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* Posts by Cynical Observer

99 posts • joined 20 Dec 2007

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Amazon's Spotify-for-books: THE TRUTH

Cynical Observer

Depends on the bundled options

When they recently hiked Prime to include film here in the UK, it provoked a "Let's Review at renewal" flag.

If Prime and Unlimited were bundled at a fraction over the Unlimited price then it becomes interesting again.

For example, there are books that I possess which would be nice to have on Kindle to reread for the commute - Unlimited would make that a simple process

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Cynical Observer
Thumb Up

Re: What about the authors?

Only heavy readers are likely to spend more than $10/month on books.

Teenagers bust this easily - certainly would here in the UK where a teenage fiction book might go for £5 or more and last less than a week. Even with daily deals and public domain which I have urged my teenager to consider, for some parents, knowing that they can get the years reading for a fixed fee is a blessing.

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Will the next US-EU trade pact prevent Brussels acting against US tech giants?

Cynical Observer
Trollface

At least the banks can make a case for their money back

Every bank that has every been fined for facilitating bank trades on behalf of citizens of Iran or Syria or Cuba or Libya or <insert country that the USA [did, does, will go on to] not like> can not argue that those silly banking rules constitute a hindrance to their profits.

So they can go and sue the US Government. :-)

Money Laundering - yeah! that hits profits if you stop that so can HSBC have their Mexican money back please.

etc.....

Or does this rule only works in one direction?

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Cynical Observer
Flame

Time to grow a pair

.... as the time honoured sentiment would put it.

It's a treaty, a negotiation, a consensus of minds. In what version of insanity to the Brussels Bureaucrats possibly believe that this ability to sue due to adverse regulations is benicicial to the European side of the cause?

EU: Aircraft manufacturers - we'd rather that you didn't fall out of the sky - so much so that we will put some of the rules into law.

US Air plane Corp: Mwaaaaaah! Uncle Sam! They being mean to me!

UK: we really don't think our citizenry should have assault rifles. We have banned them by law.

US Armaments Corp: Mwaaaaaah! Uncle Sam! They being mean to me!

Please - tell me there is some sanity left in this poxxed empire called Europe and that someone with the balls to do so with tell them to go take a flying fuck! - Subject to the appropriate health and safety rules of course.

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Facebook in new 'experiment' drama: Will users buy it?

Cynical Observer
Mushroom

First name Gazza by any chance?

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Say goodbye to the noughties: Yesterday’s hi-fi biz is BUSTED, bro

Cynical Observer
WTF?

The benefit of being slightly tone deaf?

A wallet/Credit card that suffers far less abuse.

Will admit - I just don't get the fascination with uber expensive audio kit!

Sometimes it is easier (cheaper) to just "make do" with something that still allows one to enjoy the music/artist and not get so wound up in determining if the sound has been clipped/distorted in one of the many rooms that it could be conceivably be piped into.

...... Unless it has a volume knob that goes to 11 - then I might just be tempted :-)

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Google de-listing of BBC article 'broke UK and Euro public interest laws' - So WHY do it?

Cynical Observer
Facepalm

Missing something here

"it's a no-brainer, there's a clear public interest in that information remaining available."

Google hasn't removed the original article. Google is also not paid (at least not directely) to provide some form of library service as you would get from a public body.

It is a private entity that, based on some some and mirrors arcane algoritm, decides where an article appears in a search result. But I don't see how they can be obligated to make sure that a particular result is displayed - unless one decides to drag in the regulators with their "Fairness" definitions.

Publicity gaff - most certainly.

Looking like kids who spat the dummy Yep! got that one covered.

Showing that the EU law is poorly conceived - I'll grant them that.

Breaking the law - don't quite see it.

IANAL - but hey that's never stopped Reg Commentards offering opinions.

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Own goal as World Cup Wi-Fi passwords spilled in newspaper snap

Cynical Observer
Facepalm

Oh b0110c5.

</enough said>

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Tor is '90 per cent of the net' claims City of London Police Commish – and he's dead wrong

Cynical Observer
Big Brother

Re: I harbor some darknet myself

Not only a terrorist - but also damaging the commercial interests of all those media outlets that would like to use your photos without attribution or payment. Just think of all the images that they could "fail to identify the suthor of" if such Deep Web practices were forbidden.

All hail the media overlords!

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Trolls and victims watch Supremes for definition of meaningless patents

Cynical Observer

Re: @JaitcH

Whose damn language is it anyway?

Following the usual level of due diligence carried out by the US Patent Office, they were unable to find any prior art.

Accordingly they have issued a patent on the language assigning ownership to the 'merkins.

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Really? Sigh. Really? Apple's lawsuit against Google is REVIVED

Cynical Observer
Joke

Ah! That "Listening (a)round Corners" technology.

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US judge: Our digital search warrants apply ANYWHERE

Cynical Observer
FAIL

Re: inevitable

@ Rol

Lovely idea - but....

The US refuses to become subject to the jurisdiction of an international body such as the International Criminal Court. What makes you think that they would ever respect any sort of Internet Governance body that issued rules on data protection that were inconvenient.

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GOV.UK swells organ donor signups by 10,000 a month

Cynical Observer

Re: trust me, I'm a healthcare professional

Surely the point about an organ donor card is that it represents what you want to have done with some or all of the body that you leave behind. While I carry a card, I for example have excluded some organs - it's a personal choice.

While I can understand the need to be sensitive with next of kin, they won't own the body when I die - it's not as if I've left it to them in my will....

Perhaps it helps being married to someone with a similar mindset - it means we've discussed it in advance of any such eventuality - and that's probably the real key aspect.

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The Solar System's second-largest volcano found hiding on Earth

Cynical Observer
FAIL

Re: British Isles?

@wolfetone - Last time I checked, it was not correct to use the term "The Republic of Ireland" to refer to the 26 county state. The name of the state that is fecked up governed from Dublin is just Ireland; a name that is now accepted by the government of The United Knigdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

It's a bit of reciprocal arrangement where they each agreed to call the other by their chosen names.

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Fever pitch as Dublin tar drop fall captured by webcam

Cynical Observer
Trollface

Re: As pointless as a lib dem manifesto

Oh! I know I shouldn't feed the troll...

But...

It's as dynamic as a set of Labour policies....

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Worldwide tax crackdown planned against tech globocorps

Cynical Observer
FAIL

Re: the tax man cometh.

Were you asleep/away for the Starbucks bit....

Tax is paid on profit - not income and when the likes of Starbucks spend several millions to "Licence the use of marketing materials" (i.e use the logo) then the profit is erroded - legally if somewhat imorally.

I call fake on this - lovely idea which will not be implmented this side of several general elections.

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How the clammy claws of Novell NetWare were torn from today's networks

Cynical Observer
FAIL

@AC 13:52pm

Before 6.x, most companies I've worked in had to resort to far too regular use of dsrepair.

In which case, they were doing it wrong. DSREPAIR became something akin to the modern antibiotic. Regardless of the disease, regardless of how it should be treated, chuck them into the mix - after all what harm can they do.

Want to make a Novell Support Engineer wince - tell them you've just run an unattended full repair - 'cos it seemed like a good idea.

The number of Sys Admins that have been chastised over the years for running needless DSREPAIRS is quite scary. Now that in itself raises another question? Why weren't they properly trained to use the proper utilities in the proper circumstances.

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Cynical Observer

Typo

I used Netware 3.x in several jobs at large and small companies. I never really had the chance to try Netware 4 or 5 because everyone upgraded migrated from 3.12 to Windows NT 4.

There - fixed that for you.

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Live or let dial - phones ain’t what they used to be

Cynical Observer

Re: Pulse dialling?

Remember doing it back in about 1986 when there were still some old A - B button phones available.

As I recall 1s, 9s and 0s could be dialled directly - the numbers from 2 to 8 had to be tapped.

Which raises a further question. 999 was picked to avoid the accidental dialling of 111 through the contacting of lines - essentially the same result as tapping or dialling a 1.

Wonder how many phantom calls the new non-emergency NHS number gets these days. Sometimes it pays to remember the old history.

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BOFH: My HELPDESK HELL - lies, phones lines and statistics

Cynical Observer
Happy

Re: Lies, damned lies and statistics

Statistically speaking, that Kzzzerrrt is imminent.

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Microsoft parts clouds over Bing Maps with massive sat pic upgrade

Cynical Observer

Loving the time travel

As I zoom in, I can see the builders vans that filled the site in 2011. Another level of zoom and zap! they are gone, the extension is gone...

Out again. Oooo it's back.

Feels like I have my own personal cloaking system :-)

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Apple takes aim at accessory makers, files iPad stand patent

Cynical Observer
Thumb Down

Poles apart

Just waiting for the manufacturing cock up which will see the polarity in the stand and polarity in the iPad results in a N-N or S-S attempt at docking. Will they patent this as a fast eject mechanism?

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How private biz can link YOU to 'anonymised' medical data

Cynical Observer

Re: All your data monetised for us

Ah! That explains how a shop that I last visited 15 years ago managed to address mail directly to me at my current address some three house moves later.

Post Office service described here http://postoffice.mobi/marketing-services-regular/choose-your-audience/data-management/ncoa-suppress

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LibreOffice 4.0 ships with new features, better looks

Cynical Observer
Happy

Re: LIbre Office good, MS Office is dying.

If they are still editing .doc files then odds are they have not gotten past Office 2003.

Wonder if they just don't like the ribbon - in which case introduce them to LO.

Simples!

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The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder

Cynical Observer
Facepalm

Re: I wrote to my MP about all this.

Interesting that he used the unit of "Programmes". So of ten arbitrary programmes, the nine that cost £1m each are OK and the one that cost £2b is over budget and delayed.

All in the interpretation of the lies statistics.

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Tech firms face massive tax bill if Dutch vote to end loopholes

Cynical Observer
FAIL

Re: 0.1% still beats 0.0%!

The idea is that we have countries undercutting each other in giving tax brakes breaks to big multinationals. It they stop doing this, every country would have a larger income from taxes.

If only it were that simple. On a level tax playing field, companies will increasingly be driven by cost of labour - it's still one of the largest expenses that any enterprise must bear. When the EU went through the expansions of 2004 and 2007, the multinationals didn't relocate to eastern Europe out of a sense of altruism. Skilled and cheap labour is a compelling motivator.

A lesser corporate tax rate acts as a counter balance and for the likes of Ireland, it's probably the most important factor in ensuring inward investment.

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Schmidt 'very proud' of Google's tiny tax bill: 'It's called capitalism'

Cynical Observer

Re: Talk about stating the obvious...

@Def.

Is that really 100% accurate.

Normal salaried employees are allowed claim for expenses related to their employment - e.g. mileage up to the HMRC approved levels; professional fees; subscriptions.

All of these lower their tax liabilities.

On that basis you could argue that they are being taxed on profits not revenue.

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The latest tech firm to be accused of tax dodging: Microsoft

Cynical Observer
Facepalm

Re: If they won't pay tax, maybe they should pay for infrastructure

but they are still putting vehicles on our roads, employing people educated in our education system and creating rubbish for our landfill sites,

Vehicles on roads - Vehicle Excise Duty, Excise Duty on Fuel, (Can't count VAT on fuel as that can be reclaimed). Let's not forget the vehicle manufacturers who benefit by selling these - a further economic benefit that it's convenient to ignore.

Employing People Educated in the system. : NI; PAYE; not to mention the fact that the employees are not a drain on state resources.

Rubbish for Landfill... Some of that responsibility lies with the end user and how they dispose of and/or recycle their rubbish. Some of it is covered by payment of business rates - I believe that they are not inconsequential.

In short - any discussion has to focus on PROFITS and whether or not profits should be taxed in the country of origin or else where.

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Cynical Observer
FAIL

Re: Correct me if im wrong

Consider yourself corrected.

The tax that you pay on these products (VAT) is not part of the current discussion.

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First pic of Ashton Kutcher as the great Steve 'jOBS'

Cynical Observer

Re: Annual remake?

Of Course - but only if you're prepared to pay for it.

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Data cop slap for Brit text pests

Cynical Observer
FAIL

Re: Or on Three network

Not just 3 who had to be different. With Vodafone, the reporting number is VSPAM (87726)

And apparently, Virgin don't even list a number as an option.

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Elon Musk envisions small town of VEGETARIANS ON MARS

Cynical Observer
Alien

Re: Begin settling space,

Other members of the Ark to include ...

Telephone Sanitisers, Hairdressers, Second-hand Car Salesmen,TV Producers, Personnel Officers, Management Consultants, Insurance Salesmen and Public Relations Executives

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Fanbois: The Next Generation. YOUR CHILDREN belong to Apple now

Cynical Observer

Re: Uuum yeah

just wanting something because their friend has one or because an asshole in a clown suit tells them they need it.

Applies to many over 12s as well.

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Ofcom probe into telcos jacking-up charges halfway through contracts

Cynical Observer
FAIL

Weasel Words.....

"As it stands, Ofcom's rules state that mobile, phone and broadband providers have to give their customers a minimum of one month's notice regarding any major change to contractual terms. Subscribers can then cut loose from the contract without being stung with a penalty for walking away early"

"Raising Prices in Line with Inflation" must fall outside the definition of a "major change" if Three can include the following paragraph in their advisory on price changes earlier this year.

"Our terms and conditions allow us to raise prices in line with inflation so that we can cover our business costs. This means that you won't be able to leave your contract early as a result of this change."

Vodafone did something similar shortly after.

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Viviane Reding says imitate US and form FEDERAL EUROPE

Cynical Observer
Facepalm

Solid Dollar?

despite all that, Reding points out that America's credit rating isn't being threatened and no one is doubting the dollar,

And this of course is in no way related to the fact that the ratings agencies that people listen to (e.g.Moodies, S&P) are all US based?

Wonder what would happen if some European agencies or agencies from the BRICs block were to let fly with a rating that was less than favorable to the dollar...

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Cameron's F-35 U-turn: BAE Systems still calls the shots at No 10

Cynical Observer

Re: Heard Lewis on BBC R4 this morning

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01h75xm/Today_10_05_2012/

Starts circa 2hrs 45mins in.

It was quite a shock to hear someone from the BBC defending this government.

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At last! A use for Blighty's phone-boxes: Free Wi-Fi hotspots

Cynical Observer

BT faults now have a 03 number as well as their 0800 number

Worked for me when contacting them from a mobile - and was included in the standard minutes allowance.

The number is 0330 1234 151.

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Samsung outs Ivy Bridge notebooks

Cynical Observer

Time for an El Reg Top 10?

As we get all sorts of top 10's from El Reg, why not give us the top 10 laptops with decent screen resolutions. Say 1600 *1200 for starters. It seems to increasingly be the factor that eliminates laptops from the list of possible replacements that one might consider.

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EC: Apple claimed Motorola demanded ALL ITS PATENTS

Cynical Observer

Re: Bert, this bloke wont 'aggle!

Now are you telling me that's not worth twenty shekels?

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Tesco blunder prices 64GB 4G iPad at 50 quid

Cynical Observer

Re: Law on their side?

IANAL

I seem to recall one of those "Know your Rights" type programs on the BEEB or such like saying that it depends on when the error is spotted. If the error is spotted before the transaction is complete then the merchant is not compelled to complete the transaction - although they must fix the ticket price near enough immediately. However, if you get you mitts on the goods and payment has been completed then it's yours and there's nothing that they can do about it.

The wrinkle with distance selling is that the money has been taken - but you don't have the goods. So is the contract complete at that stage? One for those legal eagles.

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Security biz scoffs at Apple's anti-Trojan Gatekeeper

Cynical Observer
Joke

Trademarks @ Dawn

"Computer security historians would be interested to note that 20 years ago there was an anti-virus program for Mac, also called Gatekeeper. The software, developed by independent programmer Chris Johnson, was shelved many years ago."

Hope they've determined whether or not they need to buy the rights to use the name. Otherwise the marketing department needs to be rebranded "iShouldHaveChecked"

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Foursquare ousted? Google sneaks out Latitude leader boards

Cynical Observer
Thumb Down

Dear world at large

"I am not at home right now - in fact I'm at the other end of the country. This would be an opportune moment for you to go and check out where I live. DO you like the electronic goods that are on display - they are yours for the taking."

Still don't see the attraction to telling people that you are not at home.

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Social networks can't be forced to filter content, rules top EU court

Cynical Observer

This is going to put a cat amongst the ACTA pigeons.

They will not be happy.

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Apple demands US ban on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus

Cynical Observer
Devil

MAD

"Samsung will have rushed the Galaxy Nexus, which misappropriates many patented features from the iPhone, to capture market share from Apple that Samsung will be able to retain long into the future"

And if we get the injunction, we can capture market share from Samsung that we will be able to retain long into the future - even if we lose the case.

Oh for a dream world where the judge says something along the lines of :

"Granting or refusing this injunction will unfairly disadvantage one or other of the parties. Therefore the only fair result to so ban both of you pillocks until we sort this out! Now why don't you both clear off out of my sight and come back when you want to behave like grown ups"

Ah well... back to the realities of a Monday afternoon.

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Megastar personalities are intellectual property in draft law

Cynical Observer
Go

Television suddenly looks promising

OI! You can't behave like a talentless twat! I have a prior claim on that and I'll sue you!

That should cull a large part of the X-Pop-Strictly-Got-No-Talent-On-Ice brigade!

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Vodafone squirrels cash into Blighty nightly as Europe falters

Cynical Observer
Thumb Down

The accounts will be busy

Wonder how they will qualify all this to avoid paying excessive (any?) taxes on it.

Oh another lunch with HMRC - it's a hard life

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Airport bomb Twitter joker in second fine appeal bid

Cynical Observer
Unhappy

If stupidity were a crime

then at least one sentence would have been handed out.

The question is whether it should have been two - a second sentence for the decision to bring the case in the first place.

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Google will swap you a box of crisps for your web privacy

Cynical Observer
Thumb Down

Split Personality

So with two Gmail Accounts; two Amazon accounts and three browsers - why do I think it would be possible to game the system?

If I could be bothered that is!

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Microsoft says 'sorry' after Japan quake marketing gaffe

Cynical Observer

Please Repost

This one is probably closer to the mark....

PLEASE copy and paste this into your status if you know someone, or have been affected by someone, who needs a punch in the face. People who need a punch in the face affect the lives of many. There is still no known cure for people who need a punch in the face, except a punch in the face. 93% of people won't re-post this...Why? Because they probably need a punch in the face.

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