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Do keep up Old Lady. He is on the council!

Or was that just faux senility on your part?

Anonymous said...

ECR on another subject did you see you can lease an ex public wc near you in Ramsgate - maybe you should reinvent yourself as an attendant and run that as a venture? You'd be in tune with what is happening then? Could disguise yourself in a natty apron and hairnet! On the green by the traffic lights at Hereson road - otherside from where Dormans used to be, below old gas works!

Eastcliff Richard said...

Yes - I've had my eye on that asset sale for some time!

The public bog round the corner from my Lundun pad was sold off some years ago and became a top notch dentist. He apparently didn't need permission for change of use as it was still possible to get a gob job and have your cavity filled!

Anonymous said...

The "titty show" featured first in the Thanet Times way before being in the nationals. It's even on the IOTG website.

Anonymous said...

Just checked July 14 issue. Here it is on the web http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/margate/Burlesque-sauce-Dunkers-festival-Margate/article-1178862-detail/article.html

Anonymous said...

Yes but it didn't say anything about the growing controversy over nippleless strippers.

Sticking to the point, Dr M tells us other local authorities are using Google to scan their emails. Could he tell us which local authorities in Kent are currently using Google, rather than the free service provided by KCC?

DrM. said...

No.. and for the very good reason that this is one blog among many in Thanet, not a newspaper or even a freedom of information request and if I spend my days' responding to comments and questions posed here, or on Tony Flaig, Bertie Biggles or Michael Child, I'll never get any work done.

From time to time I'll but in if I think the record needs to be put straight, like the Google story but please don't consider it as a an avenue to interrogate TDC.

If you want the answer please use the proper channels.

Anonymous said...

Given Dr M has bothered to even submit that response, the time it took to pen that could have been spent answering the question! One could be forgiven for thinking he doesn't know the answer!

But who would be so cynical.

I do hope this new fangled computer system the doc has invented has a modern spell checker, looks like he could do with it.

Anonymous said...

Well I can answer for the Doc seeing as he hasn't got the time to provide an answer for the hundreds of readers/voters/council taxpayers who view this blog every day.

No other local authority in Kent uses Google. Most use the free KCC system, some use alternatives, but none use Google.

As for it being a free trial, Google like to give things away as it makes them seem all cuddly. But the truth is they are a hard-nosed US megabusiness and will make bucks if they can. Looking at their client list for this service, it includes big guns like Barclays, British Airways and Lloyd's of London. Are we to honestly believe Google don't want to make money out of them?

Add to that TDC's lamentable track record when it comes to playing with the 'big boys', and I think you'll agree this is not only a recipe for disaster, it's an entire meal, seating plan and restaurant!

DrM. said...

Strange that all of a sudden a number of your readers suddenly become expert on Google's marketing strategy and anti-virus software.!

Why they should suddenly agonise on the council choosing one solution over another in a search for cost savings and increased reliability and functionality is risible. You may note here that this weblog is run by Google, so is Google, search, Google Earth and rather more besides. So here's a stunning thought.. what if Google can do anti-virus better and cheaper too!?

The local paper now has the relevant details it asked for so spend you 60p next week if your'e really interested!

Eastcliff Richard said...

Sorry Dr M, but patronising my readers will only bring you grief I'm afraid. You have been warned!

Anonymous said...

Dr M. has no time to answer questions because he and the TDC chief exec are too busy on more important things like trying to set up a blog standard for trying to shut councilors up from expressing their views on blogs. Why does he waste his time on this when there are more important things to occupy his and the chief execs time. The existing UK laws cover what can be written on a blog just like local newspapers. The dfference being that the council can have influence over what is printed and what is not. Unlike a councilor's blog that can contain any legal views they care to air.

Maybe this is why the council leadership is trying to suppress blogs. efering to another reply on Rthis blog just remember that Thanet is not China.

DrM. said...

I repeat that there is no attempt on the part of the council to censor blogs.

There's no protocol either! It's a discussion only.

This is a rumour, a figment of the imagination. It doesn't exist. All that has happened has been a series of short conversations surrounding the concern that councillors as public figures, should sensibly set themselves a higher standard of courtesy, debate and self expression on their weblogs

Anonymous said...

750 email boxes, filtered and scanned for £4,500 is a bargain. A market leading spam filtering software company provides 25 mailboxes for £200 per year, and thats just spam filtering, double it if you want anti virus. It does actually make extremely good sense.
More worryingly its actually a decent decision involving TDC, surely this must have been an accident.