* Posts by Rob Clive

31 posts • joined 8 Oct 2007

EU privacy watchdogs say Facebook changes 'unacceptable'

Rob Clive
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Privacy or lack?

These privacy settings are presumably why some people I know got invitations to join FB with a list of people already on the site as encouragement. Worryingly they knew them all and the only link between them was the person getting the invitation. How does FB do this? It can't access the non member's address book can it? Can it?

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Capita bags another dealer

Rob Clive
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Embrace Extend Exterminate

Yet another competitor to the overweight and excessively overpriced SIMS down the pan. Crapita are fast turning into the UK's equivalent to Microstuff, at least in education.

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Incredible Hulk snared on Street View

Rob Clive
FAIL

Security Cover

if you're looking for strange things try here:

http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Swindon,+Wiltshire,+United+Kingdom&ll=52.535542,-1.930847&spn=0,359.858894&z=13&layer=c&cbll=52.538563,-1.933305&panoid=cGS_bf566ByCWuu7jZNkJQ&cbp=12,48.24,,0,5

Someone forgot to take the cover off - or maybe they were PAID to keep them on! Who knows...

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Boffins builds lithium battery that can't explode

Rob Clive
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RE: Will it work in other countries?

I'm sure it will. However, it will only be made in America 'cause that's the only place that Sulfur is available. Elsewhere someone will have to develop the parallel sulphur battery. Hopefully they're not too far behind.

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BT rolls out new, 'competitive' consumer deals

Rob Clive
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Prices

You might find they're more reasonable than you think. A friend of mine threatened to go to PlusNet's £5.99/month service and they matched it! As far as he knows it's indefinite so perhaps these prices are just starting negotiations...

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Pupil database claimed to be breach-free

Rob Clive
Happy

Impressive

... 8 years, no breaches. One wonders how useful a database accessible by only 7 people in the entire country is though.

One also wonders why the data retention policy is STILL being developed after 8 years. Clearly no hurry - better to hold on to everything.

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Government expects £277m from vetting scheme

Rob Clive
Unhappy

Justified?

How sad to see the Scheme still justifying its existence in national papers using the Soham case. The two girls wouldn't be dead if we'd been around is what they almost boast. Of course, this forgets it wouldn't: the girls went to see Huntley's partner who would have been checked. He wasn't and still wouldn't even under this huge over-reaction of a scheme.

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Orange rolls into the banking business

Rob Clive
Stop

Barclaycard

Another b****y card with NFC functionality so you can buy a banana without entering a pin. Alternatively the card can whore itself about to anyone who asks politely. This is why mine's in a screened enclosure to cut down this over friendly behaviour. Will they ever learn about security?

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Microsoft tosses Windows, Office discounts at XP holdouts

Rob Clive
Unhappy

OVS?

This all sounds wonderful, until I looked at what OVS was. Seems the 50% discount applies for the 1st year. Then you're on the MS licensing treadmill, paying every year to rent all that software. Doesn't look quite so impressive anymore.

I won't join thanks.

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Parcelforce to drop Windows 7 compatibility through letterbox in New Year

Rob Clive
Go

User Agent

Works fine if you pick a user agent string it's looking for. Install User Agent Switcher on FF and away you go. They have a list which is clearly no longer up to date. Once you have satisfied the list you can continue quite happily. IMHO a d**n stupid way to run a website...

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Steel-woven wallet pledges to keep RFID credit cards safe

Rob Clive
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Re: So, how's it earthed then?

Certainly they're better when earthed but the whole point of a Faraday cage is to equalize the potentials induced by EM waves. Which is why cars and planes make quite good ones; or would if the windows weren't so large.

Incidentally static shielding bags your piece of electronics came in are also good for attenuating RFID cards with 'Wave and Pay' logos on. (As in Wave your card and Pay everyone else's bill)

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Microsoft counters Windows 7 upgrade hack advice

Rob Clive
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OEM Licences

"OEM Microsoft Windows licenses do not have any transfer rights and live and die on the original computer they are shipped with and installed on, period."

This is a EULA 'feature' which began some time after XP came out but has been sneakily backported to 95. If you have an uninstalled OEM copy of any MS OS (even that antediluvian one) you can't sell it; I know because I tried. MS killed the trade in licence keys from scrap PCs by imposing this condition. They don't even like you re-installing the OS on a machine with a valid licence sticker. All in the name of more sales.

It would be nice if the EULA was tested in court. It might cut down all this chicanery.

Don't even get me started on the MS $1 = £1 conversion rate!

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How to host your very own Windows 7 launch party

Rob Clive
Pint

Favourite Features

Could be quite a short party if you don't actually have any favourite features to show off. Plus you'd better hope the text to speech feature can deal with drunken slurring....

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Microsoft's Windows 7 price gamble - and why it's flawed

Rob Clive
Jobs Horns

Conversion rates?

A dizzying array of prices, but how will they convert for the UK? Will MS do the same as Vista and use 1 dollar = 1 pound, because of the 'higher cost of doing business'? And carry on stuffing us all over Europe just like they and a lot of American companies always have.

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Capita loving the recession

Rob Clive
Happy

Textbook

A classic example of a public sector service company: treat your employees like s**t, produce junk products but ensure they're mandated by the right people (eg SIMS), then sit back and let the £££s roll in. The best bit is you can debug the software as you go and people will pay over the odds for it.

Plus there's no real danger of competition or fear of losing out. I *knew* I was in the wrong business

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Bank fined £3m for data loss

Rob Clive
Happy

Next?

Ha, ha!

They (the FSA) going to do HMRC next? After all £3M for 180,000 customers details lost translates to £416M for the loss of 25 million details earlier this year. Oh I forgot: it's the government: they can do no wrong in IT, can they? Neither can they be fined; there's probably some terribly good reason.

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Microsoft: Windows 7 release in August '09

Rob Clive
Happy

This version will be....

.... doubtless easier, faster and more secure (by design naturally) than any that went before. I wonder if there are any limits? A version of Windows that installs in 5 minutes, *completely* boots in 5 seconds and is immune to worms & viruses. Now that would be something to shout about.

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Homeless Frank and Microsoft's cookie-cutter PC campaign

Rob Clive
Happy

US != World

At least Microstuff have remade the ads. A certain large soft drinks maker doesn't bother; they think the title of this comment is false.

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Microsoft's online Office variant preps for business

Rob Clive

Microsoft's Biggest Problem...

... is inertia. As you say Office does what's required for probably 90% of users who don't need or want any more. Indeed most of them probably don't know about paragraph or font formatting; which is why nearly 100% of documents are in Times New Roman 10pt. Since Microsoft stopped completely changing (so that the older programs could make no sense whatsover of) the format of .doc and .xls at every release at Office 97 there's been no reason to upgrade. Of course they're now trying to re-introduce this lockin tactic with the docx/xlsx format and a spurious 'standard'. Good luck to them.

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Microsoft claims IE8 is 'a leap forward in web standards'

Rob Clive
Happy

Leap Forward

Give them a break: 20/100 is still a leap forward from the 14/100 that IE7 scored. At this rate IE21 will be the business!

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Parcelforce website cold-shoulders Linux lovers

Rob Clive
Linux

Why should they care?

Why do they need to care about the OS anyway? Their application runs in the browser and is quite happy to use Firefox. It's just that some clever idiot decided to check the OS and throw a wobbly when it doesn't see the magic word 'Windoze'. This is just sloppy programming by some Windoze shop.

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Ofcom slaps down Phones4U

Rob Clive
Happy

About Time...

..this shower got some retribution. My son's phone display cracked after less than 2 months (and no he hadn't dropped it). The local branch which had been more than pleased to sell it to me didn't want to know (unless I'd bought their overpriced insurance.) Despite mentioning the Sale of Goods Act it was entirely the manufacturer's problem. They'd send it off if I liked to be looked at but if they (the manufacturer) decided it was my fault it'd be £17 to get it back, or £22 if I wanted it to my home address unrepaired. In the event the manufacturer must have decided it was their c**p design because it came back fixed. None of this was due to P4U who washed their hands of the whole affair. Time they accepted some responsibility.

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Barclaycard follows Barclays offline

Rob Clive
Unhappy

Discover

So I must be part of the problem: I had a Morgan Stanley card which was sold to Goldfish who've now sold it to Barclaycard. Now I've got a nice shiny new card proudly proclaiming me a Founder Member (of what I don't know). It's also got a PayPass logo; something unmentioned in all the puffery I received. So I can look forward to having my card debited whilst it's still in my wallet. Don't you just love progress....

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Ballmer on banking crisis: No one is safe

Rob Clive
Unhappy

MS Worried

I bet they're worried. One of the first things out the window when things get tough is probably the average corporation's 3 year IT upgrade cycle. Oh dear, major cash cow in trouble... and then when they do look to upgrade what is there (decent) to have?

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NHS IT loses its interim head

Rob Clive
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U Turn?

"...if the long-term interests of NHS patients and taxpayers are to be protected"

A change of direction then. The interests of neither of these groups have been of concern up 'til now. Just the shiny technology and its soundbite potential.

And no, I can't think which faceless civil servant might be next with the poisoned chalice.

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Transcript disappears minister's 'hack-proof' ID register claim

Rob Clive
Alert

How can the NIR....

...not be connected to the internet? Isn't it going to be composed of 3 already existing databases which are probably connected? A new database may be but one cobbled together out of dodgy bits, never

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Motorola poised to offload mobile biz

Rob Clive

What's left

So if they spin off / sell the mobile business what's left? Moto disposed of their massive semiconductor business years ago and got rid of various smaller businesses more recently. Surely this is close to the end of Motorola?

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Microsoft pleads ignorance on 'one interweb per child' pork barrel

Rob Clive
Unhappy

Try Training

"We are achieving nothing like the impact that we should from this technology," sayeth the man from BECTA.

... that's because you don't provide any training. As a school governor I saw all the teachers at the school given laptops microstuffed with software but no real idea how to use 'em. Result: it's a glorified typewriter. Try some training rather than paying monopoly prices for new software and you might get impact.

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US switches off the incandescent lightbulb

Rob Clive
Alert

All your current are belong to me

Wonderful things; if you ignore the odd form factor, slow starting brightness, poor cold performance and environmental unfriendliness. Of course most of them also have a power factor of 0.5 which means your nice lamps are distorting the mains current waveform. Good for the consumer but bad for the generator. Industry used to be penalised for a poor PF via their bills, I assume this will happen for domestic users when enough CFLs are installed. Suddenly they won't appear quite such a good deal.

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ID Cards cost cut to £5.6bn

Rob Clive
Happy

'Delayed'

This delay they're talking about is clearly negative since lots of people (self included) have clearly renewed early to avoid being put on the register.

The new biometric passport is very pretty btw, although I hope no-one wants to add anything to the observations page; it's covered with the chip & aerial. Just need to paste some tinfoil inside the front & back covers, accidentally poke through one of the connections or microwave it. Which would be best?

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Nuclear accident messier than we thought

Rob Clive

and the best bit is..

.. that the design includes chimneys to vent the piles. The structure you see on top of them is a filter; added to the design later. Originally it was thought that the reactor wouldn't emit anything harmful to health. Just as well they don't 'build 'em like that anymore'

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