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* Posts by Jim Lewis

92 posts • joined 11 Nov 2007

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Returning a laptop to PC World ruined this bloke's credit score. Today the Supreme Court ended his 15-year nightmare

Jim Lewis

This could so easily have been me. I bought from a retailer (Red Submarine IRC) in a music mag a high spec machine for around £2000 on a credit agreement. The company promptly went bust prior to delivery.

Weeks later I received phone calls from a debt collection agency telling me I was liable for the cost of the machine or I had to prove non-delivery!

I told them where to go and thankfully that was the last of it, but initially at least the credit company regarded me as having defaulted on the agreement.

I've never regarded PC World very highly, but I certainly won't be visiting them again after this nightmare story, jeez, way to honour consumer rights.

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Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

Jim Lewis

Deiberately missing the point???

Your argument is all very well. The proles will have the opportunity to get a council house, get into student debt and possibly, if they're very lucky earn £100,000 or own a business, so far so good.

What they will never do is unseat the landed gentry and prise the majority of those assets out of the hands of the descendants of someone awarded in the dark annals of history for some forgotten act of loyalty.

A neat demonstration of how limited are the 'normal' persons rights is in the new fracking debate.

If you happen to own property the fracking may take place beneath, guess what, it belongs to those families that everything has always belonged to.

No possibility of any redestribution there is there? Hence the political sop of throwing a few coins out of the carriage window to the street urchins whose communities will be blighted.

In the US by contrast you'd be paid a handsome royalty as you own the land and its mineral rights.

(See also wind farm incomes on crown estate, also going to royals etc.)

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IBM nearly HALVES its effective tax rate in 2013 - report

Jim Lewis

It is the duty of a profit making enterprise to minimise tax and maximise profit, any anger directed at the companies involved is misdirected.

It is the duty of Government to structure tax laws such that economic activity benefits the societies in which the companies involved operate.

This is where the ball has been dropped. It is well overdue for a complete overhaul and re-evaluation of the tax rules in Europe which mean companies can turn billions of dollars of profit (in real terms) whilst paying a tiny percentage in tax.

The current situation definitely benefits the elite 1% while penalising and exploiting the 99%.

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Apple and Samsung STILL in bitchfight over banning ancient mobes

Jim Lewis

Detracting from the main issue of ruining a perfectly good language: Colorably???

I think you meant ostensibly. Why can the Americans not just learn to use the existing words instead of making up new ones? If it was something not already covered by an existing word fair enough, but it doesn't even sound like sophisticated legalise.

Let's hope when an artist infringes copyright on a piece of music the Americans don't feel the need to call it soundably the same, (and they'd probably leave the 'u' out of that as well).

FFS!

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Achtung NIMBYs! BT splurges extra £50m on fibre broadband rollout

Jim Lewis

new cabinets double as advertising hoardings

To further rub salt into the wounds of those people whose communities are blighted by the arrival of these unsightly cabinets, BT has begun plastering them with advertising to trumpet the arrival of the fibre service.

This must surely be against local planning rules. No-one else is allowed to just plaster the built environment with adverts in this way.

check out this horrific example:

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/the-frontline-blog/2223612/bt-s-cornish-superfast-broadband-rollout-in-pictures

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A steam punk VDU ?

Jim Lewis

There are several existing solutions to this.

1. Etch a sketch, pointer is moved on surface on which a powder adheres until displaced.

surface is returned to usable form by shaking in original toy, but could be blown perhaps?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2053587.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xetch+a+sketch&_nkw=etch+a+sketch&_sacat=0&_from=R40

2. Magnetic writing board. Probably easier to use this, see examples here:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/magnetic-writing-board

3. Or the simplest working principle, where a piece of grey translucent plastic sheet is impressed upon with a backing of a wax coated sheet. Where contact is made a dark colour is seen, Lifting the sheet 'erases' it. Also known as a magic slate.

http://www.ebay.com/bhp/magic-slate

They could all be modified in some way to provide the desired functionality, (perhaps not trivial to do so however!)

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Apple's Hacker Princess really needs to stay away from Idaho cops

Jim Lewis

Hammock compliance officer

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Alarming tales: What goes on INSIDE Reg hack's hi-tech bedroom

Jim Lewis

This is where the oft-maligned Pebble smartwatch can shine.

First, set your mobile to have a black-out period, simple in Android, you can add people like the missus to an exempt list so emergency calls get through.

Second, set your alarm safe in the knowledge that your wrist will vibrate you awake silently at the given hour.

My wife usually doesn't notice me leave first in the morning.

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Printing the Future: See a few of UK’s 6.2 million 3D-printed ‘things’

Jim Lewis

Re: Lost wax?

Indeed it can be and is already by artists exploring its possibilities in this area.

I think UWE do this.

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Jim Lewis

Surely for the people with the most positive outlook on the future and rate of rise of 3D printing the 'hobbyists toy' uppermost in their mind is that of computing, which was initially similarly the reserve of hobbyists.

The computer is now of course ubiquitous, but then it can be turned to such a wide variety of applications.

3D printing can't and while it will have a myriad of as yet unthought of applications, in it's most advanced form it is essentially a quick route to a prototype either allowing bespoke unique designs for one off or a few items or as a precursor to producing the item through other more efficient means.

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Brit inventor Dyson challenges EU ruling on his hoover's energy efficiency ratings

Jim Lewis

Hoovers???

I bet Dyson would be less than pleased to see vacuum cleaners referred to by his competitors trade name.

I thought we'd stopped doing that last century.

As it is a US brand, do you think you could try to support the home grown industry a bit more?

I'm off to do the Dysonning now...

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Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

Jim Lewis

I can only assume that these machines were designed with input from the till workers union. They certainly seem designed to demonstrate how bad an idea it is for us to check out our own shopping rather than have a human do it for us.

I won't use them and watch with gleeful anticipation when people behind me in the queue ask me if I will and then pass me to attempt to use them.

They're usually experiencing exactly as Alaistair describes long after i've left after being served by a human.

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Chromecast creeps further into living room with Hulu hookup

Jim Lewis

I have the Chromecast and it just works, in a way that so much other stuff just doesn't. I realise readers of El Reg are so tech savvy that wrestling arcane scripts to make tech do what it's supposed to is part of the enjoyment for them, but for the masses this device offers additional functionality at a trivial cost and with ease.

I think Google have stolen a march on their competitors once again, and each additional service offering will merely further bolster this position.

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WIN a RockBLOCK Iridium satellite comms module

Jim Lewis

LUNATIC

LOHAN

Undesired

Near

Approach

Transmitter

Initiated

Cut-Down

'LUNATIC prevents disaster after SPEARS failure'

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Jim Lewis

EROTIC

Emergency

RockBlock

Operated

Transmitter

Inititiated

Cut-Down

'LOHAN near populated area in EROTIC episode'

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LOHAN ideas..

Jim Lewis

Altimeter in shot?

Maybe this has been asked before, but would it be possible to have an indication of height in the video capture? The simplest way would be to put a basic altimeter display in front of the camera.

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Jim Lewis

'Gastric band' pressure switch

Another way to connect balloon burst to electrical switching would be to put a band around the lower part of the balloon containing a pressure switch; closed due to the pressure of the balloon acting on it.

At balloon burst the switch would open, providing the required signal to the electronics to fire.

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Mozilla ponders blinkers for your browser

Jim Lewis

Re: God bless his little Royal Highness!

@obnoxiousGit

Amazingly bad the alternatives may be, but they are at least temporary and not entitled to huge amounts of cash at our expense. You can bow and scrape as much as you want. I'd like to live in a free and fair society where anyone can aspire to the top of the social pyramid.

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Devolo dLAN 500 AV Wireless Plus: Triple-tech connectivity for the home

Jim Lewis

If power switches behind such devices are hard to access (under furniture etc) get yourself a remote controlled socket. Simples!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5713.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xremote+controlled+socket&_nkw=remote+controlled+socket&_sacat=0&_from=R40

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Beijing fanboi in coma after iPhone 4 shock treatment

Jim Lewis

Re: I'm No Fan

There woudl be no point because whatever the European CE mark is changed to the Chinese will simply copy, as they have done with 'China Export'.

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Smartwatch makers: You need apps to beat Apple

Jim Lewis

I'd agree with all others regarding notification functionality, it makes missing texts/calls (something that used to happen frequently) a thing of the past.

In the car it's much safer to glance at your wrist than mess around with your phone.

With Glance I can even respond with preset messages from the watch with a few easily memorised button presses.

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Nokia wrings Lumia bling fling, but feature-mobes ding stings

Jim Lewis

missed opportunity with the strap line?

Disappointing ker-ching lacking zing

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Who should play the next Doctor? Nominations needed!

Jim Lewis

Professor Stephen Hawking

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Motorola shows off tattoo and swallowable password hardware

Jim Lewis

no mention of bar codes?

The check digits on bar codes, (three pairs of thin lines at the beginning, middle and end) are the number 6. IE every item with a bar code has 666 on it.

Google 666 bar codes for more.

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TV gesture patent bombshell: El Reg punts tech into public domain

Jim Lewis

Signal to computer that you're gesturing at it

I think the obvious answer to how will the computer know your waving is intended for it would be to define a clear signal, 'message send'.

Something so unlikely to be within your normal gesture vocabulary that it couldn't be mistaken.

Given the on/off symbol is a circle and a line this seems an obvious choice.

Give the 'OK' diving sign with one hand and hold one finger up on the other, combining both to make a capital phi figure.

Once acknowledged by a lamp switching on, (send message), the next 10 seconds whatever sign you make will be interpreted as an instruction.

Simples.

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The UK's copyright landgrab: The FAQ

Jim Lewis

Case in point. Warner sued over use of Nyan Cat

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22397446

Why should the originators of what has become a valuable franchisable icon not be protected from being ripped off?

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Master Beats: Why doesn't audio quality matter these days?

Jim Lewis

I wholeheartedly agree. I can't help feeling that the younger generation have been sold a pup on this one.

We are of the age that regarded the pursuit of better and better sound quality a worthwhile thing to do, hence the apogee of CD sample rates.

Once convenience trumped this goal all was lost. 'Look i've got 200 albums on this iPod', 'sure, but the quality is pish'

Can it be coincidence that music today really is shite when what people listen to it on is incapable of revealing that fact? Or indeed that 'lo-fi' became a thing around the same time?

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COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO: NASA rovers scrawl giant willy on Mars

Jim Lewis

Slightly less puerile...

It could also be a picture of a telescope.

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Ready for the car 2.0? Nvidia preps UPGRADABLE car system

Jim Lewis

it would have to be configurable within limits to ensure vital info is always displayed somewhere.

Also, drivers are already dangerously distracted by SatNav/mobile/texting/entertainment etc.

First we need computer driven cars, then more distractions.

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Manual override: Raspberry Pi beginners' books

Jim Lewis
Joke

I think you've alleviated some of the difficulty in making a choice of publication...

In fact i'd say you've given us Manual Relief

(Surprised you didn't use that as the headline in fact!)

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Kissinger and tell: WikiLeaks scrapes 1.7m US diplomatic reports from the '70s

Jim Lewis

Assange can be accused of many things and probably should.However, the 6 finger thing is just lazy slander as far as I can tell. Attack the issues not the man fer chrissakes!

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Bill Gates: Windows Phone strategy was 'a mistake'

Jim Lewis

'Bing, people have seen is a better search product', than what? not searching???

Microsoft must have quietly got ahead of Google Glasses 'cos Gates seems to be viewing the world in a very strange way!

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Tibetan monks lose their TVs as China's censors raid monasteries

Jim Lewis

@ Oh4FS

you sir, are a tool

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Jim Lewis

Please...

...can you try to use English, not Americanisms such as 'gotten'.

got is bad enough, when there are so many other words you could use, but gotten has to be one of the worst words in the English lexicon. It's just ugly and redundant.

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Android users: More of them than fanbois, but they don't use the web

Jim Lewis

1. One of the aspects of iDevices that the fans point to the most is the usability. IE the target market is for the less tech savvy consumer.

2. Less tech savvy people may not regularly use/have access to a PC. I have friends in this category who hadn't sent an email prior to owning an iPhone

3. Given that for such users the iDevice is the only platform available to shop from it's hardly surprising the data reflect this.

4. I use an Android phone, and do use it for browsing, usually via wifi, when i can't be arsed to fire up my PC. However, with a PC in front of me during working hours it is this that I use for the majority of my transactions.

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Just bought an Apple product? Need support NOW? Drop an F-BOMB

Jim Lewis

Worth making sure it's an automated system you're talking to and not just an answering machine.

My local doctors had inadvertently left the answering machine on during office hours meaning that when I called to make an appointment I got a message saying if it's an emergency call this number, otherwise hang up.

I got pretty frustrated and vented, not realising that my invective was played loud and clear to the full waiting room and receptionist. (who was busily trying to switch the thing off).

I received a call from them pretty soon after i'd left my message from an apologetic, but obviously unimpressed receptionist and my welcome was decidedly cool when I went to my appointment!

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Felix Baumgartner sadly turns out to be blinkered FOOL

Jim Lewis

I previously didn't expect to hear anything of much sense from Felix, but now I realise he is in fact a wise and insightful man.

As he has literally benefited from a perspective few other people have I think it is right that he expresses the view that this planet we are currently hell bent on destroying is our only home and will remain so for a very long time.

Hear hear Felix!

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Man rummaging for lost laptop in skip gets tipped into garbage truck

Jim Lewis

'The man did not find his laptop and no explanation has emerged of how it ended up in the skip to being with'

Given that he did not find it, one can assume it did not end up in the skip to *begin with.

You could ask why he thought it might have ended up in the skip.

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EARTH was a BAKING LIFELESS DESERT for 5 MILLION years

Jim Lewis

body temperature in mammals

I wonder then if that is why we are designed to function at 37.5deg C? Maybe mammalian life developed at ambient temperature and then just had to work to maintain it as the global temp dropped?

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Mac gamers a-gog as GOG goes Mac

Jim Lewis

office bullshit bingo

'going forward' did you mean to write, 'in the future', by any chance FFS!

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McKinnon case is NOT a precedent – says his own lawyer

Jim Lewis

@ Jason Bloomberg

You have a naively touching conception of how being the subject of a monarch works.

IE you work for them, never the other way around!

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Mission to Pluto faces DEEP SPACE DEBRIS PERIL

Jim Lewis

Nix-ed

Surprised no-one has predicted how this will end in tears.

Literally nixed by the aptly named moon.

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Sky support dubs Germany 'Hitler's country'

Jim Lewis

It might be pertinent to know that Mein Kampf sells like hot cakes in India, where people, (with no sense of apparent irony), make remarks like, 'Hitler is an inspirational historical figure'.

http://rt.com/news/mein-kampf-sales-india/

I'm almost certain that yes, Sky has outsourced their support to India and that Abbas is unaware that calling Germany 'Hitler's country' was anything other than a statement of fact.

It's certainly an interesting lesson in where people choose to take their offences and why the argument that, 'the PC brigade is out of control', is a difficult one to make. If you cause someone to take offence, you have offended them, whether you intended to or not. The extent to which this can be prevented as opposed to apologised for is arguable, but that's what cultural sensitivity is supposed to be about.

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German ebook firm aims low with cheap 'n' simple €10 ereader

Jim Lewis

do you know why this has been launched?

because just yesterday I bought one of these:

http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Entourage-Pocket-Edge-4GB-Wi-Fi-7in-Black-/108338103

arses!

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Copper-obsessed BT means UK misses out on ultrafast fibre gold

Jim Lewis

Given the soaring price of commodities such as copper i'm surprised it isn't cost effective to pull the cable, sell it and replace it with fibre from the proceeds.

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Foldable NFC keyboard could tempt Android users

Jim Lewis

what am i missing?

NFC? why would a standard bluetooth keyboard for Android not work:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9220751/3_Bluetooth_keyboards_for_Android_tablets_

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UK judges quietly declare text chat can be obscene

Jim Lewis

Not quite the scenario

@ Michelle Knight

'A load of wankers crying "protect the children!" '

I'm pretty sure we're trying to protect the children FROM the wankers

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Airline leaves customer on hold for 15 hours

Jim Lewis

KLM much worse since Air France tie-in, I wonder why?

Since KLM and Air France 'merged' the customer service line for frequent flyers has begun to automatically cut people off after a certain amount of waiting time.

I find this incredible, the message 'we value your loyalty...', is eventually followed by 'there's no one here to take your call, goodbye!'.

I don't like to stereotype too much, but this does seem to be the result of adopting a French attitude to customer service!

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Oi, missile boffins! Stop ogling web filth at work - Pentagon

Jim Lewis
Paris Hilton

...with the resulting failing eyesight and having only one hand free, entering the wrong target coordinates is an accident waiting to happen

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