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* Posts by Jan Hargreaves

120 posts • joined 18 Oct 2007

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Rackspace refuses to enlist in cloud's latest price cutting war

Jan Hargreaves

One of my clients uses Rackspace and I am in the middle of signing up another. Can you call Google, Amazon or Microsoft? Well... yes but after being passed around several cities globally with people for which English is not their first language, you may finally get some help. Once they have taken over your computer as they can't just tell you what to do. Sometimes the wait for answering a call is an hour or more.

Rackspace have direct numbers all over the world. You phone support and within 1 or 2 rings it's picked up and answered by very polite and competent support staff. They are courteous, open and fix problems very quickly. Frankly its worth the extra expenditure and I'm sick of the lowest common denominator where as long as it's really cheap people put up with pathetic service. I applaud Rackspace for sticking to their principlies and offering an alternative. It's my favourite cloud provider currently.

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You thought slinging Photoshop into the cloud would fail? Look who's laughing NOW

Jan Hargreaves

I've been delighted by finally being able to subscribe to Creative Cloud. You can say what you want about it, but for me it was a godsend. I don't have $5000 to buy Master Collection. But $50 a month to have it is perfect for me. It will take me 8 years to spend the same as buying the boxed set. I would imagine that by then, there will be significant new features and upgrades that I will continue to receive as part of my subscription.

If you are in a huge company with a large budget for software, I can perfectly understand why you would prefer to have a boxed version. But surely you also want to keep up with the new features of the software? I really think that it is a great deal.

People complaining about getting cut off - well pay the bill. If your card is expiring it might be an idea to update your details before going off to work on location... There is a 30 day window for you to let the software communicate to Adobe servers, and warnings show up around a week before your subscription will expire, with periodical reminders.

And to the person who said that there haven't been any significant changes for the past 4-5 versions; you are either a troll or just totally ignorant. I cannot begin to imagine how many work hours Content-Aware has saved me. It must be in the hundreds.

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Facebook reveals plan to WIRE THE PLANET

Jan Hargreaves
FAIL

WebP - So that's why images uploaded to facebook so are so horribly compressed and smallish text is almost unreadable. Yup, what innovation.... Go Zuck!

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New! Yahoo! logo! shows! Marissa! Meyer's! personal! touch!

Jan Hargreaves

Is there something in css3 to tilt your exclamation point by 9 degrees? El Reg surely needs to use something like that for all future Yahoo headlines. Just to make them look as junior as that logo looks...

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Private UK torrent site closes, citing 'hostile climate'

Jan Hargreaves

Very sad. The box was a great resource. Stuff you just could not find anywhere else.

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Microsoft fattens Exchange Online mailboxes to 50GB

Jan Hargreaves

And I just upgraded one of my clients to their "Unlimited Exchange Online" which is not accessible via IMAP but is just a stupid folder that can only be seen in the browser. And it was a minimum 12 month contract... One person is going to be happy!

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Huawei Ascend Mate: The phondleslab for the skint

Jan Hargreaves

That is one ugly homescreen. Couldn't PR come up with something better than that? It's ghastly...

And people say iOS looks like a toy...

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Windows 8.1 Start button SPOTTED in the wild

Jan Hargreaves

Re: I'm Sick Of This

Er yes you can. It's a program called StarDock

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Linux in 2013: 'Freakishly awesome' – and who needs a fork?

Jan Hargreaves
WTF?

Re: And yet, and yet ...

Do you not do any re-touching in your business at all?

I would be surprised at any design business that doesn't have at least one program from Adobe.

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WTF is... H.265 aka HEVC?

Jan Hargreaves

Re: Patients?

Ahh fair enough then. The pricing seems extremely reasonable to me and I was somewhat surprised considering the level of abuse the MPEG-LA receive from freetards/ the VP8 brainwashed.

The previous suggestion of a 20 cent (ish) addon in the Ubuntu store seems very sensible.

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Jan Hargreaves
WTF?

Re: Patients?

It's free for up to 100,000 units, 20 cents up to 200,000 units and 10 cents after.

You are saying this is too expensive? What do you think they should be charging?

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Yahoo! drops! size! limit! on! email! attachments! with aid from Dropbox

Jan Hargreaves
Stop

Can somebody please enlighten me... what file(s) over 500MB would someone want to send that are not pirated?

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Microsoft's summer update will be called Windows 8.1

Jan Hargreaves

Re: @Jan Hargreaves

"If you've been following the whole Win 8 thing for a while (your use of TIFKAM indicates you have,) then you should know the answer."

So is that anything other than... you can't? For example you want to watch a video online out of the corner of your eye while doing an email. Can't see how this is going to work in TIFKAM. What happens when somebody suddenly skype's you. It's just a complete and utter mess.

"And a lot less painfully then the generally suggested "Tell people to use Linux instead."

Photoshop under wine in Linux would really be painful. I've been saying for a long time that Linux advocates can come back to me when there is Photoshop or good enough equivalent on Linux. Still waiting...

For the record, I use Windows 7 myself. I looked at the upgrade options, including the special offer to update quickly. And quickly thought.. forget it. They are really not offering me a worthwhile upgrade.

Still...

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Jan Hargreaves

Re: @Jan Hargreaves

Tell me how you can use excel or word, or photoshop with only 25% of the screen? And I mean productively.

TIFKAM is for content consumers. Not really for doing any real work at all.

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Jan Hargreaves
Facepalm

What's the 's' for? I thought it was Just Window 8 now.. since you can only use one at a time

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Facebook prepares to dominate Android

Jan Hargreaves
Mushroom

Re: G+

Both of you are there. I don't think anyone else is interested....

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Nokia deflates Google's video codec thought bubble

Jan Hargreaves
Mushroom

Re: Huh

The problem with VP8 is that it is a vastly inferior codec. It's compression looks much worse, at larger file sizes.

The fact that Google is pushing it is only holding back everyone from just getting on it with and standardising H.264.

Competition is good in certain areas.... but with some things we just want one that fits all. HTML5 is really taking ages to get going because of the squabbling over the video codec standard. Guys... H.264 is the best, get over it and move on please.

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Review: HTC One

Jan Hargreaves

Beats? No thanks. I don't need all the levels pre-f*cked for me. I guess I would like it if I listened to R'n'B/Pop.

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Apple fixes iOS passcode-bypass hack with 6.1.3 update

Jan Hargreaves

Re: Jailbreaking

Isn't it now illegal to jailbreak your phone in the US now. Perhaps this is a now a requirement for operators to do what they can to prevent users from breaking the law?

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France demands Skype register as telco

Jan Hargreaves
FAIL

Re: @Jan Hargreaves

About as much as Microsoft are paying you I would imagine...

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Jan Hargreaves
Go

I wasn't asked to give alternatives though. And I intentionally didn't give any examples because sometimes you can end up sounding like a car salesman or employee of said company. Since you are now asking specifically though, I'll bite.

I use VoipStunt.com for sip calling. It's actually brilliant. A tenner of credit every 120 days and you get 120 days of free calls to about 30 countries. The tenner of credits is still good after that has expired. I've been using it since 2003. You used to be able to get London numbers through them, but you can pick them up for a couple of bucks a month from flynumber.com or just get an 056 number for free if you don't mind that prefix.

With SIP you only need 64kbps for a voice call, and there is no leeching of your bandwidth or CPU. I prefer a hardware device for calls so I have a phone that I can use even if my pc is shutdown. They have a crappy client, which works fine mind you, but you can use ANYTHING you want by just plugging in the settings (unlike Skype). We're even setting up a proper answering machine service on our server to handle calls for our company now.

For chat I use Pidgin.im - again there are plenty of alternatives and I have several accounts of several protocols running there (different clients use different protocols).

Skype is the horsemeat equivalent of a juicy aussie steak.

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Jan Hargreaves
FAIL

You act like skype is the only thing in the world that makes calls. You are trolling or what?

There are PLENTY of programs/alternatives that offer what it does. It seems to do everything it attempts very badly. Can't think why anyone would defend it honestly.

Those two (Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis) have been responsible for some awful software over the years... Anyone remember the failure that was Joost? Kazaa was equally awful.

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Jan Hargreaves
Mushroom

Wish Skype would just die. It's horrible.

- The call/video qaulity is pathetic (epecially for the bandwith it uses).

- The rates are extortionate.

- The application GUI is disgusting. You can't even exit the program from the menu (how stupid is that).

- It eats your connection and makes browsing, VOIP calls, and other uses slow or unusable.

- Oh and it's responsible for killing MSN messenger on Friday (except in China).

DIE!

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Outages plague Hotmail and Outlook users

Jan Hargreaves

It's Microsoft's 'push the self destruct button' week. On Friday they switch of MSN Messenger.......

Popcorn is ready!

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GoDaddy gone, daddy: Websites go titsup in server assault

Jan Hargreaves
Mushroom

If you will pick the cheapest service... then you get what you didn't pay for. Move to a proper host.

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Microsoft Flash FLIP-FLOP: it's now IE10 default for Win8, WinRT

Jan Hargreaves
Facepalm

I really don't get the hate for Flash at all. When used right, it's bloody fantastic.

When used wrong (or when you could achieve the same results without using it), yes it is awful and horrible.

So shouldn't all you flash haters be calling for the banning of every other language/ development engine because if it's used badly it's horrible... so therefore let's make it extinct. We would have nothing left....

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Apple to cough up $100m after kids rinse parents' credit cards on apps

Jan Hargreaves
FAIL

Re: It is all so very simple.

Can't you each have your own user account?

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Ubuntu? Fedora? Mint? Debian? We'll find you the right Linux to swallow

Jan Hargreaves

err... look at the website. it just looks stretched.

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Jan Hargreaves
WTF?

http://mate-desktop.org/

Why does MATE look like a 4x3 TV feed stretched on to a 16:9 screen?

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Microsoft: Old Internet Explorer is terrible and 'we want to help'

Jan Hargreaves
Stop

No. I have to admit that I was probably later than some other designers, but about 7 years ago I stopped using tables for web layouts. I still use them sometimes for tabled data, and I use them every week for email newsletters (gotta love outlook right?).

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Jan Hargreaves
Mushroom

Honestly.. Chrome is far worse than IE at not following standards. I really cannot fathom why people in the tech community love it so much.

I build websites for a living, and Firefox, IE, Safari all tend to behave and do what I want. It's ALWAYS &#)(%@$ Chrome that has problems.

Or maybe it's just me? haha

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Apple to stop European shipments of Mac Pro on March 1?

Jan Hargreaves
Facepalm

Re: Oh dear ....

What happens if you pull out the hard drives on your system? I bet it goes tits up. Pull the drives out of a mac pro and the desktop still functions, mouse and menus and clicking on stuff. Slide the drives back in and away you go.

It's a wonderful piece of kit that lasts for a decade or more. There are many good things about it, and the case is a lot better than any case you can buy anywhere else. If you don't like OSX then fair enough, that's your opinion.

It's just like an iPad is a bit more expensive than your bog standard chinese android tablet, but all the useability tests say it is miles ahead. 80% or more of the mobile browsing usage is on apple products. You pay a little bit more and you get better quality.

If you want to build your own machine then go ahead, it is a lot of fun, and you can mix, match and change everything that you want. A Mac Pro is obviously not for you.

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'Op! Op! Op!' Gangnam Style earns Google $8m

Jan Hargreaves

Whoops, you got me. 0.65 cents per play it is.

As you said, though, even then... this is way more than they actually pay. I was also wondering whether they sold the branding of his song's page for an extortionate amount. Still don't believe the final figure. It's propaganda.

Regardless... it's still misleading, to paint a picture that Google is helping artists. They are worse than the record companies.

Now... if the label/artist did receive 0.65 cents per play... that would really help the music industry. Anyone have any idea how much Google charges the advertister for each play? You know.. they only made $50 BEEELION last year.

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Jan Hargreaves

65 cents per play? Is this guy for real? I work for a company that has a large catalogue in YouTube and from the last month of sales figures available, our highest earning track on YouTube earned $3.84 with 19,997 plays = 0.000192 cents per play.

Must be the same propaganda machine that Spotify uses...?

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Microsoft says Google trying to undermine Windows Phone

Jan Hargreaves
Mushroom

Re: Ironic!

That would be why most of YouTube is still H.264 then??

Also, VP8 is inferior to H.264 in every way. It's a larger file, it's a lower quality picture, it's a format that doesn't play on servers without extra configuration, and no support for hardware acceleration. Pretty lame....

Also video has nothing to do with this story so not sure what bandwagon you are on. If I have been caught by excellent trolling then my hat goes off to you sir.

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Goldman Sachs: Windows' true market share is just 20%

Jan Hargreaves
Coat

Yup I bet all the traders for goldman sachs are using 4 iPads or Nexus' hooked up to each other...

Oh... wait....

Tablets are okay for a bit of work on the go but if you want to do anything serious you need a proper machine.

Goldman Sachs... they took all our money five years ago.. why should we listen to these fraudsters. They've probably just shorted a load of Microsoft stock before releasing this "report"

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Netflix names Google Fiber the fastest ISP in the US

Jan Hargreaves
FAIL

Re: I'm with you guys, I don't get it

When a number of ISPs are giving you full untouched access to SpeedTest (and other speed testing sites), but then throttling/ downsizing/ cutting your capability everywhere else it starts to not become a very accurate guage anymore.

(FAIL for the ISPs doing this)

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Sheryl Sandberg offloads $41.5m in Facebook shares in just 6 weeks

Jan Hargreaves

Re: why?

I'm guessing you've never had a job you actually enjoy?

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El Reg mulls commentard icon portfolio shake-up

Jan Hargreaves

Re: Something linked to departing executives…

P45 icon seems heavily appropriate for when fail or facepalm just isn't enough. Would we keep having to explain this to our cousins over the ocean though? Maybe make it pink?

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Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 handset review

Jan Hargreaves

Re: With such a great camera why fake the pictures then?

Looking at the pictures the author has posted, I can see every reason why they used a PROPER camera to make the shots for the advertising. The shots he has posted are grainy, fuzzy, lots of noise, just poor overall. But I guess most people now accept this level of picture. Laziness to carry 2 devices is all I can think of as a reason.

Can you imagine the ads if they used the actual pictures taken by the phone? They would be a laughing stock of tech world. Which wouldn't be so bad, but for the fact that the camera is supposed to be the most impressive feature of the phone... oh dear... the rest of it must be awful.

I do find it slightly strange how the review starts off really positively, but then this doesn't work... this crashes... this is not as good as the rival... etc etc

I'm glad some people like the tiles home screen.. .I just haven't met any of them yet. It's big, ugly, a waste of space, and as the author stresses - counter intuiative.

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Skype for Windows 8 is coming: Always on, always in your contacts

Jan Hargreaves

You may be paying for 30 Mbps but what are you actually getting?

That said, I wholeheartedly agree. Crappy voice quality like talking through wall socks, stuttering video like a 10 year old camera phone, and why is it that Skype wants to use all of my bandwidth when not on a video call, while my SIP only needs 64 kbps. Go figure. Have subsequently configured my router to only allow skype 200 kbps. Personally I never run the piece of crap... but other people in the house.....

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Salesforce CEO Benioff: Win 8 is 'the end of Windows'

Jan Hargreaves
Facepalm

Obviously has no idea how windows upgrades work. You miss out every other release. Is there one person in the world who thought Vista was a "mandatory" upgrade?

This guy is a bit clueless. Then again... he is a salesman. He creates nothing. He just makes money off other people's products. He can do his "work" with a tablet. Well... whoopdeedoo. CIOs have many choices today which is a good thing. And they can select the appropriate hardware and software to best do the job required.

Is he seriously suggesting that people will go to work, then do all their work for the whole day, sat at their desk... on a smartphone?

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Apple banishes Java from Mac browsers

Jan Hargreaves
WTF?

An update that just removes a plugin is a 66MB download????

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Billion people now own a smartphone

Jan Hargreaves
FAIL

Units != Users

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Gartner has its head in the clouds - and its numbers are WRONG

Jan Hargreaves

Would be interesting to know what percentage of cloud "offerings" are ACTUALLY cloud systems.. rather than just a web server being marketed as a cloud.

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Paul Allen: Windows 8 'promising' yet 'puzzling'

Jan Hargreaves
Coat

Re: IE x2...., "can't even share bookmarks"

But y'know dude... bookmarks wtf is that man? Der woz a toolbar for dat years ago... know one uses that stuff anymore. An if dey did... it would be in the cloud innit, synced in all da browzers. Word.

(That was really painful to write like that sorry!)

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Guardian's Robin Hood plan: Steal from everyone to give to us

Jan Hargreaves
Pint

You jest... but you are either not a football fan or have no idea what I am talking about.

It's basically the best football podcast there is out there today, and many thousands would agree. James Richardson, Barry Glendinning, Sid Lowe, Raphael Honigstein, Philippe Auclair to name just a few of the excellent pundits they have. It's free and it's quite simply pure gold.

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Jan Hargreaves

As I said this would be via donation. I wasn't suggesting that they block the site for anyone that does not pay. Subscription is also not the only source of revenue, there are others, including ads. Additionally they could also cut costs.

I'm with you on the "tax" idea. It's a non-starter. But hey.. since you are not willing to pay anything at all... how do you suggest that they sustain their business in the long term?

Was just thinking about this topic again earlier... have to say that Football Weekly is worth £2 a month on it's own! That's 25p per episode... that will get you what.. a third of a can of coke? A tenth of a pint? And you get insight and awesome wit for 40 minutes. Honestly... the Guardian has some bloody excellent products. I don't read the whole website... some of it is of no interest to me whatsoever. I never read the paper version cover to cover either.

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Jan Hargreaves

I read The Guardian every day that I am online. And that must be about 350 days a year (for the past 7 years at least). It's basically one of the first set of websites I visit whenever I start my browser.

I would be more than happy to pay £2 a month to them. I have even told them this on their site. Twice. They claim that they set up a donation system before, and it cost more to run than they got in donations. They either need new staff who can run such a system for next to nothing, or they need to advertise it differently because I've never heard of it. Wonder if it got blocked?

Ahhhh.. .well there is the rub. Wonder if anyone can come up with a way to tell if someone is blocking ads on your site? Force those people to pay. I use Noscript and see no ads. I would not click any, nor buy anything. I would however be happy to pay to access sites, ad free, that enlighten my day (such as yours truly El Reg).

I do however strongly object to media outlets who want financing when they are not State companies. They have a business, they need to be successful. Most other businesses are streamlining and triming the fat to survive. Most print publications seem to be sticking their fingers in their ears and hoping everyone else will pay for the business to survive regardless of whether they provide a product that anyone wants. (The BBC is a hugely respected company throughout the world. That's another discussion entirely - they should charge the licence fee to anyone abroad who wants to pay it).

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