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* Posts by Neill Mitchell

426 posts • joined 23 Mar 2007

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Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray

Neill Mitchell

Is this what your ears have been waiting for?

No. I've been waiting for a cure for tinnitus.

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GNOME 3.12: Pixel perfect ... but homeless

Neill Mitchell

Ubuntu

I'm sure this will eventually just be an apt-get away :)

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It's EE vs Vodafone: 'How good is my signal' study descends into network bunfight

Neill Mitchell

Re: I have to agree

@Lionel. Thanks for the tip. I thought only Vodafone offered them.

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Neill Mitchell

Re: I have to agree

This has been made worse by the Orange/T-Mobile merge into EE. They have been shutting down what they term "duplicate coverage" towers to save money.

At home I used to connect to a mast 1.6 miles away. Now its one 5.5 miles away and the tower I used to connect to has disappeared off the map. Result is I now get no signal. My phone is an expensive paperweight at home now. I've tried getting out of my contract based on them not actually providing me with a service, but no dice of course. Mobile companies are the worst and they just don't seem to care that they have a piss poor public image.

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Use MediaWiki and hate malware? This patch is for you

Neill Mitchell

Re: So..

The patch was released 2 days ago. With MW's close ties with Wikipedia, you can be sure that was the first place the patch was applied :)

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BBC Trust: 'LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING' to this DMI mega-tech FAIL

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Apple's Tim Cook: Fear not, worried investors, new product salvation is 'absolutely' on the way

Neill Mitchell

Blimey...

So $43bn in just 3 months selling gadgetry is obviously not enough these days. The world has indeed gone mad.

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Ancient video of Steve Jobs launching the first Apple Mac found

Neill Mitchell

Is it just me...

Or does Apple's famous 1984 promo video seem hugely ironic now.

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Apple badmouthing of court's monitor proves it NEEDS him - judge

Neill Mitchell
Joke

In the UK

They would have called in the Peelers.

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HP EliteBook 840G1: Sometimes it's an Ultrabook, sometimes it's not

Neill Mitchell

Thanks goodness

Matte screens seem to be returning. That's another bit of "must have feature 'cos Apple have it" pure marketing madness coming to an end.

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I'm in: Peter 'Dragons' Den' Jones launches bid to buy out Expansys

Neill Mitchell

Wow

So he's prepared to lose £6.1million then. He should re-brand it Implodesys whilst he's at it.

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iSPY: Apple Stores switch on iBeacon phone sniff spy system

Neill Mitchell

For once, I really really hope...

Apple have patented this idea so no one else can copy it.

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Bring Your Own Disks: The Synology DS214 network storage box

Neill Mitchell

Re: Regret buying one

"Nor power stability. Lose power at just the right (wrong) moment, and no amount of RAID is going to save you."

LOL, so very true. The very next thing I bought after my DS212+ was an APC 650CS UPS. It has saved me at least 3 times now. It also communicates with the 412 via USB, so the NAS shuts down automatically if the power is off long enough for the UPS battery to get low.

If you are going to do home NAS, you might as well do it properly. The APC cost just £70. Worth every penny.

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'Planned maintenance' CRIPPLES nearly HALF of all Salesforce instances in Europe, US

Neill Mitchell

Well

It's not called cloud cuckoo land for nothing.

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RETRO-GASM: The Fuze electronics kit for the Raspberry Pi

Neill Mitchell

Retro indeed.

Looks like a Z88. Just needs a 640x64 LCD screen.

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Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

Neill Mitchell

Re: The triumph of commerce over democracy

"I thought governments were supposed to listen to us?"

Like DAB, they can't hear you due to numerous walls in the way.

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LG G Flex: A new cheeky curvy mobe with a 'SELF-HEALING' bottom

Neill Mitchell

Rulers obsolete

It will make a great (if rather expensive) desktop catapult.

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Man+iPhone versus artificial intelligence: Anki robot racer slot cars

Neill Mitchell

Hang on...

So each kid has to be the owner of an iPhone or Touch? So minimum entry requirement here is around £170 per participant. That's one expensive and fragile controller!

Can't see that many 10 year olds getting one of these from Santa then. Older "kids" will be the ones hogging these ;)

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Once, twice, three times - a Very Large Phone™

Neill Mitchell

Re: Region locking

I stopped reading at "Rest assured that your concerns are recognised by Samsung and we will do our best to answer your questions." This false and patronising "we really love you customers, honestly" crap you get on every single email/press release/Facebook post these days really gets my goat.

I hope comment has made you chew your own arm off and has placed your blood at boiling point . Please comment again if you require any more spin and bullshit to other questions you may have.

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

Neill Mitchell

I've always used to think...

That there can be no way Bill Gates ever used Word or he would have got it sorted out.

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Samsung touching up ROUNDED, CURVY plastic enhanced MODEL

Neill Mitchell

Re: Been there, done that.

The Nokia banana phone did not have a flexible display forming the entire front surface of the device. The case was curved, but it had a flat LCD display.

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Cambridge withdraws from World Solar Challenge

Neill Mitchell

Re: Ah come on!

They should seek sponsorship from T-Cut.

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Universal's High Fidelity Pure Audio trickles onto Blighty’s Blu-Ray hi-fis

Neill Mitchell

Stuck down a hole, in the fog, at night, WITH AN OWL!

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Basically RUBBISH 'COMET of the Century' ISON snapped by HiRISE in Mars orbit

Neill Mitchell

I'm told it's going to be around 1.7 Kohouteks.

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You put up with CRAPPY iOS 7. You can put up with Obamacare too, says prez

Neill Mitchell

Re: Interesting

Ah, the old "my friends and friends of friends" vagueness.

People only bother to complain, rarely to praise. So of course forums and the media are full or the negative experiences.

So to balance your argument, I can say that both my daughter and father-in-law received excellent treatment recently.

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WD unveils new MyBook line: External drives now bigger... and CHEAP

Neill Mitchell

Re: Hard Drive Price Drop?

The cheapest I can find WD internal drives is still more than they are charging for the equivalent size MyBooks. How does that work?

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Tracking the history of magnetic tape: A game of noughts and crosses

Neill Mitchell

Cute recorder

Anyone else think the IBM Selectric typewriter's companion tape recorder looks like a jug eared robot with missing teeth?

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Massively leaked iFail 5S POUNDS pundits, EXCITES chavs

Neill Mitchell

Upvomited surely :)

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Posh potty owners flushed by dodgy Bluetooth password

Neill Mitchell

Re: A tad over-engineered?

"Why not just use motion sensors for proximity and a side arm for bum washing controls?"

Erm, it does. The photo gives it away. Note the panel above the loo roll. What use would a toilet be that only worked if you have your phone on you? The phone app is just auxiliary marketing bum wipe.

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World's biggest software biz SAP not selling as much, er, software

Neill Mitchell

SAP

Is for saps.

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Stock dips as fanbois complain of dodgy Wi-Fi on MacBook Air

Neill Mitchell

Apple Geniuses and Advisors should capture MacBook Air

Are they going to use a net?

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Sony unveils latest attempt at an Android SmartWatch

Neill Mitchell

Re: @system11 - cogs and springs?

"Or are you still wearing a watch that you wind up once a day?"

No, I wear a mechanical watch that winds itself up :)

http://www.christopherward.co.uk/men/view-all-mens-watches/malvern-collection/c5sck-mk2.html

It's killer app is it ticks at a rate of 8 beats per second and has sapphire exhibition window on the back so you can see it working. Okay, it loses a few seconds a week, but so what.

If I had money to burn I'd have one of their fab Harrison C900s. As accurate as you need. If you want "digital" you can have a C9 Jumping Hour MKII ;)

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The Reg's best-looking reader reveals list of jobs for the beautiful

Neill Mitchell

They don't last long.

"Magnum" may get them the job, but they usually wind up dead in some freak gasoline-fight accident.

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BT! dumps! Yahoo! after! 10! long! years! together!

Neill Mitchell

LOL

This explains why I got an email a couple of weeks back saying customers who do not login to their BT Yahoo mail at least once before 15th of June would lose their email account. I guess they're trying to cut down the migration numbers.

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Crap computers in a crap box: Smart-meter blackouts risk to UK

Neill Mitchell

Re: Whilst I can see the value.....@Peter Gathercole

"My base load is still around 500W, and I'm struggling to identify where that is going. Probably not something that a smart meter would help with unless they also supplied per-plug metering devices."

Unfortunately domestic power monitors generally only measure apparent power, rather than true active power consumed.

I found this out when I was initially mortified by our new Induction hob. The monitor suggested it was burning 200W in standby, which luckily was clearly not the case or something would have been getting pretty hot. This lead me onto true power vs apparent power. Check out http://paulaowenconsulting.co.uk/2012/12/02/induction-hobs-the-question-of-standby-and-the-power-factor/

Ironically, the greener you go, the worse the apparent power seems on your monitor as your base load drops. I switched all our halogen kitchen lights to LED and the monitor reading went up. The LEDs are consuming so little true power, it gets masked by the apparent power.

Luckily the power companies bill for active power.

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T-Mobile UK ordered into humiliating Full Monty strip

Neill Mitchell

Re: Blocking access to Remote SMTP servers?

This is a joke. I bought a MiFi dongle from 3 and discovered that I couldn't send emails to my SMTP server. I had even specifically asked in the shop whether it was possible and was told that it was.

After a very protracted process of actually getting to speak to someone, they informed me that SMTP was blocked to stop spammers sending thousands of emails via the dongle. I can't think of a more expensive method of sending spam. Utter bollocks. The only way to send email was via their SMTP relay service, which is completely unreliable and also often triggers the recipients spam filtering. It also means they expect you to change the SMTP settings on your phone each time you switch from using their MiFi device to WiFi etc.

When they realised they were clearly on the losing side of the discussion, they then pointed out that on the box that it said you can "read emails", but sending them is not listed. Based on this they initially refused a return. Honestly, can you believe such bollocks even being suggested? Christ what a crappy world of spin we live in.

Upshot is I eventually managed to ditch the 3 dongle and bought an unlocked version of the same one and lived happily ever after with Orange. Well, so far...

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Win a Nexus 7 with reed.co.uk and El Reg

Neill Mitchell

It doesn't matter what you fill in for location

They'll bombard you with emails about jobs in Aberdeen, Basingstoke, Cardiff, Dundee, Eindhoven, Zurich. Everybody talk about pop music.

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Judge scolds Apple, Motorola for using court as 'business strategy'

Neill Mitchell

Jobs for everyone?

I think that was the business strategy of the previous CEO of Apple :)

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Dragons' Den badboy's Expansys burns sales, profits up in smoke

Neill Mitchell

Well, they could try a competitive pricing policy

Seems to work for Amazon. Oh and perhaps stop offering devices weeks before they are actually shipping without offering any sort of firm delivery date would also help. These things tend to hack off your customers.

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Infinite loop: the Sinclair ZX Microdrive story

Neill Mitchell

More reliable microdrives

The microdrive to have for the Speccy are the ones with a little raised strip running front to back on the left in front of the pinch wheel. It aligns the cartridge better to the rollers and these drives are more reliable than the older ones without it.

When I went through a short nostalgia phase of buying microdrives a few years back, I'd always peer down the slot or ask the ebay seller to check the drive was one with the bump. Speccy nerd eh ;)

The last QL's also had more reliable drives made by a 3rd party. These often still run without problems today and so are the more sought after QL's. The drive manufacturer? An unheard of company at the time called Samsung :)

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25% of Groupon share value WIPED OUT after rates slashed

Neill Mitchell

Re: Bet you wish

The Sun would have gone with "Scorn poured on Groupon coupon"

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Curiosity raises mighty robotic fist, punches hole in Mars

Neill Mitchell

Drill bits made in the UK

By a company in Dorset.

http://www.seekernews.co.uk/2012/10/made-in-dorset-and-used-on-mars/

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Cable Cowboy lassoes Virgin Media with HUGE £15bn deal

Neill Mitchell

@AC 6th Feb 20:53

"Try to walk out of any broadband contract early and you will get nailed for a fee for the unused contract. Minimum contracts are 12-24 months to recoup the cost of the supplied equipment and infrastructure. Do you work for nothing?"

People just don't read things through do they. As stated, I had no new kit. I'd been a customer for over 4 years. I'd paid my dues. Secondly, Virgin recovered the box and modem the day before I moved. I didn't keep it like your client.

"Especially if you childishly went to Facebook and Twitter to whine about it.".

So what do I do, nothing? Sit there and be scalped in silence with a wry little smile? It was a form of protest. Pity more people aren't more active. Perhaps companies would improve their behaviour.

"If the people who bought your house changed their mind would you give them their money back or would you point at the contract signed?"

What a ridiculous analogy. LOL. A subscription service contract versus a multi hundred thousand pound property exchange. Plus, one last time, I did not change my mind! I moved to an area without coverage.

This is all about what is reasonable and what is not. Like I said, I had did not know when renewing my contract that I was going to move. What am I supposed to do? Not renew and have no service until I decide if I'm going to stay put for the length of the new contract? Ridiculous. Overlap is inevitable. When I did decide to move, was I expected to choose a house based on Virgin availability? Again, ridiculous.

Moving house is an common scenario that other companies seem to handle without this kind of hassle.

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Neill Mitchell

@AC

LOL. That made my day :) Hope you guys don't get messed around.

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Neill Mitchell

@Lee Dowling

"If you'd remained a Virgin customer, or you'd not signed up to that long a contract, or you were past your initial "non-profitable part"

This is exactly my point. How could I remain a customer if they had no service in my new area? It's not that I "didn't want it any more". They could not supply what I was paying for. I didn't "scarper" to avoid fees. I moved house. A common enough occurrence that is expensive and stressful enough without such shenanigans.

I was way beyond the profitable point. I had been a loyal customer for over 4 years up until that point.

"It might be "sneaky" but it was in the contract, and clearly stated". The use of the word "may" is ambiguous at best.

"It's no different to clauses on phone companies". In fact Vodafone were very good. I had no data signal where I had moved and they agreed to terminate without penalty as I could not receive the service I was paying for. Everyone except Virgin were very helpful.

Now is all this worth the £180 Virgin squeezed out of me?

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Neill Mitchell

Re: Dear Customer

Exactly. My point is the contract was unreasonable and used woolly terms such as "may" and "choose to leave". I did not even know when I "signed" the contract that I was going to move, let alone to an area with no coverage.

Thames Water don't supply to my new area, but didn't hit me with a penalty. Ditto npower. In fact, the npower call centre staff member couldn't believe Virgin were doing it. This was churlish unreasonable behaviour on Virgin's part. They could have been nice and everyone would have been happy.

As it is, Virgin lost other 3 customers because of this. My parents, brother in law and the new owners of my house after they heard what they'd done.

Looking back, I can't believe I was chucking £72 a month for 10MBit broadband (my speed doubling never happened), 200 channels I rarely watched and a phone service where I got charged before 7pm and for calling 0845 numbers.

Nice to see the Virgin staff down voting my posts LOL :)

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Neill Mitchell

Re: Dear Customer

Virgin's contracts are an absolute masterpiece. For example, I moved to an area with no Virgin coverage. I was told I was in breach of contract and had to pay a £186 exit penalty. They absolutely refused to budge on this.

Sure enough, buried away in the contract there is a clause that says if you move to an area without Virgin coverage you "may" be liable for a penalty "if you decide to leave" (WTF!). I tried contesting the "may" and not deciding but simply having no choice other than "leave". It didn't wash. I tried the usual name and shame Facebook and Twitter tactics, but no. Yes, I could have gone to small claims court and may have won, but after the stress of moving house I couldn't face it. Virgin knows this of course.

What was I supposed to do? Choose a new house based on Virgin coverage? Completely mean spirited penny pinching. Result is I will never go back to Virgin and if asked will not recommend. They seem to think this is acceptable.

So somewhere in the contract will be a clause stating in woolly legal obfuscation that they can impose price increases at will. No doubt with the phrase "if you decide to leave"...

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Neill Mitchell

Dear Customer

At Virgin we try really high to keeps costs down so we can pass on great prices to our customers.

However, due to recent market pressures, certain package prices changes will come into effect on the 1st of April.

Blah blah

More spin

Blah blah

An extra £10 a month ta very much. Yes, we know this will be the 3rd price rise in less than 2 years, but hey. Oh and if you decide to leave us because of this, we'll charge you £180 exit fees.

Thank you for choosing Virgin, you loyalty will be rewarded in another life.

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Happy birthday, Lisa: Apple's slow but heavy workhorse turns 30

Neill Mitchell

Is it me?

Or is that Lemming advert incredibly ironic now.

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